I think everyone could agree that this winter in Australia has been WAY more brutal than normal and it got me thinking about planning another holiday back to where we had our honeymoon last year.
We went to Thailand and 5 days of our trip was spent at the exclusive Zeavola Resort on Phi Phi Island (weird name, cool place). Just an hour long private boat ride from Phuket (or longer on a public ferry … yuck) sits Koh Phi Phi (Phi Phi Island) which has provided a phenomenalllll backdrop for movies like ‘James Bond, The Man With The Golden Gun’, ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary: The Edge of Reason’ and most famously, ‘The Beach’ (young Leonardo DiCaprio).
There’s only around 15 suites in this private resort, they’re all different and equally as stunning. It’s very, very, VERY relaxing providing you don’t mind laying on the beach or by the pool and drinking cocktails ALL DAY …. Duh. We stayed in one of two private pool villa suites that was like a multi level tree-house with its own pool, indoor AND outdoor shower (sexy), a canopy bed that room service decorate with floral arrangements, an all glass bedroom wall to watch the sunrise over the ocean, a pool house, insane jungle/ocean views… Like, do I need to go on?
I’ll stop, because pictures tell it a lot better than words do… But just know Zeavola doesn’t spare a cent on making your experience a memorable, Instagram worthy one. The entire resort is open air – like check-in counter metres from the ocean, incredible on-site chef at the hotel’s private restaurants, the most unique breakfast buffet I’ve ever seen, and the most personal little touches in your room every night (room service ACTUALLY leaves you little presents!!)
Zeavola is a dream!!! Actual perfection.
*All photos are mine, taken by me or my husband*
We left Nashville and begun our drive down to New Orleans. This journey involved passage through two other states, Alabama and Mississippi, both of which saw me take a total of ZERO photos!
“Nothing to see here, folks!” I was just so excited to get to New Orleans.
So, what can you really say about New Orleans? Well, one thing I can say is there is a solid 18 hours I can’t account for… Too
drunk or hungover tired from all the driving…
New Orleans is a crazy city. It has a creepy vibe. It’s FULL of freaks. You can be drunk at 9am and nobody cares. It’s great! Well, it’s weird… It rains a lot, it smells a
little lot, the food has strange ingredients but tastes great, it looks like Europe, but it’s full of Americans and it’s hot and HUMID (take A LOT of hairspray) … But it’s still great!
Everyone knows about New Orleans, so there’s not much point saying,
“Go to Bourbon Street”
or, “Eat gumbo, po’ boys and jambalaya”
…because, why wouldn’t you?
I can tell you The Hotel Monteleone on Royal Street is luxxx. I felt like I was in Italy and they offer an A M A Z I N G discount for US Military.
I can tell you if you’re a fan of the movie ‘Double Jeopardy’ (Ashley Judd kicking her cheating husband’s arse) then you will recognise the cemetery from the scene where he locks her in the coffin, and you will have a momentary fan-girl freak out like I did.
I can tell you that The Ruby Slipper Cafe has the best breakfast that may or may not cure a hangover AND Napoleon House has the best lunches and dinners. I would go back to New Orleans just to eat at these two places. Without a second thought.
I can tell you that The Cats Meow is the bossest bar on Bourbon Street that gets WILD. Wild like I saw a midget sing Karaoke there! – and the Hurricane Cocktail is deadly.
And finally, I can tell you that if you love country music and potent shots that you take from between the bar-girl’s HUGE boobs, then go to The Bourbon Cowboy!!!!!
New Orleans gave me the strangest 52 hours of my life… I saw a grown man in fishnets and leather underwear walking down the street wearing a ball-gag at 2pm… but, I will be back.
PS. Beignets at the Cafe Du Monde are everything. EVERYTHING!
Photo Credits to my Husband @DanRStill72
Nashville, Tennessee surprised me more than any other city on our road trip. Obviously, I love the south – the BIG hair and the
cowboys food… but Nashville was just such a cool unique place, even for people who don’t like country music and drinking (Crazy people – because country music is awesome!). Nashville was visually beautiful and delightfully southern. The food is great, the hotels are excellent, the people are lovely and bars are awesome. Every. Single. Bar has a band playing every single night (even on schools nights) it is overwhelmingly intoxicating and a lot to take in. It was Vegas away from Vegas, just a little more hick-ish.
All of everything worth seeing is located in what is known as ‘The District’ and we really didn’t leave the area. From bars, to restaurants, to about 30 stores selling cowboy boots – everything a good tourist needs is right there. Puckett’s is the place for breakfast (INCREDIBLE sweet potato pancakes) and Savannah Candy Kitchen (the craziest candy/caramel/toffee apples) is the most amazing candy store I’ve ever seen.
Franklin, Tennessee is about 45 minutes away and also absolutely stunning. I wish I had known more about it sooner, because when we arrived one afternoon, I quickly realised Bret Michaels, love of my life, was playing at the theatre there THAT NIGHT but it had already sold out. I was gutted. Devastated. Broken. Nonetheless, Franklin was beautiful.
I’d always heard mixed things about Nashville, but I think if you’re a human being with a heartbeat, there is no possible way you wouldn’t like it.
Where? Nashville, Tennessee
Stay? The Indigo (great US Military discounts offered)
Eat? Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant
Drink? The Tequila Cowboy
Candy? Savannah Candy Kitchen
We spent Halloween night at Eat The Street’s Día De Los Muertos party.
