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Babies and Kids, Fun Places & Things To Do, Travel

Big Sur with Kids

This past Christmas my husband and I spent 3 days in the central California area known as Big Sur. I am sharing our travel tips geared towards travel with kids as we were traveling with a 2 year old and an 8 month old. Hope you get something from it. I welcome any questions and comments. 
The drive from San Diego is just shy of 7 hours. I know what you are thinking….”7 hours in a car with two kids! Are you F ing crazy!” Maybe, but we had no other choice. Travel by air to this area is complicated and we would need to lug around 2 car seats, still rent a car and deal with 4 total hours of security & waiting at an airport. As you can see, we just drove. Load up the tablet with YouTube videos and snacks for the road and we were off. 

Day 1
We took highway 1 from Cambria all the way up to Monterey. This stretch took us a little under 2 hours. If you are prone to motion sickness, you may experience a bit of it as the roads are one way winding, but it is GORGEOUS!

Big Sur
Stopped at a restaurant called Nepenthe. This was a total surprise. Beautiful view, bathrooms (no changing tables) a cute cafe and gift shop. The view was gorgeous and a tranquil place to stop after all that driving.

Photo opportunities at McWay Falls & Bixby Bridge.

Night Monterey
We stayed at the Marriott Monterey and had dinner at Rosines Italian restaurant . The food there was delicious!

Day 2
Monterey Aquarium– LOVED IT! I know that at almost $50 a person for adults and kids over 3 pay it could be hard for most families to go, but if you can stretch your dollar, I total recommend it! The exhibits at the aquarium are some of the best I have ever seen and I’ve gone to quite a few.

Cannery Row– The aquarium is right in this area so walking this area right after or before is convenient. Lined with souvenir shoppes, seafood joints and other cute shoppes!

17 Mile Drive/ Pebble Beach– We then headed to the start of the 17 mile drive. It is about $10 per car, but again worth it. The scenery is gorgeous which makes for awesome Instagram worthy photos. The whole drive took us about an hour or so to complete. This is with us stopping often.

Carmel By The Sea– It is just a short distance from the end of the 17 mile drive. We headed to Ocean drive the downtown area and ate at a very good Greek restaurant called Dametra.
After dinner, we walked down to the beach just in time to play in the sand and watch the amazing sunset.

Day 3

Roaring Camp Railroad- This camp is in the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park national park about an hour north of Monterey. My daughter is totally into trains so I had come across this railroad through a travel group and knew I wanted to bring her. The ride is on an old steam engine open air train which takes you up the mountain. The ride is about an hour and half round-trip. Bring snacks and check the weather. 

Santa Cruz Boardwalk– I lived in New Jersey for several years, and this boardwalk was impressive! It rivals the East Coast boardwalks. Super cute! Lots of rides and carnival game booths.

Fisherman Warf Monterey– Came back for an afternoon stroll and dinner. This pier is lined with your typical tourist souvenir shoppes and restaurants serving mediocre food.We fell for the tourist trap and had dinner here. Nothing spectacular, but again, you eat for the sake of eating and the ambiance.

Day 4

Dennis the Menace Park – Super cute and well thought of park in Monterey. It was designed by the creator of the hit TV show…no wonder it is so well thought of. It is a kids paradise! If you are between 1 and 100 you will like it. Cute view of a man made lake with ducks. You can rent little boats to ride and the park offers endless options for kids.

After a morning at the park, we checked out of our hotel to head back. Overall the trip was a great option for a long weekend getaway.

Babies and Kids, Fun Places & Things To Do, Travel

8 Tips Disneyland with Toddlers

If you are planning a trip to Disneyland and have toddlers read my tips below. I recently visited the magic kingdom with a 2 year old and a 8 month old. I admit I was a bit hesitant to go. I didn’t know if it was worth our time, money and the hassle. However, with proper planning and my tips below your trip to Disneyland can be as magical and awesome as was ours!

  1. Stay at a Hotel WALKING distance.

Even if you are only able to visit Disneyland for one day, book a hotel! There is so much to do and see that you want to take advantage of the entire day. The park does stay open late. This is the day to break all bedtime rules and have fun! Our hotel  Spring Hill Suites was 2 blocks away. We parked the car there and walked to and from Disneyland. 

2. Bring Your Comfortable Stroller.

I can not stress enough how important a stroller is… a COMFORTABLE one! I opt for my tried and true Double BOB stroller. When taking a flight I use the Uppababy G I know that thing is gigantic, but it rides so smoothly and is roomy and my kids can be comfortable in there. Not only that, but the thing is a tank and it can lug around all the crap you need to pack when you travel with kids!  Prep the day before and load that puppy up. Wipes, diapers, snacks, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, etc. 

3. Head Straight to Toontown for Characters.

Ok so Toontown is where Mickey and Minnie live… yep they have houses there and for some reason Mickey has a big’ol house while Minnie house is small :/ come on Disney! Anyway you and your kids will need to wait in line we waited 20/35 mins for each, but it was so worth it! My daughter flipped out when she met Minnie. They have a photographer there taking pics so see tip #5.

4. Download Disneyland App

So like I said they have photographers at all these character experiences and you will want to see the pictures. Well if you have the app, not only can you view the photo gallery you can and SHOULD add the MAXPASS that day its an additional $10 if you add that same day and you have access to ALL the photos taken during your visit. yup ALL the pictures instead of paying $15 each photo! Also the app you can see the wait time for rides, view a map and pre order food so you don’t have to wait in any lines. 

Best day ever

5. Take VIDEOS

Ok so since you have the app and access to photos take VIDEOS when your kids meet their dream characters! My daughter must have watched the video of her meeting Minnie like 100 times the next day! You will get a photo anyway if you do what I suggest above. 

6. Take a Mid Afternoon Break.

Even adults will need a break. Your kids will be tired and being able to walk to your hotel to take a nap and refresh before coming back to the park for the night parades and shows. 

7. Bring Snacks.

Ok so $10 for a corndog is never ok… I mean seriously Disney… I have a love hate relationship with you on this! Not only are kid friendly healthy and inexpensive snacks and food hard to find, when your kid is hungry they need something like NOW, not when you can locate it.  You are able to bring in snacks and water. 

8. Dress in Layers

So we went in December and I thought it would be a bit cold. Thank goodness I dressed us all in layers. I was sweating! Better to remove and put on clothes than to be too hot or too cold. 

Family, Fun Places & Things To Do, Travel

10 Tips For Flying With A Baby

Traveling has always been something my husband and I have loved to do. Sharing with you our 10 tips for flying with a baby is important since we love to travel and never wanted to stop doing it after having babies. Together we have visited  9 countries and countless cities. When our daughter was born we knew we wouldn’t be able to travel as much, but didn’t want to become paranoid parents that didn’t travel in fear of dealing with the temper tantrum kid crying the entire flight. Yes I did fear being THAT mom. Traveling with babies let alone toddlers isn’t easy, but I can assure you it is much better than you think. I have a few tips, but for an ultimate guide please check out FLYING WITH A BABY website.
Here are a few tips

1. WAIT TO TRAVEL WITH BABY UNTIL THEY ARE 3 MONTHS OLD: This is a suggestion given to me by my pediatrician… At 3 months a baby has built a stronger immune system and also has undergone their first major set of vaccines. An airplane is a giant hub for germs even healthy adults can easily pick up a bug and get sick… Let alone a baby.

2. TRAVEL WITH BABY AS MUCH AS YOU CAN BEFORE THEY START WALKING: Once you have a little moving, exploring human being… Well… Things just become a little more challenging as far as keeping their attention for the duration of the flight. So enjoy travel during those months prior to them becoming mobile.

3. ‎BOOK FLIGHTS AROUND THEIR SLEEP SCHEDULE: Especially true for longer flights. When we traveled to Spain, I booked a nonstop evening flight. It was perfect! Babies sleep anywhere from 10-12 hour night stretches. My 15 month old literally slept almost the entire flight. Making a 12 hour flight more bearable when they are only awake for 1-2 hours.

4. ‎BRING A LIGHTWEIGHT STROLLER AND WEAR YOUR BABY: Yes… Wear your baby like as in use one of those baby carrier things. My fave is the Ergo Carrier. This way when you pass through security you don’t have to worry about taking your baby out of the stroller and having to carry them. For strollers I love the Maclaren Quest… has a huge sunshade, operates nicely with one hand and easy to fold and carry. I prefer it over the Uppababy hands down!

5. ‎WHAT TO PACK ON BOARD: On board, you will want to pack an extra set of clothes, bibs, snacks, favorite toys, bottles yes with your milk! At security they will swab it. Never let them open it up… Test should be done to the bottle not the milk.  Extra set of clothes is a must always! I learned the hard way. I had my baby have a nasty poop on a flight and there I was desperately trying to get her clothes out of my check in bag. So instead keep extra with you handy in your baby bag.

6. ‎USE FAMILY PRIORITY BOARDING: Almost all airlines and airports have a designated and usually much shorter line for check in, security and boarding. So ask and look around for this.

7. ‎ASK FOR A BABY COT ON INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS: If you are planning an international flight contact the airline as soon as possible. Not all airlines and flights offer this, but airlines such as British Airways offer a limited amount of them at no cost baby cots. Not only is this a very helpful feature… The seats where these baby cots are located have TONS of leg room. I’m 5′ 8″ and while seating in one of these rows I was able to fully stretch my legs out.

