Posts in Travels
Spain Travel Essentials

ROUND TWO, PEOPLE!! 

If you've been following my blog since the beginning, you'll remember our trip to Italy last summer. Reminder of that adventure, here. That trip provided some of the inspiration needed to finally start my blog, and serves as a special reminder of how this all started. Well, this week I'm heading to SPAIN for the first time and I could not be more excited! We are spending a few days in Barcelona before heading off to an amazing villa in Costa Brava for the rest of the trip. 

You know I had to get my wardrobe in order beforehand. I put together some of my newest essentials (and some not-so-essentials) to get me through the trip. If you're going to Spain, you need all the bright colors, flowy dresses, and poms you can get! I can't wait to share this adventure with you guys, from the touristy things we have planned to the amazing views from our pool. Stay tuned for excessive amounts of Insta posts, so be sure you're following me on @somewearwild!

 
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Quickie Guide to NYC Eats

Oh, New York. Definitely one of my favorite cities. It's got all the hustle, views, FOOOOD and of course shit smells to remind you that nothing can be perfect. 

I once heard that if you ate at a different New York restaurant every day, you wouldn't make it through all of them before you die. So every time I go, it's important I find some goodies. For anyone who is taking a trip to the big city, here's a list of my favorite places, neighborhood (make it to Brooklyn, it's the best) and meal suggestions included! 

  1. OBAO (Thai in Hell's Kitchen); Pad Thai and Basil Fried Rice
  2. El Centro (Mexican in Hell's Kitchen); Skirt Steak Tacos
  3. Rabbithole (Brunch in Brooklyn); Eggs Benny or French Toast
  4. Spaghetti Incident (Spaghetti in Lower East Side); SPAGHETTI IN A CONE
  5. Don Chingon (Mexican in Brooklyn); Carne Asada Burrito
  6. Malaparte (Italian in West Village); Pesto Spaghetti
  7. The Bagel Store (Bagels in Brooklyn); I'm an Everything girl, but they have Insta-worthy Rainbow bagels here
  8. Salvation Taco (Tacos in Midtown); Korean BBQ Tacos
  9. Up Thai (Thai in Upper East Side); Pad-Se-Ew
  10. Nobu (Sushi in Tribeca); there are two locations in NY, both with different scenes but you'll likely need a res at both; Beef Toban Yaki, Rock Shrimp Tempura w/ Creamy Spicy Sauce, and ANY sushi or sashimi

A few noteworthy juice/coffee/drink spots are Juice Press, Joe & the Juice, Vandal, Mr. Purple and The Wren. I didn't include pizza on here (shock) but I've had lots of pizza in New York and it's hard to go wrong. I'm sure there is a way to go wrong, but I'm going to leave this one up to you until further notice. Bone apple tea.

Down in the DR

The past four days were pure magic spent in the heart of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. 

We stayed at the massive, picture-perfect Hard Rock Hotel. You could seriously get lost walking around this place (Austin actually did, no shock there though). Complete with eight restaurants, casino and its own nightclub, there was anything and everything you'd need. We were celebrating a special birthday and had a weekend filled with nonstop sun and Miami Vices, complete with a final hangover from the depths of hell. 

This was my first time seeing Caribbean water, so as you'll notice in some of the photos, I was in awe of how pretty it was. And despite the hurricane that just passed through, the weather was beautiful the entire time!

Fun fact: Mamajuana (not to be confused with something else) is the Dominican shot of choice - a mixture of rum, red wine and honey - so expect to take a lot of these if you ever plan a visit. 

The aromatherapy massage was the cherry on top. The trip went by so fast and I needed about eight more days there, but I definitely plan to go back for more!

My Last Minute Travel Guide

It might be October, but there's still time to turn up on a last minute beach trip.

In a couple weeks, we'll be heading off the grid for a long weekend under the sun and I cannot WAIT. For any vaca, a girl has to make sure she has all her "essentials" right? In this case, I put together some of my favorites and must-haves. And of course, a last minute trip is a perfect excuse for some new things. lol smiley. 

 Original Moroccanoil | Ray Ban Round Metal Sunnies | Top Shop Cold Shoulder Midi Dress | MAC 'Mehr" Lipstick | Child of Wild Choker | Schutz 'Emannuelli' Heels | Neutrogena Micro-Mist Self Tanner | A Bikini A Day x Beach Riot Swim Suit  

Original Moroccanoil | Ray Ban Round Metal Sunnies | Top Shop Cold Shoulder Midi Dress | MAC 'Mehr" Lipstick | Child of Wild Choker | Schutz 'Emannuelli' Heels | Neutrogena Micro-Mist Self Tanner | A Bikini A Day x Beach Riot Swim Suit  

Weekend Workout

In an attempt to become true Charlotteans, Austin and I recently took a cruise up to Crowders Mountain for what I thought was going to be a little afternoon hike. HAHA. More like afternoon mountain scale. 

For us, most of the new places we try come from social media. However, Austin's coworker recommended this one. It's about 45 minutes outside the city and if you're from the area, you know about it. There are a few nice "trails" and it seemed like a fun, outdoorsy activity. Our goal was to make it to the summit, where you can see the Charlotte skyline. If you've been following this blog at all, you know I can be quite the complainer but I told myself I was going to be good on this hike. It would be a solid workout, right? And I did fine, right up until we saw the sign: DANGER, serious injury and death have occurred after this point.

The hike low key reminded me of the Parent Trap scene and I was evil Meredith. As much as I didn't want to be her, I kept envisioning that scene as I was spazzing about the bugs and stumbling over rocks. To be fair, it was a legit mountain climb. The rocks were massive and it really was "climb at your own risk."

We reached the top and were so disappointed because we couldn't see the skyline. It was beautiful but uh, where was Charlotte? Here we are with our iPhone compasses out trying to figure out which way to look. *eye roll emoji* To our surprise, we were staring at it the whole time but it was so far away we barely noticed. Classic.

My buns were sore for two days after but it made for a funny story. Maybe it was more of a you-had-to-be-there experiences, but hey I'm all about trying new things, especially in a new place. And if I work off some cals in the process, BRING IT ON.

 
 
Roamin' Around Rome

The last two nights in Italy, Austin and I ventured on to Rome. And a venture it was. The GPS said it would be a three-hour drive so we left with PLENTY (5 ish hours) of time to get there. But in the life of Christy, something is ALWAYS bound to happen. Like clockwork, we hit the most random traffic jam held up by a “trash dumping” (wtf is a trash dumping?!) on the side of the road. Two hours to spare turned into returning our rental car with minutes to spare. JOY.

We booked a last minute deal at Hotel San Anselmo and it was straight out of my dream fairy tale. It could easily be on Blair Waldorf’s recommendation list. We woke up early to hit Vatican City and avoid the apparently crazy post-morning lines that start to form. This was in fact true. My ultimate goal for Rome was to make it to the top of the Vatican Dome to get the picture that everyone gets. And so we began.

Fellow Vatican visitors: you are NOT allowed into the church unless you have your shoulders and knees covered.

Leave it to me to show up in short shorts and a tank bodysuit. To be fair, I was definitely not the only one! Also, Austin has been to Rome before and should’ve been aware of this as my tour guide, so really I blame him. My only option was to buy a few headscarves off the street vendor and wrap them around my body. Standing in the sun wrapped in silk scarves was another opportunity for me to complain about how hot I was ( :) :) :) ) , but once we made it in, I forgot all about my boob sweat.

We chose to walk up the 551 steps to the top of the Dome as opposed to taking the elevator halfway. By the time we got to the top, my hands were so sweaty I thought I might drop my phone right off the edge trying to get a picture.  I caught my breath, stared at the greatness, said a prayer and then were on to the next touristy thing.

Next up on our (my) list was the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, small break for more pasta, and finally the Colosseum. Fun, OMG moment: we ran into the same family we took the cooking class with in Tuscany! The world is indeed small. After taking our time and seeing all the things, we went to an ice bar because neither of us had been to one and sometimes we have bad ideas. We stayed 20 minutes because my feet almost immediately went numb from the cold.

We wrapped up a great day and incredible trip to Italy. This was honestly one of the best trips I’ve been on. If you missed any of my blogs, including our Tuscan cooking class, me complaining about the Florence heat, or the world's best gelato, be sure to check them out! I may or may not have cried on our way out. Classic Christy. Ciao for now!

Bodysuit: Privacy Please

Shorts: Zara

Friends in Firenze

The four of us planned a day trip by train from Tuscany to the picturesque city of Firenze.

Pro tip: be sure to get to the train station early enough so you can find a parking spot. Otherwise, you might end up yoloing it by parking in a two hour spot, praying your rental car is still there when you return. We decided to trust the Italian gods and thankfully it wasn't towed by the time we got back. Bless. 

Walking through the streets of Florence in the middle of summer was extremely (dram) hot but entirely worth it. I'm quite the complainer when I'm hot and despite the fact it was probably definitely just a normal summer day, I still had to remind Austin (every 3 seconds) that I was sweating like the other 789273 visitors in the city. We toured the streets, making a couple pit stops inside local sandwich joints on our mission to capture The Duomo views. We paid 10 euro to enter the Boboli Gardens and managed to snag a few  Instagram-worthy photos (see below).  Oh, and of course appreciate all that is gorgeous Florence. To paint a picture, Boboli Gardens is an old museum-like park, with insanely pretty courtyards, flowers and fountains. You can walk all the way to the top of the gardens, where you'll find the picture perfect views of the top of Florence. I recommend decent walking shoes for this activity.

It was *totally* worth it. Afterwards, we made a pit stop at a restaurant called Pitti (pun not intended) to satisfy our starvation, where we all proceeded to harass the waiter for the wifi password so we could snap our pesto pasta and caprese salad. Priorities, amiright?

So yes, I whined about my feet and the heat a lot of the day, but Florence was perfect and I regret not having more time to explore and drink wine. Guess a return trip is in store. 

Dress: Topshop

Shoes: Steve Madden

Gelato Dreams

To start off the week, we took a few day trips to the neighboring towns of San Gimignano (Day 3) and Montepulciano and Montalcino (Day 4).

San Gimignano is a gorgeous small-walled medieval town, and she flaunted her original architecture, dating back to a really, really long time ago (how I tell history). We walked the streets filled with colorful homes, fountains, squares and cobblestone paths. All perfect opportunities for Austin to take pictures of me.

And the best part: the gelato.

Naturally, we had to stop at "The World's Best Gelato" to find out if it was true. I got a mix of Raspberry Rosemary and Pistachio and it was pretty close to the best gelato in the world, if I do say so myself. Eat it quick though, or you'll end up wearing it.

Next up were Montepulciano and Montalcino, both smaller towns but still glowing with all the Italian charm. As we walked up and down the streets, we made several stops to taste wine, olive oil and try on shoes (because of course). The walls of the streets were something out of a movie, and the camera doesn't do them justice.

Dress: Topshop

Shoes: Steve Madden

Under the Tuscan Sun

The latest trip in my travel diary was to the beautiful and picturesque region of Tuscany. It’s located in Central Italy, about a three hour drive south from the Rome airport, which is where we flew in to. Our group of 11 spent 10 days in the heart of wine country, at the most incredible villa in Chianti! The house, along with the views, were perfection.  

The roads of Tuscany are the windiest roads I’ve ever driven on and if you get car sickness like me then you’ll want to stay in the front seat and roll the window down. But the scenery on the way up was exactly how it looks in Under the Tuscan Sun. The rolling hills seem to go on forever and there are also sporadic, massive sunflower fields (sad I didn't get a picture). The secluded villa was tucked wayyyy back in the Tuscan landscape, featuring a pool and cliff terrace. When I say secluded -- it took 10 minutes (!!!) just to travel down the gravel driveway (we timed it). Thank the LAWD for built-in GPS on rental cars.

Every inch of the house was authentic and detailed. From the hammocks to the grape vines, there was something beautiful to look at from every angle. I was drooling when we first got there. Our hosts, and good friends, even cooked for us almost every night. We really had it made.  

To top all this off, there was a winery right down the road. Shock. We enjoyed a wine and olive oil tasting that led to muuuuultiple return visits throughout the week to pick up more bottles of Rosé. HERE'S THE WEBSITE IF YOU WANT TO ORDER THE BEST ROSÉ EVER.

Tulum = Magic

Oh, Tulum. Before this trip, Austin (the boy) and I were brainstorming where our next getaway should be.  Knowing all the worldly hotspots, I suggested Tulum. I wish. Truth is, I read about Tulum on a "Best Beaches of Mexico" article. It didn’t take us very long to book our tickets.

We spent five days at the magical Mi Amor, and it was a gem. I’m talkin’ Let’s Get Married Jagged Edge honeymoon material. From being greeted with strawberry champagne and escorted to our beachy chic room to couples massage at the spa, I was in heavennnnn. And don’t get me started on the food at the hotel restaurant (Unico). It was FIRE. All the staff was so accommodating and really sweet.  They even let us borrow all of their snorkel gear for our touristy adventure of the caves and lagoon turtle swim.

We crammed in as much beautiful Tulum as we could. Here are some of my favorite things:

  • Cenotes. Cenotes are those underwater caves that you see on all the traveltheworld Instagram accounts. The water was soooo clear and and swimmable. We brought a GoPro thinking we’d could snap some cool underwater pics, but they were all shit. Need more GoPro lessons.
  • Mayan ruins. The Mayan ruins were really cool pieces of history. And the views were perfection.

  • NAO. If Miso soup had an award to win, NAO would win it. This local joint also has the best mojitos I’ve ever tried in my life!!

We'll definitely be making a return to Tulum one day. In the meantime, I’ll be planning my beachside destination wedding here (and Nao will be catering).