Tag: Beautiful

Manhattan Dinner Cruise

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Every year Kyle comes up with the most creative and meaningful birthday gifts, but this year he totally outdid himself. For my gift this year he booked a sunset dinner cruise around Manhattan. I had never seen the city from the water before, so I was extremely excited for my birthday adventure.

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Our cruise was through Hornblower and they did a wonderful job planning the trip. There was an hor d’oeuvres and cocktail hour on the boat, followed by a three-course meal and after-dinner dancing. The boat cruised around the Hudson and the East River and had great photo-ops near the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge.

There was a beautiful deck on the boat where you could stand or sit outside before or after dinner, or between courses. The weather was beautiful, so we enjoyed sipping on our drinks outside while taking in the breathtaking views.

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As far as our meal, the different courses were pretty tasty. I ordered the Tamarind and Orange Glazed Duck Breast for my appetizer, and the Oven Roasted Chicken Breast for my entree. Both were extremely well-prepared and had great flavor. The sweet potato puree with my appetizer was so well-seasoned I could have eaten a whole bowl of just that.  Kyle ordered the Jumbo Lump Crab Cake as his appetizer, and the Pan Seared Filet of Beef for his entree and they were pretty amazing too.. I had bites of course.  For dessert, I ordered the cheesecake, my absolute favorite NYC specialty.

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The DJ played great music, mixing in the old with the new, and got everyone on the boat in a great mood. He played some top pop hits, some salsa music, and even some Frank Sinatra.

The Manhattan skyline lit up against the night sky is unlike anything else you will see in your life. We stood outside for almost half an hour just taking in the view.

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For anyone living in, or visiting, NYC looking for a fun night out with friends or a romantic dinner date, I would definitely suggest booking a boat cruise through Hornblower. It was one of the most memorable nights in NYC I have had yet.

The Amalfi Coast

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I had a lovely time visiting the Amalfi Coast. The sites were absolutely breathtaking, the beaches were gorgeous, and the weather was amazing. For my weekend trip to the Amalfi Coast of Italy I focused to visit the island of Capri, Positano, Sorrento, and Pompeii. Because these locations are very beach focused, I was worried about making the trip in October, but the temperature remained in the 80s for the entire duration of my stay. I even got a nice bronze glow after my visit!

I spent my first full day in the Amalfi Coast visiting the island of Capri. I stayed in Sorrento for the weekend, so to arrive in Capri I took ferry transportation. When I arrived in Capri my group took a private boat tour of the island, where we got to see the perimeter of the gorgeous area full of rocky cliffs and grottos. Unfortunately we were unable to enter the Blu Grotto since the sea level was too high, but if you’re planning on making the trip to Capri put that on your list of things to do!

After the boat tour, I walked a slightly steep hike up to Anacapri. Anacapri is an area of the island located on a higher elevation. Here, there are some amazing views of the island, some great restaurants to grab lunch, and some awesome shopping. While touring Capri, you will notice a lot of sandal shops. The shop pictured above located in Anacapri will make you custom designed sandals to your foot on the spot {how neat right?} Not to mention that the man that makes them is adorable!

To finish up my day in Capri, I took a chairlift up 589 meters above sea level to see the best view of the Island. The chairlift was slow and relaxing, and the view at the top was one of a kind.

I had an amazing day in Capri, I was a little bummed that I didn’t run into George Clooney there, but maybe next time!

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After my ferry ride back to Sorrento I caught this beautiful sunset along the docks.

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On day 2 of my trip I spent the day in Positano. Positano is only about a 30 minute drive from Sorrento, and it is a beautiful, cliff hugging, coastal drive the entire ride. Upon our arrival, we made the hike down to the beach through the town. The entire walk had some gorgeous sites, but I held out on my pictures until the very bottom… I knew that location would take the cake. The coast was green and vibrant, and was filled with colorful houses and shops sitting on the cliffs.

The beaches were full of small pebbles and black sand, and the water was as clear and blue as you could imagine. I spent my entire day relaxing on the shore and taking in some rays. I grabbed a panini for lunch and enjoyed walking around the shops for a while.

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For my last day in the Amalfi Coast I paid a visit to Pompeii. Pompeii was one of the coolest sites I have seen yet in Italy. The story behind the location is so interesting and it was amazing to see the architecture and other artifacts that lasted through time. I would suggest getting a guided tour of Pompeii if paying a visit to make sure that you see all of the important areas of the site.

