travel

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!

DSC_0444 (2)

DSC_0212 (2)

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

DSC_0457 (2)

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

DSC_0401 (2)

bobbies!

DSC_0378 (2)

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

tubular

tubular

DSC_0547

Portobello Road

DSC_0651 (2)

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

DSC_0557

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!

DSC_0619

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.

DSC_0655 (2)

DSC_0662

DSC_0674

DSC_0738

CHEERS!

Friendship is something special.

DSC_0685 DSC_0725

DSC_0726

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

DSC_0787

DSC_0820

DSC_0812 DSC_1067 DSC_0964

 

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.

DSC_0863

DSC_0880

DSC_0905

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.

DSC_0937

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!!!!

DSC_0034

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

DSC_1010 DSC_0029 DSC_0037 DSC_1074 DSC_0280

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.

DSC_0108 DSC_0122 DSC_0131 DSC_0143 DSC_0146 DSC_0130

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!

DSC_0235

DSC_0372

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.

DSC_0307 (2) DSC_0308 (2) DSC_0314 (2) DSC_0498 (2) DSC_0505 (2) DSC_0541 (2) DSC_0564 (2) DSC_0417 DSC_0316 (2) DSC_0426 DSC_0442 DSC_0449 DSC_0476 DSC_0478 DSC_0493 DSC_0496 DSC_0564 DSC_0649

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!

DSC_0329 (2) DSC_0330 (2) DSC_0578 (2) DSC_0584 (2) DSC_0591 (2) DSC_0604 (2) DSC_0606 (2) DSC_0608 (2) DSC_0628 (2) DSC_0643 (2) DSC_0637 (2) DSC_0640 (2) DSC_0647 (2)

DSC_0250

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.

image

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.

 

My Rocky Road to Inspiration

I’ve never been much of a nature girl wooo! (Rick Flair reference anyone? Nature Boy?……*crickets*moving on) but i love natural beauty. I had never even heard of Rocky Mountain National Park until a coworker suggested i go. I love suggestions when i travel, some of the best places I’ve been to have been recommendations.IMG_7311

The ride was almost as beautiful as the destination.

IMG_7307

It was National Park Service 98th birthday so we got in free!

DSC_0118

image

Greetings

image

this rock is forming into a mighty fine stone

image

DSC_0122

IMG_7323

IMG_7321

image

image

IMG_7326

image

While Eileen went to go meditate i took a measly wimpy 2 mile hike to Alberta Falls, i don’t remember walking downhill so much on my way there because the way back felt like i was climbing a mountain. I did happen to run into some adorable animals and everyone i passed greeted me with a smile that tickled my heart.

IMG_7354

image

IMG_7360

IMG_7358

IMG_7357

image

IMG_7363

image

The hike to Bear Lake was equally as beautiful! I even found some art deep in the woods!

image

image

image

image

image

image

Bear Lake

image

image

The clear water has bacteria in it because of animal feces so humans can’t drink it.

image

image

image

image

I sat on a rock at this lake (ridiculous i know) for a long time and i was really thankful i brought my journal with me. I’m often frustrated because there is always something I’m longing for. I know i am fortunate but my heart has infinite desire when it comes to traveling and always will. Before this trip for some reason i felt like i couldn’t write, i had so much in my head and in my heart that i felt like i was going to burst but for some reason i just wouldn’t write. It was the first time i had experienced some sort of creative blockage. I love going on trips but  I thought it was kind of corny that i would go on a trip and voila i can write again but it happened.  I was in awe sitting there, the sun shining , dragonflies buzzing, mountains looming, i don’t think Ive ever written surrounded by so much natural beauty before. I felt a surge of purpose, the sun was so bright i should of should of worn shades but to hell with being comfortable, i needed to see everything before me, my future. On our way back to Boulder we stopped in the adorable town of  Estes Park to eat some comfort food and play a mean game of Pac Man. Two weeks before this trip i had no idea where i was going, all i knew was that my high school reunion was cancelled and i knew didn’t want to go home. Eileen had serendipitously taken the same days off work and we decided to visit to ‘Colorful Colorado’. An amazing place to share an experience, bask in natural beauty, and sigh your heart out…..all while using a fake name that you keep forgetting when introducing yourself, sigh! Good Times Colorado, good times.

