Travel

Traveling to Greece: Athens, Santorini, and Mykonos

Over the last few weeks I went on one of the biggest vacations I’ve been on in a few years. This was a trip that I had been looking forward to for the last 6 months so it was really exciting once it finally came. I went to Greece for the first time ever and visited some really beautiful places in the process. I’m very thankful for such a wonderful experience and I’m looking forward to possibly going back someday.

Athens

Our first stop on this trip was in Athens which was a good experience but definitely not the best. As for the ruins, they were absolutely beautiful and it was so interesting seeing history right in front of my face. It’s truly amazing what the ancient Greeks were able to do and the lasting culture they built. We saw the Acropolis which includes the Parthenon. We also saw the original Olympic stadium and explored the rest of the city. This was also where I had my first authentic Greek salad! It wonderful seeing all the ancient ruins, but unfortunately, it was city that I couldn’t feel very safe in. I constantly felt like I had to watch my back everywhere I went, which made it a bit unpleasant. With that being said, it was still a wonderful part of the trip, but I would do my best not to return to Athens.

View from The Acropolis
View from The Acropolis
View from The Acropolis
View from The Acropolis
The Acropolis
The Parthenon
Original Olympic Stadium
Gate to the Temple of Zeus
Streets of Athens
Streets of Athens
Streets of Athens
My authentic Greek salad

Mykonos

I’m the kind of person that is happiest laying on the beach, under a beach umbrella, with a drink in my hand and alternating napping and swimming in the ocean. So naturally, Mykonos was my favorite place. We sort of took a break here and just relaxed. We did a little bit of exploring but mainly stayed at the pool and the beach which is exactly what I needed, personally. This island is so beautiful and I highly recommend going here if you can! It was the best experience.

Ocean View
Ocean View
View from the hotel
First night dinner outfit
Exploring the town
Ocean View
Bathroom Tiles
Pool Day
View from the Hotel
Second night dinner outfit
View from the beach
Beach Day
Ocean View
Last night dinner outfit
Final dinner in Mykonos – Grilled Salmon and Veggies

Santorini (Thira)

Santorini was another really beautiful island and I would definitely go back here. Similarly to Athens, it was a place where I felt I had to be much more cautious but not to the same extent as in Athens. One thing I loved about Santorini was that you can see the ocean no matter where you are on the island. The history of the island was also interesting, considering the little cities are built surrounding an active volcano! We explored all over the island, from the famous Fira and Oia to the vineyards for a wine tasting and back to the red and black sand beaches. It was absolutely beautiful and I would highly recommend this island to anyone who wants to take a trip to Greece!

View outside Hotel
First night of dinner outfit
First night of dinner outfit ft. mom
First day of exploring outfit
Exploring Oia
Exploring Fira
Exploring Oia
Exploring Oia
Exploring Oia
Exploring Oia
Exploring Megalochori
Exploring Megalochori
Exploring Megalochori
Exploring Megalochori
Exploring Megalochori
Exploring Megalochori
Wine tasting
View from the highest point on the island
Red sand beach
Dinner for the last night – super fresh sushi!
Mojito made with sake
Last night dinner outfit

P.S. Keep up with me on instagram: @karenmauritzenn

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Travel

Packing Guide: Greece

I can’t believe this trip is finally here after months of planning! I will be traveling to Greece next week for vacation and I am so excited. Since this is a pretty big trip, I thought I would put together a packing guide of some things I’m planning to bring with me for this trip. I hope you enjoy!

1. Dresses

The very first thing I plan to bring with me is a bunch of dresses. All kinds of dresses. In general, I love wearing dresses because they are so easy to just throw on and go while still looking put together. I plan on bringing a bunch of maxi dresses because they are so pretty and easy. I’ll also bring some cute mini dresses and even a few rompers because I just love them so much.

2. Mini Backpack

I figured instead of bringing a purse or a bunch of different bags, I’ll bring a mini backpack with me for walking around during the day. It’ll be big enough to care all the essentials such as my camera, wallet, sunglasses but not too big that it starts feeling heavy after a long day.

3. Cameras

For this trip, I decided to try a few different things for my photos. I’m of course bringing my cell phone to use as my main camera, but I’m also bringing my Polaroid camera to try and get some more interesting shots. On top of that, I also decided to buy some disposable cameras too to get some more vintage looking shots too! Using film cameras is so popular lately, that I figured this trip was the perfect time to try it out.

4. Sunglasses

This is pretty much a given, but I’m planning on bringing a few pairs of sunglasses because, duh, it’s sunny in Greece. However, I’m bringing some of my cheaper ones, so that I don’t care as much if they break or I lose them for some reason.

5. Swimsuits

We’re spending about 2-3 days on the beach for this trip, so of course I’m bringing quite a few bathing suits just in case! This will be my first chance to go to the beach for this summer so I have to be strategic about getting my base tan, so bringing some bandeau style bathing suits and of course lots of sun block! The Mediterranean sun is very strong so, sun block is a must!

6. Books

I’m also bringing a few books to read at the airport and on the plane! Reading is actually my favorite thing to do on long flights, so I picked out a few books that I’m considering bringing. One of them is called Thinking Fast and Slow that I’ve been holding on to for a few months for this trip. I’m so excited to finally start reading it!

P.S. Keep up with me on instagram: @karenmauritzenn

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Travel

Weekend Getaway: Lake Placid, NY

For this past weekend, I took a trip to Lake Placid with my boyfriend for Memorial Day. Today, I’m sharing some thoughts about it with you! Overall, it was such a wonderful trip and we had a really great time. It was a great start to our summer and we’re really looking forward to planning more weekend trips in the future.

To start, on our way up to Lake Placid, we actually stopped in Glenn Falls for lunch. We went to the Davidson Brother’s Brewery and got some soup and sandwiches and some beers! Andrew and I both agreed that this was our favorite meal of the whole trip, which definitely says something. We also stopped and got some gelato after lunch and then headed back on the road because we were running a little behind schedule.

We stayed in an Airbnb for this trip also since it was close by and it was such a great experience for us. The house was about a 10 minute drive from the town and had great amenities. The hosts were so sweet and friendly and provided everything we needed. We really enjoyed staying there and would definitely go back!

For our first night of dinner, we went to the Big Slide Brewery which was a really popular brewery in the area. We really like this place! We tried their hot pepper ale and a few of their mixed drinks which we really liked. The atmosphere was also great. It was young people, but not a crazy bar scene like you sometimes see. For dinner, we got an “impossible” burger (a vegan protein burger that is supposed to taste like meat) and a pizza with venison, pickled blueberries and pesto sauce. The food, unfortunately, was sub-par but we still enjoyed this place!

For our second day, we took a very long walk around Mirror Lake and through town. This was a wonderful day; the weather was perfect and we had a great time. It was warm and sunny which definitely played a factor in how exhausted we were after the walk. We stopped for coffee (a few times) and at a few shops in town. We also got lunch at The Cottage which is a really popular restaurant over looking the lake. This was probably our second favorite meal here! The drinks were in full pint glasses which is always a plus and the food was great! Our only complaint is that is was definitely overpriced but it was a great experience and we recommend this one.

On our way home, we took a stop in Saratoga Springs for lunch and some coffee and to walk around this area since Andrew had never been. Then we prepared ourselves for a slightly frustrating, very scenic, very long drive home.

Overall, this was a GREAT trip. A favorite of mine for sure, because we went at our own pace and didn’t try too hard to plan and jam pack our day with activities. It was relaxing and we enjoyed ourselves, but we decided we’re staying away from long drives for a little while!

P.S. Keep up with me on instagram: @karenmauritzenn

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Weekend Getaway: New Paltz, NY

Over this past weekend, Andrew and I took a little mini vacation up to New Paltz, NY to do some hiking, relaxing and visiting his Alma Mater. We ate lots of great food, drank slightly too much and saw some great views while we were there. New Paltz is a really small college town but it’s really got some cute hidden gems!

Our first stop when we arrived in New Paltz was for lunch at La Charla, which is a Mexican restaurant right on Main St. We ordered our margaritas and some tacos and queso. The food was REALLY good and the drinks were really well made! We were pleasantly surprised considering the place was a ghost town when we walked in during lunch time! I personally wouldn’t go back next time just so we can try somewhere else, but it was a good choice for a first timer.

After lunch, we headed over to Lake Minnewaska to do some “hiking”. The trail was very easy to walk which is why I’m putting hiking in quotes but it was pretty high up so we got some beautiful views out of it. It was really humid and there were lots of bugs which is not my favorite thing but I think the views were worth the inconvenience.

