Month 2 of our semi sabbatical was eventful, with a big chunk of travel! In just one month, we visited San Diego, California; Phoenix, Arizona; the Bay Area in Northern California; and South Lake Tahoe, right on the border of California and Nevada.
San Diego, CA
San Diego is such a special place for us, because this is where we spent the first 4 years of our career after we graduated from PT school. It is also where we got married, bought (and sold) our first home, and adopted our two sweet senior dogs. So we were happy to have been able to return for a week!
We spent a majority of our time in Imperial Beach, the southernmost city of San Diego county. We were fortunate that our friends let us stay in the their home during out stay. Imperial Beach borders Mexico, and you can even see Tijuana in the distance!
Coronado is one of the prettiest beach cities we have every visited in the continental US. Coronado is an island with a military base that is west of Downtown San Diego, and directly north of Imperial Beach. This is a great place to watch the sunset, and the main drive has plenty of restaurants, bars, and cafes to choose from.
We continued our semi sabbatical into Phoenix, Arizona. We drove 5 hours to Phoenix to celebrate the wedding of our good friend from PT school. Despite the 100 degree desert heat, it was a beautiful wedding. The wedding as at the gorgeous event venue, Villa Siena, located in Gilbert. We stayed at the Cambria hotel in Chandler, and enjoyed spending our down time at the pool soaking up the sun.
Then, we spent two weeks after the wedding dog sitting for the newlyweds as they enjoyed their honeymoon! They are the proud dog parents of a 2 year old Golden Retriever named Hank, who was so much fun to hang out with while we stayed in their home. He loved jumping in the pool and playing fetch. And he got along with Deeks, which was a relief!
I made my schedule so that I could still enjoy some relaxation time while we were dog sitting. We played a couple rounds of golf, went on some hikes, and even visited Sedona for a quick day trip!
What’s great about our semi sabbatical is the freedom it provides for us to travel. So on a whim, we took a day trip to Sedona! Less than a 2 hour drive north of Phoenix, Sedona is a stunning little town with gorgeous red rock landscape.
When we arrived, we did a quick hike to Cathedral Rock, which was a quick but steep incline that definitely required some fun scrambling to get to the top. We had some ice cream, which was much needed after the 95 degree hike.
We watched the sunset from a well known vista point: Sedona Airport Scenic Lookout. Deeks got a lot of attention hanging out in his stroller while we all watched the sunset. The red rock canyons looked stunning in this light, and no pictures can do its beauty justice. We met a lot of people at the lookout, and it was fun to socialize with people from all walks of life.
Little did we know, that the lunar eclipse was going to happen that night too! So we ended up staying a little later than planned. It was our first time taking night time pics with the Nikon Z5, so it took many tries to get some quality pics of the moon. Sedona is an official Dark Sky community. This means that the people of the city make a conscious effort to reduce their light pollution and educate others about responsible lighting.1
Tierrasanta, San Diego, CA
After our friends returned home from their honeymoon, we drove back to San Diego to do a couple housesits we set up from Trusted Housesitters. Trusted Housesitters is a platform that connects pet owners and sitters around the world. After you pay an annual fee, you have unlimited access to housesits worldwide. There is no exchange of money or goods between the two parties. Although you aren’t getting paid to watch their pet, you are staying in their home for free. It’s a win-win situation, especially during our semi sabbatical!
We got to care for a fun and happy 1 year old Golden Retriever named Micah in the neighborhood of Tierrasanta! Micah tried to play with Deeks, but Deeks is too old to care about that, so poor Micah was stuck playing with us. He loves belly rubs, and is still learning how to play fetch.
We stayed in a beautiful home tucked away in a peaceful cul de sac. The backyard was green and luscious, and it made me feel like I was in a tropical jungle. We got to meet the neighbor across the street, who also has a Golden Retriever, and was very friendly as well.
Tierrasanta is a neighborhood of the city of San Diego that borders that is unlike most of the city. It is a quieter, older part of San Diego. It is situated amongst many canyons and has multiple trailheads, including ones leading into the popular Mission Trails. We even got to go on a quick hike to one of our favorite peaks, South Fortuna.
La Mesa, CA
After a few nights with Micah, we moved on to our next housesit in the east county city of La Mesa. Zazu is a cuddly and friendly 13 year old cat, who loved ear scratches and snuggling on the couch. He was a super chill pet to take care of, and he got along with Deeks well.
Our stay was in a beautiful new luxury apartment complex, complete with a pool, jacuzzi, and gym. We spent our nights relaxing in the jacuzzi before bed, and worked out in the gym in the mornings to start our day. Great ways to bookend our days during our semi sabbatical!
