A Perfect Day In Guerneville, California

Guerneville is a tiny little town off the Northern California coast. It’s one of my favorite tiny towns in Sonoma County, and is vastly underrated. Whenever I am craving a relaxed, chill day, I’ll head down the highway to this adorable little river town and catch my share of good food, coffee, redwood trees and fresh air. This is how I spend a perfect day in Guerneville, California.

How To Spend a Perfect Day In Guerneville

First stop: coffee. I love this little coffee shop called the Coffee Bazaar – I’ve been there so many times over the years. There is a bookstore attached, which means that if you have time and are in need of a book, this is the perfect place to browse with a cuppa. I really enjoy the world map showing all of the coffee regions – I use it to point out all of the places I want to go. #wanderlustlife

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I had a soy latte and I left with a serious case of wanderlust – these are some of my favorite things.

Into the Wild

Next, we headed to Armstrong Woods – a forest full of the tallest redwood trees you’ve ever seen. Entry is free, and there is a great one mile looped trail that will take you through the forest.How to Spend a Day In Guerneville, CaliforniaHow to Spend a Day In Guerneville, CaliforniaHow to Spend a Day In Guerneville, CaliforniaHow to Spend a Day In Guerneville, CaliforniaHow to Spend a Day In Guerneville, California

After a nice long walk in the woods, we headed back down the street into town again for lunch at my favorite little market in Guerneville, Big Bottom Market.

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It looks like they also serve Oprah’s favorite biscuit?! I opted for the smashed chickpea, avocado and arugula sandwich. It usually comes with feta and garlic aoli, but I asked for it vegan style. Michael ordered the grilled cheese sandwich. How to Spend a Day In Guerneville, CaliforniaHow to Spend a Day In Guerneville, CaliforniaHow to Spend a Day In Guerneville, CaliforniaHow to Spend a Day In Guerneville, CaliforniaAfter lunch, we took a walk to the end of the block to the Guerneville Bank Club – the perfect, cutest spot for an ice cream cone. How to Spend a Day In Guerneville, CaliforniaHow to Spend a Day In Guerneville, CaliforniaHow to Spend a Day In Guerneville, California

I opted for the Vegan Coconut Fudge in a sugar cone. Michael chose the waffle cone with a scoop of Madagascar Vanilla and Chocolate Fudge. How to Spend a Day In Guerneville, CaliforniaAfter we were filled up with ice cream and had a little walk around of the Guerneville Bank Club, we jumped back in the car. We stopped at Safeway for a bottle of wine and some snacks. We picked up some Kettle chips and a bottle of Chardonnay, and took the Jeep out to the coast.How to Spend a Day In Guerneville, CaliforniaHow to Spend a Day In Guerneville, CaliforniaThe beach was perfect – just sun, fresh air, and a light breeze.

There are so many great places to check out in Guerneville, and all throughout Sonoma County. Stay tuned to see what else I have planned for the rest of my time at home!

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How to Live in Costa Rica for Less Than $30 a Day

Hola!

I am currently stationed in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. I’ve been loving it here – the sun, the beach, the forest, the monkeys, the ocean. I feel like I’m living in paradise. There is even a health food/vegan restaurant here. How could this get any better?!

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A typical day for me looks like this: wake up around 7am. Get ready, go for coffee around 8. Take a long walk on the beach. Go to healthy restaurant for breakfast. Go to the beach, lay in the sun for a few hours, read. Go back to healthy restaurant for lunch. Work on website/YouTube/misc. Make dinner or eat fruit at hostel. Sometimes go for a run. Watch Netflix (currently re-watching How I Met Your Mother – love that show!) and then go to sleep around 10 pm.

I love every part of my days here. Healthy food. Exercise. Sun. Freedom. The best part is, I’m doing this all for under $30 per day.

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Say what?! That sounds crazy. Costa Rica isn’t cheap – it’s relatively expensive for Central American standards. But I’ve managed to live how I want to live on a budget – without feeling like I’m on a budget. I mean, hello, I’m eating out twice a day.

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Let’s break down the cost of my life here:

Hostel: I am staying in a shared room with two beds. I pay $12 a night, and 90% of the time, the room is all mine. I also pay $1 a day for a locker. This hostel is a lifesaver for being so cheap – it’s what allows me to spend more on food. If I wanted to pay even less, I could get a bed in a 10 bed dorm room. But… that’s not my style. Total: $13/day

Entertainment: I get my reading material from a book exchange. So I take a book, and leave a book. Going to the beach is free. Going for runs is free. Walking through the jungle is, yep, FREE. Netflix costs me a whopping $9 a month, which per day is basically nothing. Total: FREE.

