Category Archives: travel

travel

monterey, ca

February 28, 2017

One of our favorite places to go to in California has to be Monterey. There’s a charm about it that’s so enchanting and magical. Lucky for us, it’s a lot closer to the Bay Area (about 2 hours or so) than it was when we lived in Southern California. To celebrate our recent 12 year anniversary of being together, J and I knew it was just the place to spend a long weekend together at, and revisit all of our favorite restaurants.

We found a last minute room at Portola Hotel & Spa, located right in the heart of Monterey, within walking distance from Fisherman’s Wharf and downtown. The best bonus? Fresh cookies at check-in! It’s really the little things. Nearby is also a free trolley that will take you directly to the Aquarium/Cannery Row so you really don’t need to take your car anywhere. I can’t rave about this hotel enough—there’s even a breakfast buffet you don’t want to miss out on at Jacks.

Our favorite restaurant to dine at has to be Monterey Fish House, located 2114 Del Monte Ave. Make sure you make reservations early, or you’ll be stuck waiting in a crazy long line. They always have the freshest seafood dishes and the cioppino is my favorite. Another favorite that’s a bit more casual is Mundo’s Cafe for their tri-tip sandwiches with *extra* chimichurri sauce. There are a few locations now, so just find one that’s closest to you. You also can’t go wrong with the Old Fisherman’s Grotto at the wharf. It’s classic and has the best chowder on the wharf after sampling all of them in front of every restaurant—a really fun treat for this preggo, by the way.

We didn’t get a chance to go to the Aquarium this time, but it’s a must if you’ve never been before. It’s amazing and you can easily spend hours at the jellyfish exhibit alone. There’s really quite a bit to do in Monterey and perfect for all ages—we are excited to be able to take the little munchkin to this delightful little town in the future.

 The DELICIOUS breakfast buffet at Jacks located at the Portola Hotel & Spa.

The DELICIOUS breakfast buffet at Jacks located at the Portola Hotel & Spa.

travel

guerneville, ca

January 12, 2017

Shortly after the election, we desperately needed a trip away to unplug and just reset. Lucky for us, just the place exists right outside of San Francisco called Guerneville. It’s a tiny town nestled right by the Russian River and a quick drive to the ocean in one direction or a redwood forest in another direction. Needless to say, beautiful doesn’t begin to describe it.

We lucked out and booked a cute little cabin at Dawn Ranch last minute, and with the craziest series of events, wound up at their biggest cabin (the bridal suite) by the end of the night. It all worked out in the end and the staff at Dawn Ranch took great care of us. Our cabin also came with a $50 voucher for dinner, so we decided to eat at their restaurant, Agriculture Public House. We weren’t expecting much from a cabin lodge’s restaurant, but we were so, so wrong. It was an amazing meal and we’ve been thinking about it since.

We spent the day exploring the tiny town, which didn’t take too long considering it’s just one street, and quickly learned how fresh and delicious all the food there is. We even wandered to a hip pie shop called Chile Pies that’s located in the converted Guerneville Bank. It doesn’t get any cooler than that.

Before heading home, we explored Jenner, Sonoma Coast State Park, and ate lunch at Gourmet au Bay in Bodega Bay. All in all, it was the perfect weekend getaway if you’re looking to leave the city, get yourself some nature, and unplug because there is literally no connection anywhere.

All photos are shot on iPhone 7S and edited with Priime.

travel

the broad

September 2, 2016

Being away from OC/LA, I’ve had to miss out on some really cool spots that have opened since moving to the Bay Area. Lucky for me, going home is only a 1-hour flight and I’m still able to catch up with friends, family and squeeze in some quality OC/LA exploring time. This last trip, the exploration lead to a trip to The Broad, the new (to me) contemporary art museum located in Downtown Los Angeles.

The incredible modern facade is home to some of the most unique art pieces and installations in the West Coast. Out of all of them, I was most excited for the Jeff Koons stainless steel pieces and the Infinity Mirrored Room. Both have swept my Instagram feed in recent months and had me lusting over a visit to see them in person for myself. Trust me, they didn’t disappoint. Just check out my favorites below! I didn’t have my camera that day, so I captured everything with my iPhone and edited everything on Priime.

General admission to the Broad are free (crazy, right?) but reservations are necessary and are fully booked up for the month of September. Tickets for October are now available for advanced reservation if you click here

The Broad Museum / 221 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

travel

healdsburg, ca

August 1, 2016

For one of our 4 day staycation for July 4th weekend (yes, I’m totally catching up on posts, I realize this), we made the trip up to Healdsburg after hearing so many great things from friends. Other than the Shed, I didn’t really know what to expect to find at Healdsburg, which always ends up being my favorite way to explore a new area.

