Reflections, Travel + Leisure, Uncategorized

Travel Thursday: Part IV- Lucerne

Lucerne, Switzerland

My last stop, on this year’s Europe trip was Lucerne. Although my time there was short (one day), but saw so much. Everything I saw, and did that day in Switzerland will be memories that will last me a lifetime.

To be honest, my first few hours in Lucerne all I wanted to sight see was a pharmacy. I don’t know if it was what I ate the night before or motion sickness from the altitude, but after trying to use my Spanish as Italian and acting out my symptoms to locals, I got what I needed. European medicine works fast! Once I was feeling better, I was ready to get to see everything Switzerland had to offer. Which is a lot, and I really wish I would have had more time. Also, more chocolate. 

Läderach  Chocolate

The best chocolate I have EVER had. I will order this chocolate to be delivered to me no matter how far it is, because you can do that. You can order the best chocolate in the world to come to you, thanks internet 😉 It might cost you, but it’s so worth it.

Nothing beats being on a boat, enjoying a piece of the best chocolate in the world (to me), and taking in the beautiful sceneries. Especially, when that boat is taking you to a train that will change everything.

Welcome to Rigi a breath taking place that will make you stop, and stare at this beautiful masterpiece called, the alps. I don’t know your beliefs (and no judgement), but to me I was in awe at the natural beauty God has created. Nothing has made me feel like a tiny piece to a giant puzzle, like I did here staring straight out at the clouds, and feeling them on my face. Seeing these giant mountains across from me made me feel like I was in a Bob Ross painting. It was and still (as I have a vivid memory of it) is one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had. No words can describe. You just look out in silence. You don’t try to figure out life, you just savor the moment as you breathe in the fresh air. It feels like a dream.

The night life in Switzerland is so much fun! Especially, when chicken nuggets and fries cost $18 USD, but shots only cost $3 USD. Thats how you know, it’s going to be a great night. Next thing you know you’re on the floor in front of a flower shop trying to get a good picture of you and their flower pots for the gram. Just to realize the next day that they weren’t that pretty, and it was most likely not a flower shop. I wish I could tell you the name of the bars, but I don’t remember. As far as music goes, they had all of my early 2000 jams with new reggaeton jams. I would hear Ozuna songs and a lot of other Latin American artists.


I did not spend much time in Switzerland, but my time there was fun. I also had to say bye to a lot of great people I met along the way. Tonight I will be having a Q&A on my Instagram account in my stories at 9 PM central time. Feel free to ask me anything you want about my trips, and I will answer them. I might have some wine before then to get me ready. I can also share some more behind the scenes pics with y’all, on there. IG: @jenstylehou

Reflections, Travel + Leisure, Uncategorized

Travel Thursday: Part III- München

Marienplatz, Munich, Germany

Guten morgen! If you have been following my Travel Thursday series, you have made it to the land of beer with me. Not just any beer, but THE best beer. Anyone who knows me, will tell you I used to not be a big beer person. I was always in the search for the one I would like the most. In Houston, I found that I love going to breweries for beer because they have a big selection and has helped me find what I like. After you drink so many though, does it really matter? In Germany, yes! Yes, it does! Augustiner-Bräu is all you need to know about beer. It was founded by monks. Those monks knew good beer! We will talk more about this later…

The Food

Oh man, the food was so delicious. Pictures cannot do it justice. To be honest, the food at the Hofbrau house was not my favorite (top left pic) but the experience of being in a place where JFK had drinks was worth it. Hofbräu has it dark history too, but I tried to not focus on that negativity. My sixth sense made it kind of uneasy for me to drink there for long, so I went to my new favorite drinking spot right after to ward of evil spirits with beer blessed by ancient monks. My top favorite eating spot in Munich hands down goes to the Schneider Brähaus, and their pilsner is also very good. I had their seasonal pumpkin soup with a Bayern Ox burger. I wish I had that right now. Now, you see that delicious looking steak at the bottom? Best steak I have ever had technically it’s not in Munich, but it’s still in Bavaria. I wish I could remember the name of the restaurant, but all I know is that it’s in a hotel at the bottom of hill where the Neuschwanstein Castle stands.

The History

Germany is rich in history. Not just by what we’ve learned in history class about WWII, but in general. It’s sad that only some of their monuments are authentic, and the rest is still until THIS day being replicated. There was so damage after the war that they are still trying to recover their original identity. You can see that Germany is turning negatives in to positives. They don’t want people to forget what happened, but as a warning to not let that happen anywhere, ever again. A lot of their recunstruction is based only on pictures they have recovered. It is bitter sweet in a beautiful way, to see how they are conserving their historic architectural art in a modern way. 

“To honor the dead, and warn the living.”  Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site

A good way to get educated on what really happened during that time is to visit the Dachau concentration camp (the first one). I would suggest a tour guide while you are there, I believe our tour guide’s name is Gordon. He will tell you things that were told to him first hand by survivors, and I loved how real he was while telling their stories. I learned so much. I learned that Coco Chanel was a Nazi, and that day I decided to not wear Chanel ever again (which is why I’m looking for a new signature scent if you follow my ig stories). Not saying that everyone has to stop wearing Chanel, or that if you do you’re a racist. I’m just saying it’s my personal choice to not wear or represent the name of someone who was a Nazi.  If you’ve known me for a while, you know that I would have never thought of the day I said no to Chanel. That day, I decided to not turn back. The Concentration camp is now a memorial site that helps those who lost loved ones there to pay their respects, and honor their memory.

The Culture

Germans are fun, kind, and genuine people. I felt at home there. Who wouldn’t love a place that you can drink beer for breakfast, lunch, and dinner without being judged. It’s actually encouraged, and you are protected by law to be able to go have a liter of beer during lunch. You can come back to work, and not get fired. It is beautiful, and has all types of public transportation. Also, don’t ask a German to choose your drink for you if you aren’t really about that life. They are my kind of people.

As I mentioned earlier, I found my favorite beer. It is my favorite one in the world so far. It’s name is Augustiner. I was lucky enough to drink it in Salzburg, and in Munich. As it turns out, it was created by monks. Later, it would become a privately owned and a lot of the money they make is donated to charity. Technically, by drinking there you are doing it for a good cause.

The Castles

The Castles are not in Munich, but they are in the the same state, Bavaria. Bavaria is a state in Germany (which Munich is in), and some say it’s the Texas of Germany. Which I will make them honorary Texans. Super bad ass people, and they have awesome beer. Oh, and they have castles! Their most famous castle you might recognize as the castle you see in Disney world. It has inspired the Sleeping Beauty castle. It’s name is the Neuschwanstein Castle. The more yellow castle is a castle not a lot of people go to see, but I took a picture of it. I like the underdog. I would live in the sleeping beauty castle, if it didn’t have so many spiral stairs. Anyways, the yellow castle is called the Hohenschwangau Castle.


Well y’all those are some of my highlights from my trip. I will be doing a Q&A after part four on my IG. You can always comment below, and I’ll try to answer you ASAP.

Uncategorized

Travel Thursday: Part II- Salzburg

Salzburg, Austria

Welcome to Part Dos of Travel Thursday! I hope everyone is having a great holiday so far. Today, I will be sharing my highlights on my time in Austria. Salzburg is a beautiful city with a lot to do. It honestly caught me by surprise, and stole my heart by doing so. It was unexpectedly what I was looking for.

Should have known it would be love at first sight.

Salzburg has it all. It is surrounded by the beautiful landscape of mountains, architecture, and  modern art. Yes, that’s right. After all, it is the birth place to the most known conductor in the world. Don’t know who I’m talking about?

Mozart’s childhood home

Mozart is to Salzburg what Beyonce is to Houston. Well, now more like what Travis Scott is to Houston. Not to say Bey isn’t anymore, but Astroworld. Any-who, Mozart is the shit and you can’t tell a person from Salzburg otherwise. Shiieet, you can’t tell ME otherwise. I’ve had his balls, after-all. Hey! Get your mind out of the gutter! I’m talking about chocolate.

This is the Louboutin of chocolates. If the wrapper is not blue and silver, it’s not the real deal. There are actually imitation versions of it! It pairs well with Glühwein. For those of you that have not tried Glühwein, it is also called Mulled Wine . It is so delicious! Especially, in fall/winter weather. You have to give it a try.

