Roadtrips

Lousiana, Fast!

Adios Florida, and hello Lousiana! After leaving Florida, it kept pouring on us the whole way, As if the state itself was sad to see us go. I’m not even joking, the rain….would….not….stop! It was incredibly annoying because all my kids wanted to do was to swim. However, that was not possible (thanks mother nature)!! So you can imagine how awesome it was spending time as a family cooped up in a room… together…with our two dogs. Anyways, before making the drive from Panama City to New Orleans, we decided to stop in Alabama to grab some food. Alabama is known for their BBQ, so of course, we had to catch some of that deliciousness. We stayed at Meat Boss (which was terrific by the way). 

meatboss.com/
Their BBQ is just fantastic, and to be honest with you; I would recommend them if you’re ever in their area. Click in the link to view locations. 

I apologize for my squirrel moments, ok, so where was I? New Orleans, yes. Once again, we stayed at La Quinta Inn, and they were just amazing. The fact that we were able to stay in dog-friendly hotels was just amazing in general. Even though it was pouring, that didn’t stop us from venturing the area. Now, if you know me, or if you’ve seen my Instagram (mkanahy), you’ll see how much of a foodie I am. I love to cook, but I don’t mind being treated either. While traveling, my best friend app has been Yelp. Yelp is a website where you’re able to look up restaurants and view reviews. Anyways, so I looked up a restaurant that was not only located near Bourbon St., but Louisiana is known for their fantastic crawfish, so needless to say, I chose a seafood place. We ended up going to Oceana Grill. If you click on the link below, you can view the menu of all the delicious food they have to offer. 

www.oceanagrill.com/

The food was just fantastic!! I love seafood in general and ended up ordering their Oyster Rockefeller and the Taste of New Orleans which had a mixture of seafood and sausage.

After dinner, we decided to walk around the famous Bourbon Street! Let me say; this would make a great girls trip! I mean, have you seen the movie? Yup, it gets crazy, however, definitely not kid appropriate lol. It’s kind of like a mini Vegas, with the flashing lights, bars in every direction, insane semi-nude people everywhere. The difference is, there is no gambling around, but undoubtedly plenty of bars and strip clubs for men and women (yikes). Luckily, it was early when we were there, but the craziness was just getting started. On a Thursday lol. There is so much to do, so much to see, so much to eat, and so much to drink (literally). If you’re ever in the area, take some time off that busy schedule and head on to Bourbon Street for some crazy shenanigans! Although I would have loved to stay there an extra day, we were anxious to head on to our next adventure the following day to Texas. 

Roadtrips

Panama City

So in August, my family and I  moved from Florida to Arizona. It was the longest yet shortest week ever (if that makes sense). Let me rewind the story a bit. My husband received new orders to move to a new state in a matter of weeks… literally four weeks to be exact. In those four short weeks, I had to leave my job; I was able to finish school. And well, I had to start sorting things out before the big move. Let me start off by saying, you have no idea how much shit you have until you move (like LITERALLY). Like I’m not even joking, it was the longest yet shortest weeks of my life. To gather all that you have built, bought, cherished, and all those memories you’ve made the past three years to all of a sudden move (again, because I should be used to it, right? wrong). Luckily, kids were still on their summer break, so it wasn’t that bad, but with the pregnancy and work it was a little stressful for me. Anyways, so we threw stuff away, painted our old house, fixed the house, and eventually, movers came and took all of our stuff. THE END. Just kidding, so I left my job, and I will not lie, I kind of miss it. Not the work itself, but I miss my regular customers and of course the people I used to work with. I did not cry after leaving Florida, for I was ready to pack and go. I was prepared for a change, I mean, aren’t we all? 

