Featured

La Centrale – Bubbles and Truffles

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Who loves Italian food, truffles, and sparkling wine?! ME! I am so excited to share with y’all about an amazing event that I attended this past Friday, February 22nd, 2018!

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I was invited to an event named, “Bubbles and Truffles” at La Centrale, a Miami Italian Food Hall at Brickell City Centre. I was already a huge fan of this place, and I definitely recommend a visit if you’re traveling to Miami!

#MiamiGoesItalian

Over the last few years, I have been discovering a new love of WINE! So I was so excited to try a new brand, learn about their process, and taste their wine! Ferrari Trento hosted the event with La Centrale and Urbani Truffles to pair their sparkling wine with delicious truffle dishes!

Let’s get to the dishes and sparkling wines shall we?!

When we arrived to the event, we were immediately greeted with a glass of Ferrari Brut, crafted in mountainside vineyards in Italy. Matteo Lunelli, the President of Ferrari Trento, graciously welcomed us and informed us that this particular sparkling wine is often used for celebrations in Italy. How cool is that? This was probably my favorite sparkling wine, the bubbles were fine and the wine was tasty. I just love the way it sparkles! I was so happy to have been gifted with a bottle for home for my next celebration!

Ferrari Trento began in 1902 with a man named Giulio Ferrari – who wanted to compete with French Champagnes by creating a sparkling wine in the Trentino Mountains in Italy. Bruno Lunelli became the successor of Ferrari Trento, and Matteo Lunelli, the President of Ferrari Trento today, continued on the tradition as the 3rd generation of Lunelli’s to share the passion of their company.

Urbani Truffles began in 1852 with a man named Constantine Urbani, who began exporting fresh truffles from Italy to France.

After we had been seated, we were served Ferrari Perle Rosé Riserva. FANTASTIC! I’m already a huge fan of Rosé and this sparkling Rosé wine was just perfect. It was fresh and fruity, with the flavor of sweet almonds, and I loved the copper color.

The Ferrari Perle Rosé Riserva was served with La Cesare (Caesar Salad), Beef Carpaccio with black truffles and dijon mustard (incredible!), and Blueberry Flatbread (mascarpone, gorgonzola, almonds and honey – oh my goodness!). They were all absolutely fantastic and expertly paired!

Blueberry Flatbread
La Cesare
Beef Carpaccio

Matteo spoke about the importance of family and the significance of sitting down as a family to share a meal and sparkling wine. He spoke of the Italians’ way of appreciating the time spent with each other and taking the time to slow down, eat, drink, and enjoy. I really appreciated this and feel that is something I need to do more of in my own life!

Matteo spoke before each wine and plate pairing about the expert way in which they produce their wines in the Trentino Mountains of Italy. I especially loved learning about the way the sparkling wine is made and aged – as it is different than champagne and other wines.

As we moved on to our main course, we had the choice of Truffle Risotto with Urbani Truffles, Ossobuco Benedict (veal shank, poached eggs, focaccia, spinach, and hollandaise), or Speck E Tartufo Pizza (black truffle, mozzarella, ricotta – my fave, mushrooms, and soft-farmed egg).

Speck E Tartufo Pizza with Ferrari Perlé

I had the opportunity to have the Truffle Risotto and to try the Speck E Tartufo Pizza – both excellent and delicious with their Ferrari Perlé sparkling wine! It was similar to Chardonnay with a bit of almond flavor. It sparkles like gold!

Truffle Risotto with Ferrari Perlé (and my leftover Rosé)

We were then served delicious macarons and biscotti from La Centrale and shared our final toast of the afternoon with a vintage 2006 sparkling wine, called Giulio Ferrari Reserve del Fondatore – incredible! After aging more than ten years, it has an elegant and velvety flavor that I loved!

The food was incredible. The sparkling wine was incredible. What truly stood out to me at this event was the passion of Matteo and his company. I love getting behind companies that live their passions, and Ferrari Trento truly shows it through their sparkling wines.

I had the most wonderful and DELICIOUS time at La Centrale’s Bubbles and Truffles with Ferrari Trento and Urbani Truffles. If you have a chance to share a bottle of Ferrari Trento with your loved ones, I highly suggest you do so! A special thank you goes to Erica Nonni @ La Centrale for inviting me to this event! Salute!


This concludes my Bubbles and Truffles @ La Centrale Blog Post. I hope that you enjoyed my blog and please feel free to hit CONTACT to ask me any questions!

happytravels

All photos are my own and are not to be used without the blogger/photographer’s permission. Thank you.

Featured

Arlo NoMad

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For as long as I can remember, I’ve dreamed of having a hotel room in NYC with incredible views. When I started researching hotels in New York almost two years ago, I knew at some point I wanted to stay at the Arlo NoMad! It’s no secret that Arlo Hotels is popular among travel and social media influencers, but I just had to see what the hype was all about myself. They call themselves the “home base for the urban explorer” and I couldn’t wait to find out if this would be my new favorite NYC home base!

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This past December 2019, I decided to plan an epic New York City trip for my 26th birthday to celebrate with my boyfriend Tyler, because, why not?! As our 8th and final trip of the calendar year, I knew I wanted to do something awesome! I had never experienced Christmas in NYC and I wanted to make it special. So, I booked Arlo NoMad! Let’s talk about what turned into an amazing experience!

Location: Arlo NoMad is located in the NoMad section of Manhattan, right near the Empire State Building (ESB) and Macy’s @ Herald’s Square. It places you about 3 minutes walk from the nearest Subway station – The 33rd Street Station, where you can use the green line to get you to several locations and other stations, making transit super easy! The location was also walking distance from several other awesome restaurants (Like Keen’s Restaurant), gift shops, the ESB, Park Avenue, and Macy’s!

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Customer Service: When we arrived at this chic-yet-cozy boutique hotel we were immediately greeted with kind and courteous staff. One person who stood out in particular was Angie! She was outgoing, friendly and very accommodating, helping to ensure our stay was PERFECT! She even made it special with a bottle of wine and snacks which we enjoyed overlooking the views from our hotel room!

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The hotel itself is tastefully decorated and lit with warm tones, so cozy! On our first night we enjoyed delicious cocktails at the second floor BarLo, and ate at the NoMad Bodega for some late night pizza – with HONEY! Don’t knock it ’til you try it; it is so good! They also feature an Italian restaurant named Massoni.

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Accommodations: We had a chance to enjoy two different views from two different rooms during our stay – which gave us a well-rounded view of what Arlo NoMad has to offer! Both rooms were clean, with extremely comfortable beds, quality televisions, and cozy lighting. Both rooms were Queen Rooms with a City View; they also have several other options and ADA accessible rooms!

For the first night, our windows had a direct view of the beautiful gold-domed building and incredible skyline views! The city just lights up like nothing I’ve ever seen!

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On my birthday, we stayed in a suite with a direct view of the Empire State Building – it was so close I felt like I could touch it! I enjoyed donuts in bed with a view of the Empire State Building and it was perfect! Shout out to Doughnut Plant – just a subway’s ride away!

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Later that night, we went up to The Heights Rooftop Bar and took in the gorgeous views atop the Arlo NoMad – the view of the ESB is unbeatable! It looks like a Christmas Tree – HAHA, Elf reference!

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In the early hours of our last morning in NYC we decided to check out the rooftop again to take in the views in daylight! Can you get any closer than this to the Empire State Building other than actually being in it?! Incredible!

