Tag Archives: Spring Break

Sangriaritas. Olé!

26 Mar

Spring has sprung, pollen in tow. But on the plus side, warm weather (and post-Spring Break blues) have brought on the anticipation of summer! Cue happy dance. (On a side note – only six weeks left of college blows my mind.)

While it may be rainy this weekend, last weekend was perfect.

In honor of the awesome weather, Chip suggested a fun-filled day for us on Saturday. I must say, it ranks at the top of my best days in Athens.

It went a little something like this: tennis, lunch at Casa Mia, homemade sangriaritas, Terrapin with the med school class, dinner at Taqueria del Sol and Scrubs.

However, you probably care most about what this means to you… the homemade sangriaritas. Chip thought it would be fun to try the Summer Sangriarita at Casa Mia during lunch. While it’s supposed to be a half sangria, half margarita frozen drink, the blender was broken, so we had it on the rocks. Surprise: we think it was better that way. So much, that we wanted to try it ourselves!

After a trip to the grocery store for these ingredients:

And a lot of chopping and pouring, we created this delicious (and pretty) jug of sangriarita!:

And now for the recipe (you can alter it to your liking or desired strength of alcohol):

  • 2 limes, chopped
  • 1 orange, chopped
  • 1/2 bag frozen mango
  • 1/2 bad frozen pineapple
  • 1 cup grapes
  • 1 bottle of dry white wine (Trader Joe’s two buck chuck was our choice)
  • Margarita Mix (depending on the size of your jug and the proportion to tequila)
  • Tequila (depending on the size of your jug and the proportion to margarita mix)

Directions: Chop it all up. Put it in a glass jug/pitcher. Pour the liquid in the pitcher. Cool it in the fridge. Pour it over ice. Enjoy.

(Side note: our glass jug was saved from apple cider from the winter. We knew we would use it for something. Some call it hoarding, I call it thrifting.)

So what are you guys doing to enjoy this incredible weather? Or have you had to pass the time inside to avoid awful allergies? We are always looking for fun things to do in the spring!

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Royal Caribbean… really treated royally

22 Mar

Although I have been away from the keyboard for the week, I have a good reason. As you may remember in my post about saving money on vacation, I have been on a cruise to the Bahamas for my senior spring break with 15 of my closest friends.

The Cruise Girls

Not only did I successfully exceed the challenge of enjoying a relaxing week, but I also relished in being treated like a queen. Wow, does Royal Caribbean do it up right, or what?!

The service was absolutely incredible! From what I discovered, they have something called Gold Anchor Cruise Service where they choose to go above and beyond the call of duty while guests are on the ship (and at various ports).

For example, our room attendant, Ryan, left us this little guy on the bed at night when Ryan came to set up the ladders for the bunk beds while we were at dinner.

Woof, woof

However, the most impressive part of the week was the  Food and Beverage Staff, including our hilarious waiter, Rodante. He always made sure that we had exactly what we needed and way more than enough of our “yum, yum” (aka dessert).

See…

Rodante & the "yummy, yummy por da tummy"

In fact, on the last night, we requested sprinkles, and although he couldn’t find any, he brought us a plate of chocolate and white chocolate shavings (which obviously are 10 thousand times better than regular sprinkles).

Not only did they serve well, but they could sing well, too! Jesus, another waiter, serenaded my roommate (and lovely cruise planner), Beth. Maybe the singing wasn’t quite up to par with the original, but we liked his version of the song better anyway.

Musical Stylings of Jesus (pronounced "Hey-soos" not like "Gee-zus")

Overall, the cruise was super memorable and those employees definitely deserve a hand for dealing with our messy rooms and hungry appetites all week. Way to go!

Have y’all ever experienced service like we did on a cruise or anywhere else? I’d love to see who else is really making guests feel special!

10 Ways to Save Money on Vacation

10 Mar

Challenge: Enjoy a week of vacation where I do absolutely nothing work related other than working on my tan.

Could be tough for me, but I’m up for it.

That means: no cell phone, no Internet, no homework, no work, nothing.

The reason I say this is because in approximately 2 days I will be on my way to Florida for a weekend in Cocoa Beach and then a week cruising the high seas with 15 of my best girl friends on a Royal Caribbean cruise. Can. Not. Wait.

This is the last time we will all really be together until who knows when, so I want to cherish every moment of it. However, that doesn’t mean I need to spend beaucoups of money just to have fun. There are plenty of ways to save money without being cheap on your Spring Break trip, or any trip.

Here is a list of some suggestions:

  1. Visit/stalk sites like www.kayak.com: Their slogan is “One and Done” because they literally scour the web for any and all flights, hotels, etc. and show you the prices. Then you choose the best one. Easy as that. Start early and you’ll find even better deals.
  2. Make your own meals: It sounds so simple, but people often forget that they can make a sandwich for lunch, instead of paying upwards of $15 for a bad burger on the beach. Plus, if you pack yourself a little picnic, you can stay in the sun for even longer. A win/win.
  3. Pack efficiently: If you can manage it, pack as little as possible and carry-on your luggage on flights. Checking bags can be unbearably expensive these days, and truthfully, not always worth it. You will probably only really need about one sixteenth of what you are packing anyway.
  4. Walk: Benefits of walking include – seeing sights you may not see otherwise, getting exercise, saving money by not paying for a taxi/bus/etc.
  5. Avoid over-priced drinks: On cruises especially, alcohol can be more expensive than anything else. Sure, you have to pay for soda now too, but those fun smoothies and fruity drinks by the pool can really rack up the credit card bill. Consider drinking water or finding other options, like waiting until you’re at a destination stop to drink.
  6. Limit yourself on shopping: Those cutesy, tourist-trap shops may have the perfect thimble for your great-aunt Susie, but realistically, you don’t need to buy it. Consider other options like taking pictures and framing them when you return from vacation for souvenirs. Let’s be honest – Susie wouldn’t even know what she was missing anyway.
  7. Use coupons… for everything: Oftentimes your hotel will have coupons in the lobby for different restaurants or attractions nearby. Also, you can search online before you go for coupon codes, group discounts or student discounts for most things you want to do.
  8. Budget for the week: Create one. That’s it.
  9. Bring snacks/drinks in the car or on the plane: This will save tons of money when you are tempted to hop out of the car and grab a bag of Doritos, some gummy worms and a Coke at the gas station. Plus, healthier snacks will actually keep you full for longer, so you will have to eat less, and ultimately spend less. Try peanut butter crackers and an apple, or if you’re like me, a jar of peanut butter and an apple.
  10. Have a “staycation” instead: Many people don’t even consider staying home an option for vacation. However, if you don’t have to money to travel somewhere, consider taking a weekend to veg-out with a good book, glass of wine and no cell phone. It will do a world of wonders. Or, you can check your local paper to see what awesome attractions are happening in your area. Try free concerts, museums or just a nice hike. It will be worth it in the end.

Overall, I’m looking forward to see how little money I can spend this week. Since my sweet roommate booked our cruise through a travel agent literally in October, we got a great deal. It’s going to be glorious.

In the meantime, feel free to add suggestions for what your best money-saving tips are while traveling.

Bon voyage!