From Milan, With Love

Our final stop in our Italy-Greece trip was back where it all began. Milan, a fashion capital up there in the ranks with Paris, London and New York. A major component of Fashion Month, and I was there, in the middle of it all. My dream was to be able to catch a show during my visit, but during the planning, it just wasn’t possible to fit into our already packed schedule. So, I settled for the next best thing. A walk around the city, filled with art, history, food and just a little fashion.


Duomo di Milano

The Duomo di Milano is a Catholic Church in Milan, considered the 2nd largest cathedral in the world, is over 600 years old. You don’t even have to be religious to appreciate the incredible architecture of the structure and the awe-inspiring art that lies inside. With a whopping 3,400 statues, 135 gargoyles and 700 figures, plus the stained glass windows and paintings, the Gothic era church is truly impressive.

Louis Vuitton Time Capsule Exhibit

While we walked around the Piazza di Duomo, something caught my eye. There was a long line of people waiting to get into what seemed like an oddly placed square structured, that didn’t quite fit in with the rest of the architecture in the plaza. As we approached the entrance to the Museum by the Duomo, I realized it was what seemed to be a pop-up exhibit for the Louis Vuitton Time Capsule. And I was right! My husband rolled his eyes, but I promised I’d take him to the best Italian foodie experience that night if we could go see the exhibit after the church tour. 
In this traveling exhibit, Louis Vuitton’s story is told through an exclusive selection of one-of-a-kind objects from the Maison’s archives from 1854 to today.  Presented as a thematic itinerary, the exhibit celebrates the strong pioneering spirit that has characterized the Maison since its creation 165 years ago. Focusing on four fundamental aspects: inventions, travel, the art of preserving objects and the icons of the Maison, Time Capsule shows just how visionary Louis Vuitton has been in foreseeing travellers’ desires and needs as everyday means of transportation has drastically evolved over time.” – Time Capsule Exhibition in Milan
 “For this Italian edition, one of the special pieces on display is “Boîte Milano”, a unique trunk made for the International Exhibition of Decorative and Modern Arts of Paris in 1925.”

I was in awe! I was a little bummed that we didn’t get to visit the Fundazione di Prada, but I figured that was the most fashion my dear husband could take. We ended on a high note, visiting the one place that houses all things food in Milan, Eataly. It’s towering 4 floors packed with food to dine or to shop, wine as far as the eye can see and the best gelato in the city. I even found a fair trade, vegan chocolate scoop for myself. It was quite the experience. 


This takes us to the end of our wonderful trip. Next I’ll share a travel guide for you! Many have asked, so I’ll do my best to compile something very special. Until then, Ciao! Arriverderci!

Santorini: Was it everything I dreamed of or Overrated?

I’ve wanted to visit Greece since I was 16 years old, when I saw it on the Travel Channel and became obsessed with visiting the ancient ruins, the white and blue aesthetic and chasing sunsets on the Aegean Sea. I would pour through Greek Mythology books and took special interest in Humanities studies in College. Greece was at the top of my travel list, and convinced my husband that we absolutely HAD to make it part of our Anniversary trip this year. For some reason, I was fixated on Santorini, but started having some doubts when a friend visited earlier this year and came back to say that it was highly overrated, but something inside me was determined to prove them wrong.

The biggest thing I did differently was some research. I searched for the best place to stay while staying within our budget. My friends visited the Greek Isles by cruise, so I knew that staying on the islands I wanted to see would make a bigger difference since we would be on our own schedule, stay in the most accessible spots, and eat locally to have the most authentic experience as possible. I avoided the super touristy areas, which I found on AirBNB. One thing we didn’t “do right” was transportation, so that was a definite learning experience. So, we stayed in Santorini on two separate occasions. It was our first stop as we flew in directly from Milan, which by the way, was extremely cheap. We stayed 2 nights, for that first leg, on the very peaceful and quiet southern town of Perissa, home of the famous Black Sand Beach (pictured in the photo above). We stayed in a lovely Bed & Breakfast called the Aegean, nestled in the valley just a 15 minute walk to the beach, designed in the typical Cycladic style with white smooth walls and blue doors, windows and trimmings. It was so dreamy, but I must admit, I wish it were ocean front because that’s my thing. Good thing the place had a beautiful pool to take a dip or just relax with my hubby with a glass of local white wine.

