Puerto Paraiso – Cabo San Lucas

Going to a mall isn’t even on my list when I travel. To be honest, I would stop into the Mall of America if I ever found myself on that side of the country. During my second visit to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in November 2018, I found myself at the Puerto Paraiso next to marina. It was the meeting place for a Cookin’ Cabo cooking class, which I highly recommend.

Tour the shopping area for clothing, jewelry and restaurants; some with views of the marina. I sadly left my entire Stella & Dot make up bag at home and I needed make up. I went from MAC eyeliner and more to Shiseido and Lancôme products.

It paired well with the beautiful JW Marriott Los Cabos.

I just happened to be in Los Cabos during the International Film Festival. I have been to the Sonoma International Film Festival a couple of years ago so why not do it internationally? Showings were taken place at the movie theater on the top floor and there were interviews being done. I purchased a ticket to see Feral, a movie about a fire that took the lives of a priest trying to prepare three wild children suitable for society. What happened was shown thru video tapes the priest made and thru interviews. It was really interesting. I should see more foreign films. Do you enjoy them?

After shopping and a movie, I dined on the patio at La Central Cocina and Bar. I had a nice view of the marina and very attentive service. I had to get the grilled corn on the cob and the Lobster Salad. It came with watermelon, avocado, edamame beans, spring onion and a tequila lime vinaigrette. The food was delicious and the size of the salad was perfect.

Complimentary chips and a variety of salsas

You will have to pay for parking or if you’re staying at a local hotel, this is a great place to stop in for shopping, entertainment, a rooftop bar and dining.

I will be returning to Cabo San Lucas for the third time for more research, this time with ACT Language Schools. Check them out if you’re looking to learn or improve your Spanish. Please follow us on social media for posts while we are there!

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ACT Language Schools

Seattle, Washington – May 2019

OBB Weekly – 5-28-19

This Memorial Day Weekend was filled beach weather, itinerary planning, food and inspiration. Filled with new memories on this Memorial Day, I do have mention my gratitude to the armed forces who have fought and given up their lives for our country. Thank you for your service and sacrifice. It should also be day to live life to the fullest and enjoy our freedoms.

TRAVEL

Though I have spent most of this Memorial Day Weekend on the couch of the house I am housesitting at in the beach town of Santa Cruz, I have definitely added new travel experiences I can recommend to my clients. The weather has improved since the last time I was here a month ago. The sun was shining and the chance of rain on Sunday decreased as the day approached. I returned to the Dream Inn and the West Cliff Trail and UC Santa Cruz. And yes, of course food. See next section.

EVENT PLANNING

Itinerary planning is planning for an event. Some people do not take advantage of their available paid-time off and others don’t know where to start. It’s time for a new adventure, don’t you think?

Though I was staying at a house a mile away from the beach, I spent most of my long weekend on the couch watching Netflix and building itineraries. My honeymooners to Phuket, Thailand and the Maldives are set. A phone call with a prospective client for Hawai’i was made and a proposal was sent. For myself, I look forward to deepening my understanding of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and Las Vegas. In London, I will be visiting Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Bath, Lacock and Stonehenge. Please do not hesitate to ask me for assistance with other destinations I have blogged about. Perhaps, Versailles?

A wedding reception at The Cape in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Gondola rides are available at The Venetian hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada

FOOD

Memorial Day falls on a Monday. A meatless Monday. I have been able to successfully continue Meatless Monday while I travel. Friends have asked if I could move it to another day when it was time to be social. I have managed to decline and there is always something to vegetarian to eat at any restaurant. In Santa Cruz, I found a vegetarian and vegan restaurant on Laurel Street called Saturn Café. The menu is plentiful, including happy hour. You may even get their versions of sausage, burgers and bacon. I went with their Coconut Cream Pie French Toast. Ask for Jimmy as your Server. Super nice!

If you must cook at home, throw some pasta in a pot and cover it in pesto sauce. Cucumber salad is easy to make as well with items commonly found in your cupboards. Try Meatless Monday. After awhile, it’s not that hard and you won’t miss meat that much.

Pesto fettucine and watching Versailles.

MOTIVATION

I love places that make you realize just how tiny your problems are.”

I miss my dog. A new car has tightened my purse strings. I am further from my Goal By 40. I am restless between travels. However, I am thankful for the memories, how I was able to obtain that car, goals to strive for and travel booked at least once per month thru October. Travel is not a cover up but everyone needs a little escape from troublesome matters. It’s therapy. Let me help you book your next therapy session. Often times, it’s paired with wine.

This made me miss Bevo – Wellington, New Zealand

#WereHungryToo – Santa Cruz – April 2019

Housesitting and cat sitting once again in the wonderful beach town of Santa Cruz. I know, it’s a hard life. What’s hard to do is NOT take advantage of trying all the restaurants in the area. There are a variety of establishments and no need to try national chains. Here are a few spots you might consider going to.

Lulu Carpenter’s

Downtown Santa Cruz, you will find many options to dine at and shop on Pacific Avenue. If you are One Busy Bee, bring your laptop to this café and sit at the wooden tables inside or out. Order yourself a latte and try the vegetarian benedict. Order at the counter and pick it up when your number is called.

Pacific Cookie Company

Continue your stroll down Pacific Avenue. Pop your head into retail stores such as Rip Curl, Fybr and bhody. Sweeten the shopping experience with a stop in the Pacific Cookie Company. The smell of fresh based cookies will lure you in. You won’t be able miss it. Check in on Yelp and get a free cookie with any purchase. The Almond Joe, almonds, chocolate and coconut, and oatmeal raisin cookies came home with me. Well, my temporary home.

Hula’s Island Grill & Tiki Room

Brunch, check! Sugar, check! Cocktails…need: assistance. Monday – Saturday, take advantage of Happy Hour specials at this Polynesian bar and restaurant just off of Pacific Avenue. Enjoy the Tropical Itch and pair it with the Crispy Coconut shrimp Rolls – both for $6 each. Sit at the bar and eye your neighbor’s chicken wings served with a coconut lime cilantro sauce.

Zoccoli’s Deli

When you’ve spent more money and time than you thought you would on Pacific Avenue, it’s almost dinner time. Pick up pre-made selections at Zoccoli’s Deli. With an afternoon full of sugar, I opted for a salad out of their fridge. Grab other grocery items, cold pasta salads, deli meat and more. They have been in business since 1948 and also cater.

Java Junction

Before a walk along the West Cliff trail, pick up some coffee from one of three Java Junction locations. The Seabright location near the railroad tracks is its flagship location. Sit at the wooden tables, pull out a book or your laptop, sip and snack on a bagel. Or hit the pavement like I did. See my many hiking posts.

Linda’s Seabreeze Cafe

On a Sunday morning, expect a long wait. Put your name on the list with the host and grab a menu to quickly order as soon as you are sat. Choose from omelettes, French Toast and pancakes. Omelettes will come with a potatotes plus toast, a muffin or a cinnamon roll. There is a bench outside and free coffee to kill the time. Once you are finally sat, order and color to kill more time, and just for fun. Can you remember the last time you colored with Crayons? You’ll have time to think about it while you wait for your table.

Storrs Winery

Santa Cruz County has several wineries. Storrs Winery’s tasting room may be small but is covered in posters of their wine labels, bottles of their wine and awards. A friendly pourer will tell you about the wine. New wine club members from San Francisco will tell you it’s worth the drive to personally pick up their bottles. It is conveniently located close to downtown Santa Cruz. It is worth a visit.

Seabright Brewery

In the same building as Java Junction, visit Seabright Brewery for locally made beer, tasty chicken wings, fish and chips, outdoor seating that is dog-friendly and televisions to watch the San Jose Sharks play off games. Try their Oatmeal Stout, a 6.8% ABV and multi-medal winner at the Great American Beer Festival. Very casual setting.

The Penny Ice Creamery

This ice cream parlor makes their ice cream from scratch with local ingredients. It landed on several lists of where to eat on blogs and vlogs so I had to see what the fuss is about. Humanely made, organic and 100% recycled will make you feel good about your purchase. My roommate loves s’mores so the fluff was recommended. Cookies and cream is my go to. Flavors change often but currently there is Green Tea, Rose Petal and Cherry Chocolate Almond. Which would you try?

Let’s Hike – Paths in Santa Cruz

I wouldn’t consider the last two hikes what I normally do. Nonetheless, by definition, it was a long walk for pleasure or exercise. April and May’s hike took place in the wonderful beach town of Santa Cruz.

West Cliff Drive
April’s Hike

In all my days of living so close to Santa Cruz, I have never done this trail. Round trip, it’s 4 miles from near the lighthouse. Parking is free if you can find one. It’s an easy, flat and curvy trail. It can also get a little busy with bicyclists, dog walkers and joggers. You walk by a beach that says to keep dogs on their leashes yet so many dogs are enjoying the sand and water down below. I wish I had known about this part of the beach when Bevo was still alive. He would have loved it. He loved the water.

