peace

I didn’t forget a title

This morning I got up very early again, around 6:30. I felt kind of bad for my hostel mates because I was up getting my stuff together so early but she’s gotta go! They made waffles in the kitchen which weren’t cooked all the way through but my long awaited cup of tea made up for it. I got some cash, ice, a case of water and one of those styrofoam coolers and went on my way to Joshua Tree. I used my friend Claudia’s gps to navigate me there, it was a bit stressful at first because even though it was almost 3 hours away I kept thinking I was going the wrong way. I only saw one freaking sign for it the whole way there, its a National Park for all the gods sakes! I personally need road signs made just for me though that say things like “Thumbs up Natasha, you are going the right way” or “Turn around idiot, stop pretending you’re in a music video and pay attention!”. So yeah, the gps guided me perfectly! Joshua Tree was amazing and awesome, not too big and intimidating but still very grand. I’d never seen anything like that particular landscape and I’ve always had an affinity for the desert, maybe because it’s nothing like where I’m from. Scraped my elbow almost down to the meat climbing down in between 2 rocks 127 hrs style so I’ll be nursing that for a few days, the universes way of telling me to go sit down somewhere. The weather was perfect and I even got someone to take a picture f me which is always a treat when you’re traveling alone, one of the only downsides. I’m at the High Desert Motel now, just watched Drag Race. I thought I’d be really excited about watching actual cable but it wasn’t as climatic as I thought, words spoken far too often. Its 8:45 and I’m spent.

 

 

 

 

Idk? Oh Yeah

Not sure what that title means, figure it out for me will ya? It’s about time you did something, you’re so lazy! As for me, I just realized that I’ve been jogging almost 20 miles a week for a couple of months now, small victories. I never kept track of it because I don’t want to get into some weird competition with myself but I was curious so I looked up the distance on the gps on my phone and was surprised it was that much. 6 months ago if someone would’ve told me I would be out jogging I would be keeled over laughing hysterically because I don’t think of myself as a ‘fit’ person and I still don’t, I just like getting out and having the sun on me and seeing all the cute puppies. I also really love feeling productive which is definitely unfamiliar but welcomed. I started meditating last week with this app called Headspace which has been helpful to my chakras. Maybe I’ll ask that guy I accidentally went on a date with if he wants to eat nachos on Wednesday, we’ll see, I’ll keep you posted…..get it?? because this is a blog that I post on….(elbow nudge)….Ahem.So there’s that… not even 300 words yet okay….I’m sitting here antsy because I really want to continue watching House Hunters, there’s new episodes on Netflix that I’m way too excited about. Road trip in 4 weeks and 1 day! Amethyst nails by the way.

Dorothy Does Austin

Many moons ago in a land far far away i resided in not only the same state as my mother but the same city, and under the same roof for a time. Now that seems like light years ago but leave it to mommie dearest to never let you get too far away. My mom Dorothy came to visit Austin last month, this wasn’t her first visit but every time she comes she acts like it is, she’s so excited and happy to be somewhere new that it reassures my soul that not everyone is lame.

The first place we went to visit was one of my favorite places in Austin, the Hope Outdoor Gallery, or as its sometimes  known as Castle Hill or Baylor Street Art Wall. I try to come here at least once a month if not more, i obviously love graffiti so this is like a little piece of heaven for me.IMG_6948

My mom throwing up a hand, so proud of her

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After that we were starving so we went to the Lockhart,TX  otherwise known as “The BBQ Capital of Texas”. Lockhart is such an adorable small town about 30 mins from Austin.

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There’s 4 famous BBQ joints in Lockhart to choose from, my coworkers suggested Blacks.

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The food was amazing, I always get more than i can eat so i can look forward to it later. My  friend Shannon and her mom Estrella even came to join us! #momdate

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One of my moms favorite places to go when she visits is by far Barton Springs, not only is it beautiful its really relaxing and its so freaking hot here that you have no choice but to love the water.

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On our last evening we took a walk along Lady Bird Lake which is my #1 place to go in Austin. Its my favorite place because when i first moved here and didn’t have a lot going on i would come here all the time and sit and write A LOT. I never wrote outside of my bedroom before i moved here and i also never felt as lonely so Lady Bird Lake was a place for me to go and clear my head, it was literally and figuratively there for me. *cue Red Hot Chili Peppers “Under the Bridge”*

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We ended the night and her visit at The White Horse on the east side in my neck of the woods where my friend Claudia taught her how to two-step, it was adorbs, i still cant do it!

