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In case you missed it, I visited the Austin, Texas area a few weeks ago to #StaySonesta at Sonesta Bee Cave Austin. and I ate lots of tacos and BBQ.

Austin was a vast and really cool city that we only scratched the surface of, and we would definitely love to go back, especially because it was 70 degrees in January! 

Love from Austin

Austin has an extensive food truck scene that they are famous for, and we loved this little area in Barton Springs. That section of town felt super cute and artsy; it made me feel like I was in California, and had parking been easier to find, I would have loved to explore a bit more.

Austin food trucks

While I was visiting to blog for Sonesta Hotels, my husband had a conference at UT Austin, and I got to visit their absolutely beautiful campus.

UT Austin

I loved that there were flowers in January, and the view of the Texas State Capitol from the main building was really neat. It was fun to wander campus. . . though I definitely felt very old!

UT Austin

Since my husband was there for work, we also met up with a group of his co-workers outside of Austin for a Texas Stars hockey game. I’m not much of a sports fan, but it was fun to see the excitement for the local team!

Texas hockey

We luckily made time to stop and explore Hope Outdoor Gallery, the graffiti park in Austin. Word on the street is that it is being demolished, so to see the graffiti and the artists in action (on a most gorgeous day)

Hope Outdoor GalleryHope Outdoor GalleryHope Outdoor Gallery

Austin and surrounding areas definitely had its fair share of art in all sorts of places. The world-renowned Forever Bicycles sculpture on the Austin waterfront was absolutely mesmerizing. It definitely made me a bit dizzy!

Austin, Texas

The waterfront itself was a lovely, natural work of art that we enjoyed immensely. That’s the thing about when we travel; we don’t need to do too much to really get a feel for a city or enjoy ourselves to the fullest. I love a nice long walk in a beautiful area.

Austin, Texas Austin, Texas

And speaking of beautiful, Bee Cave was just lovely. The Bee Cave Sculpture Park, which I wrote about for the Sonesta blog is a must-visit. It offered a variety of unique and enchanting sculptures set in a sprawling natural area, tucked in amongst busy roads and shopping. It was the perfect place to unwind.

Bee Cave Sculpture ParkIMG_8010

Sonesta Bee Cave Austin is a short drive from Lake Travis, which I can only imagine is a ton of fun for swimmers, boaters, and sun worshippers when it’s just a bit warmer out. I would love to stay at the Sonesta in Bee Cave and spend my days swimming and kayaking and enjoying some of the festivities around Lake Travis!

Lake Travis

For more of my recent travel posts, along with cocktail recipes and more, definitely visit the Sonesta blog from time-to-time. It’s the perfect spot for travel lovers!

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Tags: art, Austin, Bee Cave, Texas, Travel, travel blog, travel blogger

Welcome to paradise! We made our now annual visit to Luquillo, Puerto Rico last month, and it was as perfect as we remembered.

Read all about last year’s trip to Puerto Rico here:

Colorful Old San Juan

Luquillo’s Kiosks

Outdoor Adventures in Puerto Rico

Luquillo, Puerto Rico, A Tropical Paradise

Luquillo Sunrise Beach Inn We had a shorter amount of time for travel this year, so we decided to stay in Luquillo, with no plans other than sitting on the beach and swimming. The Luquillo Sunrise Beach Inn was a perfect, beachy home base. I didn’t take many photos, but we loved our incredibly clean and comfy room, especially the balcony and the sound of the crashing waves.

Breakfast was free and delicious (coconut cream stuffed French toast!), as was WiFi, and the location really couldn’t be beat for our purposes. The staff was friendly and warm, and the office had beach towels, boogie boards for rent, as well as stuff like beers and snacks for sale. They provided us with a ton of information and recommendations on the area and generally made us feel right at home.

Luquillo Sunrise Views on views on views

Luquillo

Despite the comfy-ness of our bed, I slept as poorly as I always do, which meant I got to capture that famous Luquillo sunrise. Just me, the waves, and the rising sun at 5:50 am. . .

Luquillo Sunrise

Being up early meant I had time to get work done before our day truly started. Try as I might to take days off, I just can’t seem to.  It was nice to get out of the way and to mostly have the whole day ahead for relaxing. Luquillo Beach

Our days in Luquillo basically looked like this. We sunbathed (with loads of SPF), drank cheap local beers and fresh coconut water, swam, rode waves on our rented boogie boards, and that’s about it.


Medalla Light

 

Luquillo Beach

Luquillo surfing

Boardriders Luquillo

 Boardriders

We spent the rest of our time primarily at Boardriders, which was one of our favorite places on our last trip. Between the great cocktails, delicious food, and stunning views, plus laid back music and a bohemian vibe, Boardriders is right up my alley, and I miss it a ton!

banana pancakes

Banana pancakes and a BLT Benedict for brunch, accompanied by just a few passionfruit mimosas. .  . brunch We also chowed down on some of the best ribs we’ve ever had, along with tuna bites and multiple tuna poke bowls. Every bite we have eaten in Boardriders has been phenomenal.

poke bowl

We also enjoyed plenty of rum drinks, live music, beautiful sunsets, people-watching in this sleepy seaside community, and of course, the below gorgeousness.

La Pared Beach

Luquillo Puerto Rico

I love Puerto Rico!

 

Terruno

We ventured out of our little neighborhood briefly one evening to go to the kiosks, where we had great food and terrible service at Terruno. It was one of our favorites last year, and we actually kind of regretted not going to Boardriders instead!

Degree 18 Juice Bar

We didn’t plan on going to El Yunque Rainforest again, but after a few days of a ton of sun, heading into a dense, dark forest was just the thing we needed. We stopped at a beautiful new juice bar, Degree 18, which was near the road to the rainforest, and we hydrated with fresh fruit and veggie smoothies. . . with maybe just a touch of Don Q rum. . .

We absolutely loved this little gem, cats and dog and great music making it a lovely place to spend a sunny Monday morning!

El Yunque

El Yunque El Yunque was cool and fresh and dim, quenching our sun-baked skin and leaving us once again in awe of its beauty. What a beautiful world we live in!

El Yunque

El Yunque

We had the best time in Luquillo. It’s an easy JetBlue flight from Boston to San Juan, with a 45 minute drive after, all on quick main highways. For us, it’s the perfect place to relax and reconnect, but with all of the activities in the area and some calm beaches, it’s also great for families.

sunset

Until next time, Puerto Rico. . . we love you!

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Tags: blogger, Food, hotels, island time, Luquillo, Puerto Rico, Travel, travel blog, travel blogger

View past Martha’s Vineyard posts :

Our stay at the Nobnocket Boutique Inn

Dinner at State Road MV

A Day Trip to Martha’s Vineyard

We discovered a few weeks ago that Martha’s Vineyard is well-worth an off-season visit, even if that visit comes right after a snowstorm and during the bitter cold of February. Our stay at the Nobnocket Boutique Inn was absolutely perfect for a relaxing weekend away from Boston, and while on the island, we made the most of our time exploring. We were surprised to find out how much was open.

Menemsha Beach After checking in at Nobnocket, we headed straight for Menemsha Beach to catch the sunset in the area. It was incredibly cold and windy, but so beautiful.

Menemsha Beach

Menemsha Beach

Aquinnah

We only lasted a few minutes walking on the beach before heading to the Menemsha Fish Market, which was open and serving piping hot lobster bisque.

snowy lobster traps

Snow definitely added an extra layer of beauty to the Vineyard that weekend!

Menemsha Beach

Still waiting for the sun to set and the Super Moon to rise, we raced over to Aquinnah and made it just in time to see the enormous moon coming up, and the sky turning all shades of pink and purple.

Aquinnah

Bean boots and beaches

It was all so breathtakingly stunning, even if we did almost fall a few times on ice as we ran up to the highest point.

Martha's Vineyard in winter

 

We were glad that we didn’t let the whipping winds keep us from catching this beauty. Only one other couple was out there with us, and other than the wind and waves, it was perfectly quiet.

Martha's Vineyard sunset

Our dinner at State Road was the coziest way to end the day!

The next morning after breakfast at the inn, we set off for the Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary with the intention of snowshoeing. There turned out to not be enough snow for that, so we ended up walking for a couple of hours, all alone in the sanctuary, except for the company of deer, otters, and other critters whose prints we saw in the snow. It was magical.

 snowy walk Martha's Vineyard

We worked up quite the hunger, and decided to head to Edgartown’s Harbor View Hotel for some snacks and a glass of wine.

Edgartown

The hotel is beautiful, and I absolutely loved the pops of color on the porch. It was a nice sight against a gray and snowy day.

Harbor View Hotel

Mini lobster tacos and the most delicious Chateau Beaulieu rosé, along with great conversation with Petro at the bar made us want to tuck in and stay for the afternoon, but we had more exploring to do!

lobster tacos

Our next stop was Oak Bluffs. . . talk about pops of color! I absolutely love all of the little cottages there and dream of spending my summer in one. They looked so adorable in the snow, and we were wishing they were year-round properties. Most of them were closed up for the season.

IMG_0297

 Oak Bluffs

Oak Bluffs Oak Bluffs

We headed back to the inn for some time chatting by the fire and then decided to check out the Vineyard Haven dining scene, first grabbing fried oysters at The Black Dog, which I know is a tourist destination, but still, I love it! It was so cozy, and the oysters were delicious.

fried oysters

We finished the night with sushi and sake cocktails at the highly recommended Copper Wok, which was really a fabulous date spot.

IMG_0311

All good things must come to an end, and due to snow on the mainland, we decided to take an earlier ferry, but not before visiting the alpacas at the alpaca farm. If you are an animal lover or have kids, it is definitely a spot worth visiting. The alpacas were cute and friendly and soft, and the store is full of beautiful alpaca fur items.

alpaca farm alpaca farm

Martha's Vineyard ferry

We left Martha’s Vineyard feeling relaxed and rejuvenated, chatting about making a winter trip an annual tradition.

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Tags: Martha's Vineyard, MV, New England, Travel, travel blog, travel blogger, traveling

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