When was the last time you were in Northern California? Or have you yet to visit?
My family and I were there earlier this month and can I just say that it’s the most beautiful place in this country and I’m hoping to move there really soon! The hills, trees, ocean, weather, energy– everything about Northern CA yells, “Heather come back! Come back! I’m calling you.” There’s a feeling of freedom and vivaciousness that hits me when I’m in fresh air and zero humidity. I truly believe that environment plays a vast role in daily habits and overall health.
When I lived in Reno, I was able to visit SF often because it’s only 3 hours away. Luckily for me, a big portion of my family resides in the pocket of the Bay Area. Therefore, I had many reasons to make the trek. As much as I love San Antonio, I often feel like a left my heart In Northern CA.
Anyways, back to our vacation! It was AMAZING! Not only was I traveling with the loves of my life – Isaac and Zared, we traveled to my favorite part of the country while visiting friends and family! We flew directly into San Francisco, picked up our rental hatchback, and drove north to Humboldt County. In Humboldt, we hung out with friends and hiked amongst big beautiful trees. After that, we drove down the PCH and then headed to Santa Rosa for a family reunion camping trip. We kayaked, swam, hiked, hit trail workouts, and had the BEST Filipino BBQ. We day tripped to old town Sonoma for lunch, shopping, and wine tasting. We then drove to my sister’s house on Folsom Lake in Granite Bay, CA. More swimming, paddle boarding, and fun in the sun was had by all. It was a blast!
The last leg of our trip was spent back in San Francisco for typical touristy fun! We visited the aquarium at Fisherman’s Wharf, and then toured the city via go-kart. We drove through the marina and down SF’s infamous curvy Lombard Street. My rickety go-kart managed to maneuver through the crowds.
After the tour we drove to my cousin’s house in Cole Valley, just south of Golden Gate Park. We found a parking spot just a block from their house so we left our stuff in the car and walked over to their picturesque home. Upon arrival to their house, my cousin-in-law insisted that we retrieve our belongings from the car otherwise, it would get broken into. Isaac then went to the car to get our stuff. After eating award-winning Thai food from a local restaurant, we watched season 7 premiere of Game of Thrones. We closed our evening with full bellies, ready for the last day of our trip.
Early the next morning we toured The California Academy of Sciences, and The Japanese Tea Gardens at Golden Gate Park. We wanted to get every inch of San Fancisco prior to our afternoon flight. We had to drive straight to the airport after the park, so our rental was packed with our luggage and carry-on bags. We found a parking spot within 5 minutes of arriving at Golden Gate, and just a short walk to the museum. We couldn't believe our luck with parking. In 4 hours we experienced a faux earthquake, watched a movie at the planetarium, learned about prehistoric birds we’ve never heard of, and walked amongst butterflies in the tropical rainforest. It was epic! We spent 30 minutes in the Japanese Tea Gardens, strolling throughout the gorgeous foliage. It was the loveliest ending to our trip.
As we walked back to the car, we reflected on how incredible our 7-day vacation was. It was perfection. As I reached for the car door, Zared yelled, “What is this?” I looked towards him, and there was shattered glass everywhere! Someone busted our car window! In a panic, we opened the door, looked in the back of the hatch, and sure enough, we got robbed! The perpetrators took whatever small bags they could. We lost a Mini-Ipad, a Surface Pro, Raybans, Beats Wireless Headphones, and an MVMT watch. We felt victimized.
Perhaps it was the excitement of Golden Gate Park, or anxiety of catching our flight, but how could we forget to get our backpacks out of the car? Even after we we've been warned.
DARN YOU, SAN FRANCISCO! WE LOVE YOU! DON’T HATE! We were so bummed! At the same time, we couldn’t help but feel like idiots because we should have known better. We filed a police report and headed to the airport.
There was really nothing we could do because no matter what, we still had a plane to catch. We had insurance on the rental car, so luckily we didn’t have to pay for damages. However, the funniest part of this story is when we arrived at terminal to return our car, all 4 cars in front of us had busted windows! There was comfort in knowing that we weren't targeted. It was just a common occurrence in San Francisco.
During one of our many picnics during this trip, I created a quick and healthy recipe that’s packed with protein and easy to throw together. It's also a great snack you can take on the road so you don’t feel tempted to hit the drive-thru!
Sassy Paleo Guacamole Eggs with Pickled Red Onion
1/2 of a red onion, sliced thin
¼ -1/2 cup of white vinegar
1 teaspoon of real maple syrup (optional)
One small avocado, peeled and pitted
1 clove of garlic, minced
Zest of one lime
2 tablespoons cilantro
¼ teaspoon each of cumin and black pepper
½ teaspoon of Himalayan Salt
1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
Pastry bag or gallon-sized plastic bag
Prep/Cook: 25 min Yields: 7-8 Servings
1. Place your thinly sliced onions in a bowl and submerge them in ¼ cup of water vinegar. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the maple syrup if you’d like to add a little bit of sweetness to the onion. Note: it’s optional to add the maple syrup, however it’s a nice addition to the completed product because it offsets the smokiness of the smoked paprika and the tanginess of the eggs. Place the bowl in the refrigerator.
2. Place eggs in a large pot submerged in water. Place pot over high heat. Bring water to a rolling boil. Take pot off the heat and cover pot with a loose fitting lid. Set the timer for 11 minutes. After the 11 minutes are up, drain the eggs and run cold water over them. Fill the pot with cold water and peel the hard-boiled eggs one at a time. The shells should come right off. Slice the eggs in half length-wise and place the yolks in a large bowl.
3. Place avocado, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, lime zest, and cider
vinegar into the bowl with the egg yolks, and smash and combined until well incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste as needed.
4. Spoon the guacamole mixture into a gallon sized zip lock bag. Line up egg whites on cutting board and squeeze a generous amount (about a half inch high) of guacamole into each egg white.
5. Take the bowl of red onions out of the fridge and place 2-3 onion slices on top of each deviled egg.
6. Sprinkle smoked paprika on top of the eggs.
7. Refrigerate until serving time.