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February 7, 2015

Tulum: Day 3

My final day in Tulum. It was bittersweet. Such a chill place. So I made the most of it and did some more exploring. I caught a taxi to the Mayan ruins. The level of creativity and intelligence to build something so intricate before its time definitely demonstrates the ability of the human mind.

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I even made a new friend.

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After a walk through the entire site, it was beach time. The day was perfect. Just enough breeze to keep you comfortable.

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I decided to walk the beach side a little more for lunch. I found this really cool spot, El Prez. I had the best beer battered fish tacos ever. Like, EVER. And they take credit cards, one of the few places that did without charging an outrageous fee.

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And the drinks… A Hint and a Whisper… Gin and real lavender.

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I am definitely coming back to Tulum, especially now that I know what to expect. Its charm has truly captivated me. And there were so many more places I wanted to go, and in due time, I shall. Tulum was very international. I met French, Canadian, Argentinian and Australian travelers. Lots of back packers. If you are truly looking for a unique beach experience with a little bit of jungle thrown in the mix, I highly recommend Tulum. Keep in mind that its off the grid, with no connection to power lines ( hence the wind turbines you see along the beaches). It is definitely eco- chic.

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Farewell, Tulum! We shall meet again.

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February 3, 2015

Tulum: Day 2

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Slowly I’m falling in love with this place. Everything is so relaxed. The people are so friendly. The food is GOOD.  I’m so glad I decided to change my trip up last minute. It’s so quiet here, which is great for meditation. I slept like a baby last night. I’d like to thank the ocean and it’s crashing waves for that.

Today, I ventured off into town and to a cenote for some snorkeling. What a cool experience. The cenote was perfect for swimming. I found the ocean a little bit choppy.

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There weren’t many fish to see. But I did catch a glimpse of a few turtles. I then ventured off into town or Tulum Pueblo. I walked around, taking in the sights and people watching. Families walking together, friends chatting over cold ones. Something about Tulum gives me a huge sense of community. Like everyone looks out for each other. I will say this. The locals are way more friendlier than some of the out of towners. Locals didn’t hesitate to say hello. Everyone else took a bit more work. But whatevs, I didn’t come here solely to make friends.

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I decided to stop at El Tobano for lunch, where I had the best ceviche ever! Again, the waiters were super friendly and helpful. And the ginger margaritas were amazing! After I walked lunch off, it was beach time. I sat bathing in the sun, with a book I decided to re-visit (Hill Harper’s “The Conversation”). I seriously think I was a beach baby in another life. This is totally my happy place.

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Then came Gitano. I was a little skeptical about this place because of the mixed reviews. But the bartenders were pretty cool. They weren’t the chattiest, but if you spoke they weren’t hesitant to respond. I’ve never had a Mezcal before, so I gave Jungle Fever a try. Pretty good. Super strong! Or maybe I’m just a light weight.

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All in all, today was great. The day was gorgeous with its vast hues of blue and turquoise. Hopefully tomorrow will be just as great.

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February 1, 2015

Tulum: Day 1

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I finally made it! Today has been super long. From plane changes and bus transfers, to going hours without access to cash (I’ll elaborate more on that later).  But I’m here. In the midst of all the confusion, a moonlit ocean view dinner was totally worth it all.

You know that little voice in your head that tells you to do things just in case? Well this is the one time I’m glad I listened. A little voice told me to pull out a small sum of cash while state side, just in case. I didn’t want to pull all my cash out stateside out of fear that I wouldn’t get the better rate. But there’s a first time for everything and life is full of lessons to be learned! Had I not gotten that $60 out before hand, I would have been up Shit Creek.

So I make it passed customs and notice the nearest ATM. I figure I’ll just pull pesos out there (A word of caution, there are 2 types of ATMS. One that dispenses US dollars and one that dispenses Mexican pesos). I went for the Mexican pesos, and what do you know? Declined. I tried about 2 more times, same outcome. So I gave the US dollar ATM a swing. You guessed it! Declined. By now I’m in a stage 3 panic. Keep cool. A passer by tells me that the ADO bus line will take US dollars for bus fare. Wrong. So I had to reason with a taxi driver to exchange $20 for 200 pesos ( My bus ticket was 156 pesos, one way to Playa Del Carmen). Since I had already walked out of the airport, I couldn’t re-enter. Nice, Latricia.

