Asheville trip

UGH!!!! I left my digital camera in that damn robe they provided at the cabin! I was checking for stupid chargers and NOT something important like a freaking camera. My fault. I did upload some pics to my computer, so I have some pics and videos from Asheville. But cute pics of my dog and things like that are gone. 😦 oh well. I’m thinking about getting this Nikon camera. I really want a camera for the Ellie Goulding concert, but I don’t need one. ANYWAY…

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
The animals greeting us at the cabin

I think I can sum all three days up in one post. I enjoyed Asheville, but I didn’t get to do all the things I wanted. I planned this trip as a solo trip. I plan non-solo trips completely different. So that had a lot to do with why this trip was a B and not an A or B+.

Let’s talk about the good stuff first. The hot tub was a winner. I got into it daily and sometimes more than once a day. It was the only alone time I had, so I cherished it. I read and drank alcohol 😉 while in it.

cove1
The hot tub and the view from it

 

The cabin was THE BEST. There were chickens, donkeys, goats, fish, and horses.

cove3
The queen bed – and where I slept

 

The best outing was the Biltmore mansion. I walked 5 miles that day (with no major foot pain!), and I didn’t even do everything. We toured all 43 rooms of the mansion, toured a little of the gardens, and did the wine tasting. I still don’t get the appeal of wine, but I’m glad I did the tasting. I tasted only four wines because I was driving.

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Biltmore mansion

We ate at a lot of local places. I can’t remember all the names. But I had pancakes at The Local Joint in Fairview (A++). I also had a tuna sandwich from Woolworth’s in downtown Asheville. (A). Nothing I saw mentioned the Woolworth’s as a good place to visit, but I highly recommend it. It’s not only a restaurant. It is also an art gallery with superb art.

The cons of Asheville include the price of things. I thought Vegas was bad. The tour of Asheville is $26 per adult. Vegas was cheaper. We only got off and on once. I did enjoy learning about Asheville, but this was one of the things that would have been better to do alone. My mom and I are not on the same page when it comes to stuff like this. I did get to see downtown, so that was cool.

I didn’t get to drive much of the Blue Ridge Parkway because we had a flat tire that morning. It’s a long story. The point is that it made us late for everything on Thursday.

Would I go back to Asheville? Yes. Will I go back soon? Probably not. Next year I’m planning to go to Surry County, VA (again) for my birthday with my mom and my dog. Yay, my dog gets to come! Surry County is an hour away from Virginia Beach so we’ll get to go to the beach also. I used to go to the beach all the time, but I haven’t been there in about 3 years. We’re going to stay in a 2 bedroom cabin at a state park. It is much cheaper than going to Asheville.

The end.

P.S I just ordered the camera from Amazon!!! Ahh! It’s sad that I consider a camera a “need.” It’s going to be delivered to my mom’s house today (Yes, on a Sunday). I probably won’t pick it up until later this week. Here is a pic of it:

The only things I don’t like about it (without even using it) is that it doesn’t have a touch screen like my previous camera and it looks a bit too professional. What if I can’t get into concerts with it? hmmm. AND the HD video is only 720p. My last camera took 1080p HD videos. I should have just ordered the same camera. Why didn’t I? ugh.

Vegas Day 2 – It’s Britney, bitch!

I’m going in chronological order so the Britney section is in the second half of this post. Btw, day one is here.

I was on east coast time so I woke up at 4AM PST. The first thing on the agenda was the Bellagio Buffet. I had NO IDEA that my hotel was right across from The Bellagio. I thought I had a long walk. So I left at 6AM with a lot of time before the restaurant opened. I took this time to read (“Still Alice”) and take pictures. I was standing right across from Planet Hollywood and couldn’t contain my excitement for Britney:

Britney Spears
Britney Spears

I had many hours and many adventures before I would see Britney… Breakfast @ the Bellagio. I had no idea that they seat you. I thought you could pick where you wanted to sit. The food and service was good but when they crammed all the solo diners together, that made me very uncomfortable so I left. I had people on both sides of me. AWKWARD. I’m so glad I got to eat something before the other person came. I wanted dessert and maybe more pancakes 🙂 but the seating ruined that. I would only go back if I was with someone else. I will never dine there alone again.

After breakfast, I went back to the hotel to watch news and relax before my big walk to The Mirage to see the dolphins and tigers.

The Mirage

But first I went to Kardashian Khaos (closing October 30th). I brought a mug and a guitar pick. The mug was only $5 (on sale to get rid of inventory) and it is huge. If I had more room, I would have brought at least two.

I didn’t take any photos of the dolphins only video. 😦 (I can’t upload videos on here with my account). Watching the dolphins was the most relaxing part of my trip. I spent 45 minutes doing that. Then I went to see the tigers. I did take photos of the tigers.

tiger
tiger

Then I went to The Mirage buffet for take out. The food was good. I think most of the buffets in Vegas are for seafood lovers and I’m not one of those so…blah. Then I tried to relax on the sofa until 3:00 and headed out to The Luxor for the Titanic exhibit. Oh my. What a freaking walk! Thank god they had a free tram. It was so confusing. I’m glad other people were there trying to do the same thing. I was lost and almost gave up.

The Titanic exhibit was nice and sad (of course). I definitely recommend it. They had real artifacts from the ship. No photos or videos allowed. After that even though my feet were beginning to hurt, I went on to Mandalay Bay since the tram went there. That place is huge and the aquarium is all the way in the back. My feet were begging me at this point to stop but I kept going.

I’d read reviews of the aquarium and wasn’t expecting much but it was nice. I’d go again.

buddha
buddha

I had to take a pic of a Buddha in a fish tank. Nice touch. 😉 One more photo cause I love fish:

fishy!
fishy!

They had sharks, snakes, the cutest turtles, sting rays etc.

By this time my feet and legs were killing me. PLUS I had overdosed on Afrin. Long story. I’ll try to shorten it. My cold came back I couldn’t find the children’s medicine I usually take so instead of walking to Walgreens to get it, I went to the ABC store and all they had was Afrin which I had never used before. I sprayed too much because I couldn’t feel it and I was dizzy. At this point, I knew I couldn’t walk all the way back to my hotel. I didn’t know taxis accept credits cards in Vegas so I foolishly used the ATM. The fees. The FEES!

Anyway, as I was waiting for someone else to use the ATM, I felt so dizzy, I thought I would faint. All I could think of was: I cannot faint right now, not before I see Britney Spears. I was sure someone was going to have to call an ambulance. Obviously that did not happen. I got money from the ATM, walked as far as I could, got a taxi and took some pain killers when I got to the hotel room.

I relaxed for a couple of hours, took a shower, put my little black dress on and got ready for Ms. Spears. When I got there I was the only one in the section even though it was 15 minutes until show time. I wondered would I get to talk to any Brit fans and I did! The woman beside me was solo too so we talked. This was her second time seeing Brit. She saw her on the “Circus” tour. (This was my first time). This was the closest I’ve ever been to a club experience. I loved it. At first I was extremely apprehensive and barely moved. But then the other people moved closer to the pit while I stayed back near my seat by myself and danced! It was a great experience.

Enough about me. What about Britney? She was amazing! She was so happy. She smiled a lot. She isn’t always like this so I felt extremely lucky to be there when Brit was in a good mood. I made eye contact with smiley Britney. OMG. !!!111!!! I almost died. It was so surreal. The whole night. This pic was taken right after the eye contact:

Queen of pop
Queen of pop

The band was great. I didn’t like all of the versions of the songs. My favorite was “Til the World Ends”. I thought “Circus” and other songs fell a little flat. I just didn’t really like the arrangements. Brit interacted with the crowd and actually acknowledged we were there! I was not expecting that at all from other reviews. So many people talk about her being robotic and dead in the eyes. Well she was fine on October 15.

