The Ultimate Guide To Portland In 48 Hours

Foodie, Travel

I have so much to say about Portland, but I have no idea where to begin. I was so excited to visit here and explore. So many people compared Portland to Austin, so my expectations were pretty high going into the trip.

One of the main reasons that I wanted to visit Portland, besides the food, was to see Multnomah Falls. Unfortunately, due to the fires that broke out a few weeks prior it was closed. I was super bummed about it, but our trip was still packed with lots of adventures.

Upon arrival the weather was not welcoming. It was raining and cold. We made it in fairly late Tuesday evening, so we spent the night resting and preparing for the next day. Wednesday was a gloomy and rainy day, but we made the most of it and were able to get a lot done! Thursday was beautiful! The sun was shining and it was nice and cool. It’s literally ALWAYS hot in Austin, so Portland’s weather was highly appreciated. One day of rain and one day of beautiful weather. I would say if you’re willing to risk a little rain, September is a great time to head to the weird city of Portland!

WHERE TO STAY:

We stayed in the Alberta Arts Districts, and I must say…this area was really cute! It was a small community made of eclectic neighborhoods, bars, shops, and restaurants. It still had a modern touch to it, which made it feel as if you got to experience a variety of things in one small area. Alberta is about 15 minutes from the airport and downtown. I would recommend having a car if you decide to stay this far out. We stayed in an Airbnb, and it did not disappoint.

WHAT TO EAT:

Oh my gah! I literally ate so much food during this trip!! Stay tuned to see how I ate even more while in Seattle in my blog next week!

Mother’s Bistro & Bar 212 SW Stark Street – Filled with crystal chandeliers, mirrors, and black and gold wallpaper, Mother’s gives off an incredible sultry vibe. It is located in the heart of downtown, making it a popular place to grab brunch or a coffee. Rumor has it that this place has an hour plus wait on the weekend; however, we were able to walk right in and get a table. Perks of going during the week I suppose? I ordered the Wild Salmon Hash and an espresso. Norma ordered Mike’s Special Scramble. I wasn’t crazy about my dish, but Norma’s was really good! Take a peek at the menu. With over 3,000 reviews on Yelp, they have to be doing something right!! There is a mural of a beautiful African-American little girl across the street. If you are into street art, be sure to snap a pic with her.

Mother's 2

Wild Salmon Hash

Mother's 1

Mother’s Velvet Room

Portland Mural 3

Pretty Little Girl

 

Pine State Biscuits 2204 NE Alberta St – OMG! I was not ready for this place. I read so many blogs about how amazing this place was, and the lie detector determined….that is the TRUTH! This was literally my favorite place to eat in Portland. I had The Reggie – the biscuit was perfect, the gravy was perfect, everything about it was perfect. I was full halfway through, but managed to get a few more bites in. It was that good! If you are in Portland, you must give this place a go! Did I mention how good it was? 🙂

Pine State Biscuit

The Reggie

 

 

Miss Delta 3950 N Mississippi Ave – I’m from the South, so I have high expectations of what Southern food should taste like. I am not a big Southern food eater but when I do eat it, I expect it to taste “Southern”…like grandma’s kitchen southern! Miss Delta was that place! Y’all, this place was so delish!!! I ordered the jambalaya (served with a big block of cornbread) and Norma ordered the chicken fried steak! Wow! Both dishes were superb! I literally felt as if I was in Nola eating some good Southern Cajun food! Coming in at my second favorite place to eat in Portland, I highly recommend this restaurant!

Miss Delta

Chicken Fried Steak + Jambalaya at Miss Delta

 

Blue Star Donuts 1237 SW Washington St – With almost 3,000 reviews, I expected this place to be scrumptious! In my opinion, it didn’t make the scrumptious cut, BUT the service was good, the place was clean and super cute, and we got to hang out here until the rain cleared. I had the OG donut.  I am really basic when it comes to donuts. Give me a Krispy Kreme glazed donut, and I am good. Norma loved her donut! Apparently this place knocks VooDoo Donuts out of the lead for best donuts, buuutt my Airbnb host ranked Pip’s Original Doughnuts as the BEST donut joint in town. Unfortunately, I waited too late to give them a try. If you’re down for a taste test, check them out and leave me a comment of who wins “Best Donut”.