Prepare yourself for beautiful scenery of jagged cliffs, flower patches with benches, art pieces and million dollar homes. There are parallel bars, beautiful spots to do yoga and greet numerous people also enjoying the fresh air. I was able to cover 4.32 miles and burned 285 miles.

Coffee first.
Don’t forget to stretch!

UC Santa Cruz
May’s Hike

With some howling heard at night in the open space behind my friend’s home I was housesitting at, I changed my initial hiking route to somewhere a bit more populated. I thought it would be best especially if I was going to be hiking alone. I remember the grounds of University of California, Santa Cruz in the hills to be full of trails, bridges, tall trees and winding paths. I haven’t been to the campus in over ten years to serve the same purpose. The grounds and views didn’t disappoint.

In the time my $2.50 parking permit allowed, I went up 257 feet in elevation, covered 2.18 miles and burned 208 calories. In comparison, you can see that adding some height burns more calories. Get to hiking!

Related posts:
Let’s Hike – Briones and Bonehead
Let’s Hike – Coyote Point
Climbed Mt. Diablo – April 2011

Pizza, Beer & More in the East Bay

It’s always good when you have great options to dine at in your own town. As a Blogger and Travel Agent, I should do a better job of highlighting some local spots in Hayward and neighboring towns. My friend runs the E’vill Eye News blog for another East Bay city called Emeryville. Do check out his blog when you have a sec! But stick with me for a second. Here are some great spots.

Buffalo Bill’s Brewery

Located downtown Hayward across the street from the theatre, it is said to be the oldest brewery in the country. This is walking distance from my house so this is usually a go to spot. Sit outside on their heated patio or inside at a table or at the bar top. Parking is available on the street, in the lot behind the building or the parking structure behind the movie theatre. I always get the sausage, apple and pesto pizza. It is delicious! For beer, get a flight of house beers or their seasonal ones. Try their Orange Blossom Cream Ale or the Pumpkin Ale or Oatmeal Stout. So many options!

Russell City Distillery

If you like Buffalo Bill’s, next door visit the Russell City Distillery tasting room. They off vodka cocktails and sells bottles of their liquors including vodka, rum and tequila. The tasting room isn’t big but they can open their rolling door to allow some outdoor space. It is dog friendly as well.

Norm’s Place

In downtown Danville, you have many options. Auburn Lounge is a relatively new bar and lounge and they are often closed for private events. Revel Kitchen & Bar is a good spot with a nice bar, tasty salads and an outdoor patio. Across the street is Norm’s. A popular bar for sporting events like the Warriors games. Have Kara pour you your usual of Jameson whiskey with one or two rocks and order the tuna appetizer. It’s basically a deep fried sushi roll. And it was tasty.

Sons of Liberty Alehouse

What we call SOLA. Isn’t it hard not to think of Jax Teller and Sons of Anarchy? This is one of my favorite spots to go to even it means I have to jump on the highway to get to San Leandro. You can make reservations via Yelp, be prepared for a busy parking lot but it’s a great spot for beer and snacks.

Come out to the East Bay and check out what we have to offer!

Related posts:
Who Knew About San Leandro?
Puesto! Cousin Time
National Beer Day 2019

OBB Weekly – 5-21-19

Dubrovnik, Croatia – November 2012

It’s the end of an era. The popular books turned show, Game of Thrones, is over. For eight seasons, we watched the people of Westoros battle for survival and the Iron Throne. I have a niece named Arya. I have unofficially named my new Honda Civic Si Drogon. My cousin named her dog Khaleesi. But now, I cancelled my HBO subscription. GOT was the only reason I had it for six weeks. And now what? Yes, life goes on. I’m sure Bran would agree. Thank you for the memories, Game of Thrones!

SPOILERS ALERT!
Do not read on if you haven’t completed the series.

TRAVEL

One of my favorite characters is Arya Stark. Though small in size and even blind at times, she’s a bad ass and strong as hell. My little niece, Arya, was rightfully named. I remember her picking up gallon jugs of water as a toddler. A little tom-boyish like her mommy, I’m sure she’s going to be a fierce and bold little one like this character. I love that Arya Stark sets off to see what’s west of Westeros and travels! I can relate to the look of happiness and excitement when she stands at the bow of the ship as she starts her adventure. Exploring, going somewhere new and not exactly sure what the future holds is pretty exciting. Get on that ship and see just how far you’ll go.

Just got onto the Golden Princess in Melbourne, Australia and we’re already hitting the spa!
My sweet Princess Arya – Yosemite – May 2019
Who my niece was named after, Arya Stark.