Bababa Boulder

 Bold (adjective)- a person, action, or idea showing an ability to take risks; confident and courageous.

Bold is such a strong word. When i hear it i think big, standing your ground, being absolutely sure with  no apologies and  full of nerve, i could stand to be more of those things.   Me and Amy, ahem Eileen and Janell (our alias’/middle names) spent our last 3 days in the Mountain Time Zone in Boulder, CO. Much anticipated, Boulder is beautiful with pine trees, mountains, and cute homeless guys, Eileen found 2 husbands!

DSC_1090

The Pearl St Mall and all its adorableness for your family friendly shenanigans

Theres the Pearl St Mall and all its adorableness to fulfill all your family friendly needs

DSC_1084

Eileen, the apple of my eye

Eileen, the apple of my eye

The Flat Iron Mountains are very beautiful, of course we’re taking the scenic route.

DSC_0094

image

imageimage

image

image

Whats a girl to do when shes in the moutains….have a photo shoot duh!

image

After i pick my wedgie

DSC_1124DSC_0030DSC_0035

DSC_0039

DSC_0053

DSC_0054

DSC_1134

Yes i am the warrior, victory is mine!

DSC_1138

DSC_0026

shits n’ giggles

DSC_0010 DSC_1118

DSC_1130

DSC_1131

and meet spirit animals!

image

One of the friendliest dogs Ive ever met!

image

Me and Eileen met so many inspiring  animals on this trip, this sweet puppy and beautiful cat, bees, chipmunks, bunny  rabbits, dragonflies, beavers, spiders, i even had a sleepover with a moth 2 nights in a row. Eileen had a book that described what each animal met to us.

image

she wears her heart on her foot

DSC_0981

Colorado, known for being one of the most beautiful states is also known for legalizing marijuana, these dispensaries are throughout downtown Denver and Boulder. Now  I’m known to be square but I’m a “When in Rome”  kinda girl so i had to partake, the stores are really nice, they have something like a front room/lobby kind of deal where you go in and then to be let in to where all the good stuff is you have to show ID. I’m not a smoker of anything, lets just say i’d rather chew than inhale.

I may or may not have went streaking that night as a result of something i got from the dispensary.....the hills are alive!

I may or may not have went streaking that night as a result of something i got from the dispensary, now that’s bold…..the hills are alive!

Dadada Denver

What  does make the Mile High City so unique,  well i learned that there’s no air conditioning in some places because it never really gets too hot, there’s a lot more of a selection of guys #Menver and  there’s these really awesome pianos on the 16th street mall open to the public to  sit and and let your inner Mozart out!

DSC_0971IMG_7161

Whenever i take a walk, especially in a new city i consciously don’t put headphones in my ears and i don’t like to talk on the phone because i want to hear and feel where I’m am so that’s why i got such a kick out of all the random pianos out on the street, these everyday people keep  Denver sounding so lovely and its much appreciated.

IMG_7162

DSC_0968

IMG_7178

Dun Dun DUN DUNNNN……

IMG_7163

Street Art is just something that Ive accepted as a gift from the universe, it doesn’t matter where i am i will find it or it will find me but yarn bombs are kind of new to me. Like graffiti you wonder how? when? also how long it took? You don’t  actually  sit and knit it right there do you? ….right? Either way its adorbs!

DSC_0954

IMG_7166

IMG_7195 IMG_7196 DSC_0963 DSC_0965 DSC_1002 DSC_1010 DSC_1021 DSC_1019 DSC_1025 DSC_1033 DSC_1012 IMG_7224 IMG_7225

I also ate at a pizza place that had some awesome graffiti as well. The Pie Hole is one of those places  you go after the bar closes to get a slice or 2 and just hang out, its on South Broadway which is kind of like the east side of Austin.

image

IMG_7220

IMG_7223

DSC_0948

image

image

IMG_7172

I don’t care for sports at all but there’s something about a stadium that fascinates me. I was roaming by Coors Field taking pictures and saw that they had a home game that following evening! #takemeouttotheballgame

image

 

DSC_1042

wearing a baseball shirt! it was fate!

image

Look how happy she is!

image

my husband

image

so this is actually a thing?

