Paris is always a great idea.

I love paris. I LOVE PARIS!! No really I do. This last trip really solidified my love for it, the cold, the rain, the police sirens, pretty much everything about it. Paris felt so familiar this time around, we walked around like we knew where we were. Saint Germain des Pres we met again, thank you Airbnb keeping us away from hotels and into lovely flats. Musee d’Orsay was two blocks away TWO! Jeanette and I checked it out one early morning before heading to Giverny (Monet’s Garden yeaahhh) I was mind blown below you will find some of my favorite pieces, the restaurants weren’t opened but I was able to take pictures, the interior design of them were oh so beautiful.

Eric Kayser bakery was our go to every morning actually anytime during the day, no fucks given. My sister cooked a couple of times but for the most part CARBS CARBS CARBS!

Last year we took a tour bus to Versailles and I loved it, this year we did a tour to Monet’s Garden. Whilst trying to figure out my major in college I always gravitated towards art,  Art History was one of my choices as well photography. I really couldn’t pass on the chance to go to Monet’s Garden so I bought the tickets months before our trip. When we got there it was gloomy it had been raining a lot! The Seine river was in the midst of overflowing, with that said we weren’t sure how the weather would be. I’ve gotten so lucky in my travels and haven’t been caught in full rainy days.

I will be breaking up Paris into 2 post since I have a lot of pictures!

Van Gogh Bucket List!

Favorite furniture pieces

Lisbon.

Lisbon!! Lisbon is one of those places that just felt like home…BUT let me start from the beginning with Lisbon.

We got there waited in thee longest line for a taxi, blah, blah, blah, I left my phone in that taxi and that was the start to the best thing to ever happen to me. Yes the thought that someone could invade my privacy still haunts me at times but, then again if they connect to wifi my phone would reset itself THAT makes me feel better……… With that said just thinking about it now gives me chills. I am that person that doesn’t let anyone touch their phone, I am not hiding a damn thing I just don’t like it.

Our first night there we stayed in after walking around our little neighborhood, our host left us a bottle of wine, we bought take out and my sister  cooked for her vegetarian friend Jeannette. Safe to say we had a great night.

We woke up bright and early since we only had one full day to see what Lisbon was all about. This is where things got interesting for me and the fact that before this I was texting my best friend and parents like I was still in town. I am that shameless person who is always on their phone, and I saw this as a challenge and learning experience. The only thing I had was my camera and my camera became my best friend, I paid more attention, was definitely in the moment. Jeannette was mailing  post cards and I decided to do just that. The art of post cards is rather dead and even though everyone got their cards after I got back I still had so much fun writing and mailing them out.

One of my favorite moments in Lisbon was sitting on stairs and having this amazing limeade slushy drink. There was something so calming about that moment that will resonate with me forever. Up to this point we had laugh so much especially in Madrid when we tried to only speak Spanish and I failed miserably, and laugh is what we did then too.

After our little break we continued walking around slightly lost Lisbon has so many boutique shops with the cutest souvenirs and knick knacks, LOVED IT! After a full day of walking, exploring, and shopping we headed back. We are really fond of the Airbnb motto and we try to live like a local, which for us means cooking. I know what you might be thinking, why not go to bars and explore? I am not that big of a drinker and I love the whole sitting around a table intimate moments, I live for that shit.

Thank you Lisbon for engraving yourself into my soul. DEEP!

Our Airbnb was the absolute cutest!

Maruecos.

Highlights of Morocco:

  • Starts and end with just being there.
  • The food: pastillas, fruits, skewers, couscous, tajin, MINT TEA!!
  • Souks.
  • Our guide was amazing and very informative.
  • My little crew.
  • Our beautiful riad.

sidenote: my sister has been obsessed with Morocco since “El Clon” which is a telenovela that came out in 2001. I remember buying the bracelets with connecting rings. ALSO, after watching the Bourne Ultimatum you’d also understand why we’ve gone where we’ve gone.

I am beyond grateful for the places we’ve gone to but Morocco was a shell shock experience and I am happy for everything we have learned from that. Hearing prayer call 5 times a day was incredible.. I am a huge fan of Homeland and those are the little details I remember from the show and to actually be able to experience it meant everything to me.

24hrs in Seville

OH SEVILLE! You broke my heart with all your beauty. First thing first shout out to our Airbnb host 1. your apartment was gorgeous! 2. thank you for setting us up and suggesting the flamenco show that we saw, for the history lessons, for caring all our luggage and for always being available for our questions.

Safe to say I loved Seville we almost didn’t leave to Madrid because we wanted to stay longer! EVERYTHING about it was incredible not to mention we found our way fairly quickly, which made us feel right at home. Everything was at our fingertips (I am sorry not sure exactly where we stayed but click on the link to get an idea). We arrived to Seville bright and early, since we were short on time, we headed out to explore walked around to check out shops, churches, places to eat, etc. My memory is a little hazy about the timeline but it happened at some point!

LOVED Alcazar my god that place and all its intricate detail. Moorish design is my absolute favorite I love everything about it, yes Granada is still on my to do list. I literally sat in a nook around the courtyard to just wrap my head around this place.

