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Sep
15

The only Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum in the country is located in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and it’s a must-visit!

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hamanasi resort, part 3 by alex and julie

Hamanasi balcony

One of the things we loved most about Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort was the fantastic setting of the resort. We spent every afternoon in Belize at the pool, which offered amazing and much-needed relaxation after all of our activities. We loved spending time reading in the lounge chairs while being shaded by palm trees. Drink service and food service was offered at the pool—we even had ice cream delivered there! One of our favorite times of day at Hamanasi was Happy Hour from 4-6PM every day when the resort provided delicious snacks for guests. During this time we got to try lionfish tenders (an eco-friendly snack because lionfish destroy reef ecosystems!), ceviche, and chips and dips. The snacks and drink specials varied every day so we never got bored. [Read more…]

hamanasi resort in belize, part 2 by alex and julie

Alex and Julie at Hamanasi

While we both love hanging out and reading on the beach, one of the primary reasons that we chose to go to Belize is the country’s diverse selection of activities that leverage its natural beauty. Hamanasi makes it easy to take full advantage of these options with a full-fledged activity center onsite that not only books, but operates tours to all corners of the country. Despite only being in Belize for four full days, we managed to have both “reef” and “jungle” adventures—and we only scratched the surface of the tours that Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort offers. [Read more…]

hamanasi adventure and dive resort: our oasis in belize by alex mark and julie lustbader

Alex and Julie Hamanasi
As many of you know from my mom’s very active Facebook, I (Alex) just graduated from my MBA program and have a few months until I rejoin the real world – work starts July 31. To make the most of my time off, Julie and I decided to take a trip. Given that she is still part of the real world and has a job with limited vacation days, we wanted to go somewhere relatively close to home that had a combination of relaxation and activities. Belize, at just two hours away from the US, with English as the primary language, and general acceptance of the US dollar, fit the bill perfectly.

After reading my mom’s article for USA Today about the 10 best treehouse hotels, we knew we needed to stay at Hamanasi! [Read more…]

pink shell beach resort & marina is a dream wedding setting!

Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are, as always, 100% mine.

With our 36th anniversary coming up in August, I’ve been thinking about what we would do differently if we were planning a wedding now.

Since travel has become a real focus of ours since the kids have grown, I would seriously consider a destination wedding. I love the idea of giving friends and family a reason to take a trip, and I think a destination wedding – a beach destination, especially – is perfect for multi-generational guests. And I strongly believe weddings are more meaningful with guests of all ages. [Read more…]

happy national tequila day!

Starr Pass tequila

Well, I am apparently at the right place at the right time since it’s National Tequila Day and no one celebrates the occasion better — and more often! — than JW Marriott Starr Pass in Tucson, Arizona.

Every day at 5:30 p.m. guests gather on the aptly-named Salud Terrace for the highly-anticipated Tequila toast.

Starr Pass features more than 150 artisan tequilas and each day they offer a complimentary shot of a different one. For last night’s toast, we enjoyed Maestro Dobel Silver Tequila which I learned “has won more gold medals than most Olympians.” That seems to be true for Starr Pass’ own tequila collection, as well. [Read more…]

langham huntington, pasadena – club level

Langham Club Lounge

Now that I whet your appetite yesterday, I’m excited to tell you about the Club at Langham Huntington, Pasadena, which is definitely worth a splurge for a special weekend.

It’s basically the concierge floor and, although we’ve enjoyed staying on those at dozens of hotels, nothing prepared us for The Langham Club experience.

We’re grateful to Langham for giving us this opportunity because — well, let me show you. [Read more…]

the langham huntington, pasadena

Langham Pasadena

I am dreaming about the Langham Huntington today so I thought I’d share our visit there with you so you can dream about it, too. (Or, even better, plan a vacation!)

A few months ago, Michael was invited to participate in a poetry reading at Vroman’s, a fantastic book store in Pasadena, California. He had once stayed at the Langham Huntington in Pasadena on a business trip and LOVED it, so we booked a room and were excited that the hotel generously offered to host us on their Club level.

Okay, I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing Club level is — but I will tomorrow! [Read more…]

kimpton hotel palomar philadelphia

Kimpton Palomar Philadelphia elevator

This is their ELEVATOR!

Continuing our quest to stay in every Kimpton hotel in the country (a goal I quickly added to my bucket list after our most recent stay), Michael and I spent last weekend at the gorgeous Hotel Palomar Philadelphia. [Read more…]

swissotel berlin

Swissotel Berlin exterior

This is a sponsored post. All opinions and desires to visit 
again are totally mine.

The last time we visited Berlin was during a cruise excursion many years ago.

There was so much to do and see, we were really disappointed we only had one day to explore the city. And I remember being taken in by the unique architecture of Swissotel Berlin and wishing we could have spent the night there. [Read more…]

shorebreak hotel, huntington beach

Shorebreak couch surf art

If you want to experience an upscale version of the quintessential Southern California surf culture, you have to spend a night or two at the Shorebreak Hotel in Huntington Beach.

With its sophisticated surfer vibe, this signature Kimpton boutique hotel does what Kimpton does best — it captures and celebrates its local neighborhood while offering impeccable service and lots of amenities.

Be prepared for a lot of photos because when Michael and I were invited to stay there a couple of months ago, I couldn’t stop snapping away. [Read more…]