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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Chichen Itza and Valladolid

My bachelorette destinations were narrowed down to Napa Valley and Cancún... as you guessed from my Instagram and the post's title, I picked Cancún! Cancún ended up winning because I wanted somewhere with a little bit of adventure, history, beaches, dancing and great food.

My friends did a phenomenal job planning everything out! Half of the girls arrived on Tuesday to explore Chichen Itza with me, and the other half arrived on Thursday. I knew if I was going to Cancún I would have to see the Mayan ruins and the world-famous Kukulcan Pyramid at Chichen Itza. By researching the location, I found all tours were an all-day experience. For our particular tour, we left our condo at 7:15am and came back around 7:30pm.

To break up the content, I decide to do separate posts of the adventures at Chichen Itza and another post for when the rest of the group arrives.

Tuesday
Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Prior to my travels, I partnered up with Lashed by Wendie to get a set of glam lashes for my bachelorette. They were incredibly light and gave me the dramatic look I was going for! I look forward with sharing with you later on my entire experience with the lashes and getting a fill.

Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Notorious for packing last minute, I may or may not have started packing at 12:30am for my flight at 6:00am. I had only two hours of sleep when I arrived to the airport but felt great. Upon checking in my luggage, I was upgraded to first class for my short flight to LAX and also for my 6hr flight to Cancún. One of the reasons why I love being a Delta Skymiles card member is because of the perks like complimentary upgrades and luggage check in. I enjoyed champagne to Cancún to get the bachelorette celebrations started!

Shortly after zooming past customs and picking up my luggage, I found Gabby and Kindle near the airport's exit.

Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Chichen Itza and Valladolid


Wednesday
Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Our original tour agency was unresponsive with coordinating the tickets for our travels to Chichen Itza. Thankfully the resort our condo was at had a tourism agency opened until 11:00pm... which was incredibly convenient for us! The next morning we woke up at 6:45am and caught our bus to Chichen Itza at 7:15am. Since I didn't do a workout that morning, I felt a bit tired and decided to sleep for the tour hours to Chichen Itza. About two hours later, we arrived to Cenote X Cajum.

Cenote X Cajum
Chichen Itza and Valladolid

A cenote is basically a sinkhole filled with ground water and is a natural feature that was valued by the Mayans. This particular cenote was about 10min away from Chichen Itza and also had a restaurant on site. While I'm not sure if they considered Cenote x Cajum sacred, I know the cenote at Chichen Itza was of high importance. The Mayans believed specific cenotes were linked the underworld and would make sacrifices (both living and inanimate objects) to the sinkhole. Other cenotes were used as a valuable water source. The turqouise water was beautiful and buoyant to swim in. It was honestly a bit unsettling for me to be swimming in such a deep water source but the more I was in the water, then the more comfortable I became.

What I loved about our cenote was there were no crowds and the cenote was quite open to the blue sky. I saw some photos of cenotes where they had more of a dark, cave-like structure. Our cenote had a staircase that led us down to the ground level. The water temperature felt refreshing on the warm, August day. After swimming and thoroughly enjoying the salty water, we explored our included buffet. I was honestly pretty impressed with the quality of the buffet because I feel they are generally a hit or miss. But, the cochinita pibil tacos were amazing and placed on handmade corn tortillas, which a woman made in the dining area. With our bellies full, we set out to see the highly-anticipated Chichen Itza!

Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Chichen Itza and Valladolid


Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Chichen Itza
Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Chichen Itza was always on my travel bucketlist and it did not disappoint. The sun was beaming down on us at this point of the tour, but it could not have been a better time! I was amazed to see the Kukulcan Pyramid and the surrounding structures.

The Kukulcan Pyramid was built to represent the Mayan Calendar. In the Mayan Calendar, there are 18 months, and the pyramid has nine stages with a bisected staircase on each side to represent the months. 91 steps ascend to the top of the throne room, totaling to 365 steps with the throne room level counted as a step. During the spring and fall equinoxes, a huge ceremony takes place at the Kukulcan Pyramid.

Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Chichen Itza and Valladolid


Valladolid
Chichen Itza and Valladolid

In 1545, the Spanish Conquistadors built Valladolid on top of a Maya city. Unfortuntely we were only here for 15min; we weren't alotted more time in this beautiful city due to it being busy. We did, however, get the chance to see the Cathedral of San Servacio o Gervasio.

Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Chichen Itza and Valladolid


Dinner in Cancún
Chichen Itza and Valladolid

We arrived back to our hotel at about 7:30pm, which made the entire day trip a bit exhausting for all of us. Despite our tour, we were still hungry. Gabby, Kindle and I cleaned up then left to eat at a restaurant called Porfirio's in the Hotel Zone. Everything was incredibly delicious! I also may or may not have gone here to see the churro cart ha.

Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Chichen Itza and Valladolid


Thursday
Chichen Itza and Valladolid

While Gabby and Kindle caught up on some sleep, I decided to do a sunrise run on the beach. Anyone who knows me knows I need to get my miles in, even while on vacation. Plus, the run set me up for the rest of the busy day where Stephanie and Kelly later joined us.

Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Stay tuned for the next post and how my girls surprised me with the most adorable decorations!


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Monday, August 7, 2017

Top Matcha Desserts in New York

Top Matcha Desserts in New York

Anyone who truly knows me, will know of my utmost obsession with matcha. I can't get enough of matcha, whether I'm ordering a latte (hold the sugar) or a decadent dessert. On my most recent trip to New York, my friend Heidi  joined me to try out two more matcha places on my list.

Top Matcha Desserts in New York

Top Matcha Desserts in New York

Heidi, The Grand Canyon Taste, loves food as much as me and I knew she would be up to try out these matcha locations. The other places I was able to taste when I lived in New York last year. My dessert-loving friend, Gabby, joined me on a few spots as well (P.S.: I have an awesome post coming soon from the chocolate factory class/tour Gabby gave me for my birthday!). View these six locations I love, and a few more that are on my "to eat" list. Also, please feel free to make any recommendations from one matcha lover to the next!


Cha Cha Matcha
Top Matcha Desserts in New York

I would have to say my absolute top recommendation would be Cha Cha Matcha's matcha dough'ssant! The pastry is flaky on the outside but incredibly soft on the inside. The matcha filling melts in your mouth. However, the pastries are first come, first serve. You could always call to see if they have one available. Secondly, their matcha lattes are awesome. They're one of the few places that don't add a ton of sugar (unless you ask for it) and then you can enjoy the raw flavor of matcha. They also serve soft serve but I didn't try any since I wanted to save room for my next matcha stop, Taiyaki.


Taiyaki
Top Matcha Desserts in New York

The matcha soft serve is amazing and comes in the famous (and warm) fish-shaped cone. While there are many different types of flavors you can get, I opted for the matcha soft serve topped with strawberry sauce and sprinkled with matcha powder and garnished with mochi, aaaand there was even red bean at the bottom of the cone. Taiyaki's soft serve also doesn't melt immediately, which is great for photo foodies. This treat will cost you $7 but you definitely get your money's worth since the serving of soft serve is pretty big, and the taiyaki cone is adorable.


Lady M
Top Matcha Desserts in New York

Famous for their mille crepe cakes, Lady M sells out of these before the end of the day. The mille crepe cakes and come in a variety of flavors, but the matcha is my favorite! The matcha mille crepe cake includes matcha crepes filled with a matcha creme, then a dusty coat of matcha powder.


ChikaLicious
Top Matcha Desserts in New York

Being from Tucson made me develop a love for churros. So when I heard about ChikaLicious churro cone filled with matcha soft serve, I told Gabby we had to head over. The cone was also topped with delicious red beans.


10 Below
Top Matcha Desserts in New York

If soft serve isn't your thing, then check out the Thai style of rolled ice cream at 10 Below. The ice cream comes with unlimited toppings. I also added crushed strawberries to the ice cream rolls as they froze the mixture. Gabby and I waited in line for this on a snowy January, but it was delicious and worth it!


Besfren
Top Matcha Desserts in New York

Just when I thought matcha soft serve couldn't get any better, Besfren makes a taro/matcha swirl. Even after indulging in Korean BBQ with my friend Christina and Sam, I couldn't resist this taro/matcha combination.

To Eat List:
Union Fare– Matcha Croissant
Bibble and Sip– Matcha Cream Puff
Spot Dessert Bar– Matcha Molten Lava Cake with Matcha Ice Cream

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