My Trip to Grand Cayman

It is mindblowing to me that yesterday I was relaxing on the Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman! I can’t believe I’m home, and even though it has been very needed, I still wish I could wake up to the beautiful blue waters of the Carribbean every morning!

 

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Miami airport

 

Friday – August 11th

 

Friday, we boarded our plane for Miami, and from there flew to Grand Cayman. Two quick flights landed us on the island, where we got a taxi to the Kimpton Seafire.

I loved the hotel! It was beautiful, very clean, and the staff was especially accomodating and friendly. We arrived early, and they fixed our room up for us a few hours before our check-in time.

We got a quick tour of the hotel, and they offered up popular attractions we could visit during our stay. You can book these attractions through the hotel, and they will shuttle you back and forth.

We ate our dinner at the pool bar, which had delicious food! The hotel has multiple dining options to choose from, including room service to its own ocean-front restaurant, Coccoloba. You can also walk down the beach to Calico Jack’s or borrow one of the hotel’s bikes to visit Cost You Less, which is where we stocked up on some snacks to keep in our room to save on expenses.

 

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Stunning art leading down to the hotel spa

 

 

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Pathway to the beach

 

 

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We spent lots of our nights after dinner playing cornhole- don’t forget bug spray!

 

 

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My attempt at artsiness

 

Saturday – August 12th

Today was our beach day! We opted to have a more relaxed plan and spent our afternoon under an umbrella. Our chairs were set up for us by the staff, complete with towels and a menu. Cake by the ocean!

We brought our own snorkel sets and swam around in the swim zone in front of the hotel. We saw plenty of fish, a turtle, a lobster, and even a nurse shark! It swam right by before continuing down the beach.

I’d recommend bringing your own snorkeling gear as you can walk up and down the beach to different spots if you wish.

 

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Relaxation

 

 

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Snorkeling with my GoPro Hero 5 Black

 

 

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Just a taste of the Seven Mile Beach

 

Sunday – August 13th

Paddleboarding was the highlight! Red Sail Sports is located right next to the Kimpton Seafire, and they have all the water sports! You can set up diving adventures as well as snorkeling.

They also have floats you can borrow to relax on the water. They offer banana boat rides, jet skis, paragliding, and more! They have everything you need to spice up a day on the beach.

We stuck with paddle boarding, which was a first for me. I really enjoyed it, and got to test out my GoPro’s capabilities above the water.

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Dinner was had at Coccoloba’s, and I drank plenty of lemonade.

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Monday – August 14th

The best day of the entire trip! We took a four spot snorkeling trip with Red Sail Sports, and it was excellent! We stopped at Stingray City, Starfish Point, a coral reef, and made a quick stop in the mangroves.

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Stingray City was my favorite, as you can tell. The rays are huge and very friendly. You can stroke, hold, and kiss them. Our guides and boat drivers were helpful and informative, catching the giants for you and instructing you how to hold them properly.

Overall, it was such an amazing trip that I won’t ever forget!

 

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Grand Cayman Islands Bucketlist

Hello Loves!

I am off to the Grand Cayman Islands this Friday, and I am so excited! I will have more photography to share with you all when I get back. 

For today’s post, I am going to share with you my bucketlist for the trip!

 

1.) Swim with Stingrays at Stingray City

2.) Go snorkeling (and use my new GoPro Hero 5!)

3.) Hold a starfish

 

4.) Get tan!

 

I’ll let you know what I achieve when I get back! Give me your ideas for what I should do on my trip!

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The Travel Instagrams to Follow

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Hello Loves!

I adore Instagram! On my account for Candid Cat, I follow mainly travel photographers as it’s a loved hobby of mine. Considering how much I love travel instagrams, I figured why not share my favorite accounts with you all! 

Also make sure to follow my account @candidcatphoto

 

The Travel Blogs To See

 

@erubes1

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I love Eric’s instagram! It is colorful, cheerful, and wanderlust-inspiring. His photography always makes me want to travel and adventure to new places. His photography in Croatia is so inspiring!

 

@simonroppel_photography

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Simon’s work is awe-inspiring! It has a darker, more edgy mood than most travel photography yet with a pop of color in each piece. His instagram is unique and offers a different perspective to the world along with travel.

 

@eye.of.ty

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Ty’s work is beautiful! It is so colorful and vibrant! It reminds me of the galaxy and rainbows. All his work is very orginial and has a special spin to it. You really get to see through his eyes. 

 

@exploremarco

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Can I just say that he is only 17??? I’m blown away by his talent, and by the fact that he lives in Switzerland! Such a beautiful country. Follow Marco and admire his outdoor photography.

 

@ryansheppeck

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Ah, I love this man! His nature and landscape photography just leaves me breathless, and it all looks so lovely put together! Ryan’s work makes me ready to hike out into the unknown, and buy a drone perhaps as well. 

 

@chelseakauai

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Chelsea calls herself a Hawaii-based creative, and I couldn’t agree more! Her shots are beautiful and make me ready to head to Hawaii for perhaps an extended visit (can I just move to Hawaii already?). She also has plenty of photographs from her other travels that are equally as lovely. 

 

@borisbarabas

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I love his work! His nature and animal photography is simply stunning. I mean, look at that horse! It makes my heart melt! His entire Instagram is just as unique and equally breath-taking. Check it out!

 

@gypsea_lust

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You don’t know travel goals until you see Lauren’s instagram. Can I just say flawless? All her photos make me want to pack up and leave on a continuous, nomadic adventure! Follow her for female travel as well as couple goals.

 

@doyoutravel

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I love Jack Morris! His photography is exquisite and so awe-inspiring! This instagram is perfect for the couple that loves to travel, as he goes around the world with @gypsea_lust. Adorable! Plain goals right here, folks. 

 

@dianamiaus

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This instagram is perfect for the female traveler looking for inspiration on her next destination! I love her clean photography, especially her lovely pictures of Greece and Portugal. 

 

@parisinfourmonths

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It’s been called the dreamiest travel instagram of them all, and I’d have to agree. Paris has a soft spot in my heart and from Carin’s elegant photographs, it’s hard not to buy your ticket to the city of lights. Clean, high quality, and wanderlust-worthy. 

 

@jamesrelfdyer

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Beyond amazed at the talent! His pictures here are stunning, especially that one of Antelope Canyon (bottom middle) along with the Duomo (top left). His colors are vibrant and inspire me whenever I see them on my feed. 

@safromabove

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I love this account so much! Always stunning photographs that are high quality and just plain lovely! It makes me want to pack my bags and book my flight to somewhere immediately.

 

Enjoyed this blog post? Like and comment below! Tell me about your favorite travel instagram accounts or your dream destination!

 

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My Bucket List

I have a long list of things I want to do in my life, and why not post them on my blog? I’ll be able to check them off here and post my proof of the things I’ve accomplished, which is very exciting!

I want to hear about all of your bucketlists as well, so leave me a comment with the top five things on your bucketlist.

Here is my bucketlist drafted in July of 2017 (in no particular order):

  1. See the Northern Lights
  2. Ride in a hot air balloon
  3. Go on an African safari (completed January 2017)DSC00865-21140yy.jpg
  4. Snorkel in Hawaii
  5. Walk on the Great Wall of China
  6. Swim with Dolphins 
  7. Go Whale Watching
  8. Go scuba diving
  9. Visit a castle
  10. Go parasailing (complete July 2016)Screen Shot 2017-07-23 at 12.37.13 PM
  11. Visit Pompeii
  12. Stay in the Giraffe Manor
  13. Swim in the Hot Springs in Iceland
  14. Cross the Golden Gate Bridge
  15. Skydive 
  16. See a beach in every color
  17. Go on a road trip
  18. Stand under the Hollywood sign
  19. Travel First Class at least once
  20. Graduate college
  21. Zipline in the Alps
  22. Swim in Devil’s Pool in Africa
  23. See the Floating Lantern Ceremony in Thailand
  24. Swim in the Blue Grotto in Capri
  25. See a Broadway Musical in NYC
  26. Float in the Dead Sea
  27. Attend Carnival in Brazil
  28. Stay in a bungalow in Bora Bora
  29. See the Eiffel Tower
  30. Visit an active volcano
  31. Attend the Kentucky Derby
  32. Stay in Santorini, Greece
  33. Bike down Death Road
  34. Run with the Bulls
  35. Swim with sharks 
  36. Shark cage dive
  37. Ride a camel in the desert
  38. See the Sydney Opera House
  39. Ride an elephant
  40. Visit Machu Piccu
  41. Climb the illegal (sorry) Staircase to Heaven
  42. Swim at the Great Barrier Reef
  43. Travel across Europe
  44. See Antelope Canyon
  45. Cliff jump
  46. White water raft
  47. Swim in the Mermaid Cave in Hawaii
  48. Learn a new language
  49. Bungee jump
  50. Study abroad

 

I hope you guys enjoyed reading my list and added some new ones to your own. Make sure to comment your top five below!

 

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Durham, NC City Guide

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Hello Loves! 
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What better way to kick off the blog than by showing some love for my hometown in NC? I love living in North Carolina, and it has far more to offer than just its coastlines (featured in like every Nicholas Sparks novel!). Durham and its surrounding cities are definitely worth a visit. I’ll offer my picks on shopping, food, entertainment, and all my favorite spots!
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THINGS TO DO
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Duke University is the first thing that comes to mind when you talk about Durham. It is one of the most prestigious universities in the nation, known for its top tier athletic programs and academics. It also happens to have a fathomable campus, featuring the well known Duke Chapel. Take a walk around campus and see the chapel for yourself (the dorms are just as pretty!).
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A quick walk will take you to the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, a top Durham destination. Enjoy the scenery and beauty the garden has to offer, making it an ideal Instagram opportunity as it hosts hundreds of photoshoots for people across the state.
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DPAC is the place to go to watch plays, musicals, and more. You can see Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, The Little Mermaid, The Sound of Music, Wicked, Newsies, Kinky Boots, The Nutcracker, and the Lion King.
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Sports fans can buy a ticket to see a baseball game at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. One of the most popular events is the nights where all food concessions are only $1! By day, take a trip to the Duke Lemur Center to photograph or even paint with the lemurs.
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Eno River State Park is the place to go to hike and experience NC. Go to the Eno Rock Quarry, a 60 foot deep abandoned stone pit, to swim. Get an adrenaline rush from jumping off the cliff or relax on a float in the water. Bring a float!! Even if you are an experienced swimmer, there is no place to touch once you are in the center of the quarry. There is a deep drop-off all around so having a float is essential to staying above water. There are logs that float in the quarry to hold onto, but having your own float is a better guarantee. Make sure to check around the cliff for logs and other debris before jumping.
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For the history junkies out there, you must visit Bennett Place. This farm house is where the Civil War ended between Johnston and Sherman. Walk around the site to see the houses and watch a bayonet demonstration. They have several special events throughout the year to educate you about the time period.
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PLACES TO EAT
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Durham wasn’t named the South’s Tastiest Town for nothing! The city has over 700 restaurants, a large sum of which receiving national recgonization. You can eat at some of the most delicious bakeries in the South by stopping in the Mad Hatter Bake Shop, Rise, Monuts, Scratch, and more! You can get your coffee at Cocoa Cinnamon along with a fresh pastry.
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For lunch, you’ll have to head to Parker & Otis for a panini or Foster’s Market for legendary sandwiches. Go to Nanataco or Pizzeria Toro for a delicious lunch or dinner! My personal favorite is Burger Bach, a New Zealand inspired restaurant that imports their burgers from the country itself! The cows are all pasture fed and the burgers are fresh as nothing is ever refrigerated.
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Vin Rouge is the place to go for an upscale dining experience, and you can hit the Parlour for the best ice cream the city has to offer.
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Southpoint Mall also has a wide range of dining options from Cheesecake Factory, Firebirds, Zinburger, and more! Head up towards the food court for Nestle Tollhouse cookies and Hagan Daaz ice cream. 
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SHOPS TO SEE

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This mall also is where you need to shop! It carries well known brands like Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, and Topshop along with dozens of others. At Southpoint, you can head to Lush to buy your beauty products and homemade soap, Kendra Scott for charming jewelry or Madewell for your wardrobe needs. We have everything from Free People to Anthropologie to J. Crew.
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Head to Crate & Barrel and West Elm to furnish your home in the latest styles, and go to Pottery Barn (and we have PB Teen too!) for the younger members in the family.  The Apple Store is in full operation with a cozy Barnes & Noble next-door. Southpoint has everything you need and more!
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In downtown Durham, Brightleaf Square is the place to go for antiques and art. Vert & Vogue, the most recognized store in Durham, also has a location inside the South building. Stop inside for cute clothes!
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HOTELS TO STAY
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Stay at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club if you are looking for luxury. You might just even see a celebrity siting across from you at dinner.
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The 21c Museum Hotel combines art and dining, and it’s only a short walk to DPAC! Aloft Durham and The Durham are also superb.
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Also check out The Odysessy’s Durham Bucket List here to get more inspiration for your trip to our lovely city!
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