Sunday, September 28, 2014

San Diego's Little Italy... A Weekend Getaway!

Little Italy San Diego
Little Italy is one of the most delicious and charming neighborhood's in San Diego. It's only a short two hour drive from Los Angeles making it a perfect place eat good food, explore San Diego, and kick back for a relaxing weekend away. 

There are numerous amazing hotels in San Diego but we picked up a great deal with travelzoo. That included one night at the Porto Vista Hotel, two cocktails the hotel's Glass Door lounge, and a breakfast buffet for two in the morning. 
The Porto Vista Hotel is perfectly located for walking and exploring Little Italy along with the rest of Downtown San Diego. 
The Glass Door is located on the top floor of the Porto Vista and it offers quite an amazing view from the outdoor patio. 
A view of the inside of the Glass Door lounge. 

When in Rome right? But seriously, you're in Little Italy of coarse you're going to need a healthy amount of mouth watering Italian food. There are so many options here are my ultimate favorites for a casual lunch and/or a dinner date. 

Napizza for a simply AMAZING lunch! I've never had pizza like this before so fresh and fluffy I wont even try to explain it.
I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. 
Bencotto Italian Kitchen is a great place for a dinner date, but make sure to make a reservation this please fills up fast for a reason.
"Pasta Your Way" is their specialty add some Italian wine and Bencotto will really live up to the hype.

For more Italian food, because you can never have to much! Make sure to stop by Mona Lisa's before you leave to take some Little Italy home with you. 

Mona Lisa's is a great little must visit Italian market, deli and restaurant.
They offer great selection of Italian, coffees, wines, and foods that make great gifts too. What more can a girl want?
For more things to do in and around Little Italy check out these great resources:
Or leave a comments with your favorite eateries and places!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Walk Through Paris...

It's sweltering hot in Los Angeles today and that has me longing for cooler weather and my favorite fall sweaters. That's why I'm day dreaming about my trip to Paris last fall, which was everything I could have hoped and more! 

On the second day of the trip we took a walk through the heart of the city along the Seine River it was one of my favorite parisian moments and one of the most affordable! 
Metro Station by our Parisian Apartment
We stayed in the 7th arrondissement so we took the metro over to the 4th. 

Walking Up To Hotel De Ville
We got off the metro at Hotel de Ville, where we began our personalized walking tour through the City of Lights. 

From Hotel de Ville we walked over pont d'Arcole to Île de la Cite´ an island in the middle of the Seine river which houses the breath taking Notre Dame Cathedral. 

This is just one shot from the inside of Notre Dame, it's soo beautiful! 
It was late November so the crowd to go inside the cathedral was minimal. We  walked right in I'm so happy we did, because it's absolutely breath taking... and did I mention its free to go inside.

Walking along the left bank of Île de la Cite´
Pont Neuf
After spending a fair amount of time in the cathedral we walked along the river from pont St Michel to point Neuf the oldest bridge in Pairs it was built in 1604. 

Institute de France
Pont de Arts
We settled for a selfie with the famous locks of love
From pont Neuf we walked along the left bank past numerous vendors selling vintage books, paintings and posters. Until, we stumbled upon the Insitute de France which is directly across from  
pont de Arts also know as the bridge of love locks. You may not be able to add a lock of your own to the bridge anymore recently part of the railing collapsed under the weight of the locks. 

The Highlander
One of my favorite thing about Paris is the unexpected. At this point in our journey we were a little cold and had taken a wrong turn only to discover this amazing Scottish pub in a small alleyway. We went in had, a couple of beers and talked with the bar tender who gave a some great recommendations for the rest of our trip. 
The world famous Ladurée
Sitting in a café in Saint-Germain-des-Prés 
One of my must see (more like must indulge) places was Laudrée after all what trip to Paris would be complete without sampling some world class pastries and macaroons. After Laudrée we sat down in a café for a couple warm espressos. 

The Park at the Invalides
Finally, from the Café we b-lined it back to our apartment. Above are some of the shots we took on our way home. Never a dull sight in Paris.
A view of the Eiffel tower from where we were staying.