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This visit was especially unique because i  feel like for the first time i showed her my Austin, the first 2 visits we did the Soco things and 6th street, we  saw a movie at Alamo, ate from food trucks, now i like doing those things but i don’t find myself doing those things all the time. I wanted to show her my real life here.

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Although i was frustrated because that’s what she does to me i appreciate her coming here so much. I know that parents encouraging and loving their kids unconditionally seems so normal but its not, i am beyond words fortunate to have a mom that loves me and doesn’t push me to do or be any other way than myself, she is always supportive and so excited for any crazy thing I’m doing or any new place I’m going. We’ve def had our ups and downs, but i know that she really loves me because she is there for me, even though she isn’t here.

Road Rules

Remember that show on MTV years ago?! So good! Well dudes and dudettes its been a couple weeks now that Ive been back in Austin since my road trip, before  i left i did  a little research about roadtripping  but not so much because i  knew that i would learn more than i could ever be prepared for and i prefer it that way anyway. Here’s a few things I’ll remember for my next journey on the open road.

1. Take Advantage of Places

Realize that you may never come to this place again so take as many pictures and do whatever you have the urge to do, i lost count for how many times  i pulled over or drove back to something i thought was cool because i will  probably never see it again. Take your headphones out of your ears when walking around a new place and truly be there, hear and feel the place you’re at. Albuquerque was the biggest city i went to and although it is far from a bustling metropolis i was happy to be around so much civilization. I got my car looked at, went to the post office, and gave my car a much needed break by walking a lot and using public transportation.

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2. Don’t Hesitate to Get Gas

Most of my trip was driving on beautiful back roads which i love BUT they can be very very long. At one point i had only half a tank of gas and could only see mountains and desert even in the far distance, i started to freak out a little but after 30 mins i found a major highway and got off on an exit to get gas. I cant imagine breaking down in the middle of nowhere especially for something so minor and being alone and it getting dark outside, i always did like the damsel in distress  scenario but who would hear me sigh?

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This view is woe

3. Small Towns

I went through so many amazingly quaint small towns/villages that were so full of character. Mora, NM and especially Madrid, NM which isn’t far from Santa Fe is so cute and adorable i had to get out and take a few pictures, it was one of the few times on my trip that i wish i had a partner in crime to share the experience with. Tinkertown was another stop  i loved! Perfect places to stretch your legs and roam!

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4. Always Take the Scenic Route

I chuckled every time i saw a sign for a scenic route because for this east coast girl every route out west is a scenic route, i would gasp on my way to the grocery store if i lived out here. Alas there are some designated routes and look out spots specifically for you and your main squeeze to pull over and make googly eyes at each other.

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5. Don’t Sleep Anywhere You’re Not Comfortable At

I slept in a lot of different places on my trip and most of them were fine, my favorite was of course the Hacienda Nicholas Bed and Breakfast in Santa Fe but i loved the White Sands Motel in Alamangordo as well. The night i slept in my car near Four Corners National Monument wasn’t the best but it was far more comfortable than the place i almost stayed in Albuquerque, it was called the Downtown Inn and i could tell by the looks of things it wasn’t the fanciest but neither am i and i had driven almost 6  hrs straight and just wanted to pee and take a shower but i couldn’t because there was a dead roach next to the toilet…..and in the main room. I live in the south, i see enormous National Geographic sized roaches far more than what i would like to so i know what a freshly killed roach looks like, these things had definitely been laying there dead for some time and i decided that i didn’t want to stay there and more importantly that i didn’t have to. I got in an argument with the lady at the front desk because she refused to give a refund even though i had only been in the room for 30 mins, long enough to haul my stuff in ( a girl on the road has a lot of stuff) but its not about the money, i told her the place is gross and went to a nice regular hotel that was pest free. Feeling comfortable where you lay your head is far more important than traveling on a discount rate.

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6. Eat Hearty

Okay I’m not going to lie most of the time i did have Popeyes and Chic-fil-a on deck  because its quick and easy (and mouthwatering) but whenever i reached whatever destination i was heading that day i treated myself to a real meal, my favorite by far was this wonderful blueberry waffle and granola at the Hacienda Nicholas Bed and Breakfast in Santa Fe!

