After a whirlwind of Italian food and aperol spritz, Momsies and I flew from Rome to Athens, Greece. We had just two and a half days here, but we were determined to make the most of it.

Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece

We stayed at the Plaka Hotel, which is in a fabulous little old quarter called Plaka. The Plaka Hotel has a rooftop bar, from which you can admire the Acropolis by night as you watch the sun go down and the ruins light up. This is a great wind down after a full day of walking around.

The Acropolis

This is the perfect place to stay, as Plaka is a super old village filled with the cutest cobblestone streets, beautiful architecture, and is walking distance from the Acropolis. I’d highly recommend staying here if you are visiting Athens.

Athens, Greece

We weren’t quite ready to brave the Acropolis on day one, so we spent the day at a restaurant recommendation – Little Kook. This is a themed cafe & dessert bar, and they go all out. The theme changes every few months, and when we visited, there was a Mary Poppins theme.

Little Kook Athens

Little Kook Athens

Little Kook Athens

Athens, Greece

The outside and inside of the restaurant was completely decked out.

We got a red velvet cake to share and a couple of aperol spritz. My mom was like a little kid at Disneyland – she was in her happy place.

Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece

After Little Kook, we stopped at Quick Falafel for a falafel plate to share. We had traditional Greek pita, falafel, and hummus – yum!

Next, we walked through Plaka quarter and took all the photos.

Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece

Athens

Athens, Greece

For dinner, we went to a restaurant just across the street from our hotel, called Collage. Momsies got a local cocktail called Made in Lesvos, which we both quickly became obsessed with.

We ordered a bread trilogy to start, and quinoa salads for mains.

Collage Athens

Collage Athens

Collage Athens

The food was absolutely amazing, so good that we actually came here for dinner all three nights of our stay! We tried something different every night.

The Acropolis

The next day we were ready to brave the Acropolis. We woke up early, got ready, ate brekky at our hotel, and left by 7:30 AM. The Acropolis opens at 8 AM, and if you want to go crowd-free, I recommend getting there right when it opens. No one is in line to get tickets right at 8, so you can go in right away.

Acropolis

Hot tips for the Acropolis: wear sunscreen, bring lots of water, and bring snacks. You’ll be here for at least a couple of hours, and there is not much shade, no water, and no food sold inside.

Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece

View from the Acropolis

The Acropolis

Acropolis

Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece

The Acropolis is a beautiful place, just make sure you come prepared with the essentials and be prepared for the crowds. It took a lot of waiting to get photos without other people in them, and a lot of the time when I was getting my photo taken, an entire tour group was watching. The things we do for the gram!

After three hours at the Acropolis, I had enough. Walking out, we grabbed two cold waters, and sat down at the nearest restaurant to eat our little hearts out.

Lunch In Athens

We spent the rest of the day with our feet up in our hotel room, chatting and having a rest. We finished our trip with dinner at Collage, and then got ready for our last adventure of this trip – Santorini!

Have you been to Athens? If not, is it on your list?

 

 

 

 

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I recently had the pleasure of being sent to Fiji for three days with a big group of fellow travel agents. Though our time was short, we fit tons in, and got to see so much of the main island of Fiji. The country of Fiji is comprised of tons of little islands, but the main island houses the international airport, loads of accommodation, and tons of things to do.

Three Days in Fiji

Three Days in Fiji: Day 1

We took the 6 AM flight out of Sydney, arriving in to Nadi International Airport in the late morning. It’s only a 4 hour flight from Sydney to Fiji. After a super quick trip through customs, we met our transfer company and hopped in the van to head to our first destination, the Pullman Nadi. A quick hotel inspection later, we gathered around the biggest table in the restaurant for lunch with the hotel manager. The hotel is beautiful (and I’d highly recommend staying here if you are interested in staying near the airport in Nadi), and the lunch was amazing – an assortment of thai dishes, finished off with a coconut rice pudding.

After a big lunch, we hopped back in to the van and headed to one of the activities I was most looking forward to – a mud spa. After watching “Suits” on Netflix, I had envisioned myself lying in a bathtub full of mud, cucumbers on my eyes and relaxing spa music in the background. What we were greeted with was even better.

Three Days in Fiji

Three Days in Fiji

Three Days in Fiji

The mud spa was based outside, in the mountains of Fiji. The scenery was beautiful, and we got to listen to the stories of how the hot springs were discovered as we caked mud on to every exposed inch on skin. As the mud dried, we watched litters of puppies run across the grounds. Finally, the mud was dry and we were allowed in the cleansing pool.

Three Days in Fiji

 

Three Days in Fiji

Three Days in Fiji

Three Days in FIji

The cleansing pool was muddy and slimy on the bottom, as this is the pool that the mud gets pulled out of. It was a surreal and awkward feeling, but as soon as we’d wiped all the mud off, we were allowed into the naturally heated thermal pool. The thermal pool was about 90 degrees fahrenheit, a perfect temperature for a cloudy and rainy day. It was a great place to relax and rejuvenate after a flight.

