Our MSC Adventure: Day 1

Hello hello hello! Remember watching a cute little video the other day about Our MSC Adventure (a preview!)

Now I come to you with Day 1:

What’s better than 1 traveler? 2?

But because this is a blog and not the YouTube, I’m here to give you some details of our adventure. If you didn’t want to watch the video, just read along and look at the pretty pictures instead.

And as I was typing this all out… I realize I don’t have many pics, so really, just enjoy the video.

Arrival

The SuperShuttle came to pick us up, bright and early (not bright, but definitely early) at 5:15am. Apparently, the van came early and just parked outside our house since 4:45am and took a quick cat nap. We picked up three more groups of passengers before we made out way to Dulles International Airport (IAD).

We decided to sign up for Clear. Which, I just now remembered I should probably delete my account so that I’m not charged their yearly subscription fee. Quick, easy, and painless. We scanned our fingerprints and off we went.

Boarding and Embarkation:

We didn’t wait long in the terminal before we got on the plane. Fortunately, the flight was a little delayed. We got an early flight (money saver), and were concerned we would wait hours before we would be able to check in for our cruise. Not only was the flight delayed, the Lyft took forever to pick us up once we landed and there was mild traffic.

Luckily, we were able to check in and board upon arrival, even though we were two hours early.

The boat is smaller that what I’ve been used to, but it was Priscilla’s first time, so she did not have anything to compare it to. We had checked in our luggage, so it was brought up directly to our rooms during the safety procedure.

Safety Procedure:

Which was fine, honestly. 10 minutes on how to put on your life jacket and where to meet up if there’s an emergency, such as if the ship ran into an iceberg or capsized in a hurricane. Awesome, right?

The Lost Luggage:

But when we got back to the room… my luggage still was not there. So between rushing up and down to try to track down my luggage, I was getting mega-annoyed. Truly, called countless times, went to customer service, went to confiscated and tagged bags. No where to be seen. They finally located my luggage. They pulled it aside because there was a hot comb in it.

… Yeah. A hot comb. Y’all ain’t ever seen a hot comb before? Truly? …

Dinner:

Luckily, that fiasco was handled in time for dinner. When it comes to food, “When you keep your expectations low, you will be pleasantly surprised.” And I strongly feel that way about cruise food too. We’re only paying so much and the food is cooked in batch. The food was good, but when you’re catering to thousands of people, only so much can be done.

Bay Scallop Ceviche: It was good! I wish there was more spice and salt to it, but the small scallops were soft–as were the plantain chips (due to the fact they were soaking in the juices for a lil bit).

Pan-Seared Salmon: I mean… I’m a salmon snob because my mom and I make amazing salmon. But it was good. The rice (which Priscilla described as “right out of the Uncle Ben’s rice bag”) and green beans were bland, but the whole experience was tied together with the butter sauce. Surprisingly better than expected.

Lamb Chops: Homegirl was smart and good the lamb chops. Tender, crusted, and crisp. What more can you ask for?

Catalan Canard Creme: Pretty much a creme brulee that has not been caramelized. How sad.

Snickers Cake: The non-cake parts were the only things eaten, but hey, that part was still good.

The Show:

The saddest part was that there wasn’t any bar service in the theater. There was only theater that holds about 550 people at a time, much makes sense considering the boat only holds about 2000 people.

The theater was empty pretty early on, but got full closer to the show time. I’m so used to showing up 30-40 minutes earlier to grab a good seat in the larger ships I’ve been to.

It was 80’s and the show was pretty good. I thought one of the singers was an actual recording. The dancing was good–I wish it was more rock and roll though.

Because MSC is more of an international cruise, every announcement was said in multiple languages. The theater show was also partly in Spanish for Spanish songs from the 80’s.

The show was very sexual. One girl was really on the floor, flashing her ass and touching herself. Sir, this is a family show?

The After Party:

Grabbed a corner couch section, grabbed a drink, and just enjoyed the game show and the dancing. Not much here to add. I love larger ships because it seems as if there’s always a greater turnout, but if only ~5% of people show up to these non-theater events, on a boat of 2000, at most 100 people show up. But on a boat of 6000, you’ll get 300. Life is what you make of it, and we were determined to have fun on this ship.

