Charisma Suites - Santorini

Santorini was the favorite of my trip for multiple reasons. 1 of which being my hotel. I stayed at Charisma Suites, a luxury hotel located in Oia. It's hard to pinpoint what I liked most about Charisma. Maybe it was the fact that I didn't need to leave my room to have the best view of the sun set on the entire island. Or the breakfasts that made me feel like royalty. It also could have been how the service was so amazing that there wasn't even a single opportunity to use the same towel twice. Whatever it was I have discovered a new favorite hotel. Here are some photos taken at Charisma. I hope they show a glimpse of the luxurious, relaxing, magical stay I experienced:)

Below is what the inside of my room looked like. So white and so clean!!

*** Shout out to my new friend George for helping me with these photos!!!

Exploring Santorini

Being in Santorini can make you feel like you're on top of the world.. and in a way, you are. I arrived just in time to witness the sunset from the island's beautiful village of Oia. I took in the breathtaking view until the last bit of sun disappeared into the ocean. Immediately afterwards I glanced over to discover a carrier sent by my hotel. He threw my bags over his shoulders and lead me to my hotel. I was beyond relieved because the cobble stone streets and multiple stairways made rolling my heavy bags seem like an impossible endeavor. Arriving at my hotel moments later, I settled in, grabbed dinner and almost immediately passed out.

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The next morning I awoke before sunrise itching to get out and explore. Around every corner I found a new view, new colors to fall in love with and fresh cobbled streets to discover. The way Santorini feels is almost more amazing than it's breathtaking views. There are many places I've yet to travel but I can't imagine anywhere else feeling like Santorini. It's hard to describe unless you've actually experienced it for yourself but it really does feel like there is actual magic in the air.  

A Few Tips:

+ Only pack comfy shoes. Trust me you won't want to wear heels on these cobble stoned streets.

+ If you can, plan to go in either May or late September. I was there the last few days of September and the weather was lovely. Still very hot during the day but not too hot. Plus you'll get to stroll the narrow streets without large crowds.

+ Santorini is a never ending staircase. Everytime I walked somewhere I felt like I was working out. Prepare to be in decent to good shape if you want to get the most out of exploring this charming town.

+ The weather can get pretty windy. If you're planning to wear hats bring ones with strings so you can tie them. My hat blew off several times and every time I wished for strings.

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Both days in Santorini I explored until I exhausted myself, then treated myself to gelato. My favorite place was Lolita's. I have a slight obsession with ice cream and this was the best gelato I've ever tasted.  

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My last night was my favorite. After grabbing gelato with my new local friend, George, we jumped in a car and raced to catch the sunset at a nearby beach. Shortly we arrived at a black sand beach. I'd never been to a beach with black sand(or should I say pebbles) and I was excited to get to feel it under my feet. We walked, took pictures and sat in the cool night air. Watching the sun disappear and marveling as the sky changed colors. Staying until the stars began to pop into the sky one by one, beginning to give the sky a dreamy glow. This moment was better than anything I could have ever dreamed. I was in Greece, under the stars, at the beach with ice cream in my belly. It was quiet and at that moment nothing else was on my mind:)

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Joshua Tree Photo Diary and Travel Guide

Hey guys, a couple of days ago a few friends and I decided to take a little mid week roadtrip to Joshua tree for our friend Kamilah's birthday. It was everyone's 1st time visiting and we were all blown away! I'd definitely recommend going in mid August. The desert weather wasn't too hot and although it cooled down in the evening it was perfect for telling stories by the fireplace. We only stayed a couple of days so I can't say I'm an expert on Joshua tree but I can share what we did and what we enjoyed. 

I'll begin with Where to stay:

Joshua tree is known for it's camping so that's definitely an option. We decided to go the airbnb route and were overly satisfied. Here's a link to the Joshua tree House, where we stayed. As you can see by the photos below the house is super cute. Everywhere you look is so wonderfully picturesque. Our experience was truly magical.

What to wear:

The desert can get really hot during the day and really cool at night so dress in layers. 

If you want to know where I got my "Take Me to Joshua Tree" shirt click here -> http://www.revolve.com/minkpink-take-me-to-joshua-tree-tee-in-terracotta/dp/MINK-WS252/?d=F&sectionURL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.revolve.com%2Fr%2FSearch.jsp%3Fsearch%3Djoshua%2Btree%26dept%3DW

Where to eat:

+ + + Be sure to check out Pappy and Harriet's while you're in town. The vibe is really western and cool. We were lucky enough to enjoy our dinner with the live entertainment of a couple of really awesome bands, so check out their events calendar to see if you can catch a show too. Make sure to call ahead to make a reservation. This place can get crowded!

What to do:

+ + + Watch the sunrise & the sunset. Be prepared for a spectacle that with leave you with one of the prettiest memories of your life. I'm not kidding. Joshua tree sunsets are the best I've ever seen. Breathtaking. 

+ + + Explore Joshua Tree National park. Drive through or stop for pictures. It's a sight you won't want to miss. 

+ + + Like to shop? Check out the local vintage and antique shops, especially THE END


*** Happy birthday to my beautiful friend @kamicakes21. I hope this year is your best one yet:)

** Special thanks to @jjjjavi for the photo help. Check out his insta to see more of his photography. 

*** And to my new friends I met this weekend, I hope we make many more beautiful memories together.

Xoxo, 

Kali

A Local's Guide to Venice Beach

Let's talk about Venice beach, Ca. It's been a little over 2 years now that I moved into my beach pad.  A few weeks ago while I was grabbing a smoothie from my favorite juice shop I found a tourist's guide to Venice beach's greatest spots. The places that they mentioned were so awful that it inspired me to write my own guide to Venice beach. These are my favorite local spots. 

Abbot Kinney Blvd

Named the coolest street in America by many, including GQ magazine. This street lives up to the hype. It's awesome for taking a stroll, doing some shopping, grabbing a coffee, or eating some grub. Occasionally the street even closes for events. Be sure to check out the Abbot Kinney 1st Friday food trucks. More info @ http://abbotkinneyfirstfridays.com

Favorite place to shop - http://principessavenice.com  1323 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

Favorite place to grab coffee and work - Tom's Flagship Store  ... 1344 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

Favorite places to eat- Gjelina ... 1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291   //   Salt Air ... 1616 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

Best ice cream- Salt + Straw ...  1357 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90291

 The Venice Canals

The canals are just beautiful. From sunrise to sunset it's the perfect place to take a stroll or snap some pics. Come by on a holiday to check out the cool boat parades. 

Venice Beach

Don't forget about the actual beach. Take a walk, catch a sunset, go surfing, or just lay under an umbrella.

MORE OF MY FAVORITES:

Best restaurant/bars to watch the sunset - Hotel Erwin & The whaler

Best places to go out at night- Hiananos(dive bar), Townhouse, The Brig

Best places to grab a coffee and chill- Menotti, Tom's, Rose Cafe, Deus Ex Machina

Best smoothie/juice shop- Fruit Gallery

Sunday brunch with a ocean view- The Whaler

Best Day drinking vibes- The Venice Ale House, Hotel Erwin, The Whaler

Wanna be touristy?- Check out the Venice Boardwalk, The Skatepark, and Muscle Beach

All Pics by Thomas Gregorich

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My outfit Deats.

Romper- http://www.revolve.com/x-revolve-amelia-romper/dp/TULA-WR27/?d=F&sectionURL=Direct+Hit&srcType=dp_recs

Hat- http://janessaleone.com/products/zinnia-2

Shoes- Lucky brand flats from http://shop.nordstrom.com/?origin=tab-logo

I hope you enjoyed this blog post:)

Xoxo,

Kali