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My husband and I took off the week of Christmas, giving us 10 days to play at the end of the year. Wippeee! It’s been gloomy and chilly up in the Bay Area so we opted for a road trip down to Southern California in search of some sunshine and animals. (I’ll get to that later)

It’s about a 7-9 hour drive between the Bay Area and San Diego, depending on how many stops you make, and my husband is my best friend in the world and makes me laugh until I snort, so there’s no one else I would rather be stuck in a car with for that long. So on Christmas morning we packed up pretty much everything we own (why did we take 6 bags between us again?!) and hit the road.

Catching the sunset at Coronado Beach in San Diego.

Fun fact: the roads are virtually empty on Christmas Day, or at least they were for us. We made a pit stop in Los Angeles on Christmas night to get dinner at Catch LA and eat a bunch of seafood because THAT’S WHAT YOU DO WHEN YOU FANCY. It was colder in LA than I had hoped, but better excuse to cuddle right? The next day we had the most perfect and basic bitch day in LA: went to The Grove, ate cheeseburgers and fries at Shake Shack, and watched The Shape of Water at Cinemark. Hells yeah.

LA was really just an intro to San Diego though, so we were back on the road in no time.  In San Diego we had one focus above all: go to the San Diego Zoo and see animals. Now, I am not quite sure how to explain why this was such a big deal, but let’s just say that my husband is basically Tarzan meets The Dog Whisperer and I am Ace Ventura. I once witnessed my husband have a metaphysical bond with an octopus at the Monterrey Bay Aquarium, and I am now convinced that a) octopus are aliens from another planet, and b) my husband is their leader.  Moving on….

We were nerding out so hard for every animal. I actually think we enjoyed it more than all the kids around us. Worth. Every. Minute. After 6 hours at the zoo, we were in desperate need of some food and relaxing time, so we winded down with some dinner and a dip in the hot tub.

Of course, while in San Diego, we had to hit the beach, so on our last day we soaked up some sun in La Jolla. Kash jumped into the freezing December water (because of course he would). I took a nap in my bikini under a blanket and we both shooed away aggressive seagulls lurking for food.

Topping off our trip, we grabbed dinner at Bali Hai, which not only has the tastiest fried sea bass I’ve ever had, but also offers a stunning city view of downtown San Diego across the water. For two fitness and health junkies, we sure ate like Kings on this trip – and I have ZERO regrets!

When we returned to the Bay Area, we rang in the New Year in bed with a kiss at midnight and immediately fell asleep. Perfection. Thanks for all the great memories, 2017!

January 2, 2018
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Arizona isn’t normally the type of place I’d have on my wish list of desired travel destinations, but when I got invited to attend my company’s holiday party in Phoenix I figured why not turn it into a little weekend adventure? Turns out my husband’s best friend lives in the Scottsdale area, so I brought hubs along and we made an event of it.

The thing that excited me most about Arizona was the plentiful cacti everywhere I looked. And I mean, they’re everywhere. I was nerding out pretty hard over them. Cacti forests galore. An Uber driver in the area told me that if a cactus is big and has arms, that means it’s probably really old, like 80 years old or more-old. (whoa!) And let’s not forget all that red rock! The terrain is so unique, especially to this California girl. Thanks to my husband who found the patience to deal with me saying “ohmygodlookatthatcactus!!!” every 5 seconds.

We decided to take a day trip to Sedona for a little hike (and a photo shoot, of course).  After a 2.5 hour drive through the desert, we arrived. Apparently we ended up in a “vortex” area, which we discovered after seeing some folks meditating out in the open and talking about it. Apparently the vortex is where energy swirls and makes you feel more centered.  I tried meditating a little to see if I felt anything (to my disappointment, I felt nothing), but hey, maybe I didn’t focus hard enough!

I’ve heard horror stories about how hot it can get there in the summer, so our December visit felt perfectly planned. Thanks for the views, Arizona!


December 12, 2017
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I had to go to Seattle for a business trip, so I decided to tag on a couple extra days and bring the boo along so we could explore the city together. What a place! I’ve heard horror stories about how Seattle rains nonstop for months at a time, but we were lucky enough to visit in June when the sun was out (well, sometimes!).

It was the first Seattle visit for us both. I’m a big fan of the Pacific Northwest with all the nature and city life and let’s not forget all the CULINARY DELICIOUSNESS. Let’s just say that Seattle did not disappoint in those areas. We ate seafood. We played tourist and checked out Pike Market with all the fish and gorgeous flowers! I picked up some lemon garlic orzo from the pasta stand and taste tested all the fresh fruits. We strolled along the river at dusk, which lasted until about 10pm. We drank fancy lattes and got cocktails at a speak easy.

While in Seattle, we HAD to have a foodie adventure (obvi), so we grabbed dinner at Toulouse Petit Kitchen. I made reservations a month in advance, so keep that in mind if you’re planning to go. The fried green tomatoes with crab – WOW! The steamed clams with garlic and broth – OMG! The shrimp and grits – HOLY CRAP! And that bananas foster dessert – AHHHHH! I think that’s a pretty legitimate food review and that’s exactly what I was saying through happy tears with each bite. Definitely coming back here on my next Seattle visit.

