20 South Battery

20 South Battery
Photography by @josiehderrick
Photography by @josiehderrick
Event rentals by @thefrencheclectic, photography by @catherine_ann_photography

I just wanted to do a quick recap of our weekend stay at 20 South Battery – one of the most historic buildings in Charleston, South Carolina. Built in 1843 as a private mansion and styled through the years to become the shining example of Charlestonian architecture you see today, this intimate, eleven-room boutique hotel of
20 South Battery is a singular way to experience history in modern luxury accommodations. [reference from their website] I attended their grand opening Gatsby party and was able to meet the owners and so many other sweet and inspiring souls. We had the absolute best night and I was so thoroughly impressed by how well preserved the owners kept the mansion even after all of the renovating they had to do. This place is absolutely stunning and the staff were always so nice and helpful anytime of the day. I promise you will get a true authentic Charlestown experience if you stay here, not the mention the prices are super affordable. It is located on the Battery which is walking distance to all of the infamous tourist spots downtown like the pineapple fountain, rainbow row, the Charleston city market and so many awesome stores and restaurants! They also have a gorgeous 3,200 sq. ft. garden out back that you can rent out for any events you may want like a small intimate wedding, bridal shower brunch, or birthday party. Last but not least I wanted to link my emerald green fringe Gatsby dress for you all here.

Toyota Tailgate – Taxslayer Gator Bowl

Toyota Tailgate – Taxslayer Gator Bowl

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First and foremost, Robert and I want to give a huge thank you to Toyota for sending us to the 2020 Taxslayer Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, FL. You all know I drive a Jeep and Robert drives a Chevy but after this past week driving the new 2019 Toyota RAV4 has completely won us over! Aside from the gorgeous exterior this car had all of the bells and whistles you could possibly need and was so spacious inside! A few of my favorite features about this car was the huge moon roof, the remote keyless entry system with the push to start, and the day and night rear view mirror/camera. We were absolutely spoiled for a week with this car and it was a very sad day when we had to turn it back in!

During the #ToyotaTailgate  experience we were able to look at the new Tacoma and Tundra trucks and Robert was super torn. He is definitely going to be in the market for a new truck soon and has had his eye on both of these options so it was perfect timing. We could not have had a better tailgate experience – we had the cutest set up, best barbecue in town, and our seats were so close to the field!! We were ultimately pulling for the underdogs (Indiana University) to win and they were up until the last quarter of the game which was so tough to watch! Meeting all of the Toyota employees was such a pleasure and they made sure everything was such a fun and easy breeze for us that weekend. I am so thankful to be a part of the Toyota family and I couldn’t recommend a better car brand to keep you safe on the roads!

I hope you enjoyed this review and definitely leave a comment with any questions you have about the car or experience!

XOXO

-Ashley

Miami Travel Guide

Miami Travel Guide

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Hey babes! I can’t believe it’s already been a full week since we were in Miami for the first time! It was a quick short two night stay in South Beach but it was an absolute blast and I can not wait to plan another trip back! I wanted to do a quick recap of all of our favorite spots while we were there! First and foremost you have to stay at the Cardozo Hotel in South Beach! The Cardozo Hotel originally opened in 1939 and was once a housing facility for the U.S. army during WWII. It was recently purchased by Emilio & Gloria Estefan and has been under a complete renovation down to the studs for the past 3 and a half years. The hotel is considered a historic Art Deco building and is protected by the Miami Beach Historic Preservation Broad and has been included in major Hollywood films such as “There’s Something About Mary” & “Marley & Me.” We were lucky enough to stay in a corner suite with a massive King bed and bath. I am so excited because The Cardozo Hotel has granted me a discount code for you all to book your very own stay! Use code: BEARY – THIS OFFER INCLUDES 25% OFF BEST AVAILABLE RATES – ALSO INCLUDED WITH YOUR STAY: WIFI, TWO BEACH CHAIRS, MORNING COFFEE IN THE HOTEL LOBBY, TWO DRINK VOUCHERS PER ROOM, DAILY NEWSPAPER.

CLICK HERE TO BOOK!

