Beach

Italian Summer Vacation Series: Intro

Buongiorno!! I am so excited to share this next series with you as traveling through Italy was my favorite summer trip last year. It was so amazing, that we are going back this year for double the time and road tripping through all new cities! But to start off, over the next eight weeks I’m going to get you all ready for your own Italian vacation. From planning and prepping, to destinations, delicious dishes, sightseeing and adventure activities, we’ve got it all! Italy is perfect for a summer destination, a place to show off a bit of your beach bikini style as well as fashion city style! It is also a very relaxed country in general which makes travel easy to enjoy.

Here is a preview of whats to come in the next weeks:

Venice
veniceBurano, Murano
burano italianMilan
Milan Italian adventureAmalfi Coast
Amalfi coast italian adventurePositano
Positano italian adventureCapri
Capri Italian adventuresPompeii
pompeii italian adventureRome
Rome italian adventure

So get excited! We’ll also be sharing favorite summer travel accessories, must have items for your Italian trip, plus amazing photos to inspire some serious wanderlust 🙂 And as a bonus we have created a Perfect Packing List specifically for Italy for you to download and use. Look for it in the travel prep article coming out Wednesday. But the best part, at the end of the series, we’ll be doing a GIVEAWAY that will include the Italian Summer Vacation Series: Part 1 Ebook! Then later this summer we’ll be jetting off (or rather driving the German Autobahn) towards that next Italian Roadtrip to create Italian Vacation Series Part 2 just for you!!

Stay tuned on Mondays and Wednesdays! The adventure is about to begin 🙂

And don’t forget to share this article to get your girls or man in on a summer vacay to Italy!

 

Summer Vacation on the East Coast of Germany

Summer is almost here!! You are probably starting to get anxious for those poolside vibes and sitting on the beach with a drink in your hand. I am already starting to stock up on new summer accessories which I can’t wait to share 🙂 But where to go this year for that sunny getaway? When you are thinking beach vacation your first thoughts may not be to head to Germany but, I bet you also would have never guessed this view is one of the beautiful white sand beaches along the East Sea coast in Germany.Lubeck GermanyNear the coast in northern Germany are the cities of LĂĽbeck, TravemĂĽnde, Niendorf, and Timmendorfer Strand which are all perfect for a relaxed beach summer getaway! If you are traveling through Europe this summer and need a break from all the hustle and bustle of the big cities, this is where to go. The best time to go is late July through August when the weather is at its best and the water has warmed up just enough to take a refreshing dip. Here are all the awesome things to do and where to stay when visiting this awesome coastline!

BEACHESLubeck Germany

TravemĂĽnde Beachbeach chairs LĂĽbeck germany

Take a walk along the promenade right along the coast of TravemĂĽnde Beach (about 20 min from LĂĽbeck city center) for awesome views of the sea and beach with its iconic wicker beach chairs. Rent your own for only a few Euros and chill in the shade of its canopy with your toes in the sand.

LĂĽbeck Pier

Timmendorfer BeachTimmendorfer beach

Timmendorfer Beach has spectacular turquoise waters with lots of sandy space to lay out and work on your tan. This one is the most popular among the tourists who want to relax and live the resort lifestyle with everything right on the beach. Beach volleyball and paddle boating are two of the top activities to try out here. A lot of the paddle boats even had slides on them!!paddle boating timmendorfer strandbeaches germany

Niendorf Beach

Niendorf beach is a bit smaller than the others but has the option for kitesurfing and a great pier to enjoy the view from.

kitesurfing germany

BIKINGBiking Germany

Our favorite activity was biking the coastal path that goes through all the beach towns. It will take about 45 min or a bit longer if you stop to take photos of the beautiful views :).

coastline LĂĽbeck Germany

LĂśBECKcity center LĂĽbeck

You will find the larger city of Lübeck about 20 minutes from the coast full of amazing sights and things to do in summer. The top attraction is the Holstentor which, when built in 1464, was a large city gate marking the western boundary of the city. The city hall is also a sight to see with its candy colored details and multiple spires.
Holstentor city gate LĂĽbeckrathaus lĂĽbeckIf you happen to be a marzipan fan, this is what LĂĽbeck is famous for. The Niederegger Marzipan flagship store is in LĂĽbeck and is always full of tourists stocking up on fun chocolate marzipan treats! If you are in need of some delicious and unique souvenirs, this would be where to head.Niederegger Marzipan GermanySummer time is also quite festive here and there is a good chance you’ll find an outdoor concert to enjoy andconcerts LĂĽbeck Germany

SEAFOOD AND CAFES

Cafe Bar

We made an afternoon coffee break at Cafe Bar in Lübeck which was a chic and relaxed little cafe with delicious drinks. It was a great place to regain a bit of energy before continuing our tour through the city. Cafe Lübeck Germany

Fish

You can be sure along the coast that the seafood is exceptional. There are multiple fish fry restaurants but the best ones we found are between Timmendorfer Strand and Niendorf on our bike ride. The delicious fried fish above is from KlĂĽvers Fish. This restaurant is nautically decorated, has a great area to sit outside, and is right next to the marina for a great view. Amazing!

WHERE TO STAYHotel Arosa LĂĽbeck

Here you can find everything from 5-star resort living to cozy beach AirBnb to budget camping options. Hotel A-rosa (above) is right on TravemĂĽnde’s Beach and comes with the works. Spa, restaurants, and live entertainment daily are just a few of the perks you’ll find here.
For something a little more budget friendly, check out AirBnb for great options and many of which have the beach right out the front door!
Camping can also be a great option and is the perfect budget saver option. Try Ivendorf Campsites with an Italian restaurant right on site. It was seriously delicious! And it is also only a 20 minute bike ride from the beach or 10 with a car!AirBnb LĂĽbeck Germany

Have you visited any other beaches in Germany? Share below!!

And pin this article to come back to when planning that European summer vacation 🙂

 

5 Favorite things about Miami + FREE Beach Packing List Download!

Mmmmm, the sight of the bright turquoise waters after 9 hours in flight from a gray and gloomy winter was enough to wake me right up and put a big smile on my face. In just a few minutes, I would be landing in Miami for the second time in my life. 

That first step out of the airport and I can already smell the salty water in the warm air. Right after the holidays and all the decor and cheer is gone but the weather is still getting colder and the evenings still dark, we can sometimes fall into a post-holiday slump. I know this happens to me. That means its time to pack up the sunblock and flip flops, throw on a bikini and head south for a bit of  sun therapy. If you’re still looking for reasons to ditch the snow boots for a week and grab a daiquiri in the sunshine state instead, here are my 5 favorite things about Miami Beach (plus bonus… free Beach packing list download at the end of this post!)

1.  The “NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY” stands

My favorite part about the beaches in Miami are the “NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY” stands. Each is unique and colorful just like Miami.

2. Morning Beach Walks

Because of my 6 hour time difference going to Miami, getting up at 6:30am was no problem for me. This is the perfect time to head out for a low tide walk along the beach. Check out the runners or fishermen, collect shells, take some photos, or just enjoy the sunrise.

3. Shopping

Sometimes a bit of retail therapy can also help beat the winter blues and Miami is the perfect place for that. Walking up and down Lincoln Blvd and Collins street and you’ll find every store you can think of plus, all the pastel colored buildings

4. Pool time

And if after all that shopping you’re in need of a wind down, just about every hotel on the beach also has a relaxing pool. Grab a chair and lounge away!

5. Palm Tree heaven

Its hard to feel unhappy when walking through a place like this. The tropical feeling follows you everywhere.

If you’re looking for more ideas of what to do in Miami, check out my earlier post, A Trip to the Sunshine State. Heading out to the everglades for some alligator spotting and an air boat tour is another great adventure a bit off the beach.

Check out Gator Park for an awesome everglade experience

What are your favorite things to do in Miami? Or favorite beaches! I love to hear from you 🙂

As promised, here is your free downloadable packing list for a beach vacation!

Beach Vacation packing list

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to share this post!

Create your own adventure!

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Ultimate Spring Break Swim Guide

Spring break is just around the corner and no matter where you’ve decided to take a sunny break from either work or studies, you’ll need an amazing array of swim suits to turn heads on your beach strolls. Here are the best recommendations from high end to budget swim along with a few fun and very necessary beach accessories. 🙂

The latest trending runway have been recreated and brought to all the best Swimwear brands so that every girl can make a splash in their very own pieces of swimwear heaven. There is a style for everyone no matter your taste or body shape!

 Sporty

We’ll start with sporty. Sleek, clean, color block looks are all the hype in sporty swimwear this season. And sporty also means sexy. While these styles might be built with a bit more support and structure, you will still be a drop dead stunner on the beach in one of these bikinis. They are also perfect for giving a bit of extra shape to the bust with fitted support they provide .

My favorite sporty choice is the sleek, all black Oakley bikini. Talk about sporty, sexy, and bust enhancing. It will be impossible not to feel like the most confident girl tearing it up at beach volleyball.

Another option is the color block bikini from Vitamin A, a high end swim brand. The navy, coral, and white is the perfect combination for a pop of sporty fun. Extra excitement comes in the back with a strappy adjustable back for an extra bit of support.

sporty

High end brand L*Space also has some great sporty options like this stripe trimmed bikini.

Bralette

The bralette style has taken the runway by storm. It is great for B and C cups as it offers the perfect coverage for keeping the girls in place ;). Bralettes tend to be lower impact suits as well as they sometimes do not have cups. Mara Hoffman has stunning bralette bikinis with tropical colors and prints. This top rate bikini is worth the price. No one will look as bright and stunning as you in one of her elegant and fun styles.
The mid range bralette bikini from Victoria’s Secret Pink is the perfect choice for the sunny days spacing at the pool. Bright pink and orange with a flirtatious flounce make it a sure stand out. L*Space also doesn’t fail to impress with the peek-a-boo cleavage through the sexy strappy detail on this bikini. The pastel colors make it a perfect fit with the Miami Arc Deco Hotels along Ocean Drive. For a budget version, Target has a cute option in black.
And for a unique look, American Eagle offers a sexy little cut out bralette with a 70’s vibe that is sure to take you back in time to a retro poolside retreat.

bralette Strappy

Strappy is one of my favorite swim styles. It combines feminine and sporty, refined and sexy, all into one bikini. Mikoh creates super clean and seamless swim looks. Using earth tones to enhance the look of your new found sun glow and black and white palm prints, you’ll feel elegant and fresh at the same time.  H&M also a fierce beach competitor in the strappy bikini game. It’s hard not to love this choice with the added print detail.

strappyTriangle

I am loving the reinvented triangle bikinis this season. The push up styles for some extra va va boom, mesh inserts, colorful prints, and sexy straps all make the traditional triangle bikini one of the most sexy for this spring break.
If I could only have one suit, this Vitamin A bikini would be it. Cut to create the perfect bust shape, trending geo print, and outlined in sleek black to finish the look. The itsy bottom is also a sexy complement to the top. Hello beach swimsuit competition, 1st place right here please!
The black and green print bikini from L*Space is a close tie for favorite bikini of all time. When wearing it, you’ll feel as though you are walking around a palace in Thailand with a fancy drink in your hand and cabana boy catering to your every wish. Its so exquisite, it almost feels as though you should be wearing heels with it. A great mid range choice is the tropical leaf print bikini from Australian swim brand, Seafolly. It’s the perfect combination of feminine and sporty to be everything you need for an adventure packed beach vacation.

triangles
Mesh is a hott new trend in swimwear as well and these two looks are sure to impress. A high end choice in black from Vitamin A and mid range from American Eagle, both unique ways to bring something new to the basic triangle.

