Point of Interest: Portland, OR

From my $2000 budget, the flight currently costs $323 from my house and $470 from my mom’s house. That leaves $1677 for me and $1533 for mama.
I noticed that the hotels in Portland are pricey so I started looking at AirBnB and found that the cost of staying ranges from $500-1000 for the duration of our trip. Leaving $1200 for me and $1000 for mama. Meaning we can splurge on our spa day.
  • Rumi Simone this one is my top choice because of the amount of services that they offer. They have multiple day spa packages ranging from $295-520.
  • Dosha offers two different day spa packages from $190-335, which means that we can get add ons. The day long package also offers makeup application for a night on the town.
Paid Activities:
  • DIY Bar is something I am very excited about, I love crafting and making things, and love the chance where mama and I can bond and create something. Each project costs $39 and takes from 1 to 3 hours to create.
  • Kennedy Soaking Pool is a soaking experience where we can relax, have a drink, and swim. I love being in water.
  • Portland Mercado is a market place of diversity, we will be able to eat delicious food from around Latin America and buy some unique trinkets.
  • Portland Aerial Tram will be a sight for us to see Portland in a different way, in the air! We will be able to get a round trip pass for $4.70.
Free-ish activities that I’m looking forward to are:
 I am so ready to visit Portland and make some memories.

Vegas Eats

So, I am still married and my daughter may not be speaking to me. I just experienced what seemed like an hour of yelling at her on a video call. Turns out my sweet daughter did not hear all the angry things that I was yelling until I accidentally un-muted the call.  Note to self: remember when you have muted someone because her show is bugging you while you are trying to blog… Maybe she’ll forgive me after I post this???

After a brief meltdown, a small band-aid for my ego and a sincere apology to my daughter, I am off and blogging. This time I want to check out a few of the websites that talk about different places to eat in Vegas. It seems that Vegas is an exciting place for a twenty something; so, we will give it a whirl. Maybe this 40 something can have some fun too, hahaha.

I am going to check out the following:


China Poblano is a Chinese/Mexican fusion. The chef’s name is José Andrés. The Yelp rating is 3.5 and TripAdvisor rates it a 4. I like both Mexican food and Chinese so a fusion menu sounds delicious. One of the reviews I read mentioned a tasting menu? That sounds like it is right up my hungry alley!


Studio B is at the top of the list on this website for buffets. It is affordable for brunch/lunch during weekdays, according to the author. It is located at M Resort. They will send you 2 or more free buffet coupons every month if you sign up for their players club. There is free beer, a good variety of food, and the author kept emphasizing how affordable it is. We will keep this in mind as we try to stretch our dollar.


Crepe Expectations is a place that serves burgers hahaha. I LOVE CREPES!! This place has both sweet and savory crepes. Google rates it as a 4.7, while Yelp and Trip Advisor rate it a 4.5. This is definitely somewhere that we would visit if we decide to go to Vegas. CREPES!!!!!!

Those Guys Pies is a pizza joint. I really thought it was going to be dessert pies. They rate a 4 on both Trip Advisor and Yelp. I think we could try the Shroom pizza? It has good reviews. The pizza has mushrooms, garlic and goat cheese. You can buy a 14 inch for $17.


Ace Donuts serves really good doughnuts. I looked at the photos and want to go there on one of the mornings while in Vegas. No reviews necessary.

Rosallie is a French cafe. The place scored a 5 on Trip Advisor and Facebook gave it a 4.8.  This place has a variety of coffee, quiches and sandwiches. I happen to love all three. We may have to try this place.

Goodwich is another sandwich place. I really like sandwiches. I don’t know if my daughter will appreciate sandwiches and doughnuts the whole time we are in Vegas.
(pig o’the week is recommended)





Vegas Baby

Las Vegas, NV is one potential location for our trip. I looked on SkyScanner to find affordable flights from multiple airlines. The cheapest flights I found cost around $330 (plus tax) round trip from both of our locations. Plus side is I won’t be breaking my budget just flying and I’ll have plenty for activities.

Now that flights are figured out, where do we stay? I want to stay somewhere close to the Jennifer Lopez show, All I Have (because that is the most expensive activity planned, $100-200). Because I want to make the concert the most convenient thing for my mom and me. I don’t want to get confused about which casino J. Lo is in. I’d rather be close to the action and know that I wasn’t going to miss the show. That would mean staying at Planet Hollywood, which costs around $920 for our weekend.

