This summer has been a whirlwind of non-stop travel. From Chicago for a friends birthday to Jamaica for a girl’s trip to New York for Afro Punk, I am tired! But the one trip I’m always excited for is the bi-annual day trips I take with my mom. This year we went to Denver, Colorado, and all I will simply say is that I must go back because one day was not enough! I was not expecting Denver to be so beautiful, but my goodness, it was beautiful and I can’t wait to go back!

How We Got There:

A few months ago, I saw a flight deal on Twitter for Frontier Airlines. I don’t remember the deal explicitly, but I believe all flights were $50 one way. I instantly hopped on that deal and bought two round trip tickets for my mom and me for about $300 – an amount for both tickets and the additional flight costs. Since we were only there for the day, we didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg, so instead of an Uber, we traveled our way around town on the Denver train. The tickets for a round trip were only $18 and took us everywhere from the airport to the University of Colorado to Union Station and more. Denver also offers free ‘mall’ buses, that take you anywhere in the mall for free! [One thing to note is the mall is an outdoor mall – think Vegas strip].

Travel Tip: I’d definitely encourage using the public transportation in new cities if they’re offered, because it’s the best way to see the city, usually for a low cost. from the airport to Denver’s Union Station for $18 round trip!

 

What We Did:

Since we were only in the city for a few hours, I wanted to make sure we were in a central location that had things to do, things to see, and good places to eat. We spent most of the day in Union Station and were fortunate enough to go on a weekend where the Farmer’s Market was in town. The Farmer’s Market had a cute little setup.

Different tables and booths lined up the fairway selling literally everything: strawberries, fresh vegetables, Mexican horchata, tacos, tamales, pies, homemade honey, and more. Even though Houston has farmer’s markets, I had never been to one, and after going, I definitely see the hype.

After the Farmer’s Market, we made our way to the Tattered Cover Bookstore which is one of their historical sites. Built in 1971, it’s a huge bookstore giving off hippy vibes, good coffee, and great spots to take pictures. I had to resist the urge to buy another book since I haven’t caught up on other books I said I’d read, but I found some gems that I’m adding to my collection.

We also walked around and perused the different shops on the street like the gift shop and the magic shop, but nothing topped our trip to the marijuana dispensary. I was really trying to go on a dispensary tour to actually learn about the process, but due to time, we couldn’t afford to fit it in. However, given the chance, I’d definitely opt for—– as they had great reviews. We made our way to Rocky Mountain High Dispensary and was literally in and out, I barely remember what happened! LOL. They don’t allow you to take pictures, but they had different edible products on display like edible gum, mints, and soda. I opted for an infused grape soda, that was absolutely delicious and one marijuana joint.

Travel Tip: In Colorado, their marijuana law is similar to an open/carry law in New Orleans. While drinking on the street isn’t advised, it happens, and no one will say anything to you unless you’re trying to re-sell it without a permit or license. Also, traveling back to your home via plane or car with any edibles or joints is considered drug trafficking and a felony!

What We Ate: 

I know that Houston and Dallas both have a Snooze eatery, but I wanted to try what Snooze has to offer in Denver. When I found out that not only were there three Snooze’s but one in Union Station, we had to go. I love pancakes, and while the pancake of the day [sweet potato flavored with bacon mix -ins, and jalapeno infused butter] didn’t entice me at all, I opted for the Snooze scrambler – original buttermilk pancake, two eggs, chicken sausage, hash brown, and grits. Not going to lie though, the hash browns and grits, they could’ve kept! [I’m from the south; it’s hard to impress me with grits! LOL]

Since me and my mom both love coffee, we made our way to the Mercantile for coffee. I don’t know what magic coffee beans Denver has imported, but my oh my, that coffee was delicious!!! For lunch, we opted for P.F. Chang’s, mainly because we were tired of walking and that was the nearest thing to us that we knew we would get our money’s worth. New city, but same choices, we got our usual: hot and sour soup, P.F. Chang’s spare ribs, and crispy honey chicken with brown rice to share!

When we headed back to Union Station as it neared our departure time, we were both craving something sweet. There was no way I was leaving Denver without going to the popular Milkbox Ice Creamery. It was heaven! Milkbox offers a robust menu with over 30 ice cream flavors that can be turned into sundaes, ice cream sandwiches, boozy sundaes, or enjoyed the good, old fashioned way on a cone. I couldn’t pass up on a vanilla bean boozy shake with a spiced rum mix-in, and my mom kept it simple with a chocolate two-scoop cone!

 

The only thing I would change about my trip is the fact I only stayed one day and not more. Denver is absolutely beautiful and I definitely plan on going again!! If you’ve been, what did you do so I can add them to my itinerary for my next trip!!

