Tag Archives: Travel

Weekend in San Francisco: My Fav San Fran Spots & College Fashion Week

San Francisco Favorites by Ramblings of a Wild One Finally, I got some time to put together a little run-down of my weekend in San Fran ( last weekend )!! I went to San Francisco to attend College Fashion Week ( learn more about how I decided WTF to wear here & my final outfit choice here ) & spend a little Father-Daughter time with my Dad.

Weirdly enough, I had never been to San Francisco before… I fancy myself more of a Southern California girl (<< PS: didja know I’m moving to LA in JANUARY ?? … omg, can’t wait). Honestly, I was surprised by Northern California. It’s a little chillier than SoCal & the vibes of San Francisco reminded me more of a North Eastern town.. it has a feel all its own. I also loved how the city is separated into very specific neighborhoods. I got to visit many of them, but I can’t wait to go back and explore the rest!

We didn’t get to spend that much time in the city ( because we only had 2 days.. ugh ), but we did get to cross a few San Fran must-sees off the to-do list. I’m no pro at conquering San Francisco, but here are some of my favorites from my weekend (+ Some pictures from College Fashion Week at the End!):

This post is pretty lengthy, so prepare yourself »

ROAWO's San Francisco Checklist: Lots to see in so little time! First off, I should note that we stayed at the cutest little boutique hotel called Hotel Carlton in the Nob Hill area. We were greeted with a bottle of red wine ( from the California wine-country ) by some witty hotel employees.

The decor throughout the hotel is eclectic & super-chiller status. Hotel Carlton is less than a 10 minute walk from Union Square (<< we’ll get to this later) and is an LEED certified hotel (which means its environmentally responsible… how California, right?).

Hotel Carlton :: ROAWO's Guide to San Fran Hotel Carlton :: ROAWO's Guide to San Fran Hotel Carlton :: ROAWO's Guide to San Fran Obviously, my Dad insisted I see the Golden Gate Bridge ( he’s an airline pilot on the side, so he’s seen it 302843854 times & thinks its an absolute must-see ). Its windy AS HELL up there on the Golden Gate & you have an insane view of the city from that vantage point. I mean, its a seriously beautiful city. The huge ocean, huge mountains, and views made me feel teeny-tiny. Its a killer feeling fer sher.

Dynamo Donuts :: ROAWO's Guide to San Francisco For breakfast on Saturday morning, we headed over the Mission District to see what all the hype is about Dynamo Donut + Coffee. I discovered this little gem while watching one of my favorite shows, Unique Sweets on The Cooking Channel. This place is a serious must-eat.

I have always been a donut lover ( who isn’t ?? ), but sometimes, those little pastries can make my stomach hate the hell out of me. I mean, some donuts are just too sweet. At Dynamo D+C, they understand that sentiment completely, and have created some extremely balanced, gourmet donuts with some interesting flavors. Plus, they use mainly organic and local ingredients…. ahhh two of my favorite, favorite, favorite things ( times a million ).

Dynamo Donut + Coffee :: ROAWO's Guide to San Fran I tried the Lemon + Pistachio Donut ( not a normal choice for me.. but let me tell ya, I do not regret it ) and the sticky bun ( a HUGE cinnamon roll, basically ). I 100% recommend the Lemon + Pistachio donut if its on the menu when you ( inevitably ) make a trip to Dynamo. The flavor was done perfectly ( PS: sorry for the shitty picture… iPhone photography at its finest… ugh ).

The Mission District is really freaking badass too. It’s kinda of grungy, but in that cool, laid-back kind of way.

Mission District: ROAWO's Guide to San Francisco

Mission District: ROAWO's Guide to San Francisco

Shop the Look: Jacket, Top, Jeans, Shoes, Bag, Sunnies

Okay, possibly my favorite spot in San Fran??? Union Square, duh. For those of you who live in SF, you’re probably thinking ‘gross, what a cliche‘ BUT: I’m a serious shopping-addict, so can you blame me?

I checked out the BCBG/Herve Leger by Max Azria storefront ( and ended up staying for like two hours… sorry Dad ) while I was there and DIED/ fell in love.

BCBG & Herve Leger by Maz Azria Storefront in San Francisco First of all: I got to try on some seriously insane dresses & shoes… AND they have champagne. So, why would you ever want to leave? The girls ( and guys! ) who work here are super-chic and helpful too. Shopping here is a real experience ( even you’re not going to buy anything… some of the price tags are redic, obviously ).

BCBG Booties :: zOMG.

These Shoes in a Heel Version Found Here

BCBG Holiday Collection Dress :: ROAWO

Dress found Here

Herve Leger Dress :: ROAWO

Herve Leger Dress found Here

After shopping around a little on Saturday, we went to check out Lombard Street. Apparently, this street is ‘the most crooked street in the world,’ though I can’t tell you who came up with that title or if ‘crookedness’ is something that you can actually measure.

Anywho, Lombard Street is a super-crooked street that snakes left and right all the way down a huge hill in San Francisco. From the top, you have a reallllly insane view. The street is lined with flowers and cute little town homes ( that probably cost a pretty penny ). Warning though, this is a major tourist hub, but its worth it.

