A Chicken Goes Skiing

I am a total chicken! Except, I’m the kind of chicken that ends up doing the things that she’s scared of! Every time! Let me explain:

I am afraid of heights and speed. Like every other mortal, I am also afraid of public speaking, and I’d much rather be in my comfort zone! But then I get easily bored, and then my choices make me a walking contradiction!

A Chicken Goes SkiingSo afraid of heights and then I got tickets to a trapeze class! So afraid of speed and heights, and then I booked a trip to Orlando to visit the adventure parks (mostly for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter though)! So afraid of public speaking and then I signed up for an oral argument competition! So afraid of… well, you get the point.

It was my birthday on December, and my boyfriend gifted me a trip to Colorado. His plan? Well, what do you give someone who is afraid of speed and heights?!?! A ski trip, of course! Every time I thought about the upcoming trip my stomach flipped. I tried not to let my fear show, but I couldn’t help but get super quiet when the nerves set in.

A Chicken Goes SkiingI decided to throw caution to the wind (not really) once again, and flew up to Denver, Colorado. I love Denver! It’s got the cutest houses! And the food scene is definitely happening! Every place we visited left our taste buds happy and our tummies full.

And then there were the ski resorts. Beautiful of course! We visited Echo Mountain and Loveland Pass.

I’d never skied before, so the first day I opted for a class. Man, skiing is exhausting! In Echo Mountain they didn’t have a moving walkway for the bunny hill (it’s too short of a distance anyway), so I had to walk up the hill in the skis a million times for two hours. By the end of it I was ready to pass out in the snow!

The second day was the real adventure! I started off all wrong. We didn’t get there in time to book a lesson, and I immediately felt very grim about the whole thing. No way! I can’t hit the slopes like this! My guy wouldn’t take my pessimistic attitude for a no, and pushed me towards trying the bunny hill. Pretty persistent guy! I pulled all the stops: whined, got mad, whined some more, wouldn’t carry my own skis, couldn’t move with the skis on, but nope! He was determined to get me on that hill!

A Chicken Goes SkiingWhen I finally gave the Loveland Pass bunny hill a few tries, I got cocky! Oh yes, I got this! Turns out skiing is pretty cool! What I find to be the best part about it is that you can easily control your speed, and it’s not like your are raised up off the ground. I find that as long as I am close to the ground, I feel good.

Of course, my guy saw the glimmer of confidence in me and decided we should go on the lift to do an actual slope. Again I retreated to my silent panic. Ok, let’s do it. But it was great! I got on the lift, I got off the lift, and slid down the hill like a total pro (not!)! But we couldn’t just leave it with a win. Nope, we had to go for the second try, didn’t we??

A Chicken Goes SkiingWe slid right back into the line, ready to get on the flying chairs again. Except this time, I became a pretzel, got my skis tangled and fell off the lift… and the chair flew right past me knocking me down on it’s way out. I was a mess! I had to crawl to safety, take off my skis and stand up to face the crowd. Of course there was no shortage of “wow, the lift is supposed to be the easy part” comments.

Well, nothing to do but try again. I was able to stay put on the chair, and off we went, and as we slid off the chair I slid to another downfall! No problem, I get back up, no biggie! We then start heading down the hill, when all of a sudden I keep picking up speed and can’t figure out how to slow down. I panic and repeat wedge, wedge, pizza, pizza. Nope! Down I went. I don’t even know how I fell, but I fell good. Maybe I flipped? I don’t even know.

A Chicken Goes SkiingNeedless to say, I was done after that. But looking back I feel so awesomely proud that I did it! Can’t wait to do it again! I may get awkward and quiet, maybe a little whiny and annoying, but in the end I’ll love it!

Have you faced your fears? which ones? did you end up liking it? Do tell!

 

East Coast Versus West Coast

A feud that will never die! Whether it’s Biggie v. Tupac, NYC v. LA, or in this case Shake Shack v. In N Out Burger, you’ve got to pick sides and you gotta do it quick!

Not really.

But who doesn’t enjoy a good East Coast versus West Coast debate?!?!

So Shake Shack made it to the west. It has for some time now, but it has quite taken off in Vegas… I mean… there’s two locations! Yes, two! I finally had the best burgers of both worlds just a drive away and I couldn’t help but do my own side-by-side!

East Coast versus West Coast

As a disclaimer: I am in the middle. I grew up an east coaster. In New York city to be exact. I loved it there, and still do. But for the most part, I think I just like to visit now, not very interested in living there at the moment. In my last year of high school I moved to Vegas. It was pretty hard on me at first because I had to do all the senior activities without my friends. I hated the place! But Vegas has grown on me, and I must say I love it!

Of course, In N Out is not originally from Vegas, but it is a west coast thing. And while I lived in NYC, I never tried Shake Shack in New York. I only tried it for the first time at the beginning of this year, in Miami. Kinda late to the Shake Shack game, I know. And to top it all off, I am not a burgers kinda gal… or am I???