Bildschirmfoto 2016-03-09 um 09.44.51

Bandeau

Bandeaus have always been a part of our swim vocabulary but this spring, they are moving up towards the top of the list for most exciting style. Supportive push ups for maximal cleavage, slinky wraps with sparkling sequins, you can find the style bandeau that fits your desire. Mikoh,  Victoria’s Secret, H&M, and Target all have amazing options for different busts shape and better yet, all are party ready.

bandeau

 

High Neck

The high neck look is hot hot hot! It is seen almost everywhere this season after its strong appearance on the swim runways. While it provides the most coverage, when done right it creates sleek lines for an eye catching silhouette. This is great for girls with petite shoulders as it draws your eye up. Us girls with athletic shoulders tend to gravitate towards the triangle styles to create a better balance. From surf looks at Mikoh to flirty crochet at VS, and hot tribal prints at Target, there is a high neck bikini for every wish.

high neck

One Pieces

Sexy one pieces could not be more decadent this spring! Lots of girls used to think you had to feel out of shape or not so confident to be wearing a one piece to the beach. Not the case!!! In fact, these one pieces are some of the sexiest and most confident suits I’ve seen!  They are indeed great to hid any areas you don’t feel 100% about but, at the same time, you won’t feel as though you’re all covered up and boring. These have all the same fun as a bikini and maybe more. The unique designs draw the eye from top to bottom making your body look longer and therefore, leaner than most bikinis. If you haven’t yet, give one a try! My favorite option is the VS pop of neon one piece. The American Eagle suit is a close second and great for smaller chested girls to create a super sexy look. On the high end we have the one piece version of the Mikoh surf high neck and a mesh crochet look from Vitamin A which combines high neck with showing off that sexy back with a strappy surprise.

one pieces

Cover-Ups

A couple of cute cover-ups to take your sexy swimwear from beach to bar or shopping is a necessary addition for any perfect spring break trip. I’ve picked the hottest ones from romper to mini to maxi for a  look that is paradise ready anywhere you go. L*Space, Victoria’s Secret, and Vitamin A all have light and easy looks for the season.

cover ups

Beach Accessories

Now that you are set with your swimwear for the best spring break ever, you’ll need to fill your beach bag with a few extra essentials. Don’t forget sunscreen to keep healthy glowing skin along with a sea salt spray for that perfect beachy hair from Beach Bum. A chic hat and sunnies from H&M along with sandals fit for an Egyptian princess from L*Space complete your look while taking a shopping break along the strip. And of course a tropical lotion to keep that tan looking fresh every day from VS Pink. You’ll also need a bikini bag and water bottle from Pink. Hydration is key to keeping the party going, although what you hydrate with I’ll leave up to you ;). Throw it all in your new chic Billabong beach bag and you’re ready for spring break 2016!! 🙂

accessories

A Trip to the Sunshine State

Been feeling those winter blues? It feels as though its been winter for so long I’ve forgotten what summer is like. Therefore, I decided to revisit my trip to Miami and Fort Lauderdale to give everyone some summertime vibes. I’ll share all the best activities to do, where to stay, what to eat, and of course awesome beach photos that will make you want to book your own flight immediately.

MIAMI

For everyone who can’t afford their own beach hut that comes with a sexy cabana boy fanning you with a palm leaf, there is still so much to enjoy in Miami. South Beach is truly a party beach. Boomboxes, dancing groups, drinks in every hand make it the perfect beach to have a bit of fun at. Bring a large blanket, a cooler with some mixers, a football or volleyball, and find your spot on the beach. Depending on what time of year you are visiting, this beach gets quite crowded and chances are you’ll be close enough to the next group to easily become party friends.

South Beach, Miami

The water here is also amazing. Crystal clear and pure turquoise. It doesn’t get much better 🙂

Another fun thing to do is walking up and down Ocean Drive to check out the various bars, restaurants, and party scene. A few will invite you in for a free shot to hopefully get you hooked and want to party at their bar all night. We simply went to Johnny Rockets for an affordable burger and a pina colada in a take home party glass the size of my head. 🙂 You will also get to see the historical art deco hotels that fill the strip with pastel colors.

strip on miami

 

GATOR PARK

An amazing half day trip from Miami for a little adventure and break from the beach is a trip to the Everglades. Top rated spot to visit is Gator Park, about a thirty minute drive from South Beach. Here you can take an airboat ride with a guide who will help point out all the gators. We visited in May and were also able to see all the little baby gators swimming around 🙂

Everglades Air Boat Tour

Gator Park Miami Everglades

And also a couple of pretty big ones!

Gator Park Miami

There is also a nice little gator sanctuary to take a walk through once your airboat tour returns. This is where you’ll see a live gator show and get to hold Larry.

