Rome 2017: Pizza, Plazas, Pasta & Palatine Hill

   I honestly think I was more excited for Italy than the UK. I was ready to get so fat!
   Our flight was quick, and this hotel was a dream compared to London’s. For one, our outlets actually worked. (Don’t even get me started on me trying to use a flat iron, or even something so simple as charging my phone.)
One of the first things I noticed was a mural of one of my favorite artists right next to our hotel, so I was already jumping for joy. I tried to find out if Tara McPherson had a studio there so I can go take a sneak peek in, but it turns out, her painting spot is closer to home than I thought—Brooklyn. Womp womp… (but secretly… yay!)

We made our way towards The Colosseum, and it was packed….and when I say packed, I mean.. you can’t even find the entrance. You have a bunch of tour guides coming up to you.. you know hustling, and a bunch of scalpers, trying to get you to.. gotta make that moolah.

I don’t know if you guys have ever watched the show Scam City..all I could do is chuckle right now.. bc let me tell you– slickness. 
The show’s main purpose is to open your eyes to some of the famous scams locals target tourists with.. and when this guys came came up to us… that’s all I kept thinking about.

He comes up to Phil and I… ” Hey, my friend… I know you right?
Phil: Nah, you don’t know me man.
Vendor, carrying a bunch of bracelets: Yes, my friend… Where you from? (Phil answers) aaaah. me too! I came here some time ago.
P: Yeah, that’s cool.
V: Here, my friend, a gift for you (hands us bracelets) you know, we gotta stick together!
P: Thanks man. (vendor walks away)

Phil and I look at each other- and we didn’t even have to say anything to each other, we kinda communicated telepathically at that moment (he didn’t even ask for money… hmm.. maybe we were jumping into conclusions)
Vendor, who is currently abut 20 feet from us, turns back around and flashes us a smile.
Vendor: My friend, I didn’t charge you for the bracelets, but how about a donation? For my daughter, (flashes us a picture of his daughter on his cellphone) Phil and I just chuckle, like daaaamn… we knew it. we got got.
We tell him we have no money, and start taking off the bracelets to return it back to him.. He shrugs it off, and says no… that was a gift… just a little something, yet he’s telling us the amount to “donate”.  He settles for about half of what he asked for and walks away. Phil and I just start cracking up , like damn… the hustle is real!

We decided to start off at Palatine Hill,  the ancient ruins of Rome. The sun was beaming hard, and I regret not bringing my sunblock with me. (I’m not much of a tanner, but I get nice little bronze when I do– latinas, you know!)
I don’t read much whenever I visit an exhibit, museum or anything historic along those lines, which kinda made Phil laugh, because I kept rushing off someplace new every other second. I tend to find a tour guide, and sneak my way into their group without them noticing.

After the tour, and the endless walking it was time to eat, and we were starving. We stop at the first spot we see near the tourist attractions (BIG mistake, don’t ever do this) but we were desperately hungry. Phil orders the shrimp scampi, while I go on and order the gnocchi, which is pretty much like tiny dumplings. It was pretty good, but not what we were expecting from ITALIA! Not to mention how rude our waiter was. I wanted to get out of there before I gave him a piece of my mind.
I tend to be the wild child in many situations, but compared to Phil, I’m super lowkey. This time though, I put on the peer pressure, and we randomly walked into a tattoo shop, where I insisted we get something done. After all of my convincing, we decided to get our noses pierced. The price was pretty steep, and we could have easily gotten this done back  home for half the price, but why— when we can say ” I got my nose pierced in Italy.
I’ve had plenty of holes in my body– that sounded weird even as I wrote it. But piercings are nothing new for me. The rockabilly babe with blonde hair holding the big needle told me I was trooper, in italian of course, and I just smiled. She couldn’t say the same thing about Phil though… (evil laughs)

When looking for The Trevi Fountain, you could tell we were close, because you can hear the water, from many feet away. The blocks around this neighborhood were like a maze filled with small shops selling all type of souvenirs. After we dropped our coin in the fountain, which legend says when you throw it over your shoulder, you are sure to return back to Italy. (Here are some other cool facts about the famous fountain) we decided to go spend some money. Well, I decided.
One of the things my mother insisted on me NOT doing, was buying souvenirs. According to her, I spend too much money on buying presents for other people (which is true, traveling or not) and that I should just do something for myself.  I tried to listen, but I couldn’t hold back. It’s just how I am. I bought my mother the cutest little olive oil dispenser, my father a bottle of limoncello, and my niece and nephew customized, embroidered bibs. They were so damn cute!.

It’s off to get food again, because– fat asses!  We stop at this really nice restaurant this time, that I didn’t get the name for, because, it’s me. (shrugs)  We order a pizza for the table, and our meals… and it was delicious. The couple next to us starts conversation, and they were the absolutely sweetest. We start talking about Trump and how much of a disgrace he is to USA, and immediately bonded.  After our food, even though there wasn’t much space left, I invite them to join us for gelato.

