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Travel Log: Orlando and Bahamas, 2/17 – 2/20

February 28, 2017

It’s the dead of winter, so a trip to a tropical atmosphere was in order, starting first in Orlando, Florida, then taking us to Nassau and CocoCay, Bahamas. I mean, I can’t really complain living in Southern California, but my good friend Zita is going through it with snowstorms in Boston. So we got out of dodge and spent four glorious days and three lively nights on a boat in the Atlantic Ocean. Yes, we cruised it up! Click the slideshow to see some fun visuals, and read all about it below.

DAY ONE: Friday, Feb. 17
I landed at MCO (Orlando International Airport) bright and early at 6:30 a.m. and waited for my pal, Zita, to arrive. I posted up for a few hours and got caught up on some episodes of “Z” on Amazon Prime. Thank God for WiFi and headphones. When, she touched down, we fueled up on some light snacks then boarded a shuttle for the port at Cape Canaveral. Off in the distance, we could see our ship, Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas, which would be our home for the next four days. We breezed through security at the port and checked in on the gangway, where we were greeted by Jock Jams blaring through the speakers. “Y’all ready for this?!” Why, yes. Yes, we were. Our first stop: the pool bar.

With unlimited drinks available (Hot tip: You’re gonna want to buy the drink package in advance!) at the swipe of our Set Sail card, we ordered our first libation of the trip — an ice cold piña colada. Zita immediately began mapping out the day’s plans as outlined in the Compass. Should we dance under the stars or hit up bingo? The world was our oyster! At about 3 p.m., we were able to go into our stateroom, located on the third deck. We would later find that this was actually one of the better decks on the ship. You felt the swaying most on the upper decks, and Lord knows ain’t no body got time for sea sickness. As our ship departed Orlando, I observed from the room’s porthole a flock of pelicans flying in a perfect V formation. It was truly magical. Something I didn’t catch on camera because I was immersed in the moment.

After a bit of a fiasco with the dining room assignment for our 8:30 p.m. dinner time, we were seated at a table among a crowded sea of people. We were surprised that we were expected to eat dinner with complete strangers, but thankfully, our table mates, Sarah and Lacey, were good company. We kinda felt bad for Kelly, another table mate who was ditched by her 17-year-old daughter, who was busy meeting boys in the teens-only section of the ship. Shame! After dinner, we found our way to the seventh deck, where we were promised free champagne and the possibility of winning raffle prizes (the magic words). We both made off with a free print and were encouraged to return the following afternoon for an art auction with even more raffle prizes. Exhausted, we called it a night early.

Find out how the rest of my cruise went after the jump!

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Wednesday Word

February 22, 2017

This Wednesday Word No. 89, courtesy of Redbubble, is where my head is after this past three-day weekend. I’m fresh off my first cruise — we went to the Bahamas — and all I can say is I need more travel in my life. The anticipation, the expectation of a new adventure in a new part of the world is exhilarating. Thursday night, I boarded a red eye for Orlando, Florida, and Friday afternoon set sail on a cruise to Nassau and CocoCay with my pal, Zita. I’d been on many boat rides, but this was different. The crazy part about it was we were literally out in the middle of nowhere. This huge, blue, choppy expanse that could chew you up and spit you out — also known as the Atlantic Ocean. To feel so small in this ginormous ocean was humbling. We really did disappear those four days and three nights. And it was quite magical. The goal of the vacation was to relax, soak up the sun and just escape from the day to day (or in Zita’s case, the snowy weather in Boston) — and we did all of the above. As the quote says, “You don’t need magic to disappear. All you need is a destination.” Stay tuned for my Travel Log about my journey!

To get inspired by previous Wednesday Word posts, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

Wednesday Word

September 28, 2016


Man, I could really use a vacation. That’s what’s at the heart of this Wednesday Word. With all the chaos going on, I need to get out of Dodge, like yesterday. You know, slow down, relax, clear my mind, experience a change of pace and scenery, appreciate all the things that really matter. Thankfully, I’m heading to Europe (Munich and London, to be exact) for a week real soon. So when I stumbled upon this quote by Ella Maillart, a French-speaking Swiss adventurer, travel writer and photographer, I naturally got all giddy. This Wednesday Word No. 85, found via Brainy Quote, is as good an excuse as any to break away from the routine, as Maillart said, “that dreadful routine that kills all imagination and all our capacity for enthusiasm.” There’s something about visiting a new place that excites and reinvigorates a person. I’m so looking forward to exploring Europe with new lenses, and seeing what my creativity and imagination conjures up. It’s great timing, too, as I’ll be starting a new job shortly after I return from my vacation. You know I’m gonna have to report back via one of my Travel Logs here! Auf wiedersehen, y’all!

To get inspired by previous Wednesday Word posts, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

Travel Log: Oahu, Hawaii 4/21 – 4/25

May 3, 2016

I recently crossed one more destination off my travel wish list: Hawaii. Yes, I had never been to that magical island state until about a week and a half ago. Read all that went down on this delightful girls trip to Oahu in my most recent Travel Log.

DAY ONE: Thursday, April 21

We landed safely. After a plane full of what seemed to be 20 screaming babies, I needed to get off of the aircraft. Stat! I got a text from Sierra telling me to meet her and the rest of the gals at Baggage Claim B. A short walk later, I saw them standing there delighted with their leis on. Wait! Where’s my lei greeting? I paid $16 and somebody was gonna greet me with some flowers on a string come hell or high water. I tracked the lei guy down, and after scanning his list found me. “Oh, there you are. Sorry, I didn’t make it to the gate. Welcome to Hawaii.” Not exactly the aloha spirit-filled greeting I envisioned in my head. But, hey, we’re in Hawaii by golly and we’re gonna have the best time ever. Onward to the Budget rental car. We opted for the Ford Escape, by the way. Lots of legroom for all five of us.

We had to kill time since check-in at the Airbnb wasn’t until 4 p.m. We were staying in Hauula, which was about 45 minutes to and hour away from Honolulu and 30 minutes on the other side from the famous North Shore of Oahu. So we ventured to Mike’s Huli Chicken, which Yvette had seen on “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.” The food truck was busy that afternoon with the locals getting their lunches. I ordered the Huli Stir Fry and it was sa-mackin! Oh, and the peas in the macaroni salad was a pleasant surprise. A curious egret danced around our table, meanwhile some wild cocks squawked in the distance. It was wild. Literally and figuratively. After lunch, we kept driving up toward Hauula and stopped at a liquor store to stock up for the weekend. And then a shopping center for groceries and miscellaneous sundries.

When we arrived at the Airbnb, we were relieved that it was just like the pictures online. It’s a quaint, cozy three-bedroom, one-bathroom cottage with a small yard and nice front deck. We rested a bit and got settled in. A couple hours later, we took a short walk down to the beach and saw the ocean in all its majestic beauty. The beach was secluded and was only tainted by our footprints. The locals whose homes met the sand just enjoyed the view and went on with their lives. I was in awe. And the water was warm. We toasted to our first day in paradise and went back to our home for the next five days to chill. It was great. Later, we took a short drive to Papa Ole’s for dinner. The Teri Chicken was delicious and the girls’ shrimp and Loco Moko plates were also enjoyable, by their accounts. The rest of the evening we spent mourning the loss of Prince and had a nice nightcap on the cozy sectional.

Read more about my amazing Hawaii vacay after the jump!

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