I could go on. Here is a video of Britney performing Womanizer:

Would I go see her show again? If I go to Vegas within the next two years, it would crush me to not see her again but I might want to see something else. If she releases another album (I’m sure she will) then I will want to see her again because the setlist will be different. This is all up to when my mom wants to go and when I have money. I’m not going back alone…but Britney is worth it. Another pic:

Godney
Godney

After the show, I went back to my hotel and smiled myself to sleep. 🙂 Day 3 & 4 coming together in the next post. Day two was my favorite day despite how it ended with me barely being able to walk.

Vegas: Day one

Um, I said I would probably never go back to Vegas. Well now my mom REALLY wants to go so guess who is going with her…moi. The trip will probably happen in the next 2-3 years. I would not return on my own. But going with someone else when it is their first trip is kind of cool.

Day 2 was my favorite day. On day 1 not much happened. I fell (horizontally) on the tram at the airport in Dallas. No one asked if I was okay. Some people laughed. Anyhow getting to Vegas wasn’t that bad. The 3 hour time difference sort of threw me. I went to bed at 7pm PST! I woke up early everyday and pretty much stayed on east coast time during the whole trip.

I followed my itinerary which was the best idea ever. If you go to Vegas, go with a plan. The first thing I did after being on a plane for 5.5 hours was go to the Miracle Mile Mall. The Elara is right next door to it. I know that mall inside and out. I had to walk through it at least 4-5 times a day to get to The Strip. First I went to the ABC store just to check out their prices on souvenirs (affordable!), then I went to Cheeseburger Las Vegas. I went off of my #NoRedMeat (or pork) diet for this trip.  I had a fruity alcoholic beverage and a burger and fries.

tropical sensation
tropical sensation

The food is okay. Nothing special. Due to the location, I would go back. I just had a problem with how long it takes them to prepare the food. I went there twice, at different times of day and both times it took a while.

After that, I checked into the hotel. I could have checked in earlier but I didn’t know that. OMG. I love that hotel so much!! It is soooo nice. There are cheaper places to stay on The Strip but I will only stay at The Elara. Planet Hollywood is right beside it but they seem to cater to a younger crowd which could mean more noise so I’m staying away from there.

love this kitchen
love this kitchen

See that fridge? Everyone who knows me, knows that that is my dream fridge. I ate at the dining room table quite a bit. The kitchen came with a blender, coffee maker, microwave, dishwasher, utensils, plates, cups etc. There is also a washer and dryer in the bathroom and a nice jacuzzi in the bedroom.

I didn’t take pics of the view because I did a video instead.  The view was very nice. I could see the “Eiffiel Tower”, Wynn, Ceasers Palace, etc. from my window. It was awesome at night. On day 3, I had enough of the view and put the projector screen down instead:

big screen living
big screen living

How cool is that? I only watched the news while I was there. Normally I would’ve watched sports but the only sports on were football (which I’m boycotting) and baseball (which I hate) so no sports.

After checking in, I went on a bus tour of The Strip and downtown Las Vegas. I thought downtown would be nice looking but it wasn’t. At all. The tour was okay.  It is something you definitely want to do on day 1 or 2 so you will know where things are. I took a few pics from the bus:

bus tour
bus tour

I could tell the tour guide was getting a little (?) frustrated with me because I wasn’t a talker. I was so thankful when other people got on. When I went downtown, it was only me and another couple on the bus for the whole hour!

And then I went to bed. LOL. Day one was nice. Not a lot happened. I figured I might be tired from travel so I saved most things for day 2.

to be continued….(with much more pics – I didn’t realize I took more videos than pics until I got home)

Vegas: been there. done that.

This is just a quick entry going over a few things that happened in Vegas. I will have 1-3 Vegas posts later (with pics!)

First things first. I did so much walking on Tuesday and Wednesday that by Wednesday night I had to get a taxi back to my hotel. (I made it to New York, New York’s taxi stand). That might not sound horrible but that also meant that I couldn’t walk hardly anywhere on Thursday. I tried to catch the bus to the Fashion Show Mall because I knew there was no way I could walk there but the bus costs $6.00 for two hours. I only had $4.00 cash on me so no TopShop for me. Woe is me.

