Hello San Francisco!

Hello beautiful people! I recently made a trip to San Francisco with my daughter. We were only there for the weekend. So, we squeezed in all we could.

Upon landing and gathering our belongings. We caught the train downtown and checked into the charming Hotel Whitcomb. It was built in the early 20th century, and used as a substitute city hall. After the 1906 earthquake significantly destroyed parts of the city. There’s even a jail in the basement to this day. I didn’t know any of this information prior to check-in. However, I decided to do research after. Due to the creepy vibes I was getting in the hallways. There were many reviews that claimed the hotel was haunted. Previous guest wrote about their belongings falling or moving in the middle of the night. Also, seeing apparitions in their room. Luckily, I didn’t experience any of those occurrences. It was a lovely stay. Though, the rooms could’ve been bigger.

One of the advantages of living on the east coast. Is when visiting the west coast I’m an early bird. I wake up around 5 am, get coffee, and once the sun rises it’s time to explore the city.

The first morning we walked to a popular cajun brunch restaurant, Brenda’s French Soul Food. There was a bit of a wait. However, once we were seated the service was lovely and the food was decent.

After brunch, I wanted to do a little shopping. There was a mall within a half a mile from the restaurant. So, we decided to go on foot. As we made our way down a side street. It became sketchy. It was littered with the homeless for blocks. No one bothered us. However, I did see a man bathing himself from a fire hydrant. At that point it was a full moon. The experience made me uncomfortable and sad. The disparity between the rich and the poor in cities like this are heart rinching and disgraceful. Especially, when it represents itself as a place of love and acceptance for all.

Day two started with coffee at a cute cafe across from my hotel. Then, we headed to The Museum of Ice Cream SF. There’s also a location in NYC. It was my girly girl wet dream. With pink everything, unicorns, a sprinkle pool, and lots of frozen treats. Every room has a different theme where you’re offered ice cream confections. We happened to go during the holiday season so the decor was on another level. The tickets were about $40 per person. I thought it was worth it. We had a great time and captures awesome pics!

Last, but not least. The reason we went to San Francisco was for my daughter to see The Golden Gate Bridge. It was an $8 Uber pool ride and about ten minutes from the hotel. It’s truly an American modern marvel. There’s nothing like seeing my kid’s face filled amazement. We also took in Alcatraz Island and just the beautiful skyline of the city.

This was my second trip to San Fran, and the first for my daughter. With that said, I kept the activities easy and quick. On my previous trip, I explored a lot more. My highlights were definitely Fisherman’s Warfs with sea lions. Ashbury neighborhood with hippie and Full House vibes. My favorite was definitely Castro District. It is a community dedicated to the LGBTIA and allies.

I was thrilled to rediscover the city. People are genuinely nice without an agenda. Unlike other parts of California. There’s also no shortage of activities and views. In my opinions, it’s one of the most beautiful major cities in America. 🙂

Miami Art Basel

Hello beautiful people! Miami was my previous city of residence for eight years. It still feels like a second home. Though I couldn’t afford it when it was my first and definitely cant afford it now. I made life long friends and had life changing experiences in those eight years. A few days ago, one of my best friends called me, because she acquired VIP passes to the main exhibition for Miami Art Basel. So, I jumped at the opportunity to take a quick trip back to sunny South Florida.

Art Basel is an international art event held annually in Miami and Hong Kong. In Miami, there are art galleries set up throughout the city. There are hundreds of galleries and thousands of artist from around the world featured. Primarily in Miami Beach, the Design District, and the Wynwood Art District. I had previously attended events in the Design District and Wynwood. This time was disignated for Miami Beach. Mainly due to that horrible traffic and parking in the other two districts.

Outside of Art Basel. I went out to a new lounge by the name of Sweet Liberty. I loved this place. There was good music, food, decor, and had a more local feeling. What does that mean? In comparison other Miami Beach night life establishements. It wasn’t full of horny tourist and girls in bodycon dresses looking for there next sugar daddy. It was just chill. I will say, it is very easy to spend $50 to $100 for a couples of drinks and a meal.

I also made a visit to The Brickell neighborhood to have a fine dining experience at Asian fusion restaurant Komodo. This place is not cheap by any means. It’s an average of $60 per person without beverages. It is denfinitly worth the ambiance and experience. You may even see a celeb or two. It’s been known to host Drake, Derek Jetter, the Kardashians, and many others.

For anyone who just needs to feed themselves while on vacation. My favorite spots on Miami Beach were always Pizza Rustica, Big Pink, and Burger King that serves beer. There are other national franchises for a quick bite as well. Stay away from any restaurant on Ocean Drive. Particularly the ones with pretty girls trying to shove menus in your face. Not only will it cost you. The food and booze they are peddling aren’t worth it.

Although, I spent less than 48 hours in Miami. It was one of the best trips I’ve taken back. I definitely enjoyed the art and food. However, the highlight was getting the chance to spend time with my favorite people on the planet. I haven’t seen them in years and we didn’t skipping a beat. I’m absolutely looking forward revisiting. ¡Hasta luego!

A Day in Nassau Bahamas

Hello beautiful people! I’m a little late on this one, but its a story I wanted to share. I ended my summer with a quick trip to the town of Nassau in the Bahamas. It was actually a cruise out of Miami. I’d never gone on a cruise. Now, I know why. I’m not a fan of being stuck on a boat for days with no way of escaping and terrible WiFi. Those are things nightmares are made of.

Upon docking in Nassau, I felt much better. I was on land, surrounded by clear blue water, and wifi. Nassau has one of the busiest cruise ship ports in the world. That being said, the market area near the port was chock full of tourists and vendors waiting to take all your fucking money. There were hundreds of locals just yelling what service they provide like, “Boat to Atlantis $4 a person”. My little person seen an Atlantis commercial on TV. So without a doubt, that was the priority on the places to go list. We go up to one of the yelling men, who lead us to a wooden stand where a lady was sitting. We give her a debit card to which she replied, “cash only” in that sweet island accent. Every other vendor we went to only took cash as well. After that, we spent 30 minutes searching for an ATM that spit out US money.  Then, returned to the stand and handed the lady the money to which she replies, “we don’t have change”.  At that point I was getting a smidge upset, because I knew she was full of shit. The look on her face was expressionless. Like she was dead inside. Luckily, a vendor near us helped us out rather quickly. So we could finally board this boat.


There was a local yelling cute facts about the island, like Anna Nicole Smith had her baby here, and Mick Jagger has a house near by. It was pleasant enough, but I was still bent out of shape about the cash thing. He also mentioned that taking tourist back and forth to Atlantis (Paradise Island) was how most of them feed their families. It is otherwise difficult to make a living in a the country.

After his speech, I did a little research. There is a very high dropout rate in the Bahamas. High dropout rates leads to a very high unemployment rates. What does that leads to? Hordes of locals, in the town market yelling at you to get on their boat for $4 in cash and ask for tips. The guy on the boat also made sure to make an inappropriate comment to me, as I was leaving.

The Resort was grand. It reminded me of a Vegas hotel with a mythical oceanic theme. There were luxurious sculptures, a casino, and gold fountains. Nobu restaurant, Gucci, Versace, and Louis Vuitton were among the shops inside. On Paradise Island, which is completely owned by Atlantis, there are aquariums, water parks, private beaches, and many other aquatic activities. Accessible for a minimum of $70 per person, for beach access alone. So needless to say, we just walked around and admired the lavish scenery.

After returning to New Providence Island. I changed and decided to explore a little by myself. I only had about 90 minutes before night fall to take some shots of the city. The ship director warned everyone over the intercom, “Because of high crime, it is unsafe to be out at night, and to stay within common tourist areas. Otherwise, you might get your ass raped or robbed.” I think that’s pretty close to what he said anyway.

Around 4 o’clock all the vendors seemed to have disappeared from the market area. It turned into a ghost town. That’s evident in the photos I took below. It was really weird not seeing a soul in the place that was incredibly vibrant a couple of hours earlier. So much so that it gave me an eerie feeling. I ended staying out just long enough to take a few photos and have a few frozen drinks at Fat Tuesday’s. That turned any fear I had, into liquid courage. I didn’t need it though. I only received a few uncomfortable stares on my walk back to the ship. Where my liquid courage turned into a liquid nap.

It was an interesting day in Nassau. I learned a few things about the people and the land. I may visit another part of the Bahamas one day, but I never need to go to Nassau again. I expected it to be relaxing, but it was a bit overwhelming for me. I’m sure if I had $3000 and a couple extra days. I would of had an amazing time. On the bright side. This was my first trip outside of the U.S. Cheers to many more 🙂

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I did catch this gorgeous sunset

 

 

Tennessee Smoky Mountains Weekend

Hello again beautiful humans. I was looking for a change in scenery, and I hadn’t seen mountains in a while. So I decided to take a trip to scenic Gatlinburg, Tennessee, though I would’ve preferred Nashville. My family owns a timeshare in Gatlinburg, and I am all about being cost effective.

The five hour drive up was nice. From Asheville, North Carolina, until we got off the exit in Tennessee it was notably scenic. About 15 miles outside of Gatlinburg there was a one-car road that lead up the mountain. The only scene happening there was trailers and car graveyards. I’m pretty sure there were at least 5 firearms and framed Trump posters in every trailer we drove past. That 30 minutes was a little nerve wrecking, but we made it out unscathed.

After checking-in and unpacking, we did what any normal people would do in the Tennessee mountains. Go buy a substantial amount of Tennessee-made spirits. Followed by taste testing a substantial amount of Tennessee made spirits. That lead to seeking out some good eats. We drove to the “downtown” strip. The first thing I spotted was a Mexican restaurant across the street from a Ripley’s Believe It or Not Aquarium. That’s when I realized this place was commercialized AF. The entire strip was filled with Ripley’s museums, moonshine distilleries, mall stores, pancake restaurants, and gift shops with one too many Confederate flag souvenirs. This wasn’t the cute mountain town I was hoping for. But when in Tennessee, do as the heavily made-up ladies do.

Day two started at one of the pancake restaurants we saw the day before. It was a gigantic wood cabin with buttery pancakes and fresh omelettes. All very tasty. After breakfast we headed to the space needle to check out the 360 degree view of the Smokies. It was breathtaking 407ft up in the air. At least until I got a bad feeling in my tummy. A very bad feeling. So bad that I had to hop back on the elevator, and excuse myself to an arcade restroom. Not sexy. I continued to be un-sexy for a few hours. I kept trying to figure out what the hell was in those pancakes.  Although, I’m sure it may have had something to do with the Tennessee made spirits from the day before.

Later we tried our luck with dinner. There was an ad on tv for a small authentic New Orleans restaurant. It is owned by people who talked like Harry Connick Jr. They relocated to Gatlinburg after hurricane Katrina. The food was absolutely delicious.

Next, we wanted to see what the night life was like. We asked a guy on the street where the happening bars were. He pointed out a couple of placed, and warned us about a bar by the name of Puckers. He said it was trashy and no good. We walked in a couple of places that really weren’t my style. Then, there was Puckers. We walked in and I saw two of the only other black people and one Latin guy. That was the most diverse crowd I’d seen the entire night. The DJ was playing top 40 and hip hop. It was fun. That guy on the street was a hater.

Although I didn’t get to do any nature oriented activities the trip turned out to be lots of fun. It was beautiful there. As we were leaving, we drove back down that one car road, and saw a gentleman in his 40’s with a mullet and cigarette hanging out of his mouth, practicing his badass nunchuck skills. I thought it was the perfect goodbye from Tennessee.