In quarantine, my roommate and I couldn’t really celebrate our roommate anniversary. Last year, we celebrated it by going to Napa. We visit often and we quite a bit together. This year, we celebrated with the help of Destination Wedding Photographer, Vanja Melnik, from Serbia. You might remember her from the interview I posted about HERE. Vanja had some unique photos I haven’t seen before. This is my favorite shot from the day, and all in the comfort of our own home.
She had posted photos of Factime stills with her taking pictures of her camera in the upper right hand corner during the session. For our session, the connection was quite terrible so screen shots were taken. I had an idea of the set up and I really enjoy our balcony on a nice day. As sports fans, I wanted my roommate and I to dress up in our jerseys and have a casual day enjoying wine. Props would be all of our swag, glassware or cups and even flags. I think it turned out really well. She likes hockey, and the San Jose Sharks. I like football and the San Francisco 49ers.
We took shots in different areas of the house. Vanja directed us on how to look, where to stand, how to angle ourselves or the camera, etc. Encouraging words of what looked good also helped to relax. We were originally scheduled for 30 minutes but in my experience, when photographers are on a roll, they don’t mind the clock too much. Unless their Wedding Coordinator (ahem!) is looking for them to give them a quick reminder.
Eventually the shoot turned silly. It is expected when Kim and I get together. Good times, Kim.
And thank you, Vanja! I hope to one day work with you on a destination wedding, hopefully in Santorini, Greece! That would be a dream come true!
Well, I can’t really call this a weekly post if it’s not posted weekly, now can I? Well, in true One Busy Bee form, I have been crazy busy this year, complete with a near meltdown (pun was unintentional, for those who are in the know.) Therefore, I am presenting my first OBB Weekly post of 2020. Thank you for visiting!
The first month of the year started out in Paso Robles, California with wine tasting and checking out the new Springhill Inn & Suites. I stayed home last year for New Year’s Eve and I wanted to get out of town and fulfill my monthly goal of traveling once a month. December was full of not getting paid but still working and trying to save money. Thankfully, January will come to an end with a two-night stay at the gorgeous Ritz-Carlton Hotel at Half Moon Bay, California. This hotel is the whole reason why I want my Marriott points. I would like to move in and be able to hear the waves crashing as I fall asleep each night and awake to that same amazing sound with a smile on my face each morning. That’s the dream. Hopefully we get another great room.
I am looking for wedding clients this year! I have not aggressively been looking as my future is a bit uncertain as to what I am doing and where. I have committed to travel but I have not sought after event planning work. A meeting with a potential client did take place this month but I felt what was needed did not absolutely require my services or at my rate. If it is a good fit, I would convince my client I was needed.
During my Cugino’s birthday celebrations this month, I did come across the private dining space in San Mateo. At Porterhouse, they have multiple private dining areas. I had no idea. Not bad a of a space, eh?
WE’RE HUNGRY TOO
To add onto the section above, Porterhouse offers very large portions. I wasn’t very hungry at the time and was looking for a salad topped with some steak. This is what I had to get. The next day, the leftovers were still good. I just added McCormick’s Bourbon & Brown Sugar seasoning to it. Yummmm.
I had the pleasure of participating in San Francisco Restaurant Week. One, I met up with Nelly after a long day of moving out of a warehouse for work for a 9 pm five-course meal at Maruya. I initially cancelled until I actually got a hold of someone at the restaurant and they were going to charge me $65 per person if I cancelled my 5:30 pm reservation. They had an opening at 9 pm. I would rather literally eat $65 worth of food instead of throwing it away. So I finished the work, drove thru traffic to Oakland to meet Nelly, we hopped on Bart to the Mission neighborhood and enjoyed our delicious meal. It was well worth it to see my dear friend. I am so appreciative of those that understand we all go thru something. I am glad we were able to make this work and not waste money.
See another post for my first time to Spruce.
That mouth-watering menu I enjoyed this month is enough to keep me on this stationary bike as I draft this post. In terms of my fitness goal for the year, I have also been slacking. I ended last year with a four-mile run plus dancing the night away. I woke up the next morning sore, stretching and playing Christina Aguilera’s “Keep Singing My Song.” No one is going to bring me down.
Boy, was I wrong. I brought myself down by not putting up boundaries, giving too much of myself, my peace, my energy and my time. I had a pretty emotional week and a half and I had to reset. A weekend with my family helped but I needed more. I had to make the switch and I had control of that. I am better now but I am being more cautious and saying no to what doesn’t serve me.
I am hoping February will be a better month. I think it will start with the 49ers winning the Super Bowl! GO NINERS!
To those going thru hard times, acknowledge the problem, take your time to feel what you’re feeling and decide if you’re going to sit in it for a little bit longer or make a change. When you’re ready, take the step towards that change and keep going. Ask for help if you need it. When the ones you want most to help you do not come to your aid, there are other people that truly love you and will drop everything to be there for you. Don’t give up hope.