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Up next we have to talk about FOOD – duhh! Probably my favorite topic of every vacation and Miami definitely did not disappoint! For our first night in Miami Robert & I were able to meet up with one of my blogger friends, Kristin Coffey, and we had dinner at Larios On The Beach. Larios is a delicious cuban restaurant located on Ocean Drive just a few blocks away from the Cardozo Hotel. I had the fresh catch which was Mahi Mahi and a coconut margarita and it was delicious!

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The second day we had lunch at Bice Cucina, an Italian restaurant located inside the Cardozo Hotel on Ocean Drive. They were hosting the ribbon cutting ceremony for the relaunch of the hotel after it had been fully renovated and boy did they have a spread! They had caesar and greek salads, fresh mozzarella, cheese trays, pasta, salmon and so much more. The mini tiramisu deserts were probably my favorite.

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I have to say I think my favorite meal in Miami was our dinner at Ember on the second night. Located inside Paradise Plaza, Ember is a wood-fired American bistro by highly acclaimed Chef Brad Kilgore, focusing on classic and modern fare, wood-fired dishes, smoke laden meats, pastas and shareable sides. Robert and I enjoyed a long overdue date night here and we were blessed with an amazing server named Olivia. We went with all of her recommendations and I can not express how amazing the food was! I have to say the appetizer was problem my absolute favorite! If you like cornbread you have to try the roasted cornbread custard (AHHMAZING). We also split the smoked fried chicken, the 12 oz. ribeye and the yukon mash (potatoes) as a side. After all of that yummy food we were so full but we had to try the creme brulee that is brought out by the chef and caramelized on top right in front of you. It was the perfect temperature and so delicious!

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The next day before we left Miami we grabbed breakfast donuts and coffee at The Salty Donut  and it made me a VERY happy girl. The Salty is a family-owned, artisan donut shop that focuses on chef-made, small-batch, craft donuts that rotate based on seasonality located in Wynwood. They are a 100% scratch bakery, so they use nothing but the highest quality ingredients and making everything in house! They also don’t use any artificial ingredients in anything they make. We wanted to try an assortment so we grabbed half a dozen different donuts and they were all so delicious.

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Lastly, let’s discuss some fun things to do while staying in South Beach, Miami!

First and foremost you are in the sunshine state so you have to checkout the beach and relax in the sun for a bit! They have super cute insta worthy lifeguard stands posted at each street mark on the beach so you can easily pinpoint where you’re at.

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When it gets too hot on the beach and you’ve had enough sun you can walk off of the beach right back on the strip. The first row (Ocean Drive is mostly all restaurants and hotels with some souvenir shops. The next block down (Collins Ave. & 8th St.) had some really good stores that we walked down and went shopping at such as H&M, Victoria Secret, Beach Bunny, Ugg and many more.

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Another really fun area in South Beach that we unfortunately didn’t have time to visit is Lincoln Road. Lincoln Road is the perfect venue for a fun day or night out in South Beach! Whether it’s a date night or doing the city with friends, everyone will enjoy South Florida’s most popular shopping and dining promenade. No matter where you’re staying in South Beach, you are never more than a few minutes away from the bars, restaurants, and action of Lincoln Road. We’ve put together a short list of tips to get you started.

Before leaving Miami we had to go check out the Wynwood Art Walls. We planned to grab donuts and coffee at The Salty Donut in Wynwood and then walk and drive around to check out the art walls and it was the best ending to an amazing little two day vacation! There were blocks and blocks of art on every corner and wall in Wynwood and they were so colorful and mesmerizing. We could see some of them off of the interstate on the way into Miami and we knew we had to check them out before leaving!

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I hope you all enjoyed this quick recap of our two day Miami getaway and it helps you plan your trip there to get some sun and fun!

