travel blog

Ay Jax

Today, I thought I would share two of my favorite places to eat in Jacksonville, Florida with you. I spent all last summer working there, so I’m getting kind of nostalgic, and had to visit my favorites when I went back to St. Augustine last week.

  1. Chamblin’s Uptown


The socialite cousin of Chamblin’s Bookmine, this bookstore-cum-coffee shop-makeshift lunch destination is simultaneously one of the most bustling and calm in the city. Located at 215 N. Laura street right on the city square, smack in the middle of downtown Jacksonville, it’s an oasis of art, literature, and oversize cookies at your fingertips. Best of all, if you forget your book, they have plenty to choose from, and a liberal coffee selection on the cafe side. IMG_4194

2. Bistro Aix


The closest Jacksonville gets to France, Bistro Aix has the smell and warmth of a boulangerie and the wine menu of fine Parisian dining. Complete with a wood fired oven and salmon smoked in-house, pizzas the likes of the one below come topped with caviar at the most affordable price this side of San Marco. Adjoined is Bar X, where you can soak in fashionably low Deco lighting with a Death in the Afternoon even Hemingway would approve of. Afterwards? It’s off to the nearby shops and boutiques lining San Marco’s beautiful neighborhood as the sea’s waves peak at you, just a block away. IMG_3799

Outfit Details:
Blazer: Zara
Pants: Givenchy
Shoes: H&M
Bag: Kate Spade

In a Jingle Jangle Morning


The vibe of today’s post was inspired in part by Foxygen’s song entitled San Francisco on their album We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic. However, true to form, rather than looking much like the girl in the video, I think I’m more a reflection of the male singer. Besides that, I hoped to channel the great era that brought the musical revolution which erupted from Haight Ashbury in the 60s. I might be more like Fred from Scooby Doo, but luckily, 70s in coming in, right?

I spent all marveling walking from Chinatown over to Haight Ashbury and Golden Park, marveling over the quaint Victorian houses along the way. At one point, I found a park with a wonderful view, shown below. I was in awe of the fortune of my find. Little did I know, I had only stumbled onto the typical tourist path and was taking pictures of none other than the Painted Ladies, a la Full House fame. Nevertheless, it was still a nice surprise. My blisters the next day were not.




IMG_2346Outfit Details: Scarf:Baar and Beards | Vest: Talbots | Fringe Leotard: H&M (thanks LadyBirdLikes– she has awesome instagram sales where you can grab a variety of fantastic/ funky gems) | Jeans: Gap | Socks: Primark | Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell

Oh the Posh Posh Traveling Life, The Traveling Life for Me!

Say it with me: Newsh-von-schteen. You might want to try again, and a third time. To be honest, you might want to give up altogether and just gaze at the Bavarian view, or you could adopt my all-too-American approach and call it the “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang castle” (after being corrected by about a hundred Germans).


See those familiar headlights peaking into the picture?

Well, considering the fact that I couldn’t dress like a doll on a music box to visit, I decided to channel the Baron and Baroness Bomburst (of Vulgaria) and  Ludwig II’s outlook on glamour and drama, generally in epic proportion.

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 3.07.21 PMHowever, there’s a limit to personal pizazz when a 40-minute walk up a mountain is involved with a very full suitcase (the consequence of back-to-back overnight train/ bus rides). Still, the view surpassed any struggle involved. Bavaria is like the fantasy backdrop of any pastoral landscape. Blue skies, fields of green, mountain silhouettes, endearing chapels, and little red roofs dotting the area next to the water. It’s easy to see why land prices are so high. It’s a veritable paradise.




DSC_0814And at the top of the hill? A fairy tale castle surrounded by the terrible legend of the eccentric and reclusive prince who could not face the reality of his diminishing power. In its stead, he built himself an edifice, a makeshift temple to his majesty, ready to receive his subjects when they should come (or it would have been, to this day it remains unfinished). Unfortunately, we were strictly prohibited from taking any pictures of the actual inside of the castle, but here’s a promotional photo of the reception area:

Neuschwanstein Castle_hall_tour


Check out the view!DSC_0785Once outside, there was a path to a wooden bridge. Word to the wise, if you want a picture of the castle as a whole, this is the place to get it (you’ll just have to fight the rest of the tourists for it). I’ve included a helpful mapDSC_0819DSC_0840

What I wore:
Headband: Primark (old)
Sunglasses: Chloe
Earrings: Vintage
Fur: estate sale boon (shown here)
Blazer: DKNY
Blouse: Yves Saint Laurent- Rive Gauche
Skirt: New Look
Tights: Wolford
Heels: Chloe
DSC_0802      For more information on Ludwig and Neuschwanstein, you can go here (or of course wikipedia). However, the more involved your research gets, be sure to look out for this guy:

–Shared to the lovely Patti’s Visible Monday (it’s good to be back).

Hej Stokholm: Part I


I bought my tickets to Sweden after checking the Ryanair prices for all of Scananavia. I ended up in Stockholm rather than Copenhagen or Oslo due not to my overwhelming longing for St. Lucia’s Day and love for Ikea, but really my overall greed (or thrift, as the boy scouts say) and ignorance. I was even more excited to find out that for every American Dollar, I would get a whopping 7 Swedish Kronor. Get that? SEVEN!!

Well, fate played a cruel joke.

That remarkable 7 wouldn’t buy a candy bar, much less a coke, and 7 kronor is about the equivalent of 25 cents. As it turns out, Sweden is one of the richest, and most expensive countries in Europe. While it’s not, you know, Zurich, lists it as the second most expensive city on its backpacker index. Do note that Monaco does not figure in the rankings, but honestly, when you are competing with Monaco, doesn’t that concede the point?


Nevertheless, unlike Paris, with the price tag came a new standard of cleanliness. Stockholm proper was cleaner than Disney on a given morning, and some of the views could seriously compete for one of those two remaining spots on the world showcase. Virtually everywhere in the city is surrounded by the river (Norrstrom), and it makes for some truly breathtaking scenery. With such a pristine city, I can only imagine what the fabled countryside of the rest of Stockholm looks like (though Ryanair is always quite in coming complete with an hour- long sightseeing tour as you try to find civilization relative to the remote airport where it has dumped you- this was no exception).



20140926_143849Once I finally reached the city, I immediately bought a map and some “toast” which turned out to be none other than a well-timed panini. After planning out the day, I decided I would go to the hostel and drop off my luggage bag. Unfortunately, it was then I realized (bereft of wifi and data) that I had no idea, except for a general direction, where the hostel was. With that, I started walking in the direction of the island area (there are 4 major ones that compose Stockholm) that I thought it was on. The Hostel’s name was “Lodge 52,” so I decided to keep walking until I came to the address numbered “52” (which was much further away than it sounds). My father likes to say “even a blind hog finds an acorn now and then,” while I cannot speak for hogs, I can say I had an incredible stroke of dumb luck, because apartment 52 and Lodge 52 of this random road happened to be the same place.


Master of Directions

From there, I went to see the Royal Palace (which looks more like another feat of seventies architecture than anything old and regal), the town, and the Nobel Museum.






What I Wore:
As a preface, I would advise anyone travelling to Stockholm to bring almost exclusively black clothing if you are visiting after September 1st. I was the only breath of pastel on most streets I was in. But more on that in the next post…
Hat: British Vintage (from charity shop)
Dress: Anthropologie
Scarf: BCBG
Tights: Wolford (ebay)
Shoes: Clarks