Tag Archives: relax


Good morning dreamers! Back at it again! Here we are on another #traveltuesday…one of my favorite days. For some reason, it gets me thinking about “Where in the world is Carmen SanDiego”. NO idea why….but that’s how I feel about picking a place to write about. I might start just throwing a dart on the map of the world and see where it lands (hopefully I can actually get it on the map).


Anyways, enough for a morning rant. Today, I want to focus on Barbados. Yes, famous Rihanna is from there (and I’m sure some other people are as well), but this is one of my parents favorite spots. They love the culture, people, and of course, location. There is also TONS of things to do here…and I mean tons! What I love about this place is that there literally is an activity for anyone. If you want to do nothing and relax, stay at the hotel. If you want to float in the ocean, be my guest. If you want to explore, there are lots of places to explore. See what I mean?



So, where to stay? I recommend Crystal Cove Resort. Number one, it’s all inclusive (sorry not sorry but you can’t go wrong doing all inclusive). Yes, it’s a pretty penny worth, but come on, it’s vacation right? And with all inclusive, you don’t have to worry about food, drinks, or tips (hello open bar). Also not to mention, you can literally watch the waves crash from the pool, while sipping a cocktail. I’m in.




Like I mentioned earlier, there literally are so many things you can do here. First stop, Harrison’s Cave. Yes, it’s an actual cave. If you’re into adventure, exploring, and thrill seeking, this is definitely an option for you! You’ll enjoy the limestone caves all from a tram that takes you through them with a guide and story. As this is only an hour adventure, you’ll have plenty of time to lay by the pool and relax after.


Next, who doesn’t love exploring the forest? Ummmm hello Jungle Book! Hunte’s Garden is a tropical paradise….literally. Filled with thousands of different flora and fauna, it’s definitely a sight for sore eyes. Also, you can spend as much or as little time there as you want. Be on your own island time (my fave). There are also local forests that aren’t as well known, if you dare.


Last but not least, Animal Flower Cave. What a name right? You don’t really know what you’re getting yourself into with a diverse name like that. But, don’t be fooled. It got it’s name from the anemones that are in the pools. The cave itself looks directly into the Atlantic Ocean, with pools inside the cave that are deep enough to swim. While you’re there, be sure to stop at the Clifftop Bar and Restaurant for the world famous lemonade.



SO, as you can see, lots and lots to do here! Have you been? Where did you stay? Any other must do’s while you’re here?



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Malta Monday

Good morning dreamers! I definitely took a bit of a hiatus last week (some weeks you just need a damn break right?). Anyways, I’m back. And per usual, today is Monday and I have an awesome place to share with you! If you’re anything like me, you probably could have guessed 4 or 5 places where “Malta” was, and you were still wrong (obviously geography isn’t my strong suit). Regardless, Malta is an island between Sicily and the North African Coast (pretty perfect spot if you ask me).


So, Malta is one of those places (like many others that I share) that can be both relaxing yet fun. As you might guess, it’s an architectural dream, filled with ruins, towns on the hillside, and some pretty perfectly colored water. Best time to go is around May (beach season starts end of April and ends just before November). It can get hot there if you go mid-summer so be prepared. You can get there by plane (AirMalta) or, if you’re in Italy (or taking a vacation there), Malta is only about a 90 minute ferry ride from Pozzallo Italy (score).


Once there, many hotels are located in the country’s capital, Valletta. My recommendation is Hotel Phoenicia. Price ranges anywhere from $100-$275 depending on when you’re going, what type of room you get, so on. But, trust me, it’s one of those places you’ll never want to leave. With it’s historic limestone elements on the property and updated decor, you’ll experience a bliss that you’ve never felt before. Who doesn’t love a pool with a view of the ocean?



As I mentioned, this is a place where you can both relax (hello brunch at the pool and spa days) as well as go out and explore. There are a lot of historic tours that will take you around the island to see some famous monuments, as well as adventures that include sailing, diving and other water activities. Don’t forget to stop and check out the Blue Lagoon…it’s definitely a sight for sore eyes. You can also island hop to nearby Gozo, another great island, for some additional R&R. I’m sorry, you can NEVER have to much R&R…am I right? Ugh, that’s what I live for!



