20 Things To Do in Seattle, Washington

This is not a list of the biggest tourist attractions in Seattle.   This is a list of things that I have enjoyed in Seattle, and yes, some of the items are considered tourist attractions. They are in no particular order, so do not read into the numbering as a ranking.  I have also included a bit of hotel advice at the bottom of the article.  Happy trip planning!

20.  Pike Place Market — Let’s just get this one out of the way.  Pike Place Market is a big farmers market with locally grown food and locally sourced fish.  There are also lots of little artisan shops, and vendors displaying handcrafted pieces made by local artists.

The famous spot where you might be able to catch a fish!

Fish, fish, fish all over the market!!!

A cool little store with unique jewelry and lots of Native American real and inspired artifacts.  I even did a little rock and crystal shopping…

These are some other vendors stands where they sell handmade items, natural soaps and body lotions, and the list goes on.  The chapstick and bars of soap from All Things Lavender are incredible, and smell so perfumey and wonderful.  I will definitely be buying more soaps and chapsticks next time I visit Seattle!

19.  Lowell’s Restaurant for breakfast — I really like Lowell’s for breakfast/brunch.  It has a great view of Puget sound, and it’s the perfect place to watch boats and barges going back and forth.  The seafood comes directly from Pike Place Market, and fish is incorporated into almost everything.  Their breakfast menu is extensive, and almost every single dish has salmon or Dungeness Crab incorporated into the item.  I also highly suggest the cocktails, which also have all seafood worked into many of them.  The Bloody Mary’s that come topped with fresh crab and seafood are delicious.  img_5361-1-1607219076-1518479037702.jpgimg_0300img_5351IMG_0409img_5356-1.jpg

18.  Walk by the original Starbucks location — The original Starbucks location is right across from Pike Place Market. I have never had coffee there because I refuse to stand in line, and it’s a tourist attraction rather than where any Seattleites get coffee. I put this on the list because it’s fascinating that this one coffee shop became an empire and revolutionized the coffee shop industry.  (If you look carefully on the picture below, you’ll see mannequins standing on the balconies . . . interesting . . . )img_5380

17.  Voxx Coffee — If you’re hanging out around downtown Seattle shopping and walking around, I suggest Voxx Coffee to start your day or take an afternoon break.   It has beautiful high industrial type ceilings, interesting light fixtures, and a lot of the decorations are meant to evoke an old school classroom feeling.

16.  The original Nordstrom — Seattle is where Nordstrom started, and right in the middle of downtown is the Nordstrom flagship store.  I recommend visiting, and they even recently renovated in the past few years.  The store has an inviting set-up, and has a bar at the top where shoppers can stop for a quick break and drink to regroup.  I do some shopping there every time I go to Seattle, since there’s no Nordstrom in Manhattan and it feels like a bit of a novelty.  Right next to Nordstrom, there’s also Nordstrom Rack, which is the outlet version of the store.  I also made my way to Nordstrom Rack, and found a few amazing designer items that otherwise would have been almost $400 each.  You can’t go wrong either way!

15.  See’s Candies — See’s Candies is a West Coast time-honored chocolate tradition.  While the iconic brand started in Los Angeles in the early 1900s, it truly is a West Coast brand.  They have a cute shop in downtown Seattle, steps away from Nordstrom.  Their old-fashioned black and white interiors will make you feel like you’re in a candy shop from a different era.  While Warren Buffet’s holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, has been the owner since 1972, the company has kept its signature look, and is as sweet and good as it was in the 1900s.

14.  Drinks at the Four Seasons — Views, views, views . . . and a little luxury in Seattle.   The Four Seasons Seattle is right by Pike Place Market.  It’s only two blocks from the restaurant Lowell’s that I recommended above so the views from the restaurant Goldfinch Tavern overlooking Puget Sound are about the same; however, the ambiance is very different.  I equate the environment at Goldfinch to a luxury lake home.  All of the seating was plush and comfortable, incorporated a lot of wood, dim lighting, and was inviting yet exuded a certain opulence.  Cocktails range in the $15-$20 area, with an elegant menu to go alongside the drinks.

