All posts tagged Travel

Bora Bora Nui, Bora Bora, French Polynesia

World’s Best Awards (Homebody in Motion Edition)

The gears are turning again.

It’s been several months since I’ve even been on a plane — not since I got too pregnant to fly (after a pretty impressive run of second-trimester babymoons). But hubby and I have had some solid powwows on where our next travels will take us (the planning powwows are some of my favorite parts) (they’re all my favorite parts), with or without twins. And I’m feeling quite inspired.

In that spirit — and in my travel downtime over these weeks with new babies — I’ve been savoring the reruns in my head of some of my most favorite places on earth. And having collected them into a neat little mental box tied with a big, pretty bow, I’d like to present my own personal World’s Best Awards here for you too… like a stack of very loving postcards from so many life-alteringly magical memories. Read more…

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best travel photographers on Instagram

7 Travel Feeds to Follow on Instagram Right Now

Instagram is my special, sacred place on social media. Unlike the cacophony that is my Twitter feed, for instance, my Instagram feed is a highly curated mix of about 150 posters whose every image I want to savor. They are almost entirely individuals, with a only a couple of brands mixed in, and my feed is tightly enough edited that I don’t miss anything. My favorite topics include nail art, vegan food, cats (obviously, hello), Los Angeles lifestyle, events — and most of all travel.

Behold my personal and completely unscientific sampling of some of the best travel photographers on Instagram, and one wanderlust-inspiring brand too: Read more…

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Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

A Luxe Babymoon Staycation (Or Combatting the Summer Pregnancy Symptom Known as FOMO)

I often hear people talk about how awful it was for them, or must be for me, to be heavily pregnant in the summertime. And I generally disagree wholeheartedly—it’s been mostly fine! But there is one majorly uncomfortable issue with being pregnant in these hot months, and it’s not the heat. Here’s the real reason why summertime pregnancy is tough: FOMO.

Given I’m carrying twins—and big ones at that, about six pounds each (!!) at last measure—I outgrew maternity jeans weeks ago, and closed-toed shoes on my swollen dogs sound like torture. So, thanks especially to my wardrobe of flow-y caftans and maxi dresses from the likes of Rachel Pally and T Bags, being pregnant in the summer suits me just fine (notwithstanding that three-week period when our home AC decided to poop out, because: Murphy’s Law).

But there’s this: Summer is my jam. My husband has always said I have a solar battery, and I get totally charged when things heat up. I want to be everywhere, every weekend: somewhere far flung out of town, somewhere fab within driving range, or at the beach or hiking right here in L.A.

Now that I’m close to 36 weeks pregnant and using a motorized cart just to get around Target, aint none of that happening.

My best friends all planned a camping/July 4 party weekend in Northern California, and I gulped with—what was it? Envy? Longing? (Maybe acid reflux.) It would be the first time, pretty much ever, that I’d miss out on a trip like that. I even sort of half considered, “Well, maybe…” and then I’d remembered that these days I cannot actually turn over in bed without David’s help, or make it to the bathroom at night without using multiple pieces of furniture as crutches, or that I could go into labor any day. So even relentlessly, mercilessly festive me had to admit it was time to wave the white flag on that idea.

But! We had a plan. Read more…

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Punalu'u Black Sand Beach Big Island Hawaii

Big Island Babymoon Part Deux: Black Sand, Volcanoes, Waterfalls (and Seriously Spicy Thai)

One of the very best things about travel is seeing something you’ve never seen before. How many times in our adult lives do we really get to do that on a given day? (That’s one reason David and I have a strict no-repeating-country-stamps-in-the-same-passport policy.*)

Still, the lure of a perfect beach is a tough thing for me to resist, and so, if left to my own devices I might never have pulled myself away from the Big Island of Hawaii’s Kona coast, were it not for the hospitality of the Volcano Village Lodge up near Volcanoes National Park, which hosted us for two nights of our last and final (?!) babymoon.