XOXO

-Ashley

Scottsdale Arizona Travel Guide

Scottsdale Arizona Travel Guide

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My first trip to Scottsdale, AZ was an absolute dream come true! First and foremost I want to give a huge thank you to Visit Phoenix and their partners for hosting Portia, Jaime, Aneliia and myself on our girls weekend getaway. I traded in the humid tropical palm trees for a weekend with the dry dessert cactuses and loved every minute of it. If you’ve never been to Scottsdale you have got to book a flight right now! The Sky Harbor Airport is a major hub for American Airlines and is one of the more affordable and accessible airports in the country. I snagged a direct flight from Orlando, FL and it was just under four hours. After your flight is booked, here is what you need to know:

Where to stay in Scottsdale, AZ

THE WESTIN KIERLAND RESORT & SPA

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Located in the heart of “new” Scottsdale the  Westin Kierland Resort & Spa is the perfect retreat for any vacation. From girls weekend, to family vacations to business meetings, weddings or just a relaxing getaway. One of the Resort’s biggest attractions is the Adventure Water Park which includes a lazy river ride and 110-foot-long waterslide. There’s also the Kierland FlowRider and children’s splash pad with zero depth entry. If you’re traveling kid free (like we were for girls weekend) they also have an adults-only pool which we thoroughly enjoyed! You can also rent private cabanas by the pool. It doesn’t get much better than drinking Piña coladas, eating frozen grapes, and basking in the warm Arizona sun.

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Now to the best part, the Agave Spa! During our stay we were treated with the Agave Master Massage and it was beyond relaxing! I had a male masseuse who applied medium pressure and I added a cannabidiol (CBD) remedy enhancement along with their exclusive essential oils. After our massage we drank plenty of water and then relaxed in the steam room and hot tub.

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Best Restaurants in Scottsdale, AZ

DESEO

(Located in the Westin Kierland Resort)

Deseo (meaning desire in Spanish) features traditional Latin cuisine such as multiple delicious ceviche plates, grilled and roasted fish and shellfish, and my all time favorite Peruvian fried chicken. The restaurant had a very bold and bright environment and the staff were all so pleasant and professional. We enjoyed our first dinner here and it was a hard one top. Be sure to checkout their menu here.

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POSTINO WINE CAFE

Postino (meaning postman in Italian) features the best wine menu, an incredible array of bruschetta boards, and cheese boards! They have several locations all over Phoenix but we had dinner at the one located in Kierland Commons which was across the street from the Westin Kierland Resort. I wish I would’ve ordered a panini to try but my favorite had to be the “pick 4 bruschetta boards for $15” (pictured below – second photo left board).  Feel free to check out their menu here and side note: they also offer gluten free bread.

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THE CHURCHILL

Located in downtown Phoenix, a quick 20 minute drive from Scottsdale, you will find the coolest little spot to eat, drink and hang out, The Churchill. Made up of ten small local businesses in a collaborative 9,000 square foot courtyard. They have it all from, pizza to sandwiches to tacos and acai bowls. As well as a large assortment of  beverages like  wine, beer, cocktails and smoothies. Whether you’re with your family, girlfriends or even just a fun date, The Churchill is the perfect spot to get together.

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GERTRUDES

Gertrudes is located inside the Desert Botanical Garden, and offers a farm and pasture to the plate experience. I recommend a dinner reservation followed by the Electric Desert exhibit in the garden which runs October through May after dark. I enjoyed the crab dip appetizer, braised beef for dinner and the donuts and sauces for dessert and they were all impeccable.

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Favorite things to do in Scottsdale, AZ

HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE

I was able to check off a box on my bucket list during my trip to Scottsdale and it was to ride in a hot air balloon. The weather and experience were absolutely perfect the morning we went up with Rainbow Ryders. They are the #1 Hot Air Balloon Ride Company in Phoenix/Scottsdale offering a one-of-a-kind experience above Deer Valley and the Sonoran Desert, followed by breakfast and mimosas. Flight time is about 45 minutes to an hour and they start at $179 for adults, $99 for kids.

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PHOENIX ART MUSEUM

Located in Downtown Phoenix, about 20 minutes from Scottsdale, is the Phoenix Art Museum. The largest art museum in the Southwest. In addition to the featured exhibits, the permanent collection galleries include over 19,000 works of art from modern and contemporary, to fashion, Latin and Western American. In an effort to reduce economic barriers and increase access to the arts, Phoenix Art Museum offers Pay-What-You-Wish admission every Wednesday from 3 to 9 pm.

