street smART

Locating street art is always a priority with each new destination. Tastefully done street art typically means you’ve found a potentially “hip” area packed with all sorts of local hubs waiting to be discovered. Over the years I’ve made an effort to track down some cool looking walls and photograph my favorite pieces.

The following six were taken by me in 2012 in East London near Brick Lane.IMG_2258 IMG_2259IMG_2146 IMG_2153 IMG_2156 IMG_2158

Cork, Ireland, 2012
IMG_2300Los Angeles, 2014IMG_3014

Český Krumlov, Czech Republic, 2014

Banksy art, London 2015IMG_3233East London, 2015

IMG_3222 IMG_3224Vienna, Austria 2015IMG_3456 IMG_3694Berlin Wall, Germany 2015IMG_3811 IMG_3812 IMG_3818 IMG_3819 IMG_3820 IMG_3845 IMG_3842 IMG_3843

 

Say YES to NO-la

New Orleans, Louisiana is a picturesque city teeming with all sorts of crazy, drunk characters. We spent a long Memorial Weekend there enjoying the architecture, crawfish, people and music. From the Garden District to the streets of the French Quarter, our time in NOLA absolutely did not disappoint.

Although our trip was slightly more on the tame and relaxing side, I see this being a fantastic place for a girls weekend or guy’s trip. There were many a bachelorette and stag party drunkenly roaming the streets.

EATS

Crawfish this time of year is a must. I pity anyone who visits and does not partake in the delightful consumption of these mudbugs. I recommend ordering a couple pounds and sucking the brains. #worthitIMG_0364

 

Who has two thumbs and used to watch Emeril Lagasse with her grandparents? THIS GIRL. The celebrity chef’s flagship restaurant, located in the warehouse district makes for a perfect Saturday night dinner.

SLEEPS

Hotel Monteleone, full of history, hauntings and culture, is one of the last family owned-and-operated hotels in NOLA. Smack dab in the middle of the French Quarter, this places goes above and beyond to make a tourist’s stay comfortable and eventful.

I suggest taking advantage of the rooftop pool and bar.

The hotel’s Carousel Bar is also a must visit. While you drink, the bar rotates slowly, creating a trippy ‘I need another drink’ feeling. So go ahead, indulge, have another before venturing out onto nearby Bourbon Street. IMG_0333

SEES

For those of you interested in History, might I suggest stopping by the National WWII Museum? With a strong interest in history and specifically WWII, this stop was a no brainer for our party.

The museum is recognized as the national WWII museum due to New Orleans being the home of Higgins Industries. Higgins Industries is credited in the creation of the Higgins Boat, an amphibious boat crucial to the success of many operations during WWII, including D-Day in Normandy.IMG_0362IMG_0354

In the mood for a psychic reading? Feeling the need to get back at the girl who used to jump you in the lunch line? Check out Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo. They’ve got something for that. Trinkets, spell kits and voodoo dolls can all be purchased here. The museum is quite fascinating. Small, dingy and slightly eerie, the museum gives insight to history of voodoo, including a bio on the voodoo Queen herself. Along with a history lesson, they provide a wealth of knowledge on the current practice of voodoo, which I was surprised to find, is typically used for its positive and helpful powers. Needless to say, we purchased a doll of our own.

Below are more photos of the Garden District and French Quarter. Truly an exquisite city full of activities and a little something for every type of tourist.


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Dear Milton, Florida,

I would like to take the time to commend you on some newly discovered hidden gems scattered throughout your “seemingly” boring boundaries.  I have been pleasantly surprised on multiple occasions over the last few days, as I have stumbled upon various restaurants, cafes and antique shops. I must admit, upon moving to your township two months ago, I was slightly hesitant to leave the comfortable confines of your more attractive, popular, big sister Pensacola, but hereby declare that I have been sorely mistaken. New, self-gathered evidence points that Milton truly is a quaint, entertaining town all on it’s own. That is, if you’re willing to give it a chance.

Well done, Milton. I applaud you and look forward to future discoveries.

With newfound respect,

Sarah

________

Alright guys, it’s true – there really are places worth visiting in Milton! I am finding that I am really starting to enjoy myself here. From Bands on the Blackwater activities each Friday evening, to the quaint little thrift shops and antique stores, I’ve certainly been finding a lot to enjoy.