Our B&B hosts were extremely helpful! They scheduled the biggest adventure we would have on this entire trip, a day tour that would take us to a volcano, the caldera, an island and ending with a sunset in the most popular spot on the island Oia (pronounced ee-ah), for 45 euros each. Perfection! Or so we thought…
So, we were picked up in front of our B&B by a big, beautiful, comfortable bus that would take us to the port for the boat to reach all of these amazing destinations. The boat ride was lovely, just feeling the cool breeze as we navigated through the Caldera was amazing. First stop was the Nea Kameni Volcano, and we were given about 2 hours to explore, climb to the top and take super cool photos. It was quite the hike, but very doable. The views were insane, and the active, but somehow dormant, volcano was both awe-inspiring and terrifying at the same time. 

Top of the Nea Kameni Volcano
Next stop was the Hot Springs, a product of the volcanoes sulfur, the warm water is said to be therapeutic, so we did what any explorer would do, we jump from the boat and swam in it. Little did we know that we would only have 30 minutes to swim from and back to the boat, making it a very athletic trek. One thing to point out, the high levels of sulfur make the water a deep yellow, and if your swimwear is white, it will permanently stain. After the springs, we were taken to the island of Thirassia, also inside the volcanic caldera, and we were able to enjoy local lunch, you can’t beat $2 gyros, you just can’t. We hiked all the way to the top of the town. Quite possibly the most tired I’d ever been in this part of the trip since the path was steep and the steps were far apart, but it was so beautiful once we reached the top, it was worth the hike. By the end our legs were linguini, but what came next would shake me to my core.

For the final part of the tour, we took the boat back to the docks where we began and were to be taken via bus to the northern part of the island to enjoy the sunset in the idyllic town of Oia, where all the most famous photos of Santorini, showing the blue tops of chapels while the sun would set magically into the sea. We were instructed to confirm our final destination in order to get on the right bus that would take us to Sunset heaven and then back to our hotels. I asked about 3 times, which was our bus, and in all the mess of people asking the same questions, we were directed to a bus and got situated. As soon as we reached the point where all the buses turned to go north, towards the sunset, our bus took a sharp left, away from the directions we were supposed to go. I immediately started to freak out and gave my husband a terrified look and he just gave me the good old “I don’t know” gesture. I waited about 5 more minutes to see if we would change routes, but we kept going in the “wrong” direction. When we turned at the sign to our beach town of Perissa, I knew we were in trouble. So, I bothered the nice couple sitting in front of us and as calmly as I could asked them if knew if we were going to see the sunset. They looked at me as if I were crazy, and said, “No, we’re going back to our hotels”. I busted out a “WHAT?!” and they confirmed it. I was livid! Mind you I was really looking forward to that moment, but at the same time, extremely tired. My bratty side really wanted to come out, but I had to take a breath, appreciate the amazing day we’ve had and not think about how we kinda got screwed out of what we paid for. Then I remembered that we were set to return at the tail end of the Greek island hop and just made it a point that the purpose of that second stay would be to catch that damn sunset.

After, visiting 2 more Greek Islands (I’ll save that for a later post), we returned to Santorini. This time around we were able to stay in Oia, just outside the city center in the cutest beachside villas we’ve ever seen. 


Our hostess helped us set up transportation to the city center to catch our elusive sunset, and though we were warned, I was not expecting the insane amount of tourists cramming themselves in the the one spot to get the coveted shot of the beautiful cliffside showing those gorgeous blue topped cupolas. We spent all of 10 minutes to see what the fuss was about, and though I hate being caught in a tourist trap, we got the shot and it was well worth it. Somehow, we found some lovely spots to take pictures and enjoy a delicious dinner as the sun hid behind the cliffs into the sea.



So, is Santorini overrated? If you only take a half day tour and get caught up in the one tourist trap, maybe. If you have some time to explore, check out the southern towns as well as the north, do some trekking off the beaten path, you can truly enjoy the beauty of this idyllic island.

Manarola: The Cinque Terre Postcard Town

As I was planning our European trip, I had certain must-see locations and one of them was Cinque Terre. I’ve poured through travel blogs and they had all recommended a visit to this magical land by the sea. I’d also looked into the Amalfi coast, but I became obsessed with Cinque Terre due to the easy travel, walkability, and and colorful cliffside vistas. Cinque Terre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Northwest Italy, only a 3 hour train ride away from Milan, lies West of La Spezia and is composed of 5 villages connected by hiking trails or 5 minute train rides away from each other. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, we stayed in the middle town of Corniglia and we explored 4 towns in a long exhausting day, leaving one for last, Manarola. Many of those amazing bird’s eye view shots of Cinque Terre are actually taken in the village of Manarola. Although, all of the villages are extremely colorful, beautiful and picturesque, there’s something very special about this one that has everyone flocking to this specific spot for the ‘gram. 

