A delightful guide to San Francisco

Like in D.C., my four days in San Francisco weren’t nearly enough to put together a definitive guide. Luckily, I have plenty of friends who live there, and even more who are just as obsessed with visiting as I am! I flew to the west coast with a lengthy list of recommendations, now featured below for your own use. If a place is listed in bold, it indicates I went there myself and can personally vouch!  Enjoy.

Avocado toast and latte at Reveille Coffee Co. in San Francisco

Avocado toast and latte at Reveille Coffee Co.

Coffee

Breakfast and Irish coffee at Buena Vista in San Francisco

Breakfast and Irish coffee at Buena Vista

Breakfast

Mac and Cheese Grilled Cheese sandwich at American Grilled Cheese Kitchen in San Francisco

Mac and Cheese Grilled Cheese sandwich at American Grilled Cheese Kitchen

Lunch

Dinner at House of Nanking in San Francisco

Dinner at House of Nanking

Dinner

Dessert

Cocktail at The View in San Franciso

Cocktail at The View

Drinks

Parks

At the Cable Car Museum in San Francisco

At the Cable Car Museum

Do/See

A week in Phoenix, Arizona

Every time I visit Phoenix I feel a bit like I’m being pulled in a hundred different directions: I want to catch up with friends and family, and meet everyone’s new dog/cat/baby (that was a new one this time around!) and visit all of my favorite haunts while checking out the hottest new places. Last week’s trip was complicated by the fact that I also wanted to hit up some spring-training baseball games – in fact, it’s the whole reason I planned my vacation for March.

Miraculously, though, I always seem to pack it all in and return to New York feeling refreshed and accomplished. Here’s a little peek at what I got up to during my homecoming.

Cheeseburger at In-N-Out, Phoenix, Arizona

As soon as I climbed into my brother’s car at the airport, I announced that I was hungry for an In-N-Out cheeseburger. Nevermind that it was 10 a.m., next thing I knew we were stuffing our faces, surrounded by baseball fans and hungover frat boys. Who knew greasy burgers were so popular on Sunday mornings?!

Texas Rangers at Surprise Stadium, Arizona

I made it to three baseball games during the week, thanks to my awesome parents who joined me on this trip and footed some little things like game tickets and a hotel room 😉 First up was my beloved Texas Rangers, who put on a hilarious comedy of errors in an entertaining, if disappointing, loss.

View of downtown Phoenix, Arizona

This was the view from our hotel room and encompassed everything I love about Phoenix and Arizona: The mountains, the palm trees, the blue skies.

Pug

I spent much of National Puppy Day curled up on my best friend’s couch with her pugs, Jak and Sheena. This one here is Jak – Sheena wasn’t quite as fond of the camera (or me, to be honest).

Mac and Cheese at Lux, downtown Phoenix, Arizona

Lux is my favorite coffee shop in Phoenix and has been for years – I used to spend entire days there, going from coffee to mac and cheese to cocktails, curling up with a book or working on school projects or catching up with friends. A return trip seemed necessary, and although they’ve raised their prices, Lux will always have a special spot in my heart.

Street art mural in downtown Phoenix, Arizona

My brother declared that I wouldn’t even recognize downtown Phoenix, the neighborhood I called home for six years. While that wasn’t quite the case, I was surprised at all of the street art and local restaurants that have popped up in the fifteen months since my last visit. Dare I say it feels like San Francisco?! Just a little warmer and a lot less crowded!

Sunset over downtown Phoenix, Arizona

Of course what I miss most about the Arizona landscape is the beautiful sunsets. They’re just not the same on the east coast! I actually got up in the middle of happy hour to take this picture – shoutout to patient and understanding friends!

All in all, a successful trip – my fifth of 2016! You can read about my past Phoenix adventures here.

Catching up via Instagram: 3/20/16

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, life has been a little crazy lately with travels – yet I still have so many nuggets of New York life to share with you all! We were blessed with a mild winter and an early spring – my favorite season! – so every second I spend in the city is filled with adventure. Here’s a peek!

New York City skyline

The day I left for San Francisco was, naturally, the first truly warm day in a while – as in, light jackets were all that the weather required. The streets were filled with happy New Yorkers frolicking in the sunshine. Although I was cooped up in the office and then headed straight to the airport, I was so glad to soak up the sun rays through our floor-to-ceiling windows.

New York City muralGreenwich Village, New York CityNew York City skyline from Union Square

Luckily, the good weather repeated itself the next weekend, and I continued snapping pictures of the blue skies every chance I got.

Burger and fries at Dutch Boy, Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Upon return from our trip to the Bahamas, my friends and I weren’t quite ready to say goodbye to each other or the long weekend – even though we’d just spent three full days in each others’ company. So when we got back to Brooklyn, our first stop was our local burger joint, Dutch Boy – I just can’t wait until it’s warm enough to drink at their attached outdoor bar, Franklin Park!