Blue Star

Blue Star Donuts

Salt + Straw – 2035 NE Alberta St – If you are an ice cream luva, then Salt + Straw needs to be at the top of your list. I had the Cinnamon Snickerdoodle on a waffle cone and it was divine! Ice cream is not my favorite treat, but I would definitely frequent this place if I lived in Portland. I hear the lines can get outrageous, but we missed the crowd!This place definitely lives up to its hype.

Salt + Straw

WHERE TO GRAB A DRINK:

Stumptown Coffee Roasters 1026 SW Stark St – Aha! Portland’s most raved about coffee. While I am not a big coffee drinker, this place had me come coming back for more…literally, twice in one day! There are numerous locations spread around the city, but I visited the one located in the retro yet modern Ace Hotel. I ordered a vanilla latte twice might I remind you. Both times my latte was smooth, creamy, and delicious. This was literally the best coffee that I have ever had!! Sounds a bit dramatic? Try it for yourself next time you are in Portland!

Stumpton

Vanilla Latte at Stumptown

 

Barista 1725 NE Alberta St – I had hopes that this place would be just as good as my latte at Stumptown, but not so much. Sorry, Barista Stumptown ruined it for you. However, this location is located in the super cute Alberta area, so A for convenience.

Barista Latte

Vanilla Latte at Barista

Deschutes Brewery 210 NW 11th Ave – You can’t go to Portland and not visit a brewery! Deschutes was a cool experience. We ordered a variety of beers on our flight. Some were better than others, but my ultimate favorite was the American Wheat! It was light and refreshing and not overwhelming. The Sampler Tray consisted of six four ounce glasses of your beer of choice for $12. Bottoms up!!

Beer Flight

Sample Tray at Deschutes

THINGS TO DO + PLACES TO SEE

Keep Portland Weird Sign 3rd Street between Burnside and Ankeny – Psst…You weren’t in Portland if you didn’t get a picture of this sign, so they say! Prove your existence and stop by for a little photo op.

Keep Portland Weird Sign

Powell’s City of Books 1005 W Burnside St – Recognized as the largest independent chain bookstore in the nation, Powell’s City of Book is the perfect place to get lost in on a cold, rainy day. This bookstore is home to thousands on thousands of new, used, and out- of – print books. Nestle up here with a Stumptown coffee in hand for a morning of reading!

Powell's BooksPBooks

Pittock Mansion 3229 NW Pittock Dr. – This mansion was built in 1914 by Henry and Georgianna Pittock. Although the mansion is now owned by the city of Portland, the remarkable history and stories still live. I didn’t actually go inside of the mansion, but I had the opportunity to explore the grounds and it was a beauty! Admission inside is $10 per adult. Exploring the grounds is free.

Pittock Mansion

International Rose Test Garden 400 SW Kingston Ave – This little gem is located in Washington Park, across from the Japanese Garden. If you love flowers of all colors, shapes, and sizes, then you have to visit this place. There is no charge to walk around. I loved every moment of it, and the flowers smelled amazing!!

Rose Garden 2Rose Garden 1

St. Johns Bridge 8600 NW Bridge Ave – I read that the same designer who designed the Golden Gate Bridge designed the St. John Bridge. I am not sure how accurate that is and obviously didn’t do the proper research to figure it out, but if true I can see some similarities. This bridge was so adorable. It’s picturesque for sure. Spend an afternoon at Cathedral Park and admire how beautiful this place is!

Cathedral Park

Cathedral Park

St Johns Bridge

St. Johns Bridge

Mississippi Ave – I did not get to explore this area as much as I would have liked to. Miss Delta was in this area, as well as a cute bar called The Rambler. Next time I am in Portland, I will definitely give this area the proper visit.

MS Ave

Going to Portland soon? Leave me a comment of some more awesome places in Portland!