What else can we discover around Las Vegas:
  • Bodies The Exhibition at the Luxor for $40/person.
  • Red Rock for $84.99 per person
  • Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden is a free activity where we can enjoy nature and a an interesting look at the Harvest show
  • The Bellagio Fountains, go off every 30 minutes until 8PM and every 15 minutes until Midnight
  • Las Vegas Arts District. They have unique boutiques and art galleries and places to explore.
  • Las Vegas City Hall in Las Vegas houses two art galleries that we can see for free.
  • The Neon museum houses restored neon signs. Day tours cost $15 to $19, where night tours cost $22 to $26. It’s an outside museum so we will have to make sure to dress accordingly.
  • The Mob Museum is around $20.95 per person and there is an ability to get combo prices with other museums (notably the Neon Museum)

What about spas? Because for me they’re one of the most important parts of our trip. At Planet Hollywood:

  • Massages range from $95 for a 60 minute foot massage to $235 for the 80 minute Mandara Hot Stone Massage.
  • Facials on their menu last from 50 to 60 minutes and costs range from $165 to $245. There is a 20% charged gratuity for all services.
  • They also offer nail services. They range in prices from $45 for the classic spa manicure to $115 for the Mandara foot ritual.
  • A hair cut at the salon is $100 plus.
  • The spa is in service from 7am-7pm.
Adding these costs together (and averaging the cost of spa services), means that $1500 of my budget is taken away. I’ll have around $500 left to eat, for transportation, to buy souvenirs, and go shopping.

Las Vegas isn’t just a place for casinos and partying, it’s a place with fun art and activities. If we visit Las Vegas we will have the best time.


Mama & Kayla 25th year celebration.

So, this is my second post. I have had to text Kayla a few times to try to figure it out. I finally figured out how to get a picture from my phone to the computer but am not quite sure how I will put it on this computer. I already upset my husband because I became impatient (hysterical) as he patiently tried to help. I think we are getting divorced. I hope that our only follower appreciates this effort.

To celebrate my daughter’s life and our relationship we are going to take a trip. She has listed some possible activities for the trip so here are some of the things that I enjoy doing with my free time are:

  • spending time with my children
  • antiquing
  • thrifting
  • facial time
  • hanging out with my dogs
  • making something beautiful with my hands
  • watching some good TV or cinema
  • enjoying a basketball game (in person)
  • eating something delicious

I would love to go somewhere we can do something we enjoy, something new and exciting, eat great food, and spend time appreciating each other.


When did she grow up?

This has been an adventure so far, phew! Now Kayla is the one with all the answers, hahahaha. She (Kayla) is painstakingly trying to show someone (me) who is negative tech savvy how to use google hangout, create an account on this wordpress business and get motivated to do something outside of my comfort zone.

I long for the days before smart phones. When people just had to wait to see me in person or until I got home to speak to me. Now I am letting the world or the 3 people (including me and Kayla) who have looked at the blog thus far what we are planning. Not sure how I feel about this. This rant is enough for my first time out.

Even though I am complaining, I am looking forward to celebrating my sweet daughter’s life and our relationship. Here is to this quarter century celebration!



Location, Location, Location

I travelled a lot as a kid because of my dad’s job. We moved from place to place. I’ve lived in places from Fairbanks, AK to El Paso, TX. And I attended so many different schools. For the past 5 years, however, I’ve lived in the same place, and I’m itching to try something new.
Last year I went on two memorable trips. First, I went on a trip with my best friend to Seattle, WA. I had the time of my life. I got to experience rugby culture in a different state, visit the Gum Wall, and go on a 5 mile hike with my friends. The second trip was to Wurstfest in New Braunfels, TX. I was immersed in German culture and polka. And I now own several Wurstfest cups and pitchers. It was a blast to spend that trip with my family.
This year is I want to travel solo with my mom. When we were together for the holidays we put together a list of potential destinations:
  • Portland, OR
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • New York City, NY
  • Austin, TX
  • Timeshare vacation (location TBD)
  • San Antonio, TX
  • A Beach
  • Arizona
  • A thrifting expedition through Texas
  • An official retreat location TBD
Activities we agreed would be fun:
  • thrifting
  • going to broadway show
  • going to Vegas headliner (J. Lo)
  • going to Vegas show (magician/circ du soleil)
  • spa (facials, massages, manicures, pedicures)
  • museums
  • finding tasty restaurants
The most important activity to me is the trip to a spa. I want my vacation to be rejuvenating not only for my body but for my spirit and mental well-being.

Why 25?

I am going to be 25, and I’m excited. In my family we always kept birthdays low-key and family oriented. But I want to do something bigger. I want to go on an adventure with my mom. I don’t know exactly what I want to do at this point, but I do want to relax.
I want the trip to be unforgettable, adventurous, and somewhere I haven’t had the chance to really explore. I would love for the trip to be September 6-11, 2018. A 5-day weekend. Ideas that we’ve shared so far: Las Vegas, NV, a spa-cation in San Antonio, TX, an Austin experience all inclusive resort (or maybe a stay in Austin), New York for the weekend, a beach getaway, Portland, OR, or a timeshare my grandmother offered to let us use for a week.
Things I have in mind:
  • budget: I don’t want to spend more than $2000 for the entire trip including travel, so really that means that no more than $500 for the flight otherwise I’ll be out almost half of my budget just on travel
  • I want to do activities my mom and I both enjoy. I don’t want to just do Kayla things.
  • I want to have a potential life-changing experience (whether that means my mom and I come to a new understanding or that I discover something new about myself I’m okay with both.)
Join me on our journey to find a great 25th birthday to start off my 2nd quarter century. I am using this platform to bond with my mom and share our escapades. We’re going to discuss the trials and tribulations of finding flights, hotels, balancing schedules from across the country, how we’re going to decide what activities we want to prioritize, and how this fits in our everyday life.
Kayla IMG_1408