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!
Just catching up? Read “I Need to Take a Nap-a”: Exploring Wine County, Part I.
After Signorello, we hit up a much larger winery, called Mumm, that just specialized in sparking wine (they can’t call it champagne because it’s not made in the Champagne region of France).
Nothing particularly extraordinary happened at Mumm- just great company, plenty of chattiness, an array of delicous sparkling wine samples, rich caramel chocolate truffles, great views, and perfect weather. Definitely noooo complaints here!
Ready for another San Francisco recap? Here are my other San Francisco posts so far: Happy Monday from San Francisco, Golden Gate Bridge Day, A Big Thank You, and A Surreal Hiking Experience.
On Saturday morning, we picked up coffee at a nearby Starbucks- Karrie stayed home and we had a miscommunication, which resulted in forgetting her coffee. The barista wrote “Forgotten Friend” on her cup instead of her name. Haha so sad!
We drove to Benecia, my friend’s hometown, to pick up his dad, admire their view, and grab lunch at Kinder’s Meats and Deli (I got the marinated ball tip steak sandwich sans bread and it was delicious!).
Then off to Napa we went! Our first stop was at the beautiful Signorello Estate, where we sampled wines by the pool. We had a stunning view, great wine, perfect weather, and tons of laughs. What more can you ask for on a day in Napa?!
P.S. Like the photo collages I’ve been doing lately? I’ve been using PicMonkey.com, which is a free browser tool that lets you edit photos and make collages. I’m a huge fan of their easy-to-use interface, numerous features, and obviously the free factor!
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!
On our first day in San Francisco, we decided to tackle one of the top things on our list- biking across the Golden Gate Bridge.
We left the house around 9:30 but didn’t make it down to get our bikes until around 12:30 for several reasons. We stopped to grab the first of several soy lattes from Matching 1/2 in Nopa for the girls and Starbucks for me and then we got off the bus a bit too early but decided to walk through downtown toward the bike shop. After a tasty lunch of sandwiches (mine was gluten-free!) from a little kiosk at the Ferry Building, we were on our way.
We managed to find a bike store, Dylan’s City Tours, that only charged a daily rate of $22 (most stores charge much more). We examined the map, put on our helmets, and we were off! We passed some pretty darn scenic views of the San Francisco Bay and the area around the bridge before making it to the start of the bridge.
The actual bike ride across the bridge is a bit chaotic because of all the pedestrian traffic, but we made it in one piece and were even able to coast pretty fast for the second half of the bridge.
Once across, we sat at Vista Point for a bit and stared at the stunningly picturesque city, Alcatraz Island, and bay before us.
Once we’d gotten our fill, we decided to keep biking to Sausalito, a quaint town beneath the bridge, for ice cream, coffee, and some other little trinkets (ahem, Karrie!). We ended up taking the ferry back to San Francisco and made it back to Dylan’s just in time (at 5:56; it closed at 6) to return our bikes. A few minor mishaps, including a fall and a slipped chain, almost made us late but we did it! Chaos follows us everywhere but we usually make the best of it
P.S. Our friend Matt told us that we had an unrealistic view of San Francisco weather because it was perfect for us. See those blue skies? Not a cloud in sight!
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.
It’s been a pretty phenomenal few days out here in San Francisco…we’ve been blessed by apparently uncharacteristically beautiful weather, a host who lets us bicker and over-plan like the girls we are, and several fun days of fun activities. All in all, exactly what we hoped for for our girls trip to San Francisco!
A few highlights so far:
- Biking across the Golden Gate Bridge, wandering through Sausalito, then taking the ferry back to San Fran
- A tour of Benecia then a day of wine tasting in Napa
- An accidentally long hike through Muir Woods, a Redwoods park
- Dressing up as 50 Shades of Grey and hitting up a cool bar with a local friend
One potential problem: I hurt my foot yesterday, so walking may be a bit of an issue. You may see pictures of me in a wheelchair at Alcatraz on here soon
Have a great Monday!
(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!