East Coast versus West Coast
I’ve enjoyed In N Out for quite some time now. It is definitely my top choice when on a road trip from LV to LA. Their fresh ingredients, simple menu, and friendly atmosphere took all the negative out of the fast food joint. Their fries are so fresh, you may even catch them cutting the potatoes every once in a while (in a really cool contraption!). I like when menus are short and simple, it communicates to me that they know what they’re good at and that’s what I’ll be eating.

East Coast Versus West CoastShake Shack on the other hand, I’ve only tasted three times. It’s got less of a fast food vibe to it, maybe because it’s a fancier looking place? Maybe because it’s more expensive? Maybe because of it’s many choices… or is it that they sell beer??? You still stand in line to order, and then get your own order when it’s ready. And the ingredients seem just as fresh as those of In N Out… Maybe not the fries? I’m suspicious about their shape.

East Coast Versus West CoastEast Coast Versus West CoastBoth burgers are delicious, but side by side I’m gonna have to say that the Shack Stack takes the prize! That crispy Portobello mushroom with deliciously melted cheese inside makes my mouth water at the thought of it! When it comes to fries, my heart is with In N Out. They both have an assortment of shakes, but I do appreciate the simplicity of In N Out’s menu. I have found myself unable to take in all of Shake Shack’s menu even after visiting three times!┬áThat’s not a completely bad thing though.

All in all, I would say that my preference for In N Out and Shake Shack is much like my affection for NY v. LV. I love them both, but one is for regular visits and the other is for the special occasions. Now let me make this post a special occasion and grab me a delicious Shack Stack!

Which one is your favorite?

Sleepless in Seattle

Chihuly Glass

Yup, I was indeed sleepless in Seattle. Nope, not because of the beauty, although there was plenty of it to take in. Nor was I lovesick. I spent three nights in Seattle, and two of the three were nightmarishly scary!

Night #1. After arriving in Seattle late at night, we wanted nothing more than to fill our bellies and crash. We had been through a full day of work, and a flight. We went for Seattle’s own burger franchise, Dick’s. Nope, that wasn’t the scary part… the burger was ok. But that night I had the fright of my life when I woke up in the middle of the night with a stabbing pain coming from my back all the way to my chest. Every breath I took brought a piercing stabbing of pain that knocked the air right back out! As the drama queen that I am, I expected the worst.

“I am having a heart attack” I declared… to myself… in my head. Of course, these are not the symptoms of a heart attack.

I was with my guy, but I didn’t bother waking him. I debated calling 9-1-1, but I froze with panic.

“What if it’s nothing and I waste their time? I could be taking the place of someone who is truly ill!” – I reasoned with myself.

“Oh well, if I make it through the night, then it probably was nothing!” – My thoughts! What a crazy person!

Who remembers Real World Seattle?!?!

Who remembers Real World Seattle?!?!

It turned out fine. I barely slept that night because the pain was very stubborn and my crazy thoughts were even worse. I survived the night, and in the future I have decided I need to seek medical attention when scary things like these happen! You never know what it could be.

I had remnants of the pain throughout the weekend, but it didn’t keep me from seeing these beautiful sights!

Night #2. Now this one is for the books! Exhausted from a long day of touring around and taking in as much of Seattle as humanly possible, we both passed out as soon as our heads hit the pillows. But in the middle of the night I wake up to the sound of some jangling keys. I suddenly realize that someone is trying to get into our room! I could hear them putting a key into the keyhole (yes, this hotel is kind of old-school). I could hear them trying to force the knob open. Doesn’t work. They try another key. I hear whispers. I panic!

I wake my guy. “Someone’s trying to get in our room!” I say, with fear filling every corner of my body.

“Nah their probably trying to get in to the room next door” my guy says, half-asleep.

I shake him and say “Nope! Nope! They’re definitely trying to get into our room!” He falls back asleep.

Yup! If it’s up to my guy, we’d be dead meat! Again, I was only able to lay in bed with my crazy thoughts and staring at the door. Formulating escape plans, and cursing my guy for possibly sleeping through our very own horror movie!

He Smiles Because He Slept Through the Night!

He Smiles Because He Slept Through the Night!

Turns out it was just a pair of drunk tourists who confused our room for theirs. They never did get into our room.

Sigh of relief!

Definitely got a good scare, but now I can’t stop laughing about those two nights! Sometimes good scares make for great memories! Hope you got a good laugh!

But did I mention how beautiful Seattle is? I definitely want to visit again!

Chihuly Glass

Sleepless in Seattle - Life is My OysterHave you had any travel scares? do share! Have you been to Seattle? Any cool insider tips you’d like to share?

