#109 Treat Yourself Tuesday

We are taking a quick break from #pumpkinweek2015 this morning to share our weekly treats! It’s not a Tuesday without Treat Yourself Tuesday, right?

If you’re disappointed in the lack of pumpkin in this post, maybe this will hold you over until tomorrow ;)

Treat Yourself Tuesday Badge

But enough chatting… Let’s talk treats! I plan on sharing our Key West vacay – eats, where we stayed, what we did, etc. – next week but since the trip involved all of my treatin’ last week, I’m going to do a little photo recap. It was a fun, long weekend so come back if all things wine, delicious food, and roosters roaming around an island intrigue you!

Cruisin’ down to Key West on the Key West Express! Bright Dark ‘n early so there was a gorgeous sunrise and mimosas to be had.

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Dean loved it… Kyle and I got a little green in the face with an hour left in the trip. Let’s just say we will be driving next time ;)

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First stop… A chocolate-covered piece of key lime pie on a stick, for Kyle.

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Photo at Dean’s second hotel stay. We stayed at Eden House and it was great! More info to come :)

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LOTSA swimming. We have a little fishy on our hands!

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Family photo – Not the best of us but we are all dressed well ;)

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Wine. LOTS of wine. Wine at happy hour and dinner and just for fun ;) And we found THE BEST wine bar ever. Uva. Go there if you visit Key West, no excuses.

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A solo morning run followed by a family walk on a gloomy Friday morning… We laughed at all of the roosters and randomly roaming the island.

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Cuddles with The Deanster.

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Naptime… at least for the baby.

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And the FOOD. OMG the food. Definitely more to come on this – So so SO good!

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Whew! How’s that for a photo dump? I’ll be back next week with more details :)

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Now it is your turn! Tell me how you treated yourself over the past week – Best eats, best purchase, best glass of wine?

And we’re off!

My alarm rang dark and early this morning (ahem… 4am…) and we were out the door by 6am to catch our cruise to Key West!

Say a little prayer for me as I hope that I’m not currently seasick on the 3.5 hour trek. Oh man, that would be miserable, especially since we have Dean with us! But we’re only having positive thoughts here this morning so let’s assume that I’m currently enjoying a mimosa while sunning myself on the top deck ;)

This is my first trip in – oh I don’t know – FOREVER, that I have left my ‘puter at home. I’m looking forward to minimal screen time with the exception of Insta, because I have a slight addiction – or as I prefer to say, love of staying up-to-date ;)

Make sure to follow me here and here for gorgeous island photos!

Here’s to a fun-filled vacay full of tasty happy hour drinks, delicious eats, unique shopping, long beach walks, sweaty running, family pool time, and a whole lotta relaxation!

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(Recycled photos… Top photo taken at a Naples beach and above was from last August in Vegas.)

And for all of you who have been to Key West before… Please share any restaurant/bar/activity recommendations in the comments below! Thanks a million :)

#92 Treat Yourself Tuesday

Y’all. I have no clue what day of the week it is at this point in my life.

Apparently a lack of sleep (although it hasn’t been THAT bad), and caring for a baby will do that to ya. Thank goodness for Treat Yourself Tuesday’s… it at least keeps me on track for one day each week ;) #momprobs

Treat Yourself Tuesday Badge

Since it is Tuesday – at least I think it is, haha! – let’s jump into the treats :)

My biggest treat from the past week was this weekend. It was such a treat and I am still feeling so blessed and grateful for the experience.

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Eating lots and lots of cookies… Sometimes ya just need some chocolate!