Photo Credit Flying With a Baby

8. ASK FOR EXTRA SEAT: Get to the gate early and ask the agent if there is an empty seat next to you or if there is any way you can be moved next to an empty seat on the plane. 99% of the time they will if the plane is not full. When she was 3 months old we brought the infant car seat with us and at check in asked for empty seat. They quickly accommodated us.

9. ‎NURSE ON TAKE OFF AND LANDINGS:I don’t know if this is an old wives tale, But I did it and recommend you do it anyway! They say the motion of them sucking when breastfeeding helps them to avoid having ear pressure pain.

**When traveling abroad they will make you attach an orange seatbelt to your seatbelt and fasten the baby in it. So keep that in mind so you aren’t caught off guard.

10. MEAN PEOPLE WILL ALWAYS BE MEAN, BUT MAJORITY OF PEOPLE ARE SUPER NICE AND HELPFUL: One of my biggest fears when flying with a baby was that my baby would be that baby who would just cry and cry and cry the whole entire flight AND that I would have to pull a mom rage on some passenger if they happen to say something negative to me… yes I would be that mom that would have the United flight stopped because there was a fight on board! Hahahaha. What I have learned is 99% of strangers are actually extremely helpful and understanding of babies. Luckily we have not come across any negative or rude people and I doubt you will too.

Fun Places & Things To Do, Travel

Ayutthaya day tour for under $40

If you are planning a trip to Bangkok area visiting the ancient original capital of Thailand may be something you want to do. I will share with you how to plan an Ayutthaya day tour for under $40!  With most tours starting at $80 per person this is clearly an easy way to save some money and best… do things on your own terms and time! You can accomplish this tour for much less per person should you be traveling in a group of 4. Ayutthaya was the original capital of the land known as Thailand and still complete with many ruins and a well deserved day visit, but I was not so enthusiastic about spending an entire 8 hour day with a buss full of people so I search for a less expensive method to visit the city on my own terms and time and will share how.

First hope on the very easy to use MTR and head to the National Monument easily accessible via the MTR. Exit National Monument and head towards the outer rims of the square to look for ticket stands and white minibuses.

vic monumentbangkok_victorymonument_tickets

Just ask anyone for the bus to Ayutthaya and someone is sure to point you to the right bus.
Fully air conditioned,  clean and seat about 12 passengers the round to Ayutthaya will set you back 60  baht ($2 USD). Minibus looks like this:


We hopped on and were met by a group honeymooning also from Spain a father and son traveling from France, a loan woman traveling from mainland China and 3 other locals headed back home. After about an 1 and a half journey you will be dropped off in what seems a rather shady little stop in Ayutthaya where there is likely to be a tuk tuk driver or two. The tuk tuk drivers charge $200 baht per hour to drive you around.  That is the going rate. You can try to negotiate less, but hey 200 baht is already a steal!  The tuk tuk fit up to 4 adults comfortably do not attempt to squeeze in more… You will hate yourself for it.
Although these drivers are NOT tour guides they know the area well enough to guide you to the must see ruins. You can either do your homework before your trip or guide yourself by the English written signs outside each ruin.
All the attractions have a fee to enter and vary between 20 to 100 baht.

Ayutthaya is a big city.  I do not recommend trying to view everything by foot as everything is spread out quite far.  I also do not recommend viewing by bike on any of the hot months…  Walking around alone makes you sweat as if you are in a sauna let alone peddling on a bike! Scooters are at your own risk. I found the rounds to be too risky with drivers driving however they wanted and at speeds not recommended. Best bet is to hop on a tuk-tuk and be driven around everywhere you want to go.

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Enjoy Ayutthaya!!  Travel Often!

Fun Places & Things To Do, Travel

How to get to Sheraton Hotel Towers Hong Kong for Under $10

Hong Kong is synonymous for skyscrapers, crowded streets & intimidating transportation, but getting to this hotel is as easy as 1,2,3!

The easiest and least expensive option is to take advantage of the Sky Train. Airport sky train signs are located throughout the departure zone just follow those to the kiosks where English speaking customer service can help you.

Buy a 1 way ticket for or a round-trip for $90HK prices as of August 2015.

The train is extremely clean and plenty of room for you and your luggage.
You will take the airport express train to Kowloon station where you will get off and take the shuttle bus labeled K4.

Be sure to present your airport pass as it is a complimentary service with any airport train pass.

The K4 bus makes its first stop at the Sheraton Towers Hong Kong. Wahlah! You have arrived and now it is time to enjoy beautiful and innovative Hong Kong.

