Category Archives: los angeles

Fun Forecast: New Finds in 4 Great US Cities

Over the course of four weeks this spring I traveled to 3 out of 4 of the United States’ biggest cities and was lucky enough to uncover some great new finds in four US cities. From tours, to shopping, to galleries to where to see and be seen, check out if any of these ideas tickle your fancy too.

New York City

still house whiskey

Small batch distillers in NYC have become ALL the rage so much so that you can find self-guided and somewhat more official distillery tours offered there now. While I have not officially tried the Brooklyn Booze Trail (self-guided tour showcasing the borough’s new generation of spirits, from whiskey and rum to grappa and hibiscus liqueur) or New York Craft Cocktail Tour, I have sampled some of these small batch distillers’ products. My favorites were The Noble Experiment, a small batch rum distiller and Van Brunt Stillhouse, makers of rum, whiskey and grappa. I only sampled their American whiskey and while I would not say I’m a whiskey connoisseur, I found Van Brunt Stillhouse’s whiskey delicious. One or both of these tours are on my radar for a future visit 100%.

Los Angeles

abbot kinney

Abbot Kinney Blvd. located in the Venice Beach neighborhood of LA is a cool street full of fun boutiques, galleries, restaurants and amazing architecture. One of my notable favorites is Beach House Brand – a boutique meant to inspire wanderlust – carrying personally curated items to bring you an “Endless Summer” travel experience of your dreams. I found beautiful dresses, never before seen bikini brands and all kinds of awesome travel accessories. Burro was my other absolute do-not-miss. They carry an eclectic, thoughtful selection of items from all over the world – from stationery, jewelry and home decor to modern toys for kids. Burro says that while their shops are a destination location for tourists they remain the local “go to” favorite. I found some of the best greeting cards ever there as well as a very entertaining selection of gift items.

Miami

peter tunney

Peter Tunney Experience is a gallery located in the Wynwood Walls area of Miami. Peter’s work helps us redefine our way of interacting with and understanding the world around us. Using optimistic headlines such as “BELIEVE”, “GRATTITUDE” and “CHANGE THE WAY YOU SEE EVERYTHING”, Tunney is counter attacking the media’s constant relay of stories of death, destruction, hysteria and greed. It is a refreshing way to think positively and not think or live in fear. The Wynwood Walls area is an international destination within itself, giving Miami a place to gravitate to and explore and serving as tribute to graffiti and street art, which has been somewhat under appreciated and not always respected historically. Both of these things are an absolute, take the time out, must-see.

Chicago

soho house chicago

Opened a little less than a year, Soho House Chicago is a private club with some public spaces such as their ground floor restaurants and bar. Soho House was founded in 1995, in London, as a private members’ club for those in film, media and creative industries BUT you don’t have to be a member to enjoy a drink at Fox Bar or a slice at Pizza East. The Allis is a spot within Soho House Chicago for a coffee, quick bite or cocktail. Also, let’s not forget Chicken Shop where you can enjoy free range chicken from the spit. Now, if you are lucky enough to be a member or know one, I think the roof top deck is the place to see and be seen while viewing downtown Chicago’s skyline. Located in a historic former belt factory in the Fulton Market neighborhood, Soho House Chicago should be a must-do.

PS – all four of these US cities I’ve highlighted have a Soho House!

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Filed under chicago, los angeles, miami, new york, travel, USA

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. 🙂

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Filed under caribbean, los angeles, new york, travel

Why I Travel

travel

I have all kinds of reasons for traveling. Most of all is the overwhelming curiosity that lives inside me to know more about the INCREDIBLE world we live in. The more I travel, the more I want to travel. It is a real need of mine.

erin

Sometimes I travel for work. Sometimes I travel for vacation. And sometimes I travel to reconnect with those that mean the most. No matter why I travel it is ALWAYS a pleasure. I’ll be crisscrossing the country spending time in New York, LA and Miami in the upcoming weeks. Admittedly, these are all great cities but not really anything new for me. I don’t mind though. I’m going first and foremost to catch up with important people in my life. Sometimes you have to just stop and make the time to show you care to those who support and love you. While there will be a bit of “work” and, at the end, some vacation, the main purpose of these trips is to share the love back to my friends of the world.

  jetset extra & the world wanderer   a hell LOVE a town, the world wanderer, walks of new york   stay adventurous & the world wanderer

In New York there is a travel conference going on. No doubt, it will be good for learning and networking. But I’m not gonna lie, that  is not why I’m going. It’s because conferences bring together some of my favorite people who I love and admire. It is a wonderful opportunity for me to reconnect with great people and to make some new friends. Plus, with little agenda that leaves A LOT of room for ADVENTURE! And future adventures to be planned.

  smallcrazy   discovering your truth   jetset extra

In Los Angeles it’ll be much the same. One of my dearest friends in the world is flying through California and since I’m not sure when I will see her again this year I took this chance to see her now. Sometimes you realize that you have to make the investment in people who get you and are always there. It’ll be a BIG catch up with many awesome people but also an opportunity to do something a little different. We plan to do a small road trip to see a bit of the Cali coast. Stay tuned for some pretty pictures and new discoveries.

miami

From there it’ll be back to my love, Miami. There’s a conference to attend so a fantastic opportunity to learn and network. But it is also a locale that I can never get enough of…my HAPPY spot. I should just go on get a place there already!!

bahamas

And from there, well this is where the vacation comes in. I’m finally going to Eleuthera – the Bahamian island with PINK beaches!! And, seriously, while I call this vacation, you KNOW I’ll be sharing the prettiness of that place with you. Plus, write about what you should see and do if you ever go!

Why do you travel? Do you try to get the most out of your trips even when it’s for work? Would you criss-cross the country in a few weeks time to catch up with special people in your life?

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Filed under bahamas, los angeles, miami, new york, travel

Travel Brand Shout Outs to Sixt and Flytographer!

Over the past year I have been so fortunate to discover and work with these two travel brands and I wanted to take the time to give them the credit they are due. Both Sixt and Flytographer are consistently professional and a pleasure to work with. Here’s a quick run down of my experiences with both brands in the United States and abroad! Proof positive that consistency in business and customer satisfaction can be universal.

Lola Approved Sixtlola_blackpink

As a frequent traveler, I rent cars quite a bit. It’s usually fine but not above and beyond. With Sixt, all three instances were just that, above and beyond. Truly, hands down, the best car rental experiences of my renting career.

sixtseattle

In Seattle I tried one of Sixt’s luxury cars – a sweet BMW, perfect for a drive into the countryside for a wedding. Not only was the process painless but the staff were extremely helpful. AND upon return, it could not have been easier. Pull up and pass off the keys, that is it!

sixtice

In Iceland we rented an SUV for our Icelandic roadtrip. It was perfect for the time of year and road conditions. I particularly loved Sixt’s concern for us as they followed our progress on our journey. Again, upon return, the process couldn’t have more simple.

sixt

In Miami I had the pleasure of cruising around in one of Sixt’s fantasy cars – an ombre neon pink Mini Cooper, perfect for Lola and SoBe. The rental process was a piece of cake and the staff ensured I knew where I was going and then upon return it was just a matter of handing over keys and getting an emailed receipt. Nothing could be easier. Parting with that little baby was the hardest part!

Founded in Germany, Sixt is one of the oldest, most prestigious car rental companies in all of Europe and the world. Renowned internationally for their quality customer care and low rental rates, Sixt has recently opened branches in the United States. Now you can experience the benefits of a great car rental from Sixt both stateside and worldwide. Sixt has locations in 105 countries across the globe.

Lola Approved Flytographerlola_blackpink

My favorite travel photos in the past year have been those with Flytographer. Alyson Aliano for Flytographer captured fun moments in California for a girl’s glam weekend. Acting like a fly on the wall, she was able to get truly wonderful candids.

