Things To Do on A Weekend Trip To Temecula

IMG_8091

 

Temecula, a beautiful valley nestled in Riverside County, and a place I’ve been fortunate to call home for the past 26 years. When I first left for college in 2011, Temecula was very unknown. When asked where I was from, people would respond to my answer with a sense of confusion. I would reply, it’s between San Diego and Los Angeles. Fast-forward to today and you will find many people now know where Temecula is, and might have even visited.

Temecula is home to over 40 wineries with stunning views, this is what draws many tourists in. Not only does Temecula have wineries, but there are also breweries, speakeasies, and even an Old Town that has an effervescent scene day and night, basically a lot of opportunities to get drunk. Temecula is the perfect location for your next girls trip or couples get away. Recently, there has also been a surge in the presence of bachelorette parties in town. One of my favorite parts about living in Temecula, is the endless opportunities of food selection, I will include my favorite restaurants in this blog post as well.  I’m going to break this article down on three areas to visit in town that are popular. Look out for a later blog post on my favorite wineries in town.

 

Wine Country

IMG_2820

The possibilities are endless in Wine Country, with over 40 wineries to choose from. Each winery has something different, whether it’s the views, wine, food, or decor, you will find something unique in every location.

If you go wine tasting, I highly recommend, ubering around town. If it is a group of you, look into booking a limo/transportation service. For group transportation I recommend Vineyard Coast Transportation, contact Hugo at (951)-303-4923. Having transportation figured out is key, to allow yourself to have a great time worry free.

There are a couple wineries that offer brunch, I suggest starting there to ensure a smooth day of day drinking. My favorite winery that has a brunch is Miramonte Winery. Two other ones to note are Leoness Cellars and Lorimar Winery.

The wineries typically close around 5-6 pm so plan to come early. There are a couple that are open later and many of them have live music to enjoy. Check out the winery’s calendars as well to see if there are any special events while you are in town, such as Salsa dancing or cover bands.

Here is a link to a comprehensive website, which lists all the wineries in alphabetical order and gives you their hours and costs on tastings.

https://www.temeculawines.org/taste/winery-listing.php

 

Old Town Temecula

IMG_9822

Old Town Temecula has grown and changed so much. When I was a kid, I remember it being a small strip with country style buildings. Some of those buildings are still up today which give it its old town flair. However, there has been so much new added to Temecula that has made it vibrant and exciting. From the countless restaurants to unique bars, there is something for everyone. I’m going to list some of my favorites and go-to’s.

Food & Drink

1909

1909 has an eclectic menu and is best known for their weekend brunch. They are also known for having exquisite bloody marys. The restaurant is spacious and has indoor and outdoor setting, they also have a ton of beers on tap. If it is your first time visiting Temecula, I would pick this as a food stop.

The Goat & Vine

This is currently the highest rated restaurant in Old Town Temecula. I have never been, and don’t know why but it will be high on my list for our next date night out.

Espadin

Espadin is more new to Old Town Temecula, but it has made its presence known. It has some of the best Mexican food for a nice sit down and has festive cocktails. They also have Mezcal in house.

Devilicious

It originated as a food-truck and now has its own restaurant location. They have an array of crafted foods with bold flavors. Their taproom is also impressive and they often have live music or events throughout the week.

 

Nightlife

The nightlife in Old Town Temecula is lax, but can get pretty turnt depending on who you’re with. Most of the bigger places do charge a cash cover so be prepared.

Blackbirds’ Tavern

This is our go to for going out when we want chill vibes. I say chill vibes because the whole outdoor area feels like a backyard kickback there are several fire pits you can sit around and talk. There is also corn hole and benches to sit at. Ideally this place is best to socialize and grab a drink. But then again there is also a D.J spinning in an interior part of blackbirds. They play hip hop and top 40 so it definitely gets fun!

Bailey’s

Baileys is much bigger than Blackbirds. They have two levels of dancing, the bottom floor is hip hop and top 40 while the top floor is Latin, you’ll hear anything from cumbia, to bachata, etc. There is also a huge outdoor patio area to socialize and grab drinks.

