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

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!

Palm Print Jumper in Puerto Rico

I was looking through my blog posts for this year, and noticed that this post was NEVER published, and I was in shock because it’s one of my favorite impromptu shoots! My hair was blue and purple, we had spent a lovely vacation in Puerto Rico only 4 months after the devastating Hurricane Maria. Now that hurricane season has started up again, my friends & family back home have been low key anxious about this season, which is set to be even worse than last year, yet the island is not even close to recovered from the previous devastation which was less than a year ago. This location where we shot is the Market Square in the city we live in before moving to Texas. We used to get our fresh veggies here, always dined at an amazing local restaurant, shopped hats, and even picked up the best typical candies in town. We make it a point to always visit this place, it’s our place in town! And now that the island is trying to recover, we are even more focused on supporting local businesses, especially if we love the place! Anyway, I love this romper because of the tropical palm print. Even though it’s gloomy and rainy this week, I want a little sunshine in my feed. Have a great week, everybody!
Estuve mirando mis entradas del blog de este año y me di cuenta de que esta nunca fue publicada y me sorprendió porque fue una de mis sesiones de foto sin planificar que me encantó! Mi cabello estaba azul-violeta, y estábamos pasando unas vacaciones muy bonitas en Puerto Rico, solo 4 meses después de la devastación del Huracán Maria. Ahora que ha vuelto la temporada de huracán mis amistades y familiares están de punta, ya que se estima que este año va a ser peor que el pasado y la isla aún no se ha recuperado de la destrucción que ocurrió menos de un año atrás. Estas fotos se tomaron en la Plaza del Mercado de Bayamón, cerca de donde vivíamos antes de mudarnos a Texas. Aquí yo compraba vegetales y frutas frescas, comíamos en un restaurante criollo riquísimo, conseguíamos sombreros y dulces artesanales. Cuando visitamos a Puerto Rico, siempre tenemos que parar aquí, es nuestro lugar favorito en el pueblo! Y ahora que la isla se intenta recuperar, nos enfocamos mas en tratar de apoyar el comercio local, lo cual es fácil si amamos el lugar. De todos modos, me encanta este romper por el estampado tropical. Aunque esta semana esté nublado y lluvioso, les quiero compartir un poco de diversión! Que tengan una linda semana!

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!

Travel Vlog: Visit to the Frida Kahlo Museum

Happy Friday, dolls! I still have so much to share about that Mexico City trip! I practically lived there for 2 months! It’s been a little over a month since my return and I still can’t get over it. It was such an amazing time, including work, believe it or not. During my time there, my husband was able to visit and we truly made the most of the weekends he stayed with me. For this episode of Travel with The Fashion Lotus, we visited the Frida Kahlo Museum in a town right outside of Mexico City called Coyoacán, Frida hometown. It is a beautiful town filled with art and history. Usually the line to get into the museum is super long, but we were fortunate enough that it moved pretty quickly. There is a fee to enter, and also a small fee to take pictures. Check out the video above so you can the breath taking gardens and the amazing exhibit, straight out of Frida’s wardrobe. *Quick note, if you read up on Frida’s biography, you’ll learn that she suffered from tremendous health issues and a horrible accident that left her with severe back pains. A lot of her art and fashions (like the braces, corsets, etc) were inspired by this. And this went on to inspire renowned fashion designers as well, such as Comme de Garçons, Jean Paul Gaultier and Riccardo Tisci, among others. 

Feliz Viernes, mis amores! Todavía tengo tanto por compartir de mi viaje a Ciudad Mexico! Practicamente, estuvo viviendo allí por casi 2 meses! Hace un poco más de un mes desde que regresé, pero aún no lo supero, Fue una experiencia inolvidable, incluyendo todo el trabajo, aunque no lo crean. Durante mi estadía, mi esposo me visitó varias veces y disfrutamos muchísimo, aprovechando esos fines de semana lo más posible. Para este episodio de  Viaja con The Fashion Lotus, visitamos al Museo de Frida Kahlo en Coyoacán, un pueblo just afuera de Ciudad México, y el lugar de nacimiento de Frida. Es un pueblo muy pintoresco, lleno arte e historia. Usualmente la fila para entrar al museo es muy larga, pero tuvimos la fortuna de que se moviera rápido. Hay un costo para entrar y un pequeño cargo por tomar fotos. Vean el video para que vean los hermosos jardines y la increíble exhibición del atuendo de Frida! *Nota al calce, si leen un poco de la biografía de Frida, sabrán que ella sufría de tremendos problemas de salud y un accidente terrible que la dejó encamada con un dolor paralizante de espalda. La gran mayoría de su arte y diseños de moda fueron inspirados por esto. Y luego fue a inspirar grande diseñadores de moda como Comme de Garçons, Jean Paul Gaultier y Riccardo Tisci, entre otros.


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!

           

My Trip to The Grand Canyon

  
A lifelong dream of mine has always been to visit the Grand Canyon. I was fortunate enough to plan an impromptu visit to the South Rim with my friend who lives in Sedona, and we just had the time of our lives. I’d never been and she hadn’t gone in 20 years. It was a relatively short drive, only 2 hours and the scenery was breathtaking the entire way there. I was overly excited, lol! As we got closer to the National Park, I kept feeling extremely giddy and jumped in my seat like a kid! When we walked up to the trail, I almost lost my cool. It was absolutely amazing! I’d seen it from a plane, but in person it just so surreal. It almost looks like a painting. I had to take a moment to reflect on the greatness of this Earth and to show my absolute appreciation to the Universe for allowing me to witness this.
Un sueño hecho realidad fue mi visita al Gran Cañón. Tuve la gran fortuna de visitar el Sur de la formación con mi amiga que vive en Sedona y la pasamos de maravilla. Yo nunca lo había visitado y ella no había ido en 20 años. Fue un viaje relativamente corto, a sólo 2 horas guiando y la ruta panorámica estuvo bellísima. Yo estaba demasiado emocionada, ja ja! Mientras nos acercábamos al parque nacional, me sentía que iba a estallar de la emoción y brincaba en mi asiento! Al andar por el camino, casi me da como un ataque de felicidad! Verdaderamente impresionante! Había visto el Cañón desde un avión, pero en persona se ve surreal. Casi parece una pintura! Tuve que tomar un momento para reflexionar sobre la grandeza de este planeta y demostrar mi apreciación hacia el Universo por permitirme vivir esta experiencia.