Pier 2620 Hotel San Francisco | A Millennial Minded Boutique Hotel

Amy West in front of the Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco is a diverse city with quite the story to tell. With a significant role in history and an eye towards the future, this ever evolving "City by the Bay" features plenty of reasons to visit. The question is... where to start? Our recent visit lead us to Pier 2620 Hotel. A chic, millennial minded hotel for the modern traveler, conveniently located in the center of everywhere we wanted to be. Read on for more about our stay in San Francisco. 

10 Tips for Surviving Road Trips with Kids

10 Tips for Surviving Road Trips with Kids

The great American Road Trip! The phrase brings up memories of my own childhood traveling to visit relatives, seeing historical sites with the grandparents, and of course watching family favorites like National Lampoons Vacation. Some trips are perfect and full of memories... others are let's face it... a nightmare we prefer to never repeat again. If there were a formula for the ideal road trip what would it look like? I compiled a list of my own favorite tips, advice from parents I know, and some valuable web research to bring you these valuable tips for your next family road trip.

Explore Sea Ranch Lodge | Embrace the Savage Beauty of California's Coast

Amy West at Sea Ranch Lodge
This spring our travels took us West where the sun meets the sea in the golden hours of the evening, and where life moves at a more refreshing pace. Californian's have a passion for food, enjoying the moment, and embracing the outdoors. Our first destination on our California trip was Sea Ranch Lodge. Situated on the Pacific Coast of Sonoma County, our itenerary lead us on a road trip North up the Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco to the coastal outskirts of California's famed wine country.

Azurea's Adventurous Palate Review

Amy West experiences Azurea's Adventurous Palate Chef's menu.Just in time for their new spring menu release, I was recently invited to taste The Chef's Adventurous Palate at One Ocean Resort's restaurant, Azurea. Although we had visited Azurea a few times before (once for the filming of my TV show and the other for a review of their delightful Brunch), I had never had the pleasure of enjoying the personalized approach of the Adventurous menu. From start to finish the dinner was exceptional. Three courses of farm fresh fare prepared by some of the city's most talented chefs. Read more for the full dish.

Surviving Disney | How to Navigate the Happiest Place on Earth

How to Survive DisneyAh Disney, the happiest place on earth... or is it? For every few smiling faces you pass, you may observe the unfortunate grimaces of the discontent not exactly having the happiest time. Personally I think this Jim Gaffigan comedy bit kinda nails it. Yes, this place can be the living breathing version of all our fantasies. There is no doubt the staff are doing their best to make that happen. But let's face it, when you put a bunch of parents with their kids all day in a crowded park waiting on mechanical rides and spending lots and lots of money, there are bound to be some melt downs... from the kids too. After our recent trip to Disney (taking our 5 year old daughter for the first time) we learned in all the wrong ways, how to do the right things to survive the Happiest Place on Earth.

6 Amazing Day Trips Just in Time for Spring Break | Amy West on The Chat

A mimosa on the beach

It's getaway season! What's left of winter is on the run and that's got me thinking of suntans, resort wear, and rejuvenation somewhere warm. On behalf of Spring Break, I've compiled a list of my favorite getaways less than a days drive away from my home base in North FL. This list includes my favorite places to stay, where to eat, and what to do, as well as where to discover experiences that deliver iconic local charm.

Travel Beauty Tips | Amy on The Chat

Amy West on the beach at sunrise

We all been there. You plan for your special trip. You buy clothes, makeup, make reservations, and count down the days. But when you arrive at your destination you feel off. And what's worse, instead of looking like Malibu Barbie... you feel like Sasquatch. How can you maintain that fresh feeling you have at home, while away from your usual routine? Here are some trusted travel beauty secrets I've collected over the years.

10 Tips for Flying with Kids

10 Tips for Flying with KidsBefore my husband and I had kids we traveled everywhere. Honeymooned in New Zealand, went on a few tropical Cruises, traveled to Europe and did a few adventures with our friends domestically and abroad. When we got pregnant with our first child we were naively optimistic. "This kid will be one great traveller" we said. "They won't change our lifestyle" we proclaimed. "They will adapt to our life". Well... that's not exactly how things worked out. In reality yes, we have travelled quite a bit with our daughter but things don't always go as smoothly as planned, and ultimately you do what works and care about the lifestyle "adapting" after the fact. Here are some tips we've learned along our journey of traveling with children. 

Passion and Purpose | It's All About the Journey

Vintage Globe

What drives you? What makes you tick? I was recently asked those very questions and as sure as I am of myself and my goals. Those questions gave me pause. How far back should one go to tell the story of where it began? Where the seed of inspiration took root and blossomed into a dream, a message, a passion, a purpose? Perhaps it's not one solid event but a culmination of experiences that leads us to the path we were chosen for. Perhaps, moments that seem coincidental were all apart of a greater plan. This blog post is a bit of a departure from my typical post. It's a moment of reflection. A moment to remember how it all began.

5 Best Kept Dining Secrets in Jax | Amy on The Chat

Amy West Discussing 5 "Best Kept Secrets" in Jax. Love sharing your favorite foodie spots that are publicly under marketed but locally followed to the point of having their own cult? I know me too! That's why this week I shared some of my favorite "Best Kept Secret" spots with the Ladies of The Chat. Find out who made the cut. 

