Favorite Things this week

Here are a few of my favorite things from this past week! oakviewfromoffice

SO lucky that I get to view this every day as I workout! Wake up an hour early to live an hour more!

whitechapel

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!

whitechapel-copy

Lunch at Firebrand… SO GOOD. I want to live in this Bakery, so delectable. lunchatfirebrand

Planning a SLO trip with my bestie! Filled with the very best things… blading, hikes, camping, breweries! YAY

slosesh

Forbidden Island Tiki Bar in Alameda is always a fun spot! All about that Monkey Pod drink.forbiddenisland

One of the most amazing Mochas in all the land… at Blue Bottle Cafe. Go and enjoy!bluebottle

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! claremonttrailberkeley

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!watercolorpencilfun

Palm Springs is better

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”! 

palmspringsimg_8685

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.

palmspringsimg_8704

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. 

palmspringsimg_8716palmspringsimg_8710palmspringsimg_8707palmspringsimg_8711palmspringsimg_8712palmspringsimg_8715

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 Parker or The Ace

palmspringsimg_8719palmspringsimg_8717

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.

palmspringsimg_8720palmspringsimg_8721palmspringsimg_8725palmspringsimg_8724palmspringsimg_8735palmspringsimg_8722palmspringsimg_8726palmspringsimg_8729palmspringsimg_8728

palmspringsimg_8733
peeking over the fence into Marilyn Monroe’s Palm Springs house!

palmspringsimg_8732palmspringsimg_8731palmspringsimg_8730palmspringsimg_8742palmspringsimg_8738palmspringsimg_8758palmspringsimg_8760palmspringsimg_8763palmspringsimg_8765palmspringsimg_8771palmspringsimg_8770palmspringsimg_8768palmspringsimg_8774palmspringsimg_8772palmspringsimg_8778palmspringsimg_8775

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.palmspringsimg_8783

A must do : Date Milk Shake! Delicious but really, really sweet!palmspringsimg_8790palmspringsimg_8789palmspringsimg_8793palmspringsimg_8791

I don’t remember the sandwich place we went too but it was really good and air conditioned! Very important.palmspringsimg_8785palmspringsimg_8788palmspringsimg_8787

Now time for more A/C and some tiki drinks and the historic Bootlegger Tiki.palmspringsimg_8796palmspringsimg_8799

Every table was full around 4 pm on Friday – prime Happy Hour time!palmspringsimg_8800

palmspringsimg_8805
Love a good door detail!

palmspringsimg_8804palmspringsimg_8807palmspringsimg_8811palmspringsimg_8809palmspringsimg_8812palmspringsimg_8824

Las Casuelas is a fun spot for live music and margs!palmspringsimg_8816palmspringsimg_8822palmspringsimg_8820

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!palmspringsimg_8826palmspringsimg_8825palmspringsimg_8829palmspringsimg_8828palmspringsimg_8832palmspringsimg_8830palmspringsimg_8837

After an amazing breakfast we strolled around the Parker grounds. Beautiful! palmspringsimg_8839palmspringsimg_8841palmspringsimg_8840palmspringsimg_8844palmspringsimg_8843palmspringsimg_8845palmspringsimg_8846palmspringsimg_8848palmspringsimg_8847palmspringsimg_8852palmspringsimg_8850palmspringsimg_8855palmspringsimg_8856palmspringsimg_8851palmspringsimg_8860palmspringsimg_8858palmspringsimg_8857palmspringsimg_8871palmspringsimg_8869palmspringsimg_8865palmspringsimg_8872palmspringsimg_8875palmspringsimg_8877palmspringsimg_8876palmspringsimg_8878

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. palmspringsimg_8882palmspringsimg_8880palmspringsimg_8885palmspringsimg_8884palmspringsimg_8891palmspringsimg_8890palmspringsimg_8889palmspringsimg_8888palmspringsimg_8887

For dinner we headed to Birba. We went before the dinner rush and were able to be seated without a reservation. palmspringsimg_8893palmspringsimg_8896palmspringsimg_8895palmspringsimg_8897palmspringsimg_8898

