Shannon Did What / Travel + Lifestyle Blog

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Weekend Guide to Sacramento

TravelShannon Guerrero11 Comments

I’ll be the first to admit that a trip to Sacramento was never really on the top of my bucket list.  My main reason to go to Sacramento was to visit my best friend.  I went into my stay thinking there would be no way I’d write a blog post on Sacramento.  I sure was wrong.  

Hannah and Greg - this one’s for you.  You guys were absolutely right about Sacramento being completely blog post worthy.  

Here is a guide to all the things you should eat, see and do while in Sacramento or is just reasons why you should visit this lovely city.

EAT

SPINNERS CINNAMON ROLLS - Head to Spinners Cinnamon Rolls to grab yourself a sweet treat to start your morning.  Don’t be fooled by its location at the gas station, these cinnamon rolls are melt-in-your-mouth good.  You can grab an original or even one stuffed with apples.

I’m a sucker for a great story and this mom and pop place has a great one.  Watch the story behind this 30-year business, here.

TEMPLE COFFEE ROASTERS - Not only is this place super cute and well designed, their coffee is delicious. Temple Coffee is also specific to northern California so get it while you’re there!  The best thing about this shop?  The floor is made entirely made up of pennies.  Yes, pennies.  It's quite the sight to see.

FEDERALIST PUBLIC HOUSE - I love a place to eat with great ambience and Federalist has just that.  It’s got a really cool laid back vibe complete where you order at the counter, can play corn hole and they make their own housemade Sangria.  Their pizza is also hot and fresh out the oven.

ANDY'S CANDY APOTHECARY - I’m a sucker for a good old timey feeling candy store.  Well I'm just a sucker for candy.  Andy’s Apothecary is just that.  They’ve got all the gummies you could want and a cute little boutique in the back.

DELILAH'S MARKET CAFE - If you’re a fish lover, this place is for you.  I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to order poke from any place more than at Delilah's.  Their poke is already pre-mixed with killer flavors like furikake bomb ahi, sweet oyster ahi or sweet chili salmon.  Sample them, trust me.  They’ve also got multiple types of spam musubi - need I say more?

SELLAND'S MARKET CAFE - Selland’s is great for healthier tasting comfort food.  They’ve got a full case of salads and sides, soups and even a full service bakery.  Doesn’t hurt that the interior and decor is super ‘gram-worthy.

SEE

CAPITOL BUILDING - I think I’ve always kind of wanted to see the California State Capitol building.  It seemed as a native Californian like something I should eventually go to see, but I didn’t realize how beautiful this building and its grounds would be.  Let’s just say, I was pretty blown over by how grand and impressive it really is.  I only wish I could’ve seen the inside.  You can get a tour of the building every hour or just wander inside to check out the beautiful rotunda.

TOWER BRIDGE - The Tower Bridge was another landmark I was super impressed with.  The coolest part about this bridge is that it doesn’t lift like traditional bridges.  The center section of the bridge lifts vertically, like a elevator.  It’s also just a cool bright yellow color.

COLORFUL WALLS - Like most cities, this up-and-coming city has some cool colorful walls to 'gram.  Here are where these 2 are located - We're All in it Together + Wal Public Market.

VICTORIAN HOUSES - On a stroll through East Sacramento’s Fabulous Forties district, you’ll find all the pretty Victorian houses.  If you’ve seen the movie Ladybird, the actual blue house exists here near the corner of 44th and M street.

DO

WAL PUBLIC MARKET - Located on the ground floor of artist lofts in midtown, is the Wal Public Market.  Come here for boutique and vintage shopping, great food and an awesome outdoor seating area.

OLD TOWN SACRAMENTO - Go back in time and experience the quaint vibe of old town Sacramento.  This is the home of California’s first thriving business district.  Take a stroll along the river waterfront, stroll the shops and even learn a little more about California’s history.  Here’s your heads up for old Sacramento parking, make sure you pay the meter.  I might be speaking from experience...

COIN OP ARCADE - If you’re a fan drinks and games, this place is for you.  It’s like a cooler old-timey version of Dave and Buster’s.  All of the games are vintage and operated by coins thus the name Coin-Op.  There’s also a great outside patio area to enjoy drinks with friends.  If you’re like me you’ll be at the basketball game challenging all the bystanders.

 

I hope this guide inspires you take a trip to California's capital.  It's just a quick drive from San Francisco.  I know you'll enjoy your time as much as I did!

Yours Truly // Shannon

Staying at All Inclusive Overwater Bungalows

TravelShannon Guerrero2 Comments

Have you ever wanted to stay at an overwater bungalow? Ya me too. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, have you seen pictures or video of those beautiful villas on stilts over water in Tahiti or the Maldives or Jamaica? Well, these over water villas can run in the thousands per night. I know, you’re thinking there’s no way that’s ever going to be a possibility, right?

I found the perfect place and the most affordable way to experience sleeping in an over water villa. This particular place is called the Avani Sepang Goldcoast Resort and it is by far the best option to stay in cheap overwater bungalows.

I first saw it when browsing through Facebook showing the most beautiful footage of the Avani Sepang as the largest over water resort in the world. Good thing I was in the midst of planning my Asia trip because I immediately sent it to my friend and, well, the rest is history.  It is truly one the most beautiful places I've ever stayed.

The Avani Sepang from an aerial perspective is shaped like a giant palm tree. The trunk being the long breezeway to the center of the branches where the infinity pool, spa and multiple restaurants are located. This infinity pool, by the way, is one of the most picturesque views you’ll see. Just imagine the water cascading into the blue water of the ocean just beneath the horizon.

This giant palm tree is actually so large that the most efficient way of getting around is by bike or golf cart.  They actually call golf carts buggies which just makes it sound even more fun.  We decided to take bikes around most of the time, but I'm not the best bike rider.  Word to the wise, don't bike down the path of an overwater bungalow because you could crash and your phone could also then go flying into the ocean 20 feet down.  True story.

I think I’d think of this resort as an all-inclusive resort.  You can definitely choose which level of inclusiveness you’d like when booking your stay though.  Ultimately, we chose to do breakfast only included. I’m glad we did since only one restaurant out of like 6 or 7 is the designated restaurant of choice.  Eating at one restaurant for an extended period without trying other options wouldn't be my first choice.  Thus, the breakfast only option.  I also say this is more or less all-inclusive because when you stay here, you don’t really need to leave the property nor is there much around outside of the grounds.

One of my favorite activities the resort provided was a fire show on the beach.  I don’t know if it’s because fire shows are incredibly mesmerizing or the fabulous guys dancing to all the pop queen songs, but it was wildly entertaining.  If you stay here, you most definitely will get wrangled into stopped by for the show.

Like I said the Avani Sepang is basically all-inclusive meaning there are lots of things to do and places to explore on the property.  Theres everything from beach activities, laying by the infinity pool, biking around and lots of eating options.  You can also book multiple activities and sightseeing adventures through the resort doing everything from venturing into Kuala Lumpur to a boat tour down the river.

If you didn't notice the theme to most of the pictures in this post is purple and pink.  This is undoubtably because the sunsets here are the most epic you will ever see in your life.  Hoping the Avani Sepang is now on your bucket list especially if you're interested in having the experience of staying at an all inclusive overwater bungalow.

Yours Truly // Shannon

A Layover in Hong Kong

TravelShannon Guerrero9 Comments

It’s a tough choice to make between seeing as many places you can see and really getting to see enough of a place.  On my most recent trip to Southeast Asia, I ended up having 3 stops where they were just short layovers.  A 10-hour layover.  A 12-hour layover. A 24-hour layover.

I just went through how much I was able to see during my 24-hour stop in Taiwan.  Read about it here.  24-hours seems long compared to 10-hours, though.  It’s over twice the amount of time actually.  

So, how much can you do and see on a 10-hour layover?  I think it really depends on where you have your layover.  I think Hong Kong really is a perfect place to venture out and explore during a layover.  Partially because Hong Kong’s transportation is extremely easy and also for an American, you don’t need to attain a visa to leave the airport.

After you make it through immigration, head to the train, which is conveniently located inside the airport.  No need to purchase a ticket before hopping on.  You purchase your fare when you get to your destination.  It is about a 30-minute train ride into the city.

one.
MONTANE MANSION

Hong Kong is full of such cool, scenic spots and I knew I wanted to make it to one of the major Instagrammable spots while there.  Montane Mansion won because of it’s location and proximity to the other stops I picked.  I think the draw of Montane Mansion is how unique it is.  The amount of apartments that fill this one area is astonishing.  You literally can’t comprehend how close of quarters this must be.  

Do take note that these are actual homes for these locals.  It easy to forget that people are going about their regular lives when you stop by for a photoshoot.

two.
VICTORIA PEAK + TRAM

I don’t think I realized how beautiful Hong Kong was until getting to see the view of it from above on Victoria Peak.  You’ll be able to see how Hong Kong’s skyline of tall skyscrapers are  encompassed by vast tree groves.  It may just be one of the best views of the city.

The best way to get up to the peak is by the Victoria Peak Tram funicular.  By the way, up until last year I didn’t realize that a funicular was just a tram.  This tram is over 100 years old and often feels like you’re going up the hill at a 90 degree angle, but is a fun experience.  Get here early as the lines can get insanely long.

There are a ton of great restaurant options at the top with, of course, incredible views of the city.  One fun thing I loved doing at the top at the observation deck was to lean slightly over the railing.  It’ll be so windy once you reach over the side just slightly.  It’s quite the rush.  Obviously, be careful if you try this.

three.
FERRY

We had plans to try to stop by the Ritz Carlton hotel for more views of the city or even experience the cable cars at Ngong Ping 360 and stop by to see the Tian Tan Buddha.  Instead, we opted for walking around the city aimlessly.  

From the Victoria Peak tram, we headed toward the bay and spontaneously decided to hop on the Ferry to cross the river.  We had no idea where the Ferry would drop us off.  It turned out great, for just a few dollars, and we had some great views of the skyline from the water.  The ferry ends up in the Kowloon area.  After walking around, you can head to the nearest train station and hop back on to head back to the airport.

The great thing about Hong Kong is that it is pretty small.  You can see a good amount of the city even with just a short amount of time.  I would love to head back and do this city right.  I know I just scratched the surface of this amazing city.

Yours Truly // Shannon