Our road trip was a blessing and a curse together. Our first stop consisted of spending the night in Panama City which is about six hours away from Tampa (not too shabby). So wait, wait…. before I continue with this post OMG!!!!! do not ever stay at this place.
www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g34542-d275390-Reviews-American_Quality_Lodge_Panama_City-Panama_City_Florida.html

Holy Mother of Pearl!!!!!! Ok, so my “lovely husband”, decided to stick to a “low” budget hotel, etc. Well, who wants to spend like $200 just for one night? Exactly, so without a doubt and without looking at the reviews (totally my fault) I agreed. I said, “if it’s cheap and decent, why not.” Well, he probably heard the word cheap because JESUS, TAKE THE WHEEL. He took us to the streets, not even joking. And before anyone jumps on me, I’m talking about druggies outside, non-smoking rooms smelling like complete SMOKE, roaches all over the wall, and people drinking in and out of rooms like a complete mess. So, Of course, I was pissed, not the way I wanted to start my road trip but it happened, we are human people, mistakes do happen. After a five minute talk, we both agreed on requesting a refund and getting the hell out of there ASAP. Did I mention it was pouring cats and dogs? Well, it was horrible outside. So I spoke to the manager, and I was furious because she gave me the look of “I’m used to people bitch about the rooms but unfortunately, no refunds.” Like are you kidding me, lady? No worries, keep the money and off we went to another hotel. Keep in mind we are traveling with two kiddos, and two dogs. Yes, had to take my furbabies with me. After receiving a warm welcoming at La Quinta Inns & Suites, I was able to sleep like a baby. That was just day one guys, day one!!!! Did I mention how bad it was pouring outside? 

Last but not least, before the night ended, we stopped to grab a bite after all that chaos. My husband chose to eat at a Mexican restaurant which was… okay… I mean, their beans were great, but I don’t recall the place we went. After we got home, I washed clothes at the hotel (the chores never end, not even when you’re on vacation) and called it a night. It was the longest….day….ever… Check out my dogs; also they were like WTF???!!!

Roadtrips

Living La Vida in Florida

While living in Tampa, Florida, I now realize there was so much to do and see. From beaches to parks, you name it. This past summer, my mom and sister were visiting from Southern California (which was a blast by the way). The first thing they asked me when I saw them, “what are we doing tomorrow? What’s there to do in Tampa? where are the hot spots?” Then I realized that I didn’t know much about my surroundings. So yes, if you ask me what’s there to do in Tampa, I will reply with a brief answer like, uh… the beach? Wrong. This beautiful city has a lot to offer. I felt terrible because I had to work, I couldn’t take many days off, but I figured I would try my best.  I don’t mind theme parks, but my mom and sister are not big fans of it (especially since it’s expensive), so I figured I tried my best to make their vacation memorable. If you enjoy shopping, well so do I, however, not always in a mall. We decided to drive to Sunshine Thrift Store which is in South Tampa, and they still have good deals. This time I didn’t see people fighting over items lol. Let me tell you that you can find pretty good deals at the local thrift shop here. The next couple of days went by so fast! I let her borrow my car to take my sister out, but I’m glad I did since I had to work. Other must-see places they visited were; Clearwater Beach, walked around Downtown Tampa (through the Riverwalk), and we went out to Ybor City. If you’re ever in Tampa and want to go out bar hopping or to clubs, try visiting South Howard aka SoHo where you will be around ‘lots of college kids, but they have plenty of bars. Ybor City has a lot to offer as well, as it’s a whole strip of clubs, bars, restaurants, movies, tattoo shops, omg you name it! SO MUCH TO DO IN YBOR through the day, but mainly at night. If you’re a person that loves the beach and you just can’t get enough of it, here are some of my favorite beaches so far;. Treasure Island, Fort De Soto, Clearwater Beach (if you don’t mind a crowded beach), and if you’re up for a drive, try Ana Maria Island, Panama City Beach., and last but not least, South Beach in Miami 🙂

During the month of January, they have something called Gasparilla Parade (for both children and adults on different dates). I’ve experienced it on 3 different occasions and it has been a blast! To learn more about it, click on the link below.


