Have you ever seen a piece of art that took you to another place? One of my best friends introduced me to one of his good friends that made custom furniture. I browsed the Next Bevel website and immediately fell in love with the Acacia Waterfall End Table and Rapids Table. It took me to the waterfalls at Hanalei in Hawaii and to a cross-country road trip seeing the beautiful Colorado River for the first time. I just had to have them. Now they’re mine and they are absolutely gorgeous!
Now full time back at home and leaving my Pandemic Partner, I am home with a desire to clean, organize and minimize my possessions. It has been years since I moved back to the condo after my divorce and I don’t need to settle on my belongings because they were free. I decided to upgrade several things.
My China dining set from Williams Sonoma and knife set from Global Cutlery have arrived. I also love Boll & Branch sheets but their ‘plush’ floor mats and towers weren’t so plush. I also organized the kitchen drawers and spice cabinets, got rid of items in my garage and even donated a lot of clothes. I feel like I’m finally getting this adulting thing down. And now this beautiful piece, the Waterfall End Table, is in my living room!
It is made of acacia wood and handmade by Gabe of Next Bevel in the East Bay. The Rapids Table is made of walnut and will be modified to made into a dining table. The other piece is custom and I cannot wait to share it with you in February/March. I look forward to enjoying these one of a kind pieces for many years to come and handing it down to someone else who will appreciate it as much as I do.
Please visit, follow and support local, small business, Next Bevel. He is also on Instagram and Facebook. His shop and showroom is located in El Cerrito, California. Tell Gabe I sent ya!
Also visit Zola in Palo Alto to enjoy his work over dinner and delicious cocktails.
To help my clients, potential clients and industry contacts see the quality of properties and quantity of bookings I have booked, please see below list. If you are interested in staying at any of these properties, I would be happy to book you. I also note which properties I have personally stayed at with an “OBB”.
-FRANCE- – Beaumarchais – Clients: 1 – Grand Hotel Leveque – Clients: 1 – Hotel Gabriel Paris – OBB: 1 – Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel – OBB: 1 – Vienna House Dream – Clients: 1
-GREECE- – Amaya in Santorini
-THE MALDIVES- – Angaga Island Resort and Spa – Clients: 1
-MEXICO- – JW Marriott Los Cabos – OBB: 1 – ME Cabo – OBB: 1
-THE NETHERLANDS- – Edison Hotel – Clients: 1
– THAILAND- – Villa Praan – Clients: 1 – The Vijitt Resort Phuket – Clients: 1
-UNITED KINGDOM- – Ambassadors Bloomsbury Hotel
California Anaheim – Francis Marion Hotel – Clients: 1 – Sheraton Garden Grove – Clients: 1 Brooks – Cache Creek Casino – OBB: 1 Calistoga – Carlin’s Cottages – OBB: 1 Escondido – Welk Resorts San Diego – OBB: 1 Half Moon Bay – The Ritz Carlton – OBB: 2 Jenner – Jenner Inn – OBB: 1 Milbrae – Fairfield Inn & Suites San Francisco Airport/Millbrae – Clients: 1 Napa – Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa – OBB: 1 – SpringHill Suites Napa Valley – OBB x2 – Travelodge by Wyndham – Clients: 1 – River Terrace Inn – Clients: 1 – Senza Hotel – Clients: 1 Sacramento – Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel – OBB: 1 San Diego – Andaz San Diego – Client: 1 – Hotel Republic San Diego, Autograph Collection – OBB soon San Francisco – Argonaut Hotel – OBB: 2 – Hotel Sir Francis Drake – Clients: 1, OBB – 1 – Huntington Hotel – Clients: 1 – Le Meridian – OBB: 1 – Park Central – OBB: 1 – The Clancy, Autograph Collection – OBB soon Santa Cruz – Dream Inn – Clients: 3 – Inn at Pasatiempo – OBB: 1 Sonoma – The Lodge at Sonoma Resort, Autograph Collection – OBB soon Truckee – Donner Lake Village – Clients: 1 – Hampton Inn Tahoe-Truckee – OBB: 1 – Welk Resorts – OBB: 1
Florida – GLō Best Western Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport Hotel
Georgia – B Historic Savannah – OBB: 1 – Marshall House – Client: 1
