Long Beach, CA

Let’s talk about Long Beach for a minute. John Ryan and I recently got back from there and enjoyed a mini vacation at the Seal Beach Yacht Club in California. California is a beautiful state with its beaches and ski mountains. One of those beaches is Long Beach and if you ever visit there, don’t forget about the Seal Beach Yacht Club. Living in California, you’ll notice a large array of different cultures that reside there. Expand your minds and be open to change and new things. You could learn how to surf or visit Yosemite National Park. There are other breathtaking parks there to hike around if you’re interested. There are iconic highways and legendary dining on your drive. Stop in San Diego or San Francisco. Check out Ghirardelli Square and Alcatraz Island or wine country in San Ynez Valley. Really, the tourist spots are endless.

This time around, and until next time, we tried out the Seal Beach Yacht Club. It did not disappoint. It’s easy to become a member or just be a visitor. They hold parties and dances throughout the year. If you live close, it’s worth it. Being apart of your community is worth it. We totally relished in its beauty and the club’s amenities. They have cruises and races. Watching a Yacht race in real time should be on your bucket list if it isn’t already. If becoming a yachtsman is something you’re interested in, get ready for a ride. I’ve heard they are very welcoming in that department and competitive at the same time. The camaraderie is always what interests me. I am a socialite and love to be involved. They are currently accepting new members, but have a cap of 500. Don’t think you have to own a boat in order to be a member. However, if you plan on racing, you will need your own. By the way, if you have a boat to race, this club has your name written all over it. They race at different times throughout the year, even on the coldest of days. Don’t forget, this is Southern California. It’ll be nice out. If this is interesting to you, I encourage it and would love to hear if any of you will be joining or trying it out for fun!

While in Long Beach, visit Naples Island. They have boat parades this time of year and Christmas lighting. It is rather peaceful and less touristy than you’d think! Belmont Shore is another fun and exciting place to be especially at night. I haven’t spoken with anyone who came back from visiting there and wasn’t impressed.

I love vacations, especially when they’re with my guy. As we travel and learn, I’d love to share my experiences with you and hopefully give you some insight on where to travel to as well as some of my reviews. As I share, send me your feedback too! I may have missed a spot or want to know a “hole-in-the-wall” type of place. I love quiet, and I love loud. There isn’t anything I won’t try.

A Reflection

As we approach Aspen Mountain opening, I’ve been reflecting on some real things in my life. I feel as if I’m still debriefing from Japan. I could really go on and on about it. Some people have been asking me for a good place to check out everything Japan has to offer. Here is a national tourism website. Here is a basic guide in case you’re interested in taking a trip there some day (highly encouraged).

Japanese people have found a way in my heart. They are the kindest, most helpful, genuine, happy, and loving souls who made my trip better than I could have ever hoped for. I want to give a very special shoutout to Tomoko Kasai, Nobuko Kang, and Aki Weng for making my last night in Japan so special. Japan is possibly a once in a lifetime trip, but I’m hoping that isn’t the case for me! My time in Japan has given my inspiration and rejuvenated my soul.

I am a traveller, a go-getter, and an ambitious woman always seeking to learn. My experience in Japan has left me breathless. I feel truly cultured and touched. Everyone I met opened their hearts to Crystal and I. I met some bucket-list worthy people and travelled to some bucket-list worthy places. I laughed, I cried, and I soaked up every minute I was there to experience the wonderful country. I have a completely different perspective on life.

I am so grateful for a the love and light that surrounds me these days. My wonderful friends and family have been so tremendously supportive in my endeavors. Johnryan has been there to support all of my ambitions, and it gives me an overwhelming amount of love and joy to be by his side. Let’s take this month and not leave anything for granted. Don’t forget to say, ‘I love you,’ and hug your people goodbye.

