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travel

Seattle Travel Guide

This was our first time in Seattle and I have a feeling it wont be our last.  If you missed it on my Instagram, I recently accepted an 100% remote IT recruiting job with Amazon, so they flew me out to Seattle for my first week of training at their headquarters!  I know we went in the prime time to visit because it only rained once the entire time for a week and the weather was mid 70s.  Apparently every other month of the year is typically rainy, so if you’re going to visit shoot for the summer months!  The city felt fresher to me, unlike New York or Paris, but a crisp feel probably because it sits right on the water.  Overall, we felt great about the trip and below I’ve highlighted a few of our favorite spots!


(your basic picture of pike place market, wearing all shop the mint)

What to do:

  • Get the Seattle City Pass: Visit all the hot spots included.
    Admission Includes

  • Go to the Beach: We were recommended Alki Beach Park the most but we never made it! There is also Goldens Garden Park & Enatai Beach Park & Boathouse.
  • Take the kids to all the Museums & Parks! Downtown Bellevue Park playground is new, free and fun!  During the summer they show free movies in the park for the kids!  Also heard great things about Kid’s Quest Childrens Museum, but we never made it.
  • Go to Pike Place Market:  Shop the farmers market, walk around on the pier or grab local sushi!

    (Kids at the Zoo wearing Emu Shoes!)

    (on the Ferris wheel, included on city pass)

Where to eat: (so many spots we didnt get to check out!)

  • Breakfast: Biscuit Bitch, All Water Seafood & Oyster Bar, Room service from either of the hotels mentioned!
  • Lunch: Lola’s, Mbar, Wataru, Serious Pie Pizza
  • Dinner: Canlis, The Nest, Sushi Kashiba, The pink Door, Bateau, Walrus & the Carpenter, Shuckers, Spinasse, Stateside
  • Dessert: Cinnaholic, Chocolate factory (pike place market), Salt & Straw Ice cream, Molly Moons Ice Cream.

    (View from the Nest bar & restaurant)

Where to Stay:

  •  Downtown Seattle:  This is where we stayed the entire time with the kids & I loved how close all the attractions were and amazing restaurants.  We checked out to amazing hotels while in town, our first night we spent it at Loews Hotel 1000 (read my full review here) and the rest of the week we stayed at The Fairmont Olympic (read my full review here)!  Both were amazing 4/5 star hotel spots, click on each review to see exactly what we loved about each!
  • Capitol Hill:
  • Bellevue:  Referred to as the Eastside of Seattle, right across lake washington.  It is about 30 minutes from downtown seattle, amazing parks, beaches and a dry bar here 🙂
  • Ballard Area:  Where a lot of locals live!  This is a hip waterfront neighbord, that would be cute to rent an airbnb for a weekend!


    (view from the space needle: also available via city pass, dress is tiare hawaii)
    *As always, you can shop all my outfits here from all my trips!
travel

Santa Barbara Travel Guide

Santa Barbara was not what I expected at all, in a good way!  It is about a 2 hour drive typically depending on traffic from LA, and for that reason I expected the area to be a very busy beach town like Santa Monica/Venice area.  It did not feel busy at all!  In fact it felt like a southern small town on a beach, with very high class/dressed people.  We went during “June Gloom” (which is known as the gloomiest weather), but over half the time it was sunny!  I saw a quote the other day that also summed up how I felt about the weather and what you should pack in California: “Welcome to California. Winter starts at 6am.  Spring starts at 10am.  Summer is at 2pm and Fall is around 4:30ish.  Dress accordingly.”  Too true!   Here is everything you need to know!


Where to stay:

Belmond El Encanto This 5 Star resort is located just a mile up the hills from downtown Santa Barbara and the beach!   This was one of our favorite resorts we have ever stayed with the kids!  Make sure to request Bungalow 101, you can see behind the scenes videos of the resort on my Instagram stories here.
What we loved about the hotel:

  • Proximity:  You could walk out of your bungalow and the pool, spa, fitness center, and restaurant/lobby were all within 5 feet.  You never had to walk far and the entire property felt small, not crowded at all!
  • Pond area:  There is a turtle feeding area that the kids LOVED!  The bell men give you turtle food and my kids would spend hours sitting by the pond playing with all the turtles.
  • Room:  I loved that we felt like we were in a small southern house in the middle of a resort.  It was a newly updated villa with one bedroom, a huge bathroom with heated floors, and then a small living area with a pull out couch.  They even personalize the pillow cases with your last name initial, what a personal touch!
  • Dining:  We ate on property almost the entire time because the food was so good!  Every morning we had breakfast over looking the fog rolling off the beach view you could see from the cliff.  Get the nutella french toast!!
  • Activities:  From onsite work out classes to electric bike rentals, you won’t get bored at this resort but also feel relaxed at the same time!



What to do:

  • Explore downtown Santa Barbara & Beach:  We rented a fun 4 person bike from Wheel fun rentals SB, located right in the Funk Zone!
  • Visit all the kid Museums/Parks:  We had a press pass, but we were only able to hop around to 4 different ones during the week we were in town.  I loved the Moxi Museum the best, it is right in the funk zone and has a roof top area for the kids to explore.  Make sure to visit Santa Barbara Zoo as well, and reserve a private giraffe feeding, or any type of feeding for that matter!  We did the turtles!  Other Museums we visited included: Santa Barbara Maritime Museum (more educational) & Santa Barbara Museum of Natural Sea Center (you can touch the sharks & various animals)
  • Hop around all the wineries:  There are some in the Funk Zone you can walk around to, but we opted to do a full day wine tour with Dee Tours one day!  Dee can customize the tour for you, or you can plan your own tour and just use Dee Tours for the open air jeep that fits 10 people!  The Wineries we ended up doing were: Sunstone Winery, Brave & Maiden Winery, & Lucas & Lewellen.
  • If you need a babysitter:  Belmond Recommended this company- Mummys Day Off, we used them one night while the kids were sleeping and felt great about the babysitter.  She said she worked for the company for 3 years since she was 18.


 

Where to Eat:

  • Breakfast: Acai Bowls: Backyard Bowls, Bree’osh Bakery
  • Lunch: Brophy Bros (seafood)
  • Dinner: Los Agaves (mexican) , The Lark (american)
  • Ice cream: McConnells (funk zone area)

travel

Mykonos Travel Guide

I am starting my Summer Series of Europe Travel Guides with our Mykonos trip because it was our favorite!  We loved the food, views, and vibe all around in Mykonos after traveling to all over.  Also our best friends got engaged while we were there so it was extra special!! We only spent two nights, but I think another main reason we were so happy in Mykonos town was mainly do to our amazing accommodations we rented through Kid & Coe, ill go into detail on everything below!

How to get to Mykonos:

You can fly directly into Mykonos Airport, but flights are expensive and can be tricky depending on the time of year.  Since Mykonos was our second island in Greece, we flew into Santorini first then took a high speed ferry jet over to Mykonos.  We booked on SeaJets here!
The Ferry takes about 2 hours, and it feels like you are on a big luxury plane!  I was blown away how nice it was inside, your own assigned seating, a cafe, bathrooms and various levels.  Make sure to print your ferry tickets out prior to arriving at the port, it is very busy and that way you don’t need to wait in line to get your tickets to board.  They board the ferry about 30 minutes prior to departure, make sure you are there they do not care about people being left! Once we arrived at Mykonos we had a car service waiting for us to take us to the place, the owner of our villa arranged the pick up, but i strongly suggest coordinating with your accommodations for a ride as soon as you get off the ferry.


(This is a hidden little restaurant called Kastros)

Where to stay:

Location: Mykonos Town: This is where all the shops and pretty cobbled stone street pictures you see all over social media are.  The Island isn’t too big if you stay elsewhere, but all the restaurants are mainly downtown too.  We had ATVS dropped off at our property and drove these around the island while in town.  We easily got to certain spots within 10-15 minutes.

Accommodations:
We stayed at this 6 bedroom house: Villa Astra which we booked through Kid & Coe.  It was less than a mile from the Mykonos Town, and the perfect house for family, friends, or any special occasions when traveling with a big group.  I like to travel to destinations before bringing my kids, and this was one spot I am dying to bring them back to.  You can see a tour of the entire property under my Instagram story highlights here!