image

image

Later that night me and Amy got back to our hostel and hung out with a guy that was staying there named Chris, we hung out in the room for a little bit when we saw that the police were in the hallway, apparently this guy that was also staying there called them because his roommate was cleaning a gun and acting questionable. It blew over so Amy went to bed and me and Chris went out, we were on the hunt for a bar but ended up just walking around all night talking about traveling and drinking  slurpees. We found our way back and as i was laying down i couldn’t stop thinking about how the past 2 days were so much fun,  i also couldn’t stop coughing. I was drowning myself in water and nothing was working, i thought i was having an allergic reaction to the fabric on the sheets but whatever it was i just wanted it to let up so i could sleep, i could also hear someone else in the hallway coughing. The next morning me and Amy got up early to check out so we could head to Boulder when we saw Chris in the lobby and he told us that the crazy gun cleaning guy shot pepper spray in his roommates eyes in the middle of the night and everyone had to evacuate because the police came again! (Everyone except me and Amy  who never heard the banging that allegedly took place on our door.) So yeah that happened, the whole night I’m thinking I’m allergic to some dust or something and its pepper spray from 4 doors down, if it affected me that much i can’t imagine someone spraying it right in my face. Must be a doozy, off to get affected by something else in the Centennial State. Deuces Denver, hey Boulder!

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.

IMG_5793

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?

IMG_5336

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!

image

DSC_0439

image

DSC_0443

DSC_0451

DSC_0450

image

image

DSC_0462

IMG_5812

IMG_5820

IMG_5831

IMG_5836

image

 

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.

DSC_0436

DSC_0419

DSC_0428

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.

DSC_0396

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!

image

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!

IMG_5821

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.

IMG_6124

 

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.

IMG_5544

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.

image

image

image

i love this, let everything be

image

Walking along the side of a mountain ahhh!!

image

image

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

image

looks like 2 elephants

image

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.

image

The Hacienda Nicholas

image

image

image

my massage table

my massage table

imageimage

image

rose petal bath

image

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!

image

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

image

image

image

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

 

Albuquirky

Believe it or not i put more miles on my feet than my car today, i decided to spend the whole day in Albuquerque, partly because i got a bad first impression of it last night but mostly because me and Myra (my car) needed a rest! I took advantage of the free hot breakfast at the hotel and took a walk around, there really isn’t much to see downtown so i ventured off to the Rio Grande Botanical Gardens. I love botanical gardens, if i ever visit a city that has botanical gardens i have to visit because fresh flowers immediately raise my morale.

DSC_0187

The gardens are beautiful and sprawling, there is a butterfly conservatory,  Japanese gardens, and an apple orchard.

DSC_0190

DSC_0192DSC_0194

DSC_0203

A frog actually sitting on a lily pad!!! when does that ever happen?!! often i guess!

A frog sitting on a lily pad!!! #thatactuallyhappens

Old school farming

IMG_5375

IMG_5379

Japanese Gardens

IMG_5393

IMG_5388

fish being coy

fish being coy

IMG_5389

After the Botanical Gardens i walked over to quaint Old Town Albuquerque and loved it so.

IMG_5443

IMG_5440

This area is exactly how i expected and wanted Albuquerque to look, the beige southwestern old look is so simple and takes you to another time, simpler times, sigh.

IMG_5445

IMG_5454

Kokopelli!!!

Kokopelli!!!

After gathering souvenirs i dined at the Rt. 66 Diner, corny and cliche called and i just had to answer.

Don't get the chicken cordon bleu but the sundaes look amazing!

Don’t get the chicken cordon bleu but the sundaes looked amazing!

I walked a good 2 miles or so up to Nob Hill,  a cool area with lots of funky stores, restaurants aaaaand street art! Albuquerque you really want me to like you don’t you!

woe-is-me too girl i feel you

woe-is-me too girl i feel you

IMG_5483

DSC_0231

DSC_0234

DSC_0246

DSC_0248

True and simple

 

Spray Fresh

Spray Fresh

DSC_0257

Hey looky there!

Hey looky there!

DSC_0266

DSC_0274

DSC_0277

accuracy

DSC_0293

DSC_0297

IMG_5521

IMG_5515

I realized a few things about Albuquerque today, first  there are grasshoppers everywhere, second that a girl simply cannot walk 2 feet without getting creeped on (GROSS!), and also the radio stations are the best!! Honestly ABQ, i know its random but i cliterally could not find a bad song on any station and for that reason Albuquerque i guess you’re not so bad after all. #heartonthehighway

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!

