Family Time in South Lake Tahoe

We’re booked!

Santana Row, San Jose, California

Two years ago, my family was ready for a beachy area and a cabin for the family reunion. I scoped out accommodations to rent and a place on the water for a fun day together in the sun with BBQing, games and of course, a few drinks. Then, fires swep through Northern California and the family decided to cancel the reunion in case of fires spreading to Truckee, California. The air quality was been so bad. Unfortunately, the cancellation only gave us 50% of the payment returned. We are now keeping our fingers crossed we are in the clear this year.

Carksbad, California
Discovery Bay, California

I have been planning our family reunions every other year since 2004, rotating locations to spread out the travel inconvenience between the family. It started in Pacheco, California, just up the street from my house, then to Monterey and then Southern California. My generation of cousins remember the aunts, our mothers, pulling us all together when we were kids at our Lola’s house (grandmother in Tagalog.) Now that time has passed since the family got together as a group in some time, I decided to start it. It is nice not having to wait for a wedding or sadly, a funeral, to get together. It is on the same weekend every other year to plan accordingly. The proposal for a reunion in the Philippines didn’t get the reaction I wanted. Maybe another year!

Vacaville, California

Good times. We are looking forward to more!

Where would you like your family reunion to be?

Joe Nichols Live!

The San Francisco Bay Area is full of music venues. In the East Bay, we have The Concord Pavillion where I have seen B. B. King and of course the Los Lonely Boys. We have the Fox Theater in Oakland where I have seen my favorite female artist, Christina Aguilera. Just two minutes south of Hayward, where I reside, there is The Saddle Rack in Fremont. There, this country music-loving One Busy Bee saw Joe Nichols.

Thanks to my roommate for the invitation to see this good looking country singer. Refreshing my memory with his songs via Amazon Prime Music while I replaced my garbage disposal, I realized I didn’t know that many of his songs! Nonetheless, music in general is great and has health benefits.

The doors were scheduled to open at 7 PM. We headed south thirty minutes and found parking immediately. We waited in line to go thru security and to get a close seat. We found seats three tables back. Kim, my roommate, said this is the first time she has been to a concert there that had tables at all on the dance floor. Waiting for the opening act, I ordered food at the snack bar. With a Yelp check-in, you can get a free appetizer from a select menu they provide you at the menu. I went with the Super Nachos for $9 and the Parmesan tator tots, plus an Angry Orchard cider for me and a Blue Moon for Kim.

The Canadian opening act performed and it was time for Joe Nichols. He looked like country’s Heath Ledger with his long hair. He played my favorite, Size Matters. Plus Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off and here’s I’ll Wait For You.

It is always a silly night with Kim. Our selfie with Joe near the stage didn’t work out but that face!

I unfortunately missed out the Meet & Greet. Joe was offering M&G sessions to anyone that purchased any of his merchandise. Next time!

Related posts:
The Saddle Rack – Fremont, California

Rock Wall’s Urban Paradise Event – 12/15/19

Rock Wall Wine Company is considered an urban winery located on Alameda island in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. Operated by Winemaker, Shauna Rosenblum, this young lady has done well with herself. As the daughter of Kent Rosenblum, a man who helped put California Zinfandel on the map, Shauna’s senses developed naturally and now shares her own creations throughout the nation. Rock Wall took us to the islands at the Urban Paradise event.

When you drive thru the tunnel or over a bridge to get to Alameda island, you’re not quite there yet. Reach the old naval base and you can imagine the activity the area had back in the day. Hangers are now Faction Brewing Company, St. George Spirits, a gym and of course Rock Wall Wine Company. The beautiful skyline of the concrete jungle that is San Francisco shifts your vehicle to auto-pilot passed the main entrance to the tasting room and as far as you can get to the edge of the lot. Yes, this will be your view from the main tasting room. I have spent many days here with friends enjoying Shauna’s wines outside on the deck or playing bocce ball.

Back to this particular event, the VIP hour-long preview for media, members and investors was held in a smaller tasting room in the hanger. The room displayed photos of Kurt Rosenblum, a bar lined with the many wine offerings, a cheese and charcuterie platter, tables and chairs, a lounge area near the fireplace and a Christmas tree. There, Chelsea, the Director of PR, greeted my guest and I.