(View of mykonos town from the top master bedroom)

(Back of the house view point)

What I loved about Villa Astra:

  • 6 bedroom house:  Need I say more.  Everyone had their own room, own bathroom, the luxury of being in a house to just cook or relax outside if you wanted to.  I noticed this after our first rental on the trip were we all felt very on top of each other.  It was nice to take a breather.  There was even an outdoor two bedroom guest suite that another family could stay in if traveling together.  Kid & Coe properties hone in on rentals that are specifically family friendly.  The owner had car seats readily available, there was one adorable room with bunk beds, and high chairs/pack-n-play accessible if needed.  The pool and outdoor area was an added bonus!
  • Location:  Mykonos town- I mentioned above this is where you want to be if you’re going to be exploring, walking, and eating down town a lot.  This property is less than a mile from town.  I also want to mention even though the house was on a main traffic road, there were multiple doors, garages and locks for security.  We actually got locked out of the house multiple times because of the layers of safety!  This is huge when traveling to a new city you know nothing about.
  • Hospitality:  The property came with its own “house keeper” that immediately greeted us upon arrival, showed us around the property, and was available anytime I needed anything.  Yeirdon sprained his ankle one night and the house keeper even got him crutches!  She reserved our ATVS for us, and put me in contact with the taxis we used to get around the island.  She mentioned you could arrange a chef to come cook you meals in the house as well for around $200-$300 Euros.  If we had more time at this property I would have set this up for breakfast or a meal!

Kid & Coe associated:  The booking was very easy, their team verifies your account once you create a profile here and make sure all your rentals are safe!  Enjoy a $250 travel credit by booking any of their properties here using code MAYDAY19!

 

Where to Eat:

Breakfast:
Crepeland- Mykonos Town

Lunch:
-Nammos Beach Club- Best drink and food I had on the entire trip!  You can purchase beach chairs and hang out here all day too.  People bring their yachts up and jetski to the dock.
-Kikis Tavern
-Mamaloukas

Dinner:
-Interni- Mykonos Town- we all agreed this was our favorite dinner.  It turns into a lively party some nights, and they bring sparklers out for birthdays!
-Scorpios:  We did sunset here outside, the food was great and it turns into a party Sunday/Tuesday/Thursdays!
-Buddha Bar- we didnt make it here our last night but I researched a ton and this came highly recommended.


(This was at Scorpios evening sunset dinner)

What To do:

  • Rent ATVS:  We had 4-wheelers dropped off at our villa from a local rent shop.  You can find any around the island and I would coordinate with your host or hotel.  I loved being able to explore the island without having to arrange a taxi, and go at your own pace.  We rented ATVS in each city we went to in Europe and it was always my favorite day!  We took our ATVS to Nammos Beach Club one day and Mykonos Town.  There are parking areas all around, and the rodes were not too crazy.  I used GPS on my iphone for all the locations and it worked very well.
  • Go to Beach Clubs: You can spend an entire day at one beach club or hop around.  I heard Nammos & Scorpios were the nicest when I researched, so those were the two we hit up in town.  I LOVED Nammos, the food the set up, and the drinks were my favorite!  Everything is pricey there, but that’s where I would splurge and get two chairs and spend the entire day hanging out there.  Scorpios is more of a party scene, they didn’t have any beach chairs when we went, its more of a dessert feel on top of a cliff.  Great for sunset and nightlife.  We hear Paradise Beach Club was huge and more of a rave scene.
  • Hotel/Restaurant Hop:  There are so many gorgeous hotels I wanted to check out but didn’t have time.  Cave Tagoo was on that list, so if you have some free time- Have drinks or a meal at their infinity pool!  Buddha Bar we didn’t make it to that dinner either, but heard that location amazing.
  • Shop/Explore:  Mykonos Town is very spread out, you can spend an entire day their eating, walking around the shops, and taking beautiful photos.

    (location: Nammos Beach Club)

    What to Pack:

  • Blues & Whites!  It was low 70s when we were there, so I made sure to have pants and jackets for night time.  I always pack flowy dress and layering pieces when traveling to places with various temperatures.  You can shop my looks here!
travel

Charleston Travel Guide

I have been to Charleston a few times over my life since I grew up a few hours away in NC and it always is so charmingly southern!  I love exploring cities with the kids because I get to do new things from their point of view & more family focused.  One of the coolest things you can do in Charleston is get the above sign customized at the American Theater for 24 hours.  It was Roman’s birthday “weekend” when we were in town, so I made sure everything was centered around his birthday (hence the sign).  I made my first road trip by myself with both kids & we squeezed in as much as we could do in two nights.  I wanted to explore two different areas that are family friendly while in town so you all could see the different options.

