Considered one of the most powerful cities in northern Europe during the Middle Ages, Ghent still has ample evidence of its time as a medieval empire — but the vibe today is a much more charming and fairytale-like version.
It’s no secret that beachy vacations are among my favorites, and that usually means hot sand beneath my toes, the warm sun on my face, and refreshing umbrella drinks in my hand. But this tail-end-of-autumn trip to Hilton Head Island was not my typical beach vacation — the air was crisp, the sand was cold, the sun was weak and the cocktails were replaced by hot tea. And you know what? It was still an awesome experience!
When I turned the BIG 4-0 earlier this year, I had just made the monumental decision to quit my 6-figure corporate job with a Fortune 10 company, so I knew I wanted to celebrate with a mellow girlfriends getaway at a beachfront all-inclusive resort. I can always count on Mexico for my quick beachy escapes, and found excellent reviews online for the Riu Palace Pacifico in Puerto Vallarta. Done!
The Seinfeld episode “The Parking Garage” reminds me of the time, many years ago, when I flew to Disney World, grabbed a rental car and drove straight to the theme park. We parked our car in one of several massive lots and had a day of Disney fun. However, when the park closed, we realized we didn’t even know the model OR color of the rental car, let alone where we had parked it. Total nightmare.
Ever since I was little, I’ve had a deep fascination with underwater creatures. My love of the ocean has prompted me to visit as many aquariums as possible over the years, so I couldn’t wait to explore the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium.
When my cousin Jackie suggested stopping at Pebble Beach on our day trip from Carmel to Monterey, my first thought was “Nope.” How boring! Realizing she was losing me, Jackie quickly mentioned something called the “17-Mile Drive” and assured me it was a scenic path worth exploring. Intrigued, I decided to trust her.
This past January, my Kauai-based friend Michelle knew I was careening toward a crossroads in my life: I was busy building up my freelance writing business in hopes of leaving my soul-sucking corporate job behind. Being a true believer in Kauai’s divine feminine energy, she promised it would be the ideal place for me to begin planning for the next chapter of my life and insisted I come visit.
Ladies, are you seeking the most comfortable vacation of your life? Then grab your sneakers, ballet flats or flip-flops and head straight to Carmel-by-the-Sea — the charming one-square-mile village on California’s Monterey Peninsula that has banned high heels. You heard me. BANNED.
I could barely contain my excitement as I landed in Puerto Vallarta. This trip was more than just a beachy getaway. This trip was a celebration of the next chapter in my life — and not just because I would be turning 40 during it.