Having graduated college two years ago, I REALLY miss having a spring break! I think I completely took spring break for granted and now I could really use a week to unwind, throw on some cute outfits, and just relax with a fruity cocktail in my hand. Wasn’t college the best?!
So while I can’t just ditch work for a week in March every year and fly to Cabo (I can dream though right…), I can say adios to California for a weekend. This year, I decided to hit the road for a quick 48 hour trip to Arizona. My god, it was the best 48 hours of my life. Pool, sun, tanning, and cold drinks. What more could a girl ask for? Cute outfits? Yup…those were present too.
My friends and I stayed at the beautiful Graduate Tempe in Arizona, right across the street from Arizona State University. This hotel completely brought me back to my glory college days. The hotel was a mix of boho-chic, eclectic, vintage, and retro vibes. It was the perfect desert retreat. I love staying at unique hotels that have a little quirk to them and the Graduate completely exceeded my expectations.
The hotel interiors sport classic 1970’s reproductions including nightstands inspired by retro stereo speakers and lush comfy easy chairs. We had our own personal balcony with views of the ASU campus, perfect for watching the AZ sunset with a cold beer in my hand. Every single detail in the room was so cute and quirky, I loved it!
The best part of the hotel was that we really didn’t even need to leave. The Graduate had the most relaxing pool with a poolside cantina and a life size jenga set. We ate breakfast at the onsite Normal Diner, sipping mimosas in this chic diner. For dinner, we headed to Tapacubo, the Mexican eatery, serving up the best margaritas and guacamole ever! I’m always in the mood for good Mexican food and this place hit the spot.
After dinner, we took a short walk to Mill Street which is filled with the cutest shops, restaurants, and bars. We stayed out all night sipping frozen cocktails and listening to country music. It was the best weekend ever and I’m already looking at my calendar wondering when I can get back to the Graduate in Tempe! I’ll definitely be back this summer!
Do you have any spring break plans? Even if you do a little staycation and stay local, getting out of the house and relaxing is the best feeling during spring!
Thanks so much for reading!! I want to give a huge THANK YOU to Graduate Tempe for helping me have the best mini spring break vacation ever!
Stay chic on spring break my friends!
P.S. Graduate hotels are a string of boutique hotels in all the most dynamic college towns in America. Each hotel celebrates the youthful optimism of school days and captures the spirit of each community in a bright way. I absolutely love that and now I kind of want to stay at every single one of them! Who’s with me?!
I’m SO excited to finally share this post. Last month over Thanksgiving break, my guy & I packed our bags & headed to South Carolina, North Carolina, & Georgia! This was a complete spontaneous trip, planned the month before with a goal of visiting my boyfriend’s family in Charlotte. I’ve never really spent time on the east coast (with the exception of Florida), so I was excited to experience east coast life during fall. We decided to head to Charleston early to experience a city that has recently grown to the top of my travel list. I’m SO glad we did (& you should too) because it was a beautiful city filled with history, architecture, and charm every where we turned. Today, I am going recap the first half of our trip, covering most of our Charleston experience. My second part will be up on the blog later this week, recapping the end of Charleston leg of the trip, our day trip to Savannah, & our time in Charlotte. Thanks for reading & hope you enjoy!
For some brilliant reason, I decided to book the red eye flight out to Charleston & hit the grounding running when we arrived at noon. I always try to maximize our time when going on a trip so I tend to book the first possible flight out and the last possible flight out. I don’t always account for sleep or grumpy boyfriends so this may not have been the best idea. We had two connecting flights (LA –> Dallas –> Charlotte –> Charleston) with less than an hour in between each so we were running through the airport like zombies, in the middle of the night, half asleep. It’s a miracle we even made it!
We landed on Saturday @ noon & immediately headed to brunch at High Cotton. Throughout my research I read that brunch was a must in the South so me being the brunch lover I am was SO excited. I ordered a Sweet Tea & the waiter said “When in the South, right?!” I was already swooning over this city! We dined on the best corn bread I’ve ever had, warm apple donuts (UGH SO GOOD), eggs benedict, & tuna sandwiches. It was the perfect start to the trip. Next time I’m in Charleston, I want to try this place for dinner.
After brunch we wandered around the cobblestone streets, exploring & getting to know the city before checking into our hotel. We strolled along the Waterfront Park & sat, people watching, near the famous Pineapple Fountain. Throughout my time in Charleston, I noticed pineapple symbols were everywhere. I wondered what it meant & after asking around, I learned that pineapples are the symbol of hospitality. Back in the day, when men would come home to Charleston from exotic trips, they would bring home pineapples & display them outside their home, showing the city that they had returned safely. This gesture meant all friends & family were invited to their home to listen to their stories from abroad. This was meant to show affluence & hospitality. I love that pineapples are still a symbol of Charleston today.