Three Days in Fiji

Too soon, we had to leave the mud spa and head over to our hotel to check in and have dinner with a cultural show. We stayed at the First Landing Resort, which was named so because it was located on the first plot of land where Fiji was discovered – the first landing in Fiji.

Three Days in Fiji

Three Days in Fiji

Three Days in Fiji

Day 2

The next day, we hopped back into the van for a ride to Port Denarau. This is the main port of the island, where you can take boats to other islands, or day cruises. We opted for a day cruise with Captain Cook Cruises, which took us to a tiny uninhabited island called Tivua Island.

Three Days in Fiji

Three Days in Fiji

I’d highly recommend this cruise. The boat ride was just 90 minutes long, and on the way there we had a kava ceremony. Kava is a root native to Fiji, and the locals have been making it into a drink for centuries. It is said to have effects similar to alcohol, but the taste is like a dirty water.

Once we arrived at Tivua Island, we were given the freedom to do whatever we wanted. Most of us chose to relax on the beach, but some of the group went snorkeling to find the black tip reef sharks, and scuba diving was an option as well.

Three Days in Fiji

Three Days in Fiji

Three Days in Fiji

 

 

Three Days in Fiji

Three Days in Fiji

At the end of the day, we trudged back to the boat (unwillingly, in my case) and rode the 1.5 hours back to the mainland. Once we arrived back at the port, a new van was ready to take us to the Westin, where we had sunset cocktails.

Three Days in Fiji

The Westin was absolutely stunning, and if I was to recommend one hotel on the mainland of Fiji, it would by far be the Westin. It was the most beautiful hotel we got to inspect, and I would definitely be staying there had I gone to the main island on my own trip. Unfortunately, the sun set before our inspection, so I wasn’t able to take too many photos as it was already dark.

Day 3

On our last day in Fiji, we slept in before an amazing lunch at the Boathouse. The van took us back to the mountains to have a quick zipline before taking us to the airport. The zip lining place is called Sleeping Giant, and though it was a quick few zips, it was such a fun time. I absolutely love zip lining.

Three Days In Fiji

We finished off the trip with a long flight home. Though the trip was super short, it was a great first experience of the beautiful country of Fiji, and I would love to go back.

 

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Finally, after YEARS of drooling over photos of Positano, I made it there myself! This was my third visit to Italy, but my first time in the Amalfi Coast. On this trip, I was travelling with Momsies, and she picked the destination (she has great taste!).

Positano, Italy

Positano, Italy

How to Get to Positano

After two and a half days getting over jetlag in Rome, we hopped on the FrecciaRossa train and sped through Italy down to Salerno. From Salerno, you’ll just have to walk two streets over (a 3 min walk) and you’ll be at the ferry wharf. The ferry to Positano runs three times a day – 10 AM, 2 PM, and 4 PM from Salerno. Travel time is just over an hour by ferry. Plus, the ferry sells drinks (prosecco, water, soda) and snacks on board. It’s a beautiful ride, I’d highly suggest the ferry!

Positano, Italy

Another option to get into Positano is to take the bus from Salerno. This will take a bit longer than the ferry, and to be honest will be much less enjoyable. The streets in Amalfi Coast are so small and windy, I’d recommend either a ferry or private transfer (we went with private transfer on the way back). I booked our transfer through a private company.

Once you get to Positano, find the main road and take the easy way up, instead of lugging your suitcases up the stairs (like we may have…).

Positano, Italy

Momsies and I spent three glorious days strolling through Positano, admiring the views, drinking limoncello and aperol spritz, and eating all the pasta and pizza we could fit in. We took all the photos, drank wine as we watched the sun go down, and tried loads of new restaurants, all with incredible views.

Positano, Italy

Positano, Italy

Positano, Italy

Positano, Italy

Positano, Italy

Where to Stay

This time around, we found a cute little family run B&B called Florida Residences. It’s at the top of the hill, meaning you’ll have a bit of a hike from the city centre to get back to the hotel. Saying that, it is a great price and is run by the cutest little Italian family!

Positano, Italy

Positano, Italy

Florida Residence is the cutest little pink building, and our room had an amazing balcony overlooking the city of Positano. I’d definitely recommend.

Where to Eat

One of the best things about Positano is the FOOD. Everything is locally made, Italian, fresh, and made with love. I ate some of the best food of my life here!

My favorite restaurants that we visited were:

Ristorante Caffe Positano, which was not too far from our hotel and had some of the best views. I had a pasta here and it was amazing. I’d highly recommend at least one meal here, preferable as the sun is setting or during the day – the views are just stunning.

