Our Jungle Luxe Minimoon in Tulum

The most incredible, lush pool at Nomade.

Choosing a destination for our mini-moon turned fuller moon  (thanks to my luxury prone choices) was actually a tough decision. While we are still hoping to do a honeymoon part two in Northern Europe, we are rather grateful for our sandymoon in Tulum. 🙂

My newly minted husband took two weeks off for the wedding; the first week he spent in Maine leading up to the wedding and the following week for our honeymoon/mini moon. With only having one week for our honeymoon getaway, we didn’t want to jet too far. We had originally been thinking of the south of France and/or Italy, but one week is not enough time to get the full experience of a southern European honeymoon. We dabbled with East Coast options, but ultimately wanted an adventure out of the States. And finally, we landed on Tulum. Tulum came highly recommended by several friends, and we were quite curious to explore this trendy nook of Mexico! I am SO glad we took the time to plan and budget for Tulum, it was so important for us to have time together, for the first time, as husband and wife. 

Getting There 

On Monday, we left Maine and arrived in Charleston. We then flew from Charleston → Atlanta → Cancun on Tuesday morning. We hired a car service coordinated by our hotel that drove us to our first honeymoon stop, Sanara. There was a bit of confusion when we were finding our car, as there were two vehicles waiting for us which both had our information. We were exhausted, hot and kind of freaked out but it was fine. It turned out that the hotel’s backup car service arrived in addition to the primary option- this was not communicated to the hotel or primary car. The car service was about 195 USD but I am so glad we did this. When we left Tulum we took a local taxi to the airport and it was a frightening experience. I highly recommend using a nice car service, to ensure that you are safe and comfortable. No one drives according to a specific speed limit in Tulum/Cancun so the hired car services still drive fast, but are usually in vehicles that don’t feel like they are going to fall apart. Anyways, just a thought!! 


Day 1 

I hopped right up on the first morning of our little moon and ventured to a yoga class right at our hotel- Sanara, which was a lovely class in their studio that overlooks the sea. 

From yoga, I went searching for Adrian, who was already on his second drink. Conveniently located at Sanara, is an entirely gluten free, health conscious restaurant called The Real Coconut. It was so amazing to have easy access to an abundance of options. Adrian said several times how great it was that The Real Coconut is Sanara’s restaurant. While he doesn’t vocalize it constantly, I know that my dietary restrictions can give him anxiety. I’m unsure if it is his concern that I may or may not be able to be served by a restaurant, or if he is wondering how soon he will be fed. Lol. Both are legitimate concerns.

“Let’s go” – @mr.curiel

After breakfast, we got ready for the beach with plenty of SPF and our Yeti’s ready to be filled with a cool cocktail. Sanara reserves beach beds for hotel guests, which was a very nice touch. We also took a cute beach bag that our room provided to fill with our/my beach activities. Having our yeti’s on the trip was SO helpful. It was scorching outside and just about everything in Tulum is outside. We put almost all of our drinks in our cups to keep chilled for as long as possible. While I do love Yeti, I do feel that my swell tumbler keeps liquids at your desired temperature significantly longer than Yeti 🙁 however, Yeti has several cap options which are very accommodating.

Wearing a kimono/robe by Spell & The Gypsy Collective. Purchased last summer, similar here and here.
A totally gf pizza for a perfectly loungy afternoon
at The Real Coconut
Adrian’s idea…
ALSO totally gf!!!
Exploring nearby shops

We ended our first day with dinner and drinks at Casa Jaguar. The mezcal assortment at Casa Jaguar was quite impressive. Thankfully, Adrian and I both love tequila, and it is a libation showcased at every establishment in Tulum.

Casa Jaguar
Casa Jaguar

Everyday essentials for Tulum:

Day 2 

Another blissful breakfast at the Real Coconut. I began every day here, with a refreshing iced matcha with almond milk

After a slow, blissful morning at Sanara, we ventured to lunch at Posada Margherita !! This meal was one of my favorites, coming in close second to Hartwood. I read many suggestions saying that this Italian spot was an absolute necessity to enjoy in Tulum, and I agree. They were gluten free friendly, and Adrian and I ended up splitting one gluten free spaghetti and wow, ‘twas perfect. The lopsided, pasta filled vibe made me miss the hodge podge that is Italy in all its glory.

Wearing a little Ref dress from last summer, Tulum is the perfect spot for tiny linen dresses
Back at Sanara for a dip in the pool
Lack of Colour hat
love love loved this book

Dinner at the infamous Hartwood establishment

Hartwood, was an incredible social and culinary experience. The vibe is very Swiss Family Robinson in 2019, with dishes and drinks that melt in your mouth with impeccable flavor. We did not have reservations, arrived early and were promptly seated. However, we were in Tulum in the beginning of the off season. If you are going to Tulum in high season, make many reservations and be sure to book dinner at Hartwood.

I may have had four, or five (?????) of these mouth watering banana mezcal cocktails
So good.
Most of the spots in Tulum, are cash only. We spent a lot of mula on our dining experiences, so I highly recommend going to Tulum with more cash than you think!

Day 3

Our last morning at Sanara, I enjoyed the toast and sampling of spreads. Of course, all gluten free.

Unfortunately, on Friday Adrian was up through the night with an upset tummy 🙁 I am unsure if it was the richness of his meal at Hartwood or brushing his teeth with tap water? I don’t know, but it was a bummer seeing him so unwell. I encouraged plenty of rest, and tried to facilitate everything without him having to think of much.

It was our last morning at Sanara, so I enjoyed a solo breakfast at The Real Coconut and quickly packed up for our transition to Nomade

When we arrived to Nomade, our room was not yet ready so we found a nice shady spot to relax until the room was ready. Adrian was SUCH a trooper. I know the heat was making everything so much worse, but I couldn’t think of a better option. 

Once Adrian was settled, I explored the next nook of shops nearby and ended up walking back to the hotel in a new bathing suit! Soon Adrian was able to get tucked into the room to take a nap in the aircon, while I enjoyed a new book and refreshing lunch by the pool.

Shopping!!

A really great nook of shops! I found two lovely table runners here the following day when I returned to show A the shops.
Peeping into Casa Jaguar Swim
My new suit by Casa Jaguar Swim and Lack of Colour hat. Sunnies are Off White x Warby Parker, that I found on ebay last summer. I love them oh sooo much!!

Note on getting sick in a foregin country:

  • Cold washcloths on your forehead 
  • Plenty of filtered water
  • Easy on the tummy foods. I always go by the BRAT diet after a tummy incident (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast) 
  • Shade, air con if possible, naps, movies. 
  • Point to your stomach and look sad, people will understand and do what they can to help you. People care! 
poolside ceviche served by Nomade’s beach restaurant

Day 4 The Happiest BIRTHDAY I have ever had !!!

Began the day with Birthday yoga at Nomade
I dragged Adrian back to the Real Coconut for breakfast, and it was perfect. Birthday girl gets what she wants, always. 🙂
A little birthday surprise at The Real Coconut !!

I believe I may have cracked the code to create my ideal birthday. This was the first birthday in I have no idea how many years, where I did not CRY. Shit always goes awry, or I set my expectations way too high and concoct some dream that there is going to be a massive surprise waiting for me at some point in the day. Terrible, I don’t know why I do that to myself.

However, this Birthday may have shifted things. In addition to being a crazy Birthday person, I am totally the girl celebrating my “Birthday month,” the second June arrives. This year, the wedding took that focus. I was too busy planning every meticulous detail to think about my birthday. In addition to that, no one gave a flying hoot about my birthday, which was refreshing. My Birthday was not a priority for myself this year, and that felt great. Although, I am sure you can catch me throwing myself a fabulous Birthday party next year.

My 25th Birthday in Tulum, was so blissful. Beginning the day with yoga, allowed me to be in my body and start with gratitude. Having body work in the afternoon permitted me to rest and be pampered in a manner which I adore. Shopping in the afternoon, for a fun treat. And enjoying so much of the day with Adrian, the best treat of them all. It was a quiet, introspective, happy day, and I am so grateful for that.

