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Monday, November 23, 2020

6 Ways To Ensure Your Road Trip Doesn’t End Up Caked In Negativity

Road trips can be very fun and very rewarding experiences where everything is in the right place. The idea of hopping into a personal vehicle and setting off down the road for a few days or a few weeks can be quite dull for some, but the freedom and the adventure excite many people on the planet. Whether you’re looking to head into entirely new areas or you just fancy a girls’ weekend away some time, a road trip can be the exact thing you need. 


If you don’t set things up properly, though, then you could have a pretty underwhelming trip on your hands. Usually, it doesn’t really need too much thought as overthinking will come in, and it will be a complicated little trip. When you have a simple plan and no complications, that’s when you have a good time. There will need to be a little bit of assembling and planning, however. Here are a few things you’ll probably have to do in order to have a successful trip with very few negatives: 

Choose The Right People To Accompany You

This is a really important point and a fundamental one, so we’ll start off with it. You can have all the intricate plans and figure out the most desirable location, but if you have the wrong people alongside you, then it can ruin the entire journey and vacation. If you prefer to travel alone, then this particular point shouldn’t bother you at all, of course. Many vacations have been destroyed by people who choose to bring toxic individuals. At the end of the day, it’s all about the social side of things and the experiences you share, so make sure you’re bringing someone who will be positive and happy with you. This can be a difficult choice at times because you may not want to offend anyone, but your happiness is paramount when all is said and done. 

Make Sure The Vehicle Is In Good Condition

You need to ensure that you’re not travelling in a death machine or in something that will break down halfway through the trip. The way to do this is to take it in to a mechanic and let them sort through it all. If there’s anyone who will be able to fix any problems or reassure you that there’s little to worry about, it’s them. A few things may cost a fee to sort out, but the fee would be worth it in order to get the trip confirmed. 

Make A Plan For Every Part Of The Trip

Planning, for some, is very boring. They’ll just want to hop into the car and go. You need to have a plan in order to make sure everything goes swimmingly, though. You also need to prepare for any potential eventualities – including negative ones. You should check out seasoned car accident lawyers just in case you end up in any kind of fracas. You should also make sure that everyone has what they need in order to enjoy the trip. When you have a roadmap that tells you where to go – it’s very helpful. When you have a roadmap for more than just the road, though, that’s even better. 

Stay Positive Throughout

When you approach something like a vacation – or, more specifically, a road trip – with a negative attitude, then everything that happens will be negative. You’ll pick faults in absolutely everything that goes on, and you won’t look back on it with too much fondness. That’s why you need to adopt a positive mindset when you head out. If you do this, then everything will be much better. This infectious mentality will also spread across the group, and you’ll all have a laugh.

Know Where You’re Going!

This is obvious, but it’s something that should be mentioned. A lot of people wing it and hope that they’ll be able to get there using their navigation technology. While it’s usually reliable, there will likely be hiccups sooner or later. Study the maps and figure out alternative routes just in case you run into a few issues along the way. 

Capture All The Memories On Film  

It’s nice to have memories stashed in your mind. Sometimes, taking photos cheapens an experience because you want the value to remain in your head. With that said, you should still capture a few things so that you can look back on certain days and reminisce. Even if you had a pretty torrid few days, you’d be able to bring them up every now and again and laugh at them. Photographs have the ability to give you a different perspective on this. It’s also great to keep people up to speed on social media – if you have the likes of Facebook and Instagram, of course. 

Saturday, November 21, 2020

8 Awesome Free Things To Do In Mexico City

Since we've been quarantining as much as possible during this pandemic, we've been learning about places we want to travel when we're able to again. We've added some places to the ever-growing list, including Mexico City. We've been to other places in Mexico, but I'd love to visit a more metropolitan area on my next visit South. 

While Mexico isn't that expensive to begin with, you can go even more budget-friendly by enjoying free things. To me, that means more money for eating out and/or splurging on things we might have wanted to do and thought we couldn't or for spontaneous things we find out about while there. Here are 8 cool things to see and do in Mexico City for free. 

Explore the Juárez neighborhood

I love a funky neighborhood. Juárez is full of cute little boutique shops and quaint cafés and restaurants. While you may wish to spend money on souvenirs or a meal here, just strolling through the neighborhood and taking pictures is totally free. You also get exercise while out and about. Stop in an artisan chocolate shop, sip some locally-made wines, relax in a beautiful park, or come back in the evening to hit up a bar or nightclub.

Check out the Gran Hotel Ciudad de México

You don't have to stay at the hotel to enjoy things it has to offer, like the amazing architecture. Originally a department store, the lobby of this hotel is topped by a dazzling Tiffany stained-glass ceiling and is home to an antique iron and concrete elevator, and a replica curving staircase of the one of Le Bon Marche. 

Visit Palacio Nacional

Head into this government building to view Diego Rivera's famous mural The History of Mexico. The mural depicts the Aztec era all the way to the development of industry. It's a beautiful way to learn about the history of Mexico, and also people watch at the same time.

Browse the Mercado Roma

This three-story upscale market is a great place to browse and pick up fancy snacks for a picnic or to take back to your room. There's a rooftop beer garden, but you also a vegan taco joint, wine bars and tapas cafés. 

Walk through Mercado Coyoacan

If you've been following me for a while, you know how much I adore a market. I will go out of my way to plan a day around a farmers' market. It's pretty much the only thing I'll get up extra early for. Bring a reusable bag if you are planning to shop this amazing market that sells, pretty literally, everything. It's a very authentic Mexican shopping and cultural experience. I'm a huge fan of bringing home local spices from my travels.

