graffiti

In Bloom

I’ve been back in Austin for 4 days now sweating my life away, jogging by Lady Bird Lake, and catching up on all my shows and my favorite blog Reality Tea. I don’t think it’s hit me yet that I drove up the west coast mostly by myself and didn’t have any major problems…..besides my expired credit card and that guy following me in Tijuana. I actually pulled it off guys! What I wasn’t sure I would pull off was driving across the border, I was very nervous about this because unbeknownst to my travel buddies I read online that the rental car company that I got Hilary from didn’t allow their cars to be driven to Canada, oops! Already have the car, already planning on driving across the border! I love traveling but I do not like airports or border control type of situations that could potentially stop me from doing what I want to do. Of course the guy was asking annoying questions about where we live, work, and poop. We gave him acceptable answers and were on our way….ssssiiiggghhhh after that I felt like I needed to pull over and do the last of all of  the questions he was asking. Oh Canada. We stayed at a really cute retro hotel called the Burrad downtown. We went to the Gastown district to roam around  get something to eat. Oh I almost forgot  if you are ever in Vancouver please visit Blood Alley, remind me to put a 5 star review on Trip Advisor later tonight, superb location, lovely patrons hanging about. Pure sarcasm ppl.The next day we went to Glanville Island to shop at this huge market. We took an adorable ferry there and lost our minds in the stationary and jewelry stores. The market was so much bigger than I expected, so much food and awesome stores selling everything from handmade brooms to green tea gelato.

Capilano Suspension Bridge was next and it was f’n awesome because that’s what we are. I am definitely afraid of heights and was shaking and very hesitant but of course I did it because duh it’s fucking awesome! I’ve never had the opportunity to do something like this. The scenery was beautiful, right in the middle of tall trees and mountains in the distance.

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Me and Casey, my first state home skillet went out that evening after a lovely dinner of steak and fancy drink specials and mashed potatoes served inside of an eggroll to a dive bar called The Moose that her coworker told her about that was nothing but a good time, yes I am meaning to reference Poison because that’s the kind of music they played along with actual music videos, I haven’t seen one of them in about 5 years.

Stanley Park, you guys, Stanley Park is full of beautiful foliage! I’m a sucker for more than I realize because roses a few years ago were just okay but that was before I’d ever seen them in abundance and in so many different colors. The aroma, my gods, who knew that each color smelled different? Oh everyone but me, okay. Stanley Park is huge and beautiful with a great view of the lovely city that Vancouver is. There’s huge totem poles representing the Native culture, cute puppies, people rollerblading and skateboarding so much life! And an adorable lighthouse I couldn’t stop squealing over.

I’m bothered because I know I am forgetting stuff, I’m highly annoyed at myself that I’ve been back for 4 days and I’m just now writing this but whenever I think about this trip the main 2 things I think about is that I can’t believe I pulled it off. I still don’t think I’ve grasped the fact that I actually did it because I’ve been wanting to for so long and also how convenient everything was. I don’t know how I could’ve had a better time, honestly. I would like to think it was the combination of our good energies but we had a great time in Seattle and Vancouver and I truly with my whole fucking heart am so thankful for Lauren and Casey coming with me. I obviously prefer to do my own thing most of the time but every once in awhile even this loner wants, actually yearns to share an experience with someone else and I know it doesn’t seem like a huge deal but to be able to go from place to place and have people there who truly want to be there and get the most out of the experience just like I do is really almost too much to even fathom for me. Our last night in Seattle me and Lauren dropped Casey off and went to see the Troll (I live for shit like that) and to this cool pizza place where you can get a custom slice! We stayed at a nice hostel that night right by the troll in this adorable hipster esque neighborhood I wouldn’t be opposed to living in. So that’s it. Back to Austin to go to work, HEB, fight off giant flying roaches and start community college next week. I do miss Hilary though and sleeping in a different place every night doesn’t get old to me, I’m about that life you guys. So yeah, Roam if she wants to did just that. For the next few months I’ll be roaming around East Austin and the flower section at the grocery store wondering why the f I’m not on House Hunters International looking for my new apartment in Rome. 930 words later……wtf.

