Posts Tagged With: girls’ trip

#JERCS

My sister and three of her life-long besties just returned from a ten-day European “holiday” that I have no doubt was filled with epic adventures and priceless memories. The fact that they created their own hashtag (legit!), is just one of the fun, unique and offbeat elements of their “girls” trip.  Not only were the destinations they chose AMAZING  – Amsterdam, Austria, Budapest and Florence – but anywhere Jenny, Erin, Rebekah and Cat (#jercs) go, good times and LOTS of laughs will follow!

10468632_10153178219557366_710917490024336976_n10456829_10204389360194185_3237322911374479965_n10509765_10204395707952875_6659868954840453351_n10487272_10153183510952366_3058050107722508890_n10478702_10152537201661125_1968913840833668411_n10409764_10204430315898052_1665423891792051647_n

Although I was slightly jealous (okay, maybe INSANELY jealous), I very much enjoyed living vicariously through their regular social media postings of food, wine, cultural events (Hungarian baths count, right?) and plenty of jumping pics!  As if these countries weren’t already on my list, now I just need to figure out how to get there sooner!

10443514_10152537199646125_8643505798520221555_n10491149_10204444468931869_1380838980542118888_n10455446_10152529889066125_1459250272046005422_n

 

 

The #jercs all met up in Budapest, Hungary and spent four incredible days immersing themselves in the history and traditions of the beautiful country.  And by “history”, I mean a trip to the aforementioned baths, snacks and refreshments after climbing Buda Hill, checking out the ruin pubs and yummy lunches of wienersnitzel and goulash overlooking the Danube.

10530702_10152520867521125_8489809874827169733_n10538493_10153187451832366_6186278911902664124_nimagejpeg_4 (1)imagejpeg_3 (1)imagejpeg_0 (1)untitledimagejpeg_1 (1)imagejpeg_2 (1)10552488_10204488401590158_3982207879682382437_n

The next stop for the #jercs was Vienna, Austria – with planned visits to the Imperial Palace (and exquisite gardens!) and the Vienna Mozart Orchestra. So classy, girls!

untitled (5)untitled (4)untitled (2)untitled (7)untitled (3)10492046_10204420499932659_7937120054099347376_n

The one destination that I was THE most envious of was Florence, Italy.  The #jercs stayed in a beautiful and charming luxury apartment with a panoramic view over the Florence Cathedral and the Piazza del Duomo, one of the most visited places in Europe. (www.florencewithaview.com – free plug, you’re welcome)  According to my sis, this was her very favorite part of the trip.  I’m pretty sure Jenny, on the other hand, was most excited about it being located right over the Prada store.  I may have gained a couple of pounds just thinking about all of that delicious Italian food and wine – they don’t call it “Eataly” for nothing!

imagejpeg_1 (2)10372321_10152531560216125_2660285092225713571_n10424331_10152531568836125_1712385691230875210_n10314644_10152529886761125_3507328045053169339_n1899881_10152531565761125_8901524696639869504_n10526187_10153195950217366_7205879916142404485_n10492505_10152533130426125_2038458444695190253_n10461975_10152537197441125_1908179702789054845_n10463053_10204429136868577_3060439317774317776_n

I don’t know how anyone could see fantastic travel pictures like these and not be motivated and compelled to see the world.  It may have sounded like I kept calling them #jercs (I’ll be honest, the double-meaning was a little fun) but I truly love every one of these girls.  Their boundless energy, appetite for adventure, zest for life and genuine love for each other is truly inspiring! Life is short – live, laugh, love… and travel (with friends!)!

 

10532559_10204430415660546_6575438260973498614_n10488239_10204501328713328_4311742819737881088_n10487571_10152533058661125_9188146236006772431_n10443361_10153200943112366_3180332998842572370_nimagejpeg_2 (2)IMG_9444

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sojourn at The Sanctuary

Being that I’m a Carolina girl, born and raised, I love ALL things Southern. Actually, the more Southern, the BETTER!  The Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island is Southern charm, hospitality and beauty at it’s finest! This was my third visit to The Sanctuary and like the two prior visits, this 5-star hotel exceeded all expectations! This special weekend girls’ getaway was a “babymoon” of sorts, to celebrate one of my besties and the impending arrival of her first baby in a few months. Because of my past experiences, I thought The Sanctuary would be the perfect place to take her to relax, unwind and decompress before the busy months ahead. And as much as I love the intimacy and romance of travelling with my husband, there really is nothing like a GIRLS’ TRIP!!

photo 33exterior viewphoto

 

From the moment we pulled up to the front of the hotel, greeted by the friendly valets and bellmen, and escorted to the attentive front desk, the pampering began. Every staff member that we saw (or didn’t see) throughout our stay provided exceptional service and attention to detail! The lobby is grand and beautifully decorated, with two large staircases (very Gone with the Wind-ish) and is just a preview of the luxury and elegance of the entire resort.  The grounds are impeccably maintained and the natural beauty of the island is captivating!

photo 3photo 26photo 2

Almost nothing makes me happier than a jaw-dropping view overlooking the ocean and our (upgraded – woohoo!) room definitely did not disappoint! The ocean-view room the four of us shared was very spacious and comfortable, the linens were luxurious and the bathroom was exquisite!  Our beautiful balcony also overlooked the gorgeous green (I mean, insanely green!!) center courtyard that was set up for a large outdoor wedding.  We actually sat out on the balcony with mimosas in hand and observed the elegant ceremony (all in the name of research, of course).

photo (12)photo (10)photo (11)

