Monday, September 1, 2014

east of eden {carmel travel diary}


"I want to describe the Salinas Valley in detail but in sparse detail so that there can be a real feeling of it. It should be sights and sounds, smells and colors but put down in simplicity..."
-- John Steinbeck, The East of Eden Letters

In high school, I went through a big John Steinbeck phase. Naturally, it started with Of Mice and Men (which I read and reread to this day and yes, it still makes me cry) but then I quickly devoured my way through his other works. East of Eden. The Grapes of Wrath. Tortilla Flat. And while his characters inevitably stole my heart, I think I've always most admired his ability to evoke a vivid sense of time and place, particularly summer in Salinas Valley, just a few hours south of San Francisco. 

The rolling farm lands, sweeping coastlines and the feeling of lingering dusk after a hard day's work. Whenever I drive down Highway 1, I like to think of how Steinbeck viewed California. Wildly romantic and with so much promise. (Personally, I don't think much has changed!)

This past weekend, I hopped down the coast and along the Salinas Valley to Carmel to unwind before flying out again, this time to Turkey. It was the perfect excuse to recharge, regroup and just be. Hopefully this travel diary does the sights, sounds, smells and colors justice. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

with love, from jamaica {real style, real travels}


It only seems fitting as we're about to bid summer adieu, that I share photos from what has quickly become my favorite trip of the season for my second Real Style, Real Travels installment. Oh, Jamaica. Where to start? To be perfectly honest, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. While I love lounging on beaches and sipping on tropical drinks, I'm much more of the go, go, go type when it comes to vacations (remember London and New Zealand?). Basically, what it boils down to is that I'm really bad at sitting still for too long. But this trip? Well, let's just say I'm a believer now.  


Usually, when I reflect back on vacations to eventually post about here on the blog, I like to make a list of all the things I miss about my particular stay there. Here's the condensed version of what I wrote on my return flight back from Jamaica:

Morning swims in the Caribbean Sea.
Breakfasts out on my room patio, waves lapping nearby.
Dirty banana cocktail, made by Marcel the bartender.
Canopy beds that catch the breeze just right when you're settling in for the evening.
Dinner conversations that lasted into the early morning hours (we were usually the last table to leave).
Paddleboarding. Kayaking. Ziplining. River rafting. (No sitting still for me!)
Interior decor designed by Ralph Lauren himself.
Hammock time. Enough said.
Farm to table meals. 
Roadside coconuts.
Late night infinity pool sessions.
The crew (aka Beca, Justin, Jenny, Olivia, Adam, Sazan, Marianna and Thuda -- Marianna's mama!)
Living in cut offs (like this Cult pair) and slip on shoes (hello, Soludos!)
SUNSETS.


Now, before I unleash you to browse through the rest of my snaps, I have to thank the amazing Socialtye team (I'm looking at you, Beca and Justin!) for 1.) organizing such a fabulous trip and itinerary and 2.) putting up with us crazy bloggers and our compulsion to stop every 10 seconds to take photos. (Seriously, thank you.)

Secondly, to the incredibly gracious and kind team at Round Hill Resort, my revived soul is indebted to you. Thank you for hosting and sharing your little slice of the island with us. I think I speak for the whole crew when I say this, we'll be back. Very soon. Everything irie!

A rum cocktail a day, keeps the doctor (or at least the frowns) away. These two girls, Jenny and Olivia, had me smiling (and drinking) the whole time.

This Alexander McQueen dress borrowed from The RealReal was the perfect island frock.

My uniform? This Isabel Marant shirt borrowed from The RealReal, Cult denim shorts, several pairs of Soludos on heavy rotation and the MVP Tory Burch beach tote also via The RealReal.

Spent a lot of time in this bad boy.

Indulged in a little roadside coconut treat -- so fresh, the stand owner literally picked them, whacked them open with a machete, stuck a straw in and we were on our way. Other local fruit to try? Guineps! They're like a cross between a lychee and a lime. 

Went adventuring for the day with Chukka tours. When I found out we were going both ziplining and driving ATVs, I may have done a little happy dance.

The Soludos gang. // Told you I lived in that hammock! // Celebrating our last evening together the only way we know how: a group selfie that rivals Ellen's Oscar selfie. Just sayin'.

But really, let's talk sunsets. Seriously, some of the best I've ever witnessed. The pinks, oranges, reds, purples. So incredible.

Outfit details: Dress: Alexander McQueen borrowed from The RealReal; Shoes: Reed Krakoff (similar style here)

Outfit photos by Jenny Ong // All other photos by Krystal Bick

This post was in partnership with Round Hill Resort, Soludos, Cult Denim and The RealReal. As always, all opinions and styling are my own. Thank you for supporting posts that keep This Time Tomorrow's doors open.
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