vendredi 12 décembre 2014

Dominican Republic: In Which Mexico and I Get Totally Embarrassed

In June of this year, I celebrated my 28th birthday in the Dominican Republic. I hate the beach, but there was a wedding to attend and I had to go. I absolutely loved it, and I can't wait to be back.

The property we stayed at was the RIU Palace Punta Cana. It was flawless! The food was delicious, the beach was 2 seconds away, and the service was top notch. It was such a beautiful place. If I was rich and lived in DR, my house would totally look like this.

Yes, it was hot and humid. However, this wasn't a problem because 1) this is an all-inclusive resort and 2) the AC was on full blast. I had all the Diet Cokes and water I desired. Even the room service was free. I literally wanted to stay forever. Who flies to paradise to stay cooped up in their room, though? That type of behavior is usually reserved for Paris (more on that later!) Eventually I had to venture outside. 

Isn't it absolutely sickening?! This is where I spent most of my time, so I'm not going to bother y'all with the same pictures over and over. Two notable things happened on one particular day, though. 

First, in case you forgot, this trip was right in the middle of the best event ever: THE WORLD CUP! My sister and I went to a tiny bar and crowded around a fuzzy TV to watch. There was a group of jersey clad Mexicans to join us, but we were surrounded by many more Oranje dudes. Like, what are y'all doing in the Caribbean? Mexico played the Netherlands and we were totally feeling ourselves, wallowing in smug joy at the grim faces of the other patrons in the bar. Jokes on us, though, cause this was the match where Mexico lost (#nofuepenal). Man!

The second event was that I turned 28. I was having dinner with my sister, stuffing my face as usual, when I heard people start to sing Happy Birthday. I was going to comment to my sister that someone had the same birthday as I did when I looked up at her. She was staring at me with wide eyes and trying to contain her laughter. Suddenly, I noticed that the voices were getting closer. 

Oh. Hell. No. 

A random man sitting at the table next to us found out it was my birthday. He called the waiter over and requested a cake and then had the entire restaurant sing Happy Birthday to your girl! It was the sweetest, most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me. 

vendredi 28 novembre 2014

Namaste, Loser!

I miss sleep so, so much.

Who schedules a vacation right before finals? Me, of course. I have been so busy these past few weeks that I am now two trips behind on the blog. In a few hours, I leave on yet another vacation. I am going to be buried alive by these pending entries if I don't get it together soon. Do you know what I had for Thanksgiving dessert? A midterm exam. I have been so inundated with school work that I have barely had time to sleep (Starbucks, you da real MVP!) let alone post. So why the hell am I here?

I'm going to India.

Me. Isabel. OMG.


I have dreamt about going to India for as long as I can remember. I figured I'd make it out there once I grew up, got a real job, and could afford it. Maybe it would be sometime in my 30's... if ever. India just seemed impossibly far away from South Central LA. Yet here I am. I actually did it. I found myself in the perfect conditions and just went for it. I'm 28 years old and I am making my biggest dream come true. Holy shit! What a wonderful world. The fact that you can just find a place on a map, buy a ticket, and actually go there is insane. 

I've done all my homework for the time I will be away which is why I am barely functioning. Who cares that I will literally get off the plane when I return and head directly to a mandatory final? I can't even think that far ahead. I don't even know whether to be excited or scared. Both? I'm too exhausted to care. My only current concerns are that my iPad is fully loaded and that my moisturizer makes it past TSA. I don't know if this will be the best or worst decision I have ever made, but rest assured I will find the humor in it regardless. I can't wait to share when I get back!

mardi 18 novembre 2014

Pikachu's Postcards: El Castillo, Chichen Itza

My niece loves Pokemon and I said I'd take her Pikachu on my journeys, too. This is a series called Pikachu's Postcards and I will be posting random snaps periodically! Today we travel to Mexico, where it is so hot that Pika is starting to look like a Pikasso sweating his makeup off.
Pika's 1st World Wonder!

Strawberry Fields Forever

The next morning, we set off to Strawberry Fields. We had been here before (obvi) but we were stoked to visit when there was so much buzz in the air. There is a hilarious story about Central Park that I will not share without Sonia's permission, but it pertains to how vast Central Park really is. It is one of my favorite places in NYC, and of course the benches are my favorite part. I am so romantic. Anyway, here are a few pictures.

There was an exhibit over at Lincoln Center's New York Public Library of the Performing Arts and we clearly could not skip this. It was a small exhibit, but it was really cool. I mentioned in the previous post that it had been 50 years since the lads landed at JFK. Thus began the British Invasion, and music's landscape was changed forever.

All good things must come to an end, and it was time to say (Hello) Goodbye.

Izzy Goes to NYFW

I'd show you guys a picture of the invite, but I have no idea where I put it. The venue was Center 548 and we were gonna see Tracy Reese! It was only a few blocks away... but I didn't realize that we would have such a long walk. In heels. In the snow. The good news is we had a blast walking around and laughing about how dumb this idea was. The show was fantastic and there were so many pieces that I loved. Can you believe June Ambrose was there? Hearts for eyes, forever. Anyway, here is a raggedy video of the finale via my iTelly.

I didn't take too many pictures because I had better things to do... like watch the show, duh. Here is a photo of a stylish trio.

And here we are! I hope you guys know that I was Sonia's stylist. Too bad I can't dress myself.

I got tons of compliments on my "skirt", but jokes on y'all-- It is actually a dress! You can find it HERE. It is a trillion times more beautiful in person. 

The show was over just as soon as it began. What a wonderful experience! We took the stairs down instead of the elevator, because I was literally going to turn into André Leon Talley if it got stuck. We went back to our hotel to change and go have dinner with my sister. When we left dinner we got the surprise of our life-- SNOW!!! 

New York City transformed into a winter wonderland right before our very eyes. What a world! I had never experienced snow and the novelty was nowhere near wearing off. This was turning out to be the best trip ever. Back at our hotel, we watched tons of news reports about it being the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. Obviously, we had to acknowledge it, since Sonia is a huge fan...but first-- sleep!

mardi 21 octobre 2014

New York City: The Ultimate BFF Trip

My boy BFF Cisco says I am a Professional Chair Spinner which is kinda true. The reality is that I am a reverse procrastinator; I do all of my work as soon as possible in order to mazimize my chill time. So there I was at work, minding my own business when I got a last minute call that nearly made me faint- "Do you want to come to Fashion Week?"... UM, DUH. Did I mention that the trip was 3 weeks away... and all expenses were paid?! To quote 21st century Philosopher Kim Zolciak, "Thank you, Poppa!"* I have wanted to go to a real show during Fashion Week for as long as I can remember. I have been in Paris during Fashion Week, but I was really just trying to bump into Kanye, not actually get into a show. I have been to London Fashion Weekend and their awesome shows/parties, but I still wanted to go to that one big show. Now it was here and I couldn't believe it was really happening! A few emails back and forth to figure out who, what, when, and where and we were all set. This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so I enlisted my girl BFF Sonia to join me on this crazy whirlwind adventure.

*Not actually a real person, gross.

We touched down in NYC and met our driver. I totally felt like Izzy Bradshaw being scooped up by Big. My sister has lived in New York for years, so I have been here plenty of times. However, this was the first time I would be in the city and not stay at her place. It felt so weird! I hate change, but this time I let it slide. The hotel we stayed at was the ultra-chic Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC. I totally LOVED it. I mean, look at this view!

Obviously we were starving, so we headed out and had a delicious early dinner at Móle. What about dessert? Ladurée had just opened their new salon in Soho and I was dying to take Sonia! We had already been to Ladurée on a previous trip to New York, back when they had just come to America and opened up in the Upper East Side. I wanted her to have the real experience, though!

Let me just begin by saying that we are complete opposites and somehow this totally works. I could literally eat garbage all day while she is a legit foodie. I sleep on "standy" for like 5 hours, but she needs a minimum of 8 hours of sleep every single night. We are a weird pair, but we are the best. Anyway, I told her about how I lived on champagne and pastries on my last trip to Paris. Now I could finally show her! We both love chocolate and desserts in general, so I knew this would be great. We had their chocolate chaud to warm up. Ugh, it was truly divine! I felt like Willy Wonka in a river of chocolate. It was the creamiest hot chocolate to ever grace my tastebuds. Of course we decided to go ahead and get chocolat wasted and had a Plaisir Sucre. It was so beyond! It's an almond meringue sandwich cake with crushed hazelnuts, crusty praline, thin milk chocolate leaves, chantilly cream and milk chocolate filling. We had to drink tons of water because we had finally met our match.

 That night, we learned that there is indeed a limit on how much chocolate we can consume. Thanks, Ladurée!

Back to our wonderful hotel we went... 

... and the view was even better at night!

They even had a card on our bed when we came back that let us know what tomorrow's weather would be. Ugh, I love them. Can I just live in luxury hotels forever? I was definitely in my zone.

Upon closer inspection, we realized that this said a high of 32 degrees, and a low of 25. Excuse me?! It doesn't end there... you mean to tell me there would be SNOW, too?! 32 degree weather (when I'm freezing at 80), experiencing real snow for the first time in my life, and finally getting into a show... what in the world was going on?! Of course, this is my life and nothing is ever easy. Off to bed we went, bracing ourselves for what the day would bring.

dimanche 19 octobre 2014

Pikachu's Postcards: Moulin Rouge, Paris

My niece loves Pokemon and I said I'd take her Pikachu on my journeys, too. This is a series called Pikachu's Postcards and I will be posting random snaps periodically! Today we travel to the City of Love, where Pika does his best can-can impersonation.

samedi 11 octobre 2014

Teotihuacan: The City of the Gods

Finally! After 20 million posts, we have arrived. I have to admit that I had literally never heard of this place or these pyramids. They were really impressive! Mexico truly has it all. It was really hot and humid, and this place is enormous. We literally spent hours here. There was so much detail everywhere, and it was crazy to see. We also had to go up and down little pyramids just to GET here. Don't they know how lazy I am?

We walked and walked... and walked. Finally, we got to the Pyramid of the Sun aka the Ancient Stairmaster. 

Do you see those specks on the pyramid? Those are people. Hell nah! You know what I didn't do? Climb these pyramids. The steps were very narrow and steep. I don't think so, Tim. I knew that if I climbed to the top there would be no way I was gonna be able to climb down. Why didn't they build a slide? Was I really going to need the aid of a helicopter to rescue me? Yes. So me and a few other in the group sat down and watched everyone else climb up. I wanted to come back alive. Later, we walked down the Avenue of the Dead. 

People in our group decided they still felt like climbing (why?!), so off they went to the Pyramid of the Moon.

No one really knows who built them (aliens), but it doesn't really matter. They are still really awesome and I'd recommend all of you to scope them out. I guess this is where they held ceremonies and stuff, too. To be honest, if there was any place for human sacrifices to happen-- this place was the gnarliest. The Pyramid of the Sun is made of volcanic rock, I mean how cool is that? It is also one of the biggest structures of it's kind in the Western hemisphere. How did I not know this existed?

This was my last day in La Gran Ciudad and I really wish I'd stayed a few more daysMexico City is the safest and friendliest place I have been to, ever. I really enjoyed my time here and can't wait to come back!