Time Flies

When you are traveling at least once a month, have a full time job and a weekend job, plus your Travel Agent and Event Planning business, you sacrifice some thing such as family time. As long as those family members do not take it personally and support your ambitions, all is good. I am lucky enough to have that.

I unfortunately missed my nephew’s birthday but was able to watch him play a little Fortnite on a recent visit. We took some selfies with this new 8-year-old. I told him I would learn to play the game and we can play remotely. Maybe we can be Twitch friends! Unfortunately, my AT&T internet connection isn’t fast enough.

Thanks to the flexibility of my day job, I was able to leave work early and make it to Arya’s 6th birthday get together at the house. I picked up a backpack that is a bit big for her but she could use it for over-nighters at my house. It was by Betsey Johnson and had a pup that looked like my late Bevo. She loved him so much that she had dreams about him after he passed. Nate, her brother, also included a picture of him in a recent project for school. I love how Bevo’s memory stays alive after nine months. I miss him everyday. I am sure they do too.

While on my #OBBRoadTrip, I was able to see my dear friend, Brittany, and a friend I haven’t seen in maybe 20 years in Lindon, Utah. Then I got to meet my new niece, Makenna, in Littleton, Colorado. It was good to see my cousins. They both have had new adventures that started recently. I wish them luck! If you need a realtor in the area, let me know! I’ll put you in touch!

Bowles Cafe, Littleton, Colorado

I’m thankful for my time with my family. Be sure to make some time for yours!
Check out my video from the entire trip HERE!

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Where To Next?

With just three trips left this year that are confirmed, (Oahu is an option in November,) I wonder what is next. Currently my day job is in a questionable position and I have had to make funds stretch since the beginning of the summer. Hence the #50GBPaDayChallenge in London and being as frugal as I can.

Where to next? Well, I still have a #GoalBy40 that I need to tackle. Like 2017, I didn’t have any major travel plans for six months straight and I focused on my Concierge position. I feel that may be the case post November. In the mean time, I have tasks that will keep me busy til my current job becomes self-sustaining or I find another full time job. I am open to relocating to somewhere new and exciting. I am also comfortable with a remote position. Travel, wedding clients and Stella & Dot hostesses and new Stylists are also an option. Let’s connect on LinkedIn! Referrals are always appreciated.

I do not regret the choices I have made. I have seen the world, had amazing experiences and had my taste buds sing! Not many people can say that! When people think they can’t travel, oh yes you can! I live in one of the most want to visit places in the world and it’s my own backyard. Explore and share your own backyard! I am sure there are gems that no one talks about as much as they should. Do it!

The view from TPC Stonebrae, Hayward, California

Stay tuned for what’s next for this One Busy Bee. I am excited as to where I will be next. If you told me I was going to be in Omaha, Nebraska, I wouldn’t have believed you. But there I was, under Bob the Bridge with Omar the Troll.

Earrings by Stella & Dot

See the video on the whole #OBBRoadTrip HERE.

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Mimi’s Nails – Castro Valley, Ca

The spot where I have been going to for nine years is consistently good. That is Mimi’s Nails in Castro Valley, California. Located in a little strip mall with Nation’s, Subway and Little Caesars, it is the only nail shop in the center.

Hello, my friend. How come you have not come to see Mimi?” Mimi knows when you haven’t been in awhile.

Before my week-long #OBBRoadTrip across the country, I knew I had to get a pedicure as I was going to be wearing my Reef slippahs everyday. Though I was sitting on my bottom for at least seven hours a day, I was able to get seven miles in Washington, D.C. so these toes were exposed.

TIP: Bring a check or cash. They appreciate it. Bank of America is across the street if you forgot cash.

I think the below check-in may be inaccurate but I have been trying to save money. But I am still the Mayor! Mimi also asked for an updated review. I can’t believe it has been six years since I did.

Let’s be friends on Yelp

Another tip: Rose is my girl! She takes care of my shellac tips.

Get your wedding nails, special event or pretty nails for a girls’ night out. Call for an appointment. They also can do waxing.