Wristbands were applied and an invitation to try the new releases was appreciated. The staff wore all black and warm smiles. We started with the blanc de blanc sparkling. It was the perfect wine to start the event with. The aromatics were sweet and tastes of stonefruit.

Moving onto the Fiano, a white, Italian grape I cannot recall enjoying in some time. Chelsea, someone who enjoys to cook, says she would pair this with a fatty fish. The Nebbiolo, another Italian grape native to the Piedmont area, was another varietal I do not see too often on restaurant wine menus. I thought it was light with a tart finish, a perfect holiday party wine. Chelsea says it was low-alcohol, subtle and she would pair it with pasta or pizza.

Though the VIP time was for an hour, the 45 minutes I had to enjoy was definitely not long enough to try the Romancer, Cab Franc and several Zins that were on the counter. Oh, the joys of wine tasting and talking about the experience and where each wine takes you. You lose track of time. After a brief stay in the lounge area, we made our way to the main event.

Instagram Story time

Down the hall and through double doors, you walk into a large, chilled room with wine barrels stocked high and lined along the perimeter. Glasses with Rock Wall logos are up for grabs, tables of wine and catered offerings by Elisa’s Catering, Sonoma Creamery and more were also available. Music by Ukulenny filled the room and colorful room centerpieces and string decorations hung from the ceiling.

The cheese spread was quite impressive. Elisa’s Catering stole the show with their delicious crab cakes, fried chicken and waffles, meatballs and ahi poke cones.

Be sure to follow Rock Wall on social media and sign up for their newsletter to attend one of these events in the future. You won’t regret it!

Related articles:
Learn the Story Behind Alamada’s Urban Winemaking Spot, Rock Wall Wine Company – KGO 7, 5/11/19
Shauna Rosenblum Puts Fun into Wine at Rock Wall – Berkeleyside Nosh, 5/4/19

Contact me to attend and report on your next event. Rock Wall also has done private events here as weddings. Contact me to be your Wedding Planner/Event Planner.

Holiday Party in San Francisco

San Francisco is a top destination. Top your stay with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge from your room at the Argonaut Hotel after a holiday party at Fisherman’s Wharf and you wonder if it could get any better than that.

I have had the honor of being my best friend’s date for her company holiday party the last three years. This year, it took place at event space at Williams Sonoma near Ghiradelli Square. The room was pretty plain, not something you would expect from a company that sells housewares and home furnishings. But it was fun with a bar, large dance floor, photo booth but only two restrooms. If the party wasn’t at night, the view of the aquatic park would be nice for daytime events.

Can I just live here, pleeeeaaaassseeee?” -my tweet this morning.

The hotel we stayed at was definitely the highlight of the stay. I was a Concierge at The Argonaut Hotel for a year and I do miss it. I interviewed at the location with a third-party and I was hoping to have my ‘home’ concierge desk at The Argonaut. I got my wish. I made friends with the staff and it was so great to see many of them again. The decor is gorgeous with a blue nautical theme, exposed wooden beams and original brick. It was the cannery back in the day. My concierge desk was always right by the big, beautiful silver Christmas tree. I loved it.

The rooms are spacious and the beds are comfortable. If you can get a room with a view, do it! I would be happy to help. I can also assist you with activities to do in the city and I always loved booking dinner reservations.

Until next year’s holiday party…

Related posts:
A Texan Elopement in San Francisco
Filled on Fillmore
Twists at the Wharf

Norwegian Live Training

Norwegian Cruise Line hosted a series of speedway events at K1 Speed Track in many different cities. I was lucky to have been invited and participated in the one at the Dublin, California location. Norwegian‘s three new ships have outdoor, multi-level race tracks. Imagine racing in the middle of the sea!

Dining area. Event space.

The evening started out with checking in and getting in line to race. The last time I was on a course like this was in Livermore, California may eight years ago and they used gas. I felt very sick and I had to have my boyfriend at the time pull over while on the way home. I needed fresh air. At this event, the carts are battery operated.

Participants were able to race more than once but the buffet of pizza, sliders, chicken tenders and salad were offered. I had a good time racing and I came in third in my group and was the fastest female. Being a race car driver would be a fun job, on top of being a Travel Agent.

