Palma Me Crazy

After countless YouTube vids and hours spent day dreaming, I finally found my way to Palma de Mallorca. I couldn’t have picked a better city to explore. The island of Mallorca is located in the Mediterranean sea and is the biggest of the neighboring islands of Ibiza and Menorca. Together, they make up the Balearic Island chain. Palma is the capital city of the island of Mallorca. I wanted a somewhat beach vacation that wasn’t slammed with tourists, so I decided to go around May, just before tourist season hit. Sunny skies and fresh prawns awaited me. Oh yes, and wine. There was LOTS of wine.

It was truly like a breath of fresh air. I live in Houston, where you’re a stones throw from refineries that dominate the air you breathe. So it was nice to be in a place where my allergies weren’t constantly on level ten. The streets were clean, the people care free. The constant interchangeable use of Spanish and Catalan peaked my curiosity to its highest level, as both languages were beautifully spoken. Also the Spanish I’m used to here in Texas is completely different from the Spanish spoken in Spain, so that was definitely an adjustment. I mean there was something that catered to every sense humanly possible to have. The bright colors of the homes and shops in the Commercial District, the smells of fresh espresso at the local coffee shop, and the taste of fresh gelato. I couldn’t get enough of this place.

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Getting to Palma was pretty easy considering that flying anywhere right now is relatively reasonably priced. We opted for a flight deal out of Miami on Iberia. Miami is a hub for Iberia Airlines so there were a variety of flights to choose from. To get to Miami from Houston, I just booked a cheap roundtrip with American for less than $100. But every now and then you can catch a deal to Palma from Houston for less than $550 without splitting legs like I did. It came out to around the same price still.  If you’re really feeling creative and want to add a stop, there are lots of reasonably priced options popping up to Barcelona. Palma is literally like a 45 minute plane ride from Barcelona, often times, for less than $100 roundtrip. The key to reasonably priced flights is flexibility.

STAY

There are tons of affordable lodging options around the island. We opted for an Air BnB in Old Town Palma and it was perfect. Four nights ran us about $317 total.  A caveat to Old Town Palma lodging: Be prepared for stairs as most places didn’t have elevators. We found that our apartment was perfect for walking everywhere. You are close to lots of restaurants as well as the various bus lines that take you all over the island. From our apartment, it was a 30 minute walk to the marina and 15 minute walk to the Plaça d’Espanya ( where the bus route for the beach was located). If all inclusive are your thing, you may want to look into lodging in  Cala Major along a decent stretch of beach. Since this is the closest beach to the city center, be prepared for the crowds.

Our balcony view from our Air BnB.

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It wasn’t hard at all to find things to do. There were plenty of excursions to choose from. From beach bumming to sailing as well as wine tasting at one of the island’s oldest bodegas. And the best part of the wine tasting besides the wine, was being chauffeured around in a Porsche! We also went sight seeing around the marina, where we stumbled across the Cathedral de Mallorca. I don’t think I’ve ever had my breath taken away by something as stunningly beautiful as this church.

EAT

There was a heavy and obvious Mediterranean influence on the cuisine. But for the most part, Italian restaurants were plentiful. And delicious. Its crazy that we ate so much but I didn’t feel sluggish at any point. I don’t know if its the way they process their food in Europe but the freshness was unmatched. I had everything from Italian to South African to traditional Spanish dishes.

Palma de Mallorca is definitely a place you don’t want to miss. As soon as you step foot off of the plane, you’ll instantly notice the relaxed, care free vibes. You’ll be greeted by warm and friendly people. And the bright and beautiful colors will gather you up and take your senses for a ride. Seriously, book your trip already!

Some of the Trip Highlights

Fave Restaurant: Bosa Nova in the Commercial District; delicious Italian!

Fave Tour: Bodegas Ribas with Mallorcan Wine Tours; ask for the private tour with Miriam. She was AMAZING!