Josh & Marissa – Pre-Planning

It was an honor to be the Event Coordinator for Josh and Marissa in Seaside, California. The couple moved from the area to Arizona but returned to celebrate their wedding closer to family.

Marissa planned majority of her wedding herself and had the help from her sister, Noralisa. I advised on topics she had questions on, had two calls to get a download of what has been planned and what was missing or needed to be completed. Marissa was extremely easy to work with, was calm and collected at all times, including on her day of.

The venue was Bayonet & Black Horse Golf Course with a view of the Monterey Bay in the distance. It had plenty of parking, spacious rooms and a capable staff. Another thing, it is affordable! As much as I love San Francisco, venues in beach counties such as Santa Cruz and Monterey will give you more for your dollar.

Before the wedding rehearsal, I arrived early and had breakfast as I reviewed the draft timeline and questions I had. I met the site coordinator, Jeff, and he had a couple of other couples interested in the property as well. He was a busy man. Book your event there! Let me know if I can help.

The wedding party arrived a little late. As the coordinator and one that takes pride in my events running on schedule, I stressed and reiterated the time I needed people to arrive for set-up and where to be for the ceremony. They did a good job.

The wedding rehearsal is a time to go over the processional and recessional of the wedding ceremony. The officiant was not there but we covered a few things just before the ceremony. It worked out. I would work with him again. Pep talks are made to the flower girl and ring bearer and I often asked if the party had any questions or suggestions.

We nailed down order, timing, where to stand, pause, smile and walking pace. Unless the Bride and Groom have ideas on how they would to enter, I propose a way so there’s space in between couples for great photos and make sure it goes well with the music that has been selected.

One thing I love to do is for the Bride to have her moment alone to be oohed and ahhhhed as the guests and typically the Groom have their first look. She pauses in one area for a count and proceeds. Her entrance is tied to the lyrics of her song. The applause and shouts make the Bride glow even more just when you think it isn’t possible. Marissa was open to it and eventually her father would meet her in the middle as they walk towards each other for her to escort her down the aisle.

Having practiced the processional and recessional twice, the wedding party got it. They were ready. I chatted with Jeff to answer some lingering questions, he offered up the office of a place to hide the bride before the ceremony and introduced me to the lady putting up decor and lighting for the wedding that evening. The space did need an oomph for an event to modify it from a golf course clubhouse to a wedding reception venue. The price was affordable and it saved the vendor from taking it down the next day.

I chatted briefly with the party and took my ‘Event Planner’ hat off. It was replaced later that afternoon when the timeline was finalized and sent to the Bride to forward onto the vendors. The timeline was final-final. I was looking forward to a wedding that I didn’t have to be up extremely early for. I had a 3 pm start time. Lovely!

More on the day of HERE (coming soon).

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Referrals are appreciated.
Willing to travel.



OBB Weekly – 8-28-19

A couple of days late but it’s up!

By this time next week, I will be in Lindon, Utah with friends on my first cross-country road trip #OBBRoadtrip. I wish I could take my Bevo with me. He passed in December. 😦 I want to take a trip down memory lane with these friends on this week’s OBB Weekly. We have definitely traveled together, went to events and ate great food. I have the motivation to keep these friendships strong and hopefully have more opportunities to travel together.

TRAVEL

The farthest I have been with friends I will be visiting was to Fiji with fellow Event Planner, Regina. We were the youngest of the group and we were roomies. We had a very packed week of visiting numerous hotel properties and resorts courtesy of Pleasant Holidays. Ask me to book you at:
Hilton Fiji Beach Resort & Spa
Radisson Blu Resort Denarau
Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa
Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa
Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay
InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa
Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort
Castaway Island
Tropica Island Resort
Likuliku Lagoon Resort
Malolo Island Resort

Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay

EVENT PLANNING

The purpose of #OBBRoadTrip is to drive my friend’s car from the San Francisco Bay Area to Arlington, Virginia where he got a new job. I am so happy for him. It is something he has always wanted to do. The first time hanging out was for a friend’s wedding and he was a great date. We had too much fun. Perhaps it was the visit to the winery on our way to the ceremony.

