Kayti VS the World

JAPAN FUNBOX: A REVIEW

31 August 2016

Japan Funbox Review

JAPAN FUNBOX


I don't do a whole lot of "box" type reviews despite the many options available for those who love travel or anything culturally diverse. But when I was contacted by Japan Funbox to do a review I couldn't resist, I mean, I am planning on going to Tokyo in a few months so I figured the timing couldn't be better! I was sent the Mini Japanese Candy Box or Japan Funbox* and I don't know why I get so excited about trying new food but I could not wait to rip this thing open.

This subscription box comes in three sizes, the Mini, the Original and the Family Size and starts at an affordable $14.99 a month which is pretty low compare to some other subscription boxes I've looked at and subscribed to. After receiving the Mini I might just have to order the Original because some of the snacks and treats I was sent were amazing.

ALFORT Chocolate - This was a bar of individual whole grain cookies coated in milk chocolate, and not the standard milk chocolate that you get from Safeway. I'm talking the World Market kind of milk chocolate. I'm not normally much of a chocolate person but I ate this entire bar in one sitting. I didn't plan to. It just happened.

Grape Whistle Candy - Yes, this candy does actually whistle. And it doesn't taste bad either. Kind of like a soft version of Smarties.

Pizza Potato Chips - So, to me these didn't taste like pizza. They tasted more just like... pizza flavoring. There's a difference. I'm not much of a chip person and these weren't bad, persay, but I would never buy them myself.

Pretz Tomato Taste Sticks - Okay, these actually tasted like pizza and they are addicting. And tiny. So you can eat a lot of them. It's a really soft cracker that literally tastes like a pizza stick. My boyfriend even liked them and I can never get him to try new food.

Ume-Pachi - This is supposed to be a sour plum fizzing candy but I can't really give much of a review of it because as soon as I put a little in my mouth I gagged. I found it to be extremely salty and nothing even loosely resembling a plum flavor.

Shuwabo - I would imagine this is kind of the Japanese version of Laffy Taffy? It has that same super potent artificially fruity flavor but it had some kind of crackling bits on the inside. Not a lot, but you could still tell it was there. Almost like an extremely toned down Poprock center.

After looking at the kind of stuff that comes in the Original and Family boxes, I might just have to order another one... And even better news you can get $3 off your first Original or Family box using code "3offget".

Have any of you tried travel or worldly related subscription boxes that you enjoyed? I would love to try out a few more!

STOPOVER: HOTEL QUATTRO FONTANE

24 August 2016

review of hotel quattro fontane in lido venice

Hotel Quattro Fontane


Since for the previous week or so we had been staying in Murano and Venice, arriving in Lido was a little bit of a shock. It had been a while since we had seen a car or a bus or anything other than boats as a mode of transportation for that matter. So, we stepped off the boat and immediately come upon a roundabout filled with cars, buses, bicycles and scooters. Having become quite accustomed to walking while being in Venice we decided to start the 15 to 20 minute walk to our hotel. In the same way that Venice is known for it's winding streets and alleyways, Lido is known it's beaches and laid back vacation feels.

The walk to the hotel pretty much runs parallel to the beach the whole way, we passed a few street vendors and a few little curbside bars and restaurants. The main building sits just behind the front gate and is easy to spot by the lush ivy climbing up it's walls. Since our room wasn't ready when we arrived we decided to leave our luggage, walk back into town and rent a scooter for the day. This was also when we learned that it's completely normal for a hotel in Italy to request to keep your passport for a short period of time to process your check in.

review of hotel quattro fontane in lido venice
review of hotel quattro fontane in lido venice

The Hotel


The hotel property is a lot larger than I expected. Each common area is ornately decorated with eye catching pieces that will leave you wondering... We still want to know what was inside the trunk in the East building. There is a large courtyard with a beautiful tree that looms over, providing shade and a romantic atmosphere. And the courtyard is filled with various flowers, plants and little lizards. In the Summer, you can spend the evening dining outside among the flowers and candlelight. One evening, after taking a jet lag induced nap, we were leaving our room to walk into town for dinner. When we stepped into the courtyard, we saw at least 20 of the hotel guests in wicker chairs sat among the flowers and plant life, drinking Prosecco and laughing as the sun slipped beneath the ocean waves. I remember wanting to stay but my stomach was taking me elsewhere...

TIP: Lido is all about slow living. So, take a break from exploring one evening, pour a glass of wine and spend an evening underneath that large courtyard tree enjoying the ocean air.

review of hotel quattro fontane in lido venice
review of hotel quattro fontane in lido venice

The Room


The rooms, also ornately decorated, have everything you could need for a comfortable stay. Our room didn't have a shower but it did have an unnaturally long tub. Everybody loves a good bath so this was a welcome exchange for us. Our room had large windows that opened like french doors over the courtyard. One morning we were there, we got caught in a Spring storm and hung our clothes in front of the window to let them dry. I remember the sun finally coming out and filtering onto the bed through the lace in my dress, little flecks of faded sunlight that told us we could get back on our way again, exploring the island.

review of hotel quattro fontane in lido venice

The Island


I didn't find that any part of Venice lacked that old world charm, but Lido was like the California of Venice. There were motor vehicles for one thing, sandy beaches littered with bikini-clad designer-name-beach-tote bearing vacationers. The island is pretty small and easy to explore via scooter (we were able to rent one for 24 hours for around $35 which we thought was a STEAL, it costs twice that much in Capri).

There are quite a few gelato spots around town that have some pretty extensive flavor lists. There was also a beyond amazing Indian restaurant righ t on the main strip called Buddha Soul that I cannot recommend enough. One night, Chris stayed in with a fever (worst time ever to be sick on vacation in Italy) and I went out to dinner by myself. The waiter acted like it was the most out of thi world thing that I was eating alone but I thought it was nice. I arrived late (to Americans anyway) at around 8:30pm and decided to sit outside to watch the town slowly fade from bustling day time beach goers into late night gelato stops and bar hopping (of which there were only a few so there wasn't a lot of "hopping" per say). I tried several things off the menu and they were all some of the best Indian food I've had at any restaurant (doesn't beat at authentic at home cuisine of course, but what does!).

TIP: There are a few scooter rental places in Lido, I recommend the one on Via Negroponte 14/b, 30126. The service was amazing and the price was the best we saw during our whole time in Italy.

review of hotel quattro fontane in lido venice
review of hotel quattro fontane in lido venice

The Breakfast


I have this weird fascination with room service and I really hope I'm not alone in that. So when I found out that we could have the option to have breakfast delivered to our room, I jumped all over it. It was relaxing to have breakfast in front of those french door style windows over the courtyard in our pajamas but I would still recommend heading to the dining room. Also, when you order breakfast to your room, you choose from a menu and some things do come at a surcharge whereas when you take breakfast in the dining room it is served buffet style and there are no surcharges.

I personally thought that the dining room breakfast surpassed the room service breakfast in quality AND quantity. There was wide variety of options from eggs, breakfast meats, scones and pastries, cereal, waffles, etc. Similar to an American buffet breakfast but the quality was much better.

Book This Hotel If you want to spend some time on the beach but still be in close proximity to downtown Venice. Hotel Quattro Fontane is suitable for all travelers solo and otherwise.

Rooms Starting at $167*
*price based on current exchange rate

Kayti VS the World was invited as a guest of the Hotel Quattro Fontane however, as always, all opinions are my own

TRAVEL EXPERIENCES YOU MUST HAVE BY TRAIN

03 August 2016

Check out Travel Experiences You Must Have By Train

by Kayti Clayton at Mode

FRIDAY FINDS: 07/22/2016

22 July 2016


Can't wait to try out these new matte lipsticks

Need this bowl.

