Weekenders

Forever Honeymooning - Even With a Dog in Tow!

Every once and awhile we get some slack about being the “Traveling Newlyweds” when we’ve been married for over four years. “You’re not newlyweds!”, they say — and to that we reply, “It’s a mentality, not a time frame!”

And that’s become our motto. We believe that no matter how long you’ve been married, you can forever cling to that “newlywed mentality”. Traveling is bonding - and why not spread out the fun with more than one honeymoon?! Keep the party going!!

We’re seeing more and more actual newlyweds do this too. Sometimes it’s hard to take off work for an extended period of time, so they take multiple weekend trips instead of a traditional honeymoon. You don’t have to use up all of your vacation time, and you’re able to explore more than one destination. It’s genius! 

It’s time for y'all to enjoy “MANYMOONS”.

One of our favorite hotel brands, Kimpton, just launched a Manymoon” campaign targeting these kinds of travelers. Millennial couples (like us!) that are more interested in the long weekend trips to hip, urban cities. Several of their properties in Portland, Austin, Pittsburgh, and Nashville have what’s called a “Manymoons Rising” offer, where couples get hooked up with all of the honeymoon perks and a free night stay at their fourth stop! And let’s be real, who wouldn't want to honeymoon in all four of those cities?!

We recently stayed at a couple of the Kimpton properties, the Hotel Monaco Portland (included in the Manymoon campaign), and the Palladian in Seattle. We absolutely loved both properties - they’re stylish, conveniently located in their respective cities, and instantly became our home-away-from-home. We’ve said it before, and this trip solidified it - Kimpton absolutely has the best customer service. Their attentiveness and attention to detail makes you feel not only like a valued guest, but like an A list celebrity! (Which is exactly how you want to feel when you’re honeymooning!!)

DON’T FORGET THE PUP!

Having a hard time leaving your “fur baby” behind on your Manymoon adventure? Don’t!

All Kimpton properties are extremely dog friendly, and the pups get the same royal service we do (if not more)! From dog-friendly wine hour, to treats and toys in the room, to the fact that there is no additional pet fee (let that one sink in), it’s a win/win for dogs and owners alike. Our pup Sally lived like a queen during her stay at both Kimpton hotels, and we joke that it’s spoiled her for life!

Whether you’re actual Newlyweds, or just taking on that “newlywed mentality” like us, we highly suggest that you consider a Manymoon weekend adventure with Kimpton. You’ll have the time of your life, you won’t miss too much work (if you make it a true “Weekender”), and you don’t need to find a pet sitter!

Let us know when you plan your weekend getaways… we’ll come meet you in Nashville. ;)

Life is a Highway - And Highway One is Open!!

One of our favorite drives in the world is the coastal-hugging California Highway 1. (So much so, that we drove it on our honeymoon!) The scenery never ceases to amaze us - no matter the weather or the time of year. From the surf swells in Santa Barbara, to the cliffside hikes in Big Sur, to the majestic bridges entering Monterey County… it’s natural beauty at its finest. 

Due to some massive landslides, Highway 1 was forced to close. For over a year and a half crews have been working day in and day out to get this scenic drive back to what it once was, and FINALLY the day is here! 

Highway 1 is open, and it’s better than ever!!!

We jumped at the opportunity to explore our favorite highway once again, at the start of our road trip nearly three weeks ago - and Alli nearly cried with joy. Highway 1 in the summertime is postcard-worthy, and you better believe we stopped wherever we could to take it all in!

This trip up the highway was especially significant for us, as it’s the first time we’ve brought our fur-baby Sally along! (Dog lovers out there, you get it.) We had SO much fun taking her around our favorite stops on the drive, one highlight being the elephant seals. We’ve never seen our little bernedoodle so wide-eyed!

We’ve met people from all over the world that hear we’re from California, and immediately tell us that they’ve driven Highway 1 - most of them numerous times! It’s captivating and addictive, no matter what kind of traveler you are. You could pack a tent and camp at every stop, or stay in world-famous five star hotels, there’s literally something for everyone. And there’s never a bad time to do it either, the change in weather only adds to the dramatic coastline.

If the Rascal Flats song is true, and “Life is a Highway”, we’d like to think of it as Highway 1. Beauty everywhere we turn, pure joy, and endless discoveries… Sounds like an epic life to us!

Below is a throwback to our first days of marriage... on Highway 1 on our honeymoon!

Every "Single" Need Covered at the Singular Santiago!

Since our trip to South America with LATAM airlines, one of the questions we’ve gotten most frequently is about where we stayed in Santiago, Chile. Planning a trip to South America can be overwhelming (there’s just too much to see!), but choosing where to stay in each location can be difficult as well. It’s always hard to tell just what you’re getting by a few photos online, and figuring out what area to stay in can be a gamble! Good news, though... we’re highly convinced we stayed at one of the best hotels in Santiago: The Singular

Here’s why:

It’s a Leading Hotels Of The World Property:

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If you’ve been following us for awhile, you’ve probably seen us stay at other LHW properties (12 Apostles and Cape Grace in South Africa, The Tabacon Resort in Costa Rica, The Serena in Uganda, and the Terme di Saturnia in Italy, to name a few). It’s a brand that we’ve come to love and trust - as every LHW has left us completely in awe. From the award-winning customer service to the luxe rooms and grounds, if it’s a LHW property you know it’s going to be nothing short of incredible. The Singular was of no exception. From the stylish lobby to the spacious rooms and extensive breakfast buffet... it's an absolutely flawless property. 