During the presentation, they showed us the new features of the new cruise ships and how to attract different demographics.

Norwegian Joy has been their prime marketing focus. It has a wrap around lounge which would be nice for those in Alaska wanting to stay warm. There are three main dining room and has elevated menus as they have merged with Oceania and Regent.

Activities available will be the race track for a minimal charge, say around $15. There is a height requirement to ride. There is lazer tag and the Galaxy Pavillion where you can create and virtually ride the roller coaster you created.

Millennials like to stay connected. Free wifi minutes is an offer to choose from when you book during certain promotions. This group care about the environment, culture and local experiences. Studies show (How Travel Agencies Avoided Extinction and Became a Luxury Service – Vox 9/21/18) millennials also trust the experts. Call me!

Sixty-two percent of active families are said to choose their vacation based on the ship. They want the bells and whistles the ship offers. Also, cruise ships are best for vacations with multi-generation family travelers. There is something for every body, children can be save in one place and everyone comes together for dinner every night. Babyboomers are active explorers. They prefer luxury and pampering.

One thing that resonates with this Hawaii Certified Travel Agent is that they mentioned the Pride of America cruise ship that tours the Hawaiian islands. It has been voited the best itinerary for 13 years and you can add on overnighters in Maui and Kaua’i to give you more time. Add on extra days before as well. This will give you time to visit the island of Lanai as well, something I have been personally wanting to do.

If your time is flexible, consider making it more of a package deal and add air to your reservation. Flights may be booked 6 months out, they will be direct and not too much of an inconvenience. Costs will most likely vary between $99 – $299 depending on your departure and destination. Unfortunately, no business class is available and your preferred airline is not guaranteed. However, with booking your flight thru the cruise line, you will be guaranteed to make your cruise ship, either at the original departure or at another port, depending on circumstances.

For you solo travelers, Norwegian also has studios. No more double occupancy requirements. The cost is slightly higher than one person but at least it’s available.

Offers galore! Every cruise line has a special offer to book. Norwegian has a Free at Sea. A reservation of a Studio or Inside stateroom allows one free offer such as Free Unlimited Beverages, Free Shore Excursion Credits, Free Speciality Dining, Free WiFi and on some sailings, friends and family sale free.

For fun, the marketing materials included these facts on Alaska. Consider Alaska to be your next cruise!

Denali is the highest peak in North America, towering at 20,320 feet.
The weight of one humpback whale is equal to the weight of 8 African elephants.
5% of Alaska (29,000 square miles) is covered by glaciers.
As part of the biodiversity program, Norwegian is proud to partner with the Alaska Raport Center in Sitka, Alaska.

In response to how Norwegian is different and their commitment to the environment, see a list HERE of how they are making a difference.

LIKE my Facebook page.

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 – 1-22-19

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr. 

Every time you turn on the news, do you feel it’s often depressing by the terrible things that people do? Or even reading your social media feed, why do the good people you call friends fall victim to unexplainable acts? Does it make you angry? Sad? Motivated?

Our current President wants to exclude and divide, while I have been raised to believe that America loves and accepts all. My parents are immigrants, as majority of us are or are descendants of one. Had they not immigrated and taken advantage of the land of opportunity, I wouldn’t be writing with the same perspective today. With yesterday being Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday and Oakland-native Kamala Harris announcing her running for President in 2020, it is time to fight back and make changes with love.

Heading quickly into the month of love and Valentine’s Day cards and candy already stocked on shelves at your local supermarket, here are some things that have embraced change that people love.

Share the Love – Stella & Dot
TRAVEL

Sadly, I have a friend and fellow blogger that I have not yet met IRL (in real life) that was scared when President Trump was elected. He lives in the South and it seemed the white supremacists came out full force. Threatening and rallying pamphlets and flyers were distributed and I feared for him. You must have seen the crazy, multiple videos on social media of open acts of racism recorded in public places! How about the recording of a mother not wanting her child to play with another kid at the public park because of the color of her skin. I have seen many videos of verbal altercations between shoppers at a grocery store and orders to ‘go back to their country.’ I recall one even taken place in Daly City, the city where this 100% Filipina was born. That’s US territory, FYI. This Pinay visited the South last summer and I was pleased.

Not to say there isn’t still work to do, a lot has changed since the days of slavery. It made me feel extremely uncomfortable to walk the grounds and see the slave quarters were, then take a tour of the grand Boone Hall Plantation. I was with my 12-year-old nephew and he is half Filipino and half white. Though a sad place to be and he is now immersed in the South as a resident of North Carolina, I hope he can see that times have changed for the better and he supports further progress. We also toured Charleston, South Carolina and had a spontaneous trip to Savannah, Georgia. Besides good food, that Southern Hospitality is very real. For an area and people with so many scars, it’s astounding at the level of warmth and welcome we received. I am a big fan. We didn’t get to visit Atlanta but after all, tomorrow is another day.

Do you travel to places specifically for its historical significance?
Did you have a physical or emotional reaction when you did? 
If so, what was that like?

CONCIERGE

What should we do? Where should we go?” This was a constant question from hotel guests at the Argonaut Hotel in San Francisco to me as a Concierge. My response was a rapid fire of questions to help me narrow down an endless number of options. I would sometimes go into describing the different neighborhoods and what to expect. Rebuilding after the 1906 earthquake and again from the 1989 earthquake, the city has gone thru some changes. Long before the tech companies built bullet-shaped (or however you interpret it) buildings downtown, the Summer of Love in 1967 brought young folks from all over the world. I would always suggest the SF Love Tours for an intimate city tour in a VW Love Bus. It’s a groovy experience. I would definitely mention to guests of the Haight & Ashbury. Some hippies had political agendas and were against the Vietnam War, some hippies came for the music and art and/or both. But it was about love. That love was brought back to their cities, states, countries and invoked change. San Francisco and the Bay Area is definitely a city where change can start. Thank you Oakland’s own, Kamala Harris.

What city have you been to that embraces its history but was nothing like you imagined before arriving?
What kind of cultures or traditions have you brought back home with you?

EVENT PLANNER

There is nothing like same-sex marriage that goes hand-in-hand with change and love. Am I right? Or am I right? As a Wedding Planner, and one that has yet to work with an LGBTQ couple, I am in love with the amount of fierce support and persistence for it to be legal. Permanen
tly. Having a total fear of commitment, it was so hot and cold for a minute but thankfully, California now offers same-sex marriages since June 28, 2013.

Were you always pro same-sex marriage?
If not, what made you change your mind?

FOOD

“You have a good appetite!” says my Papa Bear on my most recent visit to Maui for the Hawai’i Food and Wine Festival. I was trying not to take that as “Oh, Sweetheart, you’re getting fat.” My Lola on the other hand would say it without hesitation and a smile. What can I say? I love to eat. And I love to eat well. But I also need to change my eating habits if I am going to see major changes during this bodybuilding.com #BBComChallengeSeries fitness challenge. I am on my 9th month of doing #MeatlessMondays and I even tried going vegan two days a week for two months. I decided to stop the vegan efforts as I was going thru the sickness of my Bevo, my Boston Terrier. He actually ended up passing away the following day and I wouldn’t have been able to go thru the stress of thinking about what I can and cannot consume (if anything) as I was just trying to keep it together emotionally. You can change what you put in your body for the love of your body, then it’s crazy how the love and loss for your long-time companion and heartbreak can make you avoid food entirely. Just remember to love what you do, know that change is inevitable and possible and know that beignet isn’t going to eat itself. Plus, it’s not as tasty the next day. Seize the beignet!

Parish Café, Healdsburg, California

The Blue Mermaid, San Francisco, California
Greens Restaurant, San Francisco, California

What diet changes have you made this new year to help love yourself more?
Been to Cafe du Monde in New Orleans?
Did you go twice in one trip? Guilty.

MOTIVATION

I’m still thinking about those beignets. Aren’t you? I am also still thinking about how much I am going to love the list of accomplishments from 2019. I have my list of goals for 2019 published, I am back to hitting the gym or being active at least six days a week post-half marathon, I have a plan to eat better (less the beignets), I have revived my Stella & Dot business and am working with my coach and I have to do my part to get some changes made in next election. Along the way, I am hoping to make this motivation contagious. It does make me even more motivated when friends tell me that I have inspired them. Thank you, Girls!

