In April of this year, Louis and I took our first trip together (like actually relaxing trip) since June 2013. I KNOW. We wanted to go somewhere not too far, with a beach and nice weather. The Canary Islands seemed like the perfect option in terms of distance and ticket prices. Plus, I had heard nothing but great things about the islands from pals.
We did one of those all inclusive hotels on a beach with a pool and food and the works which is pretty hilarious, but you know what… it was perfect because basically all we wanted to do in reality was lay around in the sun somewhere and do nothing. As much as I would have liked to find a charming little AirBnb and all and cook ourselves every night and go out and about to discover cute towns (la prochaine fois…) – let’s be honest – trips can be pretty damn expensive. I’m still grumpy about how much my ticket home for Christmas in Colorado cost me, oy vey. This trip was a be-lazy-and-lay-around-and-soak-up-the-sun type of trip, and not an adventurous-cutesie-discover-the-culture-and-whatnot type of trip. Ever feel the need for that kind of escape?
In the middle of our super duper lazy island getaway, we rented a car and roamed the island. We started by wandering up the northwest coast of the island, with the endless white sandy beaches, then up to the northern tip at Corralejo where we had some typical Spanish grub and the most enormous servings of food I have ever had in my entire life at Avenida followed by some local ice cream at La Cremeria.
Part of what was so beautiful about Fuerteventura was all of the different landscapes: white beaches, volcanic beaches, seaside towns with white stucco, flat desert roads, infinite red hills, cliffside nude beaches, windy mountain roads with chilly breezes… we genuinely had no idea when we decided to take a tour around the island just how many different astonishing views we would see. And come on, it’s not like the island is huge, you can drive around it easily in an afternoon. Anyways, heading back down South that day we found ourselves amongst goats in Betancuría (goats are EVERYRWHERE) on the highest of hills with nothing but grades of red hills as far as you can see. It was surprisingly refreshing to not have a GPS and to just go through little towns and follow signs towards the towns we recognized or that were printed on the shitty map our hotel gave us. The next day was devoted to the very very southern tip of the island, that is called the Jandía peninsula. Some pockets are definitely more touristy, but we found a very lovely little nude beach called Playa del mal Nombre that I highly recommend if you’re looking to just lay around (there are goats there, too). If you’re feeling crazy drive up in the Parque Natural Jandía, but fudge it was scary with the little roads that swirve up mountainsides and when another car comes you’re worried one of the cars will roll off the steep hillside. It was serious offroading.
Bref, a week well spent.
MY FUERTEVENTURA TIPS:
Playas on the northeast coast of island, facing the Parque Natural Corralejo
Hills of Betancuría and surounding little mountain towns
Playa del mal Nombre
El Cotillo Lighthouse
Eat garlic shrimp everywhere
Drink honey rum on the rocks
When flying through Dallas home for the holidays last year, I knew I had to make a pit stop in Dallas to see my doll and favorite Texan, Annie, with whom I went to Uni in Paris. Depsite the super duper early morning flight after a snow storm hit Denver that previous evening, I was perky as can be and so stoked to finally go outside of the DFW airport walls.
Annie was one of my main partners in crime in Paris, the girl is passionate about good food with quality ingredients and homegirl knows her history. It was damn exceptional to finally get to her hood and see her fav’ spots. Our day was a quick one: around 9am to 4pm when had to be back at the airport. We kicked off the morning right: with coffee and breakfast tacos in the Deep Ellum neighborhood. Super wide streets bordered by brick buildings and precious storefronts and colorful street art… damn, in my eyes Dallas is incredibly charming! Downtown we made a quick pit stop so I could buy some cowboy boots (when in Rome, right?) before heading up for pie and a stroll in the Bishop Arts District. I was rather intrigued by the deserted areas with bail bond shops and supersized billboards and Texan flags blowing in the wind… it was the perfect speedy tour of Dallas. The southern draw truly brought a smile to my face. Of course, the trip couldn’t wound off better, as we headed to chill a bit at one of Annie’s favorite places, the Katy Trail Icehouse in Uptown. This magical venue is an outdoor beer garden with fried jalepeños. We sipped Deep Ellum Brewery’s IPA and chatted away until I had to head back to the airport to get my bum back to frogland. Le sigh, next time for more than just a layover, Dirty D.
All Good Café – Deep Ellum – Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner Magic
Emporium Pies - Bishop Arts District – Pie Stop
Katy Trail Icehouse - Uptown – Beer Garden Hangout/Lunch/Dinner/Late night
One of my closest girlfriends, Ana Clara, moved to Munich with her honey for work. Naturally I just had to make it over there to see her life there one weekend. Don’t forget that Munich is freakin’ cold. A February weekend in Munich was a brave choice on my part. Going when it’s balls cold made me even more excited to pop by when the sun is out and we can stroll through the English gardens.
