My name is Diana Elizabeth. My husband and I live in a restored 1952 red brick home that sits on a former citrus grove in Phoenix. I'm a journalist who went from writing about fashion and reporting on the LA red carpet to a photographer and FORD model. When I'm not behind or in front of a camera, I enjoy blogging about my home projects, and the things that make me happy with camera in hand.
I appreciate old homes, love adding fruit trees to our yard, and I firmly believe making a house a home is a wonderfully fun ongoing project. I'm bravely jumping into the domestic life hoping one day I will bake a homemade pie so I earn my badge. This is a glimpse into my life and work.
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My Ireland earring turned necklace charm came back from the jewelers earlier this week. I am absolutely crazy about it. It’s 10K gold and Melayne and I decided it was the perfect size for a necklace charm, so we split it.
The Claddagh ring originated from Galway (one of our favorite places we visited) and the heart represents love, the hands represent friendship, and the crown represents loyalty. It’s typically used as friendship rings but commonly used as engagement rings too. I just read that in Ireland and the States it’s handed down from mother-to-daughter or grandmother-to-granddaughter. How special is that?
My girlfriend Kate told me that when she and her twin were young and traveled with her grandparents, they would encourage the girls to pick, “something that would last forever.” We had a good chuckle over the things we would have picked as a child to the reality of collecting things that truly last forever. What wisdom. Kate still has her paperweight from London and I know I’ll always have this to remind me of the pure beauty and memory of our Ireland trip.
And of course made in authenticity on the back.
Diana Elizabeth thinks buying things that she can use all the time are great souvenirs too. She can use them every day and think of the places she’s been.
You call people English, not British, FYI, only Americans are the ones who call the Brits, I mean, English, British. I was happy to return four years later, much sooner than I thought to enjoy this beautiful city. London is just a 50 minute flight from Dublin so after our Ireland trip we decided to explore London since Melayne has never been. If you fly into LHR, there’s the Heathrow Express train that takes only 15 minutes above ground and 20 pounds to take you into the train station at Paddington in London. You can then get a cab to wherever you need. Super fast and really affordable, the best way to go.
This is my friend Hitch, also known as James. He is an Irish boy living in London, and a friend I met four years ago when I was in corporate marketing helping open up the London base. He was spelling Fulham to me, and when he said the letter “H” it sounded like “Hitch” and I wrote, Fulhitcham. A little confusion back and forth made us realize that he was saying the letter H. And so, I gave him this name. I adore old friends, even when they have the guts to ask if you’re wearing pajamas when you’re wearing flowy jogging pants. That English bluntless, sheesh – wouldn’t sound as nice if they didn’t have a nice accent to get away with it.
Melayne and I jumped on a double decker Big Bus Tour to enjoy the sights. Your 24-hour ticket doesn’t start until you get on your first bus stop and they scan it. We got the 48-hour pass.
We were suggested by a sales person from Fortnum & Mason to check out Sketch. Um, let’s just say the place is a trip, like Alice in Wonderland on acid. The egg pods? Oh, that’s the bathroom and that’s where you do your thing as a man talks to you and tells you what type of animal you are hatching into.
A few more sights after detour shopping…
Ah, the Parliament!
We also saw the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace which I was thrilled to finally see. When I went in October they had just changed the schedule, wasting my time of freezing my tush off as I waited at the gates. Make sure you check the schedule and times before you go!
My favorite structure in all of London, Westminster Abbey. I think I love it so much because of all the royalty happenings that have taken place here. I love the royals!
This is on the side of the building and I had to take another photo of it.
Melayne also had this thing with jumping in front of things – castles, structures, it was hilarious. By the fourth time I had to time it, I nailed it and I could probably catch her in perfect jumping form by the first shot. My speedy trigger finger helped especially in very busy situations when there were a ton of people observing us crazy Americans.
After hot dogs on the lawn of Westminster, we jumped on a little cruise that was included in our Big Bus Tour and headed over to the Tower of London. Here’s the London Eye.
This is not London Bridge. I repeat, Americans, stop getting it confused. This is the Tower Bridge, it’s beautiful.
