Join Ally as she explores different destinations
"You can't buy happiness but you can go to Hawaii and thats pretty much the same thing"
They say "bloom where you are planted" the only issue is, I'm pretty sure I was planted in Hawaii...
Hawaii has always been our favourite place to relax and unwind. I have now been there 3 times counting and I don't plan on stopping. We had just come back from a lengthy 2 week road trip to LA and while that trip was amazing, we felt like we needed a vacation from our vacation. Hawaii was the destination I chose to surprise Andrew with and I teamed up with Expedia and Roberts Hawaii Tours to give you the best budget friendly trip all while still enjoying the best of Hawaii.
Place to Stay in Hawaii
If you are looking for a budget friendly place to stay then we totally recommend the Ambassador Waikiki Hotel. Expedia recommended this Hotel for us based on our key features we wanted. We were looking for of course budget friendly. Being a 15 minute walk from the strip of Waikiki allowed us to not only get in our walking shoes for a gorgeous walk but was cheaper than staying closer to the beach. The Ambassador may not have the "ocean view" you might be looking for but for us, we were looking for a place to sleep. I mean when you are in Hawaii, you will want to go and dive right in to the ocean. This was a view from our hotel!
The Ambassador also has these recyclable water bottles they give you so you can fill up on nice filtered water ( this saved us money from buying tons of bottles and its safer for the environment)
The best part of the hotel is the full kitchen in every room. Not everyone has money to spend on lavish food three times a day ( although you could eat at McDonalds ) I recommend eating their spam breakfasts. Its a staple food and a must!
Then of course you have the free 2 hour rental of bikes! This is great if you wanted to zoom around the area! Even better if you wanted to rent them the whole day ( they are an extra $5 per hour after the free 2 hours)
Food to eat in Hawaii
We recommend using your kitchenette for your breakfasts! Go down to the ABC store ( these stores are everywhere like a Starbucks on every corner) They will for sure have everything you need to prepare breakfast in your hotel!
We ate at Cheeseburger in Paradise which is located right by the beach! They have the Kobb salad which is delicious and the best coconut shrimp! Also try their pina coladas you won't be disappointed!
Another favourite is Roys Waikiki. This place is a little pricy but the food is so delicious!! Their staples are their fish wraps along with their ribs! Yum!
Shave ice! A must have in Hawaii. We loved the little cabana of shaved ice located on the Waikiki main strip called "Island Vintage Shave Ice". They have so many flavours! Our favourite is the half mango and half coconut topped with mango balls and dried coconut with ice-cream underneath!
Places to visit in Hawaii
Since we were only in Hawaii for a short trip and on budget we wanted to get the most out of our stay. We teamed up with Roberts Hawaii tours and we got the "Grand Circle Island Tour". This tour is the best bang for your buck! A charter bus picks you up and brings you all around the Island. During this captivating, wraparound adventure, you will be swept off to the island’s most awe-inspiring landmarks and destinations, including the world-famous Hanauma Bay, China Mans Hat, the spouting “Blow Hole,” Pali Lookout and the sacred Kualoa Ranch nestled against the stunning Koolau Mountains. You finish off your day at the famous Dole plantation where you enjoy the best Dole Icecream and see all the different pineapples! We recommend getting the deluxe tour as they serve you a buffet like no other!
We also recommend checking out Aloha Kai Apparel as they gave us some awesome Hawaii swag like these cool snap back hats and some awesome t's! Aloha Kai means "love of the ocean" in Hawaiian and their message is to spread the aloha. They also give back to Children's Hospital which is amazing! We kept getting compliments on our swag that we wore for our Circle Tour and since we were matching everyone was asking us if we were on our honeymoon!!!
Other places we recommend would be the Honolulu Zoo, The Honolulu Aquarium, and Turtle Bay. We still have yet to see the Pearl Harbour Memorial and we learned our lesson the hard way since we didn't buy tickets in advanced and they were already sold out!
We also recommend buying some awesome beach towels! You can use them for the beach and then bring them home as they make great souvenirs! You can also get some blown up floaty beds for $5 at the ABC stores and lay in the ocean and ride the waves!
Things to do to relax in Hawaii
Hawaii is a place that you go to when you need to unwind and relax. We loved being able to stick our feet in the sand and re-set ourselves. Letting your stresses out on vacation is a great way to not only relax but to clear your mind. One way you can relax is by meditating by the ocean and listening to the waves. You can even go for a nice run!It is important to remember that even while on vacation keeping a healthy lifestyle will help release endorphins in your body that will make you feel refreshed and happy!
