Puesto! Cousin Time.

Easter weekend was a very social and busy time. Church held two masses at the same time, one on the lawn and one in the church. Thankfully it was a beautiful day in the East Bay and ready for sun dresses. After spending time with my Lola and Uncle and paying my respects to my late Lolo and other Lola. Then it was cousin time.

My cousin Jenny is the same age as my sister and three years older. She has two children and needed to get some things off her chest. And what better way than over margaritas?!?

Puesto is located in the corner at the newish Veranda shopping center in Pleasant Hill, California. There’s a Sephora, Banana Republic factory store, fountains and outdoor grass area and a big movie theater where apparently you can order a steak. Puesto’s rectangular bar is impressive and in your face as you walk in. The reserve liquor bottles are on shelves hanging above and can be lowered at the bartender’s will. There’s an outdoor patio, a partially open kitchen and plenty of seating. The decor has hints of bright colors and murals under its tall ceiling.

We had the guacamole with chunks of Parmesan cheese, the El corn dish that was my favorite, the lime rice and salmon ceviche. And don’t forget the margaritas! I had two of the avocado margaritas on the rocks with salt. You can’t really taste the avocado so I would say it’s better used on my avocado toast. A simple one at the spa cafe at the Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa is a good example.

We had some good girl talk time. Even though we don’t live too far from each other, we were able to make this happen. They say your cousins are your first best friends. We definitely had a lot of time together growing up. It’s amazing what we have both been thru. Bottom line, we survived. And now, with goals to enjoy life to the fullest because tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.

I need to hang out with you more. I’m scared. But we should.

I think I can have a good time anywhere I am. Take our visit to Cost Plus World Market, also located in the Veranda shopping center. Jen has never been in one. It was about to get awkward. Bunny ears were added to the outfit and fun and silliness in ‘testing’ the furniture. A lot of laughs. It’s good for the soul and I love making people smile. Hang in there, Cousin. You got this, but you also have me. And there are many margaritas to be had!

What Cousin can you call when you need help?
How do you like your margaritas?

OBB Weekly – 4-23-19

“It is hard to be bored in a world as beautiful as this,” says my dry erase board for my daily quotes. Follow me on SnapChat ‘Bappletree’ to see my Quotes of the Day. This One Busy Bee is rarely ever bored. Although my day job is helping people, what I do isn’t something I jump out of bed to do. I have definitely jumped out of bed at 3:00 am to make it to the airport for a 5:30 am flight. After working on various roles, I work on my business for at least another three hours a day so I can see this beautiful world. What do you find boring? What kind of beauty do you find in this world?

TRAVEL

OBB Weekly comes out every Tuesday because it’s #TravelTuesday. As mentioned, I currently have 11,000 photos on my phone that I save to put on this blog and my social media accounts. I am pleased to have seen and been to the places I have been to so far. It is for business, growth and hopefully inspiration.

The Cape, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Boring is sitting at a desk for eight hours a day without a view, fresh air and counting the hours until you can leave. Beauty is an incredible sunset in Cabo San Lucas. It is learning about the past struggles of your country and hoping to play a part in not repeating history. It is seeing the world’s unique architecture you’ve studied in school with your very own eyes.

What do you do for work?
What beautiful places are on your bucket list?

EVENT PLANNING

A trend in wedding planning in a recent article say couples really want to entertain their guests. I never wish a boring wedding upon guests. Friends, family and clients have done coordinated dances, have arrived in a carriage and have tossed a designer purse instead of a bouquet to the single ladies. Think outside the box for a unique and memorable experience.

My Cugina’s Bridal Shower.

Beauty is never hard to find at a wedding. From the gorgeous bride and her entourage to venues and settings to witnessing the act of love and commitment, it is all around.

Santa Cruz, California
Private ceremony at the Radisson Blu in Fiji
Silverado Resort and Spa, Napa, California

Have you been to a wedding that you would have categorized as boring?
What made it boring?
What destination wedding has been your favorite?

