Tourists In Our Own City

This Way to San Jose!

Have you ever driven by somewhere on your way home and wondered what was inside or wanted to go to that one place the tourist go, when they visit the city you live in? Well that’s exactly what we did, so put on your Hawaiian tourist shirt and strap on your camera because it’s about to get adventurous up ahead!

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The first stop was The Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz. It is a tourist destination, one I recommend reserving the first appointment, if your visiting on the weekend.imageOur tour started at 9:12 AM; odd time but then again it’s Santa Cruz. Our tour guide gathered our group of 12 around and explained the history behind the Mystery Spot. After a few corny jokes, we walked up a gradual hill, that was surprisingly tougher than it should have been…strange! Once we reached the top, we came upon a tilted house. We still don’t really understand, but once we were at the top of this hill, it had a gravitational pull and you appeared to be sideways. It was crazy, you could lean forward and not fall, it was definitely a…MYSTERY???imageAt the end of the tour they gave each person a yellow, Mystery Spot bumper sticker. It was one of those places we will only go once, but it was worth going; checked that off our tourist list!image

Next we went to The Buttery, a delicious bakery. It was packed, with people everywhere and two lines on either side. We quickly realized you needed a number for the pastry side, so we grabbed one and looked in their cases of amazing: pastries, cakes and pies. I picked out what I wanted and Jackson waited for his number to be called, while I went to the other side to order breakfast (this side doesn’t require a number). I ordered a cruisant breakfast sandwich and a vanilla latte. We sat outside and split everything. It was amazing, not a crumb was left; we will definitely be returning!image

We drove home to change into shorts, hopped onto our cruiser bikes and went to our next destination. We rode up to an Egyptian Museum with beautiful gold doors and giant, blue and white columns.imageWe have gone by this museum countless times, so we were curious as to what was inside. The docent explained that it was the largest Egyptian Museum on the West Coast and we were free to roam around the meseum and gardens, with our receipt being proof we paid. Jackson and I aren’t big museums goers, but we enjoyed looking at the history and how the Egyptians lived. It only took us about thirty minutes to walk through the museum and then we exited outside to explore the grounds. The gardens were beautiful and the Peace Garden was my favorite.image

After a few photo ops, we were back on our bikes and on the road to lunch. Our friends the night before told us about a new German bar, Ludwig’s German Table. It was not on the itenerery, but a true adventure has twists and turns at every corner. We pulled up to the bar and immediately thought it was a cool place, two historic ajoining houses with a large outdoor patio and lots of seating. It was a hot day, so we were happy to sit inside. The owner greeted us at the door and the decor was not what we expected, modern and beautifully decorated in navy and white. The owner said to pick our seats and he recommended my drink, a refreshing Ludwig’s House Hugo and he helped Jackson pick a German beer.imageWe split the pretzel to start and had the Jäger Schnitzel (thinly pounded chicken breast drizzled with mushroom cream sauce) and a side of fries for lunch; Jackson and I loved everything! The the owner was fantastic; he shared about beer week, he invited us to an upcoming event at his restaurant and even gave us a private tour of the German Hall amidst his restaurant. We have already been back and brought friends to enjoy the hot, new bar in town.

Our last stop was a continuation of our anniversary, a very romantic evening at The Grandview Restaurant. Before we got out of the car I had an anniversary gift hidden in the backseat for Jackson. It was our favorite wine, a 2007 (our wedding year) Jordan Cabrenet. Later at dinner we decided to drink this wine for every anniversary, it’s that good!imageWe sat outside and the view was breathtaking. Jackson and I enjoyed our slow paced meal, with romantic Frank Sinatra music playing and the food was mouthwatering at every course. It was very quiet outside and there were only two other couples, which made the experience more intimate. Towards sunset it started to get crowded and the patio was full by the time we left. imageWe enjoyed their famous cheesecake for dessert and watched the sun set on the balcony, arm in arm. It was a perfect way to end an amazing day of firsts.image

I encourage you to be a tourist in your own city and explore the area you live in; an adventure with your significant other will never disappoint!

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Communication Is Key


Okay ladies—news flash—men can’t read our minds, they don’t think ahead and they can’t multitask, even though they think they can! I’ve been with Jackson for almost fourteen years and yes I wish he could: read my mind, tell me things in a way that are sensitive and a sentence that is well thought out before he speaks, but unfortunately that is not always the case. Although I love him more than anything in this world, we are still working on our communication skills and what each other needs, at the right time. Communication is the hardest part of any relationship, it takes a lot of work and time, but it is definitely worth it! Jackson and I aren’t perfect and most of our arguments stem from simple miscommunication errors, but we work really hard on this aspect of our marriage and trust me, it pays off. I’ve accumulated a list of our best communication tips and tricks and I offer them to you, in hope that maybe, just maybe, one will work for you!

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Calendar:

We have a white board calendar from Target that we both walk by daily; at the beginning of each month we write down all of the important events for that month. On the side of the calendar, is a notes and to-do section that we write what we still need to accomplish for that month or the following months. Also, Jackson is a triathlete and trains daily, so at the bottom of each day he writes his workout and the duration of time it will take. The calendar has been an amazing tool for us!

Nightly Talks:

Before we go to bed, we share our plans for the next day (usually what we are planning to do after work), so if we forgot to look at the calendar it’s fresh in our minds. This one is key and helps us immensely, simple and easy to do!

Honey Do List:

This one took me a few years to figure out, but Jackson loves to accomplish a to-do list. Instead of nagging at him to do things, I write him a honey do list. Sometimes it’s written on our chalkboard by the front door and other times it’s written on paper. This one works wonders for us!

