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Mel's Life: #Colombia Pt. 1

I went to Colombia for my friends' 18th wedding and had a blast. We spent 8 days on a whirlwind tour of  Bogota, Armenia/Barcelona, and Cartagena.

Our first stop on our trip was Bogota. We only had a solid day here but we definitely made the most of it. We started our morning with a trip to the market to eat all the fruit. We enjoyed fruit native to Colombia as well as old favorites like Bananas and Strawberries.  My mouth is watering just thinking about all of the goodies we sampled. Everything was so fresh and juicy, I could totally eat like that every morning (vacation Melanie is into health). 

After eating my weight in fruit and a cafe con leche, it was time to explore Bogota. We decided to check out the Gold Museum. I love checking out museums when I am travelling because it is a great way to learn more about the history of whatever destination I am in. I was floored by the intricate detail that was put into the pieces. Some jewelry designs looked like something you would see today but were created before baby Jesus was born. 

After spending two hours looking a hundred year old jewelry/ornaments naturally we wanted our own jewels. We headed to the Emerald market. I learned that Colombian emeralds make up 70-90% of the world's emerald market. I also learned that I have expensive taste. Literally every piece I was drawn to cost the average price of a one bedroom apartment in DC. I eventually settled on one carat studs that were simple and chic. 

Our next stop was lunch were we had a traditional Colombian meal and rested our legs before heading to Monserrate. We took the cable car up to the top of the mountain and were treated with breath taking views. Literally breathtaking...the altitude was no joke, especially for an out of shape 32 year old. We walked around the chapel and surrounding shops. I recommend the coca tea, its probably a placebo effect but I immediately felt like I could breath again after drinking the tea. 

Overall Bogota was a lot of fun even thought the altitude whooped my ass on occasion. In the next post I will talk about my stay in Barcelona.

Tulum: Sun, Salt, & Seaweed

I spent 5 days stuffing myself full of tacos and sunbathing in Tulum....it was magic! We stayed at a gorgeous Airbnb in town. Honestly, I could've stayed in that house for the rest of my life. The house had everything that I needed to survive, a Nespresso, pool, Netflix, and kickass interior design.

What I love about Tulum is the laid back bohemian vibe. Whether you want to be a party animal,  simply unwind, or get your holistic health on...you can find it in Tulum. This is something that I truly appreciated because at 32 I have low tolerance for partying nowadays. 

We spent our days exploring the ancient Mayan ruins, swimming in crystal clear Cenotes, and trying to find a beach with at least 10% less seaweed than Coco Tulum's situation. Currently, the beaches are overrun with seaweed, making it nearly impossible to enjoy the gorgeous beaches in the area. Luckily, Tulum has so much more to offer than the beach and our Airbnb had a private pool. 

If you are visiting Tulum you have to have to check out Gitano. One of my favorite highlights from our trip was dining and listening to live music al fresco in the Jungle there. Seriously this place serves vacation vibes on a thousand. Another one of my favorite dining experiences was at Burrito Amor. I seriously still think about my burrito experience there...like even right now I could go for a burrito. We also hired a private chef who cooked us a traditional Mexican dinner. He made a coconut ceviche, to accommodate my seafood allergy, that was out of this world. 

All in all Tulum was a lot of fun and I would totally go back.

Mel's Life: Greece

I spent a little over a week in Greece and it was pretty amazing. I'm tired af but it was totally worth it.  Every corner I turned I was met with a little surprise, whether it was a cafe, chic restaurant, or a piece of ancient history it was always exciting to see. Everyone we encountered were so hospitable and kind. We had many local adventures with folks who swept us off our feet and took us on a tour of Greek night life.  (Sooo many shots...maybe too many)

As with every place I go, I definitely want to venture back to Greece. There was so much I did not get to see especially as a nerdy history buff.

I probably should've wrote this when I fully recovered from jet lag but here we are...

Enjoy the pics! 

Mel's Life: #Italy

Last month, I took an epic eight day trip to Italy. After traveling to Australia, the eight hours from New York to Rome was a piece of cake. We spent our first couple of days in a spacious Airbnb in Vatican City. I cannot even lie about how geeked I was to throw open the shutters to our Airbnb and look out on to the bustling streets below. I absolutely adored the charm of the world's smallest country. Each morning, I woke up early to walk the cobblestone streets on the hunt for a cappuccino and soak in the city's vibe.

Coincidentally my friend was in town the same time as I and we grabbed a drink at a quaint little bar that served up some killer cocktails and roamed (haha) around the city until 3 am. I am not sure how I managed to avoid a ridiculous hangover the next day but I am pretty sure it was due to the excitement of being in Italy. On our last night before we left for Amalfi we went to Life Ristorante and had a killer meal. I was literally dancing in my seat the entire time I was eating. This was probably THE best meal I had the entire trip and trust I ate a lot of good food.

We took the train to Amalfi after a couple of days in Rome. It was a scenic route to Salerno and I enjoyed looking at lush green landscape as we zipped by on the fast train. In Amalfi we stayed at awesome rental property that was perched on what felt like Mount Kilimanjaro. Imagine five girls struggling with overstuffed suitcases climbing what seemed to be the staircase to heaven celebrating reaching the top only to get to the gate of our villa to discover there were more stairs (OMG). However, the view from the top made it all worth it.

Our first day in Amalfi we took a tour of one of the many Lemon gardens. It was pretty cool to see and hear about the famous lemons of the Amalfi Coast and of course taste the Limoncello. For lunch we dined on the pizza we all deserved and have been waiting on for all of our lives. Seriously...it was amazing!

The next day we took a day cruise up the coast to Capri. This was hands down my favorite activity of the trip. Nothing makes me happier than being on a boat sipping on something sparkling. The views were unreal and the crew on our boat kept the bubbles flowing freely (a little too freely lol). We stopped at the Emerald Grotto before heading into Capri.

I ended up losing my Amex because... I am me but luckily it was near the end of our trip. The next day we headed back to Rome for one last hurrah. We went to the Colosseum which was a 10 minute walk from our Airbnb. Then we spent the remainder of the day touring the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel.

Overall I enjoyed my time in Rome and Amalfi. I will definitely be back. This was one of the most relaxing vacations that I have been on.

Yum: #SipandSnack with SkinnyPop

Summer is winding down but that does not mean that we can't still treat ourselves. I tend to gravitate to lightweight snacks during the summer months. There is nothing worse than being hit with after meal fatigue in 90 degree weather (ugh)! However, I do LOVE a summer cocktail. SkinnyPop has created a great popped and paired tasting menu, that pairs five delicious popcorn flavors with a refreshing summer cocktail. My personal summer go to has been the Moscow Mule paired with the SkinnyPop's original popcorn. It is the perfect snack for flipping through magazines on my balcony in the evenings.