Where to Next: California

Flights booked!

We are going to California in August!

When my husband Wes and I got married, we made a list of all the places we want to travel to together – then prioritized.

California was second on my list, as I have been obsessed with that state since I was little.

I’ve always loved traveling there – the food, the laid-back culture, the beautiful weather. It’s all pretty fantastic.

Previous California trips include:

    • Rose Bowl Parade/LA trip with my family
    • Father/daughter trip to San Francisco
    • Brother/sister trip to San Diego

Wes has never been to California, so I’m pretty excited to show him some of my favorite places in the world. (I’m looking at you, Carmel- by- the Sea).

When we sat down to figure out where in California we wanted to explore, we read a lot of blogs about the scenic drive along the Pacific Coast Highway.

So that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

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We’ll start our trip in San Francisco, visit friends, make a few stops along the way (including Big Sur, Santa Monica, Disneyland) and end in San Diego.

Still figure out the itinerary, but for anyone who has done Pacific Coast Highway, let us know some good stops/restaurants/ect. in the comments below!

And if you live in any of those places, let’s grab coffee!

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Disney Cruise Line: Sense Spa Review/Tips

I’m always up for some serious pampering, especially when it includes a view of the ocean. 

So even before boarding the ship, I was prepared and excited to check out Disney Magic’s spa – specially the massages.

On the first day of the cruise, Senses Spa & Salon raffled like, $200 worth of spa services (don’t quote me on that, I can’t remember the actual amount). My husband and I rushed to participate, but we were a few minutes too late. (Free tip #1: Don’t be late to the spa raffle).

A staff member gave us a great tour of the entire spa. At the end of the tour, she escorted us into a room that included a fancy villa with a whirlpool, a bed, and a verandah overlooking the ocean. It reminded me of those spa rooms you see in resort commercials where this beautiful biracial couple laugh and drink something fruity and caress each other while overlooking the ocean. The place was breathtaking.

She explained the fancy villa is where the Couple’s Choice takes place – an experience that includes whirlpool time, couples massage, tea, and fruit.

“Wow, that sounds really nice,” my husband said, mesmerized by idea of being pampered.

While delighted that my husband seemed enthusiastic about the Couples’s Choice, it was more than I wanted to spend at the spa. Still interested in other treatments, I asked about massages, and she gave us both a mini sample of various types of massages.  That’s when I fell in love with the hot stone massage – and booked it immediately.

The next morning, I returned to the spa for my hot stone massage – which was excellent. Perfect temperature, pressure, etc. Highly recommend it. Afterwards, the friendly massage therapist gave feedback to help treat my shoulder and back pains. I left practically bouncing with joy around the ship – feeling happier and more relaxed than I had in a long time.


After hearing about my massage and seeing how thrilled I was with the experience overall, my husband reflected on the tour and remained very impressed with the couple’s villa and the professional/friendly spa staff.

To my surprise, he suggested we splurge and try Couple’s Choice. Excited, we ran back to the spa and booked the villa to enjoy during one of the mornings at sea.

Couple’s Choice is a 130-minute experience, which includes:
Spa treatment rooms (the massage area and the verandah)
Couples massage (75 minutes)
Private verandah
Personal whirlpool
Open air shower
Roman bed with canopy
Tea Ceremony
Foot Cleansing Ceremony
Fruit plate (including chocolate-covered strawberries)

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The morning of our treatment, a staff member escorted us to the changing rooms where we were provided with robes and sandals. Massage therapists led us to the Couple’s villa and did an individual consultation as well as recommended/personalized different treatments – Swedish, bamboo, hot stone massage, or you can simply pick from a list of whatever sounds nice to you. Since I had such an amazing experience with my previous massage, I picked the hot stone massage – as did my husband.

Our treatment began with a foot scrub and 40 minutes in the whirlpool.  During this time, the massage therapist prepares for the massages while we relaxed. After our heavenly hot stone massages, we returned to the verandah where we ate chocolate-covered fruit, drank tea, and shared how wonderful our massage was with each other.

We absolutely loved our experience at the spa – especially Couple’s Choice.


