The travel bug – What it means to travel

Howdy y’all,

Sergio here, (aka Antonio, Mr B, dearest darling, come here papi, and leporkstar etc), with a guest post about traveling.

As most of you know, or basically, have absolutely NO clue about me, or what the hell I do, (not going to disclose that yet because early retirement doesn’t count), one thing I certainly do is travel like there is no tomorrow.

Obviously, one of the first things people would ask is, how the hell can you afford the traveling? What I usually spew out of my mouth is, “None of your business”.

Actually that is a topic for another blog post.

I, for one, love to travel and have been doing so for the past 5 years constantly. Bouncing off  to Europe a few times a year, within the United States or even trying my luck with Canada after getting deported from there once. Because they think they are a real country.

Whatever the deal might be, traveling is something that for some of us, permeates the soul, enhances your knowledge, cultural and intellectual, as well as increase the breadth of your horizons. Last but not least, traveling teaches you tolerance.

Years ago I traveled with the ex-wife to Cancun, Mexico. The intention was to be horizontal at the beach, sip a Mojito, or 10, slowly roast under the sun to a crisp and check some tail on my part. Once there, we realized, there was more to it than just dodging the annoying time-share sharks at the airport and the all Americanized feel of the place. We didn’t waste time exploring ruins, traveling deep into the Yucatan peninsula visiting ancient Mayan architecture, temples, etc and all the while, learning from the locals and aboriginals about their culture, even if it didn’t differ much from mine. You see, I happen to be a Latino (*gasps! No shit!!) as well and even as such, I initially didn’t feel the need to do much exploring or seeing old crap that resembled my own country (Colombia), and well, my thing has always been European architecture and old Asian temples.

And getting drunk. Anywhere.

9643dfee2e011e69cb91f6c9a36830b9Boy was I mistaken.

Out of 2 weeks there, only 2 days were spent at the beach and the rest was exploring, learning and visiting. Much to my previous expectations, I fell in love with Mayan history and the Mexican culture overall, which even form a Latino’s point of view, was a very interesting and surprising learning experience.

Quoting St Augustine: “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” Even if it’s just locally or regionally, there are always places to go see and people to talk to. There is always people willing to give you directions to find the best hike somewhere, the best view to take pictures and also some people would just plainly tell you to fuck off. Right there you also learn first hand, who the assholes in the town can be. Aside from that, the locals from your own town can also be a source of cultural information. Making friends with your town’s locals, just as making friends with people from other countries if you travel abroad, you can discover and learn about their heritage, their customs and general diversity.

Depending on your type of travel, your tolerance can be also tested. Regardless of wether you are a creature built for comfort and 5 star hotels, or hiking and camping under millions of stars,  you may still run into language barriers, unpleasant places, confusing directions etc etc. The simple fact of dealing with navigating in a new place and finding your way around is a test of tolerance, which may include swearing, but that’s totally okay. In terms of “other” type of tolerance, mingling with the locals can land you a few free local drinks and new friends. Trying to learn a new language, when overseas or even imitate the local accent of any place below the Bible belt in the US, for example, is fodder for ensuing hilarity. You learn to imbibe aplomb, like the best of sweet water fish and your alcohol tolerance level also reaches new limits.

Regardless of your type of travel, regional or abroad, there is a great variety of things that can be acquired from it. Aside from the usual credit card debt we all incur into (because we’d suffer from nipple withdrawal from our financial institution otherwise), the knowledge and experience from a trip to any other country (because believe it or not, the US is not the only country in the world), to any other state or even to the next town over, your mind will automatically try to adapt to that new-ness of the place. It will try to embrace and understand it, as a survival instinct and test your tolerance levels. Wether is the new directions, the accent or different language from this new place, their traditions, (which may not be the same as yours), or simply, your blood tolerance to alcohol, even shit faced in a foreign country, your tolerance level has already increased significantly in more ways than one.

 

 

 

Fashion Fairy: My Joules Wishlist.

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Ooooh, Fashion Fairy…where, o’ where, are you?  I found Joules this sassy store and I have a wishlist for you…  

Joules has a neat beginning!  With Spring upon us and Summer almost here – what a better time to grab a few must-have items from Joules Vacation Shop!  And I need a few new outfits for my upcoming weekend away!

