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Napa Valley California Anniversary Getaway {Part II}

Last night while conversing with my friend over dinner she said, "I'll be off this Monday..." which prompted me to ask her why? Is it a holiday?  Believe it or not, to my shocking surprise, I did not realize that it's already Labor day weekend! One of the downfalls of being self-employed is that you don't really keep a calendar where you X each day praying for the holidays with their long weekends to come so you can get a breather. Self-employment means you're constantly working even when you think you're not. At least that's how it is in my case. However, the thought of Labor day weekend made me so excited cause in my mind it means FALL time is right around the bend! This is the one season where I feel the happiest and most relaxed, especially when I'm surrounded by beautiful fall leaves and crisp autumnal air. As I leave you to enjoy your long weekend, I wanted to take the time to post the second part of our Napa Valley California anniversary getaway as promised. Retrieving such great memories help to allay the days that make me feel stressed, overwhelmed, sad or anxious because leading a really busy life can many times make us forget our most appreciative moments.

Continuing to the next favorite destination - San Francisco...

...couldn't leave the west coast without making a pilgrimage to a city that is dear to us which we have not seen in the last three years. Walking through the streets, driving up those steep iconic hills, filled us with great memories that will hold us for a good while. And of course visiting SF wouldn't be complete without shopping at a vintage store, so I made my rounds and walked away with a great piece of fashion memorabilia by means of a soft pastel retro blouse that I'm sure will eventually make its way onto here in an outfit post. I certainly could not be in SF and leave without feasting on some great oysters at one of those lovely restaurants in the Ferry Building before we turned in for our hotel stay which brought us back to President Truman's time. Think federal style decor - seriously, the one thing that was missing was the polished high tea cart with all the crumpets being wheeled in the room as I awoke. I guess the hubby wanted to keep it real.

Monterey made it onto our anniversary excursion. It's been 15 years since the first time we went during our 3rd year anniversary. As we approached, I felt this immediate rush of excitement and some long-forgotten experiences flooding my mind. Being able to return again after such a long time really made our anniversary vacation extra special. It was like coming full circle. I tell ya, every time we decide to explore our own country, it never fails to reinforce us how beautiful the U.S. is - solidifying that you don't need to go to far away places all the way to across the world to enjoy incredible vacations and amazing scenery while creating unforgettable memories.

Cambria was one of the most quaint seaside little towns that we got to spend a day and 1/2 at a Bed and Breakfast alongside the ocean. We chatted and drank wine with other visitors in the B+B's rustic living room as we gazed at the ocean through large windows spanning the whole length of the house (couldn't take a snapshot of that particular moment with my phone cause there was no internet connection there whatsoever, which was great! It helped us to totally decompressed, live in the moment and rest the brain from all the electronic noise). The purpose of a vacation to begin with, right?!

Within all this beauty however, there was this haunting reality there for the residents - extreme drought. Although we only passed a little bit of time there, we were affected nonetheless. We felt the heaviness of the town's predicament as all hotels forbade the use of any jacuzzis, restaurants aren't allowed to even offer water, the patrons have to ask for it. What made me feel real sad was when we made our way up to the amazingly gorgeous Hearst Castle only to find out their public bathrooms have been shut down in the past month due to water shortage. Porta potties (which by the way made me hold my liquid for record time...I definitely tapped into my inner Camel abilities) are the new fixtures instead. The beautiful massive pools were drained out until this happened causing an uproar by residents. Examples like these show that disasters are caused more often by greed and resource mismanagement rather than by too much or too little rainfall.

A few of my favorite highlights of Hearst Castle...

 oh, the occasional sighting of either these Himalayan Tahr Goats, or rocky mountain elk, llamas and even zebras.

I'm definitely grateful for experiences like these as this life is not only short, but very unpredictable. Nothing is permanent or guaranteed. It's important to create the opportunities and enjoy every journey, every step, every moment - never putting what can be enjoyed and done today for tomorrow. On that note:

Have a long happy weekend. Be safe, have fun, don't be wasteful, make plenty of memories and always remember that kindness is the most stylish accessory you can ever display.

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