Live Music: Saratoga Blue Jazz, Mondays at 8:30 pm

 


Cruising Through Life with Training Wheels

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Life has a way of showing us exactly who’s boss, which can partially explain my absence from blogging. The other part is my full on ability to let laziness and procrastination take over my free time (being honest and admitting is always the first step, right?). I’ve had so many moments of ” You need to write” followed by “but look at our bed, its so lonely and cozy at the same time”. Any who, my bad.

I’m just at a point now where I can’t get any lower and no one can judge me any more harshly than I’ve already judged myself.

Even in the midst of the blogging silence I still managed to take a few trips, and although they will be a day late and a dollar short, I intend to post about them. But right now, I want to reflect a little on just how insanely screwy and beautiful life can really be. Because my life is nowhere near perfect and I’ve fucked up a time or two. Or three ( who doesn’t?). But my life is also ridiculously beautiful, although I’ve only recently realized its true beauty because I decided to stop dwelling on the mistakes I’ve made and the things that were and are still beyond my control. I’m just at a point now where I can’t get any lower and no one can judge me any more harshly than I’ve already judged myself.

Peace, love and happiness are my ultimate goals. I want to feel them at all times. Anxiety and depression have had their way with me since I was 8 years old. Since my mom died, I’ve been in and out of therapy the last 20 years or so. There’s no time table in dealing with grief and the byproducts that result from it. There just comes a point in life where you surrender. Not giving in to the negativity surrounding your life per se, but more so relinquishing control and trusting in God, the universe, a higher power or whatever you fancy.

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I’m sitting here now, typing this with the deepest thoughts of my mother on my mind as well as the tiny, yet courageous person I was prior to her death. I’ll never forget the day I learned to ride a bike. I was sick and tired of being teased for still having training wheels on. I was probably the only 2nd grader who still had them. But truth be told, I was terrified of taking them off. Whenever my mother would bring up the idea, I would always picture myself riding down the street and teetering to one side and completely falling off. I hated pain and taking the training wheels off meant I was sure to wind up busting my ass with a gnarly bruise or scrape to show for it. So for months, I put it off. Then one day my mom said ” it’s time to learn to ride your bike”. We started about noon on a Saturday. I was jumpy and anxious. My dad had taken the trainers off earlier, so it was all or nothing. The first few laps in the drive way, she was right next to me, helping me keep my balance. I felt safe and comfortable. I slowly started to tell myself that maybe I could do it. Then she tried to let go and I freaked all the way out. We did this back and forth for about another two hours or so before she said ” well mama needs to rest for a bit. We can try again tomorrow, ok?”. But then I thought back to how the other kids would continue making fun of me and I got mad and even more frustrated. I told her “No. I’m gonna keep practicing”.  So she nodded and walked back into the house.

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The tears were flowing at this point ( because I’m THAT dramatic). The first time I fell, I scraped my knee up pretty good. And then I got even more frustrated because I fell several more times after that. It was quickly approaching dinner time at this point and my butt hurt from sitting on the seat so long.  Then my mom walks out with a look of worry. “Alright baby, I’m proud of you but there’s always tomorrow, ok? It’s time to wash up for dinner” (The next summer would prove to me that there is not always tomorrow, as my mother passed away the first week of third grade). I was determined to ride that damn bike before the sun went down. I took off one more time out of the drive way and down the street. “Holy shit! I’m balancing!”.  My mother was in the background yelling ” You got it baby, you got it!”. I don’t think I’ve ever felt anything as joyful as that.  I rode back into the driveway and high-fived my mom. The next day, you couldn’t tell me shit. I rode and had stop sign races with the best of them. But I fought like hell for the opportunity to do so.

I’ll fight like hell for my happiness, no matter how many bumps or scrapes I get in the process.

Its so funny how we psych ourselves out of doing things. I put off dealing with so many painful bruises from my past, including poor decisions and judgements I placed on myself. The thought of inflicting more pain on myself by dealing with my past is what scared me the most, so I pushed it off and it snowballed into a path of even more fucked up decisions. But now, I’m tired of them replaying in my mind. Just like I was tired of being teased for using training wheels. And right now, I’ll fight like hell for my happiness, no matter how many bumps or scrapes I get in the process.

If you’re in the same boat, you should too.

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