My latest wanderlust endeavor lead me and my best friend from college on a trip to beautiful Palm Springs, California. Its one of those places you see a shit ton of Instagram posts about. Its a big hit with the older crowd for its spas and golf resorts but I’d like to think that its way more than that. I wouldn’t consider Palm Springs a tourist trap by any means. I mean most people stay a few nights there during Coachella, which is how you may have heard of it in the first place. But honestly, I found Palm Springs to be one of the most laid back places I have ever visited. Alive with every color of the rainbow imaginable. And the palm tree lined streets were an added bonus. I couldn’t help but to feel happy there. I was expecting a certain level of elitism but I got the exact opposite.
This year I couldn’t have picked a better way to spend my birthday. I hopped on a flight with the intention of stuffing my face and loving on my niece and nephews. That’s always fun and usually by the third day, I’m exhausted. But it’s worth it. I also did a little research and realized we were in close proximity to the Paso Robles wine region. Now y’all know I love my wine!
We had limited time but I was successful in convincing my big sis to day trip with me for some tastings and just an all out girls trip. And we had a blast. Our first stop was LeVigne Winery in Paso Robles.
Aaaaaaah, the Sunshine State! Embarking on yet another road trip, this time I decided to get away for some Vitamin Sea. The last time I saw blue water was February in Tulum, so I was overdue for a a beach day. I’ve been to Miami before and honestly, I wouldn’t be pressed if I never went there again. It just wasn’t my speed (no offense Miami goers). So we set out for the Emerald Coast. Absolutely beautiful beaches that almost rival some of the most pristine Caribbean treasures.
Continuing on with my summer filled with trips throughout the states, I decided to high tail it to Oregon. I have family that recently relocated there, so the timing couldn’t have been anymore perfect. Never in my life have I seen a place so green! And coming from an area where the air is extremely polluted with smog and the likes of refineries, Oregon was literally a breath of fresh air.
The coolest thing I found about Oregon were all of the green/eco-friendly initiatives. It was weird asking for a to-go box and not be given styrofoam. And everywhere seemed extremely walkable. I didn’t really get a chance to explore Portland. Most of my stay was in the quaint little town of Independence. I swear, I could’ve just roamed the main street the entire time and been content with life. I walked around and found a cute Thai restaurant for lunch. And one of my favorite past times that I’ve grown fond of is finding a local ice cream parlor. The simple things that make us happy, right?
Oregon is such a scenic state. Like I literally was in awe taking in everything I was seeing. I didn’t want to do anything else other than to sit and stare at God’s wonderful creations. Something about being out in nature is very humbling and soothing at the same time. I went on this trip with a heavy heart and a completely stressed out mind. Somehow, I managed to find peace. Being amongst family helped tremendously too, but I was actually able to just relax. You know how there are some trips you take to be adventurous, while others you take solely to do absolutely nothing but just.. be? Totally one of the latter type of trips.
And of course, I had to splurge on dinner at least once. I give you Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Crab Stuffed Salmon with a Hazelnut Bleu Cheese Salad. Yum-MEEE!!!
What I wouldn’t give to be back there staring at a view like this every day.
Until next time Oregon… I’ll definitely be back!
I was determined to have a jam packed summer, full of road trips and lots of sun. I made it happen, and it was glorious. First up on the list was New Orleans. Because you can’t ever go wrong with NOLA. I spent a great deal away from Bourbon Street. I know that’s usually the go to spot for out of towners, but seriously, there are SO many unique and cool things about New Orleans outside of Bourbon Street. However, making at least one appearance for a hand grenade is ok.
This trip, I visited Frenchman Street as well as the Garden District. I was blown away. In all my years of visiting this wonderful city, I never witnessed the beauty of these places. The Frenchman Street Art Market was definitely on my list. So many cool things to see and buy from the local artists.
I know you’re wondering about it. And yes, the food was delicious! But I mean, its New Orleans, what did you expect?
One of the best things about driving through Louisiana on the way to New Orleans are the pit stops in between. Cracklins are a must!
My mom’s side of the family resides in the Greater New Orleans area, so naturally, I spent a lot of time there growing up. But somehow, this trip was different. This trip stirred up a fire in me that I thought had died out. Life gets hard sometimes and trying to maintain your sense of imagination and creative spirit can be taxing on the mind in the midst of it all. This trip, I did a lot of self reflection. The long walk through beautiful Audubon Park leading up to the riverfront was freeing in its own right. As some of you may know, my mom died when I was eight. I couldn’t help but take in all the beauty around me while thinking “Man, my mom grew up here? In such a cool place?”. I feel like I was supposed to experience this New Orleans. I don’t really know much about her, but I feel like my sense of adventure comes from her. And in a way, I feel like I connected and shared this moment with her spiritually. This was the start of something good.
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.
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?
The Etta James classic rings heavily in my head as I sit and reflect on today’s events. My visit to the Texas Hill Country was filled with scenic routes ( I basically got lost a bunch of times, but it was totally worth it). It reaffirmed the fact that I love the life I live, ups and downs. The downs make the ups that much better. This trip was totally an up. You know what made this trip even better? Wine.
The drive up to the winery was a gorgeous one. Winding curves on a dirt road, leading up to the top of a hill. Perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon. The winery grounds were cozy. The staff were super friendly and welcoming. Ten bucks got you 6 tastings and the cool wine glass pictured above. I’m usually a Merlot girl, but the day was nice and warm enough for a sparkling white ( Starry Nights, thank me later). Overall, an extremely pleasant experience. I didn’t take as many pics as I should have at the winery, but I was too busy enjoying the breeze and relaxing. Next time, I promise.
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!
Did you know that there is another version of the Texas Bluebonnet? Yep, the Alamo Fire. And its just as stunning!
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).
On my way down, I found these gems. They were waiting just for me, I know it.
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….