One day adventure in Toyko

Our 20 hour layover in Japan!

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FLIGHT  
Flight from SFO(San Francisco) to HND (Tokyo): 10.5 hours: 
I actually enjoyed this flight way more than I thought I was going to. When we arrived at the airport we asked for an upgrade to United economy plus knowing that there were many seats still available. Note: Jonathan has “Silver” status through United meaning that we could get free upgrades if we ask for it. On international flights you can only be upgraded to economy plus and NOT United Polaris. When we asked how much it would be to upgrade to first class, it was going to be over 1K for each of us which we were not planning to pay for… And I’m so glad we didn’t because we ultimately got away with having an ENTIRE row to ourselves. Meaning that we had 3 seats in economy plus and were able to lay down  comfortably because of this. If you are a frequent flyer than I would highly suggest flying with United because of these benefits, thats if you already don’t have your go to airline. Throughout the flight we were served two meals, both being “decent” food. Nothing too spectacular. We also brought lots of snacks with us to sustain our appetite during the 10.5 flight. Overall, having the leg room to actually stretch out REALLY helped during this flight. 

TOYKO EXPERIENCE 
I was beyond excited to visit Tokyo for our 20 hour layover. Jonathan and I decided that we wanted to experience Toyko even if it was just for a day. So we chose the united flight with a layover in Toyko. When we landed in Toyko we noticed that the airport was quite big but easy to get around. I took a picture of the Hello Kitty sign on the way in of course! 

We then got a taxi to our hotel, Hotel Mystays, which was very close by. I purposely booked a hotel close by to ensure that we arrived at the airport on time for our 9am flight the next morning. The taxi ride was about $10 from the airport to the hotel. NOTE: I would suggest that you get Yen at the airport in Toyko if you are headed into Shibuya or other areas downtown. It is not required, but many help when utilizing the train system. The taxi driver did not require cash, so were able to use card. But other places around Shibuya may prefer cash. We got out $100 dollars worth of Yen. When we arrived at the hotel we checked in and went up to our room. The room itself was quite small, and the bed was pretty hard… But the amenities were cool! I tried a “bidet” for the first time and now I want one in our future house!

After dropping our stuff off at the room we took a ride up to Shibuya. Jonathan really wanted to see the “Shibuya crossing.” This area is iconic because of the movies that have been filmed in that area (AKA Toyko Drift). Cont’d:

Tiny bed! 

However, the taxi ride into Shibuya was $60 from our hotel! I believe we only traveled about 12 miles to get to Shibuya so this car ride was definitely WAY more expensive than we thought it was going to be. This lead us to take a train ride back to our hotel, which I mention into more detail soon. 

Shibuya 

SUSHI: We visited a GREAT sushi place in Shibuya called “Genki”. When we walked up to the restaurant, we noticed that there was a line outside so we had a good feeling that the sushi was going to be great. And we were absolutely right. We waited for about 30 minutes for 2 spots. Other larger parties waited a little longer than we did. When we went inside we sat down and noticed that there a touch screen to order sushi. We were allowed to order 3 items at a time, so we did just that. About 5 minutes later my order came out first on a little tray/belt ! (Video to come soon). We honestly had no idea what we were ordering since the menu was in Japanese, but we were able to figure it out with the pictures. However there were a few pieces of sushi that Jonathan ordered that may still be a mystery LOL. His cousin claims that he may have ate horse?? I’m really not sure… Anyways! It was overall a great experience and the food was delicious. I beleive we only spent around $30 for the both of us. We were quite happy with that price, and when we visit Tokyo again we will definitely eat there for a second time.

TRAIN RIDE: Finding our way around the train station in Toyko was a little daunting. We decide to ride a train from Shibuya back to the hotel near the airport to reduce the cost of our trip. As said before, our car ride into Shibuya was around $60, and we were not planning to pay that again! In order to do this we had to take two separate trains. When we got to the train station we were SUPER confused. We hope that we can transfer some knowledge to you guys regarding the trains there because we wish we would’ve known that it was quite complicated. For one, when in Shibuya you have to purchase a ticket if you don’t already have a commuter card. Tickets can be purchased right of the ticket machines with the receptionist. After we made our purchase we had to figure out which platform to get to. One of the workers were able to show us the way. After getting on the first train we went a couple stops down and got off the train and on to another in order to get back to the Haneda area. The train was super packed! 

Packed train ride! 
Where you stand before getting on to the train 

Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our time in Tokyo and definitely plan on visiting again for a longer amount of time! The train ride may have been a little difficult at first, but can be easily done.

That’s all for now, Boracay trip coming soon. 

Cancun vs Tulum: Hotel and Stay

Traveling to Cancun or Tulum anytime soon? Read this post!