Fun Places & Things To Do, Travel

3 Day Itinerary at Beyond Krabi Resort

Our first stop in our 2 week visit to Thailand included 3 days in the beautiful scenic area of Krabi. Here is my 3 itinerary for Krabi. If you can spend an entire week lounging on the beach then that is great, but being from Southern California we decided to just stay 3 days and head to other areas of Thailand, But Krabi stayed in our hearts and we loved it!

While in Krabi we decided to stay at a resort located about 3 miles from the Aonong center. We stayed at Beyond Krabi Resort and so glad that we did. The resort is on a beautiful property landscaped perfectly and the rooms well kept and clean. The lobby is spectacular as it overlooks the Adaman Sea and the resort is fully stocked with a gorgeous infinity pool and lounge chairs. Check out this hotel!



Staying here means you are not walking distance to the Aonong downtown if you are into more of a touristic feel then you may want to opt to stay cost to Aonong. The hotels near downtown seem a little more dated and the amenities are not the same. From Beyond Krabi Resort you can easily take a tuk tuk for about 30p bhat or taxi for 409bhat. We decided to rent a scooter for 300bhat all day to go around the beach town. TIP: leave a cash deposit instead of your passport.

We rode our scooter to Aonong and then for 100 baht took a long tail taxi about a 10 minute ride to Railey Beach. I loved Railey beach! Very calm beautiful warm waters. Walk to the east bay via the main road and then walk through the monkey trail to get to Phrang Nang Bay another gorgeous beach! Here you can eat great food right on the beach from one of these little beach long tail cafe boats. Fully stocked!


Enjoying our yummy Thai chicken!!!

Second day we reserved a snorkeling tour to Phi Phi Islands which we reserved through a local tour guide located right outside of our hotel. The tour made a stop at Maya Bay where the movie The Beach was filmed and then a stop at Emerald Bay for snorkeling.. Both were breath taking!
Once we finally reached Phi Phi I was greatly disappointed… It was a run down, over crowded tourist trap. It was dirty and there was little to no charm… all the other islands and beaches were much more prettier than Phi Phi Islands.

Our third and final day we spent it at our lovely resort enjoying of Thai massages on the beach, cocktails and complete relaxation!

Happy Travels!

Fun Places & Things To Do, Travel

Where Should I Stay In New York

Where should I stay in New York? If you are visiting NYC I am sure you have asked yourself this many times. WIth a city so small in size you wonder why it is so hard to figure out where you should stay in New York. It is quite intimidating when you do not know the city. It is like finding a needle in a haystack. So I hope this NYC hotel guide can help. I hope this task of finding a hotel room to book can be made easier with my where you should stay in New York Guide. If you need help or would like to know How To get cheap flights I detail it here. If you only have 48 hours in New York click here to check out right my recommended itinerary to see this magnificent city if all you have is 48 hours.

Knowing a little bit about the New York City neighborhoods can help you while you are searching for a place to stay.

Where should I stay in New York

Where should I stay in New York


Staying anywhere south of Lincoln Square and 86th street on the upper east side is a pretty safe bet. Manhattan is so small you can easily reach any area of the city that you want to see. The first time I ever visited NYC I went on a spur of the moment weekend trip while I was in college I stayed near Time Square and walked all the way down to soho! Some neighborhoods I would suggest not staying in are: East Village, Chinatown, ABC city, lower east side, little Italy and 8th avenue between 34th – 42nd street is full of porn shops and liquor stores not very pleasant to walk back to at night.

In NYC you will find an array of hotels to choose from. There are national and worldwide brands, boutique hotels and small economy hotels. You may be scared by the cost of these hotels. If you have been doing some hotel research and trying to book a place you have already learned that this is not a cheap place to rent a hotel room. Even the crummiest places and those far from the city could easily run you $100 a night. For the budget conscious traveler I suggest visiting NYC on a Sunday thru Thursday. There really is no low season here as there are always tourist, but the higher seasons are December, May thru August. Some of my favorite budget hotels are:


Hilton Garden Inn Midtown West

Hilton New York- Fashion District

The Jane Hotel- West Side along Hudson

Four Points SheratonWest Village

The Pod 39 Hotel- Murray Hill

The Cosmopolitan- Tribeca

The Bentley Hotel- Upper East Side


Lately a new thing that has taken a lot of popularity is New Yorkers putting up there apartments for rent via sites like . I personally have rented my apartment via this website when I would be away on my own vacation. Pay attention to the neighborhood they have their apartment for rent and read there reviews.

For those people who want to pretend to be trust fund babies or get a glimpse of the glitzy NY lifestyle here are my top picks for the coolest hotels you want to be seen in and that will not deplete your 401K fund. These hotels come stocked with luxe amenities like feather-filled duvets, 42-inch plasma TVs, L’Occitane products and Skype/Bluetooth-enabled phones


The Gansevoort – Meatpacking District

The Standard – Meatpacking District

The Thompson Lower East Side

NightTime Square

Ace Hotel – Midtown South


If you have no budget and you are living the rich and famous lifestyle there here is a list of New Yorks most luxurious hotels.