Here are the 10 SENSES SPA TIPS:

1. Book in advanced
If you can, book your spa treatments before boarding the ship. This definitely applies to those who have previous experience at the Senses Spa. If you are still uncertain about different treatments (like we were), then don’t miss the Senses Spa Open House the first day of your cruise so you can book your appointments ASAP.

2. Take the tour

Unless you are certain you are NOT going to have spa treatments in the budget or itinerary, take the tour of the entire facility.  You will be impressed with the services they offer, and the staff was very friendly and professional.

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Travel Diary: Disney Cruise

My husband and I enjoyed our first Disney Cruise!

(Saying “first” because we plan on going again – it was so marvelous).

If you know me, you know I hate cold weather. I can’t stand it.

So being on a Disney cruise in the middle of January was a dream come true.

The 5-night Western Caribbean cruise (Ship : Magic) was a perfect Christmas gift from my husband. I had never experienced a Disney cruise before, and we (mostly just me) were excited to escape the gray, cold winter and bask in the sun in the middle of the glistening ocean!

We traveled to Cozumel Mexico then sailed away to Castaway Cay (Disney’s private island). We also spent two fun-filled days at sea enjoying shows, musicals, trivia, bingo, movie theatre, spa, adult-only pool, and nightclubs.

We were thrilled to find plenty of activities for adults-only, (especially for Disney-lovers traveling without children!) To be quite honest, I’m convinced adults have more fun than the kids on a Disney cruise!

disneycruiseOther than a few nights of rocky waters (which resulted in a little bit of sea sickness), everything was perfect – including the weather, food, and even Disney Cruise Line (DCL) cast members.

One of our favorite aspects of the cruise was meeting DCL cast members from around the world. Each one we met was friendly, energetic, and happy to answer any questions we had about cruise activities or port excursions.

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While we loved so many experiences on our cruise, the highlights were:

– Watching fireworks at sea on Pirate Night
– Relaxing at the spa’s Couple Villa
– Snorkeling in Cozumel
– Eating (pretty much all the time)
– Irish dancing at the ship’s pub
– Seeing the shows (specifically the magic/comedy shows)
– Laying out by Quiet Cove (adult-only pool)

More specific blog posts coming soon (spa, pirate night, adult activities, etc.) But for now… here are some photos and a fun video of our wonderful cruise! Enjoy!

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Our Adventure: Ireland, Scotland, England

CatieBee-102After two weeks of exploring Ireland, Scotland, and England… we are finally HOME!  

My husband Wes and I dreamed of taking this adventure together since our wedding day.

A few weeks before our wedding, we learned of Wes’ Scottish ancestry, and he became fascinated with all things Scottish.

So my wedding gift to him? A plot of land in Scotland.

On our wedding day, I handed Wes an envelope with the certificate of sale for the plot of land and a note that read, “Our next great adventure??” 

From that moment, we made it our goal to visit our plot of land within the next year …

Wes agreed to the idea of planning this entire trip himself, as I was tired of making decisions and creating schedules after our wedding.  He taped a map of the United Kingdom on a wall in our home office and made a list of all the incredible places we were to visit. (I didn’t even see the full itinerary until we arrived at the airport on our first day).

Within the first few hours of our vacation, it was obvious to me that the amount of research for this trip was extraordinary.  I am thankful for my husband’s hard work and love of travel.

We loved every minute of our first big overseas adventure together, and I dream of the day we return to the British Isles (keeping my fingers crossed).

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I will be writing more in depth of the great adventures, beautiful hotels, breath-taking views – but for now, here are some photos of Ireland, Scotland, and England:

Ireland

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Scotland
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England

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Happy Earth Day! New artwork by Catie Bee Art

Happy Earth Day, friends!

It sure is a gorgeous day here in Nashville, TN!

Yesterday, I wrote a little about our upcoming UK trip.  This whole traveling mood has me painting all sorts of new things!

It’s funny how we paint what’s on our minds.

And believe me, the UK is definitely on my mind.

Painting this piece makes me excited about the rest of the world I would like to explore.  So much to see, so little time in life.

Here’s to a bucket list full of oversea adventures!

Interested in ordering a Catie Bee Art piece? Send me a message

❤ catie bee art

photos by Megan Talbert Photography

Look out, UK! We’re coming for you!

