To Travel Is To Live: Adventures In San Francisco

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Summer goals: work hard, dance nightly, travel monthly, and write daily.  Fortunately, I can combine all of those things anywhere I go.

I have a bucket list of cities that I plan to see and I can’t wait to explore all of the places on my list and share them with you as I travel.

A few weeks ago, a friend and I set out to San Francisco on an extended weekend trip. It was a hard week for me, I was dealing with some work challenges as well as some hurdles in my personal life. As a result, spirits were a little low and I had a lot on my mind. Life is full of ups and downs, my motto is to always put one step in front of the other and keep moving.

In many ways, this trip was life changing. Any experience that forces you to learn and grow is worth writing about.  It’s true what Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Once the mind has been stretched by new experiences it can never go back to its original dimensions.”

Here are some highlights of my trip:

Day 1:

 

Natoma Cabana

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The first day my entire focus was on work. I scheduled all of my meetings on this day and connected with some really great friends and clients.  At night, I attended an M2M social at Natoma Cabana, and this space and the group did not disappoint.  It had a super chill vibe; good conversation and networking with new people. The open outdoor lounge feel and glass roof offered the perfect amount of natural light to set a fabulous scene. If you are in the San Francisco area, I definitely recommend checking out this space.  It was very cool!

Day 2:

 

Blazing Saddles, Bike Tour Through The City!

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If you have the time, I definitely recommend taking a bike tour around the city. My friend and I walked into Blazing Saddles and within 20 minutes we had a bike, helmet, and a map. The map was helpful but not necessary as we found ourselves off the beaten path.  There is no better way to explore a city than by bike. It’s quicker than walking but way more exciting than driving.

We peddled through Golden Gate Park and naturally, we stopped when we saw the most incredibly fun and climbable trees.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hit my head at least three times! *Helmet should be worn at all times*

Next stop? The beach. We locked up the bikes to put our feet in the freezing cold water.  The 360-degree views could have been the backdrop to a movie set and the cold air alone was enough to keep us energized.

From there is was an all uphill climb (or pedal). Upon reaching the top we stopped at Cliff House for a little “pick me up” coffee again with some spectacular views.  Back on the bike and mostly uphill, we pushed and pushed through a really neat neighborhood and finally made it to the Golden Gate Bridge.  

Riding a bicycle over the Golden Gate Bridge is a completely different experience than driving, the perfect reminder of how small we are in this great big world. The wind, the sounds of the water crashing against the shoreline to the sounds of flowing conversation all around us; I couldn’t help but soak it all in and lag behind just a little in my daydreaming.

After exiting the bridge we coasted downhill through the quaint neighborhood of Sausalito and boarded the ferry back to Blazing Saddles to return our bikes.  Do yourself a favor and make the time to explore the cities that you travel to on a bicycle.  I promise you won’t regret it!

Sundance Saloon

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One might think after a full day of intense bike riding that it would be a good time to relax. However, we made it home just in time for a group two-step lesson with my friends followed by a night of dancing on the town. I wasn’t joking when I said I wanted to incorporate dance in every city I visit.   After a two-hour lesson led by my friend and an incredible dancer, Jaime of Jaime Moreno Two Step.  I did a little research and found that the Sundance Saloon was the best place in the city for Two-Stepping.  It was an LGBT dance hall and although I had no idea what to expect, I gained more than I could ever imagine.  

As six heterosexual people entering the dance hall we were immediately welcomed with open arms.  I walked in and was taken back by the level of experience all of the dancers had.  Everyone was spinning, the moves looking flawless,  the dance floor was flowing and the music was jamming.  I was asked by a lady if I would like to dance and I gladly accepted.

As I twirled around the dance floor I glanced over my shoulder and witnessed this incredible dance community sharing a common love for music, dance, life and each other.

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Day 3:

 

Muir Woods National Monument

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We woke up Saturday morning and went on a walk along the trail of Muir Woods.  The drive alone was enough to make the morning complete but the trail was absolutely beautiful.  

We set out for our walk surrounded by the largest, most incredible redwood forest.  I can’t even begin to describe the beauty of our surroundings, the redwoods centuries old yet so strong and defined in their being.  An easy walk with some hills allowed for nice conversation and a quiet atmosphere to take in all of the beauty and nature.  I strongly recommend adding Muir Woods to your agenda.

Scribe Winery.

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After a light lunch to refuel, we headed to Sonoma to visit Scribe Winery.  I’ve heard nothing but great things about this place. My bestie is a member and frequent visitor so I was excited to see what all of the hype was about.

This place was different than most of the wineries I’ve visited.  It was so relaxing. I almost felt like I was in the privacy of my own backyard (If I had a yard of hundreds of acres with million dollar views). But seriously, it was peaceful and serene.  The four of us girls partook in a wine tasting where every wine I tasted was better than the last. Our host provided a great history that had us all interested, and patiently answered all of our questions.

Scribe Winery offers the most colorful blankets to drape over your lap or to use while laying in the grass to relax. It’s a really nice touch! There is nothing cozier than being outdoors with amazing blankets, sipping on the most delicious wine with incredible California weather. All of those things combined made this an evening to remember and a reason to plan another trip to the winery.

The entire trip was an adventure; exactly what I was hoping it would be.  All of our activities were budget friendly and yet exciting and adventurous.  If you are planning a trip to San Francisco I strongly recommend adding some of these activities to your list. If you are planning a trip elsewhere make sure you take the time to explore on foot, dip your toes into some water, climb a tree and surround yourself with good people and remember that, “travel is the only thing that you buy that makes you richer.”

 

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