Abel Tasman and Punakaiki

Abel Tasman | Day 7
I had googled Abel Tasman before I left and this was one of the stops I was most excited about on the tour. I mean just check out these pics and you'll know why. So I was a little bummed that we woke up to MORE RAIN!!! It wasn't too bad so I hoped it would pass quickly, we hopped on our Aqua Taxi and headed out. I may have been running a little late (mornings aren't my strong suit) so I was in the back of the boat aka the part that was not covered by the awning- always good when its raining. A little rain soon turned into a lot of rain especially when the boat is flying across the water. Us back row seats were drenched in no time but it was a blast and I was laughing the whole time so being wet didn't really seem to matter....plus we saw a little blue penguin!!! Yup a penguin! Everyone should be jelly about that one as they are adorable. We had stopped to look at some seals and since I didn't have my glasses on I shouted 'Is that a fucking penguin?!?!' as soon as I saw its little head over the waves...lucky everyone ignored my...umm...colorful outburst and freaked out themselves over the little guy.


Windy (and wet) Wellington

Wellington | Day 4
A quick flight in the morning and I was in Wellington being welcomed into the airport by Gollum...creeeeeepy! I made it to my new hostel Nomads Capital but couldn't check in until 2 so I stashed my bag in the luggage room and headed out to find food...by that point, I had reached epic hangry levels. Luckily right next door to the hostel is Finc: Food Incorporated where I had the Sticky Tamarind Chicken Skewer with Vietnamese salad and chili jam...yum status. Also I took full advantage of the free wifi- its funny how obsessed you become with free wifi when traveling...anything to avoid paying $4 for an hour of internet. Anyways by the time I finished lunch it was officially a shit-tastic weather day so I cancelled my usual plan of wandering aimlessly around a new city and headed straight for Te Papa.


Auckland Adventures

The following things have been on my bucket list for years: go to New Zealand, go to Australia, go to Bali, hold a wombat and a koala, go bungee jumping and go on a spa vacation. Well what better time than the present right? After deciding to take a month off of work (and getting approval from my manager) and waiting a looooong 7 months, I packed up and headed out for an adventure! On the itinerary was New Zealand for 3 weeks, Bali for 5 days and Australia for 5 days. To say I was excited was an understatement....focusing at work the last month was near impossible. Luckily my trip exceeded my expectations. In an effort to help my poor memory (worst. memory. ever.) I'm going to try and write down everything that I remember meaning these will be long and most likely rambling...although the longer it takes me to actually get through all of these the less I will remember so you never know. Either way you have been warned. 


Off the Grid: Twilight in the Presidio

There's a blog called Fun Cheap SF and I follow it like a champ! Some of the events aren't really my thing but their goal is to find fun and cheap events in SF which is exactly what I love to do. When I saw an event that promised campfires, cabanas, booze and food trucks I knew we had to check it out! It's called Twilight in the Presidio and its going on every Wednesday in October- next week is the last one...major sad face that its already over. We went for the first time on the 9th which also happened to be Rebecca's birthday! Since all birthday girls need a cabana (seriously- I only want to spend my birthday in one from here on out- cabana on the lawn, on the beach, by a pool...many options) I got there suuuuper early to snag one of the cabanas since we figured it would be packed. I swung by the amazing Suzy Cakes to pick up some cupcakes and who do I run into but the birthday girl herself! After picking up pretty much all the cupcake flavors available (hands down favorite was the flourless chocolate cake with espresso frosting) we headed over to the main lawn to set up camp. We got there at 4 (event started at 5) and weren't even the first ones there! Umm yea this is the view by the way:


America's Cup

I've been an uber slacker about posting lately but thats because so many fun things are going on and sitting at my computer writing about them is taking a backseat. Anyways to catch up, waaaaay back in September my dad and I went down to Pier 27 to watch America's Cup races. I know literally nothing about sailing or sailing races but it was a gorgeous day so we couldn't pass it up - plus 'America' is in the name so I had to check it out. 


Blog-iversary and SF-iversary

The blog is two years old! Like last year I totally forgot to do this in August but whatever its still exciting. And in keeping with my two year anniversary of being 'Murican and writing this blog, I am celebrating by drinking wine (this one from Whole Foods mmm) and binge watching Sons of Anarchy- only on season 1 so don't go spoiling any plot points. Can we just take a moment to appreciate Charlie Hunnam- he is some serious hotness. Anyways, the list has grown to 54 items and I've completed 26 of them making me 48.15% American. Hells yes! I've had an amazing year thanks to my awesome family and fabulous friends- can't wait for another! Thanks to everyone who's made me more American these past 12 months! 