We checked into our hotel, the Days Inn. This obviously isn’t the most fancy hotel in the area, but it was perfect! It was the best location we could have asked for & it was cheap which scored major points with TJ. We didn’t spend much time in the room so something quaint & comfortable was perfect for us.
After hours of napping, we got dressed up and headed to King Street for drinks & dinner at The Ordinary where we dined on delicious oysters. You must try the crispy oyster sliders. Fried oysters on Hawaiian rolls. Must I say more? So yummy! Before dinner, we had drinks at Prohibition (I asked the bartender for his favorite & he served me a Sazerac which was amazing) & at The Belmont where I was told it was a must to order an Old Fashioned, so I did & it was delicious. We also sat in a seat that was literally in the window & I couldn’t have been more excited!
The next day we woke up bright & early to learn all about Charleston. We went on a tour through Free Walking Tours by Foot (we also did a tour through them in New Orleans). It’s so great because it’s a “Name your own price” tour & they are really awesome ways to learn about the city you are exploring. I personally love learning all about the history of a city I’m visiting, it gives my trip so much more meaning. & it gives you a lot more insight to the best eats & places to visit.
After our tour, we had Sunday brunch at Poogan’s Porch. I originally wanted to go to Halls Chophouse for their famous Sunday Gospel Brunch. Unfortunately you have to make reservations like SUPER far in advance. I thought we might get back here for lunch another day, but sadly we didn’t-it’s on my list for next time. Poogan’s Porch was an excellent alternative. It’s in the cutest little yellow house (I heard it’s haunted!) where all the seating sections are separated by different rooms. I felt like I was eating in someone’s house! There was a toasty fire roaring in the fire place. After eating the best biscuits I have ever tasted (they were warm & everything!), we dined on chicken & waffles & omelettes. So yummy!
After resting from our food coma back in the room, we explored the City Market (a market & tradition going back to the 1800s). They sell everything from the famous Sweetgrass Baskets, to beautiful Charleston art from local artists, to fun souvenirs you can’t pass up to yummy snacks! We ended up in the Battery where we walked up and down the streets for hours admiring the beautiful houses. Each one was so unique and beautiful, you could feel the history just walking through the streets. I was picking out my house, asking TJ when we could move there. I found the cutest pink house!!
For dinner, we got dressed up & headed to Husk. Seriously. So. Good. We decided to get a few appetizers so we could get the best of the best. After recommendations from the waiter, we ended up with 4 appetizers, drinks, and dessert. Their menu is every changing, truly defining Low Country cuisine. This is definitely a must go to spot if you are ever in the neighborhood.
We ended the night with a ghost tour, exploring the old city jail. We went at 10pm @ night, & I’m not gonna lie…it was SO spooky. I completely recommend going on a ghost tour while in Charleston. With the long history of the city, comes haunting encounters that are fascinating! I didn’t personally experience any paranormal activity, but it was so fun to get a little scared & snuggle up to TJ.
After finally sleeping in (TJ’s idea…not mine) we had breakfast at a restaurant near our hotel called Toast & hit the ground running. We decided to go to a few museums (Charleston has SO many) to learn more about this charming city. We started with a tour at the historic Nathaniel Russell house dating back to the early 1800s. This restored house is absolutely stunning from the amazing spiral staircase in the middle of the home to the formal gardens surrounding the property. I could really feel the history walking around & imagined what it would have been like to live in the 1800s. We toured a pink circular room, where the ladies of the house and their guest would sit & sip tea (& I imagine gossip a lot). This room was made for me & I’m ready to replicate it whenever I buy a house. Seriously SO charming.
Next we hit the Old Slave Mart Museum learning about the dark history behind this beautiful city. Charleston is gorgeous & stunning, but it’s important to understand & remember what happened in this city. It’s so important to remember. After that, we took a boat ride out to For Sumter…regarded as the site where the civil war began. If you think we learned a lot about this city & it’s history…you are SO right. This was just one more fun stop on our history tour through Charleston.
We decided to skip the Uber ride home & walked instead to take in even more of this beautiful city. More & more reasons why I want to move there…TJ better be careful, I might book a one-way flight to Charleston soon. After resting up, we got ready for dinner at SNOB or Slightly North of Broad. I heard they have the best shrimp & grits, so of course I had to try! It was such a romantic atmosphere & evening, one of my favorites in Charleston. One thing I loved about Charleston is the hospitality, everyone is so friendly & helpful! I really felt like I got the best experience possible because of all the wonderful people we met along the way.