Harboring anger and hate only leads to more of that. When you don’t self-reflect, how can you learn from any past mistakes? Think about it. Every workplace has an AAR (After Action Review) or an evaluation. Think of any survey or evaluation you’ve been asked to fill out after an event or conference. Maybe you’ve given these out, maybe you’ve received these. They have a purpose and we should do the same for ourselves. It will ultimately hurt you to be in denial. Wallowing in self-pity never did anyone good. Reflecting on your life and what you’ve accomplished so far may be something to dig into. Doesn’t this sound like a New Year’s post? Why not start early though? Life is so incredibly short.

Japan

I have been dying to let you in on all my adventures from Japan. This country has a part of my soul. I truly appreciate culture and love to learn. Tokyo made it easy for me to love and learn. The people there are so incredibly welcoming and colorful! New York City vs. Tokyo=Tokyo wins for the busiest and nicest of people all in one. Where do I even begin?

Crystal and I stayed at the Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo. The 45th floor is where rooms and suites begin. Everything else is all about their amenities and restaurants. They have seven by the way (Azure 45, Towers, La Boutique, Hinokizaka, the Lobby Lounge, the Bar, and the Ritz-Carlton Cafe and Deli)! Of course we did the spa. The views just about anywhere are absolutely breathtaking. Whether you’re visiting the spa or dining, it is speechless day or night. Just look at the colorful city. I could stare for hours. Check out my Instagram to stay up to date on where I’ve been. I promise it won’t be boring. The Ritz-Carlton actually offers tours from their hotel. Some of them include the Sumo tour, the Whiskey tour, the Shrines and Gardens tour, and many others.

We used Yampu Tours to help us along the way. I can’t say enough about them. They were very accommodating. I will be using them again. Yampu Tours even met us when we landed. They went out of their way to make sure our stay was worth it.

TOKYO DISNEYLAND. It was magical. It was beautiful. It was surreal. It’s intriguing to me to see and compare the two theme parks (Tokyo and US). How many people in their lifetime will get to do this? There are a few differences. While Disneyland in Anaheim has California Adventure Park, Tokyo Disneyland offers Tokyo DisneySea. It is a bit smaller than the 500 acre park in the states, but has more of a theme park feel because the Disneyland in California is in the middle of a city while Tokyo Disneyland is perfectly tucked away. Everything is pretty much the same except songs are sung in Japanese. For a second, you can forget you’re even in Tokyo! I can’t forget to tell you about the food. There is a place dedicated to Mickey’s waffle. Everywhere I went in Disneyland, it did not disappoint. I’m so glad we stopped there.

Please look at this picture and tell me how adorable this is? One of the things I loved was being cultured. Immersed in a different world almost, I held on to places like this. So different than what I was used to, yet so unique and intricate in all it had to offer. From the food to the people, to the fashion, I could really go on and on. A place dear to my heart was Sukiyabashi Jiro. If you’ve never seen the documentary, Jiro Ono Dreams of Sushi, you must, and then eat at his restaurant. It gave me a new perspective, and I’ll never forget this experience.

Snow Snow Snow

Snow came early here in Aspen. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is! Does this mean the skiing is going to be epic? An early snow season means more bundling and coziness. It’s currently 36 degrees outside, and I’m not mad about it. Our deck has been covered in snow for the past couple of days. I’ve never been so happy to get out and ski the snow mass!

The Aspen Ski Resort is a place not to forget when you need a good reference. The lodging is reasonable and the views are absolutely breathtaking. If you need to find a good place to stay that fits in your budget, look at Aspen Snow Mass. I say that the views are breathtaking very generally because there isn’t a bad seat in the city. The mountains are truly amazing.

If you’ve never been here before. There are so many places to visit and things to do besides skiing. With your family, you could visit the Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center.

“The Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center — a multilevel, 2,300-square-meter childcare facility in Snowmass Village — brings the great outdoors inside with Colorado-themed play rooms and supervised activities for children ages 8 weeks to 4 years old.”

