Santa Breezy

A little over 24 hours in Santa Barbara and you are left wanting more, trying to find a way to get back to this little slice of coastal heaven. I am no stranger to Santa Barbara as I grew up about two hours North but this was my first rendezvous as a post 21 year old…shameful I know! On this particular weekend the weather was perfect and I had the most amazing guide who showed me the best time, thanks Baby Krause!

We began the day with breakfast downtown and then headed to Montecito for a little hike and beach time!

We lazed on the beach for a while before renting some paddle boards. Gazing up at the coastline and foothills/mountains ( prob foothills – I don’t think they have mountains ) was truly breathtaking and I thought to myself ‘What a lucky life’ moments that are simple but beautiful really make you appreciate what you have and for myself contentment with the life I have created for myself.

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No trip would be complete with out a little brewery hopping and while SB has a ways to go before they are a beer destination ( def more options for winos) I enjoyed sampling what they had to offer while working on my sun burn ( sorry future self! ).

Pure Order is a fun spot with games as well as live music and a food truck on a Saturday afternoon. img_9337img_9338

After we spent some time at Pure Order we walked to the Funk Zone and tried Brass Bear. I tried their beers as well as one rotating tap that was really delicious.img_9342

At this point it was high time for some grub so we ordered a meat and cheese plate it was satisfying and helped us make it to dinner time! img_9346

Right across from Brass Bear is Municipal Winemakers tasting Room. Fun decor and great outdoor space. I hear their Rose is amazing but on this fine day it was sold out so we opted for the Bright White – cool, crisp and so refreshing!img_9348img_9349img_9350img_9354

If you haven’t been to Lilly’s Taqueria head there – now – or at the very least make an effort to hit it when you are in Santa Barbara. I am pretty sure all they do is Tacos and they do them really well. img_9392img_9358

No weekend in Santa Barbara would be complete with some wheel action. They have fun little beach boardwalk where you can blade which is my favorite pastime and something I don’t get to do enough since I am living in Oakland… not too many blading trails… img_9363

Finally, to close the weekend we hit up a hybrid bar coffee shop and got the most delish cold brew. Melissa had the smartest idea of doing half/half sweetened cold brew and unsweetened cold brew. Such a genius idea!img_9365img_9366img_9367img_9369

SO sad to leave and can’t wait to go back!

Weekly Delights in the Bay!

I was all over the bay this last weekend, between SF, Oakland and North Bay I wanted to share a few of my haunts and jaunts with y’all.
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New coffee shop near work, Modern Coffee. The internet is amazing and there are soft jams playing in the background which lend to a productive mood. IMG_3235

One of my fav haunts in Cole Valley – where you never have to wait in line.  Reverie Cafe  is a sweet little spot that I like to think of as a hidden gem.  Isn’t their patio dreamy?

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If you are ever in Santa Rosa head to Spring Lake. Bring your floaties, your dogs, your lunch and beers – once you are here you won’t want to leave. Peaceful, relaxing and refreshing. I can’t wait to go back again. I love to get a sandwich from Perry’s in Novato to munch on when I am adventuring in North Bay. Disclaimer: I have only ever been to the Novato location which I love.
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This cute little fluff gets me every time.

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Whenever I go to the sunset in San Francisco you best believe I will be getting some Tea Way – one of the only places I like to get Boba.

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Philz in Sausalito is a bit hidden but so worth it, duh. If you are lucky you might even catch the fire men washing their rig like we did!

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In love with Terrapin Crossroads! We came here for my friends birthday for drinks and apps and I can not wait to go back. Live music, amazing patio, fresh local grub and beer, could I ask for anything more? I think not. Check it out if you haven’t – you won’t be disappointed.

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Feelin’ lucky because Drake’s Dealership just opened up a few blocks from my office. Went there for a week time lunch and while it went a little long.. it also left me feeling refreshed. They have an amazing outdoor patio and I can’t wait to go back on a weekend with dog friends. IMG_3271Great beer selection here, are you surprised?!IMG_3272

Give me pizza.. with Figs and Prosciutto. Yum!IMG_3274

Enjoying the last shreds of summer hiking in Tilden Park after work. Beautiful!

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On to the next adventure! Let me know if you think I should try a place you love – trying to make the most out of my time in the Bay!

Barna Barna Barna

IMG_2225Barcelona is an amazing city with different neighborhoods to explore and experience. We were staying in the newer part of the city which was further away from the gothic neighborhood, but closer to Sagrada Familia and Park Guell. 

This was the view from our room.IMG_2226

We enjoyed going to Verdaguer Cafe across the street from our hostel and the metro it was a convenient cafe. Good food and nice staff.

