Like so many, we begin to reflect as we enter the new year, and if there is one thing these last few years have taught me, it’s to continue to be resilient. I say “continue” because I’ve had my share of heartbreak by losing those I love close to me. Going into 2022, I’m not saying it will be easy or another challenging year. Instead of the “new year, new me” crap let’s make some goals and attain them. This year I told myself I wanted to travel again and explore. Before I knew it, I was standing in front of the Eiffel Tower in awe. I know this craziness that we’re all experiencing will be here for a while, hell maybe forever. Nevertheless, as we enter the new year, take a moment to clear your mind, reset and take life day by day.
Cheers to another year mi gente!
“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” ― Confucius
If you know me then you know I’ve become at trip addict. In the last few years I’ve gone on several vacations but 2019 was the year of being booked and busy. I truly believe it’s important to plan trips whether they are local, domestic or international. Taking time away from your every day routine is needed for the mind, body and soul.
Houston, Texas – February 2019.
My first trip of the year started down-south in Houston, Texas. My best friend had recently moved to Houston and being that it was my first time there I spent the weekend with her. The atmosphere was different yet amazing because the weather towards the end of February was not scorching hot, but in the low 70’s to mid 50’s. Coming from Chicago in the dead of winter that felt like heaven. Although, my weekend was short I would definitely go back and explore a bit more.
Miami, Florida – May 2019.
My second trip of 2019 was in Miami, Florida with my two close friends from work. This trip was in celebration for one of my friends birthday and of course we wanted sun, beach and sand. Hotels in Miami are pricey but some suggestions I recommend would be to stay at a boutique hotel where it’s much smaller but let’s face it you’re really just in your room to sleep and get ready. Another recommendation is to stay at a hotel that is off the strip because the closer you are to Ocean Drive the more money you will pay. Either way you can’t go wrong with a girls trip to Miami because there’s always a party going on day and night.
Seattle, Washington – July 2019.
My third trip of 2019 was to visit my family in Seattle. I have to say I got lucky when my sister married my bro-in-law because I gained a beautiful-loving in-laws.
I’ve always wanted to visit Seattle and see its main attraction The Space Needle and when I did I was in awe. The Space Needle stands at 605 feet tall and while up there I was a little scared but excited.
Pike Place Market was another iconic place to visit in Seattle and if I had to describe it I would say it’s like a Farmers Market day in Chicago only 10 times bigger. Also, the first Starbucks built is at Pike Place Market, so you know I had to take picture in front of it. Did you know that the infamous Gum Wall is also located at Pike Place Market? The brick wall’s are covered in used chewing gum in Post Alley under Pike Place Market in Downtown Seattle. Of course I had to place my used chewing gum on the wall and as nasty as it sounds it was something I can say I did once in my lifetime.
Another place we went to visit was Rattlesnake Ridge, a hiking trail in Washington that’s in the Snoqualmie Region — North Bend Area. The hiking trail lasted about 2 hours going up and a little less than 2 hours coming down with small breaks in between for water or to rest. The elevation of Rattlesnake Ridge is 1,160 feet and the highest point is 2,078 feet but once we got to the top the scenery was breath-taking. If you’re into hiking like I have become then this is definitely a place to visit.
Click on the links below to learn more about the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, The Gum Wall and Rattlesnake Ridge Hiking trail.
Colorado has been the place where everyone around me has gone to visit. Finally, I had the opportunity to visit for myself. Hiking the Rocky Mountains and going on trails was on the agenda. Our first hike took place at Gardens of the Gods and I was amazed to see such a beautiful park with red/orange colored mountains and learning the history behind it.
Another trail I hiked while in Colorado was the Rocky Mountain National Park. Unlike Garden of the Gods this park encompasses protected mountains, forests and alpine tundra.
“It’s known for the Trail Ridge Road and the Old Fall River Road, drives that pass aspen trees and rivers.”
This is definitely a hike you don’t want to miss out on when visiting Colorado.
Aspen, Colorado – November/December 2019.
My last trip of 2019 was also at Colorado but this time in the beautiful city of Aspen for a wedding. I stood in a small town known as Snowmass, Village and the scenery was breathtaking. Homes, hotels, boutiques and stores are surrounded by mountains.
At night the sky is filled with stars and the lights from the city cast a silhouette of the mountains. There are many activities offered from skiing, hiking trails, gondola rides to the night scene at bars/lounges and everything in between.
I stayed at the Limelight Hotel and the amenities offered were amazing. Breakfast is complimentary and there was a play area for kids with computers, a television connected to a Play Station and games that adults can enjoy too such as, Ms.Pac-Man and foosball. The hotel had a spa area and an outdoor heated pool overlooking the mountains.
The day of the wedding was like a fairytale out of a Disney movie. My first winter wedding and I was lucky to be a part of it. Aspen was definitely the place for the perfect winter wedding overlooking the mountains.
Although my trip was not as long as I would have liked it to be, I am grateful for my time spent there. Aspen stole my heart and I definitely would go back.
2019 was a year of losses, gains and most importantly self-growth and as always living and learning. (: