Posts Tagged With: day trips

Welcome to my newest Venture!

tlcsmithtravel-logo-small1I’ve finally done it!  Last year I set out to  become a Certified Travel Consultant and now I’ve finally taken the leap to  start my own Travel Agency.  I have to confess, as with any new adventure,  I’m nervous about the journey that lies ahead, but I’m also very excited about  being able to help people find and enjoy their dream vacations.

I have  aligned myself with one of the nation’s largest travel companies and have access to a large inventory of supplies so I can plan the best vacation you could possibly think of at a fantastic price. This means I am  able to meet or beat any competitor’s price.  So, I invite you to visit my  website: www.tlcsmithtravel.com and find out what exciting  options are available to you.

The next time you begin planning your next  getaway, give me a call and I’ll make the planning easy for  you.  Please feel free to tell anybody and everybody that you know  that you have a “friend in the travel business” that will take great care of  them.

Talk to you soon!
— Tiffany L. Smith

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The BET Experience

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Every girl needs to just getaway from the day-to-day routine sometimes.  Being a mom, working full-time and the wife of a Navy sailor can stretch you to your fullest limits sometimes.  This is why I jumped at the opportunity to getaway for a weekend trip to LA for the BET Experience.

Now note, I attended the BET Experience and had no intentions of attending the actual award show. I’m not one for a lot of glitz and glamour and to be honest, just didn’t want to be bothered with the crowds.

3770878_origThe weekend before Essence Festival in New Orleans, the BET Experience is a wonderful, economical alternative.  The events were all FREE except for the evening concerts and comedy show.  And there was something for every one of all ages.

We opted to stay at the L. A. Hotel Downtown by Hyatt which was about a mile from the Convention Center. Although it was a little further away from the main events, it was close enough to be able to walk to the expo if you so desired. The cost was phenomenal! We paid $120 per night, which is unheard of in downtown Los Angeles. The view was okay and the room was comfortable and a great value for the price.

 

 

2279380The event was fun packed and I was in awe to be able to get up close and interact with some of my favorite celebrities.  Just when I thought I had seen all I could see, I stumbled upon The Acoustically Speaking mini concerts.  Although I didn’t purchase a ticket to the main concerts, I was able to go and enjoy Faith Evans, Taleb Kwali, and Tank.  It was a great intimate setting, the sound was amazing! And I thoroughly felt I got my money’s worth. It was after all… FREE!

 

1792068_origNext, I went and sat in on the “Genius Talks” with Boris Kodjoe and Will Packer.  What a treat!  (And not just because Boris is as flawless in person as he is on TV.) But the discuss was great and the audience interaction added to the conversation.

All in all, it was an amazing weekend getaway and I enjoyed the LA Backdrop.  In fact, I think it made me even more excited to get home to watch the actual BET Award Ceremony.  So I opted to leave early Sunday so I’d be home in time to watch it live. Although they had a free “Watch Party” at the event.  I wanted to be home before dark and be able to relax and prepare for work on Monday.

 

Me in the "Streets of LA"!

Me in the “Streets of LA”!

 

1619676_origAs an early birthday gift to myself and as a prelude to my birthday celebration in a few weeks, I stopped at my new favorite seafood spot, Crab Hut and enjoyed some crab legs, a wonderful cocktail, and the New Orleans ambiance!

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Spring Break in Sunny San Diego (part 2)

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Monday started off leisurely, as we were planning a drive up to Temecula to go wine tasting. We decided to go during a week day so we could enjoy the discounted tastings.  With the vast number of wineries available, I narrowed our choices down to 3, Ponte, Weins, and Leoness.  The drive was beautiful and we were able to enjoy the beautiful scenery (we even stopped for an impromptu shopping excursion) and just enjoy catching up and reminiscing about our college days.

Weins is known for it’s “Big Reds” so we had to put that on our list.  I think my favorite was their Dulce Maria which was a sweet blend of fruits with lovely apple and melon tones.  Ponte probably had the most beautiful grounds we visited.  This would be a great wedding site.  Lush greeneries and immaculate gardens surrounded the grounds.  They also have an inn, if your guests would like to stay on site.  I think next time we will actually schedule a vineyard tour and tasting.
 After drin119855king all that wine, we decided to take a trip down the coast and enjoy the happy hour lunch at the Chart House in Cardiff by the Sea. OMG! I would love to live there year around.  Nestled right on the coast of the Pacific, it’s hard to imagine any other place on earth as beautiful.  We were seated in front of one of the beautiful picturesque windows, which gave us a view of the beach.  Not to be outdone by it’s ambiance, the food was delicious!  I had the Shrimp Scampi, Daurice had the Salmon and we shared the Lobster & Shrimp Spring Rolls. Absolutely Superb!!
Our view of the ocean. . .
Cardiff by the Sea
1905949Tuesday was an early morning as we planned to spend the entire day in LA.  This was my birthday gift to Daurice, as this was her first visit ever to the City of Angels.  I’m so glad that I’m able to read maps, because my fear of driving in LA rush hour traffic made us decide to get a metro card and see all the sights via subway.  We started our tour of Los Angeles at the Japanese American museum.  Daurice’s father was Japanese, so it was a great tribute to go and visit the museum, for me to learn more about the history of Japanese Americans and for Daurice to see some of the history that she grew up hearing about.
We then headed back via subway toward the Staples Center and LA Live.  This is probably my favorite area in LA.  Great eateries, the Staples Center, the LA Convention Center, the Nokia theater, Grammy Museum and movie theater are all located in this area.  We went to the Grammy Museum, visited staples, and ate at Smashburger.  Then we went to Hollywood Boulevard to see the famous Graumman Chinese Theatre and take a tour of the stars’ homes.  We opted to take our chances with the tour companies that set up shop on the corners.  This actually was my 2nd time touring with this particular vendor and probably my most enjoyable tour.  For the price, you see a lot (Holllywood sign, Rodeo Drive, and stars homes) and both times we had a pretty good tour guide.
We were supposed to go visit the Savoy, but after that whirlwind tour, we just wanted to grab a bite to eat and head home.
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Since Wednesday would be Daurice’s final full day in San Diego, we decided to see some of the local sites so we could end the day early so she could rest before her 6am flight the next day.Our first stop was breakfast at the Broken Yolk Café.  A local favorite, we thoroughly enjoyed our breakfast of pancakes and eggs.  Next we headed to LaJolla, one of the most beautiful areas (in my opinion) in San Diego.  I told Daurice about the beautiful white castle that I would pass everyday on the 5 and it wasn’t until her visit that I did research to find out it is the Mormon Temple.  Daurice grew up in the Mormon church so this was a definite stop on our way to LaJolla.  The grounds are simply magnificent.  The view upclose is even more majectic than the view driving by on the highway.  Although we were not able to go inside (you have to be a Mormon), just walking the grounds and taking in the beauty of the design was a treat.
We spent the rest of the day touring LaJolla, the beach, and UCSD.  I had planned for us to have lunch at Seasons 52.  This is one of my favorite restaurants.  The menu changes every week (hence the name Season 52) and the presentation alone is delightful!
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