Salzburg has a romantic feel to it. It has a bridge where people leave locks behind with their and their S.O’s names on it. It has a market with fresh beautiful flowers. Did I mention the beautiful architecture, and landscape views? They have modern stores that are all over the world mixed in with their traditional gems.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Really, all of the time. You think your Christmas game is strong? You have not been to Salzburg they have a market, and entire stores dedicated to Christmas. I am all here for it! Christmas is my favorite holiday. It’s Jesus’s birthday, people decorate their homes to look festive , and homes are filled with warmth. That is exact type of feelings and thoughts that comes to my mind as I remember my trip in Austria. It was a high on chocolate, glühwein, Augustiner (you will learn about this in my next post), bratwurst, and Christmas. How could you not fall in love?? I wasn’t sure what place I would choose as my favorite out of all the ones I went during my Europe trip, but I can honestly say that Austria is at the top of that list.

Travel + Leisure

Travel Thursday: Part I- Venezia

DSC04420

Ciao, and Welcome to Travel Thursday! Is that a thing already? If not, it is now. As some of you may now know I went on my first trip to Europe, and my first stop (if you haven’t guessed by now) was Venezia (also known as Venice, Italy). Since I was a little girl I’ve always wanted to go to Italy, but never imagined I would ever really be THERE. My first day in Venice I was just taking everything in. Trying to absorb everything I saw, heard, and use all my senses to record the moments in my memory (also into my camera). Now, let me tell you about some of the highlights of the trip through my eyes.

 

Il Cibo– The Food

The most important sense to use in Venice is TASTE. Oh, the fun I had using that one! This is not the time, or place for a low carb diet. To quote Drake, “YOLO”. I rather leave this earth knowing that I have tasted amazing (and some interesting) food than to be dwelling in my afterlife about the food I didn’t get to eat, or the wine I didn’t drink. Did I mention there was gelato, and cannoli’s? If you try gelato in Italy, the one back home will just taste like melted ice cream in comparison. I was fortunate enough to have a tour guide to give good suggestions on where to eat, and at times when those places were closed you just have to go based on instinct. A tip on knowing if the place is good to eat, see how many people are sitting down to eat there. Also, try to spot locals in the crowd of people. The reason being, any good restaurant always has customers. Also, if there are locals they know what’s up on food in their town. You don’t want a stomach situation on a trip, because you want to enjoy the trip.

L’arte– The Art

The art of Venetian glass, this takes me back again to my childhood. When Mr.Rogers would put a video on of how things are made, and the trolly would pass by. Anyways, It was awesome to see this in person. To see someone create art like second nature, just shows you it is in their blood. In this case, at the Murano Glass Factory in the Galleria San Marco beautiful glass work is made out of Venetian glass. The certified kind, because believe it or not they have certificates and logos to show the real from the fake. They make anything from chandeliers to cute earrings out of glass.

“People rarely tell the truth but give them a mask and…they will”, is what it says on their business card. I love it! At Schegge Art & Crafts, the owner of the store was greeting us and welcoming us in. She was very passionate in telling us about how painting masks is something that is passed down generations in her family. She painted all of the paper masks you see in the pictures above. Each one is unique, and a work of art. If you are ever in Venice, you have to go see for yourself.

Il Luogo– The Place

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Walking around Venice was even more beautiful than I would have imagined it to be. It looked like straight out of a story book. The architecture is amazing. I have been to many places that I have seen on TV, just to get to the actual place and be disappointed. They were just illusions created on sets or by green screens. Not Venice though, Venice looked more beautiful than I imagined. The second day there it was not dry, and it might have been a little unexpected for me. There were high tides which caused it to flood in Venice. As someone who lives in a city that floods, it amazed me with how relaxed and calm everyone in Venice is when this happens.

They just put on their rain boots, and keep moving forward. It also helps that their way of transportation are boats. Which reminds me of one more highlight I have to show you before I end this post…

The Gondolas

When in Venice, get on the boat. Enjoy the ride, and the good views. I am 100% sure that this is not even close to summing up my trip, but as always…if you want to know more or have any questions you can ask below on the comments. Ciao Ciao!!

Reflections, Travel + Leisure

So you’re going on your first Euro trip…

Yay!!! Congratulations, you are all booked!! Now, the important questions come. What should I pack? How do I make everything fit in this suitcase? Should I just take a carry on? I know, I had a whole bunch of those questions too. I tried looking at all kinds of blogs and YouTube videos trying to find the answer.

