Currently craving

Chocolate Chestnut Pots – My favorite thing about winter is making (and eating) flavored chestnut desserts.

Currently watching

Yesterday night I saw “FYRE: The Greatest Party that Never Happened” on Netflix. This was supposed to be a luxurious music festival in the Bahamas. But what attendees, consisting of mostly influencers and rich kids, really got was emergency tents on some development lot. There was no concert, no celebrity guest, no water, and I guess you can call a slice of cheese on bread food. Worst of all, the locals who put in the labor for the festival were unpaid.

But there is a glimmer of hope in humanity. Someone put together a GoFundMe page to help Maryann Rolle, the Bahamian restaurant owner featured in the movie. Her restaurant prepared all the food for a multi-day event that never happened. Plus, she had to dip into her life savings so her employees get paid. She deserves every cent and more.

FYRE was the event that created and revealed the smoke of all these other influencer driven events — it’s all a fraud. Influencers have created an industry on the illusion that they have this perfect life where they have money without having a nine-to-five job, trotting around the globe, dining in fancy restaurants, and their space always seemed spotless.

I remembered from elementary through high school, we were always told to never get sucked into those magazines. The message was to not compare ourselves to those models and actresses, to not buy that expensive brand, to not change the way we look. At the time, they were referring to the things we saw in magazines. I already knew that the model was just doing her job; she’s on a set modeling different outfits for a magazine selling clothes (or in my case, sharing me ways I could freshen up my existing wardrobe). How would I know how this model lived her life off-duty and away from the camera? Today, instead of magazines where we compare ourselves to models, we have social media. We now compare ourselves to what appears to be “regular people” living beautiful lives which makes envy much worse. Magazines were about aspirations, social media is about expectations.

For planning your next trip…

Don’t go to any of these places. They’re overwhelmed with tourists. Not only that, these tourists are disrespectful and trashing these attractions. Remember folks, we only have one Earth. We need to treat it with respect, otherwise, there would not be any attractions to appreciate.

I do have to note, Machu Picchu is restricting the number of tourists coming in throughout the day. When I bought the tickets, we had to choose a morning ticket where we arrive in the morning as early as 6 AM and leave noon. The second option was the afternoon ticket where we arrive at noon and leave around 6 PM.

We went to Iceland in late November, which was when it was getting very cold and the sun sets really early. Personally, I did not experience any ridiculous crowds. My friend went to Iceland in late May. He said it was so crowded he did not get to go to the Blue Lagoon.

Cinque Terre was a nightmare. It was so crowded when I saw all those tourists on the train platform, I thought it was going to collapse.

Yellowstone — I went there when I was in junior high school. It’s always been crowded especially during summer break. Throwing coins and food into the geothermal pools? That needs to stop.

Land Urchins

When we were in the Amalfi Coast, I found these spiky-looking green ball around the ground. I’ve never seen them before and I jokingly called them land urchins. Later I learned these were called castagne, or chestnuts.

There you go…land urchins :-P.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Texture

Check out some of these submissions for their interpretation for texture:

WPC: Textures; snaphappi
Weathered by the Sea; Note to Traveler
Textures: Needs A Rake; Photoessayist The Blog
Textures; The Traveling Book Club

Texture; Through the Lens
Low Tide; By Sarah
5pointz: Geisha; AlphaPRJCT