Weight Loss. Travel Gains

An impromptu text message from a friend turned into a much needed getaway weekend to the Cape! Cape Cod (affectionately known as “The Cape”) located in the southeastern corner of Massachusetts, is an actual cape or headland that extends into the Atlantic Ocean. Its busy season is in the summer when it’s majestic beaches, maritime character and resort destinations/islands attract heavy tourists from New England locals, eager vacationers, and many celebrities. For those of us who live in New England, a visit to the Cape is the cherry on top to the perfect summer!

Cape Cod, or Barnstable County, is comprised of 15 towns: Bourne, Sandwich, Falmouth, Mashpee, Barnstable, Yarmouth, Harwich, Dennis, Brewster, Chatman, Orleans, Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro and Provincenton, split into 4 sections, Upper Cape, Mid-Cape, Lower Cape, and Outer Cape.

South of the Cape, you’ll find popular New England destinations, Nantucket Island and Martha’s Vineyard.

Getting There

Unlike it’s popular cousin Martha’s Vineyard, you don’t need to catch the ferry to get over to Cape Cod, instead you can pop in your destination via google maps and make a road trip out of it. You’ll get to drive over the popular Cape Cod Canal.

-From Boston, it’ll take you approximately 90 minutes with light traffic following along I-93S (plan to leave early to avoid traffic)
-From NYC, the ride is approximately 5 hours following along I-95N

Depending on where you stay will determine if you will have access to parking, but most rentals provide them!

And though I mentioned that there’s not a true need to catch the ferry, it certainly is an option and can make a quick day-trip/activity from Boston. Seasonal ferry service is available from Boston to Provincetown (P-Town), with traditional or high-speed ferry routes available. Visit capecodchamber.org or cityexperiences.com to get more information on scheduling and tickets. Expect to pay around $65 USD for a 1-way ticket from Boston to P-Town for adults and $42 USD for a 1-way ticket for children (ages 3-11).

There’s also a train, the CapeFLYER that offers service between Boston and Cape Cod on weekends (Friday-Sunday) in the summer from Boston’s South Station. Travel time is a little over 2 hours and tickets are $20USD 1 way or $40 roundtrip. Head to capeflyer.com for more information on schedules and reservations.

Alternatively, you can opt to fly into the Cape Cod Barnstable Airport in Hyannis, what has been the main airport on Cape Cod since the early 1920’s. There are flights to the Barnstable Airport from Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and the Boston Logan Airport. In the summer (May-September), the airport offers daily routes from New York’s JFK airport. If you have the coins, you can always charter a flight to the Cape, or you can take a commercial flight with on Cape Air, Nantucket Air or JetBlue.

When to Visit

The Cape Cod busy season is in the summer, when you’ll experience the best weather, May-September, with June/July being the most popular months. If you want to experience the best weather without the crowds (and the peak-season prices), plan your visit for the early Summer (May) or Fall (September or October). If you don’t mind winter weather and are looking for a more low-key getaway, visiting in the winter is less crowded and less expensive, but be mindful that most tourist attractions and several restaurants may not be open.

Getting Around

The best way to get around the Cape is absolutely by car, either bring your own car or rent one! Route 28 and Route 6A are two main roads that run across the Cape, stretching from Sandwich to P-Town, making navigating throughout top tourists destinations/areas quite easy. Overall, parking throughout the Cape is pretty to source and inexpensive, with a of off-street and metered parking available. The exception to this is beach parking, which is not only hard to come by, but also relatively expensive. I suggest getting to the beach early and carpooling with friends when possible, or simply budgeting the roughly $20 USD beach parking fee into your overall budget. *We both drove our personal cars and took turns navigating throughout the city*

Other popular modes of transportation throughout the Cape include :

-Riding/renting a bike, there are over 100 miles of bike trails/paths throughout the Cape, most stretching along the beautiful coastlines. You can do what my friend and I did and opt to ride and explore solo or you can take a group tour! We used Corner Cycle to rent bikes for the day!

-Taking the public bus. Cape Cod’s Regional Transit Authority has bus service year-round on the Cape. One-way rides cost $2USD or you can get a day pass for $6USD. Check HERE for more info on scheduling, stops and updates/alerts.

-Walking. Depending on where you’re staying and where you’re going, you may be able to simply walk around. Our Airbnb, in Falmouth, was located right near the action, a 5-10 minute walk from the Falmouth Center/Strip with popular restaurants, quaint cafes, bike rental and more.

Where to Stay

I mentioned that there are 15 towns that comprise the Cape, so wondering which one is “the best”? Well, that all depends on what you’re looking for :

Falmouth: We stayed in Falmouth, one of the 4 towns in Upper Cape, known for its beach-town vibes with beautiful coastal views. Falmouth is known for its 10 beaches, boating scene, enchanting downtown (Falmouth Center), and local winery. Falmouth is great for young tourists, beach lovers and families and is known as the most walkable town on the Cape.
HERE is a link to the AirBNB we stayed at during our most recent visit. It was perfect for our quick, overnight trip, the owner was adorable and I really appreciated her decorative style (check the pictures in the listing to see what I mean). However, I wouldn’t recommend for larger groups (more than 2), unless you were able to reserve the entire house. There is free parking available on site, it was super clean and there were a few amenities, stocked mini-fridge, snacks and travel-sized toiletries.