-JTA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How to spend 24 Hours in Dallas

Blogger, dallas, Texas, Travel

If you’re only in Dallas for a day or maybe even a weekend and need something to do…you’re in luck! I have outlined a few fun things that you’re bound to enjoy!

Breakfast/Brunch:

There are so many great places to eat in Dallas, and if you’re like me, picking just one is a struggle. After multiple trips over to Yelp, I decided to go with Jonathon’s Oak Cliff. I arrived around 10 ish and it was already packed. Parking is a nightmare – there is limited parking in the front and back of the building and getting in and out of the small parking lot is challenging. I would recommend finding parking on the street. Luckily, there was no wait and we were immediately seated on the patio. I ordered the biscuits and gravy, and Norma ordered the chicken and waffles. Sadly, I was not impressed with my order. However, the mimosa ($5) was legit! Norma’s waffle was really good, but in my opinion the chicken was mediocre. See more of Jonathon’s here.

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Mural Hunt:

I’m obsessed with murals and pretty street art, and Dallas has some of the best that I have ever seen. They are full of color and life which means that you’re bound to get tons of Insta likes with these amazing backdrops. See a few of my favorites below:

  • The Color Symmetry Wall by @imthornton13 – 1804 McMillan (next to High Fives)Dallas 33
  • The Colorful Pentagon Wall by @therealartgod – 3699 McKinney Ave. (parking garage behind Loft)Dallas 30
  •  The Striped Flower Wall by @mrkiji – 1901 North Henderson Ave. (on the side of Bonodos) *this one is a little hard to photograph – cars were parking right in front of it. *Dallas 29
  • Started With A Screenshot by Ali K – 2900 McKinney Avenue (Standard Pour parking lot)Dallas 31
  • The Wall of America by unknown artist – 2730 Commerce Street (on the side of St. Pete’s Dancing Marlin)Dallas 28
  • Fine Pies For Fine Folk by @dana_tanamachi – 2708 Main St. #110 (mural is at Emporium Pies in Deep Ellum) Be sure to grab a slice of pie while you are there.Dallas 19
  • The Colorful Squares by @huy_see – 2810 Elm Street (Deep Ellum) *depending on time of day, this one is hard to photograph due to cars being parked in front of it*Dallas 20

Thanksgiving Square Foundation:

I loved this little gem! Located in downtown, Thanksgiving Square is  the perfect place to stop and take a moment to remind yourself of what you’re thankful for. The ceiling is beautiful!! Admission is free, but donations are welcome! 

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Dallas Farmer’s Market:

Also located in downtown, this farmer’s market is packed with restaurants, shops, sweet treats, and the cutest garden nursery.  Also, the view of downtown is pretty sweet too. Parking is plenty and free! Dallas 17

Dallas Museum of Art:

I am not big on art at all, but this museum had some really nice pieces. I loved how designated areas featured art from different countries and cultures. It was impressive. My most favorite part of DMA is the Coco Chanel Chambers. It features her home and all of the furniture, personal belongings, living room, right down to the bed she slept in. I highly recommend working this into your day if you’re in Dallas.  Admission is free – donations are welcome! Parking in $12, but you can find metered street parking. 

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Bishop Arts District:

Bishop Arts is known for it’s colorful street art, diverse culture, and local shopping boutiques. Bars, restaurants, and bakeries surround this area, making it feel like a small town in itself. I loved everything about Bishop Arts District. We stayed in an Airbnb right down the road, and could not have asked for a better experience. The well-known Lockhart Smokehouse is right in the heart of BAD. I did get a chance to visit, and the food was pretty good. I recommend getting the ribs and the mac n’ cheese. Those were both delicious. Also, be sure to check out the Bishop Arts District Murals – they were super cute!

Deep Ellum:

Deep Ellum is full of bars, restaurants, shops, and much more! The art in this area is exceptional making it the perfect place to explore by foot during the day. However, at night Deep Ellum is also a super cool area to venture to. Many of the bars are laid back and offer live music, the patios are perfect for people watching, and the vibe is chill. You can’t go wrong hanging out in this part of town.

