The Dominican Diaries

The Dominican Diaries

Week before last, I visited the Dominican Republic–and the Caribbean–for the first time! I went with my tried and true travel partner, Ilse, for five days of R&R. We both had a lot going on in our lives this summer and, contrary to my personal travel style, opted for a lazy, beach vacation. This trip ended up being a lot more than we bargained for; while we had plenty of relaxation, we also had some trials and tribulations.

We stayed in Cabarete, a small coastal town known for its kite surfing; Ilse’s grandfather built a small home here on the beach which is where we stayed.

We were assaulted by mosquitoes almost constantly through this trip, lathering on layers and layers of repellent to the point that there was really no point in showering. Speaking of showering, we were also given a mid-week shock when the unfortunate drought in the city prompted a citywide water shutdown for about 24 hours without warning or update of when it would be turned back on. Even with these inconveniences, however, the location was definitely prime for everything going on nearby.

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Rainy Day in Brighton

Rainy Day in Brighton

I am [sadly] back from my 10-day Europe birthday trip, but I could not wait to get a new blog post up for you guys! This time around, I am not going to write a blog post about London as I have done that quite a few times on this blog, but a vlog will be coming in the very near future! However, one of the five days we had in London was spent on a day trip to the coastal town of Brighton. In typical U.K. fashion, it was gray and rainy in this town called Brighton, but–as always–we didn’t let it stop us.

After an emergency layer-shopping trip because we were underdressed (hence the gray long-sleeve), we headed to Nando’s for lunch and down to the beach before the rain hit.

Though the town does not have much to offer besides the main shopping center, the rocky beach, and the Brighton Pier, it’s a cheap and quick option for a day trip out of London. Seriously, the train ride was only an hour and it was $28 per person roundtrip!

As with most places in the world, I am sure it is a lot more lively in the peak summer season or when football (read: soccer) is on. Though I do not see myself visiting again, I would still highly recommend as a day trip option if only to explore more of the U.K.!

What are some other quick day trips in and out of London y’all recommend? Manchester is definitely in the books, but I’m curious to know more. Let me know in the comments!

xx, AE

Sweet Dreams

Or a beautiful nightmare? The Sweet Tooth Hotel was definitely a dream.
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A common frenzy that I never took advantage of in L.A. was the amount of pop-ups and cool installations that took place. I honestly cannot say why other than not knowing about them, but also just not seeking them out because I assumed they cost a lot of money. In hindsight, however, I wish I did go to more since they are so fun and unique. Lucky for me, I guess Dallas is catching onto the trend because for the full month of June, they are hosting a cute pop-up called The Sweet Tooth Hotel. It can easily be confused with or compared to the extremely popular pop-up, Museum of Ice Cream. which branches to N.Y.C., L.A., San Francisco, and Miami. But this exhibition does not have any correlation. Naturally, I had to go and I took my friend, Naomi, with me!


In the exhibition, there are four rooms curated by different artists. The “hotel” is adorned with life-sized candy, an overdose of pink, and of course neon signs on neon signs–all the great, adorable things that make for endless Instagram opportunities. How it works is you buy a ticket online (obviously) and you are given the option of a $20 general admission ticket or a $40 keyholder admission ticket; general admission just means you get to enter the exhibit at a certain time and touch and see everything whereas the keyholder admission ticket also has three boxes that you get to unlock in some of the rooms, two of which holding items you get to keep. I opted for the general admission ticket because, well, I didn’t want to drop $40.
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The exhibition is timed, unfortunately. It is a small space so obviously there is a safety hazard around that as well as likely a “novelty experience” appeal. You get a full hour to explore and the concierge rings a bell at the 25-, 15-, and two-minute mark before closing. Since we chose the earliest time available at 9:00 a.m., the group ended up being very small at around 12 people. We could all freely move about the space and have ample time to explore each part while getting an exorbitant amount of photos. My favorite part was that everyone was so mindful of each other, repeatedly saying, “Oh my gosh, let me get out of the way of your picture!” We all were truly like kids in a candy store.

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Casually in Cabo

Casually in Cabo

So, I went to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for two days. And it was…quite the [great] journey.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Ilse found out that she would have days off that fell on my days off. Considering it was her birthday week, we decided to travel together to somewhere warm where we could have fun and relax at the same time. Enter: Cabo San Lucas!
IMG_5156Getting to Cabo was sort of a hot mess. Originally, I sent out on a 7:30 a.m. flight out of Dallas to connect in Houston on the way to Cabo, while Ilse would fly nonstop on American. As luck would have it, the first flight out of Dallas to Houston got canceled which rolled paying customers onto the next flight. I fly standby which, for those who don’t know, means I do not have a confirmed seat. I kept getting rolled over so I assumed I wasn’t going to make it out of Dallas and ended up canceling. I decided to Uber home from Southwest headquarters and made it out to the employee shuttle, but somehow ended up getting on the wrong shuttle.
ANE_0014Considering I had to be taken back to the airport anyway, the passengers on the shuttle convinced me to give my trip one more try and to ask a gate agent to help me out. Once I arrived back at the airport, a lovely lady named Summer helped me out by re-routing me to L.A. I made it onto the flight with a minute to spare and one seat left. Once I got to L.A., I had four hours until my completely open flight to Cabo where I spent most of my wait time chatting with a couple of people at one of the restaurant bars. As we prepared to board, two of the ladies I was chatting with asked me about my plans and offered to drive me to my hotel considering they were already getting a rental car for their week-long stay in Cabo as well. Yay! Or so I thought. Continue reading “Casually in Cabo”