Provincetown (aka P-Town), anchored at the northernmost tip of the Cape. P-town is home to the LGBTQ+ community in the Cape, known as being extremely welcoming, vibrant and full of the arts. P-Town is also home to the site of the historical Mayflower ship. Provincetown is great for art and beach lovers, couples, young travellers, foodies and those who like to shop.
Where to stay in P-Town: The Masthead Resort

Hyannis: Hyannis is in the Mid-Cape and is for the foodies, offering the biggest restaurant selection. It’s also great for younger travelers looking for a fun nightlife.

Where to stay in Hyannis: Hyannis Inn

One of the most popular destinations in the Cape driven by it’s historical relevance, the site where the first Pilgrim settlement in 1620, visitors can stand in the very spot that the pilgrims first landed on shore of the United States. Plymouth is for the history buffs, with the Plymouth Plantation available to tour to learn more about the heritage of the area. There’s also a water park, which makes it great for families. And a trip to Plymouth isn’t complete without a visit to Plymouth Rock, amongst other neighborhood highlights.
Where to stay in Plymouth: Hotel 1620 Plymouth Harbor

I highly recommend you pursuing Airbnb for charming “air” BNB options throughout the cape. This is always my go-to when visiting small towns like these listed above in the Cape.

What To Do:

Rent a Bike
There are over 100 miles of bike trails throughout the path, stretching along scenic coastlines and other gorgeous views. You can opt to travel solo or you can join a group, either way, it’s a top 2 activity and it ain’t 2! One of my favorite things to do when visiting the Cape. Check HERE for a list of the best bike paths throughout the Cape.

Head to the Beach
The Cape is one of the best beach destinations in the U.S. Northeast, with over 100 beaches to choose from. Some of the top beaches to choose from:
-Macaroni Beach
-Race Point Beach
-Coast Guard Beach
-Head of the Meadow
-Skaket Beach
-Nauset Beach
-Town Neck Beach
-Falmouth Beach
-Chappaquoit Beach
-Old Silver Beach

Use Viator to Schedule a Tour
Go on a Sunset Sail
Head to the Truro Vineyard

Other things to do:
Cape Cod National Seashore
Heritage Museums & Gardens
Sandwich Glass Museum
Cape Cod Museum of Art
JFK Hyannis Museum
Wellfleet Drive-In

Where to Eat

Cape Cod is for the foodies, the sea-foodies! New England has an abundance of good-eats and they do seafood extremely well. You can get your NE seafood heros, a classic lobster roll or clam chowder, and some other favs like oysters, calamari, scallops and clams.

Moby Dick’s (Wellfleet)
The Wicked Oyster (Wellfleet)
Pearl (Wellfleet)
Chatham Pier Fish Market (Chatham)
Naked Oyster Bistro & Raw Bar (Hyannis)
The Lobster Pot (Provincetown)
Pie in the Sky (Wood’s Hole)

Other good eateries :
Estia- Greek Food (Falmouth)
Water Street Kitchen (Falmouth)
The Mews Restaurant and Cafe
Caffe Gelato Bertini (Yarmouth)
Cuvee (Chatham)
The Red Cottage (South Dennis)

If you’re already in the New England area, Cape Cod is absolutely a no brainer, and if you’re not, but looking for a quaint, cozy getaway, this place will not let you down!

At this point, I’ve pretty much planned your entire visit to Tulum, Mexico. From sharing 6 Tips for renting a car HERE, to sharing all of the need-to-know logistics HERE, recapping my super lux experience at the Coqui Coqui Spa HERE and literally laying out my day to day itinerary HERE, you should be covered. And if that wasn’t enough, on my IG you can follow along on my journey and get even more tips and guidance via my saved highlights and guides tabs (HERE-All You Need to Know to Explore Tulum, Mexico), and now, I want to share my recommended must-eats for the area, below!

  1. Rosa Negra
    From their IG: A tribute to Latin American cuisine. Our eclectic menu includes gastronomic traditions from Peru, Argentina, Colombia, Brazil and Mexico.

    This was my favorite place we ate at while in Mexico, from the food to the atmosphere, I will go back again and again! I got the salmon and though it’s hard to mess up salmon, it was one of the best I’ve ever had! This is the perfect place to go if you are celebrating something!

    Price Range: $$$

 2. Taboo Tulum
From their IG: Taboo is a beach club, rated as one of the best restaurants in Tulum which adopts Mediterranean food as a lifestyle.

Come for the food, stay for the hookah and vibes. I love the menu here at Taboo and I’ve been on two separate occasions with large groups who have tried just about everything on the menu and there were no complaints! I also love the live music and everyone dancing around, truly a party scene!

Price Range: $$$

3. Ziggy’s Beach Club
From their IG: Culinary experience in Tulum beach 🍴; Best vibes occur in Ziggy’s

The food here is simply tantalizing, come here if you value good eats!

Price Range: $$

4. El Pescador
From their IG: Restaurante Mar y Tierra

The food on their IG was enough to get my mouth watering!

Price Range: $$

5. Makech
From their IG: Makech hookah bar

Their IG bio says it all, a hookah lounge (outdoor) with good eats!

