Tag Archives: vacation

Pennsylvania Road Trip

Am I a weirdo for dedicating a blog post to a trip I haven’t gone on yet? If I am, yay for the weirdos! My best friend and I have been texting back and forth about our trip to Hershey, PA. I did a lot of research about flights, hotels, food, entertainment, etc. The cheapest route for us would be for me to fly to Nebraska and meet her there, drive to Pennsylvania, visit Hershey, drive back to Nebraska, and then fly home. The drive from Omaha to Hershey is approximately 17 hours long. I’m usually not a big fan of road trips BUT my bestie makes an excellent travel buddy. We have the craziest stories and the best moments happen when we’re driving so why not? 🙂 We plan on driving through Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio before we hit Pennsylvania. Being the micromanaging planner that I am, I’ve complied a list of all the places I want to go in each state. Sadly Iowa and Indiana don’t have any places that I know of. Does anyone know of any cool spots or good food in those two states? Help a sister out will ya?

I’m definitely going food crazy in Illinois and Ohio. For Illinois I want to inhale any type of Chicago style food that I can get my hands on. Portillo’s stands at #1 for me but I’m open to all suggestions. If anyone has them, let me know! We’ll be real close to the Chicago area. In Ohio, I plan on indulging any type of cassata cake as well as paying a visit to the Chocolate Bar and Lola’s. I’m really excited to visit Lola’s since it’s owned by Iron Chef Michael Symon. He is a beast..and rightly so. We’ll be close to the Cleveland area. I believe we’ll also be in Pittsburgh before we hit Hershey so a Roethlisburger is a must. I’m not a Steelers fan BUT it looked really good in the pictures. Yes, I’m super lame. I’m perfectly content with that though!

I’m still racking my brain trying to find places in Iowa and Indiana. I came up with nada. Seriously, someone help! I can’t wait for this road trip. It’s going to be awesome. We’re going to Chocolate World, Hershey Park, and the Chocolate Spa. We’re also going to inhale all the good food in between. The year needs to hurry up already cause I’m ready to go.

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

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Catalina Island Part 3 – The Pavilion Hotel

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During our vacay to Catalina Island, we stayed at the Pavilion Hotel. It really depends on what’s within your budget. My sister and I saved up for this trip for months. We really wanted a nice hotel since we were on vacay and didn’t want to deal with dirty rooms and such. We got a room with two queen size beds. They’re so effing comfortable! I fell in love the first time I laid down on the bed. We got the summer package which included the room, ferry tickets, glass bottom boat tour, mini golf or movie, 1 hour kayak rental, golf cart rental, complimentary wine and cheese, and complimentary breakfast every morning. Altogether the package was about $976 including tax. We stayed there for three days and two nights. While it is real pricy, the service was excellent. The girls that work the front desk (Athena and Joy) were amazing. The housekeepers were also really sweet. When we first arrived, we were in our room changing and getting ready to explore. The housekeepers came by and gave us each a bottle of VOSS water, some ice, and some chocolate. The chocolate was delicious. They also returned the next day and did a turn down service and gave us more water, ice, and chocolate. Talk about awesome service! Since we didn’t get to do our kayak rental, they comped us for the Avalon scenic drive tour.
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This doubled as the sink area and coffee area. There was a mini coffee maker with regular blend and decaf as well as TAZO tea bags. They gave us half and half and a bunch of different flavored creamers. To the right side is the bathroom and to the left is the closet. The cabinets below the sink hold a mini fridge, microwave, and safe. There were q-tips, hand soap, shampoo, body soap, conditioner, and lotion on the counter.
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There was a plasma along with a lamp and chair next to it. Then there was a desk and chair under the tv. Pretty sweet. Somehow, because I was intoxicated the first night I watched A Walk To Remember and I wouldn’t let my sister change the channel…lol
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The most comfortable beds EVER!
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The bathroom! It was real cute and a lot bigger than I thought it’d be.
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This is the patio area near the front desk. On the right side there’s a library there. That’s where breakfast is served every morning and that’s where the wine and cheese hour is. People usually sit at the tables outside for breakfast. Their complimentary breakfast consists of bread, jams, peanut butter, nutella, hard boiled eggs, ham, salami, bagels, fruit, cereal, yogurt, granola, tea, coffee, expresso, orange juice, pomegranate juice, and apple juice.
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There are a bunch of lounge chairs to sunbath or just relax. They’re located on the first floor. Originally our room was supposed to be on the first floor of the hotel but because a lot of people couldn’t get on the ferry, they cancelled their reservations and we got a complimentary upgrade. AWESOME! 🙂 I was super bummed we didn’t get to do any of the water sports since that’s what we wanted to do there but overall it was a fun trip. I definitely think we got what we paid for. I highly recommend this hotel. The customer service is excellent. Next up, the Bluewater Avalon.
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This is me standing by the Big Olaf’s ice cream shop. I was still intoxicated and had no idea why my sister kept trying to get me to drink water. Good times!

