Flight Attendant's Guide to Teotihuacan view from Pyramid of the Moon

Climbing the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan

Not far from Mexico City, travelers can climb one of the tallest pyramids in the world. If you’re the adventurous sort, and I know I am, you’ll get out of the city and head to the ancient Mesoamerican city of Teotihuacan. Before you even arrive, you’ll see the giant Pyramid of the Sun in the distance. In my humble opinion, I think Mexico City is one of the most interesting cities in the world. Whenever I hear people say they are going to visit, I tell them that an excursion to Teotihuacan is a must. Whether you climb the pyramid or simply gaze at it, you’ll be transported to another era. An era of cacao, of gold, and of human sacrifice.

 

If you follow my blog you know I’m a flight attendant. I always wanted to be a flight attendant, but I still went to university to study subjects that I thought would be useful in my travels. This led me to major in cultural anthropology with an emphasis in archaeology. This is what gave birth to my obsession with ancient Olmec, Maya and Aztec civilization and I spent a summer backpacking around, adventuring to many of the ruins. I still have plenty of ancient cities on my list, but that summer I put a good dent in it. Teotihuacan, unlike some ruins, is very easily accessible.

 A Flight Attendants Guide to Teotihuacan Mexico

ng the Pyramids at Teotihuacan, Mexico

Teotihuacan, Getting There

By Bus, or By Bus Tour…That is the question. Some people argue that it’s better to take the bus on your own because it’s cheaper, with more time at the pyramids. This is certainly true, but I have to say, I did take a tour through a Mexico City hostel and it was incredibly memorable. Many of the bad reviews for the bus tour was the opposite of my experience and personally,  you get what you give in life. So let me tell you about my excursion.

 
Flight Attendant Tip: First of all, even if you’re not staying at a hostel, you can always get the same excursions, BUT CHEAPER, by purchasing from a hostel. Also, don’t be afraid to haggle…especially my ladies, I feel like the men actually enjoy it when we haggle with them. 🙂 My Spanish and smile have gotten me amazing discounts. In the states, I’m sure the same haggling would have gotten me throttled. My haggling is usually something like, “Oh bummer, my budget was (insert amount here). That’s too bad because I really wanted (insert object of affection here).” Haggling has never failed me and allowed me to remain budget doing excursions, buying jewelry, getting taxi rides, you name it. And don’t forget, you get more flies with honey, so always smile! I paid $15-20, which seems like a steal to me for transportation, a guide, a tequila workshop and snacks.

 

Pit stop: The tour I did stopped at a Tequila tasting shop and our group (of about 15) got to see how the ancient Mesoamericans used the Maguey plant and local flowers to make bright tapestries. They used the same plant to make drinking mescal. Tasting the mescal, and pulque was quite intense, made from the Maguey plant we were shown when we first arrived. I really liked the sweet Almedrado, an almond flavor tequila liquer. I’ve heard some people complain that it was a complete waste of time and that they hardly got any tequila. My group was there about fifteen minutes, so it definitely didn’t cost too much time at the pyramids. And let me say, they were verrrrrry generous with their pours. I didn’t want too get too tipsy before climbing one of the tallest pyramids in the world, so I was careful, but let me say that before we even left the Tequila place, some of the guys in our group were puking in the bushes. 😉 Caution: Tequila taste at your own risk.

 

Making textiles out of Maguey

The Ruins of Teotihuacan

The main event! Two giant pyramids, the Sun and the Moon tower above the Avenue of the Dead. Walk down the ancient road lined with rocky temples and you can’t help but feel like you’re in another world. Teotihuacan was once home to over 125,00 people and when you take a tour, you really gain incredible insight into the city, which even had technology such as ancient plumbing and aqueducts. This is absolutely incredible if you keep in mind that the Pyramid of the sun was believed to have built in the second century AD. I knew some from my collegiate studies, but really our guide was a wealth of information. That’s a great perk about tours, but also, I met memorable friends from Germany and Brazil that I still keep in touch with.

