Amsterdam // England // Ireland

I wish I could do a whole write up of our trip over to England, but I really can’t put words to how I feel about that trip. Every time I think about it, I get those warm fuzzy feelings. We went with some of the BEST people in this world. We laughed, we drank,  the conversation was all good, and we experienced several other cultures together as friends. Whether we were listing to Irish music in an Irish pub, or walking through a field, we were having the best time. It was a dream. Danielle and Chad, we are SO thankful for your friendship (xo)

A couple of our closest friends got engaged! ahh! And we are so happy for them! I get to shoot Eden and Donnie’s wedding next year and Cury gets to marry them! We are the luckiest people.  Cheers to you guys!

We stayed with locals (friends of our friends) who are some of the kindest most beautiful souls I have ever met. They opened their home to us, drove us all over the place, and even took us on a few adventures. Angie and Stephan, I love you both and cannot thank you enough for your hospitality. I hope we can repay you some day.

Plus, we made a few other friends (family to our friends) who spent time with us, drove us places, and showed us a real good time. We love you, Nan + Alan! xo

So, I’ll just let the photos do the rest of the talking. cheers! 

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Venice, Italy

Onto part two of our Italian adventure…

Cury and I both walked away from Venice with mixed feelings, but before I get to all of that, let me first talk about our travel from Florence to Venice. That has always been the most intimidating thought about European travel before I went myself. First, It’s not nearly as confusing as you would think. All of the train station’s and airport’s signs had an English version of instructions on them- just like the multiple languages you see on our signs here in the States. So, you WILL be able to figure out how to get where you’re going. The train station in Florence was called, “Trenitalia” we paid €66/ticket and we arrived in Venice in 2.5 hours. 

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f l o r e n c e

If I could sum up our trip to florence in one word, it would have to be the Italian word, saporito! It translates in English to, “flavorful”. Which is exactly what Florence was to me in more ways than one. There is of course the given  – the food. spaghetti, pizza, burrata cheese, gelato, wine, fresh veggies, and decadent cappuccinos. ugh, I could go on and on. . . but then there was the history. There was so much history to see all around us. There are buildings older than our country! The sculptures told us stories of another time, the city walls made us feel like we were in a movie from the medieval times, and even the streets themselves are still made up of cobblestones. Then of course the art. We didn’t get to go to one museum while we were in Italy (the only disappointment) but the art was everywhere, and that was probably my favorite flavor.

I kept a journal as we explored Italy. I wanted to remember EVERYTHING. And since I wrote down everything, I will probably overshare 😉

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The Leelenau Peninsula

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I read a list while back entitled “things only people from Michigan understand” my favorite one (because I had never thought twice about it before) was, everyone has a vacation spot “Up North” Everyone has a place they go to Up North, and we don’t usually ask, “where Up North?” we just accept that they’re heading North.

All growing up my Up North was always Tawas City, Michigan. It’s located on the East side of the state by Lake Huron. This time, however, Cury and I stayed in Suttons Bay located in the Leelanau Peninsula (pronounced Lee-la-naw)  Northern Michigan is usually colder than the rest of Michigan, which makes it so busy during the warmer months. We got so lucky with nice weather for this time of year. I thought I’d put together a little list of what we did and where we stayed while we were there just in case you decide to head Up North  😉

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We like to stay in a house or cabin when we travel Up North. Not only because it’s better than a hotel, but there are way more vacation house rentals than hotels anyway. We stayed here It’s a beautiful corner lot house with a large wrap around deck, and is only a block from the town and  the Bay. This house sleeps 10 and has 4 beautiful bathrooms. Everything in the house is up to date, and completely stunning. It’s a perfect house to stay at with the whole family or a group of friends with plenty of room to accommodate everyone comfortably. The house is located right in the middle of wine country, and there is a brewery located a quick bike trip around the corner. Suttons Bay is only 20 minutes up the road from Traverse City, and a 40 minute beautiful drive to Sleeping Bear Dunes. There is so much to see and do! We will definitely be returning here again and again.

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VI Grill –  we had breakfast here one morning. It’s walking distance from the house. In fact, you can see the restaurant from the house. The biscuits and Gravy are delicious as well as the pancakes. 

Union Tap & Grill –  located in Traverse City. Great food, great atmosphere, and great drinks. we were really happy with this restaurant. Consider ordering the “sex” brute Rose – it’s a light, delicious bubbly wine. 

Filling Station – order some locally brewed beers and some delicious food at this train station turned restaurant.

Harvest – Killer food that is super quick and really yummy!!!  It’s just off of Union Street in Traverse City.

9 Bean Rows – I’m so bummed we didn’t get to stop here. I’ve heard it’s incredible if you’re looking for the local flavor. Completely farm to table and I’ve heard their croissants are the best you’ll ever have.

Brew – stop in this little cafe for a coffee or a beer. Yes, they brew both! They also have herbal teas, pour over coffees, cold pressed juice, and kombucha... as I’m sure you’ve guessed from the menu, it has a hipster vibe, so don’t go if you’re in a hurry. Or if hipsters annoy you 😉

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Traverse City Farmers Market – The atmosphere is  awesome. The farmers Market is located right down town and across the street from the lake side. This goes on Saturdays and Wednesdays from 8 AM to noon. Tons of awesome vendors with lots of local goodies! They usually have some type of folk musician playing music, and all of the food is as fresh as it is delicious.

Folgarelil’s – This place has stellar sandwiches with so many Italian products that you feel transported right to the country itself.

Potter’s Bakery – If you are a donut freak stop in to their location on 8th street for a really good treat. In the fall don’t miss their cake pumpkin donut.

Oryana – Up here there is no such thing as a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. You buy local or you buy at a co-op. In fact it is the first co-op in America. This is one special place that you cannot miss especially if you want to find the best selection of local goodies!

There is also a Kilwin’s (chocolate & ice cream shop) and  Cherry Republic (which has all your cherry wants and needs) down town Traverse City 🙂

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Short’s brewing company – I know you’ve already tried all their beers, but you have to go see where it’s all created. Plus they usually have a local band performing.

Verterra Winery – Located in Leland stop in for a tasting and be sure to try their Pino Gris.

Bluestone Vineyards – their tasting room is stunning. it’s a very modern looking cabin located at the top of a hill in the middle of their vineyard. They have fire pits outside so you can stay warm as you sip, $1 tastings, and with all glass walls, you get a view from every angle. They had just released their 2015 Pino Nior Rose while we were there, and it was fantastic!

Tandem Ciders – if wine and beer aren’t your thing, theres a great… Cidery? lol I don’t know what you call a cider making place… but go check it out.

Traverse City Whiskey Company – truly an Up North feel distillery… But if you’re looking for an uncomplicated and good option for a whiskey on ice on a warm day, this is your place.

The Hop Lot – I mentioned this place above. It’s so close to the rental home we stayed in. They have tasty beers and delicious food. This place is always “hopin” 😉 really, it’s packed all the time, but totally worth facing the crowds.

Chateau De Leelanau – We love this place. Their wine is delicious, affordable, and local. Our personal favorites- Cury:Cherry Wine, me: the Rose (go figure!) We always buy a couple bottles when we come here. This time, however, we bought way more than a couple. . . They also always have 5 ciders on special, and they are all great. If they have the cherry cider when you go, don’t taste it if you don’t want to buy it.  Oh! and $1 tastings 🙂

Blackstar Farms – great atmosphere and even better wine!


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Glen Lake – One of the prettiest lakes on the peninsula. Find the beach or rent a pontoon. The water looks tropical and feels like it in July and August.

Glen Haven dunes and beach –  aka Sleeping bear dunes.

Empire Beach –  It is one gorgeous and secluded little place.

Old Mission lighthouse and state park –  While driving Center Road you eventually will hit the state park. Here you will see cars parked on the side of roads or going down dirt roads. This isn’t the prettiest, but it is very unique. Wander out along the ishtmusses connecting small overgrown peninsulas and find a secluded rock. You can disappear here for hours.

Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive – you get to this beautiful drive by heading to the dunes. You will se signs for the drive on your way. It’s beautiful. The map they hand you is a bit overrated. They will lead you to believe there are 12 vista points, but really there are only about 4 or 5.

Leland Beach –  Just before you hit the river coming from the south turn left and nab a parking spot. Head down the path with your towel and find your spot to enjoy the view and sunset.

Leelanau Trail – if your brought your bike and the weather is just right, take the 17 mile bike paved trail from Suttons Bay to Traverse City. We didn’t get to do this, but it’s on our list to do for next time. I’ve heard the trail is a beautiful, relaxing cruise.
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Cotton seed apparel – we really didn’t do much shopping, but we did hit up this adorable boutique. They have a plethora of goodies all from local artistry to free people.