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During the winter, Arlo NoMad features Arlo Arctica, a rooftop bar with cozy igloos 31 stories up to hang out, meet new people, and enjoy exclusive cocktails! In addition, Arlo NoMad has several fun events each week to promote camaraderie among guests, so cool!

The views around the entire rooftop blew me away – talk about beautiful views – Arlo NoMad lived up to its hype!

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Pricing: I found the pricing very reasonable for such a perfect location in NYC! Prices of course vary by time in New York, so I suggest booking early!

AS A SPECIAL TREAT FOR BEING ONE OF MY READERS, TAKE 15% OFF YOUR NEXT STAY WITH THE CODE “ARLOINSTA”. VISIT Arlo Hotels to book your next adventure!

In summation, we had a wonderful stay at the Arlo NoMad and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a cozy place to stay in a great location in Manhattan!


This concludes my Arlo NoMad blog post. I hope that you enjoyed my blog and please feel free to hit CONTACT to ask me any questions! Please feel free to tell me about YOUR favorite donuts across the US and abroad; I love to hear from y’all!

happytravels

All photos are my own and are not to be used without the blogger/photographer’s permission. Thank you.


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Featured

South Florida Donut Tour

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How many donuts have I had in my lifetime? Too many to count. I’ve made it one of my goals since moving to South Florida to try every donut shop, and I think I’ve managed to hit up most of them!

I’ve traveled all across South Florida looking for the BEST donuts, so Welcome to my South Florida Donut Tour – from West Palm Beach to the Florida Keys!

We will start our tour from Palm Beach County, working our way south through Broward County and Miami-Dade County, and finally ending in the Florida Keys!

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Jupiter Donuts is a cute, small chain of donut shops, most recently opening a shop in Fort Lauderdale. I had the opportunity to try them because of a local friend who raved about their legacy in Palm Beach! She raves about their Red Velvet Donut – if you go early enough to score one! My snickers donut was UNREAL!

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YoNutz Gourmet Donuts & Ice Cream is a small shop in Plantation, FL! They do have both donuts and ice cream! I especially loved their animal cracker donut, so cute and yummy! My churro donut was also super good!

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Parlour Vegan is an AWESOME Vegan bakery in Plantation, FL. They have their own line of cake donuts and they are SO good; you would never know there wasn’t any dairy! We like the Vanilla and Cake Batter donuts and I love their coffee too! Their Instagram account is to die for – #goals. Y’all gotta check this one out!

 

hollywood

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Mojo Donuts might be the most well-known donut shop in South Florida, and for good reason! They have locations in Hollywood, FL and also in Miami, FL. They even serve Fried Chicken! The most impressive thing about these shops are their selections! They’ve been featured on large broadcasts and websites! My favorite donuts are Cinnamon Roll and Cannoli!

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Dandee Donut Factory is a CLASSIC in Hollywood, FL. This diner isn’t glitzy or glamorous, but the donuts are INCREDIBLE! My favorite Sour Dream Donut (my fave donut ever), is from here; it is the best one I’ve ever had. They also have an awesome Red Velvet Donut; don’t pass up on a Dandee Donut!

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The One Donut Company is a cute little donut counter that opened up at Yellow Green Market in Hollywood, FL (open on the weekends)! They have these yummy little cookie and coffee shots as well! The donuts are super colorful with fun toppings like little marshmallows! This is a must stop if you’re at the market!

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Bake Shack is another adorable little diner in Hollywood, FL! They have a limited selection of donuts, but this place serves breakfast too! I suggest the S’mores Donut! It was delicious!

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The Salty Donut is my favorite donut shop, EVER. First off, I started going here when they were still a Donut Trailer in Wynwood – so when they opened a shop – I was one of the first to go! I’ve been obsessed ever since! There aren’t many of their donuts I haven’t gotten to try! So here’s the skinny; they have Year Round and Seasonal donuts! Keep up with their Instagram account to see the newest additions. Of The Year Round Donuts (Traditional Buttermilk Glazed, Guava + Cheese, Homemade Nutella, Maple + Bacon, Brown Butter + Salt, White Chocolate Tres Leches) my FAVORITE is the Guava + Cheese! IT IS UNREAL & YOU CAN ONLY GET IT HERE. The Cinnamon Toast Crunch Latte is also my FAVE coffee drink. Y’all, if you’re gonna go anywhere, go here.

 

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Velvet Creme Doughnuts is the CUTEST donut shop in Miami – hands down! It is a DREAM white and red, old-school diner counter with delicious traditional-style donuts! They share their Miami pride on Saturdays with Orange and Green glazed donuts! I LOVE this little place, and it’s right on Calle Ocho in Little Havana, so you can explore and eat your donuts while learning about Cuban culture and drinking a cortadito!

 

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Happy Place Donuts is a fun little shop right in Miami Beach! This bright and airy space has a small but strong selection of donuts, including a donut that looks like outer space and also a rainbow donut, ah! Right on Espanola Way, this scenic area is the perfect place to stop for a donut!

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Honeybee Doughnuts is the winner of the most ADORABLE donut shop in my own opinion! They stick with their theme and their donuts are BEAUTIFUL! They are also TASTY! I LOVED the selection of Mini Donuts! My favorites were the Honeybee Glazed and the Cookies and Cream!

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Glazed Donuts is a great black and white stripe themed donut shop in Key West! Go early and you will miss all of the hungover Key Westers, haha! Not only do I love the donuts here, KEY LIME PIE DONUT Y’ALL, but they have super good coffee to pick you up after a long night out on Duval Street! I was there in the wintertime and also had a delish gingerbread donut! Best maple bacon donut also goes to them – the bacon is sweet and salty!

 

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So there you have it, all the donut shops I have visited from West Palm Beach to Key West! If there is a donut shop you LOVE, or a donut shop in South Florida that I’ve missed, please leave a comment and let me know! HAPPY DONUT EATING!


This concludes my South Florida Donut Tour. I hope that you enjoyed my blog and please feel free to hit CONTACT to ask me any questions! Please feel free to tell me about YOUR favorite donuts across the US and abroad; I love to hear from y’all!

happytravels

All photos are my own and are not to be used without the blogger/photographer’s permission. Thank you.


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Featured

Atlanta Mini-Weekend Guide

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July 2017

Last July, Tyler and I traveled to beautiful Atlanta for a friend’s wedding, and spent an awesome mini-weekend in Atlanta! I wanted to share some of our favorite spots from this trip so y’all can enjoy them too! We can’t wait to go back someday! So here are the 10 Places in Atlanta we loved and not to miss!

 

  1. World of Coca-Cola

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Are you a Coke or a Pepsi fan?! Honestly, I’m both! I definitely had to see the World of Coca-Cola while in ATL, it’s home base! When you enter, they give you a can of Coke, so fun! There are tons of exhibits for all ages, walking you through their history and today. There is even a room for trying all sorts of Coca-Cola products, and an awesome gift shop! You can even meet the Coca-Cola polar bear!

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2. College Football Hall of Fame

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Fun fact, Tyler was a college football quarterback and I was a college cheerleader! We are College Football fanatics, so we HAD to go to the College Football HOF! When you enter, you get to register your favorite team to find out fun facts along the way! We even found our college football team on the wall of helmets! As an Ohio State University fan, and Tyler an Oklahoma University fan, we LOVED all of the facts and memorabilia!

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At the end, there is an indoor football field with fun challenges like kicking a field goal and quarterback challenges!

3. The Pig and The Pearl

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I found this place on Instagram and had to try it! Nothing is better than some good ole’ southern cooking! I had a brisket sandwich – yum, and Tyler had a shrimp platter! Their cornbread was AMAZING! Their drinks were also delish; I had a “Georgia Peach”!

4. Skyview Atlanta

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A giant ferris wheel in downtown Atlanta? This totally brought out the kid in me, and I loved it! The views of Atlanta from the top are gorgeous!

5. Revolution Doughnuts

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I had heard AMAZING things about Revolution Doughnuts, and they were right! Tucked away in the CUTEST little neighborhood, these were so so good! I also had an iced Chai latte that was to-die-for! My favorite was the Toasted Almond Cake Doughnut!

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6. Piedmont Park

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Piedmont Park is a beautiful park with gorgeous views of downtown Atlanta! We enjoyed wandering around the park exploring, especially around Lake Clara Meer and the Meadow, where you can see beautiful views! You can also rent bikes and ride around the beautiful Atlanta Beltline – a series of trails around Atlanta!

7. Centennial Olympic Park

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Did you know that Atlanta, Georgia hosted the Olympic Games in 1996? This park in Downtown Atlanta is dedicated to it, complete with a fountain of Olympic Rings with a music and light show! We stopped by here at sunset!

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8. SkyLounge Atlanta

This sky bar in Atlanta has beautiful views of the city! It is so gorgeous lit up at night, so we had a drink here to take in the views!

9. Canoe Restaurant

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We went to Canoe for a delicious brunch outside of Atlanta on the Chattachoochee River! Not only was breakfast delicious, but this place is GORGEOUS! There is a beautiful aqua-colored bridge just a short walk from the restaurant that is also beautiful. I would label it a MUST DO! The dinner menu is upscale with a variety of options, click the link above to see their menu!

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10. Ponce City Market

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Last but certainly not least, is Ponce City Market! This place is AMAZING, and another MUST DO for me! This food hall is ANYTHING but ordinary! They have TONS of amazing food vendors including a favorite of mine – Five Daughters Bakery! Head up to The Roof to The Skyline Park to find delicious foods and drinks as well as a gorgeous view of the skyline of Atlanta! This place is NOT TO MISS!

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EXTRA: MURAL HUNTING

Atlanta is FULL of amazing murals and street artists! I was not blogging at the time of this trip, so I only have a few murals to share with you from this particular trip!

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716 Ponce De Leon Ave NE

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Ponce De Leon Ave NE – Greg Mike

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Atlanta Humane Society

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300 Marietta St

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700 Lake Ave NE

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700 Lake Ave NE

BONUS: Do yourself a favor and follow my FAVORITE bloggers from Atlanta on Instagram to get even more awesome ideas before your trip!

  • @saralongsworth
  • @sophlog

 

Overall, we LOVED the city of Atlanta, and we hope that you will too! Cheers to your next trip to Atlanta, Georgia!

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This concludes my guide from Atlanta. I hope that you enjoyed my blog. Please like, comment and SHARE!

Feel free to hit CONTACT to ask me any questions about my trip!

happytravels

All photos are my own and are not to be used without the blogger/photographer’s permission. Thank you.


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Featured

Nashville Mural Guide

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Mas Tacos Mural

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@ Mas Tacos

East Nashville Mural

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Outside and to the Left of The Soda Parlor

Jason Woodside Mural

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305 11th Ave South

I Love Donuts Mural

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@ Five Daughters Bakery

Kelsey Wings Nashville Mural

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302 11th Ave S

I Believe in Nashville Mural

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2702 12th Ave S

Draper James Blue and White Stripes Mural

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Side of Draper James – Across from I Believe in Nashville Mural

Tye-Dye Nashville Mural

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2727 12th Ave S

Make Music Not War Mural

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2902 12th Ave S

Wildflowers Mural

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2902 12th Ave S – Across from Make Music Not War Mural

Diagonal Rainbow Mural

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Overton St

Nashville Guitar Mural

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915 Division St

 

This concludes my Wall Mural Guide from Nashville. I hope that you enjoyed my blog and please feel free to hit CONTACT to ask me any questions about my trip!

happytravels

All photos are my own and are not to be used without the blogger/photographer’s permission. Thank you.

Featured

Nashville 3-Day Travel Guide

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Welcome to Nashville y’all! Of all of the cities we have traveled to thus far, this may just be my favorite! I’ve always been a huge fan of country music ever since I was a little girl! My favorite artists being Shania Twain, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Johnny Cash, Carrie Underwood and more; so naturally Nashville, aka Music City, was the perfect vacation for us! If you have an appreciation for music and it’s roots, you’ll love Nashville too! If you enjoy drinking and bar hopping through live music and fun crowds, you’ll love Nashville too! So, let’s go to Nashville!

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After arriving at Nashville International Airport (BNA), we were so happy to hear live music playing in the terminal! We headed over to our hotel, Aloft Nashville West End, which has an awesome view of downtown! We were lucky enough to have our good friends Hannah and Alec also in town for the day, so we met them for lunch at what is now one of my favorite taco spots in the U.S.!

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Mas Tacos is freaking amazing. I love tacos and Mexican, but this stuff is awesome and authentic! There is indoor and outdoor seating, but be aware – no air conditioning! It was pretty hot that day, but it was totally worth it for these tacos.

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I had Cast Iron Chicken Tacos, filled with skillet chicken, salsa verde, and sour cream – YUM! They even have a Fried Avocado taco *insert surprised emoji here*! I also had a Lime Cilantro Agua Fresca, amazing, and Mexican Street Corn, or Elote! Not only is the food delicious, the decor is colorful and funky with giant Christmas lights! More Tacos Please!

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sodaparlor

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I’m always down for a good milkshake, so it was just perfect that The Soda Parlor was a short drive from Mas Tacos! This place is SO adorable – reminds me of a 50’s soda shop!

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I had a Son-Of-Reese’s milkshake, a chocolate and peanut butter malt topped with whipped cream and a Reese’s cup!

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Tyler had a Master Commander, a root beer float! This place is so cute and also delicious! The East Nash mural is also right outside!

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Y’all, there aren’t enough words to describe how much I loved The Bluebird Cafe. When I was researching Nashville I knew this was somewhere I needed to go, and boy was I right. First off, The Bluebird Cafe is a music venue in a strip mall in Nashville, but is is SO much more than that. Local singers and songwriters play here, and we were lucky enough to get tickets for a Friday night show.

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The specifics about their reservations can be found on the link I’ve shared above, I waited almost 2 hours in the online ticket queue for ours, but it was so worth it. They sell out, AND FAST. If you get in through the Queue you’ll pick seats from the limited tables! If you aren’t lucky enough to get a ticket online (going on sale either one week in advance, or on the Monday the week of the show) you can take your chances and wait in line at the door, but get there early! Anyone showing up with tickets lines up on the LEFT; anyone hoping to score a seat lines up on the RIGHT. The tickets are FREE.

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Now, on to the show. We were lucky enough to have an amazing group of artists the night we were there – J.T. Harding, Phil Barton, Jesse Lee, and Bobby Hamrick! My favorite song was “Coconuts” by Bobby Hamrick – hoping we will hear it on the radio soon! This was an “In The Round” performance, meaning the performers were in the middle of the room of the small intimate venue. An “In The Row” performance is on the stage. Food and drinks are available – I had deviled eggs and Tennessee Brew Works beers. I can tell you that is is about 2 hours of pure musical magic. We laughed, we cried – pure bliss for anyone who appreciates intimate music venues. Many famous musicians have been discovered or played here such as Garth Brooks, Taylor Swift, Faith Hill, and more.

