There is something seriously wrong with me. I woke up sick Monday morning after a relaxing vacation in wine country. I felt like I’d been hit by an oncoming BART train. I literally hobbled down the stairs of our apartment and forced myself into the office. And thank the Lord that we have a quiet lounge room at work with comfortable couches to sleep. I took an hour nap in the afternoon, I was so tired. Who does that? Well apparently, I wasn’t the only one. Two other people were sleeping and one woman was doing yoga.
Dean picked me up from work at 5:15pm. I managed to take a shower, scarf down a handful of blueberries, then I slept straight until 7:30am this morning. Wait, I lie. I woke up momentarily because Dean asked if I wanted to watch the Warriors in double overtime and I said no, I was too beholden to my pillow and blanky.
I think I was born without an immune system.
One of the best things about taking a staycation is hanging out with friends! We bumped into friends while we were at Cornerstone Gardens. And we spent time with my friend Patricia and her daughter Chloe who live in Sonoma. Their dog Lola was throwing herself at Dean. Hilarious! She’s so good natured I asked Dean if we could get a mastiff. He said no.
It’s so nice to get out of the city and see lawns and backyards! I told Dean we should look into buying property in wine country and he said we need to focus on purchasing our primary residence first! Boo. Dean’s such a naysayer.
I am melting in this heat! We are taking it slow with the wineries. Yesterday, we only managed to go to 2 (B.R. Cohn and VJB). I needed to get back to the hotel and spend quality time napping by the pool!
Call this number 707-343-1384 and make a reservation now. Do it today. Make a point to come to Sonoma over the weekend and have lunch or dinner at the Glen Ellen Star which opened in 2012. It is phenomenal. The chef hails from French Laundry and New York’s Daniel and Picholine.
Dean and I agreed it was one of the best meals we’ve had…hands-down the best meal we’ve had all year. Quite a declaration from a couple who eats out all the time.
I forgot to take pictures, I was too busy having an orgasm with every single bite of the caramelized golden beets, the margherita pizza, and the cooked-to-perfection duck. The duck was so good it was like eating Ad Hoc‘s fried chicken, but fattier and tastier. Holy shit. I was like, this duck is seriously the best thing I’ve ever eaten in my life. Note that the duck was the special for the night, so not sure you’ll see it on your menu. We topped off our meal with their homemade ice-cream. Way too decadent. It was like they’d blended peanut butter and stuck it in the freezer. I’d pass on their ice-cream flavors. Not a fan.
The service was spot on, the restaurant is totally lively, and well, the food can’t be beat. GO NOW!
It was 89 degrees today in Sonoma. I hear it was 85 in San Francisco. Incredible.
We spent the day wandering around Cornerstone Gardens. Cannot believe I’ve never been. I felt like it was a little piece of Burning Man in wine country: art sculptures, galleries, wine, and a ton of sun. In one of the exhibits, you could write a wish on a piece of ribbon and hang it onto the sculpture. Dean and I had the same wish; we have been praying so very hard recently. Cornerstone reminds me of Di Rosa. Both places exhibit wonderful art in wine country. Gosh, there is so much to do in the Bay Area. We are damn lucky to live here.
I often come across a link or post that isn’t worthy of a dedicated post on my blog. It’s really best for me to tweet these things, but then a lot of people who read my blog don’t necessarily subscribe to Twitter so then they’d be missing out. So I figured I’d just compile some of these little tiny topics into a series called Blurbs for the Brain.
Here’s a 3 and a half minute enlightening video on How the Internet Works. Fantabulous!
One of the blogs I follow is Jason Shen’s The Art of Ass-Kicking. As an entrepreneur, he doles out a bunch of insight that’s particularly useful for people who want to start up their own business, but I still find interesting even though I’m a total corporette. He wrote a post titled Startup Founders: Don’t Forget to Sell the Dream. Read the example pitch he gives for Airbnb and some parting thoughts below. But click on the link above for the full post.
“Airbnb enables people to live richer lives, where their extra space allows them to be with their children, take more vacations and save for retirement. We transform travel accommodations from cold, sterile rooms to amazing experiences with locals in unique spaces. How will we become a billion dollar company? Airbnb will host more travelers than the entire Hilton hotel chain with 5,200 locations around the world, without having to manage a single piece of property. We will be the future of travel.”
It’s a little different right? It’s much more than just making money. An investor, like a founder, wants to be a part of something that is really going to change the world. Something to be proud of. Something that they can say “Yeah, I invested to those guys/gals when they were just getting started because I saw the potential in what they could create and the impact they could have on the world”
Now again, I want to emphasize that 90% of your pitch should be about the nitty gritty of your business. But don’t fail to include that 10% of a dream.
This strategy isn’t for the faint of heart. This is for all you OCD types who are willing to take risks and take great pride in stretching your hard-earned dollars.
I have been itching to go on vacation ever since we flew back home from spending Christmas and New Year’s in the UK. As fun as that was, I have been dying for some R&R in the sun!
We bounced around Palm Springs and Los Angeles as options, but decided it was best to stay local and opted for an easy jaunt to wine country. Securing a luxe hotel reservation during spring time in Napa or Sonoma is like trying to score a same day reservation at French Laundry. It ain’t gonna happen, especially if you’re looking to book only a week or two in advance.
This is where renting a place online has really alleviated a lot of stress when it comes to finding a place to stay. There are so many beautiful, well-maintained properties on Vrbo.com, Airbnb.com or HomeAway.com. You’ll always find a handful that are available. In fact, there were a couple places I was really interested in that showed no availability, but I emailed the owners and they said it had either recently become available or they had another property available. Here are photos (credit Vrbo.com) of places I was negotiating with.