Don’t miss out on the SnowCat Dinner rides. The SnowCat will take you up to the Alpine Cloud Nine Bistro. I love how creative it is and different from the scenery of New York  or LA. Also, visit the Lynn Britt Cabin.

So much nightlife in the mix. Click the link here to see more details. We have the Ajax Tavern, Chair 9, the Limelight Lounge, 39 Degrees, Nest Public House, Escobar, the J-Bar, and many others. We’re all about recycling here, so prepare yourself for compostable and paper. Catch a local and ask them for some fun hole-in-the-wall places. They’ll be sure to let you know!

How many of you have heard of the Alpine Coaster? You can ride it during the night…scary! It’ll open November 22, so stop by around Thanksgiving. If you come down on a Friday, join the party at the Elk Lodge to celebrate the season. They normally have bonfires, food, music, and skiing under the lights.

As far as our mountains are concerned, scout out which one you’d rather visit: SnowMass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, and Buttermilk. Each one has its own personality, and there is no wrong one to ski on.

The Traveling Type

Happy week! Wish I could say happy weekend to some of you, but every day is feeling pretty awesome these days. I like to think of myself as a traveller. I’m a go-getter. After my trip to LA, my boyfriend and I decided to take a vacation in the South. Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina are just a few of the places we’ve stopped in. Better Than Sex Dessert Restaurant had their grand opening on October 5. This is a must stop! Don’t miss it if you’re driving through or planning on staying in Savannah. It’s a place made for couples.

Whether you’re rekindling or in love, stop in this dessert bar! From Barry White to Dean Martin, you won’t be able to get away from that lovin’ feelin’. To make a reservation, you can visit betterthansexdesserts.com or call (912)306-0309. Their address is 410 W. Broughton St. The restaurant is also in two other locations, but we just couldn’t miss this grand opening on Friday. Besides that, the city is absolutely gorgeous. Go down East River Street, visit Forsyth Park, or Savannah Historic District. The mansion in Forsyth Park is rich with history!

Johnryan’s childhood home was oceanfront in South Carolina. It was so perfect. There are just no words to describe the feeling. It brings you to another level of closeness. While in South Carolina, we visited the rooftop bar of Charleston. It was breathtaking. The Head Hilton is a place worth staying at while you’re down there! It is luxurious. Riding in the sunset on Hilton Head Island was a wonderful dream no one would want to wake up to. Waking up next to the ocean crashing next to you and the most important things in my life surround me, I don’t know how much more my heart could have handled. Chanel and Johnryan are my peoples. While there, visit the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. You can’t miss Fort Sumter or the Historic Charleston City Market either.  

The art of southern hospitality itself, Market Pavilion Hotel was divine. The service was great! At the Head Hilton, I can’t say a bad word about them. Our stays have been fulfilling, with no complaints here. Check out my Instagram stories to see more. I always post about my day. It could be little bits and pieces of a day or it could be a very big deal! You never know.

Find Your Center

Yoga at it’s finest. I have many hobbies and a many places and things I love to do. Yoga would have to be the most calming thing and self-medicating activity I’ve ever done. Even if you aren’t a regular yoga person, you can’t tell me it isn’t calming. Did you know that yoga originated in India 5,000 years ago? It isn’t just about breathing deeply and fitness, it involves meditation. Religion, knowledge, and sacred texts. I’m not crazy, this stuff is genuine. Another aspect of Yoga I love besides what it stands for, is that I can be on a hike and do Yoga just as well as anyone on a mat in a room, especially by the running streams and lakes along the way.

Please don’t forget to take time for you! Mental Health is so important. It can be a real struggle to find yourself once you’re “underwater.” Just getting your head above it is so hard. You are not alone in that journey! Hang on to anything good to bring yourself up to breathe. Definitely a proven way to recenter yourself is to include Yoga, meditation, nature, breathing, exercising, and doing what you truly enjoy. That may be golfing, it may be reading, it may be running, it may be traveling, or it may even mean being around your friends or family. I have found that Yoga helps recenter my mind, my soul, and my being. If you can find your center–your passion–you can be that light for someone else. I totally got serious on here, but it’s essential in our lives right now to know this information and embrace others going through it!

