Category Archives: philadelphia

My Year in Travel – 2013

This year was a great year of travel for me, hitting some brand new destinations and revisiting some of my old favorites. BUT, for me, the VERY BEST thing about this year in travel are all the wonderful people who I met or was reunited with in various locations around the world. My travels wouldn’t be anything without the people on my journey.

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January saw me in NYC and meeting friends old and new – who knew how important they’d all become in my life over the course of this year. I count my blessings for you.



In January I also skied in Verbier, Switzerland and absolutely loved my time with the legendary Warren Smith. I truly hope to see him again in 2014.


Rounding out January, I went to Copenhagen for the very first time and got to reconnect with a travel friend, Christoffer. I loved the cool capital city of Denmark.

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February saw me catching up with a dear travel buddy, Anita, in Montreal, Canada for the very first time. We had a ball doing all kinds of wintery fun things like staying in an Ice Hotel and going to Igloofest.

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March was my month for Barcelona & Costa Brava, Spain. I was thrilled to meet up with a fellow traveler, Brian, in Barcelona and was lucky enough to see him again in London in November.

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Going to Costa Brava was an incredible experience. I love that area of Spain and really cannot get enough, especially of the coast. But, the people on this trip really made it the very best. I can’t imagine a more fun press trip.

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April found me in back in NYC. I always love my NYC trips because I get to catch up with very special friends like Jeff & Craig – 2 of my favorites!!

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May saw me in my favorite, Miami. I cannot get enough of this city. While I had my usual fun of beach, pool, dinner, drinks and dancing, I particularly enjoyed working with the fantastic luxe swimwear company, Orchid Boutique, during this trip. Talk about a great collection as well as a staff of kindred spirits!

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June was an incredible month chalked full of fun things. Kicking off in Toronto for a conference with so many of my favorite fellow travelers, I actually wonder if we’ll ever be able to beat our #RWTBEX time here. I love you all so much!

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I also got to spend a bit of time with one of my most lovely traveling partners, Mrs. O, Ana. I was able to show her a bit of Americana in the amazing seaside town of Newport, Rhode Island. We had a ball doing Newport the luxe way.

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Wrapping up my June, I had an incredible visit to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. What a great girls weekend we had there and our host, the Bahia Hotel and Carlos, made my trip 100% amazing. Cannot wait to return.

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July found me back in Euroland – one of Lola’s favorites. Although, this was a “repeat” journey of sorts, I did manage to do a few new things. One of which was going to the Henley Royal Regatta.


Post-UK was a return visit to Prague and Budapest. Two of my favorites that I’ve never visited in the summertime. Absolutely stunning! So was hanging out with friends made on a previous trip. Always nice to share a beer with good people.

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August took me back to Montreal once again and NYC. This trip was extra special because of the time well spent with lifelong friends and a last visit with a friend that would soon depart. Anita, Montreal will always make me think of you fondly. I love you and that city so much.



September took me to two cities I wanted to know better. First was Seattle with my newly found soul mate, Erin. There is nowhere I wouldn’t go with this girl. And we both wanted to celebrate happy moments, like our dear friends, Captain & Clark’s wedding!

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Toward the end of September, Erin and I were reunited again in the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia. I like to think of it as the city of sisterly love! We had a blast discovering different neighborhoods of Philly & laughing with each other all the while.

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October I was lucky enough to be reunited with 2 of my favorite traveling partners again, Ana & Mary Anne along with Mary Anne’s BFF Maxine, for a GLAM LA girls weekend.

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November was a busy fun month with a visit back to the UK for a conference and reconnecting with so many fun friends from around the world. I’m so glad our paths cross from time to time.

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Followed up by a quick jaunt to France and Amsterdam for more girlfriend fun. I wouldn’t choose to travel any other way. Traveling with Ashley, Ana & Mary Anne was the very best.

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And I managed to squeeze in a last minute trip back to NYC with my girlfriends and once again be reunited with some of my favorite people.

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In December I finished off my year of travel back in Miami to celebrate Erin’s birthday. I cannot think of a better place to end my year. It is my happy spot and it was made so much better being there, laughing and enjoying life, with two of my travel besties, Erin & Esther.