The St. Regis- Midtown East

The Plaza – Midtown East

The Mandarin Oriental – Upper West Side

Trump Soho – Soho

Four Seasons New York Midtown East

The Peninsula Midtown East


So whether your way is to go budget or live a little New York has a something for all taste! Enjoy your trip and again if you need a little guide check out my     48 hours in NYC guide RIGHT HERE.

EAT Well and Travel Often!









Buzz & Bella, Fun Places & Things To Do, Travel

Charleston to Savannah

From Charleston to Savannah this is a great 3 day itinerary to Charleston SC and Savannah Georgia with dogs! Yup I brought my little clan along for the vacation. Being in the architectural and design industry I have a love for great architecture and design so visiting these two cities was a little treat for me. This is an itinerary for 3 full days in southern hospitality of Charleston to Savannah. So the food lover and architecture and a little old world charm this is a great trip to take if you live in an urban area. In this trip we spent 2 days in Charleston to Savannah for 1 day. Unless you love old colonial architecture then Savannah, Georgia may just be a great day trip rather than an entire week or even a weekend.

A little bit of advice before I go into a suggested 3 day itinerary both these cities hotel pricing is rather high considering the size of the city and the lack of 4 star accommodations. In fact, the lack of hotel accommodations is what drives the prices up. You will find plenty of bed & breakfast and small hotel chains that offering lodging. I suggest going to sites like or to book a hotel.

2nd tip is if you are on a diet or cannot consume heavy fried foods then you may want to pack a lunch! Just kidding! Truth is the south is not known for “healthy” food and you will experience a major withdrawal of vegetables, salads and anything grilled or steamed. So be prepared and be warned. I am a foodie, but one thing I cannot do is fried foods so I had to find many alternatives to the fried foods.


Day 1- Charleston, Isle of Palms and Downtown

Morning – We traveled to Charleston with out two Boston Terriers, so it was a “family” trip. No I do not have many suggestions for things to do with kids I will share with you one place you MUST go to and bring your four legged kids to.

Visit James Island County Park. This dog oasis is awesome! I wish I could transport it to my home town so I have somewhere just as cool to take my puppies to. Admission to the park is a whopping $1 and parking is free. The park actually has much more than just a dog park with nature preserve, trails, beaches and places to play sports.  We came here in the early part of the day. Those are my two dogs in the pic the white one to the left and the flying black Boston Terrier.

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If you do not havpuppies head to Folly beach which is just 5 minutes south of here. Folly beach is the more “popular” beach for tourist. Has a board walk and places to lounge and enjoy the sun.

Mid day- We headed north of Charleston to one of my favorite beaches Isle Of Palms.

SC Beach Sc Beach Mark Muscles SC Beach Pups

On our way there we stopped to have lunch at one of our favorite fast food places that unfortunately  only exist in the south Raising Canes. Best chicken fingers ever!! My boyfriend is from New Orleans where it originated so we are a bit partial to it. Once at Isle of Palms I suggest heading to the north side of the beach anywhere north of  27th avenue but south or 41st avenue. Parking here is free and you can avoid the crowds and chill with the locals. This beach is dog friendly. Woof-woof! So my Buzz and Bella came along. The water was incredibly warm and just the perfect amount of waves to frolic in the beach or boogie board if you wanted to.

Evening– We headed to downtown Charleston and had dinner at Poogan’s Porch, on Queen Street. I ate fried alligator here! WTH was I thinking?? The food and service were 5 stars! highly recommend making reservation or you will be waiting a long time. Hyman’s Seafood restaurant is also a great place for low-country cuisine. Also be prepared for a long wait. The cool thing is they do hand out crab fish and other fried seafood to those waiting outside to be seated. After dinner we walked along the board walk near Waterfront Park  and enjoyed the calmness of the city. We happened to be there on a forth of July so we enjoyed the fireworks overlooking the Arthur Ravenel Jr. bridge.


Day 2  – Savannah Day Trip

Savannah is approximately a 2 hour car ride from Charleston. It is an easy commute and on a holiday weekend we experienced no traffic. I recommend taking a tour around the city. We personally used Old Savannah Tours as our choice. Guess what? They are pet friendly! So our Buzz and Bella traveled along with us throughout the day.


This is a great choice to get in and around Savannah. You can get off and get back on at multiple spots throughout the city.  Make sure you take some time to stop and enjoy one of the beautiful squares. Drink a cold drink on a bench with someone as you people watch and take in the uniqueness and beauty of this little city.