LAGLAM

Soon thereafter, we found ourselves in Amsterdam having a tour of the city and getting some great action snaps with Flytographer’s Traci White of the girls enjoying learning all about Amsterdam’s neighborhoods. Again, non-intrusive and professional. I love these photos showing what it is like to be on a tour and not just of the things you learn but your reaction to it all.

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Finally, my most recent time working with Flytographer was in my beloved Miami. They had just found a local photographer, Daniel Lateulade, and I happened to be there and loved the idea of getting photos around various highlights of South Beach. It was amazing! Some of my very favorite pictures of myself. You can see why.

miami

The highly acclaimed Flytographer captures travelers around the globe every day whether it’s special romantic trip, family vacation, girlfriend getaway or a reunion & more! Capture memories in over 100 cities worldwide with their hand-picked list of over 170 professional photographers. It’s like strolling the streets with a local friend who shares insider tips, all the while discretely chronicling unforgettable vacation memories.

Disclaimer: all of my experiences with both of these brands have been complimentary but they are still my favorite travel brands I’ve worked with over the past year. Customer satisfaction and professionalism are priceless and that’s why they are Lola Approved.

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Filed under amsterdam, car rentals, iceland, los angeles, miami, seattle, travel, travel photography

Getting Glam + Glitterati in LA

Welcome to Hollywood!

dressup

How else do you do a weekend in LA? I mean it IS the capital of celebs. The home of beautiful people. When I think of LA I think of the silver screen, the award shows, the hair, the make up, the clothes! So I really was really happy that our FourPlayGo weekend included a day of this kind of GLAM LA treatment.

fragola

Saturday started with breakfast in bed for moi, followed by meeting up with the lovely Mrs. O Around the World, Jetset Extra & Vanity Girl – all three sassy and very stylish jetsetting women! We met at Fragola in West Hollywood, a high-end designer showroom that flaunts fashion collections from the likes of Gucci, Valentino and Versace to name a few.

makeup

Not only were we styled in haute couture, we had our very own hair and makeup stylist, Lyric Cross, as well as a jeweler to the stars, Gerald David Bauman.

necklace

After trying a few options including vintage pieces, Lola was dolled up in a Nina Ricci frock and GINORMOUS aquamarine necklace and earrings. I also managed to wear very high heels and not fall down. A minor miracle! Playing dress up is always fun for me but this day was exactly how I imagine a day in the life of a starlet to be AND it was all captured by photographer Charles Hopkins.

lolapose

Once we wrapped up at the showroom, we didn’t want to waste our perfectly coiffed hair and gorgeous make up so the FourPlayGo gals headed over to grab a quick pre-dinner drink at Tortilla Republic, the trendy modern mexican resto & tequileria next to our dinner destination, SUR Restaurant and Bar. I sipped on a delish cucumber lavender margarita that was like none I’d ever had before at Tortilla Republic. MMMM.

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Taking the glitterati party over to SUR (Sexy Unique Restaurant) my cocktail experimentation just got going. Let’s just start with this is Lisa Vanderpump’s restaurant of “Vanderpump Rules” and many of the cast members were working that night. It was like stepping into a set of a TV show for the beautiful and famous. A definite see and be seen kind of place. So perfect for us glammed up ladies!

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The bartenders were HOT and FLIRTY, my favorite, and dinner was great. SUR’s menu is an interesting variety of things that seem like comfort food and I went with chicken enchiladas. BUT I have to say the cocktails and scene make the place what it is famous for – a very sexy LA spot!

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The only thing that could make this experience any more ‘LA celeb worthy’ would be having your photos snapped all night by a professional photographer like you were being followed by the paparazzi. Soooo that’s what we did. The amazing Alyson, from Flytographer, fired away all through our dinner capturing some awesome shots for our GLAM FourPlayGoLA memories.

This fantabulous day was organized by Maxine Tatlonghari aka @VanityGirl in conjunction with West Hollywood. Thank you to all the people involved, making this day very star worthy indeed. If you’re interested in having glamorous Hollywood Insider experience like this, please reach out to VanityPR@me.com.

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Filed under california, los angeles, travel