FOOD

A homemade quesadilla quickly made so you can get back to your clients is boring. Tostitos chips and a pre-made seven layer dip is a favorite snack of mine but we have all had it before. Been there, have eaten that. Kudos to you bloggers posting your easy recipes. My Chopped-like attempt at using a wrongly opened cream of corn can was alright but it didn’t go to waste!

That’s not a beautiful dish, right? With many years of working in the food and beverage industry, I have seen some amazingly beautiful dishes and have had the joy of consuming them. I live to travel and eat amazing things.

Chocolate dessert aboard the Golden Princess, Princess Cruises
2018 Hawai’i Food & Wine Festival, Maui
The Bear & Monarch at the Lowe’s Hotel, San Francisco, California

What dish you quickly make at home just to eat something?
Do you have a memorable dish you wish you could eat everyday?

MOTIVATION

A change was needed when Google’s Blogger made it more challenging to upload photos. Plus, the themes were a bit boring in my opinion. Since I have moved my blog to WordPress, it hasn’t been getting the hits like it used to. I haven’t figured out why exactly and haven’t had the time to invest in the problem. Nonetheless, here I am, on a stationary bike at the gym trying to knock out this weekly post. I keep pushing forward documenting the beauty I have seen in my travels and experiences, attempting to be consistent. I have had a bit of recent success in my personal training, including running my fastest 10K and having a drop in body fat. Now I need to drop those photos here! Please come back soon and browse other posts. I appreciate it!

Are you a blogger working for the hits you need?
What has worked for you?
What are your blog’s successes?

Travel Busy-ness

It is April and I am happy to say that my sales so far is quickly approaching what I sold the entire year of 2018. I have to thank my friends and family for taking a chance with me. Their referrals also helped. My social media friends who have Liked my Facebook page and reTweeted my posts, I appreciate it! I want to travel the world for a living and every little bit helps. So thank you!

Austin, Texas

This One Busy Bee spent her Friday working on a corporate travel policy (more like guidelines) and drafting an itinerary with a lot of options. A family of four is looking to go to Tulum, Mexico in a couple of months. But they are also open to visiting Barcelona, Paris and Florence.

Mexico, te amo mucho pero it’s a no brainer for me. I love those cities! Thankfully I have been to all four so I am familiar with the areas.


I still need to continue an itinerary for a client going to Barcelona, Nice, France and possibly Sete, France or Figueres, Spain, plus Girona. It was crazy affordable to fly from Barcelona to Nice. I will have to do that next time.

What else is on my plate? Oh, I have 11,000 photos on my phone I need to get on this blog. I want to do another training certification course but am waiting to get down to 9,000 to start that. It will most likely be a CLIA certification as I do enjoy cruising…and winning at Pictionary.

A tour research trip with a business partner is planned for Cabo San Lucas in June. Finalizing some meetings there will also be needed for that.


Today, will be mostly for administrative and balancing out finances and what is needed to achieve my goals. I wish I could be traveling but at least I will be in Santa Cruz for four days. You can’t go wrong with the beach. It’s good to be a Travel Agent. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance.

Baby Squirrels: Saved!

When you work a day job to travel more, you need to keep things exciting in between adventures. Outside my office window are three huge oak trees. I call them the ‘squirrel jungle gym.’ Many squirrels run along the tree’s limbs, jump branch to branch and chase each other, sometimes jumping onto the roof.

In addition to Red the cat, Lobo and Ragnar, the brother canines, we have squirrels in the wild of Palo Alto. The CEO showed me two baby squirrels in a box of leaves. He found them under his boarded walkway just an hour earlier. They looked a bit cold and not as active as when he found them.


They don’t look good,” I said.

We took them inside and tried to warm them up. I suggested throwing a couple of towels in the dryer and using that to keep them warm if body heat wasn’t enough. They were covered in bugs at this time and that wasn’t a good idea.

