Escape To Eataly

The Bay Area officially has one of these now!

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Because I can’t keep grumbling about how awful it is being a Bi woman of color of child-bearing age in 2022 ‘Murica, I took a day trip Thursday. Where I chose to go was not to a beach or a state park far from home, but to a mall in the South Bay Area. Hold your side-eyes, because that mall isn’t just any mall, but the Westfield Santa Clara. Where they got your typical mall finds like Macy’s and Cinnabon to shops for the bougie crowd like Bloomingdale’s and Louis Vuitton. And now the mall has Nor-Cal’s only Eataly! I have to say that it was kind of fun telling others at work I was going to Eataly for my weekend, as I had a few thinking I was actually going to Italy. Honey, I can’t squeeze an Italy vacation in my three days off, and I still won’t be flying anywhere until Covid cases reach its lowest.

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Three floors of Italian good-good?! My ass is there. 

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One of the many, many, many, many house-made foods I could not freely indulge in. *sad face*

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Ditto their pizza bar. And not a low-carb option in sight. (And, yes, I am fussy with my low-carbness nowadays.)

You may be asking me the one question I was asking myself upon setting foot into the three-story market: what am I doing in a fancy Italian food market which contains a lot of carb-heavy foods I can only consume through sniffing? Eataly, like the country it represents, was new territory that intrigued me. And while I walked around the place kind of wishing they opened a year ago when I was not doing low-carb, it wasn’t just pastas and pizzas and breads they sold. Fresh-cut meats, fish fresh from the sea, and almost every cheese you can imagine were also available.

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Meats in the middle, and a mozzarella lab. No cheese was being made when I was there, sadly. But there were plenty of aged parmesan cheese logs (?) found.

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No fresh baked bread around. No problem for me, although the 2021 version of me would shriek in horror over this! 

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Three ways to wine. Their vast selection would make a Napa Valley winery jelly. 

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The third-floor marketplace. Oh, and look–more foods that I can only look at but not buy and eat on the spot.

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Rooftop view from the Terra Patio Bar, which I captured from inside the store since the rooftop was only for the diners (thus the reflection of someone in the pic)

I did buy a couple things there: some imported pork fat and the darkest of the dark 100% pure chocolate bar. I may not have shopped till I dropped there (even if I was still eating carbs, that place is pricey), but getting to explore a store that’s only found in eight other locations in North America was the bigger takeaway, and you can’t put a price on that.

The Travel Slut Diaries: Hey Hey, Monterey

What’s a chick to do on her week off from work and she wants to take a trip that’s not too far in distance and not too damaging on the wallet? Why, go to a place you haven’t been to in YEARS.

Though I drove by it once 14 years ago while doing a road trip along Highway 1, it’s been decades since I fully experienced Monterey. I’m not sure how much has changed since my last real visit there, I don’t know why it took me so long to visit the seaside town, and I never realized how near it is. (OK, kind of near.) Who knew that a two hour (and some minutes) drive from home leads you to this: 

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Stretches of pristine beaches with soothing waves crashing under the clear spring sky–you don’t get any more paradise than that! Though the weather was cool during my short stay, the cool was welcomed. I live in the East Bay and shit gets warm there during this time.

I was in Monterey for only a few days, and, naturally, I crammed everything I wanted to do in those few days. Also naturally, I took a buttload of pics, some of which you’ll see (captioned with my typical jibberish) after the jump! 

Continue reading “The Travel Slut Diaries: Hey Hey, Monterey”

It’s Goat Time!

My last two posts were fueled by natural bitchiness. This one won’t be, I swear. (Not making promises about the next post, though.)

While many people are traveling far and away again for ‘Murica Day weekend, I gotta stay home because I have work later today. But, for once in…I forgot how many years, I rest on July 4th. And that’s a good thing because maybe then I can revisit a hidden local gem I discovered last week. I’d say it’s a brothel deep in the Oakland hills where all the ladies look like a 90s version of Carmen Electra, but it’s actually a field of goats. (No, that’s not code word for a brothel.)

