I recently took a trip up to Northern California. Here are some of the highlights!
As I have lived in the Sacramento area for the last 5 years, this trip was less about exploring and more about spending quality time with my old friends. However, I did go on a few excursions worth mentioning!
The first was a day trip to Ukiah with my friend Jordan. Jordan had lived in Ukiah while playing baseball for a community college there, so he wanted to show me around a town I had never been too. He and I took off in the morning for the three-hour drive toward the California coast.
Once in Ukiah, we stopped for lunch at a restaurant called Rituals. This place was so good. Jordan and I both got a burger.
I really love how they branded the burger with the ‘R’- it adds such a detailed touch!
Jordan is a beer lover, and since Rituals serves beer from the Ukiah Brewery, he decided to get a flight to try them all. I personally have never been much of a beer drinker, but there is something about locally brewed beers on tap that speaks to me. I tried his flight along with him and ordered a half pint (this is the perfect size for me!) of my favorite, the Willits Witt.
We then took off for Mendocino Community College, where Jordan had been a student. This campus is really nice, but pretty small, even for a JC (UC Davis is such a huge campus! It is actually the largest of all of the UCs). If you find yourself walking around this campus, keep your eyes peeled for snakes! Jordan almost stepped on a snake that was basking in the sunlight. I basically saved his life.
We then went to the Temple of 10,000 Buddhas. Jordan had driven by this place many times before, but had never stopped in, so we decided to explore it together. Don’t let the gates fool you; there really isn’t much to see here. You might see a monk or two walking around, but there isn’t much offered for tourist attractions.
We then went for a hike at the Valley View Trail in Ukiah. Although we had hiking shoes, neither of us were properly dressed for hiking. We stumbled upon a short hiking trail that lead to a led to a playground. It was a little hidden treasure and we were able to monkey around on the jungle bars, climb fallen tree branches, and catch salamanders.
Jordan and I then decided to start the three-hour drive back to Sacramento. On our way, we stopped to watch the sunset over Clear Lake, in Lake County. Not going to lie, this area is the meth capital of California, so I wouldn’t recommend exploring the town too much, but the views over the lake are beautiful. With the mountains in the background, you really can’t beat the sunset.
What a beautiful end to a fun day!
In addition to the day trip in Ukiah, I also took a weekend trip!
With the long President’s Day weekend holiday, my best friend Jessie and I decided to take a trip up to Tahoe. She and I took off early Friday morning for our journey.
We first stopped at a place Jessie loves called Bubba’s Bagels in Grass Valley, CA. It is really good and all of the bagels are baked fresh each morning. After breakfast, Jessie first wanted to get her oil changed before our drive to Tahoe. After trying two different places without success, we decided to just head up the hill to Tahoe and get it changed later in the week. Although we had an early start to our day, it was already about 11:30am and we had barely left town. Once we reached Tahoe, we pulled off to snap some pictures of the great views!
We then drove up to Tahoe city and stopped at Safeway for some snacks. After making our purchases, we went back to Jessie’s car and it wouldn’t start. Between this and the oil change, things were not going our way…
When we opened the hood, we found this…
The battery was obviously leaking acid, so we knew not to touch anything. We whipped out some chemistry skills to create a basic solution to neutralize the acid. Lucky for us, Safeway carries baking soda. We went back inside, made our second purchase and mixed together about a tablespoon of baking soda with water and poured it on the battery acid. This is what happened:
Lucky for us, this chemical reaction was good! Once all of the battery acid was removed, we were able to get a jump from a super nice guy and the car was running again. We decided to take it straight to an auto parts store to see what was wrong. When we got there, a really helpful employee tested Jessie’s battery for us. Turns out her battery works just fine, it just has an extremely low CCA (her battery is 410 Cold Cranking Amps, which, for reference, can’t even be purchased at Auto Zone). The employee recommended Jessie switch to at least at 600+ CCA battery. With that, we were finally ready to get our day going, and it was already past 2pm.
Although it had been a long day already, and Jessie and I were both frustrated with our situation, we were sure to never take it out on each other. Having been extremely close friends for three years now, we know that when the going gets tough for us, our preferred way to react is to laugh it off. Between opening the hood to find a messy surprise, to becoming chemists, to breaking out the milkshake to bring all the boys to the yard (or the Safeway parking lot to jump our car), we were laughing the entire time.
Our original plan was to spend the day kayaking on Lake Tahoe. On the Thursday before, Jessie had called a place in North Shore to make an appointment, but over 24 hours later we had still not heard back from them. We found a place instead that was open in South Lake Tahoe. When we got there, the building was open, but all of the employees were gone. There was a sign left on the check out counter with a number to call to get a hold of the employees. After multiple unsuccessful calls, we gave up on our dream of kayaking. Today was really not our day.
With the desire to better things, we crossed over to Nevada to go to Nevada Beach. Jessie and I have been here once before and it is a great, secluded spot to relax at.
I had brought with me my Altec Lancing Life Proof speaker, which has been an awesome purchase. This speaker is water, snow, sand, and shock proof (and it floats!) so it is perfect to take to the beach or on a day trip rafting. Jessie and I spent about 2 and a half hours dancing on the beach to Jessie J and Beyonce.
Although literally nothing went as planned, we had a great time.
We also came up with our new catch phrase, “So much better than kayaking.” Everything we did do that day (chemistry, learning about CCAs, hunting down oil changes and missing employees), was so much better than kayaking.
Sometimes it is about the journey, not the destination. Lucky for us, our journey still brought us to a really amazing destination.
Since we were already in Nevada, we decided to spend a night in Reno. I booked us a room at Circus Circus Casino and Hotel and we took off for the “Biggest Little City in the World.” We stopped for dinner at The Blind Onion in Reno. This pizza-by-the-slice place was great! The crust was really doughy and our server recommended putting honey on it! It was good and very cheap. Jessie and I each got a monster slice and a beer for $9. Gotta love that!
We then checked into our hotel. We showered off our sandy feet and got ready for a night out. What is nice about Circus Circus is that it is connected to the Silver Legacy and the El Dorado hotels. You can easily navigate all three hotels, casinos, and restaurants without exiting a building. Although we did miss the fresh air, it is a cool concept. Jessie and I both gambled a little, too. She won $6 and I won just over $25. Feels good to come out on top!
We started our night with some live music at a bar in the Silver Legacy.
Although the music was good, it was a little hard to dance to so Jessie and I made our way to Silver Legacy’s Aura Ultra Lounge. We had so much fun here. If you are female, there isn’t a cover (sorry guys!) and the DJ was awesome! This place wasn’t too busy considering it was a Friday night, so Jessie and I had plenty of room to shake our thangs.
We meet a super nice girl named Stacy and she introduced us to a group of her coworkers, all of whom work out of the Navy base in Ventura, which is very close to where I live in LA. It is so weird to be out of state and meet people that neighbor your hometown.
Well Jessie and I spent four hours dancing and it was such a fun night! Being that we are both avid Grey’s Anatomy fans, I think we choose to vent our frustrations from the day by ‘dancing it out.’ Although our feet were aching, it was one of the best nights.
The next morning we stopped off for lunch at Süp in Reno. This place was süper good (see what I did there?!) and I would highly recommend it. I got a grilled cheese with turkey. Jessie and I then started the drive back to her town! What an interesting journey it had been.
Despite how trying of a day it was, we were able to put our frustrations aside and make the most of the experience together. One thing that I have been learning over and over through this step back in my life is the importance of making the most of your situation. The importance of being committed to having a good time.
Have you had days where everything that could go wrong did? How did you deal with Murphy’s Law? Let me know below.