The Travel Diary

Home for the Holidays Edition



Roots Raw Juice Bar

Happy Holidays, friends! It truly is one of the most wonderful times of the year! With so many festivities underway, it is easy to get into the holiday spirit, whether you are celebrating at home with loved ones, or some far away place across the seas. As for me, I typically split my time between my two home states; Florida and Ohio, so this year will not be any different. I spent Thanksgiving with some family who came to visit the Sunshine state, and later this week, I will be headed to the Buckeye state for Christmas. Soooo, here is how I am spending this year and how I traditionally do, when I am – Home for the Holidays.




Epcot, France Pavilion 

There is much to see and do, during the holiday season in the Sunshine state! From Christmas parades to tree lighting ceremonies, there is something for everyone to enjoy. As noted above, this Thanksgiving 2017, I had the pleasure of playing tour guide to some extended family, who came to visit. I must say, we had a fantastic time, taking in all that central Florida has to offer. We combed the grounds of two Disney theme parks, noshed out on some delectable comestibles at two of my favorite restaurants and even got in a little holiday shopping, too. It was great times for sure! As a matter of fact, I enjoyed myself so much that I couldn’t let the fun conclude, upon their departure back home. Since then, I have really gotten into the Christmas spirit, so here is a recap of my late November and early December Home for the Holidays, Florida Edition.



Magic Kingdom, Holiday Parade

The holidays would be incomplete (at least in Central Florida,) without a visit to the beautifully bedecked, Disney theme parks this time of year. Thus, I happily led the global tour of Epcot’s World Showcase, pointing out all of my favorite countries. We ate in Morocco, which is difficult for me to resist when at the park and spent a good amount of time at the France, U.K. and Italy Pavilions, as well. I mean seriously, who can resist gorgeous, giant red ornaments with replicas of some of Paris’ famous landmarks inside of them? Certainly not I. Ha! My family was also eager to sample French pastries, view the Italian themed architecture up close and take photos in the iconic red phone booths in the U.K. After trekking the globe, we decided to take it easy the next day, so we caught the ferry over to Magic Kingdom, to witness all the holiday splendor there. We watched the Christmas parade, snapped photos of the gorgeous Christmas lights throughout the park- and they even got the opportunity to test out a ride or two, before wrapping up the day. It was a magical afternoon indeed.

“Christmas in a Cup” Drink, Roots

As noted above, upon my family’s departure, I could not let the festivities end. Thus, I continued on in true (outdoor) Florida, holiday fashion. I attended the Christmas Tree Lighting in Winter Park, visited downtown Lake Mary’s winter wonderland at night (and by the way, I was completely in awe of their incredible light display at the square,) slurped down Root’s yummy, “Christmas in a Cup,” drink, as well as some Puerto Rican Egg Nog with a few friends, and of course witnessed countless other lightings and/or decorations, from Disney Springs to various other parts of Orlando. I am definitely in the spirit and looking forward to heading to Ohio next!




Vanilla Cupcake, Vegan Sweet Tooth 

Growing up in Midwest was a joy for me. As a youth, I loved building snowmen, making snow angels and sledding, too. It was the absolute best! For these reasons and more, I would not change my northeast Ohio roots for anything! As a matter of fact, it wasn’t until I got older that my heart “grew cold” on the idea of frigid temps and snow- pun intended! LOL! After spending several, unconventional November and/or December holidays surrounded by palm trees, the beautiful winter scapes up north, lost some of their luster. However, I would not trade the time I get to spend with family, for all the green tea in China- and I love tea! But… I love seeing mi familia and bringing them Florida goodies more. It warms my heart in a way that the outdoors simply cannot! We spend meaningful time together; shopping, laughing, eating and making very important trips over to Vegan Sweet Tooth bakery, so that I can indulge in the most delightful cupcakes ever. Haha! Yum, I get happy just thinking about them!! And who can resist seeing the beautiful, smiling faces of those you resemble and getting the best hugs and kisses from little and big (clarification- children and adults…not referring to size) people, who are so thrilled to see your smiling face. Sooo, I pull out my winter coats, toss on heavy sweaters, jeans and UGGs and head up north to relish in all the love they have to give. There is nothing like eating my mom’s delicious side dishes (no meat for me.. remember) and my nephew’s decadent desserts, or chatting away with my niece about all the cute boys in class. Haha!! These are the best of times in life. So- this is why my time gets split in twos. From trimming trees to wrapping all of my mom’s gifts for her, (the ones that she gives to others) these are a few of my favorite things! So this concludes the Ohio edition. Go Bucks!! Had to slide that in.