The Ultimate Romance Package Giveaway

Been drooling over all the creative romantic ideas I've been discussing this month but not sure you can afford them all? Get a taste of the best in my "Ultimate Romance Package" giveaway. Up your game in the kitchen with two seats to a demo class at Publix Aprons Cooking School, enjoy an intimate tea time with your sweetie, or experience award winning entertainment while dining in style.   It can be one big date night, or you can space it out and enjoy. The winner will be announced on Valentine's Day so don't miss out, enter now!

Grand Gestures | 6 More Romantic Ideas | Amy West on The Chat

Sunset at sea on Now and Zen private chartersLooking for that grand gesture date night? I'm talking the ideal place to "Pop the Question" type of spot. Or maybe you are celebrating that special anniversary or just want to say I LOVE YOU in a great big way. Check out these great ideas for sweeping that special someone off your feet. A follow up to my "Romantic Ideas for Every Budget". 

Close Up On Stephanie Kantis Jewelry | What I'm Wearing

Amy wearing jewelry by Stephanie Kantis
I confess, I have a new obsession. Stephanie Kantis designer jewelry. Her stunning, wearable pieces of art make a statement as soon as you enter the room and the craftsmanship is top quality. Each piece is sculpted from bronze then dipped in gold or sterling silver. When I travel, what jewelry to bring is always the question. A great piece can make an outfit new, but too much jewelry can get heavy and cumbersome. Stephanie Kantis' luxurious pieces are ideal for travel as they are extremely versatile. Her classic necklace can be worn 15 different ways thanks to her signature "S" hook, turning one piece of jewelry into a wardrobe full of eye-catching inspiration. 

Anna Maria Family Getaway | Mainsail Beach Inn Review

Amy West sitting on fishing pier on Anna Maria IslandSuppose you wanted to escape the stresses of this world and trade them in for a quiet piece of earth where water meets sand, and sun meets sky? Suppose you wanted to let your worries drift away on the wind as you unplugged from technology and reconnected with the ones you love? Watch your fantasy become reality in Anna Maria Island at Mainsail Beach Inn

6 Creative Date Night Ideas | Amy West on News 4 Jax Morning Show

Horse back riding on the beachIt's that time of year again. The time where all the pressure is on our sweetie to come up with something super romantic to do. We so easily get caught up in "the usual", but how about bringing a little adventure and creativity in the mix? For that matter, don't be afraid to turn the tables and be the one to sweep your partner off their feet. If you are looking for some inspiration you're in luck. Try on one of these ideas I discussed on News 4 Jax this week. Worried about your budget? I've got you covered. These ideas start at as little as $1. Can't beat that!

Security Tips for Traveling and Packing Tips on The Chat

Photo of mac book pro with stickerDuring a recent trip to the Caribbean my husband (who is also an information security specialist) ran into the panic inducing situation of having his laptop switched during our security check in TSA. He didn't find out until we made it home. It was this situation that led him to write a blog about travel security on his website Elevation Expeditions. I brought those great tips to The Chat last week and shared with the ladies how to avoid disaster. Watch and find out how many you may already apply, and how many you need to start integrating into your travel habits. 

Amy West on the Cover of The Golden Isles Visitors Guide

Amy West on the cover of the Golden Isles Visitors Guide.

The Golden Isles of Georgia are a Southern jewel full of low country romance. Consisting of St. Simons Island, Little St. Simons Island, Sea Island, and Jekyll Island the Golden Isles are located just minutes from Brunswick and capture the epitome of Antebellum charm. If you are looking to avoid over populated tourist destinations and instead take in nature at it's purest, unique shopping, traditional Southern fare, and an excuse to let it all go, then you will adore the Golden Isles as much as I do. It was for this reason I was more than excited when I was called in to work as a model for the Golden Isles Visitors Bureau along with my daughter. Imagine my surprise when they announced I had made the cover of the visitors guide.

Raising a Citizen of the World | Amy on The Chat

a child's finger pointing at map

It's easy to feel like your kids live in a bubble when all they may experience at a young age is school, home, and local spots. How do you inspire a child to be a citizen of the world and to catch the travel bug to explore beyond their comfort zone as they get older? I recently wrote about this very question for Little Passports, here are a few easy tips in a quick recap of my discussion on The Chat talk show this week. 

3 Ways to Wear The Savannah Tunic by Lisa Kaminski | Outfit Post

close up of leopard print dress During my recent trip the Caribbean I was more than excited to have my wardrobe supplied by Lisa Kaminski Swim and Resort wear. Out of all the pieces I wore the Savannah Tunic stood out due to it's versatility and my ability to dress it up or down. This year I'll be introducing outfit posts to showcase what I'm wearing. Whether I'm jet setting to the islands or getting the kiddo off to school, you'll have a chance to get an insiders look into what I'm wearing. In addition I've officially launched the Amy West Travel boutique with the Savannah Tunic as my first featured item for sale. Take a look at today's post on 3 Ways to wear the Savannah Tunic, then collect one for yourself! 

Is Skiplagging Worth It? | Amy West on The Chat

Lately a hot topic has arisen in the world of travel. It's known as Skiplagging or "Hidden City" ticketing. This week I'm discussing the money saving practice with the ladies of The Chat and discussing all the pros and cons. Do you Skiplag? Make sure to tell me your thoughts. Don't know what Skiplagging is? Read below to find out more.