Brussels & Chili

Brussles and Chi-lay have made it to Hayward. Sadly, I haven’t been to either destinations but perhaps someday. In the mean time, I have channeled my inner cook and saved some money with buying groceries and making food at home. Check it out!

I remember trying brussel sprouts for the first time as a kid. It was a frozen brussels and cheese sauce meal and it was terrible. I didn’t try this cabbage family vegetable again until my roommate at the time made some in the oven. She simply had olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. It is so simple and tasty. I used garlic salt and I should have added a bit more vinegar but it was good regardless. It was a perfect meal to eat on a Meatless Monday while catching up on The Mayans with my current roommate.

It is now Wednesday and I have had my buddy, Nelson’s, chili for the past three meals. I am not one to eat the same thing over and over again but this was good. I also am not that big a fan of chili. The last time I had chili was in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. The Uber driver recommended I go to that fast food spot, Skyline Chili. It was definitely interesting. Chili was formed into bricks and heated while on the trails. A trip from California to Indiana is quite the trail. Be sure to pack your chili, pot and spoon.

I was honored to have been given my friend’s recipe and I customized it to my liking. I used ground turkey, which is quite rare for me. And I added a lot of chili powder. I continued to taste it while it was cooking in the crock pot. I joked with Nelly, aka Nelson, that there wouldn’t be anything left by the time it was done cooking! It was really good. Can you guess what’s for dinner tonight? Nelly also sent me a brine recipe for some chicken. I’m a lucky girl. Contact him to inquire about his catering services!

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OBB Weekly – 9-17-19

Disneyland 2018

Can you remember the last time you were on a roller coaster? Was it at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California like me? How about the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk? Or was it the Guardians of the Galaxy ride at Disneyland? You anticipate the inevitable drop and rise again. Most people come to end of the ride laughing and is worth waiting in the long line again. Some will never do it again. Regardless, people learn something about themselves. This One Busy Bee is definitely on a roller coaster of uncertainty, fear but excitement. Comment below if you are experiencing something similar.

TRAVEL

Traveling cross-country for the first time was filled with highs and lows in terms of elevation, boredom and excitement and experience. Starting out in Monterey County California, going thru Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, you see quite a bit of different terrains. I was in love with the sedimentary layers in the west, the cornfields were ongoing in the middle and the east coast was full of twists and turns and greenery.

I for sure thought Chicago was going to be my favorite destination on the trip, but Pittsburgh, Pennsylania was a pleasant surprise with great people, a cute and convenient downtown and good food options. For sports fans, the baseball and football stadiums are convenient. For party people, drink and help a group bike move around the city. See my #OBBRoadTrip video HERE to see it for yourself. More to come on each individual spots and experiences.

LGBTQ-friendly Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

EVENT PLANNING

Planning a road trip across the United States is an event in itself. I had to coordinate with family members and loved ones. I participated on conference calls as I was admiring long strips of road ahead of me and hills to the left. I even had to book another Marriott property when my plans changed with a friend. The Gwen was great. You can definitely have a wonderful cocktail party out on their rooftop bar.

Rooftop at The Gwen, Chicago, Illinois – September 2019

In Chicago, it appeared to be a triathlon was taking place as I was leaving. Road blocks were being set-up the day before and maps of black streets appeared on my phone. Be sure to plan ahead. Races take place all over the world and quite often. I will be participating in my last half marathon this coming Sunday at Disneyland Paris. Oh, boy. I surely didn’t plan and train well for that. Isn’t it funny how event planners can organize a wedding but sometimes their own personal life comes secondary?

13.1 miles of being in my own head. Oh, boy!

FOOD

Oh, the weight that has been gained eating fast food while on this #OBBRoadTrip. I have had McDonalds, Taco Bell, Burger King (their Impossible Burger tastes very similar!) and even a place called Sodalicious in Lindon, Utah. Fat and sugar, fat and sugar. I did manage to get a delicious salad at Zupa’s, also in Lindon. The roasted pepper soup was also completely devoured. BBQ from Smoking Jay’s in Omaha, Nebraska was quite tasty as well. For someone that wasn’t very hungry at the time but had to try something, it was an almost $30-meal with ribs, burnt ends, corn, cole slaw and a drink. Even in your food choices, there are things good for you and not so great for you. Bottom line, it was my choice as to what I consumed so there’s no one to blame but me. But, oh the temptations!

Zupa’s Cafe, Lindon, Utah
Smoking Jay’s – Omaha, Nebraska

MOTIVATION

During this trip, a lot of uncertainty has been occurring back home for me in the San Francisco Bay Area. I’m a planner and have goals in mind. When things deter the plan from reaching those goals, it’s a little stressful.The end goal is to have property on Maui by 40. I turn 40 in September 2020. I technically could allow myself another year and still obtain the property by August 2021 but I am pretty eager. I have some decisions to make and I need to prepare for what it takes to make those decisions become a reality. I may not be J. Lo’s Hustler status, but the hustle is on. I just need to remember to enjoy the ride. Thank you for your support!

My gear for my birthday half marathon.

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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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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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OBB Weekly – 7-9-19

Another epic week, another epic trip to Las Vegas. I always tell myself that I have been to Vegas several times, I don’t really need to go back. I want to see the rest of the world. However, every time I go, it is always a great time. July 4th weekend was no different. With so many options of places to stay, eat and play, some things are consistently good. Let me show you some of Sin City and let me help you book your next trip.

TRAVEL

I enjoy Southwest Airlines. They are consistently good and it is a very easy flight from the San Francisco Bay Area to McCarren International Airport. LAS is located so close to the strip that a quick shuttle or Uber (Get $2 off your first 3 rides with my link) from the terminal to your desired hotel is cheap and easy.

The girls and I stayed at the Treasure Island Hotel. When I was last in Vegas in 2017, we stayed here as well. The rooms are consistent and the location is convenient. As an Expedia VIP, I was granted late check out. However, as I didn’t need it, I was able to exchange it for a complimentary bottle of champagne. Let me book you on the same deals you see on Expedia and I can possibly get you extra perks. Do keep in mind that you have options of a non-refundable price or with cancellation deadlines to take advantage of these rates. Plans change so do keep that in mind.

The Venetian and Tao Beach is literally right across the street. If you are interested in a pool party, this is the best place to go for its convenience and one of the lowest minimums for a day bed that comes with an umbrella. The new KAOS at the Palms had a minimum of $1,000. Regardless, trust me, the money adds and up but it’s a good time. Let me connect you with my contact there for a day bed and he hooked me up with complimentary drinks for one hour for my party of three.

One thing all girls must do on a Girls’ Trip to Vegas is see Magic Mike Live. I tell ya, it’ll change your life! I have seen Thunder From Down Under twice and it’s also fun but I enjoy the dancing much better at Magic Mike. And who doesn’t love all these men channeling the newly single Mr. Channing Tatum? I was lucky to have been pulled on on stage and received maybe three lap dances from some well-built men. My hands were full during this show. The host, Jordan, said she picked me as a thank you for chatting with her when we sat down and I noticed she was alone. How very cool. We ladies shouldn’t be in competition with each other for men’s attention. They might be willing to share the love.

EVENT PLANNING

Speaking of love, I loved all of the events we attended. The two pool parties were great even though we missed seeing Sisqo at the Flamingo Go Pool before we had to leave and catch a flight. The shows and even the performance and new friends we made at the Caberet Bar at the Paris Hotel on our first night was great. Every hotel will have a chapel. The Flamingo has a gazebo outside. The chapel at the Mandalay Bay is a bit more modern. Do contact me should you need assistance with a destination wedding. A party is never hard to find in Vegas.

#WEREHUNGRYTOO

For this foodie and #OneBusyBee, I had to revisit Sushi Samba at The Palazzo Hotel. My friend, Courtney, and I went there by ourselves one day in 2016 as the other girls slept. We had a blast eating all the delicious Japanese, Puruvian and Brazilian food and enjoying Japanese whisky, my favorite. With so much change in the restaurant world, I am pleased to know they were still around. Kim and Nikki enjoyed our meal.

One thing I definitely wanted to do was have a nice meal by a Celebrity Chef. Gordon Ramsey had Hell’s Kitchen at Caesar’s and we walked by Carlo’s Bake Shop in The Palazzo. I opted in for Giada’s at The Cromwell Hotel. The restaurant was very nice and with views of a main intersection with the Bellagio Hotel kitty corner and Caesar’s across the street. We were sat at a large booth and were served by the very friendly and professional, Billy. The girls and I didn’t have too big of an appetite so we skipped on the multi-course brunch option but we all go the the salmon cake benedict. I added an arugula salad for $6 on the side and it was delicious. The salmon cake was thick and flavorful and the poached egg was cooked perfectly. The sauce looked like melted cheese with a dark orange color but oh, man, was it good. The coffee was strong and gave us the caffeine we needed. With a check in on Yelp, I was given a splash of prosecco. Billy said I couldn’t drink alone and brought out two more glasses. What a very nice gesture. If I could have taken a full-size of that salad home with me, I would have. Well done, Giada. Highly recommended! I can’t wait to go back and try more items on the menu, including the dim sum-like dessert trays they have available at dinner.