IMG_4183

 

 

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

 

IMG_4214

 

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…..

IMG_4248

 

 

 

Why would anyone care about this?

I often think this whenever i think about my writing, in fact i always do because well…..why would you? Sure i get a kick out of myself  but what about you? Why should i care? Such a good question, so i wont. Honestly ive been very discouraged lately mostly about my writing and my chronic procrastination that i didn’t even realize i was suffering from until recently! Imagine the horror! Here i thought i was a prompt responsible person turns out im a slug who doesn’t mind (at all) laying in bed on my days off NOT doing anything cathartic or productive sooooo (sigh) its time to change a little. My friend Patrice often tells me that i have wanderlust (noun 1. a strong desire to travel the world) and i always knew that but it has become evident lately. I moved to Austin, TX a year and 4 days ago and it is such an awesome place to be and a great 1st place to move  but even with all its awesomeness i still find myself scratching like a crackhead wanting to travel so badly that it makes me legitimately sad that im not. Patrice and i met in training to be flight attendants almost 2 years ago (can’t believe its been that long!) Everyone there was so bright-eyed and bushy tailed thinking we were about to embark  on an amazing fun glamorous ( a word often used to describe the airline industry by outsiders) career but most of us soon became very discouraged. We changed our lives, left our jobs, hometowns, families, pets, and significant others only to feel extremely tired (ready to keel over) hungry (starving) and broke (counting pennies). I was in the galley one day on my tour of Texas (that’s a regional airline for ya)  and like a light bulb i realized that i hated it and i made a list of places i wanted to travel to before i quit and i did! I didn’t waste a day off after that.

Me and Patrice visiting Chicago!

Me and Patrice visiting Chicago!

In the middle of August we both had a few days off together and went to the windy city to explore what Chi-town had to offer!

which included some deep dish pizza from Giordanos

deep dish pizza from Giordanos

As well as some girl time with our fellow flight attendants who were based there

The Bean at Millenium Park!

The Bean at Millennium Park!

Next stop was Austin, i ended up here serendipitously because i was supposed to have 2 days off but because i worked in the airline industry and had no control over my life they took one of my days off away and then replaced it the next week giving me 3 days off in a row so i decided to visit the “Live Music Capital of the World”.

I just love these "Greetings from.." signs!

I just love these “Greetings from..” signs!

At the time i was wishing and hoping for a layover in Austin because i had seen a special about it on the Travel Channel and heard it was “The little bit of blue in a big red state” and so  i knew it was my kind of place, very liberal and free. Now i think almost daily how thankful i am that i traveled here on my own time because i had a totally different experience, sure if i came i would loved it and i would’ve gotten a postcard and a magnet but couchsurfing here and meeting the ppl i met was one of those times that you know the universe is looking down on you and taking extra care of you.

At Flamingo Ranch making pottery the first day i came to visit Austin

At Flamingo Ranch making pottery the first day i came to visit Austin

A week later i honestly had no idea where i wanted to go #flightattendantproblems, got up one morning contemplating San Diego vs San Francisco. San Diego won because the hostels were cheaper so i put myself on the stand by list and headed to the airport.

Some italian guys i met on the beach, a girl gets a lot of attention when shes traveling alone.......

Some Italian guys i met on the beach, a girl gets a lot of attention when shes traveling alone…….

The beautiful CA sunset, as soon as it started going down everyone on the beach stopped to take pictures and started to applaud when it finally set, great end to a beautiful day!

SD sunset

SD sunset

Dallas for the Texas State Fair!

Fried everything, sounds good to me!

Fried everything, sounds good to me!

I even tried out some new wheels in Dallas

Everything's bigger in Texas

Everything’s bigger in Texas, well not everything…..ive been in Austin for a year now and well…..thats another blog post…..

To this East-coaster CA  and the whole west coast is pretty much the mecca of the US so next week i couldn’t help but venture to SF!

San Francisco treat!

San Francisco treat!