Towels were warmed up and placed around the babies. The CEO and his girlfriend took them to the wildlife rescue located in Burlingame, California. Save the squirrels! They were adorable!

The next day, the rescue said the squirrels were doing ok and that they get hundreds of them brought into the rescue. I am glad they are good hands. I wonder if the momma is out looking for them or she abandoned them. Regardless, we did our part to save them.

OBB Weekly – 4-16-19

Isn’t it nice when you go to Hawai’i and it is consistently a good time? The weather is amazing, beach options are a plenty and the aloha spirit is all around you. Travelers can expect paradise. It has been proven over and over again. Selecting repeat vacation destinations, vendors, what you put in your body and who you choose to surround yourself with fulfills expectations. And how satisfying that is. I appreciate consistency but change is also good too to keep things fresh.

TRAVEL

Everyone has their preferred airlines when they travel. They might like their friendly customer service, feel more comfortable or spacious or like the complimentary cocktails. I do love Hawai’i so I usually fly Hawaiian Airlines when I go to Hawai’i. When I travel within the country or even to Cabo San Lucas, Southwest Airlines is easy and mostly affordable. Plus you get two bags free. For international flights, British Airways has it all. Comfort, friendly service and so far, no problems. They are consistent in what they deliver.

Maui sunsets

To change it up, Qantas and Alaska Airlines are great as well. Qantas has a USB to plug in your dying iPhone on a 15-hour flight and plenty of movies to keep you entertained. I would also like to mention Alaska Airlines. They now to go Hawai’i and they had a 24-hour sale last week where I grabbed round trip flights to Seattle for $120. Not bad! Come Cinco de Mayo, I will revisit Pike Place and wherever my lady companions would like to go.

CONCIERGE

A good concierge will always direct you to the best restaurant to fit what you’re looking for. Yes, some restaurants kick back free meal vouchers for X amount of groups they refer. But in honestly, Concierges will not send folks to establishments they do not think would be a good fit. After all, the guest could come back to the Concierge with their feedback. Always ask your Concierge or possibly visit the city’s welcome center for customized recommendations and possibly coupons. I would recommend Cioppino’s at the Fisherman’s Wharf. Get their clam linguine and a 10% off coupon from the Concierge at the Argonaut Hotel. If it’s Matthew, tell him I said hello. For a change and something out of the ordinary, the Wine Train experience is certainly different. Enjoy a delicious three-course meal on a working train with views of Napa’s vineyards. You won’t regret it. Book with me!

Doughp makes a vegan cookie dough.

EVENT PLANNING

It would be shocking if I had a repeat client for his/her wedding. I have however assisted with multiple holiday parties, a wedding and birthday parties for a single couple. Repeat clients are always appreciated. They expected a certain kind of service from me and I was happy to have been able to deliver. They referred me to other repeat clients as well. That’s when you know you’re doing something right.

Star Winery, Fort Bragg, California

As a Planner, details and schedules are confirmed. However, changes do occur and some more serious than others. One wedding I did in Fort Bragg, the caterer showed up late. Guests need to be fed. Thankfully everyone was having a good time, including the happy couple, and they weren’t too worried about it. We Planners have to roll with the punches.

FOOD

As mentioned from a Concierge’s perspective, Travel Agents work the same way when it comes to food. Drafting an itinerary of where to eat in the beautiful town in San Francisco was so simple for me. Though, there’s an abundance of options, I like to mix it up. I would add very popular restaurants like The Slanted Door or The House of Prime Rib. Then I would recommend Manila Bowl for a quick and very casual luncheon at The Market or a pop-up dinner by the likes of Big Bad Wolf. Ch-ch-change it up with some Latin flavor with Cha Cha Cha in the Haight. The sangria is strong. You’ve been warned.

Cha Cha Cha, San Francisco

MOTIVATION

“If you want to identify someone’s character, examine the friends he sits with.” – Imam Ali.