EVENT PLANNING

The Red Wedding will make your jaw drop. (Don’t forget to get wedding insurance!) Sansa Stark’s coronation as becoming the Queen of the North was perfect. My Queen, Daenerys Targaryen, unfortunately never even got to sit on the Iron Throne. Her final speech to her soldiers was strong yet not from someone who wanted peace. There were events of tragedy and loss but also for celebration, whichever side you were on. Many decisions, feasts and gatherings were made around a table. An event worth planning for filled with memorable moments…plus a Starbucks cup.

The table could be in a speed boat. The Boathouse at Disney Springs in Orlando, Florida during our half marathon weekend – January 2019
Wine tasting in Lodi, California. – June 2018
Sergio was full of useful travel tips at the Starbucks at Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington – May 2019

FOOD

Young Khaleesi eats a horse heart. Cersei’s walk of shame included food being thrown at her. And Tyrion drinks wine and knows things. Sweetbreads were probably the grossest thing I have ever had. Powdered beignets from Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans would make me happy if they were thrown at me. And wine? Oh, I have had plenty and there is so much more to try across the Seven Kingdoms…or most of the seven continents.

“You got a little something on your face, Angela.”
So good that we went twice – New Orleans, Louisiana – November 2016
Domaine Carneros – Napa, California – January 2017

MOTIVATION

Deception was everywhere. Advisors write scrolls of secrets. Promises of support are broken. Or getting stabbed during an act of love by your nephew! Some make you earn their trust, some give it away freely. Severing relationships that has served its purpose in your life is healthy. “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” Thanks, Dr. Seuss. There may have been happy times but now it’s over. Acknowledge what life is trying to tell you, learn from it and pass it on. Maybe in a more loving, honest and less painful way.

Quotes of the Day are posted on my fridge and shared on SnapChat – bappletree

Wine Country on Netflix

On an outing with my roommate and my Boston Terrier, Bevo, on Cinco de Mayo, we stumbled upon the movie set of Wine Country in Calistoga, California. We also met up with new friends from out of town that we met up at Pegasus Winery. They were a good time.

We ate at the now named Bosko’s restaurant and saw Amy Poehler on a bicycle and took photos with her set chair. That scene was a whole two seconds in the film. My roommate and I ended up watching the movie on Friday night thanks to her Netflix subscription. We just had to crack open a bottle of wine. We went with a Simi 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon.

The movie had some pretty funny parts. I especially laughed at the fact that Amy had a full itinerary booked and distributed to the group of ladies. This Travel Agent and Event Planner totally does that! Am I alone? I also related to the character that was constantly on the phone and checking email and looking for signal. Yes, I’m One Busy Bee.

Another movie night will be planned at the house, I’m sure. It’s a lot cheaper than going out and the town. It leaves more money for traveling!

See the California Winery Log here!

‘Favorites’ Photo Dump

This One Busy Bee is still working on cleaning up her phone of over 11,000 photos. That many photos have been collected in a year and a half. To do a photo dump on the blog real quick, I am taking photos I have saved as ‘Favorites’ on my phone for some particular reason and placing them here so I can delete them. Oh, it will be so freeing! Thanks for enduring this unstructured post but full of travel.

Fiji – Troprica Island Resort and Travel Agent friends on a FAM trip. – Feb. 2019

In September 2017, three girlfriends and I had September birthdays. We went to Paris together. And we brought some friends. I invited my friend that I call Papichulo and Lisa brought her boyfriend, Branden. I believe it was the day before, Branden proposed to Lisa at the Temple of Love at Versailles. We were lucky enough to witness it. This photo was taken on our last night in Paris together but in the region of Champagne. See the wineries in the background. There are also photos of us doing yoga in dresses. Good times.

This is aboard the Oosterdam by Holland America Cruise Line. It is a bar with great view. I have worked on blog posts in this area with a glass of La Marca prosecco. I have many other posts during that cruise to the Mexican Riviera. Please check them out if you’re curios about real experiences on an HAL cruise ship.

Red Donkey is my favorite beer when I was in Santorini. Papichulo and I tried all the different beers they had to offer and this was my favorite. I liked it so much I bought a large t-shirt that I ended up turning into a muscle tan for my gym sessions. I never buy t-shirts. It must mean I realllly liked that beer.

I used to work at a law firm down the street from Rudy’s Can’t Fail Café in Emeryville, California. This is their breakfast special. I don’t believe I have been there since as they raised the price of this special and the dressing for their Asian salad changed as well. There is also a location in downtown Oakland. It’s pretty convenient when you’re partying or just finished a concert at the Paramount Theater.

