PeruBlog-COVER

After four days in gray, fog-laden Lima, we hopped an early morning flight heading south to the old colonial capital of Arequipa. The clear blue skies greeted us upon landing, and within mere minutes, I felt the vitamin D seep into the dampness of my bones.

Yes, Arequipa was just what the doctor ordered.

With just over 24 hours in the city, my mom and I had no time to waste. We ate and drank well, made friends with our umpteenth taxi driver, confirmed our bus tickets to Puno (a near fiasco, BUT WE DID IT), enjoyed hanging with the locals in the Plaza de Armas, channeled our inner Maria von Trapp at a 437-year-old nun monastery, and saw as much of this ciudad linda (pretty city) as our tired legs could withstand.

We may have only been there a short time, but I can confidently say Arequipa is one of the most beautiful cities. The wide, open sky. Crisp, clean air. The colorful, colonial-era architecture. Every third building painted mustard yellow (my favorite color). Uneven cobblestone sidewalks. Bright bougainvilla everywhere. And to top it off, Peru’s second largest city sits over 2,000 meters high, squished between three gorgeous, looming volcanos.

Next time, we’re definitely staying for longer.

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WHERE TO STAY

We stayed at the Hotel Posada del Monasterio, which is conveniently located across the street from the Monasterio de Santa Catalina (see below). The rooms were clean and comfortable, and the rooftop had a gorgeous panoramic view of the city.


WHAT TO DO

The best thing we did was visit the Monasterio de Santa Catalina, a nun monastery dating back to 1579. The Sound of Music is one of my mom and I’s all-time favorite movies, so it was extra fun to spend the afternoon frolicking through the 20,000 square-meter complex.

The best recommendation I have for Arequipa is to grab a map of the El Centro Histórico (historical center), and walk your way through this UNESCO World Heritage area. Be sure to visit the Plaza de Armas to mingle with the locals, admire the colorful colonial architecture built from volcanic sillar rock, and step into the many Baroque-style churches.

Be sure to head outside the city center into the darling neighborhood of Yanahuara. Follow this one-mile walk from Lonely Planet, and you’ll arrive to a stunning view overlooking the city and El Misti volcano. There’s a small park with benches, gift shop and a lovely church on the right (when we visited on Sunday morning, there was a church social + cookout going on).


WHERE TO EAT

Start your day with crêpes and coffee at Crepísimo. For a light lunch or afternoon snack, stop at La Despensa. They’ve got pastries, sandwiches and munchies, not to mention a killer passionfruit chilcano (similar to a Moscow Mule). Save your appetite for dinner at Chicha, which is owned by Peru’s most famous chef, Gastón Acurio. The rocoto relleno (stuffed spicy peppers) and lomo saltado (sauteéd beef) were so good washed down with a rocoto sour (spicy pisco sour).

 

Puno-BlogCOVER

From Arequipa, we hopped a six-hour bus south to Puno and the bluer-than-blue shores of Lake Titicaca. After nearly a week of go-go-go, arriving in the picturesque town of Puno was a much-needed reprieve to gear up for our trek to Machu Picchu. A girl can only handle so many days of walking 20,000+ steps before she needs a comfy chair and a book, ya know?

With two days in Puno, our time was, again, short but we allowed ourselves to REST in preparation for the trek. That being said, I’m going to let the pictures take it from here.

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(^^like mother, like daughter in our hatred of spontaneous photos^^)


WHERE TO STAY

For the first two nights, we stayed atop the city of Puno at Mirador de Titikaka. The night taxi ride to the hotel was harrowing (my mom and I were convinced we were for sure getting killed), but I can’t say enough lovely things about it. The manager, Jorge, was so gracious and helpful, and the views are spectacular. A delicious breakfast of fresh bread, butter, jam, eggs, avocado, juice and yogurt is included in the very reasonable price.

On our third night, we ventured an hour north to stay on the Capachica peninsula in the cutest AirBnb ever. Walther and Mariela were the most gracious hosts with the most stunning property overlooking Lake Titicaca. All meals were included, although dinner cost an extra 10 soles ($3) each. My only regret is we weren’t able to stay here longer.


WHAT TO DO

The most popular attraction in Puno are the mysterious (and extremely touristy) Uros Floating Islands. I have lots of conflicting feelings about the Uros Islands, so if you’re thinking about going, please email me. Otherwise, know the islands themselves are quite impressive. The Uru people live on these man-made totora reed islands, which are an incredible site to behold in the middle of the deep blue waters of Lake Titicaca.