Choosing where to stay when going on vacation is extremely important to my husband and I. We have had great experiences and some not so great ones… So we wanted to share with you guys where we have stayed, the pros and cons, the difference between Cancun and Tulum, and overall useful information for your next trip to Cancun or Tulum! (We will tell you about our experience staying at Club Med Cancun and Cabanas Tulum). 

CANCUN: 
Club Med Cancun (All inclusive resort) 

Laying out at Club Med beach 

Pros:

I stayed at this resort for my first time in Cancun, and it was the second time for my husband. What we really loved about this hotel was that all the food, drinks, and alcohol were taken care of during our entire trip. If you are unfamiliar with what all inclusive is, you basically pay for everything up front so that when you stay you don’t have to worry about having to budget for meals. We also found that Club Med had an excellent selection of food throughout our entire stay. You have to make reservations at some of the restaurants, but this is also included with the initial payment. 

Something that was very new to me was having free “performances” during our stay. The workers would host performances for the guests almost every night, so it was honestly a “mini party” every night that we stayed there. I actually really enjoyed that they had this because we met some really nice people that we still keep in touch with today! 

The beach was absolutely amazing and SECLUDED. If you have been to Cancun before then you know that not all beaches are like this. Club Med is towards the end of the hotel strip making it way more quiet than many other hotels. You also do not have to pay extra for any of the day beds that are on their property. 

Trapeze Fun! 

They also offer activities such as: archery, snorkeling, and trapeze, kayaking, paddle board, wake boarding, water skiing, and bocce ball for no additional costs. It was really cool to try all of these fun activities! There was also volleyball tournaments on the beach that we both really enjoyed. So if you like to be active during vacation then thats for you!

Excursions can easily be booked here. We paid for an excursion that was located in Tulum, to visit a cenote. The excursion included lunch at Akiin Beach Club; and while enjoying lunch here, we found that there was a wedding set up for later that night. The set up was beautiful to say the least. We were both in love with vibe of Tulum. This is how we found our wedding venue at Akiin Tulum! Anyways, I would say that the excursions are definitely worth it! I believe we paid $100 for each person, however this was worth it because it included transportation, food, and a visit to one cenote. 

Safety is huge for this resort, and we really appreciate that they prioritize this. My husband and I decided to check out Coco Bongo, a night club performance in downtown, during our stay in Cancun. We had a great time there, but when we returned to the hotel the staff was extremely worried about us. It just so happened that there was a shooting in Playa del Carmen while we were downtown. We were happy to know that the resort was concerned about our whereabouts and kept track of who entered and returned. 

Cons:

Because you are paying everything up front, your stay here is going to be a little more expensive than usual. We spent a pretty penny! You might also see some individuals top less… I think this may be because Club Med is a European owned company. It really didn’t bother us at all, but it may be something that you’re not used to. 

It’s secluded, so to get to downtown you have to take a taxi. That means you are going to spend most of your time on the property. However, you can easily move around in Tulum on a bike. 

Tulum: Cabanas Tulum

 

Pros:

We absolutely loved our stay at Cabanas Tulum! When staying here you really get an amazing experience… to beach front Cabanas and delicious street tacos. You really can’t go wrong when staying in Tulum. 

First off, we really enjoyed how kind the staff was. They catered to our every need, and I couldn’t be more thankful since we stayed there for our wedding. Whenever we needed something they were always very prompt to help us. When we first arrived at the airport our shuttle to the hotel had cold towels and water waiting for us. So lets just say they know how to treat you well.

Since we had multiple family members and friends staying with us at Cabanas, we were able to see the different style of rooms/ layouts. We had stayed in a room with a roof top jacuzzi. It was quite cool to be up there! But we honestly didn’t spend too much time up there, we were mainly at the beach with our friends and family. Our guests had rooms that were beachfront and also some that were not. 

They have the BEST food at Ziggy’s, and the breakfast is free when staying at the hotel. Here’s a photo of a yummy dinner there! Sorry it was dark, had to use flash. 

Cons

The beach in Tulum was different than what it was in Cancun. When we went in September (2018) there was a lot of seaweed in the ocean and on the beach. Many of the hotels and beach clubs had to shovel out the seaweed everyday! The workers said it was called sargassum. Supposedly, the whole reason as to why there was this new sargassum is because of the fertilizer that is used in Bazil. We were told this while we were there, but we are not sure exactly what it is that is causing it. It is unfornate not being able to swim in the clear ocean however, the beach is still quite beautiful and lovely to sit out on! 

Don’t expect to do a lot of “cheap” shopping. The clothes that they sell in Tulum are cute and trendy, but if you’re looking for affordable then look else where. Most of the dresses that I seen there were at least $100-$300. 

