Category Archives: Travel

7 Month Break… Embracing Change

Hello,

It has been a WHILE since my last post. The past 7 months have been filled with much change, heart break and growth. I will not go into details right now but while they have been some of the hardest they have also been some of the most rewarding. I know that I have some of the best friends and family in the world and I am lucky enough to have them all over the world!

Traveling has become a bigger part of my life and I need to see everything I can because it is a big world out there! A favourite quotes of mine is “If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet”. I have lots of posts still to write from the last 6 months. I have been able to see a couple of new places. Hands down my favourite was Iceland. The Northern Lights have been on the top of my bucket list for YEARS. I can definitely say it was one of my best experiences! I booked to go back less than 24 hours after getting home!

One of the other biggest changes for me has been exercise and weight lifting. I have incorporated it into my daily life and the rewards have been huge. Not only weight loss (I reached my goal) but also the feeling of being strong both in mind and body!

So while there are days that I feel like this:

I know that I have a lot to look forward to. Here are a few pictures from my Chicago trip which was “such fun” (anyone watch Miranda). Stay tuned for more!

Trainers // Jeans // Purse // Sunglasses // T-shirt – Topshop

Lots of Love,

Buffy xx

Tybee Island – An Afternoon at the Beach!

Hello! Long time no speak! I just wanted to wrap up telling you about my weekend to Savannah and Tybee Island.IMG-20170208-WA0003 IMG-20170208-WA0004 IMG-20170208-WA0002On Saturday we made the short drive over to Tybee island where we lucked out with the weather; it was 70 degrees! We decide to have a quick lunch outside, which was not so quick, before heading to the beach. We were told good things about Stingrays; so when we saw it was busy, we knew it was the spot. My sisters friends tried sweet tea for the first time which I’m sure was an experience! I went with the grilled grouper sandwich. Mine tasted good and definitely filled me up. After lunch, as we head towards the beach we pass a hole in the wall ice cream shop and everyone knows there is always room for dessert.

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We meandered the rest of the way to the beach slurping on our ice cream and ended up on the beach down by the pier which you may have seen in the last song (the movie) – they make it into a fair. We made sure to dips our toes in the water and some of us may have even had on bathing suits which I think may have been a little optimistic.

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The water was freezing although, there were a few people swimming next to us. However, most people we just sunning themselves on the beach. The last stop before heading back to savannah was to drive to the end of the island and see some of the houses. These are my favourite because they are nestled between lots of trees making them almost hidden and that bit more intriguing. The beach down that end is also more isolated which is nice.

The drive back to Athens was about four and a half hours. However, we made good use of the
time…. Check this out!
Lots of Love,
Buffy x

Wormsloe Historic Site, Savannah

Savannah

With my sister over from England, with her Uni friends, I had to take her to Savannah, my favorite city in Georgia. I love the character the city has; all the beautiful buildings, the trees towering over them covered in Spanish moss and the squares brimming with history. If you have not visited I would definitely recommend adding it to your list, and whilst there I would thoroughly recommend Chive. Keep reading to find out about another recommendation I have for you!

Trees Houses

For the long Martin Luther King weekend, my sister, her three friends and myself piled into the car and made the four hour drive down. Somehow we turned it into a five hour drive which seems to be the case with us when we take road trips. We arrived late Friday night so just solidified our plans for the next two days before hitting the hay.

Our first stop of the day Saturday morning was Wormsloe Historic Site. This site is famous for its live oak mile long drive way. It is stunning!  Also, on the property is the Wormsloe tabby ruins which is the colonial estate of Nobel Jones and the oldest standing structure in Savannah. Nobel Jones was one of the first settlers to come to Georgia from England in 1733, many years later a large plantation house was built on the property. However, it is not actually open to the public and is still lived in by the owning family (fun fact: Wormsloe is the site of several movies. If you have ever seen the movie ‘The Song’ the drive way and the Plantation house are the ones from Wormsloe). The property also has Nobel Jones’ grave which you can go visit as well as some other small buildings that show what life was life during Colonial times.

 

Opening Oaks drive

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Grave Colonial Life Blacksmith Silver Living 3

Trail View Tree Sitting Group

Later that day we headed to downtown Savannah. We walked around the downtown area for a while making sure to stop at the many different squares to have a wonder.  The most popular square is probably Chippewa Square since it’s where Forrest Gump sits on the bench to tell his story. Another one of interest is Calhoun Square, as this is where 432 Abercorn street is found. If you have never heard of this house take a few minutes to google it!