www.813area.com/travel/gasparilla-history-why-we-celebrate.html

If you’re up for theme parks, in Tampa they have Busch Gardens (which isn’t too bad if you’re not a fan of big crowds) and Adventure Island (water park) that’s right across from the park. Orlando is about an hour and thirty minutes from Tampa. Therefore, you have Disneyworld (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studio’s, and the Animal Kingdom). Other parks around the area; Universal Studios, Sea World, Legoland, Fun Spot America, Gatorland, among others. So much to do in Orlando, if you have the money for it. Summertime here in Tampa tends to be super humid and of course HOT! My family and I used to drive up to the beach, fish, go out to the movies, go out to eat to different places. I mean it when I say it, there’s so much to do. It’s a beautiful part of Florida, and if you ever get bored in the area, my advice to you is to drive to different places. While my mom was here, I also decided to take them to Miami. We had such a great time in South Beach. We walked around, ate like there was no tomorrow, enjoyed the beach, and even took a peek where celebrities live. Miami is roughly about 4 1/2 hours away from Tampa. The drive isn’t bad. However, Miami’s traffic is horrible and super expensive. Worth visiting the area if you plan to attend the state of Florida in general. 

New Years

New Year, New You?

Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019!



It’s a new year, which means it’s a fresh new start for some of us. Let’s talk new years resolution. Did you actually sit down this year to write about the changes you want to see? Or maybe you told yourself you want to travel more? Perhaps you don’t want to overwhelm yourself with all these bright ideas I have to offer, but it might get your thinking cap back on.

1.Budgeting: We often tell ourselves we don’t have money for certain things we want to buy. However, don’t tell yourself you can’t afford it. For every paycheck, you receive, set aside a decent amount for the item you wish to purchase. It might be a purse you have been eyeing for months or a pair of shoes, maybe that cute outfit you’ve seen online. Start budgeting, and start small, I promise it will make a difference with your spending habits.

2. Traveling: This is one of my favorites because we always tell ourselves, “I don’t have money to travel, or there’s nowhere to go.” Well, if you think that way, you’re never going to leave your comfort zone. Think about the area you live in. Do you live in the desert? Perhaps going to rivers, lakes, even renting quads to drive around the sand dunes. Of course, if there is a beach around your area, reserve a hotel for the weekend and enjoy some time needed with friends or family. You can always plan to travel to other countries or states you’ve never been to. Just make sure you make plans and put money aside for the trip.

3. Health: How often do you tell yourself you want to lose weight? Is it a constant yo-yo diet? How would you feel by keeping those couple pounds off not just for the year, but forever? If you find yourself trying hard crash diets, I recommend hiring a personal trainer, or try Beachbody, or even weight watchers? You’ll sure save a big chunk of money doing this yourself, but, will you stay committed to the plan? Not only do you want to look good in the outside, but you want to feel good in the inside as well.

4. Learn a new skill or hobby: Getting out of your comfort zone is very important. We are often scared of trying new things, or even the thought of the word “trying something new.” Ever done Kayaking? How about painting? There are many things out there that we can find relaxing. It’s just a matter of trying different things to find a new skill or hobby we probably never knew about.  Don’t be afraid and give it a try. Remember, you won’t be the first or last to burn a cookie if you find baking is one of your hobbies.

5. New job: Perhaps you’ve been in the same company for years, and have yet to see a difference in a pay increase, or maybe you’re career shifted in a different direction. Don’t be afraid to open that old resume you have saved in your laptop. Update your resume with your latest skills, and workplaces. Ask yourself if you’re happy in your current workplace and look online for a new job. Sure it might pay the bills, but you want to follow your passion and not your paycheck.

6. Quit Alcohol/Smoking: Exactly how much do you spend on alcohol or cigarettes a week? If you think about it, it adds up and comes in handy with budgeting. Think about how much money you would be saving if you didn’t purchase it? Be honest with yourself, when drinking, what good does it do? Makes you forget about problems for a couple of hours, but it still comes back. Alcohol and cigarettes are temporary, remember you can always seek help if needed. For the new year, try cutting that toxicity out of your life. Besides, no one likes kissing someone with cigarette breath.

7.Procrastinating: Sounds familiar? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one that does it. However, planning out and listing goals for the day usually helps to stay on track. Have a deadline coming up at school? Or reaching a goal at work? Break that big goal into pieces every day. Believe me, not only will it a huge weight off your shoulders, but you’ll be stress-free knowing you’re taking your time doing it right than wrong.

