Our hearts will be back in San Francisco once more.


Our summer travel schedule has been rounded out perfectly with the booking of our tickets to San Fransisco and our confirmation for a cozy Mission District airbnb for what is to be our first full on family vacation in our favorite U.S. city!

Sky miles are tricky little monsters…should we get American Express or not? Also, I accidentally-on-purpose cheated a travel agent out of her fee. Ooops.

Due to all of Cory’s work travel, he has accumulated a bazillion sky miles, and since I travel with him often, I have accumulated some for myself as well. We were able to get Cory’s plane ticket for free (easy peasy), but even though I have accumulated a decent amount of sky miles for myself it wasn’t enough to cover a whole ticket, which was going to be $470 each for Sky and myself. Cory’s extra miles can’t be transferred to me, so I was hoping to be able to apply my miles to the balance of my plane ticket, because with three trips this summer it’s imperative that we be as cost effective as possible. I was told by the first (not so great) Delta agent that since I couldn’t cover the whole ticket with my miles…unless I applied for and acquired a Delta Airlines American Express card AND put a thousand dollars on said card within a week, I could not apply my miles to my ticket price. Umwut?


An airplane view

Saddened and confused by this, I decided to call a travel agent for help with exploring more affordable dates – she was able to find an itinerary that brought the ticket price down to $407. The only thing I needed to do was call Delta to make sure Cory could use his miles during those dates. Upon making that call to the next (and much better) Delta agent, the agent informed me that she could book us the flights at $397 AND Cory was able to get his flight for free. This is when I was supposed to hang up and call the travel agent back, but I did not. I am horrible (not).

She also corrected the wrong American Express information I had been given: if we acquire the card we do NOT need to put 1000 dollars on it within a week. Not only could we transfer miles or apply them to a ticket purchase, we’d receive 30,000 instant bonus miles, we could check as many bags as we want for free and board the plane in the priority line. Plus we would earn sky miles when ever we use the card. That’s an entirely different story then the first version, and we may go ahead and get that card.

Airbnb is awesome.

This time around we were able to book a fantastic one bedroom apartment with a patio in the vibrant Mission District neighborhood – just a jump away from my lovely Jeremy and only a block away from BART.

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Our Mission District Airbnb

Oh the things we’ll do!

Alcatraz is all booked up, because frankly I think you have to book more than six months in advance to even come close to scoring tickets. Color me disappointed by that. I’ve been, but Sky hasn’t, and I am aching to take her.

We would love to visit Muir Woods and Mt. Tamalpais – I haven’t been there since I was 10! Jeremy suggests a ferry to Sausalito, or maybe a wine valley train trip…or even a GPS-guided go-cart city tour, where I hit everything and probably kill some poor unwitting pedestrian.

After booking the Savannah trip, the weekend Nassau cruise and this San Fran trip – this girl is all booked out and totally stoked.

Nassau Bound on a Boat


Time to bust out the passports – we booked a weekend cruise to Nassau!

Cory and I never go anywhere alone, and we need some “just us” time. Sure, we’ve tacked days on to the beginning or the end of his business trips over seas, and we’re lucky to have been able to do so. We’ve taken trips as a family to places like Key West and we tacked family time on to his San Fransisco business trip two years ago, and we’re taking two family trips this summer to Savannah and San Fransisco, but we’ve never booked even one trip solely for us. As it turns out, taking a cruise for 3 nights and 4 days is less expensive (if we’re careful) than anything else we could have planned to do in Florida or the surrounding area, and it feeds our love for travel and seeing new places.

But a cruise? We don’t know what we’re doing…

We are sailing to Cococay and then to Nassau with Royal Caribbean on the Enchantment of the Seas cruise ship. Sun screen is in order. Cory has never been on a cruise before, and my only cruise was more than 15 years ago, and I didn’t do any of the planning for it.

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Enchantment of the Seas Cruise Ship

I did learn a few things on that trip:

::  I can’t effectively drink and dance AND tilt back and forth on a cruise ship. It’s not
pretty to watch. (I will probably try again)

::  Booking excursions through the cruise line is a waste of time and money. We’ll go it on
our own.

::  The duty free shop is where it’s at for alcohol – though I am checking into drink
packages to see what they have to offer.

::  Don’t ask Jamaican cab drivers about voodoo magic. They don’t like it.

Other than these few highly important things, I don’t know much about what to do on a cruise ship except to relax and eat – which is FINE by me. We’ve never been to Nassau, so I am in the process of trying to plan things to do that are not so touristy and more in tune with the island and it’s history.

One thing is certain – I am super excited for this mini vacation all on our own.

I. Can’t. Wait.


Fountains, cobble stones and squares. It’s Savannah!


Walking the cobble stoned streets with my sketch pad under my arm – newly 19 and on my way to painting class, sitting at the coffee shop with my college mates talking about (and arguing over) our love of art for hours on end, making my way home from an evening of “Theater in the Park” and stopping to have a beer or three at Pinky Master’s – the corner pub across from my tiny top floor row house apartment on East Macon Street, built in 1870 (now for sale for over 600k *holyshit*).

Savannah holds some of my happiest memories, and I can’t wait to go back there and show it all to Sky. We visited once when she was much younger, but this time it’s different. This time she wants to see SCAD, and that warms my heart. It’s a 3.5 hour drive from Gainesville – easy peasy.

We’ve secured our Airbnb apartment on Monterey square just next to Forsyth Park. Spring is the best time to visit Savannah, but since it’s during the school year we have to wait until June. Savannah is beautiful and lush and rich with history no matter what time of year you’re visiting, but like any southern town it’s HAWT during the summer. There’s a reason why we southerners sit on the porch drinking sweet tea with a hand fan, because it’s too hot to do anything else!


Pinky Master’s Pub in Savannah, Georgia

Aside from our tour of SCAD we’ll be walking up and down River Street, eating Fish’n Chips at Kevin Barry’s, riding the River Boat, taking a Ghost Tour, having pizza at Vinnie Van Go Go’s, taking at least one Carriage Ride and of course revisiting my old stomping grounds. We’ll try and have enough time for Bonaventure Cemetery, but that’s a half day all on it’s own. We’ll be there for four glorious days, and having a trip planned that has nothing to do with work for Cory or convention season for me is a new and totally rad thing.

Life for us…life for me got itself into a big damn hurry. The last month has been full of very purposeful and necessary refocussing and slowing down. Full of one step and one day at a time. This trip is a welcome thing to plan for. A fond revisiting for me and a look at the future. A beautiful, bright and fulfilling one for Sky…for all of us.

~ JezzabellGem