A New Year above the Rest

Happy New Year!

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A little delayed…but better late than never?!

The past few years my friends and I have chosen to get outside for New Years Eve. Instead of the usual midnight toast, we prefer to be dancing around a fire swigging champs.

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This MUG deserves its own post! Created by my truly talented bestie Ceramics Life For Me. We hiked Whitney this year and she gifted this mug to me at Christmas – can you believe it?!

In the past, we have gone to Joshua Tree.  It is freeeezing in the desert in Winter – who knew? If you go be prepared so you don’t freeze your bunz ( like I did). The following year we did an epic road trip to the Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion.  It was epically amazing and a truly special way to start the New Year.  This year we stayed a little closer to home and went to Yosemite.  The first time I went to Yosemite was in 8th grade for Science camp and have been consistently going back since. Yosemite is beautiful in every season and has activities whenever you can go. Rafting in the summer, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in the winter, hiking, and backpacking. No matter how many times you have been, each time is a new and fun experience.

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We had planned to cross country ski to the Glacier Point Hut, but since there was no snow our trip got canceled. I still REALLY want to do that at some time but lucky for us we ended up doing something equally beautiful and grueling, Clouds Rest.

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I have thought about doing Clouds Rest before but in the summer permits can be a challenge. A lot of people do it in a day, in fact most of the reviews you will read talk about doing it in a day but my friends and I decided to do an overnight backpack which turned out to be a great idea. Still challenging…have you hiked the mist trail… glad we took two days to cover the trail.

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Jessica the most amazing navigator… how many more miles??!! ARE WE THERE YET?

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Wait… I have to get up around this? HOW?

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View of Half Dome – such a beauty and terror all rolled into one!

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Sometimes going down is just as scary as going up… Where is the trail?

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This is me at the top – insane, scary tiring but all around awesome!

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Always enjoying a summit beer!

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Little Yosemite Valley backpackers camp was pretty desolate on Jan 1 and we had the campfire to ourselves where we sipped whiskey with sweet and spicy tea … don’t knock it till you’ve tried it and Chelsea built the most epic fire!

It is amazing to be able to share these experiences with some of the most important people in my life. Thanks to them for encouraging me and waiting for me to make sure I don’t lose the trail – I am so blessed! Happy New Year and Cheers to all that 2018 brings!

 

 

Eats around Berlin

Berlin is an international city and as such, you can eat any type of food whenever you want.  When I first arrived I was very intimidated with eating anywhere cause I had trouble understanding the menu! Most restaurants I went to did have an English menu after I asked, which I hate to be the person that needs that but it was nice and made eating out a little less intimidating.

I also found Yelp to be popular and made finding places near me to eat or drink easier. I also love to use Instagram and that is how we found this next breakfast spot, Benedict.  Every corner of this restaurant and cafe is an Instagrammers paradise!  This breakfast/brunch will be pricier than other low key spots, but you are paying for the atmosphere and I didn’t mind paying extra for the full experience.

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This next spot is a gem and could easily be walked by sans the line of people out the door.  Hamy is an affordable, fresh and delicious spot. Also situated in a fun neighborhood to walk about this is a must do spot! IMG_5222IMG_5223

A great place to stop for bread, for a picnic?… or a pastry for breakfast is Soluna. Delicious!IMG_5230IMG_5231

Sahara – I think its a chain? But soo good – fun to take to go or eat there on the patio get a beer next door.IMG_5291IMG_5293IMG_5294

Austria Das Original – Delish schnitzel and I think pickled cucumbers and potato salad… SO good!IMG_5217IMG_5216IMG_5214IMG_5213

Reccomendations :

Benedict

Hamy

Soluna

Sahara

Austria Das Original 

 

Walking around Berlin

I enjoy walking and it is especially nice to walk about when traveling. Walking is a great way to get to know a place and acquaint yourself with the area you are staying in.

The Turkish market was a great find! I literally stumbled across it when leaving my hostel Tuesday morning. With clothing, jewelry, sweets and other food items everyone can get something they want here!IMG_5181IMG_5186IMG_5188IMG_5189

The canals are beautiful! I highly reccomend eating/drinking nearby and strolling through them!IMG_5191IMG_5200IMG_5202IMG_5201IMG_5198IMG_5203IMG_5205IMG_5207IMG_5235

Victoria Park is a great place to people watch, relax, or picnic.IMG_5233IMG_5234IMG_5239IMG_5262IMG_5274IMG_5273IMG_5279IMG_5285IMG_5284IMG_5277IMG_5287IMG_5296IMG_5300IMG_5302IMG_5306IMG_5307IMG_5362IMG_5363IMG_5365

My Recommendations :

A flea market either Boxhagener Platz or Mauerpark 

Turkish market

Victoria Park

Fat tire bike tour – Riding a bike was SO much fun and I felt safer being in a group than I would have been renting a bike alone. The bike lanes can be a little confusing for someone who doesn’t know what they are doing!

Bowling is a great indoor activity if it happens to rain! This alley has 1 euro games on Sunday.

