Thank u, Breck

Since this is my first post since 2018 – HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Last year was amazing and I am so excited for a whole new spring, summer, & fall to adventure throughout. Winter however, I need a little more push to enjoy.

& no one pushes me like my two best friends. Particularly the one that never fails to beg me to move half way across the country with her.

So on the 10th day of 2019 I flew to Denver – again.

I have been there 3 times in the past 6 months so I guess I can officially add a 📍 to my Instagram profile with Denver next to it… right?

Probably not because I genuinely could not live there. Too cold. I sleep with a heated blanket IN MIAMI. EVERY.NIGHT.

So you can imagine how uneasy I was about coming to my third 📍 while the temperatures were approaching low 30s… OKAY Well now imagine that our plan was to spend two days/one night in the mountains – skiing &, you know, fighting death and frostbite for fUuUun…

You guys know I’m outdoorsy – but when its cold, I am pathetically IN-doorsy; but my Denver people are all killer snowboarders and Mitzi (my favorite travel buddy – I am sure you remember her screams from Curacao) is an excellent skier so I lied about my skiing abilities and somehow ended up on a ski lift going up Breckenridge Mountain. Sing it with me Ariana fans: thank u, Breck.

See what we did there?

Quick warning to anyone who has never been skiing: We spent three years getting our gear on once we got there. Thank God Mitzi rented everything ahead of time from Breeze Ski Rentals… all these layers, straps, and ties and poles LORD I almost ended it all right in that shop. Get to the mountain early – like we did… so you can drag your feet – like I did.

Finally it was go time, and if you were there with me you would have had 0 clue that I was absolutely terrified. The last time I skied I was MAYBE 12 years old. Unfortunately for my nerves, my favorite thing to do is over-exaggerate my skills and “wing-it.” We (nauseatingly) skipped the bunny slope and went straight to greens. I should play poker.

Honestly, that first run I thought to myself – “wow! This is nice! I can do this.” Another perk of getting to the mountain early was that there were very few people in the morning. Mitzi and I skied down the green run with no incident.

Now, 100% confident in my abilities, I followed Mitzi right back onto the ski lift without question. We were hoping to meet up with the group as they made their first run down the same green slope.

About 15 minutes into our lift ride I said, “Mitzi, I think we are on a different lift.” She nervously laughed and replied, “yeah I noticed… I can’t even see were it ends.”

My knees went weak. I fantasized about a helicopter hovering over us and plucking me from the danger that approached.

When the landing point finally came into view we were mildly relieved it was a only a blue.

Guys, as someone who hates skiing, I can tell you: skiing is easy. What is hard is getting up. Trying to figure out how to get up is even harder. Remember – Mitzi is a pro. She couldn’t help me get up because she doesn’t fall. A kind instructor took pity on my absurd flailing gave me crash course before going on her way. Thanks to her, I understood the physics behind “getting up” – however it was the execution that defied my grasp.

My Miami Dolphin’s beanie was my savior. Everyone that skied passed us, loved it.

Guys would yell out: “Miamiiii” or “fins up” As they zoomed by. This adoration kept me going. It took us over 2 hours to get down that slope.
My ski fell off twice.

Both my knees twisted right to the verge of snapping.

My fingers were so cold my phone wouldn’t respond to their touch.

I forgot what warmth felt like.

Frostbite began to set in (probably).

After one particularly rough tumble, I decided I needed a break.

“5 minutes” I thought.

Before I could remember that I am Cuban and have no sense of time, some other Miami-enamored macho man shredded his way to my side and grabbed my legs and lifted me to my feet without saying a word.

I begrudgingly thanked him and peered over to Mitzi who was in a laughing fit – fully aware that I was trying to relax but didn’t want to hurt the pride of this handsome stranger. So the beanie had its negatives – but I got so much attention (from men & women alike) that I decided I wasn’t going to take it off the rest of the trip.

We went up the mountain early morning and by the time we made it down that blue slope everyone wanted to eat. My favorite part of the day… besides all the Miami love.