I hope you get to check out a few of these spots during your next trip to Dallas! Leave a comment, and let me know of some other places to explore in the Dallas area.

 

Hurricane Harvey: Houston Strong!

Donate, Houston, Hurricane Harvey, Travel

Houston: Damaged but NOT Broken!

As a lot of you may know, Houston was tragically hit by Hurricane Harvey. The city is under water, lives have been lost, tens of thousands are without a home, food, and electricity. Hurricane Harvey is the most powerful hurricane to hit the United States since 2005, superseding Hurricane Sandy. Watching the news and social media has been extremely hard to do, because it is devastating to witness the turmoil so many people are facing. My heart aches for each and every person affected by this storm. 

H3

Houston was my first home in Texas – I moved there from Mississippi in 2012 and lived there for several years before moving to Austin. It’s mind blowing to see some of the areas that are so familiar to me underwater and destroyed. I am glad to know that the friends and family that I have there are safe and sound.

Due to this tragedy, Houston is in desperate need of assistance. Their work is just beginning, and I want to help. I can’t do it without you guys! Some of you may have already donated and/or helping in other ways, but if you haven’t and you would like the opportunity to, I would greatly appreciate it if you join forces with me!

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ALL PROCEEDS WILL BE DONATED TO ALL HANDS VOLUNTEERS

Initially, I wanted to start a GoFundMe page, but 5% is taken of whatever is given, so I am asking that you Venmo your donations to me. If you are more comfortable with donating directly to their website, please by all means do so! Whether it is $1, $5, or $10, every donation counts. My Venmo name is: @Jesserjess.

Thank you in advance to each and every one of you who is so gracious to help Houston during this time. 

#Houston Strong

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Miami For The Weekend: Part Two

Blogger, Miami, Travel

I cannot believe it has been two weeks since my trip to Miami. I’m already ready for my next trip, but first I have a few more tips + suggestions for your next trip to MIA!

South Beach

South Beach is everything you would think it would be. It’s beautiful, the water is the perfect greenish blue, the sand is white, and the sun is always shining. It looks just like the pictures you see online if not better.

I decided to get up early Friday morning to head to the beach, because I read that it gets pretty crowded, and I wanted to avoid the rush. We made pit stop first for a nice breakfast at Front Porch Cafe which was right off the beach. The wait was about 10-15 minutes, but we scored patio seating so it was worth it. I ordered the Granola Pancakes – they were actually really good and the dish came with a side of fruit.

After breakfast was the beach! We decided to rent a cabana and chose Boucher Brothers. There are several Boucher Brothers located throughout the beach, but we went with the one by Loews Hotel (16th and Collins). We were lucky to get a cabana with a queen size bed, a tent, and two chairs for $100. At $25 per person, I didn’t think that was a bad deal! The rental is for the day, so you can stay as long or as little as you would like.

*For parking at the beach, I would recommend parking at the parking garage at 16th and Collins. The rates are reasonable and you are extremely close to the beach.*

Wynwood Walls

I am so disappointed that I didn’t get to experience all of Wynwood. This was the only thing that I really wanted to do the entire trip. Wynwood Walls is an outdoor art museum featuring street murals from artist all over the world. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see much of it during the day as it was night time when we got there, but I was impressed with the little that I did get to see. If I am ever back in Miami, this will definitely be my first stop.

We had dinner at this really cool restaurant called SuViche. The sushi was delicious. My mom, who is not a sushi eater, ordered a roll and was very impressed. Be sure to check this place out during your visit.

Perez Art Museum Miami

Perez Art Museum Miami, also known as PAMM, is a contemporary art museum. The space was open and bright. The pieces were very beautiful and full of meaning. I was under the impression that it would have been more 3D, but I think that I missed the exhibit that I thought I was showing up for. Overall, it was a great experience! There is free entry every second Saturday of the month – otherwise it is $16 per adult. We parked at the lot across the street for a couple of bucks.

