My Favorite Finds in Pretty Porto, Portugal


I was so excited to finally make it to Portugal and in particular Porto. Everyone I know that goes to Porto falls in love with it. I did too. I mean, what’s not to love?! The weather is great, the people are so friendly, the food is fantastic and the city is so very charming. It doesn’t hurt that it’s inexpensive to visit. All of this is enough to make you love Porto but I’m lucky enough to also have friends that live there. This almost ALWAYS makes a visit to a new city more fun. It most certainly did for me and Porto. I cannot wait to go back again and see and do more but most of all to see my wonderful friends there. Here are some of my favorite things about Porto, Portugal.

taylor's port

P – is for Port. DUH. This is a “must do” when visiting Porto. The wine caves are all different from each other and have lots of fun tasting options and tours. My favorite was Taylor’s. They pair their ports with either orange flavored or salted chocolates. I’m not even that big of a fan of sweets but OMG that was one fabulous way to taste the difference in the ports and get the most out of them.

sunset at ela's bar

O – is for Ocean. Porto is on the Atlantic Ocean and I particularly enjoyed this as I live on the other side of the Atlantic. Plus, I love the beach. So do the Portuguese. It didn’t matter what day of the week or time of day, people were taking full advantage of the warm sunshine and I just loved that attitude. Also, you can find amazing beach bars for great drinks and some of the best & freshest seafood. I can highly recommend Ela’s Bar. It was good, we went there twice and BONUS it’s the perfect sunset viewing spot.


R – is for Restaurants. I had so many great meals in Porto but one of my favorites was Tapabento. In a quaint cafe sort of setting, Tapabento’s food was so yummy and very reasonable. 8 of us ate for just over $100 USD total and that included lots of bottles of awesome Portuguese wine.

taste porto food tour

T – is for Taste Porto Food Tours. I’m obsessed lately with food tours while traveling. Let’s just say you get to try some of the best the city has to offer and get a bit of sightseeing and historical tidbits in to boot. Taste Porto Food Tours was so good, we repeated almost all of it again on our own 2 days later. Notable stops were the Balhao Wine House for their outstanding olive oil and sardines and Leitaria Da Qta Do Paco for their famous eclairs.

porto tiles

U – is for Unique Tiles. I knew that Porto had loads of tiled buildings but I had no idea how diverse and beautiful they would be. Definitely something that makes this city so pretty and unique. You cannot help but fall in love with them.

porto cruz

G – is for one of the best Gin and Tonics I’ve ever had was at Porto Cruz. The tunes and view were also pretty fantastic. A not to miss spot if you ask me!

portuguese wine

A – is for All The Wine you can drink for ridiculously cheap! I knew Portugal was famous for port but didn’t know they had such delicious wine. We certainly did not hold back on partaking. One of my favorites was only 6€. I didn’t make it to Douro Valley where you can go wine tasting but will definitely do it the next visit to Porto.

swing station dancing

L – is for Late Night Fun. I had no idea how lively Porto would be. It is truly a city that is alive. One of my favorite activities was going to the train station for drinks and swing dancing. That’s right, swing dancing. The Portuguese in Porto like to shake their groove thing and it was one of the more fun things I’ve ever witnessed. I even pretended to know a bit and danced too.


Filed under porto, portugal, travel

“Time to Take a Map” Necklace from comuse

It’s no secret that I LOVE TO TRAVEL. So, when the founders of comuse contacted me to review their world map necklace, I did not hesitate. Comuse is an online store that sells travel inspired items meant to spark and reflect your sense of adventure. I’d definitely say this store does exactly that.

time to take a map necklace

“Time to Take a Map” necklace is a zinc alloy gold-toned world map. The 4 x 1.75 inch pendant is on a 17 inch adjustable chain and is quite the statement piece. EVERY TIME I wear this necklace I receive so many compliments. I’ve worn it casually and dressed up – it really goes with anything.

