Travel · Uncategorized

Why Iceland is Worth Visiting

I had the opportunity to visit Iceland last month. I went with a tour group called EF Ultimate break. There was 45 other people in my group. If you’re vaccinated or previous had COVID, you do not need a negative COVID test or have to quarantine to visit Iceland (This has changed). I arrived in Reykjavik on Saturday July 17th at 6 AM. The first thing we did was explore Reykjavik. The city is beautiful and has a lot to do. Keep in mind that stores and restaurants close early and bars close early on the weekdays. My lunch was from a famous hot dog stand called Bæjarins beztu pylsur. I recommend getting it with everything. It includes ketchup, sweet mustard, fried onion, raw onion and remoladi, a mayonnaise-based sauce with sweet relish. It was really good, probably one of the best hot dogs, I have ever had. After, exploring Reykjavik, we had our welcome dinner. At the welcome dinner I got to meet my whole tour group. We all introduce ourselves and said why we chose Iceland. I had the cod and a beer. The cod was fresh and delicious. We also had dessert, it was a chocolate mousse. After, We went out for beers at Einstok.

The second day we traveled to the Golden Circle. First, we visited Thingvellir National Park, the boundary between the North American and the Eurasian tectonic plates. We got to see the Oxarafoss waterfall and walked between two tectonic plates. Then, we got explore explore the Great Geysir Geothermal area and had lunch. It was the first time I saw a geyser and also see it erupt. It was unbelievable but it did smell like rotten eggs. That day I hurt my foot by stepping on it wrong. It was after visiting Thingvellir National Park. It did not hurt when I saw the geyser but after we stopped by to see a cute Icelandic horse, my foot was in pain. I did not want this to ruin my trip, so I kept going. After the Icelandic horse, we saw Gullfoss waterfall. However, to get close to the waterfall you had to climb stairs and hike rocks. My foot was in pain but I wanted to get closer to waterfall. People in my group helped me walk and I was able to get close to the waterfall. The people in my EF tour group were amazing, they gave me Advil, helped me walk, and asked how I was. After taking Advil, my foot felt better and I took it slow to the next waterfall. After the waterfalls and the geyser, we went back to hotel to sign up for our COVID test. To get back to the United States, you have to take a COVID test (Rapid or PCR) 72 hours before your flight. Our tour director wanted us to sign us up early to get our test results quicker. After, I signed up I had a nurse in my group in my foot. She told me it was swollen and I should rest and ice it. I had a couple of hours to rest my foot before whale watching. I got some ice from the hotel and rested my foot. Whale watching, I sat on the boat and watched the whales and dolphins. I did get a little sea sick but I’m happy I got to see some whales and dolphins on my tour. After, I wanted to get something to eat with some of my group but a lot restaurants were closed. However, I think hot dogs are still open. I went back to the hotel to get ready for the next day.

The 3rd day we explored the the south coast. First, we went to get our covid test. There was a line but it moved pretty fast. Everyone in my group got a negative covid test. They emailed or test you the results. After, we went to Skogafoss and my foot was feeling so much better. However, I didn’t climb to the top to get another view of the waterfall. I really think, I got a good view on the bottom. Then we had lunch and went to Reynisfjara, the black sand beach. For lunch I had a vegetarian sandwich and a latte with rice milk. My meal was delicious. Finally, we to Seljalandsfoss, you can go under this waterfall. I was able to get a good picture, under the waterfall. After this I wanted to rest my foot because it was volcano time, This was not set up by EF but our tour guide found us a place that does tours of the volcano. It was really foggy that day and I didn’t want to make my foot worse, so I didn’t climb as much to see more of the volcano. I sat down with two girls from my group and enjoyed the melted lava and we sat and talked. Later, more people from the group joined us. For dinner, I had Doritos and a protein bar. Even though, I had a sandwich at the hotel I was too tired to eat it.