Lombard Street :: San Francisco

from Instagram: @ROAWildOne

Lombard Street :: San Francisco Lombard Street Town home: San Francisco After taking in the views & touristy sites of SF, I had to stop by Samovar Tea Lounge to try some of their famous tea and soak in the super-zen atmosphere. I have never been to a cafe specifically for tea ( usually, I’m a coffee girl ), but I’ve become really obsessed with specialty tea lately. So, I had to check it out. This place has a calming, hip-vibe.

I got the Green Ecstasy Tea ( << really good and earthy ) & my Dad ( who is a little less adventurous ) got the Tea Lemonade. We also shared the ‘Raw Honeycomb with Local Artisan Cheese, Homemade Crackers & Fresh Fruit‘ Plate. Gahhh, that raw honeycomb.. I could eat it all day. And cheese… duh.

Samovar Tea Lounge :: San Francisco Samovar Tea Lounge :: San Francisco Samovar Tea Lounge :: San Francisco Samovar Tea Lounge :: San Francisco Before I made my way to College Fashion Week, I had my hair blown out at the drybar ( Union Square Location ). I had never been to a drybar before, and I instantly fell in love. The salon is so clean & fresh, and I love the bar theme they have going. I sat back, sipped some fruit-infused water, and had someone else mess with my hair for a nice change.

I need to learn how to blow out my hair like they do… I mean, they are seriously skilled. I got the Mai Tai blowout: nice, messy waves. Also, I got roped into buying the Texas Tea hair volumizer spray, and I can’t say that I’m sad about it. It’s pretty good stuff.

The Drybar Experience :: ROAWO

from Instagram: @ROAWildOne

Mai Tai :: The Drybar Blowout Saturday Night, I went to Her Campus College Fashion Week. It was a night full of drinks (at the Origin Nightclub), makeup (by bareMinerals), hair-dos (by TRESemmé), and clothing (from Boohoo). The whole set up was so fun, and I got to meet some really cool people who are as interested in fashion as I am.

HerCampus: College Fashion Week: ROAWO

from Instagram: @ROAWildOne

Most girls ( & guys ) I met there work in publications ( blogs, college newspapers, etc. ), study fashion, or are just super interested in clothes & accessories, like me. I snagged some pictures from the HerCampus CFW Facebook page to show y’all how sweet the setup was.

HerCampus: College Fashion Week HerCampus: College Fashion Week HerCampus: College Fashion Week After the show, my Dad and I grabbed a late dinner at Waterfront in Fisherman’s Wharf. This place is on the water & a little pricier than the usual, but its worth the extra $$. It was a really relaxing spot to grab a nice glass of wine & enjoy some authentic, local seafood.

I went a little overboard and got: a 2006 Cab Franc from Napa ( zOMG ), Baked Oysters, Organic Greens Salad, Pan Roasted Sea Bass with Veggies, and some of their Lemon Cheesecake (zOMG times a million).

I can’t pass up an opportunity to indulge in some quality food-age. Also: the Italians that I know would look at me like I was crazy for this food and wine pairing.. but I couldn’t help it.

I seriously LOVE all that San Francisco has to offer, and I can’t wait to make many a trip back to discover more. For those of you who live in ( or just love ) San Francisco, what did I miss? I need to add some places to my future San Fran To-Do list.

Marble Stairs:: San Francisco Sidenote: How cool are these marble stairs?? Doorway of my dreams.

BTW: Have you entered the sweet giveaway I’ve got going on right now? Click here for details! 

Until tomorrow, ladiez.

P xx

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Florence, Italy : The Food

Florence, Italy :: The Food [ See the full guide to Florence, Italy here ]

I’m sure you already know this, but Italian food is kind of amazing. Lets just state the obvious. The elephant in the room. During my summer abroad, my roommates and I ate out for pretty much every meal. Yes, it was expensive, but we never actually had time to go to the grocery store & prepare our own meals. Thats the thing about studying abroad in the summertime: there is SO much to do and SO little time.

I think its also important to note that dining is almost a religious experience in Italy. Another European thing that they just get. I am all about the dining experience ( the atmosphere, the people, the drinks, and obviously the food ), so eating was pretty much my favorite part of the trip. Italians often eat slowly, drink for the added flavor ( literally NO ONE drinks to get drunk… its a dead giveaway that you’re American, by the way ), & grab a cappuccino or espresso at the end of meals. So, give that whole process a try… but a warning: the wine in Italy is stronger & SO good… so slow sippin’ is probably a good idea.

Heres a little list of some of my favorite food spots in Florence, along with various things you just have to try:

Cheese & Wine :: Food in Florence, Italy 1. One Word. Cheese : You can get a yum-o little cheese plate at pretty much any restaurant in Florence. I freaking love cheese ( << sounds so strange to say for some reason ). But, who doesn’t? The mozzarella in Florence is literally to-die-for, because its usually made fresh.. like everything else. We could really take a hint from the Italians: Fresh is the BEST. Usually, a cheese plate will include some sliced meats, fruits, & balsamic / honey as well. Too. Damn. Good.