Perfect opportunity to change into new earrings I had just bought from Nordstrom.  Making myself right at home . . . img_0289

13.  Alki Beach — A fun feature about Seattle is that water taxis are fairly prevalent.  If the weather is mild enough or you’re in Seattle during the summer, I suggest taking a quick water taxi to Alki Beach.  There’s a long stretch of beach with walking and bike paths.  It’s a relaxing spot to take a walk, and there a couple of restaurants to grab a bite and enjoy the Seattle city view.img_5834

12.  Take a Ferry Ride — The ferry system is extremely developed in Seattle, and it is one of the biggest systems of its kind in the United States.  We had an overnight trip planned when we visited Seattle, and one of the legs of the trip was to take a ferry to Friday Harbor on the San Juan islands.  The ferry was pleasant and it was about an hour ride.  I suggest planning a day or short overnight trip, if you’re visiting Seattle for longer than two days.

11.  Chihuly Glass Museum — Dale Chihuly, born in Tacoma, Washington, has become somewhat of an institution around the US and the world.  He’s one of the most famous glass sculptors of our time.  His handblown glass art sculptures are around the US, grandly displayed in places such as Las Vegas, Dubai (in Atlantis the Palm), and even on exhibition at the New York Botanical Garden.  In Seattle, there’s a permanent exhibition of Chihuly’s work right next to the Space Needle.  Chihuly Garden and Glass has a very large indoor and outdoor exhibit, showcasing so many amazing Chihuly pieces.

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You’ll be able to take a picture of the Space Needle, because you’ll be right next to it.img_6124

10.  Canlis — Canlis is the Eleven Madison Park of Seattle.  It is by far the most expensive restaurant in Seattle.  Dinner will be pricey, coming in at least in the $300-$500 range, depending on alcohol consumption.  (They offer an exquisite wine pairing, or you can order a la carte from the wine menu.)  The price is well worth it, and every course is a work of art that you will want to take photos of from every angle before you eat it.  The restaurant itself is in a mid-century home, but it feels more like a fancy treehouse hidden in the woods.  There’s a small cocktail lounge seating area when you walk in, with a musician playing at the grand piano.  I recommend starting with a cocktail, and enjoying the ambiance before you sit down for the main event.  Be prepared for a long dinner,  and if you’re like us, we arrived when it was light out, and left when it was pitch black outside!  (Link to reviews: Yelp 4.0, TripAdvisor 4.5)img_5840img_5838img_5839The view from our dining table was incredible:img_5843img_5844

9.  Walk around Capitol Hill — Capitol Hill is about the equivalent to the West Village in New York City.  It originally started out as an artistic and free-spirited neighborhood, with liberal and progressive thinkers.  Over time, similar to the West Village, it has become gentrified and the prices of real estate have sky-rocketed!  It is a great place to walk around, shop, bar-hop, and try out some restaurants.  It is one of the most trendy and desirable places to live and hangout in Seattle.  I loved bar-hopping in Capitol Hill, and I couldn’t stop taking pictures of the rainbow crosswalks!

8.  Taylor Shellfish — Taylor Shellfish is a longtime family owned oyster spot with happy hour, where the oysters are “tide to table.”  I’ve been to the Capitol Hill location multiple times, and it’s definitely one of my favorite places for oysters in Seattle.   They really try to keep all of the oysters from the Seattle area, so you’ll be hard pressed to find Canada or Oregon oysters.  When you go to Taylor Shellfish, you have to try to the geoduck — pronounced “gooey-duck.”  Geoduck is a Pacific Northwest area clam that looks like a clam with a large snake attached to it (pictured below).

