Category Archives: guest post

How to Survive a Pickpocket While Traveling

I’d like to thank Lola’s Travels for sharing this article with their readers. It is an excellent source for anyone looking to explore the world and go on new adventures. I particularly enjoyed her most recent article on her favorite finds in Porto, Portugal!

Being pickpocketed can potentially ruin a vacation. You lose any money you’re carrying on you, some forms of identification, and a number of important cards. If you were home, you could probably deal with it, but away from your main base of operations, you don’t have the resources you need to land back on your feet after a day or two. Getting more money in a foreign country isn’t so easy, and you need to deal with the ramifications of someone running around with a lot of identifying information.

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Here are some of the things you should do after you’ve been pickpocketed:

Act Quickly

After you’ve been pickpocketed you have a very small window of opportunity to respond before others will use your cards and identification for their own ends. Perhaps the pickpocket uses your cards to buy themselves dinner after a clean getaway. They might also sell the contents of your wallet (minus the cash, of course) to someone else to throw law enforcement off their scent. You might have an hour or two at best.

Do not use this time to panic. You will have plenty of time to panic later and to be perfectly honest it doesn’t seem to do anyone much good. Take the following steps instead:

  • Call your credit card providers. Try to have a list of these beforehand so you can quickly go down the list.
  • Call your banks. If anything you have can be traced to an account, call the bank and tell them to be on high alert.
  • Call any other related services and business who you might have some sort of card or identification with. It is unlikely a pickpocket will do anything, but you can have a new card ready for when you get home, and you can rest assured knowing that the old card was deactivated.
  • Call your place of employment if it applies to the situation.

Have an Emergency Contact

Whenever you travel you should have someone to call in case of an emergency. Ideally this person should have the means and inclination to get you home out of an emergency (you can always pay them back later) or guide you to someone who can help. You should have this person’s phone number written down (ideally memorized) and someplace safe (in your hotel room is probably okay). After you contact your financial service providers, call this contact and see what the two of you can do.

If you can work out an emergency plan beforehand, that will make things all the easier for you. There are several services that allow one to send money to someone in a foreign country, and the fewer logistical hoops you and your contact have to jump through the more easily the situation will resolve itself. Give your contact a copy of your itinerary and your important information in a sealed envelope they can open if needed. This is all extremely important if you are travelling alone.

Don’t Put All of Your Eggs in One Basket

Don’t carry everything you have in one pocket or wallet. Try to have a backup plan available just in case something happens to you. Surviving a pickpocket is so much easier if you have some extra cash or a backup card stashed away, letting you know where your next meal is coming from. It will allow you to continue to enjoy your travel once you have the details sorted out.

Also try to keep your passport in a safer place than your pocket, as not having one on you makes getting home that much harder. You need to have some identification on you, and your passport will be it if your main wallet gets pickpocketed. Make a habit of keeping it with some spare cash so that you can survive in any situation.

Use the Internet

The internet is your very best tool when recovering from having your wallet stolen. There are websites that can direct you to the right phone numbers to call, where you can have money sent and where you can eat for cheap while having little more than the change in your pocket. You can usually either use your smartphone’s data plan or find some network you can access. Even if you have to pay for internet access it is worth having those tools to get you through the ordeal.

Just make sure that you are using a Virtual Private Network while you travel so that you don’t have to deal with cybercrime and identity theft after you’ve already been pickpocketed (or before you even check in to your hotel). It’ll allow you to use public networks without any fear and access your Netflix account in lieu of more expensive entertainment. They are generally a good investment for any traveler and allow you to have another form of protection.

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Pickpockets often use different methods to snatch your wallet and often have different end goals in mind, but they are all a menace that you can protect yourself against. If you find yourself a victim, remember the above tips and you will make it through just fine. Do you have any stories to tell about pickpockets while you were travelling? Do you have any tips to add to those listed above? Please leave a reply below and join the conversation with your fellow travelers.

Guest Post by Jess, a self-confessed travel addict who has her own blog where she also writes about her adventures and experiences.

