When John and I moved from California to Texas last summer we decided to plan a 2 week long trip for us to come back over the next summer (2021). We figured that with COVID and moving we weren’t going to be traveling over the 2020 holidays and wanted to be back for our annual summer Tahoe trip with his family. So this past July we spent 2 weeks doing everything our hearts desired in California, from being in San Francisco to boat rides in Tahoe, to visiting family in Monterey and everything in-between. We even found our amazing wedding venue which I’ll write about in a different post. Needless to say it was a really great trip!
The first 5 days of our trip was spent in the city staying with our wonderful pals in our old neighborhood of Alamo Square. We settled in, got coffee and went for a stroll in our old hood, stopping by the old house and hanging out in the park. It felt like no time had passed while simultaneously feeling like I have grown into a new version of myself.
Because we moved during COVID when San Francisco was at the height of lock down, it was fun to be able to do all of the things we weren’t able to before we left. Eating at our favorite restaurants, seeing our friends, I even DJed one final time at GoBang! It felt like we were able to officially close a chapter of our lives that brought us so much joy and adventure. I even got a long distance run in Golden Gate Park in the schedule! My heart was so very happy. I MISS THE TREES SO BAD. John and I are definitely forest people, lol.
We spent the 4th of July with our friends down in Soquel, outside of Santa Cruz, with a heated pool and ocean side views. We loved being able to have so much time with our friends before we had family time. We got to see everyone we wanted which was so nice and just be together, dance, and laugh like old times.
We picked up our rental car and built some time for ourselves between our time in SF and Tahoe when we visited Monterey, having time at the coast and going out to eat between family visits. The California coast is the most gorgeous place I’ve seen alongside of the Pacific Northwest. It speaks to my soul. Which is why it was incredibly hard to leave but something I knew deep down that we needed to do. We are very happy to be getting married in the Carmel/Monterey area next summer though!
Truth be told, the last time we visited Tahoe in July 2020 it was a bit rocky as that’s when John and I told his family we were moving. There was a lot of shock, disbelief, and sad vibes which made the trip sort of a hard one. We wanted to be together and to tell them in person. But one whole year later, Tahoe 2021 was just what the doctor ordered. It was full of fun, surprises, family and friend time, and also healing. It felt almost like it was before we left which was so nice. For those of you who have ever moved away and done something different, you know what I mean when you go back for the first time. Although I had lived in California for over 12 years and was recently reconnected with my family in Texas, John has never lived this far away from his family so it’s a whole different experience for him.
Our Tahoe house was incredible with the most amazing views and patio. We had a party outside one night with a group of friends who came out for the weekend alongside John’s sister Rosie and Dad. Of course we went on our annual Tahoe boat trip which was such a ham of a time! Tahoe in the summer is gorgeous! I love it in the winter too but since I don’t ski or snowboard the summer is more fun for me. Def do a boat ride and kayak in the lake when you go!
We experienced the most amazing crisp, cool, and foggy weather, as well as the hottest weather I’ve ever experienced in California! On our drive out of Tahoe through Sacramento, the temp got up to 113 degrees! That was just insane. We stopped for wine tasting in a nicely air conditioned place to break up the heat!
After Tahoe we spent another couple days in Monterey again with John’s mom and finalizing things with our wedding venue. I am so excited about it! We are so happy to get married where we made so many memories over the years and share that with my family, who have never been to Monterey or Carmel areas.
The last 2 days of our trip was back in San Francisco. We dropped off the rental car, stayed 2 nights in a hotel in Union Square, and enjoyed our remaining time in the city. We had last rounds of drinks with friends and John and I explored North Beach as a date for our last day. North Beach was where I first moved way back in 2008 before settling in Alamo Square. It really brought me back to my early 20’s and just how different the city was then. There is a special place in my heart for North Beach, it was my first home far away from home.
We enjoyed the shit out of California on our trip. Made great memories, had nostalgic moments, made plans for our future wedding and future visits, but we were ready to come home to our life in Texas with our baby cat. It was a sweet goodbye.
California will always have my heart, and I’m certain we will live there again at some point in our lives. But we are enjoying the adventures and living in the moment and are excited to see where life will take us! Until next time, Cali ❤