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Technically this is a treat for Kyle, but he received this book from his brother and sister for his birthday. I am looking forward to treating myself to some of these meals ;)

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When Dean was born, Kyle’s parents gifted us a week’s worth of meals from Fit Fresh Foods, a healthy meal service in Naples. Since we were busy over the weekend, and grocery shopping with a newborn is next to impossible, we decided to cash in and treat ourselves to our meals this week. Last night we had a delicious Cuban-style beef dish served with a sweet potato-rice pilaf. Tonight is pesto chicken along with some veggies (can’t remember exactly what it is!) and I’ll find out our other two dinners when I pick them up tomorrow. The service is surprisingly affordable and we may look into it if we ever have a super busy week or month! And, it is a total treat to not have to worry about preparing dinner.

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I treated myself (and Dean) to surviving one month of parenthood! It wasn’t as difficult as I expected (knock on wood…) and we all lived. Woohoo! I plan on writing a little one month update after his appointment on Thursday :)

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And finally, a humble brag… A HUGE treat (mainly because I cannot buy an entirely new wardrobe) is that I mostly fit back into my pre-preggo shorts! They’re a bit tighter than they were, but again, it has only been one month. I am looking forward to getting back to the gym – and to running! – to tone up and get back to wearing my clothes a bit more comfortably.

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How did you treat yourself this week? Have you tried a meal service before?

#41 Treat Yourself Tuesday

Whew – This weekend was SO much fun and it went by way too quickly. Isn’t that the way it is with any vacation?

I can’t wait to share my long weekend in Colorado with y’all, but for Treat Yourself Tuesday today, I’m going to share a few highlights and then go into more detail later on this week. Mmmkay?

Treat Yourself Tuesday Badge

If you’re new to TYT, head over here to read about why I am a supporter and advocate for treating ourselves – even in the smallest of ways – everyday! I promise you will fall in love with the idea and once you do, please link up below :)

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Stunning. Beautiful. Picturesque. Anyway you choose to describe it, Colorado is absolutely gorgeous and I was happy to treat myself to amazing views over the weekend.

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An unexpected treat was a lack of cell phone service. Unless we were in downtown Estes Park or I was connected to the wi-fi at the cabin, I had zero cell phone service. At first I freaked out and went through some serious withdrawal symptoms, but then I took advantage of it. No Insta. No texts. No Facebook or Twitter. No blogging. Nada. I was completely unplugged and had to commit myself to the sights and sounds of nature. Shockingly enough, it wasn’t half bad ;) I think I may have to unplug (100%!!) more often.

Another unexpected treat was a SUPER comfortable, memory foam, king-sized bed. O to the M to the G. I don’t think I have ever slept so well in my life. Kyle and I both agreed that we will be purchasing one of these when we move to a bigger place.

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There were lots of food treats this weekend (more details coming your way tomorrow!) including this delicious California burger and sweet potato fries from our Friday exploration in Denver.

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And Monster Mix. My dad showed up with a big ol’ tub of this goodness. I couldn’t have been happier.

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And beer. I mean, when in Rome Colorado ;)

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I have always wanted a fun planking photo, so when we stopped at a lookout along our RMNP (Rocky Mountain National Park) drive, I knew I had to take advantage. Now I have a cool plank photo and am going to spam it alllllll over the internets, hehehehe! #treatyoself

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On Monday morning before our flight left for Chicago, Kyle and I went on a run (okay, I ran almost died, he walked…) and then took some time to explore the little mountain town of Estes Park. The Big Thompson River runs through the downtown area and between the sounds of the river and the views of the mountains, it’s one of my favorite places ever. Like ever ever.

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Between hiking, delicious eats, coffee, wine, spending time with family, sleeping, exercise, fresh mountain air and taking in the quietness of a mountain town, the entire weekend was one big treat. I’m so happy Kyle and I had the chance to get away and I cannot wait to share more of my trip with y’all!

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How did you treat yourself this week?

#24 Treat Yourself Tuesday

Happy Tuesday!!