The Branch & Vine Fruit Barn, Madera, California

The wedding was at a church and the reception was at a barn with dinner seating, the bar, fire pit with cigars and s’mores and corn hole outside, with dancing, photo booth and cake in the barn. It was a fun evening.

FOOD

You can’t have a good time with friends and food and beverages not be involved. On one of our last evenings hanging out in the East Bay, J and I stopped off at Alameda Island Brewing Company for beer and a competitive game of Egyptian Rummy. Poor thing got his donker kicked.

In Fiji, Regina and I basically had every meal together. We were definitely spoiled and the food was incredibly fresh and plentiful. I commend Fiji for their friendliness, hospitality and fantastic food. Ohmigoodness. It was was fantastic. I cannot pick a favorite meal but you can’t go wrong with the lobster.

Dine at the InterContinental Resort & Spa Fiji. What a spread!

Brittany and I have been friends for 13 years. I remember passing her station at spot we used to work at together and just loved her laugh. We became fast friends and there are so many laughing fits and inside jokes. I was even lucky enough to be a bridesmaid; even though I couldn’t go in the temple as a non-Mormon. I was happy to support my dear friend. Here’s a photo I took of them come cake time!

MOTIVATION

Through this #OBBRoadTrip, I will be able to get to spend time with my friends, family and loved one and create new experience that will further my knowledge of my own country as a Travel Agent. I am so grateful for this opportunity and hope you follow along on this trip!

I love this girl!
So proud of him!

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SF Love

Did you leave your heart in San Francisco? If you haven’t had a chance to visit, let’s make that happen! I am incredibly lucky to live in an area that many people around the world want to visit. “It’s a dream of mine!” says my Server at a restaurant called Home in Athens, Greece in 2012. Not being in ‘the city’ for work at my own restaurant or at a Concierge desk at The Argonaut Hotel on a daily basis for eight months reminds me just how amazing San Francisco is every time I come back.

Many visitors come for conferences. The completion of the Moscone Center expansion opened earlier this week. A visit to the Small Business Expo was a much smaller affair and a little cramped but had good speakers like Austin Walsh and Angel Turry. The event space is aplenty in San Francisco. The space I used to be an Events Director for will be opening up eventually. I can hook you up as an Event Planner! There are so many restaurants with private dining rooms, places like Spin or even on a boat wine tasting in the Bay are available for private events.

The Small Business Expo was pleasantly followed by an evening of reconnecting with friends and reminiscing about good times at former places of employment. The Twitter Building is located at 10th and Market. Then there’s 303 Second Street where I was an Account Executive at Young & Rubicam. The retail space below has changed a bit but Lee’s Deli is still going strong. Go there for lunch with a cold and hot bar for a pay by ounce price tag or made to order sandwiches. Head down the busy Southside Spirit House or head towards Market Street and turn on Minna for Anchor & Hope for $1 oysters for happy hour. Oh, there’s so many options around every corner offering a variety of cuisines.

Calamari with squid ink
Bread pudding
Happy Hour is always better with good company.

Locals don’t typically go to the same spots tourists visit. Been there, done that. Ask me about experiences, restaurants and bars and more in San Francisco for your next visit to the city by the Bay. I love referring clients to establishments where my friends work. I know you’ll be in good hands.

Referrals are appreciated!

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Cat Club – San Francisco, California

What do you do on a Thursday night in San Francisco? If you like 80s music and don’t want to pay for a cover, head to Cat Club on Folsom Street. Arrive with leg warmers and teased hair or come as you are. Expect a variety of ages, including a hip senior citizen with a walker. Good times: guaranteed.

Say hi to Michael at the front door and be ready to show your ID. Be nice and he might just give you a bottle of water on your way out like a gentleman. Talk about service! Go around the dark drapes and find yourself on the dance floor. The DJ is up on the right above the dance floor, screens showing music videos are on the left. The bar is further down on the left. High tops for four on the right and lounge space near the back. Coat check and bathrooms are in the rear. A second room is said to be in the back but it was blocked off on this particular evening. Tall mirrors with thick gold frames lined the perimeter of the venue and be adventurous to dance the cage. Enjoy shots or cocktails from the full bar and have a good time like we did.

