Monterey for the Day – Jan 2019

20190119_142432

20190119_143118

20190119_145659

20190119_145954

20190119_150257

20190119_161114

Monterey is a fun place to visit every so often.  We’re lucky to live 90 minutes away from such a beautiful place so it’s easy to do a day trip when we feel the need to get away.  Since it’s a 3 day weekend for the both of us, we thought we’d take advantage of the time off  and visit one of our favorite places to stroll along the coast and snap some pictures for this blog.

I plan to do a follow-up post and incorporate my husband’s photos, but for the time being, I hope you enjoy some pictures from my phone and that you find inspiration for your own adventure.

Let’s begin.

Monterey is a great place for a staycation for those living within close proximity like us.  It’s also a great place for a day trip for those visiting San Francisco.  There’s lots of things to do here, sites to see, and also places to eat.

A few ideas to do would be:

  1. Eat some seafood on the Wharf.
  2. Visit Cannery Row and go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
  3. Take a stroll along the coast in Pacific Grove.
  4. Take a sea car tour and drive around the area in a bright but cute little car.
  5. Indulge by staying at the Portola Hotel and Spa.  It’s walking distance to Old Monterey, the wharf, and the coast.
  6. Drive the scenic 17 mile drive.
  7. Visit Carmel.
  8. Also visit Big Sur.
  9. Rent bikes and bike along the coast.
  10. Rent a family bike and pedal together.
  11. Go kayaking in the ocean.
  12. Visit during whale watching season and go on a whale watching tour.
  13. Rent a boat.
  14. Go fishing right off of the pier.
  15. Relax and have a picnic on one of the many beaches and/or picnic areas.
  16. Spot a sea lion or even a sea otter.
  17. Try a Ghiradelli sundae from the Ghiradelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop in Cannery Row.
Advertisements

Kpop Corner: Winner Everywhere Tour in San Francisco

20190118_200508

20190118_210724-1

20190118_193345

We had so much fun at the Winner concert yesterday.  They are so good live!  For those who don’t know, Winner is currently on their North American tour.  I believe their first stop was Seattle before making their way down to San Francisco.  Boy oh boy it was another long drive into the city.  What should only be a 45 minute drive took 90 minutes, which ruined our chances for having dinner in the city.  Nonetheless, the concert was great!

 

Warm Places to Go In the Winter Time

So my husband’s office shuts down every last week of the year.  I totally want to take advantage of the opportunity and go somewhere warm.  It’s just I haven’t figured out where to go specifically.  Recently I’ve been doing research and some of the places that look promising for warm weather with a low chance of a hurricane affecting our trip would be:

  1. Costa Rica – I never would’ve considered Costa Rica a must-visit place except a bunch of Facebook friends posted their trip to Costa Rica, and because FOMO is real, I have to cross this place off my bucket list.
  2. New Zealand – Not only do I want to see the Shire but I want to see the rest of the Lord of the Rings set!  Huge fan by the way.
  3. Hawaii – We have not been to Maui or Kauai yet so it’s two places worth considering.
  4. Belize – My dad visited Belize back when I was in high school and I remember seeing all of his snorkeling pictures and how beautiful the water looked.  It definitely stuck in my mind, which is why I have this place in my heart to see Belize.

I’m not sure what our travel plans will be like for the end of the year, but I do know I’d like to keep it open for a trip.  Who knows, we may just try to do Disney’s California Adventure again, or maybe even Palm Springs.

I hope you’ve had a nice and relaxing weekend as mine.  I’ve just been trying to recover from my cold and everyday I feel myself getting better.  Have a great start to a new week!

 

8 Tips For How to Travel With Your Spouse or Partner

If you hate traveling with your spouse, then you’re probably doing something wrong.  Traveling is supposed to be fun and adventurous, and not one person dragging their feet because of a trip he/she doesn’t want to go on.  Marriage and relationships are about compromise.  We all should know this, but sometimes we forget.  Without compromise though, there’s failure to bring joy to a relationship that then becomes one-sided.  My husband and I have been traveling together since 2011 and some tips we’ve learned from our own trips and from friends and family would be:

