All posts by starspiritadventures

My name is Trish Jackson. Seven and a half years ago I went through a difficult period in my life. There was something missing and I wasn't quite sure as to what it was. As time passed I realized that I had a strong desire to travel, see new places, and try new things. I chose to start this blog as a way to document my travels and to share the adventures I experience, with others. My specialties are the Las Vegas area and Colorado, but I will also be sharing information on all of the other adventures I have as well. Without my wonderful husband, Neal, I may have never realized how much I love to travel. He was the first person to show me the mountains, and he was the first person to take me to Las Vegas. Every trip with him is a beautiful adventure.

October Luxury Divas Box – Yes!

It’s month number two and I have received my Luxury Divas Box.  I am excited to say that I loved everything in this box and I am stoked that I decided to do a three month membership. The three month membership saves you five dollars per box, which brings the total down to thirty dollars per month.

This box came with the following: Red Luxury Divas slouchy hat, white fuzzy boot socks, a beautiful silver mesh bracelet, a pair of dangly caged crystal earrings, a black and purple crossbody bag, and a burgundy choker style top which fits great. I have no complaints. They also sent me a ten dollar gift certificate for the Luxury Divas site, because October is my birth month. I immediately went online and bought a beautiful ankle bracelet. I cannot wait until it comes. I plan to wear it in Las Vegas around the pool.

Here are the things I love about this company. They ship promptly. They take into consideration the colors you like and the type of style you wear. They give you a little something extra for your birthday. They write you a personalized note each month and they give you a sheet that tells you about each product and its value. I promptly emailed Marina, my curator, and told her how well she did. They also send you a little treat in each box, which was candy corn this month.

If you like accessories and you don’t want to break the bank on a monthly box subscription, I highly recommend Luxury Divas. The items fit well and I feel they are practical. I think you will find the experience refreshing. This is a company I feel good about. If you would like to see more images of the items from the October box, please visit my Facebook page. I will be posting images as soon as possible. https://www.facebook.com/starspiritadventures/

For more information, please visit: https://www.luxurydivas.com/

Extreme Zip Lining

This past June, while planning a visit to Colorado, my husband and I found ourselves perusing the internet looking for fun activities. He happened to find a Groupon for Royal Gorge Zip Line. Since I had never seen Royal Gorge previously, I thought it might be a fun day trip from Vale. He asked me if I would like to take part in the ‘Extreme Zip Line Tour,’ and I said yes. Basically these zip lines are faster and longer than most others. What he failed to tell me was that there would be a seventy foot tower at the very end, and only two ways down.

This definitely is not a mild course. As I said, it is extreme. There is some hiking involved, so if you use an inhaler I would recommend you bring it along. The hiking goes pretty fast, though the climbs are intense at times. The crew provides plenty of water along the way and a small snack after the largest jaunt. The fastest line can reach up to sixty miles per hour, and the longest line is over a third of a mile long. This course does have weight stipulations. You must be between seventy-five and two-hundred-and-fifty pounds.

The lines are an absolute blast and our guides, Michaela and Sami, were hilarious. They were knowledgeable and they kept us laughing all while maintaining our safety. Sami will cheer you on the whole way and Michaela will make jokes to lighten your hike. I would definitely recommend them to anyone looking for a one-of-a-kind experience.

As I said earlier, the tower at the end of the course is seventy feet tall. Upon arriving at the tower I had no idea that there were only two ways down. None of which is a ladder. You have to jump. There is no way around it. The only question is whether or not it’s a slow belay down or a free-fall and then belaying the rest of the way. I chose to jump. They told me that going backwards sometimes is easier if you are afraid of heights, which I am. I decided that backwards was my best option. I made a mistake. Instead of hopping back off the tower I let myself fall backwards. My feet did not leave the tower as I was falling, and very quickly I was upside down thinking, “Oh, F—! I don’t think I’m supposed to be upside down.” Pardon my internal monologue. I was a little panicked as my brain quickly whipped through what I knew was coming next. The strap tightened and my body was instantaneously jerked back around to an upright position. I had a nice burn on the back of my shoulder, but I didn’t break or dislocate anything, so I’ll call it a success.