Downtown La Mesa is up and coming, with a main drive loaded with restaurants, cafes, and thrift stores. As San Diego residents start getting priced out of homes, many people are moving just outside to La Mesa, where you can find more affordable homes. This community is primarily young families, and is growing every year.
As nomads on a semi sabbatical, we learn to expect the unexpected and be prepared for anything. As we were leaving San Diego, my car broke down…right on the 5 north freeway!
With the help of AAA, NK towing, Oceanside Transmission, and S&S Complete Auto Care, we are able to get my car fixed in 24 hours! We are so lucky that we had friends in south Orange County who let us spend the night at a last minute’s notice. The next day, right at 5 pm when they closed, we were back on the road and ready to say good-bye to Southern California.
Redwood City, CA
Our next housesit was located in Redwood City, just 30ish minutes south of San Francisco. We got to care for a rambunctious, friendly 2 year old corgi named Crouton. Crouton loves playing tug-o-war, and loves to be pet. Deeks and Crouton didn’t get along that well at first, but Deeks held his ground with the active corgi, and soon enough they were able to cohabitate in peace.
We stayed in a gorgeous apartment complex right on the bay! The view from the patio is of the marina, and it’s an amazing view to wake up to every morning. Sitting on the patio with a cup of coffee, working and enjoying our semi sabbatical, is so calming and relaxing. There is also a nice nature trail on Bair Island, right next to the building. I didn’t think I would get this much calm nature just outside of San Francisco!
San Francisco, CA
Since we’re so close to the city, we would be amiss if we didn’t stop into San Francisco! Prior to our semi sabbatical, my husband had never been to Chinatown, so of course we had to make a stop there.
We were so hungry after the long drive up, so we enjoyed dim sum from Hang Ah Tea Room, the first dim sum restaurant in the USA. We had all of our favorite classic dim sum: shu mai, har gaw, bbq pork bao, soup dumplings.
We needed to walk off our first lunch, so we stopped by the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie factory, where we got to watch them being made by hand. You could get all types of fortune cookies – flavored dough, chocolate dipped, and more.
We we’re still a little hungry, so we ate some of our favorite classic chinese food – honey walnut shrimp, salt and pepper calamari, and sticky fried rice.
The rest of weekend we got to catch up with friends and have them meet us all around the Bay Area. As much as we enjoy seeing somewhere new, our favorite part about this semi sabbatical is reconnecting with friends we have made in all walks of our life.
On Saturday, we met up with our friends who we actually spent the last 2 years with in LA! This couple met in college at University of San Francisco, and one of them was born and raised in the Bay Area, so they knew the area pretty well. They recommended a brewery on the southern outskirts of the city to meet, and we enjoyed an oyster and seafood dinner in the ferry building.
On Sunday we drove to Half Moon Bay to hang out with an old friend from PT school. We spent most of our time at Hop Dogma Brewery, where her husband works, and we got to watch the Celtics beat the Heat to make their way to the NBA Finals.
We also were able to grab brunch with another friend from PT school, and my former roommate, on Memorial Day. Her and her fiancee came up to us in Redwood City, and we got to meet their dog. It was a great way to end our stay in the Bay Area!
South Lake Tahoe, CA
After brunch, we made the 4 hour drive to South Lake Tahoe, where we stayed until the end of the May. We spent our first day there hanging out at Regan Beach, where dogs can be off leash. Deeks really enjoyed sniffing around, and the soft sand was comfortable on his paws for him to explore as much as he wanted. For dinner, we enjoyed wood fired pizza and pay-per-ounce beer at Lake Tahoe AleworX.
The next day we found a paved nature trail to Nevada Beach, which is a dog friendly beach! It’s just under 4 miles round trip, and it was stunning! The walk to the beach was very woodsy, surrounded by trees and meadows. Once we got to the beach, the water was crystal clear and insanely blue. Although the weather was a bit chilly, the sun was shining bright and there was no cloud in the sky, making it a perfect beach day.
We stayed along the east shore of the lake, and stumbled upon Logan Shoals Vista Point. It was a gorgeous view overlooking the whole lake and the mountains in the background. We ended up coming back here to watch the sunset later in the day. There is something so peaceful about watching the sunset on Lake Tahoe. The calmness of the lake water, the peacefulness of the surrounding. I wish we could stay longer, but it’s time to head to Reno, NV!
If you want to follow us on our journey, check out our Instagram!
If you want to travel more, or you want to and you want to learn ways to save your money, check out some of my other blog posts:
- Tips on How To Achieve a >50% Savings Rate
- Values Based Spending – Determining Your Core Values
- 12 Tips to Save this Holiday Season
- What is a High Yield Savings Account (HYSA)?
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