You are going to have to travel about 1.5-2 hours in order to get to Tulum from the airport in Cancun. For us, this is no biggie. But it does add additional hours to your travel time especially if you’re coming from somewhere far away.

You can wear bug spray, but you’re still going to get bit. Just be ready for this. 

CANCUN VS TULUM
Overall, I would say that I would hands down stay in Tulum over Cancun any day. The experience you get in Tulum is truly one of a kind. When we had our wedding in Tulum, all of our family were blown away with how beautiful it is there. If you’re looking for a secluded vacation, then choose Tulum. But if you are looking for something more accessible and elegant than choose Cancun/ Club Med. There are also tons of other all inclusive resorts in Cancun to chose from. Tulum only has a select few. You will find more “Cabanas” or beach homes in Tulum.

Thanks for reading! Leave comments & questions if you please 🙂

*All the pictures that are shown in this post have been taken by us.*

Tulum Wedding Video

Hey Guys!

If you read my previous post, you read about our wedding in Tulum. If not, no worries! My husband made a short video! 🙂 For our wedding we hired videographers that are based out in Tulum to record all the wedding fun. And I can definitely say that they did such a great job! That being said, my husband wanted to make our video SO BAD.. even though I told him we should just have the videographers we hired make it. I was more worried about him adding additional work to his plate.. but what do I know! He’s the expert at videos so I can see why he wanted to make it himself. As you may or may not know, my husband, Jonathan, works in the tech field as a video producer. He has worked at GoPro and Google. The video above is linked to his youtube page where he has some of his work.

About a month or so after our wedding he then put together a short video with the footage.. And I was so BLOWN AWAY with how great the short video came out. Sometimes I think to myself, how does he think of this stuff?? I mean he did go to film school at San Francisco State.. but he’s SO good at it (Proud wife lol). The first time I watched the video I felt like I was back in Tulum. This video will forever remind me of how lucky I am to have such an amazing husband and family. ❤

Hope you guys enjoy the video! Like & comment! Would love to hear your feedback.

The Proposal and Our Wedding in Tulum!

I am super excited to finally start our blog! My husband, Jonathan, and I have been talking about this for years and we’re finally getting around to it! Anyways.. a little about each of us. I work in nursing and my husband works in the tech industry as a video producer. We both grew up in the California Bay Area, and met in high school 🙂 but did not get together until years later in 2015! I guess thats just how it works sometimes… and I’m so glad we got together when we did. I was barely starting nursing school and he was starting a new job at GoPro.

About 1 year into our relationship (YES, a YEAR.. crazy huh??) he proposed to me on a boat in front of Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Why Disney?? Well, he used to work there for a couple years before we got together, and i’m so glad he got to experience working at Disney. He met so many amazing people, who actually attended our wedding!

So.. before the proposal, he learned about renting a boat to watch the fireworks in front of Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Do I know exactly how he did this? No. It’s his little secret I guess. But I can definitely say it was quite magical! Here’s a picture of us in front of magic kingdom! You’re also probably wondering who took the photo?! Our boat driver was in on it and captured the perfect picture for us. Honestly, throughout the whole experience I was completely confused as to why he needed to rent a boat for a “shot” he wanted to get. That was obviously all a lie since he popped down on one knee!

Our Wedding:

My husband and I decided to have a destination wedding in Tulum, Mexico. And I am so glad that we did!

September 22nd, 2018. Tulum Mexico.

We had contemplated for months about whether or not we wanted a destination wedding but we both knew that travel is a passion of ours so we decided to show all our family what we love to do. So if you’re thinking about planning a destination wedding I would definitely say do it!

VENUE:

So how did we find our venue? Well.. we vacationed in Cancun and stayed at club med a couple years ago. During our stay we decided to go on an excursion in Tulum to visit some of the beautiful cenotes there, while on the excursion we were taken to Akiin Beach club for lunch and WE LOVED THE FOOD!! What also caught my eye was that they had a wedding set up there for another couple and I just fell in love with everything their venue had to offer. So of course, my husband being the amazing human being that he is helped me make this happen <3. Im not going to lie, the planning process was hard because of distance. Trying to plan a wedding through Skype calls and bad service can be difficult. But our planner, Lali and her team, did such an amazing job to say the least. 

Our venue: Akiin Tulum

PHOTOGRAPHERS:

Our photographer, Misti and Colin, did such an amazing job with our wedding photos. I honestly cried as I looked through them the first time. If you get married in Tulum or anywhere near there BOOK THEM PLEASE!! Here’s just a few..

Our photographers: Bohemia Photography

Thanks for visiting! More posts and travels to come soon…