Map showing where all of the seafood comes from:Highly recommend the tequila oyster shooters:Here’s the geoduck keeping fresh in the large seafood basins.  It is such a unique looking creature.I love how all of the clams and oysters are displayed, and stored in the middle of the restaurant.Geoduck (left), oysters, and black sturgeon caviar (in the two small white spoons).

7.  Victrola Coffee — Victrola Coffee is a serious coffee shop and roasting room in Capitol Hill.  (They do also have a couple of other locations, but I suggest the Pike Street location.)  I love getting their espresso here, even though it is a little too strong for me.  I also love that they serve it with a small cup of sparkling water, so that you can cleanse your palate after the coffee.  Trust me, you will need it!

irFJ20gjSoSRicHfHbY6FQwQMpLFswQKib5Orxo3s0sQQk8A1rwTAiSYpqz5ntosw.jpg0ZGf8GxS9m2OJ0he67FUQ.jpg5f7FmlkOQMShMZNPmK5pJQHere’s a goofball Seattle friend with glasses he just found on the sidewalk, being emo, and enjoying an espresso:img_5837

6.  The Pine Box — If you have an appreciation for the supernatural, you might get a kick out of The Pine Box.  It’s a craft beer bar that used to be a mortuary.  The bar even has old photos on display on the wall, so patrons can see what it used to look like.  I recommend coming here for a beer or two, if you’re making your way through Capitol Hill.

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5.  Unicorn Bar — The Unicorn is a classic Seattle bar, with a carnival-themed interior, a large arcade, and skee ball in the basement.  Arcade games are popular in Seattle, and they’re in a lot of bars around the city.  You may recognize this bar because it was featured in Macklemore’s Thrift Shop video.  They also have lots of salty snacks, and I recommend the truffle popcorn while you’re downing beers.  Unicorn is definitely known for their carnival-like cocktails, but somehow I’m always in a cold refreshing beer mood when I go there.img_5437img_5438img_5440img_5445Lime Jell-O shots!img_5446The bedazzled ATM is a nice touch for Unicorn bar’s environment:img_5447Have you seen anyone so excited to get money out of the ATM?  You’d think it was someone else’s bank account lolimg_5449img_5451img_5452

4.  Dick’s Drive-In — True late night eats.  Okay, clearly you can also come here during the day, but I think Dick’s Drive-In is a great night spot.  This burger place was also featured on the Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown Seattle episode.  I highly recommend trying at least one of the plain cheeseburgers, even if you’re going to order a deluxe burger.  They are delicious, and I’m not even the biggest burger person!Look how happy my friend is after eating these delicious cheeseburgers lolMy husband’s starting lineup (fries not pictured) . . . Okay, okay, some of those are mine!!Extreme close up of my second cheeseburger:

3.  Georgetown bars — When you think about Seattle you picture overcast skies, grunge music, flannel, and dive bars.  However, the reality is that with the wild success of Amazon and other Pacific Northwest companies, Seattle has become gentrified, and a lot of the places now cater to highly paid corporate workers–many of whom come from other big US cities and expect a similar environment.  If you want to visit one of the few places in Seattle that still has more of a neighborhood and stereotypically Seattle feel, visit some of the bars in Georgetown along Airport Way.  The neighborhood is industrial, everyone is very casual, and there are also a few breweries and cool places to get wine.

*Side note: A restaurant called The Corson Building is located in Georgetown.  I went this last time I was in Seattle on the insistence of a husband’s friend, but I would not go back again.  The restaurant is one very small room, where you share a communal-style table with others.  Everyone is served each course at the same, because it’s a completely set $80 pre-fixe and everyone in the restaurant eats the same thing.   The concept is farm to table, without a big focus on seafood, and a few of the courses are large plates shared between the table and not individually plated.  There is also an accompanying wine pairing for $60 to go along with the dinner, which was the best part of the meal for me!  (Link to reviews: Yelp 4.0, TripAdvisor 4.0)

