Atlas Weekly: December 20th

Santa Cruz, California

As you may have read from my last post, I am home!! Besides one set back in getting sick with the stomach flu, I’ve been enjoying my time at home, relaxing and catching up on everything I need to get ready for 2016.

The week started out on a good note with attending my first NBA game ever in Portland. We saw the Portland Trailblazers and the New Orleans Pelicans play and although those aren’t my two favorite teams, it was still a much needed bucket list item that had to be checked off my life list. I’m looking forward to seeing more games now that I’m living in the States during the season and I’m living in a city that has regular games.

On Tuesday, I flew from Portland to San Jose and took the Hwy 17 bus over the hill to be dropped off in my hometown of Santa Cruz. My journey gave me pause to reflect and appreciate what I was coming home to, and it’s what inspired me to write this post.

After a grand couple of nights of indulging in my hometown favorites, El Palomar & Chocolate, I was hit hard with the stomach flu in the wee hours of Thursday morning. Surprisingly, I’ve never had the stomach flu before, and I can tell you it’s not something I’m hoping to repeat anytime soon. Luckily it only lasted just over a day.

Back in action, we immediately went to go look for the perfect Christmas tree on Friday, a week before Christmas, a harder feat than I thought it would be. I spent most of the day catching up on all the work I had missed and trying to spend as much time as possible with my mom, helping to decorate the house in all its Christmas glory.

Does anyone else absolutely love the smell of a fresh Christmas tree in the house? That’s the one thing I could never get used to in New Zealand, the abundance of fake Christmas trees instead of the real thing around this time of the year!

Christmas - Santa Cruz, California

Yesterday, I spent most of the day with one of my best friends, Carrie, my college roommate and confidant in most everything in life. I don’t have any good girlfriends in Portland, and I miss having that person to talk to about life in general. We must’ve spent a solid 5 hours straight (at least) of nonstop talking and catching-up, it was wonderful.

Betty's Burgers - Santa Cruz, California

After taking her to another local favorite, Betty’s Burgers, we spent most of the afternoon Christmas shopping around downtown and ended our night with a couple of pints at Discretion Brewing. I love those types of friends, no matter how long you go without seeing each other, it feels like no time has passed at all when you see each other again. Carrie is exactly that type of friend.

Discretion Brewing - Santa Cruz, California

Discretion Brewing - Santa Cruz, California

I have a lot of exciting plans around Santa Cruz for the next week or so. I’ll be doing my research around town to write up the best activities to do in the winter months (including breweries, of course), and I’ll be reviewing one of the cozy bed & breakfasts, Adobe on Green, as part of that series.

Have a great holiday, readers! And be on the lookout for upcoming posts this week and next about the best parts of 2015 and what to look forward to going into 2016.

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Mimi McFadden
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Mimi McFadden

Travel Writer/Blogger at The Atlas Heart
Mimi founded The Atlas Heart to create a community of travelers inspired to see the world. The Atlas Heart is a space where you'll find anecdotes on slow travel, craft beer, outdoor adventures, and all the eccentric bits in between that this world has to offer.
Mimi McFadden
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