With the holiday season around the corner, do you have a wanderlust traveler in your life that would like this amazing necklace or would you just like one for yourself? You can go to comuse and include this unique promo code LolasTravels for 15% off all orders until December 31, 2015.


OR you can enter to win one right here. Lola has an extra to give away. For your chance to win, leave a comment on this post and tell me where in the world you would like to wear your world map necklace. I just wore mine to Machu Picchu!! This step is required.

Also, follow the steps listed in the widget below for your comment to count, and for additional entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest starts Monday, October 26 at 12am EST and ends Monday, November 2 at 12am EST.

Comuse  is an online venture run by husband and wife team, Neel and Dawn Bulchandani. Ideas sprout from dream-seeds. Such is the case with the birth of comuse. Neel and Dawn adore travel. They also relish opportunities to inspire travel in others. That, braided with their desire to work together more, brought about comuse. Now, they get to champion the dreams of others in tangible ways via advocating travel, adventure, discovery, wonder, whimsy, and the eminently hopeful reality that every person can be a positive change agent for their environment and the world.


Filed under fashion, style, travel

Traveling Solo Through Berlin

Berlin is one of Europe’s most influential cultural hotspots, with a mix of important historical sites, galleries and museums, as well as an underground music and art scene that attracts visitors from around the world. Whether it’s your first time traveling through the capital of Germany or you happen to be a seasoned visitor, here are a few things to do and see along the way.

The Nightlife

For anyone looking to make new friends, you’ve come to the right place. Berlin is home to what many consider to be Europe’s most eclectic and exciting nightlife, with a mixture of trendy bars, grungy music venues and large and small clubs. The areas of Kreuzberg and Mitte are great if you’re looking for a larger quantity of new places to discover, but if you’re after some of the best hot spots, then make your way to Prenzlauer Berg.

Museum Island

museum island

One of Berlin’s most popular attractions and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Museum Island is home to five fantastic museums and galleries. Expect an array of world-class artwork and historical relics from Germany and around the world. From ancient Egyptian artifacts in the Neues Museum to Byzantine sculptures in the Bode Museum, if you’re looking to enjoy some classical artwork and potentially meet like-minded cultural enthusiasts then this is the place to head.

Consider a Pub Crawl

As previously mentioned, Berlin is replete with a great bar and pub scene. If you’re looking for a few people to have a drink with, then there is no better chance than on an organized pub crawl. If you happen to be staying in a local hostel, then they will often have one organized, or be able to tell you where to go to find one. If you’re not staying in a hostel, then ask around at a local bar or pub.

Rent a Bicycle

berlin bicycle

Berlin is not an overly large city, and many of its best sites can be seen while making your way down its streets. To feel more like a local and get a better understanding for the layout of the city, consider renting a bicycle, it will give you a great sense of direction and place for future Berlin city breaks.

Berlin is a great place to head to discover important parts of Europe’s modern culture and history and relax at the same time.

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Filed under berlin, germany, travel

Top 5 Ways to Get Around Malta

Train travel may be one of the most relaxing and effective ways to travel, but it’s not possible to get everywhere by rail. The Maltese islands in southern Europe are a classic case in point. This small archipelago isn’t traversed by train tracks, so while you’re visiting the islands, you’ll need to think of other ways to get around. Luckily, there are plenty of options. Here are five of the best modes of transport on Malta, once you’ve landed.


1) Bus

The distinctive, brightly painted vintage buses that used to be a feature of this country may have gone, but what the new bus system lacks in character it makes up for in efficiency and comfort. In 2013, the system was taken over by Public Transport Malta, which was run by the Government, and offers impressive coverage of the island. Many of the bus routes run from the terminus in Valletta and they snake out to virtually all parts of the main island. You can purchase tickets on the buses, at the airport, in Valletta and Sliema bus stations or from machines that are found near to the stops.