I did one more run after this and then decided that was it for me. I turned in my skies and explored Breckenridge Village on my own –

— until I found fire:

As you can imagine I made myself very much at home and welcomed the carousel of people that stopped through to warm their extremities and make small talk about the Dolphins. There were a surprising number of Miamians. One such character came over and interrogated me a bit about my background and my career; then promptly showed me pictures of his son and asked if I was interested. I can’t make this up.

I hate getting set-up so I politely pretended my phone was ringing and left to get hot chocolate.

Snow Babes

The boys dropped all us ladies off at our Airbnb then left to get pizza and alcohol.

We drank, played Cards Against Humanity, and roasted marshmallows until the wee hours of the morning.

Back home I wake up every morning and take my pups for a walk so I try to keep up the habit and do it while I am on vacation too… but in the snow I ran back inside after maybe 5 minutes.

Snowflakes are pretty though

Ashley, Mitzi, Vanessa, and I all wanted to do the Kylie Jenner bikini-in-the-snow pic.
What can I say? I’m a masochist.

Here is why the Kardashians couldn’t keep up with me: I fell in to snow up to my chest for these. Kyle falls in snow up to her chesticles she is going to have a team of people lifting her out while breathing hot air on to her until she was back insider her mansion. Nicole Jaimee does all her own stunts.

Once everyone got their pics we went to breakfast at the Gold Pan Saloon.

The food was so good we almost forgot to make reservations to go tubbing.

We killed an hour by walking around the adorable little colored village then filed into the cars to start towards Copper Mountain.

Tubing was much more enjoyable than skiing.
Even considering that my outer pants (I had three on) fell a little more with each step.

At the top of the hill, workers (I will refer to them from this point on as “throwers”) would fling you with all their might down which ever lane you chose.

Can you spot the Mitzi?

Note the beanie. The throwers loved it.

Upon request, throwers would fling & spin you so that you went down whirling completely out of control. We did this in twos, threes, fours, and at one point our entire group (8 in total) went screaming down the hill hooking our feet under the person in front of us’ shoulders.

By the time we got back to Denver we were beat. We power napped then got ready for Denver.

You might look at this outfit & think “how was she not freezing.”

FIRST of all the only thing you should look at is how smartly I tied this outfit with my Dolphin’s beanie.

It’s like chongy-chic

Second of all, as Nina explained to me on the phone the night I was packing, ‘you are only cold while you wait for the Uber. Once you get in to most places (the only places we went to) its warm.’

I was dressed perfectly. I, the peacock, and the beanie – my plumage.

We took obligatory flower shots at the Refinery (Mitzi was not a fan) and partied until all the bars closed.

The next day Mitzi, Nina and I went to brunch (still beanied) and then rode motorized Lyft scooters up and down 16th Street Mall. We got souvenirs for people back home then went back to Nina’s apartment to pack.

Good Bye Dinner was at Barcelona.

Yes, I wore my beanie.

At Barcelona, waiters will stand on a stool and pour wine into your mouth.

Ashley & Pat took the juice like champs.

Nina & Robby dropped us off at Union Station after dinner. I cried silently on the train. It’s so hard leaving Nina. It gets harder every time.
Maybe I am starting to love Denver as much as I love Nina & Ashley.

I drowned my heartache in Combos.

Stay Fascinated.

Icy Love

I would go to the ends of the world for my best friend, so I don’t bat an eye to fly to Denver.

… but to be completely honest with you all, it wasn’t just Nina that lured me here this time. I met someone. I met what I feel like could have been the love of my life – five days before he moved to Colorado. Please kill me. We spent 5 days together, we meant to just be friends but from the first night neither of us could deny that something greater was at play. Timing is a bitch.

I walked outside the terminal, gasped for humidity, and searched for Nina’s dusty new car. Kylo, her golden retriever pup, escaped the hatchback in excitement when he saw his madrina (me) at the airport. We really don’t deserve dogs.

I didn’t plan on seeing this guy. I was oddly content being near him. Nina convinced me to reach out so I texted him a day or so later then deleted the conversation. I wanted to focus on what little time I had with her and just let myself be surprised if he decided to answer. I know I’m crazy, OKAY? Passion is equally a bitch.

