NORTHERN CALIFORNIA: 2 People. 4 days. $500 a Person!

My sister is one of my nearest and dearest friends. Last year she and I went on a trip to Milan… This year we decided to do a “frugal” trip and did 4 days in California! It was such much fun and it only cost around $500 per person ($518.93 to be exact) for the entire trip, that includes flights, rental car, hotels, food, and a food tour!


We flew round trip to San Jose. We flew in on a Saturday and took a red eye out on a Tuesday night.  Here’s how we managed to do 4 days in California and spent $1,037.86 for two people. I hope these tips are helpful to you as you plan your vacations!

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Eating Asheville: Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack — Nashville-Style Hot Chicken in N.C.

While driving around West Asheville, my husband and I came across this restaurant called Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack. The sign had a retro look and an image of (what looks like) a rooster. The sign looked fun, and since we William loves fried chicken (and I love food) we decided to pull into the parking lot and give this place a try!

Restaurant: Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack, West Asheville

Location: 1455 Patton Ave, Asheville, NC 28806

Price Range: $$ ($11 – $30)


Click HERE to view the Menu


All I can say is “wow!” This place was amazing in so many different ways. The decor was very inviting and reminded me of an old school biker joint. Their main items are chicken of course, but there are non chicken and vegetarian options as well.


We ordered our food and sat outside on the semi-covered patio! William ordered the Chicken Thigh Plate with corn pudding and fried okra and added an additional waffle as a side. He ordered his chicken tossed in a mild sauce. I ordered the Chicken Tenders Plate with onion rings and macaroni and cheese. I had my chicken tossed in their honey mustard sauce (I think it was honey mustard)!


Of course the chicken was the highlight of both of our meals, but I will say the sides were great as well. The chicken pieces are HUGE, and incredibly juicy. William’s mild sauce was plenty spicy, so don’t get anything hotter than mild if you don’t plan to have your mouth set on fire. The corn pudding and fried okra were very good. My onion rings were delicious and so was my macaroni and cheese. The Macaroni and cheese was a little TOO cheesy for me, but most people probably wouldn’t have a problem with that.

Mac&Cheese LaurensSides

We loved the food and surprisingly, we had a lot of food that we couldn’t finish. It was filling and on our way home we had to fight the urge to stop by a second time.


If you’re in Asheville (specifically west Asheville) check out their location on Patton Avenue. It will not disappoint.


Want to try making Tennessee-style hot chicken yourself? Check out this recipe by bon appetit:

Summer is Almost Here + Our Weekend in Asheville

It’s been quite a while since my last blog post. It’s so unfortunate because I love writing and blogging. Surprisingly the last few weeks have included a lot of writing, unfortunately the writing was all part of my classes for my graduate degree. Now that the semester is over I hope to catch up on my writing, blogging, and cooking!


A few weeks ago my husband and I had a chance to get away for the weekend. I talk a lot about how crazy our life gets and how we don’t get spend quality time with each other as often as we want, so it was nice to spend some time in a new city. William is a very go with the flow type of guy so he let me plan our destination. I hadn’t been to Asheville since I was a kid, and William had never been before so of course I felt that it would be a great place to visit. Asheville, N.C. is about 3.5 hours away from Atlanta so it was far enough but not too far to tire us out for the weekend.


We spend most of our weekend eating (surprise surprise) and were happy to try out new restaurants! Atlanta is a foodie city and I was excited to find that Asheville has amazing food as well.


This week I’ll blog about the various restaurants we tried out, but for now here’s a list:

In addition to the food, it was nice to relax and enjoy the weather, the sites, and beauty in the area. We had a chance to drive through the mountains, view some waterfalls, tour a distillery and brewery, and catch some breathtaking views of the mountains. Although the biggest attraction in Asheville is the Biltmore, we couldn’t justify spending over $100 and most of our trip just to see a house (plus I’ve seen it before).


We took a fun drive through Pisgah National Forest before heading home from our trip. It’s crazy to believe that all this land (500,000 acres) was part of the Vanderbilt estate at one point.



As a child, I had the pleasure of visiting Sliding Rock with my family and friends. I was determined to visit Sliding Rock again as an adult. Sliding rock is a natural water slide in the mountains that is a fun and inexpensive summer attraction. As a child the rock seemed much bigger. Visitors pay a small fee to park at the sliding rock area and can take turns sliding down this natural waterfall into a shallow pool of water. Because we visited toward the end of April, the water was still cold and the pool was void of visitors. I’m sure in a few weeks this spot will be full of visiting families!SlidingRock   BlueRidgeMountains

After a relaxing drive through Pisgah National Forest we reached the peak and were able to drive a short distance up the blue ridge parkway. Unfortunately a section of the parkway was closed so we were forced to make a detour and head over and back down the mountain… Thankfully we still had a chance to stop and take in God’s beauty and workmanship before heading home.


We had a chance to get a tour of the Troy and Sons distillery and visit the Highland’s Brewery next door as well. If distilleries are your thing or you’re interested in the science behind it all, it might be a fun visit!



Stay tuned for my “Eating Asheville” posts over the course of the week!