Enjoy Plaza Garibaldi

Do you like live music? Roving mariachi bands frequent this plaza in order to solicit patrons. You can visit any time, but it's most lively after 11pm. I would suggest bringing along some cash to tip or buy a song with. It's worth it to make at least one trip in the evening to see this important part of Mexican culture. 

See the skyline from Torre Latinoamericana

Technically, this isn't free, but if you time it with lunch, it's almost like it is. Instead of going all the way to the top of this 44-story skyscraper, ask to visit the bar of the 43rd floor instead. It has the same views as the observation floor above it. Not only is the building useful for seeing the city from the top, but it's also a marvel of engineering, having withstood an 8.1 magnitude earthquake in 1985 and a 7.1 in 2017, a pretty phenomenal feat for a building built in 1965.

Museo Soumaya

One of the most iconic museums in Mexico, the Museo Soumaya is a big silver building that is a piece of art in itself. Inside, you'll find over 60,000 works of art, many by famous Hispanic artists like Diego Rivera, as well as internationally famous artists like Matisse.

Bonus: Eat some churros

With all that money you saved, you'll have plenty left over for churro-time! Order your churros and watch the chefs make and dip them while you wait in a gorgeous white and blue tiled café at El Moro Churerría. It's touted as the best churro restaurant in Mexico City and it's open 24 hours per day. 

If you've been to Mexico, what was your favorite place or thing you did there?

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Experiencing Mexico from Home

It's been a few weeks since Halloween, but we wanted to make a real destination date out of Mexico, so we swapped out our Day of the Dead backdrop for this lovely Mexican neighborhood backdrop and kept the ruins of Teotihuacán background. I went whimsical with my tablescape and added a few cactus to match the backdrop, the cutest little llama piñata you've ever seen, and a tiny sombrero that came as a set (we wore the other two).

If you've been to Mexico, you know it's very colorful and vintage looking, most places you go. I had this wonderful hot pink tablecloth from a party I had a few years ago (clearly, I have a lot of tablecloths that I've purchased over the years for different themes - this one was from my 80's 40th birthday party) that I knew would go great with everything. 

I picked up these green-splash plates on a super sale, some Jarritos Mexican sodas they sell at our closest Grocery Outlet (because why not). I also searched for a great traditional drink, which I'll show you below.

The main point of these dates is to try something new, bring in travel to our Quarantine lifestyle, and have fun together. Nothing says fun to me like hats, and little hats are hilarious, so I jumped on these that come as a set of 3 with removable headbands. We never hesitate to wear hats or other accessories for our Sunday morning Zoom brunches either, so we bring whimsy to others as well. 

I knew I didn't want just any Mexican food from one of the many cookie cutter restaurants around here. They pretty much serve all the same things, so instead, I looked at a cool restaurant sort of near us that specializes in a bunch of different international dishes (Salvador Molly's) and picked a few that were Mexican/South American. In the front are beef tacos, which had a ton of lovely greens on them. We aren't fans of cilantro, but it's always pretty on food. The other greens were crunchy cucumber shreds. Behind that, in the box, is something called a Yucatan Sunshine Bowl, and it has spicy shredded chicken, pickled red onions, yellow rice, black beans, cotija cheese, lettuce (because it's technically a salad), tomatoes, and a few other things, like those deep fried tortillas that are shaped like the sun. 

In the front of this picture is the third dish I ordered, which was a spicy chicken tamale with a side of rice. It also came with beans and a little cabbage salad. They also have this tamale as a veggie one with artichokes, and also a verde pork option. 

Cheers! I love a good traditional drink. I could have gone with a margarita or sangria, but instead found a recipe for something called a sangrita. It is said to have been invented by pouring off the extra juices from pico de gallo, a fruit salad, and then had spices added. The base of the drink is pomegranate juice, tomato juice, and orange juice. You can add Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and salt to spice it up. To save the trouble, I used bloody Mary mix that included all those extras and tomato juice, then did a 1:1:1 ratio of that, pomegranate juice and orange juice. I used bloody Mary spices to rim my glasses, and then added a lime and a golden straw to complete it. 

If you use bloody Mary mix, like I did, I wouldn't suggest using as much as I did (maybe one par t to two parts of each of the other two liquids), because it was mighty spicy. We both enjoyed it, but if spicy isn't for you, you might just forgo the mix altogether and just use straight tomato juice and no hot sauce.

As usual, we enjoyed the view and then took a tour. We did two short walking tours of Mexico City and then one of the Mayan pyramids/ruins of Teotihuacán. Both city tours were just people walking around the city. There was no commentary, so you just saw life as it was happening, which is how I like to travel for the most part. 

Because this date was a lunch, we didn't do dessert. If we had, I would have probably found a place to buy churros. You could do flan, but I'm very much not a fan of that, so we skipped it. 

Are you looking to do your own Mexico "journey"? It's easy, because there are so many things you can do to make it cool, unique, or extra special. Here are some things I suggest:

  • Backdrops:
  • Mini sombreros
  • Mini piñata
  • Colorful tablecloth
  • add a sarape table runner
  • Pretty napkins
  • Chip & dip bowl
  • Taco Carousel
  • Taco spoons 
  • Mexico cookbook
  • Guidebook
  • Loteria bingo game
  • YouTube playlist
  • Here's mine

  • If you've been to Mexico already, choose a new place to learn about, or make a slideshow of your pictures and relive your favorite memories with your significant other and/or your family. 

    Are you planning a trip for when we're allowed to travel again? If so, where to?

    Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I may be compensated should you choose to make any purchases through them. This allows me to keep this blog running for you. Thanks in advance! 
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