Growing up in the Sacramento area I couldn’t wait to get out as soon as I turned 21. I wanted to leave and never come back….You know there’s something weird about getting older…and having children. You start to have another appreciation for life. I went from “omg I can’t wait to be backstage with Tiesto” to “I can’t wait to sit on the couch with my mom and watch old childhood Russian films.” At the end of the day its family that drives me back to where I came from… I’m not saying I would necessarily live in Sacramento again, because lets be real here. How can I go from living in a place where the beautiful warm ocean is my backyard, to a place where everything looks so dry from being water deprived. Not to mention all the other things like….theres nothing open past 9pm, the restaurants aren’t nearly as good as they are here, and tons of close minded people because they’ve never left their Sacramento bubble. (I’ve had to deal with a few judgmental critics here and there.) Wow, didn’t mean to throw so much shade towards the 916! So to even it out, I’ll mention the bad thing about living in Florida…..Well, Its 3000 miles away from my family…..That’s it. Okay fine and it doesn’t have In N Out or Spring….Fall…..Winter……which btw it’s killing me right now because I’m seeing all these cute sweater weather social media posts and I’m sitting in a sundress next to a store bought pumpkin…Do you know how much that sucks having to buy a pumpkin at the grocery store versus that traditional pumpkin picking on a farm?! Same goes for Christmas trees. Oh God don’t get me started on Christmas. I want to go chop down a tree in the forest not buy it at the parking lot of some plaza! So there are pros and cons to both places…But one thing I’ve realized, is…..
I’m always going to be homesick for a place that doesn’t exist.
Do you want to know what my perfect “HOME” would look like? My family and friends 3 miles down the road. An outdoor mall that has every store I love. Clubs, bars and restaurants open all hours of the night for when I have the urge to whip out my dancing shoes. Paradise in the summer. Vibrant yellow, red and orange streets covered in leaves in the fall. Curled up near a crackling fireplace watching Home Alone while theres a blizzard in the winter. Is that too much to ask for?!?!?
Things I Did In California
My family lives in Roseville (btw I LOVE the area.) I feel like everything is just a mile down the street! Anyway, it was so nice waking up to cool crisp air! Every single morning Luna and I enjoyed a fresh walk around the neighborhood. We ran into some turkeys, rabbits, chickens…its like theres no reason to go to the zoo. It was nice because my dad or mom took her some mornings to let me catch up on sleep. Other times we took a drive over to the Galleria Mall which has a little playground and going so early meant no annoying children running around! Luna had the entire place to herself. While my mom and I sipped our Starbucks coffee and gossiped….Then she would go down for her morning nap and I would catch up with my grandma or take a nap myself. Lunch time was always my favorite because that usually meant going to MIKUNI! I could live off the tuna sliders and albacore tuna! We often went to this place called “The Fountains.” AKA the spot for all Russian gatherings especially on a Sunday. It’s this cute little outside shopping plaza with a few stores, restaurants, and of course, the famous fountains. Its like the Bellagio Fountains in Vegas but MUCH smaller. Lets say its like if the Bellagio Fountains baby had a baby, that had a baby which then had another baby…. They have this super cute candy shop that I went to more than I should have….and I think I enjoyed the train ride more than Luna because all the people and cars stop for you. I just wanted to wave my hand around like a queen. Also, I desperately needed my hair done since I didn’t have time in Florida…mind you, I don’t trust anyone with my hair besides my lady Elizabeth at Sean Donaldson in Miami. Last thing I wanted to do was experiment with hair stylists in Sacramento. But I am so glad I walked into the Aveda Salon at the Fountains. The girl who did my hair did a fantastic job and now I know exactly who to go to if I happen to need my hair done when I visit. If you live in the area I highly recommend going there and asking for “Colleen.” And omg the chairs that you sit in while getting your hair washed, seriously the most comfortable chairs I’ve ever sat in…actually it wasn’t even sitting, I was fully laying down…put me right to sleep. BTW I’m not raving about any of these places because I’m getting paid lol I just genuinely want to give my feedback and share my experience… okay back to when I was beautifying myself….So yeah, I was definitely happy about my hair. Also, I got a chance to get a lash fill from the beautiful Glynnis who was my very first girl to do my lash extensions!!! Shout out to you Glynnis! If you are in need of a good esthetician, reach out to her! Her IG is @glynnis_lyons
We played at Top Golf a few times in the evenings and thats always a good time! I feel like if you don’t want to party but still want to dress up cute, run into your ex boyfriend, listen to music and have drinks then you go there…
Like many of you know by now I have a sweet tooth so when I went to this place called Bad Bakers in Roseville I couldn’t help myself from buying all the donuts with every flavor of jelly you could get that comes in a syringe you inject into the donut (that just sounded very sexual.)
Lets talk about pizza. When it comes to pizza, I’m a tough one to please because I use to work at a couple pizza places and I know a good pizza when I taste one. White sauce is the best!! My go to spot for pizza is…ready for it? PIZZA GUYS!!!!!! I swear their California Garlic Chicken is amazing!!! I add bacon bits, extra white sauce, and extra tomatos which makes it go from amazing to bombbbbb diggity diggity!!