 

Climbing the Pyramid of the Sun:

 

If you’re afraid of heights, this is not for you. I’m not afraid of heights and still on occasion I was like “What the hell am I doing!?!?!” The steps get pretty steep and towards the top it gets very windy! Once you get to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun, you’ll be surrounded of course by fellow adventurers. If you check out my selfie below, you’ll notice the edge in ominously close and I can’t help but wonder if any tourists have fallen off the pyramid before. Eek!

 

Flight Attendant's Guide to Teotihuacan and climbing the Pyramid of the Sun

 

Flight Attendant Tip: If you want to feel a bit more like you’re the only one atop the mountain, head over to the Pyramid of the Moon and climb that one too! I did and was rewarded with a very peaceful rest at the top. Although the Pyramid of the Sun is more famous because it’s taller, the Pyramid of the Moon has an even better view because it rests at the very end of the Avenue of the Dead, offering a very dramatic view of Teotihuacan and the Pyramid of the Sun in the Distance. And if you’re sitting at the top and it feels like you’re just as high, it’s because you are. The Pyramid of the Moon sits on a higher landscape so although it’s not as tall, you still climb just as high.

 

Flight Attendant's Guide to Teotihuacan view from Pyramid of the Moon

Bottom Line:

Whether you’re a history lover, or just love a unique adventure, Teotihuacan is a must if you’re in the Mexico City area.

 

So, have you climbed a pyramid lately? If you did, were you deathly afraid or was it invigorating? For me, it was a little of both, but mostly amazing!

 

XOXO

The Luv Aviatrix

A Flight Attendant's Guide to Maui

Maui: A Flight Attendant’s Guide

A Flight Attendant's Guide to Maui, Mai Tai Service

 

A Flight Attendant's Guide to Maui

Aloha! I count my lucky stars that I’ve been able to explore Hawaii so much. As a flight attendant, travel is a major perk of the job, so it’s a crime not to get around. I love all of Hawaii, but Maui might possibly be my favorite island. Each island has their own vibe though, so really I suppose my favorite island just depends on what I’m in the mood for. But whenever people ask, my initial response is always Maui. Maui is amazing because it has the romantic, quiet beaches, it has epic hikes, snorkeling, whale watching, and an unforgettable highway that should be on everyone’s travel bucket list. But I’ll get to Maui’s Road to Hana in a little bit.

Maui, the Basics

 

Maui is known for whale watching, rainbows, gorgeous beaches and amazing fresh seafood. To get to Maui, you”ll have to fly into Maui’s Kahului airport, OGG. There are many airlines that service the airport. For those of you who know me, I started off my flight attendant career with the Alaska Airlines air group. This means I’m particularly biased when I recommend flying Alaska Airlines into Hawaii. One of the perks is the welcome to Hawaii complimentary Mai Tai service. Yep, a free Mai Tai to get you ready to arrive in Paradise. That being said, I’ve heard Hawaiian is great, and my friends at Virgin America and Delta have always treated me great well. XOXO

To get around the island (and to fully appreciate it) I whole-heartedly recommend renting a car, preferably a four wheel drive to better navigate the Road to Hana as some roads are not paved. Although it’ll be expensive, I recommend visiting during whale-watching season. Whether I was driving, dining or laying on a beach, I was always seeing whales breach and it was incredible. Check the weather because part of Maui’s magic is that the weather is always changing. One minute it’s raining, the next minute you’re getting sun-kissed and gazing at rainbows. Pack accordingly with a light rain jacket and bug spray never hurts in these climates.

