Houston, TX - Where to Eat, Stay and Play

If you’re new around here you may not know me and my hubby Scott. We have a bucket list dream to see all of the 30 baseball stadiums. After this trip we added numbers 18 and 19 to the list! This is a fun way for us to see different areas of the country that we may have otherwise never have. We arrived in Houston after landing in Dallas , rented a car, and 3 1/2 hours later, we finally arrived at our beautiful hotel.

Where to Stay:

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We stayed at the most beautiful location, Hotel Alessandra. The Hotel is actually owned by The Valencia Group which has quite a few properties around Texas. We have stayed at 2 others and loved them both equally as much! Three things we always love at hotels: 1. A gym for the hubby (Super important stuff here! lol) 2. Esthetic! I love a gorgeous location, something different then most hotels. This gives me pure joy! 3. Service! Customer service is always so important to me and a hotel that goes above and beyond also gives me joy!

This Hotel was nothing short of that! A perfect hotel for the hubs, amazing customer service for me, and talk about beautiful! Every little detail was so stunning. They even had fresh flowers throughout the hotel. I would have been just fine enjoying this place the entire trip.. but we did come for other reasons as well.

What To Do:

Nasa Space Center - A forty minute drive from downtown Houston. Totally worth the drive for your space lovers to experience. You will want to do the tour that shows you inside of the center for sure!

Astro’s Baseball Game - After all this is the whole reason we were visiting Houston! This stadium was super cute and not too far from our hotel. Every time we visit a new stadium we try to eat the food they are known for. This stadium is known for their chicken and waffles. Its a waffle cone stuffed with chicken and mashed potatoes.

Brenham to visit Blue Bell Ice Cream - We stopped in Brenham on our way to Austin, but this is such a great trip from Houston as well. Loved visiting in April to see all of the beautiful blooms all over, peep photos below! Also so great to visit the Blue Bell Ice Cream, every scoop is $1 so come prepared!

Other must do’s are:

  • Wild West for line dancing (we were suppose to do this on night one but showed up too late)

  • Museum of Natural Science

  • Houston Zoo

  • Children’s Museum of Houston

  • Cockrell Butterfly Center

  • Toyota Center to see a basketball game

Where To Eat:

Sweet Paris - So many locations throughout Houston. We ate at the Drexel Dr. location. This is the best place to grab food. So cute, so delicious and the area surrounding it was the best to hangout and drive around.

Original Ninfa’s - Delicious Mexican food located in Houston, not too far from downtown. Make sure to get the tacos and queso dip. You wont be sorry.

What-a-burger - So… this is my second time in Texas having What-a-burger and I just cant get behind it. I am just an In-n-out burger girl at heart. With that said I still think you should try it if ever in Texas or a location where they have it!

Other places to try:

  • El Tempo

  • 8th Wonder Brewery

  • Boomtown Coffee Main St. Café & Bistro

Thanks for tagging along on our Houston journey! For more behind the scenes on all of our travel adventures be sure to subscribe. Xo, Amanda Warren

The Most Delicious 3 Days In Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy checks in at the number one place we have ever visited. A major deciding factor on this opinion was based on all the delicious food we enjoyed. We traveled to Florence from Venice by train. The train was the easiest way to travel around Italy.

Where to Stay

Once we arrived in Florence we took a cab to our hotel at the Helvetia & Bristol hotel. This hotel was in a great location and came highly recommended through Costco Travel. We booked parts of our trip to Europe through them and were so pleasantly surprised on how well everything went. They went above and beyond for everything and all of our rooms were upgraded. Score!

What To Do

The First day we arrived in Florence we had a Vespa tour of Tuscany, with wine tasting and lunch all included. It rained a little that day but rain or shine we were ready to have this experience. What an out of this world experience we did have! The views were straight out of a movie or dream! This was so much fun, totally worth the helmet hair and ugly poncho’s. We used Viator to book the tour, click here for more information.

The next two days we toured all that Florence had to offer.

The Duomo

We also went through Viator for this tour, here. If you want to go to the top of the Bell Tower it is important to book this before ever arriving on your trip.

Shop for Leather

So much leather goods, bags, coats, luggage, you name it they have it. Never settle for the first price always haggle!

Uffizi Gallery

If visiting the first Sunday of the month like we did, go earlier in the day and grab a ticket. This will show what time to come back and begin your tour. This is the only day of the month that the gallery is free. It was busy everywhere in the city that day, but it didn't feel too bad in the museum once we go in. If going any other day of the month get your tickets online to preplan ahead.

Ponte Vecchio Bridge

Walk the bridge of gold, each store along the bridge sells gold and jewelry only. We walked this bridge on our way to Piazzale Michelangelo, where you can watch the sunset.

Other

Take a Train to Pisa or do a tour of the Leaning tour of Pisa from Viator, click here for more info.

Accademia Gallery, another museum that you could book a dual tour with Uffizi Gallery click here for more info

Now.. The reason I truly fell in love with Florence..

Where to Eat

Trattoria ZaZa : You will want to make reservations ahead of time here, the lines can get really long, but are totally worth it. The Food was so amazing here! We had a pasta dish with truffles that came recommended by our waiter and the Florentine steak. Pictured below.

Trattoria Sostaza :

If you are going to eat anywhere in Florence, EAT HERE! Believe me when I tell you this will be the best Chicken of your life. Yes Chicken. I can still taste the delicious and amazing flavor. Out of this world! Often frequented by celebs and locals alike, there was a huge line as the small restaurant doors opened for business the afternoon we arrived. So be sure to make a reservation!

Osteria dell’Enteca :

The most divine selection of wine and food. Again you want a reservation for this delicious place and it may be a bit out of the way depending on where you spend your time, but will totally be worth it!

All’ Antico Vinaio :

On our way out of town we stopped to pickup sandwiches for our train ride to Rome. We were able to pickup our sandwiches very quickly. However we walked by here on the weekend and the line was down the street.

Thanks for following along our delicious journey! I hope you enjoy your time in Florence as much as we did. Xo

Three Days In The Rainy City!

For Seattle being such a rainy city, we never felt a drop…and we were just fine with that! This trip to Seattle actually took place back in 2017 before I had a blog and was sharing my favorite travel spots with you all! This trip was AGAIN a trip for my husband’s birthday and to see another baseball stadium. We headed to Seattle from Fresno, CA on a direct flight through Alaska Air. Quick and Easy!!

DAY ONE

As soon as we landed we hit the ground running! By 9am we had already dropped off our bags and were seated at the cutest restaurant overlooking the water above Pikes Place Market. Lowell’s had food just as good as the view. You wont want to miss this breakfast! Once we fueled up we were ready to explore. We shopped throughout Pikes Place where we watched the famous throwing of the fish, smelled all the fresh Peonies and checked out all the yummy looking food!

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After exploring we hopped in an Uber and headed to the Seattle Mariners game! We grabbed some beers, garlic fries and sat in some excellent seats behind home plate! When teams aren't quite as good, or don't have the biggest fan base, or because its a mid week game you can often get seats like these for a steal! You know what that means…more money for shopping later!

Once the game was over we opted to walk with the rest of the crowd back towards our hotel and get our room situated. We stayed at the Kimpton Palladian Hotel. With its moody modern feel and being walking distance from Pikes Place, this was a perfect feel for us!

Now that we were all checked in we headed down to the Seattle waterfront and rode their famous ferris wheel before having a beautiful dinner over looking the water at Elliott’s Oyster House. They had the most amazing salmon we had ever had!

Taking a gorgeous walk along the water back to our hotel we spotted the first ever Starbucks! Although the last thing either of us needed was coffee we couldn’t pass up the fact that there was no line!! (This is unheard of! The lines are usually so long to get a coffee here. So I highly suggest going right before they close!)

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DAY TWO

Waking up on Day 2 was my hubby’s actual birthday. He wanted to start it off no other way than with a great workout. Yeah, he’s one of those people.. (insert eye roll emoji) lol! Peep the photo of the hotel gym.. we also scout out where we will be staying according to if they have a gym. Yes, you can insert another eye roll if you like!