Now this is is the London Bridge. Not so impressive right? I know it seems suiting that a nursery song would be after the pretty bridge, but it’s not. The bridge is even labeled probably due to people mistaking it constantly, can you see it below the arches?
Behold, the Tower of London! Where the kings and queens lived, beheaded people, where hangings occurred, lots of murders of royalty and well, home to The Crown Jewels. Built in the early 1080s, it’s been lived in by successful monarchs. It was spectacular to check out especially since I hadn’t done this the last time I was here.
I was not allowed to take any photos inside – just incase I were to attempt to pull an Oceans Twelve.
This guard was totally looking at our selfie screen by the way. I’m sure he was super curious how my LCD screen flipped up on my Sony NEX-5R so we could see ourselves. I tell you, that selfie screen sure has come in handy!
We rode the tube and walked through Kensington Gardens, another favorite place of mine. This is where lots of royalty have lived, including the late Princess Diana until her death. It was closed by the time we got there, but you can’t do London in 3 days, there’s just too much to see. We walked all the way through Kensington Gardens and into Hyde Park before shopping for the evening and retiring to our hotel, Flemings Mayfair.
But of course.
London, I hope to see you again real soon, you are just as lovely as I remembered.
Diana Elizabeth was told that Americans stand out because we are well manicured and groomed with good hair and makeup, and we also have straight white teeth.
This pretty much sums up how I felt about shopping on vacation.
If you aren’t familiar with Liberty London, good Lord, get yourself familiar with them! They have collaborated with J.Crew and Target, and their prints are just amazing. I’ll show you what I bought later in this post.
When it comes to buying souvenirs, I’m very particular since the last thing I want is to buy something that has a “Made in China” sticker slapped on it. I look at tags to see where it’s been made, and if it’s something I’d use so I can remember that lovely time. If so, then it’s worth my suitcase space and weight.
Now a peek into Liberty London…
Here’s what I bought for Mr. Wonderful – most items from Ireland.
The lemon curd didn’t make it home – it got taken away at security, boo. You gotta pack those things and check it in apparently. The gold coins are chocolate (he likes metals) and the grandfather sweatshirt is made in Ireland. Coke is also doing a campaign of “Share a Coke with ___” on the side of bottles so I had to buy one with his name. Melayne was trying to find a specific name (only certain names were on there, and some were very interesting names) and she said, “I just keep finding all your exes names and your husband!” and we had a good laugh. We thought about lining them all up and taking a picture but that would just be a terrible memory. *wink*
When we headed up to Northern Ireland to check out the Giant’s Causeway we stopped in the gift shop. My parents love ceramics, I’ve seen them buy Alaskan ceramics and things from local artists so I knew they’d love this little sheep.
And here’s what I bought for myself, I mean, us.
This lace is called Carrickmacross Lace which is famous because it’s all handmade. Kate Middleton’s dress had lace that was inspired by the stitching techniques and also the late Princess Diana’s wedding dress had Carrickmacross Lace on it. I bought an Ireland ornament and a patch that I’ll frame in my office. Not pictured are two maps – one of Northern Ireland and another a sketch of Ashford Castle’s property layout which I can’t wait to frame in my office. The silver ornament is Ashford Castle, I cannot wait to return one day!
This is one Claddagh ring earring (pictured below), and here’s the reason why there’s one – Melayne has the other. We decided to go dutch on this set and go to our local jewelers and have them turn it into a necklace charm for each of us. We wanted real gold and a very particular size of the Claddagh ring (which represents love, loyalty and friendship) and was created in Galway. When we couldn’t find what we wanted, we knew this was our best compromise. Oh, and here’s my insane collection of Irish tea towels. I’m only keeping the top two, the rest are gifts.
I’m clearly crazy about tea towels. Also bought a glass bottle from Cabra Castle, it was only 5 euros.
Above are all goodies from Fortnum & Mason - the most amazing favorite store of mine in London. More tea towels and a silver orange butter knife, Christmas ornament, ceramic herb jar, and a cooking book. They sell all home goods – and not that Home Goods, but home goooooods, and you can shop online, woohoo!