Cappuccino :: Florence, Italy 2. Cappuccino : This little glass of goodness was my BEST friend in Florence. Cappuccino was always there for me: for dessert ( sooooo Italian of me ), during a rough morning, before class, etc. Florentines ( is that a word? ) know their cappuccino, & I honestly think you can get a good cup of this stuff basically anywhere. They even do it To-Go ( which they call “Take Away,” not to-go ). Most Italians will drink theirs at the cafe, because ( like I said before ) they savor the whole experience when it comes to food and drink. Drinking a cappuccino or espresso is not something they do on the go, its something they do in conjunction with conversation / relaxation. So, slow down for a sec, learn some italian words from a barista or the Italian sitting next to you, and enjoy your capp, k?

Mercato Centrale :: Florence, Italy

source: instagram

3. Mercato Centrale : I got reeeeeal lucky because this amazing market was quite literally 20 steps from my apartment in Florence. At the very bottom floor of the Mercato Centrale is a huge underground-looking market with fresh fruit, veggies, pastas, meats, and other foods ( some of them very, very strange ). There’s also a little espresso / cappuccino counter where you can get the cheapest capp in town. Its a giant market and is open until around 2, so go early in the day. On the top floor is a collection of cafes / bars / restaurants with an assortment of food & drinks. This part is open pretty much all day. There is also a little store for cooking ingredients / supplies & wine. And theres a kitchen for cooking classes ( sooooo nice ). My friends learned to make Gnocchi in the kitchen at the Mercate Centrale. It is near the main train station in Florence, and a very necessary stop on your foodie tour.

Gelato :: Florence, Italy 4. Gelato : Okay, this one is obvious. Florence has a gelato shop on every corner, pretty much. My favorite was Gelateria Edoardo near the Duomo.  A little tip I learned is to generally stay away from the gelato near the tourist hubs ( the Duomo, big piazzas, etc ) , but this place was an exception. Generally, the cafes near tourist areas will be more expensive and less authentic. You see that huge pile of colorful gelato staring at you from the window of that highly-trafficked, touristy cafe? Stay. away. The real deal stuff isn’t that huge or colorful. The size / color is a ploy to attract tourists ( mainly us Americans whom are entranced by the “bright & shiny” things of the world ). The good stuff, I learned, is at the places that have their gelato covered in metal lids. Its a must to find your fav gelato place & become a regular ( this goes for cafes too ). You’ll feel like a local.

Astor :: Food in Florence The Diner :: Food in Florence The Diner :: Food in Florence 5. Astor & The Diner : Are you craving the greasy-goodness of American food? Welp, these two places will provide just that. After being in Florence for awhile, I just really, really needed a hamburger. At Astor, you can get a burger, fries, and a beer for super, super cheap. At The Diner, you can get those things, as well as an American-Style breakfast and much more. If we are being really honest here, none of it is as good as the real thing, but its good enough ( not to mention familiar enough ) to get you through a home-sick, I-need-a-huge-plate-of-grease lull. ( Please ignore the photo quality, iPhones aren’t exactly the most professional… )

6. Da Pinocchio : Okay, so this restaurant was in the same building as my apartment, so we frequented it a lot. One grrreat thing about living in this area was we got to know the owners and workers at this little place. They offer a great student discount ( alongside most other restaurants in Florence ) & great service. I recommend getting the Ravioli with Spinach & Truffle and a glass of the House Red Wine. The truffle in Florence is life-changing and the ravioli here is incredible ( most places will have this dish, actually ). We developed an early loyalty to Da Pinocchio, so I had to mention it. My Gluten-Intolerance was out of control in Florence, but this amaaaazing ravioli was so, so worth it. & Free Wifi lolz.

7. Mimi & Coco : This restaurant was also right next to my apartment, so we frequented it as well. Again, the Spinach & Truffle Ravioli & House Wine is my recommendation here. We became friends with the people who worked at Mimi & Coco as well. I think this restaurant is a little more well-known than Da Pinocchio, but its about the same quality. I loved this place because they would stay open a little later than usual just to feed us after a night out… they never turned us away & we were pretty annoying soo….

Gusta Pizza :: Florence, Italy 7. Gusta Pizza : This one is a must-have. I repeat, A MUST have. It is on the more local-ridden side of the river & the pizza is possibly the best in the city. Its a Firenze classic for study-abroaders. It is on every list of Florence food suggestions, so I had to add it to this one. Theres a reason for that too…. Its unbelievable. I am a lover of really, really thin pizza with delicate, melt-in-your-mouth flavor. This is Gusta Pizza in a nutshell. My friends claim that the Pesto Pizza is the absolute best. It isn’t on the menu, but they know what you’re talking about when you ask for it. I stick with the classic cheese usually ( yeah, I know I’m boring ) & it was no upset.

8. Veggy : As a juice fanatic, I frequented Veggy for their green juice. Florence doesn’t have many vegetarian / juice places, so this is a little gem. It may seem a little expensive, but I didn’t think it was too bad in comparison to most Juice places in the United States. They have all kinds of juices, salads and wraps. Its a nice light option in comparison to most of the other restaurants in Florence. AND the juice is HUGE ( major plus considering my juicing addiction ).

9. Fruit Stands : Another light, detox option is going to a fruit stand. There a couple strewn about Florence. The one I frequented was near the Duomo ( or I went into the Mercato Centrale ), but you can probably find another one close to your area if thats inconvenient. I luuuurve my fruit, so these little stands were heaven on wheels  ( or pegs or whatever ). Also, the fruit is pretty cheap. Overall a good choice for a little detoxifying snack.

10. Ristorante Messicano Tijuana : Are you a Texan or just overall badass who needs Mexican food to live? Well, heres your place. I didn’t get to try it, unfortunately, but my roommates ( who know their mex food ) said it was really good. Obviously, in Texas, we eat a lot of Tex-Mex, but this is real, quality, straight-up Mexican food. The exception is that they have queso, which I’m fairly certain is a Tex-mex thing. But seriously, they have queso, so you have to go this one.

11. Pino’s Sandwiches : This is another one I didn’t get the chance to try, but my roommates who stayed a little longer than me loved it ( as did most people I have talked to about food in Florence ). Its a classic little sandwich shop that is fairly infamous for their yum-o sammies. Its a quick & easy place to stop by if you have a busy day. Or if you don’t. Whatever.

So, I’m not really sure why my lists always end at super random and awkward numbers… it is a painful thing for the perfectionist side of me to look at. Stay tuned for some more Florence tips & helpful info !! Also, don’t forget to check out the entire guide to Firenze here!

Now, its your turn. What is your favorite Florence, Italy food spot? What did I miss?

[ PS ]



A Few of my Favorite Things + A Little Promo Code Surprise !!

A Few of my Favorite Things // ROAWO Another favorites post is finally here! Every once-in-awhile I like to share a few of the little things that make me happy, happy, happy. These little parts of my every-day life ( most days ) either make me feel like I’ve really got my shit together / they look pretty and/or they make me a cool, calm, and collected human ( <<< necessary ).

So here’s my most recent collection of simple, every-day favorites:

Healthy Breakfast // A Few of My Favorite Things // ROAWO 1. A Healthy, Homemade Breakfast: I LOVE starting my day with a well-sized, healthy breakfast. For some reason, it just makes me feel clean & organized which is the BEST way to start the day. There’s just something about the good, clean energy that getting up and cooking some bfast gives you… plus it makes my house smell nice and home-y.

Usually, I’ll have something like this :: A mixture of whole-eggs / egg whites with avocado & my homemade salsa on top, blueberries, a glass of green tea, & a big glass of lemon water.

You Musn't  Be Afraid to Sparkle a Little Brighter, Darling // A Few of my Favorite Things // ROAWO A Few of my Favorite Things // ROAWO 2. Daily Inspo Quotes: I am obsessed with words ( probably why I’ve loved every literature class I’ve ever taken )… like really, really obsessed with them. I mean, my Quote Board on Pinterest is ridiculously lengthy ( around 2,500 quotes pinned to date ).

I think what I like the most is how I can read how someone ELSE puts words together and think “wow, that’s EXACTLY how I feel / think!” Because, sometimes, its hard for me to do that myself.  I think its kind of hard for all of us at times… thats what can make communicating so difficult. Communication is SO complex ( << obviously, you can tell I’m really interested in this topic ).

Anyways, so back to my framed inspo: this is the easiest way for me to remind myself every day to be happy / stay inspired. Okay, so the second quote I have pictured is a little aggressive / extreme, but whatever. We all get in those moods where we need a little bit of that. I like to print out my favorite quotes, frame them, and put them around my room for a daily dose of badass-ary.

Fresh Flowers // A Few of My Favorite Things // ROAWO Fresh Flowers // A Few of My Favorite Things // ROAWO 3. Fresh Flowers: They always say every room needs something alive to make it feel right. Enter: flowers. This is SUCH an easy way to brighten up your home. I mean, when is the last time a freshly-cut flower bouquet / plant has ever stressed you out? Pretty much never. Though I’m just a college-kid on a college-budget, I try to pick up some flowers whenever I see some that I must have.

Grocery-store flowers are good ( cheap ) enough for me.

Laptop Skin // Society 6 // ROAWO 4. This “Wanderlust” Laptop Skin from Society6.com: So, if you’ve kept up / ever read ROAWO before, you know I like to travel as much as possible. Obviously, this laptop extra is perfffect for me. I’m kind of in love with it. Plus, I’ve gotten so many compliments, so obviously, its da-bomb.com.

Also, Society6 is one of my FAV online shops for stuff like tech skins / prints / iPhone cases / etc. There are so many options, so theres something for everyone.

Louboutins // A Few of my Favorite Things // ROAWO Louboutins // A Few of my Favorite Things // ROAWO 5. These Christian Louboutin Wooden-Heel Leather Platforms: I mean, can we have a moment of silence for these? I’m known to splurge occasionally on some of my must-have items ( sparingly, of course ) & these were seriously so worth it ( I found a similar pair on eBay here << such a steal ).

But, exactly as expected :: I haven’t worn them yet because I’m too scared to scratch them up / get them dirty. You might be thinking “then whats the point of…” I get it, okay. I’m a crazy freak. I also always get the bottom-protector put on these types of shoes as well :: I don’t like when the red gets all scratchy.. OCD.

Metallic Tats // A Few of My Favorite Things // ROAWO 6. MetallicTats: I am seriously into this trend. First off, I don’t really like wearing a ton of bracelets, because I feel like they just get in my way. So, these are perfect for me. These jewelry-inspired temporary tattoos stay on for 4-6 days and look so, so badass.