Labor Day Weekend

This past weekend was so much fun! Spent lots of time with friends, tried new things and even got in some relaxing...can we please have three day weekends all the time? How do I make that happen? Any ideas would be much appreciated.

Anyways, first up was bookclub on Friday night- got my inner Martha Stewart on and decorated the mason jars and baked a cake (this cake to be exact). However I did not extend the Martha skills to the actual dinner and just ended up ordering pizza...mainly so I could spend all my time holding the tiniest member of the group (she's so cute!!).


#2 Learn how to BBQ

My favorite food? Hands down answer is BBQ. I love it all: the meat, the sides, the sauce...bring it! I especially love how it always feels like summer when you're eating a delicious BBQ meal. Anyways as part of my American list I decided I needed to learn how to BBQ and my friend Kelda (aka K-sista) makes a mean BBQ chicken. What makes her BBQ chicken the most American? That would be the Bud Light beer can up its butt...'Merica!


#8 Bet at a horse race

Sunday was race day! Golden Gate Fields has Dollar Days on Sundays in the summer which means for the low low price of $1 each you get: parking, entry, a program, beer and hot dogs! Horses, cheap beer and hot dogs?!?! Uh yea this event is right up my alley. They also theme each Sunday and it turns out we showed up for Hispanic Heritage Dollar Day- they also have live music playing so we saw mariachi players wandering around between races. We got up not so bright and early (my B but sleeping is just so fun) and got to the race track just in time to hit some serious traffic - the freeway exit is the worst intersection I've ever seen and at least three cars almost got hit while we were waiting to turn. Finally we parked (be sure to ask for the $1 parking-which they do not advertise- or you'll pay $8) and headed to the entrance just to see a giant line of people waiting to get in.


Exploring SF: Presidio Trails Part 3

If you aren't already sick of my Golden Gate photos from other hikes here and here then you're in luck because I took a bunch more! Every time I do a walk along the coast and the weather is right (think: less fog more sun) I tune into my inner tourist and take an unbelievable amount of photos. This past Saturday I timed it right and had gorgeous views of the bridge. I headed out pretty late in the day (around 4) and walked over to Baker beach and then walked along the sand trying to find the Batteries to Bluffs trail since I neglected to find the trail head online before I left the house. I walked all the way along the beach towards where I thought the hike might start and managed to walk into the nude beach section. There was plenty of what you expected at a nude beach: confused tourists, naked sunbathing, naked reading and a fairly competitive game of naked volleyball. The problem in not knowing where the trail started was that I needed to look around to try and find it meaning I was doing my best to look for a trail and NOT stare directly at naked old men.


Exploring SF: Presidio Trails Part 2

One of my summer goals was to explore all the hikes in the Presidio so Lindsey and I headed out for a walk on Saturday and ended up walking for over 9 miles! We headed over to the Presidio Golf Course and passed some gorgeous houses along the way. 


Tourist Club Hike

Living in the city is awesome but occasionally I like to escape for the day- this weekend I checked out an awesome hike with my dad and brother in Muir Woods. I've been dying to check out the Tourist Club so I found a hike online (here it is) that took us on a nice loop to get to it. 



I love me a good list. I make lists for everything in my life- work, errands, fun stuff, this blog (obvi), etc. Whenever I'm not feeling productive I make a list usually with something I've already done on it or something super easy to do so you can get the satisfaction of crossing something off right away. Throughout the year I always find myself thinking of things I want to do in the summer- well we are well into summer now so I put my list together and started planning on how to get it all done. First up was the Exploratorium After Dark event. Its the first Thursday of every month (this month's theme was 'Freestyle') from 6-10pm and for adults 21 and over which means....drinks!! Awesome way to spend a happy hour. Bonnie, Pete, Tom, Rebecca and Elisabeth came to check it out with me.


Exploring SF: NOPA

I already covered Hayes Valley, The Mission and The Dogpatch so next on the list was checking out the NOPA area on Divisadero. At least I think this would be considered NOPA- some places identify with Western Addition or Lower Haight on their website...whatevs you get the idea. Elisabeth, Rebecca, Lindsey and Alicia joined in on the fun which was good because the goal of the day was to eat as much good food as possible. We ended up walking so we were able to take a quick detour and stop in the very crowded B Patisserie in an attempt to snag a chocolate banana croissant before starting the food fest- yup all that melted banana chocolate deliciousness combined with buttery flaky goodness mmmm. They were actually out and we didn't feel like waiting plus we knew the eating we had ahead of us so we were willing to take a pass this time around but can I just highly recommend that everyone go here and get a croissant at some point...totally worth it.