Now that we got the workout out of the way.. we headed out to…you guessed it…eat. Lets face it, we only workout so we can eat more! At the top of the Space Needle they have a restaurant called SkyCity, we headed here for brunch on the rotating top! Such a cool experience, with great food! Even a smoking dessert for the birthday boy! Our meal came with a voucher for visiting the next level on the Space Needle.

Next we walked a couple steps over to the Chihuly Garden and Glass. Talk about out of this world and such a unique experience you can only see in Seattle. Peep the photos below for how amazing it all was.

Now that our bellies were full and our minds full of art we called an uber and headed 30 min north of the city to the winery Chateau Ste. Michelle. Their Riesling was one of the first wines I ever started drinking. I have them to thank for my delicious habit. They have the most beautiful venue with free tours going all day and a large tasting room. They also do huge concerts throughout the year. We were one day late on our trip for seeing John Ledged. Be sure to check them out it was totally work the cost of the uber!

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After a long day of fun we headed back to the hotel for a quick 20 min nap.. (its tiring drinking all that wine!) and a change of clothes before dinner. We ate at the Metropolitan Grill. One of my all time favorite restaurants we have been to. The food was amazing and the staff was the very sweetest! It’s no wonder its a favorite spot for Russell Wilson! My mouth is literally watering as I am typing this. If you don't go anywhere I suggest on this blog.. Go here!

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DAY THREE

Woke up a little later today after sleeping in, ordering room service, and packing up for check out. We ran, literally, to catch the ferry to Bainbridge Island. I felt like I was on an episode of Greys Anatomy.. looking everywhere for McDreamy with no luck. Bainbridge is a cute little town, something out of a Hallmark movie with all the charm and quiet town vibes. We walked and admired the beauty all the way to the local diner, featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives! If it's on triple D’s we go! Two orders of burgers, fries and milkshakes later we were headed back on the windy ferry.

Once back on ground in Seattle we hopped in another Uber and went to Theo Chocolate Factory for a tour and delicious tasting! (Although we don't see much of these chocolate bars in Cali we did JUST see them in Yosemite last week!) Not far from the chocolate factory is the Fremont Troll which is a local tourist spot for photos that is nestled in between homes and under a bridge.

Back to Pike Place Market for a little shopping and some more FOOD! I am a terrible influence on vacation, but Beecher’s mac and cheese had to be sampled and it was oh so worth it!!

After a little exploring we picked up our bags from the hotel and headed to the cutest train station. Heading to Portland next, the train ride was super easy and convenient. We use Amtrak often on our trips over driving whenever we can get a straight shot. This gives us time to read, sleep, eat some more, and not have to deal with driving and traffic.

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Thanks for following along our 3 day trip to Seattle, Washington! We had so much fun visiting this beautiful city and hope to go back again one day! If you have any other recommendations please let me know! OR if you visit any of the places we mention please let me know how you liked it! I always love to hear everyone’s travel plans! Until next time.. XO, Amanda

The Perfect Surprise Trip To Denver

I’ve noticed a trend of you guys loving my social photos and stories over on Insta a little more than others. That makes me so happy because I just love planning travel trips for me and the hubs! So I decided to incorporate some travel guides from our most favorite trips! I do hope you will enjoy! First up.. Denver, Colorado! We went for a “Surprise” trip for the hubs birthday last June. Although I didn't tell him where we were going just that it took a plane to get there, he somehow guessed it! We go on trips every year to see new baseball stadiums, so I think he knew that was one we hadn't been to. Nevertheless, we had a wonderful time!

Where We Stayed:

Kimpton Hotel Born

I have been obsessed with Kimpton hotels for a few years now, so of course I had to find one on this trip as well! This hotel was just as amazing as all the others and was about 10 steps from Union Station. They have a nightly wine hour, that sometimes has beer and appetizers! Delish! This hotel also had a Tesla for the hotel car and could take you to wherever you needed to go around the city. Score!

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What To Eat:

Sam’s #3 Breakfast - Such great breakfast, and super packed so be ready to wait! With 3 locations in Denver you will be sure to find one to eat at. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner and have over 100 items on the menu, so everyone will love it! It was featured on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, so that's basically why we went there.