What can I say; I have the best of both worlds!!! Tis the season to be jolly and tis the season to travel between two states! Thus, I am expecting some more great times before the holidays come to a close. And come New Year, well, let’s just say it will be past time for a “new” adventure, so stay tuned. Happy Holidays and remember, Jesus is the reason for the season. Peace, love and blessings to you all! Until next time, safe travels!


What do you have planned for the holidays? Drop us a line and let us know. We want to hear how you plan to spend the most festive time of the year!

*In full disclosure- I am currently on project with The Walt Disney Co. (servicing Disney Cruise Line.) This project in no way impacts the statements above in this post. The information provided is a true depiction of actual events over the last few weeks.

Septembers to Remember!

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Hello Fellow Travel Enthusiasts! We meet again. My sincere apologies to all of you for my absence!! The months of July and August were both quite busy, so I did not get the opportunity to share any new content. However, I am back in action and ready to share lots of nuggets of travel gold with each and everyone of you. So here goes!

Starting out, I would like to share some past experiences, that can help make your next celebration a special one! September just so happens to be my birthday month, so I am doing a bit of a flashback, to share some of my most memorable (birth month) moments from September’s past. I am a huge fan of birthdays, primarily because I realize that another year of life is an incredible gift… and secondary, because I love an opportunity to celebrate!! Can you blame me? Who doesn’t love a grand affair, dinner at a swanky social club, or dancing under the Eiffel Tower? Count me in anytime for all of the above. I am here for all of it and I relish the moments that I get to spend with family and friends.

Some of my favorite memories include one of the best birthday presents EVER…and that was getting my first article published in September of 2013! Can you say, “excited.” That would have been an understatement to describe how I felt that year. Yes, my piece on the beautiful island of Curacao, was published in Global Living Magazine’s September/October edition! I wrote all about this spectacular Caribbean gem and about many of the fantastic places on the island. From the Queen Emma bridge, to Kura Hulanda Museum. Check it out! Then there was that one year (2012) I had a rooftop party in Atlanta (at Rooftop 866,) called the “Sapphire Affair,” where all my guests were charged with the task of arriving in various hues of amazing blues, to accompany the theme of the posh affair. It was fabulous, I even had custom M&Ms with my face on them!! Also, I cannot forget my time in Panama City, where I noshed out on all types of deliciousness and basked upon the ocean for 3 days witnessing creation at its finest….By the way, Captain Andy even let me get behind the wheel, on one of our day trips out. It was the best! I most definitely cannot exclude last year, 2016, from the list, considering I danced beneath the Eiffel Tower, dined throughout the city of Paris and combed the streets in search of great finds (when I wasn’t working that is,) just a couple weeks after my actual birthday with friends. It is going to be difficult to top 2016! However, there was that one birthday I spent in Vegas taking goofy photos with the Blue Man Group in 2009 and another where I spent the entire month celebrating in Tampa, St. Pete, Clearwater and Orlando, in 2011. Oh…and what about 2013, when I had a party at Pier W off the Lake (Erie) in my hometown of Cleveland??…I most definitely cannot leave that year off the list. There have been so many wonderful Septembers to Remember that I am just grateful for them all and always looking forward to the next! I hope you enjoyed this stroll down memory lane and that you got some fun ideas for your next born day celebration. Side note- I had to stop here, or we would have gone on for days, looking back over all of my birthday celebrations! There have been many many more, but if I go on, I will end up having to tell my age 🙂

Follow me on Instagram at Candacetravels, for more September Birthday flashback photos!!  Until next time, happy and safe travels to you all!




5 Ways to Make Memorable Experiences Abroad: Summer Edition

Greetings, fellow travelers!!! It’s been some time since we last connected, but I am excited to share a previously written piece, posted on Black Enterprise, on the best ways to,” Make Memorable Experiences Abroad.” It’s summer here in the US, and many are looking for new and exciting places to visit and want some creative ideas on how best to enjoy them. Please click here to learn more about how you can enhance your next overseas journey and create lasting memories. Happy travels and hope to see you in an airport soon!!!