 

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Going deeper in the beaver

Just realized I need to catch up on Kimmy Schmidt among all my other shows, traveling almost makes me forget how much of a no shame having-snack eating-brain cell depleting reality tv-couch potato I truly am, almost. Heading out of SF I had almost forgotten that I’d be going over the Golden Gate Bridge on my way out of the city! It was really cool you guys, cool enough to risk my life by taking a video , yolo amirite? I went to Muir Woods National Monument which is only 12 miles north of SF, I was surprised how close it was. I watched this documentary last year called “Mile…..Mile and a Half” about this group of ppl doing the John Muir trail and ever since I’ve been curious about him, I love his nature quotes so much that I even have some of them hanging up in my room.

 

After the nature binge I headed to Napa which was only an hour away. The ride there was beautiful, I’m not a wine drinker but I really find the process of wine making interesting. There are rolling hills full of vineyards, I didn’t take any pictures there surprisingly though, instead I binge watched Martin at my hotel and uploaded pictures. I definitely feel like I need to return to Napa in 15 ish years with my friends sponsored by one of their ex husbands who they a got a lot of money from in the divorce because Napa is expensive as hell! I did purchase a bottle of Rosè for my friend Lauren who’s meeting me in Portland.  I had no real place of interest after Napa so I literally just looked at the map and chose this town named Chico because it sounds cute. When I got there I realized it’s a college town so it was kind of lively. I ate like a cave woman at this BBQ place and saw a movie at this tiny independent movie theater where the front row was old couches, loved it! Outside of the theater I met this nice older hippy man who told me I should go to Ashland, OR so that’s what I did the next day. The drive to Ashland felt like forever, I know 3.5 hrs is nothing to most ppl but my home state is the size of a paperclip, 3.5 hrs to a Delawarean is like a trip to Nepune….and back! The place I stayed was fucking beautiful! I thought I just booked a regular room but they gave me a suite. Huge comfy bed, 2 nice flat screens for me to watch ‘My 600 lb. Life’ back to back and a little patio for me to shut the blinds and ignore the ppl outside, luxurious. I saw a Charles Dickens play that I didn’t love, I should’ve known but I was aching to see a show and although I didn’t totally love the show the theater was beautiful and I’m always happy to support anything creative. I bought a lot of cd’s for this trip from thrift stores and today I listened to this Chris Rock comedy album, so fucking funny you guys!!! I’ve never listened to a comedy album before, it’s from like 1999 and there’s all these OJ jokes and that song ‘Champagne’ is on it which I loved back then!! Made it to Eugene! I can’t say that without thinking of the T-Birds in Grease saying “Hey Euuuugene!!”. Ahem so yeah, the Simpsons are from Springfield, OR.

There’s a college in Eugene so it’s a little bit bigger than Springfield but they’re both small towns. I lost count over how many Final Destination situations I was in on my way here with huge trucks full of tree logs ready to smash into my front window. Everyone in the state of Oregon drives the speed limit too which is shocking and it’s only 65mph on I-5 which is a major highway, in some spots it was only 50, definitely not in TX anymore where it’s 80. Also in the Beaver State they pump your gas for you just like in NJ. I found this divey gay bar that I’m going to watch the Drag Race finale tonight, smooches! PDX tomorrow!

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I’m actually going to have a real title next time

It’s been a whole week since I posted an update on my trip and I’m so sorry Mom! My wifi situation has been iffy and also I’ve been lazy. Last Saturday and Sunday I did something that kids these days would describe as “epic”……I went to freaking Drag Con you guys!!! I’ve never been to a “con” before so I didn’t really know what to expect, all I knew was that I could see most of my favorite drag queens in the flesh under one roof! I didn’t plan my trip around this either, I just noticed a couple weeks ago that the same weekend I planned to be in LA Drag Con just so happened to be going on, the universe you guys. So I took the bus from Venice to the Convention Center and walked into heaven. I met a really nice and funny mom and daughter in line who attended last year, we were freaking out before we even got our badges just over the other attendees outfits. It was a melting pot of the most color I’ve ever seen. At every turn there was something to see, a fierce queen walking by, or a 12 year old boy with a face beat for all of the Gods. I just so happened to be standing near Ru’s booth when they announced that she would be signing autographs and taking pictures with fans so I got in line. It cost $60 which I contemplated for about .2 milliseconds, totally worth it! The line was long of course but it was regulated and went sort of fast. I started shaking a little when my turn was getting closer, I’ve seen Ru before 5 years ago when me and my mom sat in the back row of the Wendy Williams show but this time I’d actually be standing next to her. When I walked up to her I was literally stuttering while she sang “Gorgeous, gorgeous, you are gorgeous”. I told her that I just wanted to stare at her creepily. My life you guys. A professional picture with motha RuPaul, I thought I would just be seeing her from afar but this was the most.