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

Catalina Island Part 1

I just got back from my mini vacay to Catalina Island and it was awesome! I took a ton of pictures (a ton being more than 200). I suppose that’s not too much in photographer terms. The views were breathtaking! I’ll definitely have to save up and go back. Love, love, love! Every vacay starts off with stiff drinks right? 😀
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This is the Avalon iced tea at Bluewater Avalon. It has passionfruit rum, vodka, gin, tequila, and a hint of lemon iced tea. Holy cow…I was a bit tipsy after drinking this. I could only do half because the flavor of the rum was too strong for my taste.

Here’s a timeline for you to follow..
8/27 – waited FIVE hours at the Catalina Express terminal to board the ferry. Hurricane Maria caused some crazy surges so the two ferries before mine couldn’t dock. Our ferry got cancelled and pushed back to 2pm. Finally at 2pm we boarded and checked into our hotel (The Pavilion Hotel – their service is excellent!). We went to dinner at Bluewater Avalon and because of my intoxication, we went back to our room to chill for awhile. Catalina kind of has a dead scene at night unless you want to go bar hopping. We went and got some ice cream at Lloyd’s and walked along the green pier and sat by the fire pit. We called it a night after that.

8/28 – got tickets to the Avalon Scenic Drive and the East End Adventure (highly recommended) because the water activities weren’t running (Hurricane Maria). The Avalon Scenic Drive was alright. I got to take pictures of Descanso Beach and Avalon Bay. Our driver was kind of a sarcastic know it all so it was eh. We ate lunch at Eric’s on the pier. After that we boarded the East End Adventure in a hummer. It was freakin awesome! It’s pretty much like the real life Indiana Jones ride from Disneyland. Real bumpy so not recommended for people who have neck/back problems or are preggo. We went back to the hotel to wash up and headed down to complimentary wine and cheese hour. After that we went back to our rooms to get ready for dinner. We had dinner at Avalon Grille and gelato from a Mediterranean cafe two doors down from our hotel. We called it a night after eating gelato along the beach.

8/29 – got tickets to mini golf and the Glass Bottom Boat Voyage. Mini golf was hilarious. We were so impatient that I ended up with a score of 102 and my sister got 87. The card said we should get around 51. Oops! 🙂 After mini golf we packed and left our bags with the front desk. We boarded the Glass Bottom Boat tour and it was HORRIBLE. I’m known to get nausea and such but it was really horrible. The boat just kept rocking back and forth and gave me a headache. I still managed to see some fish and take some pictures but I wouldn’t recommend it. Not unless you want to rock back and forth. After that we grabbed salads at the Mediterranean cafe and chilled in the hotel patio area. Then we boarded the ferry and came home.

NOW…onto the pictures! I named this post Part 1 because I have SOOOO many pictures to share.
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The fishies swimming during the Glass Bottom Boat tour. The water was real merky so we didn’t see a lot. It’s definitely not worth $15. Trust me.
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Miniature golf was awesome. We aren’t meant for golf apparently so we should take up tennis.
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Picture of Catalina houses/hotels and Avalon Bay. I took this picture during the East End Adventure. Cindy (our guide) was so awesome. She used to sing on a cruise ship in Hawaii. I love her, she has the cheesiest jokes.
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California lovin with the palm trees right in front of our hotel room.
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Vanilla and salted caramel gelato! The salted caramel was excellent. The vanilla one got to be too sweet after a bit. The cafe is super cute. They even serve sushi there.
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THE HUMMER!! 🙂 I love this hummer. It was such an awesome ride. I got to see a bison, a fox, deers, and take beautiful scenic pictures.
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Sign in Tour Plaza of the Avalon Scenic Drive.
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View of the front of our hotel from the second floor.
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Avalon Bay! The water reminds me of Bora Bora (not that I’ve been there or anything).
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Shrimp and fish tacos that my sister got for lunch from Eric’s on the greenish/turquoise pier.
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Scenic pictures taken on the East End Adventure. The EEA drives to the east of the island while most tours go to the west. The last picture is Moonstone Cove. It’s gorgeous in person. I fell in love right away.
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This picture was taken at our half way stop. We got to get out, stretch our legs, and take some photos. It’s so beautiful. I really don’t know how to put it into words.

PLEASE DO NOT TAKE MY PICTURES AND POST THEM WITHOUT MY PERMISSION. THANKS!

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

I WON!!!! :)

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Photo courtesy of Google

In my last post I wrote how my sister and I were discussing options for our mini summer vacation. Well, I won and we’re going to Catalina Island!! WOOT WOOT!! 🙂 I’m so excited. As of right now, we’re deciding on which deals/hotels we want to stay at and I definitely see kayaking as part of our vacation. I can’t wait to just soak up the sun and admire the beauty of the island. That and enjoy wine and cheese happy hour and nights by the fire pit. I absolutely can’t wait. This trip is going to be awesome! 🙂 I also can’t wait to take gorgeous pictures of the island. I’m such a scenic photo junkie. I love sunsets/sunrises so hopefully I’ll get a chance to see them.

I’m still looking for different flight options for my Nebraska trip. I’m excited to see my best friend but not so excited to go to Nebraska. If she didn’t move there, I would never go. It’s just not one of those places I would say “hey, I want to go there.” BUT hopefully I’ll be surprised and Bellevue has something to offer. Other than corn that is. I sound like such a hardcore city slicker and I am. I was born and raised in Los Angeles which is a lot different than Nebraska. What should I pack? What am I allowed to pack? o_o I haven’t been on an airplane since I was about four years old and I flew overseas to Hong Kong/China. That was a long time ago. I’m kind of hesitant about the whole flying deal but hopefully it works out. I get anxiety super easily these days. I’ve already looked up different areas and things that I want to do when I go visit her. Anyone from Nebraska have any insight? Please share.

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

I WON!!!! :)

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Photo courtesy of Google

In my last post I wrote how my sister and I were discussing options for our mini summer vacation. Well, I won and we’re going to Catalina Island!! WOOT WOOT!! 🙂 I’m so excited. As of right now, we’re deciding on which deals/hotels we want to stay at and I definitely see kayaking as part of our vacation. I can’t wait to just soak up the sun and admire the beauty of the island. That and enjoy wine and cheese happy hour and nights by the fire pit. I absolutely can’t wait. This trip is going to be awesome! 🙂 I also can’t wait to take gorgeous pictures of the island. I’m such a scenic photo junkie. I love sunsets/sunrises so hopefully I’ll get a chance to see them.

I’m still looking for different flight options for my Nebraska trip. I’m excited to see my best friend but not so excited to go to Nebraska. If she didn’t move there, I would never go. It’s just not one of those places I would say “hey, I want to go there.” BUT hopefully I’ll be surprised and Bellevue has something to offer. Other than corn that is. I sound like such a hardcore city slicker and I am. I was born and raised in Los Angeles which is a lot different than Nebraska. What should I pack? What am I allowed to pack? o_o I haven’t been on an airplane since I was about four years old and I flew overseas to Hong Kong/China. That was a long time ago. I’m kind of hesitant about the whole flying deal but hopefully it works out. I get anxiety super easily these days. I’ve already looked up different areas and things that I want to do when I go visit her. Anyone from Nebraska have any insight? Please share.

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

Daily Musings

What kind of music do you listen to? I used to listen to mostly r&b, pop, and sometimes a little country, classical, and rap. Now I just listen to country and pop. My workplace has got me hooked on oldies that were popular during WW2 and Korea. I always have songs like Alexander’s Ragtime Band or How I Hate to Get Up In The Morning stuck in my head. One of my favorites is My Wild Irish Rose. I also like America (my country tis of thee) and My Bonnie. I remember singing some of those songs back when I was in preschool and kindergarten but I doubt they sing those songs now. America has been stuck in my head for the longest. I could actually sing it in my head while I’m typing this.

In other news, I’m going on vacation! FINALLY! Now, my parents have never been big on taking us on vacation as kids. We just didn’t have the money to do it. My dad considers a day in San Francisco as a vacation. I used to go to San Francisco every year for spring break. Aside from SF, Hong Kong, and Las Vegas, I really haven’t been anywhere. I only count SF because the drive is so long (6-8 hours). My sister and I are going on a much needed vacation at the end of August and we’re still deciding on which place to go. I love my beaches so naturally I chose Catalina Island. It looks so beautiful!
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She’s more into nature and such so she chose Lake Powell, AZ.
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As of right now, Lake Powell is winning. It does look pretty awesome and I could always go to Catalina any time since it’s in California. I guess I’m on a vacation streak because after Arizona will be Nebraska. Nebraska won’t really be a vacation…it’s more of visiting a friend.
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It’ll be such a culture shocker going from Arizona to Nebraska but hey, I can add those two places to my traveled list. Hopefully Catalind Island can be one of them. I’m still saving up a trip for Alexandria, VA and Washington, DC. They are at the top of my must travel list. Hawaii’s next.

Pictures courtesy of Google.

Fail Sweetly,
Justina