Spring into April- In True JORD Fashion

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This just so happens to be one of my favorite seasons, as well as one of the most festive times of the year. Flowers are blooming, the swimming pools are packed (at least here in Florida they are,) and various festivals and concerts are taking place weekly, around the world. There is no better “time” than the present, to get in on the fun, so pull out your suitcase and Spring gear, and get ready. With that being said, it can be difficult to find the right outfit and accessories for each occasion. Thankfully, I have taken some of the guesswork out for you and for myself…because of a recent acquaintance! Last month, I connected with the incredible team at JORD watches, and as a result, I was able to add one of their beautifully crafted, wood timepieces to my collection. I reviewed their Fieldcrest line, and here is what I have to say about it.
The Right Accessory

Candacetravels Photo

JORD features several lines. However, for the purpose of this post, I am providing feedback specifically on their Fieldcrest timepieces. This line come in 3 distinct shades; Maple, Dark Sandalwood, and Zebrawood and Maple. While each watch is unique and beautiful in its own way, they do share the same unique design. To help you better understand where I am with each of watches in this line, I am going to rank the three pieces in order, from “Love” to “Let’s Be Friends,”- so let us get started.

Candacetravels Photo

At first glance, I was instantly drawn to the JORD Zebrawood & Maple watch, primarily because of its gorgeous, marble colored band. I chose it because I knew the earthiness of the Zebrawood would pair exceptionally well with a variety of outfits and accessories, across the seasons. It also complements my skin tone perfectly, which I really love! I can dress it up or down; by sporting it with jeans, heels, a white shirt and blazer, for the office, or I can rock it with a maxi dress and flipflops, for a relaxing day by the pool. Even though, the face of this timepiece is a bit larger than I expected, and the maple (face) is a little lighter in color than it appeared online, I still give it a “it might be love” rating, because of its remarkable versatility. It has been a definite staple in my wardrobe over the last month! I am seriously enjoying getting to know Mr. Zebrawood. 

JORD media

The Dark Sandalwood is another magnificently crafted piece. The deep brown band, against the dark face is simply stunning! Thus, this watch has the ability to work with an array of outfits and accessories, as well. While it is true that we tend to lighten it up during the warmer months, the dusky hues can provide a nice contrast to spring and summer shades. Therefore, this piece covers all wardrobe bases throughout the year. I could most certainly see me wearing this watch with many different items in my closet. With that being said, I have to give this Fieldcrest piece some major “love.” We may be spending some real “time” together soon!

JORD Media

The Maple watch offers the same spectacular craftsmanship, as its two counterparts in the Fieldcrest Line. The entire timepiece; face and band, are the same tint, which is the lighter colored Maple. It is a gorgeous piece and serves as an excellent base color, to build an outfit around. It is also perfect for the spring and summer months, and is great for various skin tones. The only reason this one is getting a “Let’s be friends” rating, is because it is a bit too light for my taste- for my complexion. Although it would probably be a nice contrast, I like the Zebrawood better on me. However, I could see my niece really liking this watch.Even though, you will not catch me and Mr. Maple out on a date, I can still tell all of my friends how handsome he is.

Candacetravels Photo

The JORD, Fieldcrest line, provides an excellent introduction to the warmth that wood timepieces can add to any collection. They are also ideal for the person (man or woman) on the go, because of their durability to withstand the harshness of travel. JORD watches are lightweight (though not flimsy,) easy to get on and off, and fit nicely into any small travel bag for easy transport. They also eliminate the worry of getting scratches on the band, like what often occurs with leather and steel timepieces, over time. The Fieldcrest line is also a wonderful conversation starter, along with adding a little pop to whatever outfit you have on. Since I am a total accessory person, I take which watch I wear each day rather seriously. So far, Mr. Zebrawood & Maple and I, have a great thing going on. Maybe… it is Love, but only time will tell!

Candacetravels Photo

The JORD Fieldcrest line is moderately priced, starting at $139 USD, and can be customized to include personalized engraving and sizing. The customizing and ordering process is super easy, too. I just printed out the online ruler on their site and measured my wrist for a precise fit. I then provided them with the measurements and placed my order. Within days, my lovely timepiece arrived in an impressive monogrammed wooden box, complete with finishing oil and a small monogrammed towel for cleaning.

Candacetravels Photo

Friends, since Spring is the season of “new things,” I have some good news for you! I have teamed up with JORD watches for a contest, to help share these amazing timepieces with all of you.

One lucky winner will receive a $100 e-coupon, towards the purchase of a custom, JORD watch, and all other participants will receive a $25 e-coupon, as a consolation prize! That is right! It could be you wearing your fabulous JORD watch, in just a few short weeks! Picture it…. 

Click here for your chance to win today!!! Hurry, before time runs out. The contest ends on Sunday, April 16, 2017 at 11:59 pm CST and the gift codes will expire on June 18, 2017!

Until next time, here is to safe travels and perfect accessories! See you in the airport soon!


*JORD contacted me for review of their Fieldcrest Line. All statements are my own and depict my true experience with items noted above. Sponsored post.

5 Tips to A Successful Festival Season

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Hello and welcome to a new season, friends! As Spring commences, it is accompanied by a host of awesome festivities and events around the globe. Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the 58th Annual, Winter Park Sidewalk, Art Festival. There were artists and patrons there, from all around the world. The type of art on site ranged from sculptures to hand blown glass, and everything in between. I admired images by some of the world’s most cherished photographers, to highly sought out contemporary images. Viewing the incredible skill of some of the sculptures was one of the highlights of my visit. I also came away with a few tips, to help make your festival season a huge success. So here goes…

  1. Ensure You are Camera Ready

Thankfully, I took my beloved Canon along for the ride. I was able to get some good shots, but because of all the people, wasn’t able to zoom-in to get as close-up as I wanted, on a few of my shots. Here’s where my Iphone would’ve come in handy, except for the fact that four shots in, I ran out of space- #memoryfull.  I wanted to scream!! I stepped over to the side and tried deleting some old photos as quickly as I could, but between the baking sun and all the people bumping into me, it was tough to accomplish. Lesson learned. Have all camera/video equipment ready! You would think with all the traveling that I’ve done that I would know this. #photographerfail, but I’ll be ready for the next event- promise!

2. Prepare a Booth List Ahead of Time

I was clearly not prepared for this event. I heard about it literally two days before going, so I didn’t have much time to plan. If possible, visit the website prior to attending, to get a lay of the land, and to find out exactly which booths you want to stop by. Of course other vendors will catch your attention along the stroll, but at least you will have a guide, for a more efficient use of time. Depending upon the size of the event, these types of festivals can draw hundreds of thousands of people, so trying to read a map in the hot sun, with a million people and their kids and pets around, does not make for a pleasant experience. #doyourhomeworknexttimelady I’m already prepping for the next affair!

3. Don’t Go on an Empty Stomach

Uhm…despite having a somewhat strict diet (I’ve been a little lax lately,) I really do like to eat… ALOT. I’m often caught munching on something throughout the day, so it’s important that I plan, and plan wisely before heading out to these type of festivities. I knew there’d be food on hand, and assumed I could find some nice vegetarian option within budget… so I didn’t eat at all beforehand. Big MISTAKE! I should’ve at least had a bowl of my favorite granola cereal in hemp milk that morning (which by the way, I’m eating right now, even though I just ate lunch at noon.) This unfortunate mishap, led to my getting off of the train dehydrated, parched and starving, causing me to bum rush the first smoothie stand I saw. The result- an $8, turned $9 smoothie, filled with ice. Are you kidding me, Candace?? I was walking around thankful that I was drinking, but oh so perturbed at the same time.Yep, she charged me an extra $1 for the use of my debit card. No Bueno. Needless to say, after a few hours I was hungry again, and discovered a ton of restaurants sprawled throughout the area, with much more moderate prices, including a smoothie shop around the corner, with real $5 smoothies #headhungandwalletupset. I ended up devouring a delicious veggie burger at one my favorite spots (they have one near where I live,) but I still cannot believe I forgot my bottle of water at home. The moral to this story, eat before going, review the area on line to see what’s in the vicinity and in your daily budget, or prepare to spend.

4. Pack Your Sunnies and Sun Gear

Once again, I shamefully say, I dashed out of the house without even a single pair of sun glasses in my bag. A total rookie move again, but I made it. Additionally, be sure to wear a hat or visor, to keep your head cool, against the beating sun. For the record, I have to state that I have an extensive sunnie and hat collection, so what on earth was I thinking?? It was a super hot afternoon, the sun was blazing and my eyes were drying out from the glare…and yes, I forgot the sunblock, too. Don’t judge me, but #thesungotthebestofme.

