When I was a young traveler setting off on a new adventure, my journey would always start in the local bookstore. Researching the latest travel guide on my destination of choice was half the fun of going. These days travel inspiration is instantly at our fingertips as the internet grants us access on demand to whatever our imagination can contrive. As technology advances, so do our options and today our options are extensive. In the information age, not only can you find your destination of choice in a recent blog, you can down download it as an app to guide you from attraction to attraction with GPSMyCity.
This summer, the girls and I returned to my home turf in Northern Kentucky for a little R&R. My childhood memories are chock full of moments at the farm, shaping my early years. I remember always being surrounded by family, always having places to roam, and never being plugged into a device. It wasn't until I was a tween that we even got central heat and air at my family's old farm house. These days, technology has caught up with the times, and the old farm house has gone to ruins. That sweet summer sunset still glows amber over the field of hay on the family farm though, and as long as it's possible, my girls will have the chance to taste the country summer.
Whether you are a seasoned traveler or a novice, I think it's safe to say we can all benefit from any tips that will help us thrive during air travel. No one enjoys excess time in the airport, especially if it's due to delays or cancellations. Here are a few tips we've gathered through personal experience and the advice of other travel experts.
Summer's not over just yet, and that means it's still chic to style up your best nautical looks. I happened upon this darling Ahoy Shift by Maeve at Anthropologie and immediately fell in love. I easily could have played up some red accessories for a fun 4th or Labor Day outfit. For me it felt a little too much like a costume when I did. In this case I kept it simple and easy with a splash of color for an ensemble that remains both timeless and cool for the summer.
|Photo by Kristen Penoyer|
Wanderlust got you feeling restless? If you're dreaming of your next adventure (perhaps a Madrid city break), but stuck in the waiting place, why not travel with your tastebuds? Here are six First Coast dishes whose exotic flavors are sure to transport you to another land.
If you are looking to achieve the perfect Florida summer, you are undoubtedly going to be spending a lot of time in the water. Naturally the beach will be on the list, but if you are truly looking for some thrills and refreshment, you will head straight to the nearest waterpark. For North Floridians, that path leads directly to the regions largest amusement park, Adventure Landing.
From the moment I saw this maxi dress at Anthropologie I was smitten. I loved the color play, fabric, and fullness of the skirt. The charming front tie detail gives it interest but also shape. Dress it up and wear it out for date night, or dress down for a walk at sunset. During our recent visit to my family's farm in Kentucky, I did just that...
As a frequent traveler I'm excited to share with you some of my favorite new finds in my new ongoing series "What's in My Bag". This is my chance to reveal the best beauty secrets, my go to travel wardrobe, and the newest trends in the world of wanderlust. Some of these products have worked with me on collaborations, some I've found organically while shopping or talking to friends. However they fell in to my lap, you can be sure I'm smitten with them, otherwise they wouldn't be worth toting around with me on my adventures. Join me as I unveil my most recent favorite discoveries.
This summer I proved you can go home again. The girls and I flew up to my family home in Kentucky where my dad is a cattle farmer. Clean fresh air, space to run around, and plenty of time in the pool was mom's prescription for summer time boredom. Add a litter of puppies to the mix and it was pretty much the perfect recipe for timeless summer memories.
On the southern stretch of St. Augustine's shoreline lies one of the historic coast's most iconic destinations. Marineland is steeped in nostalgia and cinematic lore, and it's Dolphin Adventures provide an intimate getaway for ocean lovers both young and old to experience the beauty and majesty of one of natures most intelligent creatures. The first Oceanarium to ever be built, I was surprised to learn that Marineland was the first place to both breed and train dolphins. Our family learned all this and more on our recent visit to this legendary destination.
If you're like me, you may find yourself stuck in the same ole pattern of unorganized chaos when you pack and unpack your travel bags. Rolling up your clothes to avoid wrinkles and save space is great and travel compartments sure help, but when it comes down to it, wouldn't it be great to pack and unpack just once? To have easy access to everything you need with one zip? I'm smitten with my latest travel find and I think you'll be too. RISE Gear's travel solution is so simple and completely perfect it will have you asking "Why didn't I think of that"?
It's festival season. That means it's time to strap on your favorite gladiators and slip into something soft and breezy. Whether you're headed to your favorite music fest, or simply a walk on the beach, this look is perfect for hot summer days full of fun in the sun. Easily one of my most complimented looks on the street to date, I think the attraction of this look lies in it's effortless simplicity.
