Monday, December 10, 2012


Well, it's been over a week since my California trip and I am finally getting around to my recap!  I spent a total of 8 days in various cities of California. For those who don't speak airport codes, I traveled from Minneapolis to San Francisco to Sacramento to LA to San Francisco and then back to Minneapolis. Honestly, it was a lot to pack into one week.  The trip was a work trip, but I was able to take a day off at the beginning and then spend the weekend there as well, so I got to combine work and fun!  I only got to sight see in San Francisco, as I had a busy work schedule in Sacramento and the LA area, but I did manage to see 3 different bloggers!  Score!  My time with 2 of them (San and Amy) was pretty brief, but I got about 1.5 days with Kyria, which was awesome!

I really, really loved California - especially the Bay Area.  I don't see myself moving there, but it is a place that I could see myself living (if that makes any sense).  It was my first time visiting SF and I fell head over heels in love with it.

As usual, I will let a few bunch of the pictures I took do the talking!

The view from Coit Tower was STUNNING!  I would definitely recommend going to the top of Coit Tower as you get some awesome 360 degree views of the city!

I thought the sea lions at Fisherman's Wharf were adorable.  I loved seeing the 'puppy-pile' of sea lions all snuggled up together, and I loved watching 2 sea lions play 'king of the mountain'.

There is so much beauty in SF.  I would be crossing a street (as I am in this photo), look to my left, and see a beautiful view!

And of course, due to the proximity to the oceans, I had mussels a couple of times!!

San met me for dinner when I was in Sacramento!  We had some yummy thai and it was so fun to catch up face-to-face!  I also had drinks with Amy that night, but sadly we did not think to take a photo as we were too busy gabbing!!

I did not do any sight seeing in the LA area, but I did snap this photo of the Pier in Manhattan Beach when I was out for dinner with co-workers.

And before I knew it, I was back in San Francisco!  Kyria made sure I got multiple views of the gorgeous Golden Gate Bridge.  It's stunning in photos - but even more stunning in person!

We resorted to taking a self photo after the guy who took a photo for us didn't include the bridge in the background (what in the what)?

Another view of the beautiful bridge!!  It was wonderful to hear the waves crashing on the beach, too!

Can I just stay, "Full House"?  Gosh I loved that show - so much that I tried to change my name to Stephanie when I was in the 3rd grade.  I was OBSESSED.

So there you have it - a very photo-heavy post recapping my trip to this beautiful part of the country.  Besides seeing all these sights, I went for a trail run with Kyria and ate lots of yummy food!  Kyria was a fantastic host - we covered a lot of ground on Saturday and I really feel like I saw as much as I possibly could!!

It was a wonderful trip, but being gone for 8 days was a bit much for me and I was just plain worn out by the end.  Sleeping in 5 different beds over the course of 8 days is not really optimal and I missed my boyfriend even more than I missed my bed.  ;)

I know I was fortunate to have been able to take this trip, though, and it is an area I definitely want to check out again - I just want to return on a just-for-fun trip and not at the tail end of a hectic travel schedule!  I am in the process of writing a post about the realities/challenges of work travel as I think there is a misconception that IT IS SO FUN.  Well, the fact of the matter is that it's still work and it's really exhausting...

That said - luckily, this is my last trip for the year (I think, I may have to go to Charlotte next week), so I am trying to soak up my time at home!

Have you been to California?  If so, what is your favorite area?  So far, I'd say San Francisco is my favorite area, but I still have a lot more of the state to see so I may change my mind on that!


Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Yeah I definitely don't think work travel would be that fun... other than acquiring some frequent flier miles for my travel loving self haha.

I've been to a lot of San Fran area, and I went to LA/San Diego once but didn't see a ton while I was there. I'm not sure which area I preferred because my experience in both places was so different. It's a great state overall though :)

abbi said...

I haven't been to CA but would like to visit the San Francisco area. We were talking about a trip recently (and I was hitting up Kyria for travel tips) but haven't made it yet. Looks like you got to enjoy some of your time in addition to the busy work schedule.

missris said...

I love these photos and I'm glad you got to have some fun along with all that working!

Nastase said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Abby said...

Great recap!! Traveling to California is my favorite thing ever. Could never live there due to the cost of living. I've only had the opportunity to see Southern CA -- which I also loved.

8 days and 5 different beds is insane! I bet you were loony exhausted!