2.  The Bellevue Collection (Bellevue, Washington) — Bellevue, Washington is like the Westchester of Seattle, but it’s a lot closer, since unlike Westchester, you don’t have to drive through the entire city of Seattle to get there.  I am adding The Bellevue Collection to my Seattle list because if you’re visiting Seattle for three or four days, it’s a great place to go that’s full of bars, restaurants, a dine-in movie theater, and tons of shopping.  (Especially if you happen to go during a time of extreme rain, and you’re sick of trekking the streets of Seattle in the rain!)  There a mix of high-end restaurants with fun sports bars and pubs, a new W Hotel, and lots of the buildings are connected by convenient outdoor bridges so that you don’t have to walk outside in the rain.  The Bellevue Collection refers to this whole collections of stores, restaurants, hotels, and buildings.  Bellevue Square refers to the name of the original shopping “mall” dare I call it, and it’s the main shopping center.  The last few times my husband and I have stayed in downtown Seattle, but next time we are considering staying at the W Hotel in Bellevue so that we’re close to his parents.

1.  Chateau St. Michelle Winery (Woodinville, Washington) — I highly recommend the 30 minute Uber trip to visit Chateau St. Michelle Winery.  Washington State produces some great wines, and Chateau St. Michelle is one of their best wine procedures.  The grounds are beautiful, there’s lots of lush greenery, and the air feels crisp and clean.  During the summer, the winery has a whole concert series, and lots of famous artists frequently perform at the venue such as Bob Dylan, Gypsy Kings, Josh Groban, and the list goes on.

Notable mention:

If you really need to get your hair done or blown out while you’re in Seattle, I suggest the Gene Juarez salon.  It is the Seattle area’s biggest and most prestigious salon chain.  I went to the downtown Seattle location for a blow out.  I’m only giving this a notable mention because I thought the downtown location could use a little facelift, and they were a bit understaffed for a busy Saturday afternoon.  However, the location is perfect, and there are huge windows looking out onto downtown.  If your significant other needs somewhere to grab a drink while they wait for you, a new bar and restaurant just opened next-door to the salon in Hotel Theodore, called Rider.

Seattle hotel advice:

Obviously, it depends on what you intend to do during your Seattle trip.  As far as Seattle proper goes, I really like staying within walking distance of Pike Place Market, downtown shopping, and Capitol Hill.  When you’re planning where to stay in Seattle, keep in mind that Seattle is extremely hilly.  It is completely uphill from Puget Sound all the way to the direction of Capitol Hill.

  • This last time we stayed at the Grand Hyatt in a Club Access Room.  It’s very easy to walk to Capitol Hill from there, Pike Place Market, and it’s in the middle of the downtown shopping area.  It has bland corporate decor, so if you’re looking for a boutique experience, I would not recommend it.  However, if you’re seeking a clean 4-star hotel with a great location, I suggest staying here and paying for Club Access.  I am suggesting Club Access because we ended up using it so much.  It was great for getting bottled and sparkling waters, quick snack, or enjoying a whiskey or wine, when there isn’t enough time to go somewhere before dinner.

The view from our Elliott Bay View room:

  • The Sheraton Downtown is about a block away from the Grand Hyatt.  I have not stayed here yet, but the hotel lobby looked extremely bright, and very modern.  I would be willing to try it, if I wanted to be in this exact location again.
  • I stayed at the Westin downtown once.  The hotel is very old, and I did not enjoy spending time in our room, even though we had an incredible view from a very high floor.
  • The Fairmont Olympic is one of Seattle’s oldest and most historic hotels.  Think of this hotel as more equivalent to the Waldorf or Plaza in New York, but a more scaled down version.  The hotel has some rooms that are more updated than others, but at the moment the entire block in front of the hotel has been excavated to basement level.
  • The Four Seasons is located right on Puget Sound, one block from Pike Place Market.  I plan to stay here next time I visit Seattle during the summer.  The hotel has an infinity pool and overlooks Puget Sound.  However, the hotel is slightly out of the way of the city, and everything will end up being uphill from there.  Additionally, if you want your trip to be more walkable to fun places like Capitol Hill, then this is definitely not a walkable location, unless you want to hike.
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Transportation From Palm Beach to Miami