2) Taxi

Taxis are also a good way to get around. Official cabs are white and have a taxi sign on their roofs, and they’re usually Mercedes. Drivers are now obliged by law to use meters to determine the exact fare unless they’re traveling from the airport or sea port. Set fares are offered for these journeys. As an alternative to these white cabs, you can use unsigned black taxis operated by private companies, which tend to be cheaper. The best way to book a cab is to ask your hotel reception for the contact details of their preferred service.


3) Ferry

It’s easy to get between the islands too. You can travel from Malta to Gozo on the service operated by Gozo Channel. Departing every 45 minutes between 6am and 6pm, and around every 90 minutes overnight, this car ferry runs from Ċirkewwa on the main island to Mġarr on Gozo. There’s also a car ferry from Sa Palma to Gozo that runs on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and takes some foot passengers.

4) Bike

In addition, it’s easy to get around Malta on two wheels. Bikes are available for hire from around €5 per day and shops offering rentals and repair services can be found in the main towns. You can also book yourself on organised group tours. Meanwhile, with its quieter roads, Gozo is particularly good for cycling.

5) On foot

Last but not least, there are lots of good hiking routes to be found. Your best bet if you want to stretch your legs is to get away from the urban areas and resorts and head to more secluded spots. Picturesque walking areas include Dingli in the north of the main island and Delimara Point in the south. Much of Gozo is great for hiking too.

So, while it may not have any trains, Malta certainly isn’t short of transport options.


Filed under malta, travel

Boston Bacon and Beer Festival 2015

shojo boston

I have been dying to go to this event for literally YEARS. Every time it came around it would sell out immediately and I was never able to attend until this year. In their 6th annual year, eatBoston’s Boston Bacon and Beer Festival moved venues to Fenway Park and so could accommodate more people. Even with space for additional attendees, the event was still a sell out.  I found out why!

While it was fun to suck down some cold pops and sample some new brews, the beer wasn’t the highlight of this event for me at all. The inventive chefs of 38 restaurants were what stole the show. The things they did with bacon were incredible. My personal favorites were…

The Bacon Doughnut by Blackbird Doughnuts

blackbird doughnuts

A Bacon Smore by jm Curley

JM Curley

Bacon Flavored Ice Cream by Lincoln Tavern

The “Beast in Show” winner of the event voted by Bacon & Beer attendees was Shojo Boston with their Togarashi Mantou Stuffed with Bacon & Cheddar. Unfortunately, I didn’t try this one out.

shojo boston

Other bites I’m disappointed I never got around to trying were the Bacon Mac & Cheese and the Maple Bacon Cotton Candy by Sweet Cheeks BBQ. (apparently a favorite for several years)

The winner received the obvious recognition but even better $750 donation toward their charity of choice. That’s right, this delicious fun-filled event has a charitable aspect too! In fact, the entry fees to the event went to several charities including Lovin’ Spoonfuls – dedicated to rescuing and distributing healthy food that would otherwise be discarded to organizations where it’s most impactful. Community Servings – not-for-profit food and nutrition program that provides medically tailored meals to people with critical and chronic diseases in Massachusetts. And the Red Sox Foundation – raising monies for several programs focused on children and families in Massachusetts.


What I loved and what I didn’t love:

Fenway was an AMAZING venue. Perfect for this event. Better yet was getting access to the grandstands when the park was practically empty – what a treat!

Since this was my virgin Boston Bacon and Beer Festival I didn’t know exactly what to expect but one thing for sure, I thought I’d get a TON of plain ole bacon and those tasty strips were NO WHERE to be found. Also, carting around a map, beer and plate for the various tastings (as well as an iPhone for photo evidence) I wish there had been a few empty tables scattered about so that attendees could put down things and enjoy a bit more instead of juggling things in their hands. Other than that, I thought this event was truly fun and worth the ticket price! I’ll be back next year AND I hope it’s still held at Fenway. I know I have a few followers that now want to attend too.


Filed under boston, massachusetts, travel