Inspired? Looking to meet other like-minded women? I am picking up my Women Wednesday events but it has to be in the Palo Alto area as my day job is now located there. Join us on Wednesday, January 31st at 7:30 PM at NOLA Restaurant. Contact me if you’d like to join! Limited seating available. Not hosted.

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Twitter – @onebusybeeent – @bappletree – @werehungry2

Instagram – @onebusybeeent – @bappletree – @werehungrytoo – @bevotheboston

Gabe & Maria – Thomas Fogarty Winery

The last wedding of the year for this Event Planner and Coordinator is complete. I am so happy for Gabe and Maria. This lovely couple tied the knot at the gorgeous Thomas Fogarty Winery in Woodside, California on December 1, 2018.

Gabe and Maria did a beautiful job of doing majority of the work of planning this memorable event. They were very organized and stress-free and made the wedding day one of the easiest I have ever worked. I reviewed their work, brought up tasks and ideas for them to think about, put some ideas together for their honeymoon and recommended periodic status meetings to help with anything they may need. Otherwise, they did a really fantastic job. I didn’t have a lot of pre-wedding work to do and my car wasn’t filled with wedding items to where I couldn’t see out of the windows. Yes, this happens.

The wedding rehearsal took place at 10 AM the day before the wedding on a windy and chilly morning. The initial thought of how the wedding party would perform the procession was rethought during this time as it didn’t flow as I liked and there was a chance of rain the next day. We moved the starting point to inside the reception area, timed where they would start, stop for a photo, start, where to stand, how to angle themselves, how to hold their flowers and of course smile. “Don’t be that Bridesmaid/Groomsmen.” We ran thru it twice, made modifications as necessary and timed it just right. I figured out where I was going to stand, how I was going to queue the parties involved and more. We nailed it.

I relaxed the rest of the day as I knew it was going to be 12-hour day on my feet the next day. However, I was sure to pack my bag of usual goodies and items in case of an emergency – scissors, tape, markers/Sharpies, pen, lighters, lady toiletries, etc. I was out of my mini first aid kit and a mini sewing kit I had thanks to the JW Marriott in Los Cabos. Funny how that I needed both of these things on Wedding Day and came up short. I know better than that! I need to be better prepared. One thing the Bride and Groom did need were easels for their signage. I had three wooden ones and I laid down the backseat seats and loaded them in. 
As it was a rainy day and about an hour drive to the venue, I took off a little early just in case. I had time to spare so I took some time to review my timeline and other documents. Then it was showtime.

The photographers, McElvy Photography, beat me to the venue and Mike McElvy was up on a ladder adding lights to make sure the ceremony photos came out with the brighter background. I was super impressed with this husband and wife photography couple. Jack, I mean Mike, (inside joke) and Jill even came to the wedding rehearsal. They were so easy and a pleasure to work with. I hope to work with them again.

Kaitlin of Thomas Fogarty Winery introduced herself and looked incredibly relaxed. I was about to find out that it was because of their list of preferred vendors. She knew that the selected group for the day knew exactly what they had to do and knew the venue inside and out. Kaitlin was available for any of my questions and answered via text and/or came to find me with assistance. In the evening, Sherie took over and she also had the same demeanor. Over a break, (yes, I got not just one, but several!), she, Tony, the DJ and I had some time to chat. Some laughs were made but there was another reason why this venue was so great. Amazing people!
Toast Catering was also there unloading and prepping. I met their lady in charge, Mam (unsure of the spelling), and she was all over it. The schedule was taped to the fridge and things were being moved and progress was being made. I was introduced to Laura and Walter. They answered all of my questions, fulfilled my request for moving workers to the reception area to put down tables per the florist’s request and moving the heaters into place. I then later saw them running the show during the reception and killin’ it, plus making sure my Bride and Groom’s sweetheart table was perfect, they had their entrees along with their salads as requested and more. They were awesome. I even got to sit down at a table and enjoy the meal. The filet mignon and sauce was fantastic! The to go plate I enjoyed the next day of their salmon, massive stuffed chicken, veggies and rice was filling and flavorful, even as leftovers. That means something! I was super impressed by the quality, reliability and professionalism of the service staff. We had one boo boo where a tray of glasses hit the floor but thankfully nobody got hurt. Toast was also in charge of rentals. One
less additional vendor to worry about!