DT Square House

We then made our way towards Bay street to put our name down for Treylor Park, a restaurant recommended by close family and friends. The host told us it would be about an hour wait until we were seated – worth it, trust me. To pass the time we wandered along River street to take a look around.

Treylor Park was great! I would recommend starting with the Treylor Park Nachos; we devoured these before I could even get a picture. Fried chicken pancake tacos with strawberry salsa are their most popular dish. Make sure somebody at the table orders these, you won’t be disappointed!  We finished up with the funnel cake covered deep fried oreos, again, gone in a flash. I would go early if you want a table; by 7:30 they were already telling large groups to try their sister restaurant Hitch.

Sign Tacos DessertCheck back next week for what we got up to Sunday!

Lots of Love,

Buffy xx

The Narrows at Zion National Park

I had never heard of The Narrows hike until a few days before we left for Vegas. When my mother-in-law mentioned possible doing the hike I looked it up right away. After reading about it I knew that it was something I would LOVE to do. It is rated one of the best hikes to do in National Parks all over the USA!

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We left the hotel around 6am only stopping once to get breakfast (at dunkin donuts, perfect for a hike, right?).). It was about a 3 hour drive to where we were going to rent all the equipment we needed. The Narrows is basically a hike up the Virgin River. You are deep down in the canyon following the river that takes up most of the canyon floor which means you are wading through the river. There are parts where you can walk on the river bank but for most of it you are in the river where it can be anywhere from ankle deep to shoulder deep!

When we arrived at the rental place we had to watch a quick safety video (so we knew to watch out for flash flooding!) and then we picked up our rental gear. This included a large stick, special hiking boots, wet suit socks as well as food and a backpack.

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We set off to the entrance of Mt Zion National park and from there we had to take a 45 minute bus ride to the start of The Narrows. The first mile or so is a hike along a paved path. At the end of that you meet the river and have to head on in!

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The water was not as cold as I thought it would be and some of the areas are harder to walk on than others because you are walking across large slippery stones/rocks in the water. The walking stick definitely came in handy and helped me balance.

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About another mile of so in you reach what is called Wall Street. This is where the canyon walls narrow even more and you have to be careful of flash flooding because there is very little to no banks! The crowds start to thin out the further up you get which is nice.

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We reached the Orderville junction and took a short break. At this point you can decide which way you want to go. You can continue up the Narrows or turn and hike up Orderville Canyon. We kept going up the Narrows. We reached the floating rock and then went about another 20 minutes before turning back. I would guess we had a little less than a mile until we reached Big Springs. Big Springs is where hikers must turn. I would like to go back one day and hike the top down which requires a permit as well as camping. It would also be fun to be able to explore Orderville Canyon. I have read that Orderville canyon requires a little more climbing, scrambling and wading! Sounds like fun to me!

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The hike back was quicker than it was up. We were all glad to finally reach the bus and head back to the car where we had the 3 hour car journey to look forward to.

That night we had dinner at another favourite spot: Battista’s Hole in the wall. After dinner we were all so tired that we went straight back to our rooms and fell asleep making sure to NOT set an alarm clock!

Lots of Love,

Buffy x

Las Vegas Baby!

My husband and I booked a last minute trip to Las Vegas with his parents for the 4th of July.

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Our flight left at 6am on the 4th and we arrived early enough to have a full first day. We were staying at the Cosmopolitan and after dropping off our bags and changing into our swimsuits we all made our way to the pool where we sunbathed and had lunch (hard life I know!). Later on that evening we had tickets for the Garth Brooks show, as well as a meet and greet!

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We got to the new Verizon Wireless Amphitheater right when doors opened and made our way to the front of the stage. There we met Garth Brooks’ tour manager who took us back to a green room. We were all a little surprised because we thought it would be more like a line where we say hello and that’s it. We were all chatting and in walks a guy with a backwards hat on. It took us all a minute to realize it was Garth Brooks!!! We all sat down and hung out for about 15 minutes before he had to go get ready for the show.

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Red Lip // Dress – Zara (similar, similar, similar) // Necklace

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I think we were all a bit speechless that he took the time to sit down and hang out, he was really friendly! After that we made our way to our seats and waited for the show to start. It was a great show and he sang all of our favourites!

