#TRAVEL | My 48 Hours in South Beach #MIAMI 🌴 Beach, Bites, Sips & Sights ☉ #FoundInMiami

Last week this time I was flying Delta airlines to make my way back to a city that I lived in for almost 19 years, Miami Beach. My reason for going was to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration ‘On the Road’ conference[stay tuned for my recap], however while there I made this trip into a mini Momcation. If you don’t know what that is, it’s when a Mom travels solo without kid(s) or husband in tow and goes away on a much needed break! As seen in my Miami Beach Family Travel Guide, South Beach with Kids can be done, but this time I was back to enjoy some solo fun. I saw some friends, got some sun and of course dined at some restaurants! With just 48 hours in the Magic City, I made sure to enjoy 4 things: BEACH..BITES..SIPS..& SIGHTS!

BEACH

I moved away from South Beach three years ago and the number one thing I miss is being able to walk to the beach. After meeting up with a friend/former neighbor at Beach Taco for lunch [I’ll tell you more about that in a bit], we walked over to the sand behind Nikki Beach, known for its day parties and Sunday Brunch. The temps of the water can be a bit cold in March, however don’t let that deter your from playing or taking selfies by the shore! Plus I had some new sunglasses from my friends at SunglassWarehouse.com to break in! 😎 I love these over-sized sunshades for great sun protection.

BITES

Since I arrived on a Tuesday, it was only right for my first bite to be tacos! Beach Taco Miami was the perfect place to celebrate #TacoTuesday while enjoying a variety of tacos for lunch. My fave were a tie between the shrimp tacos and korean bbq. Take a look at the yummy pics I took ….warning you may be dreaming of tacos after! 🌮

SobeSavvy Tip: Every Tuesday, get an order of queso dip and handmade chips FREE with your order at Beach Taco Miami!

Breakfast was provided at the conference and since I was staying with a friend, I enjoyed the comforts of home and eating in. However, I was able to enjoy a lovely dinner on my final night at Barceloneta. Located in Sunset Harbor [which is where locals dine away from Ocean Drive], this place is known for its amazing Spanish tapas and flavorful mediterranean dishes. I used to dine here for brunch often, but this was my first time coming for dinner. Feast your eyes on these tasty bites:

SobeSavvy Tip: Enjoy Happy Hour specials every day from 5-8pm and also late night Sun- Thurs, 11 pm-12 pm & weekend happy hour 12 am-1 am Fri & Sat in the bar/lounge area at Barceloneta Miami Beach.

SIPS

As formentioned, Barceloneta is a great spot to enjoy some sips. They have an extensive wine, beer,and cocktail list. I highly recommend getting a pitcher of their ‘Verdajo Al Sol’ Sangria[pictured above]. It’s made with sparkling wine, verdajo, gin and passionfruit.

Every tourist must check out Wet Willie’s on Ocean Drive/South Beach for their infamous frozen drinks! Mix and match your flavors and head upstairs to enjoy the view. SobeSavvy Tip: Not sure which flavor you want? Just ask the bartender to give you tasting samples before making your choice. Keep in mind there are more flavors located on the second level.

My favorite sip is a cocktail that I enjoy during Happy Hour at Doraku. It’s a ‘Lychee Martini’ and I try to have one or two each time I visit. It’s that good! This restaurant is popular for its sushi and their happy hour is the perfect time to try a variety of things from their menu at a great price. I don’t know about you, but I’ll drink to that! CHEERS!🍸

SIGHTS

No matter where you look there are always sights to see in Miami. From the beautiful beaches to the palm trees, the best place to take it all in when you have a short amount of time is Ocean Drive on South Beach.

With the right shoes, sunscreen and cold beverage in hand, you can walk and take in so much scenery on the 15 blocks that make up Ocean Drive. My friend took me to the newly renovated Muscle Beach area where men [and women too] and their muscles are on display during workout sessions on the sand at 9th/Ocean, Lummus Park.

Have you been watching the FX TV series: The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story? This crime happened in 1997 and we had just moved to Miami Beach in 1996. Can you imagine how sad/scary that was to say the least! The Versace mansion which is located on Ocean Drive, is now a hotel & restaurant. It’s worth stopping by just to see the beautiful villa adorned with the iconic Versace symbol on the outside.

