Travel: The 5 Best Parts of Riviera Cancun

Yes, we just got home – and that vacation was wonderful, relaxing, and totally what I had hoped for! A quick recap of my 5 favorite parts of the trip – I highly recommend replicating them if you happen to find yourself in Quintana Roo soon!

  1. Millé Spa at Excellence Riviera Cancun: I know I know, you’re all thinking “aren’t all spas the same? Why should I check out this one?” Let me start by saying that if you want infinite relaxation, take a relaxing vacation for 8 days, AND loop in a spa experience on the same trip. Mind numbing. All Millé spa treatments include an hour in their ‘aqua wellness circuit’ – I read this, and was concerned – I cannot swim laps, nor did I want to (never fear, that’s not what’s involved). The Aqua wellness circuit features a series of steam, sauna, pool, jacuzzi, and water jet relaxation techniques, designed to stimulate relaxation, before you ever walk in for your treatment. Skeptical, I tested it out before my ‘Ultimate Relaxation’ ritual (hot stone massage, head massage and hair treatment, and cocoa mud foot scrub + massage) – and was really impressed. Such a great experience – a must try! Bonus? The view from the spa looks out over the resort – lovely and calming. If you read through the daily resort newsletter, the spa offers daily specials and discounts throughout your stay!Detailed & Delighted // Travel: 5 Favorites in Riviera Cancun
  2. Self serve Ice Cream cones by the pool: This was legitimately my favorite perk of the resort – and since it’s only available from 10am-sunset, you have to strategize! Because Excellence (our resort) was all inclusive, people were ordering ostentatious drinks by the pool and lobster room service at midnight – but me? I was happy to do a ‘drive-through’ past the ice cream machine at any hour of the day.  I thought of my ice cream consumption as a cooling off tactic, really. There was even one day when I had two cones! I know – that was a lot. But it was sooooo good! If you stay here, definitely check out the ice cream machine. You will not be disappointed – and now I’m sitting here at work, considering having one installed at my desk. Hmmmm… #VanillaChocolateSwirlForTheWinDetailed & Delighted // Travel: 5 Favorites in Riviera Cancun
  3. Renting a golf cart to explore Isla Mujeres: Allow me to start by saying that this is definitely a day trip, and is not for the faint of heart. We chartered a cab from our resort to the seaport in Cancun (a 30 minute ride), and then bought tickets for the Ferry to Isla Mujeres – an island 20 minutes off the coast. The ride was pleasant enough, and we were even serenaded (in English!) by an acoustic guitarist on the top outdoor deck – excellente! When we arrived at the port in Isla Mujeres, it was complete bedlam – be prepared to be overwhelmed. Somehow, we found a street vendor renting golf carts, and rented one for a few hours to drive around the island. They handed us a paper map, and we were off! It was really interesting to see how the island locals live, and visit the ruins and the lighthouse that are still there. We also saw about 100 iguanas (ew, not my favorite, more on that later), and got some great wind in our faces. We finally checked out the beach on the north side of the island – which was pristine – and headed out on a 3:30 ferry. Definitely a good exploration trip! Pro tip: have lots of small bills to shop (and haggle) at the artisan markets by the ferry – they have great finds and souvenirs!Detailed & Delighted // Travel: 5 Favorites in Riviera Cancun
  4. The beachfront palapas at our resort: Another GREAT thing about all inclusive resorts is the assortment of amenities you can expect from the property. Our stay included pool floaties in all pools to hang onto (we liked the lazy river), as well as beach chairs under wonderful thatch umbrellas (with drink service), called ‘Palapas’. We spent at LEAST 10 hours under these during our trip – and the breeze off the ocean was heavenly. They also have full-sun cushy beach beds right at the water line, perfect for tanning and afternoon siestas. Total relaxation. Detailed & Delighted // Travel: 5 Favorites in Riviera Cancun
  5. The Aztec Ruins at Chichen Itza: This was the BEST day of our trip! We learned so much, and had a fantastic time on our tour (through Seasons Tours, the Excellence exclusive provider). The shuttle was lovely, and 2 hours later, we hopped off with 5 other couples to explore the ruins, under the helpful direction of our tour guide. He was lovely and funny and very well spoken, and while we would have been lost without him there, he gave us enough space and time to explore on our own as well! The trip was capped off with a stop at a swimming hole ‘Cenote’, and a fantastic local lunch at an Aztec restaurant. Highly recommend if you’re looking to do a day trip – and we got really lucky with weather, because we went on a cloudy day that wasn’t too hot. Happy travels!Detailed & Delighted // Travel: 5 Favorites in Riviera Cancun

Macaron Monday: We’re back from Vacay – and dreaming of leaving again!

Oh my GOSH, how good is vacation? We’re back, and I’m keeping the happy alive by smiling as much as I can, and enjoying the catch up tasks. I’ll keep today simple – but it’s worth noting that I missed you guys! Here are 5 dreamy Paris pics to inspire your next getaway – this is definitely our next major trip! Need more pretty? Check out my favorite Parisian indulgences on my Pinterest board here: C’est si bon!!

