All posts filed under: Local Tourist

coffee festival.

The New York Coffee Festival was happening the weekend we visited New York, and even though I’m not a big coffee drinker (caffeine, am I right?), I appreciate a good cup of coffee or fancy coffee drink. So, I convinced my friend, another avid non-coffee drinker, to accompany me. It was pure caffeinated fun. Instead of having to visit different cafes around the city, the local roasters (and then some) came to us! There were all-you-can-drink coffee tastings and lots of giveaways. Also exciting: treats, giant Bodum coffee presses, futuristic looking coffee makers, alternative milk samples, … Plus: coffee liqueur bevvies, a photobooth, latte art demos, doughnuts, tea! Check out my haul! Our goody bags came with a New York Coffee Guide. I’m already planning my next adventure to the city. Have you coffee shop hopped around New York? Share your favorite spots below! Featured image photo credit: Lenniebelle E.

color factory extras.

At the end of your Color Factory visit, you leave with a map full of extra sites and experiences to discover around the neighborhood. We visited three of seventeen stops. Our first stop was BOBA (obvi). Stop #8 on the map was Boba Guys on Stockton. They had a limited edition strawberry cream boba (jasmine tea fresca with milk). And, it came with a hot pink straw (versus their customary black straws). I had mine with hemp milk and it was delightful, made with real strawberries. Cheers! Next, we visited stop #15, a colorful stairwell and an ode to the flavors of Chinatown. Each step along on the stairwell was painted a different color and represented a particular food or drink. Oh look, another boba picture. (And if you’re wondering about those flags, scroll on down.) Lastly, we visited this lovely mural (stop #16) by type designer Jessica Hische. Only fourteen more stops to go. 😛 And a little extra for this extras post — I made food and drink pennants for my Color Factory …

shop feature: pippa & co berkeley

Hello pink flamingo. Hello balloon bar. Hello Pippa & co! Pippa & co Berkeley is now open in the Elmwood (my old hood!) and it is everything! It’s just like their first location in Alameda but with more space to put even more party decor! I visited on soft opening day; owner and party extraordinaire Lisa was in the house! A sprinkle/confetti selfie wall. Coral shelving units. Honeycombs galore. Pineapple everything. Patterns, patterns, patterns. All. the. things! I can’t wait to visit again! Even when there is no party to plan, it’s such an uplifting and inspiring store to be in. Until next time, Pippa & co!

shop feature: morningtide.

I’m all about being in-the-know when new businesses open in the community. When I heard Morningtide was in the works, you know I was all over it! This was another one of those ‘I found out on Instagram’ moments. The owners posted sneak peeks into the shop before doors opened. I couldn’t wait for the soft opening. Morningtide carries high-quality women’s clothing and accessories, home goods, body products, and select food items (like QUIN candies; mmm, my favorite caramels…). You could tell the owners have a personal relationship with each artisan by the thoughtful ways they display their product and highlight the artisan’s story. I visited during their soft opening and met one of the owners, Lisa Fontaine. And get this, I was their third customer! So cute! They were serving homemade red velvet mini cupcakes to celebrate, too. Yum! I can’t wait to see the shop grow and continue to celebrate independent artists! Some notes: The Morningtide grand opening party is on Saturday, September 16 and their online shop launches in early 2018.

color factory. 

I got excited when I heard about the opening of the Color Factory in San Francisco because the founder owns a party goods business which gets all my money. I wasn’t sure what to expect or how the artists would highlight and interpret colors. I also thought that seeing photos on social media would spoil the experience, but it really was an interactive museum with many had to be there features. It turned out to be unexpected, amazing, and inspirational. All the colorful sites + tips for your visit: One. 575 Sutter Street, San Francisco Get a nice view of the building stripes from the north side. Then fall in line thirty minutes before your selected ticket time; you might get to go in a little earlier! Two. Rainbow stairs to registration + Photo Stop #1 The color guards let you in slowly so you can get a ‘We’re the only ones in the museum’ feel. Nice touch, Color Factory, nice touch. Head down the rainbow to the registration area, enter your email for a photo card, and …


Hubby and I took a BBQ/Pitmaster class with Ben of Sneaky’s BBQ. Ben started his BBQ business in 2008, and now partners with Southpaw in San Francisco to bring BBQ to all most days of the week. There’s Ben in the kitchen prepping for class. In this workshop we learned about different cuts of meat, meat smoking techniques, and the difference between North and South Carolina BBQ. We went over the step-by-step process of how to smoke, cut, store, and serve a 12-pound brisket. Caption this: Oh mah gaw, look at that brisket… We tried lean, medium, and fatty pieces of brisket with pickled cucumber and onions. We also tried Ben’s cornbread and house BBQ sauces — a mustard-based sauce (South Carolina) and a tomato-based sauce (North Carolina). My winning combination: medium fat brisket with the mustard sauce! We also had a lesson in dry rubs and each got to make and take home a self-designed rub. Rub Lesson #1: never use table salt for making rubs! Thank you, Ben, for sharing your BBQ and BBQ wisdom …

chocolate library.

A store that sells chocolates and salts. Hm, ok! I’m into it! At The Meadow there is a wall of chocolate, stacks and stacks of salt rocks, and, if you’re lucky, some sample bowls filled with treats. On our visit, we tried a popcorn with the Meadow’s black truffle salt ~ yowza! And Savage, a new-to-me brand of chips locally made in Portland. Delightful! If you tell me I can climb the ladder you better not be joking because I will do it! Imagine having your own chocolate library like this! I grabbed a few locally made bars that I chose based on wrapper/packaging. Yes, I judge chocolate by the cover, but also if it’s quality made and preferably 72% cacao. Also, yes, I am a self-professed chocolate snob. What are some of your favorite artisanal chocolates or chocolate shops? Share please!