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We hit up Lower Broadway – the area of Broadway closest to the Cumberland River with all of the famous Nashville bars – every night! I’ll tell you about my favorite bars here:

Tin Roof – a cool vibe with Christmas Lights, lots of color, live bands, and bikes hanging from the ceiling!

Honky Tonk Central – this was our favorite bar on Lower Broad! Definitely a 20-something scene, but this place has 3 floors of live music, open air balconies, and the drinks are flowing! We returned here every night, and even tipped a little more to hear Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash!

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Robert’s Western World – This place is a real-deal honky tonk, so if you want to hear fiddle and steel guitar, you’ll probably hear it here! It’s a cozy place with paintings of the great country artists of all time on the walls!

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Tootsie’s – This is probably one of the most famous bars in Nashville, and for good reason! This purple colored building has an awesome venue space, however it was pretty PACKED! Well, when we went upstairs and found Kid Rock playing, I guess we found out why! Too cool!

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The Stage – This place has awesome acoustics and we caught an awesome band here and live fiddle! Loved it!

Broadway is a lot of fun because there is music day and night! There is always something going on and lots of people watching!

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There were plenty of other awesome bars, including new ones like Ole Red, Whiskey Row, Jason Aldean’s, and FGL house – which we hope to hit up next time!

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I love Biscuit Love, but do not come here unless you’re willing to wait in a long line! I was, and the food was really awesome, but there are for sure other places in Nashville to find biscuits, so plan accordingly! 🙂 Biscuit Love is super cute and known for it’s Bonuts and Nashville sign!

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Bonuts

We waited about 1 hr 15 minutes on a Saturday morning! I had the Bonuts, which are phenomenal! They are fried biscuit dough with lemon mascarpone and blueberry compote! (This is a lot and can be eaten by itself!) I also had to try their Biscuit and Gravy – yum! The biscuits are fluffy and flaky, just perfect. Tyler had the East Nasty, fried chicken, cheddar, gravy and biscuits – He liked it a lot! I also had an iced chai, delish!

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After, we walked over to the Kelsey Montague Wings mural – featured later. Be prepared to wait 30-40 minutes to get your shot with this one too!

countrymusic

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We changed up our plans a little bit after a downpour, and decided to head over to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum! We both love history AND music, so this place was awesome! They had a Shania Twain exhibit, and a Faith Hill and Tim McGraw exhibit, which I loved! It was really awesome to read, hear, and see the history of Country Music come alive in this museum – from the beginning to now!

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johnnycash

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I LOVE JOHNNY CASH, so for me, the Johnny Cash Museum was a MUST DO. Located right off Lower Broadway, this museum is small, but packed with memorabilia of the Man in Black himself, and his love, June Carter Cash. This museum was amazing because there are so many interactive experiences – with headphones and a photo booth!

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The Grand Ole Opry began as a radio broadcast in 1925, and it still is a live broadcast today! This huge venue, located outside of downtown, has hosted massive Country Legends, and we were lucky enough to catch a show featuring Trace Adkins! It’s nicknamed The Home of Country Music and Country’s Most Famous Stage. If you get a chance to see The Opry, I’m labeling this a MUST DO if you love Country Music! You’ll get to see a live show broadcast over WSM and you might even see one of your favorite artists! You’ll see people of all ages here, so awesome!

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After the Opry, we hit up Lower Broad again!

 

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fivedaughters

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In the area known as 12 South, we headed over to Five Daughters Bakery, because DONUTS, actually, 100-Layer Donuts! They are totally delicious, with sweet icing and flaky laters – mouth-watering! The building itself is adorable with turquoise, white, and pink everywhere! They even have little photo displays outside for photo ops!

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edleys

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I needed to have some good ole’ bbq while in Nashville, and Edley’s BBQ didn’t disappoint! This is also in the 12 South area, so it was a short walk from Five Daughters Bakery in between mural hunting! This place is a “Tribute to All Things Southern”. I had a brisket platter with potato salad, baked beans, and cornbread – WOW.

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The Ryman. This is the place where Johnny met June, nuff said. Originally a tabernacle, this became the home of the Opry after being a home for traveling acts, and after being saved from destruction, is still a beautiful venue today!

We did a guided backstage tour, totally worth it! Self guided tours are also available. We even had our photo taken at the Mother Church of Country Music – exactly where Johnny and June stood!

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Of course I had to walk the Music City Walk of Fame to see all of my favorite country music artists and the greats! Stop by and snap a few photos on your favorite STAR!

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After hitting up Lower Broad and Boot Barn to get a new pair of boots in Nashville, we walked over to the Tennessee State Capitol, because I’ve made a goal recently to see every state capitol building! This building is BEAUTIFUL, so we snapped a photo and headed back to the hotel! We went back out on Lower Broadway that night!

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In the morning we walked the Pedestrian Bridge to get some awesome views of Nashville before we left for the airport! We attempted to eat at Hattie B’s, but the line was so long we ended up having to leave – next time!

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murallss

Mas Tacos Mural

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@ Mas Tacos

East Nashville Mural

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Outside and to the Left of The Soda Parlor

Jason Woodside Mural

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305 11th Ave South

I Love Donuts Mural

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@ Five Daughters Bakery

Kelsey Wings Nashville Mural

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302 11th Ave S

I Believe in Nashville Mural

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2702 12th Ave S

Draper James Blue and White Stripes Mural

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Side of Draper James – Across from I Believe in Nashville Mural

Tye-Dye Nashville Mural

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2727 12th Ave S

Make Music Not War Mural

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2902 12th Ave S

Wildflowers Mural

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2902 12th Ave S – Across from Make Music Not War Mural

Diagonal Rainbow Mural

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Overton St

Nashville Guitar Mural

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915 Division St

Overall, Nashville was an AMAZING experience, and definitely a place I would go over and over again!

This concludes my Itinerary from Nashville. I hope that you enjoyed my blog and please feel free to hit CONTACT to ask me any questions about my trip!

happytravels

All photos are my own and are not to be used without the blogger/photographer’s permission. Thank you.

references.jpg

I am really into travel reading, and so here are some of the sources I used to plan my trip! Hopefully they can help you plan yours as well!


johnnyandjunee

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Featured

Wynwood Walls Guide

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For those of you who have been following me on social media for sometime, you already know that #IHaveAThingForWalls. Wall art, murals, street art… whatever you choose to call it,  I’m in love with it! Bright colors, amazing street artists, and streets filled with giant murals… Wynwood in Miami has it all! This is a blogger/instagrammer paradise, but fun for anyone! I’ve decided to share my FAVORITE Wynwood Walls and their locations… enjoy!

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Wynwood Walls

Within the area of Miami named Wynwood, there is a gated art gallery named Wynwood Walls and Wynwood Doors.

In the entirety of Wynwood itself, most of the buildings are painted with hundreds of colorful murals, also known as “Wynwood Walls” or “Wynwood Walls and Arts District”.

Now to the walls!

Colorful People Mural

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Inside Wynwood Walls

 

Colorful Eye Mural

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Inside Wynwood Walls

Black and White Mural

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360 NW 27th St, Miami FL

Zak the Baker Rainbow Blocks Mural

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Zak the Baker – 301 NW 26th St, Miami FL

The Wynwood Wings

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@ Wynwood 5th Ave

Okeechobee Flamingo Mural

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172 NW 23rd St, Miami FL

Oliver Cole Gallery Frame Mural

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301 NW 28th St, Miami, FL

Neon Wings Mural

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465 NW NW 24th St, Miami FL

Happy Cake Mural

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@ Bunnie Cakes

Strong Women Mural

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465 NW 24th St, Miami FL

Donut Mural

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48 NW 25th St, Miami FL

Colorful Wisps Mural

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2775 NW 3rd Ave, Miami, FL

Dripping Flowers Mural

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160 NW 27th St, Miami FL

Colorful Diamond Mine Mural

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@ Vondom

Psychedelic Mural

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400 NW 26th St, Miami, FL

Flamingo Mural

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@ Vondom

Heart of Wynwood Mural

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@ Bunnie Cakes

Donut Man Mural

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172 NW 23rd St, Miami FL

Slice of Pie Mural

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@ Fireman Derek’s

Dots Mural

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2200 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL

Blue Mural

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3100 NW 5th Ave, Miami, FL

Women Are Powerful Mural

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@ Wynwood Walls

Barbie Girl Mural

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@ Wynwood Walls

Red Flower Mural

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160 NW 27th St, Miami FL

 

This concludes my Wynwood Walls Guide. I hope that you enjoyed my blog and please feel free to hit CONTACT to ask me any questions!

happytravels

All photos are my own and are not to be used without the blogger/photographer’s permission. Thank you.

 

Featured

West Palm Beach (Local’s Guide)

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I had the amazing opportunity of exploring a city close to where we live with a friend who has grown up there her whole life, Jenin! I am so excited to share with you a TRUE local’s guide, thanks to one of my great friends! West Palm Beach is not only beautiful, but it has amazing architecture, shopping, beaches, food, and street art! Whether you’re exploring for a day or you’re traveling for vacation, this is the place to go! I’ll take you through a one day itinerary, here we go:jupiterdonuts

GET HERE EARLY. Jupiter Donuts opens at 6 AM most days, and when it sells out, they’re GONE. We got there around 9:30 AM and most of the donuts were already sold out! This is a local secret; these are delicious, traditional donuts! We had a cinnamon sugar donut and a butterfinger donut, super good! (Jenin says the red velvet donut is the best one!)

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We stopped by one of Jenin’s fave restaurants U-Tiki Beach  to see the Jupiter Lighthouse on the Inlet. It is so pretty here, and there are a couple of other cute restaurants right on the water to enjoy food and scenery with colorful chairs along the water! (We did not eat at U-Tiki, but she highly recommends!)

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Ugh, this is the prettiest beach ever. Jupiter Beach has the “Blowing Rocks“, famous for the massive rocks that splash and spray when the waves hit them, and beautiful preserved sand dunes. We went during low tide, so we were able to sit on the rocks and get some really beautiful photos, however we did not witness any splashing! It is a $2 fee to enter the park on the north end of the beach. It is the largest preserve of Anastasia limestone on the Atlantic coast, and home to many animals including sea turtles!

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South of Jupiter beach is West Palm Beach, with beautiful turquoise waters and warm sandy beaches, this is a relaxed and chill beach compared to the beaches South in Miami. Driving up and down A1A along the beach is insanely gorgeous here, just wait until you see the massive mansions!

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EVERY GIRL’S DREAM COME TRUE. The Breakers is the most beautiful hotel & resort I’ve ever seen, no wonder so many people get married here (including the rich & famous). Henry M. Flagler was the original founder of the Breakers in 1896, who is responsible for many of the beautiful architectural gems in Palm Beach. We had a wonderful time walking around the grounds, having lunch at the Seafood Bar (with delicious fresh Skinny Pina Coladas), and shopping at my favorite, Lilly Pulitzer – whom started in Palm Beach! The HMF restaurant here is also very famous and delicious!

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Lilly Pulitzer @ The Breakers

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Speaking of Henry M. Flagler, here is another one of his gems! The Flagler Museum is located on the Lake Worth side of the island, and as you can see, is equally as beautiful as The Breakers! It was named “The Whitehall” when it was completed in 1902. Admission is $18, and tours and brochures are available inside. I just had to stop by here for a photo of this gorgeous mansion!

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Where can you find your favorite luxury brands in a sea of pastels and palm trees? Worth Avenue. Every time I come to WPB, I have to make a stop here, if not just to window shop and walk around the colorful architecture. Some of my favorite shops, Kate Spade and Tiffany & Co, make a home here. Worth Avenue has been another Palm Beach gem since 1938, a must stop!

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After a little window shopping, we headed into downtown WPB. Clematis Street is an artsy-hipster-esch neighborhood, with street art, coffee, wine, and more! We stopped here for coffee @ Subculture Coffee, and then stopped @ Wine Scene to check out their amazing Wall Art (which changes often) and Vino! (Jenin says this place is super fun to go with your girls for a wine night!)

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Here are some of the wall murals we loved around Clematis St – although they change often and may have changed already!

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downtownBecause we traveled here in December, we were able to visit the famous SandiTree which is a massive sand-Christmas tree in downtown! It also lights up at nighttime, and is across the street from the delicious and local Sloan’s Ice Cream. Sloan’s has colorful chandeliers, a pink building, and delicious ice cream! Another one of my favorite places in WPB is Relish & More! Their milkshakes and deep fried mac and cheese are amazing!

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gpm

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Another really cool place recently just opened for a delicious bite to eat, so Tyler and I went one Sunday to try it! If I stuck this into the Itinerary, I would head here for a yummy dinner! Grandview Public Market is set up like a culinary marketplace, with several different food choices! They are open from 7 AM-10 PM everyday! There is a beautiful open air dock for eating, loved it! Some food options include fried chicken meals, smoothies and healthy snacks, full size pizzas, Poke tuna bowls, Ramen, tacos, and a coffee shop! They also have some pretty cool wall art!

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Fried Chicken from Clare’s

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Tacos from Zipitios

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Pizza from The Corner

 

 

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Rolled Ice Cream from CREMA

 

This concludes my Itinerary from West Palm Beach. I hope that you enjoyed my blog and please feel free to hit CONTACT to ask me any questions about my trip!

happytravels

All photos are my own and are not to be used without the blogger/photographer’s permission. Thank you.

references.jpg

I am really into travel reading, and so here are some of the sources I used to plan my trip! Hopefully they can help you plan yours as well!

My resource from this trip was my friend Jenin!


findmeunderthepalms.jpg

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Featured

Austin 4-Day Travel Guide

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March 2018

Welcome to Austin, Texas! I hope you’ve got your cowboy boots on (just kidding, not everyone wears them!) and that you’re ready to get a little “weird”! This was one of our favorite trips yet, and I am so excited to share our itinerary with y’all!

We flew into Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, which instantly makes you feel so excited to be there! They have LIVE MUSIC playing in their terminal, what?! So cool. AUSTIN DOES HAVE UBER (I kept trying to figure this out before I got there, haha).

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We uber’d to our hotel – Aloft Austin Downtown. I LOVED OUR HOTEL (nobody is paying me to say this, haha!). It is in the perfect location, located between 6th and 7th street on Congress Ave – you’ll see why this is perfect as you read! They even have BOOTS TO BORROW during your stay! (SEE PHOTO ABOVE.) The room was so cute and hip! We even had a gorgeous view of the Texas State Capitol building!

 

At Aloft, they have a really cool restaurant/bar named Upstairs at Caroline on the 2nd floor with delicious cocktails and appetizers (a pop rocks alcoholic drink and a creamy corn dip, yum!), and on the 1st floor they have an amazing little cafe named Caroline’s (marshmellow lattes, giant cinnamon rolls, breakfast tacos … drooling yet?).

 

After check in, it was time to walk South Congress (SoCo as some call it)! We attempted to see the bats (yes, bats) under the South Congress bridge, but according to an Austin local, it was too cold at this time for them to all fly out from under the bridge at sunset! Definitely on my list of things to see next time!

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torchys

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After watching a gorgeous sunset from the South Congress Bridge, we walked (uphill, lots of walking) to Torchy’s Tacos – this location being on SoCo. I knew there was one thing I had to get at Torchy’s, queso. It was freakin’ amazin’. I had The Democrat and the Tipsy Chick tacos – delicious! It’s a really fun and colorful atmosphere!

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Once we wandered off with bellies full of deliciousness, we were prepared for night out on the famous Sixth Street. They call it the “Bourbon Street” of Austin – I heard this about a thousand times while we were there, haha! We went on a Thursday night, so it was pretty low-key. They shut down a portion of the street so guests can enjoy the nightlife scene. I love these old buildings right in the middle of downtown!

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We started at Greenlight Social – a rooftop bar with cool views. Then, we went to San Jacinto Saloon – OUR ABSOLUTE FAVE. San Jacinto had beer on top and cans, live country music, and a really awesome crowd (kind of the place I think of when I think of the things I love about Texas). We also wandered into the Dizzy Rooster which was also a lot of fun and had a cool, Austin, aesthetic. We walked all of Sixth Street until we got close to the I-35 and then returned to San Jacinto!

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Did you see this coming? Donuts! I have known about the famous Voodoo Doughnut which can only be found in certain cities like Austin, Portland, and Denver and have always wanted to try these! Voodoo Doughnut is an experience for sure, and one that I enjoyed very much! Their donuts are delicious, funny, and a little risqué.

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My favorite was probably the Bubble Gum Donut because I wasn’t sure if I should chew on it like gum or just eat it, haha!  I also think it’s totally necessary to get the Homer Simpson, since we have him to blame for our donut craze! Good things really do come in pink boxes!

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All morning we went mural hunting; we actually walked around 15 miles searching for murals! Crazy, I know – I suggest breaking them up into different days, as we were SO TIRED after finding them all! I will share the murals at the end of this itinerary, as well as in my Austin Mural Guide!

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This is definitely my favorite place in all of Austin (so far). Guero’s Taco Bar is AMAZING. First off, it’s Tex-Mex at it’s finest, with an entire SALSA bar. Am I dreaming? Nope. The tacos were amazing, the margaritas were amazing, the service was amazing, and their story is pretty cool too! It’s in an old Feed and Seed and the building is super rustic and neat looking! Outside on the patio there is live music too! This is a MUST-DO. I even picked up salsa and chips from here a few days later to enjoy as a late night snack!

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allensboots

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Right down the road from Guero’s is Allen’s Boots, a Texas tradition. They have boots that are reasonably priced for boots ($200s) and boots that are crazy high prices ($700 boots anyone?). Either way, it’s super cool to go here and see the rows of boots, smell the leather, and try on a pair! Tyler actually got a pair of boots here and now we have a fun memory together!

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In the middle of the Colorado River on the Southeast part of town is Lady Bird Lake. We went here to walk the trail around the lake and relax a bit. The water reflects beautifully, but the city is pretty hard to see from this location. The colors were dreamy at golden hour and perfect for photography!

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For sunset, we went over to Zilker Park – which is massive. We walked over to the edge of the park near the Colorado River to catch sunset over the river and the skyline – it was GORGEOUS! Austin is known as the city of the Violet Crown, meaning the color that lines the horizon at sunset is violet, and I swear I saw a violet crown! We even witnessed a couple get engaged in the little spot right by the water, so beautiful! During the summer, taking a dip in the Barton Springs Pool is a MUST! It was a tad too cool for dipping for us.

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Tyler’s favorite part of the trip, Chuy’s. I’m pretty sure he talked about it for two weeks before we went to Austin! Chuy’s is a thing, and it’s a good thing. It is also the only thing we had a wait for, so be prepared, but come hungry! We walked here right from Zilker Park. Chuy’s is also Tex-Mex, and it is so good. I tried my first chile con queso here, yum! The margaritas were so good and my tacos were on point! This location is the ORIGINAL Chuy’s on Barton Springs Road, so I was thrilled to be here! The decor is quirky, with wooden fish, hubcaps, and Elvis shrines. It’s sure to delight your eyes and your taste buds!

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My FIRST Texas dance hall, so fun! But, this isn’t just any dance hall; this place has been visited by tons of country celebrities – like Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Travis Tritt, George W. Bush, and so many more! We loved watching everyone dancing and listening to the live country music (classics like Johnny Cash), so fun! These dancers were REALLLYYY good; I really need to learn how to two-step, haha! We had a beer and had a great time!

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After Broken Spoke, we headed out to Rainey Street to meet up with our local friend Alex! We went bar hopping along Rainey Street, which I’m going to label a MUST DO. The crowd is a little bit older than Sixth Street, and in a good way! Rainey is a short street of houses turned bars on the southeast corner of downtown, how cool is that?! We went to Lustre Pearl and Unbarlievable! Unbarlievable looks like a circus and has a SLIDE inside. Container Bar is made out of shipping containers, pretty cool, but had a pretty long wait. I would definitely suggest popping into different bars because they are all so different and quirky and awesome, kind of like Austin!

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Ah, the day I ate my first breakfast taco, life changing. I had a Chicken Sausage breakfast taco stuffed with scrambled eggs and melty cheese from Caroline’s Cafe! It was amazing and I actually dream about it, haha.

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The Texas State Capitol is BEAUTIFUL. It is a MUST SEE for me. The Dome of the Capitol is said to be higher than the US Capitol, crazy right?! The building has this beautiful tan-almost pink color and the architecture is simply gorgeous. We went inside and walked around the corridors and different floors! Up the dome of the Capitol are the paintings of Texas Governors, really lovely!

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This is the Dome of the Capitol; I love the turquoise blue TEXAS with the star at the top!

 

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The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum was so cool and interactive! I was so curious to learn more about Tyler’s home state and I definitely did! As you go through the museum, you walk through “The Story of Texas” chronologically. There are a ton of artifacts and interesting facts along the way! I really loved this!

 

(We went to a wedding the Saturday night of day three.)

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Ever been to brunch in an adorable remodeled house?! Josephine House was a perfect Brunch spot for us and our friend Blake to visit! The whole house is navy, love that color, and has outdoor seating under string lights, with delicious food! I had Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, YUM. Tyler had a breakfast burger which looked insanely good!

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northside

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Erin Condren Store

After brunch, we went to Domain Northside, which to be honest, is quite far from Downtown. I HAD to see the Erin Condren store, which has an adorable rainbow colored mural on the outside, and a flight of rainbow stairs inside! We also went to Sprinkles Cupcake ATM where I got to have my favorite cupcake – Sprinkle (birthday cake with vanilla buttercream).

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Erin Condren Store

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Sprinkles Cupcakes

kendra

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In my personal opinion, no trip to Austin would be complete without a trip to the original Kendra Scott store on South Congress. This is also her very own design studio! Kendra Scott is an amazing jewelry designer with a beautiful collection that I have been a fan of for some time now! We browsed and I purchased new earrings and a necklace! LOVE!

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For dinner, we dined in at Homeslice Pizza, located on SoCo, which also has a take out window next door! I’m a sucker for a good pizza pie, and Homeslice is an authentic New York style pizza. The lights are dimmed and it makes for an old-school, romantic pizza shop vibe. The cheese pizza was so yummy and we chowed down while drinking fountain soda pop! Such a cool experience!

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I wanted to have a good breakfast on the day we left on Austin, so we dined at the nearby Driskill Hotel, at the 1886 Cafe & Bakery. I finally got to have my Texas-shaped-waffle, haha! My Texas Pecan Waffle was delicious and covered in fresh berries, bananas, and pecans, while Tyler enjoyed an Austin American Breakfast! The hotel itself is absolutely beautiful on the inside and worth a visit!

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The Hope Outdoor Gallery is a GEM. A massive hill filled with walls of graffiti and artwork; so colorful I could cry tears of joy! The climb up is NO JOKE, so wear good shoes. But, the view at the top over Downtown Austin is totally worth it. This is a MUST DO.

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Apparently, it is being moved from the location that it is in during my visit (March 2018), and will be moving in June 2018 – so see their site for details of its location.

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View from the top of Hope Outdoor Gallery

murals

Austin Mural

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725 E. 6th St (on side of building facing I-35)

Rainbow House

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Cute Nail Studio – 1211 E 7th St

Colorful Mountains Mural

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Granny’s Tacos – 1401 E 7th St

A, TX Mural

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The Volstead Lounge – 1500 E 6th St

Selena Mural

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Flat Track Coffee (on the side in the Citgo parking lot) – 1619 E. Cesar Chavez

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Lover or Fighter? Mural

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Somewhere on E. Cesar Chavez between Waller and Comal

Living the Good Life Mural

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1114 E Cesar Chavez

I Love You So Much Mural

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Jo’s Coffee – 1300 S. Congress Ave (on James St corner)

Willie for President Mural

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1423 S. Congress Ave (side of STAG)

SMILE!

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Hey Cupcake! Airstream – 1511 S. Congress Ave

Love From Austin Mural

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1904 S. Congress Ave

Greetings From AUSTIN Mural

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Roadhouse Relics – 1720 S. 1st St

Bienvenidos

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Fresa’s – 1703 S. 1st St

Austin Motel

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Austin Motel – 1220 S. Congress Ave

Love Will Win Mural

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311 W. 3rd St (inside parking garage)

You’re My Butter Half Mural

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United Way – 2000 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd

Hi How Are You Mural

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Thai, How Are You? – 2100 Guadalupe St (corner of W 21st St)

Love is the Question Mural

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Nau’s Enfield Drug – 1115 W Lynn St (Corner of Lynn and 12th)

Erin Condren Mural

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Side of Erin Condren – 11601 Rock Rose Ave

Rainbow Heart Mural

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Domain Northside – 11410 Century Oaks Ter

Austin, Howdy!

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Parlour and Yard – 601 W 6th St

ATX SIGN

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Whole Foods Market – 525 Lamar Blvd (Corner of W 5th and Lamar)

This concludes my Itinerary from Austin. I hope that you enjoyed my blog and please feel free to hit CONTACT to ask me any questions about my trip!

happytravels

All photos are my own and are not to be used without the blogger/photographer’s permission. Thank you.

references.jpg

I am really into travel reading, and so here are some of the sources I used to plan my trip! Hopefully they can help you plan yours as well!

My resources from this trip were actually my favorite Austin Bloggers and Instagrammers! I hope that you will follow them and use them as references for your trip as well.

Rachel Holtin

Rachel shares the most delicious places to eat in Austin as well as wonderful information about events!

Shelby Sorrel

Shelby shares all sorts of colorful and beautiful places around Austin as well as yummy places to eat!
  • Instagram: @shelbysorrel

Rachel Spross

Rachel shares super adorable fashion trends in amazing locations around Austin, as well as her foodie spots!

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Washington D.C. – Perfect 3-Day Itinerary

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Welcome to Washington D.C. (District of Columbia) and my nation’s Capitol! I’m extremely proud to be an American and I love learning about United States history. If you also love history, delicious food, kind people, and beautiful architecture, D.C. is the place for you to visit! So let’s get started on a 3-Day Itinerary…

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Just having my Elle Woods in Legally Blonde moment

Tyler & I flew in through Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, however you can also fly in through Dulles International Airport. We checked into our hotel, Hyatt Place Washington DC National Mall, which we really loved; it is modern, with a convenient location right on the National Mall, and an awesome rooftop bar with a view of the Washington Monument! There is a Metro system here (WMATA), but we mostly walked, and used an occasional Uber or Taxi. We traveled to D.C. in March 2017 before my blog launched, so follow along with me as I share my itinerary!

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The first thing you need to know if you’re visiting D.C. is to BRING YOUR WALKING SHOES! We did a lot of walking here, especially on Day One!

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Note the Comfortable Shoes ^^

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The National Mall stretches from the Capitol Building to the Potomac River; it is 1.9 miles from the Capitol Building steps to the Lincoln memorial! I told you to be ready to walk, haha! With so much to do along the way, it is totally worth it to walk it! We planned our entire day around the sites and museums along the National Mall. The National Park Service has a great interactive map here.

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Our first stop was the Capitol Building, we did not go inside, however, tour information is listed on their website here. The Dome of the building is just gorgeous, and is truly a national treasure! We walked around the steps and saw some of the awesome statues around the front of the building. This is a perfect photo opportunity!

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Although this was my THIRD time to DC, this was Tyler’s first!

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I don’t have a photo from the Air and Space Museum, but here is another @ The Capitol!

Next, we walked a short way to the National Air and Space Museum. Admission is FREE. Tyler is REALLY into aircraft, especially war aircraft (he already knew every plane in this place and was basically my tour guide)! So, we spent most of our time on the “Air” side of the museum, however, since I had been here before, I knew I couldn’t leave without some Space Ice Cream (so weird, but SO good!). For lunch we ate at one of the many Food Stands along the National Mall; there are also many food trucks!

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When we walked up to The White House, Tyler and I could not figure out why we couldn’t get closer! Well, when we saw a crowd gathering at the fence, we figured it out! We actually got to see the President of the United States land at the White House, like… what?! So cool! It was super hard to get a photo with the massive crowd, so we came back the next day; however we snapped some cool photos of the Marine One – the Presidential Helicopter!

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At the time of this post, The Washington Monument is closed (internally) for reconstruction of the elevator until Spring 2019, so we didn’t get to ride up to the top for an awesome view, but we did get to see it in all of it’s glory! The Washington Monument is a 555-foot obelisk to honor George Washington, our first President.

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Tyler & I are both really into war history, so the National WWII Memorial was very important for us to visit!

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Not only is it beautiful, but it honors the 16 million members of the US Military who served, including the 400k who gave the ultimate sacrifice. The Memorial represents the states and territories with 56 pillars, sculptural pavilions representing the Pacific and Atlantic Theatres, a wall of 4,000 gold stars representing those lost, and a beautiful fountain in the middle.

Standing with our home states!

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The Pavilion representing the Atlantic Theatre

This was especially special to us because Tyler’s Great Grandfather served in WWII.

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The National Museum of American History was definitely one of our favorites because we love history so much, especially American history! We had such a fun time going through all of the exhibits; there is SO much here! Like much of the National Mall Museums, this museums admission is FREE. Get to know American Democracy and see the original Star Spangled Banner!

