Summer in Europe Part II

Summer in Europe Part II

I  hope you enjoyed my post last week recapping the first half of my trip abroad last month. As promised, I’m chronicling the second part now, including my time in Budapest, Hungary and a quick strop through London before heading home.

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After such a fabulous time in Croatia and Slovenia, it was time to explore Hungary, specifically the capital, Budapest. Budapest is an extremely modern and lively city, perfect for young travelers with plenty of shops and bars. On our first night, we had a much needed sit down dinner before watching the sun set on Danube river over drinks at a rooftop bar. Similar to Ljubljana, their are plenty of cobblestone streets with outdoor dining and gelato shops.

The following morning, we headed a little north to enjoy the famous Széchenyi Thermal baths for the afternoon. Budapest is known as a city of spas, with many places to relax, including this historic landmark.  I loved the architecture and culture of the area, with plenty of good people watching too. Budapest is also known for their “ruin bars” which refer to their bar scene of the old historic Jewish quarter. We headed to the very first Ruin Bar, Szimpla Kert to experience it all for ourselves. The historic district of Budapest has become extremely trendy and it’s the perfect area to stay in.

We broke up the trip to Budapest by doing a day trip to Szentendre on our last full day. The small beach town was full of great local vendors, dessert shops and colorful buildings. Even though I  love seeing the city life of a new country, often times I  can get a better taste of the local flavor in a smaller town. That’s where some of the best shopping is too! 😉

The last leg of the trip was a quick visit to our stomping grounds of London before heading home. With only 36 hours to explore London, we had to choose wisely. Plenty of walking around the city led to my favorite shopping at Spitalfield Market, followed by a tea bus tour. It’s the best way to see London while also enjoying a can’t miss activity! To finish off the last night of the entire trip we sat down to dinner at Duck & Waffle to look over the entire city.

The final dinner of any vacation is always a little bitter sweet, but it’s always fun to reminisce on the entire trip, talking about all the people we encountered and remembering our favorite moments. This adventure could not have been more perfect from start to finish! I can’t wait until the next, where new culture and experiences await.

More posts to come next week,

TW

Air BNB in Budapest

Restaurant and Bar in Budapest

Tea Tour and Dinner in London

Chicago Go-Tos

Chicago Go-Tos

For someone who enjoys traveling so much, coming home to Chicago is always an amazing feeling. As I  look out the window of my Uber, I always love being greeted by the skyline and know I’ve chosen a world-class city to call home. Between showing around out of town guests or receiving texts from friends asking for suggestions before coming into the Windy City, I  felt like it was time to chronicle my favorites over the past five years of living here.

Eat: If you’re coming to Chicago and you only have time to do one thing, it better be eat! I’ve been to some amazing places around the world with great food and Chicago is honestly my favorite food city. Some of my top picks include:

 

Willow Room for Brunch, RL Restaurant and Honey Butter Chicken for Lunch, and Little Goat Diner, Mott St. and Antique Taco for Dinner.

Restaurants here come and go, but the real winners stick around. Do you research first, or just come to me first. 😉

Drink: Chicago is also home to some spectacular cocktails and mixologist. Keep in mind a good drink is gonna cost you, depending on your location. The farther from the city center you go, the more affordable your drink will be. Think… $17 for the Grant Park view at Cindy’s or the $8 house punch at my favorite, The Whistler, in Wicker Park.

 

Other musts include The Broken Shaker (inside Freehand hotel), Billy Sunday in Logan Square, MoneyGun and Park & Field.

Do: You can never get bored here, another plus of the city. Even in its coldest months, there’s at least a handful of events or exhibits to check out. For a scenic views, try Field Museum, (featured pictured) the greenery around Garfield Park Observatory, or just walk around Lincoln Park Zoo!

 

For brunch and home inspiration, try Restoration Hardware and its 3 Arts Cafe.Shopping is just as good too, my personal favorites are UnaMae’s in Wicker Park, Festive Collective, and Gather Home+Lifestyle.

 

My absolute favorite part about Chicago is that it’s always changing. I’ve been here for five years and my list of new places to explore continues to grow! I’m always finding new murals to snap, bites to savor, or hidden gem bars in different neighborhoods.

Curious to hear what your favorite places in Chicago are, whether you’re a local or not! Comment them below if you’d like, just don’t forget to grab some Garret’s Chicago Mix on your next visit.

-TW

Take Flight in Aviate

Take Flight in Aviate

Like many of you, travel is a big part of my life. I’m either looking for my next dream destination online or already sitting at the airport, deciding whether I’m going to eat Chili’s Too or if I’ll be dropping a small fortune on tabloids before boarding my flight.

