Yes, I’m still playing catch-up on these 2017 retrospects posts. The year is flying by and its been pretty crazy too! It feels like I’ve just been jumping from ship to ship. Which means very limited wifi access and no time to blog! I’m actually on a ship right now in Alaska, and it’s July — yet I’m only just tackling March. Yikes!
March was filled with a cruise contract, a lot of awesome new friends, and growth in my relationship. St. Patrick’s Day was also celebrated at home in Sacramento! IT ALSO MARKED ONE YEAR SINCE MY BLOG HAS BEEN LIVE! Read on to see where I traveled to this month, and also how I wound up in what could’ve been a dangerous situation! I’m still frustrated over it!
Sacramento, CA — 23 days
San Francisco, CA — 1 night
Los Angeles, CA — 1 night
Mazatlan, Mexico — 1 day
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico — 1 day
Who doesn’t love surprise money?! I got a tax return when I thought I’d be owing! I also got a travel agent commission this month that I had totally forgotten about! Plus, I had a lot of Rover clients and people from Craigslist buying things from me. This is always a nice feeling when you work seasonal, freelance, and scattered jobs.
I went to a lunch meeting with the travel agency put on by our Princess Cruises representative. I mentioned to her that I also work seasonally for Princess as a youth staff and it turned out that her daughter just started doing the SAME JOB! We realized that I had actually already been talking to her daughter on our Facebook Group about the fact that we live near each other and were about to join the same ship together! We had already booked seats on our flight next to each other and everything.
My boyfriend came home after nearly 3 months of long distance! We had a lot of deep conversations and it brought us even closer together. It definitely made me aware of how intensely I’m loved and cared for. I don’t usually talk much about my relationship here as it doesn’t have much to do with travel or the outdoors, the niche of this blog. But I guess that’s why I have this Retrospects section, right? To give an overview of each month and more of an insight into my ups and downs behind the scenes.
I finally met that Princess rep’s daughter, Elva, in the airport and we flew from San Francisco to LA together. Arriving at the hotel that Princess Cruises puts us up in, we found we were also hotel roomies. She had a friend in Hollywood, so we grabbed dinner with our meal vouchers at the hotel and then Ubered to Hollywood to meet up with him! A hilarious night ensued, wandering the Walk of Fame and the Chinese Theater area. We pretty much laughed the entire night and we were both commenting that it felt like we’d known each other for way longer than just a day!
I had a GREAT team on the Ruby Princess! I knew almost everyone from previous contracts, and everyone else I met was awesome. I haven’t laughed this hard or this much in a long time. We all got so close in such a short amount of time, that we planned on meeting up with each other again after disembarking the ship.
This month, I had 2 Rover dogs that were pretty frustrating to deal with. One would constantly follow us around, whimpering, and we couldn’t even go to the bathroom for 5 seconds without it crying and barking! Separation anxiety on another level! It drove us mad for the week that we had them!
Alright, so you all know how much I use and love Lyft, the ride sharing app. This month though, I had the worst experience with a Lyft driver that I’ve ever had. In San Francisco, I requested a Lyft to my hostel from the bus station. It had already been a long day of travel and I just wanted a bed. I saw my Lyft driver’s car approaching, but out of nowhere he made a U-turn and drove to the opposite side of the street. I saw he had parked a bit down the road so I rushed to the crosswalk to go meet his car while texting him where I was and that I was coming to him. I guess he didn’t see the text, or me, because by the time I got to that side of the street he was back to the side I was JUST waiting at! Then he made another U-turn and started to go right past me, so I was able to flag him down. I got into his car and tried to tell him that he had first been right in front of me, but he kept interrupting and he didn’t want to hear my side. We were both clearly annoyed.
(Continued) He started driving me to my hostel, but his GPS “wasn’t working properly.” I told him I could give him directions with mine and he said he knew exactly where it was — but that his app wasn’t registering him as having a rider anymore. He failed to tell me that was because he had marked me down as a “no-show” which charged me $5 (I later disputed that and got a $5 credit to my account). He decided that instead of taking me to my hostel now that we were halfway there, he would instead drop me and all my luggage on the side of a road I wasn’t familiar with. He told me I had to find a new Lyft ride and that he wouldn’t accept cash from me. As a solo female traveler in a semi-unfamiliar city, being stranded on the roadside and needing to come up with a new plan and a new ride was intimidating. Luckily, it was still kind of daytime and the street seemed safe enough. But I was NAWT happy with this guy.