My feet/legs still have not recovered. If I ever go to Vegas again, I’m going to have to rent a scooter. That might be my #1 reason I never go back there. My other reason I won’t go back there is…..

MONEY. Vegas is for people with money. It disgusts me (not people with money…Vegas). I know that sounds extreme but I just don’t like a place like that for a “vacation”. That’s not how I roll.

Britney Spears. She didn’t half ass the show like she did on October 11th. I was so worried about that. But she was ON and she was happy. To see her happy, made me happy. I don’t think Britney is good at faking it. When she is having a bad day, she sucks at her job just like normal folk. I can’t say I never mailed it in. at work… ::coughFridayBeforeVegascough:: I do feel bad for the fans that traveled to Vegas just to see her and then she just half asses it. Those fans don’t care about The Bellagio or gambling. They come from all over the world just to see her show and then they get a spiritless Brit. That sucks.

More on Britney later.

Oh, I did gamble. FUCK. Worst decision ever. I didn’t know it was so easy to gamble in Vegas. I thought it would be intimidating. Uh, not at all. I easily found spots all to myself to gamble.  I only spent about 15 minutes actually gambling but I did walk around casinos quite a bit. It is impossible to NOT walk through a casino there. I spent  wasted about $27 and won 85 cents (lolz). The second time I was desperately trying to win money so I could take the bus to the Fashion Show Mall.

Overall the trip was okay. The leg pain limited me A LOT. If I had to rank vacation destinations, I would go:

  1. Oaxaca City, Mexico
  2. Virginia Beach, Virginia
  3. NYC
  4. Las Vegas

NYC can be expensive but for me it wasn’t that bad because I found a once in a lifetime hotel deal at The Kimberly Hotel (only a half mile from 5th Avenue). No one could ever get that deal now. They have upgraded all their rooms and nothing is affordable. It is 5 star PLUS now. In New York, you can easily find cheap food and even affordable shopping. In Vegas, it is harder to find affordable stuff on The Strip….if you want the Vegas experience.

One more thing: The Elara hotel was great. I would only stay there. It is mid-strip.  (location, location, location) It has great views. I cannot recommend this hotel enough. More on that too.

I know everyone (ha) has one thing on their minds. How far did you get on your scarf? Well, I couldn’t knit on the plane like I thought I would be able to. OMG. 3 out of 4 of my flights were full. This is only my second airplane experience. My first one I flew on SIX planes (roundtrip) to Oaxaca City, Mexico. and none of the planes were full so it wasn’t that bad. Dude, at this point I never want to get on a plane again. I’m sure I will get over it. But being stuck with no way to get off on a crowded plane….it wasn’t pleasant. I just sat there and closed my eyes. BORING.  I knitted at the airport and in my hotel room (when I couldn’t walk anywhere).

Here is my scarf so far:

vegas scarf
vegas scarf

I’ll be back with Vegas pics later. I’m still sick. I got a second cold on Wednesday without fully recovering from the first one. I think I got sick because I stupidly left the AC on all night. It was freezing. Duh.

letting my past go past

beach

When I said I was making a mix CD for a road trip, I had no idea it would occur so soon! Unbelievable. I’m here at the beach and not even concerned about the beach. That’s because it is about 50 degrees. That’s cold to me.  Uh, no I’m not off work! This is very much a working “vacation”. I am working more here than I could would at home. I’m trying to catch up.

(That picture was taken from the balcony.)

It was silly to come to the beach. I realize that now. But when I booked the hotel I was thinking, “Why pay that much for a local hotel when I can go to my second favorite hotel at the beach for a lower price”? This is semi-off season. Still it was very impulsive and dumb! Go ahead and laugh. I give you permission. 🙂

Yes I ran away. I felt like jumping out of my skin. I couldn’t take another second of him being there all day while I attempted to concentrate. All I could think of was getting out of my skin. So I went to the library for 2 hours. I got a lot of work done but I also booked the hotel. I thought about suicide again. How much should a person fight? When do you give up?

