Fav Things in the Bay

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.IMG_4411

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.

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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!IMG_4445

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!IMG_4447IMG_4449

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!IMG_4456IMG_4454IMG_4457

After heading home to clean up we hit my neighborhood brewery, Temescal.IMG_4488IMG_4494

Love the beer garden here… dreaming of Summer already!IMG_4502IMG_4495

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!IMG_4510

We then headed to one of my fav Korean spots, Bowl’d BBQIMG_4512

After that, we hit one last brewery, Woods in Uptown Oakland. Love the fire pit vibes they set up!IMG_4513IMG_4514

Additionally, if you want to dance on a Thursday night, head to Era Art Bar… always a fun time!

And… there you have it! A few of my favorite things… in the BAY!

Drinking Beer in San Diego

From Carlsbad, we took the Coaster to San Deigo and got off at the Santa Fe Station. Meer steps from the train depot is Stones Company Store. Great patio and selection of beers. On a warm Saturday is was super low key.stonenexttosantafestationstonepatiocutestonetaproomstoneflightstonetaproom

Our next stop was Half Door Brewing, close proximity to Petco Park and has great food and beers. Would love to come here again when its not so packed.halfdoorkeg

The Super Dank Pale Ale and their IIIPA were to die for… can I go back now???halfdoorbrew

A hop, skip and drive away from downtown SD is Vista.. which is home to many amazing breweries. Barrel Harbor is one of those.  Our friends picked up these amazing ceramic mugs that hold a pint and then some! With free popcorn, games and delicious beers you are in for a solid afternoon of fun.barrelhouse

San Deigo is a beer lovers destination. Can’t wait until my next visit to try more breweries!

Hike, Blade and Beach

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. scoutcoffeeimg_3454scoutcoffeeimg_3456

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.hillofdeathavilaridgetrail

Once we caught our breaths… well once I caught my breath we selfied 🙂bestiesavilaridgetrail

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.avilaridgetrailwildflowersofavilaridgetrailavilaridgetrailpeace

After our hike, we put on our blades and rolled down the Bob Jones Trailbobjonesbladeseash

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.midbladelunchatcustomhouseavila

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. mdomdosunsetmdoimg_9237montanamdoimg_3499sunsetbestiesmdosunsetatmdoyummysunsetatmdo

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. libertinepub

What a fulfilling day!

(SLO)ME

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. firestoneflight

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!blackhorseandslodoco

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!cuestabontanicalgardenimg_3387cuestabontanicalgardenimg_9152

Even waterfalls! cuestbotanicalgardentrail

A well deserved summit Brew! cuestabontanicalgardenimg_9155cuestabontanicalgardencuestridgetrail

Wooooweee does life getter better than these views! So amazing.cuestaridgetrail

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!bangthedrumbbangthedrumbbrewingimg_3439

We went back to the hotel to freshen up before heading downtown for the night.

On our way DT we stopped at Central Coast Brewing for a couple baby beers.centralcoastbrewingimg_3444centralcoastbrewingimg_3443centralcoastbrewingimg_3445

Next stop, Barrelhouse Speakeasy. This is one of the coolest spaces I have ever been to. A fully functioning barbershop and then a full on taproom downstairs.

Super crowded on a Friday night but really fun.barrelhousespeakeasyimg_3446barrelhousespeakeasyimg_9202

Looking forward to sharing the rest of our weekend this week!

Sketch in the Park at the San Francisco Botanical Garden

Last Sunday, my friend and I woke up early and walked down to the Botanical Garden.  It was a rainy, overcast day but we found some clear spots to sit down and sketch for a while.

More and more I am trying to hobby up and not spend so much time on my computer or phone. img_3274img_3275img_3276img_3278

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Magnolias!

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We sat at this little bench and sketched for awhile. It started sprinkling on us but it was still all around magical.img_3290img_3292img_3293

Trying my hand at sketching! Not a professional but having a fun time.

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Really beautiful morning at the Botanical Gardens. Before 9 am you can get in for free. Once you are inside there is so much to see. The Magnolias this time of year are amazing and in the rain and fog the crowds are less but the flowers remain. Can’t wait to go back and improve my sketching!

Top Favs in Kota Kinabalu

During our adventures last Spring in Indonesia we decided to spend about five days in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.

The truth is … you always need more time, but our few days there were filled with adventure. Making new friends, trying new foods and scuba diving for the first time to name a few!

We took boats to different islands and brought our own snorkel gear. Sapi was gorgeous and it was amazing to float in the water and see all the fishes swim by. islandlifeindo

KK has so many markets! Seeing Mango flavored cotton candy was a real dream!mangocottoncandymalasysia

We got bit by the Scuba Bug! Sooooo crazy/scary/coolscubadivinginmalaysia

Delicious meal – no silverware required! malaysiacurry

Frolicking in the Mangrove Forrest and sweating through our clothes.mangroveforestsabah

Sunset viewing with a beer in hand… no matter where you are it feels good to get these little moments.kotakinabalu-malaysia

My top favs in Indonesia

I am finally getting ready to share my Indonesia and Malaysia trip here and going through the photos and my journal from the trip are really stoking my need for adventure and travel.

Here are a few top memories from the trip…

All packed up and ready to go! One carry on for three weeks. The truth of the matter is I probably had too much.indoorbust-3weeksina-carryon

Our first meal in Indonesia, and quite possibly the best meal of the entire trip. This simple and cheap meal still lingers in my dreams.

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Epic sunset wavesbatubolongbeach

The most amazing iced coffee from Crate Cafe in Canggu.cratecafecanggu

When GoogleMaps takes you to a remote village and an Indonesia man takes you into the rice fields…ricefieldsindo

A cool, not so secret waterfall, Tegenungan Waterfall in Ubud.

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Dicing and Slicing our way to Balinese Cuisine Cooking Professionals!

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We drove all night to see this crater at Sunrise.kawahijenjavaindo

Just a casual gecko joining us for lunch.madenewfriendsongili

Lowest of low tides on Gili Air.lowtideislandlife

Beach art on Gili Air – coral and Bintang bottles.giliairartbintang

You don’t see a goat… or any animal on the back of a motorbike often.justgoatforit

My Birthday! Which included a street side serenade – magical!kutabeachbirthday

A little oasis on the side of the road. kutabeachlombok

A few friends at the beach in Kuta Lombokbisononthebeachlombok

Sometimes the best views take a few (hundred) wrong turns. Getting to Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep Waterfall was an adventure.

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Drop Inn Cafe … when you are done dropping in on waves you can drop in for a sweet treat. dropinncafelombok

Ratu Boko Temple in Yogya. It was an adventure getting there… but Sunset did not disappoint.yogyakartaindo

At 1/15 coffee I tried an interesting combo of espresso, lime and sparkly water coffewithseltzerandlime-indo

A flip flop hike to watch the sun go down.sflipfliphikelombokindo

A few of my fav moments … get ready for the breakdown in the next couple weeks.

Links I love to get you into the Weekend

In need of more trip ideas? Check out this list of most iconic places and when you are headed there make sure to pack some of these essentials for surviving abroad.

I would like to think that I could have a home on wheels and I love how simplistic and affordably this guy converted his truck.

When I am not dreaming about being a vagabond I like to find ways to make my home more homey. A perfect way to do this, in my opinion would be to grow your own hops!

Always love a good wellness article and this one in particular is in relation to foods that give you glowing skin.   Now who doesn’t want that??

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!

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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!

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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

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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”! 

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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.

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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. 

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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

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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.

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

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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

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Love a good door detail!

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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.

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fun colorful halls at our hotel!

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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!

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

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LOL

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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.