California

Yosemite: I, Tiny and Insignificant

Yosemite: I, Tiny and Insignificant

The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, the deer were going about their business chewing, the water was tumbling down from meters above, the sky was as blue as could be the grass as green as was possible. And there we were, small and tiny and insignificant, traipsing about and sometimes forgetting to look up and take it all in. If there’s one word I would use to describe Yosemite, it would be “significant”. There’s something incredible and indelibly humbling about standing at the bottom of something so incredible, something of nature’s making. And feeling so completely insignificant. And then there was the indescribable beauty of doing this on a mid-summer’s afternoon. It was, simply put, a great day.

My family and I took this brief road-trip to Yosemite during July 4th weekend, while I was home for the break. It was supposed to be a short drive from Sacramento, but let’s just say that tempers flared and people exited the car to walk, because at one point, walking was simply faster than being in the car. But then, we got there. We got to Yosemite, and oh boy did the smiles burst out.

It’s almost summer again, and Yosemite is on my list of Northern California pilgrimages to re(make) this year. Here’s to more wild natural wonders and more exploration. My plan is to check out Yosemite, Sonoma Valley, Monterrey/Big Sur and Muir Woods. Any other recommendations?

Posted by Onome in Travel
Napa: Do you want a sandwich?

Napa: Do you want a sandwich?

San Francisco in the spring is cold, cloudy and muggy, and some of us visiting from the East coast and Midwest were in dire need of some sun. If you want sun in the Bay Area, just head East, which is what we did! We signed up for the Napa Experience Tour w/ Robert Mondavi Winery which included an early morning pick-up from Fisherman’s Wharf at 7.30am, a fully guided tour including tastings (i.e. lots of alcohol), lunch, a hilarious tour guide and of course sun!

We had to be up at 7am, this after rallying to go out the night before. We order an Uber while scrambling to shower, get dressed and look presentable–not exactly an easy early morning task for seven girls in one bathroom. We all cram into an Uber XL, and luck of luck, the Uber happened to have bags of candy overflowing all around his car. In the 10 minute ride from our hotel to Fisherman’s wharf, we cleaned him out and scarfed down M&Ms, Hersheys, left-over beignets from Brenda’s. By the time we get to the shuttle, we are not quite hungry, riding a sugar high and by the time we board the shuttle are ready for a nap. We arrive Napa well rested, bright-eyed, and slightly hungry–ready to go learn (and drink) wine.

Napa was everything we hoped for and more. Our enjoyment of the trip likely quadrupled due to the copious amounts of wine we made sure to taste, because the tour wasn’t exactly budget friendly, but boy was it worth it. This was my second trip to Napa, and I’m already looking forward to a third.

As for the sandwiches? They were mad clutch to sop up all the wine we’d consumed…and we helped feed some hungry fellow winery visitors who didn’t pay for the tour…but that’s another story 🙂

Our hilarious tour guide! Our hilarious tour guide!

Posted by Onome in Featured, Travel

San-Fran-with-Ma-Frans

It’s an odd feeling to look back on the past, notice tiny little coincidences that are reflected in your present. Growing up in Nigeria, my dad was always buying books for me and my siblings. And one day, he bought this book, my favorite book (for about 2 weeks). It was about the gold rush in the early American West, and a young boy, his family and other prospectors who got lost in a small canyon in Arizona near modern day Phoenix. A few years passed, and my family moved to America, just one town over from Phoenix. Coincidence, eh?

Now my move to San Francisco was hardly kismet-I wanted to move from Chicago and actively tried to move, but I can’t say that this wonderful weekend with my friends didn’t play a large role in convincing me that this cloudy, moody, laid-back and alive wasn’t one to consider.

In San Francisco for a Quick Weekend? Places to Go

  • Brunch
  • Brenda’s French Soul Food, Tenderloin (*Amazing brunch! But don’t do what we did and walk there, take an Uber! Because the Tenderloin isn’t exactly tender)
  • Zazie’s, Cole Valley (*Pricey but extraordinarily good)
  • Ferry Building Embarcardero (*Be prepared for a crazy crowd, and troll Yelp for the good stalls)
  • Urban Exploration
  • Dolores Park Mission (*People-watching and sun-catching)
  • Balmy Alley & Clarion Alley Mission (*Backdrops for gorgeous photos, but don’t forget to notice the not so concealed keen-edged messages)
  • Ocean Beach Sunset (*For beach lovers)
  • Lands End Sunset (*For the active. Don’t forget to check out the Labyrinth!)
  • Dinner
  • Foreign Cinema (*Great lighting, foreign films, outdoor seating and delicious food)
  • Mission Chinese (*For your inner hipster)
  • “Must-Dos”
  • Of course the normal touristy things like Lombard, Fisherman’s Wharf, In-N-Out, etc. But check out TripAdvisor for the “full list”. My friends and I used an Uber to take us from Fisherman’s wharf through Lombard and Russian Hill. We were lucky he also doubled as a tour-guide, because time is valuable!

Posted by Onome in Travel

Frontier Living

I am writing this from my new apartment in San Francisco! I finally moved-switching both cities and jobs. I’m no longer a Chicagoan, so I’ve escaped the brutal winters, but I’ve also escaped the comfort of a city I’ve known for 6 years. I’m no longer a consultant, so I’ve escaped the sometimes excessive working hours, but I’ve also escaped my network, coworkers, and of course the free travel.

But I’m here on the West Coast, with easy cheap access to large swaths of Asia, and I’m so excited to start planning week long trips to places like Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Vietnam & Thailand.

And I’m here in San Francisco, living in Upper Haight which has been a study in gorgeous Victorians, wonderful shops and cafes, and avoiding eye contact with the harmless crazies. It’s been great, and I can’t wait to explore more.

So here’s to a new adventure!

Posted by Onome in Do What You Love, Randoms, Travel

Yosemite Preview

Work has been hitting me over the head for the past few weeks, so I’ve spent my free time decompressing via watching copious TV episodes. Hopefully I’ll get my typing fingers back again, and start putting some more posts up. Meanwhile, my family went to Yosemite National Park for the July 4th holidays. My parents being Nigerian, refused to hike, so my siblings and I took a ton of videos of our hikes, and I put together this little movie, so my parents could come along. Hope you enjoy it! 

P.S. I know it sounds like we hiked a lot, but trust me we didn’t.

Posted by Onome in Travel