A Run Through Hilton Head Island

imageWhat’s better than relaxing on the beach soaking up some vitamin D? Doing that while taking a day off work and visiting Hilton Head Island.

A few weeks ago I took my first true relaxing day off work this year. I know. Sad. But the wait made the vacation even better!

Even though I only stayed one night in Hilton Head, I took full advantage of the two days of fun in the sun!  Here’s a recap of my trip and the most delicious parts of it all.

Stay: Hilton Head Marriott
This hotel really has everything you need. Bike rentals near the pool deck, lawn games and comfy pool chairs. Plus, they have hammocks to relax on and listen to the motions of the ocean! Although this hotel is a little outdated from the outside and halls, the rooms are super clean and modern. The beds are comfy, bathroom and room spacious and rooms with balconies have chairs to chill in. Oh and the hotel is right on the beach.
Traveler tip: BYOB. The drinks have hefty price tags so bring along a little cooler with non-glass refreshments. 😉

Play: Run, Bike, Explore
Hilton Head is a very clean, pretty town.  I went on a 5 mile run in the morning along the beach and nature trails and it was beautiful! A lot of people rent bikes for the hour or day. It seems like a very bike friendly town.
Traveler Tip: figure out which way the wind blows and run/bike against the wind so the route back is a little easier!  I made an amateur move…

imageEat: Anywhere
Trying to find a place to eat in Hilton Head is challenging because the options of great food are endless!   This is where I ate:
843 Restaurant – a charming establishment with tasty sandwiches.  I got the 843 club because it had bacon and brie.  Need I say more?
Dinner at Redfish – This place is a little bit of everything.  They have a retail wine shop, outdoor seating and multiple rooms for dining. One way I judge a restaurant is on the preparation and taste of their salmon.  I got the Seared Scottish Salmon with the apricot glaze with lemon garlic orzo, asparagus, grape tomatoes and toasted almonds.  This place is the cats meow.  The cats meow.

Travelers Tip: do your research and find someplace that really sparks your interest. I love using opentable or Yelp for recommendations.

If you have time to stop in Savannah, this is another little southern gem with great food, drinks, people and history. Did you know Savannah allows open containers?! Ask your bartender for one to go and they will give you a drink in a plastic cup! Exploring the town, enjoying all the old architecture, homes and history is much better sipping on a cold beverage in the heat of summer!

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NOLA: a food lover’s getaway

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When you are tasked to go to an event in New Orleans, say yes. Unless it’s flooding. Then donate the cost of your flight to the Red Cross and plan a teleconference instead.
If it’s not flooding, get ready to eat and drink way too much!

My trip to NOLA was very short. It was exactly 36 hours from the time I landed until the time I had to be back at the airport. I didn’t know I could fit so much into 36 hours. And now I’m thinking I can’t fit into my jeans after that 36 hours! But hey, it’s NOLA!

When you’re crunched for time, here are the things I did you might enjoy. Just remember, stay focused but have fun!
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Stay: for such a short trip, pay a few extra bucks and stay on canal street! I stayed at the Astor Crowne Plaza in the French Quarter. This hotel was perfect. Central, safe, clean, and the bell desk was awesome. I couldn’t check into my room when my flight got in so I was able to drop my bags and also leave then there in the morning while I did a few other fun activities before the airport.  The staff were super nice and put up with my multiple trips to my bags and questions about the city.

Transportation: Uber. Parking is nuts. An Uber ride is $33 from the airport to canal street. Once there, you can walk to just about everything(I did!). Plus, most hotels will charge for parking so it’s worth the Uber fare to the hotel. Not using Uber yet?  Sign up here and get a sweet discount!

imagePlay: I highly recommend taking a trip (or two!) to Cafe du Monde. Be a tourist.  Don’t forget your cash because Cafe du Monde is a cash based shop. No cards accepted. Get some beignets and a coffee (or iced coffee) and enjoy the most delicious fried dough and sugar combo you may ever have. Then walk it off. And keep waking. You will likely want more beignets in the morning!  Or at 2am and then you will thank someone from denying you of it then. You can walk along the Mississippi and in and out of shops (tip- the shops have a/c!) NOLA has a lot of history all throughout the city.
Take some sort of history tour. I always go straight for the food tours. Other tours that might interest you could be the river ferry tour or a swamp tour. I would have loved to do a swap tour but time was not on my side for that. Next time!

imageTaste of Nawlins: a walking food and history tour
Do it. This tour is really great. You’ll go to multiple restaurants trying things like jambalaya, gumbo, muffelatas and po boys. I was able to find a groupon for this so it was only $40. Drinks are not included but the waiters are happy to bring you a drink at any of the stops. Not on groupon?  Sign up here.
Check out the raw bar at the Bourbon House.  This is a fun place to talk to other business people who are eating dinner solo. Sit at the raw bar and order ostyers. Ask for a pearl too! You may get one! I made a great friend and met a couple who was from Jacksonville too. Small world!

Pat O’Briens: stop by here for a drink. Specifically a hurricane. It’s super sweet but full of alcohol. A lot of alcohol. Take your pic with the iconic glass and listen to live piano music. It’s a fun time! I didn’t want to go here by myself so I asked a couple from the Taste of Nawlins tour if they wanted to join and they did. We had a lot of laughs that’s for sure!

The Gumbo Shop: The best gumbo in NOLA. imageHands down. I repeat, hands down.  I stopped here for lunch before heading to the airport. The food really was awesome. The service even better. I got a shrimp creole salad which was so delicious and some other yummy sides.

Even though this trip was super short and I was travelling solo, I made the most of it.  I actually had more fun than I thought I would! I have a new appreciation for people who travel for work.  Travel is tiring but opens up the doors to so many new opportunities.  I loved trying a ton of new food and meeting new people.  Next destination?

An Accountants’ Guide to: Bachelorette viewing parties

imageWell ladies and (real) gents, tonight is the night.  Tonight is why Tuesdays at work are a little harder than the rest of the days.  Why I consistently fail at AM workouts.  Why I want to travel to every ‘magical’ place around the world.  Why abstaining-from-weekday-drinking-when-I-don’t-workout is a major bust. And why I think that people can wake up and automatically look amazing, in everything, even pouring rain, wind, cold or heat. (Unless you’re a girl with serious hair color who’s been on the show for a few weeks and in desperate need of a salon – is anyone with me when I say, thank goodness for Ben’s hometown dates? We saw a ton of brown under that blonde!!)

If you haven’t figured out by now, tonight is the season premier of The Bachelorette where it will be the most dramatic season in Bachelor history and JoJo Fletcher will look stunning, say ‘like’ far too many times and the guys will say that she is the most gorgeous bachelorette in bachelor history – way to get brownie points early on gents.

By now I’m a vested viewer.  Are you?  Do you:

  • Plan your evening around the show – weeks in advance?
  • invite friends over to watch it with you – because drinking by yourself on a Monday is just sad?
  • prepare snacks and themed drinks for the event?
  • refer to the show as “an event?”
  • bring up the fact this is your “event” within the first 3 dates with someone new?
  • join a Bachelor bracket?
  • make the “event” a drinking game?

If you answer yes to any of these, you’re on your way to becoming a fan in bachelor-nation.  If you’re not, don’t turn the TV on at 9pm to ABC because you will see how the suspense-omg-he-did-what is definitely going to grab your attention and you will join me and the rest of the viewers in a long, drawn out Monday night spectacular.

During Ben’s season, I brought themed cocktails to the viewing parties. <– And when I say brought, I mean carried them from the kitchen to the living room. <–  And when I say viewing parties, I mean me and my girl friends (sometimes sole) getting together drinking {good} wine and snacks while offering commentary at every commercial break.

This season, I’m stepping it up.  The Monday night event is going to include a drinking game.  Not your normal drinking game with the purpose of getting someone inebriated, but a classy, small list, drinking game.  But hey – I can’t help if JoJo says “like” too many times! Plus, I don’t want to have to remember a long list and keep track of it -there’s far to many other things to keep up with on this show.

So here it is friends!  Grab your gal pals (bros welcome too!), your favorite bottle of vino, some fancy cheese and dark chocolate. I hope you join me on this “journey to find love” for JoJo!

imageThe Accountants’ Guide to Bachelor Viewing Parties: week 1

Take a sip of wine when:

  1. JoJo mentions Ben
  2. JoJo says “like”
  3. A guy says “like” (2 sips)
  4. A guy says “bro”
  5. There’s a kiss ❤
  6. A bro brawl happen
  7. We see abs

I hope you all enjoy the Season Premiere as much as I will!  I’m routing for JoJo to “find love” but am really going to enjoy all the drama along the way!

Stay tuned for a recap of this week’s episode and new game rules for next week!

Cheers!