After an early (well not really, we are on vacation after all) workout in the very well-equipped and staffed fitness room, we were excited to get out and enjoy the nearly perfect April weather.  Since a couple of the ladies left young children at home, we were very excited to make our selves at home by the “adults-only” pool.  The concierge and pool staff were fantastic – quick with towels, drinks and food requests.  Several blissfully relaxing hours later, we showered up and headed to the Ryder Cup Bar at The Ocean Course Clubhouse (a MUST for any visit to Kiawah Island!). We got there just in time to catch a spectacular sunset and enjoyed a delicious dinner on the veranda, waves breaking in the background.

photo (8)photo (6)photo (2)

 

Even though our old-age was starting to kick in and what we really wanted to do was crawl in the bed, we decided to rally and have a nightcap at the fantastic lobby bar.  Not only is the bar gorgeous and the service excellent, the great drinks, a stately fireplace and comfy furniture made it the perfect spot to cap off our evening!   Apparently there were quite a few people who had the same idea and the place was hopping until well after midnight!  (Yes, we stayed up until after midnight – hard core!)

photo (4)photo 22photo 30

As sad as we were to leave on a gorgeous Sunday morning, we did enjoy a yummy breakfast at Jasmine Porch (I have never seen a shrimp and grits dish that I didn’t like!).  Unfortunately, we were a little early for Jasmine’s Signature Brunch (bottomless mimosas – hello!!) which I would definitely consider a don’t miss!  After one final walk around the gorgeous property and some pics of the beach it was time to bid adieu the wonderful Sanctuary hotel and beautiful Kiawah Island. My one and only complaint was there was so much more that I wanted to do – biking, kayaking and I definitely could have done some more sunbathing – but as the saying goes, “Time flies when you’re having fun!!”

photo (14)photo (3)jasmine porch

I would highly recommend The Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island for a destination wedding (saw one firsthand, so gorgeous!), honeymoon, anniversary (crossing my fingers!), babymoon, girls’ spa getaway, guys golf weekend or any “just because” occasion.  The gracious southern charm, world-class amenities and spectacular beachfront location will definitely keep this Carolina girl coming back again and again!

photo 34photo (15)photo (5)

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An escape for the Mind, Body and Soul

For most of us from the U.S., whose idea of a vacation is a 3-7 day getaway to an over-crowded beach or theme park, I don’t think we have any concept of a true “holiday”. Europeans, though, believe in it whole-heartedly and I got to witness it first-hand on a “work” trip to St. Lucia. (Yep, still can’t believe I get to put the words “work” and “St. Lucia” in the same sentence!)  My mother and I went to the captivating island to attend a destination wedding/honeymoon symposium that was sponsored by the St. Lucia tourist board.  We had our choice of several high-end, all-inclusive resorts to stay at and after much research, deliberation and finger-crossing we decided on The BodyHoliday/Lesport.

Exteriorbody holiday canopy

Let me first say that the raw beauty, charm and mystique of the island of St. Lucia can barely be put into words and it deserves its own post (and probably will).  But the BodyHoliday, with its secluded and private location at the top of the island, set back in a beautiful, lush bay and focus on luxurious and personal service, was truly a resort like I’ve never experienced!  After a long (1.5 hours), winding (resulting in carsickness) and scenic (through mountains & the rain forest!) drive from the airport, we were greeted with a cocktail and cold towel by friendly and professional staff.  From our first impressions of the personnel, grounds, beach, our oceanview room, the wellness center, restaurants and outdoor activities scheduled from dawn until dusk, I knew we were in for an incredible (and potentially exhausting!) 6 days!

body holiday spaBody Holiday - Poolocean

Not only is The BodyHoliday located in paradise (literally), this health and wellness resort is an all-inclusive on steroids!  The usual amenities of luxurious accommodations, all meals (plenty of delicious healthy, gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options) and bevs (including wine and cocktails), and friendly/attentive staff are, of course, included.  Also included is a daily spa treatment, and no that was not a typo, one spa treatment PER DAY!  Just a sampling of the treatments I received were a Lucian Lime & Ginger Body Scrub, Aloe Vera Body Wrap, Full-body massage and an Aromapure facial.  All superb!!  Also included through the wellness center are all watersports (motorized AND non-motorized), yoga/pilates, spinning (in a tree house!) and a vast variety of fitness classes. There are guided morning walks and bicycle rides into the island and professional instruction in tennis, golf, scuba and archery!  I was pretty motivated to participate in as many classes and activities as possible and kudos to my mom, she did do one morning walk!

treehouseWellness+Center+Pooljuices

One of my very favorite things about this particular vacation (uhm, I mean work trip) was the incredible variety of people we met.   Most of our fellow guests seemed to be European, from Britain in particular, and were warm, friendly and VERY sociable.  Almost every single one was on a return trip to The BodyHoliday (some go annually and stay for weeks) which really says it all!  Joining our new friends for high tea every afternoon and drinks after dinner (and working on my British accent) was definitely a highlight of the trip!

Britstableshigh tea

Even though it may sound like an all-work/no-play trip (yeah, right), trust me, this girl did get in PLENTY of beach time!  The turquoise water was exquisite and hanging out in a cabana while being served yummy fruity drinks was a fantastic way to recover from my exhausting workouts (hehe!).  No need was unmet by the wonderfully attentive BodyHoliday staff, and I distinctly remember not having a care in the world!  Although I think The BodyHoliday (and St. Lucia in particular) is a very romantic destination, especially for activity-oriented people, it would also be great getaway for a group of friends, girls’ trip  (where my girls at??) or even singles!  If you really want to unplug, unwind, relax and rejuvenate your mind, body and soul, then let me prescribe the BodyHoliday as the perfect remedy!!  ….and take me with you 😉

PaddleboardingBody holiday - suncollage

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.