SO about that flamenco show…my sister is obsessed with Anthony Bourdain with that said his flamenco experience was something that we wanted to have. A small setting, intimate, full of story telling, thanks to our host that is exactly what we got. Seville has some of the must see flamenco dances in Spain and it did NOT disappoint. After our show we stopped by for some ice cream, sat by the steps of the church and took a breather whilst having dessert before dinner of course.

 

 

Barcelona – Spain

HELLO! 2016 has been wild and we still have 6 months to go. In  May we (my sister Karen, our cousin Sam, and my sister’s friend Jeannette) jetted off to Europe we started in Barcelona, TAPAS, TAPAS, TAPAS!! I usually google till my little chubby fingers are tired but, I did no such thing this time around. I was extremely excited to be traveling period and just wanted to “wing it”.

I think the most memorable thing about this trip was our bonding experience, we laughed SO much to me that was a beauty within itself. Not to diminish all the beauty we encountered or culture it was all there, just not afraid to pick favorites is all.

One thing we started doing during our trip was “3 things you are grateful for about this trip” I think we all realized the importance of how humbling our trip actually was.. My dad always encouraged us to travel if we could. Traveling was never my thing and I have said this before, it is one of those loves that I didn’t expect and I am obsessed with wanting to see the world and all it’s wonders that it has to offer.

ANYWAYS, enough of that! In Barcelona we stayed a block away from Sagrada Familia, FUCK! that place is ridiculous and overwhelming, the amount of detail that is going into it.. jaw dropping. The only reason I gave up on planning out Barcelona was because everything I wanted to do was too far or would take too long, it felt upsetting so winging it seemed like the best choice. I would love to go back and do everything I really wanted to do.

My favorite part about Barcelona was Gothic Quarter! We pretty much found it by luck we weren’t exactly sure where we were going and the next thing you know there we were. There was this ice cream shop that I fell in love with, everything about it’s location and the style was perfection. Another favorite moment was this man and his bubbles!! This is the most genuine moment I’ve experienced in my life (that statement may or may not be an exaggeration but fuck it.) It really made us stop an just enjoy that moment, watching him and the people and kids smiling something so simple made strangers happy.

 

NTC – Nike Training Club

The first time I signed up for  NTC  was at the gym with my friend Nadia, we really liked the intensity of it and the instructors always brought the right energy with them. After I ditched the gym I started working out on my own, absolutely love sprinting and running up and down bleachers, I ended up finding myself at my old high school quite a bit after that.

My cousin Samantha works for Nike and I follow Nike Women on Twitter which is where I first heard of the Nike Tour back in 2014(note: my cousin is my go to for Nike info obvs.). Back then I didn’t think driving to Santa Monica for a free work out was worth it.. It wasn’t until last year that it was being held in Downtown LA that I gave it a go. By this time I had no idea how out of shape I really was I struggled, ached, and felt embarrassed. After my first class I was hooked, signed up every week brought friends, went alone. I tend to be a creature of habit at times and a year later I am still showing up Mondays and Saturdays unless I’m traveling.

Words can’t even explain the energy that goes on during these classes, everyone is super encouraging, it’s very no man stays behind kinda feel, it is exactly what you need when you are giving up on yourself.

One of the biggest reasons I continue to go is *drumroll please* my anxiety, we all hear this often,  it’s not that surprising. The feeling that your life is falling apart, something bad is about to happen, feeling like you can’t breathe, on and on. Four years later I finally feel like I’ve got it somewhat under control, I’ve shown up after having a full on anxiety attack and have left feeling so much better. I’ve shown up after a shitty day at work, after an amazing weekend, vacation, moment and so on. Good or bad I show up because it makes me feel great about myself (losing some of the weight I had gained was the biggest perk).

One of my favorite photographers has captured some of my and everyone else’s  greatest moments while at NTC and I am forever thankful, John Jefferson check his instagram out.

All the images below were taken by John, enjoy.

Point Mugu

Point Mugu State Park is located in Malibu (think end of Malibu), and it’s one of my favorite places to hike. Discovered this gem last year and have tried to go any chance I get, it’s quite the drive for me so Spring and Summer are my times to go.

My cousin was in town from San Francisco her sister suggested we go hiking AND me being me told them it was worth it and we would go slow key words for strenuous. Hiking to me is so second nature at this point that I never really take into consideration other peoples stamina, the kids had a BLAST their mother on the other hand was struggling (love you kay). I had totally forgotten the length of the hike and the elevation(Chumash Trail is the steeper quicker way to the top, which is what we took).. This particular day ended up being SO windy, apparently in Los Angeles it was raining we were so far from it that it didn’t make sense as to why it was so effin windy. Everyone was being such a great sport about it, which is all I could ever ask of anyone.

The views are incredible and worth the struggle, please enjoy:

Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Started the year with a LONG list of things I wanted to do, and places to see, it is safe to say  that the universe had completely different plans for my life. Rainy days, long lines, demolitions, snow etc. have prevented things from happening it is still early in the year but fuck, what a way to start. I have my BIG trip in May which I’m extremely excited about but as of right now, I hope my little trips end up happening at one point or another.

Speaking of attempts Blanca and I finally went to downtown and walked around, took a whole 2 tries. Downtown LA is best on the metro if it’s accessible to you, I left my car at one of the stations and off we were. I’d been wanting to photograph the Walt Disney Concert Hall since my friends wedding in November. The design reminds me a lot of Antelope Canyon.  I am that person that sticks to what they know and love.

Below is what I got from this trip: