Crazy Beautiful Adventure

June 10, 2017

Iceland Trip Packing List

Iceland, Vik, Church, Viki i Myrdal
By

So, have I enticed you to travel to Iceland with my posts on the Bachelorette Party at the Blue Lagoon and my Southern Coast tour? Great! The only question is… what to pack?!

I did all my shopping for this trip on Amazon because they have the best prices and with Prime, shipping is so fast! If you don’t have Amazon Prime yet, do it now! It’s my go to for last minute travel needs.

Here is what I got that was perfect for my Iceland trip:

Gear:

DSLR Camera with zoom lens Canon EOS Rebel T6 Digital SLR Camera Kit with EF-S 18-55mm and EF 75-300mm Zoom Lenses

Camera Tripod Travel Camera Tripod for DSLR SLR Canon Nikon Sony Olympus DV with Carry Bag

Wireless Camera Remote Control Wireless Remote Control for Canon Digital SLR Cameras

SD Card Convertor to transfer your camera photos to your phone SD Card Adapter for Apple iPhone 5/5s/6/6s/6 Plus/7/7 Plus/iPad Mini/Air

Waterproof phone case for the Blue Lagoon ALOFOX Slim Waterproof Case for iphone 7

Good headphones for the flight Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones, Citron

 

Clothing:

Wool socks Womens 3 Pack Fashion Soft Comfortable Wool Warm Crew Winter Socks

Fleece lined leggings Fleece Lined Leggings – Yoga Pants

Fleece lined snow pants Geval Women’s Camping & Hiking Waterproof Fleece Ski Pants

Wool gloves Ladie’s Pure Wool Knitted Gloves with Thinsulate Lining

Hand & toe warmers HotHands Warmers Variety Pack

Boots Women’s Snow Boots

Packable Down Coat Lightweight Packable Hooded Down Coat

Knit pom pom beanie hat Women’s Winter Hand Knit Faux Fur Pompoms Beanie Hat

Scarf Thick Knitted Warm Infinity Scarf

I hope this helps with your packing!

Happy Travels!

Ashley

 

May 30, 2017

Iceland Southern Coast Waterfalls and Glaciers

Vik, Iceland, Beach, Black sand beach
By

Hi all! I’m back to share more about my Iceland adventures! I told you about my Bachelorette Party in Iceland and our wonderful experience at the Blue Lagoon. The next day we went out on a tour of the southern coast of Iceland through Sterna Travel and it was INCREDIBLE! This is in no way a sponsored post, but I loved the tour so much I wanted to share with everyone! You can check out the tour at the link here. I will admit it’s a long tour at 10 hours, but you get to see so many amazing sights. My friends and I all really enjoyed the tour, even the few who didn’t think they’d be interested in a long tour bus ride. We saw the breathtaking Skogafoss waterfall, walked along the black sand beaches with crashing tides in Vik, touched a glacier, and even walked behind the Seljalandsfoss waterfall!

Our first stop was at Skogafoss and it did not disappoint! If you get lucky enough to get a glimmer of a rainbow, be sure to snap a photo quickly because it will disappear just as fast as it came. Also, you have a unique opportunity here to climb the steep steps to get a view overlooking the waterfall. It is a bit of a workout, but I recommend taking that hike to get the magnificent view from above!

Iceland, Skogafoss, Waterfall, Rainbow

Skogafoss Waterfall

Iceland, Skogafoss, Waterfall, Rainbow

The view over Skogafoss when you climb to the top

The next stop was the breathtaking black sand beaches of Vik. This place is spectacular! Soak in the beautiful views, but be careful not to get to close to the water. The waves come crashing in far up the beach with a very strong undertow.

Vik, Iceland, Black sand beach

Vik Black Sand Beach

Vik, Iceland, Beach, Black sand beach

Crashing waves in Vik

Iceland, Vik, Church, Viki i Myrdal

Vik i Myrdal Church

At the next stop, we got to walk right up to a glacier! It was amazing to see!

Iceland, tour, Glacier

Glacier

Iceland, Glacier

Last but certainly not least, was Seljalandsfoss waterfall. The best part of this stop is you can actually walk behind the waterfall for a unique view! Prepare to leave drenched, but it’s definitely worth it for the photo op!

Seljalandsfoss waterfall, iceland

The view behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall

I highly recommend seeing the Southern Coast of Iceland, either by tour company or if you’re renting a car. There are many beautiful sights to be seen!

Happy Travels!

Ashley

Posted in: Uncategorized
May 16, 2017

My Unique Bachelorette Party in Iceland

Blue Lagoon, Iceland, Bride, Bachelorette Party, Friends Trip, Vacation, Spa
By

When you think of bachelorette party destinations, you typically think Vegas, Nashville and LA. However, I knew that the wild clubbing scene wasn’t really for me. I wanted to go somewhere more off the beaten path and share a real adventure with my closest friends. Coworkers and family members often looked at me perplexed and asked “why Iceland?”, but I say “Why not Iceland?”.

