Travel Diary: Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

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John and I spent the first week of March relaxing on the beaches of St. Croix with the rest of the Garrett crew! It was such a wonderful week full of fun surprises (we got engaged!) and perfect weather. The house we were staying at was a short walk from Cane Bay Beach and had lovely sunsets. There was plenty of nice hiking and even better snorkeling! Doesn’t get much better than that, huh?

We did a lot of different activates throughout the week, but here are my top picks

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Golfing at the Buccaneer Resort

This also just so happens to be the same place where John got down on one knee. I don’t golf, but that third hole will always hold a special place in my heart. In addition to the golfing, the dining on the resort was also great. I may be biased since our dinner there was a private one (set up in the old sugar mill), but the food and service were outstanding!

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Point Udall

The easternmost point of the United States makes this a must visit spot with unbeatable views. Plus, right off the point there is a nice hiking trail that goes down to an amazing secluded beach, where we spent one of our afternoons.

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Snorkeling (or diving) at Cane Bay Beach

This is on the top of our must-do list. The water was warm, clear, and full of sea life! We saw plenty of fish and coral, but the highlight was the sea turtle we got to swim with! If you plan to do a lot of snorkeling bringing a swim shirt (like this one) is encouraged. I didn’t take that advice and my poor burnt back paid the price.

Eating at Rowdy Joe’s Northshore Eatery

We highly recommended this little joint, especially for lunch. It has plenty of outdoor seating and the food was tasty! We heard it’s also a pretty hopping place in the evenings, although we didn’t have a chance to check that out.

Bioluminescent Kayaking Tour in the Salt River Bay

We booked a tour with Virgin Kayak Tours and it did not disappoint.  With only 6 Biobays left in the Caribbean, this nighttime kayaking trip was such a cool and unique experience! Once it gets dark, you kayak across to The Biobay, where you’ll witness the seriously magical underwater lights. These mini single celled organisms, Dinoflagellates, sparkle in the water when you dip your hands/nets/paddles in.

Happy Traveling!

 

Friday Favorites: Travel Essentials

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1. Eugenia Kim Hat you need for all of the days you plan to spend at the beach.

2. Stella McCartney Sunglasses that are sure to make a statement.

3. Fashionable FRENDS Headphones.

4. Kate Spade New York Passport Holder in the perfect shade of pink.

5. Sensi Studio Watermelon Tote that can double as a carry on and beach bag. WIN-WIN!

6. KOR Water One Water Bottle because staying hydrated is important, and you don’t want get stuck buying $5 waters at the airport.

7. Super fun Elina Linardaki Saltwater Sandals that scream I am on vacation!

8. White + Warren Cashmere Eye Mask so you can catch some zzzs on those long flights.

9. Cozy White + Warren Cashmere Travel Wrap Scarf

Travel Diary: North Carolina

Happy (late) 2016 everyone! After a little time off, I am back in action! We had such a great trip to Asheville, North Carolina to visit John’s family over Christmas break. It was a week full of all of all my favorite things. Good food, even better company, and warm weather. I was lucky enough to have John playing tour guide for the week and showing me around all of his favorite spots. Here are a few of the highlights from our trip:

Grove Park Inn

After a great breakfast at Abejas House Cafe (a new Garrett family fave) we stopped by the Grovewood Gallery. Asheville is full of fabulous local artwork, and this place is not any different. We opened the doors and I didn’t even know where to start. The gallery has work ranging from jewelry and pottery to bedroom furniture, and everything in between. The whole time I kept thinking how amazing it would be to furnish a home with all of theses unique pieces! The price point varies quite a bit, so you’re sure to find something in your budget.

After the gallery we walked over the the hotel, which is actually more like massive resort. The hotel hosts a national gingerbread house competition each winter that brings swarms of visitors. It was a site to see! I was not only surprised by the number of houses that were on display, but the wide array of styles. I naively thought this was going to be run-of-the-mill gingerbread houses. I was way way off the mark. The level of craftsmanship and the creativity was astounding. Highly recommended!

Biltmore Estate

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After we went out for another delicious breakfast , this time at The Corner Kitchen, we headed to the Biltmore Estate. We missed visiting the Biltmore last year, so this time around we made a point to put it on the agenda. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint. The estate was so much bigger and more beautiful than I could have imagined. The tickets can get a little pricey and it was crowded, but between the house tour/conservatory/winery, it’s totally worth it. The house itself is lovely. The original decor was very well maintained (surprisingly so), and I found the history behind every detail interesting. The over the top Christmas decorations didn’t hurt either. After we toured the house we wandered around the grounds and ended up at the conservatory, which totally lived up to my (high) expectations. I would love to go back in the spring when the rest of the outdoor gardens are in bloom!

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The Blue Ridge Parkway

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We took advantage of the beautiful weather and spent the day exploring the highest parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway. We started off doing a hike up Black Balsam, which was crazy windy and cold at the top. Not my ideal weather conditions. On our way back down I finally figured out (curiosity was killing me) what all the men in trucks with big dogs riding in the back were doing. Hunting bear! I expected them to say tracking rabbits or something. After I got over the shock, we headed to Devils courthouse. That was a short walk (not really a hike) up to the top with gorgeous views. We continued to take the parkway to Richland Balsam, the peak of the parkway. Again, more amazing views. I can see the appeal, North Carolina.

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Happy Traveling!