Category Archives: caribbean

Airbnb Times Three

airbnb in NYC, LA and Bahamas

In April, I rented 3 Airbnb places in New York City, Los Angeles and Eleuthera in the Bahamas. I’ve tried other rental companies for some of my lodging during traveling but never Airbnb until then. I was very impressed to say the least. Their tagline, “Airbnb feel like home” is spot on. With rentals in over 190+ countries, you are sure to find something with Airbnb in many locations.

New York, New York

NYC loft with airbnb

At $200 a night, this bright airy loft apartment in the Garment District of NYC felt like a steal. I absolutely loved the simplicity of it all. I had a private bedroom with a shared bath but never even saw the other renter. Besides being clean and priced right, the location was key. Situated between Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea, it was so easy to get everywhere from this Airbnb rental. OH and the host was amazing – always checking to make sure I had all I needed during my stay.

Los Angeles, California

venice beach pacific ocean

Located in Venice Beach, a block and a half from the ocean, my cozy bungalow Airbnb was awesome for a long weekend in Cali. I was sharing the rental with a friend and it was perfect for the two of us. There was plenty of room for us and all our stuff and we even had space to just hangout. Besides being well priced at $180 a night, the location couldn’t have been more ideal for us. If you want a great taste of the California surfer & skate scene Venice Beach is for you.

Eleuthera, Bahamas

cayo loco eleuthera airbnb

Hello LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION!! Try renting a cottage RIGHT ON THE BEACH for $250 a night. This Airbnb was so darn cute. Very bright & islandy with everything you could need. The owners had plenty of fantastic information on hand about their tiny island, like what to see, do and where to eat. Who couldn’t love a private cottage within ear shot of the crashing waves to lull you to sleep every night?! NO ONE, that’s who. The pretty pink sand beach was virtually empty and I’ve never stepped foot on a softer beach in my life.

So Why Airbnb?

My overall take away is Airbnb is a super way to go for travel stays. Very affordable and most times your rental comes with invaluable insight from the owners about the destination. And, while the owners are always reachable for any questions, they really give you your own space and privacy – which is key to me! All 3 Airbnb’s locations were outstanding and, for me, that can make or break a quick getaway. If you have not tried Airbnb yet, get on board.

PS – My friend I was traveling with in LA had an incident with an Airbnb rental before I arrived. Apparently, the customer service with Airbnb is as top-notch as my rental experience. It’s great to know you are in good hands when renting private spaces while traveling. 🙂


Filed under caribbean, los angeles, new york, travel

Six Discoveries about Jamaica

landing in Montego Bay Jamaica

Aruba, Jamaica oooh I wanna take you… You know how the song goes. I wanna take you on a little quick trip to Jamaica with me. I love the Caribbean and decided this year I needed to see a bit more of it. So, on a snowy weekend in New England, I looked for the best deal I could find to get down to the Caribbean in March. Jamaica was the lucky winner and BOY I am so glad. I had always been curious about Jamaica but it wasn’t at the top of my must-see Caribbean islands. Now that I’ve been I’m really am not sure why that was. It is the perfect place for me. There you can find a little bit posh and a little bit rough around the edges – my favorite sort of destination. Here are six discoveries I had about Jamaica.


Seven Mile Beach Sunset

Jamaica has stunning beauty. I stayed at a small boutique resort on Negril’s famous Seven Mile Beach. The beach was sugar white, soft and clean and walking into the ocean was like walking into a bathtub of clear blue water that was the perfect temperature. You can literally see the sandy bottom for feet and feet. Everything I could want water sport wise was offered on this beach. OH and being located on the western part of Jamaica, the sunsets were right in front of me every night. It couldn’t have been more beautiful.

SafetySandy Haven Resort Jamaica

Safety is something you hear about in Jamaica. I may have lucked out in choosing Negril because safety was never an issue. I would venture to guess it’s become a bit safer in general in Jamaica but you can find problem areas (just like any country) still for sure. Sandy Haven Resort was a gated property and, in addition, they had security on the beachfront too. Apparently this is not a common thing on Seven Mile Beach and I learned that this was a nice thing to have. While I definitely enjoyed the locals pedaling their wares during the day on the beach, they weren’t permitted to come onto the property so I never felt pressured or harassed. Also, any time I took a taxi service from the property, they asked when to return to pick me up so I never had to be concerned with finding another taxi and they always showed up on time!


RockHouse Foundation Jamaica

Another thing you know exists in Jamaica is poverty. You cannot help but see it when driving from the airport to Negril. And, since this is Jamaica’s reality, why wouldn’t you wish to see it? But by being a tourist and especially not staying at an all-inclusive, you can get out and support local businesses. Buying handcrafts and locally produced food at small food stands keeps the economy going. Also, you can support different charities if you so choose. I found a charity in Negril, Rockhouse Foundation, that educates local children and I brought a collection of children’s books from the states to donate to them.


Sandy Haven staff member Jamaica

I always heard that Jamaicans are friendly but I now think this is an understatement. I’m not sure if I’ve ever been somewhere more friendly EVER. From Antonio Airport Transfers that shuttled me from Montego Bay Airport, to the amazing staff at Sandy Haven, to the on-property taxi service – Kenny Tours, I was blown away. Even fellow tourists were unbelievably friendly which I attribute to the Jamaican culture being so friendly it attracts friendly travelers. Veteran Jamaica goers were thrilled to share where to go and what to eat to get the best of what Jamaica is known for in Negril. Meeting locals at the market stands was an amazing experience too. So grateful for the business. Shaking your hand and introducing themselves. Giving small gifts as a token of gratitude.

Pride and Character

Seven Mile Beach Jamaica

From the moment I got into the initial car service to Negril, pride and character was oozing from Jamaicans. People are proud of their country. And, they want to tell you about it, have you experience it and thank you for coming. They are proud of their “don’t worry be happy” attitude, their country’s past and freedom, and Jamaica’s overall beauty. Even the beach peddlers were full of pride and character. For me, this was a huge source of culture and entertainment. You can learn a lot about the culture just from watching at a distance from your beach lounger. What do Jamaicans eat and drink. Where is the party that the locals will be going to that evening. Even what Jamaicans wear!


Niah's chicken curry patty

Jamaica is a relatively inexpensive place to visit. I found a package deal through an airline for my plane ticket and hotel. After seeing other options in Negril, I think I found one of the best out there. I loved Sandy Haven Resort and would definitely stay there again. Continental breakfast was included in the rate but I wasn’t shy about eating and drinking whatever I felt like during my stay and at the end of my short visit my balance was surprisingly minimal. You could find comfort food or Jamaican food on their menu – so that was also great. Given that it wasn’t an all-inclusive, I set off to find other places to eat and drink. Niah’s patties on Seven Mile Beach are a Jamaican specialty and cost $6 US. Treehouse was another spot that had delicious Jamaican jerk chicken. Finding small roadside stands for drinks was a fun and cheap option as well. The most expensive spot I checked out was Rick’s Cafe in the West End. Even though it’s touristy it really should not be missed. The cliff diving is incredible and the sunset is gorgeous from this spot. You can even walk over to the lighthouse found there and tour it.

Rick's Cafe Negril Jamaica

I will definitely return to Jamaica and Negril. Next time I will spend a little more time there and explore the West End further. Rockhouse Hotel looks like a fantastic property. I would like to volunteer with their foundation as well next visit. And I am going to most certainly make it to one of the coolest looking bars I’ve ever seen – the Pelican Bar. Now that I know how safe, friendly and affordable Jamaica is, you cannot keep me away. PS – they take US dollars there and really actually prefer it.


Filed under caribbean, jamaica, travel

Best Traveled Dress

I travel a lot. And I’m often asked about travel essentials and how and what I choose to pack. There are few staples depending upon the climate but there is one standout dress that seems to accompany me almost everywhere for the last five years and is still going strong!