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7. Don’t Rely on Technology

I just got a new phone less than 2 weeks before i peeled out and the GPS on it is far better than the one i had before, i cant imagine using that old phone to get to all the places i went but one thing i didn’t imagine either was not being able to use this great awesome new phone. For a long time i had no service at all and had to use an actual map, its  a  big piece of paper with a bunch of squiggly lines on it and some words. If it wasn’t for said map i wouldn’t of made it to Monument Valley or Taos. *Mentally patting myself on the back* I have a brain and i use it sometimes woo hoo!

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8. Learn Something About Yourself

One of the main purposes for taking a long journey is reflection. Spending so much time away from everything and everyone familiar allows you to think about so much more than the grocery list. There is  no way to come back from a road trip and not realize something you either had no idea of or weren’t sure of before, for me i realized that i really love Austin. I actually just got all warm and fuzzy inside writing this because i do! Its obvious i mean i decided to move here away from everything i know. I often doubt my decisions so to know that i love where i live, at least for now, is an awesome feeling and makes me feel even more confident in myself as if i didn’t already driving across states and such. I’m in a Lone Star State of mind.

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She’s so high

Serene. Peaceful. Relaxed. That is exactly how i feel right now, i haven’t truly relaxed in a long time, life on the road is fun but  its so hard on your body. The heel on my right foot, my lower back and also my neck were hurting so badly that i had no choice but to book a spa day at the Santa Fe Nirvana Spa, i mean what else is a girl to do?!IMG_5652

This morning i packed my things and headed out of Albuquerque to the Sandia Peak Tramway. Although i am a little afraid of heights i still wanted to check out the amazing view from the top, its like a cable car that goes up the side of the Cibola National Forest.

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There’s plenty of observation decks at the top and many trails for all those hot bearded wilderness guys that like to hike and stuff.

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i love this, let everything be

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Walking along the side of a mountain ahhh!!

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‘She who sees from up high smiles and surely sings’

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looks like 2 elephants

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After getting high on the tram i made my way to Santa Fe, a much anticipated destination on my trip. As soon as i arrived at the bed and breakfast i unloaded my bags and headed over to the spa across the street.

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The Hacienda Nicholas

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my massage table

my massage table

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rose petal bath

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Why don’t i do this more often?!

The spa was obviously luxuriating and amazing but i absolutely  loved the woman who treated me! She was so genuine and soothing and we had such a good conversation about how important it is to be free and happy, talking with her was definitely a highlight of the trip, she even packaged the rose petals for me to take home!

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After being so zen and one with the universe i headed out to roam around cause i  want to!

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imageA friend told me not long ago that she was in Santa Fe and it reminded her of me and that i should retire there, as i was walking through this beautiful town i couldn’t help but to think how right she was. Santa Fe is so peaceful and lovely, quaint and quiet. It ‘s a timeless haven for people that need to be surrounded by beauty and inspired even if its just by watching the clouds move. I dont want to leave but alas….#heartonthehighway

 

Aliens, Caves, Graffiti and Trees ; all this wanderlust girl needs

 

Saw some awesome stalagmites, hung out with aliens and took an amazingly beautiful drive through the Lincoln National Forest. Feast those eye balls.

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the french man who took this picture kept referring to me as ‘madamoiselle’. I love him.

Stalagmites unite!

Stalagmites party!

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Next stop Roswell, bring on the probing!

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I come in peace!

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my attempt at that alien finger thingy

II was so giddy over how corny Roswell is! I love how they play up that alien shit.

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Cant even land an alien guy, get it….land an alien, cause theyre up in the sky on other planets and stuff..okay nevermind moving on!

 

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My next journey was equally as satisfying! Lincoln National Forest!

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sprawling and beautiful

I noticed a  dilapidated gas station with graffiti….

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and i decided to leave my mark image

Another day on the road, another night in a motel with shitty wifi.

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#heartonthehighway

Lone Star State of Mind Part 2

BBQ. Enough said, im all ears (and mouth) when it comes to hearty, juicy, messy food, the less dainty the better. This past Sunday me and a few ladies ventured out to the beautiful Texas Hill Country to the amazing Salt Lick BBQ. I’ve had Salt Lick before but i had never actually been there and wow it is an experience, its like a compound, a whole community of like minded eaters.