Ristorante Da Gabrisa, which was just up the street from our hotel. This was the best meal I ate during our stay in Positano. I had the spaghetti and a vegan raspberry cheesecake for dessert – they have a separate page on the menu full of vegan goodies! They also have amazing views from the outside terrace.

Positano, Italy

Positano, Italy

Il Capitano Pizzeria was one of our lunch stops – we had a great pizza and aperol spritz after an early morning. It’s a great place if you’re staying on that side of town.

Next time I visit Positano, I will definitely be going to Chez Black – it’s on the beach and makes your pizza into the shape of a heart, if you ask nice enough!

There is a little healthy restaurant called Casa E Bottega on the main road that I have also added to my list.

Positano, Italy

Collina Positano Bakery is where we got our morning americano and cappuccino. They have a mouth watering selection of baked goods, but we were still full from our hotel brekky most mornings.

What To Do

When you’re not eating, make sure to pop in to the boutique shops. There are lots of beautiful, handmade clothes, purses, and hats. If you’re more into relaxing, take a stroll down to the beach and lay underneath the colourful umbrellas on a sunny day.

Positano, Italy

Important Notes on Positano

Please note that though I used to do lots of budget travel, Positano is NOT a budget destination. Hotels start from minimum $400 USD per night, and a meal out (with drinks) will cost about $40 – $50 USD per person. Though it isn’t cheap, it is an absolutely stunning destination, and I would highly recommend a visit.

I went in May, and the weather was very temperamental. The week before we visited, it was warm and people were swimming. While we were there, it was windy, rainy, and sunny. If you are looking for a beachy holiday, I’d recommend visiting later in the summer, like June or July.

Have you been to Positano? Is it on your bucket list?

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This is the second time I’ve been to Rome, Italy, and I brought a new travel companion this time – my mom! I’ve travelled with my mom once before (check out our Costa Rica trip), but she has never been to Europe. I was so excited to show her around Italy, especially since it’s been at the top of her bucket list for years.

Rome Italy

Rome, Italy

On this trip, we started in Rome. After a long flight from San Francisco (with one quick stop in Montreal, Canada), we arrived in Rome in the morning for our first day in Italy. I had arranged a private transfer, and our driver picked us up at the airport to take us to our hotel. I’d booked in at Hotel Trevi, which came highly recommended through my work (I’m a travel agent!). I wanted to stay next to the Trevi Fountain as it’s my favorite place in Rome.

The hotel was in a great location, just about a block from the Trevi Fountain. We were so jet lagged, that the first day, we just unloaded our luggage and went for a short outing. I took Momsies to the Pantheon and we had lunch at a cafe just in front of it. I convinced Mom to have her first aperol spritz with her first Italian pizza. That’s amore!

Rome Italy Aperol Spritz Pantheon

Pantheon in Rome Italy

After a carby lunch, we were feeling so jet lagged and tired that we went back to the hotel to rest up a bit. We couldn’t keep our eyes open, and we decided to take a little nap. We ended up sleeping from 4 pm until 1 am.

Best Time to Visit the Trevi Fountain

We were wide awake at 1 am from jet lag, and wondering what we should do. My cousin suggested a late night trip to the Trevi Fountain (via Instagram). We got ready and walked over.

There were a few people when we arrived around 2 am, but we stayed for a while. Around 3 am, the crowds dispersed and the cleaning crew came by. They were there for about 30 mins, and then the place was clean, empty, and all ours. It’s safe to visit at night, as there are police monitoring the fountain 24/7. Momsies and I had a ball playing around and taking photos.

Best time to Visit the Trevi Fountain

Best time to Visit the Trevi Fountain

Best time to Visit the Trevi Fountain

What to Do In Rome

Over the next few days, we took it easy. We ate lots of italian food, drank our fair share of aperol spritz, and walked around Rome to make sure Momsies got to see all of the sights.

Our favorite cafe was Don Nino’s, which is right in between the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon. The cafe is so cute, the people working there are so happy, and the ambiance is so fun. I’d visited this cafe when I was in Rome before, and I knew Momsies would love it. She was hooked as soon as we went in, and we came here for coffee every morning of our time in Rome. She loved the chocolate croissants, and I am a fan of the americanos.

Coffee in Rome Italy

We walked to the Spanish steps and the Colosseum. If you plan to visit Rome, keep in mind that if you want to get photos without crowds, you’ll need to go early in the morning. Also keep in mind that you’ll have to walk quite far to get from one tourist hot-spot to the next – we easily hit our 10k steps a day!

Spanish Steps Rome Italy

Colosseum Rome Italy

The Best Pizza in Rome

We ate authentic Italian pizza at Pizzeria Da Michele. It’s one of the oldest pizzerias in Italy, one of the most visited in Naples – they have a second location in Rome. I was shocked that no one else was in the restaurant when we visited, as it’s a world famous pizzeria. They even have a photo of Julia Roberts eating pizza in their Naples location. The pizza was the best we had on our whole trip! I would highly recommend a visit here if you are in Rome. (But I don’t recommend the wine they try to promote – it’s a sparkling red – I wasn’t a fan. They do have very good local, still reds though).