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Maybe you see some common themes in my travels. Repeat places, repeat friends, repeated silliness and smiles. Traveling is my lifeline and a huge part of my heart as are all the people I meet along the way. My world is better for all of you. Here’s to many more reunions on the road and good times ahead in 2014! Happy travels…

XO – Lola


Filed under amsterdam, barcelona, budapest, cabo san lucas, copenhagen, costa brava, henley-on-thames, london, los angeles, miami, montreal, new york, newport, philadelphia, prague, seattle, toronto, travel, verbier

#VisitPhilly – Beyond the Liberty Bell

Philadelphia was the original capital of the United States and home to many historically significant things to the country, like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were both born. BUT there is so much more to this great city than the reminders of Democracy’s birth. Philadelphia is a melting pot of people living side by side from Italians & Irish to Eastern Europeans to African-Americans and Asians. It is, in fact, one of the most ethnically mixed cities in the United States. Philadelphia literally means “City of Brotherly Love” in Greek and really couldn’t be a more fitting name.

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While I do enjoy the charm of the cobblestone streets and red brick row houses of Society Hill, this visit to Philadelphia I was determined to discover more of Philly’s neighborhoods that their diverse community calls home. Although I visited several neighborhoods and found lots of interesting things in all of them, my three favorite were Graduate Hospital, Bella Vista and Queen Village. And these three can literally be walked going through one to next. Each neighborhood begins south of South Street and each has its own unique flavor and special finds. I particularly enjoyed strolling through them on a Saturday when the rest of Philadelphia is out and about.

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My neighborhood stroll started with Graduate Hospital – a cool family friendly yet hipster-esque scene. An eclectic blend of people are this neighborhood’s community and the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well here.

It was Saturday, late morning, and what better way to start your day than with a big ole Saturday Brunch. Let me tell you Honey’s Sit ‘N Eat delivered up the perfect start to my Saturday. A bacon, egg and cheese sandwich is always a good call but Honey’s serves it on a homemade biscuit and that makes ALL the difference. This local hotspot is BYOB and open for brunch, lunch and dinner.

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Walking down South Street, popping in and out of local indie boutiques, my next stop was Magpie also in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood. Magpie is an artisan pie boutique. I love pie more than cake or cookies but Magpie has something else that I’ve never heard of before, let alone dreamt of having. PIE SHAKES!! Something so unique and made with pie, well, I just had to try it. I went with the Apple Pie Shake and shared it with my friend Erin because we were saving room for local beer tasting and Italian Market sampling.

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Moving on into the Bella Vista neighborhood, I was in search local Pennsylvania beers and the famous Italian Market here. Bella Vista is where the Italian immigrants came to settle in Philadelphia and ties still remain here today. PLUS I firmly feel nothing gives you a local perspective like food, drinks & markets!

Percy Street Barbecue is one of several Cook + Solo restaurants known for its BBQ and over 145 varieties of canned beer at any given time. It was my mission to try as many local beers as I could since craft brews are such a big deal in Philadelphia and figured they’d have PLENTY to choose from. Boy was that ever true.

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After the beer tasting it was time to do a bit of touring the Italian Market – a proud Philly mainstay since the 19th Century and one of the oldest and largest open-air markets in America. Not to be missed here besides the sidewalk stalls are the storefronts where you can find olive oil & balsamic vinegar tastings as well as cheese and cured meats samplings. MMMM.

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A stop not to just pass by in Bella Vista is Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens – artist Isaiah Zagar’s mosaicked visionary art environment and gallery. The 3,000 square foot space is incredible and definitely inspiring, at least it was to me. I could have spent hours there looking at the vivid colored tiles and hidden messages. Really a unique spot in Philly.


My final stop of the day was in Queen Village for a cocktail. Queen Village is Philly’s oldest residential district and is the scene of many up and coming restos and bars. The ever lively South Street is nearby to add color to any day or night and definitely something a visitor has to experience to understand.

I bellied up to Southwark’s bar, a retro feeling neighborhood bistro. It’s said they make the city’s best Manhattan but I just went for my standard vodka soda (I know…boooooring). After a day of delicious food sampling and beer tasting that was all I could manage.

I was sponsored by Visit Philly to come discover the multiple neighborhoods beyond Center City – why not go just one more block? I had a jam-packed delicious day exploring 3 fantastic neighborhoods and look forward to returning to Philadelphia to see more.


Filed under philadelphia, travel