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Aruba: One Happy Island

I spent 5 days relaxing in Aruba. In those 5 days, I ate, laughed, and soaked in the ocean until I became wrinkly. We stayed at an Airbnb in the Tuscany Residence subdivision, it was a pretty central location with a 10-minute walk to the Marriot and about a 10-minute drive to Palm Beach. 

We didn't see the Flamingos because the Renaissance and De Palm Island were booked. I highly recommend booking these places early if you're attempting to get a day pass and/or a private cabana. Flamingos were a bust but we enjoyed a relatively quiet Baby Beach as a consolation prize. Baby Beach is a perfect spot for chilling at the beach. The water in this lagoon is shallow and calm making it a nice spot to bring little ones.

Everyone knows I am a food snob, so you know I got my fine dining on. We did the Chef's table at Senses and it didn't disappoint. It was so much fun getting to watch Chef Kelt Hugo Maat do his thing. We had 8 courses that married the chef's Dutch and Indonesian background perfectly.  

Overall I really enjoyed Aruba and will be back because it was 1 a quick trip from DC and 2 I didn't get to see a ton of the island due to not renting a car. I can't wait to go back. 

Eclipse Season

The solar eclipse was magical! I felt such a renewed energy that I had been missing for a long time. Architectural Digest suggests that "[the eclipse] symbolizes a time of darkness and spiritual renewal, offering an opportunity for introspection and the shedding of old energies." I couldn't agree more. It feels good to shed past versions of myself to unveil a new me who is unbelievably confident and sure of myself. I am so incredibly blessed, happy, and at peace.

Years ago I couldn't picture myself where I am now and am truly living out an actualized goal. I have traveled around the world (with some dope vacations planned this year) and have the best friends/family on the planet. I've seen many good omens lately that reaffirm that the Universe is looking out for me. Life has been good and I am so incredibly grateful! 

What should be a stressful period in my life has turned out to be the opposite. I spent some money and literally the next day received twice the amount back. Strangers have been telling me that I have a beautiful spirit. I finally did a 3-turn during my ice skating lessons (Ive been trying for a year!!). It is kind of wild honestly but it just goes to show you to listen to your gut/universe when they're trying to warn you/protect you and you will be rewarded. 

Happy growing 

xo - M

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!