I asked for clarity on this trip even though I knew my main goal was going to be work. Then I listened to the song that give me brief clarity on my past birthday. “Living in the Moment” by Jason Mraz. Cue the cheesy music. Laugh at me again. 😉 I randomly put that song on my mix CD Saturday night because it came up on shuffle. As I was driving to the beach, Living In the Moment came on. I listened to it on repeat a few times. I swear I hope this song helps me again.

I’m going to print the lyrics out and put it in my office (the dining room) and hope for the best. At this point I don’t know what else to do. Jason Mraz summed up every self help book and psychobabble in one song. Buddha bless him. It is definitely easier said than done.

Living in the Moment by Jason Mraz

If this life is one act
Why do we lay all these traps
We put them right in our path
When we just wanna be free
I will not waste my days
Making up all kinds of ways
To worry about some things
That will not happen to me
So I just let go of what I know I don’t know
And I know I’ll only do this by
Living in the moment
Living our life
Easy and breezy
With peace in my mind
With peace in my heart
Peace in my soul
Wherever I’m going, I’m already home
Living in the moment
I’m letting myself off the hook for things I’ve done
I let my past go past
And now I’m having more fun
I’m letting go of the thoughts
That do not make me strong
And I believe this way can be the same for everyoneA
nd if I fall asleep
I know you’ll be the one who’ll always remind me
To live in the moment
To live my life
Easy and breezy
With peace in my mind
I got peace in my heart
Got peace in my soul
Wherever I’m going, I’m already home
I can’t walk through life facing backwards
I have tried
I tried more than once to just make sure
And I was denied the future I’d been searching for
But I spun around and searched no more
By living in the moment
Living my life
Easy and breezy
With peace in my mind
I got peace in my heart
Got peace in my soul
Wherever I’m going, I’m already home

I’m at the beach until 11AM on Friday. Tomorrow (Thursday) I hope I get a chance to get in the pool if I can get there first. Then I’m working like a madman. For lunch I’m walking 10 blocks to my favorite breakfast place on the beach. Then back to work. If I’m not too tired, that is when I will walk on the beach and then more work! I will be caffeinated. I don’t have time to be sleepy tomorrow. Lots to do.

More pics from the beach later. Oh yeah, I guess no beach for my birthday! ha. I will probably go to my mom’s instead. I would go camping but I don’t know how to make a tent. Plus I don’t have a tent.

Project Life: Oaxaca City

I have my fall sort of planned out. First I gotta move. No big deal, right? I don’t know exactly when that is happening. Then the bead show is next weekend – so excited!!! Plus, I have 2 days off: Friday & Monday. That never happens. All I have to do is get my car inspected that Monday. On December 8 or 9, I will go see Breaking Dawn 2 or Lincoln. I may be daring and see both – not during the same weekend. lol. December/January is my movie going season. It is when the best movies usually come out (re: Oscar movies). I haven’t been to a movie theater since April.

It probably seems like I need more plans but anything else would overwhelm me. I have enough to do day to day.

————–

One thing I love about Project Life is that it encourages me to journal. It isn’t just about pictures. I have journaled my whole Oaxaca City trip in my binder. I did a lot of layouts on my vacation because I don’t take a lot of photos each day so I have more than enough room. I am more of an event kind of girl. I would rather capture something new than document my day to day life. (which is the opposite point of Project Life – heh). But I’m doing both. I can’t wait for 2013. I get to do a full year of PL. 😉

I used my 25 free prints at Persnickety Prints for my photos.  I do not like how my photos came out. I am with Shutterfly.com from here on out. They are very slow but their quality is superb.  I’m probably going to shuffle things around more. I have a few more things I could add…and yes I do have empty spaces. Okay, here are the layouts:

1st page
page 2
3rd page
4th page
project life travel
page 5
project life travel mexico oaxaca
page 6
project life
page 7

(Excuse that snippet of President Obama on Rolling Stone in the background. He had to try to sneak in and ruin my layout!)

As you can see as the pages go on, the more blank spots there are. The pics that are covered are pics of me, btw. I’m so tired of writing and blogging about Oaxaca, that I don’t have much to say. Blah, blah, blah. I wish I could go back for my birthday next May. LOL. Anyone want to pay for my plane ticket? 😉 I can afford a place to stay. That would be so wonderful…but so not happening.

Thanks for looking. I think I will have a ton of pics for next week’s layout. I took a lot of pics today. Then there’s election day and the bead show. But don’t worry, I won’t be doing a PL post soon since I order my pics every 3 months or so. I always make exceptions though. I will probably order my next pics after the 1st week of Jan 2013. #willpower

Oaxaca: Tips

This will be my last all Oaxaca post…I think. I have two other posts: Oaxaca purchases & Day 1 in Oaxaca. Now it is time to share what I learned on my very short trip.

First, if you don’t like sweet food or crafts, skip Oaxaca. Yes it is beautiful but I can’t imagine loving it as much as I did if it weren’t for those two things.

SHOPPING!

I was going to recommend that tourists just skip the Benito Juarez Market. I was going to say it is for the locals, it is crowded, there are dead chickens and fish with heads laying around etc. However, that is exactly why you should go. You will find everything there. EVERYTHING. Shoes, batteries, clothes, flowers, belts, food (I wouldn’t buy it though), and crafts. It is cheap. Go there first before you waste your money elsewhere. If you are an introvert like me, go around 10AM on a weekday. I made the mistake of going there on a weekday around 5PM. But then I ran into it by mistake the next day after breakfast and it was a totally different experience. I didn’t buy much because I had already wasted my money elsewhere.

blue bag from the market

I only brought the blue handbag from the market. I just didn’t want to crop the other stuff out. The picture and necklace, you can get anywhere. People will come up to you and beg you you to buy. Remember go there first! It is huge and is sort of combined with the 20 de Noviembre Market.

*The second place you must go if you cannot make it out to the other valleys is Casa de las Artesanias de Oaxaca. This is a way to support the artists without leaving the main area. Of course, money wise it is better to just go to the villages but I was only there for 3 days so I couldn’t make it. Next time I look forward to actually meeting the artists and buying directly from them. Casa de las Artesanias de Oaxaca sells the items for the artists. The artist gets the money but you are also paying the distributor so the price is a little higher. By the time I found this gem, I was all out of money so I only brought one thing:

handmade bag. LOVE!

It is so nicely made. This is by far my favorite purchase. I will be using this bag a lot. I paid $272 pesos for it. The person who made this bag lives in Yaganiza. I feel great about the purchase because the money is going to the person who made it. Very important to me. Next time I go, I’m just planning on buying handbags and Xmas gifts. 😉

Getting a taxi from your hotel:

Do not bother booking one in advance. I did and it cost me $55 pesos (not a lot) and I don’t know whether it showed up. I was so anxious about getting to the airport on time. I wanted to trust the taxi service. Maybe if I had waited 10 more minutes, the shared taxi would have shown up but who knows? If you are anywhere near a street you will see tons of taxis just like in NYC. Just hail one. That is what I did. If you don’t see taxis near your hotel during your stay and you have a ton of luggage that is a different story. I did see tourists with one piece of luggage going near the Zócalo to get a taxi. I felt bad for them because the sidewalks aren’t made for luggage. Btw, I paid $150 pesos to get to the airport.

Where to stay:

Go by trip advisor or the guidebooks. I stayed at Hostel Don Nino. Great place. I had my own private room with a bathroom and a TV and get this: my own little garden! I didn’t get to enjoy the garden much though. Had I stayed there longer, I would have totally taken advantage of it. I was so tired from walking all day that I just crashed when I got back. I paid $1350 pesos for 3 nights. I know there are cheaper hostels. But I loved the location. It was right across from the most beautiful park. Having said that I think I will try something closer to town next time. Less walking involved (I have feet issues).

park across the street. awesome

The Zócalo (main square).

