Planning Your Honeymoon

When planning a wedding, the honeymoon is often the second most talked about event beyond the big day.  And it is often the thing the couple ends up looking forward to, maybe even more than the wedding day? So with so much pressure on the big day, there is equal pressure for the week after.  Here are a few tips for planning your honeymoon!
Planning Your Honeymoon - the bee life

  1. Consider a Mini-Moon. Since we’re getting married in November, our dream spots aren’t in season in November or December, so we were a little bummed out.  Until family/friends were telling us we had to get away still, even if it was local in the U.S. Problem solved, tickets/resort booked! There are so many cities popping up all over the U.S. that can allow for the perfect romantic getaway you’re looking for. Oh, and you can still plan that dream spot the following year! Check out these mini-moon spots from Travel + Leisure
  2. Go Someplace New. We are totally guilty of vacationing to the same places, so this is the perfect excuse to try someplace new.  Whether you’re keeping it in the continental U.S., or venturing over seas, there are endless places to visit.  If you’re like us, the list goes on for days of dream vacation destinations.
  3. Add It To Your Registry! With new innovative registries becoming more popular, like Zola, you can literally add a honeymoon fund to your list! This allows guests to contribute money for your dream vacation, and can help take off some of the financial burden for the couples dream trip.
  4. Relaxation vs. Adventure. Choosing your destination may be impacted by what you’re planning to do on your vacation.  Consider if you’ll want to strictly relax, or want to have endless options of excursions and places to visit.  A city destination will probably be more on the go vs. a warm resort town on the west coast.  Looking for excursions and activities, maybe consider a mountain resort getaway or hiking through the Grand Canon or Smokey Mountains.
  5. Consider Connections.  Do you know family/friends that have vacationed in spots you’ve dreamed of going? Ask them for tips on places to stay and restaurants to visit.  Better yet, if family/friends have time shares that you can take advantage of, do it! Then you just have to worry about airfare, maybe a rental car and your day-to-day expenses! A honeymoon on a budget, is never a bad thing!

Whatever trip you plan, and wherever you end up going, will be a memorable trip!  Just remember why you’re going, it’s your first trip as husband and wife (husband/husband or wife/wife)!!

 

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Travel: #EmnBtoSTL

Since we flew in and out of St. Louis, we were able to spend two-days in St. Louis on our way out from the Ozarks, and a quick brunch on our way out to the lake.  Needless to say our 2-days in St. Louis were jam packed with prime tourist spots and a few off the path places.   We wish we would’ve had more time to explore, but definitely got a taste of St. Louis.

Half & Half Brunch
I had been researching some good food spots, luckily we were able to at least attend one spot.  It was the perfect pit stop to refuel after an early morning of travel and before the drive to the lake.  The atmosphere was quaint and cozy, the service was friendly and on point, the food was amazing and wish we could’ve gone back for more!

Gateway Arch 
We popped over the the Gateway arch to start one of our days.  The last time I was in St. Louis, I was too young to remember, old photographs are all I have as a memory, so it was great to go back and appreciate the beauty.   Not to mention this was B’s first trip to the city.  We were late to the game booking a tour to go up inside the arch, but we were able to snap enough photos around the manicured greens.  This is definitely a must in STL.

Anheuser Busch Brewery
Of course we made a stop to the iconic “all-American” brewery.  This little village located on the perimeter of downtown, was an impressive site to see with many of the buildings built in the 1800’s, that by the way are in pristine condition.   The complimentary tour was the perfect combination of tradition and taste, while we began and ended our visit in the bier garden! A highlight of our stop here was touring the Clydesdale barn built in 1885, and then snapping a photo with one too!

We had a great trip at the lake, ending it with fun activities in St. Louis.  We definitely want to get back to visit a few new spots and enjoy a few again!

