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Camden, Maine has become an annual April excursion for us and a group of friends. While the weather can be a bit iffy, Camden is beautiful year-round, and we all enjoy good food, cocktails, wine, and laughs, making it easy for us to have a good time anywhere.

In 2016 we stayed at the beautiful Hartstone Inn, and for 2017 we decided to mix it up and stay at 16 Bay View, a new waterfront boutique hotel in Camden.

16 Bay View Camden Maine

16 Bay View is located in the heart of Camden, and while brand new, features an “old school with a twist” kind of a feel, especially in the lobby and The Vintage Room, the hotel’s restaurant and lounge.

16 Bay View

Our room was chic and luxurious with a working gas fireplace, balcony, and big fluffy bed.

boutique hotel   luxury boutique hotel

The gigantic soaking tub, however, was my favorite feature of the room. This bath was positively dreamy!

soaking tub

16 Bay View has an incredible roof deck with views of Camden Harbor, and took a quick peek of the views while we opened a magnum of Drappier Carte d’Or Champagne that we picked up for the weekend.

Drappier Champagne

I love Champagne so, and this was an excellent choice.

Camden Maine

Quintessential New England views plus sunshine plus Champagne basically equals my dream life.

Camden Maine

When the temperatures cooled off and the sun went down, The Vintage Room was the perfect place to cozy up with a cocktail and snacks like charcuterie. The food and drinks are great, and the service is even better. We love Marcus!

charcuterie

Manhattan cocktail

We managed to visit The Vintage Room a few times and even started a dance party on our last night, making for an even more memorable trip to Maine than last year. 16 Bay View was an incredible place to stay; I am still craving the fun and relaxation that the weekend brought! It’s definitely a hotel I would stay in again and again!

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Tags: Camden, champagne, cocktails, hotels, Maine, Travel, travel blog

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

It’s apparently been raining a whole lot in Northern California this year, which is good, because after years of drought, they most certainly need it! For eight glorious days in March, however, the sun came out and warmed our faces and our souls and made me want to move there all over again.

For the San Francisco portion of our trip, we stayed at the Hotel Zetta, which we completely loved. It was well-situated South of Market Street and offered modern and quirky accommodations that were pristinely clean and comfortable while being really fun to take in.

hotel zetta

hotel zetta san francisco

Hotel Zetta San Francisco 

Hotel Zetta is definitely a place to play, with their play room, bar, graffiti-marked stairwells, and whimsy everywhere, but it was also a place to get work done. I absolutely loved the desk and chair in our room and worked about eight hours a day before exploring. The food and wine was great. (I wrote about my dining experience at The Cavalier here.) Best of all, the hospitality and service were second-to-none. We received such a warm welcome and lovely interactions with staff throughout our stay; this hotel would definitely be top of our list for our next trip to San Francisco.

Hotel Zetta San Francisco

hotel zetta san francisco

As you do, I spent most of my time in San Francisco walking all over the city, up and down its famous hills, along the sea, and on the beach.

 Bay Bridge

 

The Ferry Building

The Ferry Building is always a must visit, and wine and cocktails at Hog Island Oyster were a nice way to refresh after our flight on our first day.

Hog Island Oyster

On my biggest walking day, I wandered the stunning beauty that is Ocean Beach; seriously don’t miss this expanse of sand and waves if you visit San Francisco. I set some intentions for the year while breathing in salty air, and then set off to explore Golden Gate Park.

  Ocean Beach

ocean beach san francisco

You could easily spend days wandering around and experiencing Golden Gate Park; I only had a few hours, but I loved every step.

Golden Gate Park

  I started at the Dutch Windmill and made my way to the Bison Paddock and into the Conservatory of Flowers.

Golden Gate Park

 

 

 Golden Gate Park

The Conservatory, with its greenery and humidity and just that amazing green smell was one of my favorite places in the park.

IMG_0732

And when I got to the butterfly room, I think I was more excited than the children there. Butterflies are just pure magic. They were flying and fluttering all over!

Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park  

From flower-filled meadows to hidden paths, to waterfalls, ponds filled with miniature sailboats, and so much more, Golden Gate Park is such an incredible oasis in the city and a place I will return again and again when we visit San Francisco.

Golden Gate Park

 Golden Gate Park

And speaking of places I visit again and again, Pier 39, while incredibly touristy, is a spot I always make a point of getting to; you can’t watch those sea lions without laughing with pure delight. They are adorable and hilarious!

pier 39

The foggy views of Alcatraz weren’t too bad either!

Alcatraz

There is so much to do and see in San Francisco, and plenty of outdoors activities; with the fine weather being outside was an amazing respite from New England winter!

Read all about our recent California travels:

Eating My Way Around San Francisco

The Mendocino Coast

Heritage House Resort

Find all of my travel blog posts, including Sonoma and Napa trips

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Tags: California, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, Travel, travel blog

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