Travel Tuesday: Tulum, MX.

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, I thought it would be a great time to share a pic from our honeymoon. We enjoyed the most fantastic and romantic honeymoon in Mexico. We even took some time to visit ancient Mayan ruins in Tulum. Super cool!

 

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Travel Tuesday: Tulum, Mexico 

 

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Travel Tuesday!

Greetings, from rainy Minneapolis, MN! We’re currently visiting with my in-laws over the Labor Day weekend we had here in the U.S.

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I don’t know about you, but I’m daydreaming of Italy today! Sigh… I fell in love with Rome. Most people know that I consider it the city where I realized I was going to marry my husband. It was our 1st trip together. Besides being a beautifully romantic city, I felt as if I was transported back in time. I was in awe of all the architecture, ruins, and original statues that still remain around the city. Simply fantastic! That’s why for today’s Travel Tuesday, I picked Rome! A Must for any traveler.

La Vida Sunshine: What to do in Lima, Peru.

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Lima was full of surprises for me. First of all, it’s a much larger city than I ever expected. It’s home to some of the best restaurants in the world. It has ancient ruins in the middle of its modern day city. Which for me, puts it at the top of one of my favorite cities in the world.  

We stayed in Miraflores for 3 days. Upon our return from Machu Picchu, we stayed in San Isidro for another 3 days. Even with 6 days total in Lima, it still was not enough time to do and see everything. This city and country can easily keep you busy for months. 12366019_10105764968638568_3245820084875790901_o

Lima is the capital of Peru. It was founded in 1535. It resides along the Pacific coast in South America. It was about a 6.5-hour flight for us from Houston, TX. It had been on my bucket list for years. Our Lima itinerary consisted of 2 special reservations at Astrid & Gaston and Central Restaurante. We also had reservations at Maido, but we became so ill we had to cancel our reservation. That was thanks to some ill prepared burgers we ate at lunch one day. We paid for those burgers for days. Ugh! I don’t ever want to relive that experience again. We also visited 2 ancient ruins of Huaca Pucllana and Huaca Huallamarca, Larcomar, Museo Larco, and Parque de la Reserva for the night light and water show.

Can you imagine a modern day city with ancient ruins in the middle of it? Because that’s what you can expect in Lima. It’s pretty cool! Our 1st full day in Lima we visited Huaca Pucllana.  

It was within walking distance of where we stayed at Radisson Hotel Decapolis Miraflores in Miraflores.

The 2nd ruins we went to Huaca Huallamarca is in San Isidro, also within walking distance of our Hotel Atton in San Isidro.

Both of the ruins are great for a half day trip.  It’s a great reminder how Lima is an ancient world meets modern day city. I appreciate that Lima has made the effort in preserving its history. In fact, while we were there they were excavating. I read in the newspaper later that they actually uncovered bodies that had been buried hundreds of years ago on the site. How cool! They are still discovering stories to their past.

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One of my favorite things was simply walking the Malecon and stopping along the way at Parque Del Amor and people watch.

They also have a lighthouse that we walked to and enjoyed the views along the way. Here you’ll find people walking and running along the Malecon. You’ll also see families enjoying a picnic on a nice day. Oh, and people bike riding.

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We walked all the way down the Malecon and right into Larcomar. Larcomar is the large shopping center located in Miraflores. Here you’ll find everything you could ever need from clothes, shoes, and luggage. It rivals any huge and modern mall, the only thing is this one is incredibly beautiful and overlooks the Pacific ocean. Also, here is where we purchased our Peru Rail tickets for the train ride to Machu Picchu 4 days in advance. They have a kiosk and it was the perfect place to reserve and purchase our tickets ahead of getting to Cusco. I highly recommend this.

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From Larcomar to Museo Larco, from shopping to one of the best museums I’ve ever been to. First of all, Museo Larco is just as beautiful on the outside as it is on the inside with all of its ancient artifacts and history of the Americas.

My only regret is we didn’t stay to eat something in the beautiful garden museum restaurant. It was not within walking distance from our hotel, therefore, a taxi was necessary to get here. There also were plenty of taxi’s waiting outside when we were ready to leave.

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We had a perfect date night while visiting Parque de la Reserva. This park has one of the most extraordinary night light and water shows we’ve ever seen. The show was fantastic, the park is huge, and it was wonderful seeing so many couples and families enjoying the evening and the show together.

This was not walking distance from San Isidro or Miraflores, therefore, a taxi cab was necessary for the trip. We paid our taxi from our hotel a little extra for him to come back and pick us up after the water show later that night. It was worth it as it’s not located in the safest neighborhood.

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There is still much left to be seen and experienced in Lima. Before we left, we promised ourselves we’d return. I truly loved everything about this modern day city next to the sea. Until next time, Lima, I Love you!