Make sure you head down to River street and city market. Both are a  great place full of people watching, live music, gift shops, restaurants and more! We grabbed dinner here at the Shrimp Factory.

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Day 3 – Isle of Palms and Charleston

 This days itinerary can be reversed meaning go to the beach during the day and Charleston in the afternoon. You decide but this is what we did.


Day –  We stayed in downtown Charleston and walked along King street which is full of specialty shops and places to eat. You will have plenty to see if you just relax and enjoy wandering around the city.  Head to Battery Park known for its beautiful homes that line the street.

Fort Sumter National Monument — the location of the official start to the Civil War — is accessible via the Fort Sumter Ferry Terminal on Sullivan Island (20 minutes from downtown Charleston).

Downtown Charleston

Downtown Charleston


Afternoon – We couldn’t resist going back to Isle of Palms for more beach fun! We arrived this day to the beach around 5pm. I know kind of weird to go so late, but to my surprise it was still gorgeous outside! The water was incredibly warm in fact we stayed and swam until the sun was setting. What can be more romantic than a sunset at the beach?? Not a whole lot!  Afterwards we headed to the cutest little cantina south of Isle of Palms to Sullivans Island called Taco Mamacita. It doesn’t beat my southern California Mexican tacos, but it wasn’t bad at all. The atmosphere was great and it was a wonderful way to end a nice 3 day vacation to the area.


Remember to EAT Well and TRAVEL Often! 🙂 The Nguyens!

Fun Places & Things To Do, Travel

Italy In Two Weeks

Italy is an incredible country with so much to see and do. Imagining spending only a few days would be a travesty, but Italy in two weeks can be quite enjoyable. I have had the fortune to travel to Italy two times this post is about my most recent trip where I revisited certain must see places and explored new places. I have detailed my Italy in two weeks trip below.

I have traveled to Italy in late September and in the spring, both have turned out to be wonderful times to visit. If I had a suggestion for you I would travel in September after schools start and are in session, prices drop, weather remains beautiful and you do not have to deal with the summer crowds.  My tip as the savvy traveler that I am is to look for flights departing and returning on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. I much rather save little money on a flight that leaves on a Tuesday rather than feel I have to travel on a Friday like the rest of the people. The money I save on booking cheap flights is allocated to better hotels and paying for things to do when I get there. If you want to learn more about How To Buy Cheap Airplane Tickets go HERE.  The following is a link to my post where I detailed a 3 day itinerary of Rome. Click here to read up on your 1st 3 days in ROME. Then you can continue with the remaining days of my Italy in two weeks itinerary.

Day 4 Italy

From Rome on our 4th day we took a train from Rome Central train station to Naples. Although I have visited Naples before on a past trip to Italy, on this one it didn’t make the cut and we simply arrived to head to the port to catch a ferry to the island of Capri. I suggest you take a hydro ferry for an additional $10-15 EURO more. The hydro ferry takes about 45 minutes to arrive. If you are prone to sea sickness you will defiantly want to make sure you take proper medication because it sure can get bumpy! Once you arrive to Capri you will find super cool convertible taxi like this one

Italy In Two Weeks

Italy In Two Weeks


Make sure to ask if your hotel offers free service pick up from the port to the hotel, ours did so we hopped in. For our two night stay in Capri we stayed at the Hotel Weber Embassador. We loved it! Clean rooms, beautiful location and great service! I booked it via 

After check in we used our first night in Capri to head downtown for a stroll and some dinner. Food in Capri is quite expensive and in my opinion tasteless. I stuck to a wine and gelato diet again, but if you must eat, eat the seafood!


Day 5 in Italy and Day 2 in Capri


This day we chartered a private boat tour Around the island we used . This was by far one of the coolest and most relaxing experiences! A must do! We sailed through the whole island sipping lemincello and stopping in the middle of the Mediterranean, to jump in for a swim. We went to the famous blue grotto which is the biggest tourist trap. Instead of waiting for hours to get in and paying a hefty cost our driver took us to our own grotto.  I couldn’t resist to jump into the Mediterranean ocean. My swimsuit matched the color of the ocean…turquoise blue!

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Afterwards we grabbed lunch and headed up to the highest point in Capri Mount Solaro. You have a choice of hiking up or take the chairlift up to the summit. We took the chairlift…much easier! The view for up here is breathless!








Day 6 in Italy Day 3 in Capri.

This morning we woke up to do some swimming in the pool and had lunch downtown. We said our goodbyes to this enchanting island and took the ferry back to Naples and from Naples took the high speed bullet train Trenitalio check out my blog about it here. 

To Florence. We arrived in Florence in the evening checked into our hotel and went on a night stroll through the stresses. Florence is a very diverse city. Millions of college students, foreigners have called this their home. You can find a variety of great restaurants, good food and great prices oh and tons of great shopping! Florence is known for its leather products make sure you do your research before hand to know what type of leather is real and better.

