Labor Day, which was a little over a week ago, signifies the end of the summer for most people. Summer 2017 was good for me. It started off when I finally graduated and got my bachelor’s degree in history from Cal State LA. I also went to San Francisco twice- once on a road trip with my family for a vacation after 4th of July and the second time in a plane with my grandpa and sister for a half marathon I signed up for. I also started training for my first marathon at the beginning of June.
One of the first things I did in summer was take my sister Angelina to Monday Night Raw. It was at the Staples Center in Downtown LA, so of course we had to go to Bottega Louie for macarons. We also went to Little Damage for the first time. I had avocado ice cream, which happened to be vegan and it was actually really good. Earlier in the day we got to meet Bayley in Compton and take pictures with her. At Monday Night Raw, we saw Enzo Amore and Big Cass, who had broken up earlier in the month. Even though it is scripted, their breakup really sucked. I thought they should’ve had a chance to be tag team champions for a while before breaking up. We got to see our faves, Sasha Banks, Cesaro, Sheamus, etc.
Every summer, my family goes on vacation for a few days. This year we decided to go to San Francisco/Northern California for 3 days. The last time my sister (Destiny), my mom, and I went to Northern California was about 13/14 years ago, when I was 12 or 13 years old. This time it was going to be my mom, my brother, three of my sisters, and me. My sister Aleah stayed with my grandma because she said she didn’t want to walk around so much.
We went on our trip July 5, 2017. We left our house early, around 5 am. After all, my mom was going to drive from our hometown to San Francisco which was about an 8 hour drive or so. It was so hard to wake up early especially since the day before was 4th of July and I had worked a long shift and then we watched fireworks before going to bed.
We stayed in Oakland because it was much cheaper than staying in San Francisco. We got to there a little late. After checking into our hotel, we went to the Jelly Belly factory which was in Fairview. We got to tour the factory and got samples at the end of the tour. We took so many pictures, especially of Ayanna. Afterwards, we went to the hotel and just rested. We went to McDonald’s for dinner and they had garlic fries. They were surprisingly good, even if it was fast food.
The following day we went to San Francisco. One of the first places we went to visit was the Full House/Fuller House house. We also got to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, visit Fisherman’s wharf, and visit the seals at Pier 39. I treated my family to lunch at a crepe place. I got a turkey crepe with pesto. My mom got clam chowder, which was sooo good.
On our way back home, we decided to stop by and visit Sacramento, the capitol of California. It was so hot that day, over 100 degrees. As someone who enjoys history, I am a history major after all, it was interesting to see the history of California. We had a long trip home. I think we ended up getting home around 8 or 9pm.
I went back to San Francisco towards the end of July for the weekend. This time my sister Destiny and grandpa joined. The reason I went was to run a half marathon. I was doing a challenge. Run a half or full marathon in Surf City (Huntington Beach, California) and a half or full marathon in San Francisco and you would get an extra medal called the California DReamin’ Racing Cup.
On the first day of July, I somehow stubbed my toe and was in so much pain that I could barely walk. I ended up not running for about 3 weeks. I was worried that not training for so long would affect my run. This was my 3rd half marathon of the year. I was so stressed out, not only because I felt I didn’t train enough, but also because San Francisco is known for their hills and hills were my weakness. I guess I didn’t need to worry so much because I ended up running my best time, 2:21.
Getting to San Francisco was a hassle for all of us. I went to San Francisco first. This was my time ever going on a plane by myself. In the past, I usually travel with my friend Giovanna, sister Destiny, grandpa, or mom and grandma. Although I have been in planes before, I was terrified being alone. I listened to my iPod and read my books to keep myself occupied. The first thing I did when I got to San Francisco was go to the expo to pick up my bib and t-shirt for the race. Then I went to check in at my hotel. It took me almost an hour to walk there. I ended up walking through North Beach, which is like their “Little Italy” and somewhere I would like to stop by when I go with my bf. It felt so weird exploring a major city like San Francisco all alone. I don’t have much experience travelling alone. I am at the age (26) where travelling alone is encouraged and I would love to be able to do this more often, if only money wasn’t an obstacle!
After checking in, I went to my other hotel and waited for my grandpa and sister. It might be weird that I had two hotel rooms, but the reason for this is that when I had made plans to go to San Francisco, it was originally going to be me by myself. The original hotel I reserved was close to the starting line. The other hotel was in Sausalito and I would have no way of getting to the starting line because the Golden Gate Bridge was going to be closed in the morning. My sister and grandpa had a tough morning. My sister couldn’t find her id anywhere and we were all so stressed that she wouldn’t be able to fly to San Francisco. Somehow they allowed her to go to San Francisco. I stayed with them for a while and at night I went to my hotel. It was soo small! It was smaller than my bedroom back home and it didn’t even have a bathroom. There was a bathroom that each floor shared.
I was so scared that night I couldn’t sleep much. In fact, I only slept an hour. I just stayed awake listening to my iPod, reading, and talking to my friends on Snapchat. I left my hotel around 430/5 am on race day. The weather was perfect. We started our race in the Golden Gate Park. I felt good when I started running. I just tuned everything and everyone out and focused on my running. We passed by so many historic San Francisco neighborhoods. We even passed by the San Francisco baseball stadium. I’m not a big fan of baseball so I’m not sure what team plays there, but it looked like a nice stadium. After the race was over, I met up with my grandpa and sister at Pier 39. After running 13.1 miles, I had to walk another 1.5 miles to get there.
We went on a boat ride and passed by the seals on Pier 39 and even got to see Alcatraz from far. This was my first boat ride and while I didn’t get seasick, I was pretty scared being out there especially when the boat driver said we were in 100 feet deep water. I finally got my clam chowder and it was so good. Can’t wait to go back to San Francisco to get that again. We also went to the bakery where they make sourdough bread. Another thing San Francisco is known for. Afterwards we went to the Golden Gate Park. We went to the Japanese Tea Garden. It was fun. We left a little early because it was super windy. When we got back to our hotel, we just watched soccer on TV.
My next runcation will be in Las Vegas. I plan to go with my family on a road trip for the weekend. I will be doing a 5k on Saturday night and a half marathon on Sunday night. Both races are part of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas weekend, can’t wait!
After coming back from San Francisco, I was able to resume my training. In fact, in August I ran the most miles. I ran a total of 89 miles! I even started running my long runs. Prior to training, the longest I had ever run was 13 miles. In August I ran 20 miles! It took me about 4 hours, which is not very fast, but this was something I never thought I could do. I have only been running for about a year and at first running a mile was a struggle, so running 20 miles was a huge accomplishment for me. It shows that with training and belief in yourself, you can achieve things you thought were impossible.
I did a few other smaller races. I ran three 5k races. One at the Stubhub, where LA Galaxy plays. Another one was at the OC Fair. I did that one with my sister, it was her first 5k and she did a good job. The last 5k I did was at Griffith Park. I got my best time for a 5k, 25:30.
One other thing that happened during my summer is I went to a Tim McGraw and Faith Hill concert at the Staples Center. It was such a great concert!!! It made me love Tim McGraw even more. He’s so awesome live! I also have a new favorite singer, Rachel Platten. I heard “Fight Song” and that is my new theme song in life. I honestly cannot wait for Tim McGraw to come back
I also went to a soccer game with my sister at the Coliseum. We watched my two favorite teams, Real Madrid and Manchester City. City won 4-1. While at the game, we ran into two of my coworkers, my friend and my manager. They even got me a beer even though I normally don’t drink.
So that was my summer in a nutshell! I had a really good summer, spent it with family, my boyfriend, and friends.