Cali’s – located in Traverse City. They have apparel and home goods. Don’t forget to check out upstairs too.

*There are a ton of great shops downtown traverse city as well as the big box stores that you will pass going from Suttons Bay to Traverse City.

Also, if you have been to Traverse City and the Leelanau Peninsula area and want to add anything please feel free to do so below! I am excited to hear others’ experiences and favorite places.

**This post was sponsored, but all thoughts and opinions are my own**

destination. . . MEXICO!

I am leaving the country tomorrow morning to wrap up my last wedding for the year. Stephanie and Blair are getting hitched in sunny Mexico! It’s going to be a great time, and I will be sure to post photos over on Instagram.

That being said, I will be out of the office from 5pm tonight (12/8) through Monday morning (12/14) Feel free to email me during those times, however, I will not be able to respond until Monday morning 🙂

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Portland / Seattle 2015

20151103_5982Hey everyone! If you follow me on Instagram, then you know Cury and I just returned from a trip to Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington. We don’t get to travel as much as we would like to, so I tend to get intimidated by it. Not so much the traveling part, but the ‘what heck are we going to do when we get to this place we’ve never been to’ part. As all of you would agree, I want to make the most of my trip – eat good food, see all the sights, take a bunch of pictures, and simply have a stress-free, busy, happy time. 🙂

Let me tell you, this trip was an adventure we will hold onto forever. We had the best time! Each day was packed full. We ate the good food, saw incredible sights, took hundreds of pictures, and still had time to feel stress-free and happy. We did everything we set out to do, so when our trip came to an end, we didn’t feel sad to leave… of course we wouldn’t have minded a longer stay… but we felt so accomplished that we were okay with going back home and back to our real life.

There is no way we could have accomplished all that we did if it wasn’t for all of the incredible travel blogs, Instagram accounts, and friend’s advice. I would like to pay it forward and share the details behind our beautiful trip. I will share our booking process, budgeting system, travel tips, (ha! 3 trips in 2 years and I’m giving tips) and of course pictures… so many pictures! 🙂 

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Colorado weekend / weekend links | 09

My recent trip to Colorado was so short but perfect. I am pretty convinced that shorter trips are actually better. Because we knew we only had a few days to explore the city, we packed an activity into each hour we were there. One of my best friends from high school, Rebekah, lives too far away from me, and I unfortunately only get to see her one or two times each year. She snapchated (<-not sure if that’s a word yet) me to look up flights to Denver so we could meet up. Turns out they can be pretty cheap. I used Expedia to search for my flight. I was able to fly to Denver on Delta airlines and fly home on Spirit for just $150. Not bad! So we talked about dates for the next 24 hours and then our trip was booked! I am not known to do things like this, but I can definitely see myself doing it again soon 🙂 11412225_10206670970586770_9033374846563963643_o

We stayed with Beka’s friend, Josh. He was so kind to not only let us crash at his place, but he literally planned out our entire trip- right down to the best coffee shops in the city.. and they truly were the best! And then to top it off, he saved us the $500 they were charging us to rent a car (damn 25 years old rule..) and drove us everywhere. It was so wonderful to not have to worry about that part. Thanks so much, Josh!

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C a l i f o r n i a

20140822_7155My sister and I took a little vacation this past August to California. Neither of us had been West of Michigan, so we were dying to see if it would live up to all its hype. The pictures speak for themselves, so all I’ll say is, it did! We will definitely be returning as soon as possible. We have already started searching for tips on California travel. If you have any tips or must see attractions, please let us know! 

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Chicago with my love

I bought Cury a mini vacation to Chicago for Christmas 2013 and we finally got to go this past June. If you know us, you know we Love this city. It’s where Cury proposed to me. We try to make it there at least one time each year. This time, we were determined to trail off our beaten path a little more than normal. Out of the thousand times we have been to Chicago, we had never been to the Willis (sears) Tower. I know! Crazy.. So we put that on our list long with take pictures at Millennium park, relax along the shore line to Lake Michigan, make a couple trips to Argo Tea, try out a few new restaurants, and do a little shopping. I MUST always visit Anthropologie when we are in Chicago. The one there is big and they have a huge clearance section 😉

We accomplished everything on our list. Another great trip to Chicago in the books, my love. And it din’t even rain.. imagine that.

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