Ensenada Adventure

Last weekend I planned a cruise trip to celebrate mine and my best friend’s birthday. We did a 3 day cruise that stopped in Ensenada. This was my first time in Mexico, ever. And yes, it was quite the adventure.

We originally scheduled an excursion through the cruise that was for ATV riding and wine tasting. Come to find out the day before that the excursion was cancelled. It was going to be through the hills of the Valle of Guadalupe and there was a fire hazard.

One of my friends had been to Ensenada multiple times so we decided to let her guide us through downtown. We had plans to check out some drinking places that the town was known for.

Lo and behold, when the morning came and we disembarked the ship, all of us had a layer of tiredness from the night before (Spice Girls, singing karaoke, dancing and staying up all night can make for a hard morning after).

We made the best of it, first checking out the vendors and doing a little shopping. Some of us bought souvenirs. I bought myself a cozy Mexican blanket.

Afterwards, we wanted to eat, but wasn’t in the mood for one of the more active places. Luckily, my friend had the perfect place in mind and we headed for the most quiet and empty restaurant in town. This place was a life saver for all of us.

The one thing I wanted in Mexico were enchiladas. Bonus points if they were mole enchiladas.

And to my excitement, this place had exactly that.

The sauce was impeccable, it hit the spot like nothing ever. I was in heaven.

After lunch, we attempted to go in a bar. One look at all the shots and hearing the whistles blow in our ears, we were all turned off. We left the place and tried to think of what to do next.

One of my other friends received a recommendation for a restaurant and bar called Cuatros Cuatros, about 20 minutes outside Ensenada.

Not trusting the taxis, we called an Uber and we drove up through the hills.

From the parking lot, we took a shuttle up to where the restaurant was, all while being offered complimentary beers! For some reason, after I had that, I felt so much better.

The shuttle went up a little road and we arrived at the all outdoor restaurant that had SPECTACULAR views of the ocean and the coast. All of us were in awe of the place.

And the best part was that it was quiet, we weren’t running into any of the other cruise members, and we could enjoy each other’s company.

I ordered a Sauvignon Blanc that was so tasty and perfect with the atmosphere of the place.

And of course, put a group of girls in a place with an incredible view and a camera and they’re going to give themselves their own photo shoot. We got so many cute shots!

We planned it so well that we made sure to leave in time to get back on the ship. We had paid the Uber drive to wait for us so he could take us back since would be hard to get another one up there again. And he drove us right to where the port was. He was so awesome!

What happened in Ensenada was nothing any of us planned but it turned out to be the most perfect day!

A Weekend in State Forty-Eight

This weekend we did a mini trip to Arizona. The main event was to see UCLA play against University of Arizona in Tucson. But we were also celebrating my mom’s birthday!


We left Cali Friday morning, driving into some rain. For those not from the west coast, rain in September isn’t normal, but always welcomed.

We were pretty set on just getting to Arizona in one go, stopping for a bathroom break and to refill on gas. I recently bought a car, a 2016 Honda Civic Touring and let me tell you, it has been a dream driving it. (Coming from driving at 2003 Honda Civic.)

After arriving in Chandler, AZ, we dropped our stuff off at the place we were staying and then headed to the local casino called Gila River Hotel & Casino. They had a very nice lobby and casino area where I lost $10 and then won it back again. (For me, coming out even is winning when it comes to gambling.)

We came across this little gift shop and cafe upstairs, accessible by stairs or escalator. And OMG this cafe. It had some of the most beautiful pastries. There were these mini chocolate cakes decorated with flowers and shimmering with glitter. And these cute strawberry shortcake cakes. And carrot cakes. Cannolis. Just so much to look at and take in.

Since we were going to have dinner in a few hours, I settled on an almond croissant, some apple slices, and an iced chai tea latte. We sat near the window, overlooking a nice water feature down below and the white puffy clouds above.

We hung out for a bit, taking a chance to relax from the drive and then took a walk around the casino.

When we were ready for dinner, we walked over to Downtown Chandler where there’s a selection of restaurants and gift shops. We chose a brewery called San Tan and after being told it was to be a 45 min wait, decided to browse through a nearby gift shop.

After only 10 minutes, our table was ready and we headed over. I ordered the house lager, which reminded me of an 805 and had onion rings and the pulled pork sandwich. It hit the spot!

I had a little bit of a sweet tooth after dinner so we stopped by this new-ish ice cream place called Screamery, which makes homemade ice cream. I taste-tested the banana cream pie and I was sold! Promptly ordered a scoop of that and tried to enjoy it as long as I could.

The walk back was pleasant and warm. I was pretty set to just kick back and knock out, which I did.


Started the morning off with breakfast on the brain. We walked back to downtown Chandler and ate at a restaurant called Downtown Chandler Cafe and Bakery. I ordered the French toast platter and was not disappointed. Holy moly, those French toast pieces were huge! I only wished I had more syrup (see the little cup it came in).

After breakfast we headed toward the outlets, which are also by the casino we went to on Friday. They are outdoors, so be weary if you decided to go during one of those hot summer months.

But there’s a good selection of stores that strongly reminded me of the outdoor outlets in Vegas.

A couple of hours later, we decided to head back and get ready for the game.

After a snack and a nap, we made our hour and a half drive to Tucson where the University of Arizona is located.

For dinner, we went to a restaurant that was recommended to us by my dad’s coworker called Cafe Poca Cosa.

