Jungle Valley Adventure with Princeville Ranch Adventures Part I: Hiking, kayaking, and a hidden swimming hole

We asked Instagrammer michaeldizon to take us along as he and his wife Niki and kids Jake and Liam explored the Hawaiian Islands in December. Here’s their trip report:

Of all of Hawaii’s islands, Kauai is known for its bounty of natural beauty. Dozens of Hollywood movies have been filmed in Kauai, with its landscape filling in for everything from Jurassic Park to the alien lands of Avatar.

We decided that the best way to explore Kauai was to get up close and personal with the nature the island is known for. That’s where Princeville Ranch Adventures came in. The huge ranch offers a variety of tours including ziplining, ATV off-roading, and horseback riding. We chose the Jungle Valley Adventure, a five-hour tour that included a little bit of everything: hiking, kayaking, ziplining, and a dip in a hidden swimming hole.

My family of four (including two adventurous boys ages 8 and 11) was welcomed to the town of Princeville by its natives – chickens! They roam freely on the ranch and in the nearby area, squawking away at everyone they meet. Our true welcome came once we found the ranch, where two friendly and knowledgeable guides were eager to get us started!

Word to the wise: Princeville Ranch Adventures rents hiking sandals for just $5, and it’s the best investment you can make. The hiking trails are MUDDY, which just adds to the adventure! We hiked up a hill and past some curious cows, taking in the breathtaking scenery as we made our way to a nearby stream.

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Kayaks awaited us at the stream, and the guides made it easy for the novices among us to figure out how to go with the flow as we glided to our next destination. A short hike later we were high above the rainforest and ready to zip through the trees (more on that in part two).

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Our adventure ended with a nice picnic lunch and a cool dip in a hidden swimming hole with a waterfall before we hiked and kayaked back to civilization. We explored many places in Hawaii, but our boys enjoyed this true adventure the most!

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Hungry for Hawaii?

We asked Instagrammer michaeldizon to take us along as he and his wife Niki and kids Jake and Liam explored the Hawaiian Islands in December. Fair warning: Don’t read this if you’re hungry!

Click on each photo for all the delicious details!

THE PARTY PACK Celebrate In Style

By: Stylist Melissa Lynn
The holidays can be full of beautiful surprises, especially when traveling to new places with new adventures scheduled.

But, not all celebrations can go as planned. Fortunately, there are essentials you can prepare to ring in the new year with success. Pack these stylish wear-anywhere items for wherever this season’s’ festivities take you. From ugly sweaters to sequins and sparkles, you’ll be ready-set to keep the spirit bright in front of the fire or laying beachside…

A Casual Chic Christmas…

CasualChic XMAS- B1Party Place: The May Fair London
Items Links: Replay Blazer | TumiTegra Lite | Kate Spade Keds | NIKE Air Max | Sakroots Travel Case | Classic Flannel Set | Hobo Abrielle | Sequin Uggs

Mix/Match and be Merry
MM Merry, B2Party Place: Riu Plaza Panama
Items Links: Eliza J Skirt | Roxie Ankle-Tie Pumps | Minimercengy | Alexis Leona Dress | Carlene Bow Pumps | NARS Jungle Red | Gabi Dress | Atelje Jask Sandal | Pointsettia Drops Earrings

Winter by the Waves

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 3.35.41 PMParty Place: Melia Nassau Beach
Item Links: Linen and Sequin Tote | Le Specs | Petalo by M. Gemi | Snake Print Maxi | Gigi Burris Hat | River Island Wrap Suit | Beats Wireless | Sonix Bahamas Phone Case

Stylist Melissa Lynn has more than 15+ years in the industry with a degree in Merchandise Marketing from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. SML has styled television appearances and music videos, viral and print advertising campaigns, red carpets, editorial shoots + look books.

Her work has been featured on major television shows and publications like Cosmopolitan, Dazed Magazine, LA Times, MTV and she contributes expert opinion for fashion news leaders such as Luxury Daily and TheHauteMess.com.

SECRETS AKUMAL RIVIERA MAYA

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I have a Secret … well lots of them. And no, it is not that I am happy it is back to school time! OK … maybe a little. It’s actually Secret’s Resorts & Spas. The newest resort is opening this fall – WELCOME SECRETS AKUMAL RIVIERA MAYA.

Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya opens November 1, 2015 and it makes the perfect vacation if you are looking for an adult escape! The resort is located in the heart of the Riviera Maya along those beautiful white sand beaches and calm, clear waters of Akumal.

The resort is one hour south of the Cancun airport and will open with 434 elegant suites, many with stunning ocean views.

This brand new resort offers adults a charming, picturesque vacation, complete with an exceptional Unlimited-Luxury® experience.

UNLIMITED-LUXURY® AMENITIES:

Welcome cocktail and cool towel

Full breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks each day

Unlimited premium alcoholic beverages

Complimentary mini-bar refreshed daily

24-hour room and concierge services

Pool and beach wait service

Non-motorized water sports

Open-air theatre

Fitness center

Complimentary greens fees at nearby Riviera Maya Golf Club

Internet access

Expansive oceanfront infinity pool and outdoor Jacuzzi

All taxes and gratuities

So if the kids are heading back to school (or already there), or if you are looking for a romantic couples vacation, girls getaway or relaxing time at the spa; make sure you look to the new Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya. We all deserve a little “me” time and this is the perfect place.

For more details click here –> http://applev.ac/1Sk7Bao

 

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National Tequila Day

Last week was National Tequila Day. Did you know Americans drink 50 million liters of tequila annually? This is actually more tequila than consumed in Mexico! This is according to the Today Show.

Of course tequila is good when included in a refreshing beverage, but it can also be used as an ingredient when cooking spectacular recipes. Here is a recipe for “Spicy Tequila Chicken”. I am going to try this one myself.

Spicy Tequila Chicken

Step 1:

Cut 6 chicken breasts into long strips.

 Step 2:

Combine:

1/2 cup of clear tequila

Juice from 6 limes

1 generous tablespoon of chili powder

2 jalapeno peppers finely chopped

1 tablespoon of minced garlic

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of black pepper

 Step 3:

Combine chicken breasts and marinade.

Let ingredients sit for at least one hour in refrigerator.

 Step 4:

Grill Chicken until it is nicely browned.

 Step 5:

Sprinkle your favorite queso on top.

Serve atop your favorite tortilla or rice.

Tell us, how do you like your tequila?

Apple Vacations “People to People” Trip in Cuba!

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I recently had the opportunity to travel to Cuba on a “People to People” trip.

With the recent relaxation of regulations to obtain required licenses for travel to Cuba, the island nation has become more available to eager travelers from the United States. On our trip, we visited several different regions of the country, starting in Trinidad, then on to Cienfuegos (both in central Cuba). We also visited Havana and Old Havana (both in western Cuba).

It was an unforgettable experience and I can’t wait to share my blogs with you, including travel tips and highlights of each region.

First off, my overall impressions and favorite experiences in Cuba.

Continue reading

Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders film in Mexico!

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Apple Vacations and Iberostar Hotels and Resorts were delighted to host the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders and staff this month for the making of their 2015/2016 swimsuit calendar.

Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar provided a picture perfect backdrop. Palm trees, crystal blue water, white sandy beaches and the beauty of Mexico  shined throughout the shoot.

When not filming, the cheerleaders also participated in games and events with the resort guests.  We can’t wait to see the completed calendar. Meanwhile, here are some sneak peaks of the shoot and some behind the scenes photos.

Go Eagles!