La Vida Sunshine’s NOLA Experience

I was looking forward to going to New Orleans, LA, for the 1st time. Then, I landed up getting Vertigo. It is some kind of crazy, dizzying, off balance, and at times nauseating sickness. It comes from out of nowhere and no one knows how long it will last. Mine lasted about a whole week. I haven’t had it since thank God!

I called the doctor and she prescribed me some pills that mostly put me to sleep. I took those and got on the plane. Luckily going to NOLA for us is only an hour flight. When I say, I was out of it, I mean I was OUT OF IT. I wasn’t going to let Vertigo ruin my first NOLA experience. Thank goodness, for my husband, who was extremely patient with me. I couldn’t have made it on the plane or enjoyed anything without him taking care of me.

We stayed at Sheraton New Orleans Hotel. It was fantastic! We had an extra large room and away from Bourbon St, which is exactly what we were looking for. It was peaceful and quiet, but close enough to be able to walk to the party scene in the French Quarter. We had a view of the river and the French Quarter from our room. I would definitely stay there again and recommend it to others, as well.

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La Vida Sunshine’s NOLA Experience

La Vida Sunshine’s NOLA Musts:

Gumbo Shop was our 1st stop to fill up on gumbo and jambalaya. For those unfamiliar with Creole food, it is a beautiful mix of African, French, Spanish, and Caribbean styles of food. This is what we come to New Orleans for, to discover this piece of history and culture that is exclusive to NOLA.

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La Vida Sunshine’s NOLA Experience @ the Gumbo Shop – It’s all about Jambalaya for me.

 

Johnny Sanchez the baby of famous chefs John Besh and Aaron Sanchez. 1 word: Awesome! It was such a delicious and flavorful Mexican taqueria in the middle of New Orleans. We went back to eat and drink there twice. This has to be my most surprising discovery in NOLA. It’s also outside of the French Quarter, but still walkable in the downtown area. It’s worth the walk and reservations are accepted. I’ve been telling everyone about this place. It’s become my top recommendation because it’s completely different and unexpected to New Orleans cuisine.

NOLA Restaurant gets a big Yaaaasssss, from me! One meal here and I remember why Emeril Lagasse is a world renowned Chef. We had an unforgettable dinner here. The portions are more than generous and left us wobbling out the door. The wine list was extensive and the service was fantastic. I highly suggest reservations.

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La Vida Sunshine’s NOLA Experience @ NOLA Restaurant

Saints and Sinners probably more famously known for its owner, Channing Tatum. Yep and we were told every time he’s in town, he’s usually enjoying the party. I’ll forever remember this place as the 1st place I tried Crawfish. A Southern staple. Since living in the South this was my first, but not my last time enjoying crawfish.

Pat O’Briens is the place to be to start the party since 1933! By the time we got here, I was feeling better from my Vertigo and was ready for a Hurricane or two. What’s a hurricane? Well, it’s Pat O’Briens signature drink, a mix of Rum and their own famous Hurricane mix.

Gordon Biersch Brewery my husband is a beer enthusiast through and through, meaning anytime we can stop and enjoy a pint or two we do. This place is a great mid day or evening stop for a late night beer. They also have food, but we never ate there as it was only a stop on the way to wherever we were going next.

Cafe Fleur De Lis usually has a line out the door. I promise it’s worth the wait. It serves only breakfast and lunch. It doesn’t take reservations. I don’t suggest going with a big group. It’s pretty tiny on the inside. It’s a great way to start the day with a big ‘ol Southern breakfast!

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La Vida Sunshine’s NOLA Experience – Cafe Fleur de Lis

Cafe Du Monde has been in NOLA since 1862! It’s open 24 hours a day. We enjoyed our beignets late at night on a walk around the French Quarter. It’s a NOLA must and easy to understand why it’s been around for generations. The one, the only Cafe Du Monde…

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La Vida Sunshine’s NOLA Experience – Cafe Du Monde

 

We celebrated Easter Sunday in New Orleans. We went to mass at the famed St Louis Cathedral.

First of all, I’ve never seen an Easter mass as I experienced it in NOLA. It was bright, colorful, and every single person was dressed to impressed. There were several parades throughout the entire day. They were all full of music, beads, and plenty of costumes. I love a good old fashioned NOLA parade.

My other favorite New Orleans must is actually away from Bourbon St and the French Quarter. It’s a short cab ride away called, Frenchmen Street. This is where the over 25 crowd hangs out. It’s abundant with live music, signature cocktails, and plenty of art to be experienced. It’s the grown-up version of Bourbon St. I enjoyed it so much more than I expected.

I took away that this city is proud of its history. Seeing how far they have come from Hurricane Katrina is uplifting. I would suggest don’t just visit New Orleans, experience New Orleans. Eat as much as you can. Drink as much as you can. Sing and dance as much as you can. Just make sure not to step in a bourbon puddle.

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La Vida Sunshine’s NOLA Experience @ Bourbon St

 

Did your favorite NOLA eats or sights make the list? If not, let me know where you love to eat, drink, and hang out in New Orleans? Cheers!