Tuesday, June 4, 2013


I apologize that this post comes over a month after my last entry, but I promise it's with good reason. I have just returned from an awesome trip to Cartagena, Colombia and I have been quite the busy bee with freelance work and ErinElsie projects. Why Cartagena? We were there to celebrate the wedding of one awesome couple in the company of many close friends. Here's a brief look at the inspiration I found in this colorful old city.

YOUR 10 SECOND HISTORY LESSON ON CARTAGENA...(for more in depth info check out http://discovercolombia.com/cartagena/)

Cartagena de Indias was founded in 1533 by Pedro de Heredia, a Spanish nobleman. In 1552, a fire reduced the village (whose buildings were made of wood at the time) to ashes, and Pedro de Heredia ordered that all structures be made of stone from that point onward. In a way, this directive enabled the city to preserve its lovely architectural heritage to this present day as most of the buildings have remained intact nearly 500 years later. In 1741, after defending an attack by England, the Spanish crown finally decided to fortify the city and its surrounding area with a stone wall. The scale of this project soon converted Cartagena into one of the most well protected colonial cities in all of South America. This area today is known as the "old walled city." 


photo by Ben Kulo

photo by Ben Kulo

awesome vines that cover many of the old buidlings
photo by Ben Kulo

photo by Ben Kulo

photo by Ben Kulo


One of the apartments we stayed in was a great example of how the old mansions in the city are structured. On the outside, they are colorful stone structures with giant wood doors and barred windows. Everything is very protected from the street. Then upon walking in, you hit a spectacularly unexpected courtyard. 
photo by Ben Kulo

The courtyard
photo by Ben Kulo

Interior dipping pool of our courtyard
photo by Ben Kulo

Looking up from the courtyard
photo by Ben Kulo

Standing on top of the wall of the old city.
photo by Ben Kulo

Sunset view from the wall surrounding the old city. 
photo by Ben Kulo


As always, I managed to squeeze some time in for shopping. Below are some of the highlights :)

To my delight I came across a little shop called Amitabha Joyeria. It is a collective that sells handmade pieces from local Colombian artists. Although there was a bit of a language barrier between us, the owner was lovely and helpful. I felt like we bonded over our love of special, one of a kind treasures.  My favorite items in this shop were these beautiful hand printed/ batiked wraps. My boyfriend and I make throw pillows to represent our travels together, and I knew immediately that I had found my fabric for our Colombia pillow.

Flory, is a little accessory shop, featuring local Colombian jewelers. A nice selection made with real stones. 

My earring purchases below- real coral and turquoise at a price that didn't break the bank. 

Tennis was a trendy little shop in the old city, well curated with great print bottoms and special tops. I could have done a lot more damage here, but edited down to the pieces below :)



There were way more fabric shops than I expected in Cartagena. A pleasant surprise, and I should have brought an extra bag...



Street snack...the old town is covered with fruit vendors. Pick the assortment of fruits you'd like, and they will cut them up for you on the spot.

One of the best things we stumbled upon was a gourmet pop cycle shop, La Paletteria. An array of awesome flavors, artistically displayed.

To detail all the restaurants and food would take an entire other blog. My favorite was Cuzco. A Peruvian restaurant with the best live music and best ceviche I have ever had thus far in life...


In closing, I leave you with a sneak preview from the spectacular wedding festivities...more to come so please stay tuned!
Happy couple :)

Street procession to the reception

Part of the multifaceted reception
photo by Ben Kulo


It's such a pleasure to be inspired by new places and experiences.  I can't think of a better way to have kickstarted summer 2013. Now back to work for me.

Happy Trails!