 

 

Location, Location, Location:

The morning we arrived at The Singular Santiago, one of the first things we learned from their staff was that the Singular has the best location in the city. It wasn’t until we went exploring that we realized they weren’t exaggerating - it's in the perfect spot. Located in the Lastarria neighborhood (the perfect urban & artsy mix), it’s walking distance to some of the most scenic parks, most highly rated restaurants, and the best shopping in town. Even the street that the Singular is on was one of our favorites - it had the trendiest little popsicle shop across the street - what more could you want?!

A "Simple Luxury" You Can Appreciate

The Singular is luxurious, but not stuffy. You don't feel like you are in a St. Regis where everyone is dressed to the nines - a place where we often feel out of our element. The staff is warm and personable, greeting you by name and genuinely caring about how your stay is going. At the same time they are refined and professional - it's five star class without the snootiness. Yes please!

The food in itself is a luxury at the Singular (and maybe not so simple). They have Bar Merced, the Restaurant, and their Rooftop Bar (more on that below). Bar Merced has a super cozy lounge feel, and the wall is decorated with a fascinating collection of art. There you can enjoy craft cocktails and small bites, and you'll probably make friends with the bartender. At the Restaurant, chef Hernán Basso uses local products (specifically delicious seafood), and uses French techniques to create INSANE gastronomic dishes. Come hungry, and enjoy feeling pampered. 

 

Rooftop Bar Goals

We LOVE a good rooftop bar. The views, especially at sunset, along with a solid (aka strong) cocktail is a simple way to keep the Traveling Newlyweds happy. The Rooftop Bar at the Singular has sprawling views of the city and great cocktails... we were there every night. Next time we are there we will be sure to make use of the pool as well (it was closed in April) - with a cocktail in hand of course. 

From the moment we stepped into the charming lobby of The Singular Santiago, we were absolutely blown away. It felt like our cozy, little haven in the middle of a bustling, lively city. The three nights we stayed there flew by, so on our return we’ll definitely come for longer. (And we’ll definitely take advantage of their dreamy spa!) Whether you’re headed to Santiago on your honeymoon or on business, the Singular is THE place to stay. And be forewarned… you won’t want to leave! 

 

*If you are headed to Patagonia, the Singular’s sister property is there. It looks every bit as exquisite as The Singular Santiago… You better believe we’re already planning our trip!

A Young Couple's Weekender Guide to The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel

If you've been following us for awhile, you know we LOVE hidden gems. Locations that are totally off most peoples' radar, destinations that most couples our age haven't been, places that are actually REALLY awesome, but no one really knows! Well friends, we're about to let you in on a little secret. The Fort Myers and Sanibel area is exactly that. It's the perfect mix of small town vibes and tropical island flavor. You can boat next to jumping dolphins, float in warm, turquoise waters, and sip mai-tai's all the while looking for manatees. Need we say more? Here's our guide for spending a weekend in these quaint, quirky, and picture-perfect seaside towns.

 

"FRIDAY FUNDAY"

Rent Bikes at Billy's

We arrived on Sanibel Island in the afternoon, checked into our hotel, (the Sanibel Marriott) and went straight to Billy's to rent bikes. Nothing sounded better after a long flight than a sunny bike ride along the Sanibel Lighthouse Beach. Sanibel as a whole is super bike-friendly and easy to navigate. Sunny weather, birds chirping, and the sounds of the ocean crashing in the distance... it was heavenly!

 

Late Lunch at The Island Cow

This is one of those Sanibel spots you have to experience. From the colorful ambiance to the extensive menu, it's fun and reasonable and perfectly wacky. Take our advice and order the gater. It tastes just like chicken! Another favorite was their famous mojito - you probably won't be able to order just one!

 

Beach It Up on Sanibel

After the Island Cow, we headed to the nearby beach to sleep off our food coma. Make sure you've packed some beach towels, and find a spot along the coast to rest up and relax. We layed out, played frisbee, swam in the warm water, and ended up catching the sunset! Nothing says vacation like an entire afternoon on the beach!

 

Dinner at the Lazy Flamingo

The Lazy Flamingo is a local favorite, and for good reason. Their food is delicious and the drinks are affordable. It's exactly the kind of place you want to go after a day at the beach. It isn't pretentious at all, and the people we talked to were really nice. We ended up sharing mozzarella sticks (because, VACATION!) and a caesar salad (because, HEALTH!) and it was the perfect combination! Oh, and make sure you order the Key Lime Pie. It's unreal.