Price Range: $$

6. Taqueira Honoria
This street stand may not have a huge social media presence, but they more than makeup for it with it’s trendy flare and full flavor.

Price Range: $

7. Encanto Cantina
From their IG: 🌮Mexican contemporary and sea food

With a whimsical drink menu, inclusive of mezcal and other Mexican spirits, you’ll have plenty to choose from to wash down whatever delicious thing you pick from the menu!

Price Range: $$

Mexico is known for many amazing things, and food is certainly at the top of that list, I hope you enjoy everything you decide to try! Happy Planning!

If you follow me on social media (which you absolutely should HERE for all of the Weight Loss Travel Gains behind the scenes), you most likely know my stance on all-inclusive resorts. But if you missed it, or you’re new here, know that it’s not my top choice in terms of lodging.

For me, travel is an immersive experience and a huge part of that immersion is exploring a culture through food. I don’t feel I can do this in an all inclusive. These resorts are typically geared towards the bland taste buds of American and English tourists, completely watering down the culture. I mean, what good is all you can eat food if it’s not the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth? This is not to say that every all-inclusive has bad food, because there are plenty of 5 star resorts with top-notch culinary offerings, and I wanted to curate a list for those who either love all-inclusives or are on the fence and need some convincing.

I do feel there is a time and place for these properties. For example, on my June 2021 visit to Tulum, we had a party of 30, so it absolutely made sense for planning purposes to choose an all inclusive location. More examples of best time/place are:

  • Solo Trips- For safety and planning reasons, staying in an all-inclusive resort can be a great option for solo travellers
  • Destination Weddings-Resorts work really well when it comes to planning special events like weddings, engagements or like events! They help take the stress of planning off of the wedding party and help to organize for family/guests!
  • Group Trips-Typically, I rent a big Airbnb for a group trip, but depending on size, age range and other factors, an all-inclusive resorts can be a great option for ease of planning across budgets, needs and activities.
  • First trips-Travelling can be scary, it can be intimidating, overwhelming, etc. but an all inclusive resort can be a great way to “dip your toes in” to have a bit more structure to your first voyage (similar to a cruise)

So, let’s get into this list, curated from resorts across the globe, taking into account amenities, decor, food choices, and activities

1. Jumby Bay Island Resort | Antigua and Barbuda
From their IG, “a private island paradise accessible only by boat.
Website: https://www.oetkercollection.com/hotels/jumby-bay-island/

2. Royal Malewane | South Africa
From their IG, ” South Africa’s most exclusive Big 5 safari lodge. A haven of stylish luxury and home to the most qualified guiding team in Africa.”
Website: https://www.theroyalportfolio.com/royal-malewane/overview/

3. Sanctuary Cap Cana | Dominican Republic
From their IG, ” Set on the pristine beaches of Cap Cana, #SanctuaryCapCana is the Dominican Republic’s most exclusive adults-only all-inclusive resort.”
Website: https://sanctuarycapcana.com/

4. Jade Mountain | St. Lucia
From their IG, ” Jade Mountain is an architectural marvel in Saint Lucia. Rated the No.1 Caribbean Resort by Travel+Leisure #travel, No. 1 in St. Lucia by Condé Nast”
Website: https://www.jademountain.com/
5. The Brando Resort | Tahiti
From their IG, ” The Brando is a unique luxury resort on French Polynesia’s breathtakingly beautiful private island of #Tetiaroa.”
Website: https://thebrando.com/
6. Lux* South Ari Atoll | Maldives
From their IG, ” Crowned the most eco-friendly luxury resort in the Maldives 2020 🏝 A five-star @luxresorts island for anyone who needs to relax or adventure!”
Website: https://www.luxresorts.com/en/maldives/hotel/luxsouthariatoll
7. Excellence Playa Mujeres | Mexico
From their IG, ” Iconic resort with a Mexican contemporary scenery and sophisticated fun for adults only”
Website: https://www.excellenceresorts.com/cancun/excellence-playa-mujeres/
8. COMO Parrot Cay | Turks & Caicos
From their IG, “The epitome of barefoot luxury. Re-connecting with nature, wellness and adventure in Turks & Caicos.”
Website: https://www.comohotels.com/en/parrotcay/about
9. Four Seasons Tented Camp | Golden Triangle, Thailand
From their website, “A magical escape in tented camp luxury”
Website: https://www.fourseasons.com/goldentriangle/
10. The Caves Hotel | Jamaica
From their IG, “The Caves Hotel is a seductive oceanfront sanctuary offering a refreshingly organic interpretation of romance.”
Website: https://www.thecaveshotel.com/

Check back for an extended list with more of the best all inclusive resorts around the world!

You know why I’m here. Deep Dish Pizza and Obama!

Chicago has been on my “list” for a while now as a must-visit US city and this desire only intensified after reading Michelle Obama’s award-winning book, Becoming. I finally was able to make this longing a reality in July of 2019, the weekend of Complexcon Chicago. My girlfriends and I planned a girl’s weekend, centered around some of the events happening at Complexcon, making sure to eat and sight-see our way through the city.