Pizzeria Da Michele Rome Italy

Highlights of Rome

We spent two and a half days in Rome all together. It was a good amount of time for us, as I’d been before. I really wanted to show my mom a bit of Rome, like the Trevi Fountain and the Colosseum. We love the Hotel Trevi as it is great value, great location, and has everything we wanted.

My favorite part of this trip was visiting the Trevi Fountain in the middle of the night – I love spontaneous adventures. We had a great time and got over our jet lag before leaving Rome for the Amalfi Coast.

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I grew up in Northern California, and have visited Los Angeles and Southern California a few times. But when I was choosing my flights back to California from Sydney, I decided to fly into Los Angeles this time. It was time to be a tourist in my own state! My mom and my youngest sister, Breanna, flew down to meet me in LA. This is how we spent 24 hours in Los Angeles, California.

24 Hours in Los Angeles

We started out the trip with a necessity for Los Angeles – renting a car. Not just any car; I reserved a convertible. My mom and sister met me at the airport, we picked up the car, and off we went with our bucket list and a lot of excitement.

24 Hours in Los Angeles California

Our first stop was coffee. After finding Carrera Cafe on Instagram, I knew I had to go there to get a latte with peace sign latte art. They have a list of latte art that you can choose from when you order, and it’s all Los Angeles themed. My mom got the Hollywood sign, and my little sister chose palm trees for her latte.

Coffee In Los Angeles California

Carrera Cafe had a lot more to offer than I expected. They sold vegan donuts, the whole cafe was super instagrammable, and they had a little street art wall outside that I fell in love with.

24 Hours in Los Angeles

I didn’t realized until we arrived that the famous pink wall is also just across the street.

Los Angeles California

Los Angeles California

Our next stop was Beverly Hills, where we went on a search for the best palm tree lined streets. Beverly Hills is famous for its palm-lined streets, and we found loads of them. We ended up on Canyon Drive, which had palm trees as far as the eye could see.

Los Angeles California

Los Angeles California

After an outfit change for Bre (the little sis), and a lot of running in and out of the street, we had worked up an appetite. We jumped back in the convertible, cranked up the Miley Cyrus, and drove over to Venice Beach.

Venice Beach, Los Angeles

Venice is a great neighborhood for shopping, eating, and of course, visiting Venice Beach. There are loads of cute stores to browse, but we went for the food. Plant Food & Wine is a restaurant I’ve had my eye on for a while, and was so excited to find a branch in Venice. We were so hungry that we dug in to our lunch before even considering taking photos of it. It was an amazing meal, and we hung out at the restaurant for a while to regroup.

After lunch, we walked down to Venice beach. The beach was packed, filled with hippies, tourists, and souvenir shops. We walked the streets for a bit before heading off to our next stop.

24 Hours in Los Angeles

24 Hours in Los Angeles

Our next stop was Hollywood. We wanted to get into Griffith Observatory. When we arrived around 3 PM, the parking lot was completely full. We drove down the street a bit but ended up about 2 miles away before any parking opened up. Change of plans – we just wanted to see the Hollywood sign, so we parked near Hollywood Park. The park is a great spot to see the sign, and it’s much easier to find parking in the nearby residential streets.

24 Hours in Los Angeles

I was hoping for a more specific spot, but my mom and sister were both a bit tired from the early flight and a big day. I’ll save that spot for next time 😉

Los Angeles: Where We Stayed

After our short stop at the Hollywood sign, we hopped back in the car for our drive out to the forest. I’d rented an airbnb just a couple of hours outside of LA. The plan was to head to San Francisco the next day, so I reserved an airbnb that was on the way.

I love airbnb’s and usually prefer them over hotels as it’s a more private & homey vibe. We had this entire cabin to ourselves. We each got our own bedroom, plus we had a kitchen, living room, and two bathrooms.

24 Hours in Los Angeles

I fell in love with this place as soon as we arrived. I immediately wished we’d had more time so we could go for a little hike in the morning – there are loads of hiking trails around!

If you’ve never used Airbnb, I can’t recommend it enough. Sign up to get $40 USD off your first airbnb booking.

Here is our little cabin:

24 Hours in Los Angeles

24 Hours in Los Angeles

24 Hours in Los Angeles

24 Hours in Los Angeles

24 Hours in Los Angeles

24 Hours in Los Angeles

There are so many things to do in Los Angeles. In a whole day, we didn’t even get through half of my bucket list! We fit a lot in for 24 hours in Los Angeles.

Have you been to LA? What is your favorite thing to do in Los Angeles?

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