We had to attend a wedding in the Palm Beach area recently, so we decided to stay in Palm Beach (Worth Avenue! Woo!), and then extend our trip to Miami. There was one problem. We didn’t want to rent a car, and we were going from The Chesterfield Hotel in Palm Beach, to Fontainebleau in Miami. Believe it or not, we ended up taking an Uber for the 70 mile drive. Since we had so much trouble finding information on transportation from Palm Beach to Miami, I decided to write it out. Here are all of the modes of transportation that we found:

1. Uber

  • Pros:
    • It’s a door-to-door service, and you don’t need to share your space with anyone, or carry your luggage around.
    • Scheduling this is obviously pretty easy, considering all you do is call the car on your phone and you don’t even have to talk to anyone.  Before we started piling ourselves in the Uber, we also went outside to make sure the driver was okay with driving that far.
  • Cons:
    • It’s unpredictable whether someone would be willing to pick you up.  It is best to have a back up plan.  Our plan was to wait at the hotel and get a car service if Uber didn’t work out.
  • Cost:
    • $85.35 was the cost for UberX.  It could be more or less depending on if you get a nicer Uber, or split this cost with others.

2. Car Service

  • Pros:
    • Similar to Uber, this is also a door to door service.
  • Cons:
    • You have to arrange this with your hotel ahead of time, which means you should also check what the cancellation policy is if you no longer need the car service.
    • Also, unless you want to go out doing research on South Florida car services, you’re generally stuck with the quote that your hotels provides.
  • Cost:
    • For us it was $149 going from The Chesterfield to Fontainebleau, but it depends on the pick-up and drop-off.  The $149 also would not have included any gratuity/tip.

3. Tri-Rail Train (South Florida Regional Transportation Authority)

  • Pros:
    • It’s cheap.
  • Cons:
    • It will take you two hours from the Palm Beach International Airport stop to the Miami International Airport stop, plus any additional travel time from wherever you’re starting off.
    • You have to drag your belongings and luggage to and from the train, and from wherever your starting point is–airport, hotel, etc.
    • The train option is really only convenient for certain locations.  The train runs from the Palm Beach International Airport to Miami International Airport.  Unless one of the stops in between is close to where you’re going,  you would need to arrange transportation from your hotel to the train, and from the train to your next hotel/location.  Otherwise you
  • Cost:
    • $5 per person plus the transportation to and from the train locations.  For us this would have added an extra cost of $15 from the Chesterfield Hotel to Palm Beach International Airport and then about $20 from Miami International Airport to Fontainebleau.  This would have amounted to $10 for the train plus $35 for the two Uber rides, making it $45.  For another forty bucks, we took an Uber door-to-door.
  • Link: http://www.tri-rail.com

4.  Public Bus

  • Oh dear.  Buses are an option, but I’m not sure what you would have to take.  If you would like to take public transportation, I recommend taking the train.  At least you won’t be stuck in traffic!

This analysis depends on how much time, luggage, and money you want to spend.  If you have no luggage at all and are very close to the train stops, the train may be your perfect option.  If you have multiple suitcases, and are inconveniently far from any of the train stops, you may end up taking an Uber.  Happy trip planning!  Cheers!

 

Enchantment Resort in Sedona, Arizona: A Dream Come True and a Must Visit U.S. Destination

I would have never in a million years pictured my honeymoon somewhere without a beach.  No way.  However, for part of our honeymoon, my husband and I went to Sedona — a rocky desert without water.  Now that it’s over, I wish we stayed more than three nights.  I’m obsessed!  We stayed at Enchantment Resort, a five star luxury resort with a destination spa (Mii Amo) on site that people travel to from around the world.  The price of rooms start at around $400 per night, and treatments at Mii Amo start at around $190 per person.  We literally checked in and didn’t leave until the day we checked out.  (The one time that we left was for a jeep tour, but the excursion actually started and ended at the resort.)  The scenery in Sedona is unreal, and there’s really no reason to leave the resort.  Did I mention that the property is so large, they transport you by golf cart?!