I don’t know if it is legal to say this but I don’t get the big deal. Yes you must go there at least once just to experience it but it was nothing like the books made it out to be. Having said that, I spent a lot of time there on my last day there (because the taxi stand opened 2 hours late) and it was sort of like the movies. It was the first time I kind of got it. Before I was like “This is the Zócalo? What’s the big deal??” But on my last day there, there was a great band playing and people everywhere. It was dare I say, romantic? I even went into the church and stayed for a prayer I didn’t understand. But I still think it is highly overrated. I enjoyed the parks much more. But it is worth a visit since you are there.

I ran into TWO protests in one day while there. At first I was following one and then I remembered that my guidebook said to stay away from the protests! lol. I got stuck in one. I thought I would never get out. I just kept following someone who appeared to be on his way to work or school. That was one of the times I was a little scared. The other time I was scared was when it was dark – maybe 8PM- and I was lost and very far from my hotel. I ended up hailing a taxi.

the smaller protest

Food

My recommendation is just go anywhere to eat. haha. I didn’t go anywhere the books recommended. That involved too much work of actually looking for certain places. Mostly I went to places where there were menus outside but sometimes I would just stop in anywhere. I would NEVER do that in the United States (too scared) but Oaxaca is magical. 🙂 As far as spicy food goes, they usually let you put that on yourself so it isn’t a big deal. Of course I stayed away from anything that I thought might be spicy so I’m no help there. They tend to cook the meat tough so if you don’t like that, you might want to mention it. I think a few of the waiters might have been offended because I didn’t eat everything. I’m not sure with the culture/language differences and all. I tried to eat as much as possible to not offend. I left everyone $5 pesos for a tip. At first I was leaving $10 pesos but I went through my book and that is waaaaay generous. $5 is enough. I’m obsessed with taking pictures of food:

too much cheese for me. wow.

Santo Domingo Church

Of course, go there. No flash is allowed in the church so my pics didn’t come out well.

most beautiful place in Oaxaca

Going alone and without being fluent in Spanish

I have to mention this because so many people made a big deal about both. OMG. Grow a set of ———. ROFL. I hate when people say, “If I could do it……” But seriously I’m a person with social anxiety and I went. C’mon. It isn’t that bad. I would not as a single lady hang around at night outside of tourist spots (actually I did do that but that’s not the point). I’m not fluent in spanish but I knew enough for a few days. lol. I made sure I knew certain words like “gate” (puerta) for the airport. Make a note of all the important phrases so you can get to them. Put them on an iPhone or a tablet. Organize it in some way like words for the airport, words for the hotel, words for shopping etc.  Try to learn all the numbers. I kept getting 50 and 150 mixed up. Embarrassing.

Most people in Oaxaca do not speak english. Don’t expect that at all. Some people off the tourist path will get annoyed with you for not understanding spanish. (But most won’t so don’t let this scare you. Overall, the people there are VERY accommodating and just nice).  I faked it at one off the path “restaurant”. She kept speaking in spanish knowing full well I didn’t understand her. I didn’t let it bother me. I just ordered, ate the food and kept moving. I understood the menu and how much to pay. That is all that mattered. That place had the best soup. Yum.

Recommend books/websites from the Oaxaca experts:

  • Oaxaca Oaxaca (website)
  • Oaxaca Notes (website)
  • Viva Oaxaca (book – used it a lot while there) Apparently I am able to loan this kindle book to anyone. I can only loan it out once for 14 days. Leave a comment if you want it.
  • Moon Oaxaca (book). I copied the maps and it was so helpful. I was lost so many times. lol. I really recommend buying a map from Amate books once you get there. I should have done that.

Oaxaca is awesome! 🙂 🙂 It was the little things like seeing parents drop there kids off at school and seeing so many locals going to a crafting class. I love that place. As far as me moving there, it is still a dream but not something I know for 100% sure I want to pursue. What if a city in Argentina is better? I just don’t know. The next time I go, it will probably be to take a week long Spanish immersion class.  I would love that. Then it wouldn’t be all about shopping! I have to do that. I just don’t know when. Maybe 2014? Hopefully.

I could go on and on. But this entry is 1600+ words already so THE END.