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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
In Summary, a few places I really enjoyed for a drink are :
This past weekend I had a couple friends visit, last minute, in the middle of the week… which can be the best kind of visits… the best places are way less crowded on a Thursday!
The weather had been rainy all week but we were lucky to have sunny skies over us on the day they were visiting.
First Stop… Beauty’s Bagels! Yes, it is a bit hipstery ( whatever that means…) but it isgenuinelyy delicious and one of my favorite places in Oakland for breakfreast.
I always take people here who are visiting and they always love it. I love the Veggie bagel but this particular day I tried the fried chicken and let me tell you… it was some of the best friend chicken I have ever had.
After fueling up, we headed to Tenessee Valley for a hike! This is a leisure hike that you can make more challenging or longer as you see fit for you and your group.
Next stop! One of my ALL TIME fav mexican restaurants I have ever been to, The Sausalito Taco Shop. The crema, the micheladas, the seafood… yes PLEASE!
After lunch, it was time for some beer! We headed back across the Richmond Bridge for one of my fav breweries ( are you sensing a theme? Of course I would take my friends to do my favorite things! ), Fieldwork in Berkeley.
I am NEVER disappointed here and I always take home a crowler, growler or apparel! … I just love it!
Next stop, Rare Barrel… If you LOVE Sours…where have you been??? Get to The Rare Barrel. The server asked if we were on Spring Break… We took it as a compliment… life should be one long spring break!
After heading home to clean up we hit my neighborhood brewery, Temescal.
Love the beer garden here… dreaming of Summer already!
SO glad that these two came and visited me! It allowed me to visit my favorite places with two of the funniest people I know!
Come back anytime!
We then headed to one of my fav Korean spots, Bowl’d BBQ.
My fav mocha…. and I am not even a mocha person, but the mocha at Blue Bottle is made with tcho and is ohhh so good. Pair it with a waffle and you have a decadently sweet breakfast.
My love affair with Firebrand continues. Not just a bakery – they serve up amazing breakfast and lunch fare… They also recently started serving beer and wine in the evenings. Need to check it out soon.
Another place I love every time I go but I just don’t go enough is Drake’s Dealership. Went here for lunch and may have had a little too much to drink, but the beers were SO good.
If you love German food head to Gaumenkitzel in Berkeley. This is my second time there and I LOVED it both times. Great for vegetarians and meat lovers alike with an extensive beer and wine menu.
Branching out from the East Bay for this last one! The Jug Shop on Polk in the City has an AMAZING selection of beer, liquor, and wine. They also put on wonderful tastings. My friend and I went there for a sour tasting and we were blown away by how extensive and delicious it was. As you can see I went home with quite a bit!!
Our next morning started out at a newer SLO fav, Scout Coffee. They now have two locations in San Luis and we went to the shop on Foothill Foothill. The decor is on point and their homemade almond milk will make you sing.
I tried the scone with scallions and goat cheese which was delicious. The vibe was LOUD… I don’t know how someone could study there but maybe on a weekday it would be less rambunctious.
After our coffee and pastries, we headed to Avila to hike the Ridge Trail. This time we parked closer to Pirates Cove… off Cave Landing.
We started at the hill of doom, much better going up than down.
Once we caught our breaths… well once I caught my breath we selfied 🙂
SO amazingly beautiful and vast. Once we were leaving we noticed that it had gotten a lot more crowded. We were lucky that we had so much alone trail time.
Once in Avila, we stopped for lunch and brews and then headed back on the trail to finish our 5 mile round trip blade sesh.
Saturday Night, we had plans to camp at Montana de Oro State Park. This is probably one of the most beautiful places you will ever go in your life.
Is this real life??? Views and Brews?!! On this somewhat stormy Saturday Night Libertine Pub in Morro Bay was pretty empty but a live band came on at eight that brought in more of a crowd. We enjoyed dinner and a few brewskies.
Last weekend my friend and I took a trip from the Bay to the Central Coast. We lived together in SLO during college and were looking forward to a weekend of all our favorite SLO area things.
First stop Firestone, dinner and a flight were a must after nearly three hours in the car. Have really been loving the sours coming out of Firestone.
Next morning up and ready to go early, gotta get our Black Horse and SLO Donut Co. fix. They even have gluten free donuts these days… so no excuses not to go!
Chels and I both had work to do in the morning but once the afternoon rolled around we were raring for a hike! We found the Cuesta Ridge Botanical Hike and couldn’t believe we hadn’t done it before. Equal parts up and downhill but filled with epic views from start to finish!
A well deserved summit Brew!
Wooooweee does life getter better than these views! So amazing.
What is my favorite thing to after a bunz busting hike? Drink a brew or two of course…
We headed to Bang the Drum Brewery. Great space, indoor and out. Really friendly staff and most importantly great beers!
We went back to the hotel to freshen up before heading downtown for the night.
Here are a few of my favorite things from this past week!
SO lucky that I get to view this every day as I workout! Wake up an hour early to live an hour more!
What is better on a Monday night than copious amounts of Gin…?! LOL
With a friend visiting from out of town you tend to get out a little more and this is how I found myself enjoying Gin cocktails this past Monday at Whitechapel on Polk in SF. I am through and through a beer girl but I happened to pick two cocktails that were surprisingly great!
Lunch at Firebrand… SO GOOD. I want to live in this Bakery, so delectable.
Planning a SLO trip with my bestie! Filled with the very best things… blading, hikes, camping, breweries! YAY
One of the most amazing Mochas in all the land… at Blue Bottle Cafe. Go and enjoy!
My all time fav backyard hike… not literally backyard but 10 minutes from my house. It is an amazing challenge with bay views and it never gets old to me!
Always trying to have no/less screen time once I get home from work… tried my hand at some watercolor painting and had a blast! I won’t be quitting my day job any time soon but its fun to try my hand at different hobbies!
Generally speaking when I am going to plan a vacation, I like to pick a place where I can eat good food, drink good drinks, be active ( in some capacity) and maybe throw in some time by the fire or on a hammock!
Palm Springs is a place that I had not been to since becoming an adult and as a Northern California dweller it takes a bit more to get there than from LA or SD. So when one of my Best Friends suggested we take a trip there for her birthday I very enthusiastically said , “YES”!
There was one caveat though… we were going in SUMMER! You might be thinking who in their right mind goes to the desert in the summer? Well people who love a good deal, and in the summer, Palm Springs has amazing lodging deals.
We took off from foggy San Francisco in the morning and landed in Palm Springs at potentially the hottest part of the day… walking off the plane was a rude awakening to say the least.
We assumed (wrongly) that we would be able to get a rental car since its summer… no one is in the desert right? Well without a rental car to our names we would have to uber/lyft/taxi/shuttle all around town.. which turned out to be a good option. The shuttle is great! Highly reccomend looking into it when you are there as a form of transportation.
We stayed at the Saguaro. If you aren’t living under a rock you have already seen its brightly colored, palm tree laden grounds all over instagram.
I would reccomend staying at this hotel if you LOVE to party all day and into the night… the pool parties are very popular here but also extremely annoying if that isn’t your steeze.
If I were to go back I would potentially stay at the Parkeror The Ace.
Once settled at our hotel we took a car service to Elvis’s Honeymoon Hideaway . We had booked a tour prior to arriving which I reccomend if you are interested. I haven’t made it to Graceland yet, so being somewhere that The King lived was a magical experience. It is hard to believe that this home is owned by a couple ( who are selling btw). To me, it seems like this house should be a museum. It is amazing though how little has been updated. The home maintains its original charm and finishes.
After our tour we were famished and in need of a bite to eat! Another note about Summer is that places close in the middle of the day/ or for the season so be prepared to not get to try all the places you have dreamed about on yelp/instagram.
Ready for day two! We started the day off with a breakfast reservation at Norma’s at the Parker ( ohh lala! ) Another summer tip – wake up early and nap during the hottest part of the day! Not rocket science!… but I thought I would share all the same!
After an amazing breakfast we strolled around the Parker grounds. Beautiful!
Next stop! Saturday morning Famers Market! and look what we found … Beer Tasting! I love to try some good local beer on all my trips so when we found Coachella Valley Brewing Co – I was stoked! Purchased a few beers for back at the hotel where we were headed for some R & R.
For dinner we headed to Birba. We went before the dinner rush and were able to be seated without a reservation.
Our meal and drinks were beyond! I highly, highly reccomend.
Then onto Tropicale, at this point of the night the air is balmy but cool enough for outside sitting and walking.
One final drink and some live music at the Amigo Room.
Day 3! Ready to indulge … yet again.
Elmer’s is a chain.. but a highly recommended chain so off we went to try it out!
After our filling breakfast we went to Moorten Botanical Garden. We thought it would be early enough to beat the heat… but we weren’t. We thought we were going to pass out after walking around, but it was beautiful!
After lounging pool side for the majority of the afternoon we got ready for dinner and drinks!
We went to The Purple Palm for drinks, I tried the Rio Rita with Ghost Pepper! Delish!
For our last lunch we hit Sherman’s Deli in Palm Springs – what a delight! It was so delicious.
After our meal we headed back to our hotel and off we flew back to the Bay! I had an amazing time in Palm Springs – the aesthetic, the food, I loved it all! I will definelty be back… would I go again in the Summer… tbd.
Our first full day in Zion and we needed some fuel so we stopped at Cafe Soleil . I ordered the breakfast burrito and dirty soy chai latte ( chai latte with shot of espresso! ). Very filling and great.
Next we headed to Zion Outfitter to inquire about hiking the Narrows the following day. How much for gear rental, weather conditions etc. This place was recommended to us by our bartender the night before as having the best equipment for the Narrows. I don’t have anything to compare it to but I had a great experience with everyone who worked here. I highly suggest purchasing your crampons beforehand ( much cheaper!) but they also had the good crampons not just yak tracks.
Finally headed into the park, lines get longer the later it gets. Loved this ‘RL GOOD’ license plate! After stopping at the visitor center and getting information about trail closures etc… we decided to start hiking at Lower Emerald Pool Trail and see how we were feeling. We had NO.. I repeat NO intention of hiking to Angel’s Landing. The park ranger specified how dangerous it was and that if we were to fall there would be no rescue party – yowzaaaa so we decided we would just build our own hike and see where it would take us.
From Lower Emerald Pool Trail to The Grotto Trail and Kayenta Trail then finally towards Angel’s Landing Trail itself. Once we were there we decided to just see how far we could go.. we all had crampons and hiking poles which made ALL the difference. People were hiking without but I don’t know why you would.
MADE IT TO THE TOP! WOOHOO – Amazing feeling, can not begin to describe! Don’t think I would do it again but it was invigorating. I almost feel that in the winter it might be better… this is because with the crampon you really dig into the snow instead of just climbing on rock.
I would definelty reccomend Angel’s Landing in winter but you 100% should have crampons and hiking poles!
Someone even took the time to make a snowman!
Heading back down – on the way up this trail was full of people… now it is deserted.
SO many switchbacks! I don’t know how I would have survived this without my poles or crampons.. I will keep saying it.. they were lifesavers!!