Travel: Lake of the Ozarks

B and I were lucky enough to take another awesome vacation this past week.  We headed west-ish for my aunt’s belated 60th birthday trip to the Lake of the Ozarks.  A first for B and I, it was a treasured childhood spot for my mom and her family growing up, with lots of memories in and around the lake!

Days consisted of bikinis, sunshine, pool gossip sessions, corn hole tournaments, cold beers, fishing and ski-dos.  One day the ladies went hiking and explored around Ha Ha Tonka State Park, climbing 317 stairs both ways, while exploring old castle ruins, breath-taking water spots and the natural bridge.
Travel - Ozarks - the bee life
Night’s consisted of large family dinners with St. Louis style ribs paired with incredible spreads of fresh salads, fruit, lots of beverages, including of course, Manhattans.  There were also many family stories shared, reminisced of old times, and lots of laughs.  We celebrated my Aunt’s 60th our last night at the lake, and her gratitude for everyone making the trip there, was exactly the reason we went, to create and share in family memories.

It was a great vacation, full of sunshine, awesome weather and even better company.  We can’t wait to get back to the lake!

Travel: Myrtle Beach Eats

So one of the fun parts of traveling is trying new food spots! Although, Myrtle Beach is filled with chains, we tried to find some spots that weren’t native to our area, or were a one off, I think we did a pretty good job!

Sam Snead’s Oak Grill & Tavern
A golfer’s paradise, full of memorabilia and achievements by Sam Snead. The menu is cleverly named with golfing terms like; “Tee Off” for the appetizers, “Water Hazard” for the fish selections, and “In The Fairway” just to name a few. Since it was our first dinner out, the theme and selections were based around the idea of YOLO so I went with a Peach Lemonade Cocktail, Salad and Baby Back Ribs, B ordered the fish and chips.

Famous Toastery
This was a random find for a late brunch one afternoon, and it was an awesome pick! The menu was impressive, serving breakfast and lunch all day from 7AM – 3PM. Everything is made to order for easy customization for any dietary needs. Not to mention they have all your brunch beverage necessities from mimosas, to bloody mary’s and even beermosa’s. We stopped here twice for brunch and each time left impressed and wanting more!

Brother Shuckers Fish House
We ended up here for dinner, again looking for a place a bit off the beaten path with a nice atmosphere and yummy eats.  They did not disappoint, from the drinks to the entrees, everything was absolutely delicious. I ordered the speciality cocktail, a Raspberry Cosmo, I couldn’t drank those all night. Then for my entree I ordered the Pecan Encrusted Salmon with green beans, perfection. B ordered the Peppertini (yum!) and Stuffed Tilapia, all the other dishes around the table looked amazing.  It also sounded like their cocktails changed often and the bartender made his own mixers and concotions, so it was definitely a great spot for a good drink on top of good food!

We definitely ate and drank well over our trip to the beach! Have you been to Myrtle Beach recently? What’re your favorite spots for brunch, lunch or dinner? Comment below!

Cheers!

Travel: #EmnBtoMB

B and I were lucky enough to get away for a few days over Memorial Day weekend with my parents in Myrtle Beach.  The main reason for the trip was to visit my grandma.  She lives down there in a nursing home, and my aunt and cousins also live in the general area. So the goal of the trip was to get my grandma out of that nursing home and spend as much time as possible with her!

Our first full day there was a beach day! Yes, we took my grandma to the pier and got her onto the beach. We avoided the more touristy part of the beach, and went to Myrtle Beach State Park – it was a perfect spot with not too many people. A storm rolled in, but we waited it out and the sun came out, the clouds went away and it was beautiful.  B and I got to stroll down the beach, had some fun in the water and snapped some pictures, while my parents walked the boardwalk with my Grandma.
Myrtle Beach - the bee life
The next day we did some outlet shopping, and then made our way to the community pool where we were staying with a pitcher full of Whiskey Sours (recipe coming soon!),  so music, swimming and a little cat nap in the sun, was the perfect afternoon.  Saturday was a morning workout day and another pool day, and then family time with your standard picnic feast! It had been a bit too long since I’d seen everybody, and B’s first time meeting the cousins – so it was a much needed trip and visit.