Eat The Street is Hawaii’s largest street food rally and they hold an event in Honolulu on the last Friday of every month with music, art, entertainment and a BUNCH of different food trucks (which are all amazing!). There’s BBQ, Yaya Thai, Mexican, Uncle’s North Shore Ice-Cream Sandwiches (which are INCREDIBLE), cupcakes, donuts, macaroons, crepes, the legendary Wow Wow Lemonade, a fully stocked bar area and there’s new stuff popping up every single time we go.
If you live in Hawaii, Eat The Street is a monthly necessity (in my opinion) – I feel a total sense emptiness if we miss a month. The best thing about it is entry is totally FREE and the food is very reasonably priced. There’s absolutely no commitment to buy – so you can just go and listen to the music or browse the art if the food doesn’t interest you – which is absurd, but the option is there.
For the month of November, Eat The Street is having a focus on bacon!!! – and there will be a competition for the best bacon dish as well as all the usual food trucks – I’M ALREADY EXCITED!!!
What? Eat The Street
Where? 555 South Street, Honolulu.
When? The last Friday of every month
How Much? Free as a bird!
I’ve travelled a lot in 24 years – all over the world, actually! But, since a very young age the legend of Route 66 has intrigued and fascinated me. I love desert landscapes, I love kitsch, I love diner food and I love Americana, so I knew one day I would make a point of driving The Mother Road.
In early August, my husband and I decided we wanted to take a second honeymoon in September since we only had a short 8 days right after our wedding back in March. We decided on an American road trip which we dubbed, ‘Ariana and Dan’s Road Trip of Love’ (corny, we know!). We really only had a couple of weeks to plan flights to the mainland, a rental car (which was crazy expensive) and a timeline of where we were going to stop and for how long.
Well, we didn’t end up planning anything. We just knew we wanted to see parts of Tennessee, New Orleans, Texas and then pick up Route 66 in Oklahoma and drive to California stopping wherever we wanted. We didn’t book any accommodation, we didn’t even look at hotels or prices, we just booked our flights and car a week beforehand and off we went. It was probably the most spontaneous thing I’ve ever done (that didn’t involve alcohol).
We decided to start Ariana & Dan’s Road Trip of Love in Memphis, Tennessee and I’m so glad that we did. After a scandalous amount of time getting emotionally, physically and spiritually screwed over by American Airlines (which I can’t even talk about because I’m scared my head will actually blow off) we finally made it to the land of the Delta Blues, which is still one of my favourite places that we visited. Memphis isn’t a raging metropolis, just a really quaint and nostalgic place.
To my absolute delight, we arrived on the final night of the Tennessee Delta Fair! (I actually squealed when I saw the sign for it). It was the best fair/carnival I have ever been to – EVEN better than the Perth Royal Show (I’m a traitor, I know). The food was amazing and it was the biggest fair I’ve ever seen. We also spent the evening on Beale Street and went to Graceland. Graceland is where you pay lot of money to touch things that Elvis used to touch (yes, I loved it) but it’s so cheesy and shiny that you feel ok about doing it. Other than the fact the entire tour is electronic and run off iPads, and they let way too many people in at once it is pretty cool.
If you’re ever visiting Tennessee:
- DO NOT skip Memphis just because it isn’t as big as Nashville
- MUST have a cocktail at BB King’s (I recommend a ‘Love on the Delta’).
- The Blue Plate Café has the best peanut butter pancakes (and breakfasts in general).
- ALWAYS time your trip to when the Delta Fair is on because that funnel cake will remain in your heart for the rest of your life!
Where: Memphis, Tennessee
What: Delta Fair, Beale Street & Graceland.
When: 7th – 8th September 2014
Drinks: Anywhere on Beale Street (be a tourist, it’s fun)
Food: Blue Plate Café (get the pancakes)
Photos are below…..
Coming from Australia, Halloween meant/means absolutely nothing to me. My mum and dad would never have let me go to stranger’s houses and accept food from them, nor would they have let me roam the streets at night dressed in a costume (though photos from my clubbing days may reflect otherwise).
In America, Halloween is OFF. THE. CHAIN! It comes with the autumn season, which means cooler weather (ew!) Starbucks (EW!!!), the list goes on. Americans seem to love the ‘fall’ time and they LOVE Halloween. I’m seriously shocked at the way people in our neighbourhood have been decking out their homes since mid-SEPTEMBER! The money and the time they’re spending decorating is crazy (well to me it is). While Hawaii may be the 50th State, there is definitely no sign of autumn weather, but that has not stopped folks from getting in the Halloween spirit, and you know what? I’m not here to judge, so I’m gettin’ on board!
When I saw signs for a Halloween Pumpkin Patch Festival, I was skeptical, but upon hearing from my husband that there would be food-trucks there, I was OBVIOUSLY keen to go. Food could lead me anywhere… Even to a dusty field in Hawaii where pumpkins allegedly grow.
I have to say, my first Pumpkin Patch Festival was very nice. Americans definitely know what good food-trucks are all about; GREASE. BUTTER. SALT. DEEP FRYING! We didn’t buy a pumpkin, because the thought of putting a raw carved pumpkin on our front doorstep in minimum 30-degree heat and 90% humidity (day and night) and it slowly rotting just does not appeal to me – but the food did appeal to me, and it was great! The only downside, WAY too many kids… It probably had something to do with all the carnival rides, petting zoo, candy, ice-creams, and ponies.
If you live in Hawaii, go! Get the potato on a stick… Actually, get two!
What: Halloween Pumpkin Patch Festival
Where: Aloun Farms, Kapolei
When: Every Weekend in October
How Much? $3.00