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

DSC04414

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, 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 🇸🇻💕

Reflections, Uncategorized

Don’t Fret

DSC03586Every once in a while, you get moments in your life where everything is on a roll. It seems like your stars are aligned and the blessings are piling up. When you feed more positive vibes to it, you notice everything is going better (bigger blessings). Then, you get a little voice in your head (negative thoughts/people/situations). Don’t fret.

I get it, it’s hard. They say, “it’s all on YOU”, and “it’s your mindset”. Take control of it. It’s so easy to say, but the truth is…just like all great things in life it takes time. Shit, I’M still working on it. I have gotten to that point where I’m super positive, and things are going SO great that I decide to spread that positivity to others BUT they aren’t ready. They have a comeback to everything, as to why everything you are suggesting wouldn’t work, to what they’ve tried. Don’t let it stop you. Keep your head and vibes up.

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” ~Dalai Lama

Yes, some might say they aren’t being pessimists, but that they are being realist. That can be true, and trying to change someone’s mind who is determined on sticking to their mindset is only going to drain your battery. Maybe they are just going through a rough patch, and don’t want to hear it. Just let them be. Know this, the positive energy you have in YOU should not stop because of this. Happiness comes from within, and although the mood and circumstances of those we love can change our mood (temporarily) we can’t let that kill our entire vibe.

It took me a VERY long time to even get to a point where I can talk about positivity, motivation, and being inspired again. It took this blog, a detox, and having an inner conversation with myself to get to this point again. I’m not letting anything or anyone stop that from rolling. During lent last year, I gave up social media and read many books about “happiness”. One stood out called, “The book of JOY”. In one of the of the chapters called “Nothing Beautiful Comes Without Suffering”,  the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu talk about “how we face the negative in our lives is what determines the kind of person we become”, and that spoke to me.

I’m not saying give up on people, or cut them out of your life. I’m saying, don’t let a series of negative thoughts/circumstances/comments dictate your future/thoughts/moods. Use those as lessons to create something beautiful. Be like the lotus flower that grows in the mud, or like Tu Pac would say, “the rose that grew from concrete”.

What is stopping you today? See you next week.

Love,

 

Jenny