CHECKED OUT IN CALI

Of course I could have included my 3.5 year old son on this fairly last minute trip to California but why?

Why? When I could sit peacefully on a five hour flight, watch a movie, drink wine, be productive as fuck with work, and take a magnificent and uninterrupted nap.

Why? When I could check in to the hotel at my leisure, eat when I actually felt hungry, and move through the rest of the day at a glacial pace?

Why? When I could choose to sit in silence on the balcony overlooking the glorious pacific ocean or watch 3 hours of Law and Order reruns?

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Why? When I could marvel in late night dinners accompanied by overpriced Napa Valley wine, and sleep in until the ripe hour of 9am like I once used to?

Why? When I can go the entire day without answering any questions (save the ones that came from my husbands mouth.. but even those, became more tolerable)?

Why? When I can wash my hair and body much more frequently with luxurious products I would never actually purchase for myself?

Why? When I can actually remember what it’s like to be whole-heartedly present in my marriage? *Except when Nikita calls me and all bets are off.

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For all the reasons why, I urge you to continue to check out for short (or long) periods of time alone, with your partner, or with your friends… but unquestionably without your child.

And don’t feel an ounce of guilt about it either, because upon your return, you will be greeted like an over-appreciated goddess that is once again the centre of your childs universe, and who happens to make the most delicious meals ever to hit the table.

Bless.

***

MONTERAY & CARMEL, CALIFORNIA 
Super chill, super sleepy, super good for the soul.

CHECK OUT:

Passionfish
– the best seafood dinner we had during our two day stint in the area. Actually shut the place down and practically helped the staff clean up.

17 Mile Drive – rent yourself a convertible and take a long, easy ride along Pebble Beach and look at the homes of those who have most definitely made it.


SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
Exactly the hippie, liberal vibe you’d expect. 

CHECK OUT:

Zeppelin Hotel – core of San Fran location wise + rock n’ roll chic and will transport you to the 70s immediately (which is basically the vibe of this ultra hippie and liberal city).

Foreign Cinema – beautiful outdoor eatery, perfect for romantic gazes (and 90s movies).

Petite Marlowe – new and incredible tiny Parisian-style resto that will get your French girl on with a side of the tastiest oysters you ever did try.

Cala – by far the best Mexican I have ever had in my life. This includes actual dinners in Mexico.

Le Petit Crenn – pricey AF, but if you’re ballin’ out in USD anyways, treat yourself to the finer things in life. And don’t skim the wine list either.

Anina Bar – trendy, fun, young… and will have you living out your childless days in no time. (Same goes for Nightbird / Linden Room).

Absinthe – an institution this part of town, and a must for a properly made Martini.

China Town – for a kitschy and fun walk with plenty of cheap and cheerful gifting opportunities for kids / parents / caregivers. Did you know it’s the largest (and oldest) Chinatown outside of Asia too? Now you do.

Museum of Modern Art – for that one morning you’re feeling particularly worldly and cultured, plus the gift shop counts as a solid spot for unique and well curated San Fran finds for the folks back home.

Fisherman’s Wharf – an all-American feel (cue hot dogs, cotton candy and way too many tourist traps), but worth the visit. Bonus: overdose on fresh seafood at Fog Harbour, and stare at Alcatraz from your table. Weird, but nonetheless, interesting.

Haight and Ashbury – cross the famed Beatle crosswalk and shop your pretty little heart out at the plethora of boutique and vintage shops, with an abundance of fantastic cafe’s along the way.

Hayes Valley – in case you weren’t done with badass shopping reco’s, hit this area for anything and everything cool. Although lined with hipsters, stop in at A Mano for a negroni slash pizza lunch – you won’t even notice they’re there on your third drink.

Mission District – sometimes sketch, but mosty cool, this hood is known for it’s old-school vibe and mix of kick add eateries and cocktail lounges, complete with tattoo parlours and live music clubs.

Pot – legal and abundant. Get you some.

***

All photos by Aleks, via Samsung S8 (’cause I couldn’t find my camera when I was packing… ughh).

PS if you ever need photo prints, I have a slew here: www.flickr.com/aleksjassem

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