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I do mobile massage and I travel around the East Bay Area for work. You’d think I’d be fed up with driving after my grocery delivery temp job from last year, but I actually like driving for work. (Until I encounter those idiot drivers who don’t signal/cut you off/drive so damn slow, etc.) Anyway, one of my clients from last week lives in Chabot Park, and after their appointment, I explored their neighborhood a bit. An unexpected turn onto a dead-end road led me to this land of billys, nannys, and kids. It’s been ages since I got to see some goats up close, so this was all fascinating for me!

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I would’ve pet that critter, but there was this obstacle.

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I tested that electric fence by tapping a tall piece of hay on it. I didn’t get shocked but the hay broke off.

Also, I honestly thought this was some kind of goat farm, and then my uneducated ass learned a bit on goat grazing programs.

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This dog was breaking the rules! Going around with no leash and all! Actually, that pup played guard to the goats.

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Those kids ain’t right. They were butting heads!

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Those lucky goats get to dine, combat fires, and reside with a view. (Look very closely to the left and you can see the Golden Gate Bridge!)

All that was missing from this little trip was a baby’s bottle full of milk.

The Travel Slut Diaries: Return To Living (Pt. 1)

The last time I went out-of-town for a vacay was back in late October 2019, at the time of my birthday. I had plans on where to go for next year’s birthday, and then some thing called Covid happened and took those plans and ruined them like they were human lungs. Sure, I could’ve made like an attention-starved celebrity and traveled and partied during the worst of the pandemic last year. But not only could I not afford a trip then (all my money went to boring-ass bills), I wasn’t that much of a selfish asshole to take a trip. (I’m not gonna fix that part, either.) 

It’s now April May 2021. (I wrote most of this over a week ago but didn’t finish until now.) I’m fully vaccinated and can feel the 5G flow through me, and that stimulus check helped put a little more change in my pocket. What’s a chick with some extra money to do? OK, some of it went to Sephora’s semi-annual sale a few weeks ago, but I had to nurture the travel slut in me that itched to getaway again. I took a week off from work and the beaches of Santa Cruz were calling me. 

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Although I don’t know why they called me this time of the year. Much like SF in the summer, it was cold and cloudy. And, of course, the boardwalk was closed. It’s weird to see all those rides and the arcades shuttered. Couple that with the weather and it was not the most lively picture. But I still made the most of my Santa Cruz visit. I wanted to; I haven’t been there in *checks photo archive* four years?!?!

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Who needs thrill rides when you can have a beach party with seagulls instead?

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Out on the wharf. Above is the farthest out you can get on the wharf. 

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Feisty sea lions! (Excuse the quality of some of these pics. The camera on my cell phone is no Leica.)

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The boardwalk from the wharf after sunset. 

Not pictured (since I didn’t take any pics of the following): downtown SC, Roux Dat Cajun Creole in downtown where I bought my lunch and dinner (their jambalaya is the tits), and the weed shop where I got a great deal for some edibles. 

More after the jump!

Continue reading “The Travel Slut Diaries: Return To Living (Pt. 1)”

The Travel Slut Diaries: Snow!!!

Happy 1st Day of Spring. Let’s talk snow!

A couple days ago, my phone pushed some notification showing me where I was two years ago. My stalker phone is such a creep! It showed that I visited the Sierras then. What was I doing there? I wanted to see snow, of course!

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At the time, I lived a little “closer” to the Sierras. Like, 116 miles closer to snow land, and in an area where snow never falls in the winter. (The Bay Area and most of CA have a different set of seasons than other regions.) Once in a while, I’d be itching to go have some real winter fun and enjoy some snow. Rainy winters are a bore–happens every winter here–and it’s no fun making mud angels (not even when you’re stoned–I tried).

I drove up to the Sierras on a day where it wouldn’t be too cold (haha on me–it was still colder than I thought) and I wouldn’t need tire chains. As I trekked up Highway 80, I’d see the elevation rise and the outdoor temperature drop. For a while I didn’t see any snow. Only until I reached Blue Canyon did I hit pay dirt snow!

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Prior to this trip, the last time I got to see snow was in that wretched year known as 2016. I savored playing in that snow like I was a kid all over again. I avoided licking posts, of course.

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A little snow cave! Those chairs were chillin’–literally! Spotted at the Sierra Woods Lodge. 

The sights were also enchanting!

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Side note: I risked my shit by taking this pic with my clunky camera while driving. There is a stretch of Hwy 80 where you see this gorgeous mountain range in full view, and I did not want to pass up capturing this image! 

