San Francisco’s North Beach

Jordan and I spent 2.5 weeks in April and May of 2016 driving the coast of California. If you’d like to start at the beginning click here.

north beach

Jordan and I ended our bus tour in North Beach, the “Little Italy” of San Francisco. Between recommendations from my sister-in-law, a Lyft driver and tour bus guide we knew this was where we had to eat dinner. Jordan and I ended our bus tour with time to kill so before dinner we perused City Lights Booksellers and a few local shops.

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San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury Neighborhood

Jordan and I spent 2.5 weeks in April and May of 2016 driving the coast of California. If you’d like to start at the beginning click here.


After exploring Fisherman’s Wharf and The Palace of Fine Arts, Jordan and I spent a few hours in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood. We ate lunch at a local cafe, browsed inside a lot of quirky stores and of course bought a few records at Ameoba. It’s not an outing without a trip to a record store!

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A Golden Visit to Chinatown

Golden Gate Bridge

After spending a week in Southern California and two days driving the Pacific Coast Highway, Jordan and I rolled into the bay area. We would be spending the weekend with friends who recently moved to this part of California.

Saturday we slept-in and ate donuts from a local shop before venturing to downtown San Jose for the afternoon. It was the perfect amount of time spent out of the house without being overly exhausting.

Sunday we settled into a delicious home cooked breakfast of dutch babies (which I’ve been meaning to make ever since) and large cups of coffee before hitting the road! Our agenda for the day? The Golden Gate Bridge and Chinatown!

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Big Sur + Bixby Creek Bridge

Jordan and I spent 2.5 weeks in April and May of 2016 driving the coast of California. To start at the beginning click here.

Big Sur

“I descended a dusty gravel ridge, beneath the Bixby Canyon Bridge, until I eventually arrived, at the place where your soul had died.”

If you are driving north on the Pacific Coast Highway you will pass over Bixby Creek Bridge, which is the subject of the Death Cab for Cutie song, “Bixby Canyon Bridge”. The Bixby Creek Bridge was erected in 1932 which completely baffles me. I’ll never understand how bridges like these (which are still standing!) were built-in such treacherous conditions without modern equipment.

Prior to the bridge’s completion, the residents of this area of Big Sur, California were essentially cut off during the winter. They really must have felt like they were living in their own secluded world. Even the most remote areas of the United States aren’t that remote!

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San Luis Obispo | Scout Coffee Co.

Scout Coffee Co

Despite working as a barista for almost five years, I spent many years not liking coffee. Oh the irony! I chalk it up to lack of exposure (my parents didn’t drink it while I was growing up) and not understanding the variety of ways to drink coffee. I started out slowly with extremely sugary drinks and while I still won’t drink coffee black (cream just makes everything better) I look forward to my regular morning cup!

During our morning in SLO, Jordan needed to work for a few hours so before venturing back onto Hwy 1, we settled into Scout Coffee Co. (another recommendation from Cousin Kelly). I am not opposed to chain coffee shops (they serve an extremely important purpose while traveling. Free WiFi! Free Bathrooms!), but Jordan and I always jump at the chance to visit a local coffee shop.

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San Luis Obispo

The Madonna Inn

Even though technically the drive from Los Angeles to San Fransisco is only six hours and easily done in one day, Jordan and I split the drive into two. San Luis Obispo is the perfect middle point which made it an ideal place to spend our one night on the road. Despite SLO sort of being in the middle of farmland, it’s a college town and has a lively and thriving local community.

(Fun fact: Jamba Juice began as a senior project from a graduate of California Polytechnic Institute!)

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Coast to Summerland


After a week in Southern California it was time for Jordan and I to make our way North along the Pacific Coast Highway. We gave ourselves two days/one night to reach San Jose, where we would spend a few days visiting friends. In hindsight, spending one more night on the road would have given us more freedom to stop and explore along the way. We still managed to see a lot with our time constraints and now we have one more reason to drive the Pacific Coast Highway again!

Our day one goal was to reach San Luis Obispo, which is a college town three-and-a-half hours from Los Angeles. Of course we didn’t drive without stopping! We ate lunch in the quaint beach town, Summerland, a few miles north of Malibu.

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Zuma Beach in Malibu

Jordan and I spent 2.5 weeks in April and May of 2016 driving the coast of California. If you’d like to start at the beginning click here.

Zuma Beach

Malibu is about a 30 minute drive from Venice Beach on the Pacific Coast Highway. Jordan and I knew we could easily fit both of these cities into one day. So after exploring Venice Beach we made our way north towards Malibu!

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Weekend Links / / Summer Essentials

Strawberry Picking

^ Strawberry picking from last weekend.

Jordan and I had a pretty picturesque weekend and whenever we have several days off together (even when we’re still working on projects) I have a difficult time transitioning back to a normal schedule. Our time as a twosome is coming to an end and I’m soaking it all up.

My 33 week appointment was yesterday and the reality of Baby Yoshi’s arrival being in single digits is finally settling in. I began the paperwork needed for my leave and while I’m so thankful I have leave, trying to get all of my questions answered has been challenging! I was transferred to three different departments and I’m still waiting on a few answers.

To top it all off, I ruined several of Jordan’s shirts in the wash when I spilled bleach all over the floor yesterday afternoon. To say I’m looking forward to the weekend is an understatement.

Onto the links!

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Atlanta Food Truckin’ in Style

Atlanta Food Truck Park & Market

On our drive from Orlando to Nashville last month, we stopped in Atlanta for dinner.

I can enjoy Chick-Fil-A, but we don’t regularly eat fast food. When Jordan and I road trip, sometimes fast food is unavoidable (I could bring food, but packing lunches is one of those things I don’t do). During the six-hour drive, I spent a few moments looking for a local establishment that wouldn’t require a complicated parking situation. Coming from Chicago, I anticipate complicated parking though I’m recognizing most cities aren’t as congested.

I went straight to Jenna’s guide to Atlanta and was sold as soon as I saw the words “food truck!”

Atlanta Food Truck Park & Market

Atlanta Food Truck Park & Market

Atlanta’s Food Truck Park & Market is essentially right off the highway, which makes it extremely convenient for road travelers. The ease of fast food is experienced without eating fast food! The featured trucks change depending on the day and are announced on the Atlanta Food Truck Park & Market’s Facebook page.

After looking through all of our menu options, we ate from Island Chef Cafe, as they had more gluten-free meals. I chose curry chicken with steamed yellow rice ‘n’ vegetables and plantains. Jordan had the mango jerk chicken. My curry was delicious and honestly one of the best meals I’ve had in a while.

For dessert we split a coconut paletas from King of Pops. I’ve only recently discovered the world of Latin American ice pops. I have been missing out! Nashville’s version, Las Paletas, is merely a hop, skip and a jump from our front door. We love taking visitors there!

Atlanta Food Truck Park & Market

And before we knew it, we were back on the road!

Atlanta Food Truck Park & Market

^ Jordan ordered this ginger soda of sorts. It had a very unique flavor!

Atlanta Food Truck Park & Market