This is the best time to negotiate, when you know they’re hoping to rent their property, it’s just a couple days out, and their property is still available. BAM! Hit them with your terms. You want a free night, you don’t want to pay tax or the cleaning fee, and you’re ready to submit payment in full immediately. Not a single no. All 3 property owners I emailed agreed to my terms.
Now even though these were all gorgeous properties, I consulted with my hubby (the true decision maker, ahem, cough). And he insisted that to make this feel like a true vacation, we needed to be spoiled and sitting pool-side. Hence, a discounted last minute booking opened up at the Lodge at Sonoma—at a price similar to what I was looking at for rental properties—and I pounced on it.
Here is our home (photo credit Marriott.com) for the next few days. Heaven!
Dean and I had a party this past weekend to celebrate his birthday and me selling my home. We seriously haven’t connected with people since 2012 since the first few months of this year have been dedicated to the home sale, work, and other important matters. We haven’t had any fun and are in desperate need of a vacation!
In preparation for this party, I kept thinking we should rent a big spacious house with a huge backyard so we could entertain all our friends. I’m so glad we didn’t do that. Our 1-bedroom apartment accommodated 20+ guests just fine! Which brings me back to one of my new tenets in life which is DOWNSIZE YOUR SHIT.
Note to anyone who came to our party: if there’s anything that struck your fancy in our apartment, just let me know, it’s yours. We’ve got books, pillows, nightstands, side tables galore that we simply do not need. All this crap is driving me crazy. I only need the following material things in my life: Tempurpedic bed, a good reading lamp, books, clothes, shoes, and my MacBook air. That’s it. Everything else can go in the circular bin.
Here’s an opinion piece that really resonated with me. It should resonate with you too! Consider it mandatory reading, especially for those of you who live in these palatial homes filled with crap. The guy who wrote it was one of you.
Completely off-topic, Dean and I viewed this open house in Bernal Heights on Sunday. I really liked it, but agreed with Dean about the spiral staircase. We were going up and down the spiral staircase (the only way to get from the 1st to the 2nd floor) and he said, “This is a deal breaker.”
It can be very difficult to please children, especially on holiday. Here we have just a few ideas of how to keep the little ones entertained on the beautiful island of Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands.
As Tenerife offers year round sunshine and blazing temperatures in the summer, sometimes you just want to unwind and chill out. The perfect place to entertain children and keep cool is Siam Park, arguably the best water park on the island. This Thai themed water park is located in Costa Adeje, only opened in 2008, and boasts 46 acres of land with plenty to keep the whole family entertained. From adrenaline filled rides like the Tower of Power – a 28 metre vertical drop water slide – to more family friendly attractions like Mekong River Rapids and Sea Lion Island. And if that has tired you out, you can relax and have a swim in the lagoon-like pools.
Walk with some animals
If you have had enough of water activities, why not head inland to discover some of the animal parks the island has to offer. Located on the north of the island in Puerto de La Cruz is Loro Parque, the most exciting zoo on the island. Originally intended as a reserve for parrots, the park has grown its portfolio to include tigers, gorillas, chimpanzees, whales, dolphins and many more. For a more intimate zoo experience, then look no further than the Tenerife Zoo Monkey Park. The park is a breeding centre for endangered species of primates and offers you the chance to interact with these fascinating and somewhat mischievous creatures.
Aside from the big days out there are plenty of sports and activities on offer within the resorts from go-karting and crazy golf to fun-filled watersports on the beach. If travelling with children, you might want to consider a hire car rather than public transport. Car hire for Tenerife Airport South in Canarias is available as well as in the main resorts.
Today, I am the featured blogger on The SITS Girls, a community of 40,000 actively engaged bloggers known for helping women grow their online reach. Not only has SITS been instrumental in the rapid growth of my blog readership, but I have felt so genuinely supported by the friends I have made through this amazingly loyal community. Seriously, it brings tears to my eyes just thinking of strangers who have reached out to me and been there for me. Thank you SITS! I LOVE THIS COMMUNITY SO MUCH! If you are a blogger, I encourage you to visit The SITS Girls website and become part of our network.
Now a little bit about me.
Just the Facts
*American born, Filipino heritage
*37 years old
*Married for 3 years
*San Francisco dweller
*Traveled to 30+ countries, 6 continents
*Undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley: double-majored in Biology and English and minored in Forestry
*MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business
*Work for a Fortune 50 company in the financial services industry
Now highlighting the Dear Vixen blog.
In business school, I had an advice column in the school newspaper titled Dear Vixen. After I graduated, people said they missed my writing, and that’s how my blog was born. I blog about living in one of the best places on earth, the San Francisco Bay Area, and traveling all around the globosphere. As an academic, literary fiend, and lover of the written word, I also feature book reviews and blog about current events and thought-provoking social, political, and religious issues that are important to me and my readers. One thing that makes my blog unique is that I take an opinionated stand, while asking readers to weigh in as I am very open-minded and respectful of differing viewpoints. My hope is that the topics I blog about spur conversation and debate, and that the advice I dole out helps people live a more enlightened and inspired life. Every once in a while, I select guest bloggers cultivated from my vast network who are subject matter experts in their field. These posts are always very well received. Thematically, my blog also has a financial bent to it as I’ve set a personal goal to retire when I’m 50 and am always harping on what we can all do to save more money.
I encourage you to wander around this online home I’ve created on the interweb. Scroll down to read my recent posts. And subscribe by clicking on the pink button on the right.
I look forward to connecting and collaborating with you, and living an inspired life.