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The Importance of Good Travel Shoes… And Good Friends

I did a study abroad in Europe… but my feet didn’t quite like it. That’s when I learned the importance of good travel shoes… and good friends!

Back then, although I’d done my fair share of traveling, I was still a novice in all things travel packing. I was excited to see all the romantic places I’d seen in the movies. And talk about movies, I also wanted to look just like the dreamy characters that frequented such places. For this reason, my packing strategy was all fairy-tale-chic (or at least my deranged version of it). It included sparkly flats and cute lace tops and flowery headbands (yes, I know, what was I thinking?).

Life is My Oyster - NeuschwansteinI mean, can you blame a girl? I was promised the Eiffel Tower, the Seine River, beautiful mansions and fortresses… I was lured by a fairy tale castle for goodness sake!

Life is My Oyster - Eiffel TowerNeedless to say, it was a bad idea. At first it was all nice and dandy. I walked with fresh feet through the streets of Barcelona. My shoes took me to the likes of La Rambla, La Pedrera, Barri Gotic, Barceloneta, and La Sagrada Familia. It was going well.

Life is My Oyster - La Sagrada Familia

But then came Paris. So much walking! It was with much shame and embarrassment that I resolved to wear flip flops to Versailles! The horror!

The real trouble came in Neuschwanstein, the beautiful castle that is rumored to have inspired Disney’s Cinderella castle. This was it. I had reserved what I had dubbed as my “Cinderella Flats” for this event! I was so excited! Little did I know that I had to walk for hours just to get to the castle. “It’s ok! I can do it!” I kept telling myself. My travel companions were very supportive, walking slow when it seemed my feet would give up on me.

The shoes were killing me in every area possible! The back of my feet, the sides of my feet, my poor little toes, the sole of my feet. It was incredible! These shoes may have been designed to keep in a display box and never be worn!

Culprit Shoes Pictured Here

Culprit Shoes Pictured Here

At the end of our Neuschwanstein hike, my feet were so swollen and hurt, I could barely walk. I had two travel companions and one of them wanted so desperately to go to the Hofbrauhaus in Munich and meet up with some guys. I wanted so badly for us all to have every experience we’d envisioned for the trip, that I came very close to giving in and continuing on my trek to losing my feet.

Fortunately, my other travel companion gave me a reality check. “You can’t even walk!” she said. I barely knew this girl before embarking on this trip with her, but today she is one of my best friends! You know you’ve found a good one when she saves you from yourself… now if only I can have her pick my shoes next time. Needless to say, the grand majority of those pairs of shoes ended up in a trash can somewhere between Salzburg and Venice.

Me and My Best Friend

Me and My Best Friend

I have yet to learn my shoe lesson. But I am making an effort. Here are a few links comfy travel shoes to give a try and the bloggers who recommend them:

  1. Tieks by Gavrieli, these are foldable flats. Recommended by Legal Nomads;
  2. Toms, I actually bought a pair on my trip to Portland and they have been pretty comfy. Recommended by Travel Fashion Girl;

Do you have travel shoes you swear by? Do share!

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Spring, Don’t Leave Me! – Washington D.C.

Spring, Don't Leave Me - Washinton D.C.

It’s raining outside, and the weather is cooling down. It’s Fall.

I do like Fall with all it’s beautiful colors, and the cold lonely feeling it brings with it, I love it! But before I give in to this beautiful weather, and watch as the trees shed the leaves that Spring brought with it, I want to reminisce about the days when they bloomed! I know Spring is long gone, and Summer is the one leaving us now, but Spring brought the bloom, and Fall takes it away!

Spring, Don't Leave Me! - Washington D.C.

What better way to reminisce than by looking back at the cherry blossoms of Washington D.C. in all their bloom!

Spring, Don't Leave Me! - Washington D.C.These cherry blossoms aren’t native to Washington D.C., or the United States for that matter. They were gifted to the U.S. by the Japanese as a symbol of their growing friendship.

Every year there is a festival held to celebrate their bloom, and it’s quite possibly the most beautiful time to visit D.C. You have to plan it just right, because it’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it type of thing. Let me tell you, on the third day of my trip they had already started to change colors and losing most of the pink flowers!

Spring, Don't Leave Me! - Washington D.C.

But if you miss the cherry blossoms, there’s plenty of beauty to go around! The city is decorated with beautiful tulips everywhere! And then there’s the gorgeous Dumbarton Oaks!

Spring, Don't Leave Me! - Washington D.C.

The garden wasn’t in it’s full bloom just yet, but I bet it’s drop dead gorgeous once Spring is in full swing!

Spring, Don't Leave Me! - Washington D.C.

I fell in love with Washington D.C., and I hope to visit again soon! What do you miss the most about Spring?

Spring, Don't Leave Me! - Washington D.C.

Photo Credit to My Friend Arlene for Taking this Awesome Picture! View from Senator Harry Reid’s Office Balcony!

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