Springtime flowers in BrooklynNew York City skyline from Battery Park CityIce cream at Ice & Vice, Lower East Side, ManhattanSunset over Freedom Tower

As the warm weather continued, I celebrated in every way I could think of: I grabbed a bouquet of flowers for my windowsill. I spent my free days sitting by the water with a book and enjoyed the views. I grabbed ice cream with my friends (bonus: the ice cream had donut chunks in it, and the cone was funfetti. Ice & Vice is a MUST!) I saw the sun set on the way to dinner.

Postcard from Breadfruit Rum Bar, Phoenix, Arizona

I’m a huge fan of snail mail and especially postcards, so I was thrilled when my best friend Jordan sent this postcard from my favorite rum bar in Phoenix.

We are Crown Heights sidewalk art

Possibly the most exciting thing to happen lately: We renewed our lease! I’m so excited for a third year in Crown Heights. Also, as of November 2016, this will be the longest I’ve ever lived in one apartment, including my apartments in Phoenix. Who would have thought I’d be at my most stable in such a transient city?!

Chrysler Building on a cloudy daySunrise in Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Of course all good things must come to an end, and last week was rather cloudy and rainy – still, just another sign of spring. As much as I prefer sunny days, I can’t deny the beauty of New York in the gloom – especially at sunrise!

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Catching up via Instagram: 2/21/16

Believe it or not, between my little getaways to DC and Dallas and San Francisco (right now!), I’ve actually spent quite a bit of time hanging out in NYC this winter! The weather has been weird – record-breaking (and pipe-breaking) cold followed by 50-degree days the same week. It’s made getting dressed every day an adventure, to say the least. Alas! I’ve been having tons of fun this winter (weird, I know), and here’s a little peek!

Donuts from Holey Cream NYC

My roommate’s cousins recently stayed with us and treated us to donuts from Holey Cream in Hell’s Kitchen – delicious! This spot is actually known for donut ice cream sandwiches, which I’m dying to try out in the summer time!

Books and magazines

I’ve slowed down on my reading a bit, but there’s still so much I’m excited to dive into, and I just loaded up my Kindle with books I’m itching to read (including my own copy of All the Light We Cannot See – the physical copy from the library was just to cumbersome to carry around and I didn’t finish it before the due date!)

Cheesecake from Mayfield, Crown Heights, Brooklyn

In a desperate attempt to catch up in between our travels, my best friend and I grabbed dessert one night at our favorite neighborhood spot . To be honest, the cheesecake wasn’t the best, but Emmie loooooved her brownie ice cream sandwich!

Galentine's Day in Queens, NYC

Speaking of Emmie, by some miracle we were both free the night of our friend group’s annual Galentine’s Day celebration! We braved the cold, split a couple cabs and spent a night eating, playing games and taking pictures with our girlfriends.

The Painted Pot, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn

On Presidents Day, a few of us were going to visit the Transit Museum, but were disappointed to find out it’s closed on Mondays. Instead, we headed to the Painted Pot in Carroll Gardens to channel our inner children! I’m anxious to see how that bowl looks once it’s been finished at the studio…

Snow in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn

After painting, we walked to dinner – even though we could have taken the train one stop, we wanted to admire and take photos of the snow! (OK, OK. They wanted to. But I did get a good picture, so whatever.)

Beer in a stein from Strand Books, NYC

This week was National Wine Day, but I’m more of a beer girl myself. My friend Kelli got me this stein for Christmas from the Strand, a famous bookstore here in New York. I love how it combines my love of beer and books!

Golden Hour in Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn

Finally, we’ve been enjoying some spring-like weather, and I couldn’t help but admire the morning light on my walk to the train this week. Really I’m just excited that it’s light out when I’m commuting now!

What have you been up to lately? I’m in San Francisco until Thursday, then I’ll be back in NYC for some more adventures at home!

 

A(nother) weekend in Dallas

By now you all know the little secret I was keeping: I spent last weekend in Dallas, surprising my mom for her birthday! Ever since I left home at 18, I’ve dreamed of someday returning and surprising a family member. I kind of always figured it’d be my sister, but the stars aligned and I was able to go for my mom’s birthday weekend without taking any vacation time and using points to pay for the flight.  And so that’s how I ended up back Allen, Texas, for three days!

Tacos in Dallas at the Company Cafe

The first order of business, as always,  was a stop for tacos: specifically, breakfast tacos at Company Cafe. Tacos are my favorite food, and it’s a bit of a game for me to see how many I can eat in any given weekend down south.

The Perot Museum in Dallas

On Saturday we played tourists (I suppose I technically was a tourist!) and ventured to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science where I channeled my inner child. More to come on this soon!

Sunset in Allen, TexasDallas, Texas skyline

Though I spent my six years living in Dallas whining about how boring it was, the more time I spend away the more impressed I become each time I visit for a weekend. You can’t argue with that stunning suburban sunset in Allen or the Dallas skyline on a cloudy day.

Another successful weekend trip in the books.

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