Posts Tagged With: Hotel

Sleeping by the mango tree.

It’s been awhile since I’ve specifically posted about accommodations. Mainly because I’ve been staying with family in the states and I’m sure the last thing they want is their house exposed online. “…but Erika, I haven’t even vacuumed yet!”

With that said, let’s talk hotels. My first time coming to Barbados was back in the 2011 when I surprised my mom for her 50th birthday. You can see more about that story in More than just a dolphin tour.

We didn’t know anyone on the island yet, so I had to use the good ol’ internet to search out the best option.

With multiple pools, a swim-up bar, nice rooms, restaurants and nightly entertainment Accra Beach Hotel had everything we needed to feel like we were on vacation.


After venturing back to the island every year since then, I’ve met several friends who have welcomed me into their homes. Thank you Ryan!

This round, considering I had two buddies join me, we stayed in a hotel that offered apartment styled rooms. Coconut Court is known as the most “green” on the island in regards to recycling, room care and sanitary issues. It’s nicely located in Hastings which is on the south coast, walking distance from a variety of restaurants, shops and popular beaches.

Here’s a few views from the main building.



Our apartment didn’t have the same views, but it was well worth the abundance of space in trade.





I feel like spending too much time inside any building on this island is some sort of unspoken broken law. Getting out of the room, we found ourselves wandering around the Coconut Court to see what they offered. Here are a few pics from the area surrounding our place.




Keep walking through the hotels property and you’ll end at the beach with lounge chairs, picnic tables and a tiny bar. Definitely different than my usual hostel grounds of bean bags, broken barbecues and outdoor toilets.




After Hayden left the trio, Bree and I made our final move up the west coast to the more northern parish of St.Peter. Here, we occupied a friends guest studio house. Thank you Barbara!

It was quaint and comfortable with welcoming greens all around that could have fed me for weeks! Spinach, herbs, mango, bananas and papaya… Yes please!




This mango tree made for not only an excellent breakfast option, but a fun handstand shot (or two).



The final photo is our sweet little porch that was the perfect setting for coffee in the morning, a game of cards in the afternoon and several dinner conversations that eventually got drowned out by the tune of the whistling frogs.

No joke, these little (and I mean tiny) frogs will over power the sound of any evening small talk. So much, that leaving the island requires a transition to learn to sleep with silence again. Here, I found this sample of their acoustics for you.


Categories: Accommodations, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Trading in shower shoes for fancy pants

It’s been another wonderful adventure Peru. Some may say, “It’s never as good as the first visit”, however I totally disagree. The first trip left me craving another round and this year has captured my attention even more! There is always a special place in my heart for you, until next time…

Knocking on the door now? It’s Costa rica! Let’s welcome the iguanas, the monkeys, jungles, and beaches. Although I’ve been here before, Hayden has never and we agreed to visit spots that I have yet to explore.

After his open minded, dirt filled, hostel living in Peru, he reminded me that he was technically “on vacation” and a resort wouldn’t hurt for a day or two. As you can imagine, the arm twisting was minimal and before I knew it, we were beach side in the coastal town of Puntarenas.


Due to my new “holiday” mind set, the alarm clock was packed away along with the shower shoes, hostel locks and my camera.

I felt like we were kids in Disneyland with no parents to rule! Attempting to hit every option that was offered to us, here are a few photos that were captured during the mini vacation.






Evening dance classes (that resembled salsa styled jazzercise). Please take notice to the thrilled woman glaring into the camera, makes me want to smile even more!



Laying out and taking in the sun.





New friends!





Iguana friends!




The complimentary “fancy” dinner with… what’s that, real wine!



Peace, love and sandy toes!








Time to say farewell to our luxury weekend and get ready to reunite with my dear friend Michelle! Hayden and I find the ferry with ease and enjoy the hour and a half ride.






Next is a bus that had no wheels. Imagine the confused giggles as we rounded the corner to find our “convenient” transfer propped up on center blocks with no driver. I regret not snagging a priceless photo for you. Needless to say, a few cab offers and some other travelers to join, we waited for the back up bus to take us all to the coast.


Let me pause here and show you the only information we have to find our friends.


Notice this doesn’t have much detail in regards to a bus stop or any clue of where to start.

This leads me to a semi-proud moment. In my past, I really haven’t had a very good sense of direction. I used to get lost coming out a store in the mall. Well, being a solo traveler without an iPhone and rarely having maps, I suppose I’ve naturally started to develop a stronger awareness of my surrounddings and even more directionally capable than I thought possible. So it’s been awhile in the bus and my internal clock started to alarm me that we need to pay attention. I kept my eyes peeled and ears open as they would surely announce upcoming stops. Quick reminder, they do things a little differently around here.