Hawaii – Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel – Clients: 1, OBB: 1 – Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel – OBB soon – Grand Wailea – Clients: 1 – Halepuna Waikiki – Clients: 1 – Hyatt Maui – Clients: 1, OBB: 1 – The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka’anapali – Clients: 1 – Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa – Clients: 1
Illinois – Fairfield Inn Kankakee Bourbonnais – Clients: 2 – Fairfield Inn & Suites Effingham – Clients: 1 – The Gwen, A Luxury Collection Hotel – OBB: 1 – Hotel Julian – OBB: 1 – Virgin Hotels – OBB: 1
Indiana – Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Indianapolis
Kentucky – SpringHill Suites Louisville – OBB: 1
Louisiana – La Galerie Hotel – OBB:1
Nevada – Caesar’s – OBB: 1 – Planet Hollywood – Clients: 1 – Treasure Island – OBB: 2 – The Venetian – Clients: 1, OBB: 2
New York – Moxy Hotel
Ohio – Fairfield Inn & Suites, Anderson – OBB: 1 – Four Points, West Chester – OBB: 1
Oregon Bend – Riverhouse on the River – Clients: 2 Portland – Canopy by Hilton – Clients: 1 – Four Points by Sheraton, Portland East – OBB soon – Hotel Vance, Portland, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel – OBB soon – Moxy Portland Downtown – OBB soon
South Carolina – Francis Marion Hotel – OBB: 1 – South Bay Inn & Suites – OBB: 1
This is a sponsored post on the behalf of Paragliding San Francisco. All opinions are my own.
There are paragliding tours? I always thought it was only for trained professionals. Thanks to Mike Fifield of Paragliding San Francisco, I was able to fly as a guest. He also allowed me to bring a friend. My dear friend’s initial reaction was hesitation, which was quite different from my excitement. He didn’t say no and he didn’t cancel. Looks like we’re going paragliding!
Having been a Concierge in San Francisco booking local tours, I was happy to receive Mike’s invitation. This is a unique experience that I would love to offer my travel clients and be able to speak about from personal experience. Mike and I booked a date and time. I received an email of details for the event and what to expect. My friend and I decided to make a full weekend in San Francisco out of it. I booked a room at the Le Meridian hotel, planned to visit the Legion of Honor Museum, dinner at his favorite restaurant, Bix, and meet up with friends in from Chicago to visit Muir Woods and lunch in Tiburon.
After a full weekend, we got to Pacifica early and decided to grab a coffee a few miles from our meeting spot. Looking up, it was funny to see paragliders fly right above us at the cafe. In the distance, you can see almost a dozen paragliders with a variety of different colors decorating the sky. I started to get nervous. As usual, my friend didn’t express his excitement, nor nervousness if he anxious.
It was time to head over. The road to the meeting place was a bit rough on his Porsche so we drove slower than usual. Parking could be a challenge but we found a spot. It was breezy at the coastline and I was glad I brought my The NorthFace jacket. Will it be colder up there?
We took the trail to where most of the paragliders were hanging out and stopped just shy of where there was an incline. I texted Mike that we were here. We were still early for our appointment.
We observed a paraglider attempting to launch near us. The many lines attached to him looked like it could be quite time-consuming to unravel. I know I have the same problem with some of my necklaces sometimes. Multiply one chain by twenty!
There seemed to be two launch areas. One close to where we were and another higher up. Observing the ones in the sky, one paraglider had a shark kite trailing him. As a tandem guest, I was trying to see if I could spot how exactly two people are participating. “Are you sitting in his lap?” my cousin asked when I posted this on my Facebook page. Keep reading to find out.
My phone rings. It’s Mike. He says he sees me and to look up. He’s calling me from the air! He says he’ll be right down. He must be a professional if he can make a call and manage a guest at the same time! We watch him land with his guest. It was nice and smooth. By the smile on the young lady’s face, she really enjoyed her experience. She wished me a good time as I was next.