5.Have a Great Time

Despite all the faux pas, I still had a really good time. It may not sound like it, but all the incredible artwork made up for it! I was even able to pick up a couple of items, despite going over budget on that smoothie. Though it cut into my festival money, I was able to snag some bargains, to make up for that rookie mistake. I can’t help it- I’m budget conscious these days!! Also, keep in mind that these types of festivals typically have vendors with various types of goods for sale. Not only was there artwork everywhere, but there were also quite a few skilled artisans onsite with goods, too. The list included jewelry, hand bags, beauty items, hair clips and bands, and even clothes and shoes. I eventually found my way over to the local spice and tea shop, so I closed out my day super happy!! 

All in all, my time at the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival was good. A little shaky starting out, but I still caught the train back home feeling accomplished and with a smile on my face. I’m sure it helped that I was back in the air conditioning, sitting down, drinking water and still within budget. #knowhowtoadjust-forthewin

Until next time, enjoy all the spring festivities that you can- and remember to balance the good, with the challenges! Safe travels and…well..adapt when you have too!

Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival 2017


The Warmth of Scandinavian Land- Oslo, Norway 

Hello friends!! Please check out my latest article on Huffington Post, to find out just how Oslo stole a piece of my heart! Click Here to learn more. Happy and safe travels to you! ✈️

Sweet Adventures!

Happy early Valentine’s Day to my fellow travelers who celebrate! I’m writing this post on the eve of this beloved, nationally recognized Love Day, and flashing back. Last February 14th, I had the pleasure of roaming the streets of South Beach, before heading out on a 4 country Caribbean tour.Those were great times last year, but I am so ready for some adventures. I really don’t mean to complain because living in Florida certainly does afford you certain vacay-like opportunities on a regular basis, but come on..who doesn’t love a great (new) expedition, every now and then (or monthly, lol.) That would so totally work for me. In any case,  there’s something so incredibly amazing about combing new territory and discovering the unknown -that just gets me all excited!! I’m sure many, if not all of you, can relate. So on that note, buckle up, because we’ll be heading out soon. Get ready for some new, new, new adventures. Unfortunately, I’ll be spending this Valentines evening doing…uhm…much of nothing, unlike last year’s travel schedule…but we’ll be flying the friendly skies again soon. Don’t feel bad for me though at all. I’ll be laughing and smiling, eating strawberries by the pool. Ha! I had to slide that in, just in case someone out there in The Travel Diary land started getting all teary-eyed, when they read that I didn’t have plans. I’ll be spending part of the time on my tablet, planning Sweet NEW Adventures. So again, enjoy your V-tines Day this week travel- lovers, and for those of you who will be somewhere super cool, doing something totally fun, be sure and tag me on IG in some pictures. I’d love to see how you’re spending Cupid’s favorite day of the year! I bid you peace, love and new adventures. Until next time friends, safe travels!❤️

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Some Sweet Shop on South Beach February 2016





Candacetravels’ 2016 Year In Review

“When asked if my cup is half full or half empty, my only response is that I am thankful I have a cup.”

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Babe’s Cafe – Brecksville, Ohio

What a year! 2016 doesn’t owe me a thing. Of course it wasn’t perfect, but it was certainly eventful. I gazed across the city of Dallas, TX from 470 ft up in the air, as well as dined on-the-go, spent Valentine’s Day strolling through South Beach in Miami, chased butterflies in Aruba, snorkeled and sampled cactus liqueur in Bonaire, lived like a local in St. Maarten while staying at Alegria, smashed dinner at my favorite spot on the French side, Cynthia’s, in St. Martin, changed planes a few times in Curaçao (visited there a few years ago,) stood in a ridiculously long security line in Newark, skipped along the cherry blossom filled Tidal Basin in Washington D.C., relaxed like a queen at The Ritz Carlton in Arlington, ate at a cute lil cafe in Eufaula w/my sis, let the ocean breeze blow over me in Panama City, where I saw the most beautiful sunset, chowed down on some delicious food in Atlanta w/a friend, while in between cities, attended the CAVS championship parade in Cleveland, among various other activities, made some new connects in Orlando, caught like a million flights back and forth between FL and OH alllll year long, learned about horticulture in Clermont during my down time, kicked back in Tampa and Clearwater when I wasn’t working, ate the best pumpkin risotto and mushroom sliders in Oslo, where I would happily spend my summers, staying at Scandic Vulkan, danced at the base of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, where I celebrated my B-day with friends, prayed inside the gorgeous 100+ year old Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona, after eating some yummy paella, spent a few hrs in beautiful Lisbon (which wasn’t long enough,) chilled out in the hot tub in Boston after my flight back to the US, and slept like a baby in Detroit! In the process, I smiled alot, caught a ton of flights ✈️(approximately 30,) rode on quite a few trains 🚉 (too many to remember) and in quite a few cars 🚘, (definitely lost count) as well as hit the water on a handful of boats 🛥 (that sounds about right) this past year too -and thanked God all the way thru! 🙏🏾In the midst of all of this, I met great people, sometimes traveled alone, while at times with others, and always with my favorite items – and wrote about many of my 2016 adventures on/in, in Upscale Living Magazine, on A Luxury Travel Blog, in Global Living Magazine and on Black – I’ve included several links above for you!! Just click to read the full articles or posts. A HUGE THANKS goes out to all of you for your support, and a big thank you to 2016 for a superb Global Expedition that included 7 countries (well technically 8 because St. Maarten and St. Martin are considered two separate countries,) and a host of cities. But… now it’s time to make room for 2017!🏾 Let’s prepare to create some new epic adventures together. Happy New Year everyone!!



This post includes both sponsored, as well as non-sponsored material. However, the events noted above do recount my actual experiences regardless of post. My goal is to provide you with useful information to make your travel experience as rich as possible.

5 Fun Things to Do in Barcelona

Hola friends! Welcome back to The Travel Diary. Today we will take a look at a few of my favorite to do’s in the beautiful city of Barcelona. This locale is home to some of the most unique architecture in all of Spain. From the fabulous works of Antoni Gaudi, which are spread throughout the area, to the top of the Monument a Colom, located at the lower end of the famed, Las Ramblas Boulevard- there is much to see and do. So kick back…and enjoy reading about some of the best Catalonia region to dos.


  1. Sagrada Familia

A visit to this renowned church is a must! The construction of this project first began in March 1882 by architect, Francisco de Paula del Villar y Lozano, who resigned shortly after, leaving the job to the acclaimed, Antoni Gaudi, to complete. It has been 100 years since his death and the basilica is yet undone. Despite being fully completed, this neo-gothic piece of history is still remarkable inside out. While the exterior leaves much to the imagination, considering its “busy” design, (which is in true Gaudi fashion,) it’s the interior that really takes your breath away. I have never laid eyes on anything even remotely comparable to Sagrada Familia, before in my life! Everything about it draws you in. There are stunning stained glass windows, a striking ceiling and pillars, statues adorned throughout and carved inscriptions. To call this church impressive doesn’t even begin to do it justice. There is also a designated space for worship and reflections within the basilica, in the Chapel of the Holy Sacrament and Penitence. Here, all are welcome, regardless of faith, to witness this “symbolic expression in stone of the Christian faith.” ( The church is meant to serve as a place where people can come together and unite as one. Sagrada Familia holds masses throughout the year, where visitors can attend. There are also several other items on display in the outer hallways from times past. Though a work in progress for the last 100+ years, post Gaudi’s death, the church is finally slated for completion in the year 2026. And to think, this is only “one” of his creations. There is also the Park Guell, Casa Mila and Casa Batllo to name a few. Since it’s difficult to put into words how magnificent the Sagrada Familia is, I’ll just have to show you below. The church is also located in an area that is surrounded by numerous souvenir shops, restaurants, businesses, living quarters and markets. I’d highly recommend purchasing tickets in advance, to avoid the sell-out crowds that this landmark draws in. Nothing comes close to this marvelous piece of history. Stay prayerful and enjoy your visit!


Sagrada Familia Exterior Side View


Sagrada Familia Exterior View


Sagrada Familia Interior View


Sagrada Familia Interior View


Sagrada Familia Interior View

  1. Monument a Colom

This beautifully chiseled monument sits in the Placa de la Porta de Pau square. It provides some of the best 360 degree views of the city, from atop the 197 ft tall column. Just an elevator ride up, and visitors can behold the amazing Barcelona views! You will see the neighboring port and the famous Gothic Quarter, among other notables from up high.

Barcelona Port and City Views from Atop Monument a Colom


Here’s a little history. The monument was designed by Catalan architect, Gaieta Buiga, and it first opened in 1888, in honor of Christopher Columbus’ first expedition to the Americas. There are items for purchase on the base level and different entrances and exits. Make sure to have your cameras ready, and have plenty of space on your sim cards.

Visitors can also do a wine tour, through the Mirador de Colom wine tourism experience, on the base level.  Guests can sample different cava and wine, and get additional information on other wine experiences in the region. Salud!