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After the show we headed to one of our favourite dinner spots in Vegas; Mon Ami Gabi. We always sit outside so that we can watch the Bellagio water fountains. They bring this shredded carrot in a dressing to the table with bread to start that is really good. We ordered a few starters (chilled seafood platter, oysters and the onion soup au gratin) followed by steaks all around. For the first time ever I think we were all too tired for dessert (shocking I know).

We turned in bright and early that night. Early the next morning we were heading to Zion National Park in Utah to go on an exciting hike! Check back to find out which one!

Lots of love,

Buffy xx

The Ivy London

I first heard about the restaurant ‘The Ivy’ 12 or 13 years ago and since it has been on my radar as a place I would like to try. After we got back from Amsterdam my sister and I were set to take a Gin making class in London (‘Buffington’s was to be my creation!). However, I had multiple problems when trying to book the class. First, the payment system, then whether I would even get the ticket on time (I couldn’t just pick it up) and then whether or not we would even be able to catch the last train home! It was obviously not in the stars! My mum then suggested we all go up to town for dinner instead.
The first restaurant that popped into my head was naturally the Ivy! I managed to get a last booking and put it on the calendar! Since I was free that day I decided that I would go up a little early and have a wonder around the shops. We would then we would all meet later at the restaurant.  I made my way up and my first stop was Harrods, obviously. I love to look around Harrods, not just for their beautiful pieces but simply to people watch. The species of human that walk around are astonishing.  After hitting a few more of the shops I finally made my way to The Ivy.
Who can resist a good Bathroom selfie??
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Dress // Blazer – Zara (similar) // Bag // Sunglass // Boots
Blazer – Zara (similar) // Top – Zara // Bag // Trousers – American Eagle (similar) // Boots Steve Madden (similar)
The Ivy has been around since 1917 and is in the West End, by many of the theaters. It recently went through a renovation but still has the art deco feel! I love the coloured glass and that it just has an old timer’s classic feel to it (they take your coat and pull out your chair for you!). We were sat right away and made our way thoroughly through the menu. After a round of drinks (good ol’ Gin n’ Tonics) we put in our order.
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We started with the Giant Tiger Prawns for an appetizer. From there it was onto Crab Macaroni, courgette, ricotta & pea Risotto, double pork sausages (bangers and mash) for everyone and a cheeky second drink (dirty vodka martini).
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Now, no matter how much you eat, there is always room for dessert! My sister always says regular food goes to your stomach but dessert goes to the heart, not what our dietician mother wants to hear!
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For dessert we got an array of things: Chocolate pudding soufflé (my favourite!), sticky toffee pudding and Bramley apple crumble pie.
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With full bellies we strolled slowly back to Waterloo to catch the next train home.
Lots of Love,
Buffy xx

Amsterdam by Bike

Recently I decided I wanted to create a bucket list. I have always sort of had one in the back of my mind but I wanted to put it to paper. I feel like I am one step closer to accomplishing everything on it (and who doesn’t love ticking things off a list?!). Anyway, one of the items I was planning on ticking off whilst in Amsterdam. Sadly, it did not happen completely. Let me explain a bit more:
The said ‘item’ on my list was to ride a tandem bike. I did ride a tandem bike…sort of. The plan for the morning before we were set to leave Amsterdam was to all rent bikes and ride around the city. My sister and I were going to rent a tandem, that was until we actually tried it. The gentleman in the bike rental shop recommended we try the tandem bike before actually committing to it. So we took it outside, which happened to be a cobbled side alley way with tons of bikes stacked everywhere. Plus it had a major slope to it. Needless to say we could not get our balance and decided to just stick to normal bikes.
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We set off on our bikes planning to go a little further out and then circle back around the city. The city is very flat and so it is easy to get around by bike. I love that many of the traffic lights actually have a set that is eye level for the cyclists. We rode out to the park where we messed around with the GoPro (we got some funny looks!) before heading off to look at the windmill nearby. From there we made our way back to the bike rental shop so that we could then get back to the hotel to pick up our luggage and head off to the airport.
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I think if I was to go back to Amsterdam I would plan on renting a bike the entire time and give the tram pass a miss. It is so easy to get around by bike and foot that unless it is raining you really don’t need to take the bus or tram. If you do rent bikes make sure you remember what it looks like! There are SOOO many bikes all around the city that I don’t know how people recognize their own!
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Our flight back was delayed by an hour and so we sat and read until it was time to board. That is unless you are mum and Catherine who sneak off to get a massage in one of those big chairs without telling dad and myself!
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Overall it was a fun quick four day trip!
Lots of Love,
Buffy xx

