Sep 25, 2014

Left Side, Best Side - Part 1

I know most people have heard several different quotes about the West Coast. My favorite, even though I am forever an East Coast girl, is "Left Side, Best Side" hence the title of this post. I have been on the west coast a total of 6 times. Four of those 6 times have been to California. I have visited Los Angeles, Hollywood, Fullerton, Huntington Beach and Carson. 

 Los Angeles & Hollywood

After I finished college back in August of 2012, I took a big break from everything, until my graduation ceremony in January of 2013. For those who may be confused, I finished school in the summer but the commencement ceremony was not until the next January. My first trip post college was to Los Angeles, California. Growing up I had been in LOVE with the idea of LA. I wanted to move there and pursue my singing career. But as well all know, most of our childhood dreams change as we get older.

My wonderful parents and I.

After visiting for the first time in 2008 on a senior trip, I knew I wanted to return and get a better feel for the city to see if moving there was still an option for me. My mom and I went there in January, 2013. The weather was significantly warmer than back home on the east coast but it was unseasonably cold for LA.The weather was in the high 50s, low 60s.

This hat was totally necessary for the weather.

The trip with my mom was a nice getaway for us but I was beginning to realize that Los Angeles might not have been the place for me. Two reasons being the cost of living and the distance. All of my family is on the east coast so moving to the other side of the country would have been too difficult for me. And the cost was way out of my price range being a recent college grad who was still looking for permanent work. So I decided that it would be one of my favorite places to visit but it would not be a place I called home.

My mother and I did a lot of tourist things while in Los Angeles and Hollywood. We did a LOT of shopping, which is one of my mother's favorite past times. We went to a huge Nordstrom Rack in Culver City and of course we went to Rodeo Drive.

We ate at many different places however, In N Out and Bottega Louie are the most memorable for me. In N Out was GREAT, the first time I ate it. But the more trips I took and the more times I ate it, the less appealing it became to me. The burgers are pretty good and the special sauce they put on the burgers almost reminds me of the sauce on a Big Mac, but better. The only thing that I don't like are the fries, they aren't that great to me but I think they are still worth a try. Bottega Louie was a very cute restaurant. As soon as you walk in there's a case that has all types of macaroons and other desserts. I myself am not a macaroon eater but my mother had one and she loved it. So, I would definitely reccommend going and trying out the macaroons, if they are appealing to your palate.

My mom and I had a great vacation visiting California back in 2013, it was her first time and it quickly became a place that she knew she wanted to visit again.  

My mom bought me a Louis Vuitton purse as a graduation gift. It was a total surprise and I cried. Lol. She tricked me, I thought we were looking at future purchases.


June, 2014 is the most recent trip where I visited California. I was there for a professional boxing event. A really good family friend Gary Russell, Jr. was fighting for a title. I flew into LAX by myself, my mother went a few days earlier than I did. As much traveling as I have done, this was only the second time that I have traveled alone to meet someone in another state. And both times were to California, but I'll talk more about my first solo trip in another post.   

This trip was a learning experience for me. I graduated with a degree in Sports Management and at this event I was granted "All Access" to the event being apart of Team Russell. It was a real life experience of the things I spent 4 years studying. This was  actually my second time having "All Access" to a professional boxing event. The first time was December, 2011 when I was a PR intern for a PR firm in Washington, D.C. 

I spent my weekend mixing and mingling with a lot of professional boxers and their camps. Boxing is my favorite sport so for me this one of the greatest weekends of 2014. Being back in California at that time was hard for me but I was with my best friend, my mommy, and we both were learning a lot together. We both have future plans for the world of boxing so watch out for the Jacobs women!

Mommy and I ringside.

Pressbox view of the ring.

StubHub Center where the event was held.

Of course, my mom and I visited Rodeo Drive again. This time she bought herself some fancy gifts, which she never does so I was really happy for her. We took a few hours from our learning for some girl time. Even though boxing is both of our favorite sport and we really enjoy hanging with the guys and learning as much as we can, we couldn't wait to get away for some retail therapy.

Us on Rodeo.

Unfortunately on this trip we ate a lot of meals that were given to Team Russell so I didn't get to go out and try any great restaurants in Carson. I hope I get to go back soon so that I can give you all a good review of the food there. And I do apologize that this post isn't as detailed as the others. These trips are old and they happened way before I decided I should start a travel blog. But I have plenty of pictures from my trip to Carson that I can share with you all. 

Gary Russell, Jr selecting his fight gloves.

Weigh In

View of Carson from the host hotel.

Mommy with her brand new Fendi bag! She's such a fashionista. 

Ground view from Salt Lake City where we connected on our way home.

This purse is another gift my mom got for herself. I just couldn't help myself. Lol.

My god sister Talore sent me a video of my mom and I on Showtime during the fight.