The last day, I got to explore Reykjavik with my roommate and two other people from my group. I finally tried the bread from Brauo and Co. Its really hard to miss this place because the building is really colorful. The most popular item is the morning bun. It went so well with my chai latte. We walked around with our bread and drinks and went shopping. I got a wool Icelandic blanket for 130 dollars, so worth it. A lava necklace for my dad, lava salts, and a Christmas ornament for my mom. We got to go to Hallgrímskirkja church and a punk rock museum that use to be an old public restroom. Then we went to the blue lagoon, it was a prefect way to end of the trip. We had been walking so much and my foot needed it. I got a drink, my mask, and relaxed and enjoyed being with the group. The Blue Lagoon was packed but it was worth it. The water is so beautiful and relaxing. You can choose different masks to wear and get a variety drinks. I could probably stay at the blue lagoon for a couple of hours. I also recommend visiting the sky lagoon. We had our Farwell dinner, I had lamb and it was delicious. I kept hearing recommendations about the lamb and it was amazing. The meat is soft with so much flavor, I ate my whole plate. On our last day we all talked about our trip and said our goodbyes to our tour director. It was a sentimental moment, I really feel our group got really close. We all looked out for each other and had fun. My group really helped me with my foot and I rarely felt left out. I don’t know if its because of the pandemic why we got so close but it really made the trip. The last thing we did was go out in Reykjavik, we went to a couple bars and just played drinking games. The bars closed at 1 AM on the weekdays but we made the best of it.

Iceland is worth visiting because it feels surreal. I felt like I was on a different planet. I have feeling that Hawaii gives the same feeling. Everything in Iceland is beautiful and Iceland scenery is very unique. I got to experience a lot things I hadn’t seen, a black send beach, a geyser, seeing lava, volcanos, and magical waterfalls. Also, Icelandaic people are really nice and they will go above and beyond to help you. A girl in my group lost her GoPro in the blue lagoon. The people that worked there brought it back to our hotel. They even created a little video saying that they found it. Iceland feels very peaceful and relaxing and I understand why people move there. It’s a really romantic place, I hope my future husband will go on a trip with me to Iceland. Lastly, their tap water is amazing. The best I have ever had! They also have the best yogurt, Skyr. It is a thick consistency and not sugary tasting and very flavorful.

Travel · Uncategorized

Blue Hole Regional Park

Even though its not on my Texas Bucket list post, visiting Blue Hole Reginal Park has been on my Texas Bucket list. The park is about 40 minutes from Austin TX, in Wimberley TX and it has a swimming hole. The water is 75 degrees all year around. It’s spring Feed from water from Jacob’s well. To enter Blue Hole Reginal Park’s swimming hole, you have to make reservations online and the ticket is 12 dollars. If want to enjoy this beautiful area and swim in the water, I recommend making reservations in advance. We made our reservations in the beginning of March for May 15th. The reservation help make the area not too crowded. We had plenty of space to relax.

I had a chance to the visit park and swimming hole on May 15th with some friends. When you first enter the park it’s a little walk to the swimming hole. Then there is a booth where you need to show your reservation. They give you a wrist band to go in and out of the swimming hole area. The swimming hole was surrounded by trees very shady for when its sunny. They have picnic tables (reservation only) but many people had towels on the grass and just enjoyed the nice day. The day we went, it was cloudy but the water was still very enjoyable. There’re two swing sets to jump in the pool. I did go on one of them and my jump was not graceful. However, it was the best way to get in the water. It helped me get adjusted to the water. We also took breaks from the water and try to enjoy what sun we had. The Blue Hole Reginal Park swimming is my favorite swimming hole in Texas. The water is refreshing, the area is beautiful, and the swing sets make the water more fun.

After Blue Hole we went to enjoy some whiskey at Crowded Barrel Whiskey Company. It’s an experimental whiskey company. I’m not a huge whiskey fan but I got a whiskey cocktail and it was delicious. The whiskey company is located in Texas Hill Country and you can enjoy the view while you enjoy your whiskey. After, we got another drink at Desert Door in Driftwood. For dinner we got BBQ. Visiting Wimberly and Driftwood was a nice break from Austin. I have not taken many trips since 2019 and this little trip was what I needed.