Next trip to CA will be to San Francisco, though!

(The deleted comment above is from me, I made it not realizing I was signed in under Ryan's account. Oops!)

Stephany said...

I don't understand people who think work trips are fun! What is fun about them?! Especially as much traveling as you are doing. Sure, it gets you away from the daily humdrum of office life but it's still WORK!

I'm glad you were able to combine this trip with some fun! But I seriously do NOT know how you maintain this crazy work-travel schedule.

I've never been over to the West coast but it's somewhere I definitely want to visit soon!

Marlys said...

Beautiful pictures! I haven't done much traveling in my life, but so enjoy seeing pictures that you have taken as I consider them my "mini trips"!

Caroline said...

Work trips sound stressful.. I see travel as a necessary evil so I feel like I wouldn't like it if I didn't get a great vacation at the end of it. That being said, I did have a great time on my one (and only) work trip to Chicago. I also hope that my wedding business grows to more than just the Boston area and I'm able to travel for it. So maybe I take back what I said.. haha

I looove California. I've been to San Fran and San Diego and I don't think I could choose between them. They're both so different but awesome in their own way.

San said...

What a whirlwind trip! I know you were quite busy, but I am so happy that you made time to meet me for dinner! I had such a great time! I hope we can do this again sometime! <3

Nora said...

Gorgeous photos! I have only been to LA but I loved it; took time to travel up and down the coast to see the beaches, mountains and different towns and it's just beautiful. Knight and I talk about retiring somewhere there one day... would be fine with me :)

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

What a long, but packed trip. I think it would've been very easy for you to say this trip is all work and in order to maintain an ounce of sanity, you need to keep to yourself during all your down time. Instead, you booked dinner and drinks and even tacked on extra days to see blogging friends. I think that's pretty incredible.

As you know, I traveled with work for many years and HATED it. I'm pretty sure I'll be able to relate to your upcoming post. =)

Cherry Blossoms said...

San Fran is def one my favorite places!! Glad you enjoyed it and you captured some great photos of the bridge.

Did you like the trolly rides?

Gracie said...

I was born in Monterey but haven't been back, except for a short stay for a college interview. I got a scholarship to that pharmacy school, but in the end decided it was not for me. I'd like to return for a fun trip like yours, though!

Becky said...

"Can I just stay, "Full House"? Gosh I loved that show - so much that I tried to change my name to Stephanie when I was in the 3rd grade."

OMG. This is why I love you.

Glad you got to do so much!

Elizabeth said...

Glad you were able to get a much needed night of rest also then as it definitely sounds like you were running around like crazy! I think some of my favorite parts of CA are the smaller northern coastal towns, but I have also enjoyed SF. The trip I took to Yosemite was breath taking and I'd love to go back....I'd also love to go to the Redwoods but dogs aren't allowed! So much to CA though and it's not too far away from me :) So glad you had such a great trip!

Amber said...

Looks amazing! I definitely want to visit San Francisco one day. I'm actually hoping that when we do it will be in the form of a road trip down the Oregon Coast with SF being the final destination, I know lots of people who have done that and loved it!

I don't travel a lot from work so I always enjoy it when I get to go on work trips! I usually try to tag it onto something fun if at all possible to make it more enjoyable and something to look forward to. Like I have a conference in Hamilton, ON in May that backs onto the weekend so my coworker and I are going to stay the weekend and spend it in Toronto since neither of us have ever been so I'm really looking forward to that work trip. I think traveling as much as you do would be way too exhausting for me though!

Shoshanah said...

Yes, I have been to California! :) But I haven't actually spent that much time in Northern California. I believe the only time I've been in San Francisco was a day with summer camp. But I'd love to go back someday and actually be able to explore a little more.

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

The only place I've been to in California is San Fransisco, and I really liked it.

Full House is one of the greatest shows ever made!

Jeanie said...

Boy, you've been on the road a lot but this sounds like fun to the max! Isn't it wonderful to visit friends who live afar? I think SF is my favorite -- certainly not LA! It's just a great city and lots in the area, too! Glad you had fun!

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I am glad that you had fun! I am still bummed that it rained, although I had fun showing you around and seeing the sights of the city and having coffee and eating cookies... :) The feeling of sleeping in your own bed (with a person to snuggle with) must be great! I know what it's like to miss that!