Viva Mexico!

A few weeks after the 4th of July and just before Amelia turned 6 months old we headed to Riviera Maya, Mexico! Not only was this our first family vacation with Amelia in tow, it was also her first flight (insert cringing emoji). The trip was wonderful, but traveling with a 6 month old is not easy…or lightweight. So. Much. Stuff.

Pack Mule
This is ONLY our carry on baby stuff…

Thank you Robert for doubling as a pack mule. Love the many talents of my super husband.

C's and A

My biggest anxiety leading up to the trip was making sure I packed everything we may possibly need (this involved lots of list making and double checking) and traveling with breast milk (this turned out to be super easy and no big deal, win!). The flights on the other hand…well, I wouldn’t call them ‘easy’. We had 4 flights total and 2 went OK and 2 involved lots of crying despite my best efforts at nursing/distraction/handing the baby off to family members. I’m not sure if flying will get easier or harder the older she gets. Being a parent on a plane definitely gives you a whole new threshold for tolerating other babies and young children on planes (sorry anyone I ever side-eyed in the past!).


Once we arrived in Mexico Amelia settled into a schedule pretty quickly and did well, despite some very late bedtimes. Our resort, the Vidanta Grand Luxxe, was beautiful and HUGE. The size made getting around slightly difficult since we had to travel everywhere with baby gear, but the variety of restaurants, pools and activities was wonderful.

My model niece.. first ones at the pool every morning!

We never lacked for something new and fun to do on the resort and spent one day away at a zip line park, complete with ATV’s and cenote swimming, which was a lot of fun despite my fear of heights.

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Thailand Part 8: Koh Samui & A Full Moon Party!

We bid farewell to Mo and hopped the high speed catamaran from Koh Tao to Koh Samui. The catamaran was more expensive than the ferry we had taken on the way to Koh Tao, but it was both faster and a much smoother ride, totally worth the price increase!


We arrived in time for breakfast at our new hotel, the Waterfront which was in the Bophut district of Koh Samui. Bophut was described as a ‘fishing village’ and had a little more of a quiet, family vibe than other party areas of Koh Samui. The Waterfront (right on the water as it’s name implies) was at the very end of the main street and provided the perfect base.


After a quick breakfast we checked into our rooms and showed ourselves around the hotel.



The rooms were all individual, sweet little bungalows that overlooked the beach.

Open air dining and reading area; where breakfast was served

Robert quickly proclaimed this his favorite hotel yet.

After breakfast we explored the street of Bophut, wandering in and out of shops, restaurants and of course massage parlors.


The streets of Bophut were rather quiet (which I didn’t mind), and most of the shops weren’t especially unique, but there was one restaurant that caught our eye..


This elephant restaurant was huge and looked very touristy (we would find that most of the Bophut restaurants were), BUT it was across the street from this awesome outdoor space..


Elephants Everywhere.


Including some dressed as superheroes.


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Thailand Part 7: Koh Tao

The first leg of our trip consisted of sightseeing in the big city of Bangkok, the second, slowing down in the northern city of Chiang Mai, finally it was time to head south to the islands for a little R and R!


We chose the gulf coast islands since the Phuket side was more likely to have adverse weather (monsoon season) at the time of our visit. Koh Samui, Koh Pha-ngan and Koh Tao are a chain of three popular islands on the gulf side. Koh Samui is the largest, and where the airport is, so that is where we flew into from Chiang Mai. There are cheaper ways to get there, but flying is the fastest and we wanted to maximize our time. Our plan was to first spend a few days on Koh Tao, then head back to Koh Samui for a few more days and Robert would leave from there. Haley and I then planned to spend our last island evening on Koh Pha-ngan and attend one of the infamous Full Moon Parties before heading back to Bangkok to fly home.

* I want to take a moment here to acknowledge how WONDERFUL our experience with Thai airlines was. We flew Bangkok Airways in-country and have nothing but positives to report. It was relatively inexpensive (AirAsia was cheaper but has a dodgier track record), the amenities were amazing (flight lounges with free food and wifi), they fed you on every flight, even a 30 minute one, and the employees were so friendly and professional, a stark contrast to the very rude Delta flight attendant we encountered on our way there.

Airport anniversary shot!

The Koh Samui airport  resembles a large hut and doesn’t have walls which I found most charming and tropical. Once we had our bags we took a cab to the ferry station and caught one bound for Koh Tao. The ferry ride took about two hours and I won’t lie to you, it was unpleasant. The seas were extremely rough and the captain wasn’t slowing down for anything. The waves were so high they were splashing up over the top of the ferry and water was dripping down from the ceiling! Several people got sick, including the man behind me who vomited at least 5 times throughout the ride. Not. Fun.

The poor pregnant woman on board practically kissed the ground when we finally docked and we weren’t far behind her! After agonizing over trip advisor reviews we had booked a villa at The Monkey Flower resort and had instructions to call the caretaker/driver Mo for free pickup. Mo arrived shortly in his white Tacoma and we were off!