Pizza:

And as my cruise traditions go… I always end each of my nights with some pizza. No complaints here. Pizza could be better, but pizza could be worse. At midnight when you’re coming down from drinking, it really takes a lot for pizza to not taste great.

Stay tuned for the future updates! Next will be Day 2, another sea day. As the posts progress, there will be less about the mundane issues, so they will get shorter and shorter. I wish I could promise more pictures, but let me not make a promise I cannot keep.

A Session with @Goode_Visions

I’m not going to lie, when I first received Bryanna’s message, I was part excited and part nervous. Part of me was thinking, “Wow this is definitely how people get trafficked or tricked into nude posing,” because we all know that one person who accepted a photographer’s invite and then his/her nudes end up online (or we’ve all watched and read Young Adult novels where it happened).

But the more optimistic part of me was thinking, “Wow, has my content really reached out to people? This will be great!” So I stalked her Instagram and I was in love with her portrait shots. I’ve seen so many black and brown people photographed by “photographers” where the edits come out looking ashy and dull. Of course, there’s a time and place where that’s the aesthetic, but it should never be at the expense of the model or his/her skin tone. We’ve all seen those “photographers” throw a filter on the picture, add some blue shadows, lower the saturation, and claim that this is the best edit of the picture. While this might work for some skin/under tones, it does not work with all. Meanwhile, the model looks washed out, sickly, and it’s just not the most flattering.

Bryanna was able to capture these portraits and really make the models come to life. Each of her pictures had different edits, based on the model, and that is the craft of a photographer. Check out a still of her IG:

But what do I know? I just blog and take pics on my iPhone with help of natural lighting. I brighten up my pics, sometimes turn saturation up, and call it a day.

Back to the point… because this girl sent me a DM and because I’m a sucker for an adventure, I said yes. We chatted a bit to get to know each other and figure out our schedules before we exchanged numbers to set up a date.

Not going to lie, when the date came around, I sat around my house, and prayed that she would reschedule. I even did the thing that I do, “Hey! Are you still up for later?” Not sure why I do it, nobody ever cancels. After a brief pep talk and a much needed full skincare routine, I finally started getting ready. The whole drive there, I was pumping myself up. Honestly, I was chuckling a little because I have no idea how to pose. At all. You might scroll through my ‘Gram and think otherwise, but scroll through my Photos and ask any of my friends… I cannot pose. I honestly felt so sorry for Bryanna, thinking, “Wow, she’s really going to look at me sideways when I just serve her my face and nothing else.”

it was a cute serve

So, we’re finally in Baltimore, and we finally meet up. We meet in Fells Point, by the water. I used to live in Fells for 3-4 months of my life (let’s not necessarily relive those months). I even texted my old roommate that I was literally outside of our apartment.

I meet her at Pitango, a cute little bakery and my favorite spot to get a Matcha Latte.

I took my mother once so we can soak up the water front views while sipping our lattes. We took some photos there before we both looked at each other, “So now what?” We had planned on going to Rawlings because it’s a garden (hence my choice in outfit, shirt courtesy of my amazing and generous little sister), but we found out that it closed at 4pm. We met up at 5pm. HAHA. The math did not add up. We got our little cardio in by walking around Fells, allowing Bryanna to use her good(e) vision (haha, see what I did there?) to pick out some places to snap some pics.

I really was worried about my posing (or lack thereof). I explained to her my, er, inexperience and she did not laugh at me. Not that I was expecting her to laugh at me, but I was expecting some sort of internalized eye roll. None of that. No judgments. Just all laughs and smiles. She was giving me pointers on how to sit, how to position to head, how to position my feet and my body. I felt like a toddler with two left feet trying to position myself. While these photos may not look like much posing, it beats the slumped shoulders and bad body angles I’m used to. Seriously, scroll through my photos, for every 14375 photos, there is one good one. With Bryanna, she snapped a couple and boom, magic. But hey, this is all about growth! So next session, I’m coming with better poses.

My sole contribution was suggesting going to Bond Street because it was a bit more “modern” than the rest of historic Fells.

After about an hour, we wrapped things up and went our separate ways, where I then met up with two friends at Chilango’s, a new tequila bar that opened up across my old apartment. I swear… if I had still lived in Baltimore, that would have been MY SPOT!!! But this post is about my time with @goode_visions, so check back later for a brief post on Chilango’s.

It was a quick turnaround time from shoot to receiving the pictures (shot on Friday, received on Monday). I had checked them out while vacationing in Jamaica, and I couldn’t stop gushing about them. They were way too adorable. I’m glad I got to share them with you! I hope you check her out :).

Until next time!

Our MSC Adventure: A Video Series

And I’m back! Pretty quick turnaround from my last post, eh? For those of y’all who follow me on the ‘Gram, you’ll see I was out living my vacation life. I’m still living it, except now I’m sick. Aweessoommeeee.

But, I wanted to give you guys a preview of my week aboard the MSC Armonia. Somehow, I fit hours of video footage from a week of non-stop action into a 3 and a half minute long video.

Adventure time!

Check back often as I post the longer day-by-day adventures so you can live and re-live some of our favorite memories.

Post Bar Relaxation, Pisco y Nazca, and a Donut

I’m trying out different post titles instead of just saying the restaurant name. Let me know how you like it.

It has been 2 weeks. 2 weeks. TWO WEEKS. Two weeks since I took the dreaded bar exam. And I really haven’t blessed y’all with a post in… a minute, actually. So I hope y’all are ready for this one.

Yes, let’s start this blog post off with a picture of me, because why not. Let’s do it. Also! I just saw this all blown up and portrait mode is a trip. I feel as if I photoshopped myself into this.

Let’s start with my life updates: the bar is over and now I have time to go to the bars. Friends are cool and all. Guys are there. Speaking of guys. Def saw this guy who halfway through hanging, told me he was in an open relationship. Just like that. Definitely was in some sort of shock, but I’m very over it now. I’m looking for a sugar daddy–I’m kidding. I’m broke. But I’m not kidding. But I am. Y’all know how much WORK you have to put into it? It’s a whole lifestyle. Anddd, I’m going on vacation on Monday! For a whole ass week. Hope y’all are connected with me on the ‘Gram, so that y’all can see my vacation stories (and pics) before they hit the blog.

Yeah, that’s it, really. But I know you aren’t here to read my life. If we’re being honest, you’re not even here to read about the food. You just want to see the pictures! So really, who am I to deny you this luxury?

Passsssssionfrooooooot

So without further ado…

We have Pisco y Nazca. I have decided this is my favorite, favorite brunch place in D.C. I need to go back for happy hour, lunch, and dinner, to let you know if it’s an all around good place. But this really is top 5 brunch places I’ve been to. If not even top 3.

Ah, yes, another picture of me. On my own blog. Look at that.

And we have a donut from District Doughnuts. Top 5 donuts too. Shoutout to DC for making cool stuff.

Pisco y Nazca (translates to: The enjoyment of libations in a social setting).

And honestly, that it was. Good food. Good drinks. Good people. Good atmosphere. What more does one need? Good prices! And you’ll find that here too.

Doing this whole two birds one stone. Watch here, and I get a Tube view. That’s how it works, right? Ugh, send help.

I think here is where I say I don’t own copyrights to this song. It is not my song. It’s an instrumental version of “No Promises” with Demi Lovato by Cheat Codes. I got it from this Youtube dude. Hello, the lawyers reading this, can y’all help me out? Thanks!

So, I think I’m getting better at the videos, right? Right? Please tell me yes. Kidding, if it’s bad, let me know. And I’m trying the Youtube thing. That’s what all the kids are doing. But serious question: should I start doing voice overs? Should I start talking? Will y’all enjoy my voice as much as I hate hearing my own voice on video (but who doesn’t though)?

Prices. $30 for a 3 course brunch. $18 for bottomless mimosas and sangria. The food ranges from $10-$30, and the starters are pretty filling. I was actually full off of mine. I took my second course to go. And I had the third course (dessert, yes!) as I got hungrier.

