20 Hours in Granada

Time Spent: 20 hours

Favorite Food / Drink: Jardines de Zoraya & El Huerto de Juan Ranas 

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Granada was perhaps one of the best twenty hours of the trip; between taking in all the sights at the Ahlambra & the delicious meals we kept talking about how this was one our favorite stops on our trip! We traveled early in the morning from Seville, (I’ll be posting our whole two week itinerary in a separate post so stay tuned for that). We arrived in Granada mid morning & couldn’t check into our Airbnb so we found a cafe & enjoyed some breakfast.  After we checked in, dropped our bags & changed clothes we headed out to catch the shuttle up the hill to the Ahlambra. We spent the whole afternoon exploring the grounds. There’s so much to see, we both agreed the gardens & the guest quarters were by far our favorite. As you can see from the photos the amount of Moorish details throughout is incredible.

After a full afternoon of sightseeing we headed out for some cocktails & dinner. We grabbed a drink & appetizer at El Huerto de Juan Ranas, they have a great outdoor patio with an incredible view looking right at the Ahlambra. It’s a little on the pricey side but definitely well worth it, especially if you’re able to time it at sunset! We walked to dinner at Jardines de Zoraya, which Chris had eaten at years ago when he first visited Granada. They also have an outdoor patio, with delicious food that is reasonably priced. After dinner we walked back to our Airbnb along the Passeo de los Tristes.

We only spent 20 hours in Granada, it was our busiest day with travel & walking, my fitbit counted us at nearly 30,000 steps that day but we had SO much fun!

Hope you enjoy these photos! I’m off to Scottsdale this weekend for a bachelorette, but I’ll be posting more photos from our Europe trip in the following weeks, along with our detailed itinerary.

ER Nurses Take Tahoe


These girls are the best ^
A few weeks ago my coworkers & I went on our annual trip to Lake Tahoe, it was such a fun getaway. I love everyone I work with & it’s so special when we’re all able to be in the same place at once, not working!! We stayed right near Fallen Leaf Lake & were about a 10 minute drive from Kiva Beach on Lake Tahoe. Kiva beach, is a fairly large, dog friendly beach. At the beach you have gorgeous panoramic views of the whole lake & behind the beach is a beautiful meadow with the sierra’s lining the background. It was mid July & the mountains still had snow caps on them!

Like I mentioned before, it’s so special when we can actually coordinate all of our busy schedules & find a time when we can all be together. Many of us work more than one job, so finding a 4 day stretch where we can be together is a miracle! My nursing family is amazing, I’ve learned so much from each one of them & am constantly inspired. It’s so rare to find such an amazing group of people you work with. Granted, many have moved on to other jobs but we’ve all remained close. Nursing is a tremendously hard job & if you can’t find balance in your life then you’re going to have a hard time coping. Weekend getaways like this one remind me what incredibly compassionate, generous, hilarious women I’m surrounded by, & push me to expect more of myself. I just had my 4 year anniversary as a nurse & a lot of the girls in these photos were there from the very beginning. We encouraged each other & helped one another become the amazing nurses we are today. One of my favorite quotes that embodies nursing is this: “The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others”. As true as this is, I think I’ve also found myself working side by side with these gals. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of others I work side by side with that I consider to be my Nurse role models / mentors, but these girls are gold.

Stay tuned for more photos with them because this weekend we’re headed to our first ever black tie event together… just keep in mind these are girls who wear glorified pajamas to work each day (scrubs).

Monday Through Friday – Kauai Edition 

 

This past March I was lucky enough to spend a week in Kauai with my best friend. We are both nurses and have flexible schedules that allow a Monday through Friday vacation to happen, unlike my husband who spends m-f in the office.

If you’ve never been to Hawaii, GO! I was certainly skeptical before my first trip, having traveled to Brazil multiple times as a young adult I thought I knew what a real “beach vacation” was. Hawaii however is spectacular in it’s own ways, not to mention the fact that it’s significantly easier and more affordable to travel to than most tropical locations.  If you are traveling from the west coast you can typically find some great deals on airfare to the islands. For more details on how we managed to make our trip affordable see the Real Talk Section down below.

Some background on Kauai, it’s the most tropical of all the Hawaiian Islands and the northern most point is actually considered one of the rainiest points in the world. However don’t let that deter you, sun can be found easily by traveling south. With all the rain Kauai sees it’s incredibly lush and green, which made it the perfect setting for the filming of the original Jurrasic Park! In fact you can even take a helicopter tour to the Jurassic Park waterfall.  

Nearly the entire eastern border of Kauai is unreachable by car. The eastern side is made of sheer cliffs and canyons, known as the Napali Coast. Just because you can’t drive along it doesn’t mean you can’t experience the breathtaking views. On our trip we explored both by foot and by land. 

I have to say my number one Kauai recommendation is hiking along the Napali Coast. Not only are the views are incredible, but you are surrounded by lush tropical rainforest. I will mention that we only hiked about 4 miles in, although the trail continues on for many more miles for those who are eager enough to tackle more, and for those who are more prepared than we were! (oops for not bringing enough food / water – rookie mistake). 

The Napali Coast Trailhead. The parking lot for the state park can fill up quickly, so getting there early is a good idea, although we were able to park in a dirt lot about 0.5 miles from the trailhead.

 
Much of the trail looks like this, it can be very muddy / slippery in spots. Old shoes are definitely recommended. We saw many people hiking in sandals, i would not recommend this, I’ll add those people looked fairly unhappy.

 
Another example of the slippery / wet terrain.

 
Aside from the trail being muddy & slick, much of the trail has breathtaking views of the sheer cliffs like this one, definitely worth the price of admission.

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Some of the vivid botanicals seen along the hike! 

 
Parts of this hike can be very steep & rocky. My partner in crime hiking down one of the steeper parts of the trail. When we researched the hike, there was little mention of the difficulty / trail conditions. Luckily for us we wore appropriate shoes & are generally in shape. But I definitely felt bad for those who were surprised by the tough conditions.

 

By the end of the hike our shoes were pretty much done for. Luckily there is a shower  / faucet for you to rinse off. I’d strongly recommend a change of clothes and shoes though.

   
One of our days we spent on a guided boat tour, exploring the Napali Coast from the Southern end. It’s canyons and cliffs for miles.  You can tell by the photos the day we went out wasn’t the sunniest. The water was actually quite rough and we weren’t able to explore the caves but it’s on my list for next time. We did manage to see packs of dolphins and whales so can’t complain! 

 Another Kauai highlight – the best snorkeling can be found easily off shore, no need for expensive boat tours. We found excellent snorkeling at Poipu Beach, located south. It’s a safe well populated beach location that does have on duty lifeguards as well for those who are nervous about ocean swimming.  

Poipu Beach – where the snorkeling photos below took place!

  

Enough fish for ya?!

 
On our trip we rented an Airbnb near Lydgate Beach, which is located on the western side of the island about halfway between Poipu and Princeville. We were able to catch both a spectacular sunrise and sunset at Lydgate Beach.

Full moons & headstands.  

Can you tell I was excited to be celebrating my belated birthday on the beach!?

The morning before our flight we forced our nightshift bodies to wake up early and catch the sunrise. A must if you’re in Hawaii. 

One of the most gorgeous sunrises I’ve been lucky enough to capture.   

My best friend makes for not only an excellent travel companion but she’s a great model 🙂

  

Real Talk

We made this trip economical by booking on off season and were able to find a good deal on our flights. We also found an airbnb that was minutes from Lydgate beach and only ran us about $50 / person / night! having an Airbnb makes meals significantly less expensive than staying at hotel or resort. We went to a nearby grocery store and bought simple things for breakfast as well as wine / beer.  Food can be one of the most expensive additional costs to any vacation, so being able to store / prepare your own food can help save big bucks!

Hope you enjoyed this peak at our Hawaiian getaway  🙂