travel diaries Archives - OJ AND CIGS

Finding Hygge – Exploring Copenhagen, Denmark

11.20.17

MIA to CPH

Scandinavian airlines mia to cph flysas

I was recently invited on a press trip (sponsored by Visit Denmark, Visit Copenhagen, Scandinavian Airlines) to explore Copenhagen, Denmark. The Danish capital has become quite the destination with its startlingly impressive cuisine, design, style, and overall quality of life. I was beyond eager to get to know the city and discover the meaning behind a concept I’d read about: “hygge.” Most commonly (mis)generalized as “cozy” – hygge is an inherently Danish term used to acknowledge a special feeling or moment. It’s about not just being present, but also recognizing and enjoying the present…creating moments to help enhance daily life i.e. burning a candle, or meeting a friend for coffee. I couldn’t wait to experience it straight from the source.

Getting to Copenhagen is quite easy thanks to direct flights between MIA & CPH through Scandinavian Airlines (SAS). We flew comfortably in SAS Plus, which gave us access to the Lounges, delicious food and refreshments, and tons of in-flight movies/entertainment. One 9-hour flight later and we made it to our destination.

Hotel Sanders

hotel sanders Copenhagen denmark

I stayed at the brand new luxury boutique Hotel Sanders right in the center of the city and within walking distance of pretty much everything. With its beautifully curated interiors and hospitable (not to mention good-looking) staff, the hotel is the epitome of casual luxury and simple elegance minus the pretentiousness, which almost instantly makes you feel at home. The inviting restaurant is aptly referred to as “Kitchen.” The lobby is not a lobby; rather it’s the “Living Room.” Classic cocktails flow from the intimate and seductive hotel bar, TATA.

The Sights…and Flavors

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Throughout our entire stay we indulged in the most delicious (and beautiful!) food. I was blown away at how fresh everything is. New Nordic Cuisine has revolutionized Danish gastronomy and created a focus on local ingredients. From tasting new spins on classic dishes to traditional foods like pickled herring, and trying natural wine for the first time – I marveled in it all. Here’s the list of restaurants, cafes and bars we visited. Plenty of hygge across the board. You’re welcome:

Aside from eating my way through the city, I was able to explore the sights, sounds and of course the shopping (I’m looking at you Storm Copenhagen)! We did a fun boat tour throughout the canals, under the bridges and out into the harbor. We were shown around the diverse neighborhood of Nørrebro, which has evolved from being a primarily working class area to one of Copenhagen’s hottest neighborhoods with tons of local shops. It was there that we also got to see Superkilen – a colorful sprawling urban space that fuses architecture, landscape and art (hello Instagram photo-opp). Later we strolled through Assistens Cemetery, the final resting place of famous Danes like author Hans Christian Andersen.

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assistens cemetery copenhagen Denmark

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Before this trip, I was already fascinated by the Viking Age of Scandinavia and Norse mythology. Danes are quite proud of their heritage, and it shows in their everyday, from the cuisine to the Norse art tattooed on their bodies. I was also very intrigued by the secret of hygge, and often wondered whether this was the key to Danes being consistently ranked among the happiest people in the world. My takeaway from this trip is that they are definitely doing something (or basically everything) right.

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Havana, Cuba

06.19.16

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I was recently given the opportunity to travel to Havana, Cuba for Sunglass Hut and their #ShadesOfYou campaign with my friend and talented photographer Yesi of Simply Lively. What a freaking amazing experience, to say the least, and such impeccable timing too (our trip was just a few days before the Chanel/celebrity invasion explosion). All eyes have been on the island nation as of late, thanks to thawing US-Cuba relations, and I was eager to see the real Cuba (yes, the real essence of Cuba) for myself, so Yesi and I did what we do best – we took to the streets and explored as much as we could, shooting for Sunglass Hut and meeting amazing people along the way.

We learned so much about daily life there. Our driver René, a warm-hearted man in his fifties, guided us and eagerly spoke to us about past experiences intermingled with what he hopes for the future.  One thing is obvious, change is coming. You can feel it in the air; spurts of (American) English overheard when you turn a corner. And while the younger generation does have a respect for what the older generation accomplished, they are ready to experience a more relaxed political atmosphere, with more economic opportunities to exercise their own profession and exercise their own talents.

*Feel free to comment if you have any questions regarding my time there, or what I’m wearing, and be sure to follow on Instagram for outtakes and more*

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ON THE ROAD AGAIN

07.06.14

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DRESS: ZARA | SLIDES: TOPSHOP | SUNGLASSES: RAYBAN
 

Living in Miami is amazing and all, but every once in a while, it’s imperative to escape the Magic City. So once summer rolls around, we go on a few trips, including a good ol’ Florida road trip. Exactly one year ago, we  a spent a full Fourth of July weekend in Naples. This time, our Florida road trip was about hitting up Fort Myers, Sanibel and Captiva Islands, Naples and Marco Island – all without hotels booked, and simply discovering things along the way. It was so much fun! I was feeling relaxed and “resort-y,” wearing a lot of white, denim, light fabrics, floral prints and my trusty pool slides.

To get these pictures, we drove around Naples one last time before heading to Marco Island, on what felt like the hottest, stickiest, most humid day of the year. As we pulled into the empty lot of what used to be a huge riverside seafood restaurant we felt like we had come across a ghost-town saloon aka “PHOTO-OPP JACKPOT.” It was pretty rad. We walked through a little open fence off to the side, to discover a whole other area with a back deck overlooking the river, old picnic tables and disintegrating benches, colorful doors and awnings. How is this place out of business?! It was enormous and had so much potential! After a good wander, and a good sweat, we got out of there to continue our road trip, but we hope these pictures capture a bit of that Naples charm. Follow me on Instagram to keep up with our adventures!

“On the road again 
Goin’ places that I’ve never been
Seein’ things that I may never see again
And I can’t wait to get on the road again”
-Willie Nelson

PHOTOS GIL E MATOS

Romping Around – Tropical Style

05.09.14

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Doing what I do best: romping around Old San Juan, Puerto Rico – tropical style. I could go on and on about the colors, the laid-back lifestyle, the perfect weather…my horrible sunburn…I’m so proud to call this place home.

What better shoes then my personal favorite, Birkenstocks, for these kinds of treks? (Tip: Always check Zappos for great deals and free shipping). I’m also wearing a jumpsuit from Nasty Gal (find similar hereand Bel Air frames by Wildfox. The bag is like 10 years old, a treasure I unearthed out of my old room at Mom’s house.

Stay tuned for more daily outfits and inspiration and keep up with me on Instagram!

PHOTOS GIL E MATOS 

 

Seeing Red

05.04.14

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Here we are in beautiful Condado, Puerto Rico – taking pictures in quite a hurry because the beautographer is hungry and hasn’t had his coffee yet, so one of us is definitely seeing red (literally & figuratively).

Now to the shoes. Designers like Stuart Weitzman and Jeffrey Campbell have had us swooning over the gladiator sandal, right? Add these Schutz “Erlina” to the mix. They make a bold statement, without being too over-the-top or costumey. Picked these up at my friend Joanna’s shop in Miami – Joanna Paige. 

The red embellished cardigan and denim cut-offs were both thrifted, and the red velvet satchel I discovered in my old closet at Mom’s house (i think it’s about 10 years old), but hey you can find a similar mesh black bodysuit here.

Stay tuned for more of my Puerto Rico adventures…and the haircut reveal!

PHOTOS BY GIL E MATOS

 

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