The Travel Pair

The Bay Area has so much beauty and magnificence to offer any tourist or traveler, but we took advantage of a few lesser known parts of it and had a grand ol’ romantic and fun time.

Best Western Plus Lighthouse Hotel in Pacifica, CA – The hotel is right on the beach and has hiking trails on both sides of it. The trails are rock cliffs right next to the ocean with jaw-dropping views from each.

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Pier 39 at night – We took a romantic bike cab to Pier 39, had delicious crabs at the Crab House, and enjoyed a little bit of bar hopping and photo ops at the pier.


Fisherman’s Wharf – We were entertained by playing antique arcade games at Musee Mecanique and took in the beautiful view of the bay and Alcatraz.


Pier 39 in the day – Delicious San Francisco Ice cream and the famous Aquarium of the Bay were the highlights in the daytime at the pier.



Other notable stops were Madame Tussauds San Francisco and the Exploratorium, where you can spend hours playing with hands-on activities about science, art, and human perception. It is definitely worth the visit!



A Snowboarding Trip + Engagement in Tahoe

We did 2 days of snowboarding @ Squaw Valley & Alpine Meadows Ski Resorts in Lake Tahoe:


It was Troy’s first time ever snowboarding, and he’s a natural!






Troy proposed right by the lake under the stars…and, of course, I said YES!!! I now get to officially spend the rest of my life with my best friend and soul mate!

The Ring


West Shore Cafe is a possible wedding venue on the beautiful shore of Lake Tahoe:



Day 1

The Freedom Trail (first half):

Walk around the beautiful Boston Common and Public Garden and see the magnificent George Washington statue


Visit the historic Granary Burial Ground, which is the final resting place of famous people from your history books


Witness the classic balcony where the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed at the Old State House


Eat Boston’s famous lobsta and chowda (yumm!!) and shop for souvenirs at Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market



Reserve seats on the Boston Duck Tours to witness Boston’s most popular highlights from land AND water

Have delicious drinks and dinner from the top of the the tallest building in Boston called the Prudential Tower

Day 2

Enjoy an early morning run along one of the cleanest rivers in the United States called the Charles River in Back Bay

Freedom Trail (second half):

Climb an astonishing 294 steps to the top of the famous Bunker Hill Monument

From there, walk to the North End of Boston, and on the way, see the famous home of the NBA Boston Celtics and NHL Boston Bruins at TD Garden


Pay respects at the historic Old North Church featured in the poem “Paul Revere’s Ride”

See the Paul Revere Statue in all its glory


Explore the North End for authentic Italian restaurants and Mike’s Pastry for some amazing cannolis


Take a tour of a prestigious Ivy League school, Harvard University

Treat yourself with high-end shopping on Newbury Street


Saying goodbye to our homey apartment rental The Boston Newbury


Other options you can add that we missed out on:

  • Fenway Park
  • Cheers bar
  • New England Aquarium
  • Museum of Science
  • Museum of Fine Arts
  • Boston Children’s Museum
  • John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
  • USS Constitution
  • MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • Boston College
  • Chinatown

Sasha here. Being originally from Los Angeles, California and living there for the first 27 years of my life, I moved to Sacramento around the winter of last year and met the love of my life Troy. He has never been to LA, but I have been to all the tourist hot spots a multitude of times, so I have many suggestions and recommendations when visiting. When I brought my boyfriend Troy to visit my beloved hometown for his first time, I knew exactly where to take him, so he could look past all of the traffic, smog, and millions of people cramped up in one city,  but instead see the beauty and greatness of the City of Angels.

Here is where I took Troy…

Santa Monica Pier/3rd Street Promenade: Here there are ocean views, gorgeous sunsets, shopping, rides, and games for the kids. There are also a variety of restaurants within a few blocks of each other. Another option is to visit the Venice Beach Boardwalk, which is about 2 miles down from the pier if you want to indulge in the beach bum-street performer-skate park-muscle gym type of culture.




Griffith Park Observatory: The observatory’s planetarium has 3 different shows, but the one that you can’t miss out on is Centered in the UniverseFor less than $10/person you can relax while you travel through time and space. The observatory itself is free to visit and explore. It has several really awesome exhibits about space and the universe. You can also see stunning 365-degree views of Los Angeles from Downtown to Mid-Wilshire to the Hollywood sign and even down to the ocean on a clear day.




Hollywood Sign/Bronson Caves: The Hollywood Sign hike is the perfect place to get some exercise. There are different trails that range in a variety of distances that can all get you close to the Hollywood sign, ranging from 3 miles to 6 1/2 miles round-trip…or you can drive up into one of the surrounding neighborhoods and still get a pretty good photo without having to hike. The Bronson Caves is also an interesting and unique place to visit. It is only about a mile round-trip detour from the bottom of the Hollywood Sign hike. This was used as the Bat Cave in the classic Batman TV series and in several other Hollywood films.