Oh my god, West Coast Harry Potter fans rejoice

Every country should do this.

Modcloth has released a bridal collection and it's beautiful AND affordable.

Six beautiful things you need on your desk right now.

This quiz can guess your gender, age and average income based on what apps are on your phone. It was spot on for me! Twenty somethings unmarried female making over 52k! What did you get?

Uhhhh wow. When this place opens up later this year it will deserve an entire blog post dedicated to just the food. I'm literally going to order everything. Every. Thing.

This skirt.

6 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT FOOD IN ITALY

20 July 2016

food tips for italy

The Bread Is Not Free!


A lot of times, sitting down at an Italian restaurant you will be served water and a basket of bread. If you're from America, you probably assume this is free. It isn't. You will be charged something called coperto, which is essentially a cover charge or bread and butter charge as some call it. Even if you aren't served bread you can still be charged coperto simply as a "cover" for sitting down in the restaurant. These charges are not always easy to spot unless you're looking for them. They are generally around $2 per person. But if you're somewhere in say, Piazza San Marco like Caffe Florian, your cover charge includes a "live music" charge (even if you're sitting inside, unable to see) and totals to about $10 per person. If you're just one person, or perhaps a couple, this fee doesn't seem that bad. But for a group for 8 to 10 people, you could see how this charge could get out of control.

Come Hungry! There Are Lots Of Courses


I can not tell you how many weird looks my boyfriend and I were given when we sat down and ordered an appetizer and a small pizza to share. Italy is famous for it's slow dining experiences, sitting down for hours of indulgent food and wine, talking and laughing into the late hours of the night. Don't get me wrong, I love eating. I love food. But when we sat down next to locals and watched them order an appetizer for the table and then they each ordered their own pasta, meat dish AND PIZZA. We were blown away. Then they proceeded to all order dessert. Italians certainly have a thing or two to teach Americans about enjoying life, they really take their dining experiences to a whole different level.

Take Advantage of the Wine


Ordering wine when dining out at a restaurant in America can get expensive, but in Italy? So affordable. And so necessary. Here, I would probably pay about $8 to $10 on average for a glass of house wine. But in Italy? I found I was able to order a glass of house wine for about 3 Euros. And it's Italy, you're not really visiting Italy unless you drink the wine.

food tips for italy

If It's Monday, Call Ahead


Something that we forgot on more than one occasion, is that many businesses and restaurants are closed on Mondays. Unfortunately, we would forget this little morsel of information and hop on the ferry to say Murano or Burano only to find the restaurant we spent an hour searching side streets for was closed. So, moral of the story. When making plans on a Monday - always call ahead.

Try A Cappuccino


I pretty much refuse to drink cappuccinos at home. It's just a tasteless lump of foam on top of a burnt shot of espresso usually. Obviously this isn't true everywhere. I live in Washington and Seattle's coffee game for the most part is pretty on point. But, I've found that a good cappuccino is a hard thing to come by. Not in Italy! Almost EVERYWHERE you go will serve cappuccino and pretty much at every hour. Even after dinner, they ask if you'd like a cup of coffee or cappuccino. Every morning I drank two, and then if I was feeling crazy - I had another after dinner. You hardly even need sugar. Italy knows how to do coffee. Coffee and food.

If It Looks American, It's Not Italian


We noticed that in a lot of more touristy areas there would be the random restaurant that would have a menu that was almost entirely pictures and almost entirely meals that you might see at a Denny's. There two reasons why you should steer clear of these places. The first being, it's not Italian fare. And it's not going to be what you're expecting. You can't go to Italy, order American food and expect it to taste just like American food. That's not how it works. You're in Italy, order Italian food. The second reason is this, it will be overpriced. Basically, if everything is in English, don't eat there. If the entire menu is pictures, don't eat there. If anything on the menu or in the title of the restaurant says "American", don't eat there.



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