joanie and i just returned from an amazing weekend in the napa wine country. it was my first time ever being there and i can’t wait to go back. there is SO much to see and do. it feels like we barely scratched the surface. all of the food and wine we had was amazing and everything was so green and lush because of all of the recent rain. we stayed at the auberge du soleil and it couldn’t have been more relaxing. it’s perfectly located between saint helena and yountville which was crucial as we didn’t have much time and wanted to cover a lot of ground.
the service was amazing and we had dinner at their michelin-star restaurant and it was honestly one of the best meals i’ve ever had. the views are beautiful and the whole atmosphere at the resort is relaxing, neutral colors, fire place in our room, huge bathtub, and tons of fun amenities like free mini bar snacks!
get ready for one of those loooooong full of details travel posts i love putting together! this time we have stockholm to explore, what we ate, where we shopped, and drank, and the sights we saw. visit stockholm and Scandanavian airlines have put together an amazing contest to WIN A TRIP FOR TWO to stockholm and basically do exactly what we did. stay at the same hotel, get cool travel tips, free flights…you gotta enter! read how to enter right here.
getting to stockholm is a trek from LA, but Scandanavian airlines now has a non-stop flight that cuts 5 hours out of your travel day. that was a TREAT. we flew economy plus and i was able to stretch out and sleep almost the whole flight which was ideal. they also have a great lounge in stockholm if you are chronically early for flights like me and have some time to kill.
when we arrived we checked into the haymarket by scandic hotel and WOW WOW WOW. so many beautiful art deco details everywhere. it felt like i had walked into the grand budapest hotel from the wes anderson movie. just so much thought went into all of the design.
we loved the bar, loved the breakfast buffet, loved the pink restaurant greta’s. really, it was all amazing. the location is in more of an expensive, shopping area…but if that’s not your thing uber and the subway is easily available. and the city is pretty walkable too!
greta’s, you were SPECIAL.
gamla stan is stockholm’s old town. pretty touristy, but also has picturesque streets and is worth checking out. the hairy pig deli was a great non-touristy feeling bar there.
i liked walking around in södermalm and vasastan neighborhoods the most. vasastan feels more residential but is calm and adorable. södermalm is more hip and lively with creative energy. shops on every corner. it sort of feels like williamsburg in NY or silver lake in LA.
actually one of my favorite things on the trip was exploring the amazing subway art and finding the cool stations! just look…
the subway stations pictured above: Kungsträdgården, Stadion, Mörby Centrum, and T-Centralen, Brunkebergstunneln.
the sun goes down very early in the winter (around 3pm!) so one evening we headed to moderna museet to wander around looking at art. loved seeing matisse and discovering a new artist i fell in love with, moki cherry and her incredible banners. such gorgeous colors!
we also went to the fotografiska, the photography museum, and loved it! definitely a must see.
here are a few of my favorite FOOD spots…
• greasy spoon was our first breakfast there. a good lookin diner with a killer eggs benedict. and love that neon egg!
• vina, a cozy little spot, perfect for a date. and my all time favorite soup from the trip!
• babette, we had amazing wine and LOVED our white pizza!
• vete katten, the bakery right by our hotel. pretty pastries, a great place to have tea with a friend.
• woodstockholm, the restaurant was super cute. intimate. experimental food. they were projecting a video of julia child on the wall. i honestly didn’t love my meal, but the wine was right up my alley.
• my favorite lunch spot was barobao. a delicious vietnamese meal with a great interior!
• fabrique is another bakery with lots of eye candy! love this hip street in södermalm (there are many fabrique in stockholm, this one is located on a street called Götgatan).
• nytorget 6. we met a few friends there for lunch and got the burger. YUM!
• meatballs for the people we stumbled in here, quite jetlagged on our first night and had meatballs on top of mashed potatoes and were quite happy about it. plus the rustic wooden tables with classic scandanavian touches.
• the hairy pig deli in gamla stan (the old town). we ducked in here one cold and windy day for a drink and a hot cheese sandwich. this spot is beyond charming.
• bar hommage. loved this spot! and DEFinitely get the cauliflower in the brown butter. it was out of this world.