Pub & Grub

I haven’t been to pub & grub in years, it used to always be our go-to. I have some friends who prefer going here over any others but I haven’t found myself wanting to go back.

Here are other locations worth noting and visiting. The great thing is that Old Town Temecula is all on one strip so it is super easy to walk from location to location. Check out; Lukes on Front, Temecula Beer & Wine Garden, Public House, and The Bank. If you like country music Stampede is a good option however it is 18 and up so be warned.

 

Speakeasies

There are two in Temecula. One is called Thompson and Twain and it is located inside Crush and Brew. Show up and put your name down and they will text you when your spot is available.

The other speakeasy is located inside Devilicious and it is called Apparition Room. You can reserve a spot for up to 8 by texting (951)514-6332.

Both speakeasies have amazing cocktails and are an immersive experience into the prohibition era.

 

 

Pechanga Casino & Resort

One of the biggest reasons why people became familiar with Temecula, was because of the casino. My dad worked there as a security guard when I was a kid, and since then I have seen the casino double in size. They are constantly expanding it, they just recently unveiled their new pool resort. If you are not a guest of the casino, you can purchase day passes for their pool resort. You can also rent cabanas and make a whole day of it.

Pechanga offers a lot more than gambling, if thats not your thing. There is a spa, comedy club, and a ton of restaurants to choose from. The restaurants range from a fancy steakhouse, buffet, food court, and everything in between. The nightlife in Pechanga is also plentiful, from the round bar to the Eagle’s Nest Club, you can spend a good amount of time exploring the casino.

 

Those are the big three attractions in Temecula, the wineries, old town Temecula, and Pechanga casino. Growing up, I always said there was nothing to do in Temecula, as an adult there is plenty to do. We love having out of town friends visit us and show them around our beautiful valley.

As a Local, I’m going to list some of my favorite restaurants if you want other options outside of the three locations mentioned.

 

Food Recommendations

Mexican Food- Aztek Tacos, hands down. Before I ever worked there, this was the only place I ever ate Mexican food at, because lets face it nothing compares to mom’s.

Sushi- Firefish Sushi, 100% the best sushi. Ed and I have tried sushi in so many cities and at the end of the day we always end up comparing it to firefish.

Burgers- Burgers & Beer, duh!!!! If I could be sponsored by a restaurant it would be Burgers and beer. I love this place! It has a huge menu aside from their specialty burgers, and also has happy hour every day from 3pm-close. This is also the best place to watch sports, there is TVs everywhere!!!

American- Bushfire Grill. This place screams quality. Everything in here is delicious and fresh. There is so much to chose from, the food is on display too, so you can see some of what you are going to get before ordering.

Chinese- Chef K. I had given up on Chinese food in Temecula because the quality was so bad. We tried Chef K and all hope is restored. I’m craving their honey walnut shrimp now lol.

 

 

There is a lot more to do in Temecula that I didn’t mention, such as the Promenade Mall, Vail Headquarters, and Farmers Markets. I urge you all to visit because it took me leaving for four years to truly appreciate the beauty of my hometown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 days of Vegetarian Eating (With Meal Ideas)

I remember many years ago I asked my husband what he would do if he came home and we were having only salad for dinner. The conversation went something along the lines of him mimicking Salad and then proclaiming how much he loves meat. Well fast forward to a few years later and here we are at Trader Joe’s gearing up for a week of plant based/vegetarian eating. I say vegetarian because we did have products that contained dairy such as yogurt, whey protein, and tomato basil soup.

I’ve watched several Vegan documentaries and I have gained a deep interest in finding alternative ways of eating. Today there are so many substitutes on the market, that make eating meatless a breeze. I found so many of these substitutes to be more appetizing than their regular meat friends. Doing this challenge with my husband was fun, it got us excited to try new recipes.

I will admit, eating meatless did take a lot more preparation and planning. The only reason it was more difficult, was because it was a new routine for us. We have mastered our standard meal prep, but trying something new gave us both a desire to learn new ways of eating.