I bought a tea towel from Liberty London, a purse mirror and coaster for my office. At Westminster Abbey I found a darling small KJV Bible, watercolor mug and Prince George Christmas ornament. I love getting ornaments from where I’ve traveled.
And now the inside of Fortnum & Mason…(this is a clock that goes off every hour and does a little display dance and has been happening since 1964).
They also just put out their Christmas room!
Just floors and floors of home good themed floors! Here’s the market downstairs where we bought yummies for dinner to take back to our hotel, Flemings Mayfair right off Picadilly, so central and perfect!
Back in Ireland, in Galway, Melayne saw a vendor on the streets who knitted caps, so she bought one for her niece. Now she has a story and a photo to go with it!
So that was the shopping I did friends! The exchange rate wasn’t awesome for Americans, as 1 Euro = $1.32 and 1 Pound = $1.56, plus or minus. So, unfortunately things weren’t exactly a deal in Ireland or London.
And some things you just take a photo in and that’s your souvenir!
I’ve realized that I collect two things while traveling – ornaments and tea towels. Do you collect anything?
Diana Elizabeth can’t wait to return, if she lived on the East Coast she would go to Europe all the time.
If you can’t see this on iPhone, click here.
Here is a little video montage I put together from a few clips using the Sony NEX-5R and Sony Action Cam (for the road clips) from our experience driving in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, all the places we went, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Giant’s Causeway, Galway, Ashford Castle, Cabra Castle, and of course, the best for last, walking a hawk in Cong at Ashford Castle!
I was so blessed by Sony to be given so much awesome equipment that I took with me on the long plane rides. They were all so lightweight and compact that they fit in my black shoulder carry on here:
I am not above wearing sweatpants especially for a flight across the world. For the record, they are J.Crew’s Saturday pant so they’re class. Also you can’t really see my backpack but it’s the Sony VAIO laptop backpack which is so awesome – so many pockets and it’s actually really nice looking. I’d highly recommend it if you need a new backpack.
For our trip I brought the Sony Action Cam (competitor to the GoPro) and mounted on our little rental car dashboard as we drove through the country roads of Ireland. Here it is in the weather and waterproof mount – I am thinking I need to go snorkeling in the Caribbean again and use it! Hint, hint, Mr.
I used 3M velcro adhesive last minute. I know, that’s so ghetto style, but I bought a car mount and realized if I left it outside of the car on my side it would get side swiped with how narrow the roads in Ireland were! I was a bit concerned about a few things with my Sony Action Cam – the reflection off the front of the car windshield, but I knew it was safer inside the car, and also the possible shakiness of the road and my jerry-rigged set up. But with Sony stabilization the footage are shake-free and you can wear the action cam – if say you’re an extreme biker, snowboarder, or the like. There’s also GPS and Wi-Fi integrated in it so you can remember where you were and immediately see and upload the footage.
I included a few road clips so you could see the roads of Ireland because they are just gorgeous! The other clips were taken by the Sony NEX-5R. It has been cool to have the flip up LCD so I can see what I’m filming a selfie when I’m talking to the camera. Hope you enjoyed the video!
Diana Elizabeth is glad she paid attention in broadcast journalism class where she learned video editing, she used iMovie and it was super easy to use!
Disclaimer: I am part of the Sony Club Blogger Program by Sony Electronics where a group of selected bloggers have been given the opportunity to test and review Sony gear.
Have you ever wondered what the homes in Ireland look like? Well, thank goodness for you, I’m a home stalker and snapped some pics with my Sony NEX-5R (that Sony provided to me) to share with you!
My favorite thing was seeing the additional door to a see-thru mudroom most homes seemed to have (below). You can say Ireland weather is like Seattle – cloudy, rainy all year long and very unpredictable with rain. I would love to incorporate the glass front mudroom look to our home in the future.
And these were snapped on our way to Dublin on a double decker bus. I used the fastest shutter speed I could as we drove by. It seems as though each home has their own private little parking area away from the busy streets.
There were lots of Tudor style homes there too which I love!