We all have friends we don’t keep in touch with anymore or they have mysteriously fallen off the face of the planet with no explanation or good-bye. Perhaps our relationship has served its purpose and it was time to move on. I would never wish ill upon these people so I wish them well. I am thankful for the memories we created and the friends I do have. Maintaining those relationships seemed so effortless. Sometimes, it was challenging but it made it stronger. Consistency and change occurred but there was always love. May you be that friend to someone and deserve them in return.

Long lasting friends I met at a Los Lonely Boys concert.

Sail Into Savings

Having just returned from a Princess Cruises voyage from Melbourne, Australia and around New Zealand, I HAVE to tell you about their Sail Into Savings sale. The 40% off offer is on 2019 sailings including going to Alaska, Hawai’i, Mexico, Ireland, Japan, the Caribbean, British Isles, Russia and more!

Alaska

If you have Liked my Facebook page (thank you BTW), you would have seen that I post articles on travel. One is that Americans are leaving vacation days on the table and unused. Plus, going on vacation is good for your mental health and the company’s productivity. Check out this article by Travel Pulse. Take a vacation, Folks! If you must work, at least do it with an amazing view.

Aboard the Golden Princess and we see land after three days.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at bappletree@gmail.com for assistance. Bring me, and I’ll babysit! This little guy was so much fun. His parents said he didn’t really like anybody. Lucky me! Australians would say I was ‘clucky.’ = Wanting a baby! That’s kind of hard when I’m not dating anyone. Oh well! I’m a great babysitter. Take me with you!

Spontaneous Seattle

Good job marketing, Alaska Airlines! They had a 24-hour sale on Tuesday, April 9th and I grabbed Saver seats (basically not allowing you to select your seat) to Seattle, Washington for $120.00 round trip. I booked a 4-star hotel downtown about half a mile from Pike Place for $117.00. Watch out for resort fees. I will be paying an additional $23.00. It has been about four years since I have been to this city.

City Beaches

The town where Christian Gray from 50 Shades of Gray lived is up next. Bruce Lee is buried here and where Kurt Cobain, lead singer of Nirvana, and Courtney Love, singer and actress, lived.

I have done majority of the major tourist attractions like the Space Needle, the first Starbucks, flying fish at Pike Place, the waterfront and the like. Having a dear friend that lives there always helped me see neighborhoods like Ballard, visit local bars, their favorite cupcake shop, Cupcake Royale, and even see my first burlesque show where I bought a pretty cute bikini.

Trying to get a piece of the Space Needle.

I am looking forward to seeing friends, maybe connect with a fellow blogger and foodie and definitely get our tequila on for Cinco de Mayo.

Pre-yoga efforts and silly times.

I would love to know what are your must-see, eat, drink kind of spots. Please comment below!

Up next: heading back to Napa to visit Etude, Saintsbury and Hyde Family Vineyards.

National Beer Day 2019

#AllTheBeer

It happens every year. Just like I participated and recruited folks for National Walking Day and National Burrito Day, I recruited my roommate for her first National Beer Day. We had one definite brewery in mind, Fieldwork Brewing Company, in Berkeley, California and we were thinking of visiting a friend at Ghost Town Brewing Company in Oakland and then I really like Faction Brewing in Alameda. Do you think we made it to those?

We made it to three but as tentatively scheduled. We made the drive out to Berkeley on a really nice day in the East Bay. It’s been some time since I have been to Fieldwork. I do remember that they had a Coconut IPA that was very popular among customers and staff at the restaurant I once owned in San Francisco. As usual, it was a popular spot with a line to order. Many beers were available and so were snacks. If you know what you want for your flight, fill out a form before getting to the counter. Their pickled veggies aren’t crazy spicy either so consider ordering a small ramekin of that for $5. Better yet, order two. Some places get it to the point where it’s inedible.

I’ve been taught by my Brewer friend to get #AllTheBeer – This isn’t all of them but it’s a lot!
Oh, the options!
Dinosaurs because my nephew, Nate, loves them. I can’t lie. I like them too.

