Hawaiian themed birthday + Mount Tamalpais hike + new friend in SF

Howdy! The wild fires on the west coast have made these last two weeks feel pretty up and down. There were several days of very unhealthy air quality which basically meant shelter-in-place 2.0. You may have seen on the news how San Francisco was literally ORANGE for a few days. This was the view outside my apartment (no filter).

wildfires in california

Luckily, a few fun things still happened. It was Princess’s birthday and so me and the girls threw a surprise birthday party for her at Janice’s apartment. We made it luau-themed, ordering from Princess’s favorite Hawiian restaurant (called Pa’ina – SO yummy). It turned out to be a HUGE success and Princess was super surprised! It was a fun, low-key night of chilling over drinks and catching up with the girls + our partners.

Finally last weekend, we got a breath of fresh air (literally). The smoke moved out of SF which meant spending as much time outside as possible. Joe and I wanted to get out of the city and we were in the mood for a big hike, and so we drove across the bridge to Marin and along the wind-y roads of Mount Tamalpais.

We chose the Dipsea/Matt Davis trail, which is 8 miles round-trip with 1800 feet elevation gain. The interesting thing about our hike was that we started at the highest point going downwards, followed by going uphill. This “reverse” hike is pretty difficult mentally – I couldn’t help but think every step going down just meant another step I’d have to take back up, ha.

I loved this trail because it covered so much diversity. There were redwood trees in the mossy-shaded trails, to sunny exposed trail with gorgeous coastal views, all leading up to Stinson Beach as the end-point. Look at the size of these trees!

redwood trees

Beautiful section of the trail along the coast.

Mount Tamalpais hike

The half-way point was Stinson Beach, which is one of my favorite beaches in the Bay area. The beach is beautiful and surrounded by tall mountains in the back drop. We took a break with our smoothies and cooled off in the shade.

And then it was time to hike back up. All 1800 feet. It was tough at first since our legs were tired from the descent, but once we hit our stride it flew by and was the perfect heart-pumping workout we were looking for.

We finished our hike right at sunset. Driving down Mount Tam at golden hour with the windows rolled down was very memorable. I’ll never take fresh air for granted ever again!

mountain drive

The most exciting piece of news recently was one of my friends, Rachel, moved to SF! We met during my NYC days because we dated these guys who lived in an apartment together. Evidently we’ve all broken up with them since and Rachel and I agree that the best thing to come out of it was the meeting the girlfriends of these guys, ha. We both moved out of NYC around the same time (I went to SF and Rachel moved to Seattle). Now three years later we are reunited! It’s so nice to have another girlfriend in SF who’s down to explore. We hung out at Dolores Park on Sunday and caught up over the last few years. I love Rachel’s energy and am super excited to do more together. 🙂

Mission Dolores Park

I hope you all find peace and joy this week!


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