• indigo was a fun trendy spot in södermalm. more of a younger crowd, but fun!
the hotel bar at haymarket is actually reallllly good. we got the famous “far far away” drink that was served in a unique way.
our last day we met up with hanna and visit stockholm and explored and ate the whole day. then we celebrated my birthday until lateeeee. we only got about two hours of sleep, but it was worth it. such a fun trip with so many memories!!
don’t forget to enter for a chance to win your own trip to stockholm! it’s a BIG GIVEAWAY we’re hosting with Scandinavian Airlines, Visit Stockholm and Visit Sweden with a prize including 2 round trip airline tickets from LAX to stockholm, a 4 night hotel stay in the amaaazzinggg haymarket hotel! you have to enter, stockholm is so amazing!! (full terms and conditions of the “Stockholm Like a Local Contest” found here). as part of the prize, the winner will also receive two Stockholm kits containing: Jacket from Stutterheim Raincoats (obsessed with their coats!), head phones from Urban Ears, Spotify gift card, wristwatch from TID watches and a hat and a scarf from Filippa K. And, a personal Stockholm guide written by Hanna Stefansson.
i’m headed to stockholm, sweden on monday with denise and i’m VERY excited. i visited about 3 years ago for blogshop (here) and it was one of my favorite places i’ve been. i was teaching then and didn’t have a ton of time to explore, so i’m thrilled to be able to dive deeper into the culture in sweden. i’m working with scandanavian airlines who now has a non-stop flight from LAX to stockholm. we are staying at the hotel haymarket by Scandic, which looks full of style and amazing design details…i’m sure inspiration will be everywhere judging by the photos.
ALSO!! there’s a BIG GIVEAWAY we’re hosting with Scandinavian Airlines, Visit Stockholm and Visit Sweden with a prize including 2 round trip airline tickets from LAX to stockholm, a 4 night hotel stay in the haymarket hotel…basically you win the trip we are going on! you have to enter, stockholm is so amazing!! (full terms and conditions of the “Stockholm Like a Local Contest” found here).
we are meeting up with stockholm cool girl hanna stefansson who’s going to show denise and i the fun things to do in the area. and looking at her adorable style, i have a feeling she’s going to know all the right spots…
to enter the contest go to @visitstockholm, find your favorite stockholm spot shown on their feed and comment on it with hashtag #stockholmlikealocal along with why you would like to experience that spot in person. also, don’t forget to tag a friend that you’d like to go with! (make sure to tag them at the end of the comment so it doesn’t turn into a direct message)*
*open to US residence 18 years and older, airline tickets depart from LAX only, winner is responsible to get themselves to LAX. contest open from january 14th 12pm PST and closes 5th of february 2017 at 11:59pm PST. full terms and conditions found here.
i’m always dreaming of new hotels to visit. i just love the whole experience of a well designed hotel…from the room keys, to the decor, to the restaurant, to the robes, to the bathrooms. they make me so happy! expedia asked me to share 10 hotels i’m dreaming of staying at and here are the ones currently at the top of my list…
what’s your current favorite hotel? i’d love to know!
i’ve been to events here but never had the chance to stay the night. the location is perfect and all of the room details are cozy and modern. there is also a killer wine bar right down stairs which is an added bonus to staying the night!
pink hotel, with an outdoor bathtub!? not overly priced and breakfast is included in their room rates! mexico is always on my bucket list, so many different places to explore and visit. it never gets old. remember this trip i took to tulum and also mexico city?
this one has been on my list for a really long time! i think it’s time i take a road trip out to utah. i’ve had friends visit and they say it’s amazing. i love traveling abroad but there are also many places in the states that i still want to visit. like the grand canyon, can’t believe i’ve never been there!
i’ve only ever driven through big sur but it’s one of the most beautiful places i’ve ever been and this hotel has stunning 360 degree views. i’d love to stay in one of their treehouse style rooms and soak in their infinity pool. i’d also like to visit the hot springs at the esalen institute which is not far from the inn.
the swedes really do have such great style and taste. i love the traditional style of the rooms mixed with pops of modern colors. the hotel is housed in an old townhouse which gives it a very comfortable and relaxed feeling.
joanie went here on her honeymoon and said it was amazing. i love how it’s built into its surrounding so it barely stands out or takes away from the natural beauty of the area. how about those hanging chairs?!
this post was made in collaboration with expedia. all opinions and hotel selections are my own.
something i take pretty seriously is being prepared, especially when i travel. i have a list of items that i bring with me on the plane so i can stay hydrated, stress free, and comfortable. knowing exactly what i’m going to bring and having a ritual of sorts is really helpful in maintaining some sort of control over my crazy travel schedule.
i’ve been really open on my blog about the fact that i deal with anxiety on a pretty regular basis. i’m able to manage it successfully most of the time but there are circumstances, like travel, that increase my anxiety and stress level (a lot). i’ve wanted to manage it as naturally as possible through therapy, breathing exercises, etc. and one thing i’ve found that is really helpful to me are products from a brand called Rescue. they are made from a mixture of flower remedies and are all natural and non-habit forming which is really important to me. they offer a variety of products but i personally think the rescue remedy spray and the pastilles work best for me.
i originally heard about Rescue from a mom friend of mine who used the products to calm everyone in the family down during stressful situations and she recommended i give it a try. stress is inevitable so i always have something on hand to help me manage it so it doesn’t become debilitating and keep me from being able to live my life. have you ever tried Rescue products? do you get stressed when you travel? what are you tips and tricks to trying to stay calm? i’d love to know.