Love & Blessings!

This is my first travel post so believe me when I say I’m anxious and excited at the same time! But what better place to feature for my travel post other than San Juan, Puerto Rico?! Me and my girls picked San Juan for the sole purpose of going to a party [which I’ll get to later] and that party created the focus of our trip.

I had a 7:30am flight out of Dallas [Lovefield] Wednesday morning which flew me back to Houston for a quick layover and eventually to Puerto Rico. The flight was about three hours but went by super fast thank to the woman I sat next to. We cracked jokes and drank cocktails the whole flight [heyyyy Shalea girl!] Now strangely, Uber’s aren’t allowed to pick up from the airport, but they can drop you off at the airport! Not knowing that, I had to get a taxi! The great thing about the taxi line, was that the taxi fare is already preset depending on your destination; so a 15 minute ride to the air bnb cost me $19 without a tip!

The plan was to stay in an air bnb for the first two nights (Thursday and Friday) and those two nights turned into one when we returned home Thursday to a roach/bug infested place. We immediately dipped and checked into our hotel early. Any who, Thursday was our most busiest and exhausting day. We headed to the El Yunque National Rainforest at about 8am. We picked up bananas and nuts at the grocery store the night before so we didn’t stop for breakfast!

We arrived at the rainforest at about 930 and started hiking right away. Now if ur not athletic like me, u will be worn tf out. At one point I wanted to cry because I was so exhausted and felt like I’d never make it to the car. Lol. I will say all the sweat and mud was worth the experience. If you decide to hike the rainforest, make sure u have plenty of water and snacks for fuel and to hold u over until u can eat an actual meal.

After the rainforest, we headed to Farado, Puerto Rico, and stopped at Messy Kitchen Goodies. Most of their selections were vegan but they had a few non-vegan options. I ordered the chicken lasagna and side Salad with ginger lemonade and mannnn… Let me tell you! It was amazing!! After we ate, we spent a few hours at the beach, taking naps and lounging around.

At 8pm, we had a reservation to go on a kayaking tour at night. To pass the time, we stopped at a hole in the wall bar and ordered a few drinks. After our drinks, we headed back to the beach to prep for kayaking. All I can say about night kayaking or kayaking in general, is that I NEVER have to do it again! We headed back to our air bnb around midnight, took showers and crashed.

On Friday, we headed out around 10 to go cave sighting at Cueva Ventana. After the caves, we went Bistro del Mar for lunch and cocktails and hit the beach. We stayed at the beach for a few hours and returned to our air bnb. When we returned, we were greeted by roaches everywhere!! Crazy. I know! We immediately packed our bags and checked in early into our hotel! For future reference, if your going to a tropical climate like Puerto Rico and staying in an air bnb, be mindful that there may be a few bugs!

We started our Saturday at BaJuice, which again has several vegan options. I got the healthy start breakfast (egg whites turkey ham and toast) and their lemonage which is fresh squeezed orange juice and lemonade. Other options enjoyed at the table were acai bowls and veggie burgers! After breakfast, we caught an uber to head to old Padre which was filled with colorful buildings and beautiful statues and monuments. We headed over to the Mezzanine at St. German for a few cocktails and snacks. For dinner we headed to Volando Bajito, a refurbished dog fighting arena, famous for their Korean chicken wings! The food was great and the atmosphere was cute.

Sunday was the day of the party and to prepare, we had breakfast at our hotel. After breakfast, we headed to the beach and played in the ocean for a few hours. The pool was our follow up as we enjoyed poolside cocktails. On our way to lunch, we were able to enjoy the Puerto Rican Pride Festival where we danced in the street before heading to Ali Baba, a Turkish eatery.

Since Monday was our last day, we made sure to enjoy it and relax. We headed to BaJuice again for breakfast where I enjoyed an acai bowl and smoothie. After that, we headed to the Vanderbilt hotel for our spa appointment. We were treated to champagne and chocolates as we got comfortable and ready for our massages. I have to say this  was the best spa experience I’ve ever had! Everything was perfect! After our massages, we went to Tacos and Tequila where we had tacos and  tequila! lol. we headed to a few more bars and sipped and went back to our hotel to enjoy the ocean and pool one last time! For our final dinner, we went to Mai Pen Rai, a Thai place, where I chose the drunken noodles as my dish! I must say that the drunken noodles were my favorite meal of the whole trip! I’m now a fan! After dinner, we went back to the hotel to pack and get ready for our 7:30am flights the next morning!

 I can say I enjoyed Puerto Rico. I’d definitely go again and experience new things and make new memories!
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