Travel Diary: Naples, Florida

Being a senior in high school, if an opportunity to travel with your friends comes along, you take it. I’m so happy we all got the chance to detox from school, life and just take a few days to breathe and live worry free. I think it’s safe to say we all want to go back to Naples.

The trip began in Atlantic City, New Jersey where we took off for Fort Myers, Florida. Our flight was delayed but we didn’t land too much later than expected. The minute we exited the airport and felt that warm winter air, we all were incredibly content and thankful to being missing the snow storm at home (or so we thought). We stayed at my friend Amanda’s grandparents home, there we were greeted with a ton of delicious baked goods, sandwiches and more. The next morning we went to a beach called Clams Pass and that’s when sunburn invaded most of my friends’ bodies. That night aloe was essential in order to calm and soothe our irritated, lobster-like skin. We headed to the beach again for the sunset which was beautiful and displayed a number of orange tones.

Next day, we woke up bright and early for a boat day in Bonita Springs. This had to be my favorite day of the trip. Spending all day sunbathing on a boat and docking up to an island is my image of a perfect day, and it was just that! After the relaxing boat day, at night we headed to downtown Naples which was the cutest place ever! It was a large, popular downtown area surrounded by shops and palm trees. It had nearly anything from ice cream shops to beach stores.

Our last day, we went to Vanderbilt beach which was yet another calm and serene day! Early morning we paddle boarded which was a ton of fun until I ended up in the ocean and I was unable to touch the sandy floor below me.  Lost my sunglasses, they’re probably floating around somewhere in the Atlantic as I type this. When we got back to Amanda’s grandparents home we packed, soaked in the hot tub and went for dinner at the Clubhouse in their development. Before we knew it, we were on our flight back home to New Jersey and just a day later the snow fell…

Thank you to the cutest grandparents for keeping seven crazy people with them, xoxo.

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Take A Trip With Me: Southport/Oak Island NC

It’s been awhile since I’ve been back to North Carolina to visit my family. This past trip has been the best, most memorable trip to North Carolina so far. Celebrating birthdays are always special but celebrating a 90th birthday is one of the most important, special birthdays there is. This past week was my grandmother’s 90th and she is still so sweet, quick-witted and loving. I am so fortunate to have a person like her apart of my life even being miles and miles away.

Our trip started a little bumpy to say the least… I almost missed my flight and let me explain just how this happened. My family and I got off to a late start waking up at 4 am for a 7:15 am flight. We accidentally mistook the directions to Atlantic City airport and took the turnpike instead of the parkway pushing us back 45 minutes behind schedule. Once we re-routed and got onto the parkway we noticed that the GPS said our arrival time was 6:50 am, meanwhile our boarding time was 6:30. Panic quickly emerged and we felt SCREWED. Once we finally arrived, my mom said, “I’m dropping you and your brother off, do whatever you can to get onto that flight.” We got there at 6:42 and sprinted to security (we had printed our boarding passes the night before). At security, the man noticed my printed ticket was missing a bar code. Every curse word known to man was running through my head, what now?! Luckily my brother had one so he continued through security and went to our gate just in time to meet up with some of our family. The security man told me to head to the kiosk to print a boarding pass with a bar code, I quickly went over to print it. A caution mark popped up saying “sorry it’s t0o late to check in, please go to the Spirit desk.” Thankfully there was no line so I went up to the desk and begged the women to help me. “I’m sorry you’re too late and you need to reschedule your flight.” At this time my Mom must have missed me and ran herself through security. As I’m waiting to reschedule (no flights until the next day) I get a phone call. “Liv where are you,” my brother sounded surprisingly calm. He continued and said to me, “Mom’s here.” My heart sank, what was I suppose to do? I ran back over to the women shaking and she quickly printed me a new boarding pass after I explained my situation. I then ran like never before through security and the airport finally getting to gate 8. It was like a movie scene. I finally got to my Mom and boarded the plane. Each passenger I passed looked at me funny and muttered under their breath, “there she is.” I have never been so nervous and scared but I will always remember that extremely eventful morning.

Other than that, our trip was very tranquil which was obviously very needed after the airport drama. I had the best time with family and enjoyed the peace of a small town in North Carolina. Sometimes all you need is family and serenity. Enjoy my favorite pictures from Southport/Oak Island North Carolina!

FYI: The town I was in was also where the movie “Safe Haven” was filmed. A local restaurant called Loco Jo’s (best food in Southport) has a picture of Josh Duhamel at the bar.

Thank you Spirit Airlines for getting me to NC!

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Sugar Factory Friday

For my friends and I, the month of February is the month full of birthdays, bringing on tons of birthday festivities each weekend. This past week we went to the Sugar Factory in New York City where everything was sweeter than sweet. The Sugar Factor is known for their super sugary drinks called Goblets, they come in a number of colors and flavors. My friend and I chose the Sunshine Tea Goblet and added some Lollipops to add taste and of course to make it “gram worthy.”

The interior design of the restaurant is different than I imagined, I picture a rainbow colored interior with a bunch of sweets as decor. Although, the restaurant was much more tasteful than I had originally expected. The colors were burgundy, black and white and a large black chandelier was the centerpiece of the room.  At the Sugar Factory, there is an upstairs and a downstairs, larger parties were seated upstairs and smaller parties were sat downstairs. While going upstairs you come across the famous Sugar Factory wall, many people take their photos against this wall. A ton of celebrities have captured pictures on this wall and they’re shown all around the restaurant.

The trip was yet another successful birthday out with friends and good food. Nothing sweeter than that.

 

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Painting, Food & Friends

Painting will never be my forte but for one of my closest friends birthdays, I had to put aside my mediocre painting skills and try to produce something worthy of Picasso. Did I succeed? Negative. We drove a short drive to Bradley Beach where we went to Bradley Brushstrokes Paint and Sip Studio (minus the sip). The studio was vibrant and definitely gave some 70’s vibes as you’ll see below.

After the painting, each of our stomachs had been grumbling ready to dig into a savory meal. Lucky for us, the birthday girl made reservations at Porta, a popular Italian eatery in Asbury Park, New Jersey. We walked into the artsy restaurant where there was one large room with a center bar. The bar had light bulbs hanging overhead and along the room hung small lights. Doors lined the wall to add a rustic feel along with the American flag draped from the ceiling. The room had long picnic tables instead of your typical round table or booth adding a very cozy feeling. One of my favorite things about this restaurant is that they had vegan options, although the selection is small, it is very thoughtful to include this for vegans or people with dairy allergies like myself. It makes the going out to eat process a lot easier. The food did not disappoint and by the end of the night, we all were stuffed full.

Any night spent with friends is a good night but any night spent with friends and food is a great night, am I right?

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Snowboarding Trip 2017

To start 2017 on a good note my family and I took a trip two hours north to JackFrost for a Skiing/Snowboarding trip. Typically we spend a week up north but due to the chaos of life, we decided just to take a day out of winter break to take a mini trip. I have been a skier a majority of my life but I recently switched to snowboarding which has been more than aggravating to pick up. Each trip I get better and better but I am definitely no Shaun White. With that being said, a lot of the trip I spent on my bum. My brother, on the other hand, picked snowboarding up with ease and I’ll  never understand how he did it. Below I captured pictures on and off the ski lift!