Prater Garten

Cafe am Neuren See

A few other resources I found helpful :

World of Wanderlust  – Berlin Bucket List

Brewdogs Berlin Recs

11 tips for rainy days

Berlin Weekend Itinerary 

Must see sights according to Hand Luggage Only

50 things to do in Berlin

Drinking my way around Berlin

In many ways, I left a little of my heart in Berlin. It is a big city, full of diverse neighborhoods and lots of history. Despite not really understanding the language I felt right at home.  I went in May and the weather was amazing. We had a few days of rain but it always cleared up in time for a walk around. One of my favorite things about Berlin is that everyone walks around with a beer in hand. Here in California, you really won’t see that often. It is definitely frowned upon to walk about with an open container. Not so in Berlin, everyone you pass walking down the street, whether it’s parents watching their kids at the park, coworkers/ friends walking to dinner they all have a beer in hand and I LOVE that vibe, so laid back, so me.

I was staying in the cutest neighborhood and the best hostel, Minimal Hostel.  I chose to stay in a hostel since I was traveling alone and wanted the opportunity to meet people and hang out with them. In the neighborhood of my hostel was a cute craft beer bar, Lager Lager. I hit this spot up a few times. Always bustling with many people and a great spot to pick up an interesting beer for later. IMG_5194IMG_5193IMG_5192

Another spot close to where I was staying, O.T. Bar Und Projekt Raum was another spot with good wine and beer! Very cool interior also.IMG_5321IMG_5320IMG_5319752CEE89-4C98-4AB4-B718-09E5F173C3C9

Another fun spot for cocktails is Geist Im Glas, this is a super cool place where you can tell the bartender what flavor alcohol combo you like and she will create a drink for you! They have a great outdoor area but after a certain time, they ask that you head inside as to not disturb the neighbors. IMG_5229IMG_5228IMG_5227IMG_5224

Another great place for green juices, coffee, tea and various food is the Marheineke Markthalle on Bergmannstraße. I like going to markets cause I can point to things I want if I am not sure how to say it in German.IMG_5204

I loved the Brlo Brwhouse – so much so that I went to it twice while I was in Berlin. It is in Victoria Park which was a really cool spot to people watch, bike, walk and relax!IMG_5241IMG_5240IMG_5242IMG_5243IMG_5244IMG_5246IMG_5257IMG_5258

In Summary, a few places I really enjoyed for a drink are :

Lager Lager

O.T. Bar Und Projekt Raum

Geist Im Glas

Brlo Brwhouse

I fell in love with Copenhagen in under 24 hours!

Oh, Copenhagen, I had no idea how much I would love you. An eight-hour layover was not nearly enough time to see all the sights or drink all the beer, but you can rest assured I will be back to do more exploring.

To get from the airport to the central station is so easy… easy enough that even I could figure it out and have someone ask me for help!

My first stop was the Paiperon, a warehouse space filled with local street food vendors. To get there I took the train from the airport to central station and then walked to the Paiperon. The walk was beautiful. I was enamored more and more with each step.

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The coolest built-in trampolines! I jumped for a bit and it was so fun and exhilarating. copenhagenIMG_5149copenhagenIMG_5148copenhagenIMG_5140copenhagenIMG_5152copenhagenIMG_5154copenhagenIMG_5155

My next goal was to make it to Warpigs…so again I laced up my walking shoes and headed back past the Central Station. copenhagenIMG_5158copenhagenIMG_5161copenhagenIMG_5159

At points, I felt that I must be lost… but I eventually made it to beer heaven.

I tried the Ligonberry sour = A++

The Black IPA with Cherry = Also delicious

and finally the Imperial Coffee Stout = truly one of the best coffee stouts I have ever had!copenhagenIMG_5171copenhagenIMG_5168copenhagenIMG_5173

I didn’t try the BBQ cause I was too full but it looked amazing! Also seems that people come here for the BBQ alone regardless of the beer.copenhagenIMG_5174

If you have a long layover in Copenhagen, you should definitely make the effort to leave the airport! I found it to be super easy and well worth the time!

Other Resources:

http://www.thetravelmentor.com/2015/10/how-to-get-from-copenhagen-airport-to-city-center-of-copenhagen/

http://www.layoverguide.com/2014/02/copenhagen-layover.html

 

 

18 Reasons Cooking Class

18 Reasons is a non-profit based in San Francisco that not only provides cooking classes to community members but also free cooking classes to low-income communities throughout the Bay Area. 18reasonsIMG_470418reasonsIMG_470618reasonsIMG_4705

The night my friends and I went was ‘Spring Soups’!

We made crispy salmon, warm potato salad with a watercress sauce/soup. A build your own tortilla soup bar and for dessert a strawberry champagne soup with vanilla ice cream, fried basil, and other accents.18reasonsIMG_4709

Making the crispy salmon was easy and delicious.18reasonsIMG_4710

Building the tortilla soup and adding the broth at the end allowed for a fun and different aromatic experience!18reasonsIMG_4713

Next the crispy salmon over the warm potato salad and watercress sauce was served! 18reasonsIMG_471818reasonsIMG_471718reasonsIMG_4719

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Fried Basil! I have never seen that before!18reasonsIMG_472118reasonsIMG_4723

Everything we prepared was easy and delicious. This cooking class was a lot of fun and I love the mission behind 18 reasons. I highly recommend taking a class here! Enjoy!

Read about this N. Oakland Brewery

I finally made it to Novel Brewing in North Oakland.  Really great beers … I was impressed!

I love all their decor and their cute book beer tasters.

novelbrewerynovelbrewnovelMy fav was the Black Rye IPA and the New England Style IPA… SO delish!

It is dog-friendly and a great neighborhood spot.