Blog Archive

Thursday, June 22, 2017

48 Hours (In Denver)




Can a tourist uncover Denver in a mere 48 hours? I sampled beer at four breweries, dined at five restaurants, sipped a nightcap at two bars, discovered numerous landmarks, and found a shitload of street art. I think it's safe to say you can😀

Let's begin with Mother Nature. I wasn't prepared for Denver's extreme weather changes. The Mile High City can turn from spring to winter in a matter of hours, so plan accordingly (I still love you). On my last day, I walked to a restaurant in the rain only to see that rain turn into snow (brrr).

The downtown area is extremely walker friendly. I walked everywhere with the exception of an Uber ride from Epic Brewing. If your feet get tired, you can get a free lift from a 16th Street MallRide bus. 
http://www.rtd-denver.com/FREEMallRide.shtml

Denver is much more imaginative than I anticipated, which made my visit all the more appealing. It was also merrier thanks to one of my hostel bunkmates, a charming young woman from Paris who likes beer as much as I do. Virginie is partaking in a solo adventure through the U.S. and has some mighty fine photos to prove it. 
https://www.instagram.com/walkerinamerica/


Transportation
Take note - Denver International Airport is yuge! Upon arrival, I took the A Line light rail service to Union Station (most inexpensive route). The cost is $9.00 each way and tickets can be purchased at the airport. Make sure you have your ticket available at all times on the train, as it will be checked more than once by rail personnel. Travel time to downtown is approximately 40 minutes.

Accommodations
11th Ave Hotel and Hostel at 1112 N. Broadway

This welcoming hostel is centrally located within walking distance to landmarks, restaurants, and bars. I stayed in a 4-bed female dorm room that mimicked an apartment. The room was spacious with an ensuite bath and writing table/chairs, plus an additional room complete with fridge, microwave and kitchen table/chairs. The absolute only complaint I had was the bed being uncomfortable. As Arnold would say, "I'll be back!"
http://www.11thavenuehotelandhostel.com/


Food and Drink
Watercourse Foods - 837 E. 17th Ave.
Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs - 2148 Larimer
City O' City - 206 E. 13th Ave.
Farm to Truck - Civic Center Eats
BurgerFi - 1147 Broadway
Jagged Mountain Brewery - 1139 20th St.
Great Divide Brewing Co. - 2201 Arapahoe St.
Epic Brewing Co. - 3001 Walnut
Renegade Brewing Co. - 925 W. 9th Ave.
The 9th Door - 1808 Blake
Dazzle - 1512 Curtis


Vegan Denver Omelette at Watercourse Foods
Desert Vegan Dog at Biker Jim's
Kimchi Pancakes at City O' City
Mac & Cheese at City O' City
Spicy Arugula Salad at Farm to Truck

Flight at Jagged Mountain

One of many yummy brews at Great Divide

Sample sizes at Epic

Pancakes Maple Porter

Vino at 9th Door
Activities
Wander to discover striking architecture
Colorado State Capitol
Aztlan Theatre
Civic Center (Civic Center Park Eats)
the ART (hotel)
Denver Art Museum (ck out the entire complex)
Blue Trees
16th Street Mall
Larimer Square
Street Art (individual post coming soon)


The stunning Capitol

Aztlan Theatre

Alma Temple
Pretty fountain on the Civic Center grounds

Outdoor feasting with a view

Butterflies over beautiful Larimer St.



I had the most interesting conversation with Konstantin Dimopoulos, the lovely gent behind the blue trees. He actually licked one of the trees to prove no harm was done to the bark. I was so mesmerized I neglected to include him in the photos. Learn more about the fascinating blue trees project http://kondimopoulos.com/the-blue-trees/



Next time - the inside!

Denver Art Museum and complex below







Clever!
Howdy🤠

Legal recreation

A horse and his chair

Urban open space

*Cool* building

Travel by train

My prized capture - watching this intensity
Next time, Colorado, I set eyes on your mountains.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Miami Beach on a Budget


View from South Pointe Park Pier

The skeptics were out in droves telling me that Miami Beach isn't budget-friendly, causing me to have my own doubts. The million dollar question - can you travel to Miami Beach on a meager budget? The answer is a resounding yes!

I exclusively fly with Southwest Airlines in the U.S.; therefore, I had to fly into Ft. Lauderdale since they don't service Miami. While a bit of an inconvenience, it only cost me $6.00 to get to Miami from Ft. Lauderdale. 

Step One
Take a tri-rail complimentary shuttle from the ground transportation level at FLL to the Ft. Lauderdale train stop. There is more than one tri-rail bus, so be sure you are getting on the free shuttle that takes you to the train station.

Step Two

Take the tri-rail train from the Ft. Lauderdale station to the Miami airport. You can purchase your ticket at the train station for a mere $3.75 and the train offers free wi-fi.

Step Three
Once you arrive at the Miami airport, take the 150 airport express bus to your destination. Pay on board with correct change ($2.25) or buy a ticket at the airport.  In my case, the bus dropped me across the street from my hostel. 

Arrival travel time took approximately three hours since it was my first time; however, the departure trip took only about two hours.

Accommodations

Miami Beach International Hostel, located at 236 9th Street, just two blocks from South Beach. I stayed in a 6-bed female dorm room with en suite bath. 

Pros:
*Location, location, location!
*Friendly staff.
*3 meals/day included (I didn't participate).
*Decent size room & comfy bed.
*Rooms cleaned 4 times/day.
*Reasonably priced.

Cons:

*The lobby is used as a party lounge in the evening, full of people and extremely loud music, which makes it difficult to check-in.
*No on-site bathrooms other than the bathroom in your room.
*Extremely spotty wi-fi only in the lobby area.
*Since meals are included, there are no dishes or utensils available; however, they do have a fridge and microwave.

Food and Drink - all my meals and single drinks were under $11 with the exception of Naked Taco, which was my priciest meal and worth every penny (see individual post on Miami's culinary scene).

*Della's Test Kitchen 
*Lone Wolfe Food Truck
*11th Street Diner
*Naked Taco
*BurgerFi
*Aroma Espresso Bar
*Bar at Wynwood Yard
*RUST Wynwood 
*The Room
*Abbey Brewing Co.

Activities - all FREE to enter and explore
*Architecture in the Art Deco District (especially along Ocean Dr.)
*South Pointe Park
*Wynwood Yard and Wynwood Walls (see individual posts)
*South Beach
*Lincoln Road Mall (be sure to visit Cindy Vega's jewelry stand here)
*Ugo Rondinone's Miami Mountain, located on the grounds of the Bass Museum of Art 
*Soundscape Cinema Series at Soundscape Park


White looking so sexy👌

What an entrance❢
Pretty in peach

Do you spot the needlefish?

Those cars doh!

It costs absolutely nothing for these views💙

My fave stands alone
Hanging with Ugo's Miami Mountain
Miami Beach Community Church

Red and white never looked so good

What's your story?
Colorful balconies

Beautiful silhouettes at South Pointe Park

First night capture

"Out of Africa" under the palms
My bracelet trio from Cindy Vega Jewelry
My dream home💕
Early bird catches the view
404 Washington Ave - the most photographed bldg in Miami

Cluster
All locked up
On a side note, one of the reasons I love to travel is because you never know who you will meet along the way. In this case, I met a friendly, patient bartender at "The Room" by the name of Jacob Coronado. We started talking travel and blogging when he shared that he was about to embark on a worldly adventure. He is quite an interesting chap and I encourage you to follow his trail, where he is spreading the love.
http://thebackpackfiles.com/

Hope we meet again, Miami. You were marvelous💞


Sunsets in Miami...swoon🌴