My favorite of my flight was the 11.5% barrel aged sour ale called Mannequins with Kill Appeal. Then I liked the Blueberry Parfait sour. I was feeling a little Asian in the cheeks after that 11.5%.

Kim’s aunt, her grandson and friends joined us. We were now a party of 6 and headed off to another brewery. I requested that the next spot had food. Off to Elevation 66 we went! Hello, El Cerrito!

I got us a table, ordered their flight five of their own beers plus one called Two Beagle Brown. I normally like Kolsch beers. Fort Point has a nice one. This time, my favorite of the flight was the Esther’s Stout. While there, we had their brussel sprouts and mac and cheese with the buffalo chicken on the side because Kim, my roommate, doesn’t like anything spicy.

We weren’t ready to go home and apparently the group of new friends always head to Alameda Island Brewing Company as their last spot. We had a fun drive there with Kim’s 12-year-old cousin in tow and strapped in. My stomach was getting a little upset by then and I barely touched my Island Haze IPA. We had fun playing board and card games.

Glad he values his life.

I think we did a good job in getting some beer in on National Beer Day. Probably so well that I forgot to check in my beers at Elevation 66 via Untappd!

Cheers, Beer Lovers! And to the East Bay breweries.

What did you have on National Beer Day?

Had to wear my Mujicians Brewing Co. shirt. I have two of their beer shirts. They’re my ONLY beer shirts. They must be friends.

Related posts:
National Beer Day 2017
National Beer Day 2016

OBB Weekly – 4/9/19

One quarter of the year has already passed and time is flying by. Spring break and prom is happening around this time, taxes are due and my almost 13-year-old nephew doesn’t want to hunt for eggs this year. It is a reminder that there is no time like the present. Carpe diem. Don’t let opportunities pass you by. Let’s talk about some ways to do just that.

TRAVEL

You have plans to go to Las Vegas and need someone that also loves your dog to stay over and house sit. Thankfully my Bevo was a lover and super easy to watch so I had a few folks I was able to call. I am now returning the favor. If you love dogs and can house sit for people, do it if you can. It is always nice to have people you can trust to take good care of your home and your fur baby. You will never know where it will take you.

Bevo went everywhere I could take him like 21st Amendment in San Leandro, CA.

I have house sat and dog/cat sat for friends in Brentwood, Palo Alto, Emeryville, Sonoma and Santa Cruz in California. I am completely open to traveling abroad! Hint. Hint. You can’t go wrong with wine country and a beach town, right?

Don’t own a dog but love dogs? I have been a Wag Walker. It’s an Uber like dog-walking service. You can set up the range of areas you can serve and you can also dog sit overnight. I have done a couple of those. Dog sitting for new puppies while the owners have to work is also easy money. This can at least build your list of experience with dogs. For me, I have a 5-star rating, 84 reviews and have Wag walked over 100 miles. (Use code Bernadette9307 to get $50 in Wag credits.) With this experience, I’m sure friends and colleagues will think of you when they need someone reliable to stay at their beach house when they are off to Hawaii for a long weekend.

CONCIERGE

In my experience as a Concierge, you need to take advantage of the opportunities tour operators, wineries and attractions offer to experience their products. They put on events, networking functions, tastings and offer free trials so you can speak on it from a personal level to your clients. Popular tours all around the world are walking food tours. I have done one in Charleston, Sourth Carolina with my nephew. Along the lines of that are cooking classes.

Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit on the food tour. My second one on this short trip in Charleston, South Carolina.

From my dear friend’s Mexico City solo trip, Julia took a cooking class. I almost spontaneously booked my trip to go with her but couldn’t get the time off. I then booked a cooking class while in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in November 2018 because her experience was so amazing. I booked with Cookin’ Cabo (juanmoretacooking on Instagram). I was a solo attendee as Julia couldn’t make the trip after all with me. I couldn’t not go so I took advantage of the opportunity of making new friends and learning new dishes. Now, with this knowledge, I am hoping to bring you a special and unique experience. Stay tuned!