SobeSavvy Tip: Take the opportunity to get off the beach [via a short bus ride, taxi, or use UBER and get $5 off each of your first 4 Uber rides. To accept, use code ‘2ackv’ to sign up. Enjoy!]. Head to Downtown Miami to see views by the water at Bayside Marketplace. Also check out the Wynwood Walls to see some amazing street art. Find a mural and get your pose on!

Thanks for reading all about my fun-filled 48 hours in South Beach Miami. Special thanks to Beach Taco Miami and Barceloneta for hosting me. I enjoyed trying items from your menu and sharing about my experiences. I hope you all plan to check them out as well as my other suggestions your next visit to South Beach- Miami Beach, Florida! See more beach,bites, sips and sounds on my youtube recap video. Enjoy!

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO MIAMI BEACH? WHAT WERE YOUR FAVORITE BEACH BITES, SIPS & SITES? SHARE BELOW😎🌴🍸☉

Where to Stay in #DowntownDurham your next #Staycation | @TheDurhamHotel #Durham #NC #Travel

The Durham Hotel located in Downtown Durham

Downtown Durham’s renaissance has been in full swing now for over 5 years. New businesses and restaurants seem to be opening on a weekly basis. A number of trendy boutique hotels now gives visitors and staycationers plenty of choices. One problem that I have noticed is that most only do one thing at a high level. Great bar but no vibe. Great vibe but the hotel lacks good service and room quality. Fun poolside scene but I don’t want that scene RIGHT outside my door. I have found the answer to this dilemma. That answer is found at The Durham Hotel. My husband and I spent the night there recently and experienced everything this wonderful hotel had to offer. SobeSavvy Tip: pack your camera and capture great views of the city from The Durham Hotel’s rooftop. 

Sunshine + Staycation Smiles at The Durham Hotel


ACCOMODATIONS

King Deluxe Room | The Durham Hotel

Per their website their 52 rooms ..”Feature modern interiors and local collaborations, the rooms at The Durham have been designed by Los Angeles-based firm Commune to be warm and residential, making guests feel right at home in our downtown Durham hotel.” Indeed our room was stylish, spacious and minimal in a comfortable sense not spartan. It had an airy west coast feel to it. 

 BATHROOM AMENITIES

Bathroom Amenities | The Durham Hotel

 

I can tell alot about a property based on the quality of their bath products. Here at The Durham Hotel, guests can expect bath robes & slippers along with red flower bath products. If you are unfamiliar with red flower, they use essential plant oils and is an all natural product. I really enjoyed how gentle and moisturizing the soaps and lotions were as well as the scent.

ROOFTOP

Rooftop Views of Bull City | The Durham Hotel

After check in we headed up to their rooftop area, which coincidentally is called what else, “The Roof” of course ! They explain this wonderful area as ..” The Roof at The Durham is a year-round gathering spot for guests and locals alike, offering one-of-a-kind panoramic views of the city. Here you will find original, handcrafted cocktails, extensive wine and beer offerings and a seasonal raw bar and small kitchen menu.

Rooftop Bar and Dining | The Durham Hotel

We enjoyed a ‘Sunday Funday’ sunset while sipping on cocktails such as the ‘Airmail’~made with rum, lime, honey and prosecco~served in a flute! The bartender was amicable and service overall was great. I am a seafoodie, so ordering from the raw bar was a must. I enjoyed freshly shucked oysters and even tried a speciality one called ‘The Durham Oyster’. If you love raw oysters, definitely make plans to enjoy some while dining on the rooftop.

Dine at The Rooftop Raw Bar | The Durham Hotel

Perfect for intimate gatherings and large groups, the breezy 3,000 sq ft. layout features an indoor bar, covered and open-air lounge seating, as well as a penthouse with its own patio for private parties. The hotel also hosts its own calendar of events, making the rooftop the perfect destination every night of the week.