First thing, is first. Add the cities you are going to visit to your phone’s weather app. You pretty much have to become your own meteorologist, and start predicting the weather. If you’re good at this, then good for you! It would trick me here and there with random rain. That being said pack a light rain jacket (preferably with a hoodie) that you can throw on top of any outfit. Also, a light portable umbrella that the wind won’t break (in case you don’t feel like wearing a rain jacket). Let me tell you, I was not ready. I ended up buying a bright pink poncho just to not get my camera wet. I don’t want the same thing happening to you.

Learn from my mistakes- Unless you are a minimalist or staying on the beach the whole time for your trip. Don’t try to fit everything on a carry on. If that’s your style, maybe I can learn from you. I, on the other hand. I’m a person who likes options. My checked bag was too small. I should have gone all in, and bought the biggest one they allow. Also, invest on good luggage that has all four 360 wheels. You don’t want to be struggling across the world.

Picture above, is not how I ended up packing at all. When it came to the packing part, I watched a lot of YouTube videos on how to pack and after finding out I can’t fold s*it…I decided to buy packing cubes on Amazon and roll everything in my packing cubes. Saves space, and gets you somewhat organized. They even come with extra bags for your dirty underwear and socks. Which, I recommend to also buy arm and hammer baking soda balls that are for shoes, and throwing it in there. Shoes and jackets are the the items that will take up the most space in luggage. I put them in the bottom of the luggage and piled everything else on top. Another reason for a bigger suitcase, souvenirs.

Try to pick clothes that you can mix and match. I didn’t end up wearing these exact outfits together, because I dress according to my mood. I did however end up mixing pieces together and creating different outfits. Take clothes you can layer in case you get hot ( I would) especially when going inside of a place. I traveled in the fall, so for you it might be different. There would be times I didn’t even want to wear pants, and wore leggings and a long sweater instead. Take comfortable shoes, Europe like most Latin America has streets that are stone/brick. Don’t bust your ass trying to do the most. Unless, you’re just a bad B in some heels 👏, or you really know you’re going from Point A to Point B (aka sitting down to sitting down).

“What kind of purse should I bring?”, might be your next question. Sure was mine! I read so many blogs that were helpful, but also put fear in me about pick pocketing that I didn’t even take any of my cute purses. Wear any crossbody purse you like that isn’t too flashy. Try to keep your purse in front of you, and/or where you can feel it. People are going to be able to tell you aren’t from there no matter how you dress. Dress as cute, and as comfortable as you like. As long as you aren’t yelling around that you have money to blow, you will be fine. Just be cautious, like you would back home during holiday shopping. If you walk around looking scared, you will only look crazy to other people and draw attention to yourself.


I hope this helps some of you preparing for your big trip. I probably forgot to mention other tips. If you have any questions, comment below 👇. Remember this site has google translate if you need it.

Reflections, Travel + Leisure, Uncategorized

Mis Raíces 🌳

September is Hispanic Heritage month, so I thought what better time to show y’all my beautiful motherland than now. I’ve always been curious of where I’m from…I know where I was born, and I know where my parents were born. I just wanted to know where my ancestors before them were from, and how did they get here? Now that there are so many DNA ancestry tests available, I decided to take one and find out.

I feel that the picture above is a good description of why I have such a blend of different cultures in my DNA. I am 48% European, and 41.2% Native American. I found out that I have DNA from countries I didn’t even expect! It was very awesome to find out that I am .7% Italian, and that my Maternal Lineage comes from Siberia. That would explain why I’ve always been fascinated with the culture in those countries. The picture above was taken in front of the church El Rosario. It shows Christopher Columbus (most likely why I have European ancestors), and Martyrs/Saints that helped Native Americans in the country during the time of Conquistadores. They also brought Catholicism with them.

The church above is called El Rosario it is located in the department La Libertad in San Salvador, El Salvador. Pictures don’t do it justice. The way the light hits the stained glass windows is breathtaking. It creates a beautiful rainbow inside the church. Filing it with warmth.

El Salvador is a country rich in European, but mainly Spaniard culture. El Salvador declared it’s independence from Spain on September 15th of 1821. When you walk around and take in the architecture you can see the influence Spain had in El Salvador during colonization. This statue is in El Parque La Libertad, and it represents what it means. If you haven’t guessed by now “Libertad”, means liberty.  It’s a beautiful monument to look at. Theres just a certain type of way it makes you feel when, you stare at something that has such great meaning.