After our mini hike, we headed over to our Airbnb to rest, shower and get ready for dinner. This place was one of the best I’ve stayed at. It was absolutely stunning and the host was fantastic to work with! My only concern was that it was about about 20 minutes outside of New Paltz, in the middle of nowhere so it made getting an Uber pretty difficult. I would probably prefer to stay somewhere closer next time but I really loved this place and would want to go back again!

For dinner that night, we went to the Gilded Otter which is a microbrewery right on Main St. with some really great beers and great food too! Andrew and I both got flights to start so we could try a few flavors and were both really happy with our choices. We both found one that we liked enough to get a full pint of. My favorite was the Sunset Blood Orange and Strawberry Sour Ale. There was also a raspberry wheat ale that I liked a lot!

After dinner, we headed out to the bars! Since it’s a college town, there were obviously lots of college students around. It was fun to people watch because we’re not in college anymore but we still vividly remember what it was like. We also both were so shocked (and ecstatic) to be paying $4 for a mixed drink because we got so used to paying $14 for them in NYC!

Overall, we had such a great weekend and were so happy to get to spend some quality time together in a new city. It was my first time in New Paltz and Andrew’s second time visiting his old college so it was a really special experience for both of us! I would highly recommend taking a trip over there if you can. We’re always surprised at how much we can do in our home state!

P.S. Keep up with me on instagram: @karenmauritzenn

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Weekend Getaway: Wine Touring

Over the weekend, my boyfriend and I took a little staycation out east to Riverhead, NY on Long Island. We visited a really great vineyard and brewery, ate some pretty delicious food and had a really wonderful weekend!

First things first, we stayed at the Hotel Indigo East End which was a nice hotel! The public space (lobby, restaurant, etc.) were so nice and looked like they had recently been renovated. Being that I work with hotels literally everyday at my job and travel often for pleasure, I have very high standards for my hotels. I will say I wasn’t thrilled with the hotel room, but it served its purpose. I also wasn’t thrilled with the service, but we didn’t spend much time there anyway so it wasn’t a deal breaker for me. One thing that I did like was that they offered a complimentary shuttle to and from the vineyards and breweries nearby!

Karen’s Outfit – Sweater: Something Navy / Jacket: Free People / Jeans: Topshop / Shoes: Steve Madden
Andrew’s Outfit – Shirt: Express / Jacket: RVCA / Pants: Lucky Brand / Shoes: Bass

Our first stop was the Baiting Hollow Farm and Vineyard which I mentioned in my previous post (March 2019 Favorites). I loved the atmosphere here and I think it was just a perfect day to sit outside, drinking wine with my wonderful boyfriend and people/dog watching. I also really loved the Pink Satin Rose! I would have liked to buy a bottle of it, and I honestly don’t know why I didn’t!

Baiting Hollow Farm and Vineyard
Sunglasses: Quay Australia (Style: Playa)

After that, we headed over to the Moustache Brewing Company which we picked mainly for the name. However, we were also pleasantly surprised by the beers they had and the great atmosphere! Luckily, we were able to try all 8 of their beers because there were 2 of us and we each got a flight of 4 beers (2 x 4 = 8 in case you missed that math). Some of our favorites included a blueberry and ginger beer (that had 10% alcohol content), as well as both of their ciders!

After that, we went back to the hotel and headed over to Bistro 72 for dinner. The restaurant was CROWDED so it was definitely our mistake for not making a reservation! Again, because it was crowded, the service was not the best but I have ultra high standards. However, the food was absolutely delicious and definitely worth the wait! I got the Maple Bourbon Salmon which was so yummy, I highly recommend. Andrew got a burger that was cooked perfectly and the fries were nice and crispy! We also got bourbon wings which were very flavorful.

Overall, I would say it was such a great experience! We had such a wonderful weekend exploring another part of Long Island that we don’t get to go to very often. Staycations have been such a nice way for us to spend some extra time together without going too far or spending too much money!

P.S. Keep up with me on instagram: @karenmauritzenn

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Packing Guide: Early Spring Weekend Getaway

Now that the weather is getting warmer, I’m just about ready to start taking a few spring vacations so I wanted to also share how I pack for these little mini vacations! Eventually I’ll share my packing guides for some larger vacations too, but for the spring I only have small weekend getaways planned and sometimes those are the hardest to pack for. So here’s an idea of what I’m bringing with me!

For this trip, my boyfriend and I are heading out to eastern long island to do some wine tours and spend some extra time together. We found a hotel that offers passes to a few different vineyards and breweries out east plus a $50 dinner voucher and a one night stay! It’s an amazing deal so we had to go for it! Since we’re only staying one night, it should be pretty easy to pack.

As far as clothing goes, I want to really get into the wine tour spirit while still acknowledging the fact that it’s not quite 75 and sunny yet. Some things that I think will be essential for this trip is: a good pair of jeans, a sweater, a nicer top for night time, comfortable shoes and a great coat! We’re going to spend a lot of time outside so the coat and sweater will definitely come in handy for us. The jeans keep things very casual, but the nicer top would help to dress up the outfit for dinner. Comfortable shoes are also of course great, but we also want to make sure they match both the day time and night time outfits!

As far as toiletries goes, I’ll definitely bring the basics such as face wash, moisturizer, toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, etc. But some of the things that will be really important for me to bring will be a face primer to make sure my makeup stays on all day and night. I’d want to only make a few touch ups throughout the trip. Along with my makeup, makeup remover is another essential because there is nothing worse than waking up to makeup all over your pillows!

A few extra items that I’ll be sure to pack in my bag are a phone charger (duh), sunglasses, my polaroid camera with extra film, and some snacks and water! The polaroid camera is always such a fun thing to take with you places because you can take really cool photos. One thing that I don’t love about it is that it’s sort of big to carry around if you don’t want to bring a huge bag! Snacks are also essential for late at night when you’re just relaxing in bed and I always bring some extra water with me because I think I drink like 100 ounces of water every day.

I hope discussing a few of my favorite things to pack was helpful for an easy spring getaway! I can’t wait to share our experience with you from this trip!

P.S. Keep up with me on instagram: @karenmauritzenn

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My Weekend Ski Trip

This past weekend, I went on my very first ski trip and thought I’d write about it and share a little bit of what I brought with me. It as such an awesome trip and I was surprisingly good at skiing! It inspired me to plan a few more trips over the next few months so get ready for a few more packing guides and travel posts coming out.

To start, this was definitely a weekend to be one with nature and hangout with friends. So with that being said, it was the most low maintenance weekend I’ve probably ever had in my life. I brought exactly the right amount of clothes that I would need, no make up and very minimal toiletries. I didn’t want to over pack since it was going to be a weekend of just being outside mostly. We went up to Windham Resort to go skiing and it was such a great time. We stayed in an Airbnb instead of at the resort and it was definitely a great idea because of the location and price. Airbnb is something I never really use but now I’m definitely looking into it for future trips because we had such a great experience. I can’t wait to go again!

As far as clothing goes, it wasn’t very cold this weekend in the mountains, only about 30 degrees so I brought light clothing. I packed some cotton long sleeves and leggings to wear under my ski clothes along with my ski pants, a sweatshirt and then my winter coat. However, because it was so warm, I eventually took the sweatshirt off completely and was perfectly fine! I also kept gloves with me and brought a hat and scarf that I ended up not even needing. We also went out at night to speakeasy and the next morning went to a brewery for lunch so for those, I brought with me my Jamie Jeans from Topshop and another long sleeve t-shirt and a big cozy sweater from Nordstrom. I kept it very casual and was really happy with what I brought. I definitely did not need anything else!

For my toiletries, I kept it simple with the basics, body wash, lotion, face wash, toothbrush, contacts/glasses, etc. However, I made sure to bring a good moisturizer and my serums because I knew that the higher altitude and colder weather might affect my skin differently as well as the water there too! I noticed my face reacted pretty well to keeping my routine the same, thankfully! I brought the same items that I mentioned in my Skincare Routine post, linked here.

On our second day, we headed toward Cooperstown, NY and stopped by the Ommegang Brewery which was such an awesome experience if you love craft beer and Game of Thrones! They’ve got tons of GoT themed beers as well as a few others that were so good. My favorite was the Rosetta which was a sour beer infused with cherry and it was the right amount of sweet and sour but I got a flight and really enjoyed all of them. They also have a gift shop that sells all kinds of cool merch including GoT mugs and growlers and you can even buy their beers bottled.

If you’re ever looking for an easy weekend trip, this was definitely a good one to do. There’s so much going on in New York that I feel like I forget about. This year, I’ve got all kinds of trips planned to explore more of New York!

P.S. Keep up with me on instagram: @karenmauritzenn

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