Larry the Alligator

FORT LAUDERDALE

The rest of our trip was spent in Fort Lauderdale, about an hour north of Miami. Fort Lauderdale’s beaches were just as stunning as Miami, but for those who just want to relax on the beach, this is the beach for you. With less people and and a more peaceful atmosphere, its a great beach for laying out to catch some rays (sun rays not stingrays), shell hunting, and of course, romantic walks on the beach. May also happens to be sea turtle egg laying time. That means if you take a walk on the beach at night, you might just stumble upon a rather large sea turtle laying her eggs like we did. But be aware!!.. you are not supposed to take flash photography of these turtles as it scares them from laying their eggs. This will cause any locals on the beach to become quite upset as we saw with one group. So just enjoy the amazing view from a safe distance and and relish in the wonder you get to witness right there on the beach.

Beach at Fort Lauderdale

We stayed at the Bahia Mar resort right on the beach. It had a pool to play around in when that salt water was just a bit too salty, a nice bar, and large breakfast restaurant.

Bahia Mar from the pool

WATER TAXI

The cool thing about Bahia Mar is that is is right next to a large Yacht Marina and the inter coastal canal system. This is where some of the richest of the rich live. In the evening, you can take an inexpensive water taxi tour along the entire canal where they will point out who lives where.

yacht at sunset, Fort Lauderdale intercoastal

Inter Coastal Canals Fort Lauderdale

My suggestion, take a full water taxi tour down to Bokampers, a sports bar restaurant on the canal. This is no rinky dink sport bar, but instead a huge and gorgeous sports bar restaurant with everything you can imagine for a perfect outdoor evening on the water.

Bokampers Sports Bar

SNORKELING

What you might not have known is that Fort Lauderdale offers snorkeling tours right off the coastline to explore the depths below. We went with Sea Experience who was located right in the Marina next door to Bahia Mar. They take you out to the snorkeling spot on a large charter boat where you will see again some giant yachts and maybe even a dolphin or two 🙂 Once there, you are free to explore and swim.

Snorkeling Reef Fort Lauderdale

Snorkeling Fort LauderdaleWhile the waters are not quite as crystal clear as the Caribbean, it is still a fun adventure to go on. I would suggest if you love swimming to swim down to the bottom to check everything out a bit closer rather than staying at the top of the water. Everything is a bit more colorful the closer you get 🙂

PADDLE BOARDING

SUP Boarding Fort LauderdalePaddle boarding is another activity you can find all along the beach in Fort Lauderdale. When tide is high, it is possible to paddle in the inter coastal canals where the water is a bit calmer and therefore easier to stand up. My suggestion is to go earlier in the day rather than later so you can paddle in the canal while the tide is high. We had to paddle in the ocean which was a bit rougher but still exciting.

FOOD
Blue Crab Sandwich, Lulu's Bait Shack

Walking up and down the boulevard along the ocean in Fort Lauderdale, it is easy to find plenty of places to enjoy a beach front meal. We of course had to try Bubba Gump’s and the seafood one night. We also went to Lulu’s Bait Shack where I indulged in this amazingly delicious albeit slightly nerve wracking at first, fresh Blue Crab sandwich. They also serve shots in adorable take home souvenir shot glasses which I couldn’t resist. They have every kind of tropical drink and Fishbowl in awesome souvenir glasses.

Our favorite restaurant however, was Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bar on Las Olas Boulevard. The shrimp tacos were to die for along with the homemade guacamole done right at your table. It also has a great atmosphere for a bit of fun and enjoyment.

If you are looking for some rainy day activities to do, the Sawgrass Mills Mall, just twenty minutes from the beach, is an amazing place to do some shopping. From high end to mainstream fashion, they have it all.

The best thing about this trip, it won’t break the bank! We were both recent college grads on a tight budget none of these activities or places were too outrageous to enjoy on a small budget 🙂

I hope you feel a bit inspired to take a little vacay away from the winter blues and into the ocean blues! If you’re like me, the beach is the best escape and totally worth every minute.

Thank you for reading and don’t forget to share!

Create your own adventure!

 

 

 

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