Day 7 Italy  Florence Day 2

We used this day to head to Pisa and Lucca and evening in Florence. Take the local train from Florence main station to Pisa. In Pisa of course the must see sight is the leaning tower of Pisa. You have to see it to believe it. Pretty incredible sight to see it leaning so much. Take your cheesy pictures and then from Pisa we took a local bus that you can catch right on the main street in front of the Leaning Tower to Lucca

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Lucca is a beautiful medieval town that still has its original walls standing. It is all walled in. You can rent bikes for a few euro from many vendors and bike around the city. That is what we did and had an amazing time!

We spent a few hours here (which is all you will need) and then took the bus back to Florence to arrive in time well before sunset.

If you do not know already, I am a major sucker for sunsets. I love them! I think they are magical and beautiful. Every place I travel too I try to schedule a day to watch one from some of the most beautiful points in the city. In Florence I decided to head to Piazzale Michelangelo which is a famous square with a magnificent panoramic view of Florence, Italy. It is very romantic and anyone could easily fall in love with the city and with the person you are with.


Day 8  Florence

Since this was my second trip to Florence I didn’t revisit many of the museums like I had in the past, but if it your first trip then you must go see Michelangelo’s sculptured master piece: David. This is housed at Accademia di Belle Arti Firenze  We spent this day in Florence checking out all the shopping, visiting the many italian shops. I also suggest you go see The Ponte Vecchio the Medieval stone closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge over the Arno River, in Florence, Italy.

Day 9  Cinque Terre

One of my friends suggested I visit Cinque Terre when he heard I was going to be traveling to Italy and thank goodness I listened! I had no idea what the Cinque Terre was and in my original Italy in two weeks plan it was not included and did not think I would have the time for it, but good thing we went!  The Cinque Terre is a rugged portion of coast on the Italian Riviera. “The Five Lands” is composed of five villages: Monterosso al Mare,VernazzaCornigliaManarola, and Riomaggiore.I didn’t have too much time to dedicate to the area we decided to do a 1 day trip. I found a great trip on the website Viator. Check it out they have a lot of great ones.

After the trip, I was quite happy that we did the one day trip and that we only spent one day. You will agree with me if you ever visit because each town is quite small and can easily be seen and experienced in a few hours so staying several days if you’re a little more adventurous like me… may bore you.


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Day 10

Florence by Day and Afternoon train trip to Venice.


Day 11   Venice

We opted to stay at a hotel that was located outside of the main island of Venice. We stayed at the Anthony Palace Hotel.   The hotel was amazing! Very modern clean and offered a car service for a few Euro that took you to Venice main transportation hub. We took this early morning and then began exploiting Venice. Unless you are really into theater  or crowds on tourist in little tight space, I personally feel you can see and experience all that Venice has to offer in one day. By 6pm that evening we were all Veniced out and ready to head back to the hotel. We finished that evening at the spa and relaxing.

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Day 12 Fly Home or Plan a Long Layover 

Our flight home had us stopping in Amsterdam with a 8 hour layover, so what did we do? Sit in the airport and read magazines? Get a massage? Nope! We took the train from the airport to downtown and went on a boat tour though the Amsterdam canals!   The train trip to the center of Amsterdam is approximately 20mins. Once you arrive you will see directly across the street a tour operators for these canal cruises. It’s a great way to see the city if you are limited with time.  The tour last 1.5 hours and again well worth it if you have limited time like we did!

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So there you have it my Italy in two weeks agenda. Italy is the type of country you can easily fall in love with. I do not recommend only going for 2 weeks, but if that is all you have then Italy in two weeks is possible and you will greatly enjoy it!

Happy travels to all!

P.S On my last Italy adventure of 2 weeks I visited these cities: Milan, Verona, Siena, Florence, Rome, Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento. That is a whole different itinerary will share later. Italy has so many places and cities to visit going for only 2 weeks it is impossible to explore everything, but it is sure better than not going at all!

Fun Places & Things To Do, Travel

48 Hours in New York

Got only 48 Hours in New York? Not a problem! Experience the empire state of mind in New York on this 2 day itinerary having only 48 hours in New York will be just enough to enjoy the sights and sounds! Having lived in the city and worked in the city for over 8 years I have my fair share of knowing the ins and outs and all the local cool places to go to so you have one hell of an experience in NYC! Although this itinerary could be followed by anyone on any 2 consecutive days I tailored it to a Thursday night arrival and departure of Sunday evening. Now if you are visiting the big apple and only have 48 hours in NYC then check out my other article of a fun Girls Night Out in NYC article I wrote.