One thing I did wonder was if my workouts would have been compromised due to not eating animal protein. In order to combat this, I made sure to eat sufficiently, and take in a lot of nutrients through vegetables and nuts.

We really enjoyed eating this way and we both said there were certain meat substitution products we would make key purchases. Ideally I would like to move towards a pescatarian diet in the future. I will continue to explore other plant based/ meat substitution products. Do you think you could challenge yourself to not eat meat for a week? If you are already a meatless eater, what are some of your favorite meals?

If you would like to see some meal ideas and tips to get inspired, keep reading!

Lunch #1

I didn’t take a picture of my lunch, but it was delicious, quick, and easy. We bought the Italian meat-less sausages and prepped them the night before. As a side, we had steamed broccoli and cherry tomatoes on the side.

Dinner #1

Tomato Basil Soup from Costco (contains dairy), I cooked lentils and added them into the soup for extra protein. We also roasted broccolini in the oven with balsamic as a side, and a piece of whole grain toast to dip into our soup.

IMG_7026IMG_7028

Lunch #2

I made fajita bowls without meat! Cut up bell peppers and onion and put it to sauté with chipotle sauce. I purchased canned black beans and Israeli couscous to add to the fajitas. It was my first time trying Israeli couscous and it was delicious, I can’t wait to use it again. Like I mentioned, one of the best parts about this week of eating was trying lots of new things!

IMG_7030IMG_7032

Dinner #2

TACO TUEASDAYYYYYYYYY!!!

For dinner we decided to make vegetarian tacos. We used cactus, onion, and soy rizo for the tacos. We added avocado to the tacos and my husband also added vegan cheese to his. It was my first time trying Soy-Rizo and it was amazing, it was not oily at all like regular chorizo and had a great flavor. We also used Mission organic tortillas to put the tacos in.

IMG_7046

IMG_7050

Lunch #3

Trader Joes sells this amazing Vegetable and Soba Noodle stir fry kit. We prepped this the night before and we also added Edamame to it to add more protein! The kit comes with veggies and a pack of soba noodles (not pictured), it also has a sauce you stir fry everything with.

IMG_7055

Dinner #3

This dinner was one of the easiest ones. To be honest, everything we typically cook is easy and efficient. We bought the Quinoa Cowboy burger patties from Trader Joes and cooked them in the oven. As a side we did green beans and side salad with raspberry vinaigrette.

IMG_7109

Lunch #4

I made my husband an Avocado/Chickpea/Edamame Toast. The night before I prepped the avocado and put it in a to go container. Luckily Ed has a toaster at work so he was able to toast his bread.

Since I don’t have a toaster at work, I ate at my second job. I asked the kitchen to make me fajitas without meat, so it has cactus, bell peppers, onion, tomato, with a bit of beans and rice, so yummy!

IMG_8074IMG_7138

 

Dinner #4

This was my favorite meal that we did! We bought the brown rice and yellow lentil spaghetti which is packed with protein and tastes just like regular pasta. We then used an “Autumn Harvest” soup sauce which had tomato and pumpkin and butternut squash. My husband also cut up mushrooms and onion and cooked it into the sauce. The final part was my most favorite, meatless meatballs from Trader Joes. They had such a delicious flavor, I was craving them the next week.

IMG_8081IMG_7145

 

 

Avoiding meat and dairy, is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on earth!!! You don’t have to completely cut certain things from your diet at once if you don’t want to, but you should strive to find alternatives. You never know if these alternatives are better tasting than the original ones. All the meatless substitutes we bought were better tasting than the original products are products we would buy over their originals. I’m looking forward to continue to find new ways of eating to reduce our environmental impact.

 

Must Visit Pumpkin Patches in Southern California

IMG_6738

I know I should have published this blog a lot sooner, since we are halfway through October but better late than never. There are still two weekends left in October which means there is plenty of time to visit a Pumpkin Patch before this season is over. Whether you are going with your boo, friends, family, or kids, these are my favorite Pumpkin Patches in Southern California.

