Tuesday, April 25, 2017

My Bucket List

There's so many places I want to go and things I want to do.

I would like to visit every country in the world, but the top places on my list right now are:

1. Singapore
2. Greece
3. Australia
4. Iceland
5. Tokyo, Japan
6. Egypt
7. South Africa
8. India
9. Ireland
10. Brazil

There's a few things I want to do in these places such as:

  • Go to the Harry Potter cafe in Singapore
  • Snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef
  • See the Northern Lights in Iceland
  • Eat sushi in Tokyo
  • Visit the Pyramids in Egypt
  • Go on a safari in South Africa
  • Visit Ireland (my brother said it was his favorite place in Europe)
  • Walk through the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil
I'd like to see the Seven Wonders of the World as well.

So far I've seen the Roman Colosseum and Chichén Itzá.

I want to go to:
The El-Deir Monastery in Petra, Jordan
The Great Wall of China
The Taj Mahal
Christ the Redeemer in Brazil
Machu Pichu

I'd also like to see the Ten Natural Wonders of the World
1. Glaciers and Icebergs in Greenland
2. Great Barrier Reef in Australia
3. Grand Prismatic Springs at Yellowstone
4. Redwood National Park
5. Galapagos Islands


This last weekend I went to Coachella.

It's one of the biggest music festivals and people travel from all over the world just to go to it.

It's even a popular attraction for celebrities.

It has been my dream to go for several years now and what better way to end my senior year of college by going.

Of course we went on the hottest and busiest weekend (there's two), but it was still a fun time and great experience.

The festival actually has it's own town now. There is a Coachella, California. But the festival is in Indio.

We stayed at the Hard Rock hotel in Palm Springs. This is a nice area and feels like a retirement community because it's so quiet and peaceful (away from all the craziness of the festival.)

The temperature reached above 100 degrees on the last two days which made for a sweaty, hot time.

There were performers such as Lady Gaga, Tove Lo, Gucci, Dillon Francis, Marshmello, just to name a few.

The festival is three days long and you can also camp there.

I usually like to camp but I'm glad I didn't this time because it would have been so hot sleeping in those tents!

The festival grounds are huge and sometimes it would seem to take forever walking from one stage to the next.

I also don't feel like I got to see everything. Plus there were TONS of people, which means lots of lines and huge crowds at each artist performing.

There was a huge ferris wheel and lots of different colorful and artistic structures throughout the festival.

Also, tons of delicious food to choose from.

We got Spicy Pie pizza which was probably the best pizza I've ever had. It was so hot and cheese was melting off the plate.

Yumm. Now I'm hungry.

I think everyone should experience Coachella at least once!

"Dubai was Lit Ma"

Gold Lamborghinis.

I think that pretty much sums up Dubai.

I was most impressed with how nice their highways were, as lame as that sounds.

Every restaurant, every bathroom, every place is clean. And constantly cleaned to keep it that way.

The world's tallest building is here, the Burj Khalifa. Definitely a must-see and even better if you have time to go up to the top.

We only spent a few days in Dubai for my birthday and New Year's Eve.

We ate dinner at the bottom of the Burj Khalifa one night as the building was lit up and changing colors.

There was an extravagant wedding going on. To us it seemed like a prince or princess was getting married because the wedding was such a celebration.

Even the bride's walk was set to a certain time for the fountains to go off right behind her.

There were cameras filming from every angle and loud music playing.

It was the most glamorous wedding I've seen in my life.

But my favorite part of the trip was almost dying in the desert. Well feeling like I was going to.

A desert safari tour through the Arabian desert.

Toyota 4runners sliding down sand dunes. Going fast up and down, being thrown around like a fair ride.

It was scary yet thrilling.

How did they know where they were going?

We finally reached the rest of the group in time to watch the sun set.

Then they took us to a campsite area where we had an indian buffet dinner, watched bellydancers and got henna tattoos.

I love getting to experience new cultures and meeting people from all over the world.

Here's a funny video in case you didn't understand the title of this blog:


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Other Side of the World

Thailand is an amazing place.

I had never been to Asia before, so traveling here was definitely eye-opening. The country isn't as wealthy as the United States. The air and streets in Bangkok weren't clean. It didn't smell very good outside either.

I enjoyed trying to learn the language and the culture of the Thai people. It intrigues me.

You have to cover up when you go into the temples, and you are supposed to take off your shoes. The temples are a popular tourist attraction, and sometimes they can get pretty crowded, especially the Grand Palace. But the palace is beautiful and a must-see!

Be careful, the natives can spot tourists easily and will try to scam you every chance you get.

Remember to bargain, bargain, bargain, when buying anything.

And if your price offer doesn't work, walk away. They'll change their mind.

We had a drink at the top of the building where one of the Hangover movies was filmed. It was at the Lebua at State Tower Hotel.

You could see the whole city from here.

Another popular spot for tourists and especially backpackers is Khao San Road. It's crazy. You'll just have to see it for yourself.