MetallicTat is the brand I’m currently working with & I LOVE them! MetallicTat is owned by Leandra Simmons out of Encinitas, CA ( << one of my favorite places ever ) and her designs are fun, unique, and perfect for festivals / parties / a night out / or whatever else.

** The Super exciting part:: Visit MetallicTat on Etsy ( link above ) and use the promo code ROAWO10 at checkout to receive 10% off your order !! **

( I’ve already featured this little bull-skull metallic tattoo here. )

My German Shepherd // A Few of My Favorite Things // ROAWO My German Shepherd // A Few of My Favorite Things // ROAWO 7. My Most Favorite Thing… My German Shep, Drogo: He completes my life, pretty much. Who needs a boyfriend ( or even friends… k no, thats dramatic) when you have the most perfect / sweetest cuddle-bud ever? Most of my day consists of: feeding Drogo / walking Drogo / talking to Drogo like he’s a human & like he’s going to answer me. I have long, sometimes funny, convos with my pup.. like a crazy-dog lady ( yes, he’s not even a real adult-dog yet.. an 80-pound beebus <<< my coined term for “baby” ). Maybe he wants to hear about my day, okay?

But actually, having a dog means someone(thing) will literally think that you are the best person / thing that has ever existed. Ever. You can’t NOT love that. Plus, despite his I-could-eat-you-whole appearance, Drogo is the sweetest & most playful dog ever. Best friends fo life.

So thats it for for now. I’m finally starting to create a posting schedule ( for the last week, I’ve posted almost every day ). Now, I’m going to try to stick to Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

I also wanted to take a sec to thank everyone who has given me such amazing / encouraging feedback about ROAWO. I originally started this whole thing as material for internships and I have gotten SO much more from it:: discounts, promos, & collabs ( <<< so fun, contact me for info @ ramblingsofawildone@yahoo.com ) / connections with people who enjoy the same things that I do / further knowledge in the subjects I’m interested in / a creative outlet to fill my time / etc.

So thanks to everyone who has been soooo cool about it. I really appreciate it. Really.

[ PS ]

 



Durango, CO :: Part II

Durango part 2 Here’s a lil’ recap of my last few days in Durango:: ( If you didn’t see Part I of my Durango adventures, check it out here )

So, my family is extremely into sports/being active ( those of you who know me are thinking… duh ), so we always enjoy getting outside and getting a little workout in. Durango has some really pretty hiking trails, so we decided to go for it.

fruit and granola fitfam hike wildflowers IMG_6452 IMG_6416 The hike took us about 2 hours to finish. There wasn’t an inch of the land that wasn’t absolutely beautiful AND the air was sooo crisp and clean.. I love it. My little brother was even able to finish the hike ( props on being a strong leetle kid, Brooks ), but I can’t say that he did it without complaints.

After our hike, we ate at Kennebec Cafe. We got the charcuterie plate to start ( << freakin’ delish ) and I got the Grilled Top Sirloin with mashed potatoes ( << I could live off of mashed potates ) and spinach. Mine was the table favorite, per usual. I have quite the knack for ordering.

pint cup ALSO: this Hubert’s Lemonade was a good little find at the grocery store in Durango. Its all-natural ( they also have organic ) and soooo tart, which is exactly how I like my lemonade. It tastes super natural and clean.. no nasties. And its cute-looking. Oh, and I snatched this awesome pint glass from Earthbound Trading Co for like $2.. I luv.

I have been so spoiled this week and a half with perfect weather in California + Colorado… I’m dreading getting off the plane in Texas to a cloud of humidity. I LOVE the crap outta Texas, but the weather isn’t the most amazing thing ever.

‘Till next time.

[ PS ]



Durango, CO

Durango, CO :: As told by ROAWO I am SO in love with Colorado in the summer, it’s unreal. Its the perfect temp and not humid at all ( esp for someone coming from Texas.. hot and humid is pretty much the norm ). The cherry on top of this little getaway was our new house in Durango. Seriously, the perfect mountain home… I’m such a lucky gal !! Here’s my favorite stuffz about the house ::

Durango, CO :: As told by ROAWO IMG_6109 DurangoLeather IMG_6112 IMG_6218 The town of Durango is the cutest little town I’ve ever seen.  Its a little hippie town ( probably why my grandma loves it so much.. she’s a little bit of a tree-hugger ) with a large Native-American presence. There is an endless amount of amazing restaurants that provide yummy meals made from organic and locally grown ingredients ( << they’re real big on that in CO ). In the evening, most bars/restaurants have live music and options to have a drink/relax or dance.

Also, Durango hosts SO MANY places to shop for gypsy/Native American-esque jewelry, leather, home decor, etc (some of my jewelry bought from Durango can be seen here). My favorite.

Here’s some highlights from the first few days in CO::

IMG_6088 IMG_6191 My favorite coffe-spot in town:: The Steaming Bean Coffee Co.. the lady who works there is such a badass too.. its a must-go.

Granola_Latte IMG_6201 IMG_6248 The train that goes from Durango to the town of Silverton is something you gotta do at least once. We rode in the Silver Vista train car, and it was so worth the money to sit first-class. The car was glass-roofed and open on the sides so we could see EVERYTHING.. which is what you want because the views are absolutely incredible.