We met Mike and he was so easy going, just like he was on our initial phone call. He introduced my friend to Chris. I thought Mike was going to take me up, then my friend. No, we’re going to be in the air at the same. How cool! I asked my friend if he could take pictures of me if he felt comfortable taking his phone out while he was up in the air. Not being one to take photos or be in them, I had to accept that I will be taking a bunch of selfies. This is when Mike offered up his GoPro and selfie stick. Awesome.
Without having said more than a greeting to Chris or know how much experience he has, I reluctantly released one of my best friends into his care with a ‘No, I’m not worried at all’ kind of “Have a good time!” farewell. Because of the heavier weight, they walked up the hill to launch from a higher point. I just had to trust Mike.
Mike fitted me with a helmet. He outlined emergency protocols, which he has never had to use in his many years of experience, and explained how to use the GoPro, the two-person harness and how we are going to launch. Yes, we are going to basically run off the cliff. Together.
I stepped into the harness and was buckled in, attached to Mike. No, it wasn’t uncomfortable or too close for comfort. It was like a front baby harness with a lot of room.
Mike got the paraglider up and we walked together back and forth a few times and he was ready. And just like that, we were running towards the cliff and we took off. No beige dirt was underneath my feet and it was the smoothest take-off I have ever experienced. We were quickly gaining elevation or was it that the new grade was the ocean below me?
I couldn’t help but smile. Only a few seconds into the experience and I couldn’t help thinking how amazing this was. It wasn’t cold at all. I thought my face would be cold and my nose would be running but the temperature was pleasant. Look towards the horizon and it would be an incredible way to watch the sunset. Look to the North or South and see the never-ending coastline that grace the front of millions of postcards. Look towards the wall of earth we ran off and see just how far the drop would be had we leapt from the very top. It is a long way down.
Mike warned me of an upcoming bump I would feel and to not be alarmed. He also was OK with not doing any spiral tricks I saw other paragliders did earlier. I felt safe the entire time. He did get me close to my friend and I was able to get him in the shot via the GoPro. I flashed him a shaka and it made me happy that he even gave me a smile. He looked very relaxed and was enjoying the ride. He works so hard. I am happy I was able to bring him along to experience this. We both have never paraglided before.
As much as I looooved being up there, I was starting to feel a little sick. I am prone to motion sickness. I have had to sit in the front of a tour bus on the Amalfi Coast, prayed for land while trying to swim with dolphins in the open water in New Zealand and I don’t even like swings. It is common to get motion sickness while paragliding. I felt uneasy for a few minutes but felt it was time to let Mike know how I was feeling. It was best if w landed. I would have stayed up there forever if I could!
Mike understood and took us down with a smooth and easy landing. He helped me get unbuckled and invited me to sit down to relax in one of the chairs to the side. He had other appointments and I felt bad that he could have filled this time with a paying customer. But thankfully, business has been good.
Relaxing, I looked up and watched my friend fly. That’s what good friends do, right? We support them and watch them soar. Chris also provided a safe landing and we both were on solid ground. I hope me coming in early didn’t cut their flight short. Regardless, we loved the experience. We expressed our gratitude, said our goodbyes and Mike said he would get me the GoPro video soon. See it HERE.
My friend stated he would definitely recommend the experience. He enjoyed himself. That makes two of us.
Please contact me if you would like to cross this off your bucket list. You won’t regret it! Mike is also an instructor! Learn to paraglide on your own!
Labor Day is a three-day weekend in the United States and many folks were traveling. This Travel Agent stayed local and caught up on some work.
“Show me what you’re doing right now!” – my Sunshine in Atlanta. Of course, I was working this Labor Day weekend in bed and with football playing.
To switch up my morning workout routine a bit and take advantage of the cool weather, I decided to take my Specialized bike out. According to Runkeeper, it has almost been a year since! I attempted to hit the shoreline but didn’t make it. Not this time! I made it a goal to reach that shoreline. I pumped air in my tires, tracked my time and miles via the Runkeeper app and loaded my backpack with water. Then I was off!
I live in a part of Hayward, California where there are a lot of busy streets. I did my best to stay off of them and appreciated the ‘Bike Route’ signs. It is still a bit nerve-wracking when a car drives close to you because there are several cars parked along the road and no bike lane. But, I was safe and definitely had my helmet on. Be sure to obey all street signs and get out of cars’ way as quickly as possible. With the many terrible drivers I encounter as a driver myself, it is dangerous out there.
Dear Hayward and neighboring towns, please add more designated bike lanes. Thank you!
I crossed through Hayward and into San Lorenzo. I rode over overpasses and stopped at a couple of parks. One was the Via Toledo Park. On this same route a year ago, it was still being built. It looks really nice.
Crossing Hesperian Boulevard, I eventually found my way to Del Rey Park. It was near a school and had two playground areas. Visiting these parks reminded me that I, and my travel clients, should take the time out to play and book that trip! Let me know how I can help.
I eventually made it to the shoreline. Thank goodness. My bottom was starting to hurt. I explored a bit, crossed a bridge, rode thru a residential neighborhood and started my way back home. Be prepared to see other cyclists, runners, walkers, dogs and even folks fishing. The San Francisco skyline was hidden by cloud cover but on a clear day, you could see that beautiful view. You could see the San Mateo Bridge no problem.
This was a 12.75-mile bike ride to and from the Hayward Regional Shoreline from downtown. I was happy to be able to explore via a bike, decrease my carbon footprint, help the planet and do something active.
Get out and see your town via a bike!
See my TikTok video as well – username: bappletree or scan the code to the right!
Hearing the news of the what’s happening in Afghanistan is heartbreaking. Most of the world has seen the photos and videos of the people of Afghanistan trying to board overcrowded planes and chasing after them at the airport. And now airstrikes are killing several people. The world is hurting right now.
In an attempt to help the refugees fleeing their home, the United Afghan Association is asking for goods to be donated. Here in Hayward, Nurse Arzo, Chairperson for the Community Services Commission helped head up this donation event. It took place on Friday, August 27th from 2-6 PM at Masjid Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq on Mission Boulevard.
I reached out to my network, employers, friends and family and asked for them to help. For those that couldn’t take the time to shop and drop off the goods, I offered to do it on their behalf. I asked them to Venmo me. I shared my shopping trip via Instagram Story and TikTok ‘bappletree’, including showing receipt totals and even my drop off. A U-haul truck was there ready to take up the donations to Sacramento for distribution.
I want to thank the below folks for their donation and making a difference! I had $225 worth to spend and donate.
On November 6, 2021, I will be participating on my second Walk to End Alzheimer’s event in San Francisco with Team ONDO. Last year’s event took place in Golden Gate Park. It was great to get the team together to do something active during the pandemic. This year, we hope things improve and we can make a bigger impact.
I started tracking my miles walked via RunKeeper since August 1st. As of today, I am at 42.73. miles walked. I will continue to track my miles until the day of the walk. Perhaps you can donate $1 per mile?
TOTAL MILES WALKED Since 8/1/21 59.47
TOTAL RAISED Since 8/1/21 $260
If you like dogs, I am logging my miles with my furry clients and thru Wag (Get $5 credit with my code BERNADETTE9307). It’s always fun to do it with these adorable guys.
Please sponsor me with a tax-deductible donation in any amount! Stay tuned for other ways I will be attempting to fundraise.
I am also participating in my 3rd Teal Run (eh, walk) in September. If fundraising for ovarian cancer is closer to your heart, please donate HERE and see my other blog posts.
Yes, another fundraiser. I am currently fundraising for two non-profits at the same time. I am fundraising for my second Walk to End Alzheimer‘s in San Francisco in November, and I will be participating virtually in my third Teal Run (eh, more like a walk) on September 26th in Southern California. Last year, we hiked in Aptos, California.
Kim and I haven’t had a Roommate Day in awhile. I have been terribly busy with multiple jobs and am incredibly thankful travel has picked up! I proposed we have one this past Friday with mini golf and sushi. She was game. She missed the mini Women’s Wednesday event last month.
Of course, being competitive, I thought we’d make it more interesting with a wager. Via video and social media, we asked friends to vote as to who would win. If you didn’t vote correctly, you owed $5 to the winners page.
How did it go? Some friends guested correctly, most voted as a tie. How generous.