Artists’ of the Netherlands

Our last full day in Amsterdam we spent hanging out with some of the most famous artists related to the Netherlands…Van Gogh and Rembrandt. Amsterdam is full of museums and we didn’t have nearly enough time to see them all.
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We got up early again so that we could make the most of our last day. The first stop on the agenda was the Van Gogh museum. When we got there there was already a long queue to get in and it was very confusing on where to line up. The British love their orderly queues and this was not one! We waited about 30-45 minutes in one of the lines which luckily let us in. I think one was for people with online tickets and the other for people with no tickets.
The museum was VERY busy. You feel like you are wading through people to see anything. However, I have always liked Van Gogh’s art work and so it was interesting to see. I like that it gave you background information about him and also showed you his early work because it is different from his more well know pieces. Also, you are not allowed to take any pictures!
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The next stop was Rembrandt’s house. As I mentioned in a previous post I love the tall houses that look out onto the canals and I’ll take any chance to go in one. They had Rembrandt’s house decorated like it would have been when he lived there. It was interesting to see the box beds, they were very short!
For our last stop of the day we made our way over to the Portuguese Synagogue where we had a look around.
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Dinner the last night was at a small restaurant off of Dam Square called Van Kerkwijk. This is a restaurant that has no menu! The waiters simply stop by the table and tell you what your options are.
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We started off with drinks (trusty G&T, Prosecco and Beer) and a sample platter consisting of different meats and cheeses.  For the mains we had Beef stew, Filet and a chicken thai curry. All the mains came with a family portion of fries and a salad to share.
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After dinner we made one last stop by Sweatella and then it was off to pack!
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Lots of Love,
Buffy xx

Amsterdam Continued…Anne Frank’s House

The main item on the agenda for day 2 was visiting Anne Frank’s house. We had heard from people and read that the line to get in gets crazy as the day goes on! I read anywhere from 2 to 3 plus hours! For my sister and I, it was very important that we visit Anne Frank’s house (my parents had been years ago), as it is such an important part of history. This meant getting up really early so we could get in line before it got too busy!

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We all ate a quick breakfast across the street from the hotel and then took the tram to the Anne Frank Museum. We joined the line about an hour before the museum opened. The line was pretty long considering it was not even open yet. We queued for about an hour before we entered. If you are in the area I would definitely make an effort to go see the museum. I feel I gained a better insight of what Anne Frank, and the others she lived with, felt while walking through the rooms. I understand truly how quiet they had to be as well as how cramped they were while living there. It is hard to put into words exactly what you feel while you are there – obviously great sadness and sorrow but many other emotions also creep in.

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Once we left Anne Frank’s museum we grabbed a quick coffee and snack and then made our way to the Westerkerk Tower. It is only about a 2 minute walk from the Anne Frank Museum. This is a church bell tower that you can climb up that gives you amazing views of Amsterdam. This was one of my favourite things we did in Amsterdam. They only allow 6 people on each tour and I think it is because you are climbing up the thinnest steepest stairs you can imagine. It was more like climbing up ladders, especially, the closer you got to the top!

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When we made it to the top we were rewarded with 360 degree views of Amsterdam. I believe it is one of the tallest buildings in Amsterdam so the views are spectacular.

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We stopped at the Homomonument on the way to lunch.

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We had lunch at The Seafood Bar and I highly recommend the fish & chips!

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Right after lunch we stayed in the area to visit the Begijnhof (Courtyard). Inside this courtyard is the oldest (wooden) house in the city, the English Reformed Church and the Clandestine Church. From there we wandered over to the Blocemenmarkt and then to find the bench from the Movie “A Fault in the Stars”.

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Coat // Jeans (similar) // Boots – old by Camper (Similar)

In the late afternoon we took a canal boat ride through the city.

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We made one last stop before heading back to the hotel before dinner and it was Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer Op Solder. In English this means Museum Our Lord in the Attic. This is a canal house that houses a secret Catholic church in the attic. It dates back to 1663 when Catholics were no longer allowed to worship as the pleased.

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That night we walked over to the Sea Palace to check it out for dinner, as well as the sunset. However, it was closed so we had dinner at a Chinese restaurant that was not far from our hotel. After that we were off to bed!

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Lots of Love,

Buffy xx