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hotel, San Francisco, Travel

To stay in San Francisco: Hotel des Arts

Since it was my sister’s first time in San Francisco, I wanted to find a hotel that was in the heart of everything. So, using I went searching for the most central, cost-effective and unique hotel I could find. The Hotel des Arts was exactly that!

I love that it showcases the work of local artists and serves both as an art gallery and hotel. The art was electrifying throughout and the staff was just the right amount of friendly and bubbly I love. The art in every hallway, stairway and room really made the hotel come to life and the experience rather unforgettable!

We were so excited to open the door to our bedroom, knowing how many great painted rooms the hotel had. I was hoping for a colorful room, full of life… but because I booked so late, I got the last room available and didn’t plan far ahead enough to hand-select our artist {room}. Our room’s artist was Anthony Skirvin. It wasn’t as “girly” and colorful as I had imagined it being but we DEFINITELY won’t forget it. Read the artist’s inspiration for the room here. I think it would have been beneficial to know this going into the room, ha. It was creepy and unique at the same time:

I am definitely going back to this hotel! Plus, they have free continental breakfast. It made my world.

San Francisco, Travel

San Fran with sister

Sorry I’ve been so MIA! My sister came for her birthday last weekend and I’m still getting over her leaving. We had such a wonderful weekend, I miss her so much already.

As soon as I picked her up from the airport we headed straight into San Francisco. I hadn’t been since my mini-moon {a smaller version of a honeymoon} so I was ecastic to be going back, especially since we live so close now. And being the semi-good planner that I am, I planned us a wicked itinerary to get through in 30 hours. And boy did we power-through it! As soon as we got in, we checked into our hotel {more on the hotel later}.

Our momma sent a goodie box beforehand but we couldn’t open it until we were in the room together. Wine, snacks and lounge wear:
Next on the itinerary – drinks at the top of the Marriott Marquis:
{Pam on her phone, AGAIN}
After, we taxied over to Zuni Cafe and enjoyed calamari and chicken for two. The restaurant was so busy and smelled sooooo good. Thanks for the recommendation, Olive!
Saturday was the big day of adventure in the city. First stop – Chinatown:
With a cold Starbucks in hand, we headed to Old Navy. Yes, we went to San Francisco and all I wanted to do was go to Old Navy. There is not one in Santa Cruz so I made a mad dash for the bathing suits!
By the way, do any of you think the sidewalks in San Fran sparkle? Well, they do:
Then we headed to Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Grotto for over-priced crab, fried shrimp and chips and people watching.
Next, biking over the Golden Gate Bridge.
And I must tell you… don’t ever try to look cute for a day in San Francisco and then decide to ride bikes. I ended up riding with one hand on my handle bars and the other holding my skirt down. I felt like Marilyn Monroe on the bridge once the breeze intensified. It was a hoot!
8 miles later, we were spent. Fortunately we found a darling wine bar in downtown Sausalito and did some wine tasting. We both found one we liked and enjoyed a glass and relaxed our legs.

The ferry back to the pier was nice and we did one more walk-through to Ghirardelli Square so Pam could enjoy a birthday, chocolately, ice-cream delight!

I got the very berry and Pam ordered the peanut butter chocolate sundae and after one bite I wish I had too. It was great visiting with the people in the parlor. We really didn’t want to leave. But this gives us an excuse to go back and do even more!

Greece, Italy, Travel

All dogs go to … Europe

Why would dogs go to heaven when they could go to Europe?? When Rob and I went to Europe, it felt like like we were walking through a dog park, everywhere we went. I loved it. Say hello to the dogs of Italy and Greece!

They sleep anywhere they want.

 And love attention.
They visit McDonald’s.
And take breaks after shopping for shoes.
Look at this cutie!
Greece, Santorini, Travel

Black sand

The beaches here in Cali are pretty fabulous – but nothing compares to the black beach on Santorini. Here are a few pics from our morning on Perivolos in Santorini. And yes, I did take some of the volcanic sand home ;)







Hottest sand I’ve ever walked on! What’s the most bizarre beach you’ve been to? My last post on Greece is coming next! Tear** {’bout time, right?}

Chicago, Lately, Travel

What to do when you only have 24 hrs in Chi-town

I went to Chicago last week for work and had only 24 hours to spend in the windy, foggy city.

What to do with so little time you ask? Here is what you do!

 Order Chicago-style deep-dish pizza from Gino’s East of Chicago:
See the bean:
Admire the Art Institute of Chicago from the outside:
See the Crown Fountains:
Grab a truffle coffee and breakfast and watch the city life:

Work a little:

Next time, I’ll make sure I stay longer to do the following:

Hope to return to Chicago someday soon!  Note to self: buy the new iPhone ASAP!