And let me tell you, there is no small thing about this restaurant.

For one thing, the menu changes every day. Every. Day. So the waiters have to remember a new detailed description of each dish every day. And there are like, 10 dishes to choose from. I was impressed. Literally, my jaw was dropping throughout this whole meal, starting with the delish margarita I ordered. Can’t remember what was in it, but believe me, it was the best I ever had. 

I’m a sucker for molé, so if it’s on the menu, you better bet I’m ordering it. This dish had two types of molé: a red, more spicy version, and the darker, more sweet version. Both were out of this world but I had to go with the sweeter molé. This also came with corn tortillas, rice and beans. And can we take a moment to appreciate this presentation?! Amazing! 

After this spectacular dinner, I found out that Tucson had their own Screamery, so we headed there for dessert. This time I ordered a flavor called Game Day: A chocolate based ice cream, infused with Guinness beer, mixed with chocolate covered pretzels. Guys, I was in heaven. My tolerance for chocolate-y things has gone down over the years; after a few bites, I have to stop from a chocolate overload. But this was an easy, breezy chocolate-y flavor and it made me feel so happy and comforted. It was the perfect end to dinner. 

BUT not the end of the night! Because we still had a football game to get to!

I have to admit, I respect the U of A fans: they really know how to show up for their team. (Which is true of most out of state teams, but this was my first time being a visitor.)

I enjoyed their band’s half time show: Hella Good by No Doubt. Their stand tunes were also fun, one of them being the theme from Avengers!

But it was also fun being the underdog fan in the audience. And let me tell you, there really was just a handful of us rooting for UCLA. 

After a grueling but close game, the Bruins unfortunately lost to the Wildcats, 20-17. 

At least it wasn’t a runaway game. 


We were focused on getting on the road home back to California, but before we left, we went back to Downtown Chandler Cafe and Bakery. This time I ordered the chilaquiles. Just let the picture on the right speak for itself. 

We had a six hour drive back home but I had just enough time to put the finishing touches on this post.

This was a fun short rip, with lots of yummy food. Next time I’m in Arizona, I would like to check out the hiking spots and enjoy the desert scenery. Leave a comment for any must-do hiking trails (or food spots) please!

Books That Changed My Life

Sometimes you come across a good read that changes your way of thinking or opens your world to new possibilities. These are the books that did that for me:

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

I read this book at a time in my life where I was going through a breakup and I was leaning on yoga to connect to my spirituality.

Reading The Power of Now hit home to me what my spirit really is and how powerful my consciousness is. The book delves deep into the importance of being in the present and breaks down what that really means.

I grew up Catholic and, to be honest, I’ve connected more to this book and my yoga practice than any bible teaching I’ve read. Even more so, it has helped me learn to recognize my emotions and how I feel them in my body.

If you’re feeling a little lost in life or want to connect to who you really are, I highly recommend this book.

Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski

Ho-ly shit. This book was a true eye-opener.

This is about how women’s sexuality really works, with science backing it up.

Truth be told, and not surprisingly, there is not a lot of research on women’s sexuality. But of course, there’s a lot of research about men’s sexuality (thanks patriarchy). For the longest time, scientist used that to make assumptions about women’s sexuality. Nagoski, the author, describes this as “men’s sexuality lite”.

But women aren’t a toned down version of men! In fact, we’re very similar! We just work in a different way! And orgasims for women?! Only an evolutionary by-product! (If you want to know more, read the book!)

All the Single Ladies by Rebecca Traister

I came across this book in my library’s ebook website (highly recommend to check out your local library’s digital library, so many books for freeeeee). I loved it so much that I ended up buying it on Amazon.

This amazing and informative read dives deep into the history of what it was like to be an unmarried woman throughout history in the United States and the rise of single women today.

It was interesting to learn that most women who helped make a difference in our world either never married or married later in life.

It was also eye-opening to learn that the government and society tends to make things harder for single women and mothers. There’s not many resources for those who choose not to marry.

If you want to check out other books I’ve read this year, click here.

Favorite Podcasts

I got into podcasts about 3 years ago when I started my job and wanted something to listen to during my commute.

These are what I’m listening to today and recommend!

Hidden Brain by NPR

If you like learning about how the human brain works and why we think and do what we think and do.

Planet Money by NPR

An economics podcast, but you don’t even know you’re learning about economics! I even forget sometimes!

Here to Make Friends 

If you’re part of the #BachelorNation, this is a fun recap podcast with a feminist view on it. Who’s enjoying this season of Paradise?! I sure am!

Culture Gabfest from Slate

This is where I find out about movies and tv worth watching. Plus other pop culture happenings. Stick around at the end for the hosts’ endorsements.

Rough Translation by NPR

This is an interesting one. The stories are about people in other countries that go through similar problems that we experience in the US. I’d start on the first episode to get a good grasp on how it goes.

Guys We F****d

The highlight to my Fridays! Hosted by two comedians, this a relationship/dating/feminist/funny/shameless podcast. These ladies know how to talk about relationships with nuance and humor at the same time.

On Second Thought with Trevor Noah

If you’ve seen The Daily Show and have seen the “Between the Scenes” segments on YouTube, this podcast is like a longer version of that, including a featured guest who’s usually an expert in the topic.

Some others that I’ve listen to:

  • Unqualified with Anna Ferris
  • Why Oh Why (currently not coming out with new episodes but fun to listen to)
  • TED Radio Hour