St. John, USVI

I went to St. John a couple of weeks ago & I am finally getting my photo diary together! I am a lover of all things beach, but I must say in terms of the tropical vacations, St. John takes the cake. Everything in St. John is breath taking: from the food, to the people, to the beaches. St. John is a small island & the closest airport is located on St. Thomas. Do not fret, St. John is just a ferry away. There are two ferry stations in St. Thomas but I recommend ferrying from Red Hook to get to St. John. Red Hook is a longer car ride from the St. Thomas Airport, but it is a much shorter ferry ride to get to St. John. If the weather permits, get a seat on the top deck of the ferry. It is such a treat to see these beautiful islands by boat.

Posted while listening to “Face the Sun” by Miguel feat Lenny Kravitz.
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At the St. Thomas airport. Who needs terminals when you have the beautiful St. Thomas weather?

ferry to st. john usvi The top deck of the ferry traveling between Red Hook, St. Thomas & Cruz Bay, St. John.
red hook st john travel post
Yes this water is real life. And so are these Old Navy sandalsbeach bar st john usvi

After picking up our jeep (everyone rents a jeep), our first stop was Beach Bar! I have no shame in admitting I made an appearance at this restaurant every day I was on the island.

PS: If you plan on transporting more than two people around the island, make sure to clarify that your jeep has a back seat!

st john at night usviAfter catching up with friends & wondering around the island our first day, we finally made it up to our villa. The view was already dark, but still a beaut!sj 2Like a little kid on Christmas, I kept anxiously waking up to see if the sun was out yet because I was dying to see the view from our villa in the daylight. This picture doesn’t do the view justice. Talk about the ultimate beauty shock. 

trunk bay st john usviTrunk bay is THE most amazing beach I have ever seen. It costs a couple of bucks to get onto the beach, but if you are looking at the same picture I am looking at: the juice is worth the squeeze.sophie kinsella shopaholic to the stars

My book of choice on this beach trip was “Shopaholic to the Stars” by Sophie Kinsella. I have been reading the Shopaholic series since I was a sophomore in high school and obviously, not much has changed. If you want an easy read & a good laugh, Becky Bloomwood (the main character) will do it for you. st john travel usvi

The traveling Presidente, lol.

trunk bay st john usvi

We spent one day on Maho Bay. I made the ultimate rookie mistake and fell asleep in the sun because sorry, I was in ultimate relaxation mode with this view. Maho Bay left is mark on me and it was not pretty, but there are no hard feelings.

IMG_4855skinny legs menu st john usvi
skinny legs st john usviWe went on an adventure in search of Skinny Legs in Coral Bay that was recommended by Reb! I am glad we made the trek from Cruz Bay. I recommend a chili dog, yum. ootd st john travel post

Posing with my new best friend & the St. John signature drink, the painkiller. If you know what is good for you, request Pussers rum. This rum in a painkiller makes all of the difference.beach bar st johnBeach Bar, again. (Reb had already told me it would be my favorite spot, as it is definitely hers! I direct quote “Beach Bar just screams ‘take a picture of me.’)st john sunset usvicruz bay st john usvijeep rental st john usvi

The roads in St. John are cray. I never got behind the wheel because I am a weeny and am not a fan of roller coasters, scary things, etc.

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gallows point resort review gallows point st. john usvi

I spent one day at Gallows Point Resort. The pictures on their website do not do this resort justice, it is really peaceful. You have a private beach, a nice condo, and these views.
beach bar st. john usvi

One of the bartenders at Beach Bar had on an amazing vintage (or something like it) Beach Bar t-shirt. He directed me to the gift shop so I could purchase one for myself. After coming out empty handed (because none of the shirts were as cool as his), he proposed a deal. He said he would give me his shirt (that he bought 10+ years ago) if I bought him another one that I thought would look good on him. Yes, I did so & yes, he took the shirt off of his back and gave it to me. I told you the people in St. John rock.
painkiller st. john usvi Just a painkiller & a pina colada – nothing to see here.

IMG_4843My boyfriend is a huge fan of selfies. JK!
sj 5sj 7sj 8Selfie practice makes perfect. This picture falls into the practice category.