I mean, I should have posted the first interior pic here, but… Too late now.

And the interior. I was in love. Perfectly modern without being obnoxious

And oh, Lord, did I down those amazingggg passion fruit mimosas. I could drink it all day. And I wanted to also, but might have actually died, but I would have been happy and dressed in a cute outfit. I don’t recommend the sangrias. We personally did not have them, but the nice people sitting next to us (shout out to y’all!) let us try them and… The red sangria was too sweet and the white sangria was very peach liquor-y. If that’s your jam, go right on ahead.

The tostones were perfectly crispy and the meat on top was, *chef’s kiss.* It really was so overwhelming with how much meat there was, so I ended up picking at the meat and then eating the tostones with less meat on it.

The sandwich was very good, especially with the sauce. But man, there was so much bread. I do not like ciabattas. I don’t. I’m sorry. I can do without it. But this was a huge ciabatta! The meat inside was amazing though. Yes, I ate it at night whilst I was sobering up, but it was still so good.

Listen, I am not a French Toast fan, but I swear this is one of the best ones I have ever had in my life. Perfectly crisp on the outside and extremely fluffy and melt-in-your-mouth–I just caught myself drooling at the thought of it!

The cheesecake was different because it incorporated rice (like rice pudding!) Still delicious and creamy. But I really think the French Toast took the win of the day.

And I guess my friends ate food too, but, I was already mimosas in and didn’t want to get up and take pics so… enjoy these subpar pictures. I’m sorry.

A Donut (or is it doughnut?)

Ya, at this point, I was lucky to even remember I wanted some pics, let alone pics of a donut. Is there anyway to put a poll? Doughnut v donut?

Thank you, District Doughnuts for the donut. I didn’t take pics of the donuts. I was a good handful of strong mimosas in. And a lil winded, honestly. I walked in. They were nice. I got a donut. I took a picture with said donut. But you can enjoy the photo progression of trying to post with the donut. If you were curious, the donut was key lime and it was oh soooo good.

Oh, you caught the outfit change? Well, yes, I ended up going into a store and changing my outfits. Might as well cop some pics for the ‘Gram, right?

All in all, it was a great Saturday. Perfect weather. Semi-perfect humans. And amazing food. Seriously. Here’s to good vibes to finish 2019 strong.

Barre x Brunch: [Solidcore] x Agua301

So I’m back at it. Taking a break from the bar exam to go do some barre only to go to a bar after that. Say that 5 times fast, everybody will be confused as to what you’re referring to. But don’t say it 5 times fast. Please.

[solidcore]: you love it or hate it. i love it. they hate it.

I’m trying a new thing, where I’m working out just to eat all my calories plus some right after, with my friends. I’m also trying this video thing again. Let me know what I should do (or not do, L O L). I was thinking whether or not I should add voice overs or have more of me talking. Or just scrap the whole video thing all together. But hey, enjoy the video. It turned out way better than I had wanted it to, #smallvictories.

Kinda cool, right? Oh, you didn’t watch it all? That’s fine. I think here is where I add I don’t own any rights to the song. It’s “Stars” by Marshmello. This isn’t for commercial gain. Just for the shits and the giggles.

But we all know what comes next: pics of food! But, to set the background for y’all… We went to [solidcore], a cute hardcore studio where it’s pilates reformer (using a machine) but on crack. Possibly one of the most effective core workouts I’ve ever done. Also, the biggest drain on my bank account. Yikes. Worth it? Yes. Honestly, I haven’t done it in 2 weeks and I know I’m going to cry because I missed a week. I wish I had before and afters for you. It was so fun to get my friends to come out and do it with me. I love working out with people, keeps me a little more accountable.

After, we yondered over to Navy Yard to get some food. I love to try out new restaurants, but I must admit, choosing a new restaurant for an event is a bold choice and it could have gone terribly wrong. We went to Agua301, a modern Mexican restaurant that faces the Potomac River in DC. The reviews were a bit mixed, but the consensus was: good food, bad service. I can live with that, as long as my alcohol cup keeps getting full.