A surprisingly lovely afternoon was spent at Sillustani—a pre-Incan burial ground with 600-year-old funerary towers. Our favorite taxi driver (hola Raul!) drove us the 30 minutes to the site, and we spent the afternoon soaking in the pre-Incan history of burials.

With the gorgeousness of Lake Titicaca, my favorite afternoon was spent reading and hiking along the lake in Capachica. The beauty of this area is truly stunning, and it’s definitely best to take it in by doing nothing much other than leisurely appreciating its beauty.


WHERE TO EAT

We didn’t do much eating outside of our accommodations, but lunch at Mojsa was noteworthy. The passionfruit-rocoto pepper trout was perfectly sweet and spicy, while their warm Mojsa Energy drink (coca leaves, lemon + honey) helped stave off my lingering altitude sickness.

0 comments   /   travel




Catastrophe—Sharon Horgan + Rob Delaney

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m obsessed with the show Catastrophe. It’s about an Irish woman (Sharon) + an American man (Rob) who have a week-long stand, discover Sharon is pregnant and decide they’re not getting any younger, so they might as well give the whole family thing a go. It’s hilarious and highly-inappropriate and I literally laugh out loud every episode.

But my favorite part of the show is, perhaps, Sharon’s wardrobe! She has killer style. It’s colorful, bold and impeccably put together. Every outfit she wears manages to mix and match loud colors, unexpected patterns + contrasting textures in the most perfect way (see more here).

After a few years on the closet minimalism track (+ building towards a good wardrobe of neutral basics), I’m ready to bring color + pattern back into my life. Fashion should be FUN, and I think I forgot that while trying so hard to curate the “perfect wardrobe.”

Plus, the older I get, the less I care what others think. Leopard dress + sparkly black jacket, why the hell not??

As we head into the fall—aka the best fashion season—you can bet I’ll be putting together a few of these bright and quirky combos to wear myself.
 

Bold Pattern Mixing (inspired by Catastrophe's Sharon Horgan)
 

top photo / bottom photos 01 / 02 / 03 / 04 / 05 / 06 / 07 / 08

2 comments   /   fashion, inspiration




Links I Love

2016/09/07

linksilove-nc

HI HI HI HI.

If you follow me on the Instas, you know I spent the long, holiday weekend in North Carolina with one of my favorite people. The trip ended an up-and-down August with a much-needed mix of relaxation, good food and more wine than my 31-year-old body can handle. I crushed a Southern chicken biscuit at Krankie’s, hiked at Stone Mountain State Park, caught up on girl talk, endured a three-day hangover and got lots of Maizey cuddles, which are the best.

I’d like to say I’m looking forward to a quieter September, but I’ve overcommitted to life, per usual. However, one thing I’m determined to do is start blogging regularly. I’ve got more Peru photos to post (including Machu Picchu!), brand new design work, a closet minimalism update and a few more blog ideas brewing. Plus, inspiration for the return of my favorite season: FALL.

Cue the cliché montage of apples, apple crisp, sweaters, boots, cooler temps + pumpkin oatmeal.

Hope you had a restful Labor Day weekend, friends—enjoy the short week.


 
Add this city to the travel bucket list.

The cutest DIY (I’m making it for my sister’s nursery).

New TV obsession: Catastrophe on Amazon. I binged the entire series in two days.

A perfect end-of-summer summer cocktail.

A perfect end-of-summer dessert (I made it last week to rave reviews).

This self-initiated design project is so, so good.

The loveliest dresses (I want this one).

Get shit done.

The Fuck-Off Fund (brilliant!) via Cup of Jo

This is What a Feminist Looks Like. I’m going to miss you Mr. President.

The Writing Class I’d Like to Teach. YES.

Marie Kondo and the Ruthless War on Stuff. “But when it comes to stuff, we are all the same. Once we’ve divided all the drawers and eliminated that which does not bring us joy and categorized ourselves within an inch of our lives, we’ll find that the person lying beneath all the stuff was still just plain old us. We are all a mess, even when we’re done tidying.” via Rachel

Because the world could use more laughter: this and this.


 
“I’ll never know, and neither will you, of the life you don’t choose. We’ll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was the ghost ship that didn’t carry us. There’s nothing to do but salute it from the shore.” Cheryl Strayed

3 comments   /   Links I Love