 

Rainbows in Maui, a Flight Attendant's Guide to Maui

My Favorite Beach

 

Maui is always on every “Best Beaches” list, whether it’s Conde Nast, Frommers, you name it, Maui will have multiple beaches on that best beach list. Maui has white powder sand, black sand, every shade of stunning sand you can dream of. Some beaches lay in front of fancy resorts and some you can hike to. There’s so many unique beaches and that’s why when I announce my favorite beach, I’m sure I’ll get someone disagreeing with me. Kaanapali is super popular, and very beautiful, but Oneloa, also known as Big Beach, is definitely, hands down my favorite beach on Maui. I’ve been there a few times and it’s usually less busy, and sometimes it even feels like you have the place to yourself. Big Beach is beautiful to just relax, or if you’re feeling active, boogie board or snorkel. I snorkeled here and although sometimes the waves are a bit heavy, I still saw lots of beautiful fish. Most of all, I love the way the beach curves and you can get a great view of it by climbing up a hill to Little Beach. That’s right, climb over a hill and down on the other side is Little Beach, a clothing optional beach 🙂

 

Big Beach, Maui Hawaii

A Flight Attendant's Guide to Big Beach, Maui Hawaii

 

Visit this Big Beach, because I insist, but don’t forget some of the other famous beaches. Like I mentioned, Kaanapali is probably Maui’s most famous beach. Chances are, if you’re staying in a big hotel on Maui, you might be staying on Kaanapali. Personally, I prefer the Kihei area because there are a lot of things that are walkable and it feels less resort-like and like more of a town. If you’re on honeymoon, go with romantic resort areas on Maui like Kaanapali or Wailea.

 

A Flight Attendant's Guide to Maui, Kaanapali Beach

 

A Flight Attendant's Guide to Maui, Black Sand Beach

 

 

A note on snorkeling in Maui: There are many “trips” that you can pay for, but snorkeling is great just about everywhere and you can certainly just go on your own if you bring a snorkel or rent one. The bummer about paying for a snorkel tour is that you’re subject to weather influencing the visibility. Maui water is super clear, but bad weather is bad weather, unfortunately. I have done the Molokini Crater trip and I was very disappointed. The visibility was bad due to wind and on top of that, it was so crowded I didn’t get the feel of being in another world like I usually do when snorkeling. I highly recommend renting or bringing your own snorkel gear and going for a swim whenever the mood strikes you. I used my favorite Maui book, Maui Revealed for all the best snorkeling spots.

 

My Favorite Place for a Drink

   Hint: It’s everything you expect for a romantic, Hawaiian evening Lilikoi Martini

 

For my birthday, I wanted nothing more than a good view, good sushi, and an amazing cocktail.  I got all three at the 5 Palms in Kihei. The 5 Palms is at the Mana Kai resort in Kihei and it rests right on the beach, offering amazing views from both inside and outside the restaurant.

My to-die-for drink is the Lilikoi Martini. When I ordered it, I didn’t know what Lilikoi was exactly, but it sounded Hawaiian so I figured I couldn’t go wrong. I was so right. To this day, it’s my favorite cocktail I’ve had anywhere. It probably didn’t hurt that the sunset I was gazing out at, and the whales breaching in the distance, all made the drink taste even more magical.

The 5 Palms doesn’t disappoint, which makes it very popular and a reservation is absolutely necessary! Trying to walk in? Expect to be turned away or asked to wait for some time. Waiting can stil be fun though because you’ve got a great view. The second time I went to the 5 Palms, I waited about 30 minutes to get in, but was able to watch the whales breaches just off the beach. Amazing. This place isn’t cheap, but it’s not super expensive. Budget wise, I’d say it’s a once-per-trip visit kind of establishment. 😉

 

The Road To Hana Coconuts on Maui Hawaii

 

If you go to Maui for no reason other than to experience the Road To Hana, you must go. The Road to Hana is quite possibly one of my favorite world experiences and it should be on everyone’s travel bucket list. I recommend dedicating at least an entire day (we’re talking set you’re alarm to wake up early) to three days depending on what your travel goals are while on Maui. But what is the Road to Hana? Basically, it’s Hawaii’s answer to California’s Highway 1. Both famous drives cling to rocky cliffs, offering earth-shattering ocean views. What makes the Road to Hanna even more special is that every couple seconds, you’re passing waterfalls. I promise your neck will hurt from taking this drive because on one side you have beautiful ocean vistas, on the other side is jungle and waterfalls galore. The road to Hana is so spectacular, I dedicated a post to it here.