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The Salt Lick has a winery as well so why not treat ourselves to a bottle of wine or 3

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Seeing this as soon as you walk in is more of a tease than any strip club could ever provide

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We were practically acting like cave women cussing and grunting about how good everything was,  or maybe that was just me

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the definition of torture is how it felt to stop eating long enough to take this picture

After we indulged we took a walk around the compound

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is that a living gnome in the garden smuggling wine?

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10 points to spy the living gnome in this picture!

We even took a stroll in the vineyards! Who cares if the gate was closed, we gave ourselves a tour!

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Drinking wine at a vineyard!

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full of glee!

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Reveling

But for real we didn’t just run up and down the aisles screeching obscenities and drinking wine from the bottle, sure we did that but we admired the beauty and scenery, i have never been to a winery before and it was amazing to see how immaculate the grounds were and actual grapes on the leaves, grapes that get turned into wine!

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Salt Lick BBQ being amazing is nothing new, i know i probably sound like that one guy who claimed a whole country and got a holiday out of it but it was really awesome and such a Texas experience y’all! Did i really just say y’all? haha. What also made the day so special was spending it with these ladies, i can definitely roam if i want to but sometimes even i want to share an experience and im so happy these ladies came along to roam with me!

Sashay away

Sashay away

 

Chante , i'll stay

Chante , i’ll stay

Okay, enough with the RuPauls Drag Race references, im allowed one every post!  Carry on, children!

 

Lone Star State of Mind Part 1

In the year or so that I’ve lived in Austin Ive had so much fun and done so many things that i never have before because there is SO much fun to be had here but i keep hearing about all these cool places outside of Austin that are not only fun but also really beautiful. A few weeks ago me and my friend Lauren aka Lo went on a little road trip to the Hill Country to see what really is deep in the heart of Texas.

1st rule of road tripping is to rock down to Electric Ave

1st stop on a road trip is always rocking down to Electric Ave

 

Bluebonnets are the Texas State Flower and just like everything else about this state Texans are very proud of them and on our little trip i saw them for the very first time!

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Driving, gossiping, and exploring can sure make a girl hungry so where else do we decide to dine but the Grand Central Cafe otherwise known as the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre house! Yes ladies and gentleman, you too can wine and dine in the very same house that Leatherface and his family once called home, how cozy is that?!

This place isn't anywhere near as cheesy as i wanted it to be but it does come equipped with a cute waiter and good southern comfort food!

This place isn’t anywhere near as cheesy as i wanted it to be but it does come equipped with a cute waiter and good southern comfort food!

 

The neighborhood behind the Massacre House (i don’t care about the real name of the restuarant is it’ll always be the Massacre House anytime i refer to it) was so serene and beautiful that we had to take a walk on what i’m pretty sure is private property

was there once a tree house up there? so cute!

was there once a tree house up there? so cute!

 

anyone remember that cartoon where the baby duck keeps repeating "water do gown the hooole"?? oh im the only one, okay nevermind moving along....literally

anyone remember that cartoon where the baby duck keeps repeating “water do gown the hooole”?? oh im the only one, okay nevermind moving along….

not quite a much of a dendrophiliac as Denise Fleming but i do love and appreciate the beauty of nature

not quite a much of a dendrophiliac as Denise Fleming but i do love and appreciate the beauty of nature

 

Me and Lauren stumbled upon even more natural beauty at Longhorn Cavern State Park, not to sound so much like the 80’s valley girl that i totally am but it was really cool you guys!

 

the cavern stays around 68 degrees so in other words this is the cool place to be in the summer in TX

the cavern stays around 68 degrees so in other words this literally is the coolest place to be in the summer in TX

 

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On our way back to Austin i could not help but pull over multiple time because there is so much beauty and character when you’re driving not on an interstate but on a road and in this case a  Farm to Market or Ranch Road.

I've only seen these kind of signs in the southern states, i dig them

I’ve only seen these kind of signs in the southern states, i dig them

 

.....and this little gem! Such a cute building? house? brothel? whatever it is used for i appreciate it!

…..and this little gem! Such a cute building? house? brothel? whatever it is i appreciate it!

 

I hope Texans don’t take this the wrong way but i almost forgot i was in Texas, this truly is a big beautiful state  full of so many things that surprise me all the time, BUT don’t let the southern hospitality fool you, they are always quick to remind you…..

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