10 Things I Learned While Traveling In California That Have Absolutely Nothing To Do With California #BeAWeekender

Why do people travel? They travel because they want to explore the world – of course. I was bitten by that bug a long time ago and it has left me with an insatiable thirst for adventure. It is my ONE MISSION to instill this same value onto my children. I want them to grow up and feel the same desire I have to… see.

But traveling offers so much more than your typical tourist photo traps. Yes, those are fun. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a sucker for a good gimmick!! But I also love to meet new people. Meeting new people and learning from them is the REAL reason to travel. When you go international, it’s about learning new cultures and customs and when you hop around the US, it’s really about learning more about ourselves.

I just returned from spending a few days in California with Hilton. Sure, I tasted some great wine in Napa, found my absolute favorite bottle EVER (more on that in a bit), took a trolly tour in San Fran, and even rode down Lombard Street – the most crooked street in America.  But what did I learn while on that trip? How did I grow as a person? What were my takeaways completely unrelated to the region I visited?

I’m glad you asked! 🙂

10 Things I Learned While Traveling In California That Have Absolutely Nothing To Do With California

10 Things I Learned While Traveling In California That Have Absolutely Nothing To Do With California

I learned if you are looking for a good travel magazine, AFAR is the one you should subscribe to. It came highly rated and is now ordered!!


I learned that NYC has one of those sushi conveyor belt restaurants that I have been dreaming about! I mean – it was one of the main reasons why I was planning to visit Japan for my 40th. I needed to experience this!! And now, all I have to do is take the flipping train.

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I learned not to be afraid of tuna tartare. I was a little nervous about the whole “raw fish” thing and I took a chance and loved it. I opened my palette and my mind on this trip and it literally changed me. I’m excited to try other types of similar dishes (like sushi HELLO).

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I learned that the Wall Street Journal has a pretty snazzy wine club. Really great mix and affordable too.


I learned that my body will literally not implode if I don’t have Starbucks for 5 days in a row. I actually wasn’t sure if this would happen or not. I started to get nervous towards the end — but I survived it.


I also learned that is is physically impossible for me to order something from a restaurant without tweaking it in some way.  This was jokingly pointed out during the trip and I sort of had this flashback of every restaurant meal I ever had in my life… and yup. I do it every time. Every. Single. Time.  What is wrong with me? And I was a waitress by the way!

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(photo taken by Anna)

 I learned you can still make very good friends – even at an old(er) age and you don’t have to have ANYTHING in common with them to mesh. This is a photo of me an Anna from Mommy Poppins showing how different we are through the form of a Venn Diagram that doesn’t overlap. #geekmoment

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I also learned that Google Play has SD shows for $1.99 – the cheapest I found online – for current TV shows in season. I was getting them from iTunes but spending $2.99.  Boom. What will I do with ALL THE MONEY?????????

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And sort of on the same subject, I learned that I am obsessed with ‘The Strain‘. Like for real. Obsessed. I watched 6 while going back and forth between JFK to SFO. Obsessed. Did I say obsessed enough? (obsessed)

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Ok I lied. Number 10 SORT of has something to do with California considering I learned this tip while wine tasting. Did you know the proper way to taste olive oil is to just sip it like wine. No bread. No crackers. Crazy, right? I only took a little bit. I couldn’t bring myself to down the whole thing — which I’m not sure you are supposed to do if I’m being honest.

It’s time to start traveling, people.Right now, Hilton HHonors, the loyalty program for Hilton Worldwide’s 11 distinct hotel brands, is offering its Triple Your Trip promotion. It allows members to earn Triple Points Friday through Sunday and Double Points Monday through Thursday for hotel stays completed at participating Hilton hotels and resorts. What does this mean? This means that you will earn free vacations FASTER.

Hilton Worldwide has a hotel brand to suit every traveler’s style, budget and occasion including:

  • Hilton Hotels & Resorts
  • Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts o Conrad Hotels & Resorts
  • Curio – A Collection by Hilton
  • DoubleTree by Hilton
  • Embassy Suites Hotels
  • Hilton Garden Inn
  • Hampton Hotels
  • Homewood Suites by Hilton
  • Home2 Suites by Hilton
  • Hilton Grand Vacations

To participate in the Triple Your Trip promotion, members can register at HHonors.com/Triple. For inspiration or to book your next weekend getaway, visit hiltonweekends.com. What will you learn on your next vacation?

* I’ve partnered with Hilton to promote the Be A Weekender campaign.

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