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The Calypso Classic Ro Dress. Calypso St. Barth is a favorite store of mine found in some lucky locales throughout the USA and, of course, the original in St. Barth. I’ve visited a few but the Boston store is where I do the most damage. Five years ago or so I bought my first Ro dress and knew instantly what a great staple dress this was but since have truly learned it’s value. (The classic Ro dress retails at $195)

I have worn it as going out nighttime dress, a touring day dress, a beach cover up or just something to quickly throw on. This is a dress that keeps you cool and comfortable. It’s a dress that consistently gets complimented. It is a dress that’s forgiving – I think it would look good on anyone. Best of all, you can machine wash it or, in times of necessity, hand wash it in a sink. It looks great with a casual denim jacket or cardigan. It can be worn with leggings and boots. Mine has gone on fancy dinner dates, out dancing at clubs or just chilling at beach bars. Plus, obviously, it travels well in your bag. It is my go-to everything dress!

This dress has literally traveled the globe with me. It’s been to Miami virtually every time I go. Hello cover up or a dress to throw on for lunch. Same idea for Hawaii and Palm Springs. And, seen here on the beach in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.


In St. Martin and St. Barth it’s been a going out dress. Also in London, Bali and seen here in Istanbul.


This dress traveled with me for my 10,000 mile drive from the United Kingdom to Mongolia. It is that diverse and essential. In Cambodia it was a touring dress of the Phnom Penh Night Market.


In Thailand it saw the grandeur of the Grand Palace in Bangkok.

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And as a day dress it met children in an orphanage in Bangalore India.

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Calypso St. Barth has grown from a modest resort-wear boutique to a luxury lifestyle brand with a passionate international following. Inspired by travel, culture & the arts, the brand reveals unique & feminine pieces that can be mixed and matched for effortless elegance, which women of every age have come to love.

Calypso St. Barth’s namesake collection is displayed alongside carefully curated pieces from international designers for an eclectic assortment with wide appeal. To me, entering Calypso St. Barth is like taking a mini-vacation to somewhere exotic. And each of my Calypso pieces are very unique and special to me.


Filed under boston, cabo san lucas, cambodia, caribbean, fashion, miami, mongol rally, phnom penh, st. barts, travel, turkey

What’s so Luxurious about a Luxury Caribbean Vacation?

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It’s likely to be a question you have asked, just as you will have questioned whether all-inclusive holidays really provide value for money. What makes a luxury vacation in the Caribbean so special? Would there be a discernible difference between a typical break on your Caribbean island of choice and a vacation that has the “luxury” label attached to it?

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While there is a plethora of Caribbean boutique hotels that would certainly satiate the need for a ‘luxury’ vacation, it’s essential that you understand what you’re paying for. Naturally, a luxury holiday will come with a pricier tag but when you appreciate what is included, you’ll understand why.

  • There’s often a wide range of sporting facilities available on site at luxury resorts, such as golf, tennis, fitness clubs and watersports opportunities. While you will likely have to pay to add them to a typical vacation, with a luxury vacation, these are often included, making it ideal for those wanting to build or maintain their fitness level while on holiday – or try lots of new activities.
  • Spas will likely be available for a chance to be thoroughly pampered. Let the stresses slip away as you sink into another world at the hands of a top quality masseuse, or take advantage of the various treatments, steam rooms and saunas.
  • The food will be out of this world. Fine dining opportunities will be available at every turn, giving you the chance to sample local specialities and exquisite fare whenever you like.
  • Exclusive beaches that are private to the accommodation give you an added sense of remoteness.
  • Butlers and maids are also part and parcel of the service in some luxury resorts, giving you a taste of the high life and meaning that you don’t have to lift a finger during your stay.

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While on luxury Caribbean vacations, you can be sure that you’ll get what you pay for, and that means a higher class of service, facilities and dining options than you would usually expect. All of which will hopefully make your luxury getaway worth every penny!