MOTIVATION

As I sat in the single sofa chair near the window on the 15th floor of our hotel room at the Treasure Island Hotel, I looked out onto the strip wondering if I could make the move and if it would make sense financially. I have played around with the idea of moving somewhere for a year while fulfilling my need to travel and really immerse myself in the area. I was at first thinking that it would be San Diego as I would need to be near the water. I looked at Austin, Texas, Charleston, South Carolina and even Seattle, Washington. However, Las Vegas has it all for me – event planning, hospitality, the warm but sometimes cold weather and an endless amount to blog about. It is truly a destination for so many different kind travelers – party-goers, bachelorette/bachelor parties, golfing, relaxation, foodies and even plenty to do for children. My goal is currently to do as much as I can to reach that Goal by 40 of owning property in Maui. I did want to have that property come September 2020, but technically I can still achieve that goal by September 21, 2021. For the past month, I have added on a second job as a Bartender to my world as #OneBusyBee. Unless I get a raise at my day job, I will probably stick with it until I make some headway. In the mean time, I very much appreciate your visits here to my blog and other social media, referrals of your travel clients and your Stella & Dot sales. Yes, I’m still a Stylist. 🙂

OBB Weekly – 6/4/19

Academy of Sciences, San Francisco

Hello, June! May just flew by, didn’t it? It was an eventful month, hopefully for you too. Change is inevitable. Seasons change, people change, menus change and aspirations change. How do you deal with change? Do you welcome it? Struggle with it? I imagine it’s a process. Everyone has their own way and go about dealing with change at their own pace. Regardless, we survived whatever it was to be at this very moment. I thank you for choosing to spend it on my blog.

TRAVEL

Comment below if you agree, but there’s nothing like the sound of the ocean on the beach to help me escape and deal with my problems. I have escaped to Santa Cruz to sit on the sand of Seabright Beach after a fight with my then boyfriend. While in Maui, I make sure I touch the water one more time before returning home to remind me that I will be back someday and all that I’m working for is to do this as often as possible. I also have video of me sitting on a dock in Venice, Italy hearing the water beat against the wood below me. It was going to be a honeymoon destination but after two visits, it still has yet to be, but that’s OK. Not everyone can say they’ve been to the City of Bridges. A change of scenery, can help you escape the situation temporarily, give you a moment to think and hopefully realize that there is beauty and good in this world. This Travel Agent would be happy to help you with your escape.

Katie & Jeremy – Kauai, Hawai’i
Maui, Hawai’i

EVENT PLANNING

One significant change in a person’s life is getting married. I love working with couples wanting to get married near the water like at Pacific Star Winery in Fort Bragg, California or The Beach House in Koloa, Hawaii. Honeymoons to Venice, Italy would be incredible romantic. My recent honeymoon clients will be heading off to Phuket, Thailand and the Maldives. Feel free to ask me to plan your trip.

Happy Travel Agent client!

Or, I would be happy to set you up with a fantastic photographer in Kauai and do a Trash The Dress photo shoot when you finalize your divorce like I did.

Kauai, Hawai’i

FOOD

Unfortunately, my favorite pizza and salad from Buffalo Bill’s Brewery in Hayward, California is now off the menu. Bijou, also located in Hayward, is now called Playt. The menu is different and now has a seafood ravioli made with large won ton wrappers. In Menlo Park, the Menlo Grill & Bar is now called the Menlo Tavern. The menu has changed and it’s not bad! Get cocktails from my Cugino, Ron, and get salads, sliders on Hawaiian rolls and dessert. Tell Ron Bernadette sent you and comment below on what you think of the new menu.

New appetizer
Crisp a la mode
My Cugino, Ron, the Bartender

MOTIVATION

It has been a couple of months since I switched this blog from Blogger to WordPress. I have been averaging 16 posts per month and my hits have increased by 40%. My goal is to continue this growth, this positive change. The point of blogging often was to get my photos on my phone down from 11,000. As I continue to travel and eat out, my phone says very little progress has been made. Videos have been uploaded to my YouTube channel, photos have been uploaded on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and I have randomly deleted photos that are not needed. Make the best of your June, set some goals and let me know how I can help. I’m a great ReTweeter for supporters. You never know who is going to share what I post! Do you know Danny Wood of New Kids on the Block? Have you been to the Silverado Resort and Spa? Or Penny Ice Creamery in Santa Cruz?

Danny has 191,000 followers
@napavalleyluxury has 8,745 followers
@thepennyicecreamery has 3,817 followers

OBB Weekly – 5-7-19


Summer is basically here. Kids will be out of school. They will be wanting to hang out at the pool all day long. That means bikini season. Who else doesn’t feel like their body is ready? How’s your fitness game? What are you doing about it? Before you know it, you will do some sort of traveling to a warm destination, attending an event outdoors and eating the likes of funnel cakes at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk or enjoying a glass of champagne in hand watching the sunset. What is your motivation?