It was fun! The course isn’t perfect but its imperfections made us laugh. Kim’s ball got stuck in one of the structures and my ball sat at the end of a pipe.
She had to dig her pipe out from a river twice and I got an unexpected hole in one after a bounce. I’ll take it!
In an attempt to eat better and cook more in between my travels, I picked up some veggies and protein at Safeway today. With chicken thighs and Tupperware to meal prep in my Disney princesses reusable bag (Disney certified Travel Agent, by the way), I also picked up a pack of seven ears of corn for $5. I love corn. I usually don’t need anything on it. But today, I wanted to know how hard it was to make street corn.
For convenience, Pinterest is a fast and easy way to find the answer – with pictures! Forgive me, Pinner, I didn’t save your post but your posting was incredibly helpful. I didn’t have everything stocked at home that the recipe called for so I made some modifications. Here’s what I did, cooking for one.
INGREDIENTS: 3 ears of corn 2 tbsp of mayo Half a lime Feta crumbles Chili powder Paprika Garlic salt
STEPS: Start boiling a pot of water for your corn Clean corn Place corn in boiling hot water In a small bowl, mix mayo, lime juice, chili powder and garlic salt. Mind you, I eye-balled some measurements. Taste then modify to your liking. The corn is done when the yellow color is more intense and the kernels are plumper. Remove the corn from the pot. Use a strainer if necessary to remove excess water before plating. Place cobs on your plate Drizzle with mayo and lime mixture Top with feta crumbles Sprinkle with paprika
See the video on TikTok too! ‘bappletree’ Guess the musical artist I used. It’ll be easy. WereHungryToo
I am sure there is an app that could manage my wine inventory but how does that benefit this blog?!? The below list consists of my current collection of wine bottles. As I love to go wine tasting and have plenty of opportunities to try different kinds of wine, when I decide to purchase a bottle for my own collection, it is truly special and unique in my opinion. I am not a Sommelier but I like what I like. Some bottles were also gifted to me so they may not fall into the category of me willing to spend my own money for it but they are nice to have. You might also notice that I have been holding onto some bottles for quite awhile. I really only like to open my favorite bottles with people that I think would appreciate the experience or have treated me to glasses from their own special collection. Are you one of those beautiful people? Well, let’s discuss, get together and drink!
Check back on this post every so often. I might have drunk one! See my Master Wine Log HERE and my California Winery Log HERE.
La Sirena – Moscato Azul – Barrett Vineyards La Sirena – Rosato – Amador County Rose Venge – Sauvignon Blanc – Jewell Vineyard (2)
Caymus – Cabernet Sauvignon Caymus – Suisun – Grand Durif Oakville Winery – Zinfandel Torciano – Rosso di Montepulciano (2) Venge – Napa Valley Syrah – Stagecoach Vineyard Block I-4 Venge – Arsenal Box Red Wine
Caymus – Sea Sun Chardonnay Clif Family – Gewurtztraminer / Mendocino – Cases 410 (2) Clif Family – Viognier – Cases 395 Kieu Hoang – Chardonnay Oakville Winery – Cabernet Sauvignon Robert Mondavi – Rose – Spotlight Collection
Caymus – Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection (2) Caymus – Mer Soleil Silver – Unoaked Chardonnay Grgic Hills – Plavac Mali Madonna Estate – Dolcetto
Bedrock Wine Co – Red Wine Cline Family Vineyards – Mourvèdre Game of Thrones Cabernet Sauvignon by Bob Cabral (2) Liana Estates – White Wine Blend Inglenook RC Reserve / No 05490 Inglenook RC Reserve / No 05635
It has been crazy busy for this One Busy Bee. Two jobs, plus my own business as a Travel Agent and Stella & Dot Ambassador. I was so happy to see how many page views this blog had in July! I wanted to say THANK YOU so much!
July’s page views was just 1,000 page views below my highest month in December 2016. One page view really matters!
Thank you to visitors from the United States, Australia, India, United Kingdom, Ireland, Switzerland, Canada, Nigeria, Russia and Mexico!
I am taking a day off next weekend to post more. I am falling behind and have so much content to share with you! Please stay tuned for more!