un aguacate a la vez

travel

GUEST POST | How to Spend 24 Hours in Miami

Guest Posts, TravelPaula LandrónComment
Pic via  @PaulaLandron

You can find a new yoga studio, café or club in Miami every weekend. There always seems to be something to do in this city. As long as you don’t mind the 70-80% humidity and 90+ degree weather, you’ll be bound to have some fun. 

Tip #1: Bring water with you at all times.

I lived in Miami for three years, therefore, I’m going to tell you what I would do in Miami on a Saturday on the regular:

9AM Panther Coffee

Amazing espresso and they have macadamia milk (if you haven’t tried it, it’s worth the try). They have various locations, but I recommend the one in Wynwood because post-coffee you will have some yoga to do! 

10:30AM Wynwood Yoga

A cool yoga studio with amazing vibes and awesome classes. The 10:30 AM Hot Power Vinyasa is my favorite! #BeThere

12PM Plant Miami

Post yoga you’re going to want to eat something since you only had an espresso and dropped all your worries (and calories) on your mat. If I were you I would go to Plant Miami for some vegan delights. They have a beautiful garden, with zen vibes.

2PM Perez Art Museum

After your lunch you’re going to want to chill and be indoors because it’s too hot to be outside during lunchtime in Miami.

Hit up the Pérez Art Museum. Their gift shop has items you won’t find anywhere else.  Chill out in their restaurant, Verde, while soaking up the view.

4PM Bike Ride

By the time you leave the museum, the sun has gone down (hopefully). Rent a CITI bike, cross the Venetian Causeway and you’re in South Beach. Admire the mansions and feel the ocean breeze while getting your second workout of the day in.

6PM LIDO Restaurant & Celestial Treasures

Post-workout you’re going to want to have a drink. On your way back to Downtown Miami on Venetian Causeway you can find LIDO, the restaurant at The Standard. Amazing oceanside views. The hotel is art deco inspired. Sangria, please. #Cheers.

If you want to get spiritual, go to Celestial Treasures in Coconut Grove. They sell stones, books, incense, candles, and tarot cards. Every souvenir you can imagine for your crystal collection or for your bruja girlfriends back home.

8PM Lagniappe

If you want a chill night out with friends in a place that’s not as pretentious as the rest of Miami, you can’t leave without drinking wine in Lagniappe. Buy a bottle (or two), sit down wherever you want, order a cheese platter and talk your night away. It closes at 2AM.

10PM Go Clubbing!

Luckily, you’re in Miami and you can go clubbing at LIV, MYNT, or STORY, dance house until sunrise at Trade or Space or grab late night munchies at La Moon in Brickell.

Enjoy, 

Paula

Paula Landrón

Meet our Guest Blogger

Paula Landron is a meditation, fitness instructor and blogger behind thedeeplifestyle.com. She enjoys exploring different ways to express her
true self through poetry, workouts on the beach, or dancing deep house late night in Miami. Born in Puerto Rico, she loves the simplicity of island life. She began her fitness journey at 17 by giving free Zumba classes in her high school. She continued her journey at the University of Miami where she created her signature workout class, DEEP®. Since then she has taught classes at Equinox and private events in Puerto Rico. She also hosts women empowerment circles and workouts at the beach. This website is an outlet for conscious creative
expression

10 Things I Learned During My First Trip to Europe

TravelMaría Elena RodríguezComment
versailles trip diary

Hey guys! I'm back from my three weeks vacation in Europe and ready for a fresh start with ambinity. Sorry I missed our usual schedule (once a week, every Wednesday), but between the jet lag and just genuinely wanting to take a break, it was pretty hard to get back on track. #FirstWorldProblems, I know. But don't worry, you will see a new blog post this Wednesday, and I promise it will be a good one!  ;) 

Instead of doing a travel diary and bore you with a bunch of pictures that you probably already saw on Instagram, I wanted to share with you guys what I learned from this wonderful three week European Vacation in the hopes of inspiring you to make the decision too if you haven't yet! So without further do, here you go: 

1. The world is smaller than I thought

Before going to Europe, I thought every country in the Easter Hemisphere was almost unreachable. And even though it is definitely far from Puerto Rico, visiting it for the first time makes me think about all the wonderful possibilities outside my comfort zone. I may have checked a bunch of stuff off my bucket list, but I definitely added a lot more to-see's! 