Tony V. with Elite Entertainment was great. He knew exactly what to do, hooked up the Officiant, also named Tony, with a mic for the ceremony even though he wasn’t aware of the need. He had a great personality and did great on the mic. He even spoke Spanish and kept the party going. He had Spanish versions of songs I didn’t know was around! I now know and want them as part of my music library. Por supuesto!
The Officiant Tony was also on top of it. He has experience and was a friend of Maria and Gabe’s. It was Uncle Tony to be exact. He was good, voice great ideas and took the lead well during the ceremony. May I also add, he was stylish in his deep purple suit.

The florist was made up of family members and were friends of the family. The arch was constructed and flowers were attached. The bouquets and bouttainaires were pretty.

TIP: If you want to save money on flowers. Fake ones are OK. Especially when they’ll only be seen for 20 minutes.

Corinthian Ground Transportation shuttled guests from the Courtyard Marriott Palo Alto to the venue. For an almost 200-person wedding, there wouldn’t be enough parking for each guest. Two trips were made and they were on time, reliable and friendly. 

The three layer cake was delivered and set in place. Only one layer was an actual cake.

TIP: The Bride and Groom were smart and saved money by ordering two sheet cakes to serve to guests. 

Walter of Toast called it a “cake weave.” I’m sure the couple’s pocketbook was A-OK with saving some money.

I love my job, my business. It is experiences like this and working with great vendors that make my job so easy. It was a pleasure to be a part of this special day.

Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart, you totally rocked. Everything was flawless thanks to you. It was a long day and yet you always had a smile on your face. Everyone loved everything and they were very impressed with how it all turned out” – Maria, the Bride.
Just want to say Thank you for everything!!! Idk what we would’ve done without you!! Sorry for the late text. But you’re the bomb!!!” – Gabe, the Groom.
Maria also says “I’ve never seen you in the zone like that before. You rocked it! Thank you!” I met Maria and most of those in the below photo maybe ten years ago through our love of music, specifically for the band Los Lonely Boys. Now she’s married! And the band Liked my Tweet to them that it was them that brought us together. I am thankful for their trust in handling their special day, but mostly for their friendship.

So happy for you, Maria and Gabe!

Wait, I’m not putting on the Bride’s shoes or bustling her dress? That’s what that silly face is for.

Money dance! Paying to dance with both of them. 
Had to do an example for the guests. Happy to be the first one to sign.

Are we in Hawai’i?

The Charles Dickens Christmas Fair – San Francisco, California

“We’re watching Mickey’s A Christmas Carol,” says a friend while being a good daddy. This Disney Certified Travel Agent hasn’t seen it, but I have been to the Charles Dickens Christmas Fair. Tickets were given to myself and colleagues thanks to a vendor of ours. The tickets were only good for the first two weekends so I made a point to make it happen during the long holiday weekend.


Do you like fish and chips?” This was the response to asking the gent that took my $12 cash to park my car at the Cow Palace of what to expect at this fair. Beyond stuffed from eating Filipino food nearby at Goldilocks, I rubbed my tummy knowing there wasn’t any room. Hey, men like women with a healthy appetite. Right? I didn’t think this would be the reason to come to this fair but he did add that if I did want to experience their fish and chips, I should go early. This is because as the day goes on, the pieces get smaller and smaller.  We did see a mom carry a tray full and they didn’t look good. 

Thinking we were early, one parking lot was already full and there were folks directing us to park as if were planes at the airport. Folks in the dressed to the nines in period costumes, top hats, feathers in their bonnets, big cloaks and cinched waists. The closest I could get to dressing up was wearing my long black, floor-length DKNY coat and to the knee Cole Haan black boots. 

Walking across the pedestrian bridge, we thought the entrance would be right under the words that said “COW PALACE.” Nope. Before moving on, we posed for a picture with the name behind us. “Say ‘Mooooo.” Kim took direction well and I should have kept the photo. I laughed all the way to the entrance.

