Kaya Toast & Angel Island!

**I wrote this last Thursday and forgot to publish it- so here it is now!**

Hey friends! I am writing this post from about a million miles in the air. I’m not going to try to estimate exactly how many miles…I have a weirdly comical inability to estimate distance/measurement of any kind. One time I ordered wedding portraits our first year of marriage for a Christmas gift for my in-laws and accidentally ordered a portrait the size of a fireplace. Not. Exaggerating. It was the same size as the fireplace. I cannot be trusted when it comes to numbers.

So, yeah, I’m in an airplane and on Cloud 9- quite literally! I have everything checked off my what seemed endless “to-do” list leading up to this weekend & just caught up on reading posts! A little behind the scenes: I opened up all the new posts to read while I had WIFI on the ground and then am writing my comments in a Word document. When I land & have WIFI again I’ll just copy and paste um’ to the comment section. My favorite way to pass the time on flights 🙂

I downloaded episodes of The OA to get started on, but am in the mood to write at the moment. Traveling makes me extremely productive. I love that there is nothing else vying for your attention- especially when you’re in the air and disconnected from the world- you literally cannot do anything else except what you have right in front of you! And on this flight where I’m squeezed in the middle of two strangers I literally hope I don’t sneeze because I will elbow the person next to me on accident. Also, I hope they aren’t reading this because that’d be awkward?! Oh well!

So after our wonderful Easter (the last one in SF- hard to believe!), the following Monday April 22nd I reset for the week. Since my semester was officially done I had to get to those “back burner” items … you know, the ones that can wait but need to be done at some point: I called our prospective apartment complex to get on a wait-list, worked on stuff for the shower, made lists of what we need to do before moving, cleaned out my car, tried to sign up for the Boston Marathon (I’m having such an issue figuring out the application process- if someone has done it please let me know! It’s so confusing & I can’t seem to actually find a formal registration place or someone I can get in touch with—their customer service line doesn’t lead anywhere and I only get automated e-mails back)… anyways you get the picture.

In the afternoon of the 22nd I went on a little walk (my favorite way to just clear my head as of late- maybe even more than running *gasps from the crowd in the back*). I just loved these beautiful truly vibrant blooms!

32be0304-6a07-4fb2-b8c7-2cfa7f59a9ff

These ones are practically neon!

f9de65b9-1e3c-4571-9f97-a881ae8074d2c9c886f2-311a-4057-b133-6f0369e08a1f

Let’s see.. On Tuesday April 23rd, I made DJ some pepper jack stuffed chicken with jasmine rice and corn. I made some vegetarian Indian for myself with jasmine rice and tandoori naan from TJs. DJ had some, but said he preferred his chicken (fine– more veggie curry for me 🙂 ). He also is used to my chicken curry I make for him, so I promised I’d make it sometime soon!

dde014db-4254-4858-92dd-f313ac9934fa9f042f81-6d45-4042-96e6-f9c867444556

Wednesday April 24th …. well, I have no pictures, so either I was busy with hum- drum things or I disappeared into a black hole. Who knows.

Thursday April 25th was eventful though!! I woke up around 8, ran outside (it was a glorious morning). Then around 10:30 am my friend Alexandra from my nursing cohort met at our apartment. We took my car into the City (ya know I love driving into the City like a real weirdo)… First stop was BreadBelly. They have a few menu items I discovered through the ol’ I-G that I was itchin’ to try.

0aa5185c-da2d-4642-adac-af79122ea749

We walked in and to our surprise there was no line, even though it was close to lunch time when we arrived. The place was immaculate. I’m trying to get that YELP elite status, so I wrote a review and will just share it here to give ya the low down. Definitely am going back ASAP!

img_5098

3381ec11-850b-486a-8c0b-5bf39a57d6d815396a1d-fd44-4cb4-b2ae-816da80f8a3e438de183-aab0-48e5-b991-227e6fc12971c4e1bf0e-a04e-4c5d-b642-fb17c1eded5115c3fe0f-8bcb-40c7-adcc-20f559eb595c58b64ba0-79a0-4883-afae-89cc6808b663

I couldn’t finish all the Kaya Toast so I saved it to have again in the morning (and had a cooler with me like I do every time I do when I go into the city so nothing goes to waste)!