Hello, Mighty Leaf tea.

At the Press Club, go downstairs from Market Street in San Francisco across from the Marriott that they call “the jukebox” and find a wine bar with a lounge-y feel. It is used as common workspace during the day and serves up great wine and bites.

During a trip to Southern California for my first Travel Agent seminar, my then soon-to-be roommate and I went to Universal Studios. I have never been and am a California native. We did the typical ride thru movie and television sets and experienced their ‘earthquake’ simulation at an underground BART platform. I was really excited to go thru The Desperate Housewives set.

On this trip, I realized that I cannot do the simulated rides. I even felt a little sick on the Despicable Me ride! It was absolutely confirmed while on the Harry Potter ride. It was a coaster and simulations. I read one book in the series and I almost didn’t make it off the ride without getting sick. I actually had to close my eyes and tell myself it was almost over multiple times. HAD I liked them, I know this would have been an awesome ride. I can see why people like it. Unfortunately, it’s just not for me.

I’ll end this post with a picture of my Papa Bear and I at the 2018 Hawai’i Food and Wine Festival. I do have the most amazing father, and not just because he lives on Maui! There are so many reasons but mainly he just accepts who I am and is actually happy that I am living life to the fullest. I love my Papa Bear.

I need to do more than just these photos but at least I can now take them off my phone and have them live on the world wide web forever!

Save All the Pups!

I know I’m not the only one that tears up watching those Dodo videos on social media of dogs needing help. Some have happy endings and some are videos still trying to find furever homes. Now that I don’t have my Bevo by my side, I just want to save all the pups. I am trying to do my part and volunteer. I also started back up with Wag. They also donate a small percentage to Rescue Bank to help feed shelter dogs. So sign up and get a free walk as a new customer. Use code ‘Bernadette9307’

This morning I came across this posting on Timbo from Nobody’s Perfekt in the East Bay. He looks so sweet and the video on the Oakland Animal Services site says so. He will be put down if no one picks him up. So please consider adopting versus breeders. There are so many animals that need a home. Time is running out on some of them.

Wag has been fun for me to get some steps in, spend some time with dogs, get paid and play my part in getting more shelter dogs fed. Check out these cuties! They also offer boarding and dog sitting. I have a perfect rating with 88 compliments.

I also house and dog/cat sit. Willing to travel! Let me know if I can help.

BernNCourt Return

Isn’t it amazing that you can go months without seeing a friend but yet you both put the effort in to see each other? If you don’t have those kind of friendships, get yourself at least one! Even if she or he is 10 years younger than you.

Barcelona, Spain –
January 2018

Courtney and I have been friends since she started working for me at my restaurant around my birthday. I’d say she was my birthday present because we instantly connected, had so many laughs and traveled quite a bit together. She has watched my Bevo, she stays at my pad when I’m traveling and I completely trust her. Did I mention she’s fun?

Snapchat fun at La Pepita – Barcelona, Spain – January 2018

Well, now my Court Court is super busy with going back to school, working full time and commuting. I definitely have done that. Plus, I partied. It’s the life of One Busy Bee. I haven’t seen her since my birthday in September. We finally got together eight months later. She even agreed to meet up an hour away from her home just to return home before she headed another hour+ to work. I am so appreciative of that.

We met up at the Tri Valley Bistro in Pleasanton, California. It was available on OpenTable and it looked cute. It had some intimate tables outside but I knew we needed a bit more space between us and our dining neighbors. We opted for a table for two inside.

Pleasanton, California – May 2019

What do we always do? Order a bottle of bubbles. I had the seafood frittata and she had the eggs benedict and she wanted to crème brulee. I wasn’t planning on eating half of it but I did. And I felt like I finished more than half the bottle. What happened to my Court Court? She turned into a dedicated student.

Cheers

We got caught up on each others’ lives, shared more laughs, silliness, stories and where we are traveling next. She is going back to Paris, as am I, but at different times. She likes art. I can’t spend my entire vacation in a museum. Unfortunately, we don’t have any plans of traveling together anytime soon but perhaps when she’s not so crazy busy ‘adulting.’ Regardless, I’ll still be here whenever she needs me and I know she would do the same for me. Love my Court Court.

#BernNCourt
Rome, Italy – Day 2 of 12
Florence, Italy – Day 6
Venice, Italy – Day 7
Milan, Italy – Day 9
Happy Birthday, Court Court

La Familia Sagrada, Barcelona, Spain – January 2018