I was walking Weller Lake Trail the other day and tested out my Yoga skills against the background scenery. It was so serene. Beautiful was an understatement. I was completely in my element amongst the nature surrounding me. Aspen is absolutely wonderful. I love it every day. I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I left for LA. If you’re looking for trail ideas to hike, walk, run, or bike, make sure you follow me on Instagram: @checkoutamanda.

The Creperie Du Village: French Alpine Bistro was absolutely divine. Take a look at all of these popular avenues advertised this lovely restaurant. This spread shown was tagged to this restaurant on Instagram and looks of a little slice of heaven. Don’t underestimate the power of food. I eat pretty clean almost every day, so a spread like this may give me a reason to take a break one time. There’s nothing wrong with that, right? Reminder girls: Be comfortable in yourself and confident in your skin!

LA

Beverly Hills is my home away from home. I’m visiting my sister, Hanna, this week in LA, helping her move! I’m excited for her. So, while I’m here, why not indulge in a little of the amenities offered? Beverly Hills Hotel is a place I need to brag on. As a 5-star hotel, I expect it to be just about perfect. It has that old, vintage feel. At the same time, it’s modernized. The iconic red carpet and lettering on Sunset Boulevard makes me feel special and worth their time. Everybody becomes a somebody here. Excellent service all around. Let me share some fun stuff!

Our room was very spacious and gave off a high-class, yet homey feel. If you want a fireplace or balcony, I’ve learned that you have to request that ahead of time. The rooms feel like they’ve held a place to stay for so many stars. When I started researching the Beverly Hills Hotel, I learned that Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra both stayed there. The rooms were inspired by big celebrities such as these. I remember actually thinking the flowers in the room were fake. However, your room will be filled with fresh flowers. The huge living room area portrays their French windows and tree-lined patios. Just walking into the bathroom will give you a fancy glimpse into the past.

The outdoor and indoor terrace is the definition of their Bar Nineteen12. Networking here is a place for class and cocktails. The Polo Lounge in LA is the celeb choice of dining, and it is mine as well. Let me also squeeze in Soul Cycle! Click on the link to see what that beloved place is all about. The view of Beverly Hills Wilshire (Rodeo Drive) settles an anxious soul. The Concierge Lounge is a place to make dinner reservations, personal recommendations, and make use of their wonderful customer service.

The Spa. With a number of rooms to use, you and your partner can enjoy a couple’s massage or just some “me” time. It is so relaxing and breathtaking to relax and be with your best friend at the same time. In my case, Hanna was with me. Sometimes, it’s better to here from several other people. Alan gives his review along with others below. I linked other reviews to his name for you!

“A great spa in the classic Beverly Hills Hotel. Whenever I am visiting my mom I enjoy coming to The Beverly Hills Hotel and Spa. Is the spa expansive, yes. Is worth it, yes. What I like the most about The Beverly Hills Hotel Spa is the customer service.

From the minute you arrive to the minute you leave the customer service is great. I’m not a big fan of large spas. The Beverly Hills Hotel Spa is a perfect size. If you are a person who is looking for a great place to relive some stress. Then The Beverly Hills Hotel Spa for you.”-Alan B.

Free information: Vallet is around $48 a night pre-tipping. Your money pockets need to be prepared for that up ahead. Worth it? Completely!

You guys, there’s so much more to share with you about my trip. I’m only getting started. There may be an LA part 2 soon. I’ll let you in on another future adventure I’m taking…Japan with my bestie Crystal Hefner. Stay in touch with my blog to stay up-to-date!

Hangover Cure

You know how people get together and decide to go parasailing on a beach vacation? It’s one of the main excursions to go on once they’ve reached their destination. It’s so much fun! I’d want to go along too. Now that you have that in your brain, think about doing that over land instead of ocean. It’s called paragliding, and it’s the most freeing feeling in the world mostly because you’re up so high. It’s quiet, and it feels like you’re floating in the air. It has every similarity to parasailing except you are over land. Aspen Paragliding made me feel so safe and so alive
at the same time. In parasailing, you sort of take off from the ocean, sitting down. In paragliding, you run a short ways down a slope to lift off. There is no rope (except for the rope connected to the sail). In many ways, this may have been more daring than parasailing because you’re hanging free and in the open. I felt like I could conquer anything after the experience, including the hangover from the night before! If you need a cure, I’m telling you, paragliding will wake your head up! My sister and I went at 8 AM! Who does that? It was probably the best decision we could have made for that time because of how refreshing and new everything felt from the air and the sky. It’s hard to put into words the feeling. Probably the scariest part of all (well, one of the scariest) was when I had to sign the waiver! It’s always nerve wracking because you feel like you’re signing away your life! Exaggeration though it may be, you technically are. At least it’s my choice! The ironic thing is, I watched an episode of paragliding the day after experiencing it. Hearing other’s experiences let me know I wasn’t alone in the “awesomeness” of it all. I posted about it on my Instagram, and you should definitely check it out! Don’t miss all the stories and videos I post of my adventures. @checkoutamanda

Rewind to the night before. Dance party at 7908 (Aspen’s finest supper club). Me and my gal pals went for a girl’s night in white. I love themes. What better way to celebrate the last day of wearing white on Labor Day weekend than have a White Party! It should be illegal to have as much fun as we did. By the way, have I brought up this club with you? Even if I have, it’s fine. You need to hear it twice. It’s A-MAZE-ING. Literally, the website for 7908 will speak for
itself. Who tailors their restaurant to the eyes and ears of its consumers like this one does? It is high class, drinks of pleasure. It’s a place of the utmost acceptance, and they advertise pretty well.  Needless to say, the evening shifted to a very late one, and it turned into a hangover the following morning. So, who paraglides the morning after a night of partying? We do! With my sister, Hanna, in town, anything can happen.

#1 Healthy Diet?

I know you’ve heard me talk about Sun Basket before. If you’re interested, check out a gift card I’m giving away under my bio on Instagram @checkoutamanda. $40 off! I cannot tell you how healthy they have made me feel. The Mediterranean way is a fun, colorful way to eat. It doesn’t have to be boring! There are so many different diets out there. If you’re looking for something (1) healthy, (2) different than the norm, or (3) colorful, try the Mediterranean diet! Even if you’re not aiming to go on a diet, try it to clean out your system. It will make you feel so much better than you think it will. When thinking about which diet to begin, here are some key factors: You should have dairy, fruit, veggies, and olive oil daily. Fish, poultry, eggs, potatoes, nuts, and sweets should be rationed weekly, and red meat monthly. It is recommended to have four servings of those, so this could be weekly as well. I’ve included some of my favorite recipes below.

1. Salmon with Roasted Potatoes and Charred Broccoli

  • 7 ounces new potatoes
  • ½ pound broccoli
  • Fish options: 2 wild Alaskan skin-on salmon fillets (about 5 ounces each), 2 wild Alaskan skinless halibut fillets (about 5 ounces each)
  • 1 lemon
  • 5 or 6 sprigs fresh mint
  • Sun Basket sherry vinaigrette base (sherry vinegar – whole grain mustard)
  • ¼ cup roasted red peppers
  • 2 ounces mixed greens
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt

More details: https://sunbasket.com/recipe/salmon-with-charred-broccoli-and-roasted-new-potatoes  Roast the potatoes and broccoli*Prep & cook fish*Make the lemon-mint sauce*make sherry vinaigrette*assemble salad

2. Lemon Zested Scallops with Zucchini noodles and wilted greens.

  • Lemon zest sprinkled onto about 8 scallops. Cook 2 min. on each side.
  • Stripped Zucchini
  • Tomato
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Olives
  • Oregano
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Zucchini ribbons and kale cooked together in a skillet.

I posted this on my story and obtained ingredients from Sun Basket.

 

Sprinkle lemon zest over scallops*Cook scallops on a skillet-2 min. on each side*cook Zucchini ribbons and kale cooked together in a skillet* Add artichoke, olives, oregano, olive oil, and salt & pepper together and serve under scallops.

The Mediterranean Diet is proved to be the number one healthy diet in the US according to U.S. News and World Report. I wouldn’t doubt it. I love the Paleo, Vegan, and Vegetarian diets too, but I had to brag on this one because of my amazing meal last night. Maybe I’ll brag on some others in the future. You know another thing I like about these recipes through Sun Basket? They are so easy. I can cook these with no problem or doubt in my mind. They have given me another hobby to truly enjoy! I like to call myself a chef in my home. Cooking was never made easier.

Don’t mistake that physical exercise is just as important! Note, that I post that as well. Just today, I took three Yoga classes! I also hike and stay active with other activities. Pick activities or exercises that you enjoy doing. This can motivate you to stay active and keep the shape you want! You can’t have one without the other. It sound like common sense, but many people may only focus on one or the other. To obtain that figure and be healthy on the inside, you really need to have your goal aimed at both of these things.

Armistar Casino and Resort Spa

Surprises, surprises. Who doesn’t love a good surprise? My boyfriend just got his wisdom teeth pulled out, and I wanted to surprise him with a trip. I decided to book a trip to Armistar Casino and Resort Spa in Black Hawk. His reaction? Well, let’s just say both he and I really enjoyed our stay! The rooms are modern and classy, but still give you the Colorado feel. The views are amazing of course. You’re in Colorado! There are mountains everywhere. We literally live in a vacation
every single day. It’s hard to want to travel when you have a dream as your own backyard.

Their casino includes Slots, Table Games, and a Poker room. THIS is an awesome place to get started. Who loves to make more money and enjoy all of the amenities when you’re on vacation?! There are over 1,250 games when you make your way to the slot and video poker area. We may have tried out a few. If you have a penny, you’re in luck because they actually let you use pennies to gamble. Of course, if you have more, go for it!

Bar 8042 is pretty popular here. Best feature, in my opinion? They have a roaring fireplace. Gosh, I love Colorado. How many places have this or frankly need it? It makes it for a cozy, boozy evening. There’s some free entertainment there as well.

Fireside dining. I’m dying. Love fires. Love food. Love my life. They have anything from steak, to salads, to seafood, to a burger. There isn’t too much on the menu to keep you from making up your mind either. Sometimes, there’s so much available, and then I can’t make up my mind! In the evenings (if you’re not getting room service), I’d love to eat next to the fire. Another restaurant I love is Timberline Grill. Same kind of menu with a lot more choices food-wise. If you’ve never made a trip here, you’ve just got to. Can you believe they have a Starbucks? I can! Black Hawk didn’t disappoint us. Let me highlight Club 38 for a minute. You get the ultimate treatment here. It’s for members with mychoice. Highly recommend it.

As icing on the cake, how about a spa day? Aaaaahh…I can feel it now. They have separate men’s/women’s rooms for steaming, saunas, and spas. OR you can get a couple’s massage. Bring. It. On. I wish I could go back. I keep reminding myself that we will! On the flip side, they do have a fitness area for all you “can’t stop, won’t stop-pers.” I may be one of those.

I’ve never been to Ameristar’s in other cities, although I’ve heard there are more. This one has the perfect amenities, dining, and casino. It completely helps that the resort is in Black Hawk. I’m an advocate for hiking, but I’m also an advocate for relaxing. This trip was definite relaxation. Word of advice, in case you’re asking, I would book for this ahead of time because availability is scarce here! It’s
that wonderful.