Sunday, July 12, 2015

Life Lately: San Francisco Style!

Here's a little taste of what I've been up to since moving to San Francisco -- lots of walking around, exploring the city and beautifully colorful architecture of this city. There's also been quite a few trips to the North Bay for hiking and oysters!

Walks through Hayes Valley

Flower Markets

The Marshall Store! 
Waiting to eat our oysters at The Marshall Store

Oysters + Chorizo Butter + Crunch Sourdough Bread = HEAVEN
LOVING the colorful houses I see when walking around

View from my hotel in San Diego (gotta love West Coast work conferences)

Spent a day drinking in the park and got to watch the sunset :)

Had a picnic on Muir Beach

Had a cider while sitting outside the Pelican Inn

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Driving from Chicago to San Francisco (Part 5) -- The Final Post!

So this is the final post of the drive from Chicago to San Francisco. I know what you're thinking -- HOW DID YOU FILL 5 POSTS WITH RANDOMNESS FROM THIS ROAD TRIP?! but to be 100% honest, I could probably write 5 more posts...

So, after we left Santa Barbara, we decided to take Highway 1 up to Carmel/Monterrey. I mean, you only get the chance to drive up the coast of California a handful of times, right?

I hadn't done a lot of research about driving on Highway 1, but I had seen beautiful pictures on pinterest and instagram and I figured it would like any other highway, except we would have the beautiful view of the ocean on one side. I was right but also, so so wrong.

The drive started out great, and the ocean/coast was BEAUTIFUL (see below). On our way up North, we saw a ton of cars stopped on the side of the road. We didn't know what for, but when we got out, we saw that it was mating season for sea lions! Very very weird and amazing experience. We stayed for a little while, but wanted to high tail it to Big Sur to be able to watch the sunset.

If you've never driven up Highway 1, you should know a couple of things -- it's a two lane highway (one lane each way) and it's very VERY very windy. There were several stressful moments during our drive. Partly because the speed limit was 30 mph but cars were flying by us. And partly because once the sun set, we couldn't see anything on the road. We stopped near Big Sur to watch the sun set and it was beautiful. The pictures don't really do it justice.

What we thought was going to be a 6 hour drive turned out to be a lot longer (because of the windy roads). We were planning to spend the night in Carmel, but hadn't booked a hotel (thinking we would get there early enough to explore and find a cute hotel). We ended up feeling stressed out and tired from the drive and found a very nice hotel in nearby Monterrey. We needed a nice comfy bed at a nice hotel and we were not disappointed. We had dinner (and some lemon drop martinis) at the hotel bar before curling up and promptly falling asleep. 

The next morning, we spent a little bit of time exploring Monterrey but we were anxious to get on the road and make the short drive to San Francisco (about 2 hours).

We made the drive to SF and stopped at a Target before getting to my apartment. We wanted to purchase a rug and an air mattress and some curtains (to make my room roomy until my stuff arrived). After I spent too much money at Target, we made our way to my apartment! (And then promptly went to a late lunch/dinner/drinks down the street). 

Sadly, Bar Jules (aptly named for my mama) is now closed :( But it was delicious!

We booked a hotel in San Francisco, near the airport, because my mom was flying out early the next morning. We decided to go to the movies and have a relaxing night. We saw The Theory of Everything and I bawled my eyes out! I think it was a mix of the end of our road trip, the fear of having moved across the country, not wanting to say bye to my mom and a sad/amazing movie. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Driving from Chicago to San Francisco (Part 4) -- Almost Done I Promise!

My mom and I watched the sunset at the Grand Canyon and headed to our hotel for an early night. Driving really takes it out of you! We walked down the road a little bit and went to a Mexican restaurant for some margaritas and chips and salsa. It was so nice to relax and have some drinks!

From the Grand Canyon, we went to Joshua Tree (we love National Parks!). The one thing that was really interesting about Joshua Tree (to us) was that you can drive through the entire thing! I thought that we would have to park somewhere and hike into the park but we entered the park and drove through the whole thing -- there were places we could pull off and park but overall, it was a road going through the park!

Joshua Tree also reminded me of Dr. Seuss and my mom kept talking about the Entourage episode where they do drugs and get lost in the park. I could totally see that happening because everything looks the same there! 

After Joshua Tree, we went to Palm Springs and had dinner with my mom's cousin, who lives there. His house was beautiful and I will be returning again to use his pool.

We woke up early the next day and drove in to LA (after a quick stop in Cabazon to see the dinosaurs). We booked a celebrity home tour in LA/Beverly Hills (crazy mansions) and we had In-N-Out before heading out of town. The big thing I took away from being in LA was how beautiful everyone was and how nice their cars were!

We drove from LA to Santa Barbara and on our way, stopped in Malibu. Malibu is where I am meant to live. I want to be the next Yolanda Foster and have a gorgeous house in Malibu with lemon trees (new life goal). 

Once in Santa Barbara, we stopped at the hotel for a minute and then I found a nearby restaurant on Groupon for us. We. Love. Seafood. We walked down the pier and had a really great night. You could see all of the ships off the coast and ALL of the stars in the sky. 

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