Here is the view and the next picture would have been that of “Hotel de Luz”. It dawned on me within seconds that they were passing the only thing I recognized from that tiny map!


“¡Por Favor, aqúi aqúi!” I managed to stop the entire bus and get them to let us off on the side of the road. This all happened so fast that I had payed no attention to Hayden and his deer in the head lights look. I didnt hold back my laughter when I finally paused to see him fighting between panic and relief. Good times my friend!

After walking the trail, we finally made our way to find this incredible view and an adorable note by my dear friend. Enjoy it with us, as we wait for the next chapter in this exciting book that I call “Life”.



Categories: Accommodations, Edibles!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Manso Boutique Guesthouse in Guayaquil

A brief look at my enjoyable stay at the Manso Boutique Guesthouse. You’d never guess by approaching the stairs that comfortable accommodations are just ahead.


As soon as you reach the top, the main common area draws you in to observe the view off of the balcony.





Now with the street behind you, this is the sight as you walk towards the front desk. (That’s one of my buddies on the phone. This guy always had a smile on his face!)


They provide several tables and chairs for the guests to eat, work and gather around. I saw card playing, book reading and what I believe was a business meeting. There’s even a little private area where often I saw families or groups of friends feasting together.



Creative decor with recycled goods matched the unique gift shop of clothing, organic treats and natural products.



Need a bike for rent?


Although the 4 person dorm was small, it was clean and provided a private bath. The second picture below is an additional bathroom for guests and employees.



Finally the smile that greeted me hello and now is sending me off. Thank you so much Edu for your helpful advice… Canoa, here I come!


Categories: Accommodations | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Wholesome Folsom

Folsom California, the place one would call my “hometown”. I started kindergarden here in what used to be a quaint little historical town with under 15,000 residents. Since then, I graduated, worked and started a business while watching the population rocket, reaching almost 75,000 people! Now a vibrant busy city with much to see, the following post is my week as a “tourist”.

(Most of the pictures seen on this post are from my camera, however a few were snagged from some locals and websites). Thank you!

I had my long time local friends vote for the next handstand picture to represent this adorable place and the the winner by far…
The Rainbow Bridge!
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

I was stoked and ready for a quick shot of this historical landmark that was built in 1916 and still in full use today. I thought “quick”, that was until we got down there and realized that the best angle was on a flat rock IN the American River.

The fun begins! Shall we take a second to laugh at the fact that I’m in a mini skirt and sandals… Brilliant.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Hmmm, definitely have to get wet if this is going to be a success. Wardrobe change!
Kicked off the sandals, pulled my skirt up to make a shirt and took my shirt off to make it a scarf.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Almost there…
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Made it!
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

On the trek back, Ian (the amazing personal photographer of the day) caught me staring into the water as if there would be a way around it.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

It takes a patient person to “tour” around all day taking photos of things you’ve looked at since childhood (he grew up here as well). Ian, you’re a great friend!
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Folsom Prison, yes the one made famous in a song by the legendary Johnny Cash. For all of my friends abroad who have never heard of it, try searching for it on YouTube (Johnny cash – Folsom Prison Blues) it’s a classic!  If you live near, in or around this area and were born before 1994 and don’t know this song… please report yourself to the local authorities for breaking some sort of unspoken law.

Some pics of the entrance.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

…and a “not so” entrance.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

As Folsom expanded, the rainbow bridge was no longer sufficient for all of the growth.
Here is the “new bridge” that has opened up traffic flow to cross the American River.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

You’re looking at the massive Folsom Dam that was closed in 2003 for security issues following the September terrorist attacks of 2001. The solid bridge in front of it is the the new crossing that opened in 2009.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Sutter street is the old main road back from the gold rush days in the early 1800’s.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Recently renovated, the main street is now a vibrant attraction for several different reasons. Clothing boutiques and antique shops to bars and cafes, it has something for everyone.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Snooks is a family owned and operated factory providing chocolate, carmel apples, taffy, ice cream and candy in which they make mostly right here!
Warning: do not enter this establishment unless you are fully prepared to be tempted with sweet smells, unique textures and samples of luxurious flavors.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

The original Folsom Hotel… now a popular bar with a not so secret kitchen serving up food that I dare not classify as “bar food”. It’s quality is above and beyond. Well done Dan!
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

This is the Hacienda, a Mexican restaraunt that sits at the corner on the second story over looking a portion of Sutter street.
This pic is standing in the street looking up at the balcony.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Up the stairs…
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

