This past Saturday morning, I went to the first Austin Coffee Festival. I was fortunate enough to have gotten two free VIP tickets. I was so excited, I dreamed of coffee for weeks. The festival was located in Fair market near downtown Austin from 10 AM-4 PM. It’s free entry to the festival and you buy nine dollar coffee flights. For VIP it was $30 dollars to buy online and $40 dollars to buy in person. For the VIP you get unlimited coffee, cocktails, and access to the VIP lounge space. In VIP they had cold brew, dripped coffee, and they provided you with milk, milk alternatives, and sugar. They recommended that you bring your own mug to help not use a lot paper cups at the festival. However, I forgot mine. Outside the VIP they had free samples of some coffee drinks or food. They also had food and coffee that you could buy. Such as breakfast biscuits and pastries. I went outside to the food trucks and had a vegetarian quiche made with sweet potato crust. It was delicious and perfect with coffee. One of my favorite parts of the event is that you could bring your dog. I saw a lot cute dogs and it was amazing.
My recommendation for the Austin Coffee Festival would be to use the free entry instead VIP, walk around, and see what samples you can get with the nine dollar coffee flight. Then try the free samples and enjoy the event. The VIP was great because I got unlimited coffee/cocktails and my cold-brew was delicious but you can still enjoy the event without having to purchase VIP for $30 to $40 dollars. Especially, if you want to spend more money on food and buying coffee beans. I had so much fun at the event that I wish I spend more time there. Now, for the next Austin Coffee Festival in 2020.
For my Malaysia trip, I will be stopping in Phuket, Thailand. The whole trip is six days that I will be spending with my friend Lydnsey. I will spend three days in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia then take a flight to Phuket. I will spend one night in Thailand, then fly back to Malaysia then spend another two days there. Even though our trip to Thailand is very short, its something we are excited for. These are some things my friend and I will do in Thailand:
Phuket Elephant Sanctuary in Paklok:
It’s the first and only ethical Sanctuary in Paklok, Phuket. The first day we are in Phuekt we will do an afternoon tour here. We choose to come here because they rescue elephants. You get less time with the elephants but you to see elephants in their natural habit. We will get to feed them, watch them bathe, and walk the area. The ticket is a $100 U.S dollars and they use the money to rescue other elephants. That is a good $100 dollars well spend.
Boat ride in Phang Nga Bay:
The tour we are going on is called BJ canoeing tours. A boat trip were we go to various islands. Like James Bond Island, Panak Island, Hong Island and etc. This will be the second day in Phuekt. The last day will be there and a great way to trip, with a lot sightseeing.
I am pretty sure we check out the nightlife and explore more of the Phuket. Also, relax in our amazing resort. We have not bought our flight to Thailand yet. That is something we will be purchasing next month. I am so happy that I will be visiting two countries in December.
I have not been feeling the greatest lately, so I wanted to do a part 2 of Top Ten Things I’m grateful for. My part 1 can be found here. Writing things I am grateful helps me feel more positive and energized. I promised myself back in March of 2018, that every evening I was post top things I am grateful for. However, I have not been doing that. I need to start it back up. This post is to help me start it back up. This one will be shared but the rest will be on my own.
- My Spain trip in October
- My Malaysia and Thailand trip in December
- My Dallas trip this past weekend, to see friends and family
- That Fall is coming up
- That I have supported friends
- That I can sleep in on the weekends
- That emporium pies exists
- That I will be a mentor for a student at UT Austin.
- My birchbox supscription
- I get to spend time with my friends cats this week.
I notice that when I first start my top 10 things, I have hard time thinking of them. Then I can not stop and realize how many great things I have in my life. It really is very helpful, when you are not feeling your best.
This year has been good to me about traveling. 2019 is the year of travel for me. I have visited Portland OR, Destin FL (Santa Rosa beach), and I will be going to Spain in October and Malaysia in December. I am also hoping to visit Thailand or Singapore when I am in Malaysia. It’s exciting that all I can think about is travel. I have been looking at Vlogs, reading travel books, and blogs. Also, this is the first time I will be traveling internationally with friends. My international trips before I went solo with a travel company. I met new friends on my trip but I did not go with friends already. My trips to Spain and Malaysia is something I get to experience with my friends. We will create new memories together.
I have already bought the plane tickets from my trips. I will be flying to Madrid on Oct 21st and flying to Kuala lumpur on Dec 21st but will get there Dec 22nd. We will be back in Texas Dec 30th. The hotels or hostels have not been set up yet. My friend Lydnsey and are planning our hotels/hostels in mid September for Malaysia. We even want to plan visiting an elephant park in Thailand even if its just for a day. Neither of us have been to Asia and we are both really excited. I am glad I will be experiencing this trip with her. For my Spain trip, I will be going with 3 of my friends. We are planning to set up a hotel, hostel, or airbnb really soon. The days are flying by and October will be here before you know it. I also want to plan to visit Barcelona. Apparently, I can the AVE, a fast train to get me there. Its seems like my friends are on board with it too.
Both my Portland and Florida trip were amazing. For my future trips, I am really excited about them. I also had a new learning experience by setting up my Spain and Malaysia trips. I got to experience buying my first internationally plane tickets. My past international trips, the plane tickets were set up for me. I also get to experience going with friends for the first time. 2019 has been good to me and I hope the same for 2020.