So, without further ado, here’s my wishlist.  Fashion Fairy, this list is for you!!!

The theme for my weekend away is fun and flirty.  My choices:  a flowered tank, a tee, shorts, cute pair of shoes and of course a fedora!  And a date night look.  Plus, every gal, needs a new suit and I chose a very cute navy blue, flowered two piece.  Although, I am torn between the 2-piece or the tankini…?!  Decisions, decisions.  Oh, and complete with cover-up and flip-flops.

Fashion Fairy:  Please don’t be shy…scroll down and see my sassy choices!  And as always, feel free, to drop any or “all” the items in my closet!  Pretty please.  xo, Blondie 

{Flowered Womens Vest (top) in “Creme Bouquet”
{Shorts in Indigo}
{Love these Bright Yellow Loafers}
{Trilby Hat}

Scoop Neck T-shirt
Striped Dress in Indigo
{Halterneck Bikini in French Navy Bouquet}
Sarong in Parisian Pink
Red and Navy Stripe Flip Flops
Canvas Bag with Pink accents

Head over to Joules and check out how to embrace British Style, a sneak peek is below!   I just love there infographics!  Don’t you?!

Oh, and be sure to check out the Welly Collection too!  I’m going to be sure and buy a pair before my next outing in the “mud”!  Hint, hint Fashion Fairy!

Note:  All opinions in this email are my own.

Kendra’s NYC Fashion Challenge Night and Day.

Today’s post is a fun one.  A fashion one!  Oh yeah.

I was asked by @kendrathornton, Travel Expert, TV Personality and PR businesswoman extraordinaire to participate in her NYC Night Out Challenge!  She’s been featured on shows like Tyra Banks and Nate Berkus.

Here’s the skinny on “Kendra’s Night Out” Challenge…

…In a few weeks, Kendra, is headed to NYC for a fun couple of days with friends.  This trip includes a night out wining and dining at the Dream New York Hotel and Serafina’s for some authentic Italian pizza and pasta, yum.  Oh, and let’s not forget the sightseeing!…  PS – check out the Dream’s sightseeing day tours here.

Sounds like a fun trip, right?!  Now, here comes the challenge and where I come in…  As a mom of 3, Kendra wants to ensure her outfits are comfortable yet, look trendy and fashionable and most importantly that she doesn’t look like a “tourist”.  I’m spicing up her wardrobe!

Kendra’s going to look and feel absolutely fabulous and then some!  Plus, I want her to be in the “top trends” by looking and feeling comfortable in what I’ve selected for her to wear while she’s enjoying her days and nights in the “the City that never sleeps”…!  Are you with me?  Here we go!

I chose 4 different looks for the Challenge: 2 day and 2 night.  Also, I went with versatile pieces that are interchangeable and can be layered as well (depending on weather).  You know a girl has to be prepared for the ever changing weather that the “polar vortex” brings…

Some of the thoughts I had as I put the outfits together…

Each outfit I put together has one or several current fashion trends in the look.  Let’s see if you can “spot” them.  Haha!  No pun intended here.  Sorry, couldn’t resist.  For one, a girl can never go wrong with leopard accents and therefore, I included a pair of Tori Burch flats and a large scarf.  And at night, I figured Kendra would glam it up, to the nine’s!!!  For jewelry I included the “staples” for day and the “statement” pieces for night.  A criss-cross fringe bag for the day – very “in” right now.  Plus, when traveling and sightseeing criss-cross is best.

One day look is colorful, trendy and “pops”, yet, not overpowering.  The other look is a neutral color palette with a layered look, yet trendy and fashionable with the different textures.  Now we’ve got the flip-side with night time looks.  The night time looks definitely make a statement and are pulled from the “top” fashion trends.  I went with a little spin on color-blocking for one look.  It’s a patterned black and white jumpsuit with a neon yellow blazer with textured seams. The look has very bold “spiked” statement jewelry pieces, several.  There is 2 shoe choices because I just couldn’t decide!  The “other” outfit is a pair of boot-cut jeans with a floral silk blouse in brown and creme paired with a textured grey/silver blazer paired with geometric statement necklace and gold chain tassle earrings a black patent leather Louboutin’s.

I have to say the jumpsuit, neon yellow blazer, and “spike’s” is my favorite outfit of the four.  Incredibly comfortable, yet, simplistic – thus making a statement all on it’s own.

