It takes nearly 24 hours of travel to get from San Francisco to Koh Samui, but every hour is worth it. Think white sand, palm trees and amazing food. The island is perfectly sized for exploring via motorbike, but it's still big enough to get lost. It's the definition of tropical paradise. Hot sunny days with a light breeze, occasional downpours that offer up a perfect excuse for an afternoon nap, and super friendly people. Getting here takes effort, but the payoff was almost immediate. When we pulled up our villa and were greeted with cool wash clothes and iced tea, I felt welcome and immediately relaxed.
White sand beaches, palm trees, turquoise waters and amazing food. Thailand fully lives up to the hype. We spent a week on the island of Koh Samui for our friend's amazing destination wedding. The island really is the perfect size. Not too big, not too small, and packed perfectly with adventures. But, if you're looking for pristine, untouched Thailand you'll have to venture off Koh Samui and into the Mu Ko Ang Thong National Marine Park.
Singapore is said to be a foodie haven, a modern metropolis, and has one of the highest number of malls per kilometer in the world. The city-state is frequently used as a jumping off point for many Southeast Asian destinations, and our weekend trip was basically an extended layover on our way to Thailand. Once you recover from the 17-hour flight (SFO to Singapore), you'll quickly realize a couple of things:
I'm heading off to Singapore and Thailand in just a few short weeks, and I've been researching the internet to death about what to pack for the 17+ hour flight. We're flying straight from SFO to Singapore, which is both great and not so great.
Wanderlust is hitting me hard right now. I'm in the process of planning a big international trip that's less than two months away, and pre-planning another for this winter. I love researching new places and falling into Pinterest holes. I love finding new places to see, and I really like showing up prepared. Whether you're getting away for the weekend, or heading somewhere exotic for a few weeks, I don't think you can ever do too much research.
The past couple of weeks have finally brought spring to the Bay Area. I spent last weekend in Sonoma to celebrate a friend's birthday, and loved exploring Guerneville. We stayed at an Airbnb with vineyard views and a hot tub. It's walking distance to downtown Gureneville, Johnson's Beach, a bunch of tasting rooms and restaurants, and some cute tiny stores.
Aloha! After spending four days on Oahu, we took a super nice iter-island flight over to Maui. We stayed with family in Wailuku, which is located geographically in the center of the island. It's an old plantation town that used to be full of pawn shops, but new business, coffee shops and stores are breathing life back into it. The brightly colored homes were all built between 1910 and 1940. Wild chickens wander around, and it seems like everything is in bloom or fruiting.
Oahu was fun and totally different from the other Hawaiian islands. It gives you the city experience with a tropical vibe. Artisan coffee, designer bikinis, acai bowls and smoothies are everywhere. There's plenty of beaches to check out, and nature to explore. The food is amazing. I loved exploring Downtown and Chinatown. The weather was perfect when we were there, and there was always plenty to do.
I love going on long drives, just as long as it doesn't mean long stretches of sitting in traffic. I'm heading to sunny San Diego for Thanksgiving, and I'm driving! Fingers crossed traffic won't be bad and everything with the rental car works out. I've been making this long, sometimes arduous drive since I moved here almost 10 years ago, and it really never goes fast. It does help to have a couple of essential on hand.
I'm so excited for the weekend! I know it's only Monday, but I'm taking a short week (and an extra long holiday weekend) to fly down to San Diego and hang out with my family and get some sun. Fogust has been a killer this year, and I can't wait to sit in the sunshine and swim.
This past weekend we got to watch two of our friends tie the knot on top of Heavenly Mountain in South Lake Tahoe. What better excuse to plan a weekend adventure to one of the prettiest places in America!
I grew up in San Diego's North County, and never get tired of visiting. Even though SF and San Diego aren't that far apart, I don't get to go home as much as I'd like. Work and life seem to get in the way. While San Diego is a well known vacation destination, and is always topping 'perfect weather' lists, there's more to this huge county than just the zoo, Legoland and sunshine. There are tons of locals only spots that are amazing and worth exploring for!
San Franciscans are lucky enough to be able to venture just a couple of hours north, south or east and find themselves on vacation in another world. Normally, a trip north for me ends in Napa, Sonoma or at Lake Berryessa, but for my friend's 33rd birthday, we rented a rustic cabin-like AirBnB on the coast.
I'm heading to LA for a couple days before Thanksgiving! I've been to LA a bunch of times for weddings, family gatherings, and even school trips, but I've never really just gotten to hang out and explore. I've been researching places to go for about a month, and rounded up a bunch of my top picks. There's no way we'll get to do everything on my list, but I love making bucket lists!
I'm super excited to explore DTLA and Silver Lake. Maybe it's the San Franciscan in me, but I love finding little neighborhoods packed full of walk-able activities. Whenever I'm on vacation, I search out small, locally owned stores, restaurants and cafes. I love finding amazing coffee and cute home stores. I know LA is a driving city, but any chance to walk around and experience the city and neighborhoods up close is welcome.
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, over 43 million Americas will take to the roads to visit family or just get out of town for a couple days. I've rounded up some of my travel must haves, specifically for long drives.
One of my favorite places in The Bay is the Alameda Point Antiques Faire. The first Sunday of the month, at the crack of dawn, this former U.S. Navy runway transforms into one of the best, and biggest, flea markets in the country. With over 800 booths and 10,000 visitors, Alameda can be intimidating. There is literally something for everyone, and every budget! I've rounded up 10 basic tips and do's and don'ts to keep in mind.