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ROOSEVELT ROW ARTISTS’ DISTRICT

Another fun activity in downtown Phoenix is the Roosevelt Row Artists’ District, which includes dozens of art venues, murals, public art and hundreds of local businesses who support the arts, bringing in over 100,000 visitors each year. We did an Arizona Pedal Cab Tour to learn about the area and I highly recommend it! I will also recommend to do it in the morning time before noon for weather purposes. It can take around 2 hours and the sun in the midday can be a little unbearable.

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THE GRAND CANYON

I’d be remiss not to mention the Grand Canyon during your visit to Scottsdale. Unfortunately, this is the second time I’ve been close to the Grand Canyon but have yet to experience it. It’s about a 4 hour drive from Scottsdale and another open box on my bucket list for my next trip out there. If you have the time, I would definitely try and make a day of it.

DESERT BOTANICAL GARDEN

If you flew to Scottsdale for the desert sand and tall cactuses – this is your place! Located just 15 minutes outside of Scottsdale you’ll find 140 acres of garden trails, gorgeous wildflowers and blooming cacti at the Desert Botanical Garden. Open daily from 8am-5pm. Tickets start out at $24.95 for adults, and are free for kids 3 and under and active military.

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THE HEARD MUSEUM

Also located in Downtown Phoenix is the Heard Museum, a dedication to the advancement in American Indian Art, sharing stories from a first-person perspective. The museum offers free general admission each first Friday of the month from 6 to 10 p.m. except March (specially ticketed exhibitions/events are extra).

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HIKING

One outdoor activity I love doing is hiking! Which is why I’m really sad we didn’t have time to do any on my first trip to Scottsdale. I will definitely be hiking the next time I come back and the first climb I will be doing is Camelback Mountain, with an elevation of 2,704 feet. Camelback Mountain is a hiking destination for both locals and tourists in the Valley and is located in the Camelback Mountain Echo Canyon Recreation Area between Phoenix, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley. Another fun area to hike is the Phoenix Mountain Preserve which has 50 moderate trails ranging from 1 to 16.7 miles, up to 2600 feet above sea level.

HORSE BACK RIDE

Located in North Scottsdale, Cave Creek Outfitters offers guided horseback rides, cowboy cookouts, authentic cowboy games and old west entertainment. They’re also the only Scottsdale ranch that offers rides in both the McDowell Sonoran Preserve and the Tonto National Forest.

I hope you all enjoyed this travel guide and found it helpful in planning your trip to Scottsdale, Arizona.

All Photos by: Aneliia Miller Photography 

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Scottsdale Arizona Travel Guide

A Charleston Weekend Getaway

A Charleston Weekend Getaway

If you’ve been following me for awhile you know that Charleston, South Carolina holds a special place in my heart! I grew up living two hours away from Charleston before I moved there for 5 years to attend and graduate from The College of Charleston.  I recently went back to the old historic city for a girls weekend getaway and boy was it different than my college experience. The town and gorgeous scenic views along with some of my oldest friends will always make Charleston feel like home to me but the stores, restaurants and businesses are forever changing! Let’s be honest, I’m a little behind on this blog post but I wanted to give you all a run down of our girls weekend – the things we did, the amazing people we met and everyones favorite, the delicious food we ate!

First, Let’s Talk About Where To Stay!

The Bea’s Nest

Mary Jo of Port to Palm hosted us at The Beas Nest – a luxurious coastal vacation home located on the Isle of Palms, just a quick 30 minute drive from Downtown Charleston and a block away from the beach! A little bit about the history:

” Once known as ”Bea’s Nest,” 716 Carolina Blvd was originally owned by acclaimed American poetess Beatrice Witte Ravenel.  It blends the the rich history of Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island with modern touches to provide its guests with an amazing experience steps from the beautiful Carolina beaches.  We are excited to share it with you and your family.”