Besides this post, I haven’t given you any details about my trip to Jamaica yet! Today I’m going to share bits and pieces of how I treated myself while on the gorgeous island last week :)

Treat Yourself Tuesday Badge

If you’re new to TYT, head over here to read about why I am a firm supporter and advocate for treating ourselves – even in the smallest of ways – everyday! I promise you will fall in love with the idea and once you do, please link up below :)

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Drinks. Oh the drinks! Fruity cocktails full of rum galore! Pineapple drinks, martinis, Miami Vices and Pina Coladas – alllll were enjoyed each day while in Jamaica.

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Relaxing. The most difficult activity I had each day was walking to my beach chair and then to the pool chair and then to the beach bar and then to the restaurant. Oh and lifting the above mentioned fruity cocktails to my lips ;)

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Eating. Eating and eating and eating some more. French toast and bagels with lox and fish, LOTS of fish. The resort was loaded with delicious eats and I definitely treated myself to tasty meals.

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Quality time with Kyle. Between work and our other obligations at home in Chicago, we don’t have a ton of time to spend together during the weeks. It was nice to have 9 full days to just relax, hangout and enjoy each others’ company.

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Reading. I finished one book (P.S. Read Middlesex – it’s an interesting read!) and am almost done with a second book. This must be some kind of record for me :)

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Finding exercise in everyday activities. Overall, I was pretty lazy during our vacation, I did fit in some moves each day – waterfall climbing, stand-up paddle boarding and swimming!

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Make sure to stay tuned, I have more details on specific eats, drinks and the Jamaican resort to come!

How did you treat yourself this past week?

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Jamaica, here I come!

By the time you’re reading this, Kyle and I will either be soaring through the skies on our way to the beautiful island of Jamaica or on a beach with a cocktail in hand.

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Photo from my trip to Puerto Rico last March!

Thankfully, we booked through the best travel agent EVER, Travel Made Real – and were sent an abundance of snacks and even a little gift card for a pre-flight breakfast and coffee to keep us happy until arrive at our resort.

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I  know I’ve said it before, but check out TRM for your next trip! They’re super easy to work with, save you tons of money and throw in nice surprises to make your trip that much more special!

This week has been highly anticipated and we’re pumped to get outta dodge (as Melanie puts it!) and into the sun for a few days.

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Another Puerto Rico gem :)

I’ll be unplugging until Friday… except for Instagram <– gotta feed the addiction! But don’t you worry, I’ll be popping in on Tuesday for a Treat Yourself Tuesday Jamaica edition AND I have plenty of guest posts coming your way over the next few days. I hope you’ll stop by and give them some much-deserved lovin’ :)

And with that, my friends, this is me signing off – have a safe and happy (and hopefully warmer!) week!

xoxo

#16 Treat Yourself Tuesday

Happy New Year’s Eve! What are your plans for the evening? Kyle and I are going on a Lake Michigan dinner cruise with friends to celebrate the New Year – I can’t wait to tell you all about it and to show you my dress!

Since it is Tuesday {albeit a Tuesday that falls on a holiday}, I have decided to deem this Treat Yourself Tuesday as the “how others treated YOU” holiday edition because sometimes it is nice to be spoiled by those in our lives :)

Treat Yourself Tuesday Badge

If you’re new to TYT, head over here to read about why I am a firm supporter and advocate for treating ourselves – even in the smallest of ways – everyday! I promise you will fall in love with the idea and once you do, please link up below :)

So what did I get for Christmas?

I already showed you what I got from Kyle – he’s so good with gifts!

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We also booked our “spring break” to Jamaica over the weekend!!! To say I’m mildly excited would be an understatement ;) We worked with a travel agent (Travel Made Real) for the first time and the entire experience was amazing. We (and by we, I mean Kyle) are picky travelers and TMR was able to satisfy each of our requests AND – from what we looked at while attempting to book the trip ourselves – TMR also saved us at least $1000. ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS!

Do you know how many purses and pairs of shoes I can buy with that kinda money?! ;)

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Photo from our trip to Puerto Rico last March!

Anyways, we’re pumped about Jamaica and it will be a great Christmas present to ourselves.

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Both Kyle and I were spoiled this year and received lots of gifts from our parents so I’m not going to list them all out here, just the big ones.

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We got a tagine, a tagine cookbook and spices from my dad – it’s like an African/Middle Eastern slow cooker and is definitely unique! Kyle loves cooking unique recipes and he has already made a tagine Moroccan lamb and vegetable stew.

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From my mom and sister, I got a few new books (one of my resolutions for 2014 is to read more!), a new tote bag, lots of jewelry from Stella & Dot and Erin McDermott, giftcards (yay for Starbucks and Lululemon!) and makeup.

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We told everyone that we didn’t want anything large because we live in a tiny apartment and Kyle’s mom and grandparents did an awesome job on finding gifts that fit that description! His grandparents gave us a membership to the Chicago Architecture Foundation that provides tours in and around Chicago – we can’t wait to check out our new city once it warms up a bit :)

Kyle’s mom gave us a gift card for a few cooking classes at a nearby restaurant, an IOU for brunch and stainless steel “ice” cubes that won’t water a drink down <– great for white wine that you forgot to put in the fridge!

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And since it is called Treat Yourself Tuesday, I can’t do an entire post about telling you how I treated myself over Christmas “break.” On Christmas Eve, I treated myself to a deep-tissue massage! It was needed in a bad way – my shoulders and upper back were so tense – and it was a great way to relax over a stressful holiday season.

How did others treat you over your holiday break? How did you treat yourself over Christmas?

#15 Treat Yourself Tuesday

One more week until Christmas! Can you believe it?

Thankfully, I was able to treat myself (and others – I’m done with Christmas shopping!) this past week even with all of the crazy holiday hustle and bustle this time of year :)

Treat Yourself Tuesday Badge

If you’re new to TYT, head over here to read about why I am a firm supporter and advocate for treating ourselves – even in the smallest of ways – everyday! I promise you will fall in love with the idea and once you do, please link up below :)

First treat of the week – a spa afternoon on Saturday! After a much-needed haircut I treated myself to a no-chip mani and pedicure. I used to get these a lot more frequently but in the interest of saving money (argh…), I’ve cut back to once a month-ish. Let me tell you, the less frequently you get mani-pedis, the better they feel! I swear this was the best pedicure of my life and I sat back and relaxed the entire time.

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While I was out finishing up my Christmas shopping, I did a little shopping for myself as well ;)

First up, leg warmers from Lululemon! It has been SO cold in Chicago the past few weeks and there have been a few times that I thought I was getting frostbite on my ankles on my 7-minute walks to and from the gym. The feeling of your skin freezing off is not fun so these leg warmers were a necessity, not a want ;) Thanks to Amy for the leg warmer idea!

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Next up – a new winter coat! No photos of me in it because I’m still on the fence of whether or not it’s staying in my closet. I love the length of it but it feels super light and I have a feeling the brisk Chicago winds would blow right through this baby. If a coat is $350+, it better be durable and heavy and I just don’t think this one is worth it.

On Sunday I needed to return a few things to J. Crew (darn online purchases not fitting as they should…) and their sale drew me in. Please tell me I’m not the only one with this problem! Anyways, I found a button up (it’s actually a men’s shirt – they’re $20ish cheaper than women’s and as long as you buy them in the “slim” sizes, they fit well!), a sweater, a bracelet and a necklace and I got them all for around $100. That is a STEAL at J. Crew so who was I to say no? ;)

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Other things I treated myself to this week include:

– Having an impromptu coffee date with a friend. I’m Type A and not good with spur-of-the-moment events (I have a planner for a reason people!) and I’m proud of myself for enjoying a few hours of girl time without penciling it into my planner first.

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– Sushi – no words needed.

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– Only going to the ‘burbs for work ONCE last week. My manager wanted me to go a few days and I flat out told him no. I had no meetings out there and could easily do all of my work from my downtown office. Saying no feels so liberating… and it gave me 1.5 more hours of sleep every morning :)

– Beginning to look for vacation destinations! Kyle and I are heading somewhere warm in February and I think we’ve narrowed it down to Jamaica or St. Martin or Aruba or St. Lucia. Okay, so we haven’t really narrowed it down yet but we WILL be on an island!

Tell me how you treated yourself this week. Do you have any recommendations for an island vacation in February? 

My Weekend in California – Napa, Part 1

I am happy to report that my liver has now recovered and I can now share with you all of the fun I had in California this weekend!

I flew into San Francisco on Wednesday night and Carly’s adorable mom graciously picked me up from the airport and whisked me off to Carly’s apartment in Davis. She spilled lots of details about Carly’s past so I had plenty of dirt on her for this weekend ;)

Carly and I chatted and caught up for a while before heading to bed on Wednesday night. We both woke up early Thursday morning and decided to hit the gym for a quick elliptical workout and a plank to at least start the weekend on a healthy note! I’m glad we made that decision… it was the only time I fit in a workout all weekend.

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The gym was followed by a run (okay, let’s be honest here… a drive!) to Starbucks and then to the spa to get pedis! It wouldn’t be a girls’ weekend without freshly painted, hot pink toes ;)

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Photo courtesy of Ms. Carly.

After Carly’s class and my nap, we hit the road to Napa! It was only an hour drive from Davis so we had time to hit up Whole Foods for some pre-dinner beverages before checking into the hotel.

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While getting ready, we enjoyed champagne in cans – classy – and then took advantage of our hotel’s free wine tasting before heading out to dinner at Carpe Diem Wine Bar!

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For dinner, Carly and I enjoyed cheese, lots of cheese. We ordered fries with Parmesan, a cheese plate with smoked gouda, blue cheese and cured meat and finally a huge ball of burrata served with grilled bread.

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Holy moly, the burrata was the best thing either of us had ever tasted. We actually told the women sitting at the table next to us that it was better than having a relationship with men – after ordering it for themselves, they agreed! ;) Throughout dinner I also enjoyed a flight of Pinot Noirs that were almost as amazing as the burrata. I highly recommend Carpe Diem Wine Bar if you ever find yourself in Napa!

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Plus, I had an amazing view with my wine… Sorry Carly! ;)

After dinner, since it was still light outside, we figured we should head around the corner to an upscale cocktail bar – Fagiani’s – that was recommended by our server.

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Photo courtesy of Carly.

We enjoyed some amazing cocktails and a fun night out on the town before heading back to the Hilton Garden Inn to get our beauty rest for our wine tasting tour on Friday!

Come back tomorrow to read about our day touring the vineyards of Napa!

Also, check out Katie’s and Carly’s blogs for more details about the weekend :)

Have you been to Napa? What was the best winery and/or restaurant you visited while vacationing?

Puerto Rico Recap – My Favorites & Tips!

As I write this, it is currently snowing – yes, SNOWING – in Minneapolis. It is painful to watch the flurries fly in April as I look back on my photos of the vibrant blue ocean, the palm trees swaying in the wind and cocktails by the pool. *Sigh*

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I miss you, Puerto Rico.

Anyways, in this final recap of my vacation I am going to share with you my favorite things from my trip and tips for those traveling to the island!

If you’re new to ONW or haven’t caught up on my previous recaps, here is a list for your reading pleasure.

My Top 7 Favorites in Puerto Rico

1. Bob the tree. He’s my favorite tree in all of the world and I’ve loved a lot of trees in my lifetime.

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I’m not going to go all Castaway and Wilson on you (I promise that I’m not THAT cray cray…) but Bob the tree and I were BFFs while Kyle was at work. Bob has the best living arrangements – his feet get washed by the waves, he looks over over the beautiful, blue ocean, his area is secluded and peaceful and he basks in the sun all day, every day. I’m slightly jealous. Seriously, check out his views.

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2. Fresh coconut water. So refreshing and perfect for island living. Plus it is really cool to see the street vendors chop open a coconut!

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3. Sangria towers. Enough said. Seriously, what other excuse to do you need to visit Puerto Rico? Sangria served in a tower. YES.

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4. Marmalade Restaurant and Wine Bar. Best food I’ve ever eaten. Read about it here then go immediately to your nearest airport and head to Marmalade.

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5. The ocean. Gorgeous hues of blue and teal. Calming waves. Refreshing smells. Nothing is more peaceful to me than the sounds and sights of the ocean.

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6. Old San Juan. Mini Europe on a tropical island. Talk about paradise! Seriously do not miss this area of Puerto Rico. Awesome food, historic sites and great nightlife!

7. Bioluminescent Bay Tours. Sadly, Kyle and I didn’t get to participate in a nighttime tour while in Puerto Rico :( We visited near a full moon and the tours aren’t recommended when the moon is so bright. Apparently, there are a few bays that have bioluminescent bacteria and phytoplankton (I think those are the correct organisms – I should know this, my dad is a microbiologist…) that glow at night. How cool! I would have loved to kayak in a glowing blue bay at night. If you go to Puerto Rico and go on a tour, please send photos my way!

Tips for Visiting Puerto Rico

1. Bring and/or buy lots of sunscreen to wear! I cannot stress this enough. I went through 12 ounces (that’s 4 bottles!) of SPF 55 in a 5 day period and I still got sun burnt. The sun is H.O.T. and the more sunscreen the better. Put two palm fulls on every 90 minutes or after a jaunt in the ocean or the pool. Trust me on this one, a burned scalp and tush are not pleasant.

2. Wash your hair with Head & Shoulders once per day. This goes along with #1. Your head will get burnt. I don’t have the thickest of hair but I’m also not balding and the sun still made its way through to my scalp. Head & Shoulders will save you from the embarrassment of flakes in your hair while on vacation.

3. Bring two forms of ID and carry one with you at all times. If you are a United States citizen, you do not need a passport to enter Puerto Rico (yay!) but I brought one just in case. I always kept my passport locked up in our hotel room’s safe and kept my license on me even while I was running and walking by the ocean. You never know when you might need a form of ID. In my opinion, it is better to be safe than sorry. It would be dreadful to get to the airport only to realize that you had lost your only form of ID while on vacation and couldn’t get back home. Although, considering the current state of the weather, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to be stuck on a tropical island…

4. Bug spray. I don’t know when or where or how it happened but on the last day of my trip, 50 bug bites appeared on the outside of my left calf and nowhere else on my body. Weird? Definitely. Thankfully they didn’t show up until the last day of our trip but they are some vicious looking bites and some of them are still there! Without going into much disgusting detail, all I am going to stay is that they looked like chickenpox and ended up scabbing over. Sexy. Here’s a photo of my leg bandaged up a week after the trip in order to prevent infection. BRING BUG SPRAY, especially if you are going to go into the rain forest.

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5. Have an iPhone 5 (or whatever the latest version is when you visit…). Luckily, I have an iPhone 5 for work – I have an iPhone 4 for my personal use – and could access all of my daily addictions including email, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Those who visited Puerto Rico (ahem… Kyle!) with only their 4S were not so lucky. The service on the island isn’t great and I always had “Extended” service but at least I had service. Although I never felt unsafe, it was comforting to know that my phone had service at all times while I was by myself.

6. Be careful in the ocean. I’ve mentioned this before but there is a strong undercurrent and areas of rip currents that are quite dangerous in Puerto Rico. If you aren’t cautious or have had one too many pina coladas, either current could easily pull you under or 2 miles out into the ocean. Not fun. Be safe and always swim with a friend.

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Well that does it! The last of my Puerto Rico recaps. I hope you enjoyed and that I’ve convinced you that this island NEEDS to be on your list of places to go :)

Do you have any travel tips that you always follow while on vacation?

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