I personally had 2 critiques: once you chose a bottomless drink, you were stuck with the drink instead of mixing and matching. I’d have preferred the mix-n-match, but beggars can’t be choosers. Also, as evidenced from above, my plate was the only one that didn’t photograph well. Albeit, a small thing, but, the whole point of this blog is to take pics of food to justify spending money on food. I enjoyed everything else and my friends didn’t seem to complain about the food either (they complained about the service, obvi). The food was GOOD though. Good taste. Good price. Would absolutely go back. But I definitely think I’m getting the crab cake benedict next because… you see how delicious that looks?!

People started trickling out and it was just me and the homie, Priscilla. Shoutout to friendship since Aug 2008.

we love girls who can pose. i, unfortunately, cannot.

We tried starting an IG page for brunch. Not a flop, per se, just trying to manage that, my own IG, and this blog is a lot. If only Priscilla could pull her weight *cough cough.* We tried to take pics (well, I tried and she succeeded) and then we went to Georgetown to eat all the ice cream at The Dough Jar. Why this cookie dough trend is a thing, no idea, but I am here for it.

So, au revoir, mes amis. Until next time. Studying for the bar exam is a TRIP. But almost there. When I do another public Barre x Brunch event, I have no idea, but I’m excited for it. But until then, stay cool. And of course, enjoy this picture of me.

model status. got my ‘fit from fabletics.

Bottomless Mims & Rooftop Reds: A Sh*tty Video Journey

Yes. You read that correctly. A shitty video journey. As in I tried to make a video by myself (my free subscription expired and if I don’t decide to pursue videomaking… well I didn’t want to pay for it) and the video, sucked. You can even say that the video is shitty. Trust me, you can see for yourself later. But hey, here’s a picture of the interior of Boqueria. Tres chic, oui?

Can my basement bar look like this?

Tres cool, non? Parlez-vous francais? Non? Ok. Back to me. What had happened with the video was… I forgot to take pictures. And videos. I forget I can just take a million and filter through them, instead of 5 and making them work for EVERYTHING. So, I apologize in advance for my “pictures.” It’s been stressful, y’all. If you cut me some slack, I PROMISE I’ll update more frequently. Pinky promise. I think this is the first promise I made, right?

Good food, shitty video. Welp.

Studying for the bar exam and job searching… and boy and friend issues? Whew. Alexa, play “Jesus, take the wheel.” Anyways. You’re not here to read about my life (I mean, you are, but who wants to read a sob story about my life? You? Oh, ok. Later.) But let’s be real, you want to look at subpar pics of food. And who am I to deny you such simple pleasures?

Did you watch the video… Hahaha. Haha. Ha. Yeah. I’ma work on it. Let’s break it down.

Boqueria:

4 tapas, 2 brunch plates or a paella, 1 dessert, unlimited brunch drinks. Yeah, sis, we talking about mimosas and red, white, and rose sangria. Uh, don’t try the white one. Please. Abeg. Don’t. It tasted like banana liquor. I just- Please don’t. I mean, maybe you’ll like it. Or maybe I had a bad batch. But… I can still taste it *frowny face.* But the mimosas were superior. But if you are looking for a good bottomless sangria place… I got you covered. Check out for my La Tasca post.

So our four tapas–
1) Albodingas: Lamb meatballs and goat cheese? You honestly can NEVER go wrong.
2) Pan con Tomate con Jamon: I don’t normally like bread, but man this bread slapped.

3) Pimientos de Padron: Haven’t had shishito peppers before. Would have switched it out for the meatballs, but my body needed some greens.
4) Tortilla Espanola: No. The garlic aioli was good though.

The Paella– thick, just how I like it :). Except could have done without the over medium eggs on top. But we were so full by the time it came out, we snacked on it. It made a great post-brunch-hangover snack though. The chicken and pork belly were just… *chefs kiss*

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The Dessert– OK I AM SORRY NO PHOTO AVAILABLE. I totally blanked. This is hard. How do real food bloggers do this? It was a sundae with churros and a sparkler. It was real cute. But. I forgot. So we’re just going to move on real quick.

Brooklyn Reds:

So first off, the hike to Brooklyn Navy Yard was not fun. The guard asked us if we had a barcode to get in. She must have taken pity on us because she let us in anyways. We had to walk around to find a weird lil building, go up a couple flights of stairs, and then we finally got to the top. Perfect weather, beautiful views, not even pictures. So enjoy one of me, say cheese.

Brooklyn Reds brews all of their wines on their rooftop. Let me just say, overpriced wines if you’re drinking it on the rooftop. Literally double. NY really is trying to get your money in any way possible. They have a hammock: I fell off. Swingy chairs: got a cute IG pic. Cornhole: my 4 years of training at a southern school went down the drain. All in all, would do it again*

*ask for tips though because those prices weren’t it, sorry not sorry.

So take away tips… More videos. More pics. Better quality. Less drunk? Thanks for checking in!

One Year Anniversary: The Sun Dial

Can you believe y’all have been on this journey with me for the past year? Through the ups and the downs… Climbing up and down the coast, and even going over seas. And yes, the disappointment of me not posting as often as I should.

viewssss

BUT! I’m reinvigorated and I am here for y’all. Work (read: slavery trial) has been a little rough and I am in the process of signing up for the Bar exam. I even took the MPRE (multi-state professional responsibility exam… y’all know lawyers have ethics?? WILDT!). And to celebrate a couple of months of hard-work, I took a trip to Hotlanta to see one of my bestest friends. Yes, you can have more than one. And yes, I will fight you over my grammar usage.

Since brunch is my ~aesthestic~ and my friends know my oh so well, homegirl knew we HAD to brunch. AND we went to a cute place, The Sun Dial, with overpriced basic cocktails and food. $13 for a sticky bun? I didn’t buy it. But we were ~232 meters (if I remember correctly) off the ground in one of the tallest buildings in the southeast. This is what our waiter told me. No, I did not fact check.

They started the table off with 2 muffins: banana nut and chocolate. Uh. Chocolate wasn’t great but the banana nut was pretty good. Could have had a little but more moisture, but the butter (which my friend thought was ICE CREAM!!! I really should have let her eaten it omg) helped with the moisture. Could have done without the muffins, but since I wasn’t going to buy a $13 sticky bun, the muffins worked.

The water was nice too. I’m only saying this because they charged $1 for the water automatically, so I feel the need to comment on the water quality. But the peach iced tea (not mine, but my friend’s) was good too. Now, it would have been bomb with some champagne… or tequila… but at $18 a cocktail? Like a basic basic cocktail? Like a moscow mule but with peach or whatever? And not even at a cocktail bar to get fancy drinks? Y’all got my lack-of-income ass really confused. But anyways. Enough of my complaints, you’re here to read about food!

Remember when I said I was going to try to incorporate videos? Wellllllll, here you go. Somebody please PLEASE remind me to start taking my videos horizontal because vertical is not the move honestly. Don’t hate me. But uhm, look at the food??? Delicious??? Non??? By the way, I got the Surf and Turf Burger, cooked medium rare (which, was definitely more rare than medium, but alas).

These videos WILL get better, once I have more time whilst I study for the Bar exam (yes, you did read that correctly). They will also get better once I upgrade this site plan AGAIN to incorporate legit videos. Until then, you’re stuck with me, kid.

Ok ok ok, let’s just look at the burger definition… again. My goodness gracious. The cheese over the lobster, sitting over some sirloin beef burger? And crispy parmesan fries? *mouth watering* My friend ate the bun and she said the bun wasn’t the best, so I’m glad I skipped that part, even though I rarely ever eat the bun. 2 reasons: 1) I have a personal vendetta against burger buns and 2) I’m actually gluten intolerant and if I’m going to f- around my intestines, trust me when I tell you it’s NOT going to be over a burger bun.

As per ushe, I didn’t finish my food (this is why my friends hate taking me anywhere), so it’s packed up, waiting to be eaten as I waste my time away at the airport. My dumb ass thought taking a 9:30 flight would be the move. Well, it wasn’t.

I’m looking forward to 2019. It’s been good so far, and I can’t wait to keep you guys updated here on out :).