Up In The Air

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Man, I am so not a fan of flying.  I love travel, experiencing new places and cultures, and sampling my way through new foods but I just don’t like the act of travel.  So I distract myself by taking pictures, reading magazines, and catching up on shows like Game of Thrones and The Sopranos that I’ve downloaded.  These pics are from my last flight to Washington for a bit of crabbing and 4th of July festivities.

 

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Tank: J.Crew, Skirt: Splendid, Sandals: Stuart Weitzman

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Crabbing in Washington

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWho says a fashionista can’t fish?  It cracks me up every time to think I have a clamming and crabbing license in Washington.  It just doesn’t sound like something I would do and actually enjoy!  Dropping our 4 pots into the water on opening day was so exciting!  We were at a friend’s cabin watching them pull up their pots full of crab and dreaming of what we would catch in the following hours.  All in all we ended up with about 13 keeper crabs and 4 or 5 starfish that were fun to take pictures with but promptly returned to their ocean home.

While waiting for our pots to “soak”, we picked up some oysters off the beach and I got to learn to shuck them!  It’s easier then I thought it would be actually!  And super tasty!

Getting The Crab Pots Ready

Getting The Crab Pots Ready

Crab Pot Selfie

Crab Pot Selfie

Our First Pull

Our First Pull

Gorgeous View from the Cabin

Gorgeous View from the Cabin

The Big Kahuna

The Big Kahuna

Shucking Away...

Shucking Away…

How could you not love this place?!

How could you not love this place?!

Why hello there Mr. Starfish!

Why hello there Mr. Starfish!

The Loot

The Loot

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Resort Review: The Westin Lake Las Vegas

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What an amazing escape The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort was for my family.  It sits next to a beautiful man made lake that looks like an oasis in the desert.  Ducks and geese are swimming all day, making it a very serene get away.  I visited in the off season so it was too chilly to take advantage of a lot of the water activities available.  There’s kayaking, peddle boats, and I counted 3 different pools for you to enjoy.  There are also plenty of cabanas and lounge chairs for soaking up the famous desert sun when the weather warms up.  We got a glass of wine at the small bar inside and relaxed next to one of the outside fireplaces and just talked and listened to the sound of the waterfall.  Perfect.

The rooms are exceptional.  We had 1 suite and 1 standard room and I was really impressed with both.  Not to mention I slept like a baby!  It has everything you need and little luxuries as well.  That was nice considering I only packed 1 backpack for the trip!  This is a smoke-free hotel, which was a welcome change from hotels on The Strip.  I can sometimes be sensitive to cigarette smoke and it was nice that all of our clothes and luggage didn’t stink when we got home.

Just a few blocks up the road is The Village that’s full of restaurants and shops. It also hosts concerts on the lake!  It was pretty quiet (again probably because of the off season) but I’m told it gets much more lively in the summer months.  There is also a Casino there too in case you have an itch to gamble.  It is Vegas after all!  I believe that opens up some time in March.  The Westin offers a free shuttle up to the Village.  Just ask the guys at Valet!  They’ll also shuttle you (free again!) to The Strip.  They drop you off at The Westin located 1 block from all the fun and shenanigans The Strip as to offer.  We took advantage of the 20 minutes shuttle ride in order to do a little shopping.

Overall, I would give this hotel 5 stars.  We were talking about coming back before we even left!  I think that’s a sign of a great visit.  Don’t you think?

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Me and my Dad looking all spiffy for dinner out on the town.

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A Different Side of Vegas

DSC06209Normally when I think of Las Vegas, I think of night clubs, the strip, and teeny tiny dresses.  But there’s a whole other side to Vegas that I had never explored before.  I recently stayed with my family at The Westin Lake Resort & Spa as a nice get away from everything that’s been going on.  It’s located about 20 minutes from the strip so it was much quieter and smoke free.  It was a great location for us to explore what’s just outside of the hustle and bustle of the typical Las Vegas scene.

We took a quick drive to explore the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead.  It’s really weird to see right now because the lake is so ridiculously low.  It’s hard to imagine the water as high as some of the ring marks on the dam show it has been.  I highly recommend doing one of the tours while you’re there.  We did the Powerplant Tour and I was mega impressed.  The ingenuity involved in making the Dam is astounding.  The strangest part about it is that when everyone was planning and drafting this, there were no computers!  It was all done by hand and brain power.

Lake Mead is also a really cool recreation spot.  You can rent jet skis, boats, or even house boats if you wanted to stay awhile.  In the summer, the water is a perfect refuge from the blazing desert heat.  I have many fond memories of lake trips with my family.  The lake is about 50 minutes from the strip so it’d make an adventurous break from all the drinking, eating, and gambling of Las Vegas.  Not that that’s not a blast too but sometimes your liver needs a break.

P.S. – We saw rams off the side of the road coming back from our Hoover Dam/Lake Mead visit.  How awesome is that?!

It was so scary to look over the edge!

It was so scary to look over the edge!