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Filed under guest post, travel

Touring and Tasting in Sonoma, CA

I’m excited to share a guest post by one of the most clever and funny people I know. I hope you enjoy Esther’s touring and tasting tips for Sonoma. See if you can figure out what all we have in common and why I adore her so much! I hope she’ll be a regular contributor.


When Lola asked me to write a guest post detailing my recent trip to Sonoma, CA my first thought was panic. Me? Really? I do not travel like Lola. I do not write like Lola. I do not take fake moustaches with me wherever I go either. What could I possibly bring to Lola’s fabulousness that hasn’t already been said? Well, I’m pretty sure I got it figured out. It’s the “practically virginal traveler, who is so psyched to be away from kids and have a perfectly legitimate excuse to drink all day” market. Perhaps a small niche, but hopefully you’ll get some Friend of Lola Verified tips.

I should probably start off by admitting that my knowledge of wine starts and ends with red/white/rose. Maybe a teeny bit more, but you get the picture. Before we even embarked on this journey I was given a somewhat nose-upturning reaction when I mentioned Sonoma. “Oh. You’re not going to Napa?” “What’s the difference?” I responded. Note: If you are currently thinking “Who the hell doesn’t know the difference between Sonoma and Napa, then I’m pretty sure this tale is not for you.”

So, there are my big disclaimers. I don’t travel much. And I don’t know much about wine except drinking lots and lots of it. Let’s move on.

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By far the smartest decision made on this trip was to hire Jonathan, owner of Healdsburg Tours to be our guide and driver for the day. Jonathan, you had me at Wine-a-Bay-Go! From email exchanges before we left, Jonathan knew that wine knowledge was minimal, but we were a group that wanted to have some serious fun (while we learned a little too.) When I say Wine-a-Bay-Go I am not kidding. He showed up at our rental property with this beautifully well-appointed Mercedes van armed with ideas for how we would spend our day.

He suggested we start “big” and work our way through some of the lesser-known vineyards. “Yep. Sounds good.” Our first stop was Ferrari-Carano.

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This place is heavenly. The grounds. The gardens. The beautiful cellar. The formal tasting rooms. The wow factor was immense. And, while you’ve probably tasted or seen this brand in your favorite restaurants or liquor stores, we opted to try the ones mere mortals rarely taste. Since this was our first stop, we were not familiar the “Join our wine club” mentality. (More on this later.) We bought our bottles and decided to worry about how to get them home later.

(Quick aside…Ferrari-Carano also owns a restaurant in Santa Rosa called John Ash where we enjoyed our first sips upon arrival. Really beautiful property and GREAT happy hour deals on wine and food.)

Here’s the deal about wine clubs. Most of the vineyards are pretty small and do not distribute to the public or even restaurants. The schtick to reel you in is that if you really enjoy the wines you taste, the only way to enjoy them again is to become “members” of the club and receive 1-2 cases of wine a year. “Sign right up” they encourage; and sign up we did.

Our next favorite stop was a veritable smorgasbord of wineries. We decided to do what any lushes would do…divide and conquer and report back on our favorites. Top 3: Trattore, Papapietro Perry and Kokomo — with Kokomo earning top honors because 2 out of 3 couples joined the club — translation, drank the Kool-aid. But yes, we were members. Owners. Family. Proud doesn’t begin to describe it.

And just when we thought the day couldn’t get any better, Jonathan suggested one last stop — which of course turned out to be our favorite. (And not because we had been “tasting” for 5 hours.) Two words. Lambert Bridge. (ok three words because I’m going to add Beth in the mix because she was our absolutely outstanding tasting guide.) We three couples left with heads held high that we were part of the Lambert Bridge experience.

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Although our time with Jonathan was coming to a close, his suggestions for what else we should do were honored and enjoyed for the following 2 days.

The next day, needing just a short break from the tasting menus, we ventured to the coast to a spot in Jenner, CA where the Russian River meets the Pacific. There just happens to be a great little restaurant called River’s End with breathtaking views, mouth-watering food, and oh yes, the best Bloody Mary I’ve ever had. (I said we needed a break from wine tasting, not alcohol altogether.) From the fresh horseradish to the perfect pickled green bean garnish, this drink hit the spot. It’s worth the drive for the view and this drink alone.