My best friend and Maid of Honor and I had always talked about how we wanted to go to Iceland and see the Northern Lights, so when I got an email from IcelandAir with roundtrip flights for under $400, it seemed like the perfect opportunity! That’s about how much I’d spend, if not more, going to California or Florida, and this would be much more exciting. I texted my other bridesmaids, not sure how they’d react to an international bachelorette party, but surprisingly they were all in and excited about the idea! I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that my closest friends would have somewhat of a travel bug too.

Iceland ended up being the perfect destination for a best friends’ trip. Not only is it breathtakingly beautiful, but there really is something for everyone here. There is the blue lagoon for your pampering spa day, amazing tours for adventure or great sightseeing, and some really delicious restaurants.

We got our trip started right away by going straight from the airport to the Blue Lagoon. You can get a locker to hold your luggage, so it’s a very convenient first stop. The Blue Lagoon was much better than I imagined! It is very luxe feeling. The facilities look very new and clean and the service is great. You get different items for whichever package you get. We purchased the Premium package which included a robe, slippers, one drink and two masks in the lagoon and one glass of prosecco with lunch. The Blue Lagoon gets flack for being overcrowded with tourists, and don’t get me wrong, there will be other tourists there, but that did not detract from my experience. I think it’s crowded for a reason- and the reason is that it’s awesome! It was so relaxing to sink into the warm water with a face mask after an international flight. I could have stayed there for the entire day and been so happy. Especially since they have a nap room with reclining chairs! We, in fact, did spend almost 6 hours there.

Blue Lagoon, Spa, Iceland

Blue Lagoon

We had lunch in the LAVA Restaurant, which was great. The food was great and the views were beautiful, and the best part is you get to dine in your robe and slippers! What more could you ask for? (answer: a glass of prosecco)

LAVA Restaurant, Blue Lagoon, Iceland, Food

LAVA Restaurant at the Blue Lagoon

The LAVA Restaurant is expensive, however, ALL food in Iceland is expensive. Due to food quality and view, I would recommend paying splurging for a meal here. I ordered the grilled beef tenderloin with crispy potatoes and also enjoyed the glass of prosecco that came with my package. The bread to start was also delicious.

LAVA Restaurant, Blue Lagoon, Iceland, Food

Grilled Beef Tenderloin at LAVA Restaurant

All in all, myself and my bridesmaids all loved the Blue Lagoon! It’s a great place to go with a group of friends, or your significant other – I highly recommend making this stop on your trip to Iceland!

Next up, I’m putting together another post of the South Coast Tour we took. It was so exciting I felt it deserved its own post!

Happy Travels!

Ashley

March 20, 2017

The Best View in NYC is FREE!

NYC, view, cocktail bar
By

If you’re searching for the best view of NYC, I have good news – you can get it for FREE!

I was interested in going to the Top of the Rock, until I realized it costs $34. Empire State Building observatory? Also $34. But don’t fret, there is an even better way to view New York City from above for free.

Head to the Rockefeller Center, but instead of heading to the Top of The Rock, head to the bar! Bar SixtyFive is located on the 65th floor of the Rockefeller Center at the Rainbow Room, with sweeping views of the skyline, and you can access this for free.

It’s the highest bar in NYC with an outdoor patio and the views are incredible! I recommend going in time to catch the sunset. It’s magnificent! However, please note it’s closed on Saturday.

If you so choose, you can purchase a specialty cocktail at this bar, and they are great! What could be better than enjoying a Manhattan while overlooking Manhattan? (See what I did there?) Very Sex and the City! I got the Pomegranate Blood Orange Sparkler and it was amazing! However, if drinking isn’t your thing, you can come up to snap some photos for free!

bar sixtyfive, nyc, cocktail bar, view, skyline

Bar SixtyFive drinks with a view

skyline, bar sixtyfive, nyc, cocktail bar, view

Night View from the patio

bar sixtyfive, nyc, cocktail bar, view

Bar SixtyFive Cocktail Menu

Happy Travels!

Ashley

 

Check me out on Instagram for more adventures:

Load More
Something is wrong. Response takes too long or there is JS error. Press Ctrl+Shift+J or Cmd+Shift+J on a Mac.
February 23, 2017

Eating like a Parisian

croissants, paris, espresso, cafe
By

I told you about my trip to Paris and my surprise Eiffel Tower engagement, so next we have to talk about the FOOD in Paris and my best tips to eat like a local!