This was one of those OMG moments, when i laid eyes on the Golden Gate Bridge i literally said out loud ‘there it is!” like i had found something i had been looking for and i guess maybe i had.

Why must i put my hand on my hip like that!? What would Tyra and Miss Jay say?

Why must i put my hand on my hip like that!? What would Tyra and Miss Jay say?

And because im the corniest person in America (see rice-a-roni picture) i  had to take a picture of the Painted Ladies at Alamo Sq or as its mostly commonly known as the opening credits of Full House.

cant you just see Michelle in that light blue outfit and her family getting everything ready for the picnic on the hill?!!

cant you just see Michelle in that light blue outfit and her family getting everything ready for the picnic on the hill?!!

SF turned out to be not only beautiful but also incredibly inspiring because of a beautiful person i met there and the experience we shared so this place will forever have me and my heart for the rest of this lifetime.

Boy meets girl, girl gets acquainted with universe, inspiration, and mass heartache

Boy meets girl, girl gets acquainted with universe, inspiration, and mass heartache

Next stop the Big Easy!

I ate a lot of good cajun esque food in NOLA including jambalaya and red, beans and rice....is it bad that i like Popeyes better? Where was a pic of me and a box of Zatarans?!

I ate a lot of good cajun esque food in NOLA including jambalaya and red, beans and rice….is it bad that i like Popeyes better? Where was a pic of me and a box of Zatarans?!

It was Halloween which is my favorite holiday and i had gotten this stupid dress that looked like aluminum  foil years ago and decided to buy some accessories to be the tin man!

Met a member of the Lollipop Guild! Munchkin Land here i come!

Met a member of the Lollipop Guild! Munchkin Land here i come!

I worked with a captain who asked me if i used my benefits on my days off “psshhhh do i use my benefits on my days off??!!” i thought and he suggested i go to Amsterdam. I didn’t even know IAH flew there directly so the next time i had 4 days off in a row i was abroad!

232323232%7Ffp543;6)nu=4345)467) 34)WSNRCG=368456 76349nu0mrj

First sight after leaving the massive airport that i lollygagged in for awhile realizing i was traveling in a foreign country alone, anxious and excited….and tired it was 1:00 am central time but 8:00 Ams time, oh well carpe diem and all those other things!

Oh so many bikes! so many that there are parking garages just for them!

Oh so many bikes! so many that there are parking garages just for them!

Like Sandra Dee i don’t usually drink, swear, or dare rat my hair (minus the swearing) but when in Rome…errr Amsterdam

at one of the "coffee shops" can you tell im not a smoker? i think i hide it well!

at one of the “coffee shops” can you tell im not a smoker? i think i hide it well!

in December, my last full month working as a FA i headed south, even more south than TX. Baja California Sur, Cabo baby!

Got kind of sloppy the first night (and 2nd) but whats a girl to do......have a rendezvous!!

Got kind of sloppy the first night (and 2nd) but whats a girl to do……have a rendezvous!!

The natural beauty that i crave to see all the time

The Cabo Arch, am i the only one who thinks of Laguna Beach and when they went here on there spring break? oh i am, okay

The Cabo Arch, am i the only one who thinks of Laguna Beach and when they went here on their spring break? oh i am, okay

Arriba! or however you spell that, why didn’t i purchase this! Its kinda cute right and id rock it all the time, its haute!

seniorita!

senorita!

Cabo marked the end of the “flying for free” stage in my life and even though i wasn’t paying for plane tickets i was paying for it in my soul because i wasn’t happy. It was very odd, when i first started a passenger told me that working in the airline industry there were a lot of “ups and downs”* elbow nudge* corny airline joke and i died laughing because im corny but it couldn’t of been more true. On my days off i was literally flying high seeing things ive never seen and doing things ive never done but then when i was working ugh i was working and it wasn’t for me at all so for peace of mind i quit and after much thought i came to Austin because of the amazing experience i had here and they way it made me feel.

deee!!!!!!! not a real word, just one of  the sounds i make when im excited! you should hear me when im really exhilerated, my sighs are also imitated

Now i know that being happy is thee most important thing and molding and changing yourself and your life so you can be the happiest you can be in order to feed your soul takes so much time it is crucial to your physical, emotional, and mental well being. Now that i feel mostly settled in Austin its time for feed my wanderlusting addiction!