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Lest you think the trip was all alcohol fueled, we managed to visit the beautiful Annadel State Park with trails that accommodated all our cardio needs — from quiet walks, to brisk hikes, to 6-10 mile trail runs. Take a break from the vineyards and visit this place!

Our last day, and Jonathan’s suggestions still lingered. We ventured to the oh-so-quaint town of Healdsburg where the girls could shop and the boys could watch a little NFL. With west coast time zone, games start early, and they happily settled in at Bear Republic Brewing Co. while the ladies stumbled upon a great store, Healdsburg Olive Oil Company where we even managed to do a little pre-holiday shopping. And, speaking of stumbling, oh yes, we ended up at another great winery. Even if you don’t need one more taste of fermented grapes ever again, you need to visit Williamson Winery. First of all, the family owners are from Australia and the charming accents alone make this a fun place. They are also really really smart and pair the wines with different cheeses — I’m pretty sure you can join the cheese club too. Accents, great wine, and cheese oh my! Of course we had to join the club!!

And if you think Lola was not with us in spirit, check out these photos. Fabulous cupcakes and an enviable ‘stache. Lola was missed but certainly not forgotten.

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It was a great long-weekend getaway. And should memories begin to fade, I’ll have about 48 bottles a year to remind me how fun it was!

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Esther, affectionately known as Queen, is one of Lola’s most favorite people. She enjoys reading about Lola’s fabulous journeys and joining in on adventures whenever possible—especially Miami!


Filed under california, guest post, sonoma, travel

Horseback Riding in Sligo County, Ireland

gettin’ horsey in the land of saints & scholars


I am half-heartedly contributing an entry to Lola’s blog because I don’t want to advertise Sligo, Ireland, a gem on the Northwest coast. I want to come back every year and not see busloads of tourists in walking sneakers. At Dublin airport, I want to wish them safe travels to Killarney and Waterford while I head north to another amazing adventure in Sligo.

My daughter, Kat, and I joined two friends on a horse-back riding trip out of Declan McGarry’s handsome stables in Carrowmore, just 3km outside of Sligo (Sligo Riding Centre). Of course we were excited about the trip, but this was one of those amazing times when the experience far surpassed the expectations. We organized the trip through Equitours. They were easy to deal with and quick to answer all questions. Our contact was Biggi, and just for the record she is not a large rapper like I pictured but a German lady. Oops…


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My only complaint lies with Aer Lingus. The ground crew was lovely but the flight attendants…Ugh. As soon as we entered international air space, the Irish charm was left in the galley. I am not exaggerating when I tell you they sprinted by with coffee and tea. When I did flag them down, they were curt and grouchy. Yikes. $900 a ticket and I had to sit in a seat made from rocks designed for very tiny people and beg for tea. Thankfully, all that was erased by Michael (our ground transport provided by the tour), who met us at Dublin airport and drove us the 2 ½ hours to Sligo, filling the time with story after story. What a hoot. There is also a train from Dublin. Michael  brought us to the Glasshouse hotel in the heart of Sligo, a good size town with shopping, pubs, an art scene, restaurants and a Tesco’s with an awesome candy aisle (Yes, I spent 60 euros on candy and it was decimated within a week of getting home).

The Glasshouse is a modern hotel on the Garavogue River, the shortest river in Europe (fun fact). Our room was clean & comfortable with a river and town view. The staff was super friendly and chatty, there was a busy restaurant & bar scene, and most importantly to me, our room included a free, delicious, giant breakfast.


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The first night in Sligo, in a sleepless stupor, Kat and I stumbled into a local pub with musicians playing in the window and of course, Guinness on tap! By the end of the week, the very cute bartender Art (Kat’s observation) just pulled Guinness when we walked in. So much fun in McGarrigles! We chatted the night away every time we went. Sligo also had a great Tapas place, A Casa Mia, as well as a myriad of pubs and nightclubs.

There was always music and beer to be found. Everywhere we went, we were told great local places to go, to see, to do. We were never led astray or felt like we were on some well-trodden tourist trail, ready to come home with shamrock tea towels and faux Irish caps.



To the best part – the RIDING. Is it the laid back manners or the clean air or the Guinness? All the men we encountered were swell. Eugene was our patient guide for the week. He was not a man of many words but his droll comments were worth waiting for.

We rode the same well-cared for and sturdy horses over hill and dale, through forests to a castle, up and down Knocknarea (holy hell), through fields, roads and miles of beach. You shouldn’t take this tour without riding experience and some fitness. We spent 3-5 hours a day in the saddle. I never had much of a booty, but I have worn away what little I had! Our group was the 4 of us but it was the first trail of the season. They run April-October and can have as many as 8 singles or 12 in a group that knows each other.

The only time we saw other Americans was on the Wednesday when we rode to Markree Castle.

We spent the morning in a monolithic cemetery, across from the stables, where we encountered an American group of women on a mystical, historical tour (aka goddess tour). They were so nice and the ancient cemetery was fascinating but we left them divining for water (not joking) and rode to Markree Castle. We stayed the night at the Castle and stabled our horses in its facilities. So swanky!  Staying was extra $, but being a frugal traveler, my daughter and I booked our room online, shared a bed and ate in the pub. Our friends went highbrow and booked through Equitours, ate a fantastic  3 course dinner in the dining room and had their own beds. Both options included breakfast (of course). Either way, well worth the money! (We met some Americans in the pub who were traveling on a Living Social tour and were really happy with it – just an aside.) Johnny Cash stayed at Markree and you can request his room.  The nice Irish ladies staying in it let me see it, so cool but not very different from all the others, just bigger.



Declan McGarry, owner, was the” host with the most” and organized anything we mentioned. We, and the horses, had Friday off. We spent the morning with Michael tearing around the countryside in the van, seeing amazing bits of County Sligo. It is Yeats country for you intellectuals. More stories from Michael…fantastic! In the afternoon, we went to Strandhill, a little coastal village near Sligo. We SURFED with Strandhill Surfschool!! I am telling you the truth when I say a living, breathing Ken doll (real name Paul) greeted us with an endearing New Zealand “hello.” There is amazing surfing in the area and “nothing to eat you.” SO MUCH FUN! We had lots of distractingly adorable instructors in the water with us, 2 ½ hours for 30 euros (20 for us because Declan organized it and I think because it was April). We all got up and some of us (not me) actually surfed. After an amazing afternoon, we walked out of the water into Voya and a detoxifying seaweed saltwater bath – odd, but we definitely felt better after it.


Our final day of riding was spent on the beaches. It could not have been more beautiful or amazing. We rode back to Strandhill and tethered our horses outside the Strandhill pub for lunch. It was like a movie. Paul (surfer) came over to see the horses and then we mounted up for the final ride back to the stables. Saturday night we met Declan again at a local nightclub where everyone was dancing, no matter the age. The girls definitely dress up, think Real Housewives of Orange County. I have to comment on the fact that 80’s music is huge and I heard 9-5, Grease and Footloose tunes. No one thought it was odd. Anyway, Declan McGarry facilitated everything, including surfing and the seaweed bath, during the week. We didn’t have to think of thing. I would love to go back and do the whole thing again! Sligo County has so much to offer even if you don’t want to ride. There are amazing golf courses (I was told), surfing, hiking, fishing, touring, eating, drinking, music, and arts. Next year, Declan is putting together a shorter ride/surf package. I’M THERE! Secretly, I hope you are not. Not surprisingly, all the business owners did not care for my selfish attitude. Because of Sligo’s proximity to Northern Ireland, it was not a common tourist destination in the past. Now, it is trying to build the industry. Boo-hoo but fair enough. Forget the Blarney Stone…go north to Sligo.