 

 

The lines to get a picture with most of the queens were crazy long, the longest was for Kim Chi and Naomi Smalls, they were in the same booth together. I only got an autograph from Chi Chi but took lots of pictures of the queens as they were walking by or taking pics with other fans. They also had a lot of panels, I sat in on one about people who got famous first on social media. I love Todrick Hall and he was a part of it. Everyone was so encouraging and hilarious, everyone on the panel was such a star. Ru did a keynote speech later on which was obviously amazing, I think she’s my spirit animal. Basically furthering my belief that we’re all witches who create our own destiny. There were a lot of random celebrities there too like Big Freedia, Amber Rose, Miss Lawrence from ATL housewives, Brandon and Craig from this past season of Newlyweds on Bravo, so excited to see them all! Another great moment was finally meeting Manila Luzon, she has been one of my favorites for years now, so hilarious and colorful, shes like the Katy Perry of drag. Obviously Drag Con was beyond what I imagined.

 

You know those places that are so hard to leave? That’s how I felt my last day in LA, people hate on Los Angeles so much just like they do with NYC and every other awesome place but I happen to really enjoy it. The weather cannot be matched and there’s so much to do. I wanted to check out the Venice canals before I left and was so excited when I saw some street art from @wrdsmth. I’ve been following him on instagram for years! The neighborhood around the canals is out of a fucking fairy tale. I could not believe it, so adorable and luxurious and quaint. Even as I was driving away I saw so many cool things that I wanted to explore. Sigh, Venice is FULL of character and quirks. Such a beautiful, crazy, dirty, sketchy-ish kind of place, my kind of place.

 

 

Here’s a title for ya

It’s after 12 and I’m still awake, does anybody know the number to Guiness World Records?? I think I’ve finally adjusted to PST. I was up early this morning, of course because I went to bed at 9:30, checked out of my motel and went to a little place called Crossroads. I met these 2 nice gentleman named Don and John who are in a band named The Village Idiots and they perform random festivals around Joshua Tree. John, the one doing most of the talking was really nice and funny, he was a total hippy artist dad type who looked homeless and loathes gentrification. After our lovely morning breakfast counter convo I was antsy to get to Cabazon, CA to see the dinosaurs from Pee Wees Big Adventure! Major bucket list material. I think I have a crush on Pee Wee honestly, he’s kind of cute sometimes and his independence and persistence gives me the vapors. I live for these nonsense road side attractions.

 

After I got my fill of classic Americana at it’s finest I headed to LA. It was only 2 hours away but felt like a journey because it started raining to the point where you contemplate pulling over and I couldn’t figure out how to turn on the lights in this nice car. All this bluetooth and high tech shit but where are the damn lights?? After pulling over and wanting to rip the manual to hell I was on the road again….with huge trucks surrounding me. “There ain’t nothing in my way except the traffic of LA” that’s a line from a Hilary Duff song, her Pandora station is so good! Oh and I named the car Hilary. After missing a few exits and left turns I made it to my airbnb in Venice Beach. I’ve only used airbnb a handful of times but this is the best one ever, the hosts were constantly in contact with me, their neighborhood and house is luxurious with so many amenities for guests and its right by the beach. I was starving so I walked to this cute little place called Lemonade, if I was like most people these days I would freak out over the name but I’m not so yeah, it was like a fancy little cafeteria where they charge you by the portion. I got brussel sprouts (my favorite vegetable), jerk chicken, broccoli, and some salmon avocado thing-it was great, I’m sure I looked like a cavewoman eating because I was starving and ate all my food in less than 10 minutes, I’m a growing girl okay. Beach cruisin’ time! I rode an actual beach cruiser to the beach. Of course I got lost and felt like Snooki in 2009, where’s the beach?? Oh just to my left, I knew that. I wholeheartedly love Venice Beach, one of my most favoriteist places I’ve ever been. I love the graffiti, the shady characters, the skatboarders, it’s just so fucking awesome to me. I went to Santa Monica and got a pedicure and a manicure, in true Natasha fashion I clumsily scraped the paint on both big toes but it’s okay, I’m not a fancy girl. I couldn’t stop buying things after that, 2 new pairs of vans, mugs for me and my room mate, cute things for my friends kids, froýo, etc. And here I am in one of my favorite places, I’ve been daydreaming about this for so long that I feel like I’m looking at a picture everywhere I look but this life is happening!  Good times.