I’ve recently learned that Historic Milton is having some trouble thwarting plans of an intrusive four-lane highway. The highway proposal could potentially destroy old buildings in its charming district as well as redirect any prospective tourism straight out of the pleasant little downtown.

“Saving downtown does not just mean saving our past, it means investing in the brightest future for our beloved little city.”

In honor of small towns everywhere, let’s hop on board and help give Milton a chance to prove itself. For more information read and sign the petition here to help fight for preservation of Milton, Florida’s Historic District.

OR if you live in the area, stop by Old Post Office Antiques. Sign in person and enjoy one of the lovely buildings that could potentially be harmed by the lane add-ons. They also have the most delicious lunch cafe with the sweetest staff.

Wearing: Rag and Bone denim, thrifted neck tie ($1 downtown Milton!), Mango gladiators here (40% off!)



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Blackwater Bistro-ah-go-go

 

Milton eateries are hard to come by. We’ve discovered one that has quickly turned into a regular destination. Easy, delicious and friendly, Blackwater Bistro is on the top of my short, Milton ‘must eat’ list. I always show up for the buttermilk pie but usually end up taking it home, because I can’t say no to the pre-meal artichoke dip.

If you’re a beer lover, the Civil War is a must try, half yuengling, half aibta, half awesome. Get the large and thank me later.IMG_1874_1 IMG_1878_1 IMG_1880_1 IMG_1881_1

Fringe The Right Way

The thing about living in Milton, Florida is, there aren’t many places nearby to get a good photo backdrop. Our house will do for now.

Lazy Monday working from home calls for a casual, easy look. Wearing one of my favorite old kimono style tops from Phraseology LA. Based out of Los Angeles, founded by couple, Josh and Amber, they have some incredibly stylish, printed pieces. As a bonus, 10% of each purchase goes toward saving wildlife. Check out their store here and their story here. Denim by Rag & Bone from Scout in Pensacola!

I love the deep-V, fringe look. Perfect neckline for stacking some necklaces or sporting a body chain. 
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Prague in Review

TL;DR – SCROLL TO BOTTOM FOR RECAP, I get a bit postwench-like in this one.

A friend recently recommend I start posting reviews on cities I have visited. Although it would have been much smarter (and easier) for me to start this blog while I was actually in the heart of my journeys, I will do my best to rely on memory and photos until the next opportunity for travel presents itself.

Throughout the last few years I’ve found a lot of joy in recommending everything from cities and locations, to eateries and bars, to friends all over the world. It’s amazing connecting with other travelers and swapping stories and tid-bits about new places. I’m always up for a challenge and enjoy trying new things.

I’ll start with the most recent, and biggest adventure. I spent seven months living in Prague. While I was working very long days and was a home-body during the week, I took advantage of my temporary home and did a lot of exploring on the weekends. Prague is a wonderful, picturesque, tourist friendly city and as an added perk, is the perfect city to visit on a budget.

Transportation

Located in Central Europe, the Czech Republic is extremely accessible by plane, train, bus. Within Prague travel by using the easy to navigate underground system or the trams – buses are a bit more tricky to figure out but when you do they will quickly become your best friend. If you plan to travel outside of Prague to other Czech destinations or even nearby cities, look into taking a Student Agency bus. They’re very affordable, easy to catch, have individual TVs for each seat, AND they serve free hot chocolate! I took Student Agency three times to Vienna, once to Berlin, and a couple other times to small Czech destinations. I’m telling ya, they’re one of the best options I’ve seen throughout Europe!

Money

The Czech Republic uses the Czech Crown (koruna) and the exchange rate is quite nice for an American tourist. While I write this post, it is sitting at about 1 CZK is equivalent to 0.042 USD. The country overall is inexpensive and extremely accessible. I could spend an entire night out, including a hearty dinner, transportation, and many pivos (beers) and never spend more than $10. Oftentimes I would never pay more than $1 for a beer.

Room and Board 

If you plan on staying long term, renting a flat or a room is the way to go. There are some great resources out there for finding a spot. Flatshare in Prague is a great place to start. People are always advertising rooms or looking for flatmates.

I lived in a two-bedroom flat, East of Old Town, deep in the city area known as Žižkov. Žižkov is full of expats always looking for roommates. To give you an idea of what to expect in terms of pricing, my home, including water, heat, trash and maintenance was never more than $300 USD per person. It fluctuated monthly because I was there over the winter months.