Anyways, have you guys been here? It’s definitely on the list of places to go for me when I hit up Southern Europe. Where did you stay? What activities did you do?



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#TVT Thursday

Good morning dreamers–downhill from today on! Per usual, Thursday’s have been focused on the #theory side of #tvt and how it evolved. At this point, I feel like you all understand what it’s about…occupying your mind with things you love (while doing the things you have to do) to make your day better. Focus on yourself, entertain your dreams, think positive thoughts (hello 1st grade theory), and good things will happen. Not wave your want type good things, but you’ll feel better. Like inside you’ll be more relaxed, in tune with your dreams and aspirations, blah blah blah. So enough of that for today…I’m not in the most “spiritual” mood, but more just want to talk about what I love…travel.

So, today is also the infamous #tbt which is almost obligatory to write about. In the spirit of typically writing about sunny beaches, I decided to take a spin on this and talk about one of my favorite places, Lake Tahoe. Well, yes, technically there is a beach, but it’s not the beach you’re typically used to. If you’ve been here, you know what I mean. One of the most famous lakes that borders California and Nevada, this place is a great (and I mean great) mini vacation (4 day minimum) if you’re looking for a simple place, off the beaten path, not FLOODED with tourists (yes, there are tourists), and that offers lots to do, this is a great spot for you.


I obviously recommend going during Spring or Summer (warm weather is my jam for multiple reasons which we can get into another time). For one, the water is actually swimmable. What fun is a lake if you can’t go in it right? Also, the hikes there are amazing…like really really amazing. I’m talking fresh scent of dirt (oddly a refreshing smell to me), cool breezes, shady trees, beautiful scenery, you get it. Not to get all tree hugger on you, but it is a great place for hiking, especially if you’re into the forest type of stuff.


One of the great things about lakes is there are so many activities that you can do. Swim (give me a floatie and a beer and I’m set for the day…errr well maybe an 30 minutes before I need a refill), SUP (stand-up paddle board), kayak, snorkel (not sure how many cool fish you’ll see, but still an adventure nonetheless), and of course, boating and other water sports.



Also, there are two parts to Lake Tahoe…North and South Shores. The North Shore (located on the California side), is more low-key, relaxation, explore nature type of vibe. The South Shore is more adventurey and is a good spot for first timers because there are a plethora of activities. Still, I prefer the North Side. Not because it’s in California, but when I go on vacation, I actually like to relax and decompress. Get my mojo back you know? It’s kind of hard to do that with thousands of screaming kids around because they got drenched by a wave or lost their goggles–you know? Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE kids, but I went on a vacation because I needed to relax, which, screaming to me, is not relaxing.


There’s a couple options when it comes to where to stay. There are a few number of hotels on the North Shore that are respectable, for example Cedar House Sport Hotel, but I would recommend doing a #vrbo or #airbandb because you’ll get closer to the water (or in the mountains, whichever you prefer), will have more space, and the price is right. Check this one out: https://www.vrbo.com/763243 (hey why not bring some friends and have this place for a few days?). Cut your cost in half…literally!



So, as you can see, Tahoe is a great escape for just about everyone. Whether you simply just want to float away with a beer in hand (champagne for me), explore the mountains, or have an adventure on the water, there is something for everyone here! Have you been? What did you do? Any local spots to check out?



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Good morning dreamers–one day down only a few left for real now! You made it through Monday–that’s a goal in itself if you ask me! Travel Tuesday…where in the world do I want to go? Everywhere. To put it simply. But really…I do want to go everywhere. Most places that are on the top of my list are warm, sunny and tropical, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to go to places that don’t fall in those categories.

So in the spirit of staying in the continental U.S. I picked the Florida Keys. Two of the key’s really speak to me in the tropical, sunny, relaxing type of vacation. Key West and Key Largo. Yes, they’re probably the most popular of the key’s but hey, I guess people have good taste when it comes to crystal clear water, adventure, and natural beauty! So how to get there? Fly into #Miami Airport. From there, you can either rent a car or take a shuttle. I recommend getting the shuttle ($70/person round trip) because really, who needs a car in the Keys? The total ride: 1 hour (give or take 15 minutes) to Key Largo. Score! To Key West, ad a couple hours (3 hours to get there) and add some more money to the round trip but still a great time!


So let’s focus on #KeyWest. Because you’re able to #budget #travel (driving, shuttle, etc.) I suggest opting in for a nice hotel–hey, it is a vacation after all! Casa Marina, a Waldorf Astoria Resort (if you haven’t been to one you’re missing out), is the way to go! So the rooms will cost you around $400/night, but that’s only $100 more than other hotels in the area (for a way better location, ambiance and much more). So in my book, it’s worth it. I hate going on #vacation and thinking, “Oh, the hotel could have been so much better”. You know? Live it up to an extent and don’t ever think anything on your vacation should have been “better”. If you’re thinking like that, you’re not researching or planning well enough–sorry for the brutality, but it’s true. #Planning takes time. You need to read multiple (I mean hundreds) of reviews, go through pictures, and use #GOOGLE…it’s your best friend! Anyways, sorry for the rant, but trust me, you want to stay here. I mean, just look at the pictures.



As this is an island, there are tons of regular #activities like #snorkeling, #scuba diving, and of course tanning (hello Vitamin D). On top of that, you can paddle board, #kayak, jet ski, #sailing, #swimming with the #dolphins, and even do a deep sea #fishing excursion. Heck, the possibilities are #endless here. Not to mention, you can go and #explore the Key by walking, biking, scootering (my choice) or hopping on a tour!


Key West natural sand beach

Soak up the sun on the island’s largest natural sand beach in Key West, Florida

Have you been to #TheKeys? Where did you go? Where did you stay? What did you do? As always, I want to hear!




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Mazatlan Monday

Good morning dreamers! Happy Monday (just tell yourself it’s happy it’ll help). Hey, few more days and it’s the weekend again! The best way to not be depressed on Monday? Don’t think about Monday when it’s only Sunday. ENJOY you’re entire Sunday…trust me!


Anyways, in the spirit of Monday and not having Monday Blues, what better way to dream than to talk about sunny, warm, beautiful, tropical Mazatlan. If you haven’t been, it’s a nice little Pacific town in Mexico just east of Cabo San Lucas. With over 12 miles of perfect beaches, it’s a great destination if you’re looking for some fun in the sun. Oh ya, not to mention that they have banana boating…best time ever!


Where to stay? No Brainer. Riu Emerald Bay All Inclusive. Located right on the beach with a huge pool and swim up bar, this hotel is made for fun. The rooms at this resort have been updated (no gross bedding, floors, curtains, you know what I mean) and the hotel grounds are extremely well kept. Not to mention, you’ll get a local flare for the culture and get to explore nearby activities like Mazagua Aquatic Park, Witches Beach and Cerritos Beach. The hotel also allows use of kayaks, boogie boards, surf boards and volleyballs free of charge if you’re on the all inclusive plan–double bonus! Don’t forget to splash around on the banana boat’s for some real laughs!



Mazatlan is famous for it’s cliff divers–yes, cliff divers. Head on down to El Clavadista, give the divers a tip ($10+ US), and watch them dive from a 50′ cliff with water as shallow as 6 feet. It’s a great experience, gets you out of the hotel, and is thrilling to watch. While you’re down there, check out some local restaurants and shops on the way back home.


As always, I’m a fan of going to the spa while on vacation. Something about getting pampered on vacation just feels right–you know what I mean? The Renova Spa is located adjacent to the Riu Emerald Bay and has reasonable prices if I do say so myself. Single massages are an average of $85 but a couples massage is only $135 for 50 minutes (that’s a steal!). So, treat yourself, get a massage with your love, grab some brunch, and head out to lounge by the pool. Perfect day in my book!


Where did you stay when you went? What other activities did you do? I want to know!



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#TVT Thursday

Good morning dreamers…Thursday is here! Yes…one more day left and you have two days to do whatever your little heart desires. As usual, Thursdays are mostly about theory and how we can better ourselves in baby steps (hey, if I could snap my fingers and make me a better person I would but unfortunately I can’t). Today’s topic…#stress.

