I miss my little blog! For the past few years, it’s been a consistent place for me to document my day-to-day happenings, my favorite recipes (especially during my transition to gluten-free eating), my career journey, and my advice for dominating the online world through online presence management. As I said before, I always hear other people say that their blog is the first thing to go when they get busy, but that hasn’t been the case for me- until now.
I’ve been trying to make an effort to get offline more, especially now that my entire job consists of online work. Pinning recipes is not the same as making them. Looking at images of yoga poses is not the same as going to yoga class. Reading book reviews is not the same as reading books. I’m trying to remember all of that, but this blog still holds a special little place in my heart, so it still is a priority for me.
Best of all, I find that I’m actually more motivated to do fun, challenging, and exciting things in the “real world” when I blog consistently. Not that blogging about cool things is my only motivation to do them, but it’s a great reminder when I’m “forced” to do scintillating activities so I can report back here on them.
And speaking of cool things- I’m headed to San Francisco (again!)
today as we speak. One of my new clients is based outside the city, so I will be working from the office for a few days. Remote work is great but nothing beats face-to-face interaction every once in awhile. I’ll be getting to know my colleagues, meeting my boyfriend’s brother, seeing a bit more of the city, and hopefully meeting up with some people I know there. One thing I didn’t do before that I want to do this time around is see Lombard St!
If you live in San Francisco and would like to grab a meal or drink, feel free to reach out!
On the 4th day of our cruise, four of us took a catamaran to go snorkeling in Nassau. It was such a fun experience and I would highly recommend it- luckily we didn’t have any scary eel or water snake run-ins!
When we got on the catamaran, we plopped down in the trampoline-y area where some of our cruise friends were. My friend and I proceeded to take out the plastic microphones that we had brought along and force everyone in our little area to introduce themselves to the group. When it was my turn, I was so proud of my little community bonding exercise, so naturally I declared “I’m Cristina and I brought this microphone!” My boyfriend was the last person to introduce himself. His introduction? “I’m Chris and I brought this moron!” while pointing to me. HAHA, cracks me up every time!
Happy Monday! Did you have a good weekend? Mine included watching Skyfall at the IMAX, watching a million episodes of Damages, going out one night, eating brunch at one of our favorite local spots (after we complimented our waiter, he looked at us and said “Y’all aren’t creepy at all.” We of course died laughing), going to a upscale bowling alley, and getting dinner in Durham. I also did some redesigning of my blog (including the social media buttons on the right side). It’s not finished yet, so don’t tell me if you hate it
Now I’m sitting with a mug of toasted almond coffee, preparing tweets for @LivingSocialJob and writing this roundup of interesting things I’ve read lately. Several of them are unintentionally centered around saving money- just in time for the holidays
On Saturday morning, we picked up coffee and hit up Lucky, the local grocery store, for picnic-y foods. We learned quickly on the trip that we all move at a glacial pace, so it was a few hours later before we got into the car for a trip to Muir Woods, one of just a few national redwoods forests. We ate our delicious smorgasbord right before the entrance to the park (next to the sign that read “No Picnics”- we’re sneaky like that). We had salami, turkey, hummus, carrots, sushi, and crackers (including new-to-me Blue Diamond gluten-free Cheddar Cheese Flavored Almond Nut Thins)- a random but perfectly filling assortment!
What started out as a leisurely walk through Muir Woods soon turned into a full-out hike. That kept going. And going. We thought several times that it would be over soon, but we ended up walking for much longer than we anticipated (which I’m pretty sure caused my foot issue).
Halfway through the hike, we saw some pretty sick views from a peak then promptly stumbled across a very cool but slightly strange mid-forest biergarten called the Tourist Club SF. By the time across the place, we were all slightly delirious with exhaustion (mostly kidding) and felt like we had stumbled upon a scene out of a movie- most likely a horror film where tourists at a mid-forest club get killed while partying. Imagine being lost and tired and walking off a trail only to hear and see a bunch of young people laughing, playing Apples to Apples, drinking beer, and looking perfectly at ease. Haha interesting to say the least!
See that cabin in the middle picture? It was located behind a “Members only” sign.” Not quite sure I want to know what goes on there!