Having Nina in Denver is a strange feeling because I arrive at this extremely foreign place and then there’s this very human piece of home everywhere I go. It is like walking through China but every time you turn around the door to your house is right behind you. And it also makes you go out… and buys you drinks… and demands you make brownies.

I told her we didn’t have to do anything crazy every day I was there. I would have gladly made the trip to just curl up on the couch with her and watch movies. She is the only human that can mute my pain.

But we did go hiking…

Hike

When in Rome

When in Rome

I don’t usually do this unless I’m drunk or I’m high but I was both all trip sooo: forgive me for the sappy story I have intertwined with this post but I have this boulder sitting on my heart and I am hoping writing about it will help me bare the load. I may never certainly know if our connection was love but I really do love Denver – despite the lack of saltwater and fresh fish.

Mountains take my breath away as much as the ocean gives it to me.

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Pain makes us stronger, it is why I am not afraid to tell anyone how I feel. Friend, lover, or foe. I am tactful… or as tactful as my heart allows. Sometimes you have to just jump.

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And then you immediately regret everything because you didn’t put two & two together that you were jumping into GLACIER run off water.

Swimming back to shore felt like treading through dark chocolate syrup that was slowly freezing. I stared at Ashley (Nina’s little sister & another life long friend of mine that moved to Denver… again please kill me) to try to tell her with my eyes that I was drowning.

He never answered me since I know you are wondering. How could my heart have lead me so astray

My regret was fleeting. I re-watch these videos and wish I had jumped from the higher ledge. Or at least more than once.

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Puppies were my only source of warmth & luckily they were abundant:

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With so many millennials moving to the area, Denver’s nightlife is akin to Miami’s. Most of it all reminds me of Wynwood.  Artsy and hipster with plenty of intermingling. Denver exemplifies the best of my generation: unity. No matter what you look like, how you dress, or how you talk – everyone is welcomed.

Blue MexicanMargaritasAt night

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Finns Mannorfinns manor1

Brunch

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Music pulsed like the chuff of a lion. Strange but comforting:

mike

Our last night alone together we sat and spoke about the parallels in our lives. Family, intensity, goals… around 6:00 am he nervously asked me if I would move with him. I knew he meant it equally as much as he did not.

I told him no. “You’ll be back” I said confidently. 

He stayed quiet.

I can’t live without the ocean… but he feels like an ocean.

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I’d tell you more… but I am not ready to give away much else.

Did you know that when you remember something you aren’t actually remembering what happened? You are remembering the last time you recalled what happened. So, the less I recall, the more accurately I remember & the more I write, the more I can let go.

Denver took good care of me. I ate, drank, and hiked my problems away. I think we have multiple loves of our lives. Some make us feel vulnerable;

& others invincible

Invincible

Both are equally important.

Now if only the bars stayed open later and the city could somehow migrate about 2,000 miles south east…

Stay Fascinated

2.5 Seconds of Denver

My best friend moved away from Miami. Just typing that made my stomach hurt. She at one point or another fell in love with Denver, CO. So she and her boyfriend packed their bags sold their cars and took the plunge. I hate how much they are loving it.

Aaaanyway. It was her birthday and so me and another friend spent about two months slapping ourselves on the wrist for CONSTANTLY… C O N S T A N T L Y almost giving away the surprise… that we would be going to visit her! We arrived late Thursday night & intercepted her as she came home from bar hopping across the city.

We terrified her:

Excuse the unprofessionalism in the video, we were crazy excited.

Now let me be honest with everyone real quick… I am no party animal. I prefer day drinking and house parties to running around town. It’s a once a week at most occurrence for me. But anything for my friends…. I was ready for bed – but my girl pulled the “it’s my birthday” card and I obliged. (good karma)

The gang

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It was Denver … what did you want from me?

 

Day 1

Woke up and went to straight to Union Square, gorgeous:

We had a lit breakfast at Snooze.

And although I usually just say that

I am NOT just saying that.

We all agreed it would be awesome to work there. All the waiters clearly – not just got along – were friends. They were having fun. I promise you it made the already delicious food, taste better.

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Ignore me I know nothing about celebrities/pop culture/music (save Steve Irwin, Drake, Bad Bunny, & POUYA)…

 

 

Then we went for a light walk.

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JK it was a three-hour ordeal and our experience could easily merit an episode of I Shouldn’t Be Alive.

Okay no but we were expecting a casual stroll and got to walk through an uncovered trail through red hot sand…. through some of the most beautiful landscape I have ever seen. (Keep up I am 100% hot and cold like that all the time) Also when you are scoffing thinking it wasn’t that hot please keep in mind that you are hearing this from a cold-blooded human being that frequently falls asleep in gym saunas and didn’t bother to get her air conditioning fixed in the dead of summer when it broke for two weeks.

So yes, I am being A LITTLE dramatic… But only a little.

Released my weight in sweat.

Stopped to take pictures for the sake of stopping.

There were some cool flowers. The long ones are Spanish Bayonets. And those are not just regular dandelions… they are Hulk Dandelions… okay that’s a lie but it shouldn’t have to be… They are huge!

Puppy paws were burning. He had to be carried.

I tried to carry him for a bit but that lasted all of 10 minutes. Props to Robbie who carried for about an hour.

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My legs were shaking by this point.

I died and was sent to hell but they sent me back because I was too hot and it was disturbing the other demons.

 

Worth it.

We reached civilation. Hydrated, napped, showered and went out for another night of debauchery. Which started with…

FlOwEr ShOtS:

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They make your mouth feel like it’s full of minty \lemony pop rocks for all of one minute. And then you take a super sweet shot, because idk? … I’d be fine with just the flower.

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Day 2

We ate at home. They don’t have a cafetera (Cuban coffee maker… spanglish will be a thing here) and it hurt but we resolved with Starbucks.

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Then we went to a reservoir…  -_-

Look. I am going to be harsh here because I love the water. I love being in water and if this is 5 years in the future you probably think this post is super weird because WHERE THE FISH AT?! WHERE THE WAVES BE?! I will explain at the end.

BUT I’d be lying if I said the reservoir was in itself fun… there was a makeshift beach area with all of 3.6 inches of water roped off and that was the only place people were allowed to swim. Did I say people because I meant kids. Thousands of them packed in 2.3 inches of beach water space with an adult here and there. OH and 5 life guards every inch. It was awful. And the water was -67 degrees. Okay no but it was soooo cold and the atmosphere was sooooo hot that I am sure it exaggerated what we were feeling.

Worse was that every 30 minutes or so the lifeguards would start blowing their whistles which marked what one of them playfully called “Adult Swim.” Sounds good right? No kids just a bunch of sexy adults swimming sans children. Well you are wrong. No one is sexy at the reservoir. The water is too cold and the air too hot. There is no swimming during adult swim. Everyone has to get out of the water…  It’s just break time for lifeguards I guess… I don’t know we didn’t get a clear explanation.

Nonetheless, it was a great time. The reservoir was a fail but the friends made it awesome. There is no such thing as not having fun when you are with friends… and food… no particular order tbh.

We were all dead so no party tonight (jumps for joy on the inside)… Instead we had a birthday dinner at Texas de Brazil (jumps off a cliff from joy on the inside) and ate ourselves into a coma.

 

Day 3

We started the day with mimosas and guac. It was a good day.

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Nina’s mother came to town and we went to a Brewery for breakfast\brunch… Blue Moon Brewery. I got queso dip, a steak flat bread and a beermosa to make it breakfasty.

You- what’s a beermosa

Me – it’s in the name.

You – that was bitchy

Me – heres a pic!img_4846.png

… it is a mimosa made with beer.

So Nina’s little brother is an AMAZING rapper. And he coincidentally was in Denver for a (sold out) show. We did another round of flower shots and then joined him backstage for his concert. Absolutely phenomenal.

Reading this it probably seems like we were there forever but it really felt like 2.5 seconds. Time flies when you love everyone around you.

 

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Strange that my first blog post would be about my time spent on land instead of with water. But HEY when inspiration kicks in don’t fight it, right?

It’s taken me a long time to start this blog. Maybe I am so passionate about the ocean I can’t write my first post about it because if this is a huge flop (pun intended) it will be easier to handle if it isn’t because I was lackluster in writing about the love of my life… the ocean.

 

Stay tuned. Stay fascinated.

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