redefining wanderlust

a life blog by Bekka

Posts for ROAD TRIP ACROSS PNW Category

Road Trip Adventure in Northern California : All The Signs in San Francisco

October 16, 2015 | Day 2 of #OntheRoad1015 ( previous day )

In Monterey, I woke up early to finish work for a client and write a blog post from the road recapping our engagement story. When Bowerbird woke up we headed down for the complimentary breakfast that was delicious and can be seen in my vlog of the day. We tried to head up to San Francisco as quickly as possible so we’d get a decent amount of exploring time in, but swiftness was not on our side. My over documenting / trying to take pictures of a product for one of my clients was slowing us down.

Once we were on the road, stress levels dropped and we just listened to the radio. San Francisco is only a couple hours from Monterey, so we arrived around 1:00ish. I had never been to SF and had no idea what to expect but I instantly feel in love with the architecture and signs. I took a lot of picture of signs. We had Spoke Art, a gallery that is friends with Thinkspace Gallery, in our GPS and made them our first destination. When I drive into a city I like to just have a destination in mind to make my center point, everything else is relative to “this place”. Usually, that place is our hotel or Airbnb but if I haven’t booked it yet – it could just be any location.

San Francisco Road Trip

When we arrived to Spoke Art I was completely turned around, the rolling streets and tall buildings had me totally disoriented. The gallery was showing new work by Stella Im Hultberg, who I adore! It’s always nice when a good show is going on while you’re in town. Spoke’s gallery assistant gave us a lot of great tips on other shows around the area, but we really wanted to make sure to see city hall. Since we parked in an expensive and awkward garage, we decided to make our next ‘center point’ the hotel and back into the vehicle we went.

We stayed at the historic Pickwick hotel, the room booked through hotel.com aka my favorite app of all time. Coincidentally, the hotel was RIGHT NEXT to the restaurant Bowerbird’s friend had booked dinner reservations, so I knew it was meant to be. SF parking is a little intense, not as bad as Seattle, but we knew this was a city made for walking. Once throwing down are things, we had 3 hours to explore before meeting up for drinks and that meant shoving as much site seeing in as possible.

San Francisco Road Trip

San Francisco Road Trip

First stop was Vacation an awesome store with reasonably priced vintage and a super cool vibe. We chatted with the Shop Girl and her friend (I think one of them was the owner / co-owner) about crazy musicians and for directions to our next destination, City Hall. The interesting thing I noticed about San Francisco or at least the part we were exploring, was this insane dichotomy of social classes. One street would feel totally safe, while the next one over Bowerbird and I would make a note to not walk down again.  We were right in the heart of San Francisco and in retrospect I guess it wasn’t much different than walking around Downtown LA and stumbling onto skid row.

San Francisco Road Trip

City Hall was stunning! I wouldn’t have thought to go there except a friend of mine showed me the beautiful architecture inside. We walked around the hall and observed newlyweds getting their pictures taken. If I were to get a court house wedding, San Francisco City Hall is the one to get hitched in.

By the time we had shopped and visited City Hall we were a thirty-minute walk away from the bar we were to meet up with Bowerbird’s friend. Walking as fast as our legs could carry us, I spotted a Hearst H outside a very opulent looking building and it stopped me dead in my tracks. Another Hearst Building! We went inside very quickly and found out there was a bar underneath it called Local Edition. I was in love. Meeting up with Bowerbird’s pal Mr. M and being introduced to his girlfriend was such a warm way to spend our San Francisco evening. Mr. M was super excited about our engagement and “put it on my tab” was his new tagline. I feel blessed by the generosity of our friends. Anyways, he had told us initially he wanted to take us to Local Edition, but the line there for a drink is ridiculous. That didn’t stop my desire to see this place, so I politely insisted we go.

San Francisco Road Trip

San Francisco Road Trip

Once down inside the bar and below the Hearst Building, I was in awe. Old newspapers were used as décor and vintage typewriters were affixed along the wall. I let Bowerbird and Mr. M stand in line for cocktails as I ogled typewriters and squeezed behind groups of people to get a closer look at the headlines on the wall. I had perma-smile taking it all in and wondering around the bar like a total tourist. By the time they finally got our cocktails we had to suck them down in 15 mins and walk on over to our dinner reservations at The Cavalier. Dinner was amazing and all my pictures from inside the restaurant suck due to the lighting. We ate and drank till we could go on no more.

