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.
I started thinking a few days ago to post pictures of the flowers i get each week to brighten and cuten (not currently a word in Merriam-Websters…..yet) up my room to this blog. For almost 2 years now when i write out my grocery list i always add flowers to it because i realized that they really raise my morale, so maybe these lovey pictures will raise yours too.
Wow this the lowest word count I’ve ever had. My 4th grade English teacher would be relieved because back then i wouldn’t stop asking for extra paper because i always wanted to write a novel about every subject we went over in class. Remember those cheap-feeling yellow pieces of paper that were impossible to erase anything off of??!! Enough about Baltz Elementary, what kind of flowers are these anyway? Does it even matter? Nope! Because they are JUST.
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.
My mom throwing up a hand, so proud of her
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.
There’s 4 famous BBQ joints in Lockhart to choose from, my coworkers suggested Blacks.
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
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.
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”*
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
I did a tour that takes you down through the trails and to some amazingly beautiful natural arches!
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.
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…..
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
So yesterday i started out on my southwestern road trip, i told myself that i would post everyday but i was so incredibly delirious last night after driving over 7 hrs from Austin, TX to Marfa, TX that i could barely brush my teeth. The ride although long was beautiful. One of the first places i stopped to stretch my legs was in Alpine, TX right next to Big Bend National Park.
I truly believe that every place in the world has character but i got the strangest unsatisfying feeling pretty much as soon as i drove into Marfa. I love small towns almost as much as bustling metropolis’. Texas is full of them, from Johnson City to Fredericksburg, but Marfa …..have you seen “The Hills Have Eyes”? honestly? There are countless boarded up houses and business’, stray dogs and cats, NOWHERE TO EAT and no people! What in the marfa fuck is going on? I read that a lot of places are only open on the weekend which is weird to me. It does have character though, just an eerie, strange, ghost town like energy about it that isnt very inviting.
On the way out of town i drove through another equally creepy small town even smaller than Marfa. Ladies and gentleman, Valentine, TX!
So yeah im missing Austin right now but its okay. I took a beautiful drive through the Guadalupe Mountains and im spending the night in Carlsbad, NM. The 4th motel i went to had a vacancy so i took a shower and here i am. The road is life. #Heartonthehighway
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.
The Salt Lick has a winery as well so why not treat ourselves to a bottle of wine or 3
Seeing this as soon as you walk in is more of a tease than any strip club could ever provide
We were practically acting like cave women cussing and grunting about how good everything was, or maybe that was just me
After we indulged we took a walk around the compound
We even took a stroll in the vineyards! Who cares if the gate was closed, we gave ourselves a tour!
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!
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!
Okay, enough with the RuPauls Drag Race references, im allowed one every post! Carry on, children!
When i bought a ticket to a fashion show for Austin Fashion Week i knew it would be fun but i had no idea how amazing it would actually be, yes ladies and gentleman Austin, TX is a fashionable city. Surprised? You’re not the only one, another surprising factor is the dress code to a fashion event! This easy breezy girl was fashionably surprised. You know in movies when someone shows up to a theme party and they’ve completely missed the mark? Yeah that was me Thursday night, as soon as i arrived i realized that when you go a fashion show you’re supposed to be fashionable. I felt like the i was on the cheer leading squad except i was the mascot but hey at least i was in the game!
The runway looked so fab and the models walking down it even better, the designers for Thursday night were Adrienne Yunger, Kucoon, M.E.Shirley, Ragg Dahl, Ross Bennett, Romey Roe, G.I.A.N., and s.t.e.f.
Not only were there fashions on display in the form of clothing but there was a marketplace with all sorts of accessories like handbags, shoes, and jewelry.
By far my favorite was the shoes and accessories made by Teysha, they make custom shoes with awesome prints in Guatemala, I need to place my order ASAP!
During the second half of the show i even got to move up to the second row when someone didnt return to their seat! She shoots, she scores!
So after all the sashaying i witnessed i had no choice but to treat myself to some ice cream afterwards, as i sat there devouring my Irish mint decadence topped with brownie bites, gummy bears, pretzels, choc chips, almonds, and the kitchen sink i couldn’t help but think about how i become more and more impressed by Austin everyday. There literally is so much happening that sometimes it can seem overwhelming but i guess an over abundance of fun isn’t a bad problem to have. Chante I’ll stay. (RuPauls Drag Race reference, you don’t know how hard it was to not caption every picture with “Werk Hunty!”) Okay carry on children!
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.
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!
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?!
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
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!
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 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…..
My feet are throbbing, theres a knot in the back of my neck between my shoulder blades thats incredibly tense, the crevices under my eyes are dark and deep , my laundry hamper is projectile vomiting every garment i own, food in my apt is scarce and traffic is so heavily congested I’ve had to park a mile away and leave hours early to secure a spot anywhere in this town, this ladies and gents could only mean one thing……SXSW. Sure, it was a week ago but my body is still trying to recover. I don’t mind sacrificing for fun, I’ll die for a good time, in fact i have many times. I’m like a fun martyr. Fun is something i stand for, ill march in Washington, ill go to the the moon, i’ll do almost anything, just let my people rage! South by (that’s what they call it around here, saying the whole phrase South by Southwest is too much for laid back Austinites) so yeah South by is something of a clusterfuck, there’s tons of people coming to the city i live in which i think is pretty cool! *Insert corny thumbs up here* No honestly, I’m not one of those people who wears a shirt saying “Welcome to Austin, please don’t move here”. I hail from the east coast and 85% of the people Ive met are from somewhere else just like me so Ive come to realize that finding a real live Austinite is like finding a precious stone, a four leaf clover, or bad pizza, its just so rare. I cant complain about an over saturated environment because not long ago i was one of those visitors taken by this town so much that i had to stay, it happens. I intern for the Austin Chronicle and was able to snag a music wristband which makes a world of difference when trying to see specific shows so you can kind of plan out your south by schedule. The Chronicle has a booth at the Austin Convention Center for the trade show and it was so much fun walking around snagging free t shirts and checking out new gadgets and business start ups, an adult playground especially for techies!
Check out my little video i made at the New York Times booth!
The next day on my way to the bathroom i came across this and made $20!
Although the trade show is really fun i really enjoy getting lost and just being out there on these mean streets. There’s endless amounts of people watching, free food, beer, t shirts, stickers, cd’s, anything you can get your hands on. I wont have to buy another air of sunglasses for 5 years.
More importantly than the freebies is the music, i mean we are talking about Austin right? I cant go anywhere without the smell of BBQ or hearing local live music and the music during south by brings in the biggest celebrities!
Having a wristband or the even more coveted badge gets you into venues a lot faster than those without, it is a world of difference not having to wait in a mile long line.
MGK opened for 50, Ive known who he is for years but didnt hear his music until this show, he is such a talented performer who is clearly met to be on stage.
The best part of South by for me wasn’t the planned out shows i saw, it was the serendipitous encounters with celebrities and its so weird because i NEVER see famous people ever! My first was Jimmy Kimmel at Home Slice, then Lady Gaga at Rain……
But the best and happiest moment came later on, after a late afternoon of stalking facebook, twitter, instagram, running all over the city (mostly the gayborhood) and bombarding a police offer that he had taken a picture with earlier i met him. HIM!!
ANDY COHEN!!! Ive loved him for so long and was practically on a scavenger hunt collecting clues all over town trying to find him i finally got a hold of one of the only men who have held my heart. Desperation, shame, psychosis, all those things go out the window when it comes to true love! So yes my SXSW experience this year may have been exhausting but it was one of the most fulfilling times of my life, and a fastidious girl like me cant say that too often. So the next time you are ready to poop out of the party just chug some Vitameatavegamin and stay strong (or conscious). Keep calm and rage on!