2. There's no better classroom than traveling

I used to be the history nerd in high school. I loved learning about how a country became what it is through interesting people in history. I specially remember Pompeii, a city drowned by lava centuries ago, so watching it for the first time was definitely surreal and of course, highly educational. 


3. I am more aware of my surroundings 

I'm not just talking about keeping an extra eye on pocket pickers. I could literally take a break from the tens of thousand steps we took each day and be entertained by watching how people interact, act and even treat their dogs. People are interesting! You don't even have to talk to them to learn this. Try it! 

versailles selfie


4. it's not a myth: Parisians do have the best style ever

And speaking about people watching, you have to see Parisian women to actually believe what everyone says. Yes, they are in fact stylish, sexy and careless! I could definitely sense that je ne sais quoi.


5. We need more fresh food! 

Everything in Europe felt fresher and tastier, but much less seasoned than what I'm used to. Even though it was weird at first, I got used to eating with less seasoning pretty quickly, because I could actually enjoy the true flavors of the ingredients in my food.

Like everything, it is a matter of getting used to it. 


6. I love to eat, like, a LOT.

I specially learned this in Madrid, thanks to Mercado San Miguel and Mercado San Ildefonso. #oink 


7. When it comes to sparkling wine, I love Cava but hate Prossecco. 

What can I say? I loved Spain! 

8. Puerto Rico's colonial status is too sad/ hard to explain.

Hate to get all political here, but I felt the need to vent this. If you don't already know, Puerto Rico is one of the last colonies in the world and we have been since more than a 100 years. It is sad to explain this situation with fellow Hispanics and Europeans. I know we are worth so much more than what we credit ourselves for! 

versaille gardens


9. Luxury brands based in Europe cost almost half the price than in America – Jackpot! 

Remember that blog post about luxury goods I wrote a while bag? I actually purchased one of those things for actually half the price in America! Let me know if you want to know what I'm talking about. ;)

10. There is no better way to invest your money than traveling

No matter all the material things that I purchased in Europe, I would always compare it to my future trip. No money in the world can compare to the experiences that you gain while flying overseas. 

That's it guys! Let me know in the comments bellow where are you traveling next!

Until next time, 

María Elena

Carry-On Essentials

TravelMaría Elena RodríguezComment
carry on essentials

If you follow me on Twitter you probably know by now that today I will be traveling to Europe for the first time in my life. And by the time you read this I will probably be on a plane. It has been a hectic first half of the year so far, so I really need these vacations. But even though I was exhausted and I feel like I've been running a marathon through life these past couple of weeks, I wanted to leave a blog post scheduled and let you know that I won't be posting a new blog post in the upcoming weeks. Mama needs a break! But I will be posting on social media on the regular, specially on Instagram with the tag #ambinityTravels, so make sure you're following me if you want to know what I'm up to. 

I'm still debating if I will be vlogging from Europe! but you will see a recap once I come back 3 weeks from now.

So here you go! What I'm packing for Europe on my carry on:

(It doesn't look glam, but it is real.)

carry on traveling essentials

First things first: i'm using a Kipling Ayana handbag and loving it! Grab it here on sale

My nighttime routine basics:

carry on entertainment

Entertainment:

Hygiene:

  • Baby Wipes - Don't buy feminine ones, my OBGYN told me they are basically the same but cheaper. ;)
  • Tampons/ Pads
  • Panty liners
  • Deodorant

Personal Items:

And last but not least, I like to keep everything in little bags so it's categorized (#TypeA). So I created this very low quality video for you guys. Hope you enjoy it! 

Shop the Feed:

6 Ways To Save Money for a Trip

TravelMaría Elena RodríguezComment
Pic via Canva

Pic via Canva

One of my biggest regrets in college was not studying abroad. I was so scared I didn't have the money to survive, that I ended up doing a couple of paid internships in places in the US I had never lived before. But while these were great experiences that helped me grow as a person, I was still super wanderlust. So once I graduated and started working full time, I promised myself I would travel to Europe before I turned 25. And even though I am one year late, I'm finally on my way to accomplish my goal! I will be going on a three week Europe vacation this next summer. I honestly need to pinch myself every time I think about it.

I can imagine many of you have a dream trip you haven't been able to make yet, so I thought I would share with you guys all the steps I followed to finally pay-off my dream vacation:

1. Book your trip in advance 

I know this sounds like an obvious one because everybody knows air fairs can be lower months in advance, but check this out: If you book your trip early on, you will have more time to save up for your upcoming trip! I've been thinking twice about checking out my Sephora cart these days and I just KNOW I won't be keeping my VIB Rouge Status this year. But you know what? I couldn't give a f**k! I would much rather spend that money at French pharmacies once I'm there. 

2. Prioritize Traveling

via Giphy

via Giphy

If you have a little extra cash laying around, put it aside for your dream vacation. Don't just go shopping to buy things! I know it's so tempting and I've done it more times than I should've. Just remember: Traveling is an investment that you will carry with you for the rest of your life.

I was privileged enough to have a christmas bonus at my job this past December and even though I was really tempted to buy one of my dream bags, I knew I had made a compromise with myself to make my dream of traveling to Europe come true ASAP. So I used that money as a deposit so I could pay off the rest in comfortable monthly payments. 

But if you're going to spend your money, spend it on one of these pretty little piggy banks. Be smart, girl!

3. Travel with someone else

I know it's tempting to go on a solo trip. I've flirted with the idea several times and I highly encourage you to do it at least once in your life. But if you're on a budget and planning on going on an intercontinental adventure, a vacation package with someone else will lower the rates of your hotel. Plus, you can share expenses once you're there! 

And no, these are not alternative facts. 

4. Save up sample size beauty products

If you're a beauty addict like I am, part of the excitement of traveling is finding travel size beauty and hair products to take in your carry-on. You can also finally give some use to all those hand creams you received over christmas to save you from the horrible air at airplanes.

Another trick is to save up your rewards points until you find something you can actually use during your trip! That way you don't have to run to the drugstore the day before your flight. I talk a little bit more about similar tricks and how to save on beauty products in this post

Here are some of my favorite carry-on friendly (and cruelty-free, duh!) products:

5. Plan the places you want to eat at beforehand.

Before my Chicago trip last year, I literally created a Google Sheets with all the places I wanted to eat at with the price range of each restaurant. That way, I lost no time looking for places to eat that could've been too expensive or too average. I even made reservations month in advance.

When you're on vacation, specially on a place you've never been before, you definetly don't want to waste time. Time is money! 

6. Drink your coffee at home

via Giphy

via Giphy

I repeat: DRINK YOUR COFFEE AT HOME.

I know I know, coffee is so good these days. So many fancy coffee shops that know exactly the amount of froth your coffee needs to be a decadent treat to make your work afternoons better. But look at this: $3.50 x 5 days a week = $17.50. This means that by the end of the month you could be saving $70!!!! I don't know about you, but I would much rather spend $70 drinking coffee at a Roman cafe. 

Here are some beautiful thermal coffee mugs so you can bring your coffee from home, with style!:

What are your tricks to save up for a vacation?

Until next time, 

María Elena

Travel Diary | Chicago, Illinois

TravelMaría Elena Rodríguez2 Comments

Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of visiting Chicago one day. I always thought of it as a more sophisticated and less cliché version of New York City, which to be really honest, I think it was a pretty accurate prediction on my part. 

So this summer I was browsing around airline fares, trying to find cheap flights to New York and finally watch Matilda (which was my favorite movie as a kid) on Broadway. But the fares were so high! That's when I started to look for alternative places to visit, and found some reeeally cheap flights to Chicago. So I took my mom and sister with me and checked one more thing off my bucket list! 

So let's skip to the fun part, shall we? 


Chicago's Early September Weather = Perfection

First of all, as you will see in the pictures bellow, the weather was perfect, to my surprise. I was scared about the whole "Windy City" scenario, but Chicago welcomed us with a comfortable 70-75 degree weather and bright sunny skies. My hair was also digging it. 