Travel wear has seen its share of changes over the years. The original travelers dressed to the nines, even in coach class, but then came an acceptable norm to look like you rolled right out of bed. I’ve stared to notice that now we’re somewhere in between, with athleisure looks looking less slovenly. I myself have been known to wear jeans and Chelsea boots as I stroll through TSA precheck. So how can you be comfortable, somewhat stylish and look ready to fly? With an easy and travel friendly accessory.

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I recently found Aviate, a unique cap company dedicated to share your travel endeavors with simple yet fashion forward hats. Today I’m wearing their Chicago model, ORD, which represents the three letter code for Chicago O’Hare International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the country.

Loving the pop of color and how it shows pride for the city without spelling it out… in a more traditional sense that is. Choose your region and your go-to airport is more than likely available, custom orders can be made too!

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Wearing this has already got me brainstorming on my next trip! Something tropical, out of country perhaps? Who knows, but like Aviate states, play hard, travel often, a motto I  can definitely get behind.

-TW

Photography: Callie Craig 

2018 Inspiration

2018 Inspiration

How is everyone’s 2018 going so far?…. cold, I’m assuming, but full of of optimism and positivity for what’s to come I hope! The January agenda often comes with an empty fridge, a closet purge and the dismantling your Christmas tree and other decorations. This year, while doing my annual sifting through the previous year’s cluster of old photos and keepsakes, I got inspired to catalog what’s inspiring me for 2018 in the form of a little mood board. One’s man trash is another man’s treasure, except in this case, I’m both men.

Here’s what inspiring me this year:

Travel: Perhaps it’s the 9 degrees talking but I’m already thinking about my next adventures, and I’m hoping for some tropical locations. My trip to the Bahamas last year was the perfect way to get inspired to photograph my colorful surroundings and I hope to do the same this year in another island oasis. I’ve enjoyed reading more travel magazines of late, especially Airbnb‘s, which features local stories from hosts and listings in various cities! It’s really well done.

Photography: I finally got a polaroid camera this Christmas which I’ve already been have having a lot of fun with! I’m excited to capture more in the moment photos and maybe even dabble more with black & white shots. I’ve also been loving the beauty of and simplicity of architectural photography.

Color: 2018’s color of the year is Ultraviolet and I’m curious to see how it’ll be worked into mainstream men’s fashion and home decor. Millennial pink is surely here to stay, but I’m happy to make room for another color or two, especially one so beautiful on it’s own.

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2018 should be about standing out, not blending in! Taking risks. Trying new things, with new people and in new places! What are you looking forward to most this year? What or who is inspiring you?

-TW

 

New York State of Mind

New York State of Mind

My trip last week to felt like it lasted a New York Minute, and no, I’m talking about the Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen classic, it was simply a whirlwind of experiencing the very best of the Big Apple in just four days.

I headed to NYC for the  first time in about five years to celebrate my 24th birthday and experience Thanksgiving with my best friend and it couldn’t have been a better visit! This would be the third trip this year where I’ve stayed with a local, which I’ve loved because it takes a lot of guess work out of getting around. In a city like New York, I can use all the help I can get.

On day one, we hit the ground running with a scenic ferry ride to Liberty Island and Ellis Island, which were both historical and great views of the city. We took a stop through Times Square before having dinner at Chinese Tuxedo and then finishing up the night for drinks at NoMo Kitchen in Soho. It was the perfect way to toast to the end of 23.

We painted the town red on my birthday and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. After donuts from Peter Pan’s, we hopped on the Gossip Girl site tour, a personal favorite, to act out our fantasies of the Upper East Side for the afternoon. Highlights included seeing Constance, sitting on The Met steps, and getting sweets at Dylan’s Candy Bar! If you’re a fan of the show, I’d highly recommend it. Following the tour, we headed to Soho, one of my favorite areas to window shop before getting ready for dinner at Peter Luger, one of the best known steak dinners in New York, and it did not disappoint. The night ended with a scenic view of the whole city from Westlight in Brooklyn!

I  had what I’d consider a true New York Thanksgiving by beating the crowds to Central Park and 72nd to catch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It was really fun to be a part of the action this year, and after we strolled through Central Park. We took more photos at Dumbo and around the Brooklyn Bridge before having a laid back night.

 

On my final day, the morning started at Sadelle’s, a NYC bagel and lox institution adorned in Tiffany blue decor with the best french toast I’ve ever had. I  made sure to check out the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez -Louis Vuitton exhibit. (It’s free to the public and open till January 7th) If you’re a fashion lover, you’d enjoy it. Just steps from the 9/11 Memorial and The Oculus, it was perfect to check those off my bucket-list too! After the day in Manhattan, I  grabbed a slice of pizza at Williamsburg Pizza before heading home.

Like most of my trips, I squeezed a lot in a short amount of time, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. You can check out the map below to see everywhere I went!

This was an incredible trip to start 24 and catch up with old friends! Next week I’ll be sharing more fall to winter looks as the countdown to Christmas begins!

Happy Friday,

TW