We haven’t been together since we were in Paris in 2017.
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Hits & Misses in London

One of the reasons why I love to travel is to experience new cultures. On my first trip to London and based on my experiences over a week-long stay, I would say it is quite different from America. I loved the history and the food was good, but the people and what I encountered are not what I expected, especially when it came to hospitality and customer service. Londoners do not say ‘excuse me’ to get by. They will just push thru when trying to exit an underground train or passing on the sidewalk. I nearly fell over when someone cut me off on the sidewalk while I was carrying my heavy Kelty backpack. The only person I asked for directions was the wrong person to ask. He was not in the mood to be helpful. I did have a few decent interactions but I had high hopes for a land that teaches etiquette and self presentation.

Solely focusing on experiences in the food and beverage industry, it seems like no one in restaurants smile. The blonde lady that took my order at Prince Albert in Notting Hill didn’t smile. I made eye contact with a bartender standing right in front of me twice. He walked away. I left and took my pounds elsewhere.

Looking for a place to eat before touring Buckingham Palace, I scoped out the many menus at a spot about a block away. The spot with the great deal of two sides and a glass of wine didn’t open for half an hour. I went to Rail House Cafe to have a cocktail. It was located at the corner and plenty of outdoor seating. The bar was a square with comfortable bar stools. The restaurant had tables made out of carts and couches in the lounge area. It had a comfortable feel to it.

The comfort is then ruined by two different managers screaming at their staff members by their name (sorry, Selena😬) for all of the patrons to hear.

Ohmigod” is accompanied with shaking spoons in their faces. As a previous restaurant co-owner and manager, please say things to your staff in the back of house (BOH) and lower your voice. My disbelief continues when another manager is scolding another employee in a loud voice at the host desk. Next, two managers are yelling across big areas of space to each other! What is happening?!? Am I missing something? Is this the hospitality culture here in London? Embarrassed for the staff, I added an additional pound to the tip for my bartender and was glad I made the decision to eat elsewhere for lunch. Cute place but I was not liking the management style there. Please enlighten me if I’m wrong here.

The 10 pound cocktail, Honey Coco, is made of coconut-washed Tequila Espolon, lime and salted honey. It was tasty. The bartendress made it perfectly and was pleasant.

On the flip side, Vagabond was pleasant. The gent that took my order at the counter was friendly and the 12 pound lunch was perfect. It even fit within my budget for my #50GBPaDayChallenge. I sat outside and did a Facebook Live with their free wifi. I had two tapas, a mushroom risotto arancini and a cheesey truffle bites, and a glass of rose.

Buffalo Trace Distillery zipper up I bought at the distiller the week before.

Another spot, Flat Iron, in the King’s Cross neighborhood was fantastic. They were busy but cleaned off a table for one. They smiled and were attentive. The perfectly seasoned flat iron steak was served with a house leaf salad in a cup and complimentary popcorn. They were out of the Wignac Cidre Naturale so I ordered the Strawberry & Basil Collins for 7 GBP made with vodka, basil, lemon, strawberry and soda. Perhaps I was parched from my walking that evening but the refreshing cocktail was gone in no time. The steak was cooked perfectly and the salad was light and made it a perfect combination. Again, I was within budget for the day with such a good deal. It was another #50GBPaDayChallenge success. Another good feeling was that I was able to support cancer research. An optional 10p per steak is donated.

Not every dining experience was terrible, just different. Sadly, not in a good way. I can’t even say you get what you pay for as a 10 pound burger with fries and a drink at Band of Burgers and high end afternoon tea experience at Harrod’s were both very pleasant. Unfortunately, I do not foresee any plans to return to London anytime soon. Fortunately, I have had some good experiences. Thank you for that!

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65!

