Day 602 OUT OF Beijing: SF Tourism Tips and SiteSell.

 

Jill's Success Story on SiteSell.  Picture by yours truly.

Jill’s Success Story on SiteSell.

 

Jill has been building her SF Tourism Tips website, and business, for about 5 years.

It has become successful enough for us to do it full time and for me to quit my job as an “office based psychotherapist.”

I may, at some point, start doing psychotherapy, over the internet, but I doubt I will ever work in an office again.

After working for a few major corporations, Jill also doesn’t want to be stuck in an office anymore.

The company that hosts her site, and her business, is called SiteSell.

From what she’s told me, using their website, and learning all about SEO, how to build a site, and how to find succcess, has been invaluable to her.

There have definitely been tough times, and times when she did want to give up, especially while we were in China and the internet was almost impossible to use, but she didn’t.  I made sure she knew that this was her future and that she had spent so much time, and energy, that to quit now would have been a loss and going back to the corporate world, working 80-100 hours a week, just to make money to accumulate things we don’t want, was a major step backwards in our future plans together.  I was working and making enough money for use to survive in Beijing so even if she didn’t make any money, it would have been okay with me.  As long as she believed in what she was doing and kept at it.

Luckily for both of us, she did.

Actually, luck had nothing to do with it.

It was 100% perseverance, determination and a desire to not fall into a past routine that would have made both of us miserable and unfulfilled with our lives and choices.

Jill has also been using SiteSell’s forums to help other people achieve their dreams and figure out how to better their business/website models.  This is something she does for free and one of the true benefits of using SiteSell: They have a massive forum that is very lively and people really try to help each other succeed.  I haven’t seen this on the other web hosting sites and I’m glad Jill decided to use SiteSell when she started.

According to her own knowledge and experience, she jokingly states that she has almost achieved a Master’s degree in building a business online without having to go to college and have massive student debts.

The beauty is that anyone that wants to do this can do the same.  It does take a lot of hard work, and effort, but most goals worth achieving do.

Jill’s hard work is really starting to pay off.  She had her first $5,000 month in December.  Not only that, but after she posted that on the forum, she actually ended up making a December total of $6,600!

Consider that in February, she only made $150 and yet 12 months later, she was not at $6,600!

The owner, Ken Evoy, noticed this and decided to write a blog post about Jill.

After writing the blog post, he decided to feature her as a “Success Story.”

Jill is now featured on their Facebook page!

Jill is now featured on their Facebook page!

This all happened in just the past few weeks and it was because Jill decided not to give up, to keep working hard, and to be okay with some failure as long as the long term goals are still in focus.

That is what it takes to run an online business and not give up.  Lots of perseverance.

There is still a long way for us to go to get to our dream level of “success” but we are on the right path and will continue to do whatever we need to get there.

If you are interested in learning more about how Jill was able to do this, check out the article linked below and feel free to contact us.  We want to help others live their dreams and figure out what is right for them and how they can achieve it.

Jill’s Success Story on SiteSell.

And if you want to sign up for SiteSell and start your own website, click on this SF Tourism Tips – About Jill page and it will take you directly to the information page for SiteSell once you click it.

 

Jill at the Golden Gate Bridge for SiteSell’s Success Story article.  Taken by yours truly.

 

 

 

Day 600 OUT OF Beijing: More Minimization And 600 Blog Posts.

 

The rare, and gorgeous, albino peacock.

The rare, and gorgeous, albino peacock.

 

I’m going to take a little break in our San Francisco Tourism Tips update day and jump forward in time one week.  I’ll return to our dairy of what we did in San Francisco after this post.

I also realized that I’ve done 600 blog posts in 600 days.  What started out as a fun idea has continued for over 1.5 years and I’m rather amazed at how well it has been received by my readers.  Thanks so much for your comments, support and questions.  You continue to inspire me to write of Jill and my experiences, dreams, and travels.

It is one of the fun parts of writing this blog in advance of it posting, instead of the same day, so I can change it up or add things that I believe will interest people reading this website.