TRAVEL

I have just returned from the warmest days I have ever spent in Seattle, Washington. The sun was shining and tank tops bared brown shoulders. Up ahead will be Memorial Day weekend in Santa Cruz cat and house sitting, ‘research’ in Truckee and Lake Tahoe and again in Cabo San Lucas. Then Las Vegas. Short sleeves, short shorts and bikinis are required.

Photo by ACT Language Schools

Where are you headed this summer?
And what are you packing?

EVENT PLANNING

Summer weddings are very popular. Last year, Susie and Frankie, tied the knot at the Stable Cafe with an outdoor ceremony and reception in San Francisco. It turned out to be a gorgeous day. Should you wish to have your destination wedding in the city by the bay, consider September or even October when we have our Indian summer. It’s wonderful. That way, if you’re a bit behind in getting fit for the big day, you can add some time to go hard and diet. Napa is always a good idea. Or, consider Lodi for warmer temps.

Whitehall Lane Winery – St. Helena, CA

Michael David Winery – Lodi, CA

Stable Café, San Francisco, CA

What are your thoughts on a destination wedding?
Are they an inconvenience or an adventure?

FOOD

Summer brings so many food festivals and fairs. The San Francisco Bay Area county fairs will provide full turkey leg and deep fried just about everything. Breweries and wineries will be incredibly inviting to sit outside on their patio or beer garden in the warm, long offering of daylight. Clif Family Winery‘s Bruschetteria food truck offers amazing brussels sprouts if you can get them. Get their roasted chicken if you need your protein. Cleophus Quealy will have tator tots and participate in supporting a local nonprofit every Saturday. Drink for a good cause.

Snacks from the food truck at Cleophus Quealy in San Leandro, CA.
A blind pup available for adoption from Nobody’s Perfekt Dogs.
With Robert Irvine at the 2018 Hawai’i Food & Wine Festival on Maui
The apple, pesto and sausage pizza from Buffalo Bill’s Brewery – Hayward, CA

Which foodie events are you most looking forward to?
Is there a summer salad that’s your favorite?

MOTIVATION

Do you have a pair of jeans deep in your closet for when you do get back down to that size? I do. My motivation to keep at trying to be fit is that jiggle I feel when I run. That was never there before and now it won’t go away! Frustrating, isn’t it? Well, as I said, summer is here and I better face the music: I can’t eat like I used to and not gain a pound. Some people are blessed with that metabolism forever. So here I am, writing this weekly post while on the stationary bike. I have managed to not gain any weight on my last two cruises but I am still at a body fat percentage not to my liking. Thank goodness for great friends. My dear friend and I are back to exchanging post work out photos no matter how ugly. And it’s nice to have someone to work out with in our travels. Get yourself a Nikki B.! Motivation won’t be lacking.

Working out at the Hotel Max in Seattle, Washington – Cinco De Mayo Weekend 2019

Stretching during April’s trail walk (not really a hike) in Santa Cruz, CA with my roommate

With Nelly before my first half marathon ever at Walt Disney World in Florida – January 2019

What are your summer body goals?
What friends help you out on this endeavor? How?

The Inn at Pasatiempo

Off of Highway 17 just before reaching the beach town of Santa Cruz, consider staying at newly renovated The Inn at Pasatiempo. Play golf nearby, finish up at the Back Nine Grill & Bar Restaurant and stay the night in a hotel room with a king size bed. For special events, they have outdoor event space for weddings and indoor reception areas with a patio.

Being from the Bay Area, I toured four venues in December 2017 as an Event Planner and Travel Agent. Location is very important. Santa Cruz is not San Francisco but couples can still have a destination wedding near the coast for a reasonable price. Every time the Sales Rep told me if there was a site fee and/or food and beverage minimum, I was shocked at how affordable it was. Do consider Santa Cruz county for your special event.

SPECIAL OFFER

The Inn at Pasatiempo is currently offering $500 off their $1,500 site fee for 2019 weddings. Let’s plan your special event!

HOTEL

During my tour in December, I was able to see a suite and standard room. They have a few buildings, a pool area and as already mentioned a restaurant and event space. Their rooms are spacious. After a wedding I worked on an April evening, I stayed in a standard room with king-sized bed. The bed was a bit stiff, the room was clean with high ceilings and exposed wooden beams. The bathroom fan was quite loud and the shower pressure strong. Parking was easy and there was one right in front. When reviewing photos and reviews on Yelp, be sure to take a look as to when it was posted. There are a lot of terrible photos of the property. Remember, they have just renovated and it’s worth it to give them a shot. Let me help you book your room. Room prices vary but for Memorial Day Weekend, a standard room is $186.00 per night or $325.00 for the suite. Travel Agents may have access to cheaper rates.

A nice touch. Thank you, Joanna.

Be sure to see my other posts on what to do in Santa Cruz, California. More to come!
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

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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.

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