If you’re wondering why we chose a rocky U.S. desert versus an exotic sandy beach for a honeymoon:

  • We had a destination wedding in Miami, so we had plenty of palm trees and beachy surroundings.
    • Our wedding consisted of three days of events, so we were in Miami for almost a week by the end of the wedding weekend.
  • We did a lot of traveling around Europe the year before, so European destinations weren’t on our list.
  • The Caribbean was only a few hours from our destination wedding in Miami, but the Zika epidemic…
  • We wanted a short flight from Miami to the honeymoon destination
    • Neither of us wanted a 20 hour flight to a far destination halfway across the world, (especially not for a 10-day honeymoon).  Said 20 hour flight would be really uncomfortable if it wasn’t first class.  I mean how romantic and relaxing  is it to be squished on an airplane for almost a day?
  • Staying at a secluded full service resort in the desert serves the same purpose as staying at a secluded full service resort where there is sand.
    • Beauty is found in different types of natural scenery.  I have friends that traveled around Ireland for their honeymoon!

Anyway, back to the point here.  Sedona is amazing, and I am excited to visit again in the future.  I love Enchantment Resort because the property and amenities are well-organized, and they strive to make everything full service.

Restaurants:

The resort has several different restaurants that vary from casual, to health-centric, to high end, and of course, wonderful room service.  The restaurants are located in the main clubhouse, and in Mii Amo Spa.

  • Che Ah Chi.  The highest end restaurant, Che Ah Chi, was actually featured in Wine Spectator magazine and won one of their 2017 awards for having one of the best wine lists.  This award was alongside some of the finest restaurants, such as Daniel Boulud’s two Michelin star “Daniel” in NYC for example, so an award speaks volumes.  I had an amazing homemade pasta here one night.  I actually attacked it so quickly that I forgot to take a picture!
  • Room Service.  Room service is a must for breakfast.  I’m not normally a room service type person because I like to get up and get out when I’m on vacation, but it’s so nice to enjoy the peaceful view from your room and get ready for the day ahead.  Our terrace had a tree in front of it, so it felt like we were partially in our own little treehouse.  Even if you don’t get room service, every morning they bring you two small fresh orange juices in a little aluminum pail.  I love cute little buckets! 🙂  The picture below has one of our amazing breakfast spreads, and at the bottom left are the daily orange juices.

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  • Mii Amo Cafe.  Mii Amo Cafe is the cafe/restaurant at the spa.  They have lots of healthy options, and we ate there different times for both lunch and dinner.  The outside seating is beautiful, especially during the evenings.  The lunch options are amazing, and it feels good to eat healthy after hours in the sun.  Bring on the wheatgrass shots!  And…we had a couple actual drinks as well….  Mmmmm probably the first espresso martini ever served at Mii Amo Spa lol

Pools:

There are two main pool areas, and there are smaller pools spread throughout the property. The main pool is open to everyone, and the pool at the spa is 18 and over.  (The entire spa is actually 18 and over.).

This is a photo from the outdoor pool at the spa:img_3650

This is a photo from the main pool.  (A word of caution that sometimes there were kids at the main pool, so we spent a lot of pool time at the spa pool.)

Activities:

The resort organizes almost non-stop activities for guests, and they had a comprehensive booklet/pamphlet summarizing everything.  These activities varied from bike rides to wine-tasting, and the fee varied according to the activity.  We chose to take part in a wine and food pairing that was $25 per person.  It ended up being just us, another couple, and the sommelier, so it felt like were having our own private session.  We sampled around four to five red, white, and sparking wines.

