Sandy Traveller

Have a Fabulous trip!


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What I Pack: Work Trip + an Opportunity for You!

Well Hello!! I am so very sorry for the delay. All I can say is…Life Happens! The good news is I have some travel coming up I will be blogging about and reviewing!! Now, it’s technically not a beachy or tropical locale. It is in fact a large city, BUT, it does have beaches and an ocean and I will blog about it if I darn well please 🙂 Before I go, I thought I would show you what I pack when traveling for work. This trip is for a conference that I will be attending and presenting at, so what I pack has everything to do with putting my best foot and face forward and feeling my most confident, while networking, presenting and representing my organization. Enjoy 🙂

*Note: There will be an offer or shall I say….proposition…. for you all at the end of this post, so take a look if you dare 🙂

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Couldn’t put a frame on this one because it cut off the awesome necklace

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What you see…
Top Picture: My entire skin care routine. Nothing can make a girl feel a little less confident then a big breakout before getting on stage to present to people. Flying can be tough on the skin so I make sure to bring everything I need to make my skin look and feel it’s best (also not pictured – MAKEUP!)

Deoderant…. need I say more?!?

Runners for the hotel gym! Work out some pre-presentation nerves!

Flats….it’s a big city and I intend on getting some serious shopping time aka walking time 🙂

Middle Picture:
A couple of outfits I know will make me look and feel great. I am obsessed with the grey t-shirt dress. It fits perfectly and is conservative yet sexy all at once.

Bottom Picture:
My electronic devices! (not pictured my iPhone because I took the less than stellar quality photos with it) I want to stay connected to everyone back home while I am away. Unlike a beach vacation where I love unplugging and taking space from these things.

Did I miss anything you guys think is important to looking and feeling your most confident while shmoozing?

Now… for that Proposition I promised. I have not been the most effective travel blogger as I haven’t been travelling!!! I do have a travel inspired recipe coming up for ya, plus the reviews of my work travel, but still! I need more! So, have you been somewhere that you are dying to let people know about but haven’t found a platform? Why don’t you send your review to me?!! I would love to post some peoples reviews of their recent travels.

REQUIREMENTS:
– Must have travelled there within the last 3 months
– Must not be based solely on opinion, please include facts, positive and negative and try not to tell people what they will like and not like.

Please note that I do reserve the right to not post your review if I don’t feel like it’s a good content fit for this blog. If you have a blog or website I will absolutely post the link and a bio so that people know where to find you.

Send reviews through my Contact page or send them to openheartsspace@gmail.com (yes, it’s from an old blog I tried and I haven’t updated the email for this yet….LIFE HAPPENS!)

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Macao Surf Camp Review

While I was planning the trip to Punta Cana I was trying to find something fun and a bit different to do while we were there. I had been once before and had done a snorkelling and catamaran excursion, and we had just done a lot of great snorkelling in Mexico, so I really wanted to do something different. I remembered that when I had been in Puerta Plata years ago, we had gone to Cabarete which had a big windsurfing community. I looked into it a bit more and found that there is a large surf community and culture in Dominican Republic and a surf camp with outstanding reviews near our resort in Punta Cana – Macao Surf Camp. I corresponded with them via email before we went down and set up private lessons one morning during our trip. They confirmed the reservation, let me know we would pay when we arrived and asked me to email them when we got to our resort to confirm.

The day of our lesson the van arrived to pick us up from our resort just a few minutes late, and we joined a group of people who had been picked up from different resorts on the way to the beach. There are four options for pick up times and they depend on where your resort is. Ours was close to the beach so we were picked up at 10:30am, but there was also an earlier pick up time and two afternoon times. The trip from our resort, the Iberostar Bavaro, was pretty quick; I would say 20-30 minutes max. The beach is an absolute gorgeous sight to pull up to. Beautiful water, clean sand, and waves! It is a local, public beach which was kind of neat, but a lot of tours stop there so it does have a touristy vibe as well. When we arrived to the surf school shack there were a lot of instructors and people sitting around, looking at us, and we really didn’t know what to do or where to go. Eventually it was figured out and we were given rash guards and a place to put our stuff. Just a note, we weren’t actually given lockers like it says in the Trip Advisor reviews, which wasn’t a big deal because if they stole my money they wouldn’t be getting paid for the lesson, but it may make some people feel uneasy. After a few minutes of standing around we were told to come to the sand for the first part of the lesson.

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Macao Beach

The beach lesson was taught by an older gentleman who spoke english well and was able to explain very clearly what we needed to do. He seemed to really know his stuff and I would bet he was a seasoned pro. After about 15 minutes of the sand instruction we were ready for the water and a group of instructors walked us down the beach to the spot we would be surfing. Note: for any avid surfers out there, this is a beach break so it is a nice sandy bottom, no reef to worry about crashing into. Now, the surf instructors did not really speak English, which made me think they were making fun of me because I couldn’t understand them… lol…I wish I spoke more Spanish!! Even though there was a language barrier, they had every single person in the water up on their boards, surfing the waves. If they wanted you to move back on your board they would just gently tug on your ankle or show you what your body should be doing (it’s like surfing charades!!) There were 5 of us in the group and probably 6-7 instructors in the water with us, plus the photographers….that’s right! Probably the best part of this was that they took professional photographs the entire time!! They took some of my boyfriend and I on the beach, posing with the surfboards and coconuts, and tons of us in the water. We bought the CD of about 400 photos for $50.00 which was awesome. Such a great keepsake!