I flew via American Airlines and after a ton of canceled and rescheduled flights as well as lack-luster customer service, I arrived at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD). This airport is huge and was a bit difficult to navigate, especially when trying to find the ride-sharing pick-up spot to locate my lyft. For some odd reason, ORD has the ride-sharing pickup for domestic arrivals near the domestic departures/entrance.

As I have a friend who lives right on the outside of the city I did not need a hotel and was thankful for this as I was able to save a ton of money. Like San Francisco, hotels seemed to be a bit pricey in the city. If possible, try to either book well in advance or take advantage of options like Airbnb to save on lodging. Staying slightly outside of the city is also an option, especially if when located near a train line.

We rented a car for the weekend and though we were able to find parking for the most part, between street parking or reasonably priced garages, there were a few times we used public transportation and I would highly recommend this. The trains are labeled by color, green line, red line, orange line, etc. and there is also a bus system to help navigate the busy city streets. A one-way train ride cost us about $2.50. We got a train pass that we were able to load up as needed. These can be easily purchased at any train station. Lastly, google maps is a great way to navigate the city and the trains for those unfamiliar.


Literally, my first stop in Chicago-Giordano’s Pizza, in their downtown location. Living in NYC for the better part of my adulthood, I know good pizza and as a call to the “who has the best pizza” debate, I had to weigh in with my opinion. I love NYC but Chicago might have this one. I normally shy away from the super touristy food spots, but Giordano’s lived up to the hype for sure. A group of 4 of us ordered 2 medium pies (one veggie for myself and a friend and a meat-lovers for our carnivore friends) and we both had more than half of our pies to take home and indulge in later. The deep-dish pizzas do take about 45 minutes to make so keep this in mind and there are several Giordano’s locations throughout the city.

Chicago’s Home of Chicken and Waffles Delicious southern-style food with a friendly wait-staff and great prices. I ordered the “Aunt Joyce” and it came with a choice of dark or white meat chicken, 1 waffle, 2 eggs, and a choice between rice or grits, all for less than $20 bucks. This restaurant is located in Oak Park.

Batter and Berries– This seemed to be the number one recommended brunch spot when I asked friends who’ve been to Chicago before, and I understand why. “Home of the world-famous French toast flight”, B&B serves your traditional brunch menu plus more, adding their own spin on breakfast. Being so popular, the wait was long and they do not accept reservations. Instead, you can add yourself to their waitlist on Yelp.

Garret’s Popcorn-If you haven’t heard of this place you need to be sure to add it to your list anyway. Growing up I always had older cousins who ate Chicago mix style popcorn so I was a little too hype to get to Garret’s and order a “Chicago Style” small bag! Probably the best $5 spent on the entire trip! Chicago style is an equal mix of cheddar and caramel popcorn and Garret’s flavors were pungent and full!

Uncle Joe’s Jamaican Spot in Hyde Park– We randomly stumbled upon this gem and I’m so glad we did. Serving your traditional Jamaican cuisine, there were various platter options to choose from. I ordered the Jerk chicken dinner and water and paid less than $15! I have a knack for authentic tasting food and Uncle Joe’s hit the nail on the head.

Chicago is apparently known for its hot dogs. I don’t eat beef or pork and could not find a place that served turkey or even vegan hot dogs. Just to see what all of the hype was about I did get a beef hot dog from a local cart, outside of a nightclub, and it was good! They added grilled onions and a hot mustard with a traditional hot dog bun all for $5 bucks.

Night Life

Apogee Lounge– Cute rooftop lounge in downtown Chicago, serving specially curated drinks and a view. My girlfriends and I each ordered one of their signature cocktails and they did not disappoint. I had the Nymph and it was super refreshing without being overly sweet!

Here is an additional list of fun/hype nightclubs, bars, and lounges that we visited while in town: Prysm, Y Bar, Persona, Underground, Reverie, Promontory

My girlfriend over at Brooklyn Mavens (IG @bkmavens)  and I had an entire itinerary planned out, making notes of the key spots we wanted to see while visiting.


Complexcon-  Clearly, I’m not in touch with the culture because I had no idea what to expect, but that’s exactly what I got, culture! A not-so-secret sneakerhead meet up with guest appearances, musical performances, and a chance to check out throwback sneaks and what’s up and coming. We purchased our Complexcon tickets a few months before our trip and paid $100 for a 1-day pass for Saturday. I enjoyed myself so much, getting to see Spice Adams, Allen Iverson, Ella Mai and more! I also tried to purchase a new pair of sneaks but clearly, I’m still a rookie here and need to do a bit more research.

Shoreline Sightseeing Boat Tour– We went to the Navy Pier (where we also got our Garret’s Popcorn) and purchased tickets for the classic lake tour. Shoreline offers many options from water taxis, the classic lake tour we opted for our other extended tours including longer rides and more intensive history lessons. We paid $23 dollars and rode along Lake Michigan for 40 minutes learning more about the lake, the city of Chicago and a bit of US history. There is also a bar onboard or you can purchase beverages at one of the local stands before boarding. If you’ve tuned in before, you’ll know that I love the Hop On Hop Off Bus Tours when visiting a new city, and though Chicago does have that option, seeing the city from a boat with a drink in my hand seemed like the obvious choice. If you have time for both, definitely do so!


