cleshopaholic travels

My Baller Day (is this how the other side lives?)

Last Friday, Nick and I each took the day off work and got on an airplane to Chicago, to attend the wedding of our friends, Chris & Abby. We had a 7:30 am flight, and we landed in Chicago bright and early and took the L downtown to our hotel. While on the L, I was busy texting with friends, making plans for weekend brunch. Halfway through our ride, the following conversation occurred:

Nick: What time is the wedding tomorrow?
Me: Hang on let me check... I open up wedding website on my iPhone. CUE COLD SWEAT!!!!

Why, you might ask? Because we were in Chicago on the WRONG weekend!! *FACEPALM*

So there we were in Chicago; no hotel; no wedding. Thanks to some extremely efficient customer service from United, Nick and I were booked on the 5:30 pm flight back to Cleveland. But we had so much time to kill! So what did we do? We shopped, ate, and drank, and totally lived the baller lifestyle for the day!!

Lunch at Publican Quality Meats. The delicious Bloody Mary's come with a chaser of beer. The food was so so good! Reminded me a little of Market at Flying Fig

Drinks on the rooftop patio at Little Goat with the future newlyweds! 

Finishing up with the champagne of beers, because, why not?

Overall, a very unexpected day in Chicago, and all because of a silly mistake I made. Although to be honest, we had so much fun, that we may intentionally take a day-trip to a nearby city using our United miles next year! 

The Weekender

REMINDER: If you haven't entered the GIVEAWAY for The Movement Factory, you should definitely do so here!

I've been on a lot of short trips lately, both for work and pleasure. And while a roll-y bag is all well and good, I sometimes want something I can just throw over my shoulder. I recently purchased The Weekender Bag at Saturday, and I have to say, this is probably THE best designed weekend bag EVER!!

Why do I LURVE this bag?
1. It has a separate section on the bottom that fits 2-3 pairs of shoes! No more having to wrap your shoes separately
2. An outside pocket to stick your boarding pass/phone while you're in the airport
3. A removable interior pocket (I use it to store my mini flat iron)
4. Two interior drawstring pockets.
5. Shoulder strap in addition to handles
6. You can also design your very own Weekender if you're looking for a more unique look!!

The standard size bag (not the small one) fits a pair of pajamas, a set of gym clothes, a dress, a suit, toiletries, and there's still room to spare! I could comfortably fit in another outfit if I wanted to!

What do you use when you travel for a weekend trip? Do you have a bag you LURVE?

Cleshopaholic Travels to Put In Bay

This past weekend, N and I went to Put-In-Bay for a volleyball tourney-- well, he played. I sunbathed. And I got some SERIOUS tan lines.  There were 10 of us at the Island Club, and as is the custom in Put-In-Bay, we partied like we were 21. I'm paying for it today.

The ride over

Early in the night....

Some (well, one) of us, didn't fare so well...

The 9 am start was ROUGH!

A little slice of tranquility... 

Look who I found!! 

Saturday night bar hopping! 

Dueling pianos! 

And just like that, the weekend was over, and it was time to go home! 

I hadn't been to Put-In-Bay since 2004, and I was pleasantly surprised this time around! Its more than a little frat-party-like, but fun nonetheless!!

Cleshopaholic Travels: Singapore

The air conditioning is on the fritz. Which means that its 82F in our house. Combined with the humidity, it means thats temperatures are very much like those in Singapore. N and I were in Singapore as part of our awesome vacation in April, to celebrate my Mom's birthday. She has always wanted to have a Singapore Sling at the legendary Long Bar at the  Raffles Hotel, so that is exactly what we did.

The inner courtyard

The Long Bar at Raffles. I love the old school fans. But they did nothing for the heat, if I'm being perfectly honest. 

Two of my favorite buildings in Singapore. I just love all the colors in the one on the left, and the one on the right reminds me of something I would see in The Great Gatsby (watched it in 3D and LOVED it!! It was absolutely gorgeous)

One of the nights we enjoyed dinner at Clarke Quay Singapore-- its a densely packed area with restaurants and bars. Sorta like a lifestyle center with restaurants. It was really nice to eat on the water. I really wish we had more lakefront restaurants in Cleveland....

Our hotel in Singapore. 

N and I took my parents to brunch at Sky 57 at the Marina Bay Sands to celebrate my Mom's birthday. As you can see, the views were absolutely incredible!! The next time we visit Singapore, I definitely want to spend at least one night at the Marina Bay Sands so I can hang out at this AWESOME infinity pool!!! 

So one of the places I loved most in Singapore was the Louis Vuitton store at the Marina Bay Sands. Not only does it have incredible views (top right), it is actually built IN the harbor, so part of the store is underwater. There is even a dock around the side, you know, just in case you want to dock your yacht and go shopping!!! There is a LOT of high end shopping in Singapore-- I counted at least 4 Cartier Stores and Louis Vuitton stores, but I'm fairly certain there were a lot more. 

If you do visit Singapore, I highly recommend getting a hotel room with a harbor view-- as you can see, amazing views at day and night!

Overall, I really really enjoyed Singapore. It is incredibly clean, almost disturbingly so for a city of its size, but its nice to be able to walk around and not have to worry about dodging dog poop and potholes.  Singapore's laws actually make it quite difficult and EXTREMELY expensive to own a car, and the public transport system is extremely efficient, comfortable and in no short supply.

So if you end up way on the East side of the world, I highly recommend a stop in Singapore.  You can hit most of the big sights in 3 days, and its definitely worth a quick stop!!

Cleshopaholic travels: Bali

So, you might have noticed, I've been MIA for a while. While on hiatus, N and I took an INCREDIBLE vacation all the way across the world. One of the stops on this trip was Bali.

It is incredibly beautiful, more beautiful that it looks like on TV. Everything about Bali is beautiful: the traditional clothes (which I will get to in a later post), the incredible temples, the offerings that people leave at their temples at home, even the food is beautiful!!

The only downside is that alcohol is really expensive in Bali-- an inexpensive local beer (think Bud/Miller) is the equivalent of $10!!! But rather than focus on the one negative, lets look at some pictures instead:

The incredible beaches. The top right corner is a sculpture of a crustacean, and the little umbrella in front houses a holy offering-- its made of bamboo and palm leaves, and usually has fruit and flowers in in it. The two pictures in the bottom panel are from a seafood restaurant on the beach. 

Bali is famous for its beautiful temples. Unlike in India, the temples are only open on certain days. They are only accessible to people who are there to worship and in traditional dress. The top panel is a temple on the lake, and the bottom panel shows two different temples at the sea. Both spots were absolutely breathtaking! The pictures do not do them justice. AT. ALL. 

One of my favorite parts of the trip was a visit to a monkey sanctuary. Here they monkeys just run around, and are fairly tolerant of humans, although you are warned to (a) not step on the monkey's tails and (b) not carry any food into the sanctuary. None of these pictures have any zoom-- they were literally THISCLOSE!! At one point, another tourist was a victim of theft by monkeys-- they stole his water bottle, opened it, and drank right out of it!!! Its a little dark, but the bottom left panel is a teeny tiny baby monkey--- SO STINKIN CUTE!!!

 The beautiful Balinese food. We tried a number of traditional dishes like Nasi Goreng (the national dish), Satay, Nasi Campur and Mie Goreng. Delicious!!!

Unfortunately we weren't there long enough to fit in scuba diving or snorkeling or surf lessons, but if Bali is on your travel wish-list, I would highly recommend giving yourself at least 5 days to see the sights and get in some water sports! 

And don't forget to pack your sunblock!!