I’ve always known that my ritual of drinking tea every morning and putting on lavender before I left was beneficial to my spirit but now I know it for a fact because I didn’t do it yesterday. I took a Lyft to the airport which was great and both my flights were on time which was also a relief, there was also a Popeyes near my gate so it was just a lovely morning all around honestly. When I landed in San Diego I got my bag and got in a cab to the greyhound bus station and since I’m on vacation I decided it was tīme I acted like it and tried to pay for it with my credit card….but it was declined. As I was calling Capital One I was looking at my card and realized that it expired in March. I literally never use my credit card except when I’m on vacation which sadly isn’t too often. I immediately started freaking out because you need a valid credit card to rent a car, I had already made a reservation to rent a car the next day after I got back from Tijuana. My phone was at 40% as I waited on hold for 20 minutes with the rental car company  but I hung up because I had to get on the bus to Tijuana and needed my phone to contact my airbnb hosts. Of course at this point I’m internally crumbling wanting to cry to my mommy or lay in the middle of the highway. The whole point of a road trip is to drive! The bus to Tijuana was annoying and weird, we kept stopping in these little shopping centers to let people on and off and they didn’t even glance at my passport. I got off at a different stop than I had originally planned because it was closer to where I was staying. Of course my phone didn’t work because I was in another country so I used a cab drivers phone. My host was f’n awesome. He was so lovely and gracious, we took a walk with his dog by the beach which wasn’t too far, he was very informative and helpful. I clearly like to do my own thing so I wanted to roam alone, he made sure I knew how to get back and I went on my way. I’ve been to random places in Mexico before but only when I was working as a flight attendant and once by myself to Cabo San Lucas when I had a week off, but its touristy there. Tijuana isn’t terribly nice, some people love it but I didn’t find it very inviting, I also couldn’t relax and fully be there because I didn’t know how the car situation would turn out.  I walked along the beach for awhile and went into a coffee shop and had one of best cups of chai tea that I’ve ever had and one of the worst turkey sandwiches. I walked back to the airbnb in a hurry because the sun was going down. There were a lot of men trying to stop me, I’m never scared to go anywhere but I was definitely uncomfortable. One man in particular tried to stop me but I kept ignoring him, I thought I was lost for a second but I made it back and as I was fumbling with the key to the gate a minivan pulled up with a man and a woman and a little boy, he told me that the man I just saw was trying to tell me that another man was following me all the way from the beach, he was trying to help me. I was horrified. Thanking all the gods I was safe indoors I went to bed super early, like before 9:30 early because I just wanted to wake up and go back  to SD to see about renting a car. Of course I got up super early as a result and was listening to ‘N Sync’s “Sailing” at 5:30 in the morning to clear my head. There was also no water so I had to wash my face and brush my teeth this morning with a bottle of water I’m happy I only took 2 sips of earlier. I don’t know why but I thought an uber could take me all the way back to the SD airport, like across the border. Greyhound was weird the day before and I just wanted to go, I confirmed with the guy as soon as I got in his car and we took off. I started to notice us going in circles but I didn’t say anything but then the driver pulled over and said he can’t go across the border because he doesn’t have a visa. SIGH. Have you ever just like really wanted to leave somewhere? Not like the usual antsy-ness like getting off work, the severe desperation of wanted so badly to go and not look back? That’s how I felt about Tijuana, Mexico this morning. The driver was nice enough to drop me off at the greyhound station in Tijuana, where I should’ve just gone originally. The line to get back in the US was a doozy but it was quick!