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A sneak peek of the Powerplant Tour

A sneak peek of the Powerplant Tour

 

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48 Hours in Vegas in 1 Backpack

BackpackBackpack: Ghurka, Fishnet Clutch: Lulu’s, Cosmetic’s Case (used for undergarments): Marc by Marc Jacobs, T-Shirts: J.Crew, Dress: House of Eleven c/o, Heels: Sole Society, Blouse: MSGM

For those of you following me on instagram (@WanderingInHeels), you know I did a last minute trip to Vegas last weekend.  For my return flight, I flew Spirit Air because it was significantly cheaper than any other flights.  However, they’re a bare bones penny pinching kind of airline.  You even have to pay for water on the flight!  So that being said, it was an additional $35 to bring a carry-on.  That’s right… no carry-ons allowed.  But you can bring one personal item as long as it fits under your seat.  I stared blankly already mentally whittling down what I was planning on bringing and then decided “Challenge Accepted, Spirit Air.”

So this is my guide for what to bring for 48 hours in Vegas all in one backpack.  I won’t lie to you and say it fit easily, but it fit (after I extended the snaps).  We were staying at The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa so I needed a variety of outfits.  I needed one look for a nice dinner out, a swim suit, comfortable shoes for walking both the Hoover Dam and the Strip… so basically I had a lot of bases to cover.

Shoes:  Normally I bring way too many shoes so I was really proud of myself when I brought just one pair of boots and one pair of heels.  I wore the boots all the times that heels weren’t appropriate.  The only time I missed sandals or slip ons was at breakfast.  It felt weird to wear knee high boots to breakfast when I hadn’t even showered yet.

Clothes:  Causal clothing is where I tend to over pack, you know, just in case!  So I convinced myself that I really only needed one pair of jeans and one jacket which I’d be wearing both on the plane.  Nothing added to the backpack!  Score!!  So I packed 4 shirts ranging from plain old casual to a bit dressy that would all work with the jeans I brought.  Made sure the dressy top matched the pair of heels and voila!  Another instant dressy outfit, just in case Brad Pitt invited me to dinner or something.  I did bring one nice dress that’s a trusty go-to and doesn’t get horribly wrinkled too easily.  Most hotels have an iron but who wants to do tons of that while on vacation?!  Not me!

Beauty Supplies:  I’m a little bit of a Sephora addict which means there are samples galore hiding in my bathroom (you can always ask for some at the store too if you don’t have them laying around).  For 2 days, I suppose I could live without my favorite face oils and creams.  And these little samples take up like no space and will likely be tossed over the trip.  Perfect because we did go shopping and the return flight was a little more challenging getting it all packed.  Damn you DKNY and you’re awesome purse deal.  I always pack my beauty stuff in a REI travel bag so it’s easy to whip out at the security line.  Pack it on the top of your backpack too for extra ease.  I didn’t bother with a hair dryer either.  There’s one in the hotel!

Purse:  A purse counted as a second personal item (lame, I know) so I need to squeeze that in there as well.  I chose to go with my beat up old Coach cross body bag that I love (and totally scored from the Goodwill).  I again had to decide on one casual bag that worked for all occasions.  However, I did bring a little fancy clutch for our nice dinner out too.  I mean, I am a fashionista afterall!  Let’s not go too crazy.

This was totally a personal challenge that I feel like I nailed.  Normally, there is so much that doesn’t get worn in my suitcase so going forward I’m really going to try to plan better.  Yeah… Right…

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Chicago Recap: My Favorite Pics

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Even though I was only there for a long weekend, I fell in love with Chicago.  I spent most of my time in the River North area (where I did my styling) and Lincoln Park.  For you San Diegans, the way Chicago is split up reminds me a lot of how San Diego has these little neighborhoods with their own vibe.  Each neighborhood is unique and only if you spend some real time there do you truly learn them.  I’ve included a picture of a map our friends had to show each section.

We totally lucked out weather-wise while we were there as well.  It snowed and got into the single digit temperatures but that famous Chicago wind was apparently on vacation.  I’m sure our long walks exploring Lincoln Park wouldn’t have been as much fun if the wind was following us.  All in all, we loved every second of our stay and we will be back!

P.S. – Lou Malnati’s Chicago-style pizza was epically delicious.  I’m talking so good you’ll eat yourself sick good.  I got the famous special with house made sausage on top.  To die for!  I’m drooling just thinking about it…

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This map gives you an idea of where all the little neighborhoods are located

 

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A typical street in Lincoln Park

 

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The ice coming out of the rain gutter was so cool to me! It’s like it just froze instantly!

 

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I’m so jealous of our friend’s office view…

 

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Got to love a girl who can rock ruby red heels (Oz Park)

 

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The face of pure joy. I loved playing in the snow! Could you tell?

 

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Currently Wearing: Long Sleeveless Coat

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Man did it snow last night!  I’m not sure how many inches the weather man said it snowed but it had to have been about 3 inches.  But the next day, blue skies were peeking through all day to make for some beautiful “exploring the city” weather.  I definitely wore gloves when we were really walking around but as long as there was no wind, I was fine in my super thick sweater and this wool sleeveless vest.  I protected my ears (a must for me in cold weather!) with a turban-like head wrap.  I did wear my leather boots around town a lot because the sole of my winter boots cracked the first day there!  Doh!  So I just was religious about wiping them down to avoid any water/salt damage.  They seem to be doing OK so make sure you do the same if you’re wearing leather shoes in this kind of weather.

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Vest: Zara (Similar), Sweater: J.Crew (Similar), Jeans: J Brand ‘Maria’, Boots: Stuart Weitzman

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