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Small cafes are everywhere. We tried pastries and ‘iced’ espresso.IMG_2229 IMG_2230 IMG_2231

I don’t like Ham, there I said it.  However, I do love Jamon.

The Ham in Spain is out of this world. The pigs are well cared for and the pigs get to roam the country side and stuff themselves on hazelnuts.

We went to the Jamon Experience. It is located on Rambla de les Flors 88-94.

They have cava for 12 a bottle and you can try the different jamons and then order one to eat. It was honestly a mind blowing experience. That was the night that I fell in love with jamon. 

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The friend that I traveled with is a huge FC Barca fan, because of this we went to the Camp Nou Experience. It was really fun and I encourage all to go who have the time. Like with most attractions you should get there early as possible, the later it gets the more people arrive.

IMG_2247I drank so many shandy’s in Spain.  They have a different name in Spain obviously but I can not remember it. Sometimes I would ask for beer and lemonade and that would work as well when ordering.
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Night time trekking in the Gothic District.IMG_2257 IMG_2258

Mercat La Bouqeria. A must see for travelers. Come prepare to buy and eat!IMG_2260 IMG_2261 IMG_2262 IMG_2264 IMG_2267 IMG_2268 IMG_2269 IMG_2270 IMG_2271 IMG_2272 IMG_2273 IMG_2274

Gaudi’s first work once he graduated. IMG_2275 IMG_2276 IMG_2277 IMG_2279 IMG_2287 IMG_2288

Tile work by Miro.IMG_2289 IMG_2290 IMG_2291 IMG_2292 IMG_2293 IMG_2294 IMG_2296 IMG_2297 IMG_2298 IMG_2299 IMG_2300 IMG_2301 IMG_2302 IMG_2304 IMG_2308 IMG_2309 IMG_2312 IMG_2319

We also took a day trip to Girona, it is a pretty town with great architecture.  Give yourself time to explore.  From Girona you can hit a nice beach after a 40 min bus ride. 

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Park Guell is worth the 7 euros to go inside. My recommendation is go as soon as it opens, the crowds are so few this early that you can obtain great photos and really see everything. When we were leaving there were tour buses of people entering and it was getting crowded. 

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Sagrada Familia is beautifully fascinating . The fact that they are still working on it decades later is very interesting. The stained glass windows are probably the most beautiful I have ever seen. 

Near Sagrada Familia on Avinguda Diagonal ( #303)  is a really great Colombian restaurant called Restaurante Mi Rincon.

The story of Gaudi is fascinating I highly recommend learning about his life. We went on a ‘bohemian’ walking tour (donation based) where our guide discussed the artists and writers that made Barcelona their home and left their mark on the city and country. It was a couple hours well spent.

IMG_2359 IMG_2361 IMG_2363 IMG_2365 IMG_2366 IMG_2367 IMG_2368 IMG_2369 IMG_2372 IMG_2373 IMG_2375 IMG_2376 IMG_2377 IMG_2378The metro in Barcelona was easy to use and we solely used the metro except for after 2 am it shut down so we had to use  a taxi but it was under 10 euro to get from the gothic neighborhood to where our hostel was.

Primavera Hostel

Mallorca 330, 

Barcelona,Spain

Near our hostel there was a restaurant and bar called Loria. The address is Roger de LLuria 35 – they have amazing cocktails. I would recommend going there. It was a fun atmosphere with beautiful decor. 

I mentioned previously about the donation based walking tour and I want to give you a bit more information on it. They meet everyday at the Travel Bar C/de la Boqueria 27 in the Gothic Neighborhood.  The tours were informative on history and current day events. It is a fun way to learn about the city you are visiting. We found these in most cities we visited. 

The gothic neighborhood is full of crooked alley ways and it is easy to get lost. We found a favorite bar while we were there. Nevermind 2.  Its a great divey bar where they give you free popcorn or you can purchased 2 euro hamburgers – talk about a deal. The drinks are delicious and the beer flows easy. This was a fun place to go and if you are in Barna you have to check it out.

A day in Marseille

IMG_2220Not much to say for Marseille except it was good lesson in planning and why it can be important for any trip. 

We had big hopes and dreams for Marselle. 

We had spent the last week in cities, walking and seeing sights. A rest on a beach was just what we needed and were very much looking forward to.

Our first impression was beautiful. Once you leave the train station right in the city center you are faced with a beautiful view.

We were so excited and ready to set our belongings down at our airbnb and head to the beach.

While our airbnb of choice was supposed to be an 8 min walk from the train station we couldn’t seem to locate the street. We tried hailing a taxi but they said it was too close and we should walk.. Normally, that would be fine but it was HOT and we had our belongings on our backs.

Finally, while we were examine a map a local man came up and asked what we were looking for… he then proceeded to lead us all the way there.