Tomales Point Trail

The other weekend I was looking to experience some good ol' American wholesome outdoor fun so I headed up to Point Reyes and hike the Tomales point trail- it was awesome!!! Seriously if you're ever in the Bay Area and looking for a fairly easy hike then check this one out- I mean you get to see tons of elk (photo above is my fav of the day) PLUS you get amazing views like this:

#42 Celebrate the 4th of July

It took awhile but I finally crossed another item off the list! Yup I got all dolled up in my 'Merican finest and celebrated Independence day at my parent's house. Please note the use of my USA beer mitt- best purchase ever! I love my parent's house and affectionately refer to it as my 'summer home'- anytime its foggy in SF its usually super hot and sunny where they're at so its worth the trip over every time (plus seeing my parents is cool too). It was over 100 degrees so I spent most of the day in the pool- mainly lounging with a beer...relaxation at its best.


Best License Plate EVER!

Seen by my coworker on her walk home from work. This person is my new hero.


Summer List

The other night I was lying awake thinking of all the things I wanted to do this summer so since I love me a good list- here they are in no particular order:
  • Go see 'The Way Way Back'
  • Go to Dollar Day at Golden Gate Fields
  • Spend the day in Mill Valley
  • See a movie at a drive-in theater
  • Go paddleboarding
  • Hike all the trails in the Presidio
  • Check out the Exploratorium at night (Thursdays only fyi)
  • Learn how to BBQ
  • Go camping (as much as possible)
  • Play a game of paintball
If you think of anything I should add let me know - I love me some summer activities!


Happy 4th of July!!

Hope everyone is enjoying their day off to celebrate the good ol' US of A. I will be drinking by the pool all day. Hope you're doing the same and if you're at a loss as to what to drink, then we are no longer friends- come on yo! Its not hard! Crack open a brewski and get to celebrating 'Murica's day. Ok fine if you're really struggling I recommend these 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon beers- refreshing, summery and super patriotic with Lady Liberty on the cans = triple win. And now some 'Murican links to distract you for a little while:

-An American flag onesie exists and I don't own one?!?! What is this world coming to??
-Bacon flag print- dress up your apartment plus mmmm bacon
-the weather in SF has been pretty awesome lately so you might need these aviators
-24 proud patriots (omg I'm so sorry but #3 is totes NSFW or for your eyes in general-#7, 13, 19 and 20 also NSFW)
-Totally bizarre pieces of Americana- some are super creepy
-20 things America has done right
-17 epic pieces of presidential fan art
-21 red white and blue desserts- yuuummmm


Canada Day 2013 Eh

This past Monday was the wonder that is known as Canada Day (July 1st for those who don't know) and as a proud Canadian I forgot about my whole dual citizenship thing and went full on Canuck for the day. Now ideally I would like all my Canada Day's to be on a Thursday/Friday/Saturday kind of situation but at least this year it wasn't on a Sunday (unlike last year). So how does one celebrate their homeland while at work in American? Easy! First lots of Canadian flair is needed- basically anything red and white will do but bonus points if a majestic maple leaf is on it.

The most beautiful wall art there ever was

OMGeeeeeeee! How perfect is this?!?! Now just have to justify the purchase when I'm supposed to be putting money away to save up for a super expensive partial crown- I hate the dentist. Ruining all my fun!


Austin in 36 Hours

I love living in SF but so far the hands down winner for favorite city to visit is Austin- friends, food and music...what more could you ask for?!? I've done a pretty good job keeping track of all my trips to my favorite southern city here on this blog but this time was a little different- I was only in Austin for 36 hours so I had to make it count! I flew in to oversee a job for work so I had to spend time at the jobsite but luckily my friend's apartment was 5 minutes away so I got to spend lots of time with her. During my lunch break, I met my co-worker over at Z Tejas in the Austin Arboretum which was a super cool spot and AMAZING, TO DIE FOR cornbread...for serious.

Keeping busy...

