Review: Cuba

Before we get into the photos (and yes there are a lot of them) let me answer a few questions.

Yes,all of the cars are like that, I maybe saw 5 that were modern

No, your cellphone will not work AT ALL

Yes, they like Americans, it’s our government they don’t like (neither do I so it’s cool)

No, you’re fine, I went with my 3 girl cousins and we walked around at night by ourselves

Yes, it’s cheap AF and the food and drinks are delicious, my whole trip was maybe $1k including flights, air bnb, food, activities, taxis (and we ate at the most expensive restaurants)

No, your credit cards will not work AT ALL

Yes, the majority of the people speak Spanish and a little bit of english but really try and know some Spanish before you go, it’ll make your whole trip easier.

No, it’s not hard to enter the country, don’t let the press fool you

Yes, they love Che and do have some issues with Castro (who doesn’t)

No, you shouldn’t judge anything about the country, place or the people until you visit, and not just visit with learn some of the history, talk to the people and really try and have an open mind if you did you might just learn something ūü§Ē

Yes, I went with an open mind and did all of the above and my conclusion? Like always America is the worst ūüėā

Now for the good stuff.

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Review: Saving money

So I’m trying to be a grown up, and put away a little money for savings, for some traveling, buying a house a new bag, a Cartier ring, normal things — but it’s hard.

Living in a city is full of temptation, I want to go to brunch, I want to buy expensive sushi for lunch, take ubers everywhere and just generally be a bougie lady but alas, I need to be a savings Susie.

It’s hard when Beyonce is coming out with concert tickets, and headlining Coachella, Revolve has a new sale every day,¬† and there’s a new noodle restaurant opening down the street from me but sacrifices must be made. Since the invention of credit cards (way before I was born) I’ve struggled to not justify buying something I normally can’t afford and just make little itty bitty baby payments on it every month, which is why I’ve now found myself with an amazing 4 credit cards with a combined limit of well over $100,000 (thank you American Express). Swiping that amazing piece of plastic and watching those rewards (or free money as I like to look at it) build up is a feeling that cannot be beat.

Plus, my dad always said, good credit is super important so why wouldn’t I want to keep building it up?

On a serious note, saving money and being frugal sucks, but I’m sure one day when I’ve finally purchased my home in the south of Spain and I’m wearing 5 Cartier bracelets it’ll all be worth it.

This is Romania p2

So I know last time was really focused on the Transylvania portion of Romania, but besides Spain I think I spent the most time in Romania (a whole week) so it really does deserve more than one post. Once we got back from the coast we did a walking tour of the city (I’m surprised we made it with how sick we were) and learned a ton about the communist history of the country. Our guide was super great, informative and took us to some real hidden gems.

Also who knew Romania was so beautiful? I didn’t, unfortunately my camera had 16% the whole time I was there and I spent most of that on Dracula so here are some of my really good iPhone photos.

 

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Palace of Parliment, Second largest administrative building in the world (besides the Pentagon)

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Peles Castle, summer residence of the Royal Family (Did you know Romania had a royal family? I didn’t)

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My main man Vlad – aka Vlad the Impaler aka Vlad Tepes, aka Vlad Dracul aka DRACULA

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Fun Fact: There are tons of monasteries in Romania

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This building was beautiful and I think it’s a bank?

This is Dracula…

This deserves it’s own post separate from the Romania post that’s coming, only because¬†I’m obsessed with Dracula and vampires.¬†For as long as I can remember I’ve been into vampires, the undead, the myths and the legends everything. On on this day my dreams came true.

Dracula’s castle is located in the mountains of Transylvania, Romania. Lucky for me my friend wanted to rent a car for our stay in Romania (good thing too because we were seriously dead from Sunwaves)¬†so we could take our time visiting all the sites and seeing the Romanian countryside. But seriously who knew it was so beautiful.

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Ok enough of the countryside. HERE IS DRACULA’S CASTLE. Some fun facts and my personal discoveries. 1) It wasn’t nearly as big or menacing as I had hoped 2) It was actually really nice inside 3) Vlad Tepes aka Vlad Dracul aka Dracula who Stoker based the novel off of never lived here, in fact he was only imprisoned here a few weeks.

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Fun fact Castelul is Castle in Romanian!

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Literally overwhelmed by emotions

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It’s Vlad

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Inside Courtyard of the Castle

The not so glamorous p1

Traveling can be a great, beautiful and wonderful eye opening experience. But do people ever talk about the not so glamorous side of traveling?

You know- when your stuck in traffic trying to get crosstown in London to make your flight to Spain? Or when your staying in an air bnb in Amsterdam and can’t figure out for the life of you how to use the washer and end up fucking up all your underwear? Or accidentally drinking the water in Morocco and having to go to a pharmacy in Romania just to get meds so you’ll stop shitting your pants?

Nope. Not a peep of this. Well all of these these instances are true and have all happened to me so let’s get into it. 

I hope I took the right doses because Google translate did not help with this one


I’ve been to Morocco twice. First time I was a cautious Cathy. Didn’t drink the water, didn’t use ice cubes in my drinks and didn’t even brush my teeth without a bottle nearby. Luckily I escaped unscathed. The second time I was a little more ballsy and had been already traveling for about 2 weeks at that point. I brushed my teeth with the water, ordered ice in every drink and even let a little shower water get in my mouth after a particularly rough hike and I felt fine! Until I didn’t. Towards the end of my Morocco trip I started to feel a little funny, which I merely chalked up to travelers stomach (yes, it’s a real thing). When I got to Sevilla a few days later I knew something was definitely wrong so I stocked up on some trusty digestive cookies (a real Spanish staple) and kept it moving. However it wasn’t until  a week later when I found myself in Romania driving back from Draculas castle that I knew something was wrong. 

Clearly too excited to notice the rumbling going on beneath the surface. 

As we were rounding a corner entering a small town I  thought to myself “this is it. This is the moment when your life will change forever because you’re literally about to poop in your pants”. My life flashed before my eyes and I actually almost cried. Real question. Have you ever almost shit your pants? Like clenching your butt cheeks, praying, vision going blurry shit your pants. It’s like you can see the future and it’s not bright, you know from that moment on your life will forever be divivded into two parts like BC and AC. BS and AS – before shitting and after shitting. Just imagine for a second what your life you would be like if you actually pooped your pants at the age of 27 and were not drunk or had a serious illness. Anyways, In the middle of her story I blurted out UHIHAVETOFINDABATHROOMLIKENOW.  

Luckily my travel companion knew me well enough to know that it was an emergency, we found a somewhat abadoned restaurant, waddled our way inside and the rest is history. When we got back to Bucarest we made a beeline to the nearest pharmacy. Lucky for me Europes pharmacies are very different from Americas. In these pharmacies you walk in, tell the pharmacist what’s wrong with you and bam. You got your meds. No questions, no prescription, no nothing. So to the pharmacist in old town Romania. Thank you for saving my intensities, my dignity and my wallet. Although I have no idea what these boxes say because I speak approximately 0 words of Romanian, as far as I’m concerned these are little miracles in a box and cost a whopping $4. 

So ladies an gentlemen the lesson here is to never drink the water in Morocco,  always have a pepto bismal handy when traveling and never be ashamed about trying to explain to a random Romanian stranger that you need meds to stop you from violently pooping your pants. It happens to the best of us.

Happy Travels!!  

The only thing I could eat in Bucarest 

Currently….

In Morocco. 

Unfortunately the Internet is so terrible that I can’t even upload photos. In the meantime! Check out @theshadeistooreal for some sweet visuals for your life

Mish-Mash p3

 

This week is Mish-Mash p3 aka the food edition I want to present to you some outtakes I have from Cordoba, Madrid and Portugal. This first photo is from a little patio in Cordoba that actually served decent Mexican food. One this I will say about Cordoba is that they have some bomb ass food. I went here with my friend after we had a pretty wild night out. We went for breakfast then (because everyone hates a comedown) came here for some after breakfast drinks. The weather was beautiful and Cordoba is known for their patios (aka random outdoor areas in the middle of their restaurants) I usually HATE food pictures, but I’m really hungry so whatever.

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This next photo was taken in Madrid about a week after we arrived in Spain. Once again I hate photos of food but as I said, I was thirsting for American food – I forget how bad the sugar and fat withdrawals can be for us Americans when traveling to a country that actual cooks their food in FDA approved substances.