Look what came in the mail yesterday:

The turn around time was a little under 3 full weeks. I applied on September 6th and I received it in the mail on September 24th. I did not pay for an expedited process. Just in case anyone was wondering how long the process took. I'm so excited to have this, now I am totally prepared for my trip in November!!


Sep 18, 2014

Blue Waters and Palm Trees

Just last month I traveled to Miami for a girls weekend with my college roommates. We decided to go to Miami because none of us had ever been and it was all on our "to-do" lists. I personally have been trying to get to Miami for the past 3 years and after a while I had given up on that dream because every time I would try to plan a trip, people would fall through and not be able to make it. Fortunately, my friends decided to come through this summer and we made it happen! 

We stayed in Miami for a weekend, arrived on a Thursday afternoon and left on a Sunday morning. In my opinion our stay wasn't long enough. I could have used two to three more days on the beach.

The beach is one of my favorite places to be so I was in heaven. Honestly, this trip was not as eventful as my Vegas trip because we spent so much time at the beach. But it was just as much fun for my friends and I. The friends that accompanied me on this trip were Anita, Jazmine and Natashia.

This is Anita, you guys have already seen Natashia and Jazmine from my Vegas posts. The four of us shared an apartment at Towson University. Going on this trip was so much fun for us and it brought back so many memories of our times in undergrad.

We stayed at the Essex House Hotel on Collins Ave. I didn't get any pictures of the hotel, sorry guys, but here's the website so you can check it out. Essex House Hotel. The picture on the site of the lobby is exactly how the lobby looks. It's so swanky and modern. However, the hotel is SMALL. It only has 3 floors and there's a small elevator that fits a MAX of 3 people. Our room was on the second floor so the only time we took the elevator was when we arrived and when we left, since we had our bags with us. The room and bathroom was also small. Not enough space for 4 girls. So I wouldn't recommend staying at this hotel if there are 4 people to one room. 

The hotel has a restaurant called Zen Sai and after we dropped our bags off in the room the concierge let us know that they were having a happy hour special for hotel guests. A complimentary glass of red or white wine and spicy tuna sushi. The sushi was good and I'm not a wine drinker so I only took a few sips of the red wine.

After the free wine and sushi we stopped at the beach. We didn't stay long because the sun was starting to set. We put our feet in the water and snapped a few pics and then we went to explore Ocean Drive. After walking around and grabbing some food we went back to the room to change clothes and get ready for the night. We decided to go Mango's Tropical Cafe. Mango's is a restaurant on Ocean Drive that transforms into a nightclub. It was a nice environment but the music style wasn't our favorite. The DJ plays different styles of Latin music and we don't speak Spanish so we had no idea what we were listening to. Lol. But we found out that there was a room upstairs that played Hip Hop music. Once we went up there we had a great time. We partied there until 4am. Also, the bar offers fancy non-alcoholic drinks for those that don't drink.

Friday we went to the beach, this time for a few hours of fun, sun, sand and blue waters. After being on the beach for a few hours we decided to go the the famous Fat Tuesday. This establishment was very different from the ones in Vegas. This Fat Tuesday was a restaurant and at night it turned into a club. The ones in Vegas were just a counter tops and the drinks, you ordered them and then you left. I loved the environment of this one. The only downside is that if you have a cup from Vegas, it costs extra to fill it up. You are better off buying a brand new cup and refilling that. 

That night we wanted to go to a club but also be comfortable, so we decided to wear flats. Bad idea! Lol. We intended on going to Cameo on Washington Ave. We walked there, it was only a few blocks up from our hotel, and once we got there a bouncer told us that we had to be wearing heels in order to get in. We were a little bummed but we didn't want to go back to the room to get heels so we went back to Mango's because we had so much fun the night before.

Saturday was another beach day for us. We walked all the way down to 1 Ocean Drive and went to the beach there. On our walk down we stopped at Wet Willie's and grabbed a drink. As I mentioned, the beach is one of my favorite places, so I really enjoyed spending Friday and Saturday afternoon on the beach with my girls. 

Our eating habits were really bad on this trip. We didn't eat as much as we should have and that's why I haven't covered any food other than the restaurant at the hotel. But all the places on Ocean Drive looked so appealing. I don't think you can go wrong eating anywhere. Just be careful of the prices and make sure to ask for a price if you don't see one. I ordered a cranberry juice at breakfast and I was surprised to see when I got my bill that it was $8.00. One really good place we ate was The Clevelander. It is the sister hotel of Essex House and it also turns into a nightclub at night. Which we had free entrance to since we were guests at Essex House. All we had to do was show our room key!