Seriously, though. Amazing. The railroad also offers special wine tasting experiences and a bunch of free stuff when you sit first class, SO its worth it. A 3 hour train-ride is really only enjoyable with some snack/drank action going on.

IMG_6291 IMG_6386 Colorado in the summer = flowers galore. The town is COVERED in them and they are all bright and perfect and beautiful.

IMG_6387 Also a must-go:: The Durango Juice Bar. I got the Daily Greens Juice ( spinach, parsley, kale, celery, cucumber, green apple, & lemon ) with a wheatgrass shot pretty much every day. The sunflower seeds are grrreat too. My 9-year-old brother liked the green juice here.. so obviously, its freakin’ good.

A couple other places we ate in the first few days that I recommend are::

Eolus:: really good organic food and tons of gluten-free options ( and sushi )! I got the chopped salad and we all split the flourless chocolate cake, the creme brûlée, and the gluten-free beignets w/ lemon custard sauce. My family goes really hard in the desert arena… as you can tell. Also, Eolus has live music most nights on the roof in the summer.. its a really cool spot.

Christina’s Mexican Grill & Bar:: the most amazing mexican food! I mean, we have GREAT mex food in Texas, but this place competes with some of the best Mexican food I’ve ever had. I got this amazing Pollo Asado with beans and rice on the side ( we all decided mine was everyone’s fav ). They serve some AMAZE breakfast too.

Find Part II of the trip here!

IMG_6139 [ PS ]

 

 



Quick California Trip: Instagood

Not long after returning home to the US of A, I was (already) packing my bags for San Diego / Orange County, Calif. No whining for me, though, considering California is basically my second favorite place on Earth (behind Texas, of course). Here’s my SD / OC adventures via Instagram ::

[ Del Mar / Encinitas / Carlsbad ]

Okay, so the first two aren’t from Instagram. They were taken by a cute old man photographer who was taking pics on the beach while I was watching my boi surf.. I made friends with him, naturally. I love seeing people who are so in love with what they do.. And he certainly was.

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I love the chill-vibe San Diego has going on. It feels so much cleaner than LA… And much slower-paced. Huge difference.

[ Newport / Huntington ]

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ZZOMG:: I love Lemonade. I always make it a point to swing by this place for a little somethin’ when I can. It’s a healthy lunch spot but the portions are freeaking gigantic, so make sure your eyes aren’t bigger than your stomach. This time I got Citrus-Poached Salmon, Israeli Truffle Couscous, Brussels Sprouts ( yum ), and Cucumber Mint Lemonade.

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My beach necessities :: A book ( this time it was Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn… I’m only halfway through so more to come on that ), sunnies, food ( duh.. Acai bowl ), and H2O because I’m a water-fiend.

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Casey’s Cupcakes in The Fashion Island shopping center :: First of all, this chickadee WON Cupcake Wars on Food Network. Second of all, Casey’s offers gluten-free and vegan options, specialty cupcakes, online ordering AND you can purchase cupcake mix online ( ballin’ ). & Third of all, she’s a major HOTTIE. Like, really a babe. Make sure to visit Casey’s Cupcakes when you’re in the area. PS : There are 3 locations, so visit the website ( linked above ) to see which one is closest to you… And then get there ASAP.

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The US Open of Surfing was… An interesting experience. We weren’t there very long, but I honestly felt slightly out of place surrounded by a sea of Tweens with “FREE HUGS” written across their tween-y chests / stomachs. You wouldn’t believe how many awkward brace-faced, coed, oddly-flirtatious selfies I witnessed whilst roaming around the beach. So, I noticed it was run mainly by a younger crowd BUT it was also a people-watching haven… So I had a good time. We were a little late to see any actual surfing, which was a bummer, but there’s always next year.

Now onto Durango, Colorado.

[ PS ]



Nice, France

Considering I have been studying the French language for 9 years now, I was SO PUMPED to finally be able to practice the language with some real french peeps. Also, getting away to the South of France is the perfect end to our super-difficult study-abroad week [lol, jokes jokes].

The French Riviera We stayed at the HI Hotel Eco Spa & Beach during our trip to Nice. We were there for two nights, but, wow, did this little beach town really get the best of us. We indulged in some great food, a lot of sun, and some really great drinks…. but the hotel was less-than-pleased that my good vegetarian friend decided to chunk a hamburger out of the window at 3 AM.. perhaps she was taking a late night stand against the meat industry? Who knows. However, the beach that the HI Hotel provided was parfait for our bronzing, eating, sipping and people watching.

The French Riviera

wearing Victoria’s Secret swimsuit [similar here bc I can’t find it online]

The French Riviera My favorite little breakfast spot was a place called Le Cocodile on the Promenade des Anglais. We ate brunch here both mornings… the omelets kept us comin’ back for more. Also, the prices weren’t absolutely ridiculous, so thats an extremely lucky find in the area. We got to look at perfect blue water, eats omelets seasoned to perfection and sip cappuccino. Life is hard… I know.