*Miami Suggestions + Recommendations:*

Brunch at Lulu In The Grove – This was my favorite place to have brunch. It was located in Coconut Grove which is such a beautiful area. The trees are gorgeous and you feel as if you’re in a tropical country driving down the streets of Coconut Grove. I ordered the Nova Benedict – it was phenomenal! Brunch on the patio was the perfect Saturday morning to people watch and hang with my girls.

Ocean Drive: This area is LIT! This is where you will see just about any and everything! People in their fancy cars cruise the streets, tourist hang out on the patios, and people party and day drink at the beach. I would avoid eating or having a drink in this area. We stopped for a drink at one of the local restaurants and the drinks were overpriced and under poured. My whiskey on the rocks was about $15!

Lincoln Road Mall: This is a South Beach shopper’s paradise. If you’re looking to do some shopping after a day at the beach, this is your place. This is an outdoor mall, so it’s nice to pop in and out of stores to cool off and shop. Stores range from Armani to Forever 21.

YardBrid Southern Table +Bar: With over three thousand reviews on Yelp, I had to give this place a try. The wait was about an hour or so, which was okay because it is right down the block from Lincoln Road Mall.  I ordered the shrimp and grits which did not disappoint. My mom and cousin ordered the chicken – it looked delish! The food was a little pricey, but it was our last meal so I wanted to have something nice for my mom’s birthday. This is a very nice restaurant, so if you’re looking to dine somewhere elegant and sophisticated, this is a perfect spot!

Getting Around: We flew into the Fort Lauderdale airport and rented a car at Budget. The rental was a total of $65. Flying into Fort Lauderdale is often cheaper than flying into Miami. The drive is quick and easy!

Where to Stay: We stayed in Coral Gables which is about 15-20 from South Beach. Miami is very expensive, so I would recommend staying wherever you feel would give you the most out of your trip. Our Airbnb was perfect and we were able to Uber for a reasonable amount!  Sign up with Airbnb today and get $40 off  your first stay! Airbnb – $40 Off

 

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Miami For The Weekend: Part 1

Ball and Chain, Blogger, Little Havana, Miami, Travel

Known for its diverse culture, beautiful beaches, beachfront resorts, Cuban flair, cultured nightlife, and amazing seafood, Miami is the little piece of paradise that everyone should experience.

I only had about three days in Miami (which I learned is not enough), so I wanted to squeeze in as much as I could. Although Miami is known for the food, nightlife, and beach, there is so much more to see!

Day 1: Little Havana + Calle Ocho

Little Havana is Miami’s Famed Cuban neighborhood with some of  the best Cuban food, coffee, and bars. My favorite thing about this neighborhood was the culture. The people were friendly and inviting, there was a lot of history there, and I loved seeing the little markets that sold fresh fruit and juices. I have never been to Cuba, but I felt as if it would look and feel similar to Little Havana.

Ice cream at Azucar Ice Cream Company

Azucar, which means sugar in Spanish, is very well known in Little Havana. They are an all natural ice cream company that uses local fruits and vegetables from local farmer’s markets to make their ice creams. Azucar was inspired by their abuela (grandmother) who traveled throughout South and Central America determined to make ice cream out of every tropical fruit she found along the way. A huge portrait of Celia Cruz was displayed inside. Celia was a Cuban singer of Latin music who has a popular song called “Azucar“. I was impressed with this place – even more after I found out that they had dairy free options!! The watermelon mint sorbet in a waffle cone was delish!

Domino Park

More mature Cubans can be found here sipping coffee, smoking a cigar, and playing dominoes. Domino Park is a thirty-five year tradition and Little Havana landmark. It’s a cute little gem!

Little Havana Cigar Factory

I am not a cigar smoker, but when in Miami you must or at least you must visit a cigar shop. I like the initial smell of cigars, but after so long they start to get a little strong for me. I didn’t buy one to smoke, but it was nice to pop in and see all of the different varieties. The building had some nice graffiti on the side too, which you all know I love.