Yesterday, I attended a #stressrelief workshop and let me tell you, it did absolutely nothing but make me more stressed out. I was thinking it was going to be about essential oils, yoga, relaxing techniques, blah blah blah. Instead, it was about what can happen to you if you’re stressed (tons of awful things which I won’t even dare to mention here because we’re positive thinkers). Hello….if I’m attending a stress relief workshop, I’m most likely stressed. Hence, don’t stress me out more (am I right?). Bottom line, you do what makes you happy and less stressed.


So, in the spirit of positive stress relief (and I mean actual stress relief not creating more stress), I want to share a few tools that I use to calm down the cortisol. Step 1, Breathe. Yes, you probably hear it all the time, but it’s actually for a reason. Breathing will stop whatever you’re currently thinking about and change the brain waves. One breath is a start, but I honestly think doing a 3-5 is where it’s at. This gets oxygen and blood flow increasing, and will let you clear your mind. I like to sit up straight, close my eyes, smell some essential oils (one of my favorite tricks), and breathe deeply. Just try it. I’m not saying it’s going to cure all your stress, but you should feel a little more relaxed after doing so.

Inspirational Typographic Quote - Just Breathe

Inspirational Typographic Quote – Just Breathe

Another favorite that I just mentioned are essential oils. They really can work wonders. At work, I currently have 2 different stress relief potions, Frankincense (you must get this), Lemongrass and of course, Lavender. All of these oils are uplifting, which will help to increase your mood and clear your mind. Spearmint and Eucalyptus are also great ones to have for stress (I have a candle at home from Bath and Body works that I burn nightly) and help you wind down. Of course, I don’t want to fall asleep at work so I have to try to find a balance. I have a mini diffuser at my desk (I asked my neighbors if they cared or not and they didn’t…actually some thanked me for getting it), and I usually put some oil in once a day and burn it for an hour or so. Thank me later.

Essential Oils

Lastly, sounds extremely silly, but sleep. It’s your best friend. Not only will you actually feel awake when your alarm goes off, but you’ll be less stressed. Sleep is the one thing your body needs to recuperate throughout the day. They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing. Your body is replenishing it’s natural elements that it needs to function properly. If you don’t get enough sleep, you’re stressed because you didn’t sleep, you’re grumpy, you don’t feel well, you’re more likely to get sick or injured, and the cycle starts all over again. So…bottom line…get at least 7 hours of sleep (I shoot for 8-9). Sleep is the start of it all! If you have trouble going to sleep, try some Meletonin or Advil PM. The next day, you’re on Cloud 9.

Benefits of Sleep

Besides these, there are so many other tools that you can use for stress relief, but these three are my go-to’s. What other tricks do you have? I’m always wanting to hear more ways to de-stress 🙂



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#Travel Tuesday

Good morning dreamers–we’re back at it again! Tuesday…one day already down and only a few more to go. #TravelTuesday is one of my favorite days because we can talk about so many different places. As the world dose hold thousands of magical destinations, let’s chat about somewhere I’m dying to go….the #Bahamas.

Oddly enough, I had a dream about the Bahamas last night, which is what inspired me to talk about it today. Yes, there is sparkling crystal clear water, perfect white sand beaches, and wait for it….PIGS! Yes…swimming PIGS! I may sound a little crazy but who wouldn’t want to see these little guys swimming in the water with you. If you watched last season of #theBachelor, you saw some of the girls have some trouble with the little buggers because they were feeding them. Note to you…don’t bring food.


So anyways, where to stay? It may sound a little obvious, but hello #Atlantis! I mean, tell me this isn’t a place you’ve always dreamed of going. Yes, it’s a little more family oriented than the places that I typically write about, but it’s one of those places you have to see in your lifetime. I mean, a water slide with sharks all around you? Adventure addicts take notes! Another benefit, the place is so huge, that I’m sure you can find some time for some R&R at one of the 30+ swimming locations. Not to mention, the beach out front that’s just about perfect. Oh ya…the room view isn’t too shabby either. Hello ocean view!

Atlantis_shark waterway



So, other activities in the Bahamas include, tanning (obviously), swimming, exploring the hotel and island, water activities, shopping, and of course dining. The colorful town is a must see on this gorgeous island. Filled with beautiful people, places, and natural essence. There are a lot of mom and pop shops as well as popular shops in town that you can stroll throughout the day, stopping at some local restaurants for a light lunch. Once finished, I recommend getting adventurous in the water and either snorkeling or scuba diving. There are hundreds (maybe even thousands) of beautiful fish local to the Caribbean that you will be able to see.



When in need of that R&R, check out tons of pools (or even the ocean) for some peace and quiet. Hey, a little spa day never hurt anyone! Since the resort has grown so much in the past years, there are more than enough activities that you can do without ever leaving. Swimming with dolphins, head to the casino to do some gambling, get a much needed spa treatment (obviously I’m a fan of spa’s), or simply just do what you came here to do and #relax.



So…have you been here? Where did you stay? What are some of the best places to see? I want to know!




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#TGIF…We Made It

Happy Friday dreamers!!! Look…you made it! Only a few more hours and it’s weekend time! While thinking about what to write about today, I closed my eyes and picked the first spot that came into my head. I thought about being on a beach, laying in a hammock, sun shining through the palm trees (just enough that you’re warm but not too much that you’re hot) and taking a nice nap. Wow…can someone please make a teleporter yet?


So there are lots of tropical places out there, but today, let’s talk about Turks and Caicos. Yes, you’ve probably heard of it, and yes, it’s most likely out of everyone’s price range (if you’re doing it correctly), but why the hell not dream? Come on, after all, we’re all dreamers aren’t we?

What I wouldn’t do to be basking in the sun, cozying up in the super soft white sand, listening to the breeze and the ocean, and most likely a yummy drink and ice cold water right next to me. Oh…and as always, a great book. Something about being exhausted after a long week makes me want nothing more than to just lay down in the sun. Am I right? So back to Turks…


Where to stay? Of course, if money isn’t an object, I suggest the Regent Grand Resort. It’s pretty much just perfect, to say the least. Located right on the beach (my type of place), gorgeous rooms, a beautiful pool and lush landscapes, and an overall tranquil environment. I’m sold. Hello mimosa brunch on my patio! Don’t have to ask me twice.



Turks is definitely one of the more laid back places to go for some serious relaxation. Yes, there are activities to do, just like every place you go, but the overall vibe and focus is relaxation. Be with yourself, take the time you need to regroup, and do tranquil activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and laying on the beach. Hey, if you get enough sun you’ll work up a sweat…that counts as exercise right??



A couple bonuses of this island? English is the main language, the overall island is clean…I mean very clean. Everyone takes care of the beaches, land, you get it. Also, with the natural beauty this place has to offer, everyone seems pretty upbeat. I mean, wouldn’t you if that was your home?


Where did you stay when you went? What activities did you do there? Happy Friday–what are your weekend plans?? Relaxation I hope 🙂



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#TVT Thursday

Good morning dreamers! Almost to Friday if you know what I mean (keeping that positive momentum up–trust me it helps). I feel like everyday is one step closer to the weekend, which is of course what we all want, but if you take it day by day and look at Friday as the end result, it does go by a little quicker than thinking “it’s only Thursday” (make sense?).

Per usual, Thursday’s are scheduled more for behind the scenes type of information than specific travel (yes, I’ll throw a couple awesome pics in because, after all, it’s still #tbt). One of my favorite tricks for positive thinking (slightly highlighted above), is taking each day as it is (thanks #mom you’re the best). So, take Tuesday for example. You go to work (or not), do your regular routine, get through the day, do something for you (I choose the gym), and boom, day’s done. One step closer to Friday and the weekend. Before you know it, it’s now Wednesday. Do the same routine, and boom, you’re done. Another notch closer to #freedom. I know it sounds a little silly and almost too easy to be true, but honestly, it is great.


Think about it. I used to wake up on #Monday morning and think “OMG, I have 5 days until I can relax”. That honestly makes you dread every single day until it’s Friday afternoon. Right? So, now, Monday is just a Monday (and one step closer to my freedom), rather than putting a specific time limit on it. Another trick that I heard from a #colleague is that you can take the week like your meals throughout the day (a little far fetched I know, but it’s just another way of looking at it). Monday = breakfast, Tuesday = morning snack, Wednesday = Lunch (my fave), Thursday = afternoon snack, and Friday = Dinner (and errrr maybe some champagne because it is Friday). You get it. Taking things day by day will not only make you happier, but also increase your productivity. You can check things off daily, know that you’re finishing all your items, and have some time for yourself.