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"SATURDAY SHELLEBRATION DAY"

Morning Walk Along the Fort Myers Beach Pier

One of our favorite places to walk and explore is Fort Myers Beach. From the colorful shops to the beachfront restaurants and bars, it's a lively and funky part of town. We love heading there early in the morning so we can stake out a good spot! Take a walk along the pier, down the coast, around the shops. Then head straight down the street until you hit... MoJoe's!

 

Breakfast at MoJoe's Coffee Bar

The colorful building and cool marketing instantly caught our eye, and when we saw the breakfast menu, we were sold! MoJoe's is an order at the counter type of restaurant. No frills, just great food, delicious coffee, and a cozy little outdoor patio. Done and done!

 

Beach Day at Lover's Key

Did you think we would vacation in Fort Myers/Sanibel and NOT spend some time at Lover's Key? Come on, this place was basically named for us!! And it's a beautiful coastline. We spent a few hours collecting seashells (Check out our blog on seashelling from our last trip here - we learned a TON), playing beach games, and working on our tan. Oh, and we snuck some kisses in too... Because helloooo, it's called Lover's Key! 

 

Lunch at Coconut Jack's Waterfront Grille

The tropical vibes are strong at Coconut Jack's, and we couldn't have loved it more. Ask for a table on the patio (right on the water!), order one of their famous tropical drinks, and relax as you watch fish jump in the Fish Trap Bay. Bobby was freaking out because he kept barely missing catching a fish jumping on camera - maybe next time, hehe. Whether you order the burger or the Mahi-Mahi tacos, you can't go wrong. Everything at Coconut Jack's is good!

 

Hike at Caloosahatchee Regional Park

So, as you can tell, you definitely don't go hungry in Fort Myers. It was time we worked off all of those drinks and fried gator we'd been eating, so we drove to the Caloosahatchee Regional Park to hike! There's over 20 miles of hiking, spots to relax along the river, beautiful wildlife, and maybe even a gator (be careful!)

 

Dinner and Shopping at Downtown Fort Myers

There's something really charming about Downtown Fort Myers. We started with a cup of coffee at Green Cup Cafe, then perused the streets and did some window shopping until we were hungry. The town is bustling and lively - we saw young couples, families, and even bachelorette parties! There's something for everyone in Downtown Fort Myers, and the restaurant selection is no exception. There's a variety of cute and colorful restaurants with plenty of outdoor seating, and many with live music. We opted for something original for us - pizza! Capone's is a Fort Myers staple, a pizzeria with incredible coal-fired pizzas. Go! We wish we had another few days to explore more of the food here!

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"SUNDAY BOAT-DAY"

Rent a Boat

Are you ready for the best day you'll have all year? Rent a boat (and/or a driver!) and spend your Sunday on the open seas. Leave early, giving you plenty of time before lunch to spot dolphins and other sea creatures. We drank mimosas, flew along the water with dolphins, and watched as the sun became brighter and the ocean turned the most perfect color of blue. Before we knew it, it was lunch time!

 

Lunch at Cabbage Key

Eat lunch at the historic and quirky Cabbage Key. The food is great (we blogged about it a couple years ago here), there's cash all over the walls inside (literally), and the tiny island is beautiful (this time we hiked up to the top of a little water tower). Make sure you stop there!

 

Find a Sandbar

Before this trip, Alli didn't even know what a sandbar was. Now, it's all she can talk about! Due to weather and changing tides, sandbars in the Fort Myers/Sanibel area come and go, but we were lucky enough to find one in North Captiva (we'll be sharing some EPIC photos from this spot in a few days - stay tuned). It was the perfect spot to anchor our boat and spend a few hours soaking up the sunshine!

 

Dinner at Barnacle's

Finish the day with an early dinner at a fan favorite spot, Barnacle's. Leave your boat at the festive dock, grab a bucket of beers (or their yummy house-made sangria), and relax as you watch the sun slowly set along the water. Enjoy their fresh fish and famous rice and beans, and treat yourself to their homemade ice cream upstairs. Can you think of a better way to end the evening?! We don't think so.

 

"MONDAY SEE YOU SOON-DAY"

Breakfast at Lighthouse Cafe

Coined the "World's Best Breakfast", and being breakfast FANATICS, we couldn't think of a better spot to end our trip! Located in Sanibel, The Lighthouse Cafe is a cozy and quirky little cafe that is filled to the brim with lighthouse trinkets and pictures of lighthouses... and it's absolutely adorable! They have almost as many breakfast items as they do lighthouses (almost), and from what we saw on the tables surrounding us, ALL of it looked amazing! We ordered eggs and bacon, Eggs Benedict, and a plate of their famous pancakes... and needless to say we almost needed to be rolled out of the restaurant! "World's Best Breakfast" might be a lofty statement, but they just might be right - it was really delicious!

 

After the yummy breakfast, we took a short walk on the beach before heading to the airport. While we were sad to leave, we knew instead of a farewell it was more of a "See you soon, Sanibel (& Fort Myers)". We can't wait to return and explore other spots and keep this list going, so if you have anything to add... feel free to comment below! We'd love to hear!

Thank you to The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel for sponsoring this post!