Food/Drinks · Travel · Uncategorized

Christmas in Austin 2020 Edition

Hi everyone, I’m trying to write more but I haven’t gone to a lot places. Not as much as I use to. I really miss travel and can’t wait to get back to it when it’s safe. My first trip will be Italy and Amsterdam. This year has been a difficult year but I’m trying to make the best of it. I wanted to write another Christmas post about Austin because the holidays are my favorite. My first one was Christmas in Austin. Here are safe places to visit during the pandemic for the holidays:

  • Gibson Bar: This bar goes all out for Christmas. They have cute Christmas decorations outside and inside the bar. They even have holiday drinks. They have a big outdoor area, where you can sit enjoy holiday drinks and sandwiches from the delicious food truck (Luke’s inside out). I got a hot toddy cocktail (bourbon, lemon, honey, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg) and my friend got a spiked apple cider. Of course, we got food too.
  • Edge Rooftop Bar: Have a beautiful view of downtown Austin while seeing snow fall. Well… fake snow. They do fake snow from 6pm to 10pm Wednesday – Saturday and reservations have to be made. It was fun to experience because there is no snow in Austin. My friend and I had beers, enjoyed downtown views of Austin, and pretended it was real snow.
Enjoying the fake snow.
  • Peppermint Parkway: It’s 35 dollars per vehicle. You get to enjoy holiday lights while you drive in your car. I was not able to experience it but a friend of mine went. She had a good time and I loved seeing her Instagram pictures. Maybe in 2021 I can visit.

I know Christmas is about to come to an end but I wanted to share Christmas places you can visit in the future. It will be a lot more enjoyable when it’s safer. Also, the weather is nice in December in Austin. Christmas outside is perfect in Texas.

Food/Drinks · Travel · Uncategorized

Places to visit in Austin during COVID-19

Hi everyone, I am so sorry I have not written in a while. I think my last blog post was in June. A lot has happen since then that has kept me from writing. I was having a hard time concentrating because 2020 has been a difficult year. I’m going to try to post more often. I really want to post once a week. Today, I wanted to write about places you can visit in Austin, TX during COVID-19. When I get the chance, I try to meet friends outside where we can maintain distance. These are the places we have gone:

Cosmic Coffee and Beer Garden:

This place is located in South Austin. The majority of Cosmic is outside. Expect, when you need to order drinks. The food trucks outside do not serve drinks. The line is inside goes by really fast and they keep the doors open to let outside air in. Cosmic has three food trucks you can try. A Mexican food truck, BBQ food truck, and a wing food truck.


Also, located in South Austin. Lora has an amazing Patio. I really like going at night because of lights they have outside. Last time I went, I got the brisket sandwich and corn fritters. It was delicious. My friend had the burger and potatoes and she liked her meal too. You do have to order food inside but I felt very safe.

Two Hands:

A new restaurant that just opened in Austin. Two hands started in New York and Austin is first location outside of New York to open. It’s located in South Congress and the patio is adorable. You can make reservations in advance. I ordered the lemon poppy seed waffle and it was not sweet at all. It was a really tasty waffle.

Travel · Uncategorized

Travel for 2020

I have been MIA because I have not done much and its been difficult to concentrate.  I did get a chance to visit my parents for Father’s day and I was able to explore Austin a bit for 4th of July. However, we still had to be very cautions and a lot places are still closed. For 4th of July weekend, most things were outdoors like grilling outside and eating at food trucks. We also did a lot takeout and cooking at home. Back with my parents we mostly stayed indoors and watched a lot movies.

 These past few months got me thinking about things I can do in 2020. Things that are safe and that make me feel comfortable. Traveling in 2020 will be different. I mostly want to do things in Texas where I can drive or states near Texas.  My plan is to complete more of my Texas Bucket list. So far I have seen Hamilton pool and Krause Springs. I‘m thinking about getting an Airbnb in Fredericksburg to see Enchanted Rock or visit some vineyards. I am even thinking about visiting Port Aransas to see another Texas Beach. Even Canyon Lake seems like a nice lake spot. The opportunities seem endless now that I am typing this. I have asked my sister and she is excited about all options. I am thinking about going to Fredericksburg next month because its closer to Austin. I want to get us a cute Airbnb that is near some vineyards. Most likely we will be walking around outside and watching a lot movies in the Airbnb. It will be a change in scenery and something we can look forward to. 

