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Ashley USA Travel Weekend Getaway

Review: Hotel St. Pierre in New Orleans, Louisiana

During our trip to New Orleans, we stayed at the Hotel St. Pierre, which is located right in the French Quarter. Because this was my first time in NOLA, I wanted to stay within walking distance of all the action. (Okay, technically this was not my first time in New Orleans, but I was very young and don’t remember that trip!) The Hotel St. Pierre is located two blocks from Bourbon Street and five blocks from Jackson Square. The location is great because it is near everything but not right in the middle of everything.

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Ashley USA Travel Weekend Getaway

WEEKEND GETAWAY in New Orleans, Louisiana



Since moving to Florida, I’ve wanted to explore more of the South. When I was thinking of what I wanted to do for my birthday weekend, New Orleans was the first place that came to mind. We have been to New Orleans before, but I was very young and don’t remember it. So, it was basically like going somewhere new. I’ve heard nothing but great things about New Orleans. I’ve heard how dirty and gross it is, but also how amazing it is to see in person. There is so much history here! And Bourbon Street is just too much fun.

We decided to drive from Sarasota to New Orleans. It’s about a 10/11 hour drive depending on traffic and how much you obey the speed limit. For anyone who has driven through the state of Florida, you know how boring it can be. But once we got out of Florida, it was really cool to drive through Alabama and Mississippi as those are two states I’ve never been to before.

The hotel we stayed at was the Hotel St. Pierre. It is right in the French Quarter, but a few blocks removed from all of the craziness. After reading some reviews, I decided on this hotel because I read that it was old and charming and right near everything but not in the middle of everything. I think it would have been very loud to stay at a hotel that is right on Bourbon or Royal Street.

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Streets of Havana
Ashley Cruising Kary World Travel

Port of Call: Havana, Cuba

Whenever we would go on a Caribbean cruise that passed Cuba, the captain would usually make an announcement saying that we were passing by the island. For us, Cuba was an elusive place that US citizens were not allowed to go. We were always so curious to see it for ourselves, and when the travel restrictions were eased we booked a cruise as soon as we were able to. Because we love Royal Caribbean, we chose their cruise on the Empress of the Seas that was brought back to the fleet specifically for these cruises to Havana, Cuba. While the cruise also stopped in Key West and Cozumel, Havana was the main attraction and focal point of the cruise.

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Ashley Disney

Review: Disney’s Saratoga Springs

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa is a Disney Vacation Club resorted located right next to Disney Springs. It is inspired by the real Saratoga Springs in New York, which is known for horse racing. There are plenty of nods to horse racing, including periodically playing the horse call to race outside of the lobby. This hotel used to be one of our least favorite to stay at, but it has actually become one of our favorites now since Disney Springs has been redone. This is considered a deluxe villa resort, and it has two feature pools, one sit down restaurant, three quick service options, and plenty of golfing. There is also a Senses Spa and great fitness center here. Last time we stayed here they were offering free yoga classes on certain days, which we hope they continue doing! There is also the option to stay in one of the Treehouse Villas, which we have never done but have heard great things about.

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Ashley Cruising USA Travel

Port of Call: Key West, FL

Key West is one of our favorite ports to stop at on a Caribbean cruise. The Conch Republic is known for key lime pie and being the southernmost point of the continental USA. There is also the much photographed 90 miles to Cuba marker. Key West is about a four hour drive from Miami, but we have only been there via cruise ship. It’s a great port of call that offers plenty of outdoor activities, history, and colorful buildings. This town is known for the crazy locals who ride out hurricanes, but everyone is super friendly and the people who live in Key West seem to really, really love it.

There are so many fun things to do while you’re here. Your cruise ship will also have many different shore excursions available, although we’ve never taken a shore excursion through the ship in Key West as everything is pretty easy to get to on your own. Read more

Ashley USA Travel Weekend Getaway

WEEKEND GETAWAY: Las Vegas

Viva Las Vegas!

Las Vegas is known as Sin City, and there is no shortage of things to eat, drink, do, and see while you are here. This is definitely a great place to do a quick weekend trip. Anything longer than 3 or 4 days is a little overwhelming!

My friend and I did a Wednesday to Saturday as the airfare and hotel prices were a little more reasonable during the week. Also, there are literally hundreds of things going on in Vegas every night of the week, so don’t feel like you have to go on a weekend.



This is what we did while we were in Vegas:

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Review: Planet Hollywood Las Vegas
Ashley USA Travel

Review: Planet Hollywood Las Vegas

*This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting The Traveling Gals. In case you were wondering, we paid to stay at Planet Hollywood Las Vegas, and they had no idea we were going to write this review. Thanks!*

Over the summer I went on a trip to Vegas with one of my friends. We stayed at Planet Hollywood Las Vegas, which I have never stayed at or even been in before. My friend and I picked this hotel because it is on The Strip and it was more affordable than some of the other hotels. (We were also there to see Britney Spears, and that is where her show is so that may have influenced our decision as well :D).

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Two Days in Boston - Read more on thetravelinggals.com
Ashley USA Travel

Two Days in Boston, Massachusetts

Boston is the biggest little city that is full of culture, history, food, and fun! While you could spend a lot of time here exploring, we only had two days in Boston and packed in as much as we could.

We stayed at the newly opened Yotel Boston, and it was great! Fair warning: The rooms are small. But if you just need a nice room to sleep in, this is a great option. The hotel, or should I say Yotel, is very trendy and modern. The hotel rooms are actually called cabins, and it really reminded us of a cruise ship cabin! It is located in the Seaport neighborhood and right next door to a T stop.

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Weekend Getaway: Berkshire County
Ashley USA Travel Weekend Getaway

WEEKEND GETAWAY: Berkshire County, Massachusetts

 

Pontoosuc Lake, Pittsfield, Ma

Berkshire County, or The Berkshires, is a region in Western Massachusetts. It is known for beautiful mountains, a vibrant arts scene, and plenty of outdoor activities to keep you busy all year round.  I spent a week in Western Massachusetts visiting a friend and got to see a lot of this area and had a great time! This part of New England may not be at the top of your list, but it is definitely worth checking out, especially in the summer.

You have a few options for getting to Berkshire County. You can fly into Hartford/Bradley, Boston, Albany, or NYC. You will need to rent a car for your trip, but the drive is so beautiful! Especially when you are not used to seeing mountains. You can also take the Amtrak. Once you are here, there is no shortage of festivals, events, shopping, theater, music, and outdoor fun.

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Caring for Giants - Disney's Animal Kingdom
Ashley Disney

Review: Caring for Giants Elephant Experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Caring for Giants - Disney's Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is perhaps Disney’s most underrated theme park. It is amazing to walk around and see all the details that went into the different themed areas. The best part about Animal Kingdom, though, is the animals of course! Kilimanjaro Safaris is definitely a must do. There are also two wonderful walking trails where you can see some of the animals a little closer, Maharajah Jungle Trek and Pangani Forest Exploration. If you take the Wildlife Express, you will see Rafiki’s Planet Watch where there is a petting zoo. Throughout the park keep your eyes open because you never know what animals you might see! Animal Kingdom is actually accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, so the cast members who work with the animals are very knowledgeable and love to answer your questions. Disney’s Animal Kingdom also offers special experiences where you can get closer to the animals and learn more about them. We did Caring for Giants (because Ashley loves elephants) and thought it was a great experience where we learned a lot.

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