Its been an usually hot SF summer (so far) so I've spent less time on my computer and more time outside- which is never a bad thing but means I've been way behind on posting. I haven't been overly American lately (although I technically did jury duty- even got paid my whopping $15). Instead fun things like a visit from Dog have been happening- just check out his adorable face! He even let me put slippers on him before a bedtime cuddle sesh (he may or may not look unhappy about the situation).

Father's Day 2013

As an early Father's Day present, I took my dad on a tour of the Anchor Steam Brewery. So much fun! The tour is free (super classy present I know) and you just have to book way in advance. After a brutal week at work it was the perfect way to spend a Friday afternoon. The tour starts off with a little history of Anchor Steam and micro breweries in general and then we headed out for the tour of the facility.


Exploring SF: Presidio Trails Part 1

 I love living in the city but its nice to get away from the craziness for awhile -which is why I was stoked to learn how many trails there are in the Presidio. This website gives a good overview of the different options- I had no idea! A couple weekends ago, I decided to go for a short walk and ended up walking 9 miles- hard to stop when you have great weather and amazing views. I started off on the Mountain Lake Trail which is 2.6 miles long and goes from the Broadway Gate to Baker Beach.


Mother's Day 2013

Meant to write this one awhile ago but better late than never! We lucked out with amazing weather for Mother's Day so we met my mom at the Ferry Building to load up on some caffeine before walking to the Dogpatch for our Mother's Day festivities. I also gave my mom her Rickshaw Golden Gate tote present which came in handy as we picked up stuff along the way.


#40 Serve on a jury

For the first time, when I got my most recent jury summons I wasn't able to check the 'not a citizen' box since I'm full on 'Murican now. So I sucked it up and headed to the court house to do my civic duty. Unlike everyone else, I was hoping I'd get picked so I could check something off my list. Scenes from Law & Order, Legally Blond and A Few Good Men were playing in my head- I was ready for some drama and excitement!



Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE me some BBQ...like legit obsessed with BBQ. I talked about it for weeks leading up to my last trip to Austin and was not disappointed...actually I was disappointed that I physically could not eat more of the deliciousness that is Black's BBQ. So when I read a Serious Eats article (totes thought I had read it in Sunset magazine and spent a good 20 mins trying to find it before realizing it was SE) about Hi Lo BBQ opening up in SF, I was all over it! As a post- exploring the Dogpatch dinner we headed over there Sunday night and I was literally struggling to contain my excitement. All my pics are blurry because I was moving so quickly just trying to get to the counter to order- per usual I had already looked up the menu and decided what I wanted to order.


Exploring SF: The Dogpatch

After getting some stress out at the batting cages I ended up walking downtown and wandered through the Dogpatch. I was planning on heading there on Sunday with friends so it was cool to scope it out a bit beforehand. After getting the lay of the land, I headed home to get ready for girls night. Rebecca, Elisabeth and I ate an amazing dinner at Pacific Catch then got our drink on with Bonnie along Polk street. Per usual I obviously used good judgement and totally did not over indulge on whiskey (lies! totes did!) and giant donuts the size of my head (double lies! so good!).


#54 Go to the batting cages

Checked another item off the list this weekend! I was up bright and early Saturday morning to go to the batting cages...well that was the plan but in reality I was up at 12 and even then I didn't actually do anything for a good 45 min. Anyways, once I got going I ubered over to Potero hill to check out the SF Baseball Academy. It was pretty far out and in the middle of a bunch of warehouses (uber driver for sure thought I had the wrong address) but once I figured it out it was easy to find.



Has this week seemed crazy long to anyone else? I spent all Monday thinking it was Tuesday and all day Thursday thinking it was Friday...sooo glad it is actually finally Friday. Here are some links if you need a mental break at the end of the week like I usually to:


Checking In

So umm yea I've been totally MIA for over a month. Seriously how did March go by so fast?!?! I haven't been posting because I haven't been a good American- with  how fast this year is going by I better get on my list asap (or as Michael Scott would say 'as asap as possible') or the year will be done and I will be no closer to being a true American. Despite being terrible at doing American things, I have been keeping myself busy these past few weeks- with the exception of when I had the worst cold/fever/flu/cough of all time and laid around the house feeling sorry for myself for a week.


Exploring SF: The Mission

Lindsey and I decided that instead of getting each other Christmas presents we would do a roomie SF day. We each wrote down ideas of things we've always wanted to see/do/eat in the city and put them in the pimp cup to be pulled the day of. Since I have no self control I voted we look at all the ideas and pick the ones we thought we could do in a day then go from there.

