fire tower hike

Retrospects : October 2016

In Retrospects, California, Blog, United States, North America, Series, Destinations by ajauntwithjoy@gmail.com0 Comments

After having an uneventful September, October was pretty exciting! New friends were made, unique events were had, and fun destinations were visited! A few cool opportunities were gained for this blog as well! However, there were a few letdowns this month and one pretty scary experience. Read on to find out what happened!

Destinations Visited

Sacramento, CA  28 nights
Apple Hill, CA  1 day
North Lake Tahoe, CA  3 nights

october 2016

The Highs

This month, my boyfriend came back home after ending his seasonal park ranger job up in Olympic! Happy to finally see him every day after months of dealing with long distance and sucky connection in the backcountry!

I helped host a Fall meetup in Apple Hill for the Facebook group Girls LOVE Travel! Apple Hill is just under an hour east of Sacramento and is filled with cute farms, pumpkin patches, and apple orchards. I met a few awesome travel-obsessed ladies and their significant others for a fun day of farm-hopping and treat-tasting.

Part of my boyfriend’s newly found family moved closer to us, so we got to see his niece and nephew a lot this month! I was also able to connect with a Snapchat follower to help her plan an upcoming trip. It was so awesome to meet her and put a face to a screenname! If anyone is ever in Sacramento, let me know!

One of our friends’ girlfriends won a radio contest prize of 3 nights at a ski resort in Tahoe, and couldn’t go. So for some magical reason, she gifted my boyfriend and I with the trip! We immediately booked our nights with the voucher at The Village in Squaw Valley, got a rental car, and packed our bags! During the trip, I was offered my first partnership for this blog! Read all about it in my post : Shoulder Season Activities In North Lake Tahoe.

girls love travel meetup

The Lows

Last month was my boyfriends 30th birthday (!!!) which I missed due to our long distance. I wanted to do something for him this month instead, and planned to bring together some of his family and friends for a surprise party downtown. It kinda epically failed. Apparently it’s a good idea to get dinner reservations to a crowded hip new restaurant. We were stuck wandering the streets looking for a place we could all agree on as our hanger took over. And with everyone’s conflicting schedules, it was just 3 of us by the time we found food. Lesson learned. I’m planning his 31st months in advance (ha!).

Ok. The scary incident. Most of you know that I’m a dog sitter/dog walker through I accepted an elderly dog this month without fully knowing what I was getting myself into — and for the longest stay I’ve agreed to do so far. He had diabetes (shots of insulin each day) and had to wear a makeshift diaper using human feminine pads (which usually leaked no matter how often it was changed). Our entire apartment always smelled like stale urine and it was guaranteed each morning that I’d be waking up to a puddle of pee on our floor. All of this was stressful, but ultimately not his fault. He was elderly and couldn’t help it. But the scary part — my boyfriend and I were grocery shopping and I got a frantic phone call from our roommate. The dog was having a seizure! I called the emergency hotline for Rover and then called the owner to let her know what was going on and to ask if he had a history with seizures. She had forgotten to tell us about this and told us what our roomie could do for him until we got home. He had many other seizures during his stay with us, and we had to constantly monitor his sugar intake and give him lots of treats and new meds. I never want to go through that again, but her $100 tip at the end was nice!

Oh, and Halloween was so uneventful. Plans fell through and we didn’t do anything for it this year. Laaaame!

dog sitting

Memorable Food

That hip new restaurant I tried taking my boyfriend to for his 30th birthday party? We decided to try again a few days later and managed to get in with no reservations. And guys — if you’re ever in Sacramento, you need to eat at El Rey on K! Authentic yet modern Mexican street food, taqueria-style. Horchata shakes, street corn, duck carnitas, smoked chili lime chicken tacos…

At Apple Hill, I indulged in all kinds of Fall treats. From the famous apple cider milkshake at High Hill Ranch to cider donuts to a cider and apple beer flight at Boa Vista Orchards.

Our stay in North Lake Tahoe brought us excellent food options as well. The most memorable was sushi at Drunken Monkey Sushi and my first eggs benedict at Squeeze In — both in Truckee.

cider flight

Memorable Lodging

The Village at Squaw Valley in North Lake Tahoe has been named Best Ski Resort of 2016 by USA Today. Again, our 3 night stay in a one bedroom condo suite was gifted to us, and as budget backpackers, we loved every second of it. From the fireplace to the full kitchen. October is still low season for this area, so it was pretty quiet — although the aerial tram was closed and the shops onsite were dead. We certainly loved having the sauna and hot tubs mostly to ourselves though!

the village squaw valley

Most Popular Instagram Shot

I announced a Rapid Hammock giveaway on Instagram this month and it became my most liked photo ever. I was stoked about everyone’s excitement over it! The shot was actually taken back in summer while hiking in Skagway, Alaska on my day off from working a cruise contract. The hike was supposed to last longer, but once I set up that hammock at the lake, there was no getting me out of it. Unless a bear came.

hammock giveaway

Featured Travel And Outdoor Products

I’ve been selected to be a brand ambassador for a neat company that gives back to the environment! Enter Nectar Sunglasses! A portion of their sales goes to The Bee Cause and is used to buy new bees for educational hives that are put up in schools across America. Their goal is to aid in bee conservation and to bring up the bee population in the US! Each sold pair of sunglasses saves around 33 honeybees. There are tons of sweet (see what I did there? sweet? honey? haaa-oknevermind) styles to choose from including polarized, prescription, and even monitor strain reducers for you bloggers and office workers! Use my code AJAUNTWITHJOY at checkout for 15% OFF!

I was also chosen as an affiliate for The Elephant Pants, an apparel company that donates a portion of their sales to benefit elephants! Their main goal is to spread awareness and stop ivory poaching while funding research into cures for elephant diseases. Use my code JOYSHEEHAN10 for 10% OFF their cute and comfy clothing!

nectar sunglasses

Goals Accomplished

Hosting my first giveaway was such a big success! It’s so fun to partner with brands or products that I use often and love. It’s even more fun when I get to give them away to my readers! Heyy-Ooo!

I pitched my services to a few companies in North Lake Tahoe right before our trip, and honestly I wasn’t expecting anything to come of it with such short notice. To my surprise, the Tahoe Adventure Company agreed and I collaborated for a kayak tour! Slowly but surely, I’m watching my blog develop and it’s neat to see my hard work pay off.

tahoe adventure company kayak tour

Goals for next month

Spending Thanksgiving somewhere cool and simply writing more blog posts are all goals for November.

Coming Up…

A possible cruise contract is in the works and a whole lot of dog sitting has been scheduled. If I get the cruise, it means I’ll be headed to Mexico! Bring on the tacos and tequila!

cruise mexico

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