my Airbnb apartment was the best- great location (Beacon Hill) and friendly host (who also happened to be a two time olympic rower nbd). I arrived in from Vermont kind of late, so I got dinner at Tip Tap Room (chicken tips + good wine = yum), picked up some food from Whole Foods for breakfast and headed to bed.
After last year's tour of DC, I was really excited to head back for Gabby’s wedding. I ended up flying out a couple days early to get some sight seeing in and visit with my friend Tracy. I got into DC a few hours before Tracy and spent the time drinking good wine and eating delicious tapas from Barcelona - would definitely recommend that spot. The next morning, neither one of us was up bright and early as we were both still on CA time so we enjoyed being on lazy vacation mode before heading first to the White House and then to the National Portrait Gallery. My favorite was the Bill Clinton because it was just so unusual- the artist grids all of his canvases and then uses random shapes within the grid to form the image. Within the same building is the American Art Museum and they had some cool stuff especially the neon map of the US. After getting caught in a downpour, we got a couple drinks at Penn Social before meeting up with Bonnie at Founding Farmers (chicken and waffles yasssss).
A few weeks ago, I got to go on the Hornblower Holiday showcase cruise around the SF bay. I was considering having our holiday party on one of their boats so they offered a free trip for companies to come check them out. It was incredible. It started out pretty good with a great assortment of food on the main level (mac and cheese bar? yes please!) along with passed trays of champagne flutes (don't mind if I do). On the second floor they had the dessert bar, candy bar, second DJ (also one on the main level near the photobooth) and, randomly, a guy rolling cigars. But the very best part of all of this was the incredible sunset I got to witness. At first you thought, it was pretty cool seeing the sky behind the city turn all pastel and pretty and then you saw the main event happening beyond the Golden Gate bridge..stunning. Its a great way to experience the city- highly recommend for anyone visiting SF.
What's better than Vegas?? NashVegas! That is how one fellow visitor described Nashville when we were there and he was pretty dead on. Nashville has all the awesome hospitality, history and charm of the south with the crazy partying of Vegas...plus there is an awesome music scene! Luckily, I am friends with awesome girls who love to have a little adventure so we converged in Nashville for Lys' bachelorette party back in July and explored everything the city had to offer. My flight landed a little later than everyone else's so I quickly dropped my stuff off and headed out to meet the girls along Broadway. We had a live music filled night starting at Tootsies, then at the Silver Dollar Saloon and finally wrapping things up at Honky Tonk Central- it was the perfect introduction to Nashville.
Just like Seattle, I hadn't been back to Portland since becoming an American so it was time for another quick visit. We still had to drive all the way home (Portland to Bay Area in one day = not recommended) so we only had a few hours. First stop was Voodoo Doughnuts where I got an Old Dirty Bastard and Maple Bacon- too much sugar first thing the in the AM so wasn't able to finish them unfortunately. Then we walked our sugar coma off a little bit along the water before heading up towards Powell books (amazing as always) and a quick stop in Deschutes brewery <-- very necessary for the 10 hour drive we had coming up as I wanted to sleep as much as possible. I love Portland so while it was a good visit, it was much too short- wish we could have stayed longer.