The Durham Hotel’s Rooftop

HOTEL AMENITIES

There are many unique offerings this hotel offers which made it very appealing to book a stay here like complimentary Rooftop Yoga on the weekends to name a few. Here are some amenities that we were able to partake in:

  • 24 Hour Fitness Studio

24 hour Fitness Studio | The Durham Hotel

  • Business Center + Meeting Space 

24 Hr Business Center , Meeting Spaces, Conference Rooms | The Durham Hotel

  • In Room Coffee Service

In Room Coffee Service | The Durham Hotel

    Before we dozed off to sleep in the evening, we were sure to fill out our “coffee card” in the room and hang it on our door. The next morning, VOILA fresh ground coffer is delivered to your room. This is included with your stay at no extra charge. The in-room coffee features Durham’s Counter Culture Coffee freshly ground for guests to brew. This was by far our favorite of all the amenities! Both the ‘Apollo’ and ‘Big Trouble’ provided us with the coffee kick we needed to start our day. 

    BREAKFAST

    Continental Breakfast | The Durham Hotel

    Continental Breakfast is served daily in the restaurant featuring select complimentary offerings for hotel guests. Here is a list of the ‘made in house’ deliciousness they had available for us to eat:  

    • Durham Granola with yogurt 
    • Buckwheat Sugar Cake
    • Cheese Toast (Boulted Bread from Raleigh) 
    • Hard Boiled Eggs
    • Candied ginger scone
    • Date cakes with salted caramel 
    • Corn muffin preserved local fruit (gf)

    Breakfast as well as dinner is served in the restaurant on the 1st floor. They also serve Brunch on Sundays.

    The Durham Hotel Restaurant on the 1st Floor offers indoor and outside seating

    Overall, we enjoyed our stay at The Durham Hotel. From the customer service, to the cleanliness and comfort of the room, I would highly recommend this hotel to visitors and locals alike! It is in the heart of Bull City and convenient to hot spots like Pour Taproom (which I’ll be sharing more about later this week). We kept our car parked during our stay since we could easily walk to things to do in Downtown Durham. Before you check out, make sure to get a picture of the iconic Durham Bull, located across the street from The Durham Hotel. 

    Watch the video recap + room tour of our staycation at The Durham Hotel >>here. For more photos, take a look at this>>  Facebook album. I hope you enjoyed this post and if you are local will add The Durham Hotel to your Staycation Ideas list!

    THE DURHAM Hotel

    315 E. Chapel Hill St.

    Durham, NC 27701

    thedurham.com | 919-768-8830

    #TravelTuesday~A #Daycation in @WilmingtoNCoast #FamilyTravel #WilmingtonNC #WrightsvilleBeach

    Summertime and the living is easy..especially if you have a coastal city/beach destination within road trip reach!  Our family headed up 40 east and in 2 hours we were at our destination:  Wilmington, NC & Beaches

    With our little girl in tow, we planned a ‘Sunday Funday’ that included a city tour, a fun children’s museum to explore, good eats galore and playtime by the shore!  This was our first visit to this charming Southern city but definitely will not be our last. They have a variety of activities suitable for everyone ! Discover below just how fun our Daycation in Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach was.

    Where to Go/What to Eat: Wilmington
    Before you get started in any city, I think it is travel savvy to get visitor information. Located at the foot of Market Street, the RiverFront Visitor Information Booth was our first stop. They are open daily..how convenient!  The welcoming staff gave us great tourist tools for our visit and even snapped a family photo to celebrate the start of our Wilmington adventure! 

    Before exploring the historic streets of Downtown Wilmington, voted the #1 “Best Al Fresco Dining Neighborhood” by USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards,  we decided to grab a bite. And since it was Sunday, I said, “Let’s do Brunch” !  The Pilot House, a waterfront restaurant with scenic views of Cape Fear River, is known for its steak/seafood selections and for having the only bar that faces the river. Our daughter enjoyed the kids menu choice of grilled shrimp and fresh fruit , while the seafood lover in me had to have the chargrilled oysters topped with lump crab meat! It was amazing! I also had a half sized ceasar salad with shrimp. My husband enjoyed the French Toast from the a la carte Sunday Brunch menu.If you are foodies like us you must try a dining experience at The Pilot House. 

    Next we went sightseeing in Wilmingron’s National Register Historic District via a Horse-Drawn Trolley Tour. Dan, our costumed driver, was a funny yet informative tour guide who took us on an unique adventure. We learned some of the rich history of the city and got to take in its beauty and Southern charm. We saw classic architecture, specialty shops, moss-draped live oaks, Wilmington’s historic houses, mansions and more! It’s also nice to know the horses are rescued horses and if you like, you have the option of taking a picture with the horses at the end of the tour. 