5. Bates Nut Farm (Valley Center)

Address: 15954 Woods Valley Rd, Valley Center, CA 92082

Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday 9am-5:30, Weekends 8:30am-6pm

Admission: Free, Parking $5.00

The only reason Bate’s Nut Farm is #5 is because I have never been there. However I have seen many friends go on Instagram, its big, and in a perfect location which is why I had to mention it on this list.  This pumpkin patch also has tractor hayrides, straw maze, and a petting coral.

There are plenty of options on picking a perfect pumpkin to take home and carve or to just decorate your house. There are also wheel barrows to take cute photos with as well. I will make it my goal to visit this pumpkin patch next year and check it out for myself.

bates-nut-farm-haloween.jpg

 

 

4. Tanaka Farms (Irvine)

Address: 5380 3/4 University Dr, Irvine, CA 92612

Hours of Operation: Monday-Sunday 9am-6pm

Admission: $4 per person, Children 2 & younger are free. Parking is free Monday-Friday. Parking passes need to be purchased on the weekends for $10, they sell out so it’s important to reserve them online.

Okay not going to lie, the reason I like this pumpkin patch is because of the Hello Kitty theme. I’m 26 years old and still a sucker for hello kitty decor. This pumpkin patch has become a lot bigger since we have gone in 2016. I would advise to go on the weekends, when they have an array of activities available such as pumpkin blasting, ATV rides, face painting and their own Tanaka Grill serving lunch.

Another thing I love about this Pumpkin Patch, is the U-Pick Vegetable section, you can pick and take home vegetables like Brussels sprouts, squash, zucchini, and more! It is a great opportunity to teach kids about eating vegetables and show them a good relationship with food! There is also a produce market stand, where you can take locally grown produce home, talk about farm to table!

IMG_7942IMG_7943

as you can see these photos are from 2016, my picture taking skills have improved since then so I apologize for the sub-par quality lol.

 

3. Pumpkin Station (Escondido)

Address: 13421 Highland Valley Rd, San Diego, CA 92128

Hours: Monday- Sunday 9am-6pm

Admission: Free!

This is one of my favorite pumpkin patches because it is also an actual farm. Pumpkins are grown in many shapes and sizes. There is a hay ride, which normally includes some valuable information on how pumpkins grow. Now the main reason why I love coming to this pumpkin patch, is because of the beautiful sunflower fields. There are so many rows of sunflowers and you are actually able to walk through them. Not only that, but they also have a U-Pick Sunflower Section, where you can cut down your favorite girasoles (spanish for sunflower) and take them home.

There are a few rows of pumpkins, but this pumpkin patch makes my list because I have always dreamed of frolicking through sunflower fields. There is also a small petting zoo! The best part is its free and you can take as many photos in the field as you want, just be gentle with the flowers and don’t pick any outside of the U-Pick area.

IMG_4973IMG_8111IMG_8122IMG_1740

 

2. Live Oak Canyon (Redlands)

Address: 32335 Live Oak Canyon Rd, Redlands, CA 92373

Hours: Monday-Thursday 4-9pm, Friday 4-10pm, Saturday 9am-10pm, Sunday 9am-9pm

Admission: Pricing ranges based on the day you are visiting. On weekends, adults are $12, Kids 3-10 are 7$ and kids 2 and under are free, during the week it is two dollars cheaper for adults and kids. Parking is also free and plentiful.

This is definitely the best pumpkin patch in Southern California, it’s huge and there is so much to do! From the petting zoo, pumpkin cannons, corn maze, and all the carnival rides, this pumpkin patch has something for every age! One of the best parts of this pumpkin patch is that they sell alcohol and you can walk around with it. Nothing like enjoying a nice IPA while walking around the scenery.

Live Oak  sells individual tickets for each ride/attraction, each ticket is worth a dollar and the cost of the attractions vary. There is also a wristband option sold on certain days which allows you to take advantage of multiple attractions for an affordable price.

What drew me into this pumpkin patch, was the photo ops! Especially the two Pumpkin houses in the patch, they are aesthetic and can give you the perfect photo in seconds. I like coming to this pumpkin patch in the evening to get the best lighting for photos. Another tip, ride the train ride and I would save the train ride for the evening when they turn on the lights at the patch because it looks so dreamy with all the twinkle lights on.

IMG_9068IMG_8047IMG_8033

 

1. Peltzer Pumpkin Farm

Address: 39925 Calle Contento, Temecula, CA 92591

Monday-Sunday 9am-8pm: activity times range by day

Admission: $2 admission for everyone, Children 1 year and younger free with paid adult

Pumpkin Patch on a Winery? Do I need to say more? This is Peltzer Pumpkin Farm’s 13th season and every year they add something to it, to make it the magical place it is today. This pumpkin patch is truly for all ages, there is face painting for the kids, pig races, and even wine for the adult. Peltzer offers one of the best wine tasting experiences in Temecula, with your tasting card you also get a bread and wine pairing.

Some of the activities you can take a part of at the Pumpkin Patch are Petting Farm, Gem Mining, Pony Rides, Tractor Garden (free), Train Ride, John Deere Mini Carts, and Carnival Games.

Every weekend in October they hold their October Nights event which showcases various food trucks at their food truck alley, as well as a Blacksmith Bar. Aside from all the activities offered at Peltzer, this pumpkin patch has beautiful twinkle lights, there are a ton of pumpkins to capture the perfect shot of the pumpkin season!

IMG_0061IMG_0048

 

 

 

Austin, Texas Guide: 3 Day Weekend in Austin

If you need to know anything about me when I travel, is that I leave no room to waste. We land and we hit the ground running, we stay out late and wakeup early and we don’t take naps (maybe in the car rides). This guide is perfect for someone who doesn’t have as much time in Austin, but is down for the adventure and wants to cover as much as possible.

Austin has been on my bucket list for many years now. From the sizzling barbeque, to the buzzing nightlife, Austin is a foodie and adventurer’s dream. When my husband found out that he had a day off for Labor Day Weekend, we booked an early birthday trip for me. Flying from Los Angeles, there are many good flight deals and you can even fly roundtrip for $125 based on the time you go and through the help of tracking apps like Hopper and Skyscanner.

Since we only had a limited amount of time in Austin, I composed a very detailed and efficient travel itinerary that would allow us to maximize our time there. I will include the itinerary at the bottom of this page to help any future travelers plan out their trip if necessary.

Hotel: We stayed at the Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt. If we were to ever go back to Austin, I would definitely stay there again. The location is prime, located right by Rainey Street, you are instantly connected to the wild adventures Rainey street offers day and night. There are also an array of delicious restaurants and foodtrucks to grab late night drunchies. Aside from the location, the hotel is beautifully decorated, the rooms are stocked with great amenities, and the hotel offers free drinks daily during a happy/socializing hour. The rooftop pool was one of the best highlights from our stay and the hotel also has live music at their restaurant “Geraldine”. Another big bonus from this hotel is that it is pet friendly, you see dogs coming in and out constantly. Oh and I can’t forget the free coffee from their coffee shop during your stay, to fuel your adventures.

Driving Situation: We decided to not rent a car and we are glad we didn’t! The airport is not even that far from the downtown/heart of Austin. Uber and Lyfts were plentiful and fast. You will also find rentable electronic scooters everywhere, another more exciting way to explore the city. With my guide I included distances between locations to see which method of transportation was the most efficient. Ideally, we like to do a lot of walking on trips when we can, to make room for the food haha.

IMG_7523

Day One (Saturday):

Day one started with a 3:30 am wakeup call. You would think we would have gone to bed earlier, but being who we are, we were in bed by 12:30pm lol. Our flight departed from LAX at 7am and landed in Austin at noon. We took an Uber to our hotel where we were greeted with some local beers and were luckily accommodated into our room early.

Our day in Austin began with lunch at Bangers, which is a sausage house and beer garden. Luckily we got there at a good time and our wait was only 30-45 mins, which meant we had time to enjoy the sunshine and some Hazy IPA’s. They have a backyard bar with 207 different beers you could choose from! The food was delicious and definitely one of our favorite meals of the weekend.

IMG_4727IMG_4734IMG_4743

With a nice day buzz going, full belly’s, and happy hearts we began our adventure into Austin. We took an Uber to Zilker Park, where we rented Canoe’s at Zilker Park Boat Rentals Canoe. I chose this rental spot based on reviews and its location on the river. We kayaked through the river and into Lady Bird Lake for some stunning scenery and refreshing rows (except when my paddle broke in half and were were subjected to rowing the canoe with one paddle and a mini broken one lol). We wish we would have brought our bathing suits with us to take a dip in the water because it was pretty hot at this point. Barton Springs Municipal pool was also next door and would have been a nice addition, however the line was pretty long and we had other opportunities to go in water later in the weekend so we did not make it a priority due to the time frame we had.

From Zilker Park we went to our next destination, which is the iconic “Greetings from Austin Mural”. The Texas heat got the best of us, we were getting covered in sweat, but it didn’t stop us from taking a good picture in front of the mural. From the Mural we walked to the Churro Co Foodtruck for a snack, water and some shade to cool down.

 

IMG_4756IMG_482036FB37CF-9DD0-47D2-9E4E-BE4EF53A95D8IMG_4845

From Churro Co Foodtruck, we took an Uber to explore the downtown of Austin most notoriously known as “Dirty Sixth Street”. We went to an arcade bar which was super fun and had a lot of games and white claws available. We then found a sports bar to catch the UT Austin Longhorns game which was going on in the city. If we would have had more time in Austin, this is another activity we would have liked to attend. Football is huge in Texas and the environment at a college game is so hyped. Finally we went back to Rainey street and explored the bars in the evening time before going out at night with a sorority sister who also happened to be in town.

The nightlife in Rainey street is my perfect environment, it’s super chill yet alive, it’s packed, yet there are many options to chose from. The setting for the bars in Rainey st are so unique, they are historic houses turned into bars. You walk in through the front door and there is even an outdoor yard. Each place is so eccentric so I recommend visiting Rainey street multiple times to see as much as you can. We started out at The Container Bar, which is huge and has more of a club feel with the DJ spinning all night. We also visited Unbarlievable which is funky and like nothing you’ve experienced before. More noteworthy bars to visit; The Alibi (has a lot of TV’s for sports and also a white claw pina colada), Half Step (spacious and a variety of speciality cocktails). We ended the night with food from the foodtrucks on Rainey St. We had the best gyro from Big Fat Greek Gyros.

 

Day 2 (Sunday)

Started the day with some free coffee from Cafe 605 conveniently located in our hotel’s lobby. An uber was called and we were off to find some of the most iconic murals in Austin. We began by visiting the Austin Motel which has a picturesque sign. From there we took a quick walk to Jo’s Coffee to take a picture with the famous “I Love You So Much Sign”, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t the most excited for this mural out of any. I had always seen so many pictures on the gram of this location and I thought it would be a sweet visit with my hubby. We then hopped on some Bird Bikes and rode down Congress street to find the next mural. The whole ride up and down Congress street was entertaining, it was colorful and artistic everywhere you looked, it felt like a movie scene. The next mural we visited was by Magnolia Cafe which is the Love from Austin mural.

By now it was lunchtime and we were hungry and in need of some shade from the sun. We headed to LA barbecue for lunch which has extraordinary reviews. My man being the planning genius he is, read online that you can preorder your food online. When we got there it was the best decision we made, the line looked about 2 hours long and went from the inside of the restaurant all the way outside in a zig zag. By the time we were done eating, people that were at the end of the line outside still had not made it into the line inside. If you go to LA Barbecue order online and you pick up at a window in the back, you can then sit outside or inside and enjoy your meal. The food was great but we realized we ordered too much and would not eat the leftovers. We boxed up the remaining food and decided to take it to someone who was homeless and needed a lunch.

IMG_4886IMG_7625IMG_7611IMG_2690

After lunch, we took Bird Bikes to the Texas Capitol and explored the building. We did one of the free walking tours and took in the knowledge of the Texas government. The architecture of the building is grandiose. After walking through the capitol we decided it was time for a drink. We called an Uber to take us to the Wonder Bar, something my husband had found on Instagram. He knows a key to my heart is a place with photo ops and this place is just that plus some uniquely crafted cocktails. The ride was about 22 minutes but well worth the drive. The Wonderbar is interactive and the perfect place to cool down from the Texas heat. Since we were already in that area, we explored the shops around it. Even though we had a busy day, it was only 4pm so we decided to go to Rainey street in the day and catch some live music. We ended up at the Clive and had some Moscow Mules and we saw a local band rock out.

We headed back to our hotel and took advantage of the free happy hour before going to the rooftop pool. The pool was so relaxing and also had a bar up top to keep the buzz going. We stayed at the pool till the sun went down and then we decided it was best to get ready for dinner. Everyone recommended Torchy’s Tacos so we went! Unfortunately they were short staffed that day so they told us thee wait was going to be about an hour for our food. We got chips, salsa, and guac to hold us up, by the time we got our food it didn’t taste too fresh and was average. This was my first and only experience with Tex-Mex so I know I have to go back and give it another shot, but at this moment, I stand with my belief that California has the best Mexican food aside from Mexico.

IMG_2116IMG_5075IMG_5169IMG_5265IMG_5275IMG_5278

 

Day 3 (Monday):

For our last day in Texas we saved the biggest adventure yet, Tubing in the San Marcos River. This activity has always been on my bucket list, because what is better than floating down the river, catching a tan, with a drink in hand? This activity does take up a good amount of time, so we debated doing it or not, but we are so happy we ended up doing it, because it was the highlight of our trip. We booked our tour through Texas State Tubes and they provided an exceptional time! They picked us up in downtown and took us on an adventure in a school bus. They even stop at a gas station for you to pick up your needs for the day, beer, white claws, chips, and water were the only things we needed for the day. They then provide you with a cooler for you to store your goods, don’t forget to purchase ice at the store for your cooler.  You then are given a floaty and tie yourself to your friends and cooler. It was the perfect way to spend the day, I would love to come back to Austin and do this with a gang of friends.

We got dropped off at our pick up spot and grabbed some lunch before heading back to the hotel/airport. Even though we were pretty toasted at the airport, everything went smoothly and we caught up on the lack of sleep on the plane ride home.

IMG_5290IMG_5294IMG_5316IMG_5325

 

Adios Austin, you were truly an adult playground for the foodies and drunkies to enjoy, I cannot wait to be back.I hope this blog inspires some of you to check out this gem of a city. There are so many things to see and do, if you only have a three day weekend like us, this blog will be very helpful (and tiring lol). If I were to go back  I would also make a trip to Lake Travis and rent out a boat if I was with a group. We did see a lot of bachelorette groups while we were there and honestly, Austin is a great spot for a bachelorette if you want something different than the typical club experience.

Love From Austin

Jess

5D384356-911D-4C00-89AE-799D13A8BB27

 

PS; Here is my itinerary, if you would like to screenshot it and save it for your future travels this makes it really easy and i put a lot of work into it, I would love for others to benefit from it too ❤

IMG_7935

 

 

 

 

 

How I Travel for Free Multiple Times a Year

Free? Yes, you heard that right. Get Money to Spend Money? Count me in!

If you follow me on Twitter or know me in real life you know I constantly rave about my Capital One Venture Card. I first applied and received my card in February 2016. It was my first year post grad and I was not making that much money but I knew I wanted to find a way to keep traveling. Before I had this credit card I had my typical bank credit card. I had it for over 4 years and was saddened when I realized the rewards I had amounted in those 4 years was virtually nothing. So I began to do my research on which credit card would give me the best benefits and I came across the Capital One Venture Card.

