Last week I drove to Charlotte to stay with my bestie Natasha who recently moved there! We had the best time decorating her new, amazing apartment and girl talking about life. I flew out the next day – Charlotte prices were wayyy cheaper than where I live.

After a slight panic attack trying to park at the Charlotte airport – when I arrived I was told long term parking was full! Full?! Luckily a nice man pointed me towards daily parking which of course was twice the price, but as I watched the time passing by, I was ready to park my car anywhere just to make my flight on time. Security was a zoo and the airport was packed…I’m convinced I picked the most popular day to fly. BUT I made it on time and happily boarded my flight for Cali!
Five hours in the sky – thanks to a nonstop flight! I sat next to the nicest couple who offered me snacks and talked to me about their planned Cali adventures. Always nice to win the airplane lottery when your seat mates are friendly and not too talkative (if you know what I mean hah).
 I purchased this edition of Real Simple a week before leaving and it was so hard not to open it up before my flight – but I wanted to save it just for my trip!

My first day in Cali consisted of a quick trip to the grocery and dinner in with Netflix – which was so nice as I was rather tired from a long day of travel. So Day 2 we hit the gym and then changed for lunch and an adventure downtown. As you will see if you’ve been following me on Instagram (pardonmuahinsta), these Chucks have been my everything!
We walked through a beautiful rose garden filled with every kind of rose you can imagine and a forest full of different kinds of trees. It was really neat to see and super serene. The shade was so welcome with temps in the high 90’s.

Ta-da! I went to Sacramento! Here is the capitol building looking just gorgeous. Fun piece of info – they got one day of rain in Sacramento last year…one day! I’m sold! Good hair days all the time people!
As we sat at lunch I could’t help but take in the beautiful weather and the palm trees all around.
This was actually my outfit for the plane ride home. And good thing I wore long sleeves as my flight was super cold. Next time though, I’m wearing fuzzy pajamas and bringing a blanket and pillow – probably the most uncomfortable 4.5 hours of my life.
On Monday we drove around quite a bit so that I could get a feel for the area and surrounding towns/cities. We stopped for lunch in El Dorado Hills and let me tell you – AMAZING! I could have stayed here forever and been happy. This place was so beautiful and the buildings and homes were to die for. We ate at a super cute restaurant where the food was mouth watering and ate overlooking a town center. We ended up staying for two hours (I think I actually got sun burned) because it was so relaxing.
This was on my last day in Cali (so sad) and we did some more driving. I was actually born in Vacaville and for the first time in 24 years I was able to go back and see my very first house! It was a rather strange feeling to be somewhere I was so long ago – and the area has exploded since I was a baby. So much to see and do now.
Big thanks to my amazing host for taking pictures for me :). I told him if he’s not careful I will recruit him as my blog photographer hehe. I’d say he did a great job! I’m loving this top I got from Boohoo – inexpensive and the tassels make it.
While in Vacaville we ate at the Black Bear Diner which I picked off “Best Restaurants in Vacaville” on the web…it was a gamble, but ended up being really good. They serve breakfast all day so we indulged in french toast, biscuits and lots of bacon! Everything in the place had bears…even the ketchup and hot sauce! I felt like such a little kid, because I spent the whole time hunting down more bear accessories.
Took the red eye home, which was nice because it gave me one last full day, but let me tell you – I am still tired. I didn’t think a 3 hour time change would be rough, but I’m definitely still on Cali time. I haven’t even reset my watch yet! I’m just going to keep it that way in preparation for my next visit.
Huge thanks and a big hug for this guy! I couldn’t have asked for a better trip and a warmer welcome. Cannot wait to plan my next visit and I feel incredibly thankful to have someone like him in my life. 
TGIF! Hope you all have a wonderful Friday and a great weekend!
XO Amanda