Our meal and drinks were beyond! I highly, highly reccomend. palmspringsimg_8903palmspringsimg_8905

Next stop, Bar!palmspringsimg_8907palmspringsimg_8906

Beer Cocktails? Yes, I will try you.palmspringsimg_8909palmspringsimg_8912

Then onto Tropicale, at this point of the night the air is balmy but cool enough for outside sitting and walking.palmspringsimg_8914

One final drink and some live music at the Amigo Room.palmspringsimg_8920palmspringsimg_8918palmspringsimg_8922palmspringsimg_8924palmspringsimg_8927

Day 3! Ready to indulge … yet again.

palmspringsimg_8932
fun colorful halls at our hotel!

palmspringsimg_8935

Elmer’s is a chain.. but a highly recommended chain so off we went to try it out!palmspringsimg_8937palmspringsimg_8936

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! palmspringsimg_8939palmspringsimg_8938palmspringsimg_8940palmspringsimg_8942palmspringsimg_8941palmspringsimg_8943palmspringsimg_8947palmspringsimg_8946palmspringsimg_8944palmspringsimg_8948palmspringsimg_8950palmspringsimg_8949palmspringsimg_8952palmspringsimg_8953palmspringsimg_8955palmspringsimg_8956palmspringsimg_8958palmspringsimg_8957palmspringsimg_8959palmspringsimg_8961palmspringsimg_8960palmspringsimg_8963palmspringsimg_8964palmspringsimg_8965palmspringsimg_8967palmspringsimg_8966palmspringsimg_8969palmspringsimg_8971palmspringsimg_8970palmspringsimg_8973palmspringsimg_8974palmspringsimg_8972palmspringsimg_8976palmspringsimg_8975palmspringsimg_8979palmspringsimg_8978palmspringsimg_8980palmspringsimg_8982palmspringsimg_8981palmspringsimg_8988palmspringsimg_8987palmspringsimg_8989palmspringsimg_8992palmspringsimg_8996palmspringsimg_8995palmspringsimg_8993palmspringsimg_8991

After lounging pool side for the majority of the afternoon we got ready for dinner and drinks!

palmspringsimg_8999palmspringsimg_9003palmspringsimg_9002

We went to The Purple Palm for drinks, I tried the Rio Rita with Ghost Pepper! Delish!palmspringsimg_9005palmspringsimg_9006palmspringsimg_9008

palmspringsimg_9010
LOL

palmspringsimg_9011palmspringsimg_9013

After our drinks, we headed to Workshop kitchen + bar for dinner.palmspringsimg_9014palmspringsimg_9016palmspringsimg_9018palmspringsimg_9021palmspringsimg_9020palmspringsimg_9019

Again, our food was amazing. Prices were a little high but all great quality food.palmspringsimg_9025

For a final night cap we hit Kings Highway … for our second date shake of the trip.palmspringsimg_9026palmspringsimg_9030palmspringsimg_9029palmspringsimg_9028

Amazing Wall Weave!! Swoon.palmspringsimg_9032palmspringsimg_9034palmspringsimg_9033palmspringsimg_9031

One last view of the pool… looks so relaxing… before anyone arrives!palmspringsimg_9039palmspringsimg_9041palmspringsimg_9045

We headed to Cheeky’s for brunch – we barely made it before they closed for the season!!palmspringsimg_9046

I love a good Bloody Mary and this one came in a glass boot – talk about in love!palmspringsimg_9049

Great breakfast and amazing service!palmspringsimg_9053

We spent the rest of the morning wandering around antique shops and galleries.palmspringsimg_9056palmspringsimg_9054

Needing a break from the heat we went to Customs Coffeepalmspringsimg_9057palmspringsimg_9059palmspringsimg_9058palmspringsimg_9064palmspringsimg_9063palmspringsimg_9061palmspringsimg_9065

For our last lunch we hit Sherman’s Deli in Palm Springs – what a delight! It was so delicious.palmspringsimg_9066palmspringsimg_9068palmspringsimg_9067

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.