No Guessing Games:

I used to think Jackson should know exactly what I wanted or needed, but I quickly realized this wasn’t the case. Men want to please us, but they do not appreciate our game of making them try to guess or assume they understand our needs by a subtle hint. Honestly men need it straight, if you want that new purse, show him a picture and say this is what I want for my birthday. If you don’t like the flowers you’re husband got you, at a time when you can express that the weed looking bouquet wasn’t your favorite, but you absolutely love that he’s getting them for you, but what you really want are pink roses. Men like to hear it straight or at least my husband does, it takes the guessing game out of the equation.

Learning About Your Emotions

Learning about your emotions and what triggers your anger is key to not only helping yourself, but your significant other. Let’s face it, the ones we love are the easiest to hurt because we know they will love us no matter what, it’s so backwards-but that’s life. I would never dare tell my boss I don’t like the way she said something, but my husband-easy, I wouldn’t think twice. I’m still learning about how to handle my emotions, I have a temper and Jackson is as cool as a cucumber; he’s never yelled at me (I thank his dad for that trait)! I’ve come a long way with my temper and I have Jackson to thank for it! He’s made me realize I need alone time, when I’m angry and he gives me that space. He doesn’t allow me to not talk to him for long, which I’ve come to appreciate! When I give myself that time-out, I can collect my thoughts, so when we do talk, I can then express to Jackson what bothered me, in a calm matter and prevent that fight from happening again in the future. I encourage everyone to learn about yourself and what sets you off and why; it is really hard to point the finger at ourselves, but it will save your relationship. Besides, who wants to waist their time fighting, it’s exhausting and being happy is way more FUN!

When Is the Right Time?

Is it ever the right time to tell someone they are annoying you or doing something wrong, it’s way easier to keep it in…right? NO! This one can be difficult for any relationship, but the one thing I can advise is don’t let it fester up inside of you, until it blows up! I do so many things that would probably annoy any other female, but Jackson never seems to be phased by them. Me on the other hand, I can name a laundry list of things Jackson annoys me by doing: not hanging up his towel, socks inside out in the laundry, toilet seat left up, shoes out everywhere-except where they should be, cupboards left open, clothes on the ground-IN FRONT OF THE LAUNDRY BIN, I attribute these things to his simple mind; man I wish I could be more like him when it comes to being annoyed! We were watching Shark Tank, a show about entrepreneurs coming up with the next best invention and this guy presented a small, white stuffed elephant to the Shark investors. His idea was simple; when he leaves the toilet seat up, his wife would leave the elephant on top of the toilet seat, to indicate to her husband that it bothered her. The Sharks didn’t offer him a deal, but we thought it was funny and a light hearted way to tell your spouse an annoyance. Lilly, our dog has an elephant toy and right after that episode I put the elephant by his shoes that were left out; we had a good laugh, but he did put his shoes away. I’ve also used this tactic when we’re in the same room; “Hey Babe, there is a white elephant in the room!” He’ll look around and realize he forgot to put the remote back in the right place. Humor can work magic and laughter is the best medicine!

Jackson and I are still working everyday on communicating, but he is definitely worth it!! I would love to learn from you, comment below and let me know what communication tricks and tips you use with your significant other.

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Happy Anniversary

I met my husband, Jackson in college when we were both eighteen. We reported to college early for our sports, he played soccer and I played volleyball. We were friends for the first couple of months, but then one night we had our first kiss, okay there could have been some alcohol involved. We counted that kiss as our official start and never looked back. Over the course of our four years at Santa Clara University: we drank way too much, had the time of our lives, learned a lot about ourselves and each other and I quickly knew he would be my forever. Fast forward to the night before our graduation and Jackson proposed in front of our family and friends. A year later we got married in Newport Beach, CA and it was the best day of my life!

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This past Thursday, July 21st marked our 9th wedding anniversary. Jackson and I decided to take the train to San Fransisco and adventure the bar scene. We took a bullet train which only takes a little over an hour to arrive in the city, so we had our beers in hand and loved the people watching.

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We started at Rickhouse, a bar that has an old, rustic 1920s vibe, in the Financial District. It was packed and we were shocked, but then again we were in the city- it’s always happening. We decided to only stay for one drink, which were delicious and ventured to our next destination.

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We hopped in an Uber and went to Urban Putt, an indoor miniature golf course. The wait for golf was 40 minutes, which was fine because we were starving and their menu looked awesome.

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We headed upstairs and ordered two Moscow Mules and started with the grilled nectarine appetizer, delicious. For the main dishes we ordered: a burger with fries, grilled cheese and mexican street corn; everything was amazing. The corn was super spicy, so Jackson tried to eat it all at once and the waitress came by in the midst of him pounding the corn and she said, “wow, he really likes corn!” We died laughing because he had it all over his face; thank goodness we weren’t on our first date! After dinner, Jackson pulled papers from his pocket and told me he had documented all of our memories from the past year; I was deeply touched and loved reading through so many adventures and memories we had made in just one short year.

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We headed downstairs and started playing through the miniature golf course, the holes were all very different and creative. Jackson and I enjoyed the course and had many laughs along the way with our ridiculous shots, some shooting right back at us. When we finished we tallied up the score and….it was a tie! By this time it was almost 11pm, so we had to call it a night. There were a few more bars we didn’t make it to, but we will definitely be back.

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Happy 9th anniversary Jackson, it was a night to remember! Xo

 

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