Part of the tasting plate:img_3656A wine tasting with an exquisite unique view:img_3654Here’s a picture of the event described on an iPad in the clubhouse:img_3658Similar to beach destinations, where you can snorkel or choose to just lay on the beach, you can really make Enchantment Resort as active or as relaxing as you want.  If you want something action-packed, you can hike and climb rocks, or mountain bike.  Conversely, if you want to relax you can enjoy the serene scenery and relax at the pool or spa.  Our honeymoon was mainly relaxation-based, but we did go on a jeep tour.  The original company for these excursions in Sedona is Pink Jeep Tours.  They offer several different routes; some are smooth, some bumpy, others feel like a roller coaster, etc.  We opted for one that was extremely bumpy called the “Diamondback Gulch” tour.img_3699img_3684img_3700I felt like I got an ab workout from the jeep tour.  The only thing holding you down to the jeep is a loose seatbelt, so you’re constantly working your abs to stay upright.  I was so exhausted that I fell asleep for two hours afterwards.  Yep, by the time my husband turned around, I was in bed lolimg_3707Another seemingly obvious activity, but worth mentioning is that there are acres upon acres of property.  It’s an entertaining activity to just walk around and enjoy the scenery.    We found a teepee during one of our walks.  

Enchantment Resort also has deer that live on property.  They don’t bother anyone, and they don’t come near you. The clubhouse is beautiful, well-air conditioned, and has fruit-infused water for the taking.Grab a drink at happy hour!

Spa:

Sedona is a place that is all about spiritual healing, mediation, mindfulness, and reflection.  Time moves slowly, everyone is patient, it’s quiet, and people are Zen.  It’s the perfect place to relax and spa.  We had three different treatments at Mii Amo.  We each had a facial, we did a couples Sedona clay treatment, and a couples aura soma reading.  Since it was honeymoon, we were trying to stick to treatments that we could enjoy together.  Of the three treatments, the only one we could not do together was the facial.

There’s an indoor cold pool at the spa with a tranquil seating area right across from it.  The waterfall cascading into the pool creates a relaxing experience.

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Sedona is spectacular, and Enchantment Resort in particular is a magical place.  We will definitely be visiting again.  Until next time…

Viva La Mexico: Tequila Friday!

I am soooo happy it’s the weekend!  I’ve been saving this tequila that my dad got me from Mexico.  He recently went to Playa del Carmen and Cancun, and brought the family back some real treasures 🙂

I’m pretty sure Tres Generaciones is my new favorite.  Here’s a close up of the beautiful bottle.  It’s so regal looking:

Of course, my dad also brought us all back souvenir shot glassesI!  Uno, dos, tres, tequila!

I normally drink Patron and Don Julio, and this tequila is just way better–there isn’t even a comparison.  It is so smooth.  I neither chugged the tequila, nor did I chill it.  It genuinely is that smooth on its own…

I thought I’d post some of the photos from Playa del Carmen my dad took.  You can’t have a drink from a place without seeing some of the photos 🙂

Happy Friday, folks!

Bonobos: A Modern, Tipsy, and Millennial Shopping Experience

My fiancé and I stopped at Fashion Island mall in Newport Beach while visiting Southern California for a wedding this past weekend.  New chinos were on his “to buy” list, so we stopped in at Bonobos.  He already has a pair of shorts he loves dearly from Bonobos, and since they’re known for chinos we thought he should give them a try.  As the sales associate  so eloquently stated, other brands of chinos give men “diaper butt”–sexy!

The store experience was probably one of the most modern shopping experiences I’ve had.  It was very pristine and organized in a very methodical manner.  We walked in to browse around, and we were offered beers–choice of either an IPA or a lager.  After doing my store once over, I sat down on the modern-designed couch and marble table.  Such a clean look!

Then the associates helped my fiancé figure out his sizing and measurements. (They were all walking around with iPads, and no cash registers were in sight.)  After picking out the pants and button downs he wanted, the associate came over with an iPad, made him an online profile, and took a picture of his credit card for payment. No swiping, no lines, etc. Everything would be shipped to our doorstep, (since the store doesn’t sell its merchandise directly), and we walked out with no bags. It’s like shopping online and getting to trying everything on!

