March 26, 2015

The French Quarter | New Orleans, Louisiana

I fell in love with New Orleans.  That much I know for sure.  The difficult part is identifying why the city is so special.  Something about the combination of jazz music always playing somewhere in the background, the smells of creole cooking, the spirited and friendly people you meet on the streets, the Spanish colonial architecture, the French influences, or the many colliding cultures, ideas, and traditions that have merged to create a unique city with its own living, breathing identity.

I really had very few expectations for Mardi Gras or New Orleans.  We received ample advice and warnings and heard many horror stories, but none of them came true for us.

Even the craziness of Mardi Gras (I will get to more on that soon!) was nothing but fun spirited and nothing like what I expected.  Crazy, yes.  Dangerous, no.

In retrospect, the best description I heard was from the local woman sitting next to me on the plane over.  We were chatting about travels, and I asked if it might be similar to New Years Eve in Vegas.  She looked at me and said, "It is like nothing you've experienced before. You can't describe it, you just have to live it."

So true.  But I will still try to relay the experience! ;)

To kick off my sharing of the entire experience, here are some images of the lovely French Quarter, the backdrop for all of the festivities.  Between the colorful buildings, patios, and intricate details it won me over instantly!

March 23, 2015

Hash House A Go Go | Las Vegas, Nevada

**Warning ---> This post contains only photos of food.  Do not view if you are hungry.  You've been so warned.**

Vegas is all about overindulgence, and food is obviously no exception. I mean, it is the land of a thousand buffets!

Hash House A Go Go is a must try if you are craving awesome breakfast food that comes in comically large portions.

Charles can never resist the chicken and waffles (the waffles have full pieces of bacon cooked into them), but I tend to meander around the menu.  My favorite items so far are the biscuits with homemade jam, the brown sugar banana pancake (seen below), and the pineapple mimosa. (I did try the Snickers pancake once, but it was just too much.  Such an indulgent choice!  That is about as adventurous as I get people.  Candy in my breakfast food = total mayhem!)






 

I like that they serve breakfast all day, perfect for when you're on Vegas time.  We all know how that goes...

Just come prepared in stretchy pants. ;)

March 20, 2015

The Bellagio Fountains | Las Vegas, Nevada


I love walking down the Vegas strip during the day.  It is almost always sunny and bright!  The area in front of the Bellagio fountains never really gets old and the music and water shows are always changing.  During the day they are lighthearted, which combined with a slight breeze off the water creates a slightly magical experience that can make you forget you're in the middle of a desert. ;)


Here are a few more of my favorite views near the Bellagio...


 

There is a lot more to do in Vegas than just gamble (although that can be a lot of fun).  Sometimes strolling and people watching is the best part!

March 18, 2015

My New Design


I want to take a moment to thank you all for the sweet comments I have been getting about the new layout!   It was a lot of fun to make and I love playing around with design.

I am working to also update the links (and my sub pages!) and create an interactive map of sorts, so stay tuned for that and excuse any glitches in the meantime.

I am curious if anyone would be interested in a giveaway for a blog header design, or other design service?  I thought it could be a fun way to grow my dreams of doing more design work, but it also makes me nervous that no one would enter!  haha.

Anyway, thanks everyone for the continued support, comments, and love!  This is such a wonderful community and I absolutely love being a part of it.  I am grateful for all of you.

xo Ashley

Eats | Kapa'a, Kauai




Kapa'a is a town in Kauai with lots of restaurants and shopping.  It is actually the largest city (by population) on the island!  It is definitely a more tourist-oriented town than some of the others in Kauai, but in a small town way.  In other words, the largest town in Kauai still feels small.

One afternoon Charles and I visited with a very specific mission... shaved ice!  We opted to try the Ono Restaurant (great food too, for the record!), and we were not disappointed.





I can't emphasize this enough, but please try your shaved ice 'snow capped' or with sweetened condensed milk on top.  Heavenly.  You can also get a scoop of ice cream INSIDE of it.  There are just far too many amazing possibilities.



 
 

While enjoying my shaved ice, a little bird family came to visit me.  Just part of the island charm!



On another morning we tried the Olympic Cafe in Kapa'a.  It was great, but be warned that their portions are HUGE.  It sits upstairs so you can see the ocean on one side and the town on the other. The breeze blows right through the restaurant.


 



We barely scratched the surface of good food in Kapa'a.  I would love to try some more of the locally owned restaurants, and from the looks of online ratings- you really can't go wrong with any of them!

Kapa'a is the place to go if you're looking for cute beach rentals, hotels, and the largest variety of shopping and restaurants on the island!