We then went to the city of Pattaya. It was about a two hour drive from Bangkok.

We stayed near the beach. However, this wasn't one of my favorite beaches.

The Nong Nooch Botanical Gardens are in Pattaya, and this is what we really wanted to see. The gardens stretched so far I don't think we even came close to seeing all of it. But they were gorgeous.

We continued our journey on to The Sanctuary of Truth. It looks somewhat out of place, this giant, beautifully carved, wooden structure sticking out of the trees right next to the ocean.

The Sanctuary of Truth may have been my favorite thing about Thailand. I was just awe-struck by it all.

We stayed a week in Phuket at a beach resort. It was so relaxing and nice to getaway from the city-life.

We were there during the rainy season so there were a few showers off and on, but nothing too unbearable.

The street food is the cheapest and best tasting, but I'm not sure how sanitary. We both had food poisoning for a few days, which is never fun, but kind of expected when you go to a new country.

We also rented a motorcycle bike for the week. This made getting around so much cheaper.

The Full Moon Parties are supposed to be amazing here, but we weren't there for the full moon, just the half moon.

The Half Moon Party was a ton of fun so I can only imagine the Full Moon Parties. There was music, dancing, drinks, body paint, and even fire performers and a fire limbo! I would definitely recommend going to either a Full or Half Moon Party if you get the chance.

All this talk of Thailand makes me want to go back already.

 The Sanctuary of Truth
 Street food
Me at the Half Moon Party
An elephant
A cool spot in the Nong Nooch Gardens

Does the Governor Even Come Here?

The Governor's Ball in New York.

I got two jobs that summer after being an intern at Hangout Music Fest.

The first was working for The Governor's Ball at Randall's Island Park, New York.

We were busy working most of the time and the one chance we did get to go watch some of the artists, it started pouring down rain.

Why is it always trying to rain on my parade?

We did eat some giant slices of pizza and let me tell you, it was tasty.

Then we went to Bethel Woods, New York to work Mysteryland.

So this is where they actually had Woodstock in 1969. I swear I saw hippie ghosts.

Mysteryland was my favorite between the two. There weren't as many people. It was hidden away from the city (unlike in New York City.)

The only downside was that even though it was warm and sunny during the day, it was freezing at night. And we were camping. In tents. In 30 degree temperatures.

Needless to say we survived.

Next time I'll be sure to pack warmer clothes.

The Governor's Ball June 2016

Mysteryland June 2016

Blood, Sweat, and Tears

One of fifteen.

That's how many interns there were.

I didn't realize at first how big of a deal it was.

To be honest I kind of just googled "music festival internships" and one for The Hangout Music Fest in Gulf Shores Alabama popped up.

I had never even heard of Hangout before, but I applied anyways.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I was ready to learn though, and I was going into it with an open mind.

We basically put the whole festival together (besides all the massive stages and stuff.)

We decorated the artist trailers, built lounge chairs, created crafts, came up with ideas, cleaned, decorated the VIP areas and so much more.

Being out in the sun all day long for two weeks. A few cuts and bruises along the way, a lot of sweat, and some tears.

It was neat to see all of our hard work come to life.

It was hands-down my favorite internship. And my love for festivals grew even more.

We Seem to be Having Bad Luck

"What happened at Whitelake this weekend may have been more than an uncontrolled outpouring of hip young people, struggling as they did to survive. First, the 20-mile traffic jams and 5-mile hikes; then, the intense heat and sudden rain; the thirst and hunger from the shortage of water and food, just for the opportunity to spend a few days in the country getting stoned on their drugs, and grooving on the music. What happened at Whitelake was that hundreds of thousands of kids invaded a rural resort area totally unprepared to accommodate them."
- John Laurence, CSB News
That's an anchor talking about Woodstock in 1969 but it sounds almost exactly like what happened at Tomorrowworld.
The last time they had the festival was 2015.
It was my first time going to Chattahoochie Hills, Georgia.
Everything seemed to be going well at first. The first day was scorchingly hot. Even more so because we had to carry all of our stuff for miles. Tents, ice chests, food, cases of water bottles, chairs, everything.
Then the weather hit.
It poured rain for 3 days straight.
Our campsite was flooded. There was mud everywhere. And I mean everywhere.
We tried to keep the inside of our tent clean as best as we could, but the ground was so wet the inside of our tent started flooding!
Apparently worse things were going on for those who decided not to camp at the festival. There were no taxis or ubers, no food or water, no service and on the last day they didn't even let people who weren't camping into the festival at all!
Even though we were soaking wet pretty much the whole time, had mud in every crevice of our bodies, I still had a fun time. And I would go back.
Luckily I had brought ponchos so we stayed dry most of the time. It was kind of fun slipping and sliding around in the mud like a kid again. 
All you really need is good music and good company anyways, right?
Hopefully the festival will be back soon, just, safety first.  

My Parents Think it's Woodstock

EDC Las Vegas almost killed me.

But it was fun.

An hour 18 hour drive from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Las Vegas, Nevada.

We left around midnight.

I slept for most of the time.

Then it was daylight.

It was my turn to drive.

The car started making funny noises.

The steering wheel was shaking.

I pulled over.

It wouldn't start.

Where even are we.

I tried to start it.

The guys got out and looked under the hood.

They didn't know much about cars, of course.

I had AAA insurance, so I called a tow truck to take us to the nearest town.

I can't even remember the name of the town.

It was so small.

There was literally one restaurant. One auto shop. One hotel.

Where the heck are we.

Our other group of friends were in another car, they were already in Vegas.

They were are only option.

They drove several hours to come get us.

We all piled into this tiny two door car and drove several hours back.


We made it.

It's fine. Everything is fine.

We were going to EDC Las Vegas.

A 3 day long music festival from sunset to sunrise.

By the end of it I was crying.

Maybe it was exhaustion.

Maybe the mile-long line of cars we waited in for hours.

Maybe it was doomed from the start.

Don't get me wrong, EDC was a blast.

Let's just hope next time everything goes a little smoother.

We were Mario and Peach :)

Shout out to this guy photobombing our pic.

The Real "Lolla" Land

"One that is extraordinarily impressive."

Lollapalooza was my "first" festival.

I had been to EDC in Mexico but I didn't really understand what I was going to (or getting into).

My love for festivals has grown since then. Now they are one of my two happiest places. The beach being first.

I was living in a model apartment in Chicago. 

Thank God it was during the summer and not their subzero winters. Imagine freezing cold temperatures, mountains of snow, all being blown by the wind into your face, no matter which way you're going.

I wish I could have afforded to go to Lollapalooza all 3 days (it was only 3 days at the time). But festival tickets are pretty pricey. Most are at least $200 for general admission, and can go up to like $400-$500. VIP tickets are even more than that, some going up to $2,000. However, at times, VIP tickets can be worth the extra money to have access to clean bathrooms, separate hangout areas, and not having to wait in extremely long lines. 

I bought a one day ticket for Friday from someone who was selling on Facebook.

*A word of advice.... be EXTREMELY careful when buying tickets from any other website or person besides the actual festival website itself. I have been scammed twice. If you can, meet them at the festival office to have their employees make sure the ticket or wristband is legit.*

I chose to go on Friday because this day had the most artists that I wanted to see.

But then I got lucky.

I was riding the train back to my apartment on Sunday morning and found it.

I found a one day Sunday pass to Lollapalooza.

There was no one else around. I felt sorry for the person who lost it, but there was no way I would be able to the owner.

I was so excited. I got to go back to one of the funnest places on Earth.

Lollapalooza is still one of my favorite festivals and I have already been back again.

Chicago just has such a cool vibe. It's still considered the midwest so the people are friendly. 

If you don't believe me, go check it out for yourself. You won't be disappointed. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

They don't actually "celebrate" Cinco de Mayo in Mexico

Cinco de Mayo isn't a federal holiday in Mexico so banks, offices and stores remain open. However, many people take the day off.

The celebration of Cinco de Mayo primarily occurs in the state of Puebla, where the unlikely victory against the French army occurred at the Battle of Puebla.

Cinco de Mayo has been Americanized.

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is sometimes mistaken for Mexico's Independence Day which actually occurs on September 16th.

It has been turned into a celebration of the Mexican-American culture in the U.S.

Americans celebrate by going to local Mexican restaurants, eating Mexican food, drinking tequila and margaritas, and listening to mariachi bands.

Cinco de Mayo parties or "fiestas" are also held to celebrate the 5th of May.

When I was living in Mexico I was supposed to be in Mexico City on Cinco de Mayo, but I ended up flying back to Oklahoma to visit my family and see my mom for Mother's Day.

Some friends were having a Cinco de Mayo fiesta that night and I wanted to go see everyone that I hadn't seen in months.

We had a mustachin' good time....

Turn that mustache upside down :)

The Mystery Still Remains

Its origins are still a mystery.

The Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon are located in the ancient Mesoamerican city of Teotihuacan, Mexico. 

It was one of the first great cities of the Western Hemisphere.

Built by hand, both pyramids were completed around 200-250 A.D.

The city of Teotihuacan is said to have supported a population of at least a hundred thousand. 

The Avenue of the Dead is a massive central road that runs through the city of Teotihuacan, connecting the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Moon. 

The Avenue of the Dead was once thought to be lined with tombs beneath it, but the low buildings that flank it are said to be palace residences.

The remains of animals and bodies were found buried inside of the temples. All of their heads had been lobbed off, and thought to be used as offerings of sacrifice to gods or sanctification for successive layers of the pyramid as it was built. 

It's still unclear why the city of Teotihuacan collapsed. 

There are many theories, but recent evidence showing the burnings were limited to the dwellings of the ruling class has lead to the theory that the poorer classes carried out an internal uprising. 

View of the Avenue of the Dead and the Pyramid of the Sun, from the Pyramid of the Moon
Me at the Temple of the Sun