Tag Archives: Travel

Let’s Talk Travel: 9 Things to Do in San Diego, CA

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to explore more. I love to travel and I really want to start making the most of the cities and countries that I visit in 2016, so I’ll be taking you along with me!

I’m from Fresno, California and my family often vacations in Oceanside, CA right outside of San Diego. When we’re all together, we pretty much hang by the pool and enjoy each other’s company, but this Christmas I decided to take in San Diego more than I usually do. I spent a couple of nights on my own, then I met up with my family for more adventures.

I think we all know about the San Diego Zoo and the other theme parks, but here are 9 things that I’d suggest doing  in San Diego:

1.) Stay at the Grand Hyatt, Manchester


The Manchester Grand Hyatt, was an awesome mix of “staycation”, walking tourism and adventure. The property has a spa, multiple pools with cabanas and a really friendly staff who made me feel taken care of. My corner King suite had breathtaking views of the water and the city. It was awesome to wake up to bright sunny views every morning, it was the perfect alarm clock. There are a few other reasons you’ll want to stay here, but I’ll get to that in a bit…

2.) Eat Breakfast


One of my favorite meals while traveling is breakfast. When I’m on vacation, I can actually take time and enjoy a meal that I normally rush through during my regular life. My first morning at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, I ordered breakfast in bed. The next morning I went to their Sea View restaurant.

Tip: If you use the hashtag #LivingGrandSD on social media, the hotel will send you a link to unlock some cool deals, including a discount code for breakfast at the Sea View restaurant.

Even though I was there for breakfast  on a Week day morning, the Sea View was pretty packed, so I wasn’t able to get a table with an actual view of the sea. If you’re in a regular booth, it kind of feels a little more like a cafeteria, but the food is sooooo good!

At the end of my meal, my waitress brought me a coffee to go, which I thought was really sweet. (Coffee is my love language lol).

3.) Get a Workout In



The gym at the Grand Hyatt is one of the nicer hotel gyms I’ve used. The room has windows on all sides with views of the water. The machines and equipment are in great condition and there is so much space to move around. One lady was doing lunges across the floor, while a couple was on medicine balls together and no one was in the way.

There’s also some great hiking trails in San Diego, some of which will take you right to the beach!

4.) Walk to Seaport Village


Seaport Village is shopping right on the water (two of my favorite things). Living in NYC, I’m fine with or without a car. I like to visit cities that encourage walking and Seaport Village was a cute little walk from my hotel.  They also have little restaurants with live music. There are lots of friendly tourists and since I was traveling solo for the first part of my trip, I handed my camera off to two adorable girls who didn’t speak english and between the three of us we got this photo to happen.

5.) Sunset Drinks at Top of the Hyatt



I grew up watching the sun set over the Pacific ocean and that’s one of the main things I miss about California. There’s nothing like it. The Top of the Hyatt is the highest view in San Diego and watching the sunset from 40 floors up is pretty sweet.

I curled up in one of their comfy chairs with a glass of Malbec and just took it all in. I happened to have my laptop with me and the views were so inspiring that I wrote this post.

6.) Coronado Island


I’ve already been snorkeling in La Jolla Cove, so this time when my family arrived we drove over to Coronado Island for the day. Being there in December, I loved seeing the ice-skating rink they had set up on the beach. The water wasn’t warm enough to get into the ocean but we had a fabulous time on the beach. We had high tide, but most of the time you can catch a glimpse of little sea creatures in the tide pools.

7.) Visit the Sandcastle Man


I’d seen the Sandcastle Man of Coronado Island on YouTube, so I was really hoping to run into him and on Christmas Eve, there he was! His name is Bill and he’s so sweet, its really adorable to see how happy he is to watch everyone taking pictures with his creations.

He was even calm and gracious when a little kid got loose from his parents and tried to climb on the castle… eek!!!

Everyone around the castle takes photos of each other which is how my family was able to get this postcard-worthy pic of my family. Hooray for nice people!

8.) Moo Time Creamery


Best. Ice-Cream. Ever.

9.) Photo Booth


Before we left Coronado Island, my sisters and I jumped into a photo booth. Its actually right outside Moo Time Creamery, so you can snap a pic and then sit outside with your cones… a perfect way to end your day!

Living in NYC, I hear people talk about visiting LA and San Francisco all the time, but don’t discount San Diego. The weather is amazing and there are lots of cool things to do… In San Diego you’re also close enough to do a quick jaunt over to Mexico which is also on my list of things to do.

If you’ve got even 48 hours and the desire to explore San Diego, this list is a good place to start.

Sponsored by the Manchester Grand Hyatt, San Diego. All opinions are 100% mine, of course.

Plus Size Shopping @ Wet Seal (Video)

So, it turns out that Amanda from Fashion Love & Martinis lives in my hometown! Make sure you check out her site, she is a great resource (especially if you’re a size 24+)

Anyway, when I was home for Christmas, I met her for dinner and she took me shopping (obvi!)  Apparently, there’s a new plus size line from Wet Seal and a dedicated “Wet Seal Plus” store… who knew?!

Because I work an office job, I realized that I’m constantly buying work clothes but I need more play clothes! Not everything was a winner, but here’s what I tried on:


My Fabulous Vacation with @TropTrav & @eldoradoroyale #PSPtravel

From the moment we got off the plane in Cancun, we were taken care of. The Tropical Travelers had a private car with giftbags waiting for us as soon as we got out of customs. After a 30 minute drive from Cancun to Riviera Maya, my sisters, Denise and Nikki, My Boo Thang, Robert, My BFF, Alex and I walked into the El Dorado Royal Resort & Spa. I’m pretty sure all five of us collectively took in a deep appreciative breath because from the moment you walked into the lobby, it was clear that every inch of the resort was impeccable…

el_dorado_royale_2Checking into an All-Inclusive resort means that from the moment you arrive, everything is 100% paid for and taken care of. You can eat and drink as much as you want, room service delivers at no extra cost and there was champagne on ice waiting on the jacuzzi in our room, with the promise of more if we needed it! If you’re traveling on a budget, All inclusive resorts are definitely the way to go. But not all resorts are the same, I’ve heard horror stories about sub-par resorts. Working with The Tropical Travelers ensured that we were going to a highly rated and highly recommended property and our travel agent, Kristy (@TropTravKristy) had been to the El Dorado Royal numerous times. She told us it would be awesome and boy was she right.

Mexico Collage

Lunch was the first thing we did. With so many restaurants, it was hard to choose, but we eventually visited all of them… the restaurants are all top notch. We had Carribean grill, Sushi, Italian and of course… Mexican

Food 1

When we weren’t enjoying amazing meals, we were making new friends of the human and reptilian kind… See those people lined up along the top right? They’re getting drinks at the swim-up bar. Yes, there were bars inside of all of the swimming pools!

Mexico Friends Collage

Four days in paradise with four of my favorite people was one of the best things I’ve done this year… everyone left wanting to do it again which means it was a great time. Next I’ll be rounding up my outfits from the trip and announcing the #PSPtravel VIP giveaways… stay tuned!

Is this type of trip something you would like to do?

The Tropical Travelers has some special perks for TBGB readers. Join the #PSPtravel VIP list!

Relationships: Unexpected Moments…

Dating is one of those things that looks completely different when you’re on the outside looking in. I used to watch my friends with their significant others and it seemed like everything that was happening was so exciting, cool and romantic. Now that I’ve been dating Robert for a while, I’m finding that the exciting and romantic moments definitely happen, but they always come unexpectedly.

Last weekend we spent four days in Rivera Maya, Mexico with The Tropical Travelers. I was able to bring Robert, my best friend Alex and my little sisters Denise and Nikki.

As I prepared for the trip, I imagined all the romantic settings we’d be in and how the shared experience of holding hands in paradise, sipping champagne in our suite and lounging around in the pool might make me feel closer to him. Those things happened and they were amazing, but the thing that drew me even closer to Robert was watching how he interacted with my sisters.

I’m the oldest and my sisters are my babies; Denise is in grad school working on a double masters and Nikki just finished her first year in undergrad. This is the first time we’ve traveled internationally without our parents, so this trip was a big deal for us and I felt a sense of responsibility for things to go smoothly.

Over the course of the weekend, I noticed Robert doing things for my sisters, chatting and joking around with them or looking out for the girls in some way without my asking and it put me at ease. Suddenly it felt like “we” felt a sense of responsibility for things to go smoothly. I couldn’t have guessed that the way Robert treated my sisters would top the list as the most romantic thing for me, but it did.

Seeing him with them made my heart smile….

Have you ever had an unexpected relationship moment?

p.s. if you’re interested in All Inclusive vacations, I’ve got some goodies to giveaway this week, priority sign up starts now!

A Plus Size Princess & Her Luggage

I was on the M60 bus last night and there was a girl who was on her way to La Guardia Airport. She had the tiniest suitcase with her and I thought to myself… wow, I think I could fit one pair of my jeans in that carry-on… if I rolled them super tight

Even if I’m going away for a weekend and am bringing three outfits, there is no way I could fit everything in one of those black square suitcases that people wheel around. My bras alone need their own duffel bag and if its winter and I’m packing bulky sweaters? Forget about it!

I never realized that I probably pack for trips differently because my clothes take up more space. Little tricks like putting four pairs of socks into my bra cups to save space probably don’t come up for everyone but as a Plus Size Princess, things like that are second nature when I’m preparing for a trip.

I’m not even going to mention the fact that I’m a high maintenance PSP because that means that I’ve got lots of creams, powders, tubes, trinkets and accessories that I have to pack when I travel, so my luggage will probably always need to be on the medium-large end even if I’m only going away for a few days. Its nothing to complain about really, I’m just fascinated that I didn’t realize this before.

There are so many random things that come along with being a Plus Size Princess; we’ve got to combat chub rub or handle the sweat between our boobies or worry about the seatbelts on the plane fitting us. Now I’m adding “required to have roomier luggage” to the list.


CeCe & Jonathon Singing in LA

One of the cool things about not being anonymous anymore is that I can share ALL the aspects of my NYC life with you guys. If you’ve read TBGB for a while, you’ve heard me mention singing performances here and there. Music is a super important part of my life and a lot of my friends I know from performing.

When I was in Los Angeles last week, I spent a few days with my good friend Jonathon Grant (aka @YourCoverBoy). Jonathon and I met studying Musical Theater in NYC. Now he’s doing well on the west coast acting and doing acousitc covers. Get two singers together for a few days and something creative is bound to happen… we started messing around with some of our favorite songs and did an impromptu mash-up/cover… here it is, hope you like it!


Plus Size Travel, Plus Size Swimsuits & Vacay Essentials

Greetings from Los Angeles!

So, I got on the plane in NYC and was able to click the seat belt closed with no extender! Then just as I was applauding myself for my weight loss acomplishments, I changed flights in Chicago and the seatbelt was *this* close to fitting, but it wouldn’t and I had to ask the flight attendant for an extender afterall (womp womp!). Goes to show, that its not always us… sometimes its the plane, so we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves when we have to do the oh so embarrassing extender request.

I’m in my home state for a friends wedding. I’m not in the wedding and Robert had to stay behind for a family wedding of his own, so my main goal for this trip is to relax! I’m going to be by the pool and/or on the beach as much as possible starting tomorrow, so I tried really hard not to overpack. I’ve made some discoveries over the past few weeks that made my packing a lot more simple. So I thought I’d share!

First off, I revamped my travel outfit for the summer– remember when I wrote about plane comfy clothes for Plus Size Princesses? Well you can see that post come to life in this picture. The lip gloss I’m wearing is from the See & Be Seen makeup kit by Anastasia. I love the pink color and it pops on my brown skin, which is sometimes hard to find in a lip gloss.

Next, FullBeauty.com has done something I’ve been wanting a swimline to do for a long time… they’re making swimsuits with underwire in them! I always buy at least one halter swimsuit, but for a girl like me with DDD’s, that knot starts to dig into the base of my neck after a while and its not comfortable. Underwire in this vintage swimsuit cut is going to make my time by the pool perfect. Follow me on Instagram (PlusSizePrincess) and I’ll be posting pictures through the weekend. FullBeauty also has a great sheer swimdress that I like– I know everyone is doing the fatkini thing, but I’m just not ready, so these suits work well for me.

Lastly, Ms. Kathryn Finney from TheBudgetFashionista turned me on to the new Crocs… its not those crazy moon shoes anymore, they’re making cute little ballet flats with great support and the size 11w’s fit like a glove. I’m wearing them in the photo linked above!

Anyway, this is what I’ll be rocking all weekend until I have to put on real clothes for the wedding… I’ll post pics of that on my tumblr.

Summer Style

Crocs flat

Beauty product

Mesh Swimsuit

Vintage Halter Swimsuit

A Big Girl Rant: Plus Size Travel

It was 8am and my plane was boarding.

It wasn’t till I made my way past First Class (I’m not that fabulous… yet) that I remembered something I forgot to do before this trip:


Every time I travel on a plane I swear up and down that the next time I fly I will have lost ____ pounds figuring that if I loose enough, perhaps I will get on a plane and not stress about what seat I’m in and how comfortable I (and the people next to me) will be.

First I sit down, trying not to bruise my hips as they slide past the arm rests. I usually choose a window seat because the idea of sitting in the middle seat is just torture and while the aisle seems like a good idea, who really wants their arm banged by a soda cart? Not me!

Next comes the battle of the arm rest. I put it up, to give myself a little more space and 9 times out of 10 it stays there, but then there is that one passenger who tries to push it back down, possibly bruising my hip again! Sometimes they say “oh sorry” and put it back up, but sometimes they don’t… which leaves me traveling with an armrest cutting into me for hours (maybe the cart banging into my arm isn’t such a bad thing…)

And when I fly home to see my parents? Forget it! They live in a relatively small city and so I’m often on older, smaller jets with seat belts that rarely fit. This means that if the flight attendant notices that I am attempting to sit on/hide my too small seat belt, she will ask me to “buckle up” and then I will have to ask her to look in her little airplane closet and bring me… a seat belt extender!

Usually my Big Girl Rants are reserved for other people, but honestly this one is for me. Every time I travel I go through these things, but the person who has the power to change my experience is me.

I don’t have any travel plans involving a plane until the holidays, lets see if I can make the necessary changes so my luggage is the only thing stuffed into a plane.