After dinner we stopped by Proof for cocktails & a live band. It was so much fun to get out of the cold & listen to the eclectic band in a quaint & cozy bar. Such a fun & lively atmosphere, I could have sat there all night. the Hemingway Daiquiri & the Pink Rabbit were recommended to me for drinks & OMG they were so delish!
There were so many other bars that I had on my list to go to! Sadly, we weren’t able to go to all of them & try their amazing drinks. Always a reason & excuse to go back! These were the ones we missed out on:
Cocktail Club-Known for their Double Standard
Closed for Business-one of the most well known bars in Charleston
Warehouse-order the Hometown Fizz
Rarebit-Best Moscow Mule around (or so I read)
492-Order the Disco Sour
Thanks SO much for reading Part 1 of my Charleston adventure. Part 2 will include my final day in Charleston & my favorite meal where we had a really awesome celeb sighting. I’ll also be talking about our day trip to Savannah & our two days in Charlotte.
Hope you enjoyed reading. Have you been to Charleston?! If so, tell me your recommendations! Like I said, I already want to go back & any reason is a good reason!
There is nothing better than a quick, spontaneous trip in my opinion! A few weeks ago I decided to book a plane ticket and fly to Oregon to visit my family. I’m literally never this spontaneous. I normally plan everything out so far in advance so this was super new and exciting for me (and it was the first time I have ever flown alone!) I’m so excited to be writing this Oregon recap because Oregon has a very special place in my heart.
My grandparents live in a beautiful little city called West Linn about 13 miles outside of Portland. Growing up, I visited almost every summer but as I got older and my summers got busier, I visited less and less. Last year, I talked about my trip in a post here, celebrating my grandparent’s 50th wedding anniversary. It was such a magical night in the middle of the woods on this gorgeous piece of land. I knew I had to visit again soon! And now I want to keep going back all the time!
This visit, I knew I wanted to do things in Oregon I’ve never done. I didn’t do much research since it was a last minute trip and I thought I’ll kind of go with the flow and see what my family wants to do. The first day of my trip we went wine tasting. I’ve never been wine tasting before (SO SAD…I know!) and I heard the Willamette Valley was the perfect place in Oregon to go. They are known for their Pinot Noir wines and although I don’t often drink reds, I bought 3 bottles because of how good all the wines were. The views were stunning and the day was perfect. I am now officially a wine tasting lover and I can’t wait to go again! I mean, sitting around in beautiful vineyards, sipping some vino all day. There is no better life than that!
The next day we decided to drive to the Oregon coast. I’ve been there before when I was younger but I have the WORST memory like ever so I was excited to experience it again. There is nothing like the Oregon coast. Growing up with SoCal beaches, I think every beach is like that. But Oregon beaches are surrounded with beautiful trees and gorgeous rock formations and hills. I could’ve sat all day and listened to the waves crash (possibly with a glass of wine in my hand?! Of course!). The best part about the beach…the CUTEST little beach town ever. Cannon Beach. It was everything you can imagine in a beach town. Cute shops, cute restaurants, cute street. Just all around CUTE. We had the most amazing brunch at this little restaurant that looked and felt like we were eating in someone’s house, called Lazy Susan! I loved it! Afterwards, we strolled the shops where I found the most gorgeous vintage vase in an antique shop. I’m not one for souvenirs when I travel, but this piece will remind me of Oregon every time I look at it. That’s my kind of memory!
The final day of my trip my Grandma and I had a girls day in Portland, shopping down the cutest little street: NW 23rd Avenue. I’ve been shopping on many different streets including my favorite retro row: Hawthorne. But this is by far my favorite. It’s a little tree lined street with unique boutiques and consignment shops. All the little boutiques are in houses and I thought that was just adorable! I spent a little too much I must admit, but I couldn’t pass up the rare finds! I love shopping when I travel, especially at local boutiques, because I think there is something so special about finding unique pieces only available in that area. I cherish these pieces even more and will always remember where I bought them.
It was a short and quick trip and although we didn’t do the typical Oregon things, I had an amazing time! It was one of my favorite trips to Oregon ever and I can’t wait to go back already.
Thanks so much for reading & following along my Oregon adventure! Anyone going on a trip anytime soon?! I’d love to hear details!
Hola & Happy Friday! I’m SUPER excited because tomorrow morning I will be boarding a flight for Cabo San Lucas! My family has had this trip in mind since last year when I graduated so I literally thought June 2016 was never going to come and it’s finally here! I haven’t been to Cabo since I was in high school so I’m excited to see it as an adult and do adult things Bring on the relaxation and drinks and tacos. I’m ready for you Cabo.