Back to the point: I had been to Munich before twice, once when I was studying abroad for a year in France when I was 16 for a couple of days, and again during my Bachelor’s for Oktoberfest (obvs). This time was more about actually seeing the city. I’m a lucky lady cos Ana eats sanely and loves adorable places with quality products, so every place she took me was just wonderful. Did you know that Germans are super open to vegetarians and vegans and that faux sausages exist all over the place? Even at beer festivals?! High five for the Bavarians.
Ana Clara and Yann-Yves’s close group of friends in the city were so precious and organized a traditional Bavarian brunch when I was in town, which did involve include Witbier before noon, wurst, pretzels and the works. These fine people then accompanied us to the local Starkbierfest that was that exact weekend, ha, which made for the most Bavarian day possible. If you’re planning a trip to Munich and like beer and beer culture, definitely check out if there are any small beer festivals going on, nothing like a liter of beer and pretzels and men in Lederhosen!
Strolling through the Munich streets, I was constantly in love with the pastel buildings, and the wideness of the streets and spaciousness of the interiors. Something about it was just so charming. For a city that had been basically rebuilt, even the modern buildings keep their original architecture, which I though was pretty cool. BTW, don’t jay-walk in Munich, apparently it’s a no no.
Boogie Donuts – Donuts To Go
Daddy Longlegs – Healthy/Coffee/Breakfast/Lunch/Snack
Dallmayr – Specialty Shop/Chocolates/Tea
La Taquéria – Mexican/Lunch/Dinner
Joon – European/Dinner/Bar/Cocktails
Wirthaus Hörreshof – Traditional Bavarian/Lunch/Dinner
While in Denver over the holidays, a weekend in Santa Fe was the perfect getaway within a getaway… entre filles. With my homegirls Liz and Caroline we made the trek due south for a mini 1-night road trip. Only 6 hours from Denver, one of the sources of my mom’s inspiration and taste and a place my bestie knew pretty darn well, believe it or not, I had never been. This entire post was prepared while listening to the song “Santa Fe” from my favorite musical, Rent, on repeat by the way. Ahem.
On the drive down we saw quite a bit of diverse landscapes: blue skies, a blizzard, icey mountain roads, South Park, the Collegiate Peaks covered with hats made of fog, lonely general stores that almost looked abandoned, the Great Sand Dunes from afar, the Colorado/New Mexico border…
Santa Fe is small but filled with history and traditions and it’s own vibe. The adobe buildings bring a whole completely, uniquely and utterly adorable look to the cityscape: one with more nature and for some reason a bit more of a cozy feeling. Something about it is just as charming as fuck. Many of the details were those that inspired my mom to decorate our home, so it all seemed awkwardly familiar. Having always seen my mom in her Native American jewelry as an Arizona-born gal, the local shops had windows filled with silver adorned with stones I somehow knew the name to. Alas, it was a fun experience, and our brief spin through the town still felt so worth it to me with two of my favorite gals on the planet.
Dragon Room @ The Pink Adobe // Restaurant & Bar // Cocktails out
Pasqual’s // Restaurant // Fancy New Mexican meal
The Plaza // Main square with local jewelers and shops
Tune up café // Café // Killer breakfast burrito
This year I want to be about crossing things off my to do list. Visiting places I’ve said I’d visit for a little while (when feasible, obviously). We are so lucky in Europe to be so close to so many beautiful places. The more I think about it, my list for French towns and regions to visit is getting longer and longer. Neighbor countries are doable over a weekend, which is just fantastic if you can work it into your budget.
I’m happy to say that I’ve already planned trips for #1 to #3, but that the others are a couple of the close and far destinations that I’ve certainly got on my mind, amongst many many others on this humongously diverse earth. Thank goodness Pinterest is an infinite source for list lengthening.
Travel is a bit of a weird thing, though. I was very lucky to travel heaps as a kid as my father lived in the Middle East. I’m so grateful for this. But I’ve noticed a “thing” in the work environment, in particular when my team was looking for an intern: some people put their travels on their CV. Literally a list of countries (sorry to any readers who do or have done this). To be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about it. As freshly graduated twenty somethings, travel comes down to three things in my opinion. One, you have the means to travel heaps thanks do daddy and mommy. Two, your parents took your traveling a lot as it is a passion of theirs and they found it important so when you can you do it. Three, you decided to travel on your own or work really hard to save up and have the means to be able to take even small trips because you’re anxious to see the world and discover different cultures. Anyways. I know many people who are so passionate about traveling and who have worked hard to be able to afford to travel, and I know how I find it so important to go to different parts of the world if you are able to. But for some this remains a luxury. Bref, I just don’t think a list of countries visited shows much on a CV out of context (ie. study abroad, backpacking…). Whatever.
Discover my travel dreams board on Pinterest here.
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IMAGE SOURCES (FOUND VIA PINTEREST): 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6