My 1st Baby Reveal Party

A friend setup their baby reveal party at their beautiful home in Marvin, NC.

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Oh I didn’t know what to expect!

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There was a ton of food (I didn’t capture it all!)

And my boy met new friends! Fun!

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After much anticipation, we all headed out to the backyard, where a drone carried a balloon with either blue or pink powder to reveal baby’s gender! And balloon was dropped, BOOM!

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Everyone was ecstatic! And my guess was right! It’s a BOY!! YAY!! My friends were so shocked cause they were expecting it to be a girl.

It was such a fun and exciting party!! I feel so blessed to have been a part of it! 🙂

Glamping in the Smokies

It’s my family’s first time in Gatlinburg, TN. We had planned to go glamping for one night with a couple friend.

We drove past these beautiful views on the way to Gatlinburg.

We arrived at downtown Gatlinburg, I was surprised that there were so many things to do and see! We had lunch and strolled around.

Then after sipping a cup of hot apple cider, headed to Under Canvas site. We were greeted by this lovely main tent.

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The staff showed us around, brought us to our tent, showed us where the restrooms are.

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There was no signal on this place. We were completely off the internet for one day in our life! It was a good break. We played board games and had dinner at the cafeteria. Then had S’mores by the fire pit!

We called it a night. The next morning, we continued with our photo op quest.

It was a great experience plugging off the internet world and just really being old school. We really like Under Canvas, how they’ve conceptualized glamping, and they deliver amazing service!

We had breakfast at one of the many Flap Jack places, and the pumpkin spice coffee and food was fantastic!

Then we headed to Clingman’s Dome, passing through Blueridge Parkway…

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My husband wasn’t thrilled at all. It took us almost two hours to get to the parking due to heavy traffic up the mountain. And took us another 30 minutes to use the restroom!

But when we got there… We walked up a little…

And saw these amazing views!

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I am glad we made it, even though the circumstance was less ideal. The view at the top was beautiful!!!

“There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”

— Jawaharlal Nehru

Be Joyful Always,

LP

 

South Florida

What can I say? There’s always a reason to go back to South Florida 🙂

This time to witness a beautiful wedding.

So we rented a van, brought the whole family and a friend visiting from the Philippines and drove 12 hours down south!

We rented an Airbnb close to Pompano Beach. It had an indoor pool which was awesome!

The next day, we went to South Pointe Park, in Miami.

And in the afternoon, went to the rehearsal dinner.

The next day, I compelled my boys to wake up early to watch the sunrise by Pompano Beach.

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I was so happy we did it! It was such a spectacular sunrise that morning!

Later that day, we went to The Rusty Pelican, to witness the union of our friends.

This is such a wonderful venue for wedding. I thought for a second my son was going to elope with this beautiful flower girl!

It was such a lovely wedding! We are blessed to have been a part of it!

The next day, we went to Wynwood Walls. It’s in the Art District of Miami. Hubby and I strolled in the heat of the sun to see these amazing wall arts! Hubby was a little skeptical at first, but in the end I think he enjoyed it!

And that was a wrap! We took more photos to remember this wonderful trip.

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Travel is like love, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end. – Pico Iyer
Be Joyful Always,
LP

Emma’s Baby Shower

This is the first neutral baby shower I’ve ever been, and believe it or not, mom doesn’t want to know the gender until the baby is out!

The decors are  beautiful and elegant!

We played a game called guess what’s in the diaper… This was really funny (and kinda yucky)! You gotta try the food and guess what fruit it is haha!

We guessed what the baby’s gender is going to be…

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And then showered mama with presents…

Isn’t she lovely? 🙂

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And we took lots of pictures 😉 It was so much fun!

Primland, Meadows of Dan, VA

I have heard about Primland from a coworker and I’ve planned to go with hubby since it’s only a two-hour drive from Charlotte, NC. And finally, we were able to spend a night here, without our kid. It was a much needed break for us as a couple.

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At $500 or so per night, I was really expecting a lot. The room was impressive to begin with. And toiletries were Bulgari! LOL.

We went to the 19th Pub for a drink and small bites. Food was delicious! We particularly liked the pig candy 😉

After which, we walked around to look at the view.

The view, from our room, of the sun setting over the mountains was majestic!! My camera couldn’t even capture it’s beauty.

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We just chilled in our room the rest of the night.

The next morning, we went to Elements for a hearty breakfast! And took a few snaps from our room.

And then we had to pack up. It was such a short stay, next time we would plan on staying longer 🙂

“Love is the food of life, travel is dessert.”

Be Joyful Always,

LP

 

Carolina Beach

It’s summer, we can’t miss going to the beach! We’ve been to Myrtle and Hilton Head in SC in the past, we’ve lived in NC for over 5 years and we’ve never been to NC beach!

So finally, we’ve decided to go to Carolina Beach with friends. We booked this Airbnb, for two nights, it’s about 7 miles to the beach. This house is beautiful and host was super friendly and very accommodating!

Once we were settled, we headed to Carolina Beach. Thankful for the sun, the weather forecast said it was going to be rainy the whole weekend.

We spent a couple hours chilling at the beach and waited til it was almost sunset.

Such a beautiful sight.

Then we got hungry so we headed out.

Randy found A&G Barbecue & Chicken via Yelp. It’s a mom & pop’s restaurant with good old southern comfort food, yummy!

Then, we walked around Carolina Beach Boardwalk.

We tried to get Britt’s donuts but it was cash only, which we didn’t have. We decided to call it a night and come back for donuts the next day.

Friends came the following day, and we went to Kure Beach.

Randy and I got lost trying to figure out where to go. We stopped at Battle Acre Road. The view was fantastic!

Apparently the picnic area where you can bbq was just around the corner.

We had a fantastic lunch!

Then we spent the rest of the afternoon at the beach, doing yoga and doing nothing. It was one fine day.

Then, when we were ready for dinner, we tried going to Shuckin’ Shack, but it was full at 6.30PM. Then we saw Havana’s Restaurant just across the street, we opted for that. I am glad we did!

We thought we were a little underdressed cause we were just at the beach, we asked to be seated at the patio.

Randy and I chose Calamari for appetizer.

Randy had scallops as main. I had fried oysters. Everything was delicioso! 👌🏻

After dinner, we went back to the boardwalk to finally get Britts Donut.

There was a long line outside, when we finally got to try it, not sure what the fuss is all about. But well, they’ve been here for 75 years so it was still worth a try. It tasted like old fashioned donut. They only had glazed and nothing else.

Then we called it a night.

Next day, we bid farewell to this amazing Airbnb.

We stopped by Wilmington’s waterfront park, where we can see the USS Battleship. It was a nice day to stroll the park.

And got ice cream from Kilwins before heading home.

“People forget years and remember moments” – Ann Beattie

Be joyful always,

LP

NOLA – A Girls’ Trip

A friend wanted to celebrate her birthday in New Orleans. I was hesitant to join but I am so glad I did!

We arrived on a Friday evening, and first stop was Luke’s for dinner.

Ambiance was nice, food was great, service wasn’t so good, our server seemed to not like us…

But anyway, I had Stuffed P&J Oysters and Shrimp Etouffee. Both were really good!

After stuffing our tummies with so much seafood, we decided to stroll around French Quarter. It was beautiful at night.

When we’ve tired ourselves and I was kinda sleepy, I’ve asked friends to grab a coffee and maybe try a beignet… So we headed to Cafe Du Monde.

Place was packed at 10PM!

Coffee was pretty good! Beignet, however, had too much sugar. Still good to try, this was the first beignet of my life!

Day 2: Woke up early to get breakfast. We stayed at Frenchmen St, and found Who Dat Coffee close by and decided to go there.

I ordered a large latte and Not Yo Mama’s Corn Bread, it was soooo yummy, sooo comforting. Just look at those bacon bits! Aside from great food, service was awesome and I definitely recommend this place 😉

Then, we got ready to go to Oak Alley Plantation. We took a Lyft from Frenchmen St, and it cost us around $80 to get there.

When we got there, ticket was $25 each to tour the house and grounds.

This was such a wonderful place. We dressed up cause we knew we wanted to take nice photos around this gorgeous plantation.

After an hour of taking pictures, we finally decided to take the tour of the house. It runs every 30 minutes.

Our tour guide took us back to 1836, there is so much history in this place. We were saddened and disheartened by how slaves were treated back in the day.

It was a first for me to visit a plantation, I wasn’t as aware of how slavery actually was in the 1800s, and this definitely increased my awareness as to why racism has always been a big issue. I left having a changed perspective.

On to happier thoughts! We came back to city and wanted to get fried chicken, our Lyft driver recommended We Dat’s, it’s a fast food fried chicken place, where locals go. I had classic wings and loaded fries, it was delightful!

We rested until it was time for dinner. Yep, we were ready to eat again. Haha.

I made a reservation at Cafe Amelie’s. Such a charming place!

I had their special cocktail drink and gumbo.

Overall, it was satisfying.

Afterwards, we walked (and goofed) around.

We tried going to Carousel, but jeez, it was way too crowded!! It was still nice that we got to see it.

We had to call it a night. We were too tired from walking and we planned another early tour for the next day.

Day 3: Woke up early again, for breakfast, cause it’s the most important meal of the day! (No kidding!)

This time, we went to Horn’s.

I had a large latte and a savory bread pudding, with mushroom and spinach, with eggs and avocado. It was tasty!

Great food and great service at this place!

And yes, for that other early tour, we booked a swamp tour with Cajun Pride for 9.30AM. Apparently, alligators might not come out later in the day and obviously we wouldn’t want that.

A friend got peed on by an alligator, we all thought that was hilarious and once in a lifetime experience! And I captured it on camera!

When it was my turn to hold the alligator, I couldn’t. I don’t know why I just couldn’t but anyway it was such a fun and interesting tour!

Now, on to lunch, we wanted more seafood and this time we opted for ACME Oyster House.

Grilled oysters were so delicious!! Gumbo was ok, after eating gumbo after gumbo, maybe I was a little tired at this point.

Then, we walked around French Quarter, to take mandatory photos of NOLA.

Then, went to Sucre for dessert.

After which, we had to visit Garden District, and of course, the most famous Buchner Mansion.

Then, we walked back and around the city again. Until it was late night and time for dinner! Oceana Grille was a great option cause it was 9PM and most restaurants close at 10PM. Oceana was open til 1AM.

My friend and I shared Fried Eggplant, Oyster Rockefeller, and Taste of New Orleans (Gumbo, Jambalaya, & Red Beans). Oh yeah, we had to eat, it was our last night, so we ate our hearts out!

This restaurant is huge, btw! Food was great and service was just as great!! Highly recommended!!

And that was it for Day 3.

At this point, I realized I only had two meals left, I knew I had to make the most of it!

Day 4: For breakfast, I had to try Cafe Beignet. A friend told me this place has the best Beignet in NOLA and she was right! Coffee was better at Cafe Du Monde though.

Then, we went to Woldenberg Park, just to stroll and see what’s out there. It was beautiful.

Then for our last hurrah, last meal in NOLA, we went for Royal House.

Nice place, good service. My friend tried Shrimp Creole, which was truly delectable! I, however, had to have a Shrimp & Grits, this was my only chance, but it was a total disappointment! I’m sorry! But it was dry and lumped together like mashed potatoes (you can see the three lumps on the photo). In all fairness, our Lyft driver said that Shrimp & Grits in NOLA isn’t like this and I just tried it at the wrong place, too bad!

But I would still recommend Royal House, just not the shrimp and grits!

I had to pick up some Pralines to bring home, and Leah’s Pralines was conveniently just right next to Royal House. I got a hot sauce from them too!

And then it was time to go. I had so much fun exploring this fun and vibrant city!

“Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life – and travel – leave marks on you.” ― Anthony Bourdain

Be joyful always,

LP