Oh, life, how do you get so busy sometimes? I was going to write this post many times over the last week since retuning home but it proved to be a bit of a challenge as I’ve been running on fumes. I apologize for the mini hiatus this last month but I am back and have many new things in the works, it’s just taken a bit longer to get them off the ground. I’m sure that you can all relate as we all have moments where there just aren’t enough hours in the day and days in the week. By chance, do any of you have a time altering device I may borrow?
Since today is a U.S. holiday and I have the day off of work, I figured, why not take charge of the day and enjoy it with things that I’ve missed such as a morning stroll before the world wakes up, blog, and catch up on errands? We need a personal day ever so often, it’s important. A few weeks ago I was walking by this street close to home that’s lined with cute boutiques, restaurants, book stores, and patios, and noticed a sign for a new Italian cafe opening up where a Starbucks used to reside before it moved to a new place down the street. I’ve been yearning for a Seattle-like coffee shop since I’ve moved here and by golly, I think Long Beach finally nailed it with this one! I woke up early this morning to go on a walk since I haven’t been home to enjoy a morning stroll in weeks. To my surprise, this new coffee shop was open so I popped in. Legit flavorful espresso beverages, pastries to tickle your sweet tooth, awesome decor, friendly staff, and free WiFi? Perfect! If you live in the area, definitely stop by Aroma Di Roma. I plan to be here a lot. I went on my walk with a latte, picked up some bits of inspiration along the way, stopped home to grab my laptop, and now I’m back here posted up and ready to get back to giving Listpiration my all.
So, where did this hiatus of mine steal me away to? To numerous places! I work for a search marketing conference company and I travel every few months when our shows take place. Last month I was in New York for about two weeks working, visiting some family, and helping my team at our show, SMX East. I love traveling and am grateful that my work provides me with that privilege every few months. New York City will never get old. Talk about a city filled with life, culture, and inspiration! Although the two weeks I was there were sleep deprived and extremely busy, it was also very rewarding and our show was a success. Not to mention, the company, food, evening outings added to the trip immensely.
Although I’ve been to to New York City many times before, I did manage to experience some “firsts”. I’ve driven in some traffic dense cities in the past, however, nothing comes close to driving in NYC. You may be a great driver but this is a whole different playing field. I rented a car for the first time and was going to pick up my guy since he flew in early in the morning and we were going to drive up north for the night to visit some friends and family in the Albany area…and enjoy some legit New York pizza and wings that we’ve missed oh so much. I hit the road at 6am, within the first fifteen minutes I saw a deceased person on the highway after an accident. Still can’t get the image out of my head. Just terrible. As I neared the city, I thought I made it over to the cash lane of the George Washington Bridge toll and apparently I didn’t. Cars were coming in from many directions and the cash lanes were far to the right where I wasn’t able to make it in time. I’m anticipating a $13 toll + a fine arriving to my mailbox any day now. Ouch. Google Maps then proceeded to tell me to take the first exit off the bridge, thinking I was on the upper level, however, I was on the lower level due to construction and only trucks use the upper level. I then proceeded to get off the next nearest exit as Maps couldn’t figure out quickly enough where to route me and I ended up getting lost in a questionable area of the Bronx. Adventures! Finally I arrived to my destination but it didn’t come without a few minor heart palpitations, inappropriate language directed towards my phone for the bad directions, and some coffee spilling on my lap. Makes for a good story, right? My mom laughed and said I would be an extremely rare case if I didn’t have anything go wrong driving my first time in NYC. If you plan to drive in NYC for the first time, I highly recommend having a co-pilot to assist with directions and a bouquet of four leaf clovers handy and other lucky charms on hand.
After getting to the Albany area to my boyfriend’s families house, we took out the ATV since I hadn’t been on one before. We darted into the forest on an ATV which was low on fuel but we figured we’d be fine. Unfortunately, the trails hadn’t been ridden on in years and trees, leaves, rocks, and dirt covered them up quite well. We were lost. Seems to be the theme of the morning. Within four hours we had gotten lost in a city and then the wilderness. While lost in the forest, we encountered some deer who appeared to be laughing at us instead of being afraid of us. We also got stuck in some dirt, then on a tree log, and then finally managed to get Google Maps to help direct us to a road again. I suppose that Google wanted to make good on getting me lost earlier that morning in the city. We luckily ended up making it back before running out of gas and had a great time cruising around. Success!
The following day after returning home, my friend Michelle and I drove down to go cave kayaking in La Jolla, just outside of San Diego. We had this trip planned for months and we were thrilled that our day trip had finally arrived. We cruised down in the morning, kayaked for almost two hours with a tour group, learned some super interesting facts about the area, had sea lions swimming around us and even a leopard shark swam under us. It was so much fun! In the winter months the kayaking tour goes out to whale watch. Definitely on our radar. If you’re close to the San Diego area, be sure to check out Everyday California for kayaking tours!
After our grin inducing cave kayaking adventure, we were starving and beyond ready for lunch. Although it was a tiny bit out of the way on our road-trip back home, we both decided to wait a bit longer for lunch and drive inland to Stone Brewery for lunch and sip on some of their hop-tastic brews. If you’re an avid fan of beer and are in the area, this brewery is a must on your list! This stone quarry decorated brewery, restaurant, and store has an amazing menu, a beer list like no other, and you can bottle up fresh beer to take home which we definitely took advantage of.
Then, this past week was quite busy in the office where I worked many late nights to catch up and wrap up our last conference. By the time the weekend rolled around, I needed to be offline and get out of town for the weekend. My guy and I drove a few hours up north to central California to unplug and unwind. Just what we both needed! Now that I’m back home, I finally feel refreshed and ready for the week ahead. Stay tuned for more adventures, deals, and even some contests!
When life gets super busy for you, how do you set aside time for yourself, your hobbies, and your bucket list? What’s the best way for you to reboot?