We were half part unsure what his motives were and just had no clue what was going on BUT he did lead us to the apartment where we were staying – he told us to be careful in this area, it was unsafe and not a place where young girls should be walking.  

Needless to say this experience was not off to a great start.

Once we set our belongings down we decided we wanted to get something to eat so we began to look for a cafe etc where we could purchase something. At all the cafes we only saw men no women anywhere. It was alarming and made us feel uncomfortable. 

We had also realized that we were not near the beach at all. Even if we were ‘walking distance’ the area seemed really unsafe and not a place we should be walking. 

We felt our decision was simple – stay the current night at our place and find a place near the beach for the next night. 

Easier said then done – everything about 3 stars was over 200 euro a night, we could not afford this so we decided to go to Barcelona a day early.

It was a hard decision to make because I felt that I was giving up, but ultimately I did not feel that we would have an enjoyable time in Marseille because of our lack of proximity to anything that was of interest to us.  

With our plan created we decided to make the best of the night and take a taxi to the beach.

Also, a side note on this – I think our stay could have been better had we researched more – additionally, had we been staying at a hostel or hotel the staff perhaps could have directed us or given us more information but without that we felt lost and uncomfortable.

Anyways, we headed to the beach and boy was it packed.  You could scarcely see the sand or water for that matter do to all the people present. It was pretty wild. This was not the relaxing beach scape either of us had envisioned when we thought of South of France.

Regardless, we enjoyed a nice dinner on the beach with our toes in the sand and cheers’ed to our last night in France. After our meal we tried to find a taxi to take us back – we kept walking and walking but to no avail did we find a taxi finally after the day turned to night we found a taxi number and texted them our location and if they could pick us up about thirty minutes later we were headed back to our airbnb.  

Don’t get my wrong Marseille had beautiful elements and I think with better planning and maybe some more money 😉 our stay there would have been better.  

I think we made the right decision for how we felt at that time, I HOPE that I have learned from this situation and in the future make sure to research more about a destination and specifically where I am staying in regards to where I want to go at that destination but only time will tell. 

View from train station.

IMG_2202They are famous for their soaps. IMG_2206 IMG_2203

A great place to stop for pastries.
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Beautiful architecture. IMG_2209

We found the beach.IMG_2211 IMG_2212

Dinner is served. IMG_2213 IMG_2214 IMG_2215

Bouldering playground.IMG_2219 IMG_2218 IMG_2217

Co-working space in Marseille.IMG_2221

Airport Pastry.IMG_2223

I dream of camping…

especially when it involves fun new clothes and a dutch oven!
Glamping Needs!
I love backpacking and camping out in the wilderness but I also enjoy car camping where you can feast like a king, drink lots of brews and wear the upmost of comfortable clothes cause you don’t have to pack in or out with any of your belongings.
I have been lucky enough to find friends that are also keen to spend weekends in a tent, cooking dinner over a camp fire and this fourth of July weekend we will be car camping in Northern California off of a reservoir and I am SO excited!

There are a few camping ehmm more like glamping items I would L-O-V-E to have but don’t just yet. These aren’t particularly items I need but I want them so much I feel like I need them!

1. Dutch Oven – The quintessential camp cooking item! My parents have one but I think its time to get my own!

2. I really want a visor this year! I haven’t sported one since my early teens, but I think I’m ready to try it again… I am having a hard time deciding between a sporty or fashionable visor. This straw visor from Asos is a cute option!

3. I love Wildfox – their items are so wonderfully worn in but they have a steep price tag! If this I heart camping sweatshirt ever goes on sale… I want it bad!

4. This Poler Napsack looks wonderfully warm and cozy! Can’t you imagine sittin’ by the campfire with a s’more in this baby!?

5. Crocs and Camo this is probably against some fashion rule, but I couldn’t care less! Anything in camouflage is pretty much right up my alley and while crocs may look terrible they really are one of the most comfortable shoes on the planet. Whats better than sliding on some comfortable shoes after a day of hiking.

6. Overalls – I have a strong desire to try this trend again! I had several pairs of overalls when I was a youngin’ and now I want to revamp my closet with a few pairs of overalls. This short pair would be perfect for summer camping!

7. Poncho – A soft, warm comfortable poncho is perfect for camping! I would need to make sure that any poncho I own would be machine washable – especially if I am taking it around fire!

While I don’t think I will get them in time for this trip, they are items to drool over until they go on sale/my birthday/christmas!!

Are there any items that you want this summer but don’t particularly need? Let me know!

Autumn Sun

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“I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne

As nights start to get longer I am trying to take advantage of the little slivers of day where I can enjoy the sun.

Sitting in the sand, basking in the autumn sun I feel so happy to be alive and I want this feeling to last forever.