Jill and I have been working on minimizing, as many of you know, and she finally emptied out and closed down her storage area.

She had it, amazingly, for almost 4 years.  This includes the last 1.5 years of her living in China with me and not having any ability to even use anything inside of it.  That means major need for minimization since almost everything in it would have been deemed as “wasted space and material” according to my “if you don’t use it within 6 months of packing it up, it is to be donated/sold/recycled” rule.  This rule is based on the idea that if you pack something up, thinking you need it at some point, and yet don’t need it within 6 months, you can get rid of it.  I actually am down to a 3 month rule for myself but I’m pretty hardcore about minimization.  Jill agrees with me on the 3 month rule also.

Jill spent the weekend clearing out her storage area and donating about 2 car loads of clothes to charity.  She also got rid of electronics like a massive old tv and other stuff.

We gave her friend, Leslie, a fantastic mattress and bed set worth about $3,000 since she let Jill stay with her, and is letting us stay with her, for free.  We feel that a major part of being upwardly mobile vagabonds is to pay your way.  This means if people won’t take payment for staying at their houses (and most of our friends and family won’t) you either buy food, resources or give them things that they want and like that we don’t need.  This way everyone benefits and things aren’t wasted.

Leslie had an old bed that she wanted to get rid of so this was a perfect fit.  I put the frame and mattress up on Craigslist.org’s free list and the frame was gone within minutes.  The mattress?  Not so much.

We waited a day and no one wanted it so we took it to the San Anselmo dump.  We tried to recycle it but they wouldn’t take it and it was pretty beat up so we decided to throw it away.

After we did that, we started to drive away and saw this amazing collection of peacocks that live around the dump and just hang out there.  There were also some chickens walking around and a pig farm right down the road.

It had to be the oddest collection of animals, around a dump, that I’ve ever seen.

As I was taking pictures of the peacocks, Jill started pointing to my right and telling me, “Look at the white one!”  I wasn’t sure what she meant but then I scanned over and saw this amazing white peacock.

Sadly, it didn’t flair out its tail and show its feathers to us.  Maybe if I go back again it will.

 

Day 599 OUT OF Beijing: Pier 24 Photography

 

PIer 24 and traintracks.

Pier 24 and long unused train tracks.

 

Jill and I headed to our 1 pm appointment at Pier 24 to get more information for SF Tourism Tips.

We arrived a bit early and hung around outside and enjoyed the gorgeous sunshine.

We are still getting used to having sunshine and fresh air every single day and being able to go out of the house whenever we want without fear of getting sick and having to wear a M95 mask to breathe safely.

It is a joy that we will never forget or take for granted.  Sadly, the first thing we would do when we woke up was look at my phone, check the Air Quality App and decide whether we would go outside or not.  It truly controlled that much of our daily lives.

I suggest you think a bit on your ability to breathe freely and not have to wear masks, drink bottled water, or worry about where your meat came from a few times today.

We had to do that for 1.5 years.

It gives us more to love and enjoy whatever we are doing in the SF Bay Area.

As the clock ticked down to 1 pm, we walked back to the gallery and pushed the “click to talk” button beside the door.

They told us to come inside and we entered.

There were four very nice people behind the desk and they told us about the show, called Secondhand, about re-attributed photographs, and a book that explained how to enjoy the gallery and not get lost.

The reason I mention not getting lost is that it is a huge gallery and it has about 20 or so rooms.  Some are tiny little alcoves but it could take a long time if someone got lost and confused and wanted to leave quickly.

I am not sure I like re-attributed photographs but I understand the idea: someone (not sure I can call them artists at this point) takes someone else’s photographs, manipulates them in some way, and then calls it their own.

I guess, in a way, this is sort of like “sampling” in music but there may be almost no difference at all.

In fact, say you found my family album at Goodwill and decided to buy it.  You could them frame my pictures and sell them as your own because you framed them and made them yours.  This is a simplistic example but there was work there that was basically just that: someone had found a person’s family album, bought it, and then took the pictures they liked, photographed them again, printed them out and adjusted the colors, and then it became, “their art.”

As a budding artist/photographer, and a person who has a mom who is definitely an artist, I have some issues with this.  I’d hate for someone to take my photographs, change a few things like color or brightness, and then sell them as their own art.  It seems somewhat unethical and immoral but maybe that is just me.

There was one specific part of the exhibition that I truly enjoyed: Eric Kessel’s 24 Hours.  It is a room full of photographs that he asked to have downloaded, and then printed, of everyone single person that posted their photographs to Flikr within a single 24 hour period.  I believe there were over 1,000,000 photos all laid out on the floor, and up the walls, and it was very powerful to stand in the middle of all those memories.

Eric Kessels 24 Hours.

Eric Kessels’ 24 Hours.

As we walked up to the exhibit room, one of the staff told us we were welcome to walk inside it and view it from the center of the room and see how we liked it.  We both picked up some photographs and looked at them.  Many were very disparate but there were still some that were obviously of the same kid or baby and had not been scattered yet.

Interesting enough, I really didn’t like any of the other parts of the exhibition by Eric Kessels as they seemed to be more like the ones I wrote about above and made me feel very uneasy regarding who is the artist and who deserves credit for these photographs.  I liked seeing other peoples’ histories and stories, but I’m not sure it quite sat correctly with me and that he would be getting credit for what they’ve actually done in the past.  Then again, Eric Kessels did manipulate the photographs and, if he hadn’t make these exhibits, they’d be lost to space and time.  Again, a tough question to figure out regarding right and wrong.

The different photographs that have been re-attributed.

The different photographs that have been re-attributed.

 

We also saw a photograph of the famous 1911 Hebron, Nebraska tornado that someone had taken.  Jill is from Nebraska so she knew of it immediately and it is a beautiful photograph.  Just utter desolation and very powerful.

As we left the exhibition, we were a little unsure whether we liked it or not.  We both feel strongly about artists doing their own art and having credit given to them.  However, a lot of this art would have been lost to the dump if not for these artist that found them, changed them, and kept them alive.

Is this really art?

Questions without answers.

Day 598 OUT OF Beijing: 7D Experience at Pier 39!

 

The"Legendary"score that I got.  Almost hit 100,000.

The”Legendary”score that I got. Almost hit 100,000.

 

The next stop in our fact and fun finding mission for SF Tourism Tips was the 7D Experience.

It has to be one of the most fun rides Jill and I have ever been on. We both totally loved it beyond belief!

First off, I have to comment about how friendly Phillip and Richard were when we visit stepped in to visit the attraction.  It is obvious they love their job and helping people have a good time!

Secondly, it was a total blast and worth every penny. We loved it so much we actually went back and did it a few more times. We started with the Zombies one (which was awesome) and then did Gigamom (a very cool sort of like Godzilla like creature and adventure) and then did the Los Banditos which is a bit more “family” like because it is a bit more fun for kids and younger adults since there are just evil robots to shoot and it isn’t quite as scary as the others. I loved being able to fire the guns and blow up stuff while laughing at my fiancee and our silliness as we bumped around in the chairs and had fun “falling through space” as it really feels like you are moving in a car, train or helicopter depending on which experience you go on. I saw lots of people laughing and having a great time while also trying to be the best shooter and get the highest score.

 

Two contestants that didn't fare very well.

Two contestants that didn’t fare very well.

 

The price, for the ride alone, is $10 and you can do a second ride for $5. Trust me, you will want to do a second, and a third, ride. You can also get pictures of yourself after the ride is done as you are in action during the ride. I believe they are $5 each.

We also did the LaZer Challenge, which is a room that has all kinds of lazer lights criss-crossing it. You try to move around them, as carefully and as quickly as possible, without crossing them to touch a yellow light on the other side of the room. After you touch the first yellow light, a second one appears and you have to go through the lazers to touch it. When you reach that one, a final red light appears and you have to touch it before you finish. It is actually quite a workout and a lot of fun. If you hit a lazer light, you lose 30 seconds off your time and, believe me, if you are at all competitive, you won’t want to hit any. Time wise, I did great (something like 30 seconds) but hit 3 lazers so I added 90 seconds to my time and ended up at 120 or so. Just means that when we go back, I’ll will definitely try to beat my time. The cost of the LaZer Challenge was only $5.

 

The LaZer Challenge Room. This picture won't help you figure it out.

The LaZer Challenge Room. This picture won’t help you figure it out.

 

Click HERE to watch a video of me trying to get through the LaZer Challenge.

If you buy both the ride and the Lazer Challenge together, you get a deal as they are only $13.

It is definitely worth it and I would suggest doing that. Also, it wasn’t very busy so we were able to get on the ride without much of a wait and the same with the LaZer Challenge. I asked about how long the wait can be, when it is super busy, and they told us that, at most, it is about 20 minutes because they can move about 20 people at a time. So don’t worry about it if it does look like there is a line, there isn’t really one. 🙂

Lastly, the 7D-Experience ride is wheelchair accessible. I thought that was quite cool and was glad they pointed that out to us because they want everyone to be able to enjoy this fantastic 7D Experience!

Day 597 OUT OF Beijing: Boudin’s Bread, Mrs. Field’s Cookies and Pier 39’s Sea Lions.

 

Jill loving her delicious Mrs. Fields' cookie!

Jill loving her delicious Mrs. Fields’ cookie!

 

After a wonderfully crazy hour at Musee Mecanique, Jill and I knew we needed to get more info for SF Tourism Tips at Pier 39.

On the way, we stopped by Boudin Bakery as we wanted to catch the bakers working early in the morning.  This is a fun way to start the day because the bakers are usually in great moods and at least one of them will have a intercom connection to the crowd standing outside on the sidewalk watching them make the bread for the day.

We were pretty lucky in that there weren’t a lot of people and we were able to get right up in front and talk to one of the ladies that was building the bread creations.  And I mean creations.  They make teddy bears, clowns and, my favorite, a massive alligator!

As you can see in the video, she asked where we were from and we told her, “San Francisco.”  She later said, “A nice way to start your day, right?”  I agree 100%.

 

 

We were starting to crave a little sweetness so we walked over to Pier 39 and stopped by Mrs. Fields.  We bought 3 for 5 bucks and they were all freshly made and delicious.  You can see Jill is enjoying her cookie immensely!

We knew we needed more pictures of the sea lions so we headed out to the west side of Pier 39 and were happy to find some of them hanging around and just relaxing on the pier.  They are pretty loud, and quite rambunctious, and a lot of fun to just watch and laugh at while they jostle each other and make loud barking noises.

By the way, these are all sea lions and not seals.  You can tell the difference by their brown coloring and their longer fins.  This also allows them to jump on the platforms which seals are not able to manage with their shorts fins.

You can see, and hear, the sea lions making lots of noises and pushing each other around right here:

 

 

 

Day 595 OUT OF Beijing: Cable Cars, Alcatraz and Clam Chowder.

 

A cable car getting ready to leave on its journey.

A cable car getting ready to leave on its journey.

 

As Jill and I hopped off the bus, we knew we had a number of places to visit today and needed to be time sensitive since we had so much to do and research for SF Tourism Tips.

The first place we needed to visit was the Aquatic Park area and get a few pictures, and videos, of the cable cars there.

It would be a long day of walking all along the Embarcadero and this would be a perfect first stop.

The Buena Vista Cafe, which is world famous for its Irish Coffee was right across the street but we decided we’d wait a bit and take our time before imbibing as we planned to hit a few of the new breweries later in the day.

The cable cars were running, on their usual 10 minute schedule, and we were able to get all the pictures we needed.

We enjoyed just hanging out, watching the fog roll away, and seeing the signs of pure joy on the peoples’ faces as they began their journey on the Cable Cars through the San Francisco hills.

 

Waiting for the journey to begin.

Waiting for the journey to begin.

 

After getting what we needed, we headed down to the waterfront, to grab some breakfast. We had left the house around 6:45 am and it was already about 10 am and we were starting to get a bit hungry.

One our way, we spied Alcatraz prison, off in the distance and shrouded in fog.

As people say, “It is a great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.”

It always amazes me how close Alcatraz is to the shore and yet how desolate it feels when you are there.

It is definitely worth a trip, if you haven’t gone, and worth visiting again if you have!

 

Alcatraz peaks out of the fog.

Alcatraz peaks out of the fog.

 

We walked down Jefferson Street and listened to the barkers as they called out different attractions people could enjoy, like renting bikes or little go-carts, to travel around, and finally got to the area where all the fisherman sell their clam chowder in sourdough bread baskets.

We both love these delicious treats and missed them greatly while we were away.  The clam chowder was delicious and the bread was nice and toasted.  All in all, a perfect way to start our getaway in San Francisco.  It also only cost $7.07 for a meal that filled us both up and warm us up at the same time.

Doing research can be wonderful if you love your job as much as Jill!

 

Delicious Clam Chowder served in a sourdough bread bowl!

Delicious Clam Chowder served in a sourdough bread bowl!

Day 594 OUT OF Beijing: You Don’t Know What You’ve Got ‘Til It’s Gone!

 

After coming through the Marin Headlands Tunnels approaching the Golden Gate Bridge.

After coming through the Marin Headlands Tunnels approaching the Golden Gate Bridge.

 

Jill and I ventured into San Francisco today to do more research for SF Tourism Tips.

We love taking the bus in, relaxing while we ride, and just watching the traffic as we pass by it.

Once in a while we get stuck in the traffic, since even the carpool lane is full, but most of the time we have a pretty fast ride and we enjoy sitting in the front seat so we can talk to the bus driver a bit and see the best views.

Most of the other riders are usually reading on their tablets or phones or working away but we prefer to be present in the ride and the enjoyment of being back in Northern California.

You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.

We do know what we have because it was gone and now we are back.

At least until February 28th when we head off to Los Angeles.

We’ve already set up plans to see lots of friends and relatives down there and can’t wait to hit Cancun so Jill can see her sister and her sister’s family and I can finally meet some of Jill’s family in person instead of on Skype.  Being that we met 8 days before I left for China, I’ve never met her family, in person, and she’s never met mine.  This will be a fun trip around the USA!

The Bus driver, this morning, seemed a bit grumpy, which was oddly out of place since he looked a lot like Santa Claus with a huge white beard and big belly.

We thought he’d be friendly and happy, since basically every driver we’ve met on the Golden Gate Transit system is incredibly happy and friendly, but he wasn’t.

Since I started out using a silly phrase, might as well use another one: I guess you can’t judge a book by it’s cover also.

We made sure not to ask any questions and just took some pictures and said “Hi” to passengers as they got on and off the bus and most of them replied with the same.

We weren’t in any hurry to get in since we knew exactly what we wanted to do, what times the places we wanted to visit were open and when we wanted to be home.

It is a wonderful way to live a carefree life and even though it seems as if it is all easy, it isn’t.

Jill puts in many hours of work, especially over the last 4 years, to make her site well respected and easy to use for tourists and locals alike.

She receives a lot of compliments, on her page and on her Facebook page, about how well it is put together and how “real and down home” it is.  That is something Jill specifically worked at instead of just being the generic, “This is what you want to see and do” kind of site that so many other people have built.  It took many hours of walking, busing, and hiking around San Francisco and it still continues to each day.

The fact that she continued to build the site, and her business, while living in China for 1.5 years just goes to show that incredible research, photographs and knowledge that she had stored up in her mind and her computer.

Now that we are back, we will be updating a lot of stuff and building even more pages because we are so excited to help people see more about San Francisco and see it through our eyes so that they can then see it through their own.

 

Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. Karl the Fog in the distance.

Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. Karl the Fog in the distance.

 

Day 593 OUT OF Beijing: Hidden Gems of SF Tourism Tips.

 

A close up of the Giant Buddha on the second level of the Hua Zang Si Buddhist Temple.

A close up of the Giant Buddha on the second level of the Hua Zang Si Buddhist Temple.