Monument a Colom Exterior View


Barcelona City Views from Atop Monument a Colom

  1. Authentic Paella on Repeat

I am happy to say that I got my fill of vegetable Paella this Barcelona run. My first time in the area was limited; thanks to a 3 day delay in NY, so it prevented me from indulging too much. But this time… success! I pretty much sampled paella everywhere I went to eat, and I don’t regret it at all. This dish is one of my favorites at Cuban restaurants in the states, so I just had to try it (again and again,) while in Spain. Did I get sick of eating it? NOway! It was delightful and prepared a bit differently each place I went. While dining at one restaurant, Ultramarinos, I did get the opportunity to also nosh out on some pretty yummy guacamole and chips, too. Their paella actually came in at number 2, behind a little local gem nestled amidst other small eateries, over near Sagrada Familia in Eixample. They had the best olives and…I was so famished that first day, after such a long night, I don’t remember much else. My stomach won the head battle that day. Yep, that’s me- the crazy hungry, travel blogger. Moving on. The cool thing about Ultramarinos -is that it’s located right on the popular La Ramblas strip- in the midst of all the action. The ambiance and décor is awesome, and the street views are great. From the colorful lights to the signatures of prior guests scribbled across the walls, it was the perfect spot for a rainy afternoon lunch. My suggestion- eat as much paella as you can while in Barcelona!


Ultramarinos Restaurant

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Ultramarinos Restaurant Lights

IMG_0047Tea, Guacamole and Chips at Ultramarinos

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Authentic Paella at a Local Restaurant in Eixample

4. Stroll Las Ramblas 

This acclaimed boulevard is a tourist and local favorite. There are numerous hotels nestled throughout, as well as tons of restaurants, markets, souvenier shops, vendors and museums. Located near Port Vell, where the cruise ships come in, it is considered the heart of the city. The atmosphere is bustling, both day and night, and the La Boqueria Food Market, even offers a paella cooking workshop. I couldn’t resist mentioning that, lol. The street is pedestrian friendly, and is known for having street performers, artists and tourists from around the globe. From people watching, to eating and shopping, this is the place to be, so get your walking shoes on!


Street Performer on Las Ramblas


Museu de Cera (wax museum) located on Las Ramblas 

  1. Explore. Explore.

Visit as many other museums, monuments and sights as you can.  Barcelona has something for everyone to see. There are walking, city, bike, sightseeing, food and cultural tours. There is an endless list of places to explore. From Picasso to the theater, you will not get bored. Also, depending upon when you visit, consider making a trip to the beach. Yes, Barcelona has beautiful beaches, where you can swim, relax or even sail. Unfortunately, it rained most of the time this trip, so I missed out on the beach. The city is so vibrant and colorful, and equally as much multicultural. I met shop and restaurant owners and workers from various parts of the world, who were really nice. Also, don’t forget to mail your postcards back home, while you’re out exploring! Have fun!

Visit Candacetravels on Instagram to view more photos and videos of this gorgeous destination.

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Candacetravels Mailing Postcards Back to the US in the rain

City Details

Locals can be heard speaking both official languages; Catalan and Spanish. There are numerous taxis, as well as a subway, buses and airport shuttles. Hotels are plentiful throughout the city, and range from moderately priced to deluxe. If you don’t plan to rent a car, consider staying on or near Las Ramblas. This location will provide easy access to entertainment and sights, as well as to the metro stations. I split my time between Eurostars Monumental in Eixample (which is in walking distance to Sagrada Familia) and Arc La Rambla, which is located on Las Ramblas Boulevard.


Hotel Arc La Ramblas Front Entrance


Views from my 7th Floor Room- Eurostars Hotel in Eixample 

Thank you for stopping by today. I hope that you learned a little more about this beloved Spain destination- and are eager to explore. Until next time, I bid you safe and happy travels. Adios amigos!

A special thank you goes out to the Barcelona Tourism Department’s Premium Division, for assisting with my stay, and for sponsoring my press access to the area’s landmarks.


BAUDE Paris: The Cosmopolitan Woman


BAUDE Paris Pavillon

Located just off of one of Paris’ most prominent boulevards, The Avenue des Champs-Elysees, the fabulous, BAUDE Paris, is nestled within the Pavillon fond de cour, on Rue Pierre Charron Avenue. This incredible Fashion House is the epitome of haute couture, for the sophisticated and strong woman. BAUDE’s line features bold colors, exotic leathers and ultra-functional luxury bags and jackets. The collection is ideal for the cosmopolitan and chic globetrotter, so find out below- just why every jet setter should own a piece of this remarkable collection.



Collection Overview & Designer

During my recent visit to Paris, I sat down with acclaimed designer, Elodie Baude, and her Public Relations lead, Celine, to discuss the details surrounding her high-end collection. I also wanted to learn more about what inspired Elodie to create such a bold and vibrant line. Upon reviewing the collection, it was obvious that she drew from her past experiences to construct such brilliant, and well thought out designs.


Designer, Elodie BAUDE

Her collection is comprised of posh handbags, exquisite duffles and totes, and butter soft, super feminine leather jackets. I was blown away by the variety of options in her showroom, and the intricacy of details found on each item. Thus far, BAUDE’s signature line has received rave reviews within the fashion community, and continues to soar.


BAUDE St. Barth 

A native of Paris, France, Elodie Baude, also spent time living in Miami, FL, in the U.S. She used her prior international travels and experience in interior design and fashion, to spearhead this rare and colorful collection. Elodie found that modern day women everywhere looked for and appreciated specific attributes. Taking this into consideration, she set out to bring this remarkable collection to life. She won and continues to win the hearts of women around the world, through her refined bags and jackets, without sacrificing class or beauty. As a result, over the last couple years, Elodie’s designs have been spotlighted and featured in various media outlets.


BAUDE Summer (Tote)

BAUDE Handbags

Elodie stated that her bags are, “identifiable” because of the “precious skin leathers,” which are manufactured in both France and Italy. The collection is a mix of crocodile, snake, lamb and lizard skin, all bedazzled with gorgeous hardware and/or jewels. The materials are rich, colorful and immediately make a bold statement. It’s obvious that the women who carry BAUDE’s bags are confident, desirable and stand in a class of their own. These worldly ladies are also well-traveled and relish rarity. As a result, all BAUDE handbags come with an exclusive card with a designated serial number. Additionally, each design of the “precious skin leather” bags does not exceed 200 (bags created.) While it is possible to order a handbag that has ceased production, it would require some special customization. This is done to ensure BAUDE remains in a select class. While the style would mimic the desired bag, the straps or hardware for example, would in some way differ. This will make it a one of one, because remember each original style will never exceed 200 units. Again, this aids in the maintenance of the exclusivity of the brand and the private clientele it services.


BAUDE Favorite Paris- New York Clutches 

The BAUDE line features everything from the lovely, “Favorite Paris-New York” snake skin clutches with broach styled jewels in ten colors; beige & green, denim blue, black, green, gray, brown, red, purple and white, to the practical lamb skin tote bag- that is perfect for the office or travel. The tote comes in 3 colors- gray, camel and navy blue, and includes a built-in leather sleeve for laptops or tablets. The line also includes beautifully crafted tapestry print bags that are perfect for the beach or shopping, as well as lamb skin clutches and various crocodile skin bags for day or evening use. Additionally, the collection includes elegant hardware on many of the bags that can be worn separately as a necklace, which is a unique feature. BAUDE offers a deluxe and diverse line of luxury handbags for the elite modern day woman. Rest assured, I will be adding a tote to my travel collection as soon as I decide on the best color. Trust me, after seeing these bags, you will want to include them on your current must-have list, too!


BAUDE London Jacket

BAUDE London Jacket

Like the handbags, I can give you a million reasons why I love this ultra-feminine and fashionable jacket. It’s spectacular in every color and the leather is super soft. Aside from being incredibly stylish, the London Jacket is highly functional, too. The jacket comes with zip on and off ruffles- that attach on the lower back of the lamb skin coat. Thus, this beauty can be dressed up or down as needed. The ruffle attachments also come in both leather and faux fur, to give the jacket a completely different look. It is one of the most creative designs that I’ve witnessed in a long time. It comes in red, camel, light gray, dark gray and black, and is perfect for daily wear or special events.

BAUDE London Jacket

Whether you’re in London, or some other part of this huge world, this jacket is a definite add to any leather collection. Grab one today, or be sure and place it high atop your upcoming Christmas, special occasion or holiday list. You can thank me later.

BAUDE BI GM Bag up Close with Hardware



For more information on this beautiful and unique collection, visit BAUDE Paris today. Request an invitation to be a part of this A-list group of exclusive BAUDE women.

BAUDE -Exclusive Card in Showroom


BAUDE- Exclusive Card up Close


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