Stacked pebbles

So I mentioned doing something for yourself everyday. Do you guys do that? I’ve found that it really helps. It’s the one time of a day (30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, whatever your preference) that you get to be with yourself, be mindful, relax and just take everything in. For me, that’s exercising. I try to go to the gym 5 times a week (Friday and Sunday are my days off…because I earned them and I LOVE brunch). That hour that I get to spend sweating (which I really really hate I don’t know why), allows me to focus just on myself and no outside influences. Maybe for you it’s reading (another fave of mine), hiking, cooking, shopping, playing games, whatever it is that allows you to just focus on you and make yourself happy.

happiness quote

Do you use any of these tricks during the week? What makes you have better days? Always looking for advice on that :).



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Travel Tuesday

Good morning dreamers! Monday is over, you all must feel a little better. One step at a time, am I right? Anyways, #traveltuesday is one of my favorite days because there are so many wonderful places in the world. I’m one of those crazy people that literally wants to go everywhere (no I’m being totally serious…like everywhere). Some places may not be glamorous (I’m aware), but that’s part of the adventure.

As a resident of So Cal (Yes I know I’m lucky), there are so many places close to home that I can take for a mini vacation. I can #roadtrip up the #calicoast and make some stops in Santa Barbara, Big Sur, San Fran, Sacramento, you name it. Or I could also go east and end up in the #desert for some #sunsoaking fun. Today, I’m going to share a little about a hidden gem. Most people from #socal think of Palm Springs when they think of the desert (super fun place), which isn’t bad, but let me tell you, Borrego is where it’s at.


Yes, Anza State Park Borrego Springs (long name say what?). About 2 hours east of North County San Diego is a little hidden gem. I’m talking about peaceful, relaxing, fresh desert air. No commercialization (besides a few hotels), no pollution, and genuine natural beauty. Purple mountains are a thing out there…for real. Also, if you’re a fan of stars, this place is a must. I’ve never seen more stars in my life than being out there at night time.


Traditional “Desert” season is roughly October-April, when it’s not too hot and you can do a lot of activities during the day. Hiking, biking, golfing, swimming, tennis, dirt biking and relaxing are just about the only things to do out there (oh and drinking…ahem). This is one of the only places I can truly relax. I mean, really really relax. Something about waking up, taking a morning hike, having no schedule, laying by the pool really is refreshing to me. I get to be with my own thoughts, enjoy the truly fresh air, and decompose and be my best self.


I happen to have a condo out there so I don’t have a need to stay in a hotel, but there are two options that I highly recommend, Borrego Resort and Spa (very close to “town”) and Casa de Zorro (a little bit further out but this place just got redone and is gorgeous). They both are great, just depends what you’re looking for. I would say Borrego Resort and Spa is more of a golfers paradise with a spa for anyone who wants to indulge. It’s definitely more centrally located to hikes, tennis, etc. and has some great restaurants. On the other hand, Casa de Zorro just recently was updated and is insanely beautiful. I’m talking like comparable to La Quinta in Palm Springs. Everything updated, everything you need in one place type of resort. But, it isn’t as centrally located. So take your pick, both are great spots!


So, what to do out here? I definitely recommend doing a hike or two. You can go and indulge in the mud or wind caves (yes, these are real things), go out to Fonts Point (you really really need to go….like really), or a regular old hike up to Seven Palms (yes, there is a group of palm trees up the mountain with creeks throughout). Then, of course, it’s pool time. Being that the average temp out there is probably around 75-80, a trip (or two) to the pool is a must! Who doesn’t love a little champagne by the pool on a hot day? Golf or tennis is great when it cools off a little in the late afternoon, just before dinner. Nighttime activities? Star gazing, bbqing, shooting (yes with a gun), bonfire, you name it.


So, this took a lot to share my #secret place with you guys. It’s a secret because not many people go. It’s one of four registered dark communities in the world (THE WORLD). It really is a hidden little town out there that people go to decompress. Trust me, if you live within a few hours of there, go. You won’t regret it and you’ll most likely make it a ritual. Oh, and don’t forget to look for wildflowers and all the animals (toads, mountain lions, goats, roadrunners, you get it).



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