Guest Post Author, Ruth Collins, is a dear friend of Lola’s who really enjoys traveling as well as living abroad. When I heard about Ruth’s plans for her Ireland trip I asked if she’d consider writing a guest post. I’m so happy she agreed as I think this adventure is something many would be interested in learning more about and possibly partaking in at some point in the future (like me!!).

Thank you Ruth – you are a star!! XO – Lola


Filed under guest post, ireland, travel

Ultra Music Festival – Miami Edition

It’s supercalafragilistic ULTRA!

I’m super psyched to have a guest post today by none other than Roxy, my awesome star of an assistant! I asked Roxy to write up a little intro into Ultra because 1) she went 2) I’ve always been curious because I’m often in Miami when the festival is going on 3) it’s likely I’ll be attending Ultra in Croatia in July so I wanted to know a bit more about what I’d be in for!

Thanks Roxy for this amazing “what to expect” insight into Ultra Music Festival!

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The Ultra Music Festival is a showcase for some of the most amazing EDM (electronic dance music, if you don’t already know) DJ’s, artists, and performers. Each show “brings it” and leaves you wanting more. The scope and number of shows Ultra offers is fantastic and will leave you sprinting around trying to see as many as you can. The production and staging at Ultra is phenomenal and will shock and even amaze you. This in combination with the suburb music offers you a mind-blowing experience. From the intense mixes and performances to the lasers, lights, fireworks, and other special effects, Ultra exceeds expectations.

By the Numbers

This 15th anniversary for the Ultra Musical Festival in 2013 amped up the volume. The festival was over two weekends this year – a first for the event, and had a total of 330,000 attendees.That’s about 167,000 people each weekend. Tickets ranged from $150 for early bird tickets up to about $1500 for a VIP ticket to both weekends. Over 200 new and world-famous artists, performers, and DJ’s took the stage in the middle of downtown Miami at Bayfront Park for a combined 32 hours a weekend.

People. So. Many. People. 

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It is a world-famous electronic music festival, so yes, be prepared for the masses of characters you’ll be sharing your experience with. Spring breakers, high schoolers, ravers with their fur boots and mesh, internationals toting their countries’ flags, bros, EDM die hards, and people of all ages just looking for a good time are who you’ll be rubbing elbows with- or more so who will be invading your personal bubble. Don’t get me wrong though, it’s a festival and meeting all kinds of people is part of the fun! We met a bunch of internationals (80 different countries were represented!) running around with their countries flags. My friend expanded her candy collection with the help of several rave girls. For those of you who do not know, a candy is a beaded bracelet, basically like the ones you made in kindergarten, and you can exchange candies through, I guess the best way to describe it is like a handshake. But it is all about PLUR (peace, love, unity, respect), and it’s like a mantra for raves and the like, so if you see people with lots of beaded bracelets that’s what’s going on. We also met bros of all ages and even a New York fashion blogger. I will caution, however, that Ultra has no age restriction (which I would strongly urge them to reconsider) so beware of the inappropriately dressed 14 year olds with acne and braces that may cross your path.

Watch Where You’re Standing!

As with anything, it’s all about the people you’re with who make your experience, so choose your spot wisely when enjoying a show. Having some drunk 6ft tall guy behind you constantly jumping into you and spilling his beer all over you gets annoying. Many times it’s the luck of the draw, but I would recommend trying to situate yourself on the sides – people come and go and are in and out pushing past you everywhere – but less so on the side of the crowd. I like to be in the crowd with everyone around me as excited as I am, but not too far in as I’m a big fan of personal space and also I’m only 5’2. Someone’s fist pump usually ends with an elbow to my head. But there is usually lots of space at each stage area during the day, so if being in the crowd isn’t your thing you can certainly hang out in the back where there’s lots of room and you can even sit (if you dare). If you really love your space and are looking for a great view, I would highly recommend getting a VIP pass. For some of the big shows, especially the main stage performances, being elevated in the VIP section would certainly be worth it if you can afford it!

Wait? Which Stage Again?