Last summer, my friend Sophie told me she wanted to go to Spain to visit her business partner in October 2019. I was excited, I told her I would go with her. I figured it was enough time for me to prepare and save. On my way to Portland this past June, she texted me that she figured out the dates for October. I was not sure if I could go due to finances and time off from work. I am always trying to save and get travel points on my credit cars. However, my Florida and Malaysia trips took both my savings for travel and my travel points. I thought about it for awhile and decided to use some savings I had left over, ask off the days from work, and I booked the trip while video chatting my friends at the same time.
It’s official, I am going to Madrid and hopefully Barcelona in October. I will be there for a week with three other friends. We will be splitting the hotel or airbnb, drinking sangria, and sharing tapas. I am so excited to be going with friends and to be traveling. There is a countdown on my phone, I have been researching on what to do in Madrid and Barcelona, and I keep texting my friends about hotel ideas. October 2019 can not get here fast enough. Some things I want to visit are Plaza Mayor, Porque de el Retiro, and eat at the oldest restaurant in the world. If anyone has additional recommendations please let me know.
Austin TX is known for having a lot food trucks. They’re everywhere, at bars, coffee shops, and they even have food truck parks filled with them. They have a variety of different food trucks from Indian food, Thai food, desserts, vegan food trucks, and of course taco food trucks. For the many food trucks in Austin, I wanted to write a blog on my favorite food trucks.
- Dee Dee: a Northern Thai food truck and it’s located in the patio of Radio Coffee. It’s a husband and wife that run it. The wife is from Thailand and cooks her family recipes. My favorite is the pad kaprow. It’s spicy stir-fried pork with fried Thai basil and fried egg with jasmine rice. I usually order a green Thai tea to help with the spice. However, you can ask the staff to lower the spice. Also, you need to order the mango with sticky rice.
- Patrizi’s: I recently just tired the Italian food truck and it immediately became one of my favorites. They make their own pasta and the servers explain the menu to you very well. I ordered the Cacio e Pepe. It had olive oil, pepper, and grana padano cheese. I added honey to the pasta and it was perfect. You can also add bacon and other options to the pasta. However, I tired my friend’s pasta and liked hers more. I think she ordered the Parizi’s red sauce.
- Rosita’s Al Pastor: in my opinion they serve the best breakfast tacos in Austin. I think they make their own tortillas and they are delicious. They’re mostly know for their tacos a pastor. It’s 24 hour marinated pork and it’s a secret family recipe.
- Ranch Hand: It’s a good place to eat healthy. I like to order the Rosemary garlic chicken salad. It has spinach, purple rice, sweet potatoes, apples, pumpkin seeds, and goat cheese. They are located by Native hostel. You have to order through the hostel not the food truck. Which is great because the hostel is so cute
If you want to experience food trucks, come to Austin. You will not be disappointed by the lack of food trucks. All you have to do is drive around Austin and you will find one. I hope this list can help you get a start on visiting some of them. My recommendation is to call the food truck before visiting because the hours can vary. If not look at the social media pages or the website.
Santa Rosa is part of the Fort Walton Beach-Crestview-Destin, Flordia Metropolitan area. We stayed in a place called Watercolor. It’s a resort and residential community that is near the Santa Rosa beach. Santa Rosa Florida was stunning. They had beautiful white beaches and the water was not cold or hot. It was a perfect beach vacation with my family. They even had this amazing neighborhood called Seaside. They had food trucks, a coffee shop, clothing stores, and more restaurants. It looked like a place where a romantic comedy would take place. This vacation was very relaxing, my family and I would go to the beach in morning and get something to eat for lunch or dinner and then walk around seaside. We also went to a water-park in watercolor and that was a lot fun. My nephew even made me get on the slide because I was scared.
Santa Rosa beach is a must. I really fell in love with it and I am still dreaming about it today. I wish I was there now. I was really excited about the seafood because the ocean is right there. Obviously, I had more than seafood because it’s vacation. Here are some restaurant recommendations:
- Pizza Bar: Delicious pizza with a good view. We sat outside and the weather was great because we were near the ocean. Even the Brussels sprouts were good at Pizza Bar.
- Stinky’s fish camp: first place we ate at. It was further from our house rental on our way from the airport. Our server told us that the food is fresh nothing is frozen. I had the fish tacos. The portions were huge and one was enough. My family and I shared the ceviche and it was amazing.
- Grayton seafood co: I ordered the Alfredo with shrimp and crawfish. It’s one of the best Alfredo’s I have ever had. Of course, we had to take a picture outside the restaurant.
- Five Daughter’s Bakery: it’s a food truck in seaside. We ordered the donuts. My sister and I shared the bacon donut. It was good but really sweet. It was a lot for the morning and I am glad we shared it.
Watercolor resort was great to us and we were walking distance from Santa Rosa beach. We were near the cute neighborhood of Seaside. Also, we walking distance from some restaurants and cute shops. I absolutely fell in love with Santa Rosa and watercolor. It’s an area I want to come back too. The seafood was great and there was beautiful views. Our shuttle driver told us May is a good time to visit because its not that hot and less crowded. I am so happy my brother set up this trip and I hope we do it again soon.