To the right, along that building, down the ramp and to the left was the entrance. Past the ticket booth, I noticed these tickets were $30 per adult. Was it going to be worth it? Obviously this fair happens every year and there were already tons of folks there. We shall see.


Our tickets were scanned and were handed an old newspaper of events. With small print! Oh, goodness. This seems a bit intense. In the middle of the paper was a map. It was massive with shows, stores, places to eat and drink! Can you guess where our first stop was? Yes, the bar.

In the line, we observed the bartenders in their costumes and the way they communicated. They had English accents, were polite and incredibly expressive. It was going to be fun talking to all the workers here. You can’t help but smile. Given that it was a Saturday morning, we were thinking a mimosa. But the pour was the same amount of Mumm as a shot in a cocktail then filled with orange juice out of a gun. We decided to go with the red wine once I knew the white wine was a Chardonnay. I couldn’t imagine the Chard they would serve would be anything I liked. The bartender put two plastic cups in front of us and they were the size of shot glasses used for party. Can you imagine the look on my face? I paid the man $6 for our shots of red wine and tipped him $2. I know he has no control over the pour amounts. We definitely were not going to go for seconds.

The area was a bit dim, like you’re walking the streets of an English town filled the street lamps, trees and stores from hats and dresses, jewelry, places to eat and drink and even a kids’ area. One of the first stores we went into was inviting guests to send a telegram. You fill out a form, they write it out and they walk the streets looking for this person. If Kim, my roommate, wasn’t the only one with me, it’d be fun to have someone call their names throughout the venue. 


You could get old school black and white photos done, your profile drawn (including your dog’s via a picture) and even get your hair braided. It’d be great to have my hair braided but I’m sure it would cost $65. I sent a Snap (@bappletree) to my Hairstylist and friend, Justina. If she ever wanted to play with my hair, it’d be fun to get an intricate hairstyle done for the day.

For couples getting married and are Game of Thrones fans, this would be a great gift for them.

I personally enjoyed the hat stores/booths. I would have bought one but I didn’t need to spend $85.


We went down each row once and decided to head home. It was an experience and if I was in more of a festive mood I would probably enjoy it more. But go see it for yourself! The fair runs now thru December 23rd from 10 AM – 7  PM at the Cow Palace in San Francisco.


God bless, Everyone!

A Texan Elopement in San Francisco

This is why I need Bernadette!” exclaims my Bride to her new husband. He nodded as if saying “Whatever makes you happy, my Love.

What does a Day Of Wedding Coordinator do? Duties may or may not include, but not limited to: Button the dress, fluff the dress, straighten the veil, share your candy with the Bride, get just as excited when it’s time to get married (see SF Mayor Breed’s excitement too!) and much more, including try to stay out of the Photographer’s way. She also leaves them a nice note to welcome them to San Francisco.


I received a call at the Concierge desk I work at from an incoming hotel guest that were eloping from Texas. The Bride needed assistance finding someone to help on day of. “Well, I am one.” Next thing I knew, I was hired.

My Bride was on top of it! She was very organized and solely needed help finding cleaners to get her dress pressed after the plane ride, a vehicle to escort the Bride, Groom, Photographer and I around the city for photos, the ceremony and the dinner with cake and champagne. I also helped finalize the timeline and made sure her sister’s gift arrived on time and was placed at the best time and location as I saw fit. It was delivered to Epic Steakhouse with clear instructions on the boxes. I also aided with carrying whatever she needed, ran a quick errand for her and help flowers, helped her use the restroom, hold important paperwork, etc. 

I sent sneak peeks to someone special and he said I had a fun job. I do, indeed. 

Thank you to my Bride, Victoria, for trusting me with such an important day in her in life. Please contact me if you need assistance with your destination wedding. Willing to travel.

Happy Bride  = Happy Wedding Day for this Coordinator. I arrived to meet my Bride in great spirits and in even better hands with Felicia at Bun Bun Bridal on Grove Street. Felicia had my Bride’s hair styled and make up done. Felicia was friendly, sweet and personable. She gave me tips on how to put her veil in and ways to remove it. She also set her up with tools she would need for touch ups throughout the day and recommendations on products to remove the make up. I hope to work Felicia again!




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