We loved all the towns; they each had different vibes, beauty and so much history. Something very magical had us stop in our tracks when we visited Manarola. Maybe it was the quiet, peacefulness in the morning as shops and cafes were setting up, or the waves gently rocking the boats on the dock as we made our way up, or the stillness before the town awakened to the hustle and bustle of the tourist as they made their way into the town. Whatever it was, we felt as if we were the only ones there that morning, as we said goodbye to that leg of our trip while we sipped our espresso and breathed the cool breeze of the Ligurian sea before we continued on to the next adventure.

Outfit details

Top: Shein
Faux Leather Shorts: Shein
Sunglasses: Quay Australia

Cosmic Vibes in Marfa

I’ve been wanting to visit Marfa pretty much since I moved to Texas. I’d read about it and seen gorgeous photography in major fashion magazines taken at key spots in this West Texas town that is now iconic and it’s been on my bucket list ever since. Why is Marfa so special? Marfa is city in the high desert of the Trans-Pecos in far West Texas, between the Davis Mountains and Big Bend National Park. In the early 70’s, artist Donald Judd moved to Marfa from New York City. He basically turned Marfa into his personal artist’s playground, laying the groundwork to transform buildings into art spaces. Today, the city is a tourist destination and a major center for minimalist art. With two art foundations, the Chinati Foundation and Building 98, Marfa invites artists, collectors and enthusiasts from all around the world to appreciate the art. The other great attraction in Marfa is it’s mysterious lights. The Marfa Ghost lights have been said to be seen from Highway 90, right outside the entrance to the city. There have been many possible explanations to the phenomenon, from atmospheric phenomena, to car lights to a gas leak, but all inconclusive. Regardless of the origin, spectators flock to see these mystery lights in hopes that there is something eerie causing, adding to the fun of visiting Marfa.

I researched where to stay and hands down the best place to get the real Marfa “experience” is at El Cosmico. It’s Glamping at it’s finest. When I searched it online years ago, the first thing that drew me in was the tee-pee experience. We so badly wanted to stay inside one! Unfortunately they were booked for the date we planned to go, but we got to stay in a Safari Tent, which was immensely cool! The grounds also have  yurts and fun colored airstreams, but we felt that a safari tent or a teepee for as far “glamping” as we wanted to go and it would be a more authentic experience that way. The showers are “al fresco” which was secured, but an interesting experience nonetheless and the restrooms have the feeling of an outhouse, but are very clean and with running water. The best part, really was hanging out in front of our tent at night, blankets and wine in hand, talking and staring at the stars. It’s so peaceful out there and the perfect getaway from the day to day.

El Cosmico is pet friendly, too!
Teepees

Yurts

Traveling to Cuba? Here’s what you need to know!

For years travel to Cuba has been very restricted, especially if you were an American citizen. In recent years, it became less restrictive, and more recently it felt as it would be strict again, but it turns out that it’s actually very easy to visit this beautiful country. My research for planning this recent trip to the island was quite extensive, but there’s a lot you don’t know until you experience it yourself. When I returned I was received a ton of questions about how to get there and how things are when you arrive. Here’s some answers to your questions! Hope you’re able to plan and go visit!

1. Do you need a visa? What is the option for someone without family, education or medical reasons to visit?

Yes, you need to obtain a visa to travel to Cuba. When purchasing your flight, before entering you payment information it asks you to select your reason for travel. Two options seem to fit a category that doesn’t apply for medical, educational, government or journalism. One is “People to People” exchange and the other is “Support of the Cuban People”. These are very ambiguous and does not require any documentation to prove that you are going for this. Of course, when you visit the country, staying in BNBs, eating and shopping local, you are, essentially supporting the local economy so you don’t have to feel bad about these selections. You can purchase the visa online or at the airport. We traveled through Miami and they have a stand where they sell them for $100 per person. No questions asked. They also don’t ask any questions upon arrival or departure in Cuba.