If you are just planning on stopping through, there are many hostels worth looking into. I would suggest staying in or near Old Town just because on a short trip you will want to be near the excitement and tourist options. For a free lodging option, look into using a site like couchsurfing.com, where you can sign up to sleep at someone’s home free of charge. It’s a great way to meet a local and get some city insight.

Food and Drink

Czech food is absolutely delicious, hearty and heavy, but flavorful and enticing. Similar to German food, the Czech’s have a lot of meat and starches. Dumplings are a common side dish. Goulash, roast pork, and river rat (yum), sauerkraut and different types of strudels are also common Czech cuisine. Beer with every meal is the must, the Czech beer culture is an epidemic in itself. They really pride themselves on their beer and no one can blame them, it truly is some of the best.

My favorite restaurant for Czech food was called Lokal, located on Dlouhá street near Old Town Square. Upon first glance, Lokal appears to be a small hole in the wall beer hall filled with smoke. I was surprised to find that the place stretches back through almost a full city block. Might I suggest the potato dumplings and sausage sampler, with mustard. My favorite. Maybe plan for wearing pants with a bit of stretch that evening. 😉

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Bread dumplings
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Some lovely Czech friends had my roommate and myself over one afternoon and taught us how to make a traditional Czech meal; bread dumplings, pork with onions, sauerkraut, and of course, beer

A great friend and travel companion from London came for a long weekend and treated my roommate and me to a delicious meal at La Degustation. An incredible 12 course meal served in the most visually appealing way. Incredible menu filled will all sorts of delicacies turned tasty with a Bohemian twist.

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There are bars on every single corner. I found that my favorite adventures stemmed from wandering into any one and sharing beers and cheers with new friends. Many bars and clubs on Dlouhá street will provide for a fun filled night in Prague. The Beer Museum, across from Lokal is the perfect place to start the night.

As a side note, the best burgers in Prague are at The Tavern, near Riegrovy Sady

Activities

In terms of sightseeing and activities in the golden city, the opportunities are endless. Of course you must satisfy the tourist mission by visiting the famous Prague locations; Old Town Square, Prague Castle, Astronomical Clock, Charles Bridge, etc but for a bit more of a local experience might I suggest the following:

For a casual Saturday visit Žižkov Tower, the tallest (and possibly ugliest) building in Prague. You’ll notice that there are foreign structures that scale the side of the TV tower, upon closer inspection you will see that they are large, alien-like babies. These babies, along with many other vulgar and controversial artworks in the city are done by local Praguer, David Černý. After viewing the tower, mosey on over to the square at Jiřího z Poděbrad (JZP), on Metro Line A, where you will find a lovely Saturday market, full of locally grown veggies, food vendors, pottery, and live music; the JZP market is sure to please any visitor. If for some reason you can’t find a snack you desire, hit the West corner of the square for some incredible Vietnamese takeaway… quite possibly the best in Prague. Get your food and head a few blocks over to Riegrovy Sady, the massive mid city park, to enjoy some great views and people watching. Oh, and some pivos.

A few more city recommendations:

Cat Cafe (Kočkafé) – sip on wine and read a book while friendly cats weave in an out of your legs, and try to share your wine.

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Cat Cafe regulars

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There are daily, free walking tours that start in Old Town Square, look for large colorful umbrellas.

David Černý art, scattered all throughout the city, is sure to make an impact. My favorite piece is called Brown Nosers. Hard to find but worth the hunt, these humanlike rear ends stand propped up against the back of an art museum West of the Vltava River. Ladders lead to the hole of the butt where you can peek in to see a video of the Czech president, Václav Klaus, being fed baby food. Černý has been known for having strong objections to the president.

EXIT GAMES! A new craze throughout Europe, these games use logic and basic skills to escape from a room in a specific amount of time. I participated in one involving sneaking into the flat of a Soviet spy, we were locked in and had to find a key to get out in 60 minutes. Using clues it was necessary to break free of the apartment before the man got home and. There are many companies that offer these games but I did mine through Trap. An absolute must try!

TL;DR Prague is awesome, inexpensive, and beautiful. Good food, better beer. The only city that didn’t get bombed during WWII. You should visit.