After I was safely on the ground I looked up to see my husband standing on the edge of the tower. This man is a dare-devil and he stands atop mountain peaks on a regular basis. I saw him pause briefly as he took in the distance to the ground. It is definitely an adrenaline rush. No one wanted to jump off the tower immediately, but I will tell you one thing, it goes so fast you barely realize what happened. His jump was more graceful than mine. Everyone’s jump was more graceful than mine, but at least I can say I did it. I had fun and made some great memories. If you want to face your fear of heights, check out this course. You won’t be sorry… or maybe you will. Either way, you’ll be jumping off a 70 foot tower before the adventure’s end.

For more information on Royal Gorge Zip Line Tours, visit: https://royalgorgeziplinetours.com/

 

LD – Box One – Loving It!

Hey friends! Today I’m doing something new. Those of you who follow my blog know that I like to post articles about places I have visited. Beyond travel, I also have a strong love for fine food, art, wine, and don’t get me started on my love for hats, lingerie, shoes, jewelry, and purses. Honestly, my accessory love has grown immensely, which is why I am here today to review the Luxury Divas Box.

My first box arrived this afternoon, and boy was I stoked! This box is $34.99/month, or slightly less if you subscribe for three months at a time. I like this subscription, because unlike other fashion boxes, you get to keep everything they send you. It’s a whole lot more than accessories.

My box contained seven items, literature that explained each item’s value, and a description of why they chose the items they did for the current month. This is what I received: Long grey knit cardigan with pockets, a gold leaf necklace, a black, white, and rose gold watch with silicone band, a black and white Luxury Divas canvas tote, an Italia Deluxe Lashes For Daze waterproof mascara, and a blue multicolor art deco scarf. There was also a wonderful personalized note from the curator and some gummy bears to go with it.

Now, of all the items I like the tote, mascara, and necklace the most because they fit me well. The tote is black and white and simple. It’s made from recycled canvas, which is a huge bonus in my world, and hopefully yours. The leaf necklace is an item I would have bought myself, and I did. I own a smaller version in copper. I love it because, as most people know, I’m a hiker and I love me some Colorado nature. My third favorite is the mascara. It does exactly as it says. End of story.

Moving on to the items I haven’t expressed my undying love for. The cardigan is cute, but it’s also long and I am 5’3” so that means I need to wear heels when I wear it. I love that it has pockets and that it would dress up a cute t-shirt. It’s definitely versatile. No real complaints though, I am definitely still excited to try it out. The watch is a love hate situation for me. I love the colors and the look. I hate that I don’t wear watches and that the band is silicone. Everything sticks to silicone. My cat might be wearing it right now. One thing is for sure; he will look fashionable. In all seriousness, I promise to wear the watch sometime because it is cute. The last item is my least favorite. I am not fond of the scarf because it feels like a summer item and despite my somewhat wild personality, I don’t care for the wild colors for regular wear. Being that it’s Fall, I would have appreciated something fuzzy over sheer. I think I may wear the scarf as a swim wrap when I go to Mexico in March, or use it as a decorative table covering. I will play with it and see what I come up with.

Overall, I liked the box and I plan to become a subscriber. It feels personalized with the inclusion of the note and friendly gesture of sending gummy bears. This is a company that feels warm and fuzzy. I want to see what else they have up their sleeves.

Within the next week I will get some photos of the above items being used. Once posted, you can view them here: https://www.facebook.com/starspiritadventures/

For more information on Luxury Divas, please visit: https://www.luxurydivas.com/

Maggie’s In Bayfield, Wisconsin

This past May, my husband and I took a trip up to Bayfield because we were on a mission to see several waterfalls in Wisconsin and Michigan. While bumming around the town, we asked locals what they suggested for a decent place to grab a snack. Maggie’s and one other place, of which I cannot recall the name, were the top options.

After some debate we ate at Maggie’s. My first impression was that we had made a great choice because the atmosphere was fun with a tropical flare. There were quirky decorations and flamingos on almost every surface. I was pleased upon inspecting the menu, because they had some decent gluten-free options.