I manage to pay for the bus with the 200 pesos, then head to catch my connection in Playa. I figure I’ll try this whole ATM thing again when I get there. Two more tries yielded yet another declined card. Pretty much at a stage 5 panic. Luckily I was able to find a currency exchange station to exchange the $40 I had gotten state side, which bought my bus transfer to Tulum. At this point I’m exhausted, irritable, frustrated and hungry. I’m thinking, “what if I can’t get any cash out? I’m totally screwed!”.

We finally pull into the bus terminal in Tulum. At this point I figure I’ll just wing it. Then I glanced at yet another ATM. And that little voice said “try again”. So I did. THANK GOD I did! I was finally able to pull out cash. The crazy thing is, this ATM displayed the same affiliate logos as all the others that declined me. Honestly, I didn’t even care what fees they charged as long as I could get my money.  Lesson learned: always pull out small sums of money before leaving stateside to cover transportation costs. Or pull out the full amount you want, exchange what you think you’ll need for transport at the airport, then shop around for a better rate for the remainder. The airport’s rate was 12 whereas PDC was around 14.

As I sit and type, full from dinner and exhausted, I can’t help but think how I may have needed to be shaken up a bit, kept on my toes. Somewhere in the universe I swear I could hear God giggling to himself.

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January 10, 2015

Drifting Through the Valley

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Happy New Year friends! Its been such a long time since my last post. 2014 was definitely a year of reflection, tears, joy, and all things in between. November was magical, as I took a much-needed trip to the Napa Valley again. I love it there. Something about the air just calms me. Or it could be the smell of the vineyards in the air. Who knows.

I’ve seriously been debating all year about how I wanted to re-structure my blog. Traveling and art are my true passions. I want my blog to definitely reflect that. But more than anything, my aim is to inspire. If you get nothing else from my posts, I want you to leave away feeling inspired. Inspired to think deeply or enjoy the simple things. Whatever blows up your skirt.

Napa Valley really is an amazing place. Despite what some perceive to be a pretentious, uppity playground for wine snobs, I have never felt that type of energy. Not saying it doesn’t exist, because it could. But I’ve never felt more comfortable somewhere.

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The courtyard of the castle at Castello di Amorosa

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One of the ga-zillion vineyards throughout the valley…

From my hike at Bodega Head in Bodega Bay, CA

From my hike at Bodega Head in Bodega Bay, CA

I definitely needed this trip to sort some shit out in my life. Add a little fuel to my travel bug fire. I think Napa will most likely be one of those places I continually visit for life. I think everyone should have an “old faithful” place they repeatedly visit ( I actually did visit the Old Faithful Geyser of California while I was in the area. Let’s just say it left much to be desired for $14). What’s your old faithful?

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April 12, 2014

Deep in the Heart of Texas

I love a good road trip, especially in the spring time. The really cool thing about Texas is the multitude of terrains you encounter across the state. I grew up along the coast for the most part, so I decided to explore the Texas Hill Country this weekend!IMG_1197

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Did you know that there is another version of the Texas Bluebonnet? Yep, the Alamo Fire. And its just as stunning!

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I also had the liberty of taking the famous Enchanted Rock hike in Fredericksburg. Totally worth all the sweat and shortness of breath it took to get to the top (note to self: we really need to become friends with the gym again).

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On my way down, I found these gems. They were waiting just for me, I know it.

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The coolest thing about being at the top of the rock was feeling like time completely stopped. I had some time to actually think. Think about, what I’m currently doing with my life, what I want to be doing, should be doing. I hate to sound all corny and predictable, but I really did have an “a-ha!” moment. Sometimes you need absolute silence to really be able to sort through your thoughts and all the clutter. Not to mention, silence was golden in taking in the spectacular views below. Oh Life, you sure know how to keep me interested in you….