   Gelateria Frigidarium, (you see, that I don’t forget) was soooo good. I’ve been warned about gelato spots in Rome, since most of them are tourist traps and are not really tasty.. but this one was highly recommended every time I did my homework. And me and my research.. I get it done!

One of the man things we really wanted to do was go to The Vatican City to go see the stunning Sistine Chapel. We just didn’t have the time (cries myself to sleep) .  I guess our wish at the Trevi Fountain better come true… because I definitely need to see that next time I come to Rome, and there well be a next time!

​Per usual, my OOTD illustration:
When you Spend the day roaming the ancient Roman ruins, and secretly want to climb on everything!
I didn’t though, I promise!

Cuba: She Made It!

cuba, old fashioned car, chevrolet, classic car, 2minxinx, travel, travel blog, blog, blogger, artist, lifestyle blog, cigar, cuban cigarAfter our beach date, I headed to track down our taxi. I love the beach, but I can’t stay there all day. I saw the green Chevy and I laid on it… waiting for Jovani to come around, where ever he  was hiding. He noticed me right away. For a “whatever age you are man” I felt like we had a really good vibe around each other. I don’t know if it had to do with the fact that I was the only one who knew Spanish, but it worked. We kept talking every time we say each other, and even though my Spanish is on point, I still get stuck on certain words. A viejito came around with his guitar playing some soft music, and tipped him right before the door was opened for me to get inside the cab.

graphic, illustration

Mini Illustration drawn by myself, Minx

  Olivia and I told ourselves, we’re going to get home by 2pm. We have no idea what’s going on with Tanya, but if she is really is still going to come on this trip, we should be at the airbnb to let her in the house. Since we arrived yesterday at 3:30pm, we decided to give her a timeline of 6pm. That’s way more of enough time to get where she needs to be. We knew she was going to be alone, not speaking Spanish.. so we were generous.cuba, film, film posters. posters. documentary, documentaries, cuban films, movies, movies made in Cuba

We were roaming around the apartment for awhile when I hear Julian scream “She’s here!” Ooooooh yeah, we had our doubts. Olivia and I run barefoot about of the house and meet her in her cab. We gave her at least two hugs each and she responds with a “wait, you thought I wasn’t coming?” So non-chalant, like..bitch.. we were worried!

store front, kids, children, cuban children, locals

Local Cuban children I gave toy race cars to.

     We didn’t even give her time to rest up, were ready to go back out, and since we’ve been taking cabs everywhere it was time for a walk. A two hour walk to be exact. We passed the infamous and largest cemetery in Cuba, El Cemeterio de Cristobal Colon ( I love cemeteries, I actually fell in love with another of his cemetery in Puerto Rico, but that’s another story… see that HERE) 

  Soon enough it was 5:50pm, and we had promised Jovani to pick us at at 6pm. Except we had tried to call him to change that to 7pm. None of us had cellphone service. Buying a wifi card seemed out of place for almost no access. It was just a lot of work. Because he didn’t pick up, I didn’t want to keep him waiting for us. The girls (Tanya and Olivia) we’re behind me… I always seem to be the one who walked the fastest and ahead of them… I rushed to our airbnb so I didn’t keep him waiting. Apparently I look better after every time I see him.

I apologized for making him wait and asked if he could pick us up 2 hours and half from now instead. He agreed with no issue. cuban car, cuban claassic, cuba, vintage car

 

Mood Board No.10: Atlanta to the Rescue

My next mini adventure is coming right around the corner. Initially the plans were to spend three whole days in Atlanta, Georgia partying it up at the infamous “Tomorrow World” music festival. You know, kind of like what I did in Puerto Rico’s Electric Daisy Carnival.

Now I’m kind of thinking I rather just do one day instead and wander the city for a bit. Bathe in the scenery and take a new place in.

I’m at awe of the pictures online from their aquarium. You stand right under a huge arch, where you see all kinds of sea life just swimming above you. How pretty that must be in person. In Stone Mountain Park, you ride a tram that leads you to so much history.

Well, I guess we’ll see. There’s still some time left to discuss details. Either way, I know it’s going to be a great time!

Jaqueline’s Bubbly

I don’t understand why I keep getting scheduled to work the shittiest hours. I came to work for a simple 4 hour shift, what a waste of my time, and whats worse, it cut my day in half, so I arrived at  5pm to leave at 9…boooo…

Best thing about today was, that I had my Nikki baby waiting for me to get home. It’s girl night, and she arrived with a bottle of Rose, named Jaqueline. So of course, we did what girls do best, sip and talk about boys. Yes, of course we catch up with work, school, and that other stuff, but let’s face it, sex is the most interesting topic of them all.

It didn’t take long for us to start squirming and getting all excited because our Paris trip has just been decided. And yes, this is going to be a group trip, most of us haven’t left the country so …. aaaaah, super excited!

Nikki and I started looking at places to rent out, and what we want to do, what we want to see. Ugh, there’s so much to plan, and even much  more to save. Right now, most of us have already purchased our one way ticket there, so let’s see how we’re getting back!

I looked through all of my empty shoe boxes to finally find what I was looking for. Nikki and I ended our night reminiscing on old high school photos. Laughing at skinny we are were, and what the hell were we thinking in wearing that.

What kills me, is that Nikki and I live so damn close to each other, we’re going to have more often, even if I have to drag her out of her house to do so. (love ya!)

Puerto Rico 2015:Day 1: Arrival, Colon & Nuyoricans

It’s 7pm, we are stuffed beyond explanation. But first, we arrived at our first Airbnb, safe and sound. The owner Monica is super chill and gave us a few pointers on where to go in the plaza. Chris and I headed to Christopher Columbus’s castle, which was huge but  non- the less beautiful. The view was exhilirating. The humidity wasn’t my favorite, but the breeze that was going on was absolutely perfect.
We walked, we walked a lot. My hair and I , we have parted ways a long time ago. We walked into a tiny restaurant called “Mojitos” and even though we didn’t have any, the piña coladas with rum were delicious. The mofongo was and on point and some special sauce that was with it, was soooo amazing. It was infused with garlic and lemon, I need to learn how to duplicate that now!

Chris is busy bonding with a Puerto Rican map and a flashlight, while I’m laying down rubbing my stomach, I’m so full, and it feels so good! It was time to head back out again. Dancing started late, but once it did, what a blast. We walked into a tiny lounge called Nuyorican Cafe, an over air conditioned lounge for a reason. Since we arrived a little early, Chris was freezing and I could tell he was getting grouchy but tried his best to hide it. I on the other hand simply ignored it and kept jamming to the salsa that was playing. The opening band was good, it had a bit of an island feel to it. But I was there for the salsa, I couldn’t wait for the other band to arrive. 4 Beers later, it was time to get moving.

Chris swears he doesn’t know what he’s doing, he’s a liar. After a while he started correcting me on how to turn the right way. Ew. Check him out getting all cocky.

Departure

2/18/15- 11:13pm

I´m sitting here next to Chris. Our flight is tomorrow morning, we just finished packing our bags, and even though we´re sleepy, we´re too excited to rest. He´s on the phone speaking to Marcus, who´s busy giving him recomendations on where to visit, see and eat. We already have a crazy iteninary and it´s starting to get overwhelming with all the things we want to do. . . It´s exhiliarating.

2/19/15 – 7:30am

Waiting to Board, an hour and  half to go. This is our first trip together, alone that is. I´ve got my feet up, phones are charging and everytime we catch glimpses of each other, we start blushing and smirking. I adore it.

1:04pm

We´ve landed and Chris still insists on speaking english. I told him about that. His “idioma” (language) will be impeccable by the time we get back to NYC. Te lo prometo (I promise you). We´ve just picked up our bags from baggage claims and he´s already tempted to change into shorts. Our cab driver was super sweet and actually ended up being dominican. We all bonded talking about NY. At least that makes person number 2 picking on Chris because of his non speaking spanish skills.

Casi Casi Me Voy

Hello my beautiful people,

Casi casi me voy = almost, I’m leaving.

The time is sneaking on me, I have one more day until I get to board the plane and start my travels. Ugh, Lord knows I need this vacation so much. I’m an adventurer at heart, and when I get to experience different cultures, and learn new things, my soul is instantly happy. I know I’ve been a bit pretty shy to say where I’m going, but no worries, I’m here to take all of that doubt away.
First stop, Puerto Rico. I have never been, and I think I’m more excited than my second stop, even though I can’t wait to see  my family in Dominican Republic. Upon my arrival in Puerto Rico, at least according to the plans I have in mind, The Electric Daisy Carnival is going to be a blast, even though I just found out it’s supposed to rain. boooooo…

That’s not going to stop me though, even if I have to dance in the rain with muddy toes and wet curls on my head, I’m going to have a blast.

I feel like the days have been going by so fast and so slow at the same time. Work, I’ve been counting down the days, when it comes to getting everything I need, I feel like I have no time to get it all done. Right now, I told myself I was going to take a trip to an artshow in the city, but honestly I don’t see that happening. My room has been turned upside from trying to find summer clothing, and I have dumped everything into an open suitcase, which needs to be organized. I need to make my list and check it twice, and I know my guy wants to go shopping tomorrow for some last minute tanks and essentials.

I on the other hand, wish I could get my hands on a new camera that I fell in love with and don’t seem to own yet… I just want to cry! maybe I’ll spoil myself for my birthday, hey, I deserve it.

Anyway, back to the itinerary, originally we were supposed to take the Ferry from Puerto Rico to D.R. but that ended up back firing, and it actually worked out for the better. If we were to take the ferry it would have been a 12 hour trip at a higher price, so we just ended up booking a flight which ended up being cheaper and just an hour to get to our destination. Win-win.

When I get to D.R. I’m excited to see my cousins, aunts and grandmothers. My cousin Coral justhad a baby girl, who is the cutest little thing.

February 27 is El Dia De La Independencia– Day of Independence, which means we’re going to be partying all day and drinking all night long, of course like any hispanic family does. But anywho, let me get going… it’s time to stop procrastinating and actually pack.

See you guys soon!

kiss kiss