8.Volunteer: Ever wanted to feel good about yourself by giving back to your community? you can find volunteer opportunities anywhere you go, including in your local church. Or you can also volunteer at your local community food bank to prepare dishes for people in need. Believe me, a couple hours of volunteering makes a difference.

9. Play more: Everyone’s always busy with work or school, even both. Take some time during the weekend to go out and do some of the things you enjoy doing. Are you a huge baseball fan? Purchase nosebleeds tickets and invite one of your friends to the game. Remember that with the chaos you run around all week, you should always make time for yourself.

10. Spend more time with family/friends: How often do your family members or friends ask for your presence whether it’s for a holiday or to just hang out? Remember to always make time for them. We often get carried away with our responsibilities at home but make an effort once in a while to give your family members a call or pay them a visit. Not only does it bring you guys together, but it makes a difference to catch up on each other’s everyday life. 

Christmas

Christmas Traditions

Can I start off by saying how fast this year went by? Whoever was prepared for Christmas this year and got their shopping done early, well, God bless their soul. But if you’re a procrastinator like me, well high five! This month has been a busy one for all of us. From celebrating two birthdays, and countless days and nights of being sick, the truth is, I’m over this month. Christmas is one of my favorite holidays, and what better way to celebrate it other than being close to family members, right? This Christmas I felt super exhausted the night of Christmas Eve. Between a baby and being sick, I was done by 8 o’clock at night. My mom ended up cooking since she decided to host this year. I’m so glad she did because she’s a great cook. This year her menu consisted of tamales, pozole, turkey legs, mashed potatoes, mushrooms, and hot chocolate — pure deliciousness under one roof. Because we move every three years, our tradition of cooking on Christmas Eve still stands. This year my husband had to work the day before. Therefore, my mom ended up cooking a buffet for all of us to enjoy. Boys had a blast; we had fun as we conversed with other ‘adults.’ Since we celebrated that day with my mom, we decided to cook a feast on Christmas Day. This year we had a couple of people over and had pernil, Arroz con gandules, pozole de Pollo, tamales, and my favorite, coquito! 

There are a few things we do in the household aside from cooking on Christmas. Couple of traditions we do with the kids is the Elf on the Shelf. For those who have never heard about it, the elf “moves” around the household every day and is in charge of watching the children see how they behave that day. The Elf then goes back to the North Pole at night and reports to Santa Claus on whether the children were naughty or nice. He then comes back the next day and shows up in a different spot in the house. Might sound silly, but it’s a great way to keep the Christmas spirit around the kids and prevents them from misbehaving. We purchased it off of Amazon, just click on elf on the shelf to take you to the link. 

Elf on the Shelf

We have been using Morrisson (the elf), and the Jimmy (the reindeer) for a few years now, and my boys get ecstatic when they visit them every Christmas.

A significant tradition in the house we follow every Christmas is my husband dressing up as Santa Claus. The secret is out, glad my kids don’t follow my blog. Every year he dresses up and I just so happen to have a secret camera that catches him every time he drops by on Christmas Day. My kids are getting older, not sure how long we can keep doing this. But, it’s an excellent way for them to remember the things we used to do for them to share it with their children in the future. It’s exciting to see their little faces light up the next day as they look at the pictures of Santa dropping off presents or seeing him in their rooms.

Last and not least, a tradition we have in the household is to take at least one family picture before Christmas. We don’t have to match for the picture, but I want to be able to have pictures of my children every year for every Christmas we spend together. Call me crazy, but I like printing them out and compare and see how much they have grown. Little things like a family picture make a difference. I want my boys to grow up knowing that on special holidays like Christmas, it’s not always about presents, but spending time as a family with traditions to follow. They know the real reason behind Christmas, which is the birth of Jesus. But like most families, we enjoy celebrating Santa Claus as well.

What are some traditions you follow on Christmas with your family? And do you think they are important? Drop a comment below.

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