I’m not exaggerating when I say that everything I ate in Paris was basically the best thing I’ve ever eaten. The food here is incredible. Luckily, the city is so beautiful that you enjoy walking around all day burning off your croissant calories. We would walk about 10 miles a day, which was good when every store window looked like this:

Paris, Pastries, Local Bakery, Cake

Pastries at a Local French Bakery

The one piece of advice we stuck to in Paris was to avoid restaurants on street corners or by the tourist attractions as these tend to be more overpriced and less authentic, catering to tourists. Following this advice, we found some amazing spots including a few hidden gems and here are my favorites.

bread, french, paris, Le Pain de la Bourse, marmalade, jam

Le Pain de la Bourse

There are small bakeries just about every block and I never found one I didn’t like. We would stop in for fresh baked baguettes or croissants, or better yet chocolate filled croissants. I can say there is no better way to start your morning than a fresh baked croissant and an espresso from a local bakery in Paris. One great place for an assortment of fresh French breads is Le Pain de la Bourse. They serve you a basket of different varieties of fresh made breads with an assortment of jams and creams to spread on them just to start! Then, we got fresh squeezed orange juice and scrambled eggs with a side of bacon and salmon. You can even purchase jars of their spreads to take home and they make great gifts!

One of my favorite places to spend time shopping in Paris was Le Bon Marché. At the bottom of this department store there are fine Parisian chocolates and meats and cheeses. My favorite thing here was their truffle cheese! Truffles + cheese, what could be better? We would pick up some truffle cheese and prosciutto here, then a baguette at a local bakery, then have a great picnic outside of the Eiffel Tower! Add some wine, and you’ll have yourself a party!

crepes, crepe,, paris, st malo

Crepes at Creperie St Malo

My hands down favorite meal in Paris were crepes at Creperie Saint Malo. There are countless crepe restaurants around town, but I was told by some trusted locals that this one is the best. I loved this restaurant so much I went here twice on my 2-week trip! You have to get the special with 1 savory and 1 sweet crepe! It also comes with a salad. I admit it’s a lot of food, but how can one choose between a sweet and a savory crepe? I got the egg and cheese for my savory and the caramel crepe for my sweet option, but you can’t go wrong with anything on their menu.

La Mamma, Italian pasta, wine, paris, france

Pasta Sampler at La Mamma

Another favorite meal was at La Mamma, a small Italian restaurant we just stumbled into walking home from the Catacombs. Neither of us could choose between their amazing fresh pastas, so the natural choice was to each get the pasta sampler and try them all! Wow, I was so glad I did! Their pastas were delicious, and to top it off with some French wine was the perfect dinner date!

macaroon, macarons, paris, pierre hermes

Macarons at Pierre Hermes Paris

Of course. we need to talk about macarons! I preferred the macarons at Pierre Hermé to the ones at Ladurée. Pierre Hermé is a tad less touristy and has amazing flavors like a Pistachio & Raspberry compote mix, called the Montebello. My personal favorite was the Mogador, which is a chocolate & Passion Fruit mix. So delicious!

angelina's hot chocolate paris

Angelina’s Famous Hot Chocolate

If you really love sweets (which, who doesn’t?), then you have to make a stop at Angelina for their famous hot chocolate or their signature Mont-Blanc pastry. It’s so rich and decadent.

Amorino Flower Shaped Gelato, Paris

Amorino Flower Shaped Gelato

Another favorite dessert (okay, I admit I have a lot of favorite desserts) was Amorino gelato. You can pick your flavors and each flavor becomes a petal in a scrumptious gelato flower!

These were just some of my favorites! The food in Paris was so incredible and you will definitely enjoy eating your way through this magnificent city.

Happy Travels!

Ashley

February 4, 2017

My Eiffel Tower Proposal

paris, Eiffel Tower proposal, engaged, how he asked, france
By

BEST DAY EVER!

A few days into my Paris trip, my best friend, Diane, told me she needed to go take photos for her blog. She convinced my boyfriend, Teryn, and I to wake up before the sun and get dressed up with her to have some nice photos taken while her boyfriend was taking her blog photos. Little did I know that this was a plan that my boyfriend and best friend had come up with months prior!

We all get dressed up, then take an early metro ride to Trocadero. I can still remember turning the corner to the most beautiful uninterrupted view of the Eiffel Tower and feeling in awe. Diane quickly jumps out for her blog photos. It was so fun to see her in that element! Then, she pulls me in for some best friend photos! After a few quick snaps, she tells Teryn to take her place. We posed for a few photos, then he turned me around to face the Eiffel Tower behind us. We admired its beauty, then I turned back around to face our friends. That’s when he put his hands on my hips and turned me back towards him. I noticed then that his hands were shaking. He looked me in my eyes as he reached toward his suit jacket pocket and said “Ashley, I need to ask you something”. At this point I clued in. I was shocked, excited and a big ball of emotions all at once. He pulled a small pouch out of his jacket pocket and slipped out the most beautiful ring as he got down on one knee. He said “I love you. You make everything better and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?” Of course, I shouted “YES!!” and jumped into his arms.

