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Welcome to paradise! We made our now annual visit to Luquillo, Puerto Rico last month, and it was as perfect as we remembered.

Read all about last year’s trip to Puerto Rico here:

Colorful Old San Juan

Luquillo’s Kiosks

Outdoor Adventures in Puerto Rico

Luquillo, Puerto Rico, A Tropical Paradise

Luquillo Sunrise Beach Inn We had a shorter amount of time for travel this year, so we decided to stay in Luquillo, with no plans other than sitting on the beach and swimming. The Luquillo Sunrise Beach Inn was a perfect, beachy home base. I didn’t take many photos, but we loved our incredibly clean and comfy room, especially the balcony and the sound of the crashing waves.

Breakfast was free and delicious (coconut cream stuffed French toast!), as was WiFi, and the location really couldn’t be beat for our purposes. The staff was friendly and warm, and the office had beach towels, boogie boards for rent, as well as stuff like beers and snacks for sale. They provided us with a ton of information and recommendations on the area and generally made us feel right at home.

Luquillo Sunrise Views on views on views

Luquillo

Despite the comfy-ness of our bed, I slept as poorly as I always do, which meant I got to capture that famous Luquillo sunrise. Just me, the waves, and the rising sun at 5:50 am. . .

Luquillo Sunrise

Being up early meant I had time to get work done before our day truly started. Try as I might to take days off, I just can’t seem to.  It was nice to get out of the way and to mostly have the whole day ahead for relaxing. Luquillo Beach

Our days in Luquillo basically looked like this. We sunbathed (with loads of SPF), drank cheap local beers and fresh coconut water, swam, rode waves on our rented boogie boards, and that’s about it.


Medalla Light

 

Luquillo Beach

Luquillo surfing

Boardriders Luquillo

 Boardriders

We spent the rest of our time primarily at Boardriders, which was one of our favorite places on our last trip. Between the great cocktails, delicious food, and stunning views, plus laid back music and a bohemian vibe, Boardriders is right up my alley, and I miss it a ton!

banana pancakes

Banana pancakes and a BLT Benedict for brunch, accompanied by just a few passionfruit mimosas. .  . brunch We also chowed down on some of the best ribs we’ve ever had, along with tuna bites and multiple tuna poke bowls. Every bite we have eaten in Boardriders has been phenomenal.

poke bowl

We also enjoyed plenty of rum drinks, live music, beautiful sunsets, people-watching in this sleepy seaside community, and of course, the below gorgeousness.

La Pared Beach

Luquillo Puerto Rico

I love Puerto Rico!

 

Terruno

We ventured out of our little neighborhood briefly one evening to go to the kiosks, where we had great food and terrible service at Terruno. It was one of our favorites last year, and we actually kind of regretted not going to Boardriders instead!

Degree 18 Juice Bar

We didn’t plan on going to El Yunque Rainforest again, but after a few days of a ton of sun, heading into a dense, dark forest was just the thing we needed. We stopped at a beautiful new juice bar, Degree 18, which was near the road to the rainforest, and we hydrated with fresh fruit and veggie smoothies. . . with maybe just a touch of Don Q rum. . .

We absolutely loved this little gem, cats and dog and great music making it a lovely place to spend a sunny Monday morning!

El Yunque

El Yunque El Yunque was cool and fresh and dim, quenching our sun-baked skin and leaving us once again in awe of its beauty. What a beautiful world we live in!

El Yunque

El Yunque

We had the best time in Luquillo. It’s an easy JetBlue flight from Boston to San Juan, with a 45 minute drive after, all on quick main highways. For us, it’s the perfect place to relax and reconnect, but with all of the activities in the area and some calm beaches, it’s also great for families.

sunset

Until next time, Puerto Rico. . . we love you!

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Tags: blogger, Food, hotels, island time, Luquillo, Puerto Rico, Travel, travel blog, travel blogger

It’s apparently been raining a whole lot in Northern California this year, which is good, because after years of drought, they most certainly need it! For eight glorious days in March, however, the sun came out and warmed our faces and our souls and made me want to move there all over again.

For the San Francisco portion of our trip, we stayed at the Hotel Zetta, which we completely loved. It was well-situated South of Market Street and offered modern and quirky accommodations that were pristinely clean and comfortable while being really fun to take in.

hotel zetta

hotel zetta san francisco

Hotel Zetta San Francisco 

Hotel Zetta is definitely a place to play, with their play room, bar, graffiti-marked stairwells, and whimsy everywhere, but it was also a place to get work done. I absolutely loved the desk and chair in our room and worked about eight hours a day before exploring. The food and wine was great. (I wrote about my dining experience at The Cavalier here.) Best of all, the hospitality and service were second-to-none. We received such a warm welcome and lovely interactions with staff throughout our stay; this hotel would definitely be top of our list for our next trip to San Francisco.

Hotel Zetta San Francisco

hotel zetta san francisco

As you do, I spent most of my time in San Francisco walking all over the city, up and down its famous hills, along the sea, and on the beach.

