Eat Pray Love Journey – The Bay

By the time I started looking into flights, I received an email from JetBlue that they were having a 20% discount on all domestic flights for a few days. I knew I had to take advantage of this deal! So on the last day of the deal, I bought a one-way flight from Long Beach Airport to Oakland International Airport for $42.02 including tax! What a steal, right? From SoCal to NorCal, it usually ranges from $60 to $100 for one-way! I tend to find good deals to NorCal through JetBlue.

Side note about myself. I love traveling but I don’t like the process of buying flight tickets or making big purchases on the spot. I’m sure no one really enjoys spending money to travel per se but I’m the type where I can’t buy the ticket right then and there even if it’s a really good deal. I need a lot of time to figure out if it’s worth it and try to figure out logistics, etc. Even if I think I’m ready to purchase it, I’ll look at the screen for awhile and contemplate whether or not to back out last minute before clicking the PAY NOW/SUBMIT/CONFIRM button. I’ll say to myself, “Ok, here I go! I’m going to buy it! I’m going to do it! Wait..should I really do this? Can I get a lifeline? I don’t know what I should do. Ok, no. Ok, wait, yes. I’m going to do it!” It’s quite of an online battle with myself when it comes to situations like these especially when you can’t return or cancel it without a charge.

With this JetBlue deal, I just had to purchase it without a thought. I actually wanted to ask my friends first in the Bay area to see if I can crash at their place before purchasing a ticket but there wasn’t enough time to get a prompt response from them. So I just had to buy the ticket and figure out the logistics later.

My friend, Derek, who is quite of a YOLO-ist recently bought a round trip ticket from LA to South Korea for $600-700. The deal was going on for one day and would be sold out immediately so he bought it right when the deal came out. I asked him, “Shouldn’t you figure out where are you going to stay before buying it? What are you going to do there? Who are you going with?” He just responded, “I’m going to just have to figure that out later!” Sometimes, you don’t need to know everything before you purchase a ticket. You can figure out the logistics afterwards and there’s plenty of ways to play around with your itinerary. In other words, YOLO.

It’s like buying a dress or whatever piece of clothing item. You see a beautiful dress on sale but you don’t know when you’ll wear it. In cases like these, sometimes it’s best to take advantage of the sale and buy the dress because you can always figure out later when you’ll need to wear it. It’ll just come in handy down the line. Hope that made sense. If you’re a guy, replace dress with a necktie…

Ok, so I bought my one-way ticket and it was a huge sigh of relief to get that out of the way. I was messaging a handful of people to see if they could pick me up from the airport and/or if I could crash at their place. This part was the hardest to plan. I wasn’t getting positive responses from my friends because the timing was bad when I was landing there. One thing I figured out was that I spending the night at Yesie’s!

The only question left to answer was, “How am I getting to Yesie’s?” Answer. Michelle! Yay! By the way, Michelle is a great singer, dancer, funny and loving friend. Check out one of her Youtube videos covering one of my favorite songs Giving Up by Ingrid Michaelson:

During my one hour flight from Long Beach to Oakland, I was able to surf the web thanks to JetBlue providing free wifi! I was so surprised by the free wifi that I had to tweet them about it 30,000 feet in the air! They responded to my tweet humorously with a giff!

Here’s the picture that I sent to Jetblue of my surprised look. I need to mention that I was not listening to any music. It looked appropriate to have headphones on for this picture.

 Once I landed in Oakland, I had to meet up with Michelle in Millbrae which was south east of the Bay from where I was. So I took the AirBART which was a $3 bus ride from the airport to the actual BART station in Oakland.

BART stands for Bay Area Rapid Transit aka the train for the Bay area. When the bus dropped us off at the station, you knew you were in Oakland. If you’re ever there, you might see people standing on a bench and dancing to their music or people asking everyone for money. The culture in Oakland is different and can be unsafe especially at night. Luckily, I was there when the sun was still out.

For $5.25, I was on the BART for an hour and a half. It was empty at first and slowly got packed as people were getting off from work. There was a different group of people at each stop on the BART so it was fun to just people watch in that way. Oh but it was also kind of scary. You may encounter a homeless person on the bart where they are talking to themselves in a foul language. You might think that they’re talking to you because you feel so out of place but don’t worry, they’re really just talking to themselves. (That happened to me.)

At one point, I had to transfer to a different bart. As I was waiting for the next bart, I just stood there with my luggage and waited. I scanned around the station to know my surrounding because you know, safety is important. I scanned the area quite a few times that I probably looked a little suspicious. I tried to play it cool but I don’t think it worked because I had this luggage with me. The station was pretty bare. You could probably count that there were less than ten people waiting for the next bart. For some creepy reason, one guy just had to walk so closely next to me! There was plenty of space at the station for him to walk around. He didn’t steal anything from me but I think he was trying to scare me since I just gave off the shady vibe for looking out of place.

Finally when I got to Millbrae, I saw Michelle! She was the first friend I saw on my EPLJ!

We went over to El Palenque Taqueria in San Mateo for some homey Mexican food. They have 4.5 out of 5 stars with 120 reviews on Yelp.

For the past month, I’ve been eating pretty healthy. When I got to El Palenque Taqueria, I told myself, “Ok, I’m going to pick something healthy!” So I got a huge breakfast burrito that had sausage with eggs and salsa. I obviously failed immediately at being healthy but it was worth my $4.64.

I really don’t think you can go wrong with a breakfast burrito. It was so hot and fresh from the grill that I had to wait until it cooled down to eat it. That burrito was so big that I was only able to eat half of it and saved the other half for the next day.

I have no idea why I didn’t think about getting two or three tacos since it’s more proportional to eat but I somehow just thought about getting a burrito or a bigger burrito.

Michelle and I spent a few hours eating and catching up there. We had some real talk at that taqueria! Good times laughing and crying with this girl!

Afterwards, we looked into taking a dance class together. When she used to live in SoCal, she was my dance buddy. She is definitely a better dancer than me! She’s got swag!

For some odd reason, dance classes in NorCal are expensive even for drop-ins! One studio was $25 for a one hour class. After much research, we decided to not take a jazz or hip-hop class. Instead, we listened to Sam Smith’s I’m Not The Only One on repeat:

Then we finally went over to Yesie’s place to spend the night! Whee!

Huge thanks to Michelle for picking me up from the bart station! Also, big thank you to Yesie for opening up your house!

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