Cloud Gate (The Bean)– Public sculpture in the center of the Millennium Park Plaza and one of the top tourist attractions in Chicago. This iconic Chi-Town symbol is going to be completely packed with visitors unless you can get yourself up super early in the morning to beat the crowds, regardless, it’s worth the visit to the most photographed Chicago location. Definitely, use public transportation to get here as parking might prove to be difficult.


Willis Tower Skydeck (Sears Tower)- Want to get a nice view of the entire city? Visit the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower! We actually did not end up making it here because of the weather. It rained on our last day in town and I was told that the views were not worth it if the weather was not cooperating. Though I was disappointed to miss it on this visit, I got amazing views of Chicago on the boat sightseeing tour as well as on the many rooftops we visited.

The 16th Annual Sound System Block Party–  On our second to last day we heard that the city would be having their largest block party in the Hyde Park area and decided to go. By the time we got there, after Complexcon, it was completely packed. Assuming folks wanted to wait out the hot weather and come outside after the sun went down, it was impossible finding parking, it was uncomfortable walking the streets and overwhelming with everything going on. Still, it was cool to see something as large as this as I don’t believe I have before. The event is organized by The Silver Room, a store mixed with mainly locally sourced jewelry, accessories, clothing and more. If you’re ever in town during the block party definitely check it out, grab a drink and shop with local vendors! Get there early and don’t drive!

An extended weekend is definitely enough time to get a “taste of Chicago” and explore a good chunk of all the city has to offer. Unlike prices in other big cities like Boston, NYC or LA, I feel I came in way under my budget for Chicago. Figuring out the best time to visit will be the biggest deciding factor as the city sees below freezing temperatures in the winters and experiences smoldering heat in the summers. The temperature averaged around 95 degrees (feeling like 103 most days) during our visit, I literally sweat out my edges and through my white tee-shirt, but enjoyed myself none the less.

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I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. And again. And again. An easy way to get cheap flights is to allow yourself to take a longer flight and get a “bonus” city from an extended layover. I actually find myself searching for long haul flights that have a layover of 7 hours or more to get an extra stop on my vacation unless it’s a short trip. When searching for flights to Peru, this was no different. I wanted to see what destination I could “pop” into before arriving at my final destination in Lima and the airline, Copa, offered a stopover in Panama City, Panama.

Not to be confused with the city in Florida, Panama City is the capital of Panama, located in Central America and often called the landbridge of the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean connecting North and South America. Probably most known for the infamous, man-made Panama Canal, it is the most populous city of Panama. As a United States citizen, a visa is not needed to enter Panama, but you will need a valid passport and proof of either your journey on or hotel/lodging information.

As a bit of “pre-research”, I wanted to figure out all the logistics to visiting the canal before departing so that I could maximize on my 6hr 50min layover and hit the ground running as soon as deplaning. During this research, I realized that the canal was the most popular destination in Panama and was the main place I wanted to visit.

Many blogs noted that it was best to allow at least 1 hour to both enter and exit customs for Panama. My flight arrived Friday Morning and departed again Friday night and both times I made it through customs in under 30 minutes. Still, set aside at least 1 hour to exit customs and estimate 2 hours when returning. Better safe than sorry.

Getting to the Panama Canal
The Miraflores Locks (Canal), locks closest to the airport, are about 35km from the Tocumen airport and can be anywhere from a 35 to 75-minute drive, dependent on traffic. It is not necessary to book a tour to visit the canal, honestly, most are overpriced and unnecessary. When exiting the airport there are various taxis and taxi companies available to escort you to the entrance of the Miraflores Locks or alternatively, you can use Uber. For the taxis and taxi companies, you can easily arrange for them to escort you to the locks, wait at the canal for you or pick you back up 2-3 hours later, and drive you back to the airport.

To get to the Canal, I used one of the many taxi companies available, comparing pricing with that of Uber and taking pictures of the license plate and vehicle for safety. The ride was 35 minutes long. To return back to the airport I took one of the random taxis that are located outside of the visitor’s center entrance. I would not recommend using any of the unmarked taxis located outside of the canal. I had a terrible experience and the drive went from 45 minutes to over 2 hours. Luckily, I allotted plenty of time to get to the airport and clear customs/security and so I made my flight.

I paid $35USD to get to the canal. I paid $35 USD to return to the airport. $80 total as I tipped the driver. Definitely negotiate your price. You can even get an RT ride to and from the airport for $60 USD if you negotiate.

At the Panama Canal


Once you arrive at the Miraflores locks, you will go up an escalator and be at the entrance of the visitor center. You can purchase your tickets to enter the visitor center at the front entrance. Tickets for visitors are about $20 USD, card or cash is accepted, and it gains you entrance to see the ships crossing, short films giving the history of the canal, and a museum.

I went straight to the watchtower to catch all of the action. The platform was packed with tour groups, visitors, and locals alike, marveling as the ships slowly passed by. A moderator is explaining the history, what is currently happening, and giving various commentary on the platform, in both Spanish and English.


Additionally, there is a buffet-style restaurant in the visitor center, the only food around. The buffet was $35 USD and the food was quite good, giving a taste of Panamian culture through their cuisine.

What is the Canal And Why Is It Important?
Not a bad question because I didn’t know much of the history prior to visiting, but this is what makes traveling so great. The Panama Canal was built between the years 1903-1914 by architects from Pittsburgh, PA (my hometown) to essentially, provide a shortcut for ships to pass between the Atlantic and Pacific ocean. Prior to the canal, explorers had to journey around South America, adding months to their journey, significantly decreasing the amount of cargo that was shipped between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The Canal saved shippers money, by saving on fuel, and improved trade by cutting down on travel time. It was paid for and acquired by the United States, but in 1977 it was handed over for Panama to control in the Torrijos-Carter Treaty. It is amazing to see how well the entire canal was built and how smoothly it runs, especially considering the time in history that it was built and the technology they had available to them during that period.

It is one of the most important trading routes and is still active today.


The currency of Panama is the US dollar. If you are coming from the United States this is a benefit as you will not have to worry about converting money. Most places also take credit cards.

In Panama, Spanish is the official language and the most widely spoken, however, there are several signs in English and other languages.

Panama overall is a safe country to visit, with minimal criminal activity affecting tourists, outside of potential pickpocketing, which can happen anywhere to anyone. Stay alert. If you ever have a chance to visit Panama, even if just for a layover (at least 5-6 hours long at a minimum) definitely make your way over to the canal.

Airlines like Copa will often allow you to extend your layover with no additional fee. Originally, my flight landed around 12pm and had a departing flight 45 minutes later, Copa honored this price and allowed me to leave on the flight leaving almost 7 hours later.

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“A Day in Series” Boston, MA

Wanting a mix of rich history, scrumptious seafood, and an intense fan base for the local sports teams?  Boston, MA certainly has its charm and wit, and it is a great start to get a taste of American culture

The largest city in Massachusetts and 21st largest city in the US, you’ll have no shortage of activities to fill a weekend or even day trip, while gathering the overall essence of what is to be seen and tasted! Like most major US cities, Boston is divided into sub-communities and each has its own personality. Some are more worth visiting than others. Check below for a breakdown of my Boston must-do’s and download a printable bucket-list, to guide you through the city as you check off each activity- A Day in Series-Boston.

Boston is a very walkable city. You could easily get around by renting a bike at Blue Bikes! Or you could use a ride sharing service like Uber or Lyft.  Boston also has a train system, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation, also known as  The T. The T navigates throughout the city, color-coded byline for each neighborhood it serves, with the Red Line, Orange Line, Blue Line & Green Line. There’s also the Mattapan Trolley. Its various lines will either take you underground or sometimes right alongside the street traffic. See below for fare information or click the link above to find out more information such as stops, how to get a pass (can be purchased at any train station) or other FAQs.


1 & 7 day (& Monthly) Passes are also available. 


Like most major cities, parking can prove to be difficult, and oftentimes expensive, and driving is not for the faint of heart- so though not impossible, not really recommended! If you decide to drive, check to see if your hotel or Airbnb offers parking,  if not, beware that all street parking is not created equally as most neighborhoods require resident stickers for overnight parking ( a quick google search will point you in the right direction). Boston is a pretty “small” city but despite this navigating may be a bit confusing- definitely leverage services like Google Maps!
Also- download app Park Whiz. Park Whiz helps you to find discounted rates for popular parking lots across the city (available in multiple cities) I’ve scored spots for $17 that were originally $40-$54!

Getting to that rich history, delicious food, and sports culture I mentioned above, Boston does have a lot to offer to create a jam-packed weekend itinerary.

If Boston does anything, they’re going to have rowdy fans and an intense sports culture. From the New England Patriots (football) , The Bruins (hockey), Celtics (Basketball), and The Red Sox (baseball)-this city is pretty much in a frenzy, year round! Whether you are a sports fanatic or not (or like me, have a strong disdain for the Patriots)- it is still fun to partake in a game or the overall experience! You may not run into a player, but it wouldn’t hurt to head to Fenway Park, home to the Red Sox in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood! The stadium and area surrounding is overpriced just like any stadium you’ll go to, but it’s a really cool field, especially for those with an affinity for stadiums. Gillette Stadium, home to the NE Patriots, is in Foxborough, MA, which is a ways outside of the city, and not worth the drive unless attending a game, concert, or other vent! TD Garden, where the Bruins & Celtics play, is a really cool arena if checking out a game or any of the other concerts, events, ice shows, family shows or even wrestling events that are hosted there! 

Boston, being so filled with history, has both walking and boat tours that are definitely worth checking out! To check out more information such as scheduling and pricing of the boat tours or the walking tours, check here. If time permits, definitely add one of these to your agenda, whether to learn more about the city’s history, where it got it’s clever nickname, Beantown, or just to tour the neighborhoods! I also encourage all visitors to check out the Black Heritage Trail and learn a different type of history.

Shopping is probably one of my top 5 favorite activities to do and Boston happens to be one of my favorite places to do it. Head down to Newbury Street where there’s something for everyone, from high end stores like Burberry or Chanel, a Sephora and Zara and even more affordable retail locations like Forever 21 and TjMaxx. There are also a ton of local shops and boutiques as well as varying restaurants and cafes.

A visit to Boston’s Faneuil Hall Marketplace and Quincy Market will produce more shops and boutiques as well as cool bars and eateries.