We had a park across the hotel that had an awesome place to go running! We packed along our wireless headphones from Logiix so that we could listen to our favourite music with our new iPhone 7's. The Blue Piston tuneFRĒQS Classic Bluetooth are anti-scratch in-ear headphones designed for a better fit and comfort. The high performance drivers are located towards the edge to more efficiently direct sound towards the ear. The tuneFRĒQS Classic Bluetooth have a built-in microphone and controls for music and hands-free. Anti-slip silicone ear bud tips included for additional comfort.
We then brought our sports flexband also from Logiix. With several features, including a water resistant and washable lycra blend, built-in light reflective graphics, convenient card & key holder, and more, this all-in-one armband will prove more than worthy of all your athletic activities!
We also packed some awesome fitness gear by Love Fitness Apparel which is a family owned business based right out of Hawaii. Every piece of clothing is uniquely silk-screened right in Hawaii with water based eco-friendly paints. We loved being able to go for a run with our gear that represented where we were staying!
Hawaii will always have my heart. My body and mind are always re-set when we visit and I come back with a newer and better perspective on my life. We are so thankful to these awesome companies and brands that made our trip that much more amazing!
Check out our video re-cap of our trip!!!!
For most of us buying an airplane ticket to our next destination is nothing short of magical. Every time I purchase a ticket I am instantly filled with excitement as I embark on yet another awesome adventure. However, for my husband and I this time around we decided to embark on a different journey ... because as they say its not the destination, its the journey! We decided to take a road trip up to sunny Los Angeles and hit the Oregon coast along the way.
We were super excited to hit the road and pass the cutest towns ( some looking haunted AF...)
We stopped in places like Canon beach, Newport, saw a wicked light house and even a sketchy town called Eureka ( which I don't recommend on stopping in... so creepy) We saw some red woods, drove over the Golden Gate Bridge through San Francisco. We walked from Santa Monica Pier to Venice Beach, stayed in Disney for 3 days, visited Harry Potter Land and Universal and even spent a night in San Pedro! I was so glad I packed properly and I am sharing my 10 Road Trip Essentials right here!!!
10 Road Trip Essentials
1. Sunglasses - Bring a good pair of sunglasses. Maybe one casual one for driving that's comfy because as you hit those sunny destinations you will need this for driving safely.
2. Comfy Clothes - sweaters, sweatpants, runners etc- you will be sitting for long periods of time so its emparative you have some comfy clothes on for the ride.
3. Juice - No! I don't mean like drinking juice! I mean back up batteries and chargers - this was so important to have especially if you are sleeping in those rest stops. You can't keep your car running all night so back up batteries are so impprtant to have. lucky for me I had 2 amazing units to pack - Logiix Beacon that has not only a strong battery but a cool lantern at the bottom! Plus I brought my 12,000 mha Piston Power back up charger ( this also was life saving at the parks we went to) I also bring along my World Traveller USB Charger from Logiix as not only does it have the adapters but 2 usb charger ports to charge my devices at the same time!
4. Good Music - driving can be that much more fun with some awesome tracks - for me I jammed to 90's pop and of course Disney to get me pumped for Disneyland ( Husband on the other hand listened to techno and rap)
5. Snacks/Water - We were so impressed with ourselves as we used up all our PC mastercard points for basically free food for our trip! Snacks and hydration is so important on a road trip. You need fuel in the car and fuel in your body to drive such long distances!
6. Sunscreen - No one wants half their body to burn... even if you are in a car putting on the sunscreen will shelter your "driving arm" and the rest of you so you don't burn!
7. Camera/Video Camera - You need to capture all these amazing moments so make sure you are fully loaded with your proper gear so you can document your trip with clear and beautiful photos and videos!
8. First aid kit - Yes we packed a huge kit that included emergency food , bandaids, fire starter, gauze, a reflector heat thermal blanket and much more! You never know and its better to be over prepared...
9. Blanket - Again if you stop off at those resting stops or just to have for comfort you will want to bring a blanket along. For me it's cozy and feels like you are bringing a bit of home wherever you go!
10. GPS/Maps to know where you are going - probably the most crucial of the items. We luckily had a GPS built in to the car but you never know! Reading maps is not my thing so I'm glad we mapped out our trip pretty well before on our iPhones!
Well, there you have it folks! My top 10 road trip essentials!!! Thanks for checking this out and before you go.......
Check out our Video recap of our LA Road trip!
"If you can dream it, you can do it. We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them" - Walt Disney
Disneyland: My Happy Place
We set out on a road trip (road trip packing guide coming soon...) on a adventure for my 30th year! Yes, Ive decided that I would celebrate my whole year birthday...
Turning 30 for me is a bit scary... I don't feel 30... in fact this is just a number... Now I could babble on about where I saw myself in my 30's but instead this blog is rather one where I will talking about never losing the magic.
What do I mean by "Magic"?
Well, I mean that little magic that allowed us as children to believe in fairytales, and to believe that dreams can come true.