As we drove Mo explained to us that Koh Tao was a fairly small island, best known for it’s great diving and laid back party scene. Most of the hotels, restaurants and dive shops were located along the main road, but the Monkey Flower was HIGH up in the mountains. He gave us a cell phone with his number pre-programmed into it and told us to call him anytime and he would take us anywhere we wanted to go and would additionally set up any activities we wanted to do for us. The twisty turning drive up the mountain was a little stomach churning but when Mo delivered us to the doorstep of our villa, The Bouganvillia, it was totally worth it.


It looked like a cute little mushroom house and I was instantly in love. Robert was less impressed by the fact that only the two bedrooms had AC, the other rooms only fans, but he did admit that the place looked “pretty cool”.



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Thailand Part 5: Chiang Mai

Our first full day in Chiang Mai was spent eating our way through cooking school, so we were more than ready to explore the city on Day 2, and best of all, we would finally have someone to take pictures of us  Robert with us! After breakfast I snapped a few photos of our adorable hotel, The Golden Bell, while we waited for Robert to arrive from his early flight from Bangkok.

The staff were kind everywhere we stayed but they were exceptionally nice at the Golden Bell! The hotel was very clean, in a great location just outside the city center and they had free bicycles for the guests to use during their stay.

Robert’s taxi finally pulled up around 9 AM and I was simultaneously thrilled to see him and in complete disbelief that he had actually made it to Bangkok and then on to Chiang Mai all on his own. I had researched for months and planned our trip meticulously but was more than a little wary that my darling husband who has barely left the states would be able to travel half way around the world solo.


The man amazes me daily.

We wasted no time and headed straight for the city! It took about .5 seconds for me to observe that Chiang Mai was prettier, friendlier, more laid back and WAY less crowded than Bangkok. It also seemed at least 10 degrees cooler and was extremely easy to navigate…double win!

Welcome to Narnia… I mean Chiang Mai

The city of Chiang Mai is basically a giant square grid surrounded by walls, each of which has a gate. Our hotel was located next to the Chiang Mai Gate so this is where our navigation always began.


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Birthday(s) in Bermuda – Part 1

Hi Blog! I’ve missed you! No posts from me in over two weeks…yikes! Let’s remedy that immediately.

Does anyone ever go on a vacation and then feel like you need a vacation from your vacation to catch back up? Surly I’m not alone in this? Bermuda was REALLY wonderful, but I hit the ground running full speed as soon as we returned. Between a sinus infection, lots of work to catch up on, throwing an engagement party for two friends, planning an upcoming wedding shower for two different friends (wedding season much?), hosting football parties (Go Tigers!) and trying to catch back up on laundry, cleaning, Renly, friends, LIFE….it’s been busy. But enough about being busy because really, aren’t we all? Let’s hop right into the fabulous, beautiful Bermuda recap!


Now, before you start thinking that I have some fantastic, jet-setting lifestyle that allows me to travel midweek on a whim, let me remind you why we took this trip. Robert and his sister (my sister in law) are exactly 10 years and one day apart. That means this September, they turned 30 and 40 respectively. Two pretty big milestone birthdays! Then to top it all off, our Aunt Vanessa turned another number ending in 0 (but we celebrated it as 25 😉 the day after Robert! Make that three milestone birthdays, three days in a row! We decided that three special birthdays in a row deserved a big celebration, and Bermuda was the winning destination!

We flew out of Atlanta early Wednesday morning and arrived in Bermuda around 2:00. We checked into our hotel, the Newstead Belmont Hills in Paget Parish, which overlooked the city of Hamilton.


Bermuda is divided into “Parishes” rather than districts or counties. Hamilton, across from our hotel is the center of the island and capital of Bermuda.

IMG_1508 IMG_1509

The view from the hotel was beautiful and our rooms were spotless. We shared a two bedroom condo with my sister and brother in law.  The bedrooms were on either side of a common area and kitchen and each had their own bathroom and private porch. It was very spacious and felt more like a private room than a shared condo.

                         Fresh off the plane

My sister-in-law had a friend from college, Belcario, who is a Bermuda native and he stopped by our hotel after we were settled to welcome us. After a few glasses of wine to kick off the vacation we decided to head into town for dinner.

Rion and Belcario

It was my sister-in-law’s birthday so she chose an Italian restaurant in Hamilton, La Trattoria. Belcario joined us for dinner and happily answered all of our questions about the island while we stuffed ourselves with pasta and pizza.

Rion Bday Dinner  Rion Bday

We decided to call it a night after dinner so we could make a full day of it on Thursday, Robert’s birthday!


We woke up bright and early Thursday morning and enjoyed breakfast at our hotel before heading to Oleander Cycles to rent scooters for the day, per the birthday boy’s request! Every family in Bermuda is only allowed to have one car, so scooters are the main mode of transportation. We quickly learned that the Bermudians are either brave or crazy (or both) the way they weave in an out of traffic and whip around blind corners on those things!

R and L 2
              Bermuda Bike Gang

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