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Sand Surfing

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This guy watched the whole time 🙂

Overall this was a great day. We were in the water for about 2 hours, with about a 15-20 minute coconut water break in the middle…which I desperately needed. I honestly headed in about 10 minutes before the others as my body was exhausted!! I caught lots of waves and also have photographic evidence of many wipe outs 🙂 While we walked back to the Surf Shack after the lesson the instructors broke their English out to ask us if we would be tipping them well, so we gave our instructors each $10.00. Total cost for the day was about $150.00 per person for transportation to and from the resort, surf lesson, rash guard and board rental, and photos. I would go back to this beach and surf again for sure, but since I’m so experienced now (ha!) I would probably just rent a board and skip the lesson 😉

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Have a fabulous trip! 🙂


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What I Pack: Beach Vacation

Besides a wide variety of bikinis, tank tops, and sun dresses, here are a few of my “must have” items when I go on a beach vacation! Happy Packing 🙂

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1 – A beach bag that you can put your camera, money and sunblock in when heading to the pool or beach. I’ve definitely forgotten one before and lugged around my purse…not cool. Sometimes hotels will also provide you with a lightweight bag in your room so if you do forget one, check your closet!!

2 – Great disposable razors. I choose disposable ones to travel with because then I can leave it there and not worry about packing it back up to bring home. I love to come home with less than I brought…leaves room for whatever new purchases you have acquired!

3 – Shaving cream. When you are shaving everyday to be pool and beach ready, a little shaving cream goes a long way in preventing razor burn.

4 – Dove Soap. I generally hate the soaps that are provided in hotels as they always make my skin feel dry and filmy after, so I always bring my own.

5 – Chapstick with SPF to save your lips from sunburn!

6 – Yummy tropical smelling lotion. It moisturizes and leaves you smelling delicious! I never bring perfumes with me to beach vacations for some reason so this lotion doubles as perfume and body moisturizer.

7 – Tanning accelorator. This changed my life. As a pale person who loves her SPF 30, a tanning accelerator lotion (like this Maui Babe) gives me a lovely rich, dark, tan that lasts longer than usual.

8 – SPF 30. Duh 🙂

9 – Travel size hair spray. It takes up way less room and is often a necessity as the humidity frizzes your hair.

10 – Good Conditioner. The sun, salt water, and chlorine can really dry out your hair, so along with my shampoo, I make sure to bring a great conditioner for my hair.

11 – Extra (inexpensive) sunglasses. OK, all my sunglasses are inexpensive as I tend to lose them…. So I bring extra.

12 – Facial Wipes. I don’t bring my whole skin care regimen on a beach holiday as it takes up suitcase space and with the salt water, chlorine, sun, sunscreen and snorkel masks…my face is taking a beating anyways. I do like to bring facial wipes to quickly and easily take off any makeup before bed.

13 – Exfoliator for my face. To get off all the sunscreen etc.

14 – A lightweight facial moisturizer. I like to use this one (with some salicylic acid in it to prevent breakouts) under my sunscreen.

Those are my essentials! What do you need to take with you when you are heading to the beach for a vacation??

Be sure to check back next week for a review of my experience at Macao Surf Camp in Punta Cana!

Have a Fabulous Trip! 🙂 xo


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Wish I was on the beach in Mexico… Cilantro Lime Chicken Quesadilla

Hello!

I’m just finishing up my review of the Iberostar Bavaro resort in Punta Cana, DR, so I thought I would post a recipe in the meantime! As I mentioned in my review of the Azul Fives resort, I LOVED the food in Mexico. I just find that there are flavours in the food there that make it taste fresh! I’ve decided (in a very scientific, research based manner of course) that two of those flavours are cilantro and lime, so I made this super easy quesadilla for those days I’m really missing the beach.

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Cilantro Lime Chicken Quesadilla

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (I use a rotisserie chicken from the store to make it quick and easy)
Juice of 1 lime
Handful of cilantro, chopped
Hot Sauce, to taste
Salt, to taste
Shredded cheese (I use the tex mex style, but any will work)
Flour tortillas

Combine shredded chicken, cilantro, lime juice, hot sauce and salt…..and then taste this delicious combination and try not to eat the whole bowl before you make a quesadilla 🙂

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Heat a small amount of olive oil in a frying pan, just so the tortilla doesn’t stick

Lay tortilla in pan and sprinkle a layer of cheese, covering the whole tortilla

Add a layer of chicken mixture

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Sprinkle additional cheese on top of chicken and place tortilla on top

To flip: place a plate over entitle tortilla and turn frying pan over (so you are then holding a plate with the cooked top if the quesadilla looking at you) the slide it back into the pan to cook bottom

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Cook until tortillas are golden and crispy and cheese is melted throughout

Serve with sour cream and enjoy!

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A bit About Me

Since I am providing you with reviews you may benefit from knowing a bit about me….

– I Check off the 27-35 age box when filling out forms

– I am not married, but I have a boyfriend who I travel with sometimes

– I do not have children or pets

– I have been to Puerta Plata, Punta Cana (twice), Varadaro, Honolulu, Las Vegas, and Playa del Carmen

– I teach Yoga part time

– I am quite pale and love to get a tan while on vacation

– I often meet people while travelling that I try to keep in touch with

– I’m an optimistic, introverted, extrovert…. It’s a thing!

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– I once rode a camel in Cuba (of all places…)

– I enjoy dancing

– I eat meat, but not seafood or fish

– I love to snorkel but scuba diving terrifies me

– I’m Terrified of sharks

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Found here

– BUT that hasn’t stopped me from surfing! Once in Hawaii and once in the Dominican Republic

– I like to create memories on vacation in the form of funny stories and experiences, I believe in living in the moment and not necessarily capturing it on film or buying a souvenir to commemorate

🙂

Sandy