Dinner at Perricone’s Marketplace & Cafe

Deemed as South Florida’s best Italian restaurant for two decades, Perricone’s definitely did not disappoint. The aura alone was enough to impress me. It was absolutely gorgeous and featured low lighting with a tropical rustic feel and lots of greenery. Thursday is the only day that you cannot make reservations, because they offer Pasta Thursdays where select dishes are $10. I ordered the Capellini with Shrimp and it was delish! I was a little nervous, because I have been trying to consume less meat, but this place was worth it! A must while in Miami. Parking is $6 for valet and you can valet with your waiter.  *This restaurant is in the Brickell area (not Little Havana) *

Ball + Chain

After dinner, we went back to Little Havana, because I could not miss going to Ball + Chain. I think I got there around 10 ish and they were still doing the salsa lessons. The place was already packed. The bar is smack in the center of the room and on the sides there are tables that are “reservation” only. There is a small stage for live bands as well as the famous pineapple shaped stage in the back for bigger performances. Couples danced beautifully alongside the bar which was very fun to watch. I could watch them all day! I ordered a whiskey shot for me $12 and a tequila shot for my mom $10. The night ended with a guy asking me to dance and teaching me how to salsa, along with a La Pachanga performance.

Miami: The Morning Of 

Blogger, Miami, Travel

I can’t believe my trip to Miami is finally here!! I’m so excited to get there and see my family! My morning started at 4:10 AM! The only time I like waking up that early is when I’m catching a flight, so getting up was a piece of cake today! 

Getting to the airport was easy – it took about twenty ish minutes to get there. I got through security like a breeze – ten minutes tops, and I didn’t have to take off my shoes! Yessss!! 


I was a little nervous for some odd reason. Maybe I’m just anxious to get there?Maybe because I’m flying alone and had to actually read the signs of where to go and what to do? I don’t travel alone often, but it feels good to depend on yourself for something so small as getting to your boarding gate.

I arrived at my gate early and had about forty minutes to kill before my flight, so I decided to jot down my thoughts. 


I was lucky to get a seat up front, but the only downside is that it’s a middle seat (mehh) and I’m between a family of five or six who’s literally turnt to the max already. Boy, they are fun fun! The dad is super friendly and offered to help me lift my bag into the overhead. Apparently, he’s meeting his family of twenty-two in Miami to party! I swear the guy has spiked his coffee – I’m not judging…I’m more so wishing I had done the same. Oh wait, he just offered me a drink coupon! WIN! I didn’t take it though – it’s a bit too early and I can’t show up to get my rental with whisky breath. *le sigh

My flight is just a little under three hours, so I get to listen to one of my favorite podcast on Spotify: Death, Sex, & Money! If you’re into podcast and topics as such, you should definitely check this one out!

Thanks for reading, 

Jesser The Adventurer 

Miami, here I come!

Blogger, Miami, South Beach, Travel

I am really excited today, because I am actually getting ready for my vacation. I am traveling to Miami with my mom and my two cousins – the ultimate girls trip! This is my first time traveling with family, so I’m even more excited about it.

A few months ago, I surprised my mom with a trip to MIA for her 50th birthday. If you haven’t seen the footage, check out the clip on my personal Instagram page. It was a sweet moment that I am glad I got to capture. I decided to do this for my mom, because I know she wanted to do something special for her big day – I hope this trip does not disappoint. I will say that this was not the easiest  trip to plan, because she left everything detail up to me. I’m used to planning trips for myself based on what I want to see and do, but it’s challenging to plan a trip for your mom especially in Miami when all you do is eat, drink, and party! I hear the city doesn’t sleep!!

Any who, this is my first trip as an adult with my mom, so I am eager to see how well it goes. I told her that my cousins and I would drop her off after dinner so that she could sleep, and we would go out to the clubs. She insisted that she would tag along with us – we shall see. *wink* Haha it’s going to be an adventure for sure, and I am ready!!

Take a look at what to pack for South Beach!