And this is Cullen’s Cottage, a restaurant at Ashford Castle. Yes I said Cullen.
And I found a Coke with Edward on it and so I had to do this…
Just representing Team Edward, in Ireland.
Diana Elizabeth says what were the chances she’d find and Edward coke and then eat dinner at Cullen’s later that night? A Twilight miracle!
Walking a hawk on Ashford Castle grounds in Republic of Ireland
Ireland has always been that dreamy place I’ve always wanted to go for quite some time and so when I saw a Groupon (for real) package that included a castle tour for hotel stays and a rental car, I knew it was the perfect opportunity. Of course with all the upgrades we did it wasn’t exactly cheap, but it was still that incentive to go. Now finding a travel companion is very tricky – you have to find someone who can go at the same pace as you, spend the same amount of money on things you want to do, has the same interests, and someone you won’t want to pull their hair out by the end of the trip.
Mr. Wonderful wasn’t interested in the long flights and said somebody had to stay home and work and well, pay for the trip. I was so happy that my long time girlfriend Melayne was up for the adventure. She realized how close were were to London and so we threw in a 3 and a half day London trip – a 50 minute flight from Dublin! I’ll share the London pictures next week, for now, let’s just talk about this dreamy place called Ireland, all shot with my Sony NEX-5R.
We flew from Phoenix to Chicago, and took a red eye to Dublin, landing at 10 a.m. We got our Dan Dooley rental car – upgraded that baby to automatic because could you imagine driving on the left side of the road with a stick with the clutch and all on the other side? No way! We decided to not explore Dublin just yet and head straight through the country for a two hour drive to our first castle hotel. Here’s a driving tip that a man told us – Red means red, stop, no turns. Left side is the slow lane, right lane is the fast lane. You gas up your car at a station then you go in and pay.
On the way there we were amazed to see exactly what we thought we would – sheep, rolling hills, green, fog, overcast, we breathed in deep and often pulled over to just snap a photo and take it in.
At our first hotel Cabra Castle, we didn’t stay in the castle, but were on the grounds. We had a cute cabin, like this one. And the grounds were just gorgeous!
Melayne really wanted to see some ocean/bay on our first day so we just looked at our GPS and tried to follow some water. Only this is what we found…
Ireland had less rain than usual the last few months so a few boats were stranded. They’ll come back though, but we just weren’t that close enough to the ocean since we were in the midlands already. Here’s a pretty shot of a cemetery that I nearly died crossing a busy road trying to capture, the irony.
The next morning we took off to Northern Ireland, the British part. If you want to understand the whole division between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, read this. And, don’t really mention it, they don’t like to talk about it. So since it’s British, they use pounds as currency. I was glad we already had a trip planned to London and I had some to buy some treats. In true British fashion, they are very patriotic.
We took the Causeway Coastal route to sightsee along the way. Rugby game while the ocean is in the background, can you imagine?
No they had no idea I snapped a photo of them – I couldn’t help it, I’m a wedding photographer! Look how perfect their cute little blanket is. They were reading a book together.
Heading up to Northern Ireland was a huge detour for us, but a few spots were highly recommended to us by the restaurant owner we ate at the night before. That was pretty much how our entire trip went – we had conversation with several people at a bar, gas station stop, you name it and they would give us directions and ideas on places to see next, and off we went! I can’t express how genuinely friendly and sweet the Irish are. Of course Melayne and I stayed and passed through small towns but we wouldn’t have had it any other way – to really see how locals live. When people heard our accents they asked where we were from and what we were doing in their town (that’s how small they were) and we’d chat it up, get some ideas on where to go next, and people would take the time to write directions down for us. I love the Irish so so so much! Ok, back to travel photos.
The first stop in Nothern Ireland was the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge. It was raining sideways before we got there! Thankfully the rain died down so we could cross the bridge. These images are not photoshopped, this is exactly what we saw as we walked to the location of the rope bridge.
Just 5 minutes down the road was our second stop, Giant’s Causeway, it’s ancient volcanic lava flow that crazy enough created these insane columns and they are in the most beautiful shapes – like hexagons! They call it Giant’s Causeway because the legend is that a Giant built it, read it here. As you can see, this detour was absolutely worth the gas and time!