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I live a lot further from the Sierras now, which is one reason why I haven’t driven up there since. I can see some snow on the tips of Mt. Diablo from home when it gets really cold here. I’m still a warm weather chick and there’s no way I’d want to live in or even near a snowy region full-time. Snow’s a welcome change of scenery, nonetheless.

And some of you may be thinking that a day in the snow is nothing special, because you live it every day when it’s effing cold. I got news for you: I don’t get this privilege! Not even every year! And I have to drive far and risk icy roads for it!

The Travel Slut Diaries: “NYE 2019”

Since it’s New Year’s Eve and I refuse to go to any parties this year (they’ll still be happening because selfish dumb fucks cannot go extinct, unfortunately), now is a good time to look back at a time when we could all party guilt-free and mask-free. Like last year!  

I usually stay home or, if I was feeling spicy, watch the SF fireworks from the Oakland hills for NYE. But last year, I was feeling super-duper spicy, and I had heard of 1920s-themed parties being held for the New Year’s. Y’know, because we were entering the 20s, get it? Anyhoo, some of those parties were either too far or too expensive. Just when I thought I’d resort to watching the SF fireworks from the Oakland hills again while wearing a flapper, I saw an ad for a 1920s themed party being held in Alameda, with tickets going for a reasonable price! It wasn’t held just anywhere in Alameda, but on a huge-ass carrier ship that was used during World War II!

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The ship’s a lot bigger in person than what these pictures illustrate, trust. Also, I used a now-dead phone to take most of these pics, so if they look potato quality to you, well, yeah. 

I donned my best 1920s-esque outfit, complete with the feather headband, red lips, and long pearl necklace. What I should have done was brought a long thick coat or wore a gangster suit instead, because when I got up to the flight deck to watch the fireworks, it was EFFING COLD! I survived on personal determination (aka thinking of really warm thoughts) and the want to watch SF fireworks from someplace new. 

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That fireworks show rocked. It helped that I was listening to Guns & Roses’ “Paradise City” and other 80s/90s rock songs on my headphones when the clock rang midnight. (Hey, I wanted a break from the Big Band music that played on the main party floor.) 

The flight deck where I watched the fireworks was also huuuuuge. 

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Everyone who attended the party could have easily fit on that deck!

More pics after the cut!

Continue reading “The Travel Slut Diaries: “NYE 2019””

The Travel Slut Diaries

Call me a travel slut. I enjoy taking vacations, whether it’s to places I’ve never been before, cities I haven’t visited in years, or a locale I’ve frequented. The last time I took a trip was over a year ago; I drove through the Central coast, LA, and down to San Diego. (Hey, that sentence rhymes!) Obviously, I’m not going to break that drought now since I care about the health of others and myself. But I can always look back on some of my past vacations. My travel slut diary is now open for you all. I’m not gonna post that trip I took last year, but a birthday vacay to LA seven years ago. 

First off, after looking through old pics of this trip, I realized two things. 1) I kinda miss my old head of black hair. 2) I’m still in awe over how I was able to afford a small place in the HoWood Hills that costed me $1700/week. If you’re side-eyeing my ass for why I’d spend that much for a vacay home for only a week, HERE is what justifies my purchase! 

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Views, views, VIEWS!!! I’m also a view slut, and if I can have killer views from my vacation home, I will have it no matter the price tag! OK, the price does matter but considering the surrounding properties in the neighborhood I stayed in (again, this is HoWood Hills and I’m sure some of my neighbors were rich-bitch celebs or drug lords hiding from the feds), $1700 a week was a bargain. And it was not a cheapo, shoddy shoebox I lived in–it was a home away from home, but pinkies-out fancy! 

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The owners of this place allowed me to bring my Wii console. On the very rare occasions I got tired of lounging on the balcony, I played Mario Kart! 

But if I could move that TV out to the balcony so I could play the Wii against a fantabulous backdrop, I would have. At least I got to dine al fresco. No better place to enjoy some BBQ!

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And blow out the candles when the calendar landed on my special day!

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And you best believe I did my fair share of sunbathing on dat balcony. Nope, I’m not sharing pics of me sunbathing here. 

I got more pics after the jump! 

Continue reading “The Travel Slut Diaries”