Le Cocodile, Nice, France The French Riviera As far as nightlife goes, the only club we went to was the High Club on the main street, the Promenade des Anglais [this street runs down the whole coast in town pretty much]. The atmosphere was really really freaking cool, because there were 3 separate “clubs” within High club, each with it’s own vibe. Sadly, I entered the club with a huge purse and exited sans purse, so that was a little bit of a buzzkill. BUT fortunately, the hotel’s guest services at our next stop [ Monte Carlo, Monaco ] frantically contacted the club’s owner and bugged him enough, and after many e-mails and phone calls, I have all my stuff back! The people at the High Club were extremely accommodating, offered wonderful service and helped return my stuff [including ALL my credit cards, cash, camera, phone, etc]. Thats a pretty good deal.

The High Club, Nice, France

spotted: purse before it was gone (almost) forever. Wearing Zara in-store.. not available online.

The High Club, Nice, France I got VERY lucky in Nice, and now on to Monte Carlo, Monaco [ maybe my luck will follow me into the casino? ] … and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Merci de lire mes divagations, mes amis!

PS: A few more pics because I just can’t help myself…

Mon petit chien

how. cute. leetle french dog.

The French Riviera The French Riviera { PS }

 

 

 

 



Weekend in Cinque Terre, Italy

Vernazza, Cinque Terre Cinque Terre. Wowzas my friends. Cinque Terre is a collection of five villages on the eastern coast of Italy. It has definitely been my favorite part of my voyage to Italy thus far. The people were incredible, friendly, and extremely proud of their native villages. It has a much safer and much more communal feel than Florence and Rome, if that is what you prefer. Luckily, we got to spend the 4th of July here… and surprisingly, most people didn’t look at us like we were ignorant/idiotic Americans as we sported our USA swizzag through the streets/on the beach. We took the train from Florence to the villages. Each of the five villages has a small station, so the train provided a very quick method of transportation between villages, as well. Here’s a lil’ list of weekend highlights for y’all:

Vernazza Apartment, Cinque Terre, Italy 1. Our apartment: I was able to find a pretty insane apartment in the village of Vernazza for a bargain on Booking.com [exact apartment found here]. This location in the village gave us an incred view of the ocean AND the village. Also, it was very close to the square, which is treated as the center of Vernazza. Really, anywhere you stay there is convenient.. its pretty small.

Vernazza, Cinque Terre Vernazza, Cinque Terre 2. Sunset Cruisin’: This was the first thing we did in Cinque Terre. We literally walked from the train station [in Monterosso] to Angelo’s Boat Tours for our sunset cruise. I liked this option because it allowed for a private tour on a smaller boat, so it was a calm and relaxing ending to a day spent on trains/in train stations. AKA: the last thing I wanted to do after being surrounded by disgusto, germy trains and the chaos that is the Italian rail system all day is be in the middle of yet another mass of strangers. Not calming.

Sunset Boat Tour, Cinque Terre, Italy

Sunset Boat Tour, Cinque Terre, Italy At the beginning of our journey, we were served aparitivo [salumi, cheese, focaccia, and prosecco.. aka Italian champagne] and we got to jam our own tunes over the speaks on the boat. PRETTY fun if ya ask me. PS: got this badazz Kimono/coverup from PUBLIK, naturally. 

Sunset Boat Tour, Cinque Terre, Italy IMG_5562 Sunset Boat Tour, Cinque Terre, Italy THEN, we stopped at a dinner place [din is included in the price] with a set menu, so we were able to eat the best that the restaurant had to offer. They really like to show off their culture [i.e. food, drink, music, art, etc], so you can assume that when they suggest something in that realm, its ballin. As the sun set, we continued our cruise around the villages [sounds like something from a Nicolas Sparks novel.. but I couldn’t think of a way to make that less romantic/cheesy sounding.. so plz excuse]. They were even kind enough to drop us off in our own village, rather than at the boat’s docking point. These folks really go out of their way to make you a happy camper.

Sunset Boat Tour, Cinque Terre, Italy 3. The People: Seriously, though. The people here almost out-shined the friendly folks of small-town Texas.. Almost. Like I said before, they want you to go home with only wonderful stories, because they need excellent recommendations [more visitors] to keep their economy healthy. We met new friends almost instantly, as we were lost on the way to our apartment [typ], and were directed to go to a bar called Burgus in the main piazza [square].. and it became my favorite night-spot. If you want to meet some of the badass village inhabitants, make this your go-to for nightlife. Its really small and cozy, and the bartenders will usually give you cheap drinks or just flat-out give you them for free [if you’re like us, and really try to involve yourself with the lives of the villagers]. My fav people were: The Boss & Uncle Jack.. yes those are their names. And obviously all the cute italian boys. Keep your eyes open.

Hiking Trail, Vernazza, Cinque Terre 4. Hiking: Besides the train, you can get to each village via hiking trails in the mountains. We woke up a leetle early on the 4th of July to get in a quick hike before we headed to the beach. We took the trail from Veranzza to Corniglia, which was no joke. The majority of the hike was up-hill/steep, so consider it your workout for the day. Or for the week. Its also pretty easy to get distracted from hiking the ass-building trails/stairs by the view of the ocean and the little vineyards.

