Christmas in the Tropics

Wow, what a very different Christmas it will be this year.  The last few Christmas’s I have spent away from home and it has been a little rough.  Last year I was aboard the Celebrity Century touring around Hawaii, Mexico, and the Bahamas.  I remember Skyping my dad and sister and we were laughing about how every 5 seconds they saw a different person come into the shot to sell us jewelry or sunglasses in Puerto Vallerta.  Though I was not near my family and friends at home, I had made some new wonderful friends at sea.  Being Christmas Eve, we all bought ourselves a new pair of tropical sunglasses; as ya do in Mexico.  It was such gorgeous, hot weather with a cool ocean breeze.  We wore cute summery outfits and had our toes dug deep in the sand at our beachfront restaurant.  It was utter paradise.  We sipped sugar rimmed margaritas and lunched on macadamia nut crusted mahi mahi.  Even though this sounds like perfection, I honestly cannot wait to have my traditional, normal Christmas at home with my family.  🙂

Merry Christmas to the Fab Four!  ❤ Love you girls!

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Catalina on our Boat

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What an amazing week it has been!!! Worked on my tan this Wednesday on my dad’s sailboat in Catalina! The weather was beyond perfect. 82 degrees with a nice ocean breeze. Ahhhhh. #alwaysonvacation

Tip: do NOT go to Descanso Beach before next summer. It’s under construction and they should not be serving food. It was like the most terrible, stale meal I’ve ever had. And slowwwww service too. It’s not their fault…just don’t go there until the new beach club is open. Avalon still provided it’s gloriously perfect beach and epic ice cream to go with it.

Terranea: LA’s Oceanfront Resort

photo 2   My Auntie Rita, fierce entrepreneur business owner of Elite Resorts and Spas, recommended we stay at one of her favorite resorts called Terranea in Rancho Palos Verdes.  It is only about 40 minutes away from Huntington Beach so we were in for a sweet staycation! This place is absolutely amazing!  Just look at this oceanview from the pool!! photo 5 photo 1   photo 3     photo 2 photo 1 photo 5   After galavanting at the pool all afternoon we headed to dinner at Nelson’s at the resort.  Nelson’s is SO cute and you can eat outside overlooking the ocean on picnic benches on sand!  The sunset, food, company was all great!  We ordered sweet potato fries (A+), Blackened swordfish from CA, and a Salted Caramel Cake Parfait.  Delish!  This was definitely food with a view! (My favorite!)   photo 1   photo 2   photo 3     photo 1 In the Summer/Fall behind this cute little area they have a very festive beer garden under twinkling lights at night!  Live music and lots of beer to try. Sounds like a fun time to be had by all!  I just love that almost everywhere on the grounds are fire pits and  comfy couches.  Inside, outside, you’ll be comfortable anywhere! photo 2   View at dinner.  Perfection!   photo 3   Me, Mom, Uncle, Sister, Auntie

If you are in the LA area, it would be an awesome time to come and hang out for a day at the hotel.

Insider tips from Rita: Parking is $20 for the day.  If you want to lay by the pool, book a facial treatment (the least expensive, $74) and then hang out at the best pool with a view overlooking the Pacific Ocean!  Plus, the Spa Pool is 18+, no screaming kids for a relaxing day with the girls!  Order a pineapple strawberry smoothie and live in bliss! For some more amazing resorts Rita represents, head on over to Elite Resorts and Spas! 

Bikini: Victoria’s Secret
Dress: Fruta Latina
Bag: Louis Vuitton

ONE NIGHT IN TOKYO

I dont know why this never posted!!  Well, um 4 years later?  Here is one night in Tokyo!

 

Oh my god, what a night!  My third night in Tokyo we took the subway to Roppongi, a really fancy area of Tokyo with lots of shopping, restaurants, and nightclubs.  Fiona says its called Roppongi Hills and reminds her of Beverly Hills.  Mmmmmk!

Every 5 minutes we were offered with $500.00 glasses of wine, bottles of champagne, and shots of fruity vodka.  All free, and all tasty.  What a night!  Absolutely an experience I won’t soon forget.

Me, Andrea, Fiona, and Annya

Andrea and Annya are Fiona’s roommates.  All of them are models in Japan for 3-4 months.

I brought many nicer outfits with me but it is so hot there that all I wanted to wear was tank tops and shorts!  I ended up wearing my Urban Outfitters tank and lime green bandeau.  My necklace is from Pink Latte, a Japanese store, that I bought the day before.  I bought my white chain purse while in Japan that morning.

First we went to a nightclub called Newlex.  If you are a white/European/American model, you get in free, free drinks, and free food all night.  Basically celebrities.  If you are not a model/Asian, you had to pay.  Reminder: we are IN Tokyo…it was like all white people!  So weird.

Uhm hello…beautiful French man.

And little Japanese girls.

We then headed to another club called Feria where Leonardo Dicaprio was supposed to go that night but we have no idea what happened to him.

So we moved on to the third club of the night, Jumanji 55, at about 2am.

This club was free and full of Japanese people.  Much more normal than the other Russian-models-only club.

And also a little crazier.

Fiona and model from Germany.

I was so jet lagged and tired that I was dying in the early morning partying hours.  The girls were only just getting started by Fiona and I caught a cab home around 4am (also paid for by Fiona’s many admirers).  Wow.  Just wow.

♡Nat

Beautiful Beaches, Part 1

After looking at some amazing articles on beautiful beaches,(Like these from Thrillist) I decided to post some of my own photos from where I’ve been recently.  Just to remember the warm 85 degree temps, and how tan I was!  Raised in a beach town, I still consider myself more of a pool and resort kinda gal, but after cruising for 5 months, I think I’m even more of a beach snob.  Uh oh! Oh, and this post is kind of long, so I’ll have to post a part 2!

 

Freeport, Bahamas

Pretty hotel on the beach, warm temps, warm water, but we got caught in rainstorms a couple times.  Meh.

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Cococay, Royal Caribbean’s Private Island

‘Nuff said there.  Private island?  Sign me up!  The water is SO warm because it’s only a few feet deep!  Clear water, white sand, and barely anyone there!  Yes.

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Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos

The weather was not so much oven hot, but more summer breezy.  At the end of our S.N.U.B.A.ing at 5pm we were a bit chilly!  I prefer my beaches to be HOT, HOT, HOT! Next.

 

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Black Rock Beach, Maui, Hawaii

This place was Le Gorg!  Those clouds made for an amazing sunset and the big rocks made for good snorkeling!  At sunset a Hawaiian warrior runs onto Ka’anapali Beach and lights the torches along the black rock.  He offers high lei to the ancient Hawaiian gods, and takes a head first leap off the cliff into the water.  SO cool!

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St. Croix

My FAVORITE beach we went to! We got food and drinks from the beach hut pictured below, and then laid on the beach for hours!  I brought my inner tube and floated around and snorkeled!  A surprising amount of ocean flora and fauna here!

 

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St Maarten

We didn’t get to go to the famous Airport Beach, but that just means I’ll have to go back!  It’s just beautiful!

 

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Ensenada, Mexico

Ensenada was the final port in our first Pacific Coast cruise. I love being in port everyday with no sea days, but the tendering process for crew has been terrible. We sometimes have to wait at least 4 hours to get off the ship. Hardly seems worth it to be on land for maybe 1 hour. I hope next week goes better. Next week we have another overnight in San Francisco and I’m hoping to do a nighttime tour of Alcatraz. How creepy would that be?!

Today Jairus and I went into Ensenada and had some carnitas tacos and cokes from a little shack on the corner of a busy street. I thought it was going to be the most amazing tacos ever because the best authentic food comes from places like these. They chopped up every part of the pig, I mean EVERY part. After we got our 3 taco combo with a Mexican coke for $4.50, a couple of ladies carried out a big iron bucket in front of us as a refill full of pig slop. There we’re slabs of fat, intestines, tongues, snouts, everything. The locals love it, but halfway through my first taco, I couldn’t do it! The salsa was so hot, the hottest I’ve ever tasted. I admit defeat! I need my Americanized Mexican food. Please and thank you! No matter how worldly I think I am, there are some things I can’t get used to! Pig intestine is one of them.

We wandered about a bit and got Nutella crepes and Starbucks frappacinos to wash down the pig.

So that’s Mexico. 🙂