 

Jill’s site, SF Tourism Tips, is in a never ending process of being updated and improved.  Jill wanted to update her “Hidden Gems” page and so we decided to head into San Francisco for the day.

I really admire Jill’s trait of never being happy with “enough” and always wanting to better her site and the experience for the people that visit it and want to learn more about San Francisco and how to improve their trip to our lovely city.

We went into San Francisco, by Golden Gate Transit from Petaluma, and then walked around the rest of the day.  We did have to catch one bus ($2.25 USD) to the Columbarium in the Richmond District, but otherwise all our travel was on foot and for free.  Since we are car-less, we didn’t have to pay a toll to get into SF ($6 USD on the GG Bridge), parking ($2-3 USD per hour) or deal with worries about car crashes, gas, or tickets.  The cost to get into SF on Golden Gate transit was $10.75 per person.  A very good exchange for comfort, relaxation and 1.75 hours to either talk or check emails as we rode in on a very comfortable and clean bus.

A longer shot of the bridge with the new movable divider on the left.

A longer shot of the bridge with the new movable divider on the left.

This is also part of our frugal living in that we want to see how realistic it is to live car-less and only use mass transit.  We actually really enjoy mass transit and we’ve met some wonderful people who are traveling around the world and living a upwardly mobile vagabond life like we are at the same time.  I also had a great conversation with a bus driver that will be retiring in one year and his hopes to do a ’round-the-world trip right after his job is over.  We talked about where to go, what to see, and I sent him some links on how to get great deals on flights and cruises.  I’m hoping we catch the same bus he drives, again, and we can see how he has progressed on his plans!

Our first stop was the Columbarium and it was magnificent.  It is one grave site in San Francisco that is taking interments and it is kept up beautifully.  Harvey Milk’s memorial is there as is Carlos Santana’s father’s ashes.  There are also many other people, and memorials, that are stunning and touching.  It sounds a bit strange to think of this as a place to visit and enjoy, but it is, and we actually were there during an interment and the family and friends were quite joyous and happy.  If you are interested in seeing it, make sure to call ahead and ask for Emmit to give you a tour.  He has been with the Columbarium for many, many years and knows stories and the history like no one else.  We will have a tour when we go back next time with him to learn more about this amazing structure and final resting place.

We walked over to Pizza Orgasmica and had their lunch special of salad, beer and a pizza for $10.50 each.  It was delicious and utterly filling.  I also was able to check in on one of my favorite apps, Untappd, and add the beers that Jill and I tried for lunch.  It is a fun social app and keeps track of how many beers you’ve had and gives badges for different categories.

Jill's pesto pizza.  Yummy!

Jill’s pesto pizza. Yummy!

 

We then headed down to Hua Zang Si Buddhist Temple.  This is a Buddhist Temple in the middle of the Mission District.  That, alone, would make sure it is a hidden gem.  It was originally a Lutheran Church and later became a temple.  We were blown away by the two Buddhas, especially that massive one on the second level, and the friendliness of the monks that were at the temple that day.  Most of them didn’t speak a lot of English but they seemed so happy and content that words weren’t needed to express what they were feeling.  As we walked back outside into the Mission District, we saw this gorgeous mural of Carlos Santana.  The cultures are so different and yet they are side by side.

 

After the temple, we headed down to Southern Pacific Brewery in the SOMA district.  Again, this was all just walking around and seeing the sites so we could experience it as if we were tourists and make sure to give people a “true to life” impression of what they can expect as they cruise around the Streets of San Francisco.  By the way, where are Mike Douglas and Karl Malden when you need them?

Our refreshing beers at Southern Pacific Brewing.

Our refreshing beers at Southern Pacific Brewing.

 

This brewery is only about 3 years old and it is inside a very cool tin roof hangar type building.  The beer is good and the food seems to be fairly priced.  We didn’t eat any food while we were there but had a great time talking to the bartender and just digging the atmosphere.  It will be added to a new page Jill is writing about all the different brewpubs in San Francisco.  Did you know there are over 15 at this point with 10 more scheduled to open during 2015?