Our waitress came to the table to take our orders, and I discussed the gluten-free menu items with her. In the end, I told her I would like to go with a pepperoni and pineapple gluten-free pizza and a piece of the flourless chocolate torte. I was sure to tell her I have a gluten intolerance. My husband ordered a burger and onion rings.

The food did not come out as quickly as we would have liked, but it wasn’t a ridiculous waiting period either. At first bite of my pizza it was clear that the crust was barely cooked. The majority of the center was still raw dough and hardly warm. I flagged our waitress down and let her know that it was not completely cooked. She simply stared at me and offered no thoughts, so, feeling slightly irritated and hating to make a scene or send food back, I brushed it aside and said, ‘fine, I’ll just eat it without the crust’. I was not thrilled since they charged me extra for an uncooked gluten-free crust. I know that I should have made a bigger deal about this and that it is my fault for settling, but I have learned my lesson and will speak up more if this ever happens again.

My husband liked his food. He said the onion rings were decent, and the burger was filling. I was not happy with my food. At one point a manager stopped by our table and asked how things were. I told him the crust on my pizza was not cooked. The waitress came over and got involved in the conversation saying that the cook asked if I had wanted it cooked longer and she told the cook I was fine with it the way it was. The manager walked away, and I became quite irritated to find she didn’t even give me the option to put it back in the oven, and that the manager would brush this off. On top of it all she asked if we wanted dessert, which I had ordered with my pizza and never received. I said no, and we paid our bill and left. They charged us the full amount for the crust that was inedible.

I rarely complain about service at restaurants, and I like to give staff the benefit of the doubt if things are busy and get a little rocky, but this place was not busy and they have no excuse for their horrible service. I have never been so letdown by a waitress in my life, not to mention the manager who did nothing. There is no excuse for poor food when it’s brought to the waitress and manager’s attention. Restaurants rely on positive experiences and word of mouth to bring in new people.

If you happen to visit Bayfield and Maggies, feel free to let me know what your experience was like. This may have been an isolated incident but I’m struggling to find the desire to visit Maggie’s ever again.

For more information on Maggies, please visit: https://www.maggies-bayfield.com/

The Crown Paradise Golden in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Many of my readers may know that my family likes to visit Mexico each spring. Often we spend our vacation in Ixtapa, Mexico, but this year we tried something different. It took a good deal of research to choose the next vacation destination, but the research paid off.

Last year in Ixtapa we found our hotel overrun with children. They were everywhere, including the adult’s only pool. They screamed, they ran amuck, and they were extremely rude. Don’t get me wrong, I like children. I simply do not want them on my vacation if they cannot behave and follow rules.

Since I didn’t enjoy the free-for-all last year I looked into all-inclusive adult-only resorts. I found several great places in Puerto Vallarta but in the end we went with the Crown Paradise Golden. This hotel is located next to its sister hotel which allows children and has a huge pirate ship themed pool area and several children’s activities. If you stay at the adult’s only hotel, you can still enjoy all the restaurants and activities next door. You get the best of both worlds.

The food at Crown Paradise Golden was exceptional. The themed restaurants require reservations and I do one-hundred percent recommend them. They can be a little slow, so plan for up to two hours when dining, but it’s worth it. The restaurants are Mediterranean, Italian, American, French, and Asian inspired. Most people seem to love the Asian restaurant, so it was a little more difficult to get into. My favorite restaurant was Salvador’s, which is gourmet cuisine. The staff was delightful, and the food was exceptional. All the restaurant’s menus change nightly.

If you are looking for quick and easy food and beverages, then look no farther than the buffet which changes daily. Most people do not realize this but during off hours you can get a menu in the buffet and order specific foods. Next to the buffet is a grill which has brats, pizza, burgers, and fries. There is also a beach bar which has fresh foods such as tuna salad, fruit, Panini, and other items. In the realm of alcoholic beverages, they can be found quite easily at the poolside bar, lobby bar, or two beach bars. You definitely will not go hungry or thirsty.