I was elated to be able to use my phone and take a $3 Lyft to the car rental place at the airport. I was nervous walking in but the guy at the counter couldn’t care less that I don’t have a valid credit card. All I had to was show him my return flight reservation and I was good. Well that was easy. I was out! So happy to be behind the wheel of car and nice one at that. I drove to my hostel and called my mom, relaxed a little then took a walk to a farmers market by the beach. While I was there this guy who was also staying at my hostel recognized me and we walked along the beach. His name is Reed and he’s been traveling by bicycle all the way from Washington. He wants to continue all the way to South America. I hope he does, he seemed to be in a discouraged state of mind, I had to remind him that he’s come so far so he’s obviously awesome and he can do anything. We were talking about the word travel and what it really means, he said to him its doing anything you don’t normally do, even in your hometown and he’s so right! We split up and I called a few peeps to let them know I was alive, got some tea from the farmers market as well as a blanket for this annoying person in SF and here I am laying on the bottom bunk of this hostel, geez almost 1,200 words. I’m sorry, get back to your lives just know that the corny quote “It’s not the destination, its the journey”…..its true….and I’ve only just begun.

 

 

MIND THE GAP

So, its been awhile and I am beyond embarrassed, its not that I haven’t had any inspiration to write, its me, as usual, getting in my own way like i always do. I’m  constantly making excuses why not to post, like I’ll be up all night, or that i wont be able to type because i spilled water on my keyboard, but its really because i am so nervous and self conscious that i become a coward and do nothing instead which is the worst thing you could ever do. So please mind the wide gap between my last post and this one, take a long stride to the other side with me. I recently just got back from a trip and even though its cliche there’s certain emotions that only traveling can evoke, feelings that are strictly exclusive to being somewhere unfamiliar, seeing something old but new to you, the unavoidable bizarre experiences, and of course the little things you learn about yourself when you dare to step out into this great big world. Shall we?

2 years ago my friend Patrice came to visit me in Austin for the weekend, when she came in my room she looked around and noticed my passport sitting on my bookshelf and said ” Your passport has dust on it”. I will never forget those words, i never want anyone to ever say that to me again so when my friend Regina invited me to London i knew this was my chance to give my passport a good polishing.

The only other place Ive been to in Europe is Amsterdam and that was only for a couple days so i knew this would be a totally different experience because Id have a lot more time and i actually know someone in London which is  so wild to me still. Something i didn’t expect was that traveling international as a passenger is so annoying, in previous years i had the luxury of being a crew member but it does feel nice to not be on stand by.

I was fascinated by London immediately because i love a big city and London is not just a big city, its a metropolis, a major hub for all types of people, people who drive on the other side of the car and street!

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Took me a few days to get used to looking left when crossing the street.

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Touristy time! Don’t you love it?! sigh, it wasn’t really a question.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

i get calls from all over the world

i get calls from all over the world

West End girl

West End girl

London Eye

London Eye

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bobbies!

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the clock tower of all clock towers, besides the one from Back to the Future of course

tubular

tubular

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Portobello Road

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Tower Bridge which i always thought was London Bridge, either way they’re both standing upright

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i may or may not have walked across this street mimicking a popular photo some musicians took a few decades ago later realizing that i in fact walked in the opposite direction that the musicians walked in in their photo which would be totally embarrassing if i did it, so yeah London's cool!

i may or may not have walked across this street mimicking a popular photo some musicians took a few decades ago later realizing that i in fact walked in the opposite direction that the musicians walked in in their photo which would be totally embarrassing if i actually did it, so yeah…….. London’s cool!

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Sight seeing is nice but the real reason i was there was to celebrate my friend and her new bride. I couldn’t believe that i was in London in the first place, but going to a wedding reception on a boat on the River Thames? Wild.

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CHEERS!

Friendship is something special.