After dragging ourselves away from the Four Seasons Hualalai‘s spectacular pools and beaches, we set off for the drive to the lodge, without knowing much of what we’d find. Although we were told to plan for about three and a half hours, we easily made the drive in under two and a half. (I kind of love how Hawaiians give you estimates based on island time — I feel like in L.A., we’d say instead, in a moment of desperate wishful thinking, “Leave an hour if there’s no traffic,” and then it would take you that long just to execute your first left turn.) Read more…

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Saguaro Palm Springs

“Where Should I Stay in Palm Springs?” I’m Here to Tell You

“Where should I say in Palm Springs?” People ask me that a lot. I like to think this is because I always look so well rested and have such a glowing all-over-even tan. But it’s probably just because I’ve been out to the desert a zillion times, love it, and have stayed just about everywhere. Here’s my quickie guide for where to stay in Palm Springs and why. Read more…

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Paris Babymoon, Eiffel Tower Winter

International Babymoon Ideas: Where Should We Go for a Safe Last Hurrah?

First of all, just to put it out there: The word “babymoon” is pretty obnox, right? But the concept, of course, is something I can totally get behind.

Obviously, when I found out I was pregnant, there was zero chance we were going to miss heading out for (at least) one last hurrah abroad. Of course, we got the doctor’s OK (he was relievingly unconcerned), and then we tossed around a ton of babymoon ideas.

Where to go? In recent years, our travel has tended to favor remote and third-world places, often accessed by super-long flights from Los Angeles. This time, we had a few specific criteria: Read more…

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ATM Cave entrance, photo courtesy Belize Escape Artist

ATM Cave Tour: One of the Best Activities in Belize and a Bucket-List Must!

Belize is well known for its world-class diving along the western hemisphere’s largest barrier reef, yes. But there’s a littler-known activity on the mainland that’s a total must for adventure travelers: the absolutely amazing ATM cave tour.

When I read about the sacred ATM cave — that’s for Actun Tunichil Muknal, no relation to the cash machine — I knew we had to try it. I did some research on the web (thanks, as always, trusty TripAdvisor!) and reached out to Carlos, who goes by “Carlos the Cave Man.” People seemed to love his expert leadership and charisma on tours through world’s top sacred cave, according to National Geographic. He’s one of only 23 guides in the country certified to lead the experience. Read more…

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Checking out the dive shop at Tranquility Bay, Ambergris Caye, Belize

Scuba Diving Tranquility Bay, Ambergris Caye, Belize (Or: I Finally Get it Now!)

Readers of this blog will know that my short career as a scuba diver has been less glorious marine brochure and more P.S.A. warning.

It began with four treacherous certification dives in the frigid Southern California winter, and continued immediately with a Vietnamese dive in near zero visibility that saw me separated from the group and forced to practice my just-learned skills immediately. (Now what were they?)

I’m writing now after a pair of dives off Tranquility Bay on the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize, and I’m happy to report: I get it. I totally, totally get it. The appeal of diving, when it’s good, is intensely powerful and wonderful and undeniable. Read more…

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The Blue Hole Belize

And We’re Off Again: Belize Bound

A chunk of years ago, now-hubby and I had a hankering to go to Belize. But it was the recession and everything was more spare, so we opted for a relatively budget friendlier Hawaii trip. There, he popped the question on a hike in Maui, which is an absolute setup for romance. (Try playing your “We just got engaged!” card for free dessert in Hawaii — then look around and see that every last dude in the restaurant is on bended knee.) Obviously, no complaints about our destination pick for that trip. It was the magical stuff of dreams. (Followed eventually by a Tahitian honeymoon that was like, the stuff of dreams’ dreams. I mean — gulp. Speechless.)

But the idea of Belize remained under our skin, and now that we’re open-water dive certified (which readers of this blog know is a whole other dramatic story), we knew we had to get there, where the diving is supposed to be some of the best in the world. Read more…

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Hotel Atlantic Kempinski Hamburg

Hamburg’s Hot, Hip Hotels (And Other Alliterations)

One of the truly wonderful things about Hamburg, Germany is the convergence of old and new happening everywhere.

On my recent visit, I like to think I experienced the best of both after staying in two unique hotels: Gastwerk and the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski. Read more…

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