NorCal for the Summer

NorCal for the Summer

Hi! Long time, no blog. For the past couple of weeks since returning from Costa Rica, I got to spend a little bit of time at home with family (so nice), and just a couple of days ago I moved to the Bay Area for the summer with a long-time best friend, Maclaine. She’s interning at Kaiser Permanente and I’m interning at San Francisco Magazine (with some babysitting gigs thrown in too). I’m already feeling really happy to be out here. And content. Satisfied. Refreshed. And as always in California, inspired. 
 
Maclaine and I spent our first hours here at a backyard house concert. The fact that we thought it was as incredible as we did, despite our post-plane stomach issues, says a lot. The backyard setting was gorgeous. Located in Oakland Hills, it overlooked San Francisco; the hilly landscape offered outdoor seating that made it feel like a real mini stadium. Tree stumps served as seats and there was a stage made of tree wood, too. Some very talented individuals and bands played amazing folksy music. The house itself was as beautiful and natural as the backyard. Plants, art and instruments everywhere. Very cozy. It was one of those houses with so much character that you could guess who lived there before you knew the person. Not to mention the food! All homemade by the host. We were really spoiled. Roasted veggie medley, peanut noodles, and a quinoa salad were among my favorites. 
 
It was refreshing to be around people who seemed genuinely happy with their lives. Most of the people I spoke to took a chance in creating the lives they wanted to live and didn’t settle for anything less. That in and of itself created such a happy tone for the afternoon and evening. Watching people on stage, with their friends, doing what they loved, was lovely.

It was refreshing to be around people who seemed genuinely happy with their lives.

I enjoyed hearing stories of why and how people decided to move to the West Coast – a lot of people I spoke to were also from the Northeast originally. I especially loved one woman’s story about how she convinced her family to move out here. She described the drive across the country with her brother. They got stopped by cops in Utah who misidentified them as people smuggling thousands of dollars worth of drugs into the state. “Not the best start to a plan my parents were already hesitant about.” Since then, she’s had no regrets about her decision to relocate her family to this incredible place.
 
Anyway, we have been here for a couple of days and I’m already feeling happy with my decision to move out here. Maclaine and I, naturally, are most excited about settling into a healthy, vegan routine. We’ve started our days with runs around Lake Merritt, followed by coffee with Maclaine’s must-have purchase of hazelnut-flavored coconut milk creamer (game-changer for sure, highly recommend). 
 
I’m already getting crackin’ with the photos. No time to waste. Below are some shots of the backyard music party and our first days here in Oakland (and the tunes I've been playing on repeat). Looking forward to sharing my adventures in San Francisco with you all!

Stay peachy,
Mariah 🍑