If you are looking for a great place to dine al fresco that will surprise and inspire, head over to the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa and find a seat at the American Gator Club. Situated in the heart of Ponte Vedra Beach, this new outdoor restaurant is Sawgrass Marriott's most recent addition to it's multi million dollar reinvention. The new pool deck invites resort guests and locals alike to enjoy the waterfront view of TPC's stadium course and dine in style under Executive Chef Joe Natoli's tasteful care. If you've had the pleasure of dining at Vernon's, Alice and Pete's Pub, or 619 Ocean View recently you will know that the menu's have all been updated across the board for a more regional cuisine directed towards a modern palate. American Gator Club is no exception, providing a more casual setting to satiate your appetite in addition to affordable price points for tasty treats worthy of fine dining sensibilities. Here's a glimpse into what's in store when you visit.
It all started with this lemon dress I found at a local boutique. Right away I was smitten. Yellow always makes me happy and the fact that this ladylike silhouette was covered in a retro lemon print made me grin from ear to ear. As a travel and lifestyle blogger I believe fashion should be as much about the way you feel as it is about style. For that reason I'm so incredibly happy that fruit is trending this summer season.
Long ago before I was a professional travel writer and blogger, I was a teenager working at a spa. I spent many days opening and closing that spa, daydreaming about the travels I wanted to take. I would muse over different business ideas that would allow me to travel for a living. One of the outrageous ideas I thought up was "Personal Paparazzi". My concept was that I would follow the rich and famous around on their luxury vacations and capture their special memories. Alas that concept wasn't the path I would travel to get to my ultimate goal, but it wasn't far from the target of where I eventually landed. Imagine my surprise when I heard of PicTrip. Not just for the rich and famous, PicTrip does exactly what I was dreaming of. By working with a hand selected group of talented photographers, they help you capture your travel memories the way you always imagined them. Read on to learn more.
We've all been there. You save up, you take that trip you've been anticipating, and you eat your heart out. Sure the pleasure is undeniable, but so are those extra pounds you put on in the process. You can't fit in those shorts or that cute bikini, and more than that... you just kinda feel crappy. It's true that 80% of how we look and feel can be traced back to what we put in our mouth. I know I know, "How can this be Amy? Aren't you always bragging about the amazing fattening food you eat?" Well yes, and no. I love great food. I'm a proud foodie. However, most people probably don't realize that the majority of the time when we are at home, our meal time is very humble. I've been pretty honest about my childhood struggle with obesity. Over the years I've had to fight the urge to fall into the eating disorder trap. Instead of sinking into that pit of despair, I've found my own methods of living a life of balance, while also enjoying what I want. Here are some examples of how I lost weight going on great vacations to places like Jamaica, Rome, Colorado, and even a Cruise!
This spring our family headed north on I75 on our first big road trip with baby London. Our destination was an epic family reunion in Tennessee, but the 10 hour drive was daunting. With two little girls in tow we wanted to break the trip up a little make it more fun. Our solution? 24 hours in Atlanta. If you are a regular on Amy West Travel you'll know that our family kinda loves great food. Atlanta is currently booming in the culinary world, so it was a given that we were going to seek out the tastiest treats we could find. I've also been in the process of personally seeking out the best Aquariums in America. This naturally led us to the Georgia Aquarium, known for it's world class facility and menagerie of Aquatic wild life. Discover below just how fun our 24 hour adventure in Atlanta was.
Savvy travelers agree that if you are going to live in and out of a bag, the best way to do it is as organized as possible. Since organization is always top of mind when I put my bag together, it comes as no surprise why I'd be completely in love with my latest trendy find, Origami Unicorn's TUO (Travel Undergarment Organizer).
|Tuscan Chicken Sandwich |
If you are a regular to this blog you will be familiar with the fact that I am smitten with the ambiance and fare at Eleven South Bistro & Bar. Since it's inception it has yet to take a turn around the sun without being awarded the coveted Wine Spectator Award of Excellence (that's 10 consecutive now). Serving up farm to table ingredients since before it was a buzz phrase, Eleven South never ceases to innovate and lead the pack when it comes to timeless dishes that meet the modern palate. For all those reasons and more, it's always a delight to see what's new at one of my favorite Jax Beach haunts. Feast your eyes on what's fresh at Eleven South.