The thing that I loved the most about its streets was how clean everything looked and all the fresh air that came from the Great Lakes. It was also super interesting to see about 5 brides running around the streets. Apparently Labor Day Weekend is a very common date to get married? 

Chicago's Skyscrapers

I not only learned a lot about architecture, I had the privilege of visiting this city with my mom who studied both her bachelors and masters in architecture and sister, who graduates with a BA in architecture next May. They were giving me all the insights on famous architects like Frank Lloyd Wright (more on him soon), and Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe. Yeah, I got pretty lucky! 

The only part that I really wish to not speak about is The Ledge at Willis Tower (previously The Sears Tower). Let's just say I freaked out and couldn't take the picture. That place was built for maniacs! 

chicago mural chicago street art

The view from the Willis Tower -

The view from the Willis Tower - yikes!

Millenium Park

I absolutely loved this place. This is where Cloud Gate or "The Bean" and a magnificent outside theater is located. It is so beautiful, modern and the skyline view is to die for! Watch me have a little dorky fun in the pictures bellow:

Chicago's Navy Pier

To be completely honest with you guys, this was the most underwhelming part of Chicago for me. I mean it was beautiful, but I think it is more targeted to kids. The view though, makes it completely worth the Uber ride! Plus, you can take the Architectural River Tour from here, which is a MUST if you are visiting Chicago for the first time. 

Magnificent Mile (Michigan Ave)

Think of this street as the 5th Avenue of Chicago, but with higher sales taxes. Yeah, Chicago is more expensive than New York, so if you are planning on shopping for a new purse or outfit, I would recommend skipping on Chitown. Their sales taxes are above 10%! 

But besides the high costs of shopping, this avenue is beautiful and has lots of fun places to eat outside and enjoy the nice weather (when you can). 

Frank Lloyd Wright's Robbie House

If you grew up with architects like I did, you most definitely know about Frank Lloyd Wright. His attention to detail is out of this world and I really enjoyed the Robbie House Tour which is right in front of the University of Chicago. 

My only advice here is to arrive before 9am so you can get a tour guide! They go by really fast. 

Insider Tips:

If you enjoyed any of the things I did in Chicago (in a short 5 day trip), I would highly suggest purchasing a Chicago Explorer Pass. I got it on a great Groupon deal so watch out for that. This pass will help you plan and budget yourself beforehand and save a good amount of money on Chicago's basic attractions. It's perfect for a first time tourist like I was! *This post is not sponsored!

Last but not least, Chicago is a place for FOODIES and I ate like a happy mofo. So if you would like a separate post on all the places I ate at, let me know and I'll have it ready as soon as I can. :)

Los Angeles, California Travel Diary

TravelMaría Elena RodríguezComment

Finally! Part 3 of my California Roadtrip and I can't even believe it has been almost three months since I got back from the roadtrip of my life. It is no secret that I loved the west coast, but re-watching all these pictures makes me want to buy a one way ticket to LA! Weirdly enough I loved being surrounded by the spectacular lifestyles of the rich (and wannabes) and famous. It makes me have a little hope that the American Dream still lives, doesn't it? I like to believe we Millenials are re-inventing it, but that's a whole 'nother blog post!

My favorite part of this SoCal part of the trip? Santa Monica! My life goals currently consist of moving to an apartment overlooking the Pier, owning a teal color bike with a basket and eat from the farmers market everyday right after and intensive Pilates Class. #DREAMLIFE 

Everything in southern California was healthy, earthy and colorful, which is my jam right there. I loved how everyone enjoyed themselves outdoors and walked their dogs everywhere. Even inside the fanciest stores! And don't even get me started with the weather... 70 degrees Farenheit of pure bliss and those beautiful rays of sunlight that make everyone and anything look pretty. I'm convinced that is Instagram Celebrities' best kept secret. 

Of course, we had to take the most cliched picture in the world and stop by the Hollywood sign! But honestly, that's the least fun part out of all the sightseeing you get to see in this really small town to my surprise.