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The wall at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial represents the 58k who gave their lives in service to the United States in the Vietnam War. It is truly beautiful, and many people leave flags and flowers at the base of the wall. It also includes “The Three Men” statue and the Vietnam Women’s Memorial.

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The Lincoln Memorial, with the large sitting sculpture of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, is the final stop in the National Mall. We made it here for sunset and also viewed the Korean War Veterans Memorial after dark (When the statues are lit up, beautiful!), and could see the Tidal Basin across the road. Lincoln saved the Union during the Civil War and was a leader in reinforcing that “All Men Are Created Equal”. This is the place where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have A Dream” speech, and it is truly a moving experience to be in this place.

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My waiter told me that this building used to be an old department store, and with it’s gorgeous art and those chandeliers… it is GORGEOUS. The Hamilton is a MUST DO. The food is delicious (Skillet Mac & Cheese), reasonably priced (especially for the fancy building), and the service was insanely amazing! The waiter told me that they pride themselves on impeccable service and affordable dining! They also have a live music hall!

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Opening in 1856, Old Ebbitt Grill is the oldest saloon in DC! So naturally, we had to stop and have a drink!

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The POV Rooftop @ The W was such an awesome experience! We had a recommendation from a friend, and it didn’t disappoint! With a beautiful rooftop bar overlooking the White House and Washington Monument, this was the perfect last stop of the day to see Washington DC lit up!

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daytwo

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We started Day Two at Arlington National Cemetery. It is hard to put into words how this place makes me feel; I feel pride for my country, respect for those who have served and those we lost, and emotional in honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

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The grounds are beautiful, and it is important to remain respectful and quiet while in the Cemetery. Many funerals, memorials, and public services are happening and it is important to follow the cemetery rules. You would think this goes without saying, but I did notice others talking on the phone, and they were called out.

A MUST DO is seeing the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and seeing the Changing of the Guard. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is where an unknown American soldier from WWI was originally buried on March 4, 1921, and the unknown soldiers of WWII, Korea, and Vietnam were chosen and are also buried. (Read details here: Tomb of the Unknown Soldier). The Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier happens every hour on the hour; you must stand and stay silent for this ceremony.

You can also visit the John. F. Kennedy burial site, and the Eternal Flame. There is a lot of walking here, however there is a tram for those who cannot.

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Thank you to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for my freedom.

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After our visit to Arlington Cemetery, we walked over to the US Marine Corps War Memorial and it’s depiction of Iwo Jima through this statue. I’ve read that this Memorial will have limited access through Spring of 2018, so visit the site above for details before you visit!

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Near the USMC Memorial is the Netherlands Carillon, a gift of a beautiful-bell tower to symbolize Dutch-American friendship. In the Spring, a tulip garden grows, and you can view the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and Capitol Building.

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Next, we went to The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, where we had lunch at the Museum Cafe before our ticket time. Tickets are either reserved ahead of time online ($1) or the day of  (free). Based on the tip of a friend that the tickets sell-out quickly, we reserved our ticket and time-slot online! This museum was incredible, emotional, and 100% a MUST DO in my opinion. The museum gives a chronological narrative over three-floors through the permanent exhibition, The Holocaust, ending in the Hall of Remembrance.

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The Newseum was my favorite museum of DC. Tickets are $25 for two-days, for a four-story walk through of the biggest “news” stories of American history. My favorite current exhibits include Civil Rights, the FBI, Berlin Wall Gallery, The First Dogs, and the 9/11 Gallery – featuring the radio tower from the top of one of the Twin Towers. You can even practice your reporting skills in the NBC News Interactive Room, and get an amazing view of the National Mall from the Terrace.

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Capitol View from Newseum Terrace

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After dinner @ Graffiato, a yummy Italian restaurant by Mike Isabella where we had delicious pasta, we went over to Jack Rose Dining Saloon! They have the most bottles of Whiskey in the Western Hemisphere, over 2,000! Tyler loves whiskey so this was his treat, and we had a wonderful experience!

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The next day, we spent our morning in nearby Georgetown. We explored the city a little bit and I fell in love with the beautiful Row Houses all around Georgetown and DC.

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I also loved walking down the Georgetown Riverfront on the Potomac River! In the Spring, all of the flowers are blooming beautifully.

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This AMAZING place was an absolute MUST DO in Georgetown. Per their website, Dog Tag Bakery‘s goal, “is to build a bridge to business employment and a productive civilian life for returning veterans with disabilities and caregivers that have served our country so well.” They do this by providing an education and employment through a work-study program through Georgetown University. HOW AMAZING IS THAT? Get a pastry and coffee to support a good cause!

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Ah, so how do you  choose between two great cupcake shops!? These two shops are totally different, so I’m going to give you the skinny on both of them!

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Baked and Wired is an adorable cupcake shop located in a gorgeous section of Georgetown! The atmosphere is really chill, and the service is so friendly. I’m obsessed with their design and that sign and that vine (didn’t mean to rhyme!). So what about the cupcakes?!

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I had a Cherry Blossom Cupcake and a Unicorn Cupcake. The “cake” is moist, flavorful, and just the right amount of sweet – I LOVED THEM. The icing is thicker, but compliments the cupcakes well, and the flavor was A-MAZ-ING. The Cherry Blossom Cupcake has real maraschino cherries inside, so delicious.

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PINK, PINK, PINK. This place is so adorable! I loved the pink aesthetic and all of the bling and sparkle! Georgetown Cupcakes were made famous from the show DC Cupcakes on TLC! So cool!

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If you come here, prepare to wait in a line out the door! I pre-ordered my cupcakes so I had no wait. My only complaint is that there are only a few small tables with no outdoor or nearby seating.

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SOOO… what about the cupcakes?! These have hands-down, the BEST frosting I’ve ever had! Light and fluffy and flavorful! Not to mention, look at how cute they are! I had Salted Caramel, Milk Chocolate Birthday, and Cherry Blossom. Check out their website here for daily and monthly specials!

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So… which cupcakes did I like better?! In a PERFECT world, I would combine the cake of Baked and Wired with the frosting of Georgetown Cupcakes!

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Is this not the cutest donut shop you’ve ever seen?! District Doughnut is maybe my favorite Donut Shop I’ve ever been to, and I’ve been to A LOT of them. The service was friendly and the donuts were delicious! And who doesn’t love turquoise!?

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Not only was this donut INCREDIBLE, it was beautiful too! This was a Cherry Pie donut – the cherries were tart, the icing sweet, and the donut was fluffy and delicious!

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In the middle of D.C. there is a huge church painted in all different colors of the rainbow, how cool is that?! This gorgeous place is called Blind Whino and they use the venue for different events; it also includes an art gallery!

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I just had to see this awesome bridge on the Anacostia River at The Yards Park, right near Nationals Park! We had a blast walking around the Capitol Riverfront and sightseeing in this up-and-coming area!

We had some yummy ice cream cones from Ice Cream Jubilee while we sat by the Anacostia River! They have really unique and delicious flavors like Banana Bourbon Caramel and Honey Lemon Lavender!

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In the afternoon we headed over to Union Market to taste-test local cuisine! We had great sandwiches from Red Apron! The market also has a waffles, oysters, ice cream, mediterranean… you name it!

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Y’all know I love murals! The cutest ones are located on the side of Union Market!

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Union Market

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Union Market