Three Things

It was a toasty weekend in San Francisco.  Other than a few long walks with Orelia, we stayed indoors where it was nice and cool.  I finished reading Me Before You, went for a massage and watched more than a few episodes of Felicity.  Yes, I’m living in a 1990’s time warp; and I’m loving it!  Here are a few other things that I’m enjoying these days.

Journals{New journal and job search notebook courtesy of Target}

Hot-Fudge-Sundae{Hot fudge sundae at Stinson Beach}

Paradise-Park{Paradise Beach Park in Tiburon}

Buh Bye Online Dating

Union-Street

Back in 2011 my therapist gave me a book called Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough.  Given the source of the gift, I paid close attention and read it cover to cover…twice.  I thought it held the answer.

After 2 years of dating men I have no interest in ever seeing again, I’ve decided upon a much better use for this book.  I’m burning it.  I’m not settling for a damn thing.  I’m taking the rest of the year off from dating; and I’m grinning ear to ear just thinking about it.

{The picture above was taken after a date down on Union Street.  The view of the bay was the best thing about the evening.  I was so happy to be free from the date that I literally skipped up the hill to my car.}

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.

The-Met

Central-Park

Met

  • 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.

Brooklyn-Heights

NYC

City

  • 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.

Crissy-Field

GG-Bridge

Hot in the City

SoHo-Cafe

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?!

Mitika-Shiv

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.

Heritage-Halston

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.

Cupcake-Shop

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

Bryant-Park

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

Santa-Cruz-Lighthouse

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.

Santa-Cruz

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

Twin-Lakes-Beach

In Case of Emergency

Stinson-Beach

I spent a lovely afternoon at Stinson Beach recently.  It’s only 30 minutes away and sometimes I forget it’s there.  Driving along the cliffs as the road winds around the Pacific, it almost feels like Greece.  Picture a deep blue sea below and a jagged, rocky landscape to the right.  It’s breathtakingly beautiful.

After strolling along the beach and feasting on a delicious kale Caesar salad and BLT from The Lunch Box, I looked down at my phone.  A text had come in from a friend in the hospital who needed a ride home.  It got me thinking about who I would put down as my “in case of emergency” person.

My parents live too far away.  My friends are great, but they are pretty wrapped up with their kids. Orelia would come if she could, but driving is one trick that she hasn’t quite perfected.  Although I could totally see her in the driver’s seat of my car rocking a pair of Doggles and jamming to a hip-hop song like FashionKilla as she races to my rescue.  Hmm, we may need to revisit the SPCA and see if they are offering any new classes.  Driver’s ed for dogs, anyone?

Stinson