An afternoon massage at Yaan Wellness. A beautiful, tranquil space and my service was amazing!

Dinner at Gitano!! We were scheduled to dine at Gitano on Friday night, but due to Adrian’s tummy and him needing rest we cancelled that res. Thankfully we were able to get in on Saturday night, and we enjoyed a very yummy meal. With live music and great cocktails, Gitano is the place to go Friday or Saturday night! Another spot that was easy to get into off season, otherwise, book ahead of time. (Note, there was a cancellation fee for our original Friday plans)

such a vibe.
Gitano’s space is quite extensive. A great venue option in Tulum, and seems like it would be such a fun spot in the high season. The majority of the restaurants, etc in Tulum have a day or two of the week where they have a “party.” Our visit earlier in the week to Casa Jaguar was very quiet, because I think Thursday is their evening to turn up. Planning your dinner’s according to these “parties” would be a super fun way to make the most of your visit to Tulum!

Day 5 Homeward Bound

Since returning home we have been having SO Much fun, continuing to celebrate being newlyweds, catching up with friends, enjoying our registry gifts and loving married life. More posts to come on important things in wedding planning, the big day itself, newly married life, and of course, lots of beauty!!

In addition to wedded bliss, I unfortunately got a parasite that wiggled its way into my foot while (most likely) in Tulum. After several weeks of a misdiagnosed jellyfish sting, I went to the York Hospital walk in clinic in Maine where they were able to confirm with their infectious disease specialist that I had Beach Worm or Cutaneous Larva Migrans. I was then prescribed an anti-parasite medication, which killed the parasite and provided near immediate relief. After three weeks of absolute agony, insane itchiness and waking up in the middle of the night with my foot on FIRE, I was ecstatic to be on the road to recovery.

I went to Tulum with open wounds on my feet, because of stepping on glass out at a gross bar after my cousin’s wedding in May. The cuts were SO small, but it provided easy access for this nasty parasite. SO have you or do you know of someone who is contracted such a thing? So wild.

Posing with the hubby. Love him, love being married to him!! Xx

London: Short, Sweet & Trendy

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Hello my loves!

    My affection for the international city of London, is rapidly growing. I adore becoming attached to a place. It motivates me to better understand the culture, curiously explore and get to know amazing people. Whenever I am visiting a new or familiar city, I ask myself, Could I live here? Often the mental response, is no. ( ’cause I am so dern picky) But a few spots have creeped into my heart, and then magnetically pull me to plan my next visit. London happens to have crawled into my life and does not want to leave. It wants me to go go go to London and stay stay stay. Until I can plan to move my booty to London, I will prance around and discover the best nooks, cocktails and boutiques! Enjoy this little weekend guide to London for the chic, health conscious and occasionally trendy traveler. Xo

*All restaurants are celiac/gluten free friendly.*

P.s. I will be sharing more about my current whereabouts & life happenings soon !! Keep those eyes peeled because my laptop is fixed and I am ready to write! Meow Meow xoxoxo

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Clean & Lean cafe at Bodyism. Breaky of an almond matcha latte & avo toast on gf/paleo bread

Clean & Lean Cafe at Bodyism 

When to go: Stop by for a light breakfast, coffee rest (limited seating) or an in-between snack

What it is: The cafe at the uber chic, members-only wellness center called Bodyism. With the warm & energetic atmosphere, you will feel right at home. It is difficult to tear yourself from the hot trainers & positive energy of Bodyism, but you must keep on keepin’ on! I mean the staff and guests are seriously good looking and the food is so tasty and friendly for my people (celiac people) !! 

Must try: Matcha latte with RICE milk (for a sweet & smooth addition to the earthiness that is matcha), as well as the gluten free/paleo bread

Celiac Awareness: Nearly everything (if not everything), is gluten free friendly. Fast & yummy nibbles that make you feel happy happy healthy. Bonus points that the team at Bodyism cares about the ingredients of their products as well as dietary restrictions !! 

Where: 222 – 224 Westbourne Grove, London, W11 2RH

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Peanut Butter protein pancakes at Clean & Lean with a nice matcha latte (aaaand thanks to my friends at Bodyism, I gave this matcha a go with rice milk –> DELISH)

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Duck & Dry boutique blow dry bar in Chelsea. Sadly, my stylist this visit was not thorough or the slightest bit friendly. It did not make the experience as nice as it should have been. <y lovely Sarah visits this spot frequently, and only has issues when she unfortunately is passed to that specific stylist. (book in advance)

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Wearing: See sunnies (unsure of availability), Tee found at Urban & Club Monaco pants (on sale !!) paired with Stuart Weitzman mules (no longer avail.) & LV Neverfull MM.

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The Ivy Chelsea Garden

The Ivy Chelsea Garden 

When to go: Literally any meal you could ever hope for… but I would say an indulgent lunch or dinner would suffice. However, one must plan ahead of time and book in advance. TRY to book a table in the garden !!

What it is: Incredibly chic and wildly delish. I usually avoid large menus, but I genuinely feel that the variety of options at the Ivy Chelsea does not hinder the quality and taste of the dishes.

Must try: An anytime cocktail (IE breakfast, lunch or dinner. Go wild.) I had the Six Bells Tea Cup (served in a china cup and served with a refill) & Sarah sipped on the Lavender Lady. We both agreed these cocktails just might be the best in London…

Celiac Awareness: They were very accommodating at the Ivy Chelsea, and helpful as I made my lunch choices. A+ friends !

Where: 197 King’s Road, Chelsea, London, SW3 5EQ

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The Ivy Chelsea Garden 

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The Ivy Chelsea  

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Seasonal Soup: Roast iron bark pumpkin soup with truffled goat’s curd and sage leaves. Dying to return to this meal and recreate this soup in my kitchen. { The Ivy Chelsea }

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Ottolenghi Notting Hill

Ottolenghi Notting Hill

When to go: Early lunch. This little spot gets mad busy during lunchtime. Either go at an off time to pick up some grub, or allow time for a short wait.

What it is: Where does one even start? My sister-friend Blaire, introduced me to Ottolenghi. She is a big fan of his cookbooks, so these dishes are assimilated into our kitchen-culture in Charleston. (love you bb Blaire !! ) This Notting Hill gem gives you a little taste of Yotam Ottolenghi & his team’s extensive culinary talent. Each bite contains exuberant flavor that somehow does not overwhelm the senses. I am not a spicy girl, and I really appreciate intense flavor that is not painful for my tongue and/or tummy! So go. ASAP. 

Must try: Grab a few things! (Veggies, fish, etc… your options will be equally mouthwatering) Have them toss your goodies in a take away bag and you can make your way to a park for a moment of rest with a yummy lunch. 

Celiac Awareness: Most of the food is gluten free and there were several sweet options friendly for my people during this recent visit.
Where: 63 Ledbury Road, London, W11 2AD 

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I was happily surprised with the gf sweet options at Ottolenghi !! I am all about it, and this Lemon Pistachio Polenta Cake (gf) ft my nude nails, was tasty and moist (grody word but a real struggle in the celiac sphere of baked goods)

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Raw apps at Farmacy London

Farmacy London 

When to go: I was not enamored with the brunch, and prefer the full lunch menu. I am hoping to return soon and investigate the dinner situation. Bookings are available, however we did not book in advance and happily sat at the bar.

What it is: Healthy & upscale. The clientele all appear to bloggers with a mass of followers; given their indoor sunnies and decked out ensembles.

Must try: One of their seasonal dishes.

Celiac Awareness: Everything on the menu has some little “*” pointing to the allergens, or lack thereof. However, they were very cautious about my celiacs, as cross-contamination was a possibility. They were very thorough and kind, and thankfully I felt fine after my meal. I was surprised they weren’t more allergen friendly, given their obvious healthy mission.

