Hi all! Back from a quick work trip/mini-vacation to San Francisco and Santa Cruz. I hate being back at work. Anyways, to follow-up with my last post before leaving for San Francisco the packing lists went very well! I had extra space in my suitcase to pack goodies that I picked up (two books and a scarf) and was still able to take it as a carry-on! PLUS I was able to lift it into the overhead compartment myself! I guess all those overhead presses at Body Pump do work after all!
After some quick exhibiting at a meeting in downtown SF, I was able to explore the city with my boyfriend and go to some cool restaurants. We met up with some of his friends and partied down at the Mission which can get a little crazy!
The next morning, we went down to Buena Vista brunch which apparently has to-die-for Irish Coffee that I missed out on. We sprinted over to Alcatraz to make our 12:00 p.m. tour and ventured around there for a few hours! Alcatraz is huge!
After that we walked down to Pier 39 to see the Sea Lions, get an amazing chowder in San Francisco sourdough bread bowl and I couldn’t resist an ice cream.
After that we went to visit my cousin in Santa Cruz which is about an hour or so south of SF. The drive down the coast was spectacular and I’m glad we drove it right before dusk because we got to see some amazing vistas! Santa Cruz was a serious juxtaposition to SF, so much nature, such a relaxed lifestyle, and everything closes at 10 p.m.! We were able to see some of the beaches, get some great seafood, go to a grove where Monarchs migrate to every year, and then wake up at 5:00 a.m. in the morning to drive back to SFO. I definitely wasn’t ready to leave.
Well, time to get back to reality but this by far has been the best California trip so far!
As I said in previous posts, I’m super lucky that my job is able to send me all around the States to travel. So yesterday I jetted out to San Francisco. I don’t think I’ve explained this before but I am somewhat of a meeting planner. I always struggle with the best way to describe what I do. I work for a medical non-profit on the education side, which means develop educational programs (aka medical conferences) that provide CME (continuing medical education) to doctors so they can continue to be certified! Yay, all good things! Anyways, if you ask me anything about room blocks, BEOs, or anything of the sort, I will point you in a different direction. I love my job and it’s perfect for me since I love planning, organizing months (if not years) ahead of time, and coordinating all the small things into one big perfect finalized meeting. Also a plus side is that I get to go to amazing hotels and cities fo’ free!
The top level of my two story suite at the JW Marriott in Scottsdale.
This will be the third year in a row that I’ve gone to San Francisco (twice for work, once for pleasure). If you have never been to San Francisco, do not be fooled by the weather. Many think that since it’s part of California, it will be nice, mild, warm, and sunny all the time. Think again! San Fran has wild winds from the bay that chill the temperature down about 10 degrees on any given day. Fortunately, this trip is work trip that will turn into a pleasure trip for the last three days. Unfortunately, when it’s a weird mix of different activities such as work, exploring the city, and doing touristy things I always struggle with planning on what to pack, without overpacking! I just found this amazing outfit planner on Team Wiking! Thank god for her printables. But I’ll type out my finalized my packing list: Clothing:
- 1 pair of jeans (that can be dressed up to go out on the town.)
- 2 work dresses.
- Black tights.
- Two short sleeve blouses and one long sleeve blouse (can be worn to dinners and work receptions.)
- Grey Cardigan.
- Long Sweater.
- Yoga Pants and workout top.
- Black Pumps.
- Brown Boots.
- Nude Flats.
- Running Shoes.
- Portable speaker because I can’t go anywhere without it.
- Work Laptop.
And finished product (without my toiletry bag) actually looks pretty empty! Yay for not overpacking! I’ll let you know how it goes once I get back home. Lastly, don’t forget how to pack without wrinkles (tips from a Cup of Jo)! Anyways, please let me know if you have any suggestions for things to do or great restaurants that I could go to! I’ll talk to you on the flip side.
I am very lucky to have an amazing job that send me all across the country! I’ve had a mix of personal travel and work travel but they’ve all been great experiences so far.
- Scottsdale, Ariz. One of the best work trips so far! All rooms in the hotel that we stayed in were suites! My suite was two stories,had a full kitchen, and two bathrooms. Unfortunately, I barely spent even 6 hours a day and at that I was only sleeping there. I’m also super thankful that we went in February. I was able to go out to the pool and play tennis in shorts and a tank top when I was there! I can’t imagine what it would be like in the summer. I get to go back there in 2016 and it can’t come soon enough. Fun fact: Arizona doesn’t have daylight saving time changes.
- New Orleans/Mardi Gras. Let me just say that Mardi Gras was fun, and I’ll probably not go again. It was just a giant cluster of ages 16-60 drinking tons of hurricanes. For some reason I was picturing something else, but I am not sure what I was imagining it to be. Unfortuantely, we missed a lot of the parades because we got snowed in and our flight was delayed one whole day 😦 We did however get to go on a swamp tour, meet up with friends in the city, explore lots in the French Quarter, and eat many beignets.
- Puerto Rico. One of our most active vacations so far. The boy and I went with another couple and were able to stay with his aunt. We visited the biolumenescent bay, the El Yunque, Old San Juan, and went to a ton of the beaches. Drank a ton, partied a lot, and had a blast. One thing though is the food! So rich and heavy! I loved it at first but by the third day I was dying for a salad and there were none in sight. How Puerto Rican women stay in shape is a mystery to me.
- Charleston. Just a quick trip for July 4th. Not many good photos, but we visited with friends, brought our pup, and watched fireworks.
- San Francisco. So I’ve been to San Francisco before actually but we mostly stayed out in Marin County for a family vacation. I however did a bunch of sight-seeing like going to see the Golden Gate Bridge, went to the Presidio, went to Fisherman’s Wharf and the Ghiradelli Square. This time I was able to go to the Off The Grid food truck festival (I love food trucks) which was awesome, we briefly visited the SF Jazz Center, went to Pier 39, went to this neat lounge that you had to slide down to get into, had some sketchy moments walking to reception parties, and I lived in the Moscone Center (with the rats…). This next time I go back I need to go to Alcatraz! It’s a beautiful city that has tons of places to explore.
- Chicago. I really wish I had more time to visit the city. I stayed around the Magnificent Mile. I was able to visit Millennium Park and see the bean, go to the Riverwalk, and go shopping, but there are so many museums and sightseeing opportunities that I missed out on. It’s a must to go back, and maybe sometime when it doesn’t snow or have 30 ft. waves.
- Miami (leaving this week!)
They’ve all been great and I always wish I have more time to explore the cities than I actually end up having, but now I have a great excuse to go back and spend more time there!
Next year’s trips, that I know of, include San Francisco (again) and Santa Cruz, New Orleans (again), Las Vegas, San Antonio, and San Diego. I’m definitely ready for 2015!