Hotels, Restaurants, Travel

Favorite Quick Road Trip

We are blessed to live in an area that we are a quick road trip away from some amazing places. My boyfriend loves to go somewhere special every year for his birthday. His birthday is in December so it is fun to see Christmas decorations. It makes the trip even more special. When we lived in California we would drive to Las Vegas. Now that we live in Florida we drive to Key West. For his 50th birthday a couple of months ago we flew to Nassau, Bahamas. I will add a post about that trip later. Today I want to share our adventure on Key West.

If you have never driven to Key West…that is a must do. Driving thru little beach towns over bridges of every color of blue water you can imagine. We like to make a stop at a little beach bar before we get to Key West.

As you drive on to the Island you will pass by a commercial area with hotels and homes. Continue to drive down to Duval Street. You will find a couple of blocks of restaurants and stores. Take your time walking up and down both sides of the street. And then drop in to places for a cold beer. We took our time walking the area…viewing old mansions, touring Hemingway’s house (a must do), touring Harry Truman Little White House, stopping by the Southern Most Point, and observing art…and lots of roosters and chickens. Lol! Two places that we like to go back to are The Southern Most House…sitting on the beach with a beer and the outdoor lounge on the sand at Pier House Resort and Spa.

The first visit we stayed downtown on Duval. We both had thoughts of partying all day and night and then it would be convenient to be close to our hotel room. We didn’t realize we had grown out of that phase until it was 9 o’clock pm and we ready to call it a day. Unfortunately, the noise from Duval went on most of the night. Ok. Lesson learned. The next time we went to Key West my boyfriend found a charming B&B a couple of blocks off of Duval. It was so cute!

There are many places we didn’t get a chance to explore. Next time I want to go on a boat ride and spend some time over at the Schooner Wharf.

Beer at the Southern Most House
The Christmas d├ęcor was entertaining.

Sunset Dining At Pier House Resort
Key West Art and Historical Society
Key West Art and Historical Society
One of the many roosters on the island.
Southern Most House
On the beach at Southern Most House


Favorite Tour in New Orleans

Mardi Gras is coming up quick on Tuesday March 5. We visited New Orleans a couple of years ago for a conference. While my boyfriend was attending the conference I went on a tour of Mardi Gras World with the lady spouses. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Upon arrival I noticed big warehouses. I guess it makes sense since the floats can be large. I am not a big Mardi Gras fan so I wasn’t expecting much. I was pleasantly surprised how awesome the tour was! We were shown how a float comes to life…concept to creation. I think the pictures sum up the tour better than I can describe it.


Favorite Speakeasy

I admit I haven’t been to many speakeasies (hidden place to drink, think prohibition period in the 1920s). On a trip to Dallas for a conference we stayed at the newly reopened Statler Hotel. I will save the details of the Statler Hotel for another post…it was amazing! Anyway, after any conference or touring we do in a city we like to end our day in the hotel lounge. After we toured the John F. Kennedy Memorial we went back to the hotel for a night cap. We were not impressed with the hotel scene so we asked the hostess if she could recommend a lounge close by that we could go to. She smiles and then asks us to follow her. She leads us down a hallway…downstairs in to a basement area…and then drops us off in a small room with an old telephone booth with benches. We looked at each other questioning what was going on when we looked for her, she was gone. We looked in to the telephone booth and it had a sign to call a specific number. Again, we were so confused and decided we should call the number. As I was pushing the numbers a wall opens up to a hidden bar! The name of the bar is Bourbon & Banter. We were told it is the same bar Tina threw her ring at Ike in a breakup. Anyway, we sat at the bar and ordered a couple of items. Our go to is usually a charcuterie plate. It was a amazing.

We are now addicted to finding speakeasies in future trips. Please share if you have favorite speakeasies you have been to.


Favorite Tour in Dubai

To be fair, we only went on one tour…so it is our favorite. If you are going to Dubai for the first time, I highly recommend the Red Bus tour. We bought the hop on, hop off 3 day package. After the 3 day tour we knew the places we wanted to go back to. We visited the marina area, old town and the new part of Dubai. We sat on the upper deck of the bus to fully take in the skyscrapers. I was amazed how each skyscraper top was a piece of art…so different and unique from the others. It was interesting how many skyscrapers there are to people walking around. Many may be at the main malls, Dubai Mall or Mall of the Emirates. Fun fact, you can ski at the Mall of the Emirates. We had lunch at a restaurant overlooking the skiers. The tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa, can be found at the Dubai Mall. I love the Dubai Mall. I am not so interested in shopping, but to walk around this mall to people watch was incredible. We stopped by a kiosk to dress up as the locals do. My favorite part of the trip was the Sunset Desert Safari. The safari was part of the Red Bus tour. I highly recommend dinner in the desert. Bring a sweater as it can cold when the sun goes down. Speaking of how ladies should dress, cover your shoulders and legs to the knee. When you go to the mall, you will see tourists wearing shorts and tank tops. Outside of the mall, I am guessing you may be looked down on. The marina area seems very up and coming so you may be ok there. One final thing, when riding the train, you will see at the beginning of the train an area marked off in pink. In the train there will be a pink line. Men, DO NOT Cross this line, you will be scolded. It is an area for only women to stand in. My boyfriend was scolded. He felt bad as he is well traveled and never knew about the pink line. Kind of like their pink cab drivers…only for women passengers and male companion. Men can not take a pink cab on their own. I could go on and on about Dubai. I may talk about it more in future posts. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.


Favorite Romantic Memory

I will never forget a couple of years ago when my boyfriend took me to visit his hometown in Germany. It was a little village outside of Frankfurt. On one of the days we went on a road trip. I had no idea where we were going. We ended up in Salzburg, Austria. Such a romantic couple of days. We did our best to fit in as much as possible on our trip. The best surprise was adding our lock to the collection of love locks on the bridge downtown. We also walked by Mozart’s place. Another favorite was driving up in to the maintains in to the Wolfgangsee area. I will write another blog about our favorites there.