Turks & Caicos

Months ago my boyfriend and I decided to take an extended weekend trip over President’s day weekend and really struggled on deciding where to go. I wanted to go somewhere I had never been, not too far from NYC and someplace sunny. After lots of googling we landed on Turks & Caicos! I didn’t know much about the island, but the pictures were gorgeous ,the flights were 2.5 hours and it was warm- so I was sold!

My expectations of Turks & Caicos were blown away. This is hands down one of the most amazing places on earth. The beaches are to die for. The water is so clear and shallow at some parts, you can walk almost a mile in the water and it will only hit waist deep. The sand is white and super soft and is a solid 80 degrees year round. This place is simply breathtaking.

We stayed in an amazing Airbnb. There are massive hotels here but seem overpriced when you can get a perfectly good airbnb and there is public access to all beaches. Renting a car is a must, even though the island is small you can’t get around on foot. There are so many different great beaches you have to access by driving through rough terrains. The food is also surprisingly great. Fresh fish, lobster and conch. If you want to be active on your holiday there is plenty to do here; boat, water skiing, tubing, banana boat, jet skis, snorkeling etc. They have tons of stuff to do. I chose to relax and explore all the different beaches there, drink and eat. We fell in love with this island and I literally cannot wait to come back!

Food: Stelle ( dinner), Da Conch (lunch), Parallel (dinner), Mango grove (lunch) Seven (dinner) Tiki Hut (lunch), Lemon2go (best coffee)

Nightlife: Infiniti bar, Bar at the Gansevort. There’s not a lot of nightlife here, dinners are great and bed after that!

Things to do: Go to ALL the different beaches! Malcom’s Beach (private beach you have to drive on very rough terrains to get there, but BEYOND worth it, Turtle’s bay beach (very shallow water and white sand beach), Sing Song Vila, The Shore club

Havana, Cuba

Cuba was by far one of the most interesting places I have ever been. As I am an American citizen and the borders have been closed since 1961, when the borders opened up in 2017  naturally my friends and I JUMPED at the opportunity to go to this forbidden place. I have a few friends who had been before and said it was amazing, everything you would think it would be. Beautiful beaches, awesome old retro cars, cigars, rum and just genuine fun. Hvana is all of these things, and is also one of the most historically relevant countries I have been to. When people say it’s a 3rd world communist country, you can’t really imagine what that really means. I have been to 3rd world countries so I knew what to expect in terms of that, but the communism there is still prevalent which i was not expecting.

The day we arrived, we checked into our Airbnb and as I usually do, tried to find the nearest convenient store so I could stalk up on water/ snacks for the house. There are absolutely no grocery stores or convenience stores in Cuba. Everything is still in rations and you can’t buy big water bottles anywhere. This came to as a surprise to me as I am so used to popping over to any bodega within 250 ft of me in NYC and buying myself a big ozarka. In order to stalk up on basic supplies like this you would have to go to a hotel and order 4 water bottles and just walk around with them. The buildings in Hvana are fascinating, they are all shells with the insides having been completely demolished. It's quite sad to see such beautiful architecture completely ruined. There are amazing restaurants that are literally located in rubble. One of the first nights we went to one of the best restaurants in Hvana called La Guardia. You walk into this massive building with spiral marble staircases and the inside is in complete shambles. The food is great here, but in general the food isn’t great in Hvana- again due to the rations. There are so many great surrounding beaches and so many awesome Squares you have to visit.

I am so lucky to have gone when I had and had such a memorable experience. There is so much history here, so i suggest reading up on it prior to visiting! The buildings/cars/water are all beautiful colors so make sure to bring a wardrobe to match! Oh and It's super humid, so bring anti-frizz if your anything like me!

Food:  San Cristobal (amazing authentic spot). Dona Eutima (in old city). El Cocinero. Rio Mar. Cafe Laurent. Barraca at Hotel Nacional. Hotel Saratoga. La Cocina Del Lilliam. Cafe Del Orienet.

Nightlife: Mijo y Tuji (late night), Fabrica de Artes (for a concert) - I don’t think it opens until June 1 (i was so excited), La Casa de Musica in Miramar (live salsa music), Sia Kara Cafe, El Floridita- one of the best 7 bars in the world. Hemingways second home in havana

Things to do: Sightseeing: Old City, Hotel Sevilla, Hotel Nacional (nice pool you can pay to go), Day trips to Vinales (zip line here and boat through a cave) Varadero (beautiful beaches) Other beaches are playa el salado, santa maria del mar, Plaza Del Cristo (where a lot of cute bars and cafes are) Historic Revolution Square- square that Fidel Castro delivered his addresses, 331 Art space, Casa Abel- pairs cigars with local rums. 4 major plaza’s you must explore: Plaza Amas, Plaza de la catedral, plaza vieja, plaza san francisco. La Bodeguita del medio- where the mojito was invented. Partagas- historical cigar shop. Cuban Museum of the Revolution

Montreal in Quebec, Canada

I have been dying to go to Canada as I have only heard amazing things about the food and how nice the people are.  I think it's so crazy that I had never been despite it being only an hour flight from me! Finally bit the bullet and decided to go the over NYE, literally the COLDEST time of year. But the flight was cheap, soooo naturally booked it while I was at a boozy brunch- whoops! Spontaneous trips are my favorites. Despite how cold it is there, Montreal was so great! It's such a liveable city, with a really cute downtown area and tons of amazing food. Canadians truly are the nicest people on earth. I definitely recommend going in the warmer months! 

Food: Arthurs nosh bar (breakfast), Jatoba (Asian Dinner), Le courtet (for breakfast/coffee), Flyjin (dinner), Foigwa(brunch or dinner) , Sea Salt and Ceviche, Liverpool House, Joe Beef, Foxy (amazing pizza), Milos (greek), Damas, Le filet, le bouillon bilk and garde mange

Nightlife: Flyjin (club), Soubois (club), atwater (speakeasy), Pullman (wine bar), Philemon (speakeasy) 

Things to do: See Notre-Dame Basilica, explore old montreal, casino, EAT! 

San Salvador, El Salvador

I never though of San Salvador as a travel destination, but because my dad was stationed there for 6 years- it quickly became one of my favorite places I have ever been. The people there are so incredibly sweet and they just love live, it's great to see people dancing and enjoying themselves and just being genuinely happy- and that's what you find in San Salvador. One of my good friends from college is from here so when I went for the first time to visit my dad, she introduced me to everyone she knew and treated me as her own. The hospitality of people here is unparalleled. The country itself is beautiful with so much green jungle and volcanos, one of the most beautiful lakes I have ever seen is here- Lago Coatepeque. The water turns this green color certain times of year and it's actually breathtaking. The food is also great- amazing fresh ceviche and good Italian. If you like to surf this should definitely be on your list. Playa El Tunco is where all the surfers go and there are some really cute beach bars. The best time of year to check out the lake is the first week of August dubbed "Augusto" where everyone who has a house on the lake goes and of course invites all of their family and friends and it's just a week of parting. This was one of the best weeks of my life- despite the fact that I busted my lip open here and had to get 10 stitches to put it back together, but I digress. El Salvador will always have a place in my heart and I highly recommend visiting if you have the opportunity. 

Food: Delikat, La hola Betos, la hacienda real, Punto, Merkato, Esperanto, Il Bongustaio

Nightlife: Circo, Lobby, Jaleo

Things to do: Surf, go to the lake, jet ski, Sento Spa