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Once we dropped our bags off at the house and settled in we quickly made our way over to Mount Pleasant to have a relaxing spa night at The Woodhouse Day Spa. Picture this -sipping on a glass of bubbly in a fluffy white robe, while soft music plays in the background surrounded by the most fabulous group of bloggers. Woodhouse offers a wide variety of rejuvenating and relaxing services from invigorating facials to therapeutic massages. My Swedish massage left me feeling rested, rejuvenated, and ready to conquer the Holy City!

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The Next Day – It’s Time To Eat!

We spent the afternoon at a luncheon hosted by Lauren Taylor Law Firm at Merchant’s Hall, a gorgeous venue with a spectacular view of the Charleston City Market. I was able to taste 5 church, a fabulous local restaurant on Market Street, for the first time because they catered the luncheon. 5 Church definitely lived up to their notoriety with creative crudités, a delicious citrus salad and a spicy ahi tuna poke bowl. You know I always save the best for last – that being the banana pannacotta + milk chocolate ganache dessert (insert salivating emoji here). I still crave that little mason jar desert til’ this day!

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Some Other Amazing Food Recs

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A quaint little wine bar located in the heart of downtown Charleston on King Street. Kick off your weekend exploring all of the huge selection of wines on tap and I highly recommend the charcuterie board. No meal is complete without dessert so you have to try the Oreo Bomb. It is a homemade ‘Oreo’ cookie with caramel mousse, chocolate truffle and caramel creme topped with chocolate glaze.

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The Darling Oyster Bar

A weekend in Charleston is not complete without a fun Sunday brunch spot! For the ultimate bloody mary I would highly recommend The Darling Oyster Bar located on King Street,  a well-known vintage raw oyster bar serving up traditional low-country cuisine. Opt for the hush puppies, shrimp & grits, biscuits & gravy, a dozen raw oysters and The Captain – the ultimate bloody mary for the perfect Sunday funday meal.

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The Obstinate Daughter – Sullivans Island

Poogan’s Porch – Make A Reservation!

Leon’s Oyster Shop – Fried Chicken & Oysters!

All Things Beauty

For all things Nails you must go see Angela at Lu.nu.la Nail Lab! She is hands down the best and can literally perfect any creative nail look you desire. She was such a pleasure to work with and I can’t thank her enough for the best manicure I’ve had to date!

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For all things Hair & Makeup you must go to Largo Salon for hair and see Barbie Melvin & her team at Pink Mansion Beauty.  This was my first time visiting Largo and their super swanky salon offers the ultimate vibe, especially for a girls’ night out! This was my second time getting my makeup done by Barbie and you guys she is one of the most talented and down to earth makeup artists I have ever worked with! I left the salon that night feeling like I can conquer the world – even if it was just one bomb night out downtown with my girls.

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Lastly, All The Fun Things To Do & Places To Be

Did you know South Carolina is home to some of the nation’s most historic landmarks, including Middleton Place. Middleton Place is home to the oldest landscaped garden in America. Whether you’re touring the house museum, visiting the restaurant or inn, or exploring the working stable yards, Middleton is just one of those places that you can spend all day enjoying! I think my favorite part was getting to know all of the farm animals – be sure to say hey to Kevin (the peacock) while visiting.

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The Carolina Girl Yacht

To end our Charleston girls weekend we went on a sunset cruise around the Charleston Harbor with Carolina Girl Yacht, a beautiful venue for weddings, rehearsal dinners or corporate and social events. Although it was a bit chilly, I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to enjoy the beautiful view of The Battery at sunset with while drinking cocktails from the bar.

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Carriage Rides & Rainbow Row

Of course we can’t forget about the infamous Rainbow Row, a series of 13 homes in bright pastel hues lining the historic waterfront. It represents the longest cluster of Georgian row houses in the United States! If you’re looking for that ‘gram-worthy photo, I promise you will get it here, located downtown on East Bay Street.

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Shop this outfit by clicking HERE!

I hope this post inspired you to make a trip to visit the Holy City, a perfect weekend getaway in southern South Carolina!

A huge Thank You to Jaime Huffman of the Charleston Blonde for coordinating this entire trip and for the gracious host partners! I am extremely thankful for all of the wonderful opportunities that blogging has given me like visiting new places and meeting some amazing new people along the way.

