Travel & Places

10 THINGS TO DO IN FLORIDA- THAT DON’T INCLUDE DISNEY!

December 6, 2016

A lot of people automatically think of Disney when they think of Florida, but that is one thing that we don’t do in the Sunshine State. With Floridans in the family, it’s all about the swamps, deep sea fishing and country.
Here are some of my favorite things to do in Florida, get ready to get a little country…

florida-guide-blog-jeepsunset-florida-blogflorida-country-guide1. Ride on an air boat through the swamps, look out for alligators, snakes, deer and wild boar while you are there. The swamps haven’t changed for thousands of years and my Uncle even showed us a Native American burial ground out there.

2. Explore the forests and ranches, while listening to some good old country music. Drinking your beer from a can cooler & wearing camouflage is mandatory! There is nothing like being out in the open in Florida.

3. Go deep sea fishing in the ocean if you can, I live in a land-locked city so for me this is such an exhilarating experience.

4. Ride jet-skis, be sure to look out for dolphins while you are there. We also saw bald-eagles, stingrays and lots of huge, beautiful dragonflies which my Aunt always says are the spirits of loved ones. My sister and I fell off the jet-ski (while I was driving) and we have never laughed so much in our lives. It was so much fun.

5. Eat fresh fish, and try Alligator bites too. Mmmm the fish there is so good!

6. Road-trip to Captiva and Sanibelle Island: the white sands, warm sea and tropical landscape make it close to paradise.

7. Eat at The Bubbleroom– This place is decorated with original Disney memorabilia such as Dorothy’s ruby slippers and it’s glittering with old Holywood starlets. It has stood the test of time for a reason. Everyone loves it. (OK so that is a little bit of Disney for you).

8. Eat key-lime pie, it’s got to be home-made. My Aunt’s is the best.

9. Hit the Victoria’s Secret outlet. My sister and I seriously cannot get enough of how amazing and cheap the VS outlet is here. We stock up on swimwear, pyjamas, gym-clothes and underwear for the whole year whenever we go.

10. Admire the spooky Spanish-moss which hangs from the trees (you just don’t get that where I come from) and watch the sun-set, truly beautiful.

During the latest trip, we ended up on mandatory curfew due to Hurricane Mathew threatening a direct hit as a category four. We had to sandbag the doors, bring the furniture in off the porch and stockpile water. But, our family had the drill down to a tee through years or practice. Luckily it slowed right down by the time it hit.

While we were safe during the hurricane, lots of people lost their lives and suffered catastrophic damage in Haiti. If you would like to know more about how to help the people of Haiti then follow this link.

Suggested Post: Müggelsee Lake

Photos: I took all of the pictures on this trip using my phone. It’s the first time I’ve posted mobile pics on my blog, so I hope they look OK.

Fashion & Beauty

Pretty Poinsettia Christmas Dress OOTD

November 20, 2016

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What says Christmas better than a poinsettia print dress with glittery boots and a red lip? Say hello to my new Xmas party look, all that’s missing is a sprinkle of snow and a red bow to complete the festivities.

I am so excited about heading home for Xmas this year, so much so that I emailed out our home-tour itinerary months ago. With a big family like mine you need to get organised way in advance, and I’m delighted to say that the organising paid off, as we will get to see almost everyone this year!

One thing that I am particularly excited about is introducing my Mum and sisters to my wedding dress! That’s right, I think I found the one…

Wearing: Pretty Poinsettia Rose Dress by Emily and Fin, Ted and Muffy Knee Boots (mine have a glittery heel) and CRU London Charlotte Bag

Suggested Post: OOTD In Prague’s Old Town

Travel & Places

GUIDE TO HAMBURG

November 10, 2016

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We woke bright and early to catch a train from Berlin to Hamburg. We drifted in and out of sleep, waking to watch the scenery change as we approached the new city.

Upon arrival it was refreshing to notice the differences between Hamburg and Berlin, despite them being so close geographically. It is a wealthy place with some immaculate areas, working ports with fresh fish restaurants- which of course means water, and lots of it. Not something which you see much of in Berlin, a landlocked city. We stayed in Hafencity, an old port area in a hotel which completely embraces the fisherman, Docker vibe of the area. You can read more about that here.

The plan was to rent bikes and cycle round, but we didn’t call ahead and so instead we were presented with an electric ‘tuc-tuc’ styled bike which zooms at speeds of up to 45mph! It was absolutely hilarious! Passers-by peered into the cart, expecting to see some cute babies but instead found me and got a shock when they saw how fast it went. We were laughing and wobbling all the way, with a few narrowly avoided capsizing incidents!

I am lucky to have friends from Hamburg who gave me a stack of tips and ideas for our trip. Being armed with this knowledge meant that we didn’t need to waste any time looking for things to do, we had it all ready and got to see so much. So, I wanted to pass on these gems and share the wealth with you in this guide to Hamburg

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Areas to visit:

  • Schanzenviertel- A vibrant district full of cool bars, shops and good places to eat. It’s a little like Kreuzberg in Berlin,
  • Gängeviertel – A little area filled with artist’s residencies, galleries, bright graffiti and sculptures. The pictures above where taken there.