Filed under caribbean, travel

It’s #Movember – That Means Mustaches & #ManlyMoments


BIG SURPRISE that Lola can get behind mustaches… you know my love of wearing faux ones around the world. I’ve even got my friends wearing them because being ‘stachey is FUN!! But in all seriousness, November and #Movember are important! It’s a time where people participate in growing mustaches to raise awareness for testicular and prostate cancer. I rejoice because I feel I’m amongst kindred mustache spirits on top of the good deeds it represents.

My adorable friend Raymond from Man on the Lam is doing a HUGE campaign that is quite enviable if you ask me about #Movember. Thanks to Leah Travels for asking me to participate in making my own #ManlyMoments bucket list to support this worthy cause. So here it goes, some will happen and some will never! I’m ok with that – are you?


Back Camera

Lola, once upon a time, did a sprint triathlon and thought to myself, wouldn’t be amazing to be so fit you could swim the English Channel. Let me just say, that 1/2 mile swim was the hardest part of my race. I cannot imagine ever being able to do this feat but am super impressed by all those that make this a goal and set out to achieve it. Very manly indeed.



I wish I could say I can sail. I cannot. I’d like a decent size sailboat along with a handsome crew to do the dirty work for me. I promise to entertain them with my pirate-like antics and rum drinking. I’m buying, so I say let’s taste all the different rums out there in the turquoise Caribbean!


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This one I actually think will happen. It’s been on my list for a while and based on what I’ve heard and read, you can have quite the adventurous yet glamorous experience in just a few short days. I like a little action packed activity on my vacays so this sounds really perfect for Lola.



Happily, I can report this #ManlyMoment will get ticked off Lola’s list this summer. It may seem anti-Lola to want to do the Mongol Rally but I think it sounds like an adventure of a lifetime. Yes, it will be challenging for this poshaholic but I look forward to roughing it. It will make the post-rally rewards that much sweeter. And, that’s the way I roll.



So, as you may know, I’m a Texan. And as a Texan, I love the idea of participating in an organized cattle drive tour. I have 3 pairs of cowboy boots and a belt with a ginormous buckle so I’d say I’m pretty much ready to go. Can’t you just see it now?! Pink cowboy hat and boots…me tossing a lasso and capturing a cowboy err I mean roping a cow. Let a girl dream 😉


Now for the serious stuff. The goal is to raise awareness of Movember and men’s health issues. Whether you are a blogger or a reader, you can participate in this great cause.

  • Read along as Raymond attempts to complete his Manly Bucket List at
  • Follow along on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtags #Movember and #ManlyMoments
  • Go to to find out more about men’s health issues, support a Mo Bro or Mo Sistah, or to register to become one yourself.
  • Check out the schedule for the Made Man Movember Mo’asis Bus Tour and come on by if you are in the neighborhood for free shaves and tons of great activities.
  • Last but not least, DONATE!

OR can make your own #ManlyMoments Bucket List! All you need to do is:

  • Choose five activities you’d like to do and create your own #ManlyMoments Bucket List – they can be something you commit to do during Movember, or simply something you’d like to do before you kick the bucket. (Ladies, this is open to you too!)
  • Nominate five bloggers to create their own #ManlyMoments Bucket List.
  • Include a link to Movember to encourage people to register or donate.
  • Tweet and share your posts with the hashtags #Movember and #ManlyMoments

Also, every time you send a tweet, Vine, Instagram, or post to Facebook with your manly photos, or text using the hashtag #ManlyMoments, the folks at Made Man will donate $1 to the Movember cause.  You’ll also be entered into a draw for a Trip for Two to Las Vegas to experience your very own Mancation, which includes the Top Gun Experience from Sky Combat Ace. Sounds good to moi!

I’m tagging a few of my favorites to play along and I know they will come up with clever posts for their #ManlyMoments!!

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Calan from Discovering Your Truth

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Joshua from Engineer on the Road

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Tom from Waegook-Tom

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Yishyene from Small Crazy

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Brian from The Travel Vlogger


Filed under bucket list, caribbean, mongolia, travel, united kingdom, USA