Neighborhood Hauntings: Part Deux


Every walk around the hood with Orelia uncovers more spooky Halloween goodness.  I’m feeling so blessed and grateful to live in such a beautiful neighborhood.  San Francisco…you complete me!







Pumpkin Patch


I recently took a day trip to Petaluma.  I just felt like playing tourist around town with my camera and getting lost along the winding country roads.  I was super excited when I discovered a pumpkin patch at Spring Hill Farm.  It was the perfect autumn day.










{I can just see Orelia sticking her little head out of this…too cute!}


Lessons Learned in NYC

  • The Met is always a good idea…especially when it’s 90 degrees and humid outside.  I spent hours oohing and aahing over Monets, Renoirs, Central Park vistas and air conditioning.




  • When the city gets you down, go to Brooklyn Heights for a new perspective.  I had the best meal of the entire trip at Jack the Horse Tavern and walking along the Promenade on the 12th anniversary of September 11 was both poignant and peaceful.




  • I’m a California girl through and through.  NYC is great, but there were a million things I missed about San Francisco.  Orelia, fresh fruits and veggies, the Pacific Ocean, the chill in the morning air, Crissy Field, the greenery of my neighborhood, my car, etc.  I may not have been born here, but I was born to live in California.



Hot in the City


NYC was fantastic, but man was it hot!  90+ degrees and crazy humid in mid-September. Seriously?!  I forgot how uncomfortable it is standing underground waiting for the subway in the sweltering heat.  NYC, I still love you, but my heart is officially entrenched in San Francisco forevermore.

So what did I do during that hot week in the city?  I spent time reconnecting with amazing friends who have been in my life since our Penn State days nearly 15 years ago.  Despite months or years that go by without seeing one another, it’s like no time has passed whenever we get together.  Are they beautiful or what?!


We had some lovely dinners at Catch, Beauty & Essex and Koi.  And don’t even get me started on all the yummy homemade goodness at Veena Auntie’s house in Long Island.

We shopped around SoHo and spent some serious time in Halston Heritage.


We ate cheesecake and enjoyed the air conditioning of this adorable cupcake shop.  I was so happy to be cool and eating, I forgot the name of the joint.


And we stayed up talking into the wee hours of the night.  It almost felt like we were back at school minus those pesky classes and papers.  I can’t wait until our next reunion in Europe next year.  Old friends never get old; and for that I am eternally grateful.

Empire State of Mind


I’m so excited to celebrate my birthday in NYC next week.  I’ll be spending a couple of days with grad school friends (We are Penn State!) along the North Shore of Long Island.  Then it’s off to the city for 3 days of exploring, eating, people watching and soaking up the energy of one of my favorite cities.

I’m usually not one to plan out a vacation itinerary.  I like to do whatever I feel like on a whim.  It’s one of the many joys of being single.  However, there are a few places on my NYC “to do” list.

  1. Dominique Ansel Bakery – I must try a cronut.  The sheer idea of a hybrid pastry that’s half croissant, half donut has my taste buds grinning from ear to ear.
  2. Eataly –  Mario Batali and the half dozen friends who keep raving about this gourmet Italian food mecca can’t be wrong.
  3. Grimaldi’s – Ever since I spent a month living in Brooklyn Heights, I’ve been enchanted with that neighborhood.  Eating a few slices of pizza followed by a moonlight stroll along the Promenade is high on my list.  (Yes, there’s a theme here.  Food makes me happy!!)
  4. TKTS – I always love the thrill of waiting on the TKTS line, asking for the best available solo ticket (often in the first few rows) and spending a night on Broadway.
  5. Shopping in SoHo – Sorry San Francisco, I love you, but your boutiques kinda suck in comparison to NYC.
  6. The Met – Even after visiting Cairo, I still feel a sense of mystery and excitement walking through the Egyptian exhibit.  My trips there are usually followed by a walk through Central Park with a hot dog and/or ice cream cone in hand.

If you have any favorite places in NYC that I should visit, I’d love to hear from you.

The Perfect Summer Town


After skydiving, I checked into the Paradox Hotel and enjoyed two relaxing days in Santa Cruz.  It’s the perfect summer beach town.  While the boardwalk is popular with tourists and teenagers, my favorite parts of town were off the beaten path.  The quiet tree lined streets of the lovely Twin Lakes neighborhood is calling out for me to rent a cottage for a week with Orelia.  And the pristine beaches along East Cliff Drive and the beautiful Pacific views from West Cliff Drive made it hard to leave.

While I’ll be spending the holiday weekend here in San Francisco, I’ll be dreaming of sunny Santa Cruz and the delicious pasta at Lillian’s. Hope you have a wonderful Labor Day weekend wherever you’re spending it.


Tiki-Bar{The tiki bar and brunch at Harbor Cafe were fantastic!}