So much for being that parent that said they wont give technology to their child…. lol Luna’s first time at the playground (7 months)
Stieber’s Sweet Shoppe at the Fountains in Roseville
Our Sweeeeeettt Little Girl! Look at that precious smile!
Drooling over those In N Out Burgers!
Train Ride at the Fountains in Roseville
Pretty sure my grandma and Luna are rocking the same bangs haha
On Our Morning Walks
Luna loves her grandpa! My dad and Mike both have that calm feel to them haha
Baby Girl Turned 7 Months When We Were There!
” You can’t mess with me when I’m with my Uncle Larry!”
This is a place that’s been a tradition for my family. I remember going there on a filed trip in Elementary School and we continued to go throughout the years. I love places like this because it really gets you in the mood for the season. Pumpkin picking, hay rides, corn maze, sunflowers, caramel apples. They have a little petting zoo, a few playgrounds for the little ones, carousel, train ride. Now they even have a zipline (really wish they had that when I was younger) lol so last year I actually came around the exact same time when I was 4 months pregnant with Luna! It was so weird coming back this year WITH LUNA! Taking her to this place made me realize how much she loves rides! I took her on the carousel and the guy who works there says “I’ve never seen a little baby her age enjoy the ride so much! They usually start crying and I need to stop it for them to get off.” I had to go on it twice with her because she wouldn’t want to get off the first time! And then the train ride toots its horn so loud it made me jump. Luna didn’t even get phased by it! lol
My brother Eric and I at Bishops Farm
Luna and Glamma! Really though, how stunning is my mom? Which btw, she isn’t wearing ANY MAKEUP!!!!!!
I went out 2 nights in Downtown Sacramento..I really don’t have much to say about the nightlife there lol I’ve learned not to have high expectations when it comes to clubs in Sacramento. But we did go to a spot called “The Flamingo House” which I actually really enjoyed!! It’s this small little place with a cool bar, music and the scene was very chill and loungey. There was also this place called “Cantina Alley” where they have such good authentic Mexican food! But the best thing on their menu is the margarita thats served in a watermelon and this slushy looking drink in a pineapple. I posted a photo on IG and everyone wanted to know where this deliciousness came from so once again, its called “Cantina Alley” in midtown Sacramento. I feel like places like this do so well in areas like Sac. If I was the owner of the Mix, or the Park I would really take a look into changing things around a bit. Utilize the space to create a cool lounge with great ambience and have something that will make everyone want to come back…like those margarita watermelons at Cantina Alley! But I get it, some of these places need to stay around for the ratchet girls who think being barefoot in the club is cute and the boys who just got out of high school vaping and sipping on their vodka tonic for hours.
San Francisco is only 2 hours away so my friend Bella, Mike and I decided to make a day out of it and go to the city to meet up with my long lost friend Jay who I haven’t seen in years! On the way over we stopped at a place called “Ketsourine Macarons.” I made it a point to come here because not only is the place super cute! But their ice cream and macarons are to die for! I mentioned I was a blogger and they were kind enough to gift me a box of macarons (on top of the 24 that I already bought.) I wasn’t kidding when I said I had a sweet tooth. I really wanted to do the little yellow go car tour around the city but I ended up getting super constipated (on the toilet for like an hour) so we missed the last time slot =( I owe Mike big time because he agreed to go to the macaron place if we did that go car tour….OMG and sooooo annoying but I REALLY wanted to go to that new Ice Cream Museum that just opened up but the minute the tickets went on sale they sold out immediately until DECEMBER!! Im coming back to California for Christmas so I purchased tickets for then…cant wait!!! I was super disappointed that we didn’t get to do the things we wanted too, but the day turned out great after we met up with Jay, grabbed drinks and dinner at a rooftop restaurant. Jay mentioned this show called Beach Blanket Babylon thats apparently the worlds longs running show. We get to the front door thinking we would buy our tickets right then and there…”UGH we only have one ticket left.” Said the guy at the counter. There was 4 of us! We were so bummed out, walked away and this lady runs after us screaming ” hey did you guys need tickets?!” We all responded “yes please!” She goes “we actually have 4 extra tickets and you guys can just have them!!” Seriously don’t you love hearing stories like this? Gives you hope that good people still exist. And what are the chances of her having EXACTLY 4 TICKETS?! Anyway we saw the show, it was hysterical! It’s basically about current events so when they made Kim Kardashian jokes I laughed my ass off but when it came to political jokes it was like crickets for me..Lets just say I mastered a fake laugh for when it came time to laugh at things I had no clue about…
Too bad I don’t have anymore photos from dinner and the show. We were all definitely drunk by that point…
Even though I’m not a fan of wine I still enjoy the history behind the place and uh duh because some of the best wine in the world comes from there. I decided to surprise my mom for her birthday and take her there. So it was my mom, my grandma, Mike, Luna and I. We did grape stomping at Grgich Hills Estate and even Luna got to stomp around! None of us had ever done it before so it was fun sharing this new experience together. At the end you get to step onto a shