Travel Diaries: My Summer in San Francisco

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In case you didn’t notice from seeing my adorable two year old in the photo above I spent my summer in San Francisco. Every since I can remembered I’d dreamed of going to California and this summer I had the opportunity to do just that.

Now this trip was not for play but for business. I applied for an internship at my dream Public Relations agency and after months of an extremely competitive application process and three phone interviews I found myself on a plane to San Francisco.

Due to the cost of living in San Francisco as compared to Arkansas my husband and son did not spend the entire summer with me (that’s another story for another time). It was very hard on me emotionally, as I had never been away from my baby boy. However, my husband was brave enough to drive all the way from Arkansas to San Francisco and stay with me for a week. I thought I’d share some of the places we visited.

Golden Gate Bridge

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This one I’m sure you were probably expecting being that it’s one of the most visited places in the country but seriously you have to go. There are several places in the city you can go to if you want a great view. My husband actually found this tiny park area not far from North Beach. This spot was on all of our bucket lists.

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Giants Stadium

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I am by no means a sports fan but everyone should have an experience like the one I had at the Giants stadium. Even if you aren’t into baseball the food is delicious (garlic fries are a must) and they have tons of places to take awesome photos as you can see in the picture above. They also have a beer garden, Coca-cola slide and Trolley.

I went during the dog days of summer and got to see a ton of ADORABLE dogs dressed (and painted) in the giants gear and colors. Cutest thing you’ll ever see! So if you go make sure to go in June when all the four-legged fans are there. (Here is a link if you want to see some of the dogs from this past summer).

Ghirardelli Square

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If you have a sweet tooth like I do then you must go to Ghirardelli Square and get a sundae. The Ghirardelli shop also offers tons of chocolates and other sweets and views of the bay. My two year old definitely enjoyed this stop.

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Because I spent a great majority of time working I didn’t get to go to a few of the places on this list but my husband and son did some exploring of their own. Below are a few of their favorite stops.

Coit Tower

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This beauty is located in Telegraph hill (just a few blocks away from my job so I saw it everyday but never actually climbed the stairs to the top LOL). This was one of the first stops my husband and son took since it was so close to the office. The tower offers great views of the city.

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Pier 39 and Fishermans Wharfs

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Definitely the most “Touristy” thing on this list. You can find tons of restaurants, museums and attractions here and it’s always full of life. My husband and son took a cable car down to Fishermans Wharf. If you like seafood you are in for a treat, if not there are a number of other options from street cars to In n Out burger (you must try their vanilla malt!). You can also find a ton of seals hanging out in this area.

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So while my son and husband were out having all of the fun I was in the office.

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*I will be sharing my internship experience in a later post*

Regardless of whether I was in the office or exploring the city it’s amazing to be able to share these experiences and continue to stay optimistic about where life will take me next. It was easy to fall in love with San Francisco and their are still a ton of great places  I didn’t get to visit, which is the best excuse to go back and I definitely plan to.

Until my next adventure, ciao!

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Spring Break for Millennial Parents: Kid-Friendly Vacation in Destin, Florida!

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So as a young college student and mommy spring break is a little different for me than it is for many of my peers. I decided to share my family-friendly spring break trip with you guys!

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My family and I spent our Spring Break in Destin, Florida! It’s absolutely gorgeous with bright white sand beaches and gorgeous blue water. It’s also a good combination of college spring breakers and family so for me it was perfect to experience a little bit of both!

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We spent a lot of time at the beach but we also stayed in a gorgeous resort, Destin West beach and bay in Okaloosa Island between Fort Walton and Destin Florida.

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The resort has two sides, the bay side (pictured above) or the gulf side (a view of the beach). It had a bridge over the overpass that allowed guest to walk from one side to the other. I actually preferred the bay side (it was more affordable) because it has several pools, a hot tub and a lazy river. Many of the college students chose to stay on this side so it was buzzing with people. It’s also pretty easy to get to the bridge and walk across to the gulf side to visit the beach.

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Destin was really easy to get around and had lots of areas for walking and activities that both children and adults could enjoy. We visited Harbourwalk village near the Emerald Grande hotel while we were there. destin13

The village has tons of shops, drinks (for both adults and children), Ice cream (even alcoholic ice-cream because apparently thats a thing), Henna tattoo, water sports rentals, you name it! It’s a really nice space to walk with children because it’s separated away from the main roads but also not too close to the water so my little man was free to roam around. I actually stopped to get dippin dots and a henna tattoo here. Everyone was really friendly and welcoming and there were people from all over! I’d definitely suggest visiting.

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My husband actually ended up renting a kayak for an hour to take our little man out into the bay (the gulf had a strong current but in the summer you can venture out there as well). Our little boy was much too active so they didn’t stay too long for fear of flipping over, but you can also rent boats which may be a better option for those of you with young children. You can even take them out to Crab Island, a cool restaurant in the middle of the bay!

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If you like sweets you may want to stop by some local grocery stores for fresh fruits (like we did) but one of my favorite places was Destination Little Donuts in Destin. They made all sorts of specialty donuts with various toppings, all very aesthetically pleasing and delicious!

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We actually stopped by twice because I couldn’t get enough of the Oreo Cheesecake and Cookie Dough (pictured above). They were also really informative and friendly so I’d suggest stopping by if you have a sweet tooth like I do! There were also a lot of great restaurants along the beach. Most of them served seafood, which I actually dislike, but there were a wide variety of options within Destin. We ate at Floyds on our first day and had gorgeous view of the beach while we ate.