The Shed is a gorgeous space that’s a little bit of everything you could possibly want/need. Downstairs is where the cafe, coffee shop and market is, while the upstairs is set aside for private events. After browsing and grabbing some delicious pastries, we walked around the downtown square to find countless antique shops and plenty of wineries and tasting rooms to keep us occupied.

Some great places we ended up at: The Wurst, Flying Goat Coffee, KINsmoke BBQ, and a tasting at Banshee Wines, i.e., my new favorite. The tasting room is straight out of a vintage Anthropologie – that makes sense right? Anyway, it’s perfect and the tasting menu is only $15/person or you can splurge for the premium for $30/person, and everyone is welcomed with a free glass of rosé.

Now go plan a trip to Healdsburg! I’m already planning our next one.

travel

chicago

May 30, 2016

Chicago’s been one of those cities on my ‘list’ for as long as I can remember, and finally got to cross it off last month with J. Sometime last year, I miraculously won a photo contest from @jdvhotels‘ Instagram and got a free 3-night stay at any of their hotels. Holy shit, right? That stuff never happens to me! After going back and forth with J for seriously months on where to go, (shout out to Quincy for being SO patient with us too by the way) we finally decided on Chicago at the hip Hotel Lincoln in Old Town Triangle.

Despite the insane amount of rain and the busy crowds in town for the NFL Draft House that weekend, Chicago has quickly escalated to one of my favorite cities, ever. Even writing this and currently watching Bourdain’s ‘Unknown Parts’ Chicago episode right now has me missing it so much. Ever since we got back, I haven’t stopped raving about the city and most importantly, the people of Chicago. In a city so big, the Midwest hospitality is alive and well, and it’s such a beautiful thing. Secondly, the food. I don’t even know where to begin, so I’m just going to say yes, the food scene there is one of the best in the country and didn’t have any problem finding good eats.

J and I made sure to hit up as many favorite spots as possible all thanks to the help of our friends and Chicago’s finest on Instagram. Seriously, thank you to all that gave us suggestions. Anyone who follows me on Instagram and Snapchat probably saw all of the places we hit up, and were probably either proud or scared for us, ha!

If you haven’t visited Chicago yet and have been meaning to– do it. I have no idea what took me so long and now we’re already planning another trip back to see (and eat) at places we didn’t get to last time. A huge thank you to the team at Joie De Vivre Hotels for making such a memorable trip for us! I cannot recommend Hotel Lincoln enough.

Hotel Lincoln1816 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614

 Lunch at  3 Arts Club Cafe  inside Restoration Hardware. It. was. gorgeous.

Lunch at 3 Arts Club Cafe inside Restoration Hardware. It. was. gorgeous.

 The infamous  Doughnut Vault  and yes, it lives up to the hype.

The infamous Doughnut Vault and yes, it lives up to the hype.

 A cold spring day at Millennium Park.

A cold spring day at Millennium Park.

 One of 4 or 5 window views from our suite at  Hotel Lincoln .

One of 4 or 5 window views from our suite at Hotel Lincoln .

 Awesome happy hour at Hotel Lincoln's J. Parker rooftop.

Awesome happy hour at Hotel Lincoln’s J. Parker rooftop.

Dinner at The Publican.

 The most stunning views over the  Nature Boardwalk  at the Lincoln Park Zoo. 

The most stunning views over the Nature Boardwalk at the Lincoln Park Zoo. 

 The  Lincoln Park Zoo . Pro-tip: It's FREE 365 days a year and must-see.

The Lincoln Park Zoo . Pro-tip: It’s FREE 365 days a year and must-see.

 On the top of J's list: a Cubs game at the iconic  Wrigley Field . PS. They KILLED it that game!

On the top of J’s list: a Cubs game at the iconic Wrigley Field . PS. They KILLED it that game!

  Lou Malnati's Pizza  delivered to our room because it was pouring that night.

Lou Malnati’s Pizza delivered to our room because it was pouring that night.

travel

ampersand sf

March 24, 2016

Happy Spring! No better gem to share to celebrate the new season than the most perfect shop in SF by the name of Ampersand. Its bright teal storefront is that of Instagram gold and the two gents that own and run it are just as darling as the flowers they sell.