My husband and I will be traveling to the United Kingdom in less than a month!

Our upcoming trip is inspired by my wedding gift to Wes – a plot of land in Scotland.

Yes, I purchased a 100 sqft plot of land in Scotland in my husband’s name so he could be, “Lord Weston of Glencoe.”

I can’t believe we’ll be visiting our plot of land in a few weeks.

Read more about how to purchase a plot of land in Scotland here.

I’ll be posting our UK bucket list here on the blog soon.

In the meantime, let me know if you know of any places or restaurants we should check out in England, Ireland, and Scotland!

❤ catie bee

1 Year Anniversary: Disney World

My husband and I were married at Walt Disney World last April. Ah yes, it was magical.

To celebrate our one year anniversary, we took a spontaneous trip to Disney World. We lucked out with perfect weather and somehow managed to run around 4 Disney parks, including Typhoon Lagoon (just can’t get enough of that lazy river…)

The highlights of our trip were of course the food (I’m looking at you, Mickey ice cream bars) and mini golf  – as per usual. Quick side note: I won.

As I reflect on our like, tenth trip to Disney World in the past year (many thanks those handy annual passes we received from Disney Weddings…), I can’t help but go over the plethora of heartfelt memories I have of this particular place: vacationing with my family as a child, performing at the parks, meeting some of my closest friends, marrying my true love, honeymooning, celebrating our anniversary…

How can ONE place hold so much significance?  Especially um, a theme park.

Funny how we find love, comfort, and joy in such peculiar places. Yes, I enjoy Disney World (always will), but what I enjoy more are the moments and laughter I share with those I love when we’re all there – together.

And so… we consider ourselves lucky to have had all our family and closest friends celebrate our wedding last year at the place I call “home.” It made our anniversary trip all the more special.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from our 1 “ear” anniversary trip.

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What’s In My Disney Backpack? My 10 Park Essentials

My Disney Backpack

My Disney Backpack by catiebee

You will never see me without a backpack at the parks!

Here are a few items I carry around in my Disney Backpack…

 

Raincoat:
I will say this again and again: Nothing is worse than being soaking wet while walking around Magic Kingdom in the pouring rain – especially in the winter. I typically roll up my raincoat and keep it in my bag.  You just never know with Orlando weather – one second it’s sunny, the next it’s a monsoon!

Water bottle:
With the Florida heat + walking around park, it’s easy to get dehydrated, which can be dangerous.  I have my water bottle with me at all times.  I fill the water bottle with ice in the morning, and the ice melts throughout the day – giving me ice cold water while enjoying the thrills of the park! Tip: Ask for a cup of water at any quick service place (the cast member will give it to you for free), then pour the cup of water into your water bottle! Hands-free, and problem solved!

Tank: 
I occasionally bring a light-weight shirt or tank top in my bag to change into when it’s a super hot day, and I know I’ll be sweating. I just feel fresher! During the colder season, I like to change into a new shirt after water ride so I’m not chilly the rest of the morning or evening.

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Packing Basics: Walt Disney World

Can’t figure out what to pack for your trip to Disney World?

Have no fear!

I’m sharing my “must-haves” while vacationing at the most magical place on earth!

Packing Basics: Walt Disney World

 

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I never go to Disney World without my Minnie ears! Wearing them makes me feel like I’m truly entering a totally different world (because where else is it acceptable to wear mouse ears on the reg?) If you don’t have any Disney ears yet, don’t worry! There are plenty of places to pick out your favorite Disney ears at the parks & Disney Springs. You’ll feel part of magic in no time!

As far as hats go, I also bring a baseball cap for long, sunny days to protect my skin. Occasionally I’ll bring a sun hat if I know I’ll be heading to a water park or the beach.


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Do yourself a favor and pack your raincoat. NOTHING is worse than being soaking wet while walking around Magic Kingdom in the pouring rain – especially in the winter. Trust me…

Because I sometimes get cold in the evenings, I always pack a comfy, light sweatshirt or jacket (which saves me from buying a $60 sweatshirt at WDW). I’ve been known to buy extra clothes at the gift shops when I forget to bring warmer items (like a jacket), and my bank account really hates when I do that.  Don’t be me.

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