You be the judge.  Which one is your favorite look, what would you wear…?!  And can you “spot” the fashion trends I included in each look…?

What do you think Kendra will choose…?

Kendra's NYC Fashion Challenge Day Look

Kendra NYC Fashion Challenge by Night

Our Refrigerator Travel Bucket List…for 2014.

{OUR Travel List}

Yep, S and I have a “travel” bucket list.  It is on our refrigerator (see above).  We “point” to our next destination.  It’s funny, I know!

Sometime ago, when I was single (way back when…) I bought a chalkboard magnetic mirror and it works very nicely as our pointer!  Oh, and it’s my favorite color, orange.

You are probably wondering, when we made the list?  S created it a few months after we started dating, in early 2013.  We thought it would be fun to have a list we could “see” and “cross” things off as we do them. It’s dorky I know but, it is soooo us!

It’s not really a bucket list because it is realistic places we will go to and/or have already been too.  For example, San Francisco we’ve already been together – back in December 2012 (my Christmas present, we went to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, ASU played the Navy).  That was a GREAT trip!  So, much fun.  It’s funny we talked about going back while we were still on the trip in San Francisco!  Too funny, right?!

Monument Park is already complete, we did that on our way to Telluride, Colorado a few weeks ago. Don’t worry, I’ll share about that trip soon.

We area looking forward to the Sun Devils going back to the Rose Bowl.  Fingers crossed, they can do it this year!  It’s a new year…  Obviously, last year, they did not do it.  We were so bummed!  And yes, we have season tickets and are die-hard fans (well S is).  I’m a definite Sun Devil fan but, not absolutely die-hard.  But, it is pretty cool watching “my” school play!  I’m an ASU Alum.  

I’m looking forward to our next trip.  Not sure, when or where we will go or what we will do but, it’s always a blast!

Do you have a travel list?  If so, is it on your refrigerator?  Or better yet, do you have a map?!  Do tell.

NOTE:  Please give proper credit if you use my photo.  Thank you.

Wanderlust Wednesday: Let’s Escape!

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Today, let’s escape…

Let’s just float away and not think about anything.  Not one single thing.

The question is can we achieve this teeny, tiny task…?!  Hmmm…

Well, let’s try at least…it’s the least we can do!  So, here goes…

Imagine that you are at the beach…walking along in the surf as you search for that very perfect spot. BAM!  You find it!  What a relief.  Now, drop your bag, lay out your towel, grab your book and r-e-l-a-x!

Don’t forget to lather on that sunscreen and chapstick with SPF and keep your face shaded with your big floppy hat!

Enjoy!  Make it a great one.

{via here}

Wanderlust Wednesday: Road Trip.

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Road trip.  Who hasn’t done this?  I’ve gone on several.  They’ve been good and let’s just say interesting.  Let’s get one thing clear that a crucial “key” element is great music.  It’s a must-have.  Period.  No exceptions.  Oh, and let’s not forget snacks, drinks and wonderful road trip companion if your aren’t going solo.  I’ve done several solo road trips, to and from California.  Typically the road trips I have taken are quite a distance and not something I want to do solo – it’s more fun to have someone with you.

Anyhow, I just wanted to give you a sneak peek to upcoming travel plans I’ll be taking with S, the boyfriend.  I can’t wait.  Stay tuned for more details!

Wanderlust Wednesday: The Beach & a Cocktail.

Let’s escape…

When was the last time you were at the beach?  What’s your favorite part? 

My favorite part of going to the beach is the surf, the sand, the relaxation.  I like squishing my toes in the sand.  It’s pure zen!  There is nothing quite like a tranquil walk along the beach, all while sharing it with that special someone.

I need an escape today.  How about you?  I think a cocktail or two is in order as well…  We are, after all, at the beach!  Have a wonderful day!

 


 

A Wish List of Travel Plans…?!

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It’s that time of year.  You know, the time of year that summer is somewhat coming to an end.  A pretty good indicator for me is all the teachers in my life heading back to school!  Yep, I have a lot of friends and family that were brave enough to commit to teach the youth of America!  They are Rockstars’ in my opinion!  I’m silly I know.

With summer coming to an end and fall almost upon us…that means football season is about to start!  More specifically, college football.  S and I are both Arizona State University alumni and we are both looking forward to the upcoming season.  We’ve added all the games to our calendar’s and are contemplating a few trips in-between, here and there, that we can “hopefully” fit in!  So, let’s just say that with work, college football, and traveling for work and fun, we have busy schedules.  But, we do manage to fit it all in and make time with friends and family.  And some weekends are just jammed packed!  We like it though.  However, I have to work around billing and month-end and make do. 

Anyhow, S and I talked about places we want to go to and see before year-end.  Pretty cool, huh?  I think so.  He actually made a list and printed it out.  I stuck in on the frig.  We even have “pictures” on it.  It’s a cool list.  And I’ll be honest something fun that we did together.  Yeah, I know it’s silly but, we are both on the same page about the trips and making a list!  I’m laughing as I type this blog post.  Because it’s not every day that you find a guy that you are “in-sync” with for something like this, right?!  Simply stated, for me, it’s cute that we are on the same page with the “list”. 

We are hopeful that we will be able to fit in a “few” more trips before year-end when time permits…

Oh, and we’ve already started discussing next year’s travel plans!!! No list yet…but, the list is already being formed!

How about you?  Do you have a year-end travel plans, a travel bucket list?  We all do silly things with the one we love; what do you do?

{A Travel Guest Post} Perfect Places for Romance.

Trips to Make Your Heart Melt
Whoever said romance is dead was lying. I’m lucky enough to have been to some of the most romantic places on the planet, but there are still plenty more that I haven’t had a chance to visit quite yet. Finding that perfect place to spend some quality time with your loved one is well worth the effort, and can make such a difference. The difference between coming back with tales of a ‘nice vacation,’ or recalling every precious moment about ‘simply the best trip away… ever!’
A Hideaway From it All
{image via here}
Heading off into the horizon with the love of your life has a wonderfully romantic image, so why do exactly that. Booking a weekend, or even a week, in a remote country cottage, mountain chalet, or beachside villa can be the perfect way to spend some uninterrupted romantic time. Whether it is close to home or in a far flung foreign land, being in a place where just the two of you can be together, away from city crowds or hordes of tourists can make sparks fly. You don’t need to take all that stuff you think you need while at home, all you need is each other. Strolls across countryside fields, evening walks along empty beaches, or enjoying fresh mountain air while enjoying breakfast on the terrace are just a few of the things you can do together. If you are not outdoor people then picture a blazing log fire, and the two of you curled up on a comfy sofa, while the snow falls across the window. Either way, seclusion is a great way to bring you closer together.
Cupid on a Cruise
A luxury cruise might not be the first type of vacation that pops into your head when thinking about romantic getaways, but don’t rule it out. Checking into a cozy cabin on-board an ocean liner and being transported to exotic destinations while you relax with all mod-cons gives all the time you need to get close and intimate. Many cruises lines now have special romantic cruises, where honeymoon suites can be booked, which come complete with extra-large beds, alfresco massage beds, and double loungers so you can lie back and enjoy a glass on fine wine under the stars. Carnival Cruises offer a feature on a number of their ships called ‘Serenity,’ which is an adult-only space featuring a bar and private whirlpools for you to unwind in. Norwegian Cruise Lines went one further than other cruise lines last year when they pretty much created a private ship within one of their cruise ships. The Norwegian Epic has a whopping 46 Courtyard Villas, six Penthouse Suites and eight Deluxe Owners’ Suites, which all have access to private whirlpools, saunas, and an exclusive restaurant.
If you are like me, then a trip around the Mediterranean on a cruise ship for a couple of weeks would be the perfect blend of European culture and luxury travel. Perhaps island hopping through the Caribbean would suit you better, or cruising the clear blue waters of the South Pacific. You can even take a cruise through the Baltic sea if you fancy something a bit cooler, just make sure you choose a cruise that suits the both of you, so that the stage is set for a perfect romantic environment.
Dreaming of a Desert Island
Palm trees, white sand beaches, cool clear water, and libido enhancing sunshine all combine to create one of the most sought after holiday scenarios. Almost everybody loves a holiday by the beach, but finding yourself on an idyllic desert island, where fresh coconut juice the favorite local drink, and fresh barbecued fish is always on the dinner menu, is something quite different. Immersing yourself in a much simpler, slower way of life gives you much more time to concentrate on each other, which is exactly what you should be doing while on a romantic vacation! Places like the Maldives, or islands in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean are great destinations, but to go one step further why not head to one of the remote Polynesian islands, like the Cook Islands for instance, to really feel far from home.
Make a Decision Together
The person you are with plays a big part in whether there are fireworks when you are alone in a foreign land, but setting the scene is important too. It can be hard to know exactly what sort of trip will make your partner’s heart begin to glow, but you have a bunch of options to choose from so start planning!
Guest post written by:  Laura Cleveland, Travel Writer

Wednesday Wanderlust: Cafe in Paris.