Detailed & Delighted // Macaron Monday: Paris inspo

The quintessential Paris apartment, complete with peonies – c’est magnifique //Photo by Nuevo Estilo via MyDomaine

Detailed & Delighted // Macaron Monday: Paris inspo

The Best Croissants in Paris (literally a list. You’re welcome.) // Courtesy of The Wall Street Journal

Detailed & Delighted // Macaron Monday: Paris inspo

The Dreamiest little boudoirs – Hotel Relais St. Germain // Via Carin Olsson’s Instagram

Detailed & Delighted // Macaron Monday: Paris inspo

A pink cone and a perfect day at Le tour Eiffel // Photo via Hello Fashion Blog

Detailed & Delighted // Macaron Monday: Paris inspo

Les Jardins Tuileries // Photo via Pinterest

Friday Fab: 5 pre-vacation things!!

Wooooo hoooo, it’s officially the Friday before vacation, and I could not be more stoked! I plan to do a TON of sleeping and sunning over the next 10 days – what are your plans for the weekend? Hope they’re amaze!

Here’s the best 5 things from around the web this week:

  1. The BEST homemade pickles (unless of course you’ve been to Super Duper Burger, where they make their own) – I’m addicted – follow this PureWow recipe to DIY:

    Detailed & Delighted // Pre-Vacay 5 Things

    Pickles via PureWow

  2. Can we talk about how rad this Frida Kahlo inspired wedding is? Truly dreamy – can’t get enough…

  3. In case you were wondering, here are 18 incredible beaches that prove summer is year round in the right places:

    Detailed & Delighted // Pre-Vacay 5 Things

    Oludeniz, Turkey via Huffington Post Travel

  4. Glamping, you say? I’m into it – and am getting inspired for a little fall getaway after clicking through this gallery:

    Detailed & Delighted // Pre-Vacay 5 Things

    Glamping inspiration via domino and Paws Up Montana

  5. Work life balance is a MAJOR consideration around here (in my office, and in our household – not to mention, San Francisco in general), and at D&D we’re taking our cues from the Europeans, and starting this vacation weekend on a de-stressed note. Here’s why they have the work/life balance thing down:

Macaron Monday: Parisian Cultural Finds – 3 gems

Bonjour, mon amis!

Happy Monday – and hope you’re having a great one so far. I spent this past weekend running a Sonoma wedding (beautiful), and working on the design/styling of our new home – it’s coming along! Sorry for the brief hiatus – the fam and I are working ’round the clock to pull our little house together. 

At the moment, I’m contemplating a Parisian black and white motif in our guest room, to keep things chic and contemporary, while still carrying through a traditional theme. Looking for Parisian inspiration (outside of everyone’s instagrams), I did a bit of research on Parisian culture this weekend. Here are three off-the-beaten-track cultural finds to inspire your next trip to Paris:

Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain

Nestled in the 14th arrondissement, the Cartier Foundation’s contemporary art center is the perfect place to find off-beat art installations (like graffiti and street art exhibits and photography series). Bonus for those with little travelers: creative workshops and family friendly guided visits are offered weekly.

Detailed & Delighted // Macaron Monday: 3 Parisian Cultural Gems

Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain

Petit Palais

One of the most iconic Beaux-arts buildings commissioned for the 1900 exhibition, the Petit Palais is located directly across the street from the Grand Palais in the 8th arrondissement, and features mosaics and stained glass in the rotunda. The structure houses decorative arts, sculptures, ancient and classical art, graphic art, and symbolist murals. The relatively affordable garden café is also a perfect lunch stop! Did I mention that this site is featured in one of my favorite movies (‘The Devil Wears Prada’), when Andy and Miranda are working at Paris Fashion week? Le swoon.

Detailed & Delighted // Macaron Monday: 3 Parisian Cultural Gems

Petit Palais

Rodin Museum

While Rodin’s ‘thinker’ statue is BEYOND popular and well known, the Rodin museum is relatively small and less crowded than other popular tourist destinations in Paris. The interior works are stunning, but the outdoor statue garden is the piece de resistance – particularly when in full bloom! A must visit for art lovers and fresh air aficionados alike. 

Detailed & Delighted // Macaron Monday: 3 Parisian Cultural Gems

Rodin Museum

Happy wandering!

Packing List: Bachelorette Weekend

Can we talk about packing for travel for a second? I’m a planner, I’m a former girl scout (#AlwaysBePrepared), and I also revel in a pure hatred of laundry. When you combine those three things, it makes packing for a trip tricky (to say the least). Throw into the mix two full time jobs, only 16 waking hours each day, a lot of extra-curriculars, and a very needy Bagel hound named Chloe – and you’ve got a recipe that makes it challenging to get out of the house to go anywhere.

I’ve been a list-maker for all of my adult life and most of my childhood (ask my mom), and I stand behind the fact that lists have saved my life and my sanity before just about every trip I’ve ever taken. I start with a list of activities I have planned for the trip at hand, and then list out preliminary outfit ideas by day (aka 7 days total, Monday: hike to the river, workout clothes with hiking boots, change of warm clothes for evening campfire). It really helps me get a grip on the basics, and then I can focus on specifics – for the previous example, I might be thinking about which workout clothes I want to bring – lulu’s or Athleta leggings? Nike top or Southern Marsh t-shirt? Do I need a jacket or vest?