We took the Ferry over on the Blue & Gold Fleet located at Pier 41. It was easy-peasy lemon squeezy finding it all. Important note: they do have a specific departure schedule, so it’s important to plan out your day rather than try to catch a Ferry last minute. I was glad we did a bit of research before rather than just winging it.

0e37864f-3f98-4484-8aa4-3bb628d5f1889571966b-2845-4b0c-b6e9-9c1e6e3589c2741ea914-8959-4a46-9f4a-e8417f9fac42

The ride over was a bit bumpy, but the views were sooo incredible along the way. We saw some huge homes perched onto an Island in the distance and tried to figure out how they would get their groceries there or what they would do if they ran out of toilet paper.

ae9654c6-4ac6-4bd8-9ef0-ad50f02fbcce

When we arrived we could not stop talking about how absolutely gorgeous this island was!! I honestly had no idea what to expect with it; I only knew it was a place on the bucket list I made months ago that we decided would be a fun spot to cross out for the day. Mainly this island is known for its nod to history & awesome hiking.

cad8c128-b9f1-4fc1-a5d1-3b1bc614462b0aa06cea-a299-4925-98ca-e5060ed1042c54d72a2e-a5e8-4f08-8d82-0f68d8c4bb8c203d4355-4a5c-4c6c-9f54-99932b723724808a4f2f-ff6e-476e-920c-e6c181e0896543fabcb0-9895-4ed2-9764-096607cfbb62

Being a couple of nurses, something we both found incredibly fascinating was the fact that it was used to quarantine those with contagious diseases like smallpox, plague, and cholera.

926a2a40-4617-4bc1-b947-a63041cc66ee

We went inside the tourist area and read up on some more history. All so interesante!

92530ad5-d702-47a2-9b20-42b365c2d77f

Then we took off for our hike! It’s so nice because the hiking begins as soon as you step foot off the Ferry. You don’t have to take a cab or taxi to any spots- you just choose your path and get going!

0f0db060-4344-4d0c-818e-c2fd90fd2f9d5d676d5d-1433-42c7-adad-0410d8b57590b8246423-3e5c-4ded-8079-c584e1a3b1ed

The views, the views, the views! This might be one of the most beautiful places you could go in the Bay. We couldn’t stop talking about how breathtaking it was at every turn. Of course, the pictures cannot do justice.

6abb61b9-5101-42a3-8e58-bce88e75dd45215d3b3f-a9d1-4f5e-bdc3-56b5e6d9812b88d57ad1-3b45-4bd8-af4a-576ab8e448278c89ff03-4452-4c8a-856c-f890f5259528

As we walked along we noticed a little path that lead to some homes. We took it down and realized they were the homes we saw from the Ferry!! They were actually not homes at all, but abandoned barracks. So I guess no one was too concerned how they were gonna get that roll of Cottonelle. There was a baking house too that had literal smoke coming from the chimney! We stepped inside to check it out and walked right into a guided tour- WHOOPS! They were nice about it though and let us snoop around, haha.

01db42f5-b241-4eb8-bf74-537c43dac766dccdf2dc-535d-4e45-8dfb-f0264a37f62cc96d77b3-b1cb-4dda-9d34-3fb8728bcc12d605a650-ce1b-4c63-987f-5eca24c6c3e2We had about two hours total before the Ferry went back to SF (If you don’t catch the Ferry you are stuck with the ghosts or have to pay a hefty fee to get transported back). We played it safe and hiked back earlier than required. There was a cute little porched café we were gonna try, but it was closed when we got to it. No worries though- we had a great dinner lined up.

de581853-cc94-4455-82dd-8c5c3e9ee092bf3364b8-1cf2-4b1d-9208-c7784ced863cc1727002-61e5-4c0d-b7d8-e10ab5121d1438360da6-e890-421a-8def-6cfd8fe38f68ed973b75-840f-463e-b78f-4f7dcece72ed

The Ferry ride back was much more smooth, but took longer since we stopped to drop people off at Sausalito and Tiburon.

2d8254cf-ab2c-4f62-8ccd-9ccbc2f4ac69

Peek of Alcatraz on the way back!

d434c763-f871-438d-926c-a8d93c6b9039

We had SUCH a blast exploring Angel Island. It’s easily one of my favorite things I have ever done in the city. It’s a cheap activity too- all you have to do is pay for the Ferry. It’d be fun to pack a lunch and take the earlier Ferry out to make a day out of it! But the time we spent there for our festivities was just perfect–We got our history and our hike!

1bea090f-2faf-43a8-a39d-61c0ed77b3e9

So you know I don’t do a trip to the city without a food stop 😉 We were going to go to Cotogna, one of Alexandra’s favorites and a place I’ve been dyin’ to try (they have a famous giant ravioli). When we walked in they said the wait was at least 1.5 hours to sit at the bar or would be over three for a table. Thank you, next. We walked along Little Italy and Alexandra got a front row to my indecisiveness in full force, lol. There are SO many good restaurants in Little Italy. We finally settled on Tony’s Pizza… a place some consider the best pizza joint in the City.

4c5b3888-18e4-4806-88b7-5fecf3524b3cd8877504-09a8-4b8e-a3da-ef2537ed264a

We told our hubs that we’d bring them home dinner, so we ordered three pies that we knew they’d enjoy too! The first was a marg, the second a New Yorker, and the third the Diavola. First up, the Margherita.. this is not just any marg… it  is a world-renowned, award-winning margarita pizza. I gotta say, we were both incredibly underwhelmed. It was extremely doughy and kinda luke-warm (we were sitting out in the freezing cold – the temp dropped quickly, so that may have been part of it!). I asked the waiter if that was normal for it to be like that… he explained the “soupy” doughy nature is a sign of a very authentic marg. Interesting. I absolutely prefer Pizza Antica’s  marg over this ANY day. But different strokes for different folks!

4d712790-abb6-46ac-9082-8c7061f9e37c-1

The second famous one I saw all over the place was their New Yorker. This is one I knew DJ would love cause he loves a meat lovers pizza. I tried one bite with the meat so I could give an objective review before taking the rest of the meat off.. it was great! The crust was nice and crispy on this one. Still don’t prefer meat on my ‘za, but this was DJ’s favorite when I took it home for him.

cf4b5836-5564-42a4-a35c-98c77f66ac8a

Last up was the Diavola. Both Alexandra and I agreed this was the best one of the three!! I tried a bite, and it was tremendous. Their hot sauce is already added to the Diavola, which I think is the main reason it’s such a winner in our books. I’m surprised it didn’t win any actual awards though. After our three slices a piece we tapped out and took the rest to go for our guys.

2f7096b0-f775-4a4b-994a-fb3c35b77784-1caee4f04-34ca-4f62-b93d-e3a54d21a92d-1

And that wraps up one of my favorite days ever in the city. It was soo much fun hanging with Alexandra- we get each other on a kindred level. We’ve been through a lot of similar challenges in life & that first year of nursing bonded us in such a way where she feels like a sister to me. I’m gonna miss this one something fierce. Trying to convince her to move to Austin too 😉

I know this one was wordy,  but I just don’t wanna forget these special details. Thanks for reading!!

Question for you:

  • Do you prefer your pizza crust crispy or doughy?

xo <3

submark sig

Advertisements

One Year Blogiversary, and yes, there is cake.

One year ago in July, DJ and I moved across the entire country to this foreign land of the Bay Area. We greeted this new adventure with excitement and welcomed the change gladly. We soon figured out that if there is an antithesis to small town Indiana, it was probably our new California abode. Don’t get me wrong- Indiana will forever have a soft spot for me, it’s just different here. Like a child uncovering their five senses for the first time, I began exploring this new playground in awe. The mountains, the trails, the people, the events, the diversity, the buzz, the food, ohhh the FOOOD! I felt that I couldn’t do justice relaying to our parents all we were experiencing. So, I decided to start this blog. I started a diary, a virtual documentation of our memories, travels, and general happenings. I never intended or expected for anyone to read this outside of my mom, DJ’s mom, and maybe a couple girlfriends back home (hence the super unoriginal blog name- I didn’t realize that actually being creative was a thing). I, quite honestly, had no idea what I was getting myself into.

