The Homebody Tourist Visits: Winterfest! in Downtown El Paso

Greeting fellow travelers,

 Thank you for being so patient as you waited for these posts to continue. Nano was awesome but left me way more burnt out than I thought it had. But I'm back and ready to start this year with a bang! 

  I hope your New Years was exciting. I know mine was. More so than it has been in the last few years.

  And I have this blog to thank for that.

  Every year I promise myself I am going to do something different for New Years. Step outside of my comfort zone and try something new. But I always talk myself out of it, or maybe I should say my anxiety talks me out of it. 

  This year I told myself I had to get out and do something otherwise I wouldn't have anything to write about. Don't you just love fighting anxiety with other forms of anxiety? XD

 THE MOTIVATION

 Winterfest is a wintertime festival that is held in Downtown El Paso. They have an outdoor ice skating rink, food and hot drinks to buy, and stalls hosted by local vendors hawking their products. They also have this inflatable snowball you can go inside and take pictures of. Basically it is just a fun time all around. 

 I heard about Winterfest sometime last year, and I really wanted to go to it, but when anxiety reared its ugly head I blew it off with a myriad of excuses.

  This year I promised myself I would go, but with New Years looming, January first being the last day you can go, it looked like I would once again break that promise. 

 THE STORY

  With the thought of failure looming like a dark cloud overhead I pushed passed my anxiety and started making a plan to go. 

 Just going to the festival would have been fun, but I felt it wasn't quite adventurous enough. 

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 With that in mind, I  rented a room at a hotel that had great reviews online, The Doubltree Hilton. It was just five blocks from the festival. I could actually see the San Jacinto Plaza Christmas light display from my room. 

  I spent the next few hours relaxing at the hotel, watching Jurassic World and Jurassic Park: Lost World.

  Normally, thanks to my living situation, I have at least one other person and a dog vying for my attention during my quiet times. This has a way of stressing me out thanks to my introverted nature.

 Getting a whole afternoon to myself was heaven.

 The hotel itself was amazing. The front counter was staffed by very friendly people. The views from the room were amazing. (See pictures for proof.)

  I will say that the overall layout of the place was a little confusing. The front desk forgot to mention that I'd need to use my room key to get to my floor. So I fumbled around with different buttons, thinking the elevator was broken, until I gave up and asked a nearby member of the staff for help. (Though in the hotels defense, it was probably my lack of culture and overall inability to understand something so fancy that caused the problem. Other guest could probably tell how it worked from experience, or because they were just better at paying attention to their surroundings. :/ )

  My sisters joined me a few hours later and we ordered pizza from a nearby pizzeria, The Pizza Joint. I loooove pizza! And their's was pretty good with a decent time of delivery. 

 Then at ten pm the three of us started out for Winterfest.

 It. Was. Cold! It didn't feel like it at first but by the end of the evening my legs, the only part of my body clothed in a single layer, were numb.

 The San Jacinto Plaza light display was amazing, though! Definitely worth braving the chill. We walked all the way through it, doubling back to be sure we got to see everything, and had an impromptu photo shoot to commemorate the evening. 

 Then we hung a right into Winterfest. It was a bit smaller than I expected, but the stalls were filled with interesting treats, and the ice rink was well done, shielded by several tall buildings so that skaters were protected from the wind. They even had heating stations set up so those attending could warm up.

 We only stayed for half an hour at the actual rink, then we headed back to the hotel for the evening, hoping to watch the fireworks display from the sunset viewing floor at the hotel. Sadly, the clerk at the front desk forgot to mention when she said we could use it that the deck would be locked at 10pm. We ended up missing out on the fireworks. 

  My sisters went home around one, and I settled in for the night. 

 THE EXPERIENCE

  The evening went off without a hitch (for the most part), and I am so glad I decided to ignore my fears long enough to enjoy it. 

  The only negative thing I can say about the hotel is that their deck closed before the fireworks display. So if any of my readers decide to try something like this out I'd suggest making sure you won't be locked out by normal business' closing times.

 Still, what's an adventure without a few mishaps. :)

 Now it's time for the part of the posts I have missed the most since my break. The part where you all share your stories. How was your New Years? What kind of adventure did you start the year off with? 

 Let me know in the comments.

 God Bless,

 Lindsi