My weekend trip to Chicago was a total delight! I got to see one of my best friends, Tiffany, before she moved out of Chicago AND there is a little surprise for my younger sisters, Fatima and Mariana, that came from the trip! Keep reading….
Even though I forgot my heavy coat for this trip I had a light wool jacket and an oversized H&M scarf to wrap myself in. I also wore my favorite Levi’s Jeans and over the knee leather boots.
I was lucky to be there on a weekend that boasted the “best” weather they’ve had in months. On Saturday we had a high of 39′ with the very predictable wind of the city. We were tempted to stay in, but who are we kidding?! We had shopping and sightseeing to do. On foot! We made it to Millennium Park and took the mandatory photo with Anish Kapoor’s “Cloud Gate,” more commonly known as “The Bean.”
Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor.
The couple behind me started kissing just as Tiff was about to take the photo. Did they photobomb my pic or did I creep on their kiss…?
The next day we met up with our friend John for brunch and the three of us walked to the Navy Pier. There’s a really cool booth I had to visit in order to get something special for my sisters…but before we get to that…we walked to Jane Addams Memorial park where we took these photos. Yes, the kid in us came out to play and why not hang from a tree!!
The first time I sat on my anchor chair at RightThisMinute and saw a slew of extreme sports videos I knew the daredevil in me had been stirred. My goodness, I wanted so bad to be the race car driver going 150MPH on a track. Or the skier jumping off a helicopter to ski the mountain top powder. Or the wingsuit pilot that was “Grinding the Crack.” Granted, I’ll continue living vicariously through Jeb Corliss when it comes to wingsuit flying, but there are a number of sports I can more easily put under my belt. Like scuba diving. Don’t laugh!
I must say: I’m terrified of sharks. The thought of encountering sharks in open water sends a chill down my back. BUT, the idea of facing that fear is more fascinating than fear itself. So, I reached out to a good friend and PADI dive instructor, Jeff Ranby, to help me get certified. He’s been teaching for years and has traveled around the world on diving adventures. It was time for us to get to work.
I also got my friends Sol and Leonardo to get certified with me and after syncing up our busy schedules we made it happen. Leo manages a cute boutique hotel in Arizona and we were able to use their pool for the “confined water dive” portion of the certification. I must say… the sunny winters in Arizona are pretty awesome!
I’m very excited to share this experience with one of my best friends, Sol Ballard. She is a fantastic inspirational speaker who once was bullied because of her […] Continue reading
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
(La Sagrada Familia)
And so… after realizing that I had not taken a real “vacation” for more than 10 years I decided to make it happen. Time goes by so fast and we become so entranced in the servitude of our jobs/careers that we forget to explore the world. We forget that there’s a marvelous world outside our own.
So, after very little convincing… my very good friend Tiffany and I decided to hit Europe together. Weeks later, after some logistical planning, we were ecstatic to finally have our plane tickets and hotels booked! Barcelona, Nice, and Paris awaited. Continue reading
(Wearing my trusted distressed Levi’s, silk Kenneth Cole tank, H&M scarf, and Michael Kors belt purse–my favorite accessory when traveling.)
My good friend Nadine Velazquez and I decided to take a trip to Sedona, AZ a couple of weeks ago after talking about it for almost 2 years. She took a break from her role as Deputy D.A. Emma Rios in the TNT show Major Crimes and I was eager to spend time with my friend! I really can’t tell you how amazing this place is. We enjoyed relaxing and especially loved hiking around this magical place.
One of our hike destinations was the West Fork Trail. The trail is about 3 miles long with lush green vegetation, the West Fork Creek, and magnificent red sandstone cliffs that repeatedly left us in awe. It will take you several hours to hike the entire distance since the round trip is about 6 miles long. Continue reading
It’s always fun to partake in new experiences and learn something new about another culture. Recently I went to RO HO EN, the Japanese Friendship Garden in Phoenix, Az. They host traditional Japanese tea ceremonies once a month thru May and I was lucky enough to score a seat in one of them. It is customary to serve Matcha tea.
Hands and mouth must be rinsed before the tea ceremony with water from this basin called a Tsukubai.
The Tsukubai is a basin used to rinse your hands and mouth as a purifying ritual before entering the tea house for the ceremony.
Once seated the hosts bring you a sweet sugar bar and a ginger cookie to sweeten your palate.
Drinking the matcha tea. The tea bowl must be held over your left hand and the right hand must grab the bowl from the side.
The Ro Ho En is an authentic 3 1/2 acre Japanese Stroll Garden. 1,500 tons of hand picked rock stone footbridges. Lanterns. More than 50 varieties of plants. A 12-foot waterfall. A Koi pond with over 300 colorful Koi fish.