    Having fun while learning is something our #outandaboutAva loves to do. So when we discovered that The Children’s Museum of Wilmington was located in downtown, we walked over for a family play date!  There were lots of hands-on exhibits and plenty of opportunities to stimulate our soon to be 5 year old imagination. Her favorite area was the Magnetic Minds Science Center, where she could explore and experiment.I had fun too letting my inner child run wild!

    Where to Go/What to Eat: Wrightsville Beach
    The beach is always recognized as the ultimate family vacation destination and Wilmington,NC has 31 miles of Island Beaches to choose from making it the #1 reason to visit!  We took the easy 20 minute drive from Wilmington across the scenic Intracoastal Waterway to visit Wrightsville Beach

    Spacious and clean, this beach with it’s crystal blue waters was the backdrop for some relaxation and family fun in the sun!  Our little one enjoyed collecting shells and playing with her new Wilmington beach ball.We just happened to find parking near public access to the beach close to the newly renovated Crystal Pier. Here are few pics of memories made on the sandy shores of Wrightsville Beach !

    A sunset dinner at Bluewater Waterfront Grill was the perfect way to end our day in this beautiful beach town. It is popular on Sundays as they have Live Music on their large patio, so we made sure to get there early. They have an outdoor bar and seating available or you can enjoy dining inside. This restaurant had quite a vibrant dining scene and good food to go with it! Whether you are going for sips and sites or having lunch/ dinner (I highly recommend the coconut shrimp and the filet mignon entree), make sure to get to Bluewater Waterfront Grill. 

    It was National Tequila Day, so I made sure to order a margarita or two… on the rocks, no salt please !

    Cheers to a wonderful daycation in Wilmington, NC!  I look forward to future visits and I’m already gathering a list for next time. And with Wrightsville Beach being such a short drive away, you can bet we’ll be back soon !  

    * These are the latest postcards our daughter will add to her collection 🙂 Thanks for the memories Wilmington,NC ! 

    #TravelTuesday : #SobeSavvy Samples the Carolinas at #TasteCarolina @Carowinds

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    This past Sunday I took my daughter on a little road trip from Raleigh to Charlotte. Off we went on I-85 South to the famous Carowinds Amusement Park https://www.carowinds.com

    The Spring weather had finally taken hold and it was a bright and warm afternoon when we arrived. Although they have immense rollercoasters and rides , we were there for the Taste Of The Carolinas Food and drink Festival https://www.carowinds.com/taste

    This event is a culinary salute to unique Carolina cuisine from both North and South. There are 7 different food booths representing different regions/areas of the Carolinas. Simply purchase your tokens of various amounts and take a food journey through the history of the Carolinas.

    We didn’t know where to start, but we decided on the Charleston booth. We chose the shrimp and grits. Unlike the traditional dish, the fresh Carolina shrimp were coated in a grits batter and fried to a golden brown served with awesome tarter sauce. Superb! Next up around the corner was a order of catfish from the Outer Banks booth. Fresh and delicious. Time for something cold to wash all that goodness down with. I went with a local craft beer from the wine and beer booth. All beer and wines on sale are from Carolina breweries and wineries. We strolled down to the Low Country of South Carolina booth for seafood gumbo. Right amount of heat and the Okra was perfect.

    Since my sweet tooth was calling, I decided on some Pecan Cinnamon Bread Pudding from the mountains of Asheville. Topped with cream cheese icing, this was literally a great way to end our food travels at Carowinds. It was great to be able to take a food tour all in one compact area. This unique even takes place every Saturday and Sunday through May 1. Whether you are near or far from Charlotte, take a trip to Carowinds..your stomach will thank you !

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    Photo Credits: Barry Heigh

    It’s 2016,Resolve to #TravelforReal ! #TravelTuesday Feature @Loews_Hotels #LoewsAtlanta #SaltwoodAtl

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    January 1, 2016 began a New Year in which one of my resolutions was to travel more. A road trip to the city of Atlanta with a stay at the Loews Atlanta Hotel seemed like a great place to begin.
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    Upon entering the hotel lobby, which was still looking festive from the holidays, I immediately knew this was going to be a chic and cozy hotel stay. My family and I were greeted with a warm smile and hot apple cider. Our bell captain , Kahn was very welcoming and insured us that we would enjoy our stay. Our room was on the 22nd floor overlooking Midtown Atlanta, which is according to Wikipedia” is the second largest business district in the city of Atlanta, situated between the commercial and financial districts of Downtown to the south and Buckhead to the north.”

    Our spacious corner room had views of the midtown skyline in 3 directions. Besides the Loews literally being one of the quietest hotels I have ever stayed at, it was also one of the most comfortable. Bedding, pillows and the Keurig coffee machine all made for a very enjoyable stay

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    Prior to our arrival, I corresponded with Jonathan Vendrick, the VIP/Concierge Manager for the Loews Atlanta Hotel who was beyond helpful with advising what attractions our 4 yr old would enjoy.

    Already on our agenda was Lego Land (see article here) and the Children’s Museum ( read more here).
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    After a long day of travel and sightseeing, it is great to have a hotel that has a restaurant and a spa on the premises. Loews encourages guests to “Add a little well being to their stay” and I took them up on their offer by visiting Exhale Spa while there! Take a look at my feature of their spa here.

    Our first dinner of the year was enjoyed at their restaurant, Saltwood. The restaurant specializes in the lost food art of Charcuterie. Chef picked specialty cuts of pork meats and cheeses. We also enjoyed fried Oysters and their succulent fried chicken with homemade gravy. Their whole fish was a favorite at the table also. Stylish space and unique offerings are to be found at Saltwood.

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    Needless to say, my little one and I enjoyed our home away from home at the Loews. Their quality, customer service,attentiveness and attention to detail made this a memorable family travel experience and a great way to start the new year in comfort. Until next time….
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    #SobeSavvy .Com shares a #HiltonStory @Homewoodsuites @HiltonHotels #Charlotte #NC #Travel~#soNCsavvy #soTravelsavvy Recap

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    My family and I just spent some time during the Thanksgiving weekend in the Queen City” of Charlotte, NC. Some good friends of ours recommended the Ballantyne area of Charlotte, known for its location to attractions, shopping and peacefulness. After looking at a few choices we decided that we would stay at the Homewood Suites
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    This new all suite property is located within the fabulous Toringdon Circle and Ballantyne Village Shopping area. The hotel is within easy walking distance of various restaurants and wine bars. Upon pulling up I could tell this was not a “normal” Homewood Suites experience {although the normal experience is usually very nice also !}. A scenic water display was adjacent to the driveway.
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    Upon entering, the modern huge public lobby/dining areas reminded me of a luxurious mountain lodge. Replete with fireplace and woodsy accents. I loved the little private alcoves in the lobby where you could relax with your own flat screen and enot a cup of coffee, hot tea or my lil girl’s favorite, hot cocoa! The business center has full size Apple Macs for their guests to utilize.
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    Check in was friendly with a dash of that famous southern charm that Charlotte is known for. Our suite was very modern and of a trendy design aesthetic. Big and roomy for us 3. Full kitchen with beautiful granite counters. The bed was very comfortable and so were the pillows. All the furnishings had a very high end feel to them. The shower reminded me of a spa alcove. I wanted to just cocoon in the suite all day but I had to get a work out in. The gym was perfect. New Precor machines and plenty of free weights. I could have also chosen to take advantage of a free pass the hotel has arranged with the LA Fitness gym within walking distance of the hotel in the shopping center. Maybe next time.
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    Due to it being late November we couldn’t take advantage of their attractive outdoor pool and grilling area.
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    We had to get an early start the next morning, but not before indulging in the awesome free breakfast buffet. Make your own waffle station. Various eggs and meat choices. The oatmeal was great. My little one gives the waffles a big thumbs up!
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    Great stay at a great property. It’s near the Ballyntyne corporate center. So whether in this part of Charlotte for work or play this Homewood Suites IS my base camp on every trip to the Queen City. Make it yours too !
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    #VisitBaltimore & #GetARoom @HI_InnerHarbor @BaltimoreMd & Dine at #EdenWest #DottiesCafe

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    I recently shared with you all the family fun things to do in Baltimore but did not mention where we stayed.This was not an oversight. I intentionally wanted to dedicate a post specifically to accommodations and let you know when looking for a budget friendly place to stay that is within walking distance to all Inner Harbor attractions, choose Holiday Inn Inner Harbor-Baltimore!

    It has 365 rooms, including 12 suites and a pillow menu option. The Holiday Inn Inner Harbor makes comfort and hospitality their priority. At the front desk, lollipops and smiles await from the friendly and helpful staff. It was lunchtime, so we were advised to dine at the hotel’s restaurant, Eden West.

    Featuring classic Maryland Cuisine, Eden West Restaurant pleasantly surprised and satisfied our appetites! Delicious, fresh and innovative, this place is a hidden treasure to tastebuds everywhere! Oh and kids eat free! An extra plus for budget friendly family travelers.

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    Mac & cheese, fruit and milk includes a sweet treat at the end! Crayons and coloring sheet provided by the restaurant kept my Li’l one entertained.

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    Our waiter advised us of some recently new items on the menu. For starters I tried the Sweet & Tangy St Louis styled Applewood smoked BBQ Ribs. They are made with homemade lemonade BBQ sauce. So good, tender and I really enjoyed the flavors. It was the first time my 4 yr old tried BBQ ribs because she normally doesn’t like sauce on anything. She is now a fan!

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    Next I had the signature Eden’s Salad: mixed greens, tomatoes, onions, cucmbers, mushrooms topped with salmon. As you can see in the picture it’s a big portion so you get alot for a reasonable price! You also get the option of chicken or beef to top your salad if you like. It was super fresh and fulfilling!

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    No visit to Baltimore is complete without trying a crab cake sandwich, so I was happy to see this option on the menu. A nice mix of broiled lump crab meat and old bay. Served on a pretzel roll with lettuce and tomato. It came with a side of fries. This was good to the last bite! We ended our meal with a dessert at the recommendation of our waiter. His favorite was the hot apple crisp and it’s now my favorite too!

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    After a long travel day, it was time to get comfortable in our ‘home’ away from home during our stay. This hotel has complimentary WiFi throughout the hotel and a 24 hr fitness center. There’s also an indoor pool with sauna but they also have suites complete with whirlpool baths! Here are some pictures of our contemporary stylish suite :

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    Remember…Kids Stay Free, a Holiday Inn North America program expectation!

    The next day before we set out to explore the Baltimore area   we stopped at Dottie’s Cafe. It’s a coffee shop located in the lobby and has plenty of nibble and nosh options! Souvenirs, newspapers and sundries are available too as well as local and regional goods.
    “Dottie Kmoch opened our hotel in 1964 as a switchboard operator (when they actually used plug-in wires) and was most recently our Director of Human Resources until she passed away last year.  She was a feisty redhead and loved by all – this is her Holiday Inn legacy!”, says Judy Wilbur Director of Sales & Marketing at Holiday Inn Inner Harbor – Baltimore.

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    Be sure to sign up for the IHG Rewards Club to earn points when you stay or make any purchases !

    After a fun filled day, we had a sweet dreams treat waiting for us. Who doesn’t love tasty surprises?! Thanks Holiday Inn! We ❤  you and Baltimore too!

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    #FamilyFun in @BaltimoreMD with #OutandAboutAva! @PortDiscovery @BmoreWaterTaxi @prattlibrary #USSCONSTELLATION @GeppisMuseum #FamilyTravel #VisitBaltimore

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    Baltimore is a city rich in history and heritage. My heritage started in Baltimore City where I was born and where I lived until 1996. So much has changed but so much remains the same. Charm City never loses its charm to me, so it is with great pleasure to explore with my 4 yr old daughter some of the things that make Baltimore special! Recently we paid a short but sweet 24 hr visit to “My Bmore” and here are the places we checked out:

    1. Enoch Pratt Free Library Central Location
    We took a walk through the monumental Enoch Pratt Free library located in the city’s cultural heart, Mount Vernon area just north of downtown. This library has a charming Children’s department that includes learning toys to play with, computers, a day/night room and live fish to feed!
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    2. Historic Ships in Baltimore
    Historic Ships in Baltimore includes five national historic landmarks. We toured the 1854 Sloop-of-War USS Constellation and while on board we could see the Lightship Chesapeake glistening red on the Inner Harbor. My daughter loved pressing the numbers in the handheld tour guide and listening to the facts given about the ship, it’s sailors and Captain!
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    3. Geppi’s Museum
    Geppi’s Entertainment Museum is a memorable trip thru American pop culture. We got to experience a time line of nostalgic toys, comics, and other collectibles highlighting familiar characters for both her and I. I was very impressed by the museum’s collection and decided to make my own entertainment by way of photo slideshow as seen here:

    4. Baltimore Water Taxi
    Ride all day on an on-off ticket when you board any of the blue and white water taxi boats. Get a free map and guide to over 35 attractions and neighborhoods. We boarded at the Inner Harbor and got off at Fell’s Point. From there we headed to the Broadway Market for a slice of cheese pizza, every child’s favorite!
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    5. Port Discovery Children’s Museum
    About a year ago, my daughter Ava had a chance to visit Port Discovery Children’s Museum ( http://sobesavvy.com/2014/08/14/outandaboutava-visits-portdiscovery-childrens-museum-baltimore-maryland-recap-by-sobesavvy/) with her Nana. A year is a long time in a child’s growth and development and this museum offers ever-changing programs for kids ages birth through 10. Voted one of the top 5 children’s museum in the USA by Child Magazine, this was the perfect attraction to visit during our short stay. We even got to see the new “Here We Grow! ” Exhibit which introduces children to farm processes, products and people. It was some much fun trying to beat the machine in milking the cow the fastest! I also enjoyed having the opportunity to read her one of the many books about farm animals, etc. while there. This museum is a great way for a child to learn and play during a Baltimore stay!
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    #Travel to @BaltimoreMD , enjoy the charm of #CharmCity and Fall in Love with #Baltimore ! #visitBaltimore @HI_InnerHarbor @MDScienceCenter @NatlAquarium @BmoreWaterTaxi ~Recap by #SobeSavvy .com #soDMVsavvy #soTravelsavvy

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    I had the great fortune of being born and growing up in Baltimore, Md. There are bigger cities. There are smaller cities. But there is NO city more quintessentially American than the city of Baltimore. It’s not even close. Baltimore is literally the seam in our nation. Birth of the Star Spangled Banner. It is where north meets south. It was where slavery and freedom existed. Unique indeed. It is a great port city. Proud of our blue collar reputation. Ethnic neighborhoods abound. Sports is in our soul. From Johnny Unitas and Cal Ripken to Ray Lewis. Festivals more than one can count. The only person who has ever disliked Baltimore has never visited there. Yea, I am biased. I am from Baltimore. Everything here starts from the city center and radiates outward. This city center is where I went back home to spend a beautiful early fall weekend to get out enjoy as many of my cities attractions that locals sometime take for granted.

    The Holiday Inn on Lombard street http://www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/en/baltimore/baldt/hoteldetail was a fantastic base camp for the weekend. One block from Pratt Street and within walking distance to both Oriole Park at Camden Yards and M&T Stadium where the Ravens play. Hospitality at it’s best. Their Eden West restaurant also lets kids eat free for breakfast, so what’s not to like !

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    Here are just a few examples of things we had fun doing last weekend:

    The National Aquarium http://www.aqua.org/ . Opened in 1981, it has consistently been ranked as a top aquarium in the nation. The National Aquarium, Baltimore, features a living collection of more than 20,000 fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles and marine mammals living in award-winning habitats. In summer 2013, the Aquarium opened Blacktip Reef, a breathtaking exhibit replicating an Indo-Pacific reef and featuring more than 700 animals, including a school of blacktip reef sharks.

    My family had an amazing time there. So much too see and experience. The huge open pool full of sharks, giant turtles and fish was magical. My four year old especially loved the jellyfish exhibit and the dolphin tanks the most. The aquarium floorplan slowly leads up to the roof their iconic rainforest sits. There was an elusive sloth that we searched and searched for but alas eluded us ! What a magnificent place that reinforces the natural wonders of our oceans.

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    The Maryland Science Center http://www.mdsci.org/ on Baltimore’s Inner Harbor has interactive exhibits combined with the state-of-the-art Davis Planetarium that was opened to the public in June 1976. The addition of a new atrium lobby in 1986, and the very successful IMAX Theater in 1987, stimulated annual attendance.A major expansion and renovation of the entire facility was completed in May of 2004. New exhibitions were added on all levels as well as the addition of a permanent hall showcasing dinosaurs and earth sciences, and a dedicated gallery for housing temporary exhibitions. Upgrades to the IMAX Theater introduced 3D film technology and improvements to the physical plant updated and enhanced visitor amenities and services. Today, as it has been in the past, the Maryland Science Center continues to focus on remaining a vital community resource and economic development engine now and in the future.

    Entering the MD Science center was instant education. Education in the most fun hands on way possible. A huge portion of the complex was interactive hands on experiments. Whether it was generating electricity with handlebars or letting my little one use her hand to break up a tornado, we simply never ran out of things to do and learn about. Without a doubt our favorite part was playing a paleontologist in their dinosaur/fossil area. What a blast! We can’t wait to return to this gem.

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    Although on a nice day you could get alot of excersize by walking around the entire harbor area or you can take the water taxi. It has stops near all the major attractions in and around the harbor. From Fells point and Harbor East to harborplace and more. http://www.baltimorewatertaxi.com/ A great way to travel around the harbor and a scenic trip for sure !

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    A person can only be from one place. I am lucky that MY place is Baltimore. Come to visit this fall and fall in love..with Baltimore !

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    #Yoga Me Impressed, #Namaste Right Here @Kimpton @KimptoninDC #MonacoBaltimore @PublicBikes~ #soDMVsavvy #Travel

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    One of my New Year resolutions was to incorporate fitness in my life and embark upon a more healthy lifestyle. I decided to practice yoga because it was something that I could consistently do. It embraces all levels of fitness, ages and can be done anywhere at anytime. Through yoga workouts and breathing exercises one can maintain physical fitness and serenity.

    Serenity… that is something that’s often missing in travel but does not have to be. Being in transit does not mean one can not stay in shape and have a peaceful mind. Many hotels are starting to cater to the healthy lifestyle of travelers and are providing healthier lifestyle accomodations.

    A few months ago, I stayed at a Kimpton Hotel ~ Hotel Monaco ~ because I needed to be close to Royal Farms Arena to photograph the sneak peek of Cirque du Soleil’s return to Baltimore ( http://sobesavvy.com/2015/07/09/photographs-of-cirque-in-baltimore-sneak-peek-varekaicirquedusoleilmdsciencecenter-phillipsseafood/).  Although it was last minute reservation and  a short one night stay, I thought I would share with my fellow yogis how Kimpton Hotels has a health-focused approach to hospitality. When you get to your room, call the front desk and ask them to send up a tote bag. They will bring a complimentary bundle of mats, straps, bands and props, which you may use for the duration of your stay. The tote provides all the necessities for yoga, meditation and Pilates. I liked having the option to start the morning with a sun salutation ,carry the mat in the cute tote bag to practice outside ( which I did ) or end every night with child’s pose. Although yoga was not something my travel companion enjoys, Kimpton Hotels also features free on-demand fitness programs on your in-room TV, meaning you can squeeze in a workout while still in pajamas!

    We got a chance to do some quick local exploring via bikes courtesy to all hotel guests (no time for the  downtown Baltimore attractions this visit, although this hotel is conveniently located near the Inner Harbor and more ).  We rode around on one of Kimpton Hotels state-of-the-art bikes at every location, allowing for some major calorie-torching while sightseeing. Even better, this hotel is healthy for the environment. By implementing ‘green’ initiatives like non-toxic, eco-friendly cleaning products, complimentary parking for hybrid vehicles, and an on-site water filtration system that eradicates the need for bottled water, Kimpton Hotels take health and wellness to a global level.

    So whether you’re traveling for business or leisure, you can rest assured  that you can keep your health a top priority by staying at KIMPTON Hotels.

    Enjoy my yogi around town/#getLovelyfit @getLovelyfit pictures using Kimpton Hotels yoga mat and @PublicBikes! Namaste!

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    ‘Lovely’ / Freelance Photojournalist
    The ‘Bon Vivant ‘ Blogger
    www.SobeSavvy.com
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    Hashtag #SobeSavvy #soNCsavvy #soDMVsavvy