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DSC_0528                                                                                                                                                After spending almost a week in London having a great time and meeting so many awesome people i ventured off to Paris by myself. Although traveling alone is nothing new i felt surprisingly apprehensive, i was having such a good time in London i didn’t want to leave. As soon as the train stopped and i went outside it really hit me that i was in a foreign country, everything looks and feels different. I took a cab to my hotel which was in Montmare, unloaded and ventured out to roam. DSC_0769

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Paris isn’t too big, especially compared to London so i mostly walked everywhere i went, besides i was way too nervous to try to take the subway. I bought a map which was kind of helpful but the streets are so windy that it was really hard to follow, it also didn’t help that almost every time i took out my map it had to be obnoxiously upside down so I’d have to flip it around. I’ve never felt so American than i did when i was in France.

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I know its really cliche but I’ve been waiting to see the Eiffel Tower forever you guys and its been waiting to see me too. This structure is one of the few things that in my opinion has lived up to my expectations which are naturally pretty high when visiting a site that’s known to be iconic. This intricate piece of architecture definitely pleased this fastidious female.

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My second day in Paris was spent doing one of my absolute favorite things, roaming around looking at shit and taking pictures of it, preferably street art!

SPACE INVADER!!!!

SPACE INVADER!!!!

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Gregos Art! I didn’t even know he was based in Paris and then i come across this! A pleasant surprise.

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Something i didn’t expect to see was the Love Lock Bridge! I just read a few months earlier that they were taking the locks off because they were weighing the bridge down too much and although  a decent amount have been taken off its still very saturated with lovers locks, awwwwww.

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I felt extremely lonely in Paris, maybe its because i was having such a good time in London, maybe its because is such a romantic place and  i was alone, or maybe i just wasn’t feeling it. I got a really cold vibe  when i was there and I’m not talking about the weather. Paris  reminded me of a stunningly beautiful person that doesn’t have to be nice, it wouldn’t matter if they were or not or how smart they are or how talented because their looks are so striking its the only thing anyone is ever going to talk about. I absolutely loved the scenery, its right out of a fairy tale but as physically appeasing as it was i couldn’t wait to get back to London. Desperately trying to get out of France was never something i thought would be a problem in my life but it turned out to be when the Eurostar canceled all trains to London the day i was leaving  because of a strike. The train station was crazy to say the least, they told us to get a hotel and come back tomorrow and the only information they  gave us a piece of paper with a french phone number on it to call which was useless to me since my phone didn’t work in Paris at all. I was flabbergasted and beyond frustrated. I had no idea what to do, i didn’t want to spend money on a hotel another night and they said the train station was closing at 11:00, i didn’t think train stations closed at all. I bonded with this nice African couple and we ended up getting rooms in the same hotel across the street from the station, 2 of the last rooms in the city, no other hotels had any vacancies because of this nonsense. After we settled in our rooms we went back over to the station to try to get some answers, i didn’t want to go to sleep that night not having an assigned seat back to London the next day. I tried to be a nice normal person which i learned gets you nowhere, i now know that to get what you deserve and whats fair you pretty much have to be a gangster, at Gare Du Nord station in Paris at least, I’m sure it applies to everyday life as well (note to self). When the man i was with who was a lawyer by the way started talking to the manager about their terms and conditions all of a sudden they had tickets right then and there for the next day. Wow Eurostar, very shocking, now what about all the families with children and the elderly people who are SOL because of your incompetence. They were selling brand new tickets at the counter but wouldn’t exchange ours until the next day for some odd reason, so we were stranded in a foreign country, unable to use our phones and were told there wasn’t a public one in the building. Thank all the gods for the people i met, they really took care of me. I’ll never forget them and how much they helped me, a stranger, out. The travel industry can be very unpredictable and unforgiving  and traveling abroad can be a doozy, alone or not. Next time i need to make sure i have more flexibility in my schedule and a lot more euros just in case i ever get stuck in purgatory, i mean Paris again. I overheard someone say they couldn’t exchange their ticket until 3 days later!

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Au Revoir Paris! Cheers London!

Back in London i couldn’t wait to  drink some tea, take a walk, and enjoy my last couple of days in this awesome city. Where i was fortunate enough to stay was near Hackney Wick, but i also roamed around Shoreditch, Camden Town, and Nottinghill.