Back Bay (Newbury), Fenway, and Faneuil Hall aside, Boston has a lot more to offer. From the New England aquarium, Paul Revere House, Boston Commons, Boston Public Gardens, museum of science, and MFA, amongst a million other things, there is so much to do. All of the things above are some of my most recommended activities, but . And if you are a beer lover there are endless opportunities to do beer tastings, I’d suggest a tour at the Samuel Adams Brewery!

Being situated on the east coast, Boston and most of New England has a ton of easily accessible beaches! You can stay local at Carson Beach & Castle Island, head to Gloucester (Wingaersheek or Stage Fort Park) Beach, M Street Beach, Orient Heights Beach, Crane Beach, or check out Revere Beach-there are plenty of options as long as the weather cooperates. You can also head down to Rhode Island (check out my Newport blog here), catch a boat to visit charming Martha’s Vineyard, or drive up north to Maine! (Head to my IG for highlights on New England adventures- including Boston, Newport, Maine & Martha’s Vineyard)

Looking for something fun & unusual? Check out Trillfit, Boston’s original hip hop workout party!!

If time permits, I’d suggest adding a few day trips a bit outside of Boston, from the Parlee flower farms in Tyngsborough, MA, a trip down to Cape Cod for beaches & seafood, or even visiting the vineyards in Newport, RI- there’s not shortages of New England adventures!

Now for the good stuff, clam chowder, lobster rolls, and some of the other best seafood you can ask for, Boston is your place.

Legal Seafoods, a local chain and hometown favorite is really good and very pricey, but I would suggest going to a local joint if you had to choose one over the other. Visiting Boston’s Seaport district, along a stretch of water in South Boston, you’ll be matched with a string of sleek restaurants, hotels, and bars, with a waterfront view. One of my favorite places to go, I bring all of my guests to the Seaport. Fit with its own Legal Seafood, it also has delicious Mexican food options with either Temazcal Cantina or Rosa Mexicano, both great options. The local joint I mentioned above for one of the best lobster rolls? It’s in the seaport, Yankee lobster. Rated 4.4 stars, there’s no-frill or glam, with all of the focus being put into the taste of the food.

Famous for its Italian background and tight streets, you MUST visit the North End, a neighborhood in Boston, home to Mike’s Pastries where it’s imperative you get one of the infamous cannolis. Don’t let the long line fool you, it moves quickly and it’s worth the wait. As with most cities and popular restaurants, someone will always claim there’s a better, less popular option to go to, but don’t listen-or go to both, Mike’s is a must-visit. Aside from Mike’s, the North End has a ton of authentic Italian restaurants to choose from. Pricey, yet worth it.

A list of more of my fav places to eat in Boston: The Barking Crab, 753 South, Slades (Black-Owned), Warden Hall, Angela’s Cafe (East Boston), Darry’s Corner Bar & Kitchen (Black-Owned), Suya Joint (Black-Owned), M&M BBQ (Black-Owned), Red Lantern, Shojo Yvonne’s, Lolitas (Ultimate Fav), James Hook & Co, Boston Burger Co., Flames, Lucy Ethiopian Cafe, Down Home Delivery (Black-Owned), Tiki Rock, Bootleg Special, Urban Grape (Black-Owned/Wine), Citrus & Salt, The Broadway, Yellow Door Taqueria, Osteria Nino, Blossom Bar (Great Cocktails), and The Coast Cafe.

Not really comparable to a LA or NYC, Boston does still offer a robust nightlife and has different options dependent on the vibe you’re looking for. Some of my favs are Good Life, Kingston, Cure, and Alibi, located inside the Liberty Hotel, an old jail repurposed, but maintaining its jail cell doors adorned with mug shots of celebrities who’ve spent time behind bars.

For a more ‘chill’ vibe, there are spots like Darryl’s, the W, or Hojoko that I love to go to for a simple night out.

There is so much to do and see in Boston, but fitting it all in during a short or extended weekend is doable. Staying in a hotel or Airbnb in the South Boston or downtown area puts you right near the action and catching the train leaves you flexible and avoids Boston traffic and parking. When you plan to visit, avoid the winter months, December-March, to truly enjoy your trip. Hit with tons of snow and below freezing temps, you don’t want to risk being stuck in Boston due to canceled flights. Fall is my favorite season in New England, though the city truly comes alive in the summer.

**A hotel that I stayed in and loved is the Courtyard Marriott South Boston and an Airbnb I absolutely recommend can be found HERE.

Download my “A Day in Series” Bucket-List: Boston edition HERE <<A Day in Series-Boston>>

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“A Day in Series” NYC



As a “transplant,” someone not from NYC, I have enjoyed being both a tourist and a “resident.” NYC is magic, which is why it’s one of the busiest tourist attractions in the world, and I’ve been asked, “what do you suggest I do in NY?” so many times that it made sense for this to be the first “stop” in my new series, “A Weekend in.”

First things first, you have to understand the dynamics of this incredible city, starting with the different boroughs. Each borough has its own style, personality and, culture. You have Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island and my personal fav, Brooklynnnnnn. *For the purposes of this post, we will be focusing on Brooklyn & Manhattan! 

Brooklyn is a vibe, you must visit Brooklyn.