Aside from the amazing floral scents from just about every direction, the playlist they had playing featured some Band of Horses and Bon Iver, and had me so nostalgic of my Palm Springs wedding. So naturally, when one of the gents (Emerson) came to help me out, I immediately requested a bunch similar to my wedding bouquet. He asked me how much I wanted to spend and a rough idea of what kind of flowers I wanted. I told him $20 and a rustic mix of David Austin (garden) roses, ranunculuses, with a whole lot of greens. What he whipped up in a few short minutes was an absolute dream and looked gorgeous at the house for almost two weeks.

If you’re ever in the Mission District near 16th St. BART, make sure you stop by and pay a visit!

Ampersand / 80 Albion Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

travel

lowes regency sf

March 20, 2016

My birthday weekend was quickly approaching a few weeks back and due to a busy schedule, neither J nor I had any free time to plan anything. Thanks to fate, the gracious team from Loews Regency San Francisco reached out to me about collaborate on a new Facebook Curated campaign they were planning on launching. Their wonderful media coordinator wanted to curate a special weekend spent at their hotel with a few extra surprises just for me. When asked which weekend I wanted to visit their hotel, I immediately thought of my birthday weekend and just like that, I had the most amazing and memorable 30th I could have last-minute planned.

Located right in the heart of the Financial District, just a 10-minute walk to the Ferry Building, the Loews Regency SF is set on the top 11 floors of a 48-floor high-rise and houses one of, if not, the most amazing 360° views I have ever seen in San Francisco. Going to our room on the 45th floor, I was stopped dead in my tracks as we passed by these floor to ceiling glass windows, or sky bridges, with the view of the entire San Francisco Bay Area. It was one of those jaw-opening, are you freaking kidding me? type of reactions.

The rooms are big, and not just big for San Francisco big (which it is), but it’s really a great size for two guest.

Getting spoiled like no other! Don’t worry, we ate it all.

THAT VIEW. From our room. I told you it was that are you kidding me? kind of view.

Night views of the Bay Bridge.

The morning of my birthday, we were really spoiled with the most amazing gifts: breakfast in room, a mani at their beautiful spa, and tickets to the California Academy of Sciences, something that had been on my ‘to-do’ list since we first moved to the Bay Area. I don’t think I’ve stopped raving about the Loews Regency Hotel in SF to friends and family since our visit.

The serene couples’ spa room.

After the most relaxing morning spent at the hotel, we ventured out over to the California Academy of Sciences to pay a rainy day visit to one of the coolest museums in the city. It’s a natural history museum (and aquarium and planetarium and so much more) located right in Golden Gate Park, across from the de Young Museum. If you’re ever there, be sure to hit up my two favorite spots: the jellyfish aquarium and the living roof.

California Academy of Sciences / 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118

Now for the biggest treat of all, you can enter for a chance to win your own #SFCurated stay at the Loews Regency in SF that starts today and ends on April 3rd. One grand prize winner will get to choose between four unique SF exclusive packages, and trust me, it’s going to be difficult to decide on which. You can enter once a day for a chance to win over at: loews.io/SFcurated

Good luck!

travel

point reyes national seashore

March 1, 2016

Tucked away in Marin County, about 30 miles from San Francisco, is the picturesque park preserve known as Point Reyes National Seashore. It’s over 71,000 square acres brimming with wildlife, outdoor activity and beautiful natural wonders. Its unique straight coast is unlike anything else and is a popular destination for those looking to get out of the city. The drive in can be winding, but the photo stops along the way are encouraged and absolutely worth it.

Some things to note- the lighthouse visitor center is only open weather permitting and during weekdays. The shipwreck was recently caught on fire and will be removed in the near future. If you can make it out there soon to see what’s left, I’d recommend going sooner than later.

POINT REYES NATIONAL SEASHORE

30 miles up Highway 1 from San Francisco

LIGHTHOUSE HOURS

Mon-Fri: 10am to 4:30pm

travel

asian art museum | priime x sf travel photowalk

February 1, 2016

I had the absolute pleasure of attending a photo walk with the folks from Priime and San Francisco Travel this past Saturday at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. It was a private group of about 25 or so photographers free to roam around before the museum was actually open to the public. Meaning, absolutely no crowds! It was an amazing experience to say the least and I will now compare all future museum visits to this one.

To see photos from the event, be sure to check the hashtag #PriimeAAM

Hurry to the museum now if you can. The exhibit we got to see called “Looking East” ends February 7, 2016. Not to worry though, there’s still plenty to see and experience all year long at the AAM.

ASIAN ART MUSEUM

200 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 | 415.581.3500

MUSEUM HOURS

Tues–Sun: 10–5 | Monday: Closed