This is our walk laid out on a map if you ever get the chance I recommend putting on some comfortable, yet stylish shoes and walking the City of Light. I really believe the best way to travel no matter where you are is to get lost and explore as much as possible! If getting lost scares you just remember you can alway open your maps app and know exactly where you are in a split second. Have you ever had a great day walking around and getting lost in your favorite city?   

Sunday, June 30, 2013

California's Central Coast... A Weekend Getaway!

A couple weeks ago for my birthday we headed up the to the central coast. Cambria was our home base, with forgiving traffic its a beautiful 220 mile drive north up the 101 freeway. We had such a great time and I highly recommend spending a few days there when every you need a stress free getaway with a beautiful back drop. Here are just some of the highlights in the area! 

There are a few great hotels in the area, but we picked up a great deal on travelzoo for 2 nights with dinner included.
Cambria Pines Lodge: This is where we stayed, ate, and hung out.
The restaurant is pretty amazing and there is live music in the hotel bar every night.
The hotel grounds are covered with beautiful gardens. 
Hearst Castle:
Possible my favorite part of our trip. Hearst Castle is a short drive north of Cambria. Tours cost $25 a person and are well worth it after the tour you are free to walk the grounds to explore.
All of that is real gold! 
Don't be surprised when you see Zebras on the way to the castle! 
 The Elephant Seals:
Just 4 miles north of Hearst Castle are the Elephant seals, a colony of 7500 seal live in the area and hang out on beaches.
Wine Tasting:
This area is one of California fastest growing vineyard areas and if you ask me they give NorCal a run for their money. You can literally spend an entire weekend wine tasting in and around Paso Robles and still not see everything.
 For  a List of wineries and maps go to
Out in the vineyards
Wild Coyote: This it the only winery I am a member of and it is the 1st place everyone will recommend including me!
Moonstone Beach:
Moonstone beach is a breath taking site. Take a sunset stroll along the board walk and be sure to look out for sea lions and seals swimming in the water or lounging on the rocks.

The Hollywood Bowl... A New Summer Tradition

The Hollywood bowl is a magical place, and one of my summer traditions. There is nothing quite like enjoying live music outdoors, and SoCal's fantastic weather only makes it that much better. Add in a wine and cheese picnic and you have the perfect summer evening!

The LA Philharmonics Hollywood Bowl season runs from June thorough Early October and once the season gets in to full swing shows run almost 4 nights a week. There really is something for everyone anything goes from Theater to Classical. Check out the calendar for a list of this years shows.

Once you decide what to see avoid the outrageous Ticketmaster "convenience" fees, by swing by the box office open between 10am-6pm to pick up no fee tickets. 
Tip: This is a gamble aka not a guarantee but, I find that most LA Phil shows don't sell out so I like to buy the nose bleed tickets, and then move down to the empty mid-level seats once the show starts.
Pack Your Picnic
 One of the things that make The Bowl so great is that you can bring a picnic. 
This is what my Hollywood Bowl picnic basket looks like...
Pack a small cooler and a decent size tote bag.
•  Worry free Wine Glasses. Go with acrylic hassle free and affordable. 
 World Market, a set of 4 only $11.96
• 2 Bottles of  your favorite wine... one is never enough. 
• Fancy sliced cheeses, crackers, grapes, bottled water, freshly sliced cherry tomatoes and cucumbers
• A little something sweet
You can't go wrong at your local Gelsons' bakery!
• A Wine opener, Napkins, and Plastic Bag for trash are important not to forget
• A small blanket to sit on or in case it gets chilly

 Parking & Shuttles
It doesn't have to be a nightmare. If you live close enough to walk do it, but for those that don't I suggest parking at the Hollywood and Highland center, its well worth the 10 minute walk. You wont end up dealing with crazy stacked parking or insane traffic and with a $10 max that is less than half the price of some other lots!      
There are also shuttle options, I've never tried it myself but from what I hear its a pretty good operation.
Park & Ride 
Once Your In:
All you have to do is navigate through the crowd find your seat, open that bottle of wine, and enjoy the show!

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