The eye sees, the mind knows, the heart feels

love, jada and jon

Monday, January 30, 2012

About us...

So here's the thing, my husband and I are constantly traveling and we decided to create a travel blog that will make life a lot easier for everyone else. I wish there was one for me, but I can't find it!! We don't want to stay in hostels anymore, but can't afford to stay in boutique hotels every night. We love to feel like we live there and throw ourselves into the culture or experience as best we can.

So before we go on a trip I have to try and find at least some of my 10 musts:

1. Local pub to grab a drink at

2. Best breakfast spot

3. Local dinner recommendation

4. Romantic dinner

5. Hangover cure

6. Tourist nerd must do

7. Local treasure to bring home

8. Cheap sleeps

9. Splurge sleeps

10. Favorite thing

Some of these things you don't find out until you have finished the holiday, but this is what we'll be listing for you for each place we go, saving you hours and hours of research (unless that's what you love) and all you have to do is go and enjoy yourself.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Catalina Island

Catalina Island is one of the easiest and quickest mini-holiday destinations for the residents of Southern California. And for those coming to visit Hollywood Blvd and take the tour bus through Bel Air it is a great side trip that is cheap and TOTALLY WORTH IT! My husband and I have literally gone about 10 times and for every and all occasions (secret honeymoon, Valentines Day, birthday). Needless to say we have solidified the list and all you need to do now is book it!

1. Local pub to drink at
JL's Locker Room.....This is literally not the place to go if you want to feel like a tourist. This place is chock er blocked full of local construction workers and a few old timers that will probably be in there from 10am on. But if you're like us and you just love any and all diver bars then you've found your spot. Cheap drinks with a heavy hand, you'll definitely fall out at the end of the night happy and drunk. Try the locals favorite (and be careful) Vodka, sprite, soda water and a lemon...yummy.

2. Good breakfast spot
Sally's Waffle Shop....I wish this place was down the street. It's the perfect morning grub. Not too expensive and don't expect perfect service or the best food in the world, but it just hits the spot and you leave looking forward to the next morning.

3. Local dinner recommendation
Coyote Joe's....Yummy mexican food and a fav with the islanders. The price is good and it's a big meal, but you will leave pretty happy.

4. Spend the afternoon
Descanso Gardens....Order yourself (and friends) a pitcher of Buffallo's Milk (the local sweet rum drink), lay down a towel and enjoy yourself. It's a little bit of a walk from the main area, but well worth it. You can hang here all day and it will be awesome. More like the place where adults come to get away from the kids, have a few drinks and take a dip in the ocean.

5. Hangover cure
Original Antonio's Pizzeria....OMG kill me this place is soooo good. Not only is it just the perfect thing when you feel like your head is going to explode, but it's also awesome when you're still drunk the night before. You get to munch on peanuts while you wait for your pizza and they serve beer and wine so you can either keep it going or chase it.

6. Tourist nerd must do
Brown's Bike Rentals....You gotzta rent some bikes. We are pretty active people, but for some reason we had never done this before until our last trip to Catalina. We rented them for 3 hours and rode all around that mug. Up to the gardens (which is pretty hard actually) and over to Descanso, along the beach and maybe pop a few wheelies. There are also options for renting a boat for an hour, but it's like $50 and the bike riding thing is like $12. Both are fun but I'd do the bikes if you're gonna choose one. And you can work off some of those calories we all like to put on over holiday.

7. Must shop
Lloyds of Avalon....Salt water taffy, caramel apples, peanut brittle, chocolates and more!! Yumm Yum. Every time I go to Catalina, I bring home a bag of goodies for my mommy (and myself). I don't know if you know the history of Catalina Island, but it was purchased by Wrigley's bought the island back in the early 1900's for like $2 million dollars so it's only fitting they have one of the best sweet shops in Cali.

8. Cheap sleeps
Hotel Catalina....not super cheap, but not one of the over-priced nightmares. It has a European feel to it or maybe that's just because the rooms are so small, but still we like it. It's between the main strip of Avalon and Descanso so it fits the bill for us.

9. Splurge sleeps
Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel...Always wanted to stay here, but never did because it's a bit up the hill. Did hear it has amazing views and looks super cute, but again you will probably need to rent a golf cart of have cash for cabs as it's not really walking distance.

10. Favorite thing
I'd probably have to say the day sunbathing at Descanso.

Extra tips:
a. If you're going during the summer time, make sure to call ahead to the Catalina Express and reserve your tickets as you can't count on there being seats and how suckie would that be to drive all the way to Long Beach and not get on the boat.

b. If you have some extra money and want to make it really adventurous, fly over in a helicopter instead of taking the boat. I think the heli is like $80 one way per person, but the boat is $65 round trip so it's not thaaattt much more for a real experience. That is if you have the dough.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


If I was going to live in any city other than Los Angeles I think it might be Portland.  You get there, you can breath and almost smell the fresh air, you're surrounded by clean streets,  happy people and this feeling like everything will somehow just be great.  It sounds totally ridiculous but it's really true.

I went to a boarding school in Oregon so I definitely have a soft spot for the state, but I couldn't wait until my husband got to see it.  So on one of our first trips up north we went and stayed 4 nights in Portland and had an amazing time. 

The first thing you need to do is book at room at The Ace Hotel.  It is smack in the middle of city centre and pretty much walking distance to everything you want-not to mention that the hotel is SICK!  There are a few of these around the country now, but I have to say the Portland one is the best.  It's a little pricier than the others, but worth the extra bucks.  There is a photo booth in the lobby and my husband and I spent way too much there.  Always worth it. 

If you want a treat go grab a drink at Ringlers Annex.  They have a juice press they make their lemon drops with and it was AMAZING!!  I love that you walk down stairs to get here, it reminds me of a speak easy.  It is inviting, mellow and always have great drink and good music.

On Saturdays there is a Market on the Waterfront.  It has tons of local artists and craftsman displaying their pieces, tons of food and lots of people to watch.  There is usually live music on the grass next to the water and I can remember looking forward to it every trip we made into the city.  You can also rent a bike and ride down to it while detouring through the city.  Most of downtown is covered in trees so you don't have to worry too much about getting too hot.

And finally I would say take a trip to Cannon Beach.  It is one of the most unique and serene places I've been to in my life.  The little sea-side town is a delight as well and you can pick up some taffy or ice-cream on the way.  But bring a blanket and maybe a bottle of wine and I promise you one of the most romantic parts of your trip.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Palm Springs

Palm Springs is the perfect mini trip back into time.  It is impossible to go there without remembering all the famous vintage faces that have passed through at one time or another.

There is only one place to stay while you're in town: Ace Hotel.  They have four hotels now all over the country and it is always an easy, inexpensive safe bet.  The Palm Springs one is decked out with the safari feel; the walls are draped in canvas, the floors are strewn with hides.

The only bar we checked out was the only English pub in town: The Hair of the Dog.  The bartenders are amazing.  Great food, great prices, strong pours and you'll be surrounded by locals.  If you want fancy do not go.

There is a rumor about another bar that is just outside of town up on the top of a mountain, but I'll have to write about that one after our next trip.

Dinner recommendations: Tyler's Burgers and The Cowboy Way.  Cheap, delicious and straight to the point.


Our favorite part of our honeymoon was our week in Paris.  We had just spent a month lugging two huge bags around Europe and when we finally arrived at our little apartment it felt like we had come home.

We rented an apartment in Montmartre right above a little butcher shop.  We watched movies, cooked at home and walked around the city stopping into random bars for a glass of wine or beer.  We barely went outside of our 18th arrondissement except for twice to see the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe and then another time to do some vintage shopping in Marais.

We didn't keep track of the names and places, but our advice is to rent a place and enjoy the city.  Get bikes and ride around.  Go out to dinner and relax.  Just don't try and see everything at once.  Just remind yourself this is going to be one of many trips to this wonderful city.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Sayulita is the destination when you can't stand the crowds you find in Puerto Vallarta.  My husband and I had booked a little trip to Mexico for my birthday and had only planned to stay two nights in Sayulita, but once we got there it wasn't a hard decision to not go back to Puerto Vallarta.

It is a 45 minute, $5 dollar bus ride from Puerto Vallarta.  Most of the buses are so run down you're surprised that they run and you could swear the bus drivers are constantly drunk.  But we go there safe and pretty fast with a few coronas along the way.

We had booked our two nights in an Eco friendly lodge called "Playa Escondida".  It is about a 20 minute walk from town, but we had intended to use this part of our holiday as the romantic getaway bit and it was just what we had ordered.  It was so exclusive, the beach was amazing and the chef at the hotel's restaurant was amazing.  We didn't go anywhere else for three days straight.  By the second night the chef knew our names and was sending over some house specials for us to taste along with a few complimentary drinks.  I mean if that doesn't make you feel special...

But after our reservation was over the hotel was all booked up so we went looking for a new place to lay our heads.  Every hotel we found was already booked until one local told us to go check with the old German up the road.  They said he ran a trailer/rv park and sometimes they had an empty trailer we could rent out.  So we walked up the road and after a 30 minute conversation about England, Germany and football he happily informed us he had a trailer available right on the beach that was $45 bucks a night and we were welcome to it!  "Pacific Bungalow" was our wonderful surprise saviour!! 

As far as 'local pub to drink at' we made that one the beach.  Go to the local "Bodega Aurera" and grab yourself a 6 pack for soooo cheap and just walk down to the beach.  We didn't buy a drink anywhere else.

For our food recommendations we are only going to be naming one:  The Burrito Revolution

Marinated Chicken Breast
Pork tenderloin with black beans
Smoked Marlin
Fresh Mahi-Mahi fish
Grilled Shrimp
Vegetarian w/rice, beans, avocado

Every single one is beyond and they have three special sauces they wouldn't sell to us to take home, but we almost stole them they were so good.  We have since tried to re-create the chicken burrito at home, but it just never quite gets there -- bastards!

And when you've had the most amazing week and you're on your way back to the city, stop by Les Gazelles.  It is run by a couple French sisters you just wish you could become.  They actually live that life you always thought was for the clouds.  The have impeccable taste and have collected a posse of some of the most beautiful and artistic people you could hope to find.