2. I hear hotels are limited. Where should I stay?

If you really want to experience a cultural or “People to people”exchange, you should stay at a “casa particular” or a private house, which can now be arranged via AirBNB, Trip Advisor and even Expedia. Hotels are available, but yes they are limited. There are definitely resorts on the island. We stayed in the beach town of Varadero and we booked one of the best rated hotels on the island via Expedia. The Blau Resort is all inclusive, so all meals, drinks and most activities were included in the price.

3. Is there cell service or data available?

Major cell phone companies like AT&T and T-Mobile provide service under a roaming category for which you will be charge per minute on incoming and outgoing calls. Data and text charges also apply. Check with you mobile provider to learn about the costs, but I do warn that they are very steep, so if you don’t want extra charges on your mobile bill, leave it on airplane mode or turn off the data roaming on your phone and just use the WIFI options. Very limited private homes or businesses have WIFI. There are some public spaces or internet cafes that provide Wifi, and you would purchase a card for $1CUC per hour. 

4. Do restaurants and shops accept credit cards? Are there ATMs?

Unfortunately, no. You must have the cash in hand and exchange when you arrive. When we got there, one thing I hadn’t research was the dollar exchange. The CUC is the Cuban Convertible Peso. This is what you receive when you exchange your dollar or euro to purchase or pay for services. Now, if you check a conversion table, the U.S. Dollar is valued at the exact same rate 1CUC=$1USD, but when you exchange at the airport, they skim off quite a bit. If you were to exchange say $300, you could get as low as $260 in return. Yeah, that’s super high and there’s no way to fight that. And if you try to exchange on the street, which is highly UNrecommended, they can skim off even more. So be sure to take plenty of cash so you won’t find yourself penniless during your visit. Also, things are pretty expensive, regardless of what you may have heard. The tourist industry is growing and prices are built to get as much as possible out of tourists looking to ride the cool cars, get a tour of fun spots, drink mojitos with Hemingway, etc. It’s definitely not cheap and can add up. If you DO end up spending all your cash, there’s always Western Union and a loved one can wire you some money, but save yourself the stress and prepare to bring more than you need. It’s just better that way.

EXTRA TIP: There’s a 10% penalty for exchanging US dollars into CUCs– it’s only against the US dollar. So convert most of your travel cash into Euros in the US before arriving in Cuba. You’ll keep more of your money that way! -Iris Gonzalez from irisgonzalez.com

5. Where can I buy cigars and rum? Can I bring it home with me?

It’s recommended that you only purchase cigars and rum in shops. Our AirBNB hosts warned us several times not to buy off the streets. People will come up to you and offer to sell you cigars, but they told us those cigars aren’t legit and can contain toxic components. Also, if you purchase anything total home during your visit, pack it in your checked suitcase. You still have to declare it in customs, so there’s no guarantee how TSA is feeling that day that might take it from you, so your best bet is to purchase it at the duty free shop in the airport on your way out of Cuba. They provide you with a sealed official bag and when you go through customs they see that it’s official. They still might ask you to pack it in your checked bag at the check point, but at least they won’t confiscate it.

6. How do I get around?

There is no Uber type service but there are taxis, of course. You should definitely coordinate transportation with your hosts or hotel. Since we can’t use our phones, they schedule your taxi pickups and you coordinate with your driver to be picked up at a certain spot at a specific time. We were very nervous about possibly being stranded, but they are very responsible and if you tip them they might even be open to give you a private tour. Funny story, the car we had scheduled to drive us to Varadero (2 hours from Havana) had broken down before it was supposed to pick us up for our return. They had no way of calling us, so we had no idea. When we checked out we waited about 5 minutes and realized he wasn’t there to pick us up. I was about to ask the hotel to allow to me to call (for a charge, of course) and when we turned around a man was asking around in the lobby for us by name. I hear my name and responded “Yes?”, he said he was here for us because our guy, Dylan, was indisposed and he was here to take us back. That was almost like fate! We couldn’t believe the camaraderie between them and sense of responsibility to not leave guests stranded. It was a crazy experience, but it shows that the people are wonderful and was visitors to have a great experience all the way through.
That’s all I can think of to share that you might not find online, unless you hear first hand from someone who went. Our experience was lovely, and we’d go back for sure, especially with the new found knowledge we have and even better preparation. One thing for sure, we all say “it’s so beautiful”, “it’s like a time capsule”, “you should visit before it changes”, etc. The truth is that the people are still struggling. Their local currency is actually the CUB, and it’s $25 CUB to $1USD. We were told that the jobs they have are back breaking and a month’s worth of work earns them roughly $12 per month. Yes, education and medicine are free and they receive meal rations per month, but they still have to do so much to survive and that broke my heart. Being there all touristy, living my best life is hard when you see people struggling. Please make sure to tip, don’t be stingy and don’t haggle too much. If you want to support the people, please, really support them. Leave your hosts good tips, prepare a care package for young women in need, leave clothing behind for your attendants at the hotel. They need it more than you ever will. Other than that, enjoy your visit!