Hollywood Walk of Fame/Grauman’s Chinese Theater/Dolby Theater/El Capitan Theatre: All around the Hollywood and Highland intersection, there is plenty to do and see. 15 blocks of sidewalks are embedded with brass stars dedicated to film, television, music, and radio celebrities. Grauman’s Chinese Theater is known for famous celebrities’ actual hand and footprints imprinted on the ground, including Robin Williams, Shirley Temple, Frank Sinatra, Humphrey Bogart, John Travolta, and Bing Crosby. Stop by the Dolby Theater (previously the Kodak Theater) where the Oscars and America’s Got Talent are hosted. If you have time, watch a movie at the El Capitan Theatre across the street. The movie usually consists of an entertaining pre-show related to the movie being shown. Other activities to do include visiting Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium, and plenty of shopping.

Madame Tussauds Hollywood

J. Paul Getty Museum: This beautiful museum has spectacular architecture, art and gardens. It also has stunning views of Los Angeles. Admission is free, but there is a $15 parking fee.


Universal Studios Hollywood: It’s not ALWAYS sunny in LA, so when it isn’t, head to Universal Studios Hollywood (or Disneyland if you prefer)…NO LINES!!! The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the Jurassic Park ride, and the Studio Backlot Tour are the worthy highlights at Universal Studios. (Note: if you plan on visiting again, Costco has a 3-day pass or annual pass at almost the same price as a regular ticket.)


USC/Exposition Park: If you want to visit a college campus, take a tour around the beautiful campus of the University of Southern California (USC). Of course, I am biased since it is my Alma mater. Go Trojans! ✌️ Right next to the main campus are the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Exposition Park, which includes the Rose Garden, the Natural History Museum, the California Science Center, and the California African American Museum.


Downtown: Finally, you can’t miss out on Downtown. It has the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Broad Museum (free but you have to reserve in advance), Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Staples Center, LA Live, Little Tokyo, a glass slide at the top of the US Bank Tower, and delicious restaurants for any and every genre of food you can think of. You can also find bargain deals at Santee Alley and Chinatown, which have all kinds of knock-offs for cheaper prices, especially if you’re a pro-haggler.


This is just a small hint of what LA has to offer. As you can see, there is always something to do or see. LA is not just a place full of tourists, city life, and smog. Even though I have done everything there is to do there, I will never get tired of going back. The City of Angels is a mecca of different ethnicities, religions, and cultures so there is something for everyone.

Honorable food mentions:



Big Sur and Carmel are places you HAVE to consider when you think of places to visit in Northern California. Known for the drop-dead GORGEOUS views, the great hikes, and the chance to be a little more in tune with the wonderful gifts of nature and the outdoors, these are destinations that won’t let you down.

We decided to do a quick, but awesome and romantic, trip to scratch these off “Troy & Sasha’s bucket list” and started to plan and book a whopping 2 days before the weekend. We were able to get pretty much everything done that we wanted to do, including all the touristy stuff, considering some of Big Sur was still closed due to mudslides and fires from the past year. (Note: Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park – the one with the famous waterfall that falls onto the beach – was sadly closed.) Here is how our trip went…


We arrived at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park around 11 am. (We stopped to take pictures of the beautiful coastal views on the way there.)


See! I wasn’t lying about the drop-dead gorgeous views! Once we got to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, we decided to do our own little off-the-beaten-path hike, which we really enjoyed without a bunch of other tourists either walking too slow or trying to make us hurry up and pass us. We found this gem because of our little adventure:


We even saw a family of deer that were 20 feet away and staring at us! After we enjoyed ourselves, we decided to go back and go on one of the actual designated hikes. The only one that was long enough to be sort of a hike out of the trails that were still open was a section of Buzzard’s Roost Trail. It was about 3 miles total out and back, but since there weren’t many open, there were a lot of other tourists on the trail. However, we did find this beautiful opening of redwoods that leaves you in awe of how majestic Mother Nature is.

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After about 2.5 hours of lots of walking, we were really hungry, so we Yelped it and ended up going to Rocky Point Resturant, which had amazing views but pricey mediocre food. Oh well, the views and classy, romantic atmosphere were almost worth the $75 check for 2 people.

On the way to check into our hotel in Carmel, we stopped by the famous Bixby Creek Bridge and walked around some more at Garrapata State Park to see more spectacular coastal views and redwoods.


We checked into our hotel around 5pm – Carmel Village Inn (the most budget-friendly for a last-minute reservation on what seemed to be a popular weekend and it was walking distance to everything in town!) The rest of the day was spent walking around the cute little town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, walking to the beach, checking out the bar scene, and finally calling it a night.


We went to morning mass at the Mission San Carlos Borromeo del río Carmelo, a.k.a. the Carmel Mission, which was convenient because it is close to one of the entrances of the famous scenic 17-mile drive. This drive passes by one of the most famous golf courses and some of the most beautiful mansions. It has numerous stops and goes from Carmel to Pebble Beach to Pacific Grove to Monterey, but honestly, a lot of the stops are just more views of the ocean and the golf course with some history behind it. Here is what we thought were worthy of stopping for photo ops:

The Carmel Mission


The Lone Cypress


and Seal Rock (yes, those are a bunch of stinky barking seals on that big rock)


From there, we drove back home to Sacramento and relived our short but wonderful weekend getaway.


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