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Sadly, we aren’t off to the French countryside today.  I couldn’t get away from work.  It’s sad I know, but, we can dream for next week, right?  I guess it just isn’t possible to “escape” every week.  However, it would be nice.

I had quite the response from last week’s post, White Sandy BeachesThe girls and I, had quite a good time hopping on my Gulfstream G5 and heading to Turks and Caicos.  I even received responses on Twitter from resorts and restaurants with recommendations!  I must tell you that I am very excited for future Wednesday Wanderlust posts and already have a few ideas “in the works”.  So, definitely keep the suggestions coming!

Without further ado…  It’s time.  Time to escape!

It’s about midday.  You are waiting for someone in Paris, France.  You are sipping a chilled glass of _______. (me: Pinot Grigio)

As you sit and wait I want you to ponder where you’d like to go…?  This past Monday I asked the following To Travel is to ________. 

And who are you waiting for _________? (me: my bestie, Brenna)

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Motivation Monday: To Travel is to ________.

If you’ve followed my blog for any amount of time now – you know that I love to travel.  A few months ago that I was on an airplane roughly every 3 weeks, give or take a few.  I was traveling to and from, my favorite city in the USA, Chicago.  My other favorite city has to be Rome, Italy. 
I came across this sign and traced it back to it’s original site to AFAR Magazine
So, let me ask you… to travel is to ___________?



Wanderlust Wednesday: White Sandy Beaches.

Lately, I’ve been dreaming about a little serenity.  The kind of serenity that involves a white sandy beach, a frosty cocktail or two or three, a big floppy hat, and minimal clothing (aka a bikini).  How about you?  It would be nice to hop on a jet plane and forget about things for about 24-36 hours wouldn’t it?  Hmmm, it would be…  You’re thinking about it aren’t you?  It’s ok…we all are!

Well…that got me to thinking.  So, yesterday, I spread the word and asked “Anyone want to join…?! I’d like to be enjoying a cocktail on a white sandy beach, minimal clothing & a big floppy hat… Who is with me?”  And needless to say, I got a few responses.

So…I told the gals to pack light and grab their floppy beach hat and I’d see them soon – for a quick trip to the beach!  And without further ado the girls would be:  Erin, Morgan, Heather, Lauren, Adrienne, Bobbi, Amber, and Maria.  And I can’t forget my bestie, Brenna (she replied too)!  Let me just say that this are some pretty fabulous ladies!!!

I decided it would be convenient for all of us to meet in Miami, Florida and then hop on a Gulfstream V courtesy of Luxury Air Jets, IncNote to self: next time we might need the Boeing Business Jet.  And we are staying in this oceanfront villa courtesy of Roomorama.  It sleeps 10 and perfect for the size of our group!

Ahhh, the benefits of blogging! 🙂 

As you are reading this post we are well on our way to Turks and Caicos and probably just about to land.  We will be back in ahhh roughly 36 hours.  A little fun in the sun with the girls…cocktails, conversation, and fun!

{all images courtesy of Sand, Surf, Sun}

Don’t worry you can come along too!  Just pick your floppy hat and let me know your cocktail of choice and we will have it waiting for your arrive at the villa! 

Have an absolute wonderful day!  And it’s Wanderlust Wednesday so, anything’s possible. 

Wanderlust Wednesday: Pick your hat!

Wanderlust Wednesday: Floating.

Pretty please with sugar and a cherry on top:  I want to be doing this today.  Please?
I saw this picture and was like WOW! – I really want to be doing this raft, hat, book and all. 
Today this is where we will be!  Absolute heaven, don’t you agree?
So…pick grab your beach hat, your raft, and book of your choice {I’m reading Fifty Shades Freed). 
All set?!  Let’s go escape.  Enjoy!
{via here}
By the way, do tell what we are reading…?!