Zion – Angel’s Landing in Winter

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. zionnationalparkimg_2227

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. zionnationalparkimg_2230

zionnationalparkimg_0137
PC : John Thomas

zionnationalparkimg_2236zionnationalparkimg_2237zionnationalparkimg_2239zionnationalparkimg_2241

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.zionnationalparkimg_2243zionnationalparkimg_2249zionnationalparkimg_2254zionnationalparkimg_7679zionnationalparkimg_7681

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! zionnationalparkimg_7682zionnationalparkimg_7686zionnationalparkimg_7689

Someone even took the time to make a snowman!

zionnationalparkimg_7691
PC : Chelsea Thomas
zionnationalparkimg_7694
PC : Chelsea Thomas

Heading back down – on the way up this trail was full of people… now it is deserted.

zionnationalparkimg_7695

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!! zionnationalparkimg_7698zionnationalparkimg_7703zionnationalparkimg_8293

Felling really amazing after this hike!zionnationalparkimg_8298

Spotted some wildlife!zionnationalparkimg_2255

Now headed to Zion Mountain Ranch… our home for the next two days! Time to relax. zionnationalparkimg_2389

A love letter to the state of Vermont

This title really should be a love letter to Vermont, Beer, Fall and Cider Donuts.

I am so full… full of happiness and beer.  The foliage here really gets to me. It is so beautiful and in California we have leaves change but maybe not at this magnitude… it is different.img_0676img_0678img_0691

Loved seeing all the spooky/halloween/fall decor in from of peoples houses.img_0693img_0694

Have you ever been to a diner in the back of a hardware store? Well I hadn’t until we ran across Sarah’s Country Diner. If you are in Cabot and hungry you should definitely stop in. What a fun experience! They even had locally made Kombucha – excellent!img_0695

img_0696img_0698img_0699

So this is where Sunflower Seeds come from?!img_0700img_0703img_0706img_0708

FINALLY, we made it to Hill Farmstead Brewery. I have been wanting to come here for a few years now and it was everything I dreamed of. Decadent beers, organized growler fills and pours made for an enjoyable experience.img_0714img_0718

Stumbled upon an Apple Pie Festival at a local high school! What Luck! Sharp Cheddar Cheese – yes please! Wishing I was having this again. img_0692

Rock Art Brewery was a great stop! I am so glad we made it a priority. Great Beers, super knowledgable staff that described every beer and the order we should drink it. The downstairs bar area was filled so we went upstairs where there were two large rooms. My friends and I had a great time sampling and spending time with one another.img_0721

Lost Nation Brewing  is an awesome brewery. Having been before on a Sunday when it was way less crowded I was completely taken off guard by the line out the door. It was popping on a Saturday. My suggestion is that if you want a flight and food (which trust me you do!! ) you should go on a Sunday or be prepared and okay to wait. I love their beers and the flight is a fun experience. Their kitchen turns out some amazing grub so its a must do!img_0727

Will be dreaming of this little airbnb view forever. What a dream.img_0736img_0740

Cider Donuts and Hot Cider, not too much just enough!img_0744

After gorging ourselves we wanted a little hike, but let me tell you this hike was anything but little. It was pretty intense with a little rock climbing but the views along the way were well worth it! Seemed to be dog friendly as we saw many pups along the route.img_0750img_0767img_0769img_0785img_0786img_0789img_0790

Burger and Beer for lunch… doesn’t get much better after an intense hike. Prohibition Pig is another must do for me – great service, beer, and food.img_0799img_0796img_0797

On our way home, we made it to one last brewery, Long Trail. I have had their beer before but this is my first time at the brewery. I LOVE the outdoorsy vibes – so up my alley and their beer was delicious. img_0801img_0802img_0803

I have probably used, delicious, amazing, must do way too many times in this post but thats honestly how I feel. My jeans may be a bit tighter but what a magical weekend. Now…when can I get back??!

A Week in Photos

Lucky for me Firebrand bakery is right next to my office. I am OBSESSED. It is so delicious.