Days in Old Havana

Cuba, so close yet so far. I lived in Puerto Rico for 22 years, where as I learned about the rich history of the island I called home, I became more and more fascinated with the other half of this “bird” in Caribbean history. Cuba and Puerto Rico united forces during the Spanish-American War in the 19th century and as brothers, fought valiantly to attempt to escape colonialism, which is why both islands were known as “One bird, two wings”. They needed each other, brothers and sisters in arms. But alas, the end of the Spanish-American War in 1898 also brought the end of Spaniard Colonialism, and part of the booty meant handing over Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines, and as the island of Puerto Rico continues to be a U.S. Territory, the bird has long flown away and Cuba could not have been further to Puertoricans. Reading this made me so curious about this mystery island, now known as the island stuck in time that fascinates so many people from all around the world. 

For years I wanted to visit, and travel to Cuba has always been nearly impossible unless you had an approved reason like medical, sports or education/research. With less restrictions these days (we purchased a Visa with the People to People option and flew American Airlines), my husband and I finally made the plan to go. So, we visited during our Wedding Anniversary week and it was an eye-opening experience. We saw the similarities between Cuba and Puerto Rico, especially in the Spanish Colonial architecture, the history and the warmth of the people. I can see how they can be brothers. As a woman of Dominican roots, I also felt very at home. I saw so many beautiful skin tones that vary from the fairest (with blonde hair and blue eyes) to the darkest ebony (with the most amazing range of hair textures). 
Where we saw the differences, of course, was in the part where the island, especially Old Havana, can seem very old. The preservation of the old architecture seems halted. Of course, you see so many of the old timey cars, most of which have been restored and much to the entertainment of tourists, driving around with the top down. Our AirBNB hostess gave us the rundown of where to go and how to get there to fully enjoy the experience. We followed her instructions, well mostly, and found ourselves walking up the “wrong street” to get to one of the 4 “must see” plazas in Historic Havana. We had the map on our phone and it seemed to be the right way, but it was certainly the least tourist street ever. We loved every second of that walk! All locals, with a sprinkle of 1 or 2 Americans that past us by, we were walking among the Cuban people and fit right in. We may have stood out a tad because we carried a small bag with a camera in it, but not one person looked at us funny or stopped us or even begged for money. Once we arrived at the plaza, we laughed and said to each other “That was a legit adventure!”
At the plazas we could definitely see the change in the environment, where there were tourists from so many countries. A lot more Europeans than Americans, as I could observe the languages and accents I’d hear in their interactions. We stayed in an AirBNB in a part of town called El Vedado, a quiet neighborhood just a few blocks away from the Plaza de la Revolución and a short 10 minute drive to Old Havana, but it’s located away from the bustling downtown and quiet enough to relax when we needed to wind down. Our house was right around the corner from embassies and was very safe to walk to nearby restaurants and parks. The house is a colonial style home with an indoor deck for morning coffee and a gorgeous rooftop balcony where we sipped on Mojitos and Cuba Libres as the sun set in the horizon. 

More on our Cuba experience coming up!

Travel Vlog: Pyramids of Teotihuacan, Mexico

Hi loves! I’ve been dying to share this one with you! One of the weekends my hubby went to visit me while I was working in Mexico, we took a tour to the Pyramids of Teotihuacan. Normally, we’d want to do our own thing and not be part of a formal tour, but renting a car or taking public transportation and trying to figure out our way around seemed so daunting. Upon doing a little research, I found this company online that did small tours to the Pyramids and even picked us up at our apartment and would drop us off afterwards. It was extremely convenient and for $40 pp, they sure gave us our money’s worth! On our 1 hour ride from our place to Teotihuacan we received a wealth of information about the history of Mexico and the rich cultures that influenced the country, including a bevy of indigenous cultures all across the land. The city dates back to 100 B.C. and it’s influence on Mesoamerica has been well documented. These pyramids are massive and are believed to have been used for religious activity, which included human sacrifice and worship of the Moon and Sun gods. The Pyramid of the Moon can be climbed half way, before it becomes dangerous to keep going, so they have it blocked off. The Pyramid of the Sun, even though is higher, can be climbed all the way up to the top. It was a trek, but totally worth it! Check out the video below to see it all, including the trip to a silver jewelry workshop/tequila refinery! We had an amazing time and I’m so happy to finally share with you!