Day One – Friday

No other place in America has as authentic of a Chinatown as we do here in NYC. Whether you are a fan or not trying out the traditional Chinese breakfast called “dim sum” is something everyone should do if not for the flavor, for the experience. I suggest a weekday because if you decide to go on a weekend expect to wait at least 45mins to 1 hour to be seated. Once you are down here you can easily head to lower Manhattan to catch a boat tour around NYC or one that goes to Statue of Liberty.

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48 Hours In New York

48 Hours In New York

After your trip to Ellis Island or around the river you can make It to the 911 Memorial. Make sure you preregister for tickets on the desired date you want to go. While you are in the area walk through famous Wall street and feel what the energy is like.

For lunch I would head back into Chinatown and have lunch at Chinese restaurant. One of my faves is eating “soup dumplings”. My favorite place to go is Shanghai Cafe. While in Chinatown buy all your tourist souvenirs here. They are the cheapest and best selection! “I Heart NY shirts” galore!! You are only a few block from little Italy where you can then grab a canola at the many bakeries to fuel you for the 2nd half of your tour. I like to go to Ferrera Cafe & Bakery.

From Chinatown I would catch the F subway line to York Street where you will arrive to a neighborhood called “DUMBO” which stands for Directly Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. You can walk towards the waterside and catch an incredible view of the Manhattan sky line. When you return to Manhattan head east to south street seaport area.

48 Hours in New York

48 Hours in New York

By this time in the day you will probably want to head back to your hotel and freshen up for the sunset and evening. Head to the Gansevoort Hotel rooftop bar and lounge to watch the sunset over the Hudson river. If nightlife is your scene then you are right in the middle of it! The Meat packing district is full of poshy places. If it is too stuffy for you then leave now and head to Magnolia Bakery to try their famous goodies.



Breakfast: Dim Sum in Chinatown

Boat Tour of NYC

Statue of Liberty

911 Memorial

Wall Street


Lunch: Eat at Shanghai Café Soup Dumplings

Little Italy – Desert canolis

Brooklyn Bridge

South Street Seaport


Rooftop Gansevoort Hotel Sunset off the Hudson

Walk along Highline Park

Magnolias Bakery

Meat Packing Area


Day Two – Saturday

This day I would focus on the cities midtown and upper east and west side. Start your day with a boozy brunch at Calle Ocho. Make a reservation. It is a boozy brunch spot that has a sangria bar! Yup over 20 to chose from. To wash down that food take a walk over to central park entering through 72nd street and Central Park west and walk to the reservoir and the great lawn so you can witness Manhattans … grassy beach. People laying out if you are there in the summer…or witness the fall foliage or the snow covered trees. No matter the season, Central park is beautiful!

48 Hours in New York

48 Hours in New York


You can rent a bike and travel by bike or simply walk along the many paths. Exit through the east side and you will arrive at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. NYC has many museums and you can easily spend an entire weekend at all. I appreciate art and do love it, but with limited time I would select only 1 to go to and visit.

From here walk south to 59th and 5th ave where you will come across one of many Apple stores in NYC. Stay on 5th Ave and walk south to experience the world renowned shopping district. If you stay on 5th ave until 34th street you will arrive at another monument the Empire State Building. The trip up to the 86th floor will put you back $25 but it is well worth it. Head up and take in the impressive skyline and take pictures. When you are done you are only 1 block from Korea town. I love eating Korean fried chicken. If you have never tried it, it is a must! There is Bonchon or a place called Mad for Chicken(a hidden gem and looks like you are walking to a dingy office, but the food is great!) Stay on 5th Ave. and walk south to 23rd street where you will bump into the famous Flat Iron building. At Madison square park you can catch lunch at the famous Shake Shack if fried chicken isn’t your thing. Must try these and a milk shake! Walk into Eataly which is a new very cool Italian market place.Upstairs there is a rooftop beer garden .

Head to the east village for dinner at Ippudo and all the many spots to eat nick knacks and then back up to midtown for a Broadway show in Time Square. Be sure to walk up the red steps After the show you can grab desert at New York’s finest and famous cheesecake Juniors or you can walk towards 6th Ave. and see Radio City music hall and then head up to Serendipity for dessert there. (except to be waiting)



Brunch:Calle Ocho

Central Park – bike ride

Metropolitan Museum

5th Ave shopping


Hop on Off Bus Tour

Empire State Building

Lunch:Korea Town Mad For Chicken

Madison Square Park


East Village

Dinner: Ippudo

Time Square

Broadway show

Serendipity for desert

Juniors Cheesecake

230 5th Fifth Rooftop


Day Three – Sunday

Try to plan a return flight that leaves late. You can always leave your luggage at the hotel and then return to pick it up and make it to the airport in time for your flight home.

If there was another hotel you wanted to visit or some shopping you were not able to do use today to do that.