For Walt Disney that is exactly what happened. He had dreams just like us and followed his amazing passions thus creating this beautiful place that I now call my Happy Place! Its a place where I can feel like a kid... Every time I set foot in DL... I am filled with so much joy and wonder.
15 Things you may have not known about Disneyland
1. Disneyland was originally built in a year
2. All of Tomorrow Lands plants are edible
3. Disneyland had only 18 attractions on opening day
4. The purple and orange tea cups on the Mad Tea Party are the fastest
5. The gold paint on the "Its a Small World" ride is made up of 22 karats
6. At the top of the Maddahorn ride sits a huge basketball court no joke! Apprently the employees use it on their breaks! crazy!
7. There is an apartment built above Disneys fire station - sign me up you have found a tenant!
8. The Pirates of the caribeean ride was supposed to be a "walk through" attraction... I'm glad they decided to make it a ride! I mean walking through like a museum really? The best part is the drop in the middle that gets me every time!!!!
9. Real human skeletons were used when Pirates first opened.. Anyone else feel that that was opening a can of worms!!! I wonder why they decided to use fake ones later on.... ahhh
10. Club 33 is the only place in Disneyland you can order alcohol... you know where to find me... getting crunk with mickey...
11. Walt Disney loved his park so much and seeing all the reactions that he would walk around the park and stand in line with people! what a guy!
12. Ticket prices on opening day were $3.50... now, more like $350.00!!!
13. There have only ever been three unscheduled days the park had to close. The days were the national day of mourning after John F. Kennedy was killed, after the Northridge earthquake in 1994, and on 9/11.
14. All the props in the Indiana Jones ride are from the actual Movie!
15.Ever notice that Disneyland doesn't sell gum? that's why the cobble stone looks pristine!
These were my favourite ones I learnt! Pretty cool!!!
Tips for your park days!
Here are some tips if you are planning out your adventures in the Parks!
1. Get the fast passes! - Basically you can go to certain stations in the Park and grab the fast pass cards. This ensures that you will get on faster later on in the day with allotted time slots!
2. Single riders lineup! - If you go with younger children this may not apply however if you are in a group and don't care to be on the same ride this is genius! We basically skipped a 45 min wait time and rode the Cars ride twice in that time!
3. Don't do the Magic Morning! - Years ago they would have this amazing opening celebration and Mickey and Mini would come out and dance with the Princesses! Now they just give you an extra hour and reality there are so many people its not worth the extra hour! Sleep in and save your energy.
4. Go to Ariel's Grotto! ( In California Adventure)- If you have a little you can plan a morning breakfast at Ariel's house! Then all the Disney Princesses show up! You get food and photos! Life made!
5. Tune Town is the bomb!- This is the place to be if you wanted to get a photo with Mickey, Mini and the rest of the crew! They hang out in their houses around 11-2pm in Tune Town! You get a walk through of the houses and photos!
6. Bring snacks and backup batteries! -If you plan on being there all day some snacks should be packed its hella expensive there! Also bring backup batteries to make sure you have enough juice for the day!
7. Map out your day! - Thus saves time going from one side of the park to another. get the map online and map the whole thing!!!
8. Dole Whip floats!-Check out the Dole Whip floats by the Tiki Room! You get Pineapple ice-cream floats in Pineapple juice!
9. NO SELFIE STICKS!- the ban this now! so make sure you don't bring them in or else you have to surrender them to the front!
10. Check the Sneak Peak theatre! - We got a sneak peak at Beauty and the Beast in 4D! and it was fabulous!
What an amazing trip it was to Disney! I hope that you will get a chance to visit!
Special thanks to Logiix for the backup battery charger & Ardene for the awesome Mickey outfits! I kept getting compliments on my backpack!
If you are planning a trip to Seattle and are like me who loves those "mini" vaycays then you are in the right place!
Seattle is beautiful and mirrors my two favorite cities, New York and Vancouver.
If you are looking for a quick getaway for the weekend then I have the best places to visit all while staying on budget!
The first place you should visit while being super budget friendly is the Worlds first Starbucks café! I am a huge coffee lover and to see the birth of Starbucks is nothing short of magical! ( okay, I am a bit dramatic but I do love my Starbucks) Opened in Pike Place Market back in 1971 this little café still has the original Starbucks logo with the boobies! AWESOME
That brings me to my next stop, Pike Place Market which is an open public market with several floors of shops galore! The Market opened August 17, 1907, and is one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers' markets in the United States. You can buy some gum at the candy store there and head down passed the fisher mongers and watch them sing and throw fish around. Then you can pass the golden pig and follow the steps down to Ghost Alley and you will see the iconic wall of gum! There you can chew your gum and place it with the millions of pieces stuck to the wall. People have written their names along with drawings! It is most definitely a site to see.
The next stop would be the underground tours! The Seattle Underground is a network of underground passageways and basements in downtown Seattle that was ground level at the city's origin in the mid-19th century. Due to flooding and the great Seattle fire, the streets were raised and a new Seattle was built. The Underground is renowned for paranormal spirits thought to be the neighborhood’s notoriously murdered, unrequited souls. We recommend doing the "Paranormal Experience".Search for paranormal activity using the same sophisticated investigative equipment employed by trained professional paranormal investigators. Tickets can be purchased here.
Ride the monorail from Pike Place Market ( approx. $2.50) per person to the amazing Space Needle. The monorail, which cost $3.5 million to build, opened on March 24, 1962 for the fair held at the current site of Seattle Center. Eight million people rode the monorail during the half year the fair was open.
The final stop is the Space Needle observatory. Built for the 1962 world fair, this building stands as the tallest structure west of the Mississippi river. This is the best spot to view the whole city and Is rather breathtaking. You can find tickets here.
Finally, if you are looking for a budget friendly but still amazing place to stay we recommend Springhill suites by the Marriott hotel. Located conveniently at the entrance to I-5 S and one block to I-5 N, Marriott SpringHill Suites puts you in the middle of everything. Only 5 blocks to the downtown retail district and only a short shuttle ride to the Space Needle and Convention Center. This 4 star hotel also has complimentary buffet breakfast, snack bar, pool and high speed internet.
If you are looking to get around we recommend LYFT or UBER. There is no point trying to take a taxi as they will take forever. If you sign up with UBER you get a $15 credit and you get more points as you recommend people! We loved taking the UBER to all our fave places!
Well there you have it folks! Seattle in a weekend... because really who has time to sleep... <3
Every time I go to Vegas ( counting my 9th time) it always seems to be a bit of a difference experience.
The first time I went to Vegas I had no idea what I was doing. I was 22 I believe, a spontaneous trip was booked and I bought the first expedia booking to.. Circus Circus.. NEVER AGAIN. Well, I have to admit CC was fun! My boyfriend ( now husband) was terrified of any rollercoasters or rides really.. and I was able to push him to ride the kid roller coasters! I ended the trip with drunken tattoos on my wrists... and a shirt that said " what happens in vegas stays on facebook"... enough said.
The second time I went to Vegas was with a few friends and I got terribly sick off of mimosas because we decided that the $25 buffet was too expensive and decided to fill up on alcohol and then later puked and didn't enjoy our Parisian dinner. My hand got accidentally slammed in a van door by my husband... again enough said lol.
The third time I went to Vegas I actually almost died. my drink was spiked and I ended up passing out in the bathroom of the marquee night club and my life legit passed before my eyes... it was stupid scary ....
The fourth trip was with my 2 best friends and we stayed far away from clubs. We used our friends points and ended up having a pretty amazing trip!
My fifth time was with the same friend and again we had a great time! We met up with these men from I forgot where? They were good looking but by the end of the night I was dragging my friend away cuz the one ended up being a creep! Surpise surpise! We ate chicken strips on a huuuge bed outside the next day and lived like queens!
The sixth time I went for my husbands birthday! My brother in law came this time and we went with out other two close friends! THIS TRIP WE DID VEGAS SOOO WELL. We booked a pool party which was crazy out of this world amazing! Our friends got engaged and we were drunk for the whole trip and did a pub crawl!!! Also I didn't die so that was a bonus!
The 7th time I went with my cousins and that was a blast! We had a photo-shoot that ended up being published in a euro magazine! We danced, drank, laughed, drank again and had a great time!
The 8th time was with my travel and business buddy! We did a whole bunch of photo-shoots and for the first time we travelled outside the strip! We visited red rock and even attempted to get to the Grand Canyon although that trip was cut short as the entrance we needed to get to was closed. We were devastated but promised that one day we would return!
The 9th trip was most recently and again so very different than my other trips but just as equally amazing! We went to visit some friends/clients in Vegas since they had moved there! We took some photos of their babes and stayed with them in their home! It was funny at one point our friends laughed as they could see my reaction... for the first time from the airport I wasn't driving to " the strip". That I was experiencing how the normal Navadians live! We stayed at their beautiful home and even participated in the regular life of Christmas concerts! We did do one day on the strip and basically got drunk off of alcoholic ice teas! What was ahhmazing was the District shopping area where we ate at rachels Kitchen. The food was top notch!
Container Park was also ahhhmazing and is your one stop shop with over 38 shops and restaurants ANDDD everything is made of repurposed shipping containers!
My next trip to Vegas will be my 10th time! Cant wait to hit the double digits <3
Vegas, until next time.