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This year, there were seven stages throughout Bayfront Park. The walk from stage to stage is short, only a few minutes tops, so rushing from stage to stage to see the next act on your list isn’t too difficult. One thing to mention is that the names of the stages change each day. My friends and I didn’t realize that and were scratching our heads trying to figure out where to go.  Eventually we realized that it was the same stage they were just calling it something different. On Saturday we were at Ultra Europe, and then next day the same stage was Ultra Chile. Unnecessary and confusing; especially for those under the influence. Not really sure why they changed the names, but I will tell you without the help of my Ultra Music Festival App we would have been lost! The main stage has some of the biggest performers, but I thought the experience at some of the other stages, specifically Ultra Europe and the Megastructure, were far better. There were smaller crowds and the atmosphere was much friendlier. Also having the LED screens overhead was fun and having the smoke fill the space was cooling and had great effects. We were lucky enough to see Tiesto and Alesso, two of my favorites at the megastructure stage on Sunday.

What to Bring

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If someone were to ask me what to bring to Ultra, first thing I will tell you is a camelbak. If you don’t know, which I did not prior to my Ultra prep, a camelbak is a backpack with a big water pouch in it. It has a tube and a mouthpiece to drink from while you wear it. I think it is supposed to be used for hiking. This camelbak will not only be your saving grace in times of dire thirst, but it will also save you a pretty penny and help keep up your stamina and hydration throughout the day. Ultra does not allow any outside food or water. And naturally, water bottles cost an arm and a leg and many times the long lines are exhausting enough. My friend and I shared a camelbak and the first two days we were allowed to have water already in it and enter the park which was fantastic. The security at Ultra gets stricter day by day. Friday is pretty much a free for all and as long as you aren’t obvious you can take in what you want, by Sunday though, we had to dump out our water in the camelbak before we went in, and even some horse head masks were being turned away by security. Regardless, having a lot of water on you during the hot Miami heat is great and will also make you many friends who did not think to buy their own camelbak. We were told that there would be water stations for us to fill up our camelbaks at, however the water stations only miraculously popped up on Sunday… It ended up being okay because we just filled up our pack in the bathroom (yes there is a real bathroom and yes I would HIGHLY recommend using that one throughout the day – at night not so sure if the long line is worth it). The massive amounts of body heat, Miami heat, dancing, alcohol and whatever else strikes your fancy at Ultra will dehydrate you quickly, so if you are planning on being at Ultra for more than just a few hours stay hydrated! There’s nothing worse than not being able to enjoy yourself at such a great event!

I would also suggest wearing a fanny pack. I actually enjoy the hipster trend, but I know the thought of a fanny pack horrifies some people, so a small cross body bag you can hold while walking through the crowd will do. Pickpocketing was huge (though many girls were in denial and insisted they had dropped their belongings on the ground), and so as much as a fanny pack might not be your style, I am just warning you to beware of putting your stuff in backpacks! Glow sticks, sunglasses are a must, as well as sunscreen, granola bars if you can sneak them in, travel wipes or Kleenex – we brought them for the port-o-potties and TRUST you will be wanting them, along with that some hand sanitizer, obviously your ticket and ID, cash because the ATM fees are outrageous and the line is crazy long, bring your schedule of who you want to see and what stage they are on, and last but not least bring your patience. You will encounter lines and people and more people but it is all totally worth it!

What to Wear

Pretty much anything goes at Ultra. I opted for crop tops and hot pink pants, while others opted for pasties and a pair of the free underwear you get a Victoria’s Secret and nothing else. There was tons of neon and pinnies, bathing suits, there were horse head masks, head pieces, crazy wigs, superman thongs, power ranger costumes, lots of tutus and fairy wings, even the Mario Brothers entourage, and of course some deadmau5 heads which look kind of like mickey mouse heads if you haven’t seen one before. It’s fun to get creative with what you wear! Just remember to go comfortable, its hot, you’ll be dancing, and rubbing against people for hours on end! A pair of beat up sneakers is the way to go, they may not be as cute but how comfortable can fur boots be for eight hours in the hot Miami heat?