Hola amores! He estado loca por compartir esto con ustedes! Uno de lo fines de semana que mi esposito me fue a visitar mientras trabajaba en México, tomamos un tour a las Pirámides de Teotihuacán. Normalmente, nos gusta aventurar solos, sin guía turístico, pero pensar en alquilar un carro o tomar transporte público e intentar andar solitos por ahí nos parecía agobiante. Luego de una búsqueda corta, conseguí una compañía que hace tours de grupos pequeños hacia las Pirámides, en el cual te recogen y te regresan a tu apartamento u hotel. Por $40 pp, realmente nos dieron un muy buen valor por nuestro dinero! Durante la hora de viaje a Teotihuacán, nos dieron mucha información acerca de la historia de México y la riqueza de las culturas que influenciaron al país, incluyendo una multitud de culturas indígenas. La ciudad se estima que existe desde al año 100 B.C. y su influencia en Mesoamérica está bien documentada. Estas pirámides son enormes y se entiende que fueron utilizadas para actividades religiosas, que incorporaban sacrificio humano y veneración a los dioses de la luna y del sol. La Pirámide de la Luna se puede escalar hasta la mitad antes de que se ponga muy peligroso, y la Pirámide del Sol, a pesar de ser más alta, se puede alcanzar la cima. Es un largo trecho, pero vale la pena! Vean el video abajo para que lo vean todo, incluyendo una visita a un taller de joyería de plata y tequilera! Disfrutamos muchísimo y estoy super contenta de poder compartirlo con ustedes!

Adventures in Mexico City

I’ve been in Mexico City for quite a while now. My husband came to town to visit me and we had a super touristy weekend! We visited the Historic downtown, went to the most visited areas and even discovered a very cool street lined with beautiful murals. The art and culture we experienced in the center were absolutely beautiful. We visited the Palacio Nacional, the beautiful Cathedral, had lunch at the rooftop of the Zócalo Central Hotel, which overlooks the central plaza, and afterwards we checked out the Museum. We visited a few other places, but I’ll save that for my next post!
Ya llevo un tiempo en Cuidad México. Mi esposo vino de visita y tuvimos un super fin de semana de turistas! Visitamos al Centro Histórico, fuimos a las atracciones más visitadas y hasta descubrimos una joya escondida con murales artísticos. El arte y la cultura que vimos fueron absolutamente hermosos! Visitamos al Palacio Nacional, la bella Catedral Metropolitano, almorzamos en el restaurant de Hotel Central del Zócalo, en donde se puede ver todo en centro y luego fuimos al museo. Fuimos a otros lugares en Ciudad de México, pero ya lo dejaré para otro artículo!
Palacio Nacional

Catedral Metropolitana

Hubby posed for me for the first time!

Top by local Mexican artisan. Ring by local jeweler.

Chunky Sweater in Asheville

My recent trip to Asheville, North Carolina left me in love with the town. Recently named one out 15 small towns to visit by Condè Nast, it did not disappoint. Home of the Biltmore Estate, the largest mansion in the U.S., built by American Royalty, the Vanderbilts, the entire town seems to be stuck in a period of time with the beautiful Victorian and Tudor style homes along tree lined streets. I visited the Grand Bohemian Hotel, a breath-taking old world style hotel in the heart of the historic Biltmore Village. It was a bit cold out so I indulged in a delicious apple cider sangria at the Red Stag Grill Bar. The rich wood details and opulent chandeliers make the experience so exquisite! In the downtown area, the city was bustling with people from one restaurant to the next. I tried to get a seat in a small Tapas Bar, but the wait was ONE HOUR for bar seating, it’s that good… So, I moved along to the next and found a beautifully lit, romantic spot (for one) called Rhubarb. I sat on the deck and was delighted by children playing amazing folk and popular music. Crowds would hover over them, amazed at their talent and throwing money into their instrument cases. The food was spectacular! I little on the pricey side, but soo worth every penny. 
Traveling alone has allowed me to learn so much about myself. I truly appreciate the time I spend with myself. Don’t get me wrong, I love traveling and discovering with my husband, family and friends, but there is something so special about solo travel. I savor every moment, stay an extra long time in one single location, and appreciate the beauty in the little things.