The part on my ancestry test that put a big smile on my face, was when I saw that 38.4% of what I have as Native American is from El Salvador. I’ve always been proud of my roots, and thought of my parents country just as my own. I spent as many childhood summers there as I have spent in Houston as an Adult. There is so much greenery, and just such a more beautiful way of life. People appreciate the little moments in life, and take every good moment in to make it through the tough moments. They have such a contagious positive attitude, and their vibes make you believe in yourself more. These are all thoughts that go through my mind as I stare at this beautiful waterfall in Perquìn with my family around me.

If you find yourself in Perquín, because you wanted to chase waterfalls. Then, I suggest you stop by El Museo de la Revolución. Where you will get educated on the civil war that was not that long ago. El Salvador’s civil war did not end until the 90’s. The entry is inexpensive. There is a tour guide that will tell you the whole history, and all you do is leave a tip.

Monseñor Romero is the most iconic, and respected in El Salvador’s history. Next month he will be named a saint by the Catholic Church. Learn more about him when you visit the museum, or really anywhere you go in El Salvador someone will be more happy to tell you the impact he’s made to the country. El Salvador is a beautiful country filled with its history, and I thought I would share a few of its light since mostly what is shown to the world is the dark.

La Catedral de Santa Ana speaks for itself. I’m a sucker for architecture, and it turns out we were there right when the the celebration for St. Anne (the patron Saint) was about to start. There is a festival, the streets are filled with people selling all types of food, souvenirs, and there’s local entertainment. These are just a few of the things you can find in my parents country, that is also very much my country. Amo a El Salvador como las Pupusas aman a el curtido 🇸🇻💕

Shop Local, Travel + Leisure, Uncategorized

Remember the Ala…ay ghost!

If you follow me on social media, you probably figured out I went on a road trip. The destination? San Antonio, Texas. A perfect little getaway from my normal routine, and the only time I had been was literally driving through getting off to see the river walk (at night) then was back on my way. Not that I didn’t want to see it, but simply never had the time.

Let me begin by saying how rich this city is in architecture, culture, and ghosts. I know, I know. Trust me, I didn’t think anything of it at first either. The building above is the beautiful Emily Morgan Hotel. My cousin (who went with me on this trip) and I both agreed on staying here for our girls trip. I chose it because it looks stunning from the outside, and the beautiful view. She chose it because she heard it was haunted and wanted to investigate. More on that later.

One of my favorite places that I went to on this trip was to el Mercado. It’s this awesome place in the Historic Market Square where you can have a nice cold Michelada while shopping for cute stuff straight from Mexico. I even bought a cute lotería shirt from one of the stands. If you have never been, I would totally recommend it.

Believe it or Not, there’s cool things to do like the museum of wax and Ripley’s Believe it or Not (where you can take a picture inside a giant tire). You can also ask a genie for three wishes, like I did. I’m still waiting, so in the mean time I’ll just keep working.

Back to talking about ghosts, at night we decided after some liquid courage to check out the hotel around the corner from the one we were staying (that is also known for being haunted, and I was too chicken to stay in) to see if we found any ghosts. Turns out I just admired how beautiful, and elegant it looks inside. I was a little upset that I chose the other hotel based on outside looks (lesson here). Anyways, my cousin had an app to see if ghosts would communicate with her, and nothing. We were back on our way to our hotel.

So here’s some very brief and broad history on the hotel we were staying in, it used to be a hospital. There’s also no 13th floor but there is a supposedly very haunted 14th floor. My cousin said let’s go check it out before going to bed to see if something happens, and again I had courage in me so I said “okay, but as long as we don’t look for any on our floor.”

“Hi this is Jenny, are the ghost busters available by any chance?” We get to the 13th floor (I mean 14th), and nothing. It was a bust so as we were walking through the door of the room 807 *my cousins app goes off* and it tells her entity present. ENTITY PRESENT!!! It also spoke through the white noise. I was like, I told you not to have it in the room. Honestly though, we had been everywhere with that thing on. I was so happy we hadn’t found anything, and everything changed after that.

The only reason I was able to stay asleep even with all the paranormal stuff going on was the fact I decided to stop by the bar for a glass of red wine before bed. The next morning was back to normal. Went walking around (a.k.a) buying cute things I collect wherever I go to bring home with me.

Sunday morning we went to mass at one of the oldest churches in Texas. It is beautiful and breath taking. Just what I needed after a night of little to no sleep. It was also a good way to start our morning before going home.


If you would like more blog posts like this, let me know. Comment below. I appreciate your feedback, and also don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe.