The Travel Diary

Tag: international

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.

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


Party In Paris: 5 Things to Do To Celebrate


Office of Tourism, Paris, France

Hey hey ladies and gents! Good day to each and every one of you. I hope this post finds you well. I recently spent some time in Paris, France and wanted to share my experience with you. Though I was there working on a project, I still managed to find some time to celebrate a bit. I’d just welcomed another birthday thankfully, so when a few friends said they wanted to help me start this new season off right, I jumped at the chance. A little late birthday jollification is always in order…and when it can be done in style, well certainly why not then?!? Also, for the record, this post will not include any drunken wild nights, with individuals passed out in the back of UBER cars or anything. We had some good ole fashion fun, hanging around town in Paris! Although, there was that one UBER driver, who drove us back to the hotel on two wheels, while blasting music with every expletive in the book, but otherwise, it was rated PG 13. We took in Paris in style! So, here goes. Here are 5 things to do, when you want to Party (celebrate) in Paris.


Eiffel Tower, Paris France

Visit the Eiffel Tower

This was my first time seeing the Eiffel Tower in person. During my brief pit stop in the area last year, I didn’t get the opportunity to see it. However this time, I made it a priority. When I reached the vicinity of the grand edifice, I was filled with jubilee. Upon finally witnessing it in person, I was mesmerized and in awe by its strength and beauty. It was a strong tower indeed. After eating just across the way, my friends and I headed over to take some pictures. We captured shots from just about every angle imaginable, and I even got the chance to dance beneath the massive structure. It was truly a dream come true. What a special day!


Candacetravels and Friends- Eiffel Tower


Candacetravels Dancing – Eiffel Tower

Bon Appetit

One of the best ways to celebrate is by toasting and noshing out on some palatable eats. Paris is a foodie’s dream and dentist’s worst nightmare all in one, simply because of all its fabulous food and sweets. Known for its rich and tantalizing cuisine, the city provides a smorgasbord of options to all who come hungry. While there, I was fortunate enough to dine at some incredible places. Yes, I veered away from my primarily plant-based diet, as I am known to do on the road at times, and indulged in a few succulent, le poisson (fish) entrees and delectable, vegetable dishes. I also splurged and ate a little BREAD, too. I know I shouldn’t have, but I did. It was tough considering the French eat bread with everything. They kept shoving baskets of it on the table everywhere I went. It was awful on my system, but oh so yummy to my tummy…well at least at the time, but not so much thereafter, lol. I paid for it later. In any case, my Parisian food affair commenced at Le Bistro Parisien, which sits just along the Siene River (across from the Eiffel Tower,) with a perfectly prepared piece of salmon over a bed of vegetables. It was followed up by a delightful mousse. Can you say fantastic!! And the gastronomical jocularity didn’t stop there. We celebrated that evening at Le Passage over wine and other comestibles; fish, salad, lamb for the carnivores at the table, and a combination of chocolate inspired desserts. In the following days, I feasted on fish and chips at Leon’s, savored the best vegetable soup ever at Le Bouquet, wolfed down a mouthwatering quinoa based veggie burger at Mamie’s and reveled over a delicious vegetable, Thai dish at Bistrot Pyramide. My advice- prepare your palate for the party of a lifetime!!


Celebration at Le Passage


Dinner at Le Passage

Other Landmarks

There is so much to see and do in Paris- from taking in the beautiful Arc de Triomphe up close and personal, to roaming the grounds of the acclaimed Louvre Museum. Then there is the spectacular Palais Garnier, Opera House that is fit for a queen. The city is a historical gem at every turn. Day or night, it’s a party in the streets, what seems like all the time. Paris is New York City on steroids. There are people everywhere, and constant energy in the air. It is crazy! There are actually too many people for me. I like a more toned down vibe at this point in life. However, beholding the gorgeous landmarks in person is well worth the visit. If you want other ideas on things to do, stop by the Paris Tourism Board for some assistance. Be sure to get all your selfie sticks ready- for shots of yourself in front of all the famous landmarks for your visual gallery, too. Say cheese!


Musee’ du Louvre 


Academie Nationale de Musique


I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that Paris is a shopper’s paradise. Whether you live the fabulous life or are simply more of  a souvenir shopper, this locale has something for you. Paris, France has it all. From $2,000 (euro) Chanel bags, to $5 (euro) tee-shirts on the street, you can get something that suites your flavor. There are several areas spread throughout the city to help you spend a little or a lot. It’s the best!! Lovely handbags, scarves, shoes and hats grace the shops on every street, in every direction. While there, I also spent some time at BAUDE fashion house, and was completely smitten with the entire line. You can also skip over to Tiffany’s or Hermes for a new edition to your exclusive collection, or venture off to a less notable boutique -for a rare find. Treat yourself!…And don’t forget to pick up some Paris goodies for friends back home, or forget to enjoy shopping til you drop.




BAUDE Fashion House

Mellow Sounds

One Saturday night, my friends and I spent the evening at the magnificent Duc des Lombards, Club de Jazz. The band was AWESOME. The vibe was relaxed and easy, and we tapped our feet and nodded our heads to the melodic tunes of the smooth harmony. It was a very chill evening, complete with a full house of spectators onsite to witness the greatness of this crew. After a long day of sightseeing, laughing and roaming the streets with cameras in tow, it was the perfect way to unwind. If you are in the mood for something a little more soothing, you’ve found it. Kick back and take in the show solo or with a group.


Band Performing at Duc des Lombards


Candacetravels Outside of Duc des Lombards

My time in Paris, France was a blast. It was definitely a great way to ring in a new birthday year! So much fun!! Until next time, safe and happy travels my friends!





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