Corniglia, Cinque Terre Corniglia, Cinque Terre Corniglia, Cinque Terre It took us about an hour to get to Corniglia, where we stopped at Caffe Matteo for a snack and cappuccino.. and wine. Again, the staff was beyond amazing. Our waitress even gave us a discount.. probably because we were so happy and interested to be there. Bottom line: don’t be a sour-puss and you’ll have so much more extra cashmoney to spend in the little jewelry shops. We didn’t get the chance to hike to the other villages [though we did go via train], but I’m sure I will be back here at some point. Worth it.

Caffe Matteo: Corniglia, Cinque Terre 5. The Seafood: Considering the villages are coastal, one could guess that this seafood is no-nonsense fresh/absolutely the most wonderful feesh you’ll ever have. My favorite place was Taverna Del Capitano because a 4-course meal with wine costs around 25 euros, which is an incredible deal considering the portion size and the variety. Again, our waiter, David, became one of our many friends… blah blah blah.

Taverna Del Capitano, Cinque Terre, Italy 6. Obviously, The Beach: This one is a no-brainer. As you could probably tell from previous pics, the beach in Cinque Terre is unreal. We spent the rest of Independence Day on the beach with personal wine bottles, because, why not? The next day, we rented beach chairs on a private beach (with wifi, strangely) and relaxed by the water. all. day. Livin’ the life. Another perk was the handcrafted-by-God staff of lifeguards that we considered fake-drowning for. Lucky for us, we got invited to an Italian disco on the beach that night by one of them [Matteo, whom we saw actually save someone from drowning… omigod]. The best part of Cinque Terre is becoming so involved in local events/ talking to local people. So forget about how awkward you are / how much you can’t speak Italian and just TRY to communicate with the people who live there. It is so so worth it.

Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy There were so many more perfect little scenes that pictures just could not capture. Cinque Terre is probably the most beautiful place I have seen in Europe thus far, and its hard to believe that another place could come close in comparison. Luckily for me, I have so much more traveling/discovering to do this summer, so it may just happen. Who knows.

Where’s your favorite Cinque Terre hidden gem? Lemme know dolls.

[ PS ]



The Hollywood Hills: A Haven for You Hippies

House in the Hollywood Hills

Ahhhh, I love Hollywood. It feels so.. unlimited. You know what I mean? Everyone here wants to be something. Yeah, they may be fame-hungry & annoying, but at least they have a passion. I find that incredibly stimulating.

After my recent getaway to the Venice area (one of my FAVORITE spots in LA: Details here and here), my girl Abby and I retreated to the cleanliness & the cool-breeziness of the Hollywood Hills.

House in the Hollywood Hills House in the Hollywood Hills

So, I’m in love with the cute little house we found in the Hollywood Hills area. Its a two bedroom, two bath, modern pad with an amazing view and a super-clean finishing. You can find it on Airbnb here.

I seriously CANNOT WAIT to move to the Los Angeles area next January. Y’all I mean, what could be better? California dreamin’ is a 20-something’s heaven.

Want to read more about my adventures in Hollywood? Here and Here are so more details on some of my favorite spots to hit around Los Angeles… and obviously there are many more to come!

Hollywood Hills Home

RamblingsofaWildOne.Com Hollywood Hills Home:: RamblingsofaWildOne.Com xx P

 



Venice Beach, CA: Part II

I’m continuing to relish in the greatness that is Venice.

If you missed Part I of my Venice Trip: Check it out here!

On our second day here, we ate at the famous Venice Ale House.

Venice Ale House: Venice Beach, CA

Young Coconut [yes, they chop it open right in front of you] and grapefruit juice.

Venice Ale House: Venice Beach, CA

Acai Bowl with granola & bananas

Venice Ale House: Venice Beach, CA

Grilled Wild Alaskan Sandwich with avocado, sautéed onions & spinach, garlic aioli.

After that, we biked down to the Santa Monica pier, which took a total of 5 minutes. I didn’t realize it was so close. The art scene here is wonderful.

IMG_4976 Venice Beach, CA

That night, we ate at a place called Gjelina. It was some of the best food I’ve ever had. We got the cheese plate, shrimp, and the butterscotch cream for dessert… it was incredible. Then, we took the short ride into hollywood to go a spot called Hooray Henry’s. Sidenote: Don’t buy bottle service in hollywood yourself.. they mark the prices up more than 500%… we learned the hard way.

Hooray Henry's: Hollywood, CA

On our third day in Vbeach, we ate breakfast at a place called Figtree’s Cafe that was steps away from our apartment.

Figtree's Cafe: Venice Beach, CA

Organic Steel-Cut Oats with Bananas

Figtree's Cafe: Venice Beach, CA

Fruit Plate: They don’t skimp on fruit here

Then we spent the rest of the day sipping drinks by the pool at the W Hotel Westwood at a weekly event [every sunday] called Wet Sundays. They offer cabana and day bed rentals [we got the day bed], music, bottle service, food, and an on-site photographer. Overall, a great experience and a good opportunity to meet a ton of different kinds of people (<< Like, a new Italian friend that gave me one million tips for my soon-to-come Italy trip!)

Wet Sundays: W Hotel Westwood

The Ellison: Venice Beach, CA

Where am I off to next? Hollywood/ Beverly Hills, of course! Here, here, and here are details on my days spent chilling like a celebrity.

I’m even jealous of myself… possible? Idk.

xx P