I am so thankful for those dear friends. You know who you are!
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.
By this time next week, I will be in Lindon, Utah with friends on my first cross-country road trip #OBBRoadtrip. I wish I could take my Bevo with me. He passed in December. 😦 I want to take a trip down memory lane with these friends on this week’s OBB Weekly. We have definitely traveled together, went to events and ate great food. I have the motivation to keep these friendships strong and hopefully have more opportunities to travel together.
The farthest I have been with friends I will be visiting was to Fiji with fellow Event Planner, Regina. We were the youngest of the group and we were roomies. We had a very packed week of visiting numerous hotel properties and resorts courtesy of Pleasant Holidays. Ask me to book you at: Hilton Fiji Beach Resort & Spa Radisson Blu Resort Denarau Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort Castaway Island Tropica Island Resort Likuliku Lagoon Resort Malolo Island Resort
The purpose of #OBBRoadTrip is to drive my friend’s car from the San Francisco Bay Area to Arlington, Virginia where he got a new job. I am so happy for him. It is something he has always wanted to do. The first time hanging out was for a friend’s wedding and he was a great date. We had too much fun. Perhaps it was the visit to the winery on our way to the ceremony.
The wedding was at a church and the reception was at a barn with dinner seating, the bar, fire pit with cigars and s’mores and corn hole outside, with dancing, photo booth and cake in the barn. It was a fun evening.
You can’t have a good time with friends and food and beverages not be involved. On one of our last evenings hanging out in the East Bay, J and I stopped off at Alameda Island Brewing Company for beer and a competitive game of Egyptian Rummy. Poor thing got his donker kicked.
In Fiji, Regina and I basically had every meal together. We were definitely spoiled and the food was incredibly fresh and plentiful. I commend Fiji for their friendliness, hospitality and fantastic food. Ohmigoodness. It was was fantastic. I cannot pick a favorite meal but you can’t go wrong with the lobster.
Brittany and I have been friends for 13 years. I remember passing her station at spot we used to work at together and just loved her laugh. We became fast friends and there are so many laughing fits and inside jokes. I was even lucky enough to be a bridesmaid; even though I couldn’t go in the temple as a non-Mormon. I was happy to support my dear friend. Here’s a photo I took of them come cake time!
Through this #OBBRoadTrip, I will be able to get to spend time with my friends, family and loved one and create new experience that will further my knowledge of my own country as a Travel Agent. I am so grateful for this opportunity and hope you follow along on this trip!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Greetings from the lounge chair from the lobby of the Courtyard Marriott in Dayton, Ohio. This past week has taken being One Busy Bee to a whole other level. Long days on-site is exactly what my employer is trying to avoid and it is failing miserably. I have had a couple of nights of having eight hours of sleep or more but so far it’s been non-stop. I’m not even the one that has it the worst. But costs to travel and there are always benefits once you’re conscious long enough to appreciate them. Check out what you can expect in the triangle of Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio.
AirBNB is definitely a good way to save money while traveling, especially for a group. Hotel costs can add up with taxes, resort fees, parking, etc. and are normally not equipped with microwaves should you dine out and cannot finish your meal. Our group got lucky with a great property on AirBNB in Petersburg, Kentucky. It was a block away from the river, had three bedrooms, two bathrooms, full kitchen, washer and dryer, wifi and AC. It was needed because it was humid. What a great property. I wish I took more photos.
A Dayton, Ohio AirBNB was a big dud. Going thru a part of town with boarded up windows on retail space, we parked in the driveway and walked up the steps with a very unstable railing to the front door. Upon entering, it smelled a bit funny. The padlocked closet next to the front door was the first of at least five doors locked. The refrigerator door had mold on the side and inside was a pizza box from a month ago. The ceiling was boarded up and stained with water damage, the dishes in the sink weren’t clean, open boxes of cereal bars were offered to us on the counter. The rooms were not what was pictured in the listing and the bathroom should not be used. Upon entering, the first tile slipped under my feet and only one of seven of the bulbs surrounding the mirror worked. How to turn off this one bulb was unknown to me. The switch could not be found. Thankfully AirBNB was very helpful and we were refunded our money. Good luck on your search.
Before this post was written, I had written two posts about food consumed in first couple of days on this trip. My first full meal was from Valle Escondido in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. One of my first meals in Dayton, Ohio was at El Toro on Miller Lane just down the street from our hotel. I had the mixed fajitas again and they didn’t disappoint. The meat was incredibly flavorful and again, it was incredibly filling.