Places to eat and drink:

  • Bullerei– I read about this on so many Hamburg travel guides and blogs, then my friend confirmed its greatness and we booked a table. The food is delicious, I loved the gin menu and the décor is really funky. Also it is in Sternschanze, which I mention above.
  • Fischmarkt– Have a fresh fish-roll for breakfast, the hard-core party goers call here for breakfast on the way home from clubs.
  • Elbgold – Now you know I don’t drink coffee but Nick does, and wow, he was raving about this coffee

 

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 Things to-do:

  • Deichtorhallen – The gallery pictures in this post were taken here. We saw some interesting contemporary art here and loved the building
  • Planten & Blomen – Hire a bike and explore this beautiful park
  • Strandperle– In the worlds of the local’s ‘It’s a real Hamburg institution’. A patch of beach where you can sit with a glass of wine or beer and watch the ships coming and going out of the harbour. You can go by bus, but you can also hop onto a ferry from Landungsbrücken to get there. It takes around 15-20 minutes, and the ferry is even part of public transport (in case you gate a Day Travel card).

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If you find yourself in Berlin and would like to see more of Germany, then I would recommend visiting Hamburg by train, it’s a wonderful journey and it only takes an hour and forty-five minutes. Have you already been? If so I would love to read your tips in the comment section below.

Suggested Post: Paris Part Two, Places To See

Uncategorized

I am the sunlight on ripened grain. I am the gentle autumn rain.

November 3, 2016

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I’m missing my Grandparents immensely today. My best friend has recently lost her Grandad and is preparing her reading for the funeral.  As a result I re-visited the eulogy which I wrote with my family and read at my Grandparent’s funeral. Naturally it evoked lots of special memories and a deep sadness that they are gone.

I remember writing the eulogy with my sisters, Aunty and Mum. We sat around the dining room table with a suitcase of old photographs. Each telling stores about them whilst laughing and crying, with a glass of wine in hand. By the end of the night the speech was written.

When I got to the church the vicar held my hand and said God would give me strength. I did indeed feel strength and read each word without falter. It felt so powerful reading those words to a church full of hundreds of people who had the up-most respect for my Grandparents.
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They were a wonderfully wholesome couple who had a huge influence on the lives of my sisters and I, along with many other people that knew them.
Sadly they both passed away within days of each other and we had a joint funeral for them. The Rector said during the service: “Their lives were so bound up in each other – and they have left this world together. They did everything together and looking after their grandchildren was one of their greatest joys.”

He went on to say: “I have been amazed at the number of people who stopped me in the street to tell me of the passing of this wonderful couple and each and every one had wonderful memories of them.”

Though I am thankful that they both lived until 73 and had fulfilling lives, it never feels like the right time to lose someone you love.
Everyone suffers the loss of a loved one at some stage during their lives, it is heartbreaking that special people must leave us. But my goodness, how lucky we are to have had people like that in our lives in the first place. If death teaches us one thing, it is to live.

The title of this post is of course a quote from Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep a beautiful poem written in 1932 by Mary Elizabeth Frye.

With love X

Travel & Places

PICTURE POSTCARDS FROM 25 HOURS HAFENCITY HAMBURG

October 29, 2016

ledbylucy-hamburg-25hours-hotelbreakfast-hamburghafen-city-hotelsauna-25hours-hotel-hamburgroom-service-25hourshotel25-hours-hotel-hamburg-blogledbylucy-hamburg-breakfast-blogExploring Germany has been on our bucket list since we moved here a year ago. Last week we visited Hamburg and stayed at 25 Hours Hotel Hafencity and my oh my did we love it there *Guide to Hamburg coming up soon*

We stayed in Hafencity, the old port area of the city in a hotel which completely embraces the fisherman, docker vibe of the area. All of the interior design mirrors the area seamlessly, the sauna is crafted from up-cycled shipping containers and seats have been sculpted from stacks of carpets once traded in the area. We are fully fledged fishermen and women now 😉

Here are some picture postcards from our time spent exploring the hotel.

1- Picking out vinyls from the vast collection to play in the music room, our favourite space. We would love to host a party in here one day.

2. If you have read this post you will know that Nick is somewhat of a coffee connoisseur. He had scheduled a visit to Elb Gold coffee house into our Hamburg itinerary, then he found out that the hotel served this local delicacy with breakfast #HeWasPrettyHappy.

3. Nick playing Rocky with the vintage style punch bags and weighted gloves.

4. Enjoying a beer and chillaxing in the Finnish styled sauna while looking out onto the port.

5. Why can’t we have room service at home too?

6. OMG I had the best sleeps ever in this bed! (Hello new pyjamas that my sister bought me in America).

7. That’s an OJ I’m drinking with breakfast, not a screwdriver 😉

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Suggested Post: Picture Postcards: Life Lately

Collaboration: This post was written in collaboration with 25 Hours Hotel Hafencity