By the way, this was also the same day we say the Austin Healey and the Tiny Tesla I’ve just posted about.  There is so much to do in San Francisco when you just walk and observe so check out SF Tourism Tips and find out all the newest information for all your San Francisco tips!

Day 592 OUT OF Beijing: Frugal Eating Habits and Mi Pueblo.

 

buritto1burritoJill and I continue to hone our skills at being frugal and living the life we want to live.

This includes eating out and having food that is delicious and adds to our enjoyment of life.

As we stay in Petaluma, there is a wonderful Mexican restaurant about 1 mile from our house.

Mi Pueblo is a privately owned restaurant, at about 5 locations, and the food is very fairly priced.

Jill and I are also trying to get in better shape, and being around guacamole and sour cream, which we love, is not the best way to do this.

Luckily, as most of you know, in the USA, serving portions are HUGE.

This is especially true at Mi Pueblo.

They also give you free chips and salsa when you sit down.

I can not say enough positive reviews about the chips and salsa.  There are also about 6 different types of salsas you can choose from and tempt yourself with before your meal arrives at your table.

My favorite is an avocado mix that is utterly delicious.

Since we know that the burritos are massive at Mi Pueblo, we ask them to cut it in half so we can share it.

They were more than  happy to oblige and even served them on different plates with the extras smothering our carnitas burrito.

It was more than enough food for both of us and Jill wasn’t even able to finish her burrito.

The total for all this food?  About $12 USD.

We didn’t have to eat for another 5 hours because there was so much food and it was so tasty.

It also gave us time to slow down, relax, and enjoy the meal and the freshness of the food and quality of the ingredients.

This is another part of being healthy, mentally and physically, that we are working on each day:  Slow down and accept what is given to you.  And, if you don’t like it, move on and make a change.

We are accepting and making changes at the same time.

We will also be teaching people how to do this, with our new website, when it is ready to show to the world in a month or so.  Our books will be a part of this and also using online seminars and groups.

We are excited and can’t wait to share it with everyone in the near future!

Day 589 OUT OF Beijing: Upwardly Vagabonding.

 

A longer shot of the bridge with the new movable divider on the left.

A longer shot of the bridge with the new movable divider on the left.

 

As most of you know, Jill and I are traveling around and only staying with friends or family.

I’ve titled this new way of finding a place for us as “upwardly vagabonding.”

A vagabond is someone that is essentially homeless and is just trying to find a place to live and survive.

We are more Upwardly mobile about our vagabonding so I’ve joking called it just that.

We are staying in nice places, with good people, and don’t have to worry about shelter or really being homeless.

As Jill continues to build her site, SF Tourism Tips, and we are now building our new website together (to be released to the world in a month or so) we want to stay as frugal and with as little limitations on us as possible.

We also are traveling by plane, train or bus wherever we go unless friends are driving and we can hitch a ride.  We also use uber or taxis if needed to get around.  It saves us money and saves us mental strain as we don’t have to worry about driving and possibly being in a car crash, paying insurance or worrying if we are going to get lost.  We leave the work to the driver or pilot.   We also then have time to enjoy the scenery or work on projects while we travel.  Win-win.

We have gone through another round of minimizing our stuff and donated all our winter clothes and whatever we think we won’t need.

Our plan is to be down to one good sized backpack and one daypack each by the time we head off for Los Angeles on February 28th.

It is rather amazing we’ve been home for a month already because it seems like we just arrived and are still settling in.

Part of that is the reverse culture shock after being in China for 1.5 years but it is also that we have stayed in 4 different places in one month so we didn’t really “settle” down in any one place and feel at home.

We will be staying at our friends, Randy and Alethea’s house, for most of the the rest of our trip in the bay area so that will make life more comfortable and easy on us.  Hopefully it will on them also as they are being incredibly generous letting us stay and hang out with them.  Randy is like a second brother to me so it is wonderful to spend time with him and his family and just be “home.”

Here are a few pictures from the Golden Gate Bus as I was upwardly vagabonding home to Randy and Alethea’s recently.