Maniac Monday.

Today is Day #1 of my vacation.  AND it’s going to be a little hectic, details to come.  Bright and early I am heading to the office – a few last minute things I need to complete.  Plus, I have an eye doctor appointment close to work…so, it’s convenient.  Anyhow, I’ll be heading back on one more time this week.  Yes, I’m dedicated!

I’m pretty excited about this week – a lot is going on.  Woohoo!  I’m on vacay…  And I have a “stay-cation” planned for later this week…more details to come!

OH, and most importantly I have a few Blondie’s Shop orders I have to complete and the G.L.A.M.: Giving Labels A Meaning order was sent via FedEx today to the fabulous Meaghan of District Sparkle! 🙂

Have a great day!  And stay posted for random updates.

Wanderlust Wednesday.

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Sometimes “me” time is needed.  It’s important that each of us do this. Period, no exceptions. 

Today, I want to forgot about my growing to-do list.  I want to focus on my mind, body and soul.  A morning run would be mighty nice, complete with a fabulous playlist.  Let’s add some weights and stretching.  My zen time if you will.

After my snazzy morning workout I’d love to sip a cup of coffee with a dollop of cream and read.  Nothing else, just read.  No interruptions please.  At least for a few hours…

What about you…?  If you could have a few hours of “me” time today how would you spend it?

Happy Hump Day!

Wanderlust Wednesday.

Today you decide where we go. 

Where do you want to escape to? 

And who we go with? 

The sky’s the limit. 

The beach?  The pool?  Europe?  Home? 
Are you bringing the bestie?
Hmmm…  

Today I’d love to spend the day with Brenna, my bestie!  She would need to hop on a jet plane bright and early to fly into Phoenix.  And I would absolutely love, love, love for us to lounge pool side while sipping pina coladas.  And let’s not forget girl talk!



Brenna and I on my last Chicago trip during St. Patrick’s Day!

“My feet”…pool side at a friends.
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Who’s with me?  Is that a yes?  I can’t hear yoooouuuuu…? Come on…SHOUT IT OUT!  Do I hear a Y-E-S?  I thought so! 

Give me the “deets” for your Wanderlust Wednesday…

I’m waiting.

Who…

Where…

What….

Beverage…

Can’t wait to read your details!

Wanderlust Wednesday.

{via pinterest}
Airline ticket, check.  Bikini, check.  Bag, check.  Sunglasses, check.  Sunscreen, check.  Carmex, check.  Water, check.  I’m finally ready.  There are times when a little RnR is absolutely, positively needed.  I am currently in need of one of those days.  So, I’m off…  Wonder where I am going…?  You want the skinny, right?
By the time you read this I will be sipping mojito number two.  I’m heading to a tropical paradise.  One, that does not have the internet.  Well…  It does but, I won’t be using it.  And with any luck my cell phone magically disappears.
The tranquil sound of the surf, the pristine sand, the salty air…ahhh…  Walks along the beach.  Splashing in the surf.  Squishing sand between my toes.  This little getaway is exactly what this here girlie needs.  Let’s not forget a few fabulous things to read: a book or two and a couple of my fave magazines.  Oh, and a never ending bottle of water (need to stay hydrated). 
Relaxation + cocktails + reading materials + sunscreen = perfection!

Wanderlust Wednesday.

Let’s head back to the beach…  You tell me where? 
And remember to keep calm and feel the sand between your toes.
I’m getting on a jet plane bright and early and heading to Aruba…?!  You…?

{via pinterest}

Wanderlust Wednesday.

Well, well, well.  It has been awhile.  I think we need to escape.  We need to hop on a jet plan and head to a tropical oasis.  The beach.  Yes, we really, really do.  I know several of you would love to join me.

I’m leaning toward the U.S. Virgin Islands and now specific island…just that general vicinity.  However, Aruba sounds nice too but, I think we “might” head there next week.

So, grab the essentials and let’s head to the airport.  Come on, you can do it!  Yes, I know you can.  Just pack “exactly” what you need for a day at the beach…  Ok, ready?  Let’s go.  Here we go…

And let’s top the day at the beach with an endless supply of mojito’s!  Wa-la.  Enjoy!
{all images via pinterest}