Because our GPS wanted to route us through every small town on the way in, we rolled into our next castle, back into the Republic of Ireland at 2 a.m. The next morning we decided to explore our hotel, Kilronan Castle. There was a town about 30 minutes away called Sligo, very small but we liked it! We ate at a pub called McHughs and made a few friends which then helped us decide our next stops.
This wasn’t at the pub, but a different restaurant. We ordered a club sandwich but what we got was a cod. They didn’t understand our accents and we didn’t understand theirs. Oops. Also parking the car underground with their levels made much more sense to me than our system. Ground floor is just level 0 and you work your way up or down from there.
Off to our next destination which was Galway, we drove through Boyle and saw horses and people and realized the Boyle Horse and Summer Show was going on! We did a quick 30 minute stop to see horses jump, compete, and a dog show! I love that Melayne is just as spontaneous as I am, ready to pay for a quick ticket just for the experience. It was so class!
After enough random stops, we finally made it to Galway and we loved it! We shopped, a lot!
Then we rolled into Ashford Castle late at night and decided to explore the next morning. This is where we would stay for two nights and the highlight of our trip. This castle was built in 1228 and later was formerly home to the Guinness family – actually a vacation home before given to Ireland for a fraction of the value as a gift so it became a castle hotel in 1939. After we realized how many different things you could do while on castle grounds – walk a hawk, horseback riding, archery, cruise around the Corrib, fishing, Melayne and I decided to forget about Cork and stay put to finally enjoy where we were. We are SO glad we did.
Woke up and had a lovely breakfast where I felt like I was living the Downtown Abbey life! Then hopped on a ferry for a cruise on the Corrib which was an hour long.
We walked to the nearest little town called Cong which is a 15 minute walk.
In Cong, we found ourselves at Pat Cohan’s Pub, where scenes from John Wayne’s movie, ‘The Quiet Man’ was filmed. Melayne knows Marissa Wayne, John Wayne’s daughter and so this stop was very important for her. The owners were amazing and so nice, as all the Irish were to us.
Back to Ashford Castle, to WALK A HAWK at Ireland’s School of Falconry!! Have you ever seen the State Farm commercial about the guy who saves money and buys a falcon? Well Mr. Wonderful is like that too – he loves hawks and eagles and falcons! So when it was suggested to us by other hotel visitors to walk a hawk, we thought, Let’s do it! When and where else will we ever have the opportunity?
There were falcons, owls and hawks! Each bird had their own perch they were tied to for a reason – so they wouldn’t fight for their food or territory. It kept them safe from each other.
Our falcon’s name was Fomhar means Autumn but pronounced like “Fallver” and he was born in 2009. The little owl I was told loves brunettes in ponytails but doesn’t like children. It’s funny how the trainers can tell bird personalities. Walking a hawk is basically taking it out to the woods and walking with it as it flies around with you and comes back to you. I’m going to put a video collage up next week for you to watch our trip with the gear I brought, but for now, here are some pics.
Isn’t he beautiful? Our guide was Conal and he was awesome! He taught us a few Irish lingos, like, “It was class” and “That’s savage!”
After, we walked the grounds of Ashford Castle before dinner.
Our last day was to head to our last castle, Dunboyne Castle Hotel which is close to Dublin. We took a bus into Dublin since it’s a little crazy there. Dublin is very busy, and very city like where it’s crowded and dirty. You can say that we didn’t really like it and we both would have been OK not seeing Dublin. But, we were already there and made the best of it seeing Trinity College, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Christ Church Cathedral and Dublin Castle. We liked seeing ruins and history so we stayed off the streets as much as we could.
Here’s Dunboyne before we left to catch our quick fight into London!
These were all taken with my Sony NEX-5R camera, provided by Sony – the perfect compact travel companion with DSLR quality. I was so glad I bought my extra lenses and it was so light it fit in my purse!
Highlights or things you should know if you’re visiting:
Diana Elizabeth left a part of her heart in Ireland, with the people she met and the places she went. She always thought this trip was a once in a lifetime thing, but now she knows she’ll definitely be returning again.