I’ll be staying for a full 9 days so I need a lot, right?! I’m totally trying to justify my packing since I’ve been preparing so much the last couple of months by doing what I do best…shopping! I’ve bought so much, probably a little too much and I’m honestly afraid to weigh by suitcase. Oh well #YOLO!
I’d love if you follow along with me on my trip by following me on Instagram: @chicserendipityblog & on SnapChat: loveeesamantha! Get a sneak peak of what’s in my (extra large) suitcase below.
Thanks so much for reading & I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
So I know I said I was all done with my Palm Springs pictures…but you guys insisted you wanted more! If you ask, you shall receive! I linked everything I wore in my outfit posts and on Like to Know It, but I thought I would make it easier for you and put all my outfit details in one place in case you wanted to check anything out! I swear this is my last PS post.
Such a bittersweet moment to share my last post from my most recent Palm Springs weekend getaway. I’m happy to finally give you a full recap of my trip but I’m sad because it has been so much fun sharing pictures from Palm Springs with you! There will be many more Palm Springs trips to write about I’m sure!
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know how in love I am with Palm Springs. I even want to have my wedding in PS someday! I have visited the area multiple times a year since I was a little girl. It will always be one my favorite places to travel and it’s only 1 1/2 hours away from me so why not!?
This trip, I visited the area for my 3rd Stagecoach Country Music Festival. If you’re wondering what Stagecoach is, check out my post here for more information! I had the time of my life with some of my closest friends singing along to all my favorite country songs in the beautiful Coachella desert. It was a weekend I will never forget…and I’m already so excited for next year!
I’ve always wanted to stay at the iconic and vibrant Saguaro hotel and I’m so glad I did. For anyone planning a trip, I highly recommend this hotel. It is so fun and exciting! Every door is painted in a different, bright color (ours was orange). Most of the rooms have balconies that overlook the pool so it’s always a constant party! They have a nice pool which is necessary for any trip to PS! They served fruity drinks in the cutest watermelon cups with a swirly straw. They also had pool floaties and a DJ…this place was made for me. All my blogger gals, you’ll love all the photo ops! Bring your camera and Instagram Hubbie for sure!
While most of our time was spent at the festival, I did have the chance to visit some of my favorite restaurants in the area and I got to try some new ones as well!
Friday for brunch we went to my FAV diner in the area, Elmers. I am obssesed with this place. They have German Pancakes bigger than your head and I swear it is the best thing I’ve had like ever. I always stop by this diner when I’m in the area. It serves great, classic breakfast foods and don’t forget to order a pitcher of Mimosas to get the day started.
Saturday we ordered lunch by the pool from the restaurant at The Saguaro called El Jefe. I didn’t get the chance to get at the actual restaurant, but I heard it has great ambience and an amazing Tequila selection. I of course ordered a heaping plate of nachos (so good!) and a frozen margarita. Doesn’t that sound like heaven by the pool?!
Sunday we finished the weekend off by stopping at Louise’s Pantry in Palm Desert. They have multiple restaurants in the area but this is such a great place if you want homestyle breakfast and lunch. Get there early because it’s only open until 2!
Not a food place but we also had time for a quick photo opp at the iconic pink door.This door is Instagram famous. This is a MUST if you are in Palm Springs. If you go to PS and don’t take a picture here, it’s like you didn’t even go! That Pink Door can be found at 1100 Sierra Way.
I also wanted to share a few of my favorite places I visit when I have more time in Palm Springs:
The Parker. Iconic and a wonderland in paradise. Enough said. Eat at Norma’s for brunch and sip Lemonade for an afternoon snack (get yours spiked!)
Fun fact Wednesday! I am a country girl…well maybe not (I was born in SoCal after all). But I do LOVE country music. Give me some Sam Hunt, throw in some Band Perry and we will be rocking all night. One thing I look forward to every year is Stagecoach, this will be my 3rd year. Stagecoach is like Coachella but for American loving, country singing, line-dancing folks…like me! Every year I load up my car with cowboy hats and boots and I head out to Indio for a 3 day music festival. This year I am especially excited because I am staying at the eccentric The Saguaro Palm Springs. I know you have seen the Instagram pictures of the cute, colorful doors all around the pool filled with swan floats. I’m obssesed and I’ve always wanted to stay here. It’s hard to say if I’m more excited for the festival or to take cute pictures around the hotel. I don’t know…it’s probably a tie.