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Look at that blur on those fries, super proud of my camera for this one

This was in Portugal, Lisbon to be exact. In front of a huge monument with all the faces and bodies of the Portuguese conquistadors. ¬†Kind of creepy if I’m being honest but whatever. Even though it’s huge and very impressive, I think I spent more time look at this super awesome conquistador graffiti than the actual monument itself.

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Mish-Mash p2

I saw this photo in London and obviously stopped in the middle of the sidewalk like an obnoxious tourist to snap a photo. Why? because at heart I’m really an 11 year old boy.

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I took this photo in Porto, Portgual. Specifically the Duoro Valley which is know for it’s wine. A little fun fact about Porto wine, it’s strong AF. Don’t ask me the exact alcohol content because as you can see from this photo many of the glasses are empty and I don’t remember what the vineyard owners told us. Plus their accents were so cute I wasn’t really paying attention anyways. I’m posting this for several reasons, but the main on being that I’m so proud of how good it looks! Right? I bought this new camera for my travels a Sony I think and I’ve been messing with the settings and focus ever since I got it and this photo is a great example of when I finally got it right. I think it looks super cool, with the blurry background (super artsy), empty wine glasses (shows that I’m super fun, no?) and the cut off figures in the background (yes I have friends). Anyways, I’ll definitely be making prints and hanging them on my wall.

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This next photo is of some super cool street art in Morocco. Not to be super indie but who knew Morocco had street art? It was super interesting going here because of course, the media gives you so many ideas about what Africa is like, impoverished, dirty, smelly, super hot, rundown, 3rd world. But let me tell you, this is not the case and if you ever get a chance to go, do it. 

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Mish- Mash

Obviously on this blog (like any other) you only put up the best of the best. But what about the outtakes? the photos that make you cringe when you look back on them, or the ones that you wouldn’t normally share because they’re super personal, or random ones that you think – hmm will this make the readers want to click through my blog?

Here’s a few of my favorites.

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This photo was taken on what can only be described as the flight from fucking hell. We decided to take Ryan air (a super cheap airline) to Ireland for the weekend. Luckily they were having a sale and roundtrip tickets were $98. Anyone who’s ever lived in Europe for an extended period time has probably taken Ryan Air for this reason. But it’s literally like a bus in the sky. Flying north (I didn’t know this) is rough, weather, winds etc. But it also felt as if the pilot had taken several Ambien before the flight because it was bumpy, the whole.entire.time. and not like oh there’s a little turbulence, like if felt like the sky was trying to shake us out of it. Anyways, I took this photo because even though the view outside was beautiful I thought that might be last moment on earth.

This was also in Ireland – although the weather wasn’t super super shitty, this day was. It was our last day in Ireland and we really wanted to see St. Patricks Cathedral and this one other park that my host mom suggested. So we sucked it up, got our umbrellas and walked through the park to St. Patricks. Lucky for us Monday morning at 9:30 is the best time to see all the sites because everyone is either working, sleeping or on a rainy day, trying to stay dry. Anyways, it’s not the most amazing photo but it reminds me of a great day.

 

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This is the Botanical garden in Madrid, in the middle of January, perhaps the worst time to go; however, we LOVED it. There was maybe one other couple there and even though all the plants were dead I found it to be absolutely magical. Because of this trip, we all have an obsession with going to parks on gloomy days.

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Um poco de Portgual

I was pumped to go to Portugal. Ever since I laid my eyes on Cristiano Ronaldo at the tender age of 12 I’ve been obsessed. But looks aside, I think Portuguese¬†¬†it the prettiest language and have been trying to learn for years. Unfortunately¬† the only things I can say are “where is the hotel”, “I have a multi colored sofa” and “I don’t speak Portuguese”. All of that being said I loved Portugal, the cathedrals, the people and especially the food. Thank goodness they have lots of bacalao aka codfish because I was starting to sick of all the jamon y queso here in Espana. I was surprised at the pobreza of the city, it’s a little bit rundown but I still loved it and want to definitely come back in the summer months to one of the beach towns. ¬†Anyways, this is Portgual.

Insiders tip: When going to Porto – do NOT chug the wine, despite how good it is. But DO go to Cafe Majestic and the Harry Potter Library.

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Another must is a day trip to the Duoro Valley about 1.5 hours outside of Porto.

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Here is Lisbon ( I prefer Porto) but when in Lisbon – go to Torre de Belem, The monastery, and this super creepy monument dedicated to all the conquistadors.

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