A big thank you to everyone who made my first trip to San Francisco so memorable!
- To Karrie and Lindsay, for making the same dumb jokes over and over, sympathizing with me when I hurt my foot, accommodating my gluten-free needs, making pit stops at Starbucks multiple times per day, over-planning and obsessing over our schedule, and much much more.
- To Matt, for taking us to Napa and Muir Woods, letting us sleep in your apartment, and suffering through Indian food with us.
- To John, for lunch, shlepping us around Napa, sharing punny jokes with us, and giving us a tour of Benecia.
- To Jason, for our first Uber ride, our first SF apartment roof experience, and a fun Halloween night at a chic club.
- To Emmanuel, Pat, and Hailey for being seemingly unfazed that the three of us took over your apartment for five days, made a mess of the bathroom, and giggled incessantly.
- To Donnie, for taking time out of her busy eng recruiting schedule to show me around the SF LivingSocial office.
(I’m a poet and I didn’t know it).
1, 2, 3
As you’re reading this, I’m most likely boarding a plane for my first ever trip to San Francisco- also known as The Golden Gate City, The City of Freedom, Everybody’s Favorite City, Sucka Free City (my personal favorite), and Frisco. It’s been in the number one spot on my “must visit” list for quite awhile now, so I convinced two of my best friends from college to coordinate a fall getaway with me. Let me tell you, buying three decently-priced plane tickets from three separate cities based around three very different schedules was not easy, but we managed to pull it off!
In a few short hours, I’ll land in SFO, meet my friends in baggage claim, and take my first BART ride into the city. We’re staying with one of our guy friends from college, who is surprisingly calm about the impending chaos that three giddy young women kids will bring.
We have several ideas of what we want to do, but the most important thing for me to remember is that having fun with great friends is my number priority…and I’ll always get another trip back to San Fran!
A few ideas we’ve tossed around:
- Explore the Mission
- See Lombard St
- Visit Alcatraz
- Take a day trip to Napa for wine tastings
- Wander around Berkeley’s campus
- Enjoy dinner with one of my friend’s cousins
- Hang out down by the port?
- Bike across the Golden Gate Bridge
- Meander through the Redwoods
A few things are for sure: we’ll be drinking tons of coffee and some adult beverages, telling tons of silly jokes, acting like goofy college girls again, and snapping tons of photos. Bring it on, San Fran!
P.S. Have you noticed that I have a weird obsession with city nicknames? See my posts on Nashville and New Orleans!
As we sat at Hollymead on Saturday, we contemplated what to do with our last day. Our top choices included a trip to nearby Blowing Rock or a day at a local vineyard. Since we went to Shelton Vineyards last time, we opted for the hour drive to Blowing Rock, which I had never visited but had heard rave reviews about.
This time it was just me, my sister, and Larry- we managed to have a good time even with Larry there (just kidding- Larry reads my blog and I wanted to poke [more] fun at him!). It was a marvelouuuuus day in an adorable little mountain town. The drive to town through the mountains was beautiful, even though the leaves haven’t fully turned yet. We grabbed lattes at Revive Java, wandered through the shops, snapped a bunch of pictures, saw a couple we know from Raleigh (hi guys!), played a prank on Larry, ate lunch at Storie Street Grill (pot roast with mashed potatoes and green beans for me!), and then got ice cream at Kilwin’s (I got half cashew toffee and half signature turtle).
I would absolutely love to go back to Blowing Rock for a day or overnight. It’s a perfectly picturesque place and the perfect daytime excursion from Hollymead! Thanks for taking us, Larry
Another weekend at Hollymead, this time just me and my sister!
Our road trip to the farm consisted of eating at Smithfield’s BBQ (sans buns to make it gluten-free), listening to Basshunter, responding to several work emails, and updating my sister’s resume (in related news, I want to offer resume writing/critique services since people are always asking me to review theirs!).
So far today I’ve eaten pumpkin oatmeal and sipped Caribou Daybreak coffee for breakfast, helped load food for a school backpack program, and had lunch at a local pizza parlor. We’ll see what the rest of the day holds, but I have no doubt it will be a fun, relaxing day on the farm!
Roses from the gaden in a vase in the house