Although I already have all my outfits picked out and packed (which is a huge deal that I’m already packed…normally I’m a last minute packer!), I wanted to share my favorite outfit choices that I would wear to Stagecoach. Most people wear some version of daisy dukes, cowboy boots, and an American-flag themed crop top. I like to switch it up a little throwing in a cute OTS fringe top or pairing my cowboy boots with an embroidered dress like this super cute Free People one. A graphic tee is a must and I can’t believe I didn’t order this one from Nordstrom for this weekend! And of course, you can’t go to a music festival without something fringey like this fanny pack for only $24 or some kind of mirrored sunnies.
Even if you aren’t headed to a country music festival anytime soon, I think you could take any of my picks and style it in your everyday wardrobe. How cute would these cowboy boots be with a flowy summer dress?! Or pair this bandana with an OTS top for a sexy look.
Stay in on all the fun this weekend by following my Instagram and Snapchat: loveeesamantha! Thanks so much for reading!
Can you believe it’s already festival season?! I love that festival season is an actual thing and an actual thing to get excited about. Although I’ve never been to Coachella (the festival of all festivals), I’m a festival girl at heart. I love seeing all the trends from the weekends in the desert and it definitely has a huge influence on my summer style. Being only 1 1/2 from Palm Springs, I travel there all the time and if I can’t rock the trends at the actual festival, I sure do rock the trends in the place that started it all.
Even though Coachella is on my bucket list, I do attend Stagecoach every year in Indio (same place as Coachella). If you don’t know what Stagecoach is, think country meets Coachella. Three days in the desert wearing daisy dukes, cowboy boots, and listening to my favorite Country stars. I’ll do a full packing list for this trip very soon!
But it’s all about the true festival season trends for this post. Whether you’re a boho babe, a groovy gal, a rebel rocker, a haute hippie, a flower child, or a basic babe there is something for you during festival season. These are just a few of my favorite picks but the options are endless! I’ll be showing you some of my favorite festival outfits even if I won’t be at Coachella (a girl can dream though right? #nochella)
I am obssesed with all things tasseled for festival season. This fanny pack is super cute and is perfect to store all your essentials and don’t even get me started with these sandals…I NEED them. I’m also all for anything embroidered. This trend isn’t like your granny’s pillows…it is cute and fab and screams festival. These boots are gorgeous and this skirt…I mean how cute right?! Shop the rest of my favorites below!
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I spent my days and nights wandering beautiful Palm Desert. Anyone who knows me can answer one simple question about me…where is my favorite getaway? Palm Desert of course! I love everything about the desert, from the cute boutiques, to the stunning hotels, to the most delicious food, and the amazing views that come along with it. I go every chance I get because it is only a quick hour and a half trip from LA and each time I go, I find even more reasons to fall in love. Last time I went, I discovered the famous #thatpinkdoor…so quirky and cute! Check out my previous post on that here. (Real quick side note…I made my family drive by the pink door and a couple of doors down there was a super perfect Palm Springs house for sale! It was stunning and had that desert charm one looks for when visiting Palm Springs. I almost convinced my family to go to the open house, but sadly no dice. My dreams of owning a vacation house in the desert will come true…one day!)
On the last day of my visit to Palm Desert (and much to my sadness), I wore this beautiful cardigan! It’s so weird dressing in scarves, cardigans, and booties in the desert because I am so used to it being in the 100s constantly. It was different, but kind of fun at the same time. I snagged this tribal cardigan from The Sophisticate Boutique at a great price! This affordable, trendy online boutique has the best clothes! I love that Nikki, the owner, followed her dreams of owning a boutique with affordable prices and pieces that are super stylist and trendy. I absolutely love shopping and supporting boutiques because there is always an interesting story that goes along with them. And there is something so unique about the clothes boutiques sell…always one of a kind.
For a casual Sunday in fall, I love throwing on cardigans with simple tees (like the ribbed turtle neck I am wearing here). It is super easy to grab a pair of ripped jeans and booties to pair with a sweater while still looking 100% stylish…for sure! Throw on a blanket scarf and you are so chic in my book!
Shop my cardigan here (and many other fab finds here) and enter CHIC10 for 10% off your entire purchase! Hurry…this code only lasts from 12/2-12/9!
Thanks so much for reading!! Have a great Wednesday (the weekend is in sight!!)
Happy Fall! It may be officially fall, but SoCal is no where near experiencing true fall. It’s still in the 90s and there is no end in sight! I can’t say I’m complaining…I will take the heat and sun any day (that’s probably why I’ve never lived anywhere but California)! However it is totes sad when I want to wear all my cute fall clothes but end up sweating ridiculously. Not cute.