A very special happy birthday to my Papa Bear! You have worked hard all your life and sacrificed so much to give me a good life. You have continued to be supportive, my financial advisor and my hero. I am forever grateful and strive everyday to make you proud. Enjoy your day. I love you!

I just love that smile!
Birthday Cake
Cookies & Cream, my personal favorite
Cupcake of the Day – Raspberry Cheesecake.

Cupcakes and candles from Smallcakes – Danville, California location.
2008 Pinot Noir by Flowers Winery.

OBB Weekly – 8-20-19

#OBBROADTRIP
Lindon, Utah
Littleton, Colorado
Omaha, Nebraska
Chicago, Illinois
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Arlington, Virginia

The itinerary is set my first cross-country road trip. I am driving my friend’s car from the San Francisco Bay Area to Arlington, Virginia. He has been traveling the world after he left his previous position and has relocated. With an opportunity to travel and a flexible schedule, I am heading East! I am looking forward to this adventure. My protective and loving father, not so much.

TRAVEL

I have been to two of the six destinations listed above. I have been to the Salt Lake City area when I was an Advertising Account Executive working on the Chevron business. I had my snowboard with me and I went down the slopes of Park City where the 2002 winter Olympics were held. Lindon will be a town I get to see a really good friend, my nieces and a dear friend I think I haven’t seen in over ten years.

Oakland Zoo – 2018

In Littleton, Colorado, I will get to meet my new niece, Makenna, and see my cousins and personally congratulate my cousin on becoming a police officer. This blogger is pro Po-Po. Not all cops are terrible, I promise.

The skyline of Denver, Colorado is in the far distance.

In Omaha, I hope my cousin from Minnesota comes down to meet me. It’s a far drive but hopefully she’s willing to come eat some Nebraska cuisine with me. We have thought about trying to meet up for a cousins foodie vacation.

In Chicago, I will be returning again and this time meeting up with fellow Event Planner and Travel Agent, Regina. We met and were roomies during our FAM trip to Fiji. How epic! I am looking forward to meeting up with her and exploring Chicago on Friday night. If there are any spots that would like us to come by, please let me know!

I do not know anyone in the Pittsburgh area but have asked my cousins for recommendations. She used to live there. I would love to meet some other bloggers and see all it has to offer. I have been to Philadelphia and Bethlehem area but not the west side of the state. I am open for one night only!

Then, I will return to Arlington, Virginia. The last time I was there was when I was dating a Marine and he was graduating from Officers Candidate School. I am so happy for him for achieving his dream of becoming a pilot and having a beautiful family of his own. I was lucky to have him as part of my life.

EVENT PLANNING

Itinerary planning and event planning are essentially the same thing. I have not planned out my itinerary until today. I knew the main route I was going to take but not when and exactly where I was going to sleep. It appears I will be needing a hotel room in Omaha, Nebraska and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I still have more planning to do and would love to also see a venue or two for research. Did I mention I will be hanging out with another Event Planner, Regine Danielle Events?

Cannon Green, Charleston, South Carolina

FOOD

Oh, the food! I will be crossing 11 states on this trip. You better believe I will be eating something in each state. Where I am meeting friends, I will rely on them for recommendations but I will have to update my itinerary once I nail that down. I have so many pictures to upload and post already. Photo dump coming soon to WereHungryToo on Instagram.

Vodka pizza from Strong’s Brick Oven Pizzeria – Lawrenceburg, Indiana

MOTIVATION

Ten days after returning from this road trip, I will be leaving for Paris. And on my birthday, September 22nd, I will be participating in my second and last half marathon. I just ran seven miles today and it hurt. I am not ready. But I have already committed to the run and I can’t let my friend down. She has been training as well and kicking butt. My goal is to complete it without stopping like my last one. I was surprised I didn’t stop. I felt that if I stopped, I wouldn’t continue. I needed to keep a rhythm. I finished and it hurt. The reward will be staying two nights in Paris with a view of the Eiffel Tower. Thankfully, my dear friend is taking me to dinner at the Eiffel Tower the following day. I am looking forward to it. Until then, I need to train as much as I can.

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