Outside of food the hotel offers many fun activities such as BINGO, beach volleyball, pool volleyball, beer pong, random silly games, nightly shows, and much more. On Saturdays they have a pool party and fill the pool with bubbles. With the music blasting and sun shining it would be hard to not enjoy one’s self.

Outside of the hotel you will find boats ready to take you parasailing, beach massage stations, and plenty of white sand to walk on while the waves lap at your feet. You will also find people wandering the beach selling an assortment of items. They will wander up to the beach bars, so if you are not interested, simply say no. If you show interest every single salesman will come directly to you.

At the front of the hotel across the street is a spa. This place had the best prices for massages and they gave an amazing pedicure. I highly recommend them. If you are looking for the boardwalk and restaurants off the grounds, you can get a taxi that will take you downtown for a mere $6 each way, though check ahead because this can change. You are also in walking distance to Walmart, the peer, and a grocery store in case you forgot to bring anything.

Keep in mind that March is the end of Puerto Vallarta’s winter so it can be cloudy and sometimes cool. April is probably a better time weather-wise, but we always go in March and intend to go back for ten days this next year. No matter the weather, it’s still one of the safer locations in Mexico and there are plenty of things to do at the Crown Paradise Golden.

For more information on the Crown Paradise Golden, please visit: http://www.goldencrownparadisevallarta.com/

Pipi’s in Puerto Vallarta

Prior to visiting Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, my family asked around to find out which restaurants were recommended by others. Only one particular restaurant was mentioned consistently, and that restaurant was Pipi’s. Everyone seemed to have walked away with the same great memories and could not wait to tell us of their experiences.

Pipi’s is indeed Mexican food, but so much more. If you are looking for an atmosphere that basically pulls you into a fun time, this is the place to be. The food was exceptional. Our waiter prepared guacamole right at the table. The drinks we enjoyed were margaritas the size of boats. They had several flavors to choose from. I couldn’t finish the whole thing because of the sugar and decent pour of alcohol, but I would definitely go back for another in the future.

The live music was a ton of fun and added to the energy of the evening and made you want to sing along. We could have sat and listened all night, partially because we were too full to move. We watched as many people sang along and celebrated their own special events such as birthdays and anniversaries which were accompanied by sombreros and tasty desserts.

If you want a memorable experience with great food and music, check out Pipi’s, you won’t be disappointed: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g150793-d1032796-Reviews-Pipi_s-Puerto_Vallarta.html

 

Puerto Vallarta City Tour

This past March my family decided to take a trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. None of us had ever visited Puerto Vallarta previously, but we have all come to agreement that we will definitely be returning in the future. The trip was so much fun we can hardly wait to go back.

Now, I’m not much for all day tours of the cities I visit. I usually prefer to explore on my own, but we were given a free city tour when we booked another excursion through our hotel. The funny thing is I enjoyed the city tour more than the snorkeling excursion we went on. I highly recommend the city tour if you are visiting Puerto Vallarta for the first time.

The particular tour we went on departed in the morning by air-conditioned bus. We drove down to the boardwalk where we were given some time to take pictures and look at sculptures. We walked across the road to a beautiful church and then got back on the bus and went to several other locations.

We were able to visit a jewelry store, with open bar. We went to a candy shop where we got to try several local treats. We toured a tequila distillery and tasted seven different tequilas and then we ate lunch on location. Lunch was of our own expense, but totally worth it. There were several food choices which were all served family style. We ate shrimp, chicken, beef, and pork. There were also seafood options available, and the prices were minimal. After lunch we made a final stop at a coffee plantation where we were able to try some organic coffee and flavored tequila.

This tour has a little bit of everything included. We definitely got plenty to eat and drink. Our guide spoke both English and Spanish and he was also quite the comedian. He gave us tons of information about Puerto Vallarta which included stories about some of the rich and famous who had inhabited homes on the countryside. The views were beautiful and I would even partake in this tour a second time around, that’s how much I enjoyed it.

For more information on the tour, please visit: https://www.tripadvisor.com/AttractionProductReview-g150793-d11485712-Full_Day_Puerto_Vallarta_City_Highlights_Tour-Puerto_Vallarta.html