I don't even remember what this monument stands for, I just loved how it overlooked the crazy highway. 

Something about the sunlight and that there was no cloud in the sky made me take this picture. It's just a billboard with no ad, but I found it gorgeous.

Oh The Grove! Such a beautiful place to hang out if you love shopping and being outdoors. It's not just an outdoor mall, it's more like a place where people meet and can take a sunbath while eating what they got from the Farmers Market. I'm in LOVE.

Of course we had to stop by Rodeo Drive and Beverly Hills! Luckily for us, we were still on Puerto Rican time and we arrived before the stores actually opened so that made window shopping even easier! 

Me, rocking my Asics as if they were Manolo's. 

One of my favorite museums! The Los Angeles County Museum of Arts (LACMA) I loved how modern, bizarre and tangible it was. I could be playing at that museum all they long. And the stores where just fenomenal for everyone who appreciates fashion, art books and modern art. 

And now for my favorite part of LA... *drum rolls* Santa Monica!

This is the happiest place in LA. Where people are nicier, fitter and just full of joy. Just take a look at these pictures and try to tell me I'm wrong:

Santa Monica Pier, which #funfact is the end of the Route 66!

The bikes, the flowers, the stores, the sky...

This is the entrance to a fabulous Ralph Lauren store! Don't you just want to live there?

Just a lovely salon I spotted walking down the streets near the Pier. 

Sadly this is the last part of my California Travel Diary that I really truly enjoyed sharing with you guys. I really hope you enjoyed it as much as I did and that it motivates you to start saving for your next trip.

If you wish to read part 1 and 2 of my Cali Adventure, click here:

- Part 1: San Francisco

- Part 2: Napa Valley & Big Sur

- Instagram Travel Diary

Until next time!

María Elena

Napa Valley and Big Sur Travel Diary

TravelMaría Elena RodríguezComment

Believe it or not, I am still daydreaming about California. I'm not even going to lie, but I get little butterflies when I see the Fuller House logo on Netflix because I had such a great time in San Francisco! But believe it or not, those two days in between San Francisco and LA were just magical and here's why:

First of all: Napa is a must when you go to California because wine. Duh! Even though the grapes were not in season yet and the weather was AWFUL, my mom and I had a great time exploring the vineyards. We went to Sterling Vineyards which is the only vineyard in Napa with an aerial tram *cough* tourist trap *cough* and to be 100% honest with you guys, these were not my favorite wines ever but hey, I wine tasted in Napa! Bucket list: Check!

But now, let's get to my favorite part: Big Sur! 

I found out about this magical place through a Youtuber. This travel blogger decided she was going to do a solo roadtrip through California and all she could tell her viewers was to not miss Big Sur once they do it. I remember her crossing the Bixby Bridge and I immediately knew I had to do it as well. 

Bixby Bridge - crossing it was scary AF guys!

Nope, this is not a Windows background. This is a picture of Big Sur taken by yours truly! :)

Not only was Big Sur breathtakingly beautiful with so many nature wonders and miles and miles of asphalt, sea and greenery (I'm not kidding here with the miles!), but you can actually see sea lions!! Out there just sun bathing.

Basically, if there's one thing I would love that you take out from this post is that if you don't have "driving through Big Sur" on your bucket list, you should go ahead and add it ASAP. It's one of those experiences that are so sublime, you have to experience it to actually believe it. 

So there you go! Part 2/3 of my California adventure! Now let me know on the comments bellow: have you been to the US West Coast? What was your favorite part?

Until next time!

María Elena

San Francisco, California Travel Diary

TravelMaría Elena RodríguezComment

After years of having visiting San Francisco on my bucket list, I finally got to do it! Plus, it was my first time in California ever, so I was dying for this new adventure. And to make things even better, I feel extremely grateful that I am at a moment in my life where I could actually take my mom with me and thank her for being an amazing mother for 25 years. So basically the best part about this trip was seeing my mom so happy and enjoying herself. It was a dream come true for her as well and she definitely deserved it. :) 

But before we start with the good stuff, I couldn't leave out the fact that we actually got to see the Grand Canyon from 36,000 feet above the sky. Yup! I saw the freaking Grand Canyon and I felt like a little kid seeing it from the little airplane window. Proof:

Exciting huh? Now let's get started:

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I took a lot of pictures under the tag #ambinitytravels, and if you follow me on Snapchat (elenarodrz) you saw a lot more. I still can't believe I actually recorded myself crossing the Golden Gate with a plastic poncho under my helmet while wearing eyeglasses. Thank God for 24 hour videos! But let's get to the good part: 

San Francisco:

If you ask me one word to describe San Francisco I would simply say "ADORABLE". The first thing I noticed almost as we got off the plane was that everything is super colorful and flower scented. And I noticed this on very gloomy and rainy days as you will see on the pictures bellow. Also, I hope these pictures let you get a glimpse of the great taste the people have at the Bay! I can't even recall one ugly or damaged house. Every single place we went we saw beauty around us.  

Another beautiful thing we noticed is that even though California is going through a really rough drought, people have managed to keep their gardens green with the most brilliant techniques: flowers and succulents! 

One of my favorite places to visit were Fisherman's Wharf and Ghirardelli Square. As I said previously, everything in this city is so colorful and well maintained. So imagine that with chocolate and good seafood! What could go wrong? Absolutely nothing. I was in heaven. 

Did you know San Francisco had a Chinatown?! Neither did I and it's apparently one of the best in the US. It's a beautiful street to cross if you are planning to shop (or window shop) in Union Square, which is basically San Francisco's 5th Avenue. 

You could walk miles and miles around this city and never get bored. Every street you cross and every neighborhood you enter has a story that you don't need to hear or listen. Beauty is everywhere and you don't need to be an architect or have an artistic soul to appreciate it. San Francisco is really easy on the eyes!

The Painted Ladies: the place where I sat down and kept humming Full House's song the entire time. What a beauty! 

Also I developed a weird obsession with doors in San Francisco. I felt like each of them were a work of art and hid so much behind it. Hope you like these, they were my favorites. :)

DSC_0068.jpg

And last but not least, I couldn't leave out the crazy adventure of crossing the Golden Gate Bridge in a bike! And when I say crazy, I mean scary. Half way during my bike ride I remembered that I have a fear of heights and couldn't wait to get to Sausalito! I still don't know how I managed to take most of the pictures... but you know what?! I have absolutely no regrets and I am mostly glad I got to check that out of my bucket list! 

I really hope you enjoyed this post. Visiting San Francisco was on my bucket list for a long time and I couldn't wait to share it with you guys, so please let me know what you think about it! 

Stay tuned for next week's post: Napa Valley and driving through Big Sur!

Until then, 

María Elena <3

A Travel Packing List for Horrible Packers

TravelMaría ElenaComment

I know. It's the end of July and I am blogging about packing now that most of you are getting back from your vacays. But you know what? Your next trip won't necessarily be a vacation. Shout out to all my business girls! (yes, I just wrote that with Destiny's Child Independent Women song in my head. #DontJudge).

As the title may have hinted, I'm a horrible packer. To the point that every time I travel with my boyfriend, he's ready with an extra toothbrush, PJ's and socks. He knows me too damn well! I don't know if it's the lack of time or that I always feel overwhelmed before a trip, but every time I'm packing, I leave behind most of the things that I need, except my makeup bag! I always bring my makeup with me. #BeautyAddictProblems. 

Since you guys know I recently got my new Kate Spade agenda and booked my next MUCH NEEDED vacations, I wanted to feel all tidy and organized by creating a packing checklist (PDF download here) with a little help from my family and friends, as you may have imagined. Plus, I'm planning on cutting this into rectangles so it can fit in my agenda pockets. Then I'm laminating the pieces so I can write on them with dry erase markers and reuse them every time I need. Eco-friendly and genius, I know (thanks Youtube!).

You will notice that I wanted this checklist to be perfect for any traveling done during warmer months, but if you guys want me to create one for colder seasons, let me know. I'll gladly create one for you guys... after doing lots of research since I live in the tropics, duh! :P

Thanks for reading! Please share this if you have any horrible packers in your life. lol. 

xo,

Elena