Wednesday, July 24, 2019

to dad, happy birthday

I woke up from the sweetest text message from my aunt with this photo of my dad and their youngest sister today. It was a perfect way to begin his birthday. 

It's interesting how his birthdays affect me. Sometimes I feel an overwhelming sadness, but today I was just happy for the memories I do have. 

So happy birthday in heaven daddy. Thank you for teaching my how to dance, while I stood on your feet. Thank you for introducing me to Fleetwood Mac and NASCAR (even though I still don't see how it's a sport). Thanks for loving me and being proud of me. Thank you for teaching me about God. Thank you for being in my life, even for the short amount of time that you were. 

your kel

Monday, July 22, 2019

3 years married

Three years! It seems like it has flown by. 
We decided in the beginning that for our anniversaries we’d travel instead of give gifts (because for us it’s the ultimate gift really). So this year we drove over to New Orleans (NOLA, the Big Easy, home of the ragin Cajuns). It was amazing. 

Last year we went to Disney (Season Passholders!!! But only for a few more months-boo).

Then of course our first anniversary trip was Chattanooga, TN. Such a great time in Ruby Falls and all around the city. 

I can't believe it's been THREE years. 

Thanks for putting up with me, loving me, being my travel buddy, my shoulder to cry on, my meal ticket, my confidant, my everything. 


Thursday, July 11, 2019

a Florida girl in NYC

I'll just go ahead and tell you know that this is one of my all time favorite cities in the entire world (like so many other people, I know). 

I really needed this girls trip for the weekend, more than I even knew. We spent the 4th of July weekend doing some touristy things, but mainly trying to find the best spots loved by locals. And as it turns out, just about everyone leaves the city for the holiday weekend (minus tourists) which totally worked in our favor, because traffic was better (still not great albeit) and for a lot of places we didn't have a wait (although I would still recommend making reservations for any place you go to). 

Most of the time we had a rough idea of where we wanted to go or what we wanted to do, but for the most part we spent our time exploring the city and seeing where our feet took us. 

Even though I have been to Central Park before, I've never really experienced it like I did this time. We started out on the Upper East Side and walked all the way through to Strawberry Fields.  As a major Beatles fan, this was pretty amazing for me.  The John Lennon Imagine Memorial is also right by The Dakota, where he lived and was shot outside of. 

Of course we also saw a proposal and a newly married couple taking photos. 
Man I love this city.....

The bars in New York are pretty epic as well. They go all out for their themes and every place we went had the most amazing decor or history. 

One of our favorite places was the Oscar Wilde Bar (which sadly we only found our last night). Definitely getting Afternoon Tea there next time during the day. Their Victorian English/writer theme was incredible- this may have been my favorite find/place of this trip. 

But the food, y'all! THE FOOD. 
I've heard a lot of people say that it's due to the water that the food in the city is so amazing (and seeing as how our water in JAX is the absolute worst) I'll take that explanation. I didn't have a single bad meal there. 
We of course had to have pizza (which I had two nights, because it's an all time favorite food- especially the NYC kind)!! Lombardi's in Chelsea was a great recommendation.

Being a major Gossip-Girl fan I was more than ecstatic running into this hotel, the Hotel Empire. (Chuck + Blair forever). 

We also explored the High Line, which was a first for me. Although, walking it in the heat of the summer wasn't the greatest, the sites and garden views still made it pretty memorable, 

This view of the Empire State Building was from on our way back to our hotel. I loved seeing it lit up at night and it was especially epic seeing it surrounded by fog.

Another site we just so happened to stumble upon was the Hotel Chelsea. Known for its Sid and Nancy past it was something I had always heard about, but had never actually seen. 
Ps. If I were going to give my own NYC Music Tour, this would definitely be on there. 

The second night we met up with a friend, who is a local at this amazing place- The Old Rose restaurant, which is also a part of the Jane Hotel was fabulous (and has great pizza).  It's also apparently haunted, as it was where surviving crew and passengers of the Titanic stayed after their horrifying experience. While the elevator didn't move on its on while we were aboard, it did take us to the top where there is a rooftop bar with a breath taking view. The bellhops from the Jane Hotel are also dressed like Tower of Terror cast members, which is pretty awesome and definitely added to the atmosphere of dinner where we all told ghost stories. 

Another must do (at least for me) was to FINALLY see the Carrie Bradshaw brownstone doorstop. I also had us make a quick pit stop at the Magnolia Bakery (which has my favorite cupcakes of all time). I can't get enough of these things!! 

Speaking of sweets, a friend recommended this macaron store, which definitely did not disappoint. Laduree was one of the best things we did/ate for the whole trip. I even had one in ice cream (because when in 

We also couldn't go to SOHO without stopping by Harney and Sons Tea shop. This is the only brand of tea we serve in our tea room at the shop and it's also the one that made me discover how much I truly love tea (in fact I'm drinking it right now as I type this). 
The kind below is called Indigo Punch and tastes like Fruit Loops. I ended up bringing some home with me (along with a bunch of other flavors). 

Another great restaurant was the Jones Wood Foundry in the Upper East Side where we watched the FIFA, Women's Soccer become WORLD CHAMPIONS! So of course, this English Pub was pretty epic in my opinion.

The very first night we headed over to Eataly near the Flat Iron Building. That place is beyond cool. It's something I feel like only NYC could carry off. Market place + tons of restaurants, we waited the extra hour to sit on the Serra Fiorita rooftop (pictured below). And trust me, it was worth every hot, sticky minute of waiting. 

A few other places that I didn't take photos of, but want to include in my NYC list (because WHEN I go back, I need to revisit them):

The Smile- an incredible brunch place. 

The Smith- an epic Vanilla Bean French Toast (while trying to get cool in the ac here, my phone was dying, so I asked the server if he could help- I got a claim ticket and he took it to the host stand to charge it. Maybe this is no big deal- but there's no way this would happen where I live!!) 

Ess-a-bagel- The ABSOLUTE BEST BAGEL I've ever had in my life. 

The White Horse Tavern- The city's second oldest bar and known for the famous writers that infamously hung out writing there. 

Until next time,