Inaugural Solo Trip to California
I have been wanting to go on a solo trip for a very long time but never got around to it. I was transitioning from one position to another and would have to go under a 6 month probationary period in my new position. (Insert rolling eye emoji!) Which means no vacation! Anywho, I figured this was the perfect time to take my first solo trip. On the day that I gave my two-week notice, I purchased a plane ticket to San Francisco, CA. I wasn’t nervous or anxious at all as this is something that I have been looking forward to. I was set to leave on a red-eye the night of my last day and was PUMPED and ready to go! It was my gift to myself for moving on up!
Two weeks went by and I realized that I never booked a hotel! Ooopss I was too focused at work. So, literally 2 days before my trip I was on every single site from expedia.com to airbnb.com looking for lodging options. Finally, I ended up finding a really nice hotel at an affordable price on HotelTonight. HotelTonight is a mobile travel app for Apple, Android and Windows devices that allows users to find discounted hotel accomodations up to seven days in advance. I scored a loft style hotel room a boutique hotel - Hotel Diva in Union Square in San Francisco, CA. The name was perfect for a Diva like myself, but the hotel was even better! Try HotelTonight and score $25 off your first night!
I spent 3 Days in San Francisco all by myself, I had the time of my life! I danced, prayed, worshiped, watched movies, sang in my hotel room. I enjoyed myself and have never felt so free in my entire life on a trip! I look forward to sharing my first international solo trip with you later this year, but for now here are two main things I enjoyed during my time in San Francisco, CA.
Hop On Hop Off Bus
I toured all of the main attractions in San Francisco, CA all in one day via the Hop On Hop Off bus. I received a coupon from my hotel and paid approximately $35 for a full-day ticket.
I only hopped off the bus at few locations that I wanted to see. I got off at the Golden Gate Bridge to view this beautiful bridge and take some pics. I had my phone on selfie mode and with no shame I asked strangers to snap flicks for me. I offered to take pics or them and their group as well. After a few hours of viewing this beauty I got on the next bus to head to my next stop!
My next stop was the “Full House” houses! If you grew up in the 90s you should be familiar with the TV show “Full House”. The show was filmed in San Francisco and the houses in the preview of the show are a popular tourist location in San Fran. The Olsen sisters were my favorite characters in the show so I had to go and check it out! There is a park across the street from the “Full Houses” where people picnic, lounge and just relax. I sat on the grass read my book “Don’t Settle for Safe” by Sarah Jakes Roberts, by the way, this was a GREAT book for a solo trip and self-reflection.
My final stop on the bus was Chinatown. Prior to my trip I was told that I needed to visit Chinatown in San Fran. I must say I was overwhelmed in Chinatown. I walked around, did some window shopping, purchased some souvenirs, and headed back to my hotel!
Napa County is known for it’s hundreds of hillside vineyards in the Napa Valley region. As a wine lover Napa Valley was my ABSOLUTE favorite part of this trip. I went on a day trip to Napa Valley with Tower Tours. They picked me up at my hotel around 7am and went off to Napa which is about 2 hours away from San Fran. With this tour company I had the opportunity to visit 3 wineries. They were all so different and all had different types of wine.
We stopped at three wineries the Madonna Estate, Sutter Home, and Sebatiani Vineyards & Winery. We are all familiar with Sutter Home as their wine is available at many liquor stores. However, they have some wines that are only available at the winery. So guess what I did? I shipped a box of wine home and it was great to enjoy it over the holidays with friends and family!
All of the wineries were really enjoyable and I learned a lot about wine. I have been to many wine tours but this was one for the books, besides my vineyard/winery tour in Florence, Italy.
If you have been wanting to go on a solo trip I encourage you to do so! Purchase that ticket and go! Travel is therapy for me and being able to do it solo is even better.
After my amazing solo time in San Francisco, CA I went off to Fresno, CA to visit my roommate from grad school. While visiting her we went off to LA for the weekend which was also amazing. I spent 8 days in California and got to visit 3 cities (San Francisco, Fresno, and Los Angeles). See some pics below of my time in LA!
Until Next Time!
Steph & Vannie