  1. Don’t guilt your partner into doing a trip just because there’s an ‘opportunity’.  Let’s just say maternity leave is not meant to be an ‘opportunity’ for travel.
  2. Pay for the trip yourself.  Who can get angry at their spouse for an all expense paid trip?  It’s free for them so obviously there will be less complaining.
  3. Agree on where to go.  My husband has dragged his feet a few times on some of our trips, and I’m learning to include him in the planning process.  Most of the time he likes the activities that I pick, but there have been a few moments when he’s expressed disapproval.
  4. Make the travel days as painless as possible.  Book direct flights and avoid layovers as much as possible.  Also, book your accommodations to places that are walking distance so you don’t have to drive.  The point is to make travel days as painless as possible to get your spouse excited for the next trip.
  5.  Pick a destination that includes activities for the both of you.  My husband and I love being together 24/7.  We are peas in a pod.  However, I realize other couples aren’t like this so I suggest picking a destination that incorporates activities for alone time.  If someone loves shopping and the other surfing, then maybe Waikiki is a good spot to visit?
  6. Visit friends or family.  Another way to not be together 24/7 is to visit friends or family.
  7. Go to a destination you know will make your spouse happy.  Just take one-for-the-team and compromise.  You know the cliche saying, “It’s always better to give than to receive” and it’s true.  I find so much more joy making my husband happy than seeing him grumpy.  My husband also feels the same way.  He’s done a lot of things for me because he knows it’ll make me happy. “Happy wife is a happy life.”
  8. Don’t put your travels on credit.  Save, plan, and make sure you can afford your trips.  Otherwise, traveling becomes a contentious issue with debt stressing the relationship making the next trip hard to look forward to.  It’s just not worth it.

Places to Visit in California

20160704_154243-effects

There are so many great places to visit in California.  Below is our list we recommend you visit, and the other a list of places we have yet to explore.  California is definitely a vast state with lots of things to do and sites to see.  You can visit the state in multiple trips by first seeing the north or south separately, or with a road trip.  I would recommend a road trip and start from San Diego working your way up along the coast to San Francisco or even to Napa, this way you see a huge chunk of California on your fist visit.  Otherwise, seeing the state in segments is probably a good idea.  Hope this sparks ideas for a trip to California!

Places we recommend you visit:

  1. San Francisco
    1. Golden Gate Bridge
    2. Lombard Street
    3. California Academy of Science
    4. Fisherman’s wharf
    5. De Young Museum
    6. Painted Ladies
    7. Golden Gate Park
    8. Cal Academy of Science
  2. Disneyland
  3. Universal Studios
  4. San Diego
  5. Napa / Calistoga
  6. Yosemite National Park
  7. Sequoia National Park
  8. Santa Barbara
  9. Monterey / Pacific Grove
  10. Carmel
  11. Big Sur
  12. Lake Tahoe
  13. Muir Woods
  14. Big Basin
  15. Berkeley
  16. Santa Cruz / Capitola
  17. Point Reyes
  18. Solvang

Places we have yet to visit, but want to go to someday:

  1. Alcatraz
  2. Palm Springs
  3. Channel Islands National Park
  4. Catalina Islands
  5. Death Valley
  6. Joshua Tree National Park
  7. Twin Peaks in San Francisco
  8. Lassen Volcano National Park
  9. Avenue of the Giants to drive thru a Redwood Tree
  10. Safari West in Santa Rosa
  11. Disney Concert Hall
  12. Griffith Park
  13. Hearst Castle

To A New Year of Travel Adventures!

I was already a week early to ring in the new year, and now that it’s officially here, I’m so ecstatic!  2018 had some ups but definitely a lot more downs, which is why I’m ready to say goodbye and hello to the new year.  Good things are in store for us, and we are looking forward to all the things we have planned.  Most especially, I’m looking forward to our trips!  Yes, we have 2 week long trips planned, and since we only get 2 weeks a year for vacation, one trip will be in May and the other in September.  It’s going to be a good year!

Does anyone else plan trips months in advance?  I love doing it although some of my co-workers are quite opposite.  For me, planning ahead gives me something to look forward to especially on rough days.  I guess in a way it’s like dangling a carrot on a stick.

Anyway, I hope you all start planning for your future travels, whether it be domestic or international.  I hope you invest in yourself and take the time to travel for the sake of your health and well-being.

Happy New Year!

Getting Plane Tickets for the Price of One

I’ve finally accumulated enough mileage points with Alaska Airlines to book an international trip for me and my husband.  Boy did it take long to do it though.  I signed up for the Alaska Airlines card back in April 2017 because the companion fare appealed to me, and also because of the 30,000 bonus mileage points initially offered.  Although you pay $99 a year for the card, booking a flight for 2 will be a fraction of the cost with the $99 companion fare.  So if you think about it, it’s $200 (companion fare + credit card fee) for the second ticket anywhere in Alaska Air’s network, which I think is still worth it because the other perk is Alaska Air allows you to earn mileage points if you travel with partnering airlines.  Score!  So by using my card for daily purchases and by buying additional miles in one of their many sales, I accumulated 140,000 points to book an international flight.

First, I don’t want to share the destination because I don’t want to jinx our trip, and second, I did pay $850 for additional miles and also $45 to transfer miles from my husband’s Alaska mileage account.  Despite the 140,000 points, I still had to pay an additional $140 for the tickets plus $50 for travel insurance. So in total, I paid just under $1100 for our international plane tickets, which is practically the price of one where we’re headed.

I hope this inspires you to make travel a priority.  There’s definitely a lot of ways to make travel affordable and budget friendly.  Please check out my other tips here:

https://travelsbygandr.com/2018/12/21/17-tips-for-affordable-travels/