Under the Sea

tankAs mentioned in this post, I love Sharks. This weekend, while browsing Netflix in bed, I discovered that you can now steam Shark Week!! After watching enough episodes to make BaDing* want to never go in the ocean again, I decided we should get up and go see some real life sharks. There are a bunch of aquariums around, but my favorite one is too far away. We settled for a smaller aquarium that is closer to us, and here are some of my favorite parts:

Seal[Seals]Sting Rays[Sting rays and baby sharks]Sting RaysOceanGrumpy Fish[A grumpy fish that reminds me of BaDing in the morning]Jellies[Jellies!]shark[And finally, the shark tank]Shark[I was completely mesmerized]

Ruben finally got me away from the glass and to sit down at a reasonable distance, but after not nearly enough time, a class of about 50 children came in. It was ways too loud and crowded to stay. Maybe I should book an excursion to swim with the sharks for my next vacation. What do you think Krystle?

One Year

MMIPA year ago today I started Meet Me in Paradise. My own little slice of the Internet pie. I originally started this blog to regain some creativity in my life, but what I have gotten out of it has been so much more than that. I have met and made connections with people from around the world and back, I have the perfect way to look back on the past year of my life that has been documented here, and I have remembered to do one of the most important things in life, to cherish the little things. Thank you all for reading and letting me share my life with you!

Dylan’s Candy Bar

DylansDylans’s Candy Bar is like dying and going to candy heaven. With only five locations in the world, this buffet of sweets is right by my job, which means serious trouble. I don’t let myself go there too often, but when I do, oh my goodness! It is such a unique candy store… it combines two of my favorite things – candy and art. They have over 5,000 different types of candy here! From jelly bellys, to cotton candy, ice cream, chocolate fountains, vintage sweets, and any type of candy you are looking for, this is the place to go.  I clearly always find myself in the fudge & chocolate sections. Have you ever been to Dylan’s? What are your favorite sweets?stairwayjellysCandylollicolorCandy WallfudgeChocolate FountainCotton candyDylansice creamChocolate

Meet Me in Tortola

tortolaWhile I love the winter, I have always been the summer beach bum type. I was bundling up this morning putting on layers upon layers, and I couldn’t help but day-dream about the beach. Sitting in a beach chair, feet in the hot sand, and pina colada in hand. Sounds like heaven to me. Tortola is one of the British Virgin Islands located in the Caribbean and it’s spot-on paradise. One of the best beaches that I have ever been to is a secluded beach in Tortola. The particular beach we went to was in a bay with nothing ahead but the clear blue Caribbean sea. I can’t wait to go on vacation!!!
tortolatortolacruisetortolaWatertortolaSignature-05

Mountain Creek

TreeThis past weekend me and a few friends of mine took a day trip over to Mountain Creek, New Jersey. It’s only about an hour and a half away and it’s the perfect place to get away if we can’t go for an entire weekend. There hasn’t been much snow, but we planned around the weather. Since it snowed all day on Saturday, Sunday morning we were off. We arrived right when the mountain opened. It was so windy and cold, and due to the wind, only one lift was opened. We got a few runs in before it got completely out of control and lift lines were over 45 minutes! All in all, it was a great time and I am still sore days later. I can’t wait to continue to get back into it this season.

snowboard[My board]Line[The lift “line”]waiting[Waiting]lift[Finally on our way up]top[Freezing at the top]miltfriendsfriendsSignature-05

Five Tips for your First Trip Abroad

5TipsHeaderHi friends, this is Rachel from How Bout Some Cake. Jordan has invited me to take over her blog today and share some tips about international travel.

If you’ve never traveled abroad before, it can be a little intimidating. It usually involves a really long flight, jet lag, a foreign language, currency exchange, and unfamiliar foods. But, in my opinion, it’s all totally worth it for one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. Here are five tips that will help you prepare for and get the most out of your first international trip.

Tip1

I’m a huge fan of travel books (I wrote a whole post about them here) and I truly believe they are a tourist’s saving grace in an unfamiliar city. They offer everything from restaurant reviews and sample itineraries to history and cultural etiquette tips. Nobody wants to be a sophomoric traveler, and these guide books can really help in teaching you things you didn’t even know to ask. For example, how else would you know that gratuities in Spain should be a fraction of what you’d leave here in the States?!

Tip2

I recommend making copies of all your important documents and keeping them with you all the time. When I say this, I’m including your passport, license, credit cards, insurance information, and any other documents you can’t live without. Of course, you have to keep your credit cards with you to use them, but everything else is better off back in the hotel safe. Pick-pocketing is rampant in many foreign countries, especially European ones, and you really don’t want some stranger running off with your passport. Similarly, if they do get away with your credit card, you want the card number and company phone number handy so you can call and report it immediately. Trust me, as someone who has been the victim of purse-snatching, these photocopies/scans can be invaluable.

Tip3

First, find out their foreign transaction policies and second, apprise them of your trip. Your credit card companies may freeze your accounts when they see foreign spending, thinking it’s fraudulent activity. I’ve never had any trouble using my credit/debit cards abroad, but it is good to know how they’ll handle the currency conversion. Also devise a plan for cash- if you’re not comfortable carrying a lot when you travel, you will probably be able to withdraw from ATMs at your destination, but expect hefty fees with each transaction.

Tip4

This is a good tip no matter where you’re going, but especially when you’re going somewhere vastly different than home. Bags do get lost, and you don’t want to be stranded without medications, a clean pair of undies, and anything else you would need within 24-48 hours of landing. Pharmacies work differently in other countries, so if you regularly take any medication (even something like Tylenol) you should bring it with you.

Tip5

You never know what you’re going to encounter when traveling abroad. That’s the fun of it: encountering exotic and unfamiliar tastes, sights, and experiences. Don’t expect every experience to be good. You’re not going to like every dish you order, every hotel you stay in, every cultural experience. Conversely, you’ll probably enjoy some experiences more than you thought. View it as an adventure and keep a positive attitude to get the most enjoyment out of your trip. I think that, as Americans, we often think that our way is the best way, but I’d encourage any tourist to reserve judgment and appreciate every place for its own unique qualities.

Hope these tips help you when planning for your next big adventure!