French Riviera

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My French Riviera adventure began in Nice, France. I enjoyed walking around the fruit and flower market and taking in all of the bright colors. They had so many options of fresh produce and the whole area smelled of sweet flowers. I toured around the city and enjoyed hearing all of the history behind the amazing landmarks of the area.

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While exploring the town of Nice for the day, I loved taking in the water-front scenery. The shore was beautiful; it had vibrant blue water and was covered with cream colored pebbles. After taking a walk along the shore, I explored the shopping more throughout the town and enjoyed walking through French boutiques and department stores.

I worked up an appetite from walking throughout the town and was set on finding a smaller French cafe that sold a croque madame. I learned about this sandwich while studying French throughout high school, and I was set on trying one while in France for the weekend. I found a small cafe hidden in the streets of Nice and ordered my dream meal. The grilled ham and cheese sandwich was cooked to perfection and the egg on top added that extra something.

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My second day visiting the French Riviera included a trip to Monte Carlo, Monaco and Eze for a tour of Perfumerie Fragonard. Monaco is known as the wealthiest country in the world, and never in my life had I seen so many expensive cars in one place! The stores were expensive and lavish, and the architecture was amazing. While in Monte Carlo, I climbed up to the prince’s palace for an amazing view of all of Monte Carlo. Not only was the palace a fun place to observe, but the neighborhood surrounding the palace was colorful and charming. I already decided I want to move into that red apartment building! {a girl can dream right?}

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The tour of Parfumerie Fragonard was super interesting and I loved being able to learn how true French perfume is made. I enjoyed the stroll through the facilities and was glad we had the opportunity to sample the different perfumes at the end.

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After touring the parfumerie, my friends and I took a stroll through Eze and captured these amazing shots at the very top in the garden. France was everything I thought it would be and more.

Au revoir pour maintenant, France!

Tasting in Tuscany

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This past weekend I had a day dedicated to tasting Tuscany. I visited two vineyards, one in Montalcino and the other in San Gimignano. The views were breathtaking and the wine was perfect. It was amazing to tour the facilities, see the grapevines growing along the hills, and learn how some of the best wine in Italy is fermented.

The first vineyard was Altesino located in Montalcino. This vineyard was in the heart of Tuscany along beautiful rolling hills and sunflowers. Here, I tasted three different wines, one being their famous Brunello. It was wonderful to sip Italian wine with some of my closest friends, while gazing out at the beautiful view.

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After Altesino, I headed to the San Gimignano area for lunch and another tasting at Tenuta Torciano. This family-run facility incorporates a lunch into their wine tasting itinerary and the food was divine. Throughout the lunch I received about 7 different wines to taste. The guide taught how to pair different wines with certain foods, and gave tips on how to truly taste all aspects incorporated into each wine.  Each course of lunch was amazing, but nothing could top the grandmother’s homemade lasagna with truffle oil drizzled on top. It was one of the best dishes I have ever tasted!

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To finish off my perfect day, I visited the town of San Gimignano, also known as the Manhattan of Italy. This town is nestled atop hills and is known for its tall historic towers. I walked through the small town, soaked in the amazing views, and tasted the world’s best gelato.

Cheers to a perfect day under the Tuscan sun!

 

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Photo Diary of Croatia

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I visited Croatia for a long weekend, and during my stay I was able to see the areas of Split, Brac, and Krka National Park in Lozovac. Throughout my trip, I spent my nights in the heart of Split, a mere 1 minute walk from the water. Split is full of historic buildings and statues and i enjoyed walking around the town and being able to appreciate its beauty. Along the waterfront, there are many restaurant choices in which to dine outside and soak in the view of the sparkling clear blue water and the large yachts and ships parked near by.

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From Split I was able to take a short bus ride up out of the busier part of town to a wooded area along the Adriatic Sea. Here, I kayaked along the shore, cliff jumped, and snorkeled in the refreshing water. I wanted to be adventurous on this trip, and this outing was one of the funnest experiences I have had throughout my life.

{Photo Credit to Split Sea Kayaking for the three photos above}

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My final destination on my weekend trip was Krka National Park. This park is named after The Krka River, which it encloses, and is a beautiful spacious area, centering around the massive waterfall pictured above. I enjoyed the walk down to the waterfall along the wooden walkway, and that final view was breathtaking. If visiting, make sure to snap lots of pictures, and don’t be afraid to climb in the water!