Bringing People and Music Together

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What is great about Ultra is that is brings all types of music and all kinds of people together. The diversity encompassed in such a great atmosphere is what is really amazing about the festival. Also, the DJ’s use Ultra to showcase their new music and build off one another’s energy and drive to give great performances. We saw one of Swedish House Mafia’s last performances and that alone surpassed my expectations! The crowd, the music, the visuals, it all makes for thrilling experience that Ultra maintains throughout the three days. Mark your calendars! The Ultra Music Festival will be back in Miami March 28, 29 and 30, 2014!

Roxy is Lola’s quirky yet fabulous assistant! She keeps Lola on track! Roxy has a great sense of humor, a flair for the sarcastic & can find fun anywhere. You can find Roxy on Facebook & Twitter.


Filed under guest post, miami, travel

Top 5 Islands to Visit When in Greece: Opa!

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Greece is a breathtaking wonderland that is adored by many worldwide travelers during the Summer months as well as throughout the year. Allow yourself to sink your feet into the gorgeous Mediterranean Sea waters, explore ancient Greek ruins like Acropolis in Athens, educate yourself about old-world philosophies and taste authentic Greek dishes and delicacies like Moussaka and Souvlaki.

Not only is Greece the birthplace of the Olympics, it’s also home to a collection of sun-kissed exotic islands, each one with its own unique flavor. Greece is often referred to as the origin of European civilization and it offers travelers a variety of experiences and opportunities to explore famous landmarks, busy seaside resorts, chic hotels, ancient archaeological sites, trendy nightclubs and more. Thinking about visiting Greece? Make sure you put these top 5 islands on your travel ‘to-do’ list.

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#1: Syros

The Greek island of Syros is only a few hours from Athens Airport and offers a fantastic mix of art galleries, ancient architecture, popular museums and is home to one of the most breathtaking towns called Ermoupoli.  This island is by far one of the most unique and charming islands that offers visitors the chance to experience authentic Greece.

#2: Santorini

This island is the number one choice among island hoppers. The island of Santorini is known as the more intriguing island of the Greek isles. With glorious sunsets, red, white and black sandy beaches, a colorful nightlife, traditional buildings and picturesque views of the volcano, this island is extremely popular with tourists and locals.

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#3: Mykonos

Known as one of the most vibrant and colorful islands of all the Greek isles, Mykonos offers non-stop beach parties, unique architecture, friendly local people, hospitality at its finest and classy restaurants. This island is adored by thousands across the globe because of its charm, vibrant cosmopolitan atmosphere and nightlife that is sometimes compared to the world-famous party island of Ibiza in Spain.

#4: Ithaki

The island of Ithaki is magical and magnificent. It offers visitors the opportunity to truly bond with nature. With sandy smooth beaches, authentic Greek restaurants at budget prices, turquoise-blue Mediterranean seas, untouched nature and absolute serenity. Many people who visit this island have felt as though it offers a Zen-like ambiance as it is completely relaxing and tranquil.


#5: Hydra

This unique and tiny island offers travelers the perfect vacation escape. The local people are friendly, local services are top-notch and the local architecture is striking. The feature that makes this island truly unique is the fact that no vehicles are allowed and travelers and locals use bicycles and donkeys to get around. Yes, that’s right, donkeys.

A visit to Greece is not complete without a tour around some of the best and most beautiful islands, so make sure you put a few of these top Greek islands on your travel bucket list. Once you hop around the islands of Greece, you will most likely be won over by Greece’s natural charm and unique experiences.

Thanks to Natasha for this informative guest post. I’ve been to the stunning Santorini and it makes me desperate to get back to Greece. I’m truly hoping that Mykonos is in my future this summer! 

Guest Post Author Byline:

Natasha Jervis is a dedicated and professional travel copywriter with over 14 years of experience in the travel and tourism industry. Some of her past and current roles include the New York Times travel channel on, Sunwing Vacations,, and a variety of other worldwide travel media resources. You can find some of her more recent works here.


Filed under greece, guest post, travel