What's In My Bag

See below for a few tips/things that I use while traveling:

  1. Roll Don’t Fold – this method comes in handy because if you’re like me and you like to carry on your bag, you save so much room by rolling your clothes verses folding them. Even if you are checking in a bag this will give you more space for shoes, blankets, or other essentials.
  2. Claim Your Luggage: How many times have you been waiting at baggage claim for your  bags to start rolling around along with all of the other hundreds of bags that are circling around? Maybe that’s never happen to you, because you’re like me and carry on or maybe you’re that person with the bright color bag that’s hard to miss. However, if you are one of the 90% of people who have dark colored cloth material luggage, an easy way to distinguish your bag from everyone else is to mark it. Although I carry mine on, I still like to mark my bag by tying a piece of cloth to the handle. I’ve used a bright orange handkerchief before, and that was was hard to miss. Anything would work though – I’ve even used some old fabric left over from a pillow I was making.
  3. Portable Chargers: I always carry a portable charger with me when traveling. Between Instagram, Snapchat, and capturing photos, you’re bound to use a lot of your battery. Why rush back to your hotel when you can adventure more and charge your phone while doing so. My favorite brand is Anker. Their chargers are nice and sleek, they come with a little bag, and they don’t take up a lot of space.
  4. Water Bottle: If you know me, you know that I go nowhere without my water bottle – literally, nowhere. It is like an accessory that I must have access to at all times. If I go to the grocery store, I have it. If I travel, I have it. If I…well, you get the picture. 🙂 I prefer stainless steel bottles, because they are easy to clean and not plastic. These typically last longer too. My favorite is the MIRA bottle. What I love most about this water bottle is that it keeps my water icy cold. Even in this hot Texas heat, I always can depend on my Mira bottle for a nice cool refreshment. Stay hydrated while you travel with MIRA!

Austin’s Most Instagrammable Murals

Travel

One thing I love about Austin is that it is super laid back, there is always something to do here, the food options are limitless, and the street art is Instagram worthy. The murals here are beautiful and are unlike any I have ever seen. I grew up thinking graffiti was bad, but this type of graffiti is pure art.

Over the weekend I decided so travel around Austin and capture some of my favorite murals. I didn’t get a chance to do all of them, but below are six that I really love.

With Love From Austin 

This one is high on my favorite list. I love the dark black wall and creamy white lettering. I felt like I was at a photo shoot. The ironic thing about that is that I get really nervous taking pictures by myself. It feels so awkward and I struggle with how to pose. It’s funny but quite difficult, because I want the best pictures for my blog. *Sigh* Mastering these skills will take time. Check this mural out on the side wall of Prima Dora 1912 South Congress Ave.

mural 5

Austin Howdy

This would have been my first favorite had I not stumbled upon the With Love From Austin sign. I love everything about the Austin Howdy sign. It’s full of color and life. It is on a big blue wall and the sun hits it perfectly. Each letter has symbols and graphics that all reflect Austin in some capacity. It’s located downtown on the side of Parlor and Yard 601 West 6th St.

mural 3

You Are My Butter Half

I came across this one last year (this picture is from last year too). This mural is super cute because you can take it with your partner or significant other as well as your friends. I love the symbolism in this mural – bread and butter go together like two peas in a pod. Who’s your butter half? 2000 E Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Mural 1

Hello! 

Does anyone else think of Adele when they see this mural? I can just hear her saying “Hello from the other siiiiidddee.” Haha! My partner actually took me to this one. This wall is simple and sweet… just how I like it. Hello, from Austin! *waves* 1102 West Koenig Lane

mural 2

Run DMC 

What can I say? I love music so of course this wall would make the cut. Although, I am not really sure who the lady is in this mural. This mural is in the South Congress area – so hip, so cool! It is on the side wall of Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop – the vegan cupcakes were delish! 1905 South 1st Street

mural 6

We Are All Mexico

This mural is located downtown on the side of the Mexic Arte Museum. This one kinda popped out of nowhere while we were driving home. I love the mountains in this and the combination of the colors. The message is so simple yet so powerful. We are all Mexico. We are all immigrants. We are all one. 419 Congress Avenue

mural 4

If you live in Austin or plan to visit soon, capture some of these murals in your photos!