Since I’ve had this card in February 2016, I have cashed out on free flights to these places, 2 roundtrip flights to NYC, Roundtrip flight to Denver, Roundtrip flight to Cancun, Roundtrip flight to Austin and now a future trip to Cabo in April. After two years of having the card I got my husband to jump on the credit card so we can take advantage of getting free flights together.

 

With the holidays around the corner, now is the perfect time to apply for a credit card that rewards you. You will be spending money from now till December, you might as well spend money and make some back for a future spring break or summer trip. I have a link at the bottom that allows me to refer people to sign up for the credit card.

 

There are many great Travel Rewards cards out there but these are the reasons why I think the Capital One Venture Card is the best.

  1. You are not restricted on where you can use your rewards. This is a big one for me especially because I book flights on different airlines. There are a lot of great travel rewards credit cards but many of them will only allow you to use your points/miles on that specific airline. Not only are you able to redeem your points on any airline, but you are also able to use your miles on Hotels, Airbnb bookings, car rentals, and anything deemed “travel”.
  2. You earn rewards miles on E V E R Y T H I N G, not just based on flights purchased, gas, groceries, and restaurants. There is also no cap on how much rewards you can earn, so charge everything on that card! You earn 2 miles per dollar on every purchase you make.
  3. MY PERSONAL FAVORITE PERK of this card and why every new member should get it. There is a sweet sign on bonus for new members. If you spend 3,000 in the first 3 months you are given a $500 miles bonus. So pretty much spend $3,000 and earn $500 for a future trip.
  4. No foreign transaction fees. If you are traveling and want to use your card in another country you have the ability to do so without getting charged hefty fees, which definitely do add up over time. Just don’t forget to call their customer service line and notify them about your trip so you are able to use your card!
  5. ANNUAL FEE. Yes there is one. Typically with cards that reward you so greatly, there is an annual fee, but honestly the rewards heavily outweigh the $95 annual fee. But wait, there is a bonus, your first year your annual fee is waived!!!
  6. Other Perks worth mentioning:  TSA Pre Check & Global Entry: Receive a credit of either $100 for Global Entry or $85 for TSA PreCheck with your Venture card.             –Travel Accident Insurance: Use your Venture card to purchase your flight, and you’ll automatically get travel accident coverage of up to $250,000 with Visa Signature Benefits. Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver-Rent a vehicle using your Venture Card and refuse the car rental agency’s collision damage coverage. You’ll receive secondary coverage for collision damage and theft on a domestic car rental and primary coverage for international rentals. Lost Luggage– Pay for your ticket with your Venture Card and receive up to $3,000 if your luggage is lost or stolen. 

 

It’s 2019, do yourself a favor and get yourself a credit card worth using. Be the person that sets their card down for the group and take advantage of the points and collect their portions of the bill later.

One of the best ways to use this credit card is to simply charge everything on it. At the end of the week, add up all the expenses and transfer the money from your checkings to your credit card debt. This will help you keep your balance low.

Another tip to maximize your rewards earnings is to make any big purchases on your credit card especially if you already have the money in your account to transfer it over. For example, when I was taking classes at CSUDH, I would pay for my $800 classes with my credit card, then transfer the money I received from my loans to pay off the classes. Find any big expense you have been saving for, charge it on your card and then pay it off, in the end you earn miles and accumulate for a future trip.

My final note, upon applying for the credit card it says you need excellent credit. Don’t let that discourage you from applying. I applied for the card my first year of post grad I didn’t have a crazy high credit score and my income wasn’t super high. Another benefit this card will bring, is that it helps you build your credit tremendously. My husband’s credit score jumped up by 50+ points after 8 months of using this card consistently.

If you are ready to apply, click on the link below to take you to the application process via my referral. If you have any more questions, ask below and I will be glad to answer them!

 

capita

https://www.capitalone.com/credit-cards/lp/referrals/?referralCode=YC7YCG6B&customerName=Jessica&programCode=3001&pId=923811