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We also visited Fudpuckers, a really interesting restaurant that serves pretty good seafood but also hosts a number of live alligators. You can purchase bait to feed them and even get a picture with a baby gator (their mouths are taped for the photo). My little man was much too excited so we had to take him away for a minute, he kept pulling the alligators feet (not a good idea). We also got the chance to see a rare albino alligator. Pretty cool!

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Of course much of our vacation was spent on the beach. We just couldn’t get over how stunning they were!

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We even got shot by a photographer for a local newspaper!

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All in all it was a pretty fun and relaxing spring break and I’d definitely suggest visiting, whether you’re a student, single, or mother of two! We are already planning our next trip back!

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Fall To Do’s: Visit a Farm/Pumpkin Patch!

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So my little family and I ended the week with a quick little trip to Peebles Farm in Augusta, AR. I love fall and everything autumnal and this was a great opportunity to get outdoors while enjoying all the festivities of October!

For all my fellow mom’s out there, remember getting your little one out is vital for their cognitive developing and fall is such a great season to let them explore. One great way to do that is taking them to a pumpkin patch!

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My little one so enjoyed being able to run around freely and pick up and play with pumpkins. Not only is it fun but a good way for him to put those sensory motor skills to work.

He is 18 months old now and in this stage of development he has become VERY curious. So lately my husband and I have tried to find fun ways for him to learn more about the world we live in. Incorporating some things mommy loves into his learning process helps us bond in the process. I mean who doesn’t love pumpkins in the fall!

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It was my husbands first time at a pumpkin patch too and it was fun for me to watch them both explore.

Going to a farm in the fall is not only relaxing but also a stress-free way to let your little one play. It is not near any roads so you don’t have to worry about him running off into the streets and it stretches for miles giving them free space to run.

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The farm we went to had a fun little playground, sunflower fields and a huge corn maze!

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My little one had so much fun running through the corn maze though we got a little lost, it was fun for all three of us.

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Pumpkin Patches and Farms are such a fun, family friendly way to enjoy this time of year while getting that bonding time you deserve.

It’s been a busy week for this mom dealing with midterms and projects but little trips like these make all of the difference.

So tell me, what is on your fall bucket list?

Leave a comment and let me know!

How we met

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Mike and I met at Harding University. I (Rere) was a confused freshman learning who I was and excited to meet new people. Mike was an upperclassmen and foreign city boy who stood out with his “biker” inspired outfits and tall height. We met through a mutual friend and clicked from the beginning. I ran into him on campus while stopping to say hi to our mutual friend. All I could say to him was “wow, you look like a rock star!”

He was different. Many of the kids at our private christian college were similar in style, dress and personality… but he stood out. Maybe it was the accent but I found myself attracted to him, and I definitely let it show.

The first day I met him I saw him again that evening at a local coffee shop with our mutual friend. I’d gone with a group of friends but was too distracted by his presence there to focus on what they were discussing. I decided to walk over and say hello. I initially thought he was from New York City, I’m a small town girl who had hardly seen or heard anything outside of Arkansas. I wasn’t very ‘cultured’ to say the least. He just giggled and said he was from Belgium. I’m ashamed to admit I had no idea what Belgium was before this conversation, but as soon as he told me I was beautiful in French I was sold. He walked me to my dorm that night, and we exchanged numbers.

I’d often help him study, and we quickly became close friends. Everything happened so naturally. I found myself wanting to be around him daily, he became the best part of my day. I had a period of time where I isolated myself from everyone in the midst of dealing with family issues. Mike was the only one who was there for me. He took me in when I had nowhere else to go, and we became closer than ever.

Returning for my second year of college, I wasn’t as close to everyone as I had been previously. I no longer felt like I fit. I’d had a hard summer and lost interest in everything and everyone. I fell into a deep depression, I stayed in my room and missed a lot of classes.  I slept A LOT during the day, and stayed up late at night. I cried everyday. I had no contact with my family and no one reached out to me aside from Mike. He was the only one I felt comfortable talking to. We were like best friends, I felt that I could confide in him and he would actually be there to listen.

Oddly enough he never asked me to be his girlfriend. He never even proposed. He simply walked in one day and told me “maybe you should put this on” and slid a gold wedding band on my left ring finger. Poor guy nobody told him an engagement ring and a wedding band are too different things. However, when I saw he had both our names engraved I was in awe. I didn’t even realize this was something that had been on his mind. I didn’t have to say “yes” he already knew the answer, he already knew me so well.

We got married quickly, and young. I think a lot of people had concerns and doubts about that. Our wedding was the day after my 20th birthday, and I’m sure to this day some people think we are  insane for getting married so young, but we never felt an ounce of regret.

3 years later and we have been through SO much together. We’ve had highs and we’ve had lows. We loss loved ones, and we gained a beautiful baby boy. We laughed, cried, yelled, screamed, and joked. We held each other in hard times, we calmed each other in rough times, we encouraged each other in dark times, we laughed with each other in good times, and we smiled with each other at joyful times. Many probably didn’t think we would even make it this far, but we continue to grow together everyday.

I’m forever thankful for that day freshman year when I ran into this man and he became apart of me forever.