If When you’re ever in Sacramento, you need to eat at LowBrau. This popular German Bierhalle has some of the best food in town! And this month, I discovered the online food delivery service called DoorDash, which to my excitement had LowBrau on its list! I will now forever be needing to exercise my will power at 100%. Or risk going broke from ordering all the duck fat fries with green goddess dressing. Or the chicken feta sausages with carmelized onions and bleu cheese. GREAT. Now I’m hungry again.
My boyfriend and I went out to Banzai Sushi one night for more of Sacramento’s best kept sushi secrets. The outside doesn’t look like much at all, but we love it because it stocks one of my favorite drinks! Banzai Bunny Blueberry Sparkling Sake. Plus, they have a lengthy menu of enticing sushi, maki, ramen, and more!
For St. Patrick’s Day, my boyfriend and I had a double date dinner with his cousin and his date. We started with drinks and appetizers at Hook & Ladder, a pricey and industrial Farm to Fork restaurant that has a romantic feel at night. I had mussels and garlic parmesan fries with a mezcal cocktail.
Then we moved on to an energetic and crowded bar called University of Beer. This bar has a huge variety of craft beer along with a ton of other options as well. Not much of a beer girl myself, I still love this place because each time I’ve managed to find some really interesting drinks! Don’t miss the Raspberry Mead or the Coconut Cream Cider (some selections are rotated between the different locations).
While in Mexico, I had my first ceviche! Shrimp from Joe’s Oyster Bar in Mazatlan. In Cabo, I walked to my favorite taqueria and got horchata and “vampiro con carne asada”. It was like grilled beef/steak and melted cheese on a tostada-like thing. I will now be getting this EVERY time I’m here.
This month, other than sleeping in my apartment or onboard the ship, I stayed for a night in San Francisco. It was my second time staying at the San Francisco International Hostel. And again, my experience here was just okay. The location is great and some of the amenities (like the free pancake breakfasts and some free events!) are awesome. But I really wasn’t a fan of staying in a mixed gender dorm where only myself and 1 man were in for the night, and the bathroom lock didn’t work. Luckily, I found public single bathrooms on the 5th floor.
I also stayed at an LA airport hotel that the cruise line puts crew up in the night before we join a ship. Though they’re typically your standard and very basic hotel, and not memorable at all.
Best Wildlife Shot
On a tour I took through the ship to do Whale Watching by Zodiac, my group witnessed a mother humpback whale with her calf. The migrating season was nearly over with, and the rest of the humpbacks had already left north for Alaska. It was amazing to see the calf learning how to breach a few times! I was so sad that I didn’t bring my zoom lens for better shots! We also saw a number of sea lions hanging out on the rocks.
Most Popular Instagram Shot
This shot was taken back in 2014 in an infinity pool overlooking Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. One of my coworkers on the cruise ship had a friend living here who also used to work on the ships. She invited a few of us to meet up with him on our time off and he was the BEST host! He brought us to a restaurant where he plays piano and picked us up the best nachos ever, before bringing us all to his bougie apartment. He mixed us all drinks and we just hung out talking and laughing the whole day. A few of us also swam in 2 of the 3 infinity pools onsite. We were having so much fun that we almost missed our crew all-aboard time!
35 Kickass Instagram Accounts Every Adventurous Traveler Should Follow — Instagram is rapidly changing the way we all experience the world. These 35 kickass Instagrammers are paving the way in adventure travel. Follow them here!
Featured Travel And Outdoor Product
This month, I finally invested in a protective iPhone case. I did a lot of research before choosing the Lifeproof NUUD Waterproof Case. It’s the perfect case to have on my travels and outdoor adventures! It’s snow proof, dirt proof, shock proof, and waterproof up to 6.6 feet! I also love that it has a clear back so you can still see the rose gold color of my phone.
I sent out my very first email newsletter! I’ll be doing kind of a weekly travel update with my latest news, tips, and giveaways. Subscribe below!
In April, I’ll be coming back home from a cruise contract. The girls I worked with onboard made plans with me to all meet up again right away! A couple of us seasonals that are leaving will be day-tripping to San Francisco to meet the ship and go adventuring with whoever has that day off of work. The sad news is, my boyfriend will be leaving again for a temporary job in Palm Springs, a 7 hour drive away — with no end date so far. So I had no idea how long we’d have to do long distance this time.
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