Sharing some pictures of our quick getaway first, scroll all the way down if you want the details immediately 🙂

(Kids are wearing local shop Pitt Street Kid attire, taken at beach entry pool located at the Beach Club Resort)


(Iconic Rainbow Row in downtown Charleston.  Romans outfit is from Zara, mine is from Pink lily here)


(Sunset celebration night at Beach Club, roasting S’mores!)



(Birthday party thrown by the Beach Club Resort (contact Amy smith) – Hulk Cake by Cupcakes Down South)



(Matching mommy & Me suits by Eberjey, red and yellow shown above)



(My outfit is from Shop Whilden, and my shoes are Adidas, SO comfy! Pictured here on Pier 101 by the tides hotel)

 

Where to stay:

1. Near Downtown/on the Marina
The Beach Club- At Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina–  We stayed here our first night in town and I was blown away!  I felt like I was on a tropical island resort the way they had everything set up.  It is VERY kid friendly, they have their own kid camp director run by our long time friend Amy Smith who is amazing.  My kids did not want to leave this place and neither did I.  It is on the list to go back as soon as we can!


What I loved about this resort:

  • The multiple pools: That’s probably what made it feel the most like a luxury resort.  You could keep the kids at the beach entry pool, go to one that was heated, or go to the hot tub (which my kids live in).  There were also pool bars & full menu pool service with staff that catered to you.  All of this mentioned overlooked the beautiful marina view!
  • Kids camp/Kid Parties:  Here is a list of all their offerings, but you can see from these pictures how awesome their birthday parties are!  Amy put together a special one for Roman that had sand art, splash pads, water balloons, you name it!  I got his cake from a local place called Cupcake Down South!
  • The Ferry/Transportation:  They have a daily water taxi that takes you right to downtown charleston in 10 minutes!
  • The Food: We had dinner & breakfast on site.  The Restaurant Charleston Harbour Fish House was so good!  I had the Surf & Turf, amazing.  We also ordered room service in the morning, very large portions on everything and just as good.
  • The Rooms:  We stayed in the Harbor Deluxe room and you can see videos of the inside under my Instagram stories highlights “Charleston”.  The room felt like a guest room suite in a house, it even had high ceilings with a sun light window!  It is the first time I’ve ever stayed in a hotel room that welcoming.**They are offering 10% off reservations made by calling this number 843-284-3500 and mentioning discount Becca2019!!  Certain black out dates my apply.

2. On the beach/Oceanfront:

The Tides–  We went here on our second night in town & I loved how you can walk straight out to the beach immediately.  The Tides hotel is located about 20 minutes outside of Charleston Folly Beach.  They recently renovated the hotel!

What I loved about this resort:

  • Oceanfront:  This is the place to stay in folly beach if you don’t rent a house and want to be directly on the beach.  It also had an oceanfront pool too, so you could hop back & forth with the kids!
  • Walk out rooms:  Request one of the first floor rooms and you will have patio to relax on right in front of the ocean!
  • Location: Folly Beach, I loved how you could easily walk to all the cute restaurants and shops for several blocks.
  • Dining: On site, we loved eating lunch at Pier 101 and also dining ocean front at Blue Restaurant & Bar.  Pier 101 is at the entrance of the Pier, it was fun to walk down and watch the surfers & birds with the kids.

 

Where to eat:

If you venture away from either of these hotels, these are some of the places we have loved over the years or came highly recommended.

  • Breakfast: The Lost Dog Cafe (in folly), Callies Hot little biscuit, Tasting menu at Charleston Grill
  • Lunch: Leon’s Oyster Shop, goat.sheep.cow.north, huriyali
  • Dinner: Husk, Fig, High Cotton, Magnolias

 

What to do:

  • Get the VIP Charleston Tour Pass if you are in town for more than 2 days!  We had these and used them to go to the Charleston Kids Museum which was really cute, but they give you access to 36+ hot spot attractions in town!  Make sure to visit at least on plantation, they are gorgeous.