To travel is to live…

Wanderlust: A strong desire to travel

It’s my last day in California and while it’ll have been a brief stay, I am already wondering when I can make another trip out here.

Back at the end of January/early February a conversation was struck up between old friends. I didn’t realize that just a few months later I would be flying across the country, alone, to visit this friend.

I’ve traveled by myself to Tennessee before, which was no biggie, considering who I was going to visit was my roommate in college for four years. But this time, getting on a plane to head thousands of miles away, I felt a little, well, nervous. 

Don’t get me wrong, I was super thrilled and excited to come out here but I’m not gonna lie, I was nervous. But that feeling went away as soon as I set my eyes to the gorgeous scenery awaiting for me outside of the plane. In that instant I knew this was going to be a trip for the books.
The scenery/land here in California are like nothing I have never seen before. It truly is stunning and breathtaking. Now unfortunately with the state being in a drought, everything is brown, but nonetheless, still beautiful.

 

Nate took us on a scenic drive today and I wish I could take the views home with me. It’s that amazing. So many vineyards, hills, pretty landscaping. So much to take in, it was hard to know at times where to look. 

On Friday when I arrived we went to the Walt Disney Family Museum and San Francisco. The WDFM was awesome! As a huge Disney fan it was cool to learn more about Walt Disney and his family, along with his vision to make Disney World and Disneyland what it is today. After the museum we headed to Ghiradelli Square and Fisherman’s Wharf. We walked around, ate lunch and did some shopping. I even found a little California souvenir license plate with “Ana” on it. My one “big”, “tourist-y” purchase but well worth it, lol. Oh, and I totally got to ride on the Golden Gate Bridge and it was so awesome! Happy I can check that off my bucket list! 

  

 We also walked by a cupcake shop that I of course had to try. I love my cupcakes. Plus, they had the cute little pink boxes and you know if they come in a pink box they’re bound to me good. Okay, maybe that’s just me, but still. I got a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter ganache frosting and it was DELICIOUS! Kara’s Cupcakes knows what’s up. 

At Fisherman’s Wharf they also had a Madame Tussaud’s wax museum and while we didn’t actually go through it, there were wax figures of Beyoncé, Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio outside to take pictures with. I was so excited! I’ve always wanted to see the wax figures in person and that fact that I did was awesome.

  
There were a lot of people at Fisherman’s Wharf and lots of camera shops, which was just an observation I happened to notice and I thought was kind of strange. But, I guess people do still use cameras to take pictures, not just their cell phones. Ha ha. 

Another observation I noticed are…

– Starbucks are a plenty around here

– People love their In-And-Out Burger

– Mexican restaurants on what seems like every corner (my kind of city!!)

– You have to PAY for your shopping bag at most stores here if you buy something. If not, you end up like me at the Disney store walking out with my t-shirt and receipt in hand. 

– The bathroom stalls at the Oakland airport are nice and ROOMY! (It’s the little things that excite me, lol)

– The sales tax here is higher than ours, ouch.

– People driving motorcycles are allowed to pass other vehicles via in the middle of the lane–looks scary, I wouldn’t dare try to do that

There’s probably more but I can’t think of any off the top of my head so moving along…

  
Yesterday we went wine tasting and it was so much fun. The woman serving us has been at that vineyard for just four months but with how knowledgable she was I was impressed. There’s a lot to know I feel like. But she knew her stuff and even explained to me what the difference between “dry” and “sweet” were since when people ask what kind of wine I like I just say I like ALL and ANY. (Side note: My sisters and aunt are probably shaking their heads right now over me not knowing the difference, LOL)

  
After that vineyard we went downtown and ate lunch (can’t recall the name right now) and ordered a flight of beer. Yeah, not the best idea because I was so tired after that. But, I hung in there and after we ate lunch we stopped by a restaurant called Barn Diva where Nate’s friend works at. They have mixed drinks there like none I have ever had before but boy were they good. Plus, we basically had the place to ourselves since they were closed and had a wedding going on. Of course those drinks only made me more tired but I hung in there the best I could, lol.

After that we walked around for a bit more and then came back to the apartment. Later we ended up going to La Rosa, a Mexican restaurant, where I had a burrito with, get this, FRENCH FRIES in it. Talk about beat of both worlds. I love me my carbs and potatoes. 🙂 Their chips and salsa were on point too, delicious!

Once we got done with dinner we met up with Nate’s friend from earlier, Chris, and got drinks at Bear Republic Brewing Company. So Nate told me this is THE place for people to hang on any given night. I was still surprised to see there was a line and while I am not one to wait in lines (I’m so impatient) I was pleased we did because the beer was so worth it. Something worth mentioning… I’m definitely not used to drinking “good” beer back home–I always stick to my usual Bud Light (lol)–and so having all of these IPAs caught up with me quick. Still had a fun time though and glad I got to meet and hang out with Nate’s friends.

Today was fun being able to simply enjoy the scenery and check out another winery. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to since I felt a tad hungover from last night (oops) but a little hair of the dog seemed to go the trick. As did the In-And-Out Burger I had.

So, I guess In-And-Out Burger is like THE fast food place to eat here in California? Or maybe just Santa Rosa, but, the place was packed and there were cars wrapped around the building for drive through. My verdict: it was good but not a place I would spend that much time waiting for to go to. But maybe don’t listen to my verdict since I’m not even a burger person to begin with so… Moving along…

Oh, so there was a shop nearby I found out that sells Alex and Ani and while I didn’t want to buy them elsewhere, I couldn’t pass the opportunity up, especially since they had some really cute beaded ones that are being discontinued. Sales people know how to get me to buy–discontinuing, you say? I’ll take them! 😉

An unexpected but nice surprise after that was getting to meet Nate’s parents and grandparents, and finding out his sister is engaged. His family was so sweet, they treated us to ice cream and his grandma had me cracking up. They were all very sweet and it was a pleasure to meet them.

That was a wrap up of the day today since Nate has a rehearsal for his play to go to tonight and poor kid is driving me to the airport super duper early tomorrow. Yikes! I’m bummed to have to leave, although I am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed. So hopefully it’s smooth sailing tomorrow and I get home at a decent time so I can get some sleep. There’s a three hour time difference between here and Michigan so that’s cutting into my sleep schedule, lol.

But anyway… I’m definitely going to be coming out here again because like I said it’s so beautiful and I just want to experience what not only this state offers but this country too.

Well, better get to making sure I have everything I brought with me here packed and ready to go home.

Until next time…

XO,

Ana

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