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So here’s where I’m supposed to sum my experience up and talk about what I’ve learned about myself right? Well i don’t know if its for a lifetime or a season but i have learned that even though i am naturally a loner i really want to start sharing more experiences with other people. I had fun in London riding the London Eye and seeing Westminster Abbey but my favorite memories were hanging out with the awesome people i was so fortunate to meet, i truly enjoyed just being with everyone. I wanted to do so much more initially but after being there a few days i realized that i don’t need to run around and drive myself crazy trying to do and see so much, i can have a great time drinking tea, eating biscuits and having a laugh with someone.

Cheers London!

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N.Y. Till I Die

Heart to heart I Love NY. Its one of those things you know, you just know. If someone asks me why, i stutter, I’m speechless, i draw a blank and have a million thoughts at the same time. Its special, like that guy  who has no money and  smells and but when people ask  why you’re with him you’re like “because i love him, duhh”. So yeah, New York is cool. Last week i spent time there for the first time in a year and a half (waaayy too long), I was on a semi-work trip, it was  fun, they took us out, wined us, dined us and such but when i think about my favorite memories as i often do i think about just walking down the street, admiring the graffiti that i fucking love so much and the convenience of a city where you can truly get your hands on anything you want whenever you want, Ethiopian food at 2 am? why not? There’s grime and natural beauty, a perfect balance that i haven’t found anywhere else and strongly feel that i wont, even if i tried. I had almost forgotten how beautiful Central Park is, how confusing the subway is (to me), and how much i love Italian food (TX is so deprived). Although the  leaves weren’t quite like fall  i could see a small change in color, another thing you take for granted when you move away from a place with seasons. One thing i couldn’t forget and immediately missed so much when i moved away was the attitude, the east coast attitude. You can take the girl away from the east coast but you cant take the east coast away from the girl. There’s something about not feeling like you have to be overly nice to someone that makes me feel so relieved, it doesn’t mean I’m angry or upset I’m just minding my own fucking business okay? I had an awesome exchange with this girl at a coffee shop one morning, i came in, she asked what i wanted, got my hot tea and muffin and then moved on to the next customer. She didn’t have to pull out the bells and whistles and do any magic tricks for me because that’s not a part of her job, fuck she didn’t even ask me how i was doing and why should she? I’m not her friend so why should she care? It warms my heart. Sigh. Its the little things. The big things were reconnecting with friends/old coworkers who have just moved to Brooklyn, meeting an awesome person in the park who inspired me and encouraged me about love and life, hanging out and bonding with my current coworkers and of course doing what i do, roaming.

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One of my favorite places

Sitting on a rock getting to know you, getting to know allll about you

Sitting on a rock getting to know you, getting to know allll about you

 

The best

The best

Andre the Great

Andre the Great

my MORE guys

my MORE guys

My favorite part of the trip, roaming around Brooklyn screaming at the top of our lungs with these fools

My favorite part of the trip, roaming around Brooklyn screaming at the top of my lungs with these fools

NY, I love you

NY, I love you

Anytime i try to think of my favorite place my mind can never be made up, but my heart knows.

 

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.

Chicago Street Art

Okay guys enough with the tomfoolery, i need to start posting again and one of my favorite things in the universe is street art.  I’m obsessed with graffiti, i cant ride or walk past it without taking a picture. My  idea of ‘the life’ is continuously getting lost in new cities admiring the street and imagining who did it and when, fortunately i was able to do that in the Chi a few weeks ago!

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I was so happy and shocked to see this after first noticing it 2 years ago

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underneath the train was one of my favorite places to roam

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I started taking a photography class about 6 weeks ago so this trip gave me a lot of time to play with my camera

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My favorite brand of postcards is called Lantern Press! does anyone else get as excited as i do about paper?! didn’t think so

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even the subtle things…

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Love this, something to think about.

Love this, something to think about.

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This is in Austin as well, and all over Chicago

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one of my favorites

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Not all of the street art in Chicago was painted on walls some was literally sitting or walking in the park

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Does anyone else immediately see a face?

So yeah my time in Chicago was amazing, i got to visit a friend, connect with an old one, and give myself blisters from roaming around  all day. It really is such a beautiful city with a bad reputation, i  was pleasantly surprised at how lovely it was, not saying i was expecting Compton but people make it sound so bad and I’m sure there are bad parts but you can say that about everywhere and everyone. I will def be back to eat breakfast at Macs Restaurant and play volleyball at North Ave Beach and of course to roam.