Photo Credit Goes to the Amazingly Talented @tote.ny on IG. Check out his website itstoteny.com to get yourself some dope flics!

Brooklyn has EVERYTHING. There’s the Brooklyn Museum, Prospect Park, Coney Island, Brighton beach, the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and the NY Aquarium to name a few key monuments. Then the neighborhoods, you have Bedstuy, Crown Heights, Park Slope, Green Point, Bushwick, Williamsburg, Bayridge…I mean I can keep going here, Brooklyn is big af. Within Brooklyn, you have several different communities and different styles of food, but I would say there’s nothing like the pizza/bagels in Brooklyn, it’s in the water (LITERALLY, the water is amazing lol).

FOOD: Grimaldi’s (The BEST Pizza), The Regal (Amazing Brunch Menu), Sage (My FAV Thai Spot),  Bagelsmith (For a Classic Bacon Egg & Cheese), the Pink Tea Cup (Southern comfort), Brooklyn Bell Ice Cream (it’s in the name), Café de la Esquina (Williamsburg), SugarCane (Raw Bar Grill), Amarachi (Caribbean, African)

DRINKS/NIGHTLIFE: Williamsburg, Bayridge, Kinfolk, Kimoto Roof Top (Open Year Round), Sweet Brooklyn, Eve’s Lounge (Hookah Bar + Food…mango jerk wings yum)

ACTIVITIES: Barclays Center, Brooklyn Museum (Especially First Saturdays), Coney Island, Prospect Park (Look up festivals), Williamsburg (nightlife), Brooklyn Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Promenade, Smorgasburg (summer only)

Click Here to Download my “A Day in Series” Brooklyn Checklist<< A Day In Series-Brooklyn>>


Backstage access tour of the Barclay’s Center

As a tourist, I’d say spend most of your time in Manhattan.

I have a love/hate relationship with Manhattan. You have SoHo (My fav), Lower Eastside (LES for short), Alphabet City, Time Square, Financial District, Chelsea, Midtown, Herald Square (with that amazing Macy’s), Broadway, and Harlem, which comes with its own nuances.

FOOD: Juniors (Cheesecake), Veniero’s (Cheesecake, better than Juniors, in my opinion), Katz Deli, ( It’s a staple, get the pastrami), Fumo Pizza Bar (Harlem) ; Pio Pio 8 (Peruvian Food) ,Lombardi’s (Pizza, c’mon it’s NY, you have to eat all of the pizza),Lucy’s Cantina Royale (Mexican), Nikko (hibachi restaurant), Sugar Hill Creamery (kid friendly ice cream spot), Seasoned Vegan (the BEST vegan food with a southern flair), PS450 (cute brunch spot), BVLD Bistro (Harlem-brunch spot served in none other than a brownstone), Melba’s (long waits because it’s that good), Harlem Shake (Ethnic version of “Shake Shack” with a unique twist), Amy Ruth’s (Traditional Soul Food i.e. Chicken& Waffles),  Negril (Delicious Jamaican food),


Fumo Pizza Bar for my girlfriends birthday, one half of the @bkfashionmavens duo. Follow them on IG for all things Brooklyn.

DRINKS/NIGHTLIFE: PhD’s Rooftop, the DL, The Delancey, Slate, Stage 48, Anything in LES (Fishbowl), La Marina, Harlem Tavern, La Linea, One on One, Aziza Club and Lounge, 13th Step, Harlem Food Bar, Troy’s Liquor Bar, Mr. Purple, Essex, Dos Caminos & Pianos

ACTIVITIES: The MET, Timesquare, Central Park, Show on Broadway, 9/11 Memorial, Boat Tour to Statue of Liberty, Shopping in SOHO, MOMA, Museum of Sex, Museum of Natural History


Annual SGK Race for the Cure in Manhattan’s Central Park!

I rarely go to Queens lol. Queens has some fun nightlife in Astoria.


@ Norwinds!! Awesome spot in Queens for drinks & apps!

Drinks Nightlife: Norwinds (My Absolute Fav Spot w/ Delicious Drinks/Wings), Blend on the Water (super cute spot in Long Island City, Queens), MamaJuana Café (Drinks & Dinner)

 I also barely go to the Bronx, Yankee Stadium is there though, and that’s pretty cool.

Staten Island is fun, I wouldn’t go there though lol.

TRANSPORTATION: You HAVE to take the subway at least once. Walking is also an option; most people walk for miles a day in NYC. Uber is also an option, though that adds up. I do not recommend renting a car or driving in NY!


The Train Station in Brooklyn!

FUNDS: NY is expensive, you can make it less costly for sure, but I would budget $100 a day at least!

Summer in NYC is magical. If you choose a season to visit, definitely aim for Summer/Fall. Yes, it’s hot, the streets are packed and the smell of garbage reeks in the air, BUT the weather is great, the streets are bustling and there are endless things to do.

What are some of your favorite spots in NYC?

Love the scenic pictures of Brooklyn? Check out itstoteny.com to see his services and get dope pics of your own!

*All views are my own and are from my choice of restaurants/activities, there are endless options outside of these, this is just a start.
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Download my Brooklyn Checklist HERE <<A Day In Series-Brooklyn>>

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