HOTEL ON THE HILL: THE CAVALIER

We opted out of traveling this summer in favor of a fall vacation but that didn’t stop us from enjoying our own little stay-cation all season long at the newly renovated Cavalier Hotel. Re-opened this year after a four year renovation, this hotel has been a landmark to Virginia Beach since 1927. Now boasting opulent decor, a farm-to-table restaurant, and a lavish infinity pool, the Cavalier is the epitome of "old world" with a newly reimagined charm.

Becca Restaurant

From birthdays to anniversaries, Becca was our go-to for special occasion dining this summer. We took advantage of both indoor and outdoor dining during brunch, lunch and dinner throughout the season. Among my favorites were the Chicken and Waffles for brunch - with hand battered chicken served over the most delicious corn and rosemary waffle, the Becca Rotisserie Chicken for lunch, served in a wrap, and last but not least the Chesapeake Jumbo Lump Crab Cake for dinner.

The Plunge Pool

The indoor plunge pool transcends seasons and allows guests pool access by the beach all year long. I never actually had the opportunity to swim here but it was by far my most favorite decorated space in the hotel.

The Raleigh Room

Finally, our “stays” at the Cavalier were never complete without a stop by the Raleigh Room for conversation and cocktails. We particularly enjoyed lounging in the verandas surrounding the space and overlooking the gorgeous estate.

TRAVELING WITH A TOT

This past weekend we traveled with a toddler in tow for a family wedding. Coincidentally, it was around this same time last year that we traveled with an infant for the first time. For our trip then, we all fared well enough sharing a room with a portable crib. It wasn’t until a family vacation this past summer however, that we realized Lena had outgrown the portable crib. Now with a toddler, we needed an alternative sleeping arrangement for our stay away from home. Enter the DockATot dock, a multi-functional lounger and co-sleeper.

From packing to unpacking, the DockATot was much easier to transport when compared to the portable crib. The dock, weighing just over five pounds without packaging, is much lighter than the nearly twenty pound portable crib we own. Not only is it lightweight but the On The Go Transport Bag (shown here in Midnight Teal) made traveling with the “tot” a breeze.

Our sleeping arrangement while traveling with a toddler this go around? One king sized bed and one grand sized DockATot. I was previously a little apprehensive about sharing a bed with the little one but the DockATot Grand Dock eased any concern I had by providing a comfortable sleeping space for us all. I slept more soundly knowing that our tot was nestled safely within the dock - thanks to the plush, cocoon-like design with built-in, air permeable sides.

In addition to co-sleeping, we found it helpful as a lounger Lena could play in while getting ready in the hotel room. In the morning, she would entertain herself with toys and books all the while snacking on Cheerios from the dock. Any product with a multi-purpose design is a win-win in my book.

Finally, as a mom I have become more conscious about not only the ingredients in the foods that we eat but also the materials in the everyday items we use. Because the DockATot dock is made of washable, hypoallergenic and non-toxic materials, I felt even more confident in not only using it while we traveled but also using it everyday while at home too! Lena has loved the dock so much that she regularly lounges in it while watching any one of her favorite movies. Plus, the added bonus for us will be having it to prepare for our next transition from the crib to the big kid bed.

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Shared in partnership with DockATot. All content and opinions are my own.

Vino in Virginia

Virginia, in my opinion, is a very underrated state in the U.S. Neighboring our nation's capital and the Atlantic ocean, this state provides a unique variety of urban and rural settings. Among my favorites, second to the beach of course, is the little slice of wine country that surrounds Charlottesville.

I previously visited the Charlottesville area a handful of times and I was always captivated by it's beauty. It was a no brainer when I, along with the ladies in my family, started to plan a mini girls getaway. Among our top picks for the weekend itinerary are also must see places for those planning to visit the area: Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards and Early Mountain Vineyards.

Pippin Hill

Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards is like a scene from a fairytale! I've visited the winery once before and while I normally prefer to visit new places, this serene setting keeps me coming back for more. I'll just let the images speak for themselves.

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Pippin Hill is also one of the few winery locations offering a culinary experience so we scheduled our visit around the lunch hour. A trip tip for a visit on Saturday - Pippin Hill does not take reservations so plan to arrive by opening at 11 a.m. in order to grab a table in the tasting room or have someone in your party make a quick trip there to put your name on a list because the wait time can be around an hour and a half (it's worth it, I promise you!).

We all shared a bottle of rosé (yes way!) and dined on the most delicious farm-to-table cuisine served tapas style. Our favorite was the cheese plate featuring a variety of local cheeses, spiced nuts and seasonal jams. It paired perfectly with the rosé.

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Early Mountain Vineyards

Like Pippin, our last stop from the weekend not only boasted the most beautiful views but also served a tapas style cuisine with locally sourced ingredients. One step inside the property and it's easy to see why Early Mountain Vineyards was voted the #1 tasting room in America. 

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In addition to the stunning scenery, the food and wine did not disappoint. Our favorites included the 2016 Chardonnay (with 6% Pinot Gris) and the cheddar pimento small plate, both also paired perfectly together.

This girls wine weekend was one for the books and I have a feeling there will be several more chapters because we're already planning our next visit back to the area!

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