Happy Wednesday!

Instagram: @jessertheadventurer 

Summer Saturday: Barton Springs Pool

Austin, Barton Springs Pool, Blogger, Texas, Texas Water Holes, Travel

Looking for one of Austin’s finest swimming holes on a hot summer day? Then, Barton Springs Pool is your place!

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A little about Barton Springs...

Barton Springs is a swimming pool, located in Zilker Park, that is filled with water from nearby natural springs. The pool is well over three acres and about nine hundred feet long with an average temperature of 70 degrees year round.

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“Summa, Summa, Summa time…”

The plan was to arrive at Barton Springs at 10 am to beat the crowds and to get a good spot on the hill; however, that didn’t happen. I couldn’t quite let the bed go this morning. Instead, I made it around 11. The parking lots were already full, and it took a little time getting a park, but nothing too crazy. We managed to get a spot close. Parking is $5 flat rate (kinda steep, but whatever). Admission into the pool is $3 for residents and $8 for non-residents. There was a line for those who were paying with card at the kiosk out front. I would suggest having cash, as the cash line was much shorter and moved much quicker.

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Once inside there are hills on both sides of the pool to setup your stuff and relax. Most people bring towels and blankets to lay on, but I saw families with tents and cabanas which is not a bad idea. Food and alcohol are not allowed, but bags were not checked upon entering….so, break rules at your own risk. 🙂

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THE WATER!!!

The water is absolutely beautiful. You can see hints of blue and green which makes for a beautiful picture. HOWEVER, the water is extremely cold. It was so funny to watch the reaction of the swimmers getting in the pool. It definitely takes some “warming up” to the water before just diving in. Although, some were brave enough to get it over with and dive in. Being that I am not a swimmer, I took the steps into the water at a very slow pace. It was glacial cold. Once inside the pool, you get used to it!

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Barton Springs is definitely a place that you want to visit whether you live in Austin or you are visiting. With this Texas heat, you’ll be glad that you did!

  • Something to note: I suggest arriving as early as possible to avoid long lines. I left around 1:30 and the lines were insanely long. Long lines + heat don’t mix. Beat the heat AND the crowds and get there early.

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My Day Trip To Big Sur

Big Sur, Blogger, California, Road Trip, San Francisco, Travel

Does it matter that this trip was last year? No? Okay, didn’t think so!

Big Sur was absolutely beautiful!! The views were even better than what you see online or on Instagram. It is definitely a place that will make your jaw drop.

Why Big Sur? Long story short, in 2015 I saw Big Sur on some list of places to go or maybe it was on one of the million travel pages that I follow on Insta (can’t remember). Anyway, I googled it and immediately decided that it was definitely a place that I wanted to visit, so I added it to my list of places that I want to visit. Well, in 2016 I made it happen! I planned a trip to San Francisco and made sure to have enough time for a day trip to Big Sur!

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Big Sur is only about a two and a half hour drive from San Francisco, so we rented a car and left early morning (4am ish) to get there. The drive was fairly easy, but there were a few steep curves along the way. That didn’t matter though, because the views were amazing! It was fairly dark heading there, and it was a little cloudy since the sun hadn’t come out yet, but that didn’t take away from how stunning this place was. The coastline and views of the mountains in person didn’t do the pictures justice.

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I got to see the Bixby Bridge, which is one of the most photographed bridges in California. I also made a pit stop at Pheiffer Beach – Pheiffer Beach was gorgeous. It featured a big rock in the middle of the beach that made for the perfect photo prop. It was also empty which was lovely, because we had the beach to ourselves.

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You can camp out at Big Sur, and there are local restaurants and bars there as well, but soaking in the views and driving along Highway 1 was enough for me. Big Sur is officially scratched off  of the list, and it did not disappoint. 

P.S. My only suggestion is to not go as early as I did. I left that early to try to avoid the morning traffic…however, the pictures would have looked a lot better had the sun had already been out!