Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Jet-Setter of the Month: Diane and Kala in Hawaii

Hi Jet-Setters!

We are all envying Diane and Kala's vacation to Hawaii and we are sure that you all will be ready to hop on a plane to this beautiful island as well!

Waikiki, Hawaii on the Island of Oahu
Rainbow over Waikiki
We decided to travel to Hawaii during what is referred to as the “slow season” back in March of 2012. The best rates for hotels and airfare to and from Hawaii are during Spring (mid-Apr to mid-June) and Fall (Sept to mid-Dec). Public transportation is available, but we decided to not limit ourselves to the confines of the “tourist” areas and rented a car. We traveled all over the Island of Oahu in search of food, fun, culture and adventure.

Waikiki at Night

The Daytime View
We arrived on a Wednesday and picked up our Enterprise rental car. The roadways are easy to navigate—unlike other islands outside of the U.S. borders, Hawaii drives on the same side of the road that we are accustomed to. It has been said that Hawaii is amongst the top 3 happiest places to live and if the locals driving is any indication—this statement is true. You will not find road rage on the Island of Oahu, unless it is your own. Everyone waves or gives “the shoka.” Be prepared to drive slower than the speed limit as downtown Waikiki has a large local and tourist population.

Our resort was absolutely beautiful! We chose this specific location as it was one of the only resorts that had a separate bedroom from the main living area and kitchen (akin to the condos here in Florida). Due to the amount of people on the island parking is sparse so be prepared to pay for on the street parking and parking at the hotel. We visited the local grocery store for breakfast foods and snacks to save money on dining out 3 times a day. Don’t be surprised when you see the prices—all items have to be imported to the Island! For example: a normal pack of tri-colored bell peppers were $7.99. You can also expect to pay $1-$2 extra per gallon of gasoline as compared to the states.

Gas prices on the Island
Aston Waikiki Sunset Resort
229 Paoakalani Ave.
Honolulu, HI 96815

We made an outline of all the places we wanted to visit during our week there, but due to unforeseen weather conditions some were accomplished and some were not. The best part of being on vacation is relaxing and knowing that there is nothing mandatory except for enjoying yourself. There are no “dangerous” areas of the Island to stay away from—the islanders are respectful, kind, courteous and bring the Aloha (love) and Ohana (family) spirit into all they do. It’s quite refreshing!

Diane and Kala enjoying their getaway

Throughout our week’s stay we visited the historic Pearl Harbor, the Dole Pineapple Plantation, the Byodo-In Temple, Hanauma Bay State Park, and took a scenic drive along Kamehamaeha Highway.

Pearl Harbor:
This is a great historical landmark and a top tourist destination. We chose to walk around for free, playing amongst the old submarine equipment, and observed the remnants of that day. Of course there is WAY more to do here, but we decided to venture away from the tour and the historical museum to save money.

Dole Plantation:
Hawaii is known for its pineapple prowess! The Dole Plantation offers a garden maze, instructional classes on how to properly cut and serve a pineapple, historical information, and the best pineapple ice cream!

Byodo-In Temple:
This Temple pays homage to the Byodo-In Temple in Japan. This location has peacock, a large koi pond, a gift shop and serves as a place of solace for its worshippers. It is important to note that this replica was made without the use of nails!


Scenic Drive Along Kamehameha Highway:
The benefit of renting and having a car at your disposal is a great way to explore the native areas of the Island. There are plenty of “Scenic Spots” along the highway. They have small parking areas for drivers to safely observe the beauty of the sand and sea.

Hanauma Bay State Park:
Hanauma Bay State Park was amongst our scenic drive and is a great location for photographers! This park is also a great destination for those wishing to snorkel and observe the local wildlife. While there we managed to see migrating whales, mongoose, and what I called “the cheetah bird.”

"Cheetah Bird"

Aloha Stadium Swap Meet:
The swap meet happens on Sunday and is a great place to buy reasonably priced gifts, trinkets and obtain deals for touristy stuff (luaus, catamaran sailing, swimming with the dolphins, etc.) on the Island. This swap meet is a gathering of the locals and is a must if you’re into saving money. :)

The Swapmeet
Places Visited:
Pearl Harbor:
Dole Plantation:
Byodo-In Temple:
Scenic Drive Along Kamehameha Highway
*Haleiwa, North Shore
*Halona Blow Hole
Hanauma Bay State Park:
Aloha Stadium Swap Meet in Halawa
We only went out a couple nights during our visit. Karaoke is a big hit on the island, so we went to a local hole in the wall bar called On Stage-- where the prices are right and the singing is fun. During the weekend we hit up The Shack in downtown Waikiki and watched a local reggae band, Maoli perform. The music was great and after the group was done the bar/restaurant had a nightclub type atmosphere.


Night Life:
The Shack
On Stage Karaoke  

Of all the food available on the Island— if you don’t try ANYTHING ELSE, the Malasadas (Portuguese donuts) at Leonard’s Bakery are a MUST. If there was a way to import this bakery to the mainland: we would’ve. Since we didn’t have a chance to make it to a local luau we hit up the Waiahole Poi Factory by Kenohe Bay. The local food is light, filling and delicious. The portions are large and more than enough for two people. Other places worth mentioning were Burgers on the Edge in Waikiki and for the chocolate lovers out there: Keoki’s Donkey Balls Chocolate Factory Outlet. As Spam and Pineapple are main staples of the Island, make sure to hit up a plate-lunch establishment like L&L to try their Spam Sushi Roll! Lastly, we know it might sound crazy but make sure to check out the 7-11 stores as they are definitely unique to the island.
Burgers on The Edge

Malasadas- Portugese Donut

Chicken Katsu with White Rice

Kalua Pork, Lomi Salmon, Brown Rice, and Hupia for Dessert

SPAM Sushi
Leonard’s Bakery
Burgers on the Edge
Waiahole Poi Factory
Keoki’s Donkey Balls Chocolate Factory Outlet

Tell us about the fashion and current trends in Honolulu:
Anything that is comfortable is acceptable. Unlike a big city, Honolulu is really laid back. You will find that breezy dresses and shorts are appropriate to wear throughout the year.

Travel must-haves:
Since the flight from Florida to Honolulu is a minimum of 12 hours—we’d advise that you bring an ipod, flip flops to wear on the plane and a book to keep you busy on the flight. You should also bring snacks, makeup to refresh your face after the long flight; and GUM is a definite must not only for yourself (ears popping) but for others who may have unappealing (stinky) travel breath :)

We hope to travel back to the Island soon as there were many things we were unable to do while there—make sure you spend at least 5 days while there, but if you can manage it: the longer the better!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Hi Jet-Setters!

Just a friendly announcement that JSD is now Pinning! You can now check us out on Pinterest to see what we are loving when it comes to travel, fashion, food and everything else in between!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Jet-Setter of the Month: Denise in Spain

Hi Jet-Setters!
We know that you all will be excited to read today's Jet-Setter of the Month, Denise. Read on for more details!

Tell us about how you ended up in Spain and how long you've been there.
We were in Tallinn Estonia visiting a couple of our closest friends, when we decided that we wanted to travel the Mediterranean. Our friends suggested Palma de Mallorca, Spain. So with a days notice we hopped over to Europe and ended in Palma Mallorca. We stayed for five days in the city of Porto Cristo, a beautiful and quaint town built off the coast, surrounded by turquoise waters, Marinas, Caves, Rock formations, and History. We traveled by car to other surrounding towns cities and even villages.

What are your favorite hotspots in Spain?

There is no favorite restaurant, they are all so good! When one blew your mind you would walk down the street and another would be just as great. Walking down the streets you would pass restaurants that showcased their fish, lobsters and an assortment of shell fish over ice in a clean, beautiful case. The dishes that are custom to this area are called Tapas, small snack size portions, there custom is to graze all day. Paella, is also a custom dish, and here is where you can find the fresh- most moist Paella in the world. We would very often find ourselves sitting at a table right off the water, eating Spain's famous locally grown Iberico ham. This ham is a must have, at $40 for 2 oz., it's served with melon and is one of the most spectacular dishes in the world. It can only be found in Spain and is not allowed to be exported without a license.

The Spa at our Hotel was amazing. We laid on our tables, on the beach at the waters edge, and listened to the waves as we relaxed.

There is a Row of clubs located on a street, called Playa de Palma. This road was full of European culture, many German pubs, loud Spanish salsa clubs, and people partying in the street. Every club we entered we were greeted with free beer, and loud, friendly people.

Centro Porto Pi is Palmas most popular shopping destination. It was filled with rows of home made markets, expensive name brand stores, and delicious coffee and bakery shoppes.

The historical Centre of Palma, is the oldest part of the city. We walked through the old limestone carved streets, enjoyed looking through the Old Castle, and we visited the Almudaina Palace
. We were Serenaded by men playing guitars as we walked through the court's gardens. We Stopped to watch all the human art statues. And again, stopped for coffee, ice cream, and delectable deserts about every 3 hours.

There is so much to do! We were feeling adventurous so we decided to climb the rock walls surrounding the town and went scuba diving in the 50 degree waters. We visited the caves at Cuevas de Genova, that whined into a mountain. We walked beautiful scenic hidden sidewalks also surrounding the beaches. Dined at an exclusive one table restaurant, served by the chef, on the top of a private hill, surrounded by Spanish windmills, farms, and castles.
I really left a part of my heart here. I have traveled to a handful of countries and hundreds of cities, and this by far was the most romantic, most scenic, most jaw-dropping, memorable vacation yet. We always speak of going back and buying a piece of property for ourselves because this truly is an enjoyable, relaxing, warming place. 

 What areas or neighborhoods are best for first time travelers?
The best area would be the city named after the Island. It's the center of it all, Palma Mallorca. It has everything that a first time tourist could appreciate- exciting nightlife, high dining, great shopping, good hotels. Everything a tourist wants to see.

What makes Spain different from any other city?
The culture for sure. The Catalan are very relaxed and laid back. You leave your worries back at home. This city is very quiet. The locals are nice and the land is amazing. It's very well kept, clean, and refreshing. 

Tell us about the fashion and current trends in Spain?
The fashion here is very Baltic. They don't keep track of the fashion industry much. You wear nautical and yacht clothing- very light clothes, easy shoes, laid back, and casual.

 What are some of your travel must-haves?

I normally travel very light under 40lbs (extremely hard because who doesnt want to take their Prada shoes, or a brand anme purse to match each outfit?!) but in time you learn to recycle clothing and wear it differently each time. Airline luggage weight varies from country to country. If I find that I need something, I normally just buy it at my destination, however i ALWAYS have 5 requirements:

1) Italian Leather Sandal- (normally Tory Burch) for comfort. Sandals are the most versatile foot wear.
2) Blow Dryer- Because I've noticed that not many hotels (even 5 star) carry a good blow dryer, if any.
3) Power Converter- One that converts the correct energy source to each socket because I've literally had my blow dryer catch on fire because the energy source was to powerful. dont try to save money and buy the cheap one, youll pay in the end.
4) Cell Phone- to keep in touch with my Nanny and kids back home or occasionally post on FB.
5) Large scarf- Temperatures change very drastically in some parts of the world, it can be 80 degrees during the day and it drops to the 50's at night. It has so many uses, it can be used as a blanket, a floor mat on the grass, a quick cover up in case of a spill. I've used them as dresses at the beach and so on.

What advice do you have for the rest of us Jet Setting Divas looking to travel to Spain in the future?
Don't be afraid to experiment. Don't be shy. Ask the locals for the best places. Make a couple friends and just go. Leave "Free" days in your itinerary so that you can have the opportunity to end up in the most unexpected places without a plan. Sometimes when you book with travel agency's and tour groups, you really dont get the time or the opportunity to just explore and really dive into the culture. And ALWAYS try to shy away from Tourist areas, you will find the most amazing places and things that the locals keep to themselves.

Have any of you ever been to Spain? Leave a comment and let us know about your experience!

 Happy Travels!

If you are interested in being featured as a Jet-Setter of the Month, email us at

Monday, August 27, 2012


Ever wanted to go on a quick LAST minute trip, but were afraid you wouldn't be able to find a decent price for flights? Well fret no futher my jet setters, Priceline may be just the site you're looking for when in need. 

Priceline advertises all the time they can help you negotiate your own price and I can honestly say the Name your Own Price tool really works! I was searching for a last minute flight to New Orleans for Fourth of July weekend, and all I kept finding were flights ranging from $375-425! With only 3 weeks left before my "unplanned-last-minute vacay" I decided to use Priceline. I used the name my own price tool and just played around with the price until VOILA!

The negotiator managed to shrink my flight price to $275 roundtrip! That's not bad for last minute! So if you're looking for GREAT flight (or even hotel) deals, try and use the NAME YOUR OWN PRICE TOOL.  There are some key things to remember with using this tool:

* Be aware of what the average flight prices are when placing your bid--you don't want to bid too low or too high, you're trying to get the BEST price!
* You will have to put in your card information, but they will not charge you if your bid is not accepted! (Don't worry--my offer wasn't accepted on the first try and my card was not charged)
* You are not allowed to pick flight times or airline carriers when using this tool!

Give a try next time you're looking for a last minute getaway!