 Bay Bridge

 

The Ferry Building

The Ferry Building is always a must visit, and wine and cocktails at Hog Island Oyster were a nice way to refresh after our flight on our first day.

Hog Island Oyster

On my biggest walking day, I wandered the stunning beauty that is Ocean Beach; seriously don’t miss this expanse of sand and waves if you visit San Francisco. I set some intentions for the year while breathing in salty air, and then set off to explore Golden Gate Park.

  Ocean Beach

ocean beach san francisco

You could easily spend days wandering around and experiencing Golden Gate Park; I only had a few hours, but I loved every step.

Golden Gate Park

  I started at the Dutch Windmill and made my way to the Bison Paddock and into the Conservatory of Flowers.

Golden Gate Park

 

 

 Golden Gate Park

The Conservatory, with its greenery and humidity and just that amazing green smell was one of my favorite places in the park.

IMG_0732

And when I got to the butterfly room, I think I was more excited than the children there. Butterflies are just pure magic. They were flying and fluttering all over!

Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park  

From flower-filled meadows to hidden paths, to waterfalls, ponds filled with miniature sailboats, and so much more, Golden Gate Park is such an incredible oasis in the city and a place I will return again and again when we visit San Francisco.

Golden Gate Park

 Golden Gate Park

And speaking of places I visit again and again, Pier 39, while incredibly touristy, is a spot I always make a point of getting to; you can’t watch those sea lions without laughing with pure delight. They are adorable and hilarious!

pier 39

The foggy views of Alcatraz weren’t too bad either!

Alcatraz

There is so much to do and see in San Francisco, and plenty of outdoors activities; with the fine weather being outside was an amazing respite from New England winter!

Read all about our recent California travels:

Eating My Way Around San Francisco

The Mendocino Coast

Heritage House Resort

Find all of my travel blog posts, including Sonoma and Napa trips

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Tags: California, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, Travel, travel blog

Northern California in all of its gloriousness welcomed us with blue skies and warm sunshine. Our weekend home was the Heritage House Resort in Little River, and it gave us the perfect jumping off spot for exploring areas further north than Sonoma County usually does.

Anderson Valley

On the way up to the Mendocino Coast, we stopped in for a beer tasting at one of our favorite breweries, Anderson Valley Brewing Company for a quick flight and a wander around.

Anderson Valley Brewing Company

I love the brewery’s commitment to the environment and the fact that they are solar-powered. We buy their beer whenever we can find it in the Boston area, and it was amazing to be able to try so many different beers.

Their use of the Boontling language is also fun!

Anderson Valley Brewing Company

 Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Their Blood Orange Gose was perfect for the sunny day and just a really delicious beer. They all were!

When we left Anderson Valley, we headed to the coast, where we spent the rest of the weekend on as many cliffs, beaches, and trails as possible.

Mendocino Coast

Our exploring took us to Mendocino Headlands, where the sea sparkled, then into the fog further north at MacKerricher State Park, where we found dozens of bobbing seals at Laguna Point. They were hard to capture on my phone, but I was pretty excited (jumping up and down excited) to see so many seals in one place.

Mendocino Coa Northern California Laguna Point California

The park had plenty of paths for us to get some exercise in before we stopped to eat and taste beer again.

The Tap Room,Fort Bragg California

The Taproom is a must-visit if you ever get to the Fort Bragg/Mendocino area. Even before it opened, people were lining up by the door, and we knew we’d made a good choice.

The space was super cute and cozy, and we quickly decided to share a beer sampler to get a taste of all that North Coast Brewing had to offer.

beer tasting at The Tap Room

We’re huge fans of Old Rasputin, and we ended up loving every beer on the tray, even the IPAs, which we often don’t like.

The Tap Room beer

We paired our beers with this insanely good ceviche and homemade chips plus plenty of fresh California avocado. . . heaven!

The Tap Room, Fort Bragg

At the suggestion of some locals, we then headed across the street to Pacific Star Winery for a splash of their It’s All My Fault, a delicious blend of Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chenin Blanc,  and Roussanne, named because of the fault running directly beneath the winery.

Pacific Star Winery

The tasting room was so vibrant and beautiful, filled with local art and lovely regulars who were ready and willing to give us recommendations for the area, including sending us to Roundman’s Smokehouse for all sorts of incredible smoked meats, fish, and cheese. I love meeting people when we travel!

Pacific Star, Fort Bragg California

Glass Beach was another one of their recommendations. Glass Beach is a former dump, which, thanks to the trash dumped there years ago, now offers an abundance of sea glass, in addition to stunning views.

Northern California

Glass Beach

Glass Beach

Our time on the Mendocino Coast was simply spectacular, peaceful, and delicious. It was also too short, but I think a lifetime in such a beautiful place would even have you asking for more!

 

Read more travel posts about Northern California on my travel blog post page.

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Tags: Anderson Valley, California, coastal living, Mendocino, Northern California, travel blog, wine, wine tasting

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