IMG_4649IMG_4650ritz carlton st. thomas breakfast st. thomas ritz carltonst. thomas ritz carlton travel blogSince Richmonders are Ritz Carlton deprived, I always make a point to visit the Ritz wherever I go. The Ritz Carlton anywhere will forever be my happy place. St. Thomas is just a ferry away from St. John, so I had no excuse. The one is St.Thomas may be my favorite Ritz yet.

The moral of this photo diary is: I hope you say yes to visiting St. John if you get the opportunity. You’ll never look back.

cathclaire

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A Fashion Blogger from RVA’s Guide to LA

As I said in my last outfit post, I had the pleasure of jet setting to the West Coast to visit one of my BFFS, Tiona,  recently. I’ve known about this trip for awhile but in true cathclaire fashion, I left all of the packing until the last minute. Thankfully, my travelers guardian angel reminded me to pack light and to bring a larger suitcase than necessary in anticipation of LA shopping. Here is what was in my over sized suitcase:

california travel essentials

( Utility Camo JacketForever 21 (worn here, & here), Eyelash SlipFree People (worn here),  Peak Black Multi boots (with a gold sparkle)Steve Madden , Le Color Destroyed Skinny JeanFrame Denim‘Bia’ Bikini: Vix , Remmy SunniesRaen (worn herehere, & here), Rykie Ankle Strap HeelSteven by Steve Madden , Satin LipstickNARS “tolede”  ) 

Truth be told, packing isn’t the only task I leave until the last minute. Everything is the only task I leave until the last minute. That being said, I scooted on over to Barnes & Noble with a specific airplane book in mind the night before my flight. Shopping for books is never more fun than when you are shopping for an airplane book if you ask me, but anyway… the book I had in mind was “I’ll Drink to That” by Betty Halbreich. I guess the early bird really does get the worm because this book was nowhere to be found except on the internet with a 2 day shipping timeline that I clearly didn’t have. What else did I have left to do except play the game called walk-down-the-fiction-isle-and-grab-the-first-book-that-speaks-to-you game invented by yours truly. The result? Valley of Dolls by Jaqueline Susann.

Valley of Dolls was published in the 1966 and was well ahead of its time. When I realized that it held world records and such, I dubbed the above mentioned game I played in Barnes & Noble successful. I’ve enjoyed the book in its entirety and found it especially interesting because the 70s sprung out of late 60s fashion, all of which is making a comeback in fashion today. Below are a few pics of Valley Of Doll’s experience throughout the trip.

valley of dolls fashion blog
Valley of Dolls in the ATL airport hanging out at PF Changs.
Valley of Dolls
Valley of Dolls on the flight to California.
The Valley of Dolls
Valley of Dolls laying out in Cali.

Despite my last minute tendencies, I made it to the airport with enough time to read a significant amount of my airplane book and to enjoy an airport brew. Two things that saved me on this long a** flight: lululemon leggings & the delta app. The Delta app acted as a pseudo personal assistant because it updated constantly and left me a lot of flexibility to wander around the airport instead of my usual: to be glued to my gate when traveling by myself. What can I say, I tend to be a scaredy cat when it comes to the possibility of missing my flight.

RVA airport
Lululemon legging airport attire, check.

Fast forward traveling time and a 3 hour time difference, and I arrived in the City of Angels in one piece. After freshening up and getting into a more Southern California  appropro outfit, Tiona and I headed to Hyde on Sunsent Blvd for Post Modern Jukebox Night. Not only did I enjoy the most delicious cocktail with fresh red pepper extract in it (The Love Unit) but I experienced the best live entertainment. Holy talent. Check out this video to see exactly why my first night in Cali at Hyde blew me away.  Fun fact: Biebs made an appearance the week after I was there. Yes, I am 26 years old and yes, I care.

Hyde on Sunset Post Modern Night
Hyde while waiting for the beginning of Post Modern Night

The time change was killing me the next morning- but I wasn’t going to let it stop me from exploring. I woke up, got some fuel at Le Pain in Brentwood & began my solo Cali day. What did I do you ask? Well, I spent the majority of my time at The Grove. Malls make me feel at home, especially outdoor ones that Cam Gigandet frequents with a baby strapped to his body. I was looking for something to the likes of this:

Cam Gigandet  & Family at Toast Bakery and Cafe

My treasure hunt may have not resulted in a Cam Gigandet sighting but I did get a blowout at the Nordstroms Blow bar (a special treat since RVA doesn’t have this luxury yet and only $35), some fun Forever 21 & Free People pieces, & a happy hour glass of Rosè at Morels Steak House.

Morels LA Happy Hour Travel

Morels The Grove LA Happy Hour

Being in a family of 9 kids, I am not one to venture off to do anything by myself. Growing up, I always had someone to be my sidekick so I was proud of myself for chatting it up with strangers and exploring LA on my own. After my independence was established (lol), I met a friend for some Cali mexican. (I’m sure this comes as no surprise since we mentioned our love for mexican too many times in the travel NYC post.) I met her right across the street from The Grove at El Carmen Tequila & Taco Bar on 3rd for some catching up & guacamole. I was into the red lighting and the decor, check out El Carmen if you get out to Los Angeles and share my love & adoration of guac.

El Carmen LA Travel Post

el carmen la travel post

Later that night, Tiona & I made it out to Warwick for some dancing. This place was my jam because they played about 10 Drake songs in a row. If you like Drake and like to dance like moi, that is your place.

The next day, we went to the Chateau Marmont for lunch. Now we are to my favorite part of the whole trip. Once I got to our table on the patio, I loved it so much it was like I was physically glued to my seat and was never going to be willing to leave. My BFF and I drank yummy Rosè, chatted it up with Lenny Kravitz (jk but we did see him), and enjoyed our lunch in the most angelic scenery of all time. Life goal: to frequent the Chateau.

Chateau Marmont Travel Post

chateau marmont LA travel postMe & my BFF, Tiona (my lovely hostess)Besides being touristy and treasure hunting around The Grove, I also got a chance to go thrifting and to venture out to Malibu. My favorite second hand store that I visited was Wasteland. There are several locations of Wasteland but I’ve heard from valuable sources that the one on Melrose has the best pieces. I can personally attest to that advice because I scored the most beautiful leather jacket. Stay tuned for this beauty to show up in future outfit posts! As for Malibu, there are no words. Not only is Malibu absolutely gorgeous but the drive from LA to Malibu is absolutely breath taking.

malibu california travel postmalibu california

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Patio of Paradise Cove Beach Cafe, where we dined that evening.

Malibu, CA travel post

Don’t you dare think that I was going to end this travel post without a brunch recommendation. Tiona took me to Tarte Restaurant on Fairfax Avenue right next to the Farmers Daughter Hotel. The brunch was delicious but my favorite part was the punch bowls. Yes, they are exactly what you think they are – a ginormous bowl of delicious tasting alcohol infused punch. We opted for the Blackberry flavored vodka bowl called “Blackballing Punch” and it was to die for. If you sit outside on the patio, they have a super fun and talented Bass player named Dream Upright who goes around to each table serenading you. Talk about service. Another fun aspect about Tarte? If you are feeling wild and in the mood for a free brunch, you can jump into the Farmers Daughter hotel pool fully clothed. We witnessed, and by witnessed I mean snap chatted, that plunge first hand and it was quite the cool experience!

Dream Upright, the lovely entertainment at Tarte
Dream Upright in the pool near Tarte.

Tarte LA Brunch Travel PostTarte Restaurant

I don’t have a single negative thing to say about Los Angeles except for that fact that my trip was too short, Reb & my bf Kevin couldn’t make it, and that Buddha the maltipoo didn’t get to experience the fun Cali vibes. I cannot wait to get back out to California with the whole crew for more explorations and you can bet your bottom dollar its gunna be soon!

PS Stay tuned for my next Cali outfit post and for my latest one here.

Buddha the Maltipoo

LAX travel post fashion blogger

Until next time,

Cath xx

PS Don’t forget to check me out on The Crystal Press site here.