On the slightly lighter side, check out Hairless Hare Brewery in Vandalia, Ohio, about a 12-minute drive from the hotel. I recommend getting the Pineapple Tang, a wheat beer, and the pretzels with beer cheese. The beer has an 5.3% ABV and tasty. I typically don’t like wheat beer so this one was special. The pretzels were soft and were $4 for three pieces. The cheese sauce was $1.50. Worth it. Friendly service is also nice.
So far, the only site I have come across that would be great for a private event would be Orchids at The Palm Court at the Hilton Netherland Plaza in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. The art deco design and Great Gatsby feel made it amazing. The lit bar, high ceilings, well-dressed service staff and elevated platform housing a piano was spectacular. Three spaces are available. Read more HERE. Don’t forget, I am an Event Planner & Coordinator. Willing to travel!
With the lack of time to work on my own business over the last week, when I had a moment to relax, what do you think I did? I sat there outside Hairless Hare Brewery, a Ciderboys Hard Cider in hand and thought about the goals I have. I haven’t made any progress besides get a few blog posts up and I need to make more progress. If I had my laptop with me, I would have gotten started on trying to get more clients. I thought about going to explore more of Dayton but there wasn’t much to do that I could do at that particular hour. I packed up, enjoyed the country music on the radio on my way back to the hotel, retrieved my laptop and set up shop in front of the TV on the comfy lounge chair in the lobby. I participated in the weekly #InspiretoWander Twitter chat and interacted more on other social media channels. In true One Busy Bee form, I worked as soon as I was done with work and couldn’t stop thinking about it. It must mean I want it to be successful and can’t stop thinking about it. Thank you to those for your support.
Summer is here! In the east bay of the San Francisco Bay Area, it’s already warm before you leave for your commute to work. Posts of families going on vacation, summer weddings, bar-b-ques and cocktails by the pool and efforts to get that summer body are aplenty. What does summer mean to you? Do you have traditions you do around this time of year? What do you look forward to?
What vacation plans do you have? Which credit cards do you have to help you travel?
It has been one year since Susie and Frankie got married at Stable Cafe in San Francisco, California. I am wishing my friend, Bride and Groom and their adorable daughter, Sophia, another amazing year together.
Have the gown but still need assistance with your wedding? LIKE my page here.
My condo complex doesn’t allow barbecue sets to be on our balconies so I don’t have a lot of experience grilling and will be without again this summer. The most memorable dining experience in regards to BBQ is International Smoke in San Francisco. It has been some time since I have been and will need to go back. I also have to try my friend’s BBQ. He does catering now. Follow my friend, Nelly! For now, I enjoy the grilled chicken on top of my salad at The Dormy House at TPC Stonebrae in Hayward.
How many scales have you gone thru? I am in complete denial of what my scale showed me on Sunday’s weigh-in. There was absolutely no way I gained more than I did in two weeks on my Princess Cruise to New Zealand and weigh more than I think I ever have. There is just no way. I just don’t look it or feel it. I’m giving my scale a pass and will revisit the issue next Sunday before a 10K race on Mare Island.
Ok, if that weight gain is legit, it should be a motivator and clearly I’m still at it. I’ll prove you wrong, Scale! As a matter of fact, I’m on the bike right now at the gym as I write this and will log another six miles walking around the restaurant for my second job. Because I’m One Busy Bee.
Follow on Instagram and view my stories of some gym sessions or doing what I can to work out at home on busy days. It counts.
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.
The Inn at Pasatiempo is currently offering $500 off their $1,500 site fee for 2019 weddings. Let’s plan your special event!
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.
Happy Valentine’s Day to you! May you spend today with loved ones.
A special Valentine’s Day for those in an amazing relationship with their partner such as my beautiful Brides and Grooms turned married couples. I hope we celebrate your anniversaries for many years to come.
While flowers and candy and cards are distributed, don’t forget to love yourself too. Past relationships have served their purpose and hopefully you have learned something from them. Continue to work on you, your happiness and well-being and you can give and love those special people in your life in an effortless way.
Now, how will you do that?
Personally, I love my life. I am not in a long-term relationship but I have and had a lot of love in my life and I know I am very lucky. It would be wonderful to have a best friend to love and spoil, come home to and join me in all my adventures as a One Busy Bee. If it’s meant to be, the universe will make this person be known and all will work out as it should be. For now, I’m doing me.
More travel and more yoga poses in fun places to come! I love that.
And take advantage of specials like this Alaska Airlines offer, good for today only! Let me know if I can help!
It’s a new year and a lot of changes have occurred. My draft for the OBB Weekly post for December 18th was made the day before my beloved dog, Bevo, passed away. This post in a step in moving on and forward as it crushed me. A part of me will always be missing and searching for his love, heavy breathing and snoring. I have modified that posting and adapted it here for the first OBB Weekly post of the new year. At the time, we were house and cat sitting in the beachy town of Santa Cruz for friends vacationing in Mexico. From their social media posts, they look like they’re having a blast. Bevo and I always enjoyed getting out of town. Learn what you can do in Santa Cruz County! Thanks to the VisitSantaCruz Twitter and Instagram accounts for love on my posts.
Not Santa Cruz but not too far off. Bevo’s last trip to the beach. His favorite.
I have been coming to Santa Cruz County for ages. My dear cousin swam for the Banana Slugs of UC Santa Cruz, friends and I have had beach days at Seabright and dinner dates on the pier took place with sightings of sea life below us. There is so much to do!
You can camp, hike, go to Roaring Camp for a private event and ride trains including meeting Thomas the Train. There are wineries, a downtown area where you can watch the Santa Cruz Warriors basketball team and visit Capitola where I send guests to see the beach house version of the colorful San Francisco Painted Ladies. Looking to learn how to surf? This is totally the spot.
What do you expect to do for a beach vacation?
View of the pier and the Beach Boardwalk from the Dream Inn.
Now, no longer working a desk at the Argonaut Hotel as of Sunday, January 6th, I can still provide the same products I did as if I did. Hotel guests from all over the world mostly want to visit wine country, Napa and Sonoma, when they come to California. We offer tours to Yosemite, Monterey and Carmel and Muir Woods. Sadly, Santa Cruz doesn’t get as much attention.
When guests want to do the coastal drive down to Los Angeles, I definitely recommend them stopping in Santa Cruz and visit the Boardwalk if they have children and Harbor Cafe to dine at a spot where locals go. Their huevos rancheros are delicious and they’re always busy and dog friendly. Get their peanut butter cookies for your pup.
I had the pleasure of touring the Dream Inn located right on the beach, has the tallest tower in Santa Cruz and is walking distance to the Boardwalk and the pier. Talk about convenience!
When you travel, do you take advantage of the Concierge services if they are available?
If you’re looking for a unique venue for a company dinner, intimate wedding and dinner reception, consider Shadow Brook Restaurant in Soquel, California. Way south of San Francisco’s cable cars, take the restaurant’s 6-person cable car down to the venue. You may take the stairs as well and enjoy the greenery and fountains along the way.
Shadow Brook has many different rooms with a cabin but greenhouse like feel. Get married under large skylights or near the Soquel Creek, have a company dinner in the cellars room or have a romantic table for two on a landing on a staircase with a view of their stone fireplace. They do not have room for a typical standing reception and dancing but a first dance and father/daughter dance has been done in the space near their proposed sweetheart table.
More write-ups on my Santa Cruz Co
unty venue tours are to come! Plus, they are much more affordable than San Francisco venues if you’re looking to save money. You can have a destination wedding without having to book a flight.
Have you been to a wedding in Santa Cruz county? If so, where?
If it’s not a funnel cake from the Beach Boardwalk, I seem to be consuming Mexican food. Upon arrival, I stopped at El Jardin and ordered their special of the day, a pulled pork tamale with rice and beans. What I really longed for was my favorite dish already mentioned, the Huevos Rancheros from Harbor Cafe. I called in an order and Bevo and I walked down to pick it up. It was just as tasty as I remembered it.
Not hankering for a deep fried Oreo or Twinkie? Other spots worth checking out is Oswald’s, my friend’s favorite spot. The Crow’s Nest for sunset views and a busy bar with occasional live music. Lago de Como for Italian, who has the best carbonara I’ve had outside of Italy since I was there in 2016. Find out what else I thought was delicious there by clicking the link. This list of 50 Foods to Try in Santa Cruz Before You Die by Spoon University is also a great resource. Sounds perfectly fattening.
Are you a funnel cake fan? If so, how do you like it?
Some days I don’t talk about my blog to anyone or on social media. Then I look at my stats and I have a good day. I would say I am putting quite the effort to add unique content and using my own photos given my One Busy Bee schedule. I have had some successes but would love to have the attention of other bloggers without paying for the attention. How do I do it? I have received some tips from successful bloggers and it takes a lot of time. Reading this article of 9 Proven Tips to Get More Social Media Followers is a good reminder (Search Engine Journal).
Almost a month ago, I invested some time in growing my Pinterest. I have 1,700 pins. Verbal Gold Blogger has 16,000 Pinterest followers. I have a sad 173. Verbal Gold Blogger pins graphics of her blog content. I don’t have a header on my blog posts. Should I? I should also update my Advertise page.
What tips do you have to increase your followers?
ALSO, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my late Lolo. I miss our silly times like this. But definitely miss and think about you every single day. With wearing your wedding ring every day since you left to doing my first half marathon on Saturday in your memory (and in honor of other strong people like you.) I hope you’re proud of me and I will try to remember just how blessed I am because of your love, faith and you praying for me multiple times per day. I love you.