This was a ginger cookie with REAL chunks of ginger! I also purchased a golden raisin and fennel baguette which we paired with Pumpkin goat cheese… and let me tell you it was a real dream.img_0814

Dinner party thrown by my amazingly talented friend. The cheese board started it all!

img_0828

Finally tried Brown Sugar Kitchen last weekend. Everyone that worked there was super friendly but I have to say that I wasn’t overly impressed with the food! Maybe it was too hyped up – I still think you should try it, but have realistic expectations.

img_0836

Went to a Pumpkin Patch, it is definitely easier to get Pumpkins at the grocery store but much more fun to go to the patch!

img_0846

I have been working out at my company’s baby gym and loving it. It is nice not fighting for equipment!

img_0865

Loved this Stone Collab.  It is from last year…so if you haven’t tried it yet I highly reccomend you do! img_0867

Little taste of Brooklyn and NYC

We arrived to Brooklyn at around 11:30 pm, our airbnb was in a really interesting area. It was on top of what looked like a dry cleaning company. Very industrial but with a cool view of the city skyline!img_0317

Loved seeing this vintage taxi!img_0325

We went to Cafe Luluc for breakfast and they did not disappoint! We walked right in but about 10 / 15 minutes after we were seated there was a line up of folks waiting for a table.img_0327

The pancakes were by far the highlight of the meal but who doesn’t love fries for breakfast!img_0331

The Brooklyn Bridge park is really really cool! Calling it a park does not do it justice at all! They have soccer fields, sand volleyball courts, basketball courts and a floating food forest. The city planners in San Francisco should take note! We need something like this.img_0558img_0344img_0349img_0358img_0362

If there is any doubt in your mind where to get pizza – go to Grimaldi’s  if the line is long, which it probably will be note that you can walk right in and place a to go order and within 10 minutes you will have an amazing pizza to enjoy somewhere outside… I would much rather sit outside than in a two hundred year old building! img_0364

The pizza is SO fresh … a large might not be enough!img_0367

Love walking across the Brooklyn Bridge…over the course of this day we walked over 10 miles… I like to call it Urban Hiking! After all the eating and drinking – this is much needed!img_0374

A few stops on Wall Street… img_0389img_0391

We will never forget where we were on September 11, 2001 and being able to take a moment here at the memorials and pay homage to all the lives affected is an experience that everyone should take part in. The museum is really thought provoking and I definelty reccomend going in and spending time there.img_0394

The Garret is a fun little speakeasy situation that you can only get to by going through the Five Guys on the corner. It is pretty hard to imagine that this gem is up there but it is and its definitely worth hitting. img_0396img_0397img_0400

Anywhere that has Mezcal cocktails is already winning but this place sure knows how to make them right. Fun atmosphere until a birthday party showed up and really overtook the small space. Would definelty go back and try some of the other fun cocktails!img_0405

A stroll through Washington Square Park to take some time between eating and drinking! img_0406

My favorite unexpected spot in NYC this trip was by far McSorley’s Old Ale House.  On a rainy Saturday afternoon it was full but the service was amazing, I could easily spend a day there, drinking two steins at a time.img_0409img_0415

They have two options here, light and dark. Order one and you get two steins. This is also a must hit for me… if you like beer that is!img_0417

Waiting for Death & Co. to open at 6 pm… fun drinks and great appetizers. Highly reccomend the chicken sliders! If you aren’t a cocktail person you are going to purchase a very expensive beer…img_0419

Always love going to Big Gay Ice Cream Shop in NYC – so decadent and not necessary but really good!img_0427

We finished the night at Comedy Cellar  – when in NYC you must go to a Comedy Show. I do reccomend making reservations and arriving early… you don’t want to be in the very front ( maybe you do…) but you also don’t want to be in the very back. It is definelty a goldielocks type situation.

Little Fall Delights

img_0259

Trying all the pumpkin beers this year and I don’t feel bad about it. This is a great one. Very subtle. img_0647

Leaves are changing in upstate New York. So obsessed with Fall in New England.img_0304

Cold Brew after a baby run…might have added a little half and half and simple syrup. Yum!img_0309img_0312

Fun rainbow stairs at Tufts campus. Such a beautiful Fall day.