The purchases came a few days later in a nice box with perfect packaging. I think Bonobos just gained a new customer out of my fiancé!

What to Wear to a Summer Vineyard Wedding

I went to a beautiful wedding this past weekend in Stonington/Mystic, Connecticut. It’s basically one exit before you get to the state of Rhode Island.  It was at Saltwater Farm Vineyards, and the marriage ceremony was outside. Here’s the couple!

I knew I wanted to wear a long dress because I was just itching to wear something a bit more formal and wedding-y.  I looked online and ended up ordering two dresses from Macy’s and one from Lord & Taylor.  Here’s the one I ended up buying from Lord & Taylor:

The brand is Betsy & Adam which I had never bought before, but it fit like a charm and it’s true to size.  The pink lining peeks nicely through the grey overlay, and I couldn’t have picked a more appropriate dress for the setting.  One of the best parts about this dress is that you don’t need to wear a bra, and up to a C-cup you’re fully supported.  It’s comfortable and feels like you’re wearing a soft, long, nightgown.  I bought it for $75.57 and it’s actually still available for that same price: Pleated Crisscross Gown Lord and Taylor

Some shopping tips for buying an outfit for a summer vineyard wedding are:

  • Be whimsical
  • Think flowy
  • Soft colors
  • Girly
  • Steer away from more harsh tones like dark reds, orange, turquoise, and rigid black fabrics. Those are really better suited for the colder months.
  • Be tasteful with how much skin you show since a winery is an elegant setting. Save more skin for tropical weddings 🙂
  • Leave your stilettos and pointy heels at home unless you want to be fully anchored into the grass.
  • Re makeup: softer and more delicate

I loved this dress so much when I saw it online, I actually bought the exact same on in red for an early fall wedding I’m attending.  This one I bought online from Macy’s when they were having promotion and paid a little over $100 for it.  (It’s still available Betsy & Adam Sleeveless Illusion Cutout Gown)  Couldn’t help myself!

Elegant Business Lunch Overlooking Canary Wharf

My boss took me out yesterday for our goodbye lunch, since she wasn’t going to be in today–my last day.  She’s fashionable, trendy, and enjoys quality food ingredients with beautiful presentation.  Not really a fish and chips type person 🙂   She chose Plateau for our lunch, which is right above Waitrose–loved it!  It’s such a tranquil and calm spot in the midst of crazy Canary Wharf with the suits running around everywhere.

We had a great table that overlooked the grassy field in Canary Wharf.  (It’s where they do many of the summer events, and the ice skating rink pops up in the winter.)

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They do a prefix menu here of either two or three courses for lunch, and both options come with a glass of red or white wine.  We both ordered the same appetizer, which was a chorizo Caeser salad.

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Their main course is a skewer, and they have different options like chicken, fish, and beef. They all come with the couscous with pomegranate seeds 🙂 and there’s my chimichurri sauce and a yogurt sauce.  So delicious!

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I decided to do the three course and ordered a dessert.  There’s the gin and lemon sorbet below with a beautiful rolled wafer biscuit.  They also brought two shortbread-ish pyramids and two chocolate truffles for the table.

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We stayed there for quite a bit since it was our last time working together in London, so by the time we left it was getting empty.  It’s a modern and edgy environment, with all glass windows and futuristic looking lighting sculptures.  If you look below, you can see their outdoor cocktail area in the background.  The tables are lounge type seating and cocktail-only tables, so it’s difficult to eat comfortably there.  Maybe next time I’m in Canary Wharf I’ll grab drinks there!

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I also went here for drinks at the bar the week before, and I have a pictures of the drinks and bar seating indoor area.

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Really relaxing bar area with a modern look to complement the food and drinks.

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Cheers!