Road Trip to the Grand Canyon

I’ve been to Las Vegas many times, so on my last trip, it was really important for me to experience the things I’ve never done before…I am over the Vegas strip. Sam and I took a road trip to the Grand Canyon and we had a beautiful time.

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Arizona was a destination that I’ve dreamed about visiting ever since I watched Waiting to Exhale and its beauty still leaves me breathless when I think about it. The views are divine. The colors of the mountains offset by the sunset will make your think that you are in another world.

I desperately wanted to visit the Grand Canyon but guess what? I was terrified. When did I become so afraid of heights? I visited the Sky Walk and cried when I realized that I was standing on glass and could see the depths of the mountains (4,000 feet below to be exact). I was on a mind-trip thinking that the glass would break and catapult me to my….I will not say it. Apparently, the skywalk is strong enough to hold 70 fully loaded 747 jets. I still cried. Sam grabbed my hand and made me conqueror my fear. Unfortunately, you’re not allowed to take photos on the skywalk or even bring your cell phone for that matter; they have lockers where you leave your shoes and your belongings.

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I was surprised that there were no barriers around the canyon by the skywalk. There was security but people were trying to take risky photos on the edge of the canyon and it really gave me anxiety. Is an Instagramable photo really worth that danger? However, I did not let my angst ruin my trip. The beauty I experienced in Arizona makes me desperately want to return.

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Lake Harmony

My friend Kadia had the cutest 30th birthday party in the Poconos during the holidays that was reminiscent of the Young Gunz “No Better Love” video. She rented a house via Airbnb in Lake Harmony, PA, a cabin of sorts and had some of her closet friends come together for a snow-trip birthday extravaganza. We had a hot chocolate station, played games, cooked breakfast/lunch/dinner for each other, talked around the dining table, went snow tubing and more. The snow tubing fun happened at Jack Frost Big Boulder. Her birthday is still one of those moments that people will see photos of and say wow that’s a really cute idea. I was completely disconnected from the rest of the world but surrounded by amazing people. You should totally consider Lake Harmony for a mini-weekend getaway during the holidays.

Williamsburg Hotel

Williamsburg Hotel is a cute spot next door to Kinfolk 90and Kinfolk 94 in Williamsburg. It has a bar that I would often frequent before or after going to Kinfolk, just to grab a drink. The wallpaper at the hotel has Brooklyn icons such as Biggie Smalls and the Brooklyn Bridge. The library area is my favorite, specifically the pink suede chair. When we do get back to normal and you’re in the area, looking for a cute and intimate spot to have a drink with a friend, this is definitely a great choice.

National Portrait Gallery

I stumbled across the Washington D.C. National Portrait Gallery when my friends and I couldn’t get into the National Museum of African American History and Culture. To my surprise, it was a really cool experience. I was able to see the national portraits for our favorites Barack and Micelle Obama. I was also able to see portraits of Beyonce and Toni Morrison. The museum is free, so when you’re in D.C, you should totally check it out.

Brooklyn Museum Artist Ball

I’ve always wanted to get dressed up and go to the Brooklyn Museum Artist Ball. For the past few years in April, I would pass by the museum on my walk home from work and see that that the museum was having an extravagant party, which social media later confirmed was the Artist Ball.

The Artist Ball is a themed gala event with proceeds going towards the Brooklyn Museum and its platform for artists. The year I went highlighted David Bowie. As someone who cannot afford the gala portion of the event, I paid about $75 to attend the after-party which is always DJ’d by Swizz Beatz. I danced the night away with my friend Kalisha, to music ranging from Amerie’s One Thing to Palance by JW & Blaze. I would probably attend this event again if the theme was really intriguing, but I found the cost to be extreme for a dance party on a Tuesday night (I would reconsider if it was Friday or Saturday). Overall, it was an unforgettable and fabulous experience.

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Spa Day or Staycation?

Spas are literally a dream come true but I’ve never visited one until the summer of 2018. My first spa experience happened at Premier 57. I desperately needed a vacation and decided to take the day off and go by myself. Unbeknownst to me, there were tons of couples who visited the spa with their significant others, which was awkward to say the least but I made the best of it. Premier 57 is the type of spa you should go to when you need a quick fix of relaxation during the week. I don’t know if I would recommend going to the spa on a weekend because the crowds are the antithesis of relaxation. During my first experience at Premier 57, I decided to pamper myself with a salt scrub. My skin felt so smooth after. I went in all of the saunas, the hydro pool, the jacuzzi’s on the rooftop and fell asleep in the quiet room. I didn’t leave the spa until about 9:00 PM that night and was so relaxed. The sleep after a spa is straight from heaven. Groupon always has cheap deals for Premier 57, which is how I scored my discounted day pass and spa service.

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I’ve frequented SOJO Spa twice. It has about 7 or 8 floors of saunas, pools, hydro pools, cabanas, jacuzzis and more. I really have nothing but great things to say about SOJO. My favorite experience there was the Volcanic Sand Bath.  For an extra 20 bucks, your whole body is buried in hot black volcanic sand. According to the website, the treatment is thought to help relieve musculoskeletal pain and stiffness, as well as benefiting the skin and assisting the metabolism.  Like a sauna or steam room, the process of sweating in the heat detoxifies the body, while the alkalinity of the mineral-rich volcanic sand itself amplifies the cleansing properties.” If you go, visit the dining room for a Veggie grilled cheese, it’s delicious. I still dream about it.

Rosé Mansion

Rosé Mansion is an Instagram dream. I went with my friend Brittany and we spent the whole day taking photos, swinging on chandeliers, jumping in ball pits and drinking rosé from countries around the world. When I went in 2018, it was more of a pop-up. Now, it’s open throughout the year in NYC and they are currently hosting virtual happy hours as a result of the pandemic. I did not get “drunk” and no that was not the goal but I did leave with a bit of a headache. Overall, it was such a unique experience and I took the best photos EVER!