Saturday night we planned on going to Mansion. We met up with some friends that were locals and they explained to us that the club is a toss up and if you don't know anyone there, or if you aren't dressed appropriately, it wasn't guaranteed that you would get in. We all had on heels and looked cute but we didn't want to waste our time standing in a long line and getting turned away so we decided to go to Fat Tuesday. We got there and that line was crazy long so we went back The Clevelander (mentioned above) for a little and then, you guessed it, back to Mango's. So it's safe to say that Mango's was our favorite spot lol. We stayed out at Mango's until they closed at 5am. We had to be at the airport by 7 so it was pretty crazy of us to stay out that late but we were having so much fun.

That pretty much raps up my trip. I know it's not much but that's because we spent so much time being beach bums that we didn't do much else. This was a very relaxing vacation for us and I don't regret not going to the hottest of clubs and being on the party scene. The only thing I do regret is listening to my friends when they said, "No, that's not the Versace Mansion." It totally WAS the Versace Mansion and I didn't get to take a picture! But I'll share some pictures from our trip and I hope this will inspire someone to go to Miami and be a beach bum. 

Sand gets EVERYWHERE! Lol.

I got back word that my Vegas posts inspired someone to go to Vegas. I was so happy to hear that! If any of my posts inspire you to go to that place, PLEASE SHARE. That's part of the reason I do this to inspire others to travel. Again, hope you all enjoy this post and see you next time.


Sep 11, 2014

Viva Las Vegas - Part 2

**Click pictures to enlarge**

This is the second post about my travels to Las Vegas, NV. The picture above was taken before we left to go to the airport, which is why Natashia isn't pictured, she met us at the airport. 

The two things that were on our agenda since we first planned this trip back in January were pool parties and clubs. We all did individual research and came together, in group chat, to discuss what we found. We all put our ideas out there and came together with a pretty solid game plan. However, when we arrived in Vegas, and throughout our trip, we did things on a whim. Some things that we preplanned made this list, while others are still on our to-do list for when we go back.

Drai's Beach Club

Aside from the pool party at our hotel (Flamingo Hotel) we attended a pool party at the popular Drai's Beach Club located inside The Cromwell. Drai's Beach Club is a rooftop pool that doubles as a club at night. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get a picture of the club area and we didn't get a chance to attend the night club, but it is definitely on my to-do list when I go back.

My favorite aspect about Drai's was the scenery and the view. You couldn't see the entire strip but you could see some of the most famous sites from the pool. 

The Flamingo GO Pool

The Flamingo GO Pool was our go-to place when we wanted to waste time. The best part of being on vacation is having the option to be lazy. And no better place to lay back and catch some rays in your favorite bikini and matching sunnies than the pool. 

We met some funny characters at the GO Pool. The most comical group of guys we met were 3 guys from the UK who were wandering around with a toy phone. According to them the phone was real, you could make calls AND take selfies. Of course we took selfies, what girl doesn't love a good selfie?! Even if its on a toy phone. Lol. We also met some funny guys from our hometown and this group of ladies on a bachelorette party trip from Canada.Unfortunately, we didn't snap a picture with those lovely ladies.

The one thing that all of us girls agreed on doing, and stuck to it, was nightclubs. We made a few mistakes along the way but we did end up attending some great clubs. The first night, we fell asleep after a long day of traveling and never went out at all, I know we suck! Blame it on the 3 hour time difference. But the second night we vowed that wouldn't happen again and we made it out to  Surrender Nightclub.

Surrender Nightclub

Surrender is located at the beautiful Wynn Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. The atmosphere at the club was nice but it was our least favorite club. The music was okay, we prefer more Hip Hop music and this club played more Pop.  Since the club was not our scene we left after only being there for a little over an hour. I didn't get any pictures inside the club but I'll post the link to the website so that you guys can check it out for yourself. Surrender Nightclub

Haze Nightclub

The next night we attended Haze Nighclub at the Aria. The music was a mix between Hip Hop and Pop so it was perfect and much better than the night before. We took pictures and danced the night away to some great music. The highlight of our night, was meeting this really nice guy, who we later found out was a NFL Rookie, who told us that we were beautiful and that he loved black women. Shout out to him for being the nicest guy we met in Vegas!

The one thing I will warn you all about, DO NOT purchase tickets, wristbands or anything else from people on the strip. We made that mistake and learned that all the things they sell you on the strip are already FREE. However, you can use the people on the strip for information about what clubs to go to. You tell them what kind of music you like and they can point you in the right direction. 

Well, that about raps up my posts about Vegas. I covered as much as I could, while not stepping into the "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" territory. I hope Vegas through my eyes has inspired someone to go and have a great time. If you have any additional questions about anything that I didn't cover in these posts you can tweet me. My Twitter.

Here's some other photos from my trip:


2018 Travel List & Goals

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Can y'all believe that its 2018!? Because I didn't properly welcome in 2018 on my Jamaica post I want to do...