New Site!

Hello everybody! I have moved the site to a self-host site. It took a lot of work but is finally up and running. I haven’t completely migrated all the post but I have already started posting completely new post on the new site.

I would really appreciate if you subscribe to the new one . InBetweenPicutres.com 

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Thank you everybody for your support and love!

Best View of Malibu for Photography

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Where Do I Get The Best View of Malibu?

There’s no such thing as The Best spot to view Malibu. There are however, a few places to take pictures of the beautiful coast. Here are my top two.

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Pacific Coast Highway or CA State Road 1

The easiest option to see the amazing view is the California State Road 1 aka Pacific Coast Highway. You can basically drive this highway from Southern California to Northern California and visit the beautiful area of Big Sur. You are guaranteed an amazing view. I could write a whole post about this but I won’t digress.

Once you hit Malibu on the PCH, an amazing view will start emerging. Just park on the side (clearly lined with cars) and enjoy. There are no meters or time limits just don’t leave it overnight. Avoid the parking lots ($7 – $10) if you can but during high season, it may be your only choice.

My favorite part was seeing the surfers getting ready (like a creeper) and heading down to the beach where they slowly, one by one swam away.

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Pepperdine University

Your other option is to drive to the campus of Pepperdine University. They also have an amazing view (just go to their website, check it out and you will see). However, a security guard guards the campus entrance and your entry will depend greatly on him/her. BUT if you are nice enough and tell them you are there to check the campus, they will usually let you in.

Guatemala By Food

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Experience Guatemala one bite at a time

What better way to learn about a country and their culture than by their food? Learn to eat the local way and you will not be disappointed.  The typical Guatemalan food feels simple but yet very elaborated. Their chicken soup will revive anybody from hangover or the flu. Breakfast with plantain? where do I sign up? They even have their own version of KFC: Pollo Campero.

 

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Solo Traveling

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To be honest, I haven’t done much of solo traveling. I usually travel with a friend or a family member but sometimes this is not an easy thing to do. When you travel with someone, some compromises must take place and sometimes it can make or break  your trip.  Your best bet is either:

a) Find the perfect traveling partner that will be in complete sync with you  (good luck with that)

or

b) Travel solo

Finding the Perfect Traveling partner

Finding the perfect “traveling partner” is something I have been working on for quiet some time now and is still work in progress. My perfect traveling partner is someone that wants to visit the same places I want to go or gets me excited about visiting other places, willing to try any food locally, open to get lost in the city, pack and go when the moment calls, and a little love for photography wouldn’t hurt either. Basically, someone that shares the same passion for traveling and vacation time but doesn’t need to take 100 selfies in one single spot. Like I said, work in progress…

Traveling Solo

So everything comes down to option b. Why don’t you just travel solo, you may ask. Well, there are  many reasons as to why: Safety, feeling lonely, more expensive,  fear of eating alone, I can keep going but you get the point.

Safety is a legitimate reason but I will get back to this one. Fear of eating alone, as stupid as it sounds, have actually played a role on my decision making. I have actually skipped restaurants when I travel alone because it’s weird for me to eat there by myself (Unlimited Korean BBQ for one please!). I am slowly working on this  and I can eat alone in most places (except in restaurants set up for groups and/or couples, without bars, or small tables) but in my mind I feel judged if I’m sitting in a table for four all by myself unless, I have so many shopping bags it calls for it. Is it a weird fear? Is it weirder if I tell you that I’m more afraid to eat alone than for my own safety? Feeling alone is also a legitimate reason. Sometimes you may find yourself experiencing an amazing event or find something funny and immediately want to share it with someone but only to find out, you are on your own. Here is when you realize you miss your family and friends.

Let me tell you something, all this lonely feelings only last for a little while. Once you realize you are on your own, you will feel an overwhelming sensation of satisfaction. You will feel empowered like you can take on the world. You can finally eat whatever you want whenever you want. You can visit anything you want and you can take it as slow or as fast as you like. Feeling alone? Make new friends! (of course, use your good judgement) There are people like you traveling all over specially in Europe! Maybe meet locals! (again, use your good judgement) If you are a bit shy, this is the moment to step out of your comfort zone. Still feeling alone? Play some music!

How do I remedy the awkwardness  of eating alone?

SOLO TRAVELING – eating time

  • Eat street food or food trucks

Before you venture into eating any kind of street food, make sure the food is safe to eat. Always turn to locals and see if is common thing to do or if your stomach can take it.

  • Picnic

Buy a few items at the local super market and go to a park and have a mini picnic! Enjoy the view and and do some people watching while you have a economical and delicious lunch.

  • Order to Go

In many countries, this is a very normal thing to do. For example, in Scandinavia, if you order to go, you actually won’t get charge the service fee which is a very steep percentage. So you will be saving money too! or in Italy, order those Panini to go!

  • Sit in the smallest table

In many coffe places, there are small tables usually for one or two person. They are usually on the sidewalk or they are facing a window. You won’t feel awkward, trust me. There’s no space for anyone else to sit on their hobbits’ tables.

  • Get Busy

While you are not eating, you can read a book, check your schedule, evaluate the city map, or simply enjoy your coffee while you do some people watching. All these will keep your mind from thinking about the awkwardness of eating alone.

So now, let’s come back to safety.  As a female, I take extra precaution when I travel specially when doing solo traveling.

solo Traveling – Safety Tips

  • Do research – Research the are where you are staying. make sure is not some shady area and that you will feel safe
  • Blend in – Try not to look ULTRA touristy
  • Limit your night excursions or transit in very busy areas and well lit
  • Do not just spit out all your travel plans and personal information to every creeper that approaches you – How long will you be in town, Where you are from, What you do
  • If you see some creeper trying to approach you in the street, walk faster and do not make eye contact – I’m not saying every person is a creeper but be mindful
  • Do not engage with creepers when you are walking
  • Do not get wasted
  • Don’t flaunt the cash even if they are just singles
  • Be confident! – Don’t let all these deter you from traveling solo!

I found this link of the 10 Best Destination for Solo Traveling. I want to add to this article, Korea and Japan. I have traveled there many times and I have done solo traveling there too. I can attest that these two countries are some of the safes in the world. For example, in Korea you can leave your belongings on a table in a coffee shop and walk away, nobody will touch it (not a suggestion). If you passed out on the street drunk, you will wake up with your wallet still on you.

After learning to travel solo, I just simply take off. Just remember that the positive aspects outnumber the negatives! Just take the leap!

 

2015!

So where do I start? Happy New Year! – There, that’s how I start. 2014 I must say, was a wonderful year. It has its very high ups and very low downs. The Ups: I went to LA (part of my NY’s resolution), Bahamas, Guatemala, Germany, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and I basically traveled by cruise, plane, train, you name it. It was awesome! 2014 was the year I traveled the most. The downs? Health problems that almost put a damper on my travels and heart break but I’m good now and ready to roll for 2015!

Do you remember when I had a list of my 2014 New Year’s resolution? So this is how I fared:

My plan for 2014

  • Travel to Europe and California or anywhere out of the US – DID!
  • Finish several books – DID! I actually read 9 books!!
  • Take more pictures – I’m not sure if I did this but I have noticed my pictures are getting a lot lot better and I’m getting more technical about my photography so let’s just say DID!
  • Take more care of my finances – Although the travel expenses took a deep chunk out of this, managing my finances did help me sail the turbulent water of debt so DID!
  • I really want to blog more often – I’m going to give myself a DID! since I’m still writing on this blog and I managed to write more than just 1 post the entire year. I still haven’t finished posting about my trip to Scandinavia but I’m working on it.

Looks to me like a successful year!

So this is my resolution for 2015

  • Be in descent shape (as in be back to my regular weight and have some definition – that includes going to the gym! as cliche as this sound)
  • Once again to finish more than just one book
  • Travel outside and/or inside the US (Next weekend I will be going to LA and I have already plans for ICELAND! – More info coming soon on this)
  • Finish redecorating my apt – I tend to get lazy and not finish things so I made this into a resolution
  • Do a road/camping trip – I have always wanted to do this but never found anyone to sign up to the idea so this year is either to find someone or to go solo with my dog! <– She is a trooper so I might just take her with me.

What do you think?

Helsinki, Finland

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Helsinki, Finland – EUR

Technically, this was my second time in Helsinki or the airport at least. We (me and my sister) arrived at the airport after a 15 hours layover in Berlin (keep an eye peeled for that one!)

Finland has a special place in my heart. When I was in high school, we did something similar to a world expo and I was assigned Finland. I have to explain everything about Finland like for example, the capital, national animal, economy, history, currency (before they joined the EU) to every person that stop by and give them a flag as to show they have stop in Finland. It was a fun experience that has stayed with me.  It was exciting to finally experience the country I have talked so much about that day. 

I used AIRBNB to book all my stay except for Copenhagen, which we stayed in a hotel. In Helsinki, we stayed technically outside the city but closer to the airport. This wasn’t really a problem since we were really near a bus and tram stop (The Worker Class – Not a great name) . Transportation in Helsinki was very easy and tourist friendly. There are two tram line,  2 and 3 which technically takes you to all the touristy sightsee (It’s actually one but going up is one number and going down is another). We bought a day pass which allow you to take tram, bus, and subway, unlimited for 24 hours. It is the best way to roam around the city.

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Helsinki – Market Square

Our favorite area was the market. It was vibrant area filled with people, music, and foods’ aroma. We had lunch in one of the orange tend (all of them are orange) and had Salmon with potato (of course!). After walking around the market, we wandered off and walked to other areas without really paying attention where. We found many coffe places and restaurants and each of them were very unique and very inviting. Finnish people I found,  were very nice and polite despite all the stereotypes about them been very reserved and not talkative to strangers. In many occasions when I looked utterly lost, someone will ask me if I needed help. Most of them time, I did.  

Helsinki has a very strong coffee culture but not in a South American way but more like in a Starbucks way; Very popular and accessible. I wasn’t a fan of the coffe. Maybe I’m not used to Finnish coffee.

We stayed only for two days in Helsinki and on the second day we took a night cruise, Viking Cruise, to Stockholm.

Instagram and Twitter @InBetweenPics

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Lovely Coffe Shops

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All pictures were taken with Fuji X100S

Scandinavia – Update

I have abandoned this poor blog once again but I apologize. I have been going thorough many things lately including heartbreak and a “condition” that affects my whole body and state of mind at the same time. I wish I could say, “let’s not dwell in this sorrow” but I am. Hopefully everything will fall in place once again.

I haven’t done much lately but I finally have a schedule for my trip. The only thing I’m missing is to book my stay when I get to Berger, Norway and my plain ticket from Copenhagen to Helsinki to catch my flight back home. Everything is almost set. Except that I’m also missing the things I will be visiting in each city. The only thing I have for sure is Norway in Nutshell, which is a combination of method of transportations from Oslo to Berger.

I used Airbnb to book most of the places where I’m staying except for Copenhagen. This is my second time using Airbnb so hopefully it will all go well.

So this is what I have:

  • Arriving in Helsinki
  • Overnight cruise to Stockholm, Sweden
  • Train to Oslo, Norway
  • Norway in a Nutshell – Berger, Norway
  • Flight to Copenhagen
  • Flight back to Helsinki – Back to Miami

I wish I had more time to explore Norway in depth. There were so many places I want to go that I could not fit in. 4 days in Norway’s definitely not enough. I guess my next trip will be Norway and Iceland.

What do you recommend?

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California By Mouth

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It wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t show you at least a glimpse of the food after talking non-stop about it. So here is my food experience in California. Like I said before, California by mouth is the best way to experience the culture how the locals do.

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Los Angeles, CA

I apologize for I have neglected this blog. As you may know, I went to LA and I can’t describe how nostalgic it felt. The food, the people, and the places I have missed so much. I missed LA so much, It felt surreal.

I went with my boyfriend which was his first time. There were so many restaurants I wanted to revisit that there were not enough meals a day to revisit them all. We tried but my boyfriend ate so much he actually got sick.  There was so much delicious food we didn’t know where to go.

We went to San Diego for a day and walked around the city enjoying the beautiful day. We also visited the Getty Museum which is an amazing place to spend an afternoon. You can even have a mini picnic there. I have seen people bringing food and even champagne! I’m not so sure about bringing alcohol into a museum but you get the point.

I was in LA for 6 days and here’s the breakdown of my expenses:

Cost:

Car rental $245.25 Midway Rental (Highly recommended – it was near the airport and there was shuttle that took me back and forward)

Hotel $80 x 5 nights = $400 I stayed in Pasadena

Gas: $65 – From the cheapest gas station I found in San Gabriel

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