I returned last night at 11 pm after catching three flights to return home. I awoke at 6 am and decided to take advantage of this once in a lifetime event of waking up early and already checked on the garden, started a load of laundry, took a shower, and responded to some emails. I can probably maintain this early bird lifestyle for the next month before I go back to staying up late and waking up when everyone has already started their morning routine.
I am happy to sleep in my own bed and wake up to Mr. Wonderful, but my heart is really sad not being in Ireland or London any longer. If I lived on the east coast I would be traveling so very much and so very often.
For now, let’s admire my perfect herkie form on castle grounds – Kilronan Castle to be exact.
I hurt for two days after doing this by the way. At my age, I shouldn’t be doing things like that.
Diana Elizabeth is excited to put together a beautiful album this week.
The many outfits I wore on the Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas
Nassau, Bahamas + Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas + Philipsburg, St. Maarten
Text message from Dad: ”Just saw your photos…how many new outfits did you buy!”
Me: “Hey they were on sale!”
Some were anyway. This was the quick conversation I had with my pops over text after he made sure we were OK and survived Hurricane Sandy that hit while we were on our cruise ship.
OK, so I bought a lot of outfits for the cruise. And yeah, so I even managed to pack so I didn’t have to wear a single thing twice. Neons don’t make it into fall, but they certainly make it into the Caribbean cruise/resort wear! Hurray for J.Crew sales and me raiding the racks to find some of my outfits!
As for Hurricane Sandy, the last two sea days were rocking that as I sit in my chair right now I feel like I’m on the ship. I feel like I’m drunk. Mr. Wonderful and I even bought drugs and bracelets to try to cope with the motion – while we weren’t seasick, apparently nothing can make the feeling of the boat motion disappear. Thank goodness it was only the last two days we were at sea.
This was my second cruise in my life – the first for Mr. Wonderful. The first time I was around 11 and went to Alaska with my folks and was easily entertained by the kiddie activities so this was clearly a new experience.
For those wondering about cruises, here’s a few things you should know:
For you photographers who are wondering how we managed to get the backlighting shots (even a friend who I handed the camera to take a photo asked, “But the sun is behind you!”) I shot all these with a MANUAL point and shoot that opens up to f2 and ISO 6400. The Canon Powershot S100 with image stabilization is amazing and worth every penny. You could immediately see what your image would look like on specific settings as you changed them. The instructor in me immediately thought, “This would be so easy for someone to learn manual mode!” I’d highly recommend this for photogs who travel and don’t want to take the bulky DSLR.
And in true former magazine reporter/stylist fashion, I’m going to give you the lowdown on where I bought my resort wear/cruise outfits incase you were wondering! I’m going to feel like a fashion blogger.
Row 1: White long-sleeve top, belt, shorts, cardigan: J.Crew, cross-over bag and sandals: Cole Haan / Yellow rope cardigan: Forever 21, Metallic sandals and Anchor T-shirt: J.Crew, green striped shorts: Old Navy, clutch: Steve Madden at Marshalls / Floral top: Tory Burch found at Last Chance, orange bow shorts from Off Saks Fifth, Cross-over bag and Sandals: Cole Haan. Row 2: dress: Anthropologie / orange hi-low dress: Marshalls, gold heels: Lauren by Ralph Lauren, clutch: Steve Madden. Row 3: color block striped dress: Old Navy, floppy hat: Forever 21 / Cardigan, shirt, neon green shorts: J.Crew, gold heels: Lauren by Ralph Lauren. Row 4: Color block striped dress: Old Navy, leather gold bracelet: Sundrops Nail Spot, leather belt: Ralph Lauren (sorry dad, I’m not giving it back), sunglasses: Tom Ford. Row 5 (formal nights): Wrap front halter dress: Alice + Olivia, vintage gold belt, clutch: Ellian, heels: INC / White sugar shift dress: BHLDN by Anthropologie, gold clutch: Ellian, heels: INC
Diana Elizabeth kept thinking the entire time, “What would my parents be doing now?” as she looked over the daily schedule. Her parents cruise quarterly, everywhere, Alaska, Hawaii, Caribbean, Mexico, you name it.