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Tuxedo Mouse!

Heart on the Highway

Its been a few days, i drove a few hundred miles, and Ive somewhat been able to clean the dirt off my feet. The last few nights of my trip i didn’t post because well i had to sleep in my car one night and the other 2 nights i was too exhausted to even ask for the wifi password. The night that i had to sleep in my car i was completely terrified. I thought that if i was going to have to sleep in my car I’d pull into a gas station parking lot or something and curl up in a ball and wait for daylight but on these desert mountain roads you’re lucky to see any sign of civilization. When i realized there wasn’t anything  around me i simply pulled over and listened to my heart beat out of my chest (i also peed in my tupperware because i was too afraid to get out of the car). All i wanted was daylight but it was so far from it, the way it looked and felt you would’ve thought  it was 3:00 am but it was only 10:30pm! I was in and out of sleep throughout the night  because my mind wouldn’t relax also the zoom of Mack trucks slightly pushing my car was king of disturbing. A knock on my window at 7:27 am by a police officer woke me up, he had seen my car the night before and was wondering if i was okay, he was nice and looked more like a park ranger because he had a beige uniform on and one of those big safari hats. Even though my slumber was interrupted seeing daylight totally raised my morale and i was off to Four Corners National Monument!

Farting in 4 states at once!! #bucketlist jk jk

Farting in 4 states at once!! #bucketlist jk jk

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The night that i had to sleep in my car was the first time i ever tried to use Siri, i asked her to find me a hotel and she replied “Sorry i cannot help you” because my phone had absolutely no service  so the next day when trying to make it from Four Corners to my next destination i had to rely on a good ol’ fashion map! Yes ladies and gentleman, the map i brought along with me just to give me a visual was my saving grace and made me even more proud of myself! Once again proving that technology can literally only take us so far.

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

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Of course the day after sleeping in my car 6 French photographers decide to ask  if i could model for them right here in this spot, it was like paparazzi! I told them i wanted to take them with me everywhere i go…… they couldn’t understand me!

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I did a tour that takes you down through the trails and to some amazingly beautiful natural arches!

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petroglyphs

petroglyphs

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I have this tapestry on my wall of Monument Valley so to see it in person is beyond breathtaking, there are no words….but a girl can try.

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My last stop was in my now home state of Texas, although it was still very far from where i live (because this state is freaking HUGE) i still had to make the trip. 2 years ago when i was working as a flight attendant i would watch random shows because i was always in different places and the channels were different and i came across a show called Fast and Loud about an auto body shop in Dallas that restores old cars. Hot rods are cool and all but the owner of the shop is pretty hot so i watched a whole marathon. In one episode the hot owner went to a place in Amarillo, TX called Cadillac Ranch where there’s 11 different Cadillacs sticking out of the ground covered in graffiti, i thought that was so cool and never forgot about it and told myself that if i ever went on a road trip id have to visit! And so…..

I did!

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well looky here #roamifshewantsto splats again

well looky here #roamifshewantsto splats again

It feels incredibly satisfying to know that i did this, even though i knew i could it just reassures me that i can do anything. Initially i didn’t want to take this journey alone, i asked someone to go because “who goes on a road trip by themselves?” i wondered, but when i realized i was going to it was in the afternoon a few weeks before the trip, i had my face mask on and was about to rinse it off and as i leaned over the sink i thought to myself “am i really going to cry about this?”. I was upset and nervous and terrified but it was what my heart was telling me to do. If someone asked me what it was that i thought about everyday it was getting in my car and driving to the desert, so why not do what i want? I reminded myself that i named this blog “Roam if she wants to” not them or her or him, its me, I’m the only one who is responsible for doing what i want  to do and making myself happy. If i had taken this trip with anyone else its almost a guarantee that i wouldn’t of been able to see all the places i wanted to and have such a unique experience. As much as i wanted to share this experience doing my own this is something i do well. So cheers to solidarity and being alone with yourself and being independent, there’s no telling what you might find and see. I, personally  cant believe i only saw 4 dead armadillos on the side of the road. #heartonthehighway