Food: I usually cook and eat my own food while traveling. But I am obsessed with this restaurant down the street (the vegan one), so I’m taking advantage of it while I can. I usually spend around $15 total to eat out twice. If I get something expensive for one meal, I balance it out with something less expensive later. Sometimes I will eat fruit for 2 meals a day, and eat out only once. Tap water is drinkable here, and I usually fill up my hydroflask (reusable water bottle) at the hostel a few times a day. Total: $15/day

Transportation: I walk everywhere. I have rented a bike one day, for $5. Since I’ve been here for 5 days, that averages out to $1/day. Total: $1/day

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Let’s total it up: $13 + $0 + $15 + $1 = $29. So I’m living the life here for $29 a day. That is less than it costs me to live at home – a lot less. And I’m staying right next to the beach, seeing monkeys every day; I’m living my dream life. My overall budget for my entire trip is $50/day. I made it work in Europe by couchsurfing, taking buses for long trips, walking a lot, and eating in often. I like to have fun with my budget, living different lifestyles in different countries. I have loved being in Costa Rica, spending my days in a swimsuit by the ocean with a good book, eating healthy food, and doing whatever I want.

Staying below budget is just the icing on the (vegan) cake. 🙂

 

 

Catching up on R&R in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

My sister, Breanna, and I landed in San Juan del Sur after many people told us it’s a must see in Nicaragua. We had no idea what to expect, but we were excited. We got in after dark and tried to figure out where our airbnb was.

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After two hours of syphoning wifi in a tiki bar, without getting directions or help from our host, we gave up on the airbnb. I found a hostel for $10 a night per person next door to the tiki bar downtown, and we got a room for ourselves. The hostel was incredible – the rooms had two beds each, so we got our own private room for $20 a night. Definite score. The hostel was basic, but we loved that it was indoor/outdoor. The kitchen was outside and there was a little surfer mural painted on the wall. So rad!

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We were within walking distance to the beach, also. The walk to the beach was adorable and super scenic.

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We woke up the next morning and headed to the beach. The beach is covered with restaurants along the shore. We stopped by the cutest one to grab a cup of coffee and discuss our plans for the day.

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After absolutely no debate, we decided the best way to spend the day was on the beach.

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We walked along the beach for a bit before becoming complete sloths.

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At the other side of the beach, we found a condominium with an incredible private pool. We were extremely disappointed when we were unable to climb the fence and a security guard was called. We scurried off pretty quickly back to the other side.

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We lounged hard core on the beach the whole day, only taking breaks to have fruit smoothies and gallo pinto (Nicaraguan fried rice and beans). After a nice tropical (aka completely red) tan started to develop, we stopped back at our hostel to rinse off and cover up. We got ready quickly so as not to miss the sunset. I think it was worth the rush.

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One of the most incredible sunsets I’ve ever seen. The clouds looked like puffy balls of cotton candy.

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Dios mio!

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After the sunset, we were completely wiped out (relaxing all day does that to you), and headed off to bed.

The next day we decided to tour the very small beach town. The shops downtown are mostly owned by Europeans, Canadians, or Americans, so it is very tourist friendly and very English speaking.

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We seriously pondered getting pedicures at this cute little pink spa, but figured walking on the beach was probably exfoliation enough.

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We went back to the beach restaurant for another cup of coffee, some deep conversation, and people watching. We ended up staying until the afternoon, racking up a bill of yet more fruit smoothies, a few pina coladas (for Bre), and a bazillion bottles of water.

We spent more time working on our sunburns; they were coming along rather nicely at this point. We got so good at extreme lounging, I could probably teach a course in it now.

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San Juan del Sur was an incredible place to visit and I am so happy we made it there. It is a great place to take some time to relax, recharge, and rejuvenate. It’s a bit touristy, but a wonderful spot to eat, drink, relax, and be merry. It seemed that most people stayed in San Juan del Sur for the nightlife, but took shuttle buses to nearby beaches for surfing during the day. There are some adorable coffee shops, clothing stores, bars, and restaurants – we even found a vegetarian/vegan restaurant! I loved San Juan del Sur even though I’m not a huge party-er (I was mostly in bed by 10PM), and I’m also not a huge surfer. San Juan del Sur has so much more to offer than what I expected. I would definitely recommend a stop to check it out!