The first thing I didn’t realize was how incredible the WordPress community is. I actually didn’t even know there was a community when I began. When I received my first comment I was blown away- someone in Baltimore cared about something I wrote?! It baffled me. Then it began extending to Canada, Ireland, etc. etc. and of course, my beloved India. I began my own exploration through the world of blog, and the writings of so many resonated within me. I began to see the vulnerability, the talent, creativity, and the genuine hearts that create this virtual world; this is truly a special place.

This inspired me to share a bit of my own heart. Little by little the blog has also been my space to cope with the ups and downs of this past year and to just write. Which, if you are an author around here, you understand the cathartic nature in writing alone.

I reflect on this year and from traveling across the US with DJ, to creating our new home from scratch, to questioning my faith but finding it again, to studying endless hours for my NCLEX, to passing my boards, to visits from families and friends, to holiday festivities, to the epic meet & greet, to DJ and I both beginning our new careers and everything in between…..I realize this blog has been pivotal.

Not only have I made and gained priceless friendships that I can’t imagine life without, but your words of encouragement and love have lifted me on the darkest days. Receiving texts from family and friends saying me sharing struggles inspired them always caused me to raise a brow …… And there exists maybe one of my greatest lessons I’ve learned through blogging: There is something beautiful about embracing the struggle. There is something kindred in vulnerability. My walls and my desire to present a certain image to the world is slowly crumbling away because I now understand that very facade has actually kept me from growth. But I would not have grown without you. Each of you. From the other bloggers out there to the friends and family who have supported this endeavor, and especially DJ, who has allowed me to be so candid about our life.

So…

JJ, Katie,  Miranda, Cassie, Terri, Natalie, Cyranny, Nikki, Jena, Debbie, Myra, Anna, Steph, Amitav, Kalpana, Lisa, Jennifer, Anna, Kat, Chrissey, Frilly, Caralyn, Sophia, Jen, Jess & Roman, Samantha, Lathi, Tara, Rhiannon, Chelsea, Heather, Kiran, Ju Lyn, Lyss, Taylor, A Patient Nurse, Miriam, Lyndsay, McKenz, Suz, Elizabeth, Rach, Allie, Katy, Sijo, Kimberlee, Chiara, Caroline, Alifya, Tialla, Jess, Nicole, Jenna, Sarah, Kori, Amy, Niki, Marcia, Rossy, KrystalKristin, Cheila… (Uh oh, I know I’m missing others!) and those without blogs that leave the sweetest words…

I just want to say thank you. I celebrate this blog, not because of me, or my life, but because of you and your impact on my life and so many others. Thank you for inspiring me with your own writing and vulnerability. Thank you for sharing your world too. Thank you for the incredibly thought provoking, hilarious, and beautiful conversations. Thank you for challenging me. Thank you for loving me, with my horrible jokes and sushi littered posts, THANK YOU.

Now, we can’t celebrate without cake, AMIRITE?!

Wednesday, I whipped down up to SF to celebrate with my girl, Annie, before she heads back to Korea (CUE THE TEARS). She is super on board with my wacky ideas, like idk, getting a cake to celebrate your blog? This totally began as a joke, but we rannnn with it. Any excuse for cake, AMEN?! 🙌🏻

We first headed to the oldest Restaurant in SF, Tadich’s Grill. This may be one of the most wonderful meals I have had in SF so far (which says a whole lot, because we have basically ate our way through SF).

img_9343-1img_9344-1img_9345img_9347img_9349-1img_9350-1

After having the most phenyumonal meal you can imagine, we went back to her glorious apartment that overlooks the Bay and took pictures with a cake I ordered from Sugar, Flour, Butter bakery (highly recommend if you need a bakery in the northern Cal area).

img_9342-1img_9339-1img_9341-1img_9340-1img_9353-1img_9351-1

I said I didn’t feel right about not having a glass of red wine in the picture if I was being true to myself. So we pulled out that Cabernet for the photo ops 😉

img_9399img_9393img_9354-1img_9398img_9296-1

This red velv cake did not stand a chance against us. I wish I could have shared a piece with everyone!

All my love…

xo <3

signature-1