… To the balcony and views from both sides.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

This is a recent picture of me and Janine enjoying the balcony ambiance. This lovely woman has opened her home to me with the upmost hospitality during my travels back to Folsom. Thank you friend for the warm welcome and fun girl chats!
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Inside are several tables for families to enjoy the chips and salsa and fancy blended drinks. These photos are on the other side of the restaurant where there’s a large bar with a social setting. I love all of the colors!
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Mystery shot!? I just don’t know about that.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Recognize this guy? Ian is the smile that accompanied me in Argentina for the Iguazu Falls!
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Folsom has several parks and playgrounds (There are over 40!)
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

(I did not take most of the city pics to follow)

A water park!
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Skate park
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Dirt riding track
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

There are dog parks for the families with “paw babies”.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Bike Trails
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

This town has grown to a city with 10 elementary schools, 2 middle schools, 3 high schools and a community college. I found this pic on line and due to my lack of a helicopter, I thought I’d use it. This is the high school I graduated from, scene from birds eye view.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Folsom lake
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Although Folsom doesn’t have your typical city scene night clubs, it certaintly does it’s job of  providing a variety of places to enjoy adult beverages, live music and billards.  Depending on the evening, you can also find a Dj spinning to a dance floor of people usually involving a group celebrating a birthday, engagement, or simple girls night out (which typically brings the “boys night out”… Funny how that works).

To prevent a bunch of dark photos of the back of people’s heads, I went out during the day and snapped some pics of the local bars.

“The Purp” as some call it, is a restaurant and bar combo providing some of the best Bloody Mary’s around, a menu full of classic dishes and daily entertainment ranging from televised sports to dancing and live music.
This is one of my favorites for the kickstart of the well known “Sunday Funday”.
Locals Definition of “Sunday Funday”: An extension of the party weekend usually beginning early with “the hair of the dog” and followed by some activity in the sun with your peers. Usually ending… sunburnt.

If you arrive here on a Sunday morning, you’ll find some girls in a mini dress with makeup (probably from the events of the previous night) to ladies in jeans and flip flops. Guys in hats ready for the lake sitting next to a table of elderly gentleman dressed from earlier church services. I always get a kick out of the bikers that ride in on their motorcycles in full leather gear.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

A shot of the open part of the bar.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Folsom Lake Bowl, otherwise known as FLB.
When I was little, my dad used to take me here every week during his bowling league. I would get my little ball and mess around on a lane while emptying the .10 cent gum ball machine.  Now it’s a full bar, casino, bowling alley, with an attached uniquely styled barber shop. This is the central “go to” if you’re looking for people, food, drinks, billiards, music, gambling and/or sports. The indoor and outdoor areas are comfortable for crowds and they have TV screens that are always showing the latest sporting events.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Lucky’s Barber Shop! There’s something to be said about people who can appreciate art… if it be hanging on the walls, tattooed on the skin, or designed in the hair. Good on ya fellas!
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Other options to choose from range quite a bit depending on your budget and what you desire for the evening. Quick run down on my favorites:

Streets of London: A British pub serving up authentic dishes and great drinks in a fútbol decorated bar. They also have picnic tables outside with a comfortable, welcoming vibe and fair prices.

Samuel Horne’s: A narrow room with creative seating that specializes in local brews.  Their wall of beer changes perodically giving you a variety of tastes with the added lesson of where it came from and it’s distinct flavors.  It also has a chef on hand that makes fabulous bites to compliment the cold beers.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

…and it happens to provide the stage for a weekly acoustical set by a well known local friend, Scott Graham.  You’ve heard of him? Thought so.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

The list goes on! Sports Garage, Wine Bar, Manderas, the entire strip on Sutter street including the Hotel, Scarletts, Powerhouse, Sutter club, old Europe, and more!

Instead of me listing the other dozens of fun places, just email me if you want more info.  There’s honestly so many that this post will start to take a turn to a “best route to pub crawl in Folsom”.

I grew up in this city, back when it was nicked named “The Cow Town”. A time when everyone knew the owner of each local business and you graduated high school with the same kids you learned your ABC’s with.
Although I’ve packed up and moved out to see more of this beautiful planet, it’s always so nice to come back and be reminded of where I came from.

A sincere thank you to all of my friends that welcomed me with the brightest smiles and cheerful eyes! The love was felt beyond the hugs. If time didn’t allow us to connect, I still absorbed the warmth from the emails, voicemails and even the honking and waving from cars passing!

…cheers till next time Folsom.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blog at