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Dispatches from Paradise: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

November 6, 2016


We just got back from a lovely few days in Cabo San Lucas. It was just what the doctor ordered, full of sunshine, booze, plenty of rest, great food and new friends. We stayed at the Royal Decameron, which is a great, affordable all-inclusive option. It may not be the most luxe, but it definitely did the trick for us. We’re not super picky so long as the food is good, the booze is flowing and the rooms are comfortable. What more could you ask for, right?

Here are a couple of snaps from the week:


Silly selfie by the pool. The ladies are large and in charge, right? I ended up loving the Asos suit I bought, but definitely felt a bit more exposed than usual. Hah!


That picture represents pure happiness, right? How great is it to linger over a lunch you didn’t have to cook for yourself?


Another cute selfie on the day we left. Cabo is so close to us here in California, I have no doubt we’ll be back. Hopefully it won’t be another full year before we take a true vacation.

damn delicious, travel

Keep yourself alive

February 21, 2016

Napa trip

Uncharacteristically, I decided to participate in the thirtieth birthday shenanigans of one of my work friends this weekend. We took a weekend away in Napa full of brunching, winery visits and farm-to-table fare. To put it short, it was perfect. As I was driving home this afternoon, I decided that I need to make a much bigger effort to break up my daily grind with fun trips. It’s so easy for me to get caught up in the motions of life and be a bit of a homebody, but I realize that disrupting my weekly routine is just plain good for my brain. I felt so inspired on the road today, my heart swelled with gratitude for the blessings in my life and my brain swirled with the possibilities for growth at work and at home.

I came home and blocked a bunch of days on my calendar this year for camping trips, time to visit family in Arizona and another trip to Cabo this Fall. It just seems like life is flying by the older I get and I want to make sure that there are plenty of days of pure fun mixed in with the day-to-day responsibilities of life. My best, most excited self seems to emerge when I hit the road, so I’m committed to get to know that side of myself even better this year with lots of fun adventures.

What trips are you taking this year?


adventure, travel, Uncategorized

2016: the year of camping

November 30, 2015

camping intro

Ever since we decided to stay put here in Modesto instead of moving to Oakland next year, my mind has been simmering with ways for us to make the most of where we live. Residents of Modesto often joke that our town is ‘two hours from everywhere’ in California, so one of my only resolutions going into 2016 is to take advantage of our Central California location for some weekend adventuring.

Now, I’m not necessarily the type of person you’d peg as a camper at first blush. I like my creature comforts, but I’m invested in devising a system that brings the convenience of home (air mattress, hot plate, restrooms, pop up tents) to the beautiful, healing outdoors. I think I need to disconnect way more often than I do.

Here’s a list of all of the places I’m dreaming of visiting on our impending camping adventures. Some are just a couple of hours away while others are more of a hike that we could fold into a visit to see my family in Arizona.

big sur

Big Sur – I fell in love with Big Sur on a day-long drive down the Pacific Coastal Highway last year. The views are breathtaking and there is camping right in the Redwoods. Swoon.

lake tahoe

Lake Tahoe – I’ve been to Lake Tahoe numerous times and I just love, love, love it. The hotels are pretty expensive unless you stay at the casinos, so I’d like to experience camping right on the lake.


Pinecrest – A little bit closer to home, Pinecrest is an awesome spot nestled in the Sierra Mountains. I wrote about a day trip we took with the boys there a couple of years ago, but I’d like to stay the night one weekend and enjoy a few brewskies in the fresh mountain air.

stinson beach

Stinson Beach – I did a couple of photo shoots on Stinson beach at my previous job and I fell in love with this awesome little beach town. This amazing campsite seems almost impossible to get into, but I want to stay there so badly. Another plus: we could pick up the kids on our way through the bay area to get to Stinson and hit up Muir Woods for a hike one morning.

pismo beach

Pismo Beach – I’ve never been to Pismo, but I’ve heard only good things from friends. When people think of California, I think they picture Pismo Beach, so why not spend a weekend at the quintessential California beach town from the comfort of your tent?


Yosemite National Park – I mean, how could I mention camping in California without mentioning one of the most famous landmarks in the entire state? Camping, here we come

knights ferry

Knight’s Ferry – About an hour from home, I envision Knight’s Ferry being one of our go-to camping spots. Easy, peasy.

grand canyon

Grand Canyon – Yes, I love this famous landmark in my home state. Who wouldn’t want to camp next to this world wonder?

oak creek canyon

Oak Creek Canyon – Just a short drive from my hometown, Oak Creek Canyon is just breathtaking. I’d love to drink my morning coffee in this beauty.

Sedona – Last but most certainly not least, my favorite place in the entire world, my happy place, Sedona, Arizona. Since I can drive there in fifteen minutes from my mom’s house, I’ve never thought about camping there. But, seriously, why not? Did I mention it’s my happy place??

What do you think? Are you a camper? Or, would you rather just pay for a hotel and call it a day? I’ve always been more the hotel-type, but my insistence on paying for expensive hotels makes it a bit difficult for us to do quick weekend getaways.

Image sources: Intro, Big Sur, Lake Tahoe, Pinecrest (my own), Stinson Beach, Pismo Beach, Yosemite National Park, Knight’s Ferry, Grand Canyon, Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona

adventure, california, travel

Travel: Work trip in Santa Cruz, CA

September 5, 2014

I’ve lived in California more than four years now, but I can clearly remember driving with the windows down one cool, refreshingly crisp summer morning right after I moved here, thinking “why in the world doesn’t everyone live here?” I still stand by the sentiment, but I’ve come to realize that everyone DOES live here. That’s why amazing places like Lake Tahoe, Yosemite and even the 580 Freeway in the Bay Area are almost always trafficky, congested messes. California is crowded, yo!

Nevertheless, I am still completely smitten with this state. I had to attend a video shoot in Santa Cruz a couple of weeks ago for work. I woke up in the morning to a dense fog out of the window of my hotel room and felt pretty worried that we weren’t going to be able to get what we were looking for because of the weather. I don’t know why I doubted, though. By 11am, the fog had burnt off, revealing the most epic, quintessentially California beach day we could’ve ever asked for.

I didn’t have my good camera on me, but I just had to capture the day with the trusty iPhone. I hope you enjoy my snaps.

Santa cruz beach boardwalk Santa cruz beach boardwalk Santa cruz beach boardwalkSanta cruz beach boardwalk

I stayed at the Hotel Paradox (recommended, but I might stay at the Santa Cruz Dream Inn next time because they are dog-friendly and very convenient to the Board Walk) and ate at the Aquarius Restaurant at the Dream Inn twice, unfortunately. I honestly don’t recommend it because I had two meals there and was very disappointed both times, but the view from the table WAS amazing.

adventure, california, travel

Travel: Adventure at Pinecrest Lake

August 27, 2014

Last weekend, we loaded up the kids and the dog and headed up to the Sierras for a little adventure. We spent $80 to rent a little motorboat for the afternoon on Pinecrest Lake and you’d think that we’d rented a yacht for the way the kids were acting. We scouted out a swimming nook and took turns trying to withstand the FREEZING water. The boys even played in the boat while we were stationary. It was so adorable.

Writing this blog is going to force me to bring my camera with me more often and for that I am so grateful. I just don’t take the time to document my life and I really should. Looking at these pictures today made me so incredibly happy and thankful. DSC_1022