Linger - Such a trendy and cute place with a menu that makes you feel like you just got on Disney’s Soaring Around the World. It lists food by places around the world. We loved everything we ate and enjoyed the views just as much! Save room because the little man ice cream is located just below and tastes just as delish!

Little Man Ice Cream - YUM! I love ice cream more than the average person so we of course ate here more than once on our trip and both times were just as delicious! The cutest little spot is located just outside of Linger and has so many different flavors! Again be ready to wait in line, its longer at night but totally worth the wait!

Denver Biscuit & Co - My mouth is watering as I type. It was that good! Everything biscuits and they even have stacks of games to play as you wait for a table or your food. Super cute, fun and delicious!

Bacon Social House - Although this location was nowhere near our hotel or anywhere we were going, we just had to! Plus it was a trip for the hubs birthday and he says “Anything is good with bacon on it” all the time so it was a perfect place to have our last breakfast in Denver! You must get the Bacon Flight, its so good! Everything, even the non bacon items, were amazing!

It looks like we mostly ate at breakfast places but other places I found to eat at but never got a chance to try were:

  • Lucile’s Creole Café (Beignets)

  • Spinelli’s Market (Deli)

  • Sugar Bakeshop and Coffee House (Homemade Poptarts)

  • Comida (Mexican)

link for dress    here      -   Bag        here        and        here

link for dress here - Bag here and here

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What To Do:

Coor’s Brewery Tour - This is about 35 min from the hotel in Denver we stayed at and is in Golden, Colorado. When arriving you want to go to the parking lot, the line for the tour starts there. You can’t take any purses or bags into the building, so if you got there by an Uber like we did you can put your purse in a locked box across the street in a liquor store. Kind of sketchy but everything was fine when I picked it back up! (thank goodness!) The tour doesn't take long and they give you samples along the way, if you like beer. The hubs drank for us both!

Rocky Mountains Tour - Such a great experience. The tour we went on was Discover Rocky Mountain National Park from Denver, link here, it was full day with lots to see and full of knowledge from our driver about the area. Lunch is included along with a stop on the way home at the Stanley hotel. This is where the Shining and Dumb and Dumber scenes were filmed. The tour picks you up right out fron of the Union Station in Denver, which is perfect if you are staying at the Kimpton Born, it will take you about 2 min to walk across to the front of the station.

Walk Denver - Take a walk down 16th street where they have many shops, places to eat and the cutest pianos that are all decorated differently and you can enjoy playing on. Another great place to walk around is Larimer Square, such a cute spot to explore with many boutique shops and delicious places to eat.

Union Station - This was by far my favorite part of Denver. The CUTEST place to hangout and have a drink. People are walking in and out at all times, playing games and have a drink. There are some cute places to look at, including BLOOM a super cute flower stand that I couldn't help but take a picture by!

Mile High Stadium - Even if you aren't in town for a game its fun to do a tour. I even enjoyed getting to see all the behind the stadium tour of how everything is ran. Of course I’m sure the hubs enjoyed it more than I did, he is the only football fan at our house after all.

Coors Field - Now the real reason we went all the way to the mile high city! To see our 16th stadium of the 30 Major League stadiums. Always a great time seeing a game, grabbing a beer, and eating whatever the most popular food is at the stadium. This stadium was known for the rocky mountain oysters. (they taste like chicken)

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Jumpsuit linked    here      -      here      -      here

Jumpsuit linked here - here - here

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The best pants ever!    Here    - Similar Top    here    - Sunnies    here

The best pants ever! Here - Similar Top here - Sunnies here

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Dress linked    here    - bag linked    here    - shoes linked    here    (my favorite summer shoe) scarf tied on bag    here

Dress linked here - bag linked here - shoes linked here (my favorite summer shoe) scarf tied on bag here

Thanks for following along our fun trip to Denver! One last tip I have for you is to ride the train from the airport to Union station. Super easy, fast and you save some extra money for all that beer you’ll be drinking!

If you’ve been to Denver and have a favorite spot I didn't list, I would love to hear about it for my next trip! It really was a great place to visit! Enjoy your travels Xo