We just got engaged in the most romantic city in the world! Pinch me, I must be dreaming.

We then went around the city taking our engagement photos! It means so much to us to have our true moment of happiness caught on camera. Afterwards, we went back to my best friend’s apartment where she surprised us with fine French champagne and a tower of macarons to celebrate! It was so special to have my best friend there to celebrate this extraordinary moment with us. After our celebration, my now fiancé and I went to walk around and enjoy Paris just the two of us to let it all sink in. It felt so romantic to enjoy this day with my fiancé on the other side of the world when no one else back home knew yet! We spent the day walking around Paris just the two of us all giddy and staring at my hand!

I feel like the luckiest girl in the world and have been on cloud nine ever since! I can’t wait to marry my Prince Charming!

Paris, Engagement, Engaged, Eiffel Tower, France

Paris, Engagement, Engaged, Eiffel Tower, France

Paris, Engagement, Engaged, Eiffel Tower, France

Paris, Engagement, Engaged, Eiffel Tower, France

 

Paris, Engagement, Engaged, Eiffel Tower, France

Paris, Engagement, Engaged, Eiffel Tower, France

 

Paris, Engagement, Engaged, Eiffel Tower, France

Happy travels!

Ashley

January 14, 2017

Paris is always a good idea

Eiffel Tower, Paris, Best Friends
By

This was my first trip to Paris and it was one for the books!

The story begins when my best friend since kindergarten, Diane (aka Petite In Paris – check her out!) moved to Paris last August. I’m obviously going to visit my girl, but the fact that she was in the most beautiful city was icing on the cake! I found a flight deal for $497 RT from Chicago which helped me convince my boyfriend, Teryn, to embark on his FIRST international trip!

First of all, let’s talk about where we stayed. This photo I took just 1 block from my best friend’s apartment we stayed at. THIS is her walk to the grocery store. Incredible, right? Obviously we referred to this as “Grocery Store Lane” for the rest of the trip. It was amazing getting to stay and live the Parisian life like a local!

Eiffel Tower, Paris, local

Grocery Store Lane

When we arrived in Paris it was late, but of course we had to do a night walk through the city. There’s just something so magical about Paris at night, walking under the twinkle of the Eiffel Tower. The city is breathtaking! Here are a few photos I excitedly snapped from my iPhone:

Eiffel Tower at Night, Reflection

Eiffel Tower Reflection

Eiffel Tower at Night

Eiffel Tower at Night

The next morning we woke up in Paris!!! What could be better? We probably walked 12 miles this day just exploring the city. You get lost (hopefully not actually lost!) in the romantic architecture and could walk all day! The Pont Alexandre bridge was my favorite. There is just something so beautiful about it with the golden statues. I was in awe!

Pont Alexandre Bridge, Paris

Pont Alexandre Bridge

The next day we had a wonderful time at the Louvre. We entered through the shopping center downstairs where there was no line and the works of art were amazing! After admiring the artwork for hours, we stepped out onto the cafe patio for a beautiful view over the terrace.

Louvre,Museum,Paris

Relaxing at the Louvre

Next up, of course we had to fit in a little shopping in the fashion capital of the world! We washed down our handbag envy with champagne at Louis Vuitton, then went to the bar at the top of Galeries Lafayette mall for a beautiful view over Paris.

paris,france,walk,friend,shopping

Walking the streets of Paris

shop, shopping, Louis Vuitton, champagne, handbag, luxury

Shopping and champagne at Louis Vuitton

view,paris,mall,shopping,galeries lafayette

View of Paris from Galeries Lafayette

We went to Versailles, and although the fountains weren’t turned on at this time of year, it was still very beautiful.

Versailles,France,golden gate

The golden gates at Versailles

Versailles, Fountain, golden

Fountain at Versailles

Versailles,garden

The gardens of Versailles

You may have heard it rains a lot in Paris. However, it doesn’t seem to rain that long. We stopped in a cafe on the way to the Notre Dame and were so lucky to completely miss the rain while we were inside for an espresso and came out to a perfectly clear sky to see the Notre Dame!

Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris

Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame, Paris

As I suspected, once Teryn got to Paris he was bit by the travel bug! We had an amazing time in the city of romance!

Paris, France

Happy Travels!

Ashley

December 17, 2016

Hello world!

Chicago Skyline
By

Hello world!

I have a passion for travel and want to see the world! Follow along as I post my journeys both around the world and in my home city of Chicago!

Unlike every girl on The Bachelor, I AM here to make friends! Please leave a comment and let me know what you think or where you’re traveling next! I love to talk travel!

Thanks for stopping by!

Ashley