Cookin’ over open heat on a gas stove in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

EVENT PLANNING

The Knot released the 2019 wedding trends we wedding planners should be aware of. One we love is that there’s an increase in couples hiring wedding planners. Thank you! Another trend is that couples are breaking the traditional rules. Ninety percent of couples don’t care about having a bride and groom side. Less and less couples are holding their ceremonies in religious institutions. I like to tell my couple that there are no real rules to their wedding. It’s never happened before! Couples want to bring in their own personality to the event and make it fun. And they should! After all, when would they be able to host this type of event at this level together again? It’s now or never.

FOOD

There is a lot of exotic food in the world to try. There are also interesting ways to save lives by going meatless. I have been participating in #MeatlessMondays for almost a year. There was one day earlier this week that I accidentally ate a piece of beef jerky from my coworker’s desk after my stomach growling. I failed in that one day but continued the rest of the day meatless and continued it on the day after just to make up for the day. With my participation, it has opened my eyes to alternatives.

At Coconuts in Palo Alto, I have had the grilled tofu platter while the rest of my coworkers had the jerk chicken. At the SFO airport, I enjoyed a big bowl of the Avocado and Citrus Salad from Gott’s Roadside while my roommate had the fish tacos. On the Golden Princess, I opted for the futomaki rolls as a starter. The header photo above is a brunch dish from Tavern on the Green in New York City. There are always vegetarian options available. Simple cooking at home options could include pasta with sauce or butter and parmesan cheese, quesadillas with jalepenos, a cucumber salad or broiled strips of bell peppers with lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper. It’s very simple and less weight sitting in your stomach when you’ve eaten too much. Try Meatless Monday. It can be done!

Yes, we ordered wine with it as well to kick off our vacation.

MOTIVATION

Ever since the Hellyer 10K just over a week ago, I have been itching to book another run. There’s a cool run available on the peninsula at a private airport where you can do a race on the runway. I have never heard of that being done before. I have gotten dirty twice with Warrior Dash so I’m not interested in bathing with a garden hose. I have done a half marathon at Walt Disney World. I am thinking of doing a run at Disneyland Paris for my birthday and joining my roommate on the 60-mile Breast Cancer Walk in San Diego in November. But raising $1,600 was stressful. What would you do?

About to go for run along the beach outside the JW Marriott, Los Cabos.

My goal is to travel for my runs. I might register for the Napa Women’s Run in March 2020 and I already told Nelly, my running partner, that we’d do the Giants triple event starting during spring training in Arizona. I have been wanting to do a run in Hawaii. Even on early morning runs, it gets so warm! I usually want to jump in the ocean immediately after the run. I am clearly undecided on what I want to commit to this year but at least I want to continue running, ideally for a good cause.

Scheduled:
May 17, 2019
Foam Glow 5K – San Jose
September 2019
Teal Run once they announce the event – South Bay
October 12, 2019
Walk to End Alzheimer’s – Silicon Valley
January 11, 2020
RunDisney 10K – Walt Disney World

JoJo Needs a Home

I named her JoJo after my favorite bass player and from the Los Lonely Boys. She was rescued from a San Jose pound that morning. They were about to euthanize her because she reached her max amount of time there. She didn’t even have a name. 😞 She whimpers but also was an amazing cuddler. She’s also so good with kids. At the event outside The Animal House in San Francisco on Saturday, April 6th, she had two families interested in her that day but evaluations needed to be done first. Follow Wonder Dog Rescue to adopt her. Fill out an application to jump start the process.

This was my first day volunteering and it was a good to spend time with these cuties that need homes. Ever since I have lost my Bevo, something is obviously missing from my life. In his memory, I want to help dogs have just as good of a life as he did.

Though we got Bevo from a breeder because the ex wanted a pure bred and really fought to have a dog, please adopt, don’t shop.




There is also Mollie, Sassy and Windi if you’re a Boston Terrier lover like I am. Consider adopting a senior dog. They need love too.