And, we’re back from our 8 day honeymoon in Kona, HI. I know, I’m like in Hawaii all the time (my high school girl gang getaway + my 30th birthday all in a year). I love it – it’s the closest paradise that is in the US which makes everything so easy! Mr. Wonderful and I enjoyed staying at the Hilton Waikoloa Village which is pretty much amazing.
I love the way my skin feels and looks in Hawaii. It just feels so fresh and wonderful.
We delayed our honeymoon trip with so much going on after we wed. Hands down, we both agree it was one of the best decisions ever made. It seems like the trendy thing to do as couples take a few days off to catch up on sleep, open wedding gifts, then pack for their honeymoon and then depart. We waited three months and I wouldn’t necessarily say you need to wait that long, but it worked for us. Benjamin had a case in the OR on the Monday following our wedding so work never really stopped and I needed time before my spring wedding season started up along with a lot of moving our belongings to merge together.
On a side note, I’d like to go back to my reporting days and be sponsored to travel and document and blog about my experience. Any hotel takers? I have a less than 1% bounce rate and page views in the tens of thousands…How do I sign up for that job – perhaps I should work for a travel website. *wink*
My traveling lesson – bring the camera remote! Silly me had 10 seconds for a countdown to snap any photos of us, why oh why did I forget that? Oh well!
For now, I will leave you with an adorable sleeping sea turtle that we came across while walking around our hotel, a regular site around our hotel.
Diana Elizabeth does heavily accessorize even while going to the beach and while on vacation. It’s something she picked up when she was a stylist for a magazine and she says, you can never over do it!
I should be more tan than I am. However, we did more exploring than laying out during our five days in Maui. On our first full day, we left our hotel room at 4:30 am to drive to a volcano to see the sunrise over the clouds. We visited a botanical garden, we were on the Road to Hana, we were super adventurous. And, when we were so tired we laid on the sofa and watched the A&E Hoarder’s marathon.
The Fairmont Kea Lani was absolutely gorgeous. We would all agree that the service at Fairmont was amazing, from all of the service to the print outs they’d give us with directions to restaurants at the front desk, we couldn’t have had more fun than we did. We just needed more time! And, Enterprise is super quick for check in and out if you ever want to go. Kudos to them too!
The locals seemed to love us. I’d guess this one kid was 17 years old since he worked at a surf shop, he ran to the window to tap on it as I walked by to tell me he loved me. I told him thank you. Oh, if he only knew I was there celebrating my 30th birthday. Yeah, I’ve still got it.
I’m so appreciative to my friends Rachel and Brittany for accompanying me on this trip, (my last trip as a single girl) and celebrating this milestone of age with me. I’m not sure if I could have had any more laughs with any other company and so glad we Flip recorded a huge amount of our trip. I will cherish this for the rest of my life, I love you girls!
A quick picture from the botanical gardens. Isn’t this tree awesome?
And of course, iPhone pics!
There were a few lovely surprises, my friends Melissa and Asher had a birthday cake for me when I checked in, and my long time high school friend Carrie who lives in Hilo with her husband sent me these flowers to the hotel. My friends are so thoughtful and it was so unnecessary but the gesture was the sweetest, thank you guys.
If any of you are on Instagram, find me (username: dianaelizabeth_)! I love Instagram because you get a bit more personal glimpse into people’s lives because sometimes, they don’t post everything on Facebook or blogs – I know I don’t. Sometimes I run personal pictures through the ap because it’s just that much cooler.
Diana Elizabeth is getting married this weekend. Mr. Wonderful said that he wants to wear his ring because he’s engaged and he wants an engagement ring. It’s pretty cute. He’s not exactly aware of how weddings work so it’s been fun. They have also been reading the books “Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts” which has two workbooks. It was recommended to them by Benjamin’s cousin who is a pastor. It is wonderful!
Hi! I’m Diana Elizabeth, named after Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth. I'm a photographer, wife, model, and Christ follower. I'm just learning as I go and sharing my stories!
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