Mi viaje reciente a Asheville, North Carolina me ha dejado enamorada del pueblo. Nombrado como una de las Mejores 15 pueblos pequeños en EEUU por la revista Condé Nast, no me decepcionó en lo mínimo. El Biltmore Estate se encuentra en el corazón del pueblo y fue construida por una de las familias más ricas en EEUU, los Vanderbilt. El pueblo entero parece estar detenido en el tiempo, con las casas Victorianas y estilo Tudor en las calles rodeadas de arboles. Logré visitar el Grand Bohemian Hotel, construida al estilo del Viejo Mundo en el corazón del Biltmore Village. Hacía un poco de frío, así que entré al bar del Red Stag Grill dentro del hotel para una deliciosa sangría de cidra de manzana. Dentro del hotel, los detalles de madera oscura y los candelabros opulentes hacen que la visita sea una experiencia exquisita. En el downtown de Asheville, la gente andaba de lugar en lugar, hay muchos restaurantes y estaba todo super lleno! Traté de conseguir una asiento en un bar de tapas, pero la espera era mas de UNA HORA, para la barra! Así que me di vuelta y caí en un restaurante muy bello llamado Rhubarb. Es un lugar muy romántico, aunque andaba sola, me lo disfruté. Me senté en el patio que daba para la calle, en donde unos niños cantaban música folklórica y popular. La gente los rodeaba disfrutando de su talento mientras les ponían dinero. La comida estaba divina! Un poco caro, pero valió cada centavo!
Viajar sola me ha dado el espacio para aprender mucho sobre mi. Realmente aprecio pasar tiempo sola. No me malinterpreten, me encanta viajar con mi esposo, mis familia y amistades, pero hay algo muy especial en viajar sol@. Me difruto cada momento, tomo tiempo adicional en un solo lugar y disfruto de la belleza de estos lugates.

What I wore/ Llevaba puesto:
Sweater: Michael Kors 
Jeans: Joe’s Jeans
Boots: ShoeDazzle
Bag: Neiman Marcus:
Blanket Scarf: Apricot Lane

Hola Cancún

I can’t believe that Summer is over, although I’m ready to embrace the change of weather. I can’t deny I’m a coastal girl, so any opportunity to visit the beach, I’ll take it! In June, we kicked off our Summer season by attending one of our best friends’ wedding. They got married in Cancún and it was  too much fun! It was my first time traveling to Mexico, so I was really excited! We had quite the experience. We were supposed to stay at the same resort as the wedding party, but there was construction going on in the main building and they had to move several guests. I wasn’t too happy about it, but we managed to negotiate with the hotel manager, and they placed us at at a sister hotel, the Live Aqua, Adults All-Inclusive Resort. They also comped a full body massage and a half day at the spa. We did need to take a cab to and from in order to spend time with the bride, friends & family and attend the wedding, but they ensured we had all access pass to both resorts. Our hotel was lovely, with a spa like ambience throughout, beautiful pools and amazing restaurants. We actually preferred the food there. It was a 5-star experience!

No puedo creer que ya se haya acabado el verano, aunque si le doy la bienvenida al cambio de clima. No puedo negar que soy una chica costera, así que cualquier oportunidad que tengo de ir a la playa, la aprovecho. En junio, comenzamos nuestra temporada de verano con un viaje a Cancún, MX para la boda de nuestra gran amiga. Era mi primera vez viajando a México así que estaba bien emocionada! Tuvimos una experiencia interesante. Nosotros hicimos las reservaciones para quedarnos en el mismo hotel que los novios y familia, pero había construcción en el hotel y tuvieron que mover a varios huéspedes. Yo estaba muy descontenta, pero logramos negociar con el gerente del hotel y nos movieron a un resort de la misma compañía, el Live Aqua, Adults All-Inclusive Resort. También me regalaron un masaje y una experiencia en el spa. Aunque tuvimos que tomar un taxi entre ambos hoteles para compartir con la familia, los novios y asistir a la boda, ellos se aseguraron de que tuviéramos acceso ilimitado en ambos hoteles. El Live Aqua estuvo muy bello, con un ambiente de spa, hermosas piscinas y restaurantes increíbles. De hecho, nos gustó más la comida de ahí. Fue una experiencia de 5 estrellas!