Although the trip felt quick, the sunshine was needed and it was great to get out of town for a few days. This trip was also special, because this was B and I’s first “beach” vacation – as we’re used to heading out west, or weekends away at the cabin.

Check back in tomorrow, I’m sharing our Myrtle Beach eats!

Travel: #EmnBtoDC

In case you missed our D.C. Eats recap, B and I were in Washington D.C. this past weekend! It was fun to jump in the car, hit the open road and get out of town for the weekend. Although we’d both been there before separately, we wanted to go back and see the historical beautiful sites, together.

Since our hotel was in a prime location, two blocks from the White House, and about a 20-minute walk from the National Mall, we were sneaker ready to hit up as many sites as possible. We got an early start Saturday, but many other tourists had gotten an even earlier start! Our first stop was the Washington Monument, and from there we went to the WWII memorial and walked along the Reflecting Pool to the Lincoln Memorial. There were many baby ducklings with their parents in the pool, they were too cute!Travel - Washington DC - the bee life
I was so looking forward to visiting the Lincoln Memorial and replicating that first time I walked in nearly 11 years before. I have the fondest memory of walking in from the bustling exterior and into this silent, peaceful and mesmerizing place. Sadly, it was not the same experience this time around.  People were yelling back and forth to one another to take a picture or facetiming with family/friends to show them the statue. I was so disappointed, and a little mad! But it was still an incredible place and site to see, the views inside and outside are stunning and breathtaking.

From there we checked out the Korean War Veterans Memorial, and hid from the rain under some trees surrounding it. From there we leisurely walked back through the park and made our way to the Smithsonian American History museum. We explored the war exhibits and the First Lady Exhibit; showing off their Inaugural Gown dresses and various White House China.

We made our way to the Capitol beating ominous clouds, again there were more adorable ducklings swimming in the reflecting pool in front of the Capitol. The Capitol is a massive building, and is radiant in symmetry. We hid from rain in various Starbucks on our way to lunch at District Taco’s.  We did a break back to the hotel, before we went back out and explored more around the White House, adoring the brownstone’s and historical buildings from the 1800’s surrounding it.

We clocked nearly 13-miles throughout our day Saturday, walking to all the sites, shopping and dinner in between. Because we were only there for the weekend, we definitely felt like we had to be selective we our choices but saw our must-see’s and had a fun weekend trip!

Travel: D.C. Eats

This past weekend, B surprised me with a trip to Washington D.C. to celebrate our dating anniversary! We always try and figure out places that are close-ish and within driving distance. This trip was just that. He booked this trip at the end of March, and didn’t tell me where we were headed until 5-days before!

The last time we were both in D.C. was for our 8th grade trips, so needless to say I am sure we didn’t appreciate a lot of it. Not to mention, going now, we were able to explore at our pace and more importantly find some good spots to eat and drink!

Cork Wine Bar
Cork was my surprise for B. I found a spot with the same name as our first date! It was a random find, located just North of Logan Circle. Cork’s atmosphere was cozy and intimate. They’re known for their old world wines, but we opted for bubbly and beer. They also recommend about 2-3 plates per person, so we ordered the full gamut! We started with the house-marinated olives and avocado. They were both pure heaven, and we hadn’t even gotten to the main course yet.  B ordered the grilled octopus salad, which was refreshing and light and a lot of great flavor. From there we enjoyed the crispy lemon and black pepper dusted calamari and rock shrimp, sauteed mushrooms and the lavender encrusted lamb chops. Everything was delicious, but the lamp chops were incredible, the taste and flavors beat any expectations.  We ordered the chocolate mousse to share and couldn’t stop gushing over everything we’d just ate.  Everything was phenomenal.

Astro Doughnuts
This was an Instagram find that happened to be walking distance from our hotel! So we popped over to Astro Doughnuts first thing Saturday AM with our coffee to get some sweet treats to kickoff the day.  We ordered the Maple Bacon, PB&J, and Almond Brittle. They were all delicious but the PB&J and Almond Brittle took the cake.  You can also order chicken or specialty sandwiches – but we stuck with the sweets.  It was on point!

Farmers & Distillers
Located in Chinatown, this spot is an urban twist on all types of cuisines, with their own stamp on the drink menu with their distilled alcohol.  This was your typical hot spot, it was bustling and loud.  The food was good, but it was so-so in comparison to our dinner at Cork. At Farmers & Distillers, we opted for the salad and pizza route. Our pizza picks were on point. We ordered the bacon & baby kale and the brie & tart apple, they were both delicious in their own way.  The food was good enough, but I wish we would’ve spent a little more timing finding a different spot with a cozier atmosphere.

We definitely ate well this past weekend in D.C. – and can’t wait to go back to try some new places and head back to a few favorites *cough Cork cough*

If you’ve got any D.C. must-eats, please comment below for our next trip there!

Bon Appetit!

Weekend Recap – Cabin Fever 

This past weekend, we had the perfect getaway to one of our favorite spots, the cabin in the woods. This time we met up with Katie & Travis with our pooches for a fun little weekend away.

B and I went in Friday night with Moz and grabbed some take out from a local joint, Pine Junction. We hung out and watched a romantic comedy (a rare occasion) and enjoyed our eats! The best decision about dinner was getting the Moose Balls. Chocolate covered peanut butter, SO good.

Saturday, Kates, Travis and Luna arrived and we took the pups for a walk before heading out to one of our second favorite spots – Southern Tier Brewery.  We hung out and had some beverages and ordered some food… Well it was kind of a lot of food. And we finally got Pumking on draft, it’s so good, especially to kick off October. They also had some new Pumking flavors, a Cold Pressed Pumking and then Rum Barrel Aged Pumking. Woah. Not to mention Warlock and their other usual suspects. It was fun gossiping, talking wedding and sipping some beers with my bestie and our guys.

It was the perfect fall weekend away in the woods. It was rainy and cool so just asking for us to be lazy and staying in.

Happy October, everybody!

Weekend Getaway Must-Have’s

Planning any fall getaways?  October always seems to fly by, but one of our favorite to-do’s is getting out of town for a quick weekend trip, being in the middle of nowhere, no wi-fi, no traffic, no house work, just hanging out and escaping the world.  As much as I love a weekend away with B, it’s even more fun when you can plan it with some friends or family.  Here are a few must-have’s for your upcoming weekend away.

  1. Games:  This is a way to laugh, have some friendly competition and get away from the TV!  Having some good group games like Cranium, Wavelength, Cards Against Humanity or even just a deck of cards will kick your nights off right.
  2. Drinks:  Have a variety of alcoholic beverages, but if you can find a fun recipe that is season specific or a new recipe to try! Split the ingredients with your friends and join together in trying something new.
  3. Music: Whether an inpromptu Basketstreet Boys dance party breaks out or just some background music is needed during games and drinks be sure to bring some portable blue tooth speakers and have some tunes ready to go!
  4. Food: Be sure to have a variety of snacks to enjoy during games and drinks; you can’t go wrong with cheese, crackers, grapes and don’t forget some chocolate to snack on! For dinners and breakfasts, keep it easy, eggs, bagels, oven pizza’s or something you can throw on the grill. After all your away so enjoy the down time.
  5. Local Spot: If you go to the same weekend getaway spot, and you haven’t found your go-to local spot yet, get on it!  Whether it’s a place for breakfast, an ice cream spot, an antique store, or a local brewery (we opt for the local brewery part whenever possible).  It can be your spot away from all your normal local home spots.

What’re you favorite things to do or have on a weekend getaway? 

Cheers to the weekend!