Of course, no visit to Seattle would be complete without going to the Space Needle and the Chihuly Gardens and Glass. City views were beautiful from the top of the Space Needle. But let’s talk about Chihuly – holy psychedelic mind trip! That place is insane! I was blown away by the glass sculptures, the chandeliers, the garden. It was like being in a Dr. Seuss acid trip wonderland. I loved it!

After the Space Needle and Chihuly, we hopped over to the pop culture museum (MoPOP), which was also delightful and brought back a bunch of memories (Jim Henson exhibit, hello!).

All of those activities mixed with staying at the beautiful hotel on the water, robes provided (we love hotel robes… it’s kind of a “thing” for us), I can say this was one of my favorite weekend getaways.

Thanks for having us, Seattle! Until next time….

June 24, 2017
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Last week I went on a miraculous adventure of mind, body and spirit. It took place in the jungle near San Pancho, Mexico. Yes, a jungle. We had to drive an hour up a dirt road just to get to our lodge, and climb a mountain to get to Wifi, so believe it when I say we were pretty deep. The trip was part of a yoga retreat with Third Vessel Retreats, which is lead by two longtime friends of mine, Taraneh and Emily. You see that image above? That’s an actual photo of Taraneh doing yoga on the beach during our trip, not a stock photo. Incredible right?

There’s something magical about being out in nature with limited access to the world – roughing it in the jungle, getting mosquito bites, dancing under the moonlight, waking up to the sounds of birds and the ocean waves. What a life. We woke up early every morning and did yoga overlooking the canopy of trees and the ocean. Afterwards we enjoyed brunch, which was handmade by two wonderful, local chefs who used fresh ingredients in every dish. And WOW, what a treat those were!  Fresh fruit smoothies, oatmeal with banana and chia seeds, scrambled eggs with basil, and sliced papaya with granola started our days with the perfect amount of nutrients and energy.

We hiked through the jungle on a tiny path that lead us to the ocean, and to our delight noticed that there was no one else on the entire beach. We swam in the ocean as pelicans flew overhead, napped on the sand, and watched little crabs scatter all over the rocks. Felt like a dream. We even found a little cove full of nutrient-rich mud which we lathered all over our bodies and made our skin so soft!

One day we hitched a ride into town with the chefs after brunch, riding in the back of their truck down the bumpy dirt road (lots of Ace Venture vibes there). We walked down the streets and checked out the town. Everyone was so friendly. Even though this wasn’t a typical tourist town, there were a good amount of travelers there. We got handmade popsicles (cookies & cream for me since I was all fresh-fruited out with all the smoothies and beverages). Dogs were walking around unleashed everywhere (which I loved, obviously).

At night we again had the pleasure of eating these insanely delicious meals prepared by the local chefs, Alex and Flor. They put so much time and attention into the presentation, flavor and variety of every meal. On our last night they even made us sushi! I would say that the food was some of the best I have ever tasted, and as someone who loves to cook and eat, I can say I definitely respect the work they did feeding us. After dinner we did more yoga surrounded by candles and had dance parties under the moonlight. We released lanterns into the sky to symbolize letting go of the parts of us that don’t serve us.

This trip not only gave me a beautiful travel and culinary experience, but it was also a chance to really explore myself spiritually and emotionally. Learning to let go of the old and make room for the new experiences in my life was freeing and fulfilling at the same time. How often do we really get to unplug from our daily lives and turn off our cell phones and take time to just sit and observe our surroundings? I got to do a lot of that during this trip. I also got to read a lot. I brought The Alchemist with me, which was truly the perfect book to bring on a jungle vacation to reconnect with my mind and body!

So let’s talk about this awesome lodge we stayed in: Tailwind Jungle Lodge. The lodge itself was in quite a remote area, well kept, but still had a “glamping” vibe going on. There was running water and toilets, but you also couldn’t flush toilet paper and some of the rooms were completely exposed to the jungle (some showers too!) which made for an authentic-feeling jungle experience. Lucky for us, our yoga retreat group had the entire place to ourselves. There was a common area with a table and a hammock and kitchen, where we gathered for meals, and there was a yoga palapa overlooking the ocean, where we all met in the mornings and evenings to do yoga. The woman who runs the lodge is American and chose this life over a career on Wall Street – which is so awesome and inspiring and also one of the best decisions ever made. #respect

Surrounded by trees and overlooking the ocean, there were lots of critters around. We saw many different birds (including a woodpecker who went to town on a branch). Apparently there was an armadillo that lived nearby, but we never saw it. We even had an *ahem* visit from a little scorpion, who decided to sting my friend in her sleep – twice. THAT WAS FUN. Lucky, she was okay and we all chalked it up to being hazed by the jungle.

On our last day in Mexico, we all praised the chefs (who we had recruited into our circle of friends by now) and said our goodbyes. We were all given necklaces with crystals on them to represent the experiences we had together. Some of us stayed in Mexico to continue adventuring, and the rest of us went to the airport to head back to the United States.

One of my biggest takeaways from my trip is that it’s always a good decision to invest in yourself. Leading up to this trip, I worried about taking time off from work, spending the money on the trip, and being away from my family for so long. But in the end, it was all worth it. Taking time for myself, spending the money to experience travel and taking a step back from my daily routine is essential to my spiritual and emotional evolution. I came home from my trip with a rejuvenated spirit, but left a small piece of my heart in the jungle….

Check out the gallery from my trip (click photos to expand): 


Featured image by Grant Lancaster. Namaste 🙂

March 21, 2017
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