After I’ve put together my list, I walk into my closet and start pulling the items I’m certain of – for a beach vacation, start with swimwear and sandals; for the mountains, I recommend starting with multifunctional outerwear. I lay everything out on the bed, and then supplement/detract from the piles as needed. Eventually, after I’ve edited down my packing pile to exactly what I want to bring, I organize it into day/evening/workout/sleep attire and accessories, and pack my suitcase in quadrants. In this way, in a relatively efficient fashion, I have succeeded in packing for a trip in usually not more than an hour. The VERY last items I include on top of my suitcase are my makeup bags and toiletries – and I run through my list one last time before I zip up my suitcase, to be sure I have everything I’ll need.

The end of this month requires extra attention to packing detail (and major planning), given that I’m co-hosting a bachelorette party for my girl L in Scottsdale for 3 days, and then headed on a weeklong tropical vacation. So what does one pack for a bachelorette in Scottsdale? Applying my earlier logic, let’s plan it out:

Friday: Travel day/Casual Night out

– linen pants + cardigan for the plane, GIGANTIC tote bag to carry all weekend party necessities, cowgirl boots and casual outfit for a night out in Scottsdale

Saturday: Pool Day/Major Night out!

– shorts + party tank and bikini for the pool (+ flip flops), formal black dress + comfy wedges for a night on the town

Sunday: Quick flight home to pack for vacation

– Lulu’s and t-shirt for travel, sweater for plane, flip flops to drive home from the airport

HERE ARE OUR PICKS FOR A BACHELORETTE WEEKEND:

Detailed & Delighted // Travel: Packing for a Bachelorette

1. ShopBop Canvas Beach Tote, $100

2. Kurt Geiger Capella Suede Wedges, $350

3. Chi Chi London Gold Sequined Party dress, $92

4. Custom Etsy Party tank

5. FRYE ‘Daisy Duke’ Vintage studd cowgirl boots, $650

6. Victoria’s Secret PINK Flounce Bikini top and bottoms, $90

7. Essie ‘Bachelorette Bash’ Nail polish, for the perfect weekend mani!

Happy Travels!

Preppy Can I: The Spring Handbag

Calling all preppy ladies! Spring handbag lines are on the shelves (or online stores, if you’re like me and have almost zero free time) – it’s time to shop! All of our favorite preppy brands have debuted poppy pinks and mints, soft leather, pastels, and fun materials for the new season. So even though it may still be cold, and we’ll be wearing it with a wool coat, we’re ready for a new handbag! Some of the best (Michael Kors, Prada, Longchamp) are keeping things fresh for 2015 with clean lines, simple structured silhouettes, and preppy accents. Which one are you wishing for?

Detailed & Delighted // Preppy Can I: Spring Handbags

Clockwise from top left:

1. J. Crew ‘Downing’ Hobo bag, in white: $198

2. Lilly Pulitzer ‘Everglade’ Clutch in natural + gold: $98

3. Louis Vuitton ‘Neverfull MM’ Tote, $1,260

4. Michael Kors Large Tote Bag in pink: $1,147

5. Our favorite! Longchamp ‘Le Pliage Cuir’ Travel Bag in green: $780

 

Valentine’s Day in Yosemite

 

Happy Love Day weekend, friends! We snuck out of the city last night and road tripped to Yosemite – one of the most peaceful places I’ve ever been. The National Park Service says it best: “First protected in 1864, Yosemite National Park is best known for its waterfalls, but within its nearly 1,200 square miles, you can find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, and much more.” We’re so happy to be out and about exploring – ‘ADVENTURE IS OUT THERE’!

Here are our top 5 MUST visits in Yosemite National park – there are so many beautiful things to see!

1. Tenaya Lodge – the premier mountain resort, Tenaya boasts perfect views, richly accommodated guest rooms (and suites), and exceptional restaurants. Bonus: family friendly, and only 30 minutes from the Yosemite Valley visitor’s center.

Detailed & Delighted // Valentine’s Day in Yosemite

2. Badger Pass Ski area – when the snowfall is abundant, Badger pass is a great little ski area, with limited crowds and great runs for skiers/snowboarders alike.

Detailed & Delighted // Valentine’s Day in Yosemite

 

3. Yosemite Valley Trail Hike – Moderate difficulty and 11.5 miles roundtrip on the loop will get you access to some of Yosemite’s best sights, in a relatively level hiking fashion (including meadows, talus slopes at the base of the granite cliffs, and the Merced River).

Detailed & Delighted // Valentine’s Day in Yosemite

 

4. Bridalveil Falls Hike – year round waterfall views (188 meters high!) make this a must do hike for any Yosemite visit.

Detailed & Delighted // Valentine’s Day in Yosemite

 

5. Half Dome! I’ve never hiked half dome, but I’ve heard it’s fantastic! Views of the entire valley are just part of the full day hike.

Detailed & Delighted // Valentine’s Day in Yosemite

Happy Exploring!