Where: 74 Westbourne Grove, London, W2 5SH

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Avo toast on gf bread at Farmacy

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Farmacy London

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People watching at Farmacy London

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GF Granola served with almond milk {Daylesford Cafe}

Daylesford Farmshop & Cafe 

 

 

When to go: Breakfast or Lunch

What it is: Organic farmshop and cafe in Notting Hill. Daylesford has an organic farm and has created a mini bio empire in the UK! The cafe and farmshop in Notting Hill, is just a glimpse of all that Daylesford has to offer.

Must try: Gluten free granola & almond milk !! Being gluten free and lactose intolerant, the luxury and simplicity of cereal and milk as an option at breakfast join is unheard of! 

Celiac Awareness: Certain of the ingredients, the staff was accommodating.

Where: 208-212 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, London, W11 2RH

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Organic market at Daylesford Farmshop

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Anntian top at Couveture & The Garbstore

Couverture & The Garbstore 

Why worth a visit? It’s got a nostalgic air of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, meets the modernity of the women of Notting Hill. Eclectic & tasteful brands can be found along the likes of Trademark, Apiece Apart, Rachel Comey and the list goes on… They’ve got women’s, men’s and children’s clothing along with a selection of trendy cat-lady home accessories.

Where: 188 Kensington Park Road, Notting Hill, London, W11 2ES

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Rugrats vibes at Couverture & The Garbstore

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Lutyens & Rubinstein Bookshop

Lutyens & Rubinstein Bookshop

Why worth a visit? If you like books and have lovely taste in reading material, you will dig this. 

Where: Lutyens & Rubinstein Bookshop, 21 Kensington Park Road, London, W11 2EU

Purchased at the bookshop: 

   NW Zadie Smith

   How Fiction Works James Wood

   Between a Wolf and a Dog Georgia Blain

Recently Read:   

    A Moveable Feast Ernest Hemingway  

    Kitchens of the Great Midwest J. Ryan Stradal 

    The Opposite of Loneliness Marina Keegan

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I adore you, Notting Hill.

London. September 2016.

Photos snapped via iphone. Taken by yours truly, aside from the obvious where I am in the picture. 

 

Bmore of a Foodie

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Le Garage: Beer Bar and Frites Shop

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As we stepped into this nook of Hampden, Ruut and I chatted about the simplicity of the restaurant. White and navy- easy on the eyes. Fussy- free menu, yet with plenty of options. I am gluten free however, which usually chops down the options pretty quickly when I venture out to eat. The precious girl who worked at the Frites Shop was also gluten free and gave me great recommendations. I plan to discover and share great spots with snacks, meals and drinks that are safe for the gluten free bunch. The fries I enjoyed at the Frites Shop were incredible and melted into your mouth with the perfect crunch.

 

 

 

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What to wear at a Frites shop: Probably not white jeans… but I was careful. However, this cropped sweater is the perfect laid back adventure top. Purchased at the beginning of the summer I have been able to wear it with relaxed shorts, rugged jeans and these killer white jeans. Summer breezes ripple through the soft fabric for the most comfortable evening feel.

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If you explore down this path, Le Garage is a full sized bar and restaurant. Romantic dark lighting and rustic accessories fuel the city vibe- I wanted to stay all night. I did not get a chance to try anything on the menu when I peeked downstairs, but it is added to my list of hopeful places to nom.

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Having a giggle over my gluten free friendly fries with rosemary garlic mayo. Killer combo.

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Pictured below: something not gluten free friendly but you want to marry it anyways.  (I did not try it) uDsJi5h-ErIB4MmK99uZIAnoN5_Vhu11hF52doUQ-Wo,XQhF4hCUqlt_ZpA9Qb6NLYmg8kX_097e0bDHIM-Lz5Y,l13TZQF0BvFQ5X2yzYGuM9DeNQGHa_EQdddpDkt9QJA,WypVF7m975zJ4-SOGDLzNuxoM5yQipiFs1oJxM9J8BU

 

Wearing: Lululemon sweater, White jeans (check back for brand)

Photographed by: http://thatfinnishgirlinbaltimore.blogspot.com

Restaurant: http://www.legaragebaltimore.com