Travel · Uncategorized

My Favorite Travel Memories

Since travel has been put on hold, I wanted to share some of my favorite travel memories. Here are some of my favorite travel memories from over the years:


  • Visiting a sheep farm-It was 5 euros to visit the sheep farm. We got to see the sheep being herding by the dogs, see beautiful Ireland scenery, and pet baby sheep. I also learned that sheep farmers are not making much money from selling wool. They actually make the majority of their money from tours. So visit a sheep farm in Ireland to help support them.0D449181-A658-47A1-A997-58A7B63B870C


  • Visiting Oxford and Stonehenge:  In Oxford I took a tour of the city and the University. I learned that Oxford University has different colleges. Including one that doesn’t have students called All Souls College. It reminded me of Hogwarts and the different houses. The campus is absolutely stunning. It had beautiful green grass and old buildings. So much history!
  • Stonehenge was unreal. I felt like I was looking at a picture. I couldn’t believe I was actually looking at Stonehenge! When you get to Stonehenge, they give you a radio to listen to the history and to help prepare for the bus ride there.


  • Crossing our bucket list items in Paris- I was only in Paris for a short time. For a day and half. New Friends and I decided to cross off as many Paris items off our bucket list. We went to the top of the Eiffel tower, saw the love lock bridge, went to louver museum, ate crepes, and took a tour of The Notre dame cathedral. To end the night, we got hot chocolates, sat outside the cafe, and reminisce on our day. It was a lot fun and I got see a lot Paris in such a short time.


  • Neuschwanstein castle- It’s 2.5 hours from Munich. There are two ways to get the castle. A regular path way, which the majority of tourists take. Then the hiking one. I don’t know why I decided to follow my new friends to the hiking one, when I’m not a hiker. It was an interesting experience. The castle was beautiful. I felt like it was really ahead of it’s time.img_0004


  • Exploring Edinburgh- I loved the feeling that Edinburgh gave me. I loved the architecture (the castles and the land was so pretty). Walking around Victoria street in Edinburgh was magical.


  • Traveling with friends-first time I traveled with friends. Before I met friends at my tour group. This time I went with friends already. It amazing to discover a new country together. We were able to try new food and meet locals together. I had have one friend that had been to Madrid, she helped us know what to order and how to navigate the public transportation.


  • Batu caves- It’s a Hindu temple mixed with limestone caves. It’s about 30 minutes from Kuala Lumpur. The cave has has 272 steps to get to the top of the Batu caves. It was the first thing we did in Malaysia. It was so beautiful. We had just landed and got dressed and took a Grab (uber there) to the caves. After, we got coconuts and drank coconut water to hydrate. They also have monkeys at the caves. The monkeys were so cute but be careful because they take your food and drinks.


  • Phuket Elephant Sanctuary- This place does so much for the elephants. They rescue them,  so they can have a better life. These elephants were use to perform for money. Now they can walk freely and without abuse. The elephants look so happy there, I could see it in their eyes. Here you can feed the elephants and watch them walk freely in the land.


Travel · Uncategorized

An Ireland Memory

One of my favorite memories is when I went to Ireland in March 2013. It was my first overseas trip and it was during St. Patrick’s day. I really think I was meant to go to Ireland. That is what I truly believe. I was 25 and I wanted to start traveling. I decided to travel with a tour group called EF Ultimate break back then it was called EF College Break. I heard of the tour group from a close friend of mine who traveled with them when she was in college. Let’s go back to September 2012. Back then, I was looking to travel. I was working full-time and could finally afford to pay for my own trip. I was looking at EF Ultimate Break’s website. They set your payments into monthly payments for your trip. The more advance you book your trip the less payments you will pay monthly. At first I wanted to travel in the end of December for New years. That was not an option because the monthly payments were not affordable for me. I could not travel in the summer due to summer classes for grad school and my friends wedding was in May. Back then I did not know when in May it was taking place. I decided on a trip for March for spring break. The monthly payments were more affordable and I was off from school. It would also give me more time to save vacation time for work. The only trips offered through EF in March were Ireland during St. Patrick’s day and Costa Rica. I decided on Ireland and never looked back.

I went solo on my Ireland trip. My trip was nine days and we would be traveling between cities in Ireland. The cities we were vising:  Killarney, Cork, Dublin, and Galway. Spending St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin. My flight was from San Antonio to Newark NJ and then to Shannon Ireland. I did not get any sleep on the  fight. I just assumed we would get to the hotel after meeting in the Shannon airport. We did not go to the hotel. Instead, we ate breakfast first, then went to see the Cliff of Moher. They were beautiful and pictures can not give the view justice. After, we got snacks at a restaurant and I had my first Guinness in Ireland. Our first hotel was called Darby O Gills, it was cute and perfect for Ireland. I fell a sleep in the boat ride after the hotel. It was a great boat ride by Ross castle.


On St. Patrick’s Day Eve we went to a comedy show in Dublin, had green beer, and celebrated being in Ireland. I met a couple of friends on my tour group that wanted to see a Dublin Ghost Tour. The Ghost tour was a bus that stopped by haunted places in Dublin. It was pretty interested and I even won the Dracula book by guessing a haunted series theme song. The tour showed us an area where you can still see a ghost of a Catholic priest giving mass. I do not remember what day we went to the Guinness Factory or what day we to the St. Patrick’s Parade in Dublin. I think we went to the Guinness Factory before the comedy show. What I do remember is that the trip was amazing and it’s what started my travel bug. I have not been the same since.

On St. Patrick’s Day, I  went to the parade with new friends but we did not stay long because it was freezing. I was so cold, I wanted to cry. We ended up seeking warmth in a Mexican restaurant where I lost my umbrella. The restaurant owners where from Mexico and it was nice to see Mexican culture in Dublin. After the restaurant we just walked around and explored Dublin while trying to find good WIFI. My tour group set up a pub run but we got lost and ended in a different bar with the same name. We ran into other girls that made the same mistake and we decided to make our own pub run. That night we went to pub to pub and just had a good time. We even met some locals that told us more about Ireland.

The last day we went to the Aran Islands from Galway. We had to get there by boat. It was was small but beautiful area. We met a local that told us that when he moved there, the phone company told him that it would take three weeks to set up his phone. It seemed like an isolated area but a cute community. Our tour group even left a dollar at the local pub. Tourists put money in the pub, so if they ever come back they can see it.

One of my favorite memories from the whole trip was visiting the sheep farms. Sheep farms do not make their money from selling wool anymore. So visiting sheep farms helps keep the sheep farm open because that is where they make their money. The sheep farm was so beautiful, the landscape was gorgeous. It was also amazing to see the dogs herd the sheep. Ireland is one my favorite places and it will always hold a special place in my heart.

Personal Thoughts · Travel · Uncategorized

After this Pandemic

Next weekend I was suppose to go to Chicago. It was going to be my first solo trip without a tour group or staying with a friend. I was going to be in my own airbnb in the cute neighborhood of Pilsen. I would of enjoyed some beautiful street art in Pilsen, eaten delicious deep dish pizza, visited local bars, met up with an old friend, see the Willis Tower and other tourist areas in Chicago. Obviously, the trip had to be postponed. Now next weekend, I will be at home. I have been doing that for a month and I am fortunate to be able too. However, I think its making me lethargic. That’s why I had to go for a walk outside yesterday. Also, the fact that we will not be getting back to normal for awhile is making me feel like I am wasting so much time. At least before, I could control going on a trip and seeing friends/family. Now I do not have control, I just have to wait. I have to wait till things get better and not concentrate on things I can not control.

This pandemic has made realize even more that we need to do things we love when we can. We do not know whats going to happen in the future. I did not know this pandemic would happen. Even though experts predicted it, I did not pay attention. I was not prepared and I did not always do things I wanted. Things I love doing are traveling, trying new restaurants, and exploring my city. I can not do any of those things right now. Now I wish I would of traveled more and explored more things. I wish I would have gone to Italy last summer, visited my parents more, and went to the state fair in Dallas, last year for my birthday. After this pandemic, I want to hug my friends and family, I want to travel more (in Texas, United States, and out of the country), complete all my bucket list blog posts, take more time off, to not wait to go somewhere, and just appreciate what I have. I know being at home all the time is taking a toll on mental health but I feel like this pandemic is going to make me appreciate things more when its over. I do not know when that is going to be. I’m hoping sooner rather than later. So for now, I’m going to sit on my couch, look outside my window, and  pet my cat. I will be taking this pandemic one day at a time.


Personal Thoughts · Travel · Uncategorized

Things to do at Home

I was talking to my mom this week and she was saying she should of traveled more. Her excuse before was that she would go later. So she would put off travel because she thought she would go later, when she retires. Now with this pandemic, she wishes that she traveled before it. I know right now is a difficult time for everyone. Especially, for people who have lost their jobs or are in jobs that are really essential that can come across coronavirus everyday. It’s also made me think a lot about many things I took for guaranteed just like my mom feels. For today I decided to be positive about the whole situation. Right now I am fortunate to have a job where I can work from home. Also, I am not alone I’m with my boyfriend and I have great friends that I have been video chatting with.  To continue being positive in this situation and handling things I can control,  I wanted to a create a list of things we can do at home:

Things to do at home:

Decorate your apartment: I have been doing this a lot lately. I think it’s because I moved into a new apartment a month and a half ago. Today, I think I am going to set up my new couch with my new pillows. Then, I will watch a movie and relax on my new couch.

Take a break from social media and the news: I have not done this and I need to this because I really think its getting to me. There was one night, I could not sleep and keep thinking about everything this virus has done. Tomorrow, I will not look at social media, the news, or youtube. 

Have a video chat with friends: I’m so happy that video chat exits. I have been able to use zoom to video chat with friends. I had a happy hour last Friday and a Sunday brunch this past Sunday. It’s been great to connect with friends again and it reminds me that I am not alone. Zoom is free for 45 minutes. I noticed when it logs you off after the 45 minutes, you can log back in.

Plan Future trips: My mom and sister have been wanting to go to Greece. I am hoping summer 2022 or March 2022. I will start saving for that. I know that is awhile but it gives me time to plan and save money. I told my mom we should plan something when she told me she wanted to travel. I’m hoping by mid-late 2022 there is a vaccine or effective treatment for COVID-19 and it will be safe to travel again.


Travel · Uncategorized

My Future Italy Trip

I have a trip planned for Italy and Amsterdam for mid September. Right now Italy is on lock-down because of the coronavirus (COVID-19). I do not know what it will look like in September but I will keep an eye out for it. If not I will have to change or cancel my trip. I have been wanting to go to Italy for awhile. I remember back in 2013 I had a trip planned to London, Paris, and Rome. Those are three places I really wanted to go. I ended up going to London and Paris in 2014 and canceling Rome to return to work early. I just started a new job and did not want to take an extended vacation.

I made a plan to go to Italy in 2020. My trip is to go to Venice, Florence, and Rome with EF Ultimate Break to get a true Italy experience. They’re even taking us to Italian Riviera & Cinque Terre and the Vatican. I planned this trip back in February of 2019. It’s crazy how advance I planned Italy before I even knew I was going to Spain or Malaysia/Thailand. Some things I want to do is take a gondola ride in Venice, tour the Colosseum, and eat as much pizza and gelato as I can. As much as my stomach will let me. I also want to make a wish at the Trevi fountain to return to Italy. I’m really excited about this trip, I am hoping the coronavirus goes away or they can approve a vaccine really quick. However, I do not what is going to happen, so I will keep my eye for it. I bought travel protection with EF ultimate, if I need to make a trip cancellation or change trips.

Currently my Amsterdam trip is suppose to be a day then I have to head to Venice. I am thinking of extending my Amsterdam trip for an extra day. I do not think one day is enough. I will have to book my own place and find my transportation to Venice. Once I get to Venice everything is planned because I booked with EF ultimate break. They let you extend your trip and I decided to add Amsterdam to my list before heading to Italy. They made sure to tell me I needed to book things in Amsterdam and I need my own transportation to Venice. If any of you have stayed in cute airbnbs or hotels in Amsterdam let me know. Mostly likely I will take a plane to head to Venice from Amsterdam.