It’s funny how all my photos of SF from this day are of signs or building. I was on a total typography high.

San Francisco Road Trip

San Francisco Road Trip

San Francisco Road Trip

Please check out my vlog of the day up on YouTube.

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French Fried Artichokes & Pumpkin Carving

Pezinni Farms Artichokes

Like I shared before, I have no idea how I’m going to organize all my tales from the road. So let’s just throw chronological order out the window and go with ‘what Bekka feels like writing about today’ order.

October 25, 2015 | Day 10

On our way up to San Francisco, we passed by a road side sign that said ‘french fried artichokes’. Being a connoisseur of french fries and a lover of artichokes, we put the farm on our list of things to hit up on our way back down. While on the road, because of time constraints, there tends to be a lot of “leave it for the drive home” decisions – this was one of them. We wrote down the name Pezzini Farms and on our last day of the road trip looked up the farm.

I wasn’t expecting much but was still blown away by the adorable farmer general store they had set up. Jars of jams, jellies, and local honey lined one of the walls; adjacent was a wall filled with fresh chopped garlic, sundried tomatoes and sauces for pasta or dipping artichokes. I squealed at the rustic signs for brussel sprouts and artichokes, I couldn’t get over how country chic and pinterest-y it all was!

Pezzini Farms Adventure

Pezzini Farms Adventure

Pezzini Farms Adventure (5)

We ordered our french fried artichokes, which actually look nothing like french fries, but are battered and fried artichoke hearts. They gave us a delicious garlic aioli for dipping, and I even came up with a technique for enjoying them. At first I popped a whole one in my mouth and wasn’t that impressed. I couldn’t taste any of the artichoke. But the second time, I decided to savor the bite more and actually took bites of the heart. I don’t know if it’s because the artichoke became exposed to oxygen or something, but suddenly I could taste more of the artichoke and I really enjoyed it.

After our roadside snack, I enthusiastically decided we should pick up some pumpkins. They had a very tiny display, but Bowerbird and I have never carved pumpkins together. Given that it’s the week of Halloween and we would be arriving home that night, why not squish some squash in our trunk. (oh the puns!)

Pezzini Farms Adventure

We picked out our perfect pumpkins, mine is oval and smooth, his has a lot of character; tonight we are carving them up! Hence, me wanting to post about how we acquired our pumpkins. I can’t stress enough how wonderful it is to follow a roadside sign and see where you end up. I had no idea what these french fried artichokes would be, but it lead us to the most delightful market. We also purchased a large jar of yummy raw honey and three artichokes that I steamed last night. It was my first time steaming artichokes, the idea of it and instructions are much more difficult than the actual execution.

Well, I’m off to carve a pumpkin, eat pizza, and watch Lincoln. I love how our first pumpkin carving experience now has a romantic story attached to it – we picked them out on the side of the road amongst fields of artichokes on our engagement road trip. I can see Keanu Reeves being cast as Bowerbird and the movie poster looking something similar to A Walk in the Clouds.

Pezzini Farms Adventure

Pezzini Farms Adventure

Pezzini Farms Adventure

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Update From The Road | #ontheroad1015

road trip update

October 22, 2015 | Day 7 – Olympia, WA

We are in the “turn around” portion of the trip, when we have more days behind us then left in front of us, but this road trip is far from over yet. From my experience during out last grand epic road trip I knew updating my blog would be hard. I didn’t realize it would be near impossible given every time I have WiFi I’m hoping on my laptop to check work emails and do a little freelance from the road. I’m not complaining, I knew that was a part of this trips M.O. – I need money when I return. But that is why this trip has less posting in the present and a lot will be recapped later.

Road trips are a fun adventure, but I wouldn’t say it’s a relaxing vacation. We’re usually never in a place long enough that warrants sleeping in. Although when we camped a few nights ago in Bend, OR and let the sun be our alarm clock, phones turned off, that was totally blissful. My little slice of heaven, together cozied up in a tent with just the right amount of blankets for perfect warmth but not overheating.

