Monday, 28 March 2016

Miami Pt. 1: All Aboard PARAHOY!

Parahoy Cruise with ParamoreBreakfast in the Priority Lounge // The view from the plane window over Miami // Downtown Miami
Parahoy Paramore Cruise ReviewOur humongous cruise ship // Our cute room on the boat // Leaving Miami by boat
Parahoy Paramore Blog Post ReviewView of the first Paramore show from the upper pool deck // Artist passes with Headphone Disco // The second Paramore show
Parahoy Paramore Cruise ExcursionsBeautiful clear waters in Mexico // Snorkelling fun // Hammock Life

Earlier in March, Josh and I travelled from the UK to Miami to board PARAHOY! The 4-day music cruise from Miami to Mexico, hosted by the band Paramore. Paramore just happen to be my favourite band, so I jumped at the chance to bag a place on the cruise - other than the festivals I'm able to attend with Josh, this has to be one of the biggest perks of an event manager boyfriend!

This was the second PARAHOY cruise, the first being in 2014, and each year Paramore board the boat and bring some of their favourite bands along for four days of gigs, DJ sets, meet and greets and other activities. It's basically a music festival on a boat, with my favourite band as the headliners! Each band performed twice across the four days, so there was plenty of time to see loads of music and still explore the usual cruise-liner fun. Performing alongside Paramore were Chvrches, Lights, New Found Glory, X Ambassadors, MeWithoutYou, Vacationer and of course the late night entertainment of Headphone Disco.

We'd never been on a cruise before, so were just as excited about the prospect of slowly cruising across the ocean to Mexico as seeing all the bands' performances! It was lovely to soak up the sun and catch a daytime gig, relax in the luxury spa, have a quick spin in the casino and then have dinner in the delicious buffet all before seeing a gig in the evening. One of my highlight performances from the cruise has to be Chvrches. I'd heard of the Glaswegian band before the cruise but not listened to too much of their stuff, it's safe to say I'm a firm fan now. They were awesome live!

Halfway through the cruise we docked at the Mexican isle of Cozumel for a day and booked onto a speed boat and snorkelling excursion. The weather was awful on the day of the excursion! It was warm but it absolutely poured it down with rain part way through, which caused much hilarity while trying to snorkel and drive our speed boat back to the land. It was a great experience though and I'm glad we left the boat to explore, as it's so easy just to remain on the boat for the entire trip. 

I really enjoyed our few days on the cruise ship and I'm so grateful to have seen my favourite band in such an awesome and relatively small setting - and we got to meet them too! We returned to Miami after the cruise was over, for a few more days of fun before our flight home, so a 'part 2' post will follow focusing on our adventures on dry land.

Which band would you love to see on a cruise ship festival?! Had you heard of PARAHOY?
Parahoy Paramore Cruise meet and greet

Sunday, 28 February 2016

A Weekend in London: Covent Garden

After a busy first few weeks of the year, Josh and I spent a fun-filled Valentine's weekend in Covent Garden. From the perfect central location, we spent the weekend wandering round the city, eating loads of tasty food, seeing a show and experiencing the buzz of the Chinese New Year celebrations. 

We stayed in the Covent Garden Travelodge, which has recently been refurbished as have many of their hotels across the country - it was simple, but quiet and comfy. You can definitely tell the brand has had a bit of a revamp with red metro tiles lining the walls of the bathroom, lighting behind the beds and brand new Samsung tv, sound and air-con in the rooms.

It was a very rainy day, so after brunch at Bills and a bit of a browse around the shops in Covent Garden we headed over to the theatre ticket sellers in Leicester Square. I'd looked up tickets for some shows a couple of weeks before our trip, but we thought the prices were too much on top of the cost of a weekend away anyway. However, the costs of these bargain ticket booths were so much lower and for better seats too! So we decided to hide from the rain inside and see a matinee of the wonderful Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Royal Drury Lane Theatre. It was an awesome show with a beautiful set and it was the perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon. After the show we popped back to our hotel for a quick cuppa and change before dinner at Wahaca for amazing Mexican street food and cocktails. If anyone hasn't been or has and wants a recommendation... have the sweet potato and feta taquitos - yum!

After a great night's sleep we wrapped up against the cold and went back into the city to explore. We didn't know until a few days before our trip but Chinese New Year celebrations were in full swing during our weekend away! It was so fun to see the celebrations, lanterns, dancing dragons and souvenir sellers lining the streets of China Town. It was incredibly busy but it was great to soak up the atmosphere and performances for the day.

It was such a fun weekend away and we headed back to Cheltenham with achy legs and sleepy eyes! Covent Garden is just the perfect location to explore the city - definitely recommended!

*Collaboration with Travelodge

Friday, 1 January 2016

Looking back on 2015


2015 has been many things for me, but sadly it hasn't been a year of blogging. Life's been exciting and busy, with two new jobs within the year, a new car and a couple of holidays in there too. The time, energy and motivation for blogging just wasn't there, but I honestly missed it and everything that comes with it. I'm not one for new year's resolutions, but if there's anything I intend to do in 2016 it's go back to blogging like I did before. Whether it's one post a week or one post a month, I'll be happy with that.

Before tackling 2016, let's just go back to 2015 for a minute. There have been exciting changes that haven't yet been documented on this blog - towards the end of the year, Josh and I put in an offer on a little house that we saw and it was accepted! We're still waiting for all the paperwork to go through and for our solicitors to arrange a completion date, but hopefully if all goes well we'll be moving in early 2016! I'm so excited to have our own space to decorate and make ours, we've already been looking at furniture and sofas - it's so exciting!

I also started a brand new job in December, moving on from my social media role at Whittard of Chelsea to another social media role for fashion brand Superdry. I've loved my first month there, it's all really fast paced and exciting so I'm looking forward to everything to come in 2016.

As well as those key life changes, 2015 has been full of friends, gin, travel, food and plenty of fun. I'm very lucky to have found the people and things that make life great - so here's to more of that in 2016!

How was your year and what are you looking forward to in 2016?