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Birthday Vacay to Costa D’Este Resort & Spa

Birthday Vacay to Costa D’Este Resort & Spa

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Robert and I just returned from a mini relaxing getaway for my 28th birthday at Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa in Vero Beach, Florida. Vero beach is located only two hours away from where we live so it was a perfect little vacation. Since my birthday landed on a Wednesday this year we arrived at Costa d’Este on Tuesday and left on Thursday which happened to be Robert’s three days off that week as well. Everything was planned out perfectly! We arrived around 4 pm on Tuesday evening and thats when the fun began!

Before I get into all the fun events that happened on our little mini staycation I want to show you guys the amazing discount Costa d’Este has given me to give to all of you!! They created a special offer for my followers to be able to experience the amazing stay we had at a super reasonable price! They’re offering 40% off savings on stays through December 31st & 25% off savings on stays from January 1 – September 30, 2019. Here is my personal link for you all to book with them and save by January 15th (then the discount will expire!)

CLICK HERE

Now back to the good stuff! Upon arrival Tuesday night we were greeted with bubbly while we checked in and they had cute birthday balloons and cupcakes waiting in our room for me! I will go ahead and state that every single person from the hotel staff was so nice and friendly! We got up to our room just in time to watch the sunset on the beach from our balcony view and it was such a gorgeous night. Afterwards, we went down to dinner at The Wave Kitchen & Bar located in the resort for a wine pairing dinner. Here is a picture the of the menu we had for dinner on Tuesday night with a different glass of wine for every meal! The food and wine were absolutely to die for!

IMG_5135.jpgIMG_5646IMG_5171Wednesday: It’s my Birthday!! I don’t ever go all out on my birthdays besides dinners or small quaint get togethers so waking up at Costa d’Este was a treat to say the least! The weather started out gorgeous and the view was still just as breathtaking as when I first saw it. We enjoyed a nice breakfast downstairs and then Robert and I had a 50 minute couples massage at the Spa at Costa d’Este. Robert got the deep tissue massage of course and my poor masseuse was so amazing and definitely knew what she was doing but boy did I have some kinks to work out in my shoulders! She was smaller than me but she had super strong hands and worked out all of my knots and tension. Afterwards they came out and she said to me “you had a ton of tension in your shoulders, do you work at a computer all day everyday!?” Robert was like haha why yes she does! And since he is a cop she recommended we both get massages once a month until we can learn to destress some and stretch more often. Hey – I can’t complain about that! Doctors orders (insert cry laughing face emoji here.)

After our amazing massages we walked around the little town and boutiques for a bit and then went down to the pool to relax for a few hours before dinner. It was a little windy at later that evening while we were at the pool but we still had the best time! We both ordered some super fresh handmade mojitos and when I say handmade I mean it! From fresh basil to freshly squeezed lime juice and their homemade simple syrup. After relaxing poolside we went back up to the room to watch the sunset and get ready for dinner.

For my birthday dinner we were treated with a whistlepig whiskey tasting. We had both of our dinners scheduled for 7 pm both nights and it was the perfect timing. Robert and I had never tasted whistlepig whiskey but after that dinner I can honestly say I think were professionals now. From the smokey flavored whiskey to the spicy and traditional – we had it all that night! It’s crazy how one piece of ice or a saturated cherry can change the total taste of the whiskey all together. Oh did I forget to mention that after dinner both nights we went into the hot tub!? (closes at 11) The first night we struck up conversation with some people from Austin, TX and the second night on my birthday it was just us. Talk about the most romantic ending to the evening listening to the waves crash in the distance.

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On Thursday we woke up and had breakfast and then checked out of our room at 11. (ALL THE SAD TEARS) In conclusion, we had the absolute best stay at Costa d’Este and I would highly recommend you all going! The hotel is only 10 years old but has a super miami vice 70’s feel to it. The rooms are beyond stunning and they resemble a cruise ship room but obviously way nicer. I received such amazing feedback from you all on all of my insta stories I posted while at our stay so I hope you all thoroughly enjoy this blog post!

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XOXO

-Ashley