Right now I’m sitting in a La Quinta bed about to edit some photos for a client and schedule out some content. My right leg is cramping up and in pain from an insane hike we did yesterday. One of my oldest friends lives in Washington and is a semi-expert hiker/climber. I asked her to pick a hike for us and we’d meet her there, apparently her favorite hike is also one of the most intense. She and her boyfriend drove across the country for 6 months, hiking and exploring National Parks. At this point, she is really an old pro at hiking and was very gracious at waiting for this huffing and puffing writer. We hiked a steep 5.5-mile climb up Mt. Ellinor that took all day. It was amazing and exhausting.  All we did last night was eat and sleep; in bed by 10:30pm.

When I assumed her road trip adventure must have been less stressful than our 30-day cross-country road trip because they had more time, I was wrong. As her boyfriend said it perfectly, “traveling is more stressful than a job.” On road trips I don’t think you ever ‘unwind’, I won’t be coming back with glowing skin and rested eyes. I’ve been riding a wave of stress since the day we left, before it was because of work and now it’s to go to the next place. There is a constant anxious desire to make sure you get a great sampling of your destination and allowing yourself to stop along the way. Enjoying the moment while not lingering too long and missing the next. I’d love to sit in this bed all day and vedge out, but today we explore Seattle and get to go to Pike Place.  I’m excited! Get a cup of coffee in me and I’ll be right as rain.

So that’s the quick and present update from the road. The days have been blurring in my mind, but I’ll sort out the memories later. Right now I’m going to grab a free breakfast and finish up working, then we take on the day!

If you see a girl with curly hair limping around Seattle, say hi! 

 

 

 

 

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A Love Story At The Castle In The Sky – Hearst Castle

On top of San Siemon rests the most gorgeous home in the world, Hearst Castle. As art and words inspire my life, Hearst Castle is like two passions coming together in an architectural dream. I’ve been in love with this castle in the sky since I was a child and visited it with my mom and sister. I took Bowerbird to it for the first time 2 and half years ago. We had been dating for 9 months and wanted a romantic Monterey getaway, so Hearst was on the way. Now we are on our third road trip, this time dedicated to the Pacific North West, and stopped at Hearst yesterday. If I’m going on the 1, you know I’m stopping at my favorite place, it’s better than Disneyland!! Now this dream place is deeply intertwined into my own dreamy romance, as Bowerbird proposed to me on top of a high balcony peak overlooking the ocean.

When we first were dropped off at the top of the hill it started to rain, Bowerbird was majorly bummed out as the little drops of water came sprinkling down a top of our head. We went on our tour of the upstairs suites where Hearst has a library that would make Bell blush. Yes, I’m referencing that amazing scene in Beauty and the Beast where the Beast give bell the most beautiful library in animated history. But once the tour was over, the sky was bright blue and sun shining!  It wasn’t very busy yesterday and I was able to take dozens of pictures with no other tourist in site. We explored the side of one of the guest cottages and I could feel Bowerbird’s energy shift. He was getting anxious and looking around us trying to find the perfect spot. Every time he tried to get extra romantic it seemed another tourist popped up, like they were all swarming to this side of the property at once.We kept climbing stairs to another empty spot and then another group of tourist came up. This is what led us to the very highest point on the side of one of the Hearst cottages. It was an area that one would have to make an extra effort to find and Bowerbird was making a very private romantic effort.

He pulled me in tight and remarked how this had been the best three years of his life. Then as he placed his hand in his pocket and pulled out my *Bachan’s ring, he got on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said “of course,” because I’ve known Bowerbird is the man I would marry after only three months of dating. After our first date, I thought he could be the one. Our love story has always been about timing and his timing couldn’t be more perfect.

I then overheard a tour guide explaining how couples get engaged. As we were on the balcony of the cottage, a tour group was inside exploring one of the rooms and as they passed by on the other side of a screen door – they clapped and said congratulations.

Now we’re off to San Fransico today and I begin my first full day as an engaged woman! I couldn’t be happier as we go on to our next adventure in our life together.

Hearst Castle Engagement

Hearst Castle Engagement

Engagement at Hearst Castle

Stairway to heaven!

Bowerbird and I are on a road trip across the Pacific North West, follow our adventure on instagram or twitter!  #ontheroad1015

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