 

 

 

A Flight Attendant's Guide to Maui

 

 

In Summary, Don’t Leave Maui Without…

Whale WatchingTaking Snorkel Selfies in Maui, Check out this Flight Attendant's Guide to Maui

Chasing rainbows

Eating and drinking as much as you can:

fresh fish (ideally macademia encrusted), Hawaiian shaved ice, tropical drinks, repeat

Driving the road to Hana

Checking out each Maui beach, whether it’s black sand or white powder. Grab a snorkel!

Have you been to Maui? Tell me, what’s your favorite thing to do on the island?

Aloha and Happy Traveling

XOXO The Luv Aviatrix

 

P.S. Notice how I haven’t put any accommodation recommendations? Let me know if you have any! I’ve always stayed in AirBnBs there and while I’ve had luck everywhere else in the world, I haven’t had success in Maui. Every place I’ve stayed has been lackluster. I even had one host greet me by insulting my shoes. Yep. That happened.

P.P.S. Planning a trip to Maui? Below are my two fav Hawaii/Maui travel books. Please note that these are affiliate links, which mean I get a commission, but I promise, I wouldn’t steer you wrong. Pretty much anyone who’s been to Maui will recommend the book, Maui Revealed 🙂

 

Jeep in Kauai

7 Reasons Why Hawaii Should Be Your Bachelorette Party Getaway!

Hawaii Bachelorette Party Ideas

Aloha! As a flight attendant, I’m fortunate to be able to travel a lot. Hawaii is an easy getaway for me since I’m on the West coast. I’m ashamed to admit that the first few times I went to Honolulu, I scoffed at the idea of visiting the Polynesian Cultural Center. I finally went after taking my mom to Honolulu and maybe it’s because I have a dirty mind, but it was like Magic Mike Live, but in Hawaii. My face is literally getting red just thinking about it. The entire time I was there I thought, this needs to be my bachelorette party getaway…if I ever get married lol. So far all you gals that ARE engaged, this is my argument for making a Hawaiian getaway part of your bachelorette party getaway plans.

Reasons to have your bachelorette party in Hawaii

 

Kauai, Hawaii

1. Hawaii is never a bad idea. Let’s be honest, it’s paradise!

 

Exhibit A above. The beaches, the weather, the smiling people and aloha spirit. I’ve never been to Hawaii and not had the time of my life. Nothing is more memorable than leaving footprints in pristine Hawaiian sand or gazing out at a fresh rainbow after a brief, warm sprinkle. Have your bachelorette party in paradise and I guarantee it’ll become a tradition, a Hawaiian girls getaway that you and your closest friends can remember forever. After all, you and your hubby-to-be deserve a romantic honeymoon, but don’t you and your besties deserve a special vacay? I think so!

 

2. The Polynesian Cultural Center…Hawaii’s Gift to Women

Like I mentioned before, on many of my previous visits to Honolulu, I’d shunned the idea of taking the time to visit the Polynesian Cultural Center. It’s not that I’m not interested in culture, I majored in Anthropology, so I love it. But if I’m on a quick getaway, I always just assumed the PCC would be stuffy and full of tourists. I avoided the Polynesian Cultural Center like I avoid the Mona Lisa exhibit in the Louvre. Big Mistake. I think everyone should visit the PCC…especially women. There was so much history…but goodness, it’s like they hire the best looking men of the islands to reenact the historical practices. I literally felt like a predator watching them show me how to make a woven basket or build a fire. And don’t even get me started on the Haka. What is a Haka, you ask? It’s an incredibly testosterone driven war dance, as equally sexy as it is terrifying. Maybe it’s the romance novel writer in me, but seeing these guys pounding on their chests and sticking their tongues out nearly rendered me to a puddle on the floor. The only reason I didn’t melt was one of the Hawaiian Shaved Ice vendors helped me cool down with the yummy treat! The ladies of your bachelorette party are sure to get into trouble here. I know I got a couple numbers while I was there 😉

 

Feast your eyes on some Polynesian Culture Center  studs. Like Magic Mike, but sexier…a bit primal. 🙂

 

Polynesian Cultural Center HonoluluPolynesian Cultural Center HonoluluPolynesian Cultural Center Honolulu

 

Polynesian Cultural Center Honolulu

 

3. All the exotic drinks..Honolulu Mai Tai

 

Tiki Bars, need I say more? There’s going to be drinking at a bachelorette party, so why not drink fresh Mai Tais and beautiful Orchid-topped Pina Coladas? Or how about Pineapple juice and champagne, a Pimosa so to speak 😉 If anyone in the bachelorette party is a non-drinker worries, you’ll still feel exotic drinking fresh coconut milk. Yummm…

 

Kauai Pina Coladas

 

4. Take a group surf lesson!

 

This idea is for the epic bride-to-be. It’s so fun, but it’s not for the hung-over bachelorette group. So if you’re planning on doing a lot of vacation drinking during your bachelorette party getaway, maybe steer away from this option. Does this warning sound like it’s coming from personal experience? That’s because it is. LOL. On my last girls getaway…well, let’s just say what happens in Hawaii stays in Hawaii 😉 Drink too much the night before at your own risk though because yours truly got seasick during her surf lesson. Getting rescued by the studly surf instructors was definitely not on my to-do list. Speaking of instructors…The surfers are all super sexy, especially at Waikiki beach. All the girls will enjoy a little hands on action with the instructors. Nothing beats leaving Hawaii knowing you tried something different, and maybe even caught a wave!

 

5. Instagram material for life 😉

 

Let’s be honest, the vacation didn’t happen if you didn’t take a bunch of pictures and post them on social media. Whether it’s exotic beaches, exotic drinks, bikini selfies or food porn pics, Hawaii provides plenty of photo ops.

 

Hawaii Flora   Hawaiian Shaved Ice kauai napali

       Kauai Sand             Honolulu View

6. Rent a Jeep, take the top off and sing!

 

When in Hawaii, you definitely need a ride. I whole heartedly think that a jeep is the only way to go. Cram all your girlfriends into it, take the top down, and blast some of your favorite tunes. Singing cheesy pop songs at the top of our lungs and having the Hawaiian breeze whip through our hair created iconic moments that I’ll never forget. Depending on how many girls are in your bachelorette party, you’ll need one or two. Have a bachelorette caravan if you have to! This was such a great memory from my last girls trip in Hawaii!

 

Jeep in Kauai

 

 

7. Take a Hula dancing lesson

 

Besides being a blast, learn some skills that you can take back home and impress your man with. After all, the art of hula dancing is by far, one of the most beautiful, sexy, graceful dances in the world. Do a private group lesson for your bachelorette party, get dolled up, and learn how to hula. Some companies will let you request a location, I’m thinkin’ beach. Some instructors, like Sarah Chang will even help choreograph a wedding dance!

Bottom Line… There are endless Maui Hawaii Embry Riddle Hatreasons to create a memorable bachelorette party in Hawaii!

 

 

I’ve left you with 7 since it’s a lucky number. And honestly, even if you’re not planning a bachelorette party, take your best girls to Hawaii and start an annual tradition anyway! Sometimes life gets busy and where better to reconnect with friends than paradise?

P.S. Looking for a Honolulu hotel? Check out my review of the Aston Waikiki, here.

Aloha & Happy Traveling

XOXO

The Luv Aviatrix