Setting up a Trip

I am trying to set up a trip for next September with a tour group, Contiki. This trip will take me to Spain, South of France, and Italy. However, I cant help but think of finances. This trip would cost me about $1,419.50. This includes, hotel/hostels, transportation, tour guides, travel insurance, and some meals. Also, I need to buy my plane ticket from Austin to Barcelona and then from Rome to Austin. Thinking about all that has stressed me out but I really want to go. I do have 45 days before the trip to pay in full. This will help me pay the trip in payments. The plane ticket is what stresses me out the most, I have never bought my own international flight. I might ask the tour group for some assistance or a close friend.

I am hoping a close friend of mine comes with me. But as well she is checking her finances. She might actually want to do another trip and I can change trips till 45 before the trip. To be honest, I really should be saving and budging  because that’s the responsible and safe thing to do. However, I really want to go on this trip. I will regret not going, if I don’t go.  What I am going to do is see if my finances work with this trip. If not I might have to change with a cheaper trip or give myself more time to save. I know that I will make the best decision.

 

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Orlando with Family

When I think of Orlando, I think of family trips, school field trips, or a cute couple holding hands wearing mouse ears at Disney World. Orlando is a magical place because of Disney World and Universal studios. I had the pleasure of visiting Orlando in March 2014 with my mom and sister. I did feel weird at first because I thought I was to old for Disney but your never too old. We spend a couple of days in Orlando and got to see Disney world, downtown Disney, and one Park in Universal Studios.

Disney Park 

We had the chance of visiting all 4 Disney Parks. My favorite was Magic Kingdom. I like that park because it reminds me of typical Disney. It has the beautiful castle and everything Disney. We spend 2 days visiting the Disney parks, we tried to get a hold of fast passes, where you get to stand in a shorter line for rides. This pass is free but it only for certain rides and shows. Also, you have to see if the time you want is available. But Disney is usually good about telling you how long you have to wait for ride, if you don’t get a fast pass. At night, Disney World does a firework show.  In my opinion, Disney World throws one of the best firework shows. My breakfast at the Disney resorts were delicious and cute. One day I had a Mickey mouse waffle and pancake. The last breakfast I had in Orlando, we went to a restaurant where Disney characters come greet you. I thought it was the cutest ever and I didn’t want to miss it. My favorite Disney character was Pluto growing up and I enjoyed seeing him.

 

Downtown Disney

We spend one evening in Downtown Disney, we took the bus from our hotel and headed there. Downtown was packed because its March and spring break. We were able to enjoy the stores and bought souvenirs. The stores were amazing, if your a Disney fan you find everything at these stores. I even found a Lego Buzz and a Woody statue. Even though the majority of the restaurants were packed, we were able to enjoy a nice meal. At a quick fast restaurant. After we just walked around and enjoyed Downtown Disney.

Universal Studios 

There is two parks at Universal Studios; Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort. My sister and I really wanted to see Harry Potter World and that’s in Universal Studios Hollywood. So obviously, Hollywood is where we went. You do have the option to visit both parks but we just went to one. When we got to the park, the first thing we did was went straight to Harry Potter World. It was amazing it look very similar to the movies and they even have a shop to buy wands. At the time I went, they only had two rides. However, first I checked out the shops and had a butter beer. Universal Studios also has a Universal Express Pass to skip the lines, however you have to pay for it. We didn’t purchase any of the express passes, the park tells you how long you have to wait for the ride.  Other attractions I got to see where Jurassic Park, The Amazing Adventures of Spider Man, and the Mummy.  My family and I had a blast at Universal Studios Hollywood.

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If your in Disney World trying to go to Universal Studios, the hotel should give you information about buses/shuttles to commute between parks. I was happy that I was able to see all 4 Disney parks and see one Universal studio park. It was a good family vacation and it helped me realize I am still a kid at heart.

A Mini Texas Road Trip

This past weekend, I wanted to get away from Austin and experience a new environment.  So, on Saturday afternoon my boyfriend and I went to Wimberley Texas. It was a quick one day road trip. Wimberley is a cute little town 40 minutes from Austin. I heard great things about the area and I wanted a taste for myself. Wimberley has beautiful swimming holes, cute restaurants, and some wineries. A friend of mine told me about a restaurant called The Leaning Pear. The restaurant was beautiful. The ambiance was nice both inside and outside. We sat inside because its Texas and its summer.  For the appetizer we ordered a queso. For the entrees, my boyfriend got mac and cheese and I got the meat loaf with mashed potatoes. All I can say is everything was delicious and the service was amazing.

After dinner, I wanted to check out more of the town. We drove around and stopped by a wine shop called Hill Country Wine Shoppe. The place smelled amazing because of a candle that the shop just unlit. The lady at the store recommended some wine tastings. They have 3 options you can have a red wine taste, a white wine taste, or a sweet wine taste. Then they choose the 7 wine samples for you. My option was the white wine tastings. My favorite wine ended up being Mary Ruth and I bought bottle. Also, I bought a candle. The wine tasting was $7.00, bottle $28.00, and candle $13.00. The lady gave us the idea of going by the creek and drinking my wine because you can drink outside in Wimberley. But instead my boyfriend I stood by the creek and admired it’s beauty. Then, I drank my wine at home.

My mini road trip to Wimberley was a good gateway day. I wanted to get out of Austin for a bit and explore another city. Especially a cute little town. I want to visit the Blue Hole swimming hole and relax. Definitely another Texas Bucket list thing.

Lost Luggage

There I was, waiting at the Austin airport for my luggage.  I had just returned from Denver and was ready to take a nap. One by one, people picked up their bags. While mine was a no show. Then and there I was regretting my decision of not carrying on my suitcase. I was freaking out because it had never happen to me before. I did not know what to expect. Southwest told me that it was probably on another Denver flight. I gave them my information and they told me they would deliver my bag to my home. Apparently, more than 90% of luggage gets returned. That stat calmed me down and later I got a called about my bag.  I was thrilled and all my stuff was there.

If your bag isn’t at the baggage claim, don’t panic. The bag is probably on another flight. Just make sure to tell the airline and make a report before leaving the airport. Once, your bag arrives they will deliver it you.  Or you can just carry on your bag and avoid the drama. I think I might carry on my bag next time.

Traveling Alone

Traveling alone can seem scary, especially since you’re out of your comfort zone. You can either be traveling out of the country or a different city.  However, when you want to travel and can’t find anyone to join you, traveling alone is a great option. If I let traveling alone get in the way, I would of missed traveling to a lot wonderful places. Such as Ireland and Germany. When you think about traveling out of the country, there is different options you can take. You can travel alone with a travel group, you can meet a friend that lives in the country, or you can backpack.

Travel Group

Traveling with a tour group helps a lot because they set up everything for you. They can set up your plane ticket, hotels/hostels, a tour guide, and sometimes even meals.  I feel like this is a perfect if its your first time traveling abroad or for a high school or college student. When you travel with a travel group, you will meet a lot people in your group. Some are also traveling alone. I never felt alone when I traveled with a travel group. Also, your tour guide can recommend great places for you and how to stay safe. What I noticed in travel groups is some people actually backpacked or meet a friend after the group ended.

Meeting a Friend

I never met a friend in a different country. I have traveled to places in the United States and have met a friend. This option is probably the easiest because you get the chance to meet with a local. They will recommend place to go and what places to avoid (tourist traps). There will be times when you’re alone but the majority of time you’re not. When I went to New York city, I had to take a train by myself to meet my friend. She told me what train to take and where to meet her. Even this still confused me but I was able to get help from strangers. Also, I kept in contact with my friend as much as I could.

Backpacking

This is good if you want to travel on your own schedule. You can set up what places you want to go and where you want to stay. I had a close friend that traveled through different countries in Europe and stayed in hostels and hotels. It was her first time traveling abroad and she had a good experienced. She met a lot people in the hostels and even met up close friends. If you want to do this, there is plenty information online and in travel books about how to set up your travels. Also, I like to look at youtube videos of people that have travel vlogs.

No option is better than the other, this is more of your preference. This article is to help you not be afraid to travel alone. Either way all these options can help you travel and met other people.

Why I started Blogging

It’s been 6 months since I started my blog. I got inspired by a close friend of mine to start one. I was not having a good week and felt unmotivated. He asked me what I like doing. I told him that I liked writing, traveling, and food. So, he gave me the idea to start a blog. Some of you might be asking, why I had never thought about a blog before; especially since I like to write. I did try to blog in the past but it never stuck.  I would get distracted with other things. Life happened pretty much. Basically, I didn’t make the time. However, It was always in the back of my mind. My friend gave me the push and direction. I am very thankful for him for that.

I really do want to continue to blog and make it another 6 months or longer. Blogging makes me happy. I am happy to talk about my travels, food experiences, and personal thoughts. It helps me put all my thoughts together and express how I feel at the moment. I can be having a bad day but writing makes it better. Also, I want to help people travel because it’s an amazing experience. I know blogging is not easy but I like it and its something that’s mine. It’s something that expresses who I am and I get to know myself better.  So, I hope to continue writing to everyone and I hoped you have enjoyed it so far.

Seattle Bucket List

I will be visiting Seattle in October to celebrate my 30th birthday. I’m extremely excited, words can not express how excited I am. Back in the summer of 2006 I was able to pass by Seattle when I went to Yakima Washington. However, I didn’t get to fully enjoy Seattle. Now it’s my time to explore the city. Here is my bucket list for Seattle. If y’all have any other recommendations, please let me know.

  1. Kerry Park: Apparently, the best place to take a picture of the city.
  2. Pike’s Place Market: A farmer’s market that I want to check out. It also has the first Starbucks and a Gum wall that I will contribute to.
  3. Space Needle Observation Deck: Where I can see a 360 view of beautiful Seattle. The observation deck also has a restaurant but I will not be going to the restaurant.
  4. Seattle Great Wheel  (Ferries Wheel): I heard this is the largest ferries wheel in the west coast. That is defiantly a must see and more beautiful views.
  5. Puget Sound Ferry: Of course, I have to take a ferry ride here.
  6. West lake Center or Pacific Place to shop: shopping break!
  7. Museum of Pop Culture: a non-profit museum and it’s dedicated to the history of popular music, science fiction, and pop culture. This is something my boyfriend and I really want to see.
  8. Discovery Park: Seattle’s largest public park and it contains 11.81 miles of walking trails. I want to be able to walk and enjoy the city.
  9. Check out the Coffee Culture: Other than visiting the first Starbucks, I want to check out some local coffee shops there. Since Seattle has a huge coffee culture.

Hopefully, my bucket list can be accomplished but either way I’m just happy to be visiting Seattle.