Travel

My Exciting, Romantic Weekend Getaway in Punta Cana

About a week (and a half) ago, I went on a really nice, romantic vacation with my sweet boyfriend to Punta Cana and I’m finally getting around to writing about it. Keep on reading to hear all about our first real baecation!

To start, we stayed at the Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana which is a 4 star all inclusive resort. It was really nice and we were pleasantly surprised by how good it was. The service was top notch, and we felt like we were always treated well! We were also pleasantly surprised by how big the rooms were too which was a nice extra surprise. The resort in general was small, and didn’t have a lot of guestrooms so it was very cozy and intimate. We spent a lot of time seeing the same people, which was comforting, though a little weird at first!

The only thing we were really not that thrilled about was the food. We felt that there was only 2 good restaurants for dinner and we were really underwhelmed by the breakfast and lunch options. The resort also always had tons of activities going on throughout the day. You could relax at the beach or by the pool or you could participate in yoga on the beach, water aerobics, a foam party or so many other activities. Plus every night, they had a themed show! Our first night was a rock and roll themed show and another night was belly dancing. It was really cool actually and the performers did an excellent job!

We also did an excursion where we went snorkeling/diving, parasailing, and swam in a natural pool. That was a lot of fun! Andrew did the diving but I was too scared to. He got some great pictures down there which was really exciting for him. Parasailing was also a lot of fun, it just felt like floating up in the air and was not scary at all. Plus swimming in the natural pool was relaxing and a great way to end the excursion.

I think overall, we had a great trip and it was a really nice and relaxing way to spend time together. It was our first big vacation together and it could not have gone better! We would love to head back there with friends again one day, but we’re already thinking about where our next trip should be! Any ideas?

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

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Lifestyle

Weekend In My Life: NYC

Hi Everyone! I hope you had a great weekend and a great start to your week so far. I, for one, had an excellent weekend so I wanted to share what I did with you. Now, because it was a special weekend, I have to admit I got caught up in the moment most of the time and forgot to take any photos (bad blogger, I know). So, there’s not any photos, but I still wanted to share it in case you’re ever in NYC for the weekend!

To start things off, this weekend I was out celebrating my boyfriend’s birthday with his friends and family. Friday night, we started out going to dinner out on long island at Bahama Breeze which is like a caribbean themed restaurant. The food here was great, but the drinks were amazing. We drank pain killers at dinner which is one of my favorite mixed drinks now (because it’s one of Andrew’s favorites hehe). They are made with dark rum, pineapple juice, cream of coconut, a splash of orange juice, and topped with a sprinkle of nutmeg. They are absolutely delicious and I HIGHLY recommend them!

Saturday was the real celebration, though. Andrew and I went into NYC to celebrate with his friends. We stayed at the Sheraton Tribeca Hotel because we didn’t want to have to worry about taking the train home late at night. We were pleasantly surprised by the hotel and how nice it was. I’m super picky about hotels after working in the events industry, but this one was very clean and modern and the service was great. I’d probably stay here again if we ever needed a place to stay in Tribeca!

For dinner, we stopped at Beauty & Essex which is like a speakeasy restaurant on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. On the outside, it’s a pawn shop where you can purchase jewelry and other items if you’d like! Inside, behind a back door, is a beautiful restaurant. The service was excellent, I must admit. However, the food is served as small shared plates which we were surprised to discovered upon sitting down. Although the food was good, if we had known it was supposed to be served as small plates, we would have gone somewhere else. The prices weren’t justified by the serving size, unfortunately.

After dinner, we took a quick pit stop at Hair of the Dog a few blocks away because it’s the only bar I know that has happy hour on Saturdays until 8:00 PM! After that, our original plan was to stop by the Public Hotel rooftop for more drinks, but the line was so long when we got there, that we turned around and decided to head somewhere else. We ended up settling on the Delancey which was not crowded at all when we go there. We hungout on the roof, got drinks and enjoyed the very humid evening with friends. My Romper is from Revolve and is linked here for you if you want to check it out. I got it in a medium to get a looser, comfy fit.

Overall, we had a great night and a wonderful weekend! Let me know in the comments what you did this past weekend!

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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Travel

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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Travel

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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Travel

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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