Happy President's Day

Hope everyone had a good vacation- I love a good three day weekend. Grace at Design Sponge put together a list of 10 Great Presidential-Inspired Designs. I love this print- lots of good info there.


Razmataz Weekend 2013

Utah vaycay! Bonnie's uncle Tim organizes a big ski/snowboard trip every year to Park City and I've been joining in for the last four years. We stay in this awesome cabin near the Canyons resort- close enough that we take a shortcut home from the resort and end up tobogganing down the icy street on our snowboards (so. freaking. fun).


Super Bowl 2013

Last year I checked off an item on my list by hosting a Super Bowl party but this year was a little different. The biggest difference being that I was suuuuper hungover..I kid I kid...the biggest difference is that the SF 49ers were in the Super Bowl. So exciting! Rebecca and I rallied and headed to a local bar to watch the first half of the game. I rallied from a fun night of drinking but Rebecca was rallying from running a half marathon (and setting new PR) in the AM! Despite said half marathon running there was no talk of soreness, instead Rebecca got to hear about how bad my head hurt and how hard it was to get out of bed at 12:30 (yup cry me a river right?) all the way to the bar- luckily for her its a short walk.


January Recap

I'm seriously enjoying this SF winter we're having- can't beat blue skies and warm-ish weather! Despite the awesome weather, this month has been insane- so so busy! Started off great in Whistler (will post about that awesomeness soon), then work got nuts (everyone was kicking of the year with new projects I guess), I got sick (ugh of course) but the month ended on a good note with a big surprise party for my Dad's birthday! Family and friends flew in to celebrate with us and we had a lot of fun deceiving (I'm a good liar) and decorating for the big day- he was totally surprised. I can't wait to see the photos *ahem Elisabeth aka party photographer*

Happy Birthday Dad!

My Dad celebrated a big birthday this month and we surprised him with a big party! My favorite part- besides getting to see family and friends- was going through all the old family photos. I think its no surprise to the people who know me that I like taking pictures - currently have a space issue on my computer (ugh REALLY don't want to deal with that)- and this is exactly why! Its so much fun to look back and see what people were up to at different stages of their lives. For example, looks like my Dad's love of all things bike related started at an early age:


Proud to be 'Murican

Buzzfeed has 29 reasons to be proud to be Murrican (personally I spell it 'Murican' but whatevs). Personal favorites are #2 and #13. Props to roomie Lindsey for finding this.


Beer Glove USA = music to my ears

When starting this blog my goal was to feature all things American (aka 'Murican) but it turns out I have developed a second focus- all things beer related. I even have a 'beer' label which I have added to many a post. I've cornered the college beer market with keg stands and shot gunning beer (and my general willingness to drink cheap beer when necessary- since its practically water, I'm essentially hydrating). I've learned how its made when I visited the Budweiser factory. And most importantly I've done extensive research on beer related fashion in the form of headgear and fancy holders. Well, I thought I was done and then- to my surprise- one morning I got an email from Beer Glove USA (no, I'm not kidding) informing me that I could get a discounted Suzy Kuzy American Beer Mitt. Now I'm trying not to dwell on the fact that 'Beer Glove USA' is emailing me but I think that its because the famous Skuuzi (of which I have purchased four mitts from) has become Suzy Kuzy (winter mitt still available) <--this would be a legitimate reason as to why they would have my email from a previous purchase. However, if this Skuuzi to Suzy Kuzy merger never happened then I might have to question some life choices/purchases but I'm choosing to focus on the positive as Beer Glove USA was correct in assuming I wanted one. Purchased within minutes of getting the email and I've never been happier.


Cook the books Challenge: Smitten Kitchen

Rebecca decided to take on a Cook the Books challenge for 2013 and I'm joining in this month! This really is an awesome idea especially considering in the last week alone I bought three- yes three!!- cookbooks (Amazon Prime I love you). The three cookbooks? Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi (vegetarian), Canal House Cooks Every Day by Hamilton & Hirsheimer (seasonal cooking- its divided up by Month) and True Food by Andrew Weil MS (as the cover says 'seasonal, sustainable, simple, pure'). Cookbooks become addicting fast- the pictures just look so good! I've found that I really have to make an effort to crack them open and pick something rather than obsessively reading food blogs but once I do I'm usually happy with the result.


Life as an AmeriCanadian in 2012

2012 was a good year for this AmeriCanadian...

...took trips to Tahoe, Park City, Indio, Kauai, Vegas, LA, Austin and Vancouver