USA

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

Why is everyone in Miami so beautiful?

After the polar vortex hit Chicago, I was ready for Sea, Sun & Sand–Miami was the perfect combination. It also ended up being a reunion trip with some of my friends from school. We stayed at the Four Points, only two hotels down from the Fountain Bleu which we also “found our way” into. We were also right next to the Soho Beach House, and their in-house restaurant Cecconi’s was amazing. 60% of our meals were had there–wallets were empty, but there were no regrets. I can’t wait to return!

P.S. Clubbing in Miami (at least at the “it” clubs I tried to get in) is demoralizing. The girls are beyond gorgeous, and are often paired with overly tanned 60 year old men with bottle service, and the lines are 2 hours long. So to club (or at least not wait in line for 2 hours), I have to spend six months at a crossfit gym and then find a sugar daddy. Nope. Not doing that again.

Posted by Onome in Travel

Six Tequila Shots in Louisville

A few weeks ego (ermm…I mean in April) my team and I went for a retreat + Bourbon trail + Churchill Downs (horse racing) trip to Louisville. At some point, there were 6 tequila shots involved, and I realized I wasn’t a whiskey fan. But we made our flights back to Chicago, and all-in-all it was a great weekend.

P.S. I highly recommend not going to the horse track. This might have just been “bad luck”, but as we were watching the races and placing bets, one of the horses racing actually broke (as in broke) his leg/knee, and it was horrific to watch.

Posted by Onome in 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

The Philly Cheesesteak was Not Tempting

Smack dab in the middle of April, as the weather began to wane in all the most normal regions of America (Chicago was not cooperating), I made a trip to go see the little sister in Philadelphia. It was part of one of those 3 week chunks were I practically lived out of a suitcase. My schedule for those three weeks were: Chicago to Cincinnati to Philadelphia to Chicago to Cincinnati to Miami to Cincinnati to Chicago. So I wouldn’t really see my bed or my home for another 3 weeks (except for the one night in Chicago after Philly). But I was seeing my sissy! And Ke$ha…who I was not excited to see. Let’s set the scene. It’s an undetermined day in the spring, and I’ve still not visited my sister at school in Philadelphia, despite her going there for 3 years. It was time to rectify things. She picked a weekend, it was also their Summer Concert series weekend. Which meant scantily clad and drunk students. I was also staying in her alternatingly freezing and sweltering dorm, which made things all the more exciting, and I ended up with a horrific cold afterwards. But it actually turned out to be a pretty fun trip.

Day 1 was pretty relaxed, seeing as I landed at around 10pm. But the next day, we were determined to go around and see the town. We went to the Love Park where we had a great interaction with Philly Jesus. It was fun, but I’d actually go there just for a quick picture and then keep it moving.

The weather was gorgeous, which meant we got a great pictures of the architecture, and it was also sort of cherry blossom season, which made for multiple great photoshoots

The first place in Philadelphia that I truly enjoyed was the Reading Terminal Market. It was kind of the best of both worlds. An indoor food market that had incredible variety: from food stands a la Smorgasburg, to fresh groceries a la Farmers Market, to fresh meats and seafood. It was simply amazing. Unfortunately I was too engrossed in the options to remember to take a picture. Just go hungry, and eat a tad too much, and forget to take pictures.

The next spot I recommend wholeheartedly is the Philadelphia Magic Gardens. Sissy had never been in all her three years in Philadelphia, and after a day of walking around, shopping (I can never resist Uniqlo), eating and cherry blossoming, we decided to take a bus to South Street and check out the gardens. South Street is the exact kind of neighborhood you’d expect to have magic gardens. From my ~2 hours there, it looked like Philadelphia’s version of Williamsburg and Wicker Park, only just a tad bit more gritty. While at the gardens, we actually got to see the artist Isaiah Zagar, who was actually talking with visitors and answering questions, while sitting on one of the installed chairs. Whatever you do, just go here. It was absolutely amazing, and well worth the $7 admission fee.

We rounded out the night in true tradition, with some West African food near the University of Pennsylvania’s campus. Everything we had at Kilimandjaro was excellent, and I highly recommend going there. I would say to expect a bit of a wait, so don’t go while you’re starving!

So there you have it, the jam packed, fun filled 2 day trip to Philly. As for Ke$ha…she was about as good as you’d expect someone with a “$” in their name to be.

Posted by Onome in Travel