April 2017 began with leaving one of the best cruise contracts I’ve had to-date, followed by getting the best gift I could EVER receive! The reason it was one of the best (if not, THE best) contract wasn’t because of the destination. It was because the team of girls onboard were just really freaking amazing! I knew more than half of them from previous ships. It was like putting almost all of my favorite coworkers together and then adding some cool new ones too. I was so sad to be leaving that ship, but it didn’t take long before we all met up again!
Read on to see how we spent our San Francisco girls day and what that jaw-dropping gift was! I also tell you about a ridiculous travel mistake I made that even months later I kick myself for.
Los Angeles, California — 1 day
San Francisco, California — 2 days
Sacramento, California — 27 days
On April 1st, I was disembarking in LA from my Mexico cruise contract, and I turned my phone back on to get service. I saw a voicemail from my Nan and Grandpa. It was my Nan telling me that they’re going into a retirement home soon so they need to “spend down”. She said that they’ve decided to spend their money on paying off the grandchildren’s student loans. Let me rephrase that. My Nan was telling me the most magical and unbelievable thing, something I thought I could only ever dream about…ON APRIL FOOLS DAY. I didn’t know if I should shriek, jump up and down, or pee myself. Pretty sure I did all of the above in that moment, once I found out it wasn’t a joke. I can’t even begin to express how blessed I feel and I’m STILL totally shocked about it!
Two days after disembarking, my coworker Elva came to Sacramento to visit me. My boyfriend cooked us an awesome dinner and we all went out to Coin-Op, an arcade bar. The next day, she and I drove to San Francisco to meet up with the other girls we had just worked with onboard. The ship was docking there for the day, so we planned on taking everyone around the city. We ate at a cute crepery in Japantown, then went to Land’s End and had wine at the Sutro Baths before dropping them back off at the ship.
The Facebook group Girls LOVE Travel has a Greater Sacramento chapter page that hosts meetups. This month I went to two fun events, and met a lot of equally travel-obsessed women that live right here in my city! We had a “Porch Fest” where we sat around on my friend Sarah’s porch, sharing adventure stories and adding wine to slushies (y’all need to try this by the way). We also had an Easter brunch and did a white elephant Easter basket exchange.
Another blog, Birdgehls, featured me in her post on “7 Green Travel Blogs You Should Be Following”! I was incredibly flattered to make it onto her list, and I was stoked to find new eco bloggers to follow too!
My roommate and I went on a wildflower hike around Folsom Lake, CA. I was long overdue for a hike, and every outdoor adventure with my roomie is a hilarious one! I also dogsat some of my favorite pups through Rover again this month. I don’t know why I didn’t sign up to get paid to play with dogs earlier! Sign up here if you’re interested in earning extra travel money the same way!
I pitched to eco-friendly companies and brands that give back to the environment. To my surprise, some of them agreed to collaborate! I was able to receive free products (for giveaways and reviewing) and discount codes to give to my blog and social media followers! As still a fairly new blogger, and having a ton of other side jobs to juggle, I don’t always feel like I have enough time to put into this blog. Growth has been slow, but steady. So I’m always giddy when I get opportunities like this to work with others and give back to all of YOU!
I’ll add the discount codes to my next post! Look out for May 2017 Retrospects coming soon!
I made a huge travel mistake on my way home from my contract. You should always know exactly what times your transportation comes and goes. I flew in to San Francisco and had to get to my Megabus. When on a budget, I usually get there by taking the airport airtrain to the Bart trains to the CalTrain station, where the Megabus to Sacramento is closest to. I paid $5.75 for a CalTrain ticket only to see that the next one wouldn’t arrive until 9:10pm. But I was taking the last Megabus home at 9pm. So I quickly got a $24 Uber to the bus stop, but I arrived at 9:05pm and it had already left. My boyfriend drove the 2 hours each way to pick me up (#blessed #boyfriendgoals haha). But between the non-refundable bus ticket and everything else, I wound up wasting almost $45!
Speaking of that guy of mine, he was leaving to go work a temporary job near Palm Springs, a 7-8 hour drive away. With an unknown end date. And it wouldn’t be long before he goes to his next seasonal park ranger job in Maryland for 5 months. Talk about long distance relationship problems.
When I missed my bus back to Sacramento, hanger and the toll of travel took over. I trudged to the nearby Umami Burger for a pick-me-up until my boyfriend arrived. The waiter saw my luggage and asked if I was headed somewhere. I snorted. “Well I WAS….funny story…” He felt so bad that he gave me a complimentary white wine to go with my traditional umami burger and the best sweet potato fries I think I’ve ever had.
Am I the only one that screenshots foodie joints on Instagram and saves them in my phone for future visits? I was finally able to get adorable animal-shaped crepes from The Belly Good Cafe & Crepes in Japantown, San Francisco! I got the green tea ice cream with honey and strawberries and almond in a green tea skin crepe, shaped with a little bear on top!
At the cherry blossom festival in Davis, CA I tried plum beer. It was actually pretty good! I’m sad to have missed out on the sakura (cherry blossom) flavored one though…Next time.
Best Wildlife Shot
While hiking the Folsom Lake area near Sacramento with my roomie, I took loads of photos of the wildflowers. I also took a few of all the lizards we were trying to catch, but most of those were a bit blurry. I didn’t have my Nikon since it was kind of an impromptu adventure, so this iPhone shot of a swallowtail butterfly will have to do.
Most Popular Instagram Shot
This photo was actually taken back in 2011 while my boyfriend and I were backpacking from Mexico to Panama. We had just hiked the Pacaya Volcano in Guatemala and roasted marshmallows at the top in the steam vents. I was clearly awed with the views at the top, too. The photo was also perfect to use on my Instagram as one that represented how awesome and freeing it felt to have my student loans finally killed!
Retrospects : December 2016 — Read on for an overview of my December 2016 destinations and adventures. Also included are my highs, lows, goals accomplished, and more!
12 Beach Essentials For The Eco-Conscious Girl — Make your summer vacation a little more environmentally friendly with this packing list of eco-conscious beach essentials!
May holds a trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for my very first travel agent FAM trip! FAM is short for “familiarization”. These trips are offered to travel agents by resorts, tour companies, etc so that we can get familiarized with everything they offer and experience the brand/destination in person. It allows us to better sell it to our clients. I’ll be staying in 2 resorts for 5 days, and touring a ton of others!
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