As you may have noticed, I love a good hike. Unfortunately my go-to spot, and everyone else’s is Runyon Canyon. Runyon Canyon however is closed to the public for a while. Instead we opted for something closer to the Griffith Observatory.
We’re back! Every once in awhile, we return for a visit to Houston to see my parents…this time was no different. One quick plane ride and we were back in the humid, sunny oasis that is Houston. While Houston is really a quick ride away, they are still in the suburbs so Ben has never actually gotten to see the downtown part of the city. This called for an adventure.
This was going to be a cute little post about one of Houston’s suburbs. I was going to go on a little shopping trip with my mom and my boyfriend and Dad joined in of course. About three minutes into our roughly half hour away destination my mom declared we should go to San Antonio instead, wouldn’t that be fun? Three hours later into our shopping excursion turned road trip, we arrived in San Antonio – famous for the Alamo, the Riverwalk and it’s Spanish missions. [Disclaimer: As I had no idea we were going on this trip I did not bring my DSLR, enjoy the iPhone photos]
The unfortunate thing about SF is that apparently there are only 2-3 options for flights on Delta to Detroit. We took a red eye and made it just in time for a blurry eyed morning arrival in Detroit. One of my college friends is getting married so it was a good excuse to get with the gang and explore all day Saturday ahead of the wedding later that evening. Below are some of the best spots we found and our recommendations if you’re in town for a short while.
Our friend Jodi (check her out at @glutenfreetraveler) was coming into town for the weekend and after a quick spin for pre-dinner snacks at the super market…I realized how hard something usually so easy for me suddenly was. Jodi, who is celiac, found out as an adult and says it’s pretty easy once you know what might have gluten in it or not. But from where I was standing, anything from sausages to sauces were a potential pitfall. So, inspired by her visit here are some of the best gluten-free places we included in our food tour. What would a tour of the city be without a few suggestions for some sight seeing outings as well! So….those are in there too! Disclaimer: As we were on the go most of this weekend and near water, it was an iPhoneography kindof adventure. Sorry, DSLR.
You almost pre-emptively create a memory as you drive into Big Sur. Rolling down the 101 passing by cliff side views with the waves crashing against the shore and finally winding down into a thick forest making you question what time of the day it really is. Big Sur reminds me smells like great big pine trees and late nights with friends. My only regret is that we didn’t bring marshmallows to roast for s’mores. We ate dinner at our inn after realizing of course we were in the woods and had no service. Fortunately we’d grabbed a bottle of wine from our Wandering Dog Wine Bar tasting the day before and played Flux (card game) for several hours until finally our sleepyiness kicked in and we retreated to our separate little cabin rooms stocked with books and thick down comforters.
Just past San Luis Obispo and down into Santa Ynez Valley lays the small town of Solvang. This little Danish haven is the destination number one in our weekend getaway. We hopped in a rental car Friday afternoon with our friends and fellow NYC ex pats Nina and Mike and made our way through the mad rush of weekenders racing the sun to reach their holiday destinations.
Having been living here for a little while we’re getting into a bit of a routine when venturing into wine country. I also am often reading Sunset Magazine and scouring for the next great treehouse or you know whatever. Anyways our go-to is usually to stop in Healdsburg and stay in Calistoga. For those of you less familiar with Calistoga, it is one of the last great untouched towns in wine country. Here you can take a mud bath, soak in a hot mineral pool or just stroll around a very cute downtown area.
You are bored, you don’t know what to do today. Maybe you’ve traveled to San Francisco on business 5-7 times and while you like the Ferry Building and have tried out that new quinoa place, you’d like to explore a new neighborhood without feeling like you’re alone as others around you clink their freshly squeezed juice glasses cheersing.
Well, you’re in luck, Hayes Valley might be the place for you. For a quick little hour detour you can grab a latte, stop for a snack and get a little shopping in before heading off to your next adventure. For context, Hayes Valley is an area in SF but specifically between about and street on Hayes you will find the main strip of boutique businesses. Citizens of the area are known to especially dislike the idea of any corporations moving in and putting another outpost in their franchise here so you’re guaranteed some very unique, more special experiences. Below is a quick picture tour and some highlighted must-sees with addresses in case you’re looking for more specific info. By info I mean just snacks while you’re on your little jaunt. Bonus! Everything around here is about a five minutes walk from each other.
Here are some of my top picks….
It was a rainy Sunday and I’d had the good sense to buy a random Groupon as a fun thing for Ben and I to do. Today, that Groupon was being cashed in. I’m a big fan of learning how to make things from places in which they’re already known to be wonderful so it was a no brainer that during my years of living in San Francisco I should learn how to make some real San Francisco sourdough.
We’re back in Taipei! It was a bit rainy and cold which was welcomed after some sweltering 100 degree days of whether. At this point in our trip I was in a grumpy mood. No matter how much you love travel, as a trip tapers off you hit that moment of slight depression that it’s ending (and also frustration in your ability to do things as easily as locals). We stopped into the Beauty Hotel, our home for the night. All I will say is that it had a jet filled, whirlpool bathtub with a TV in the wall. Who even thought of this amazing thing?
What to do on a last day adventure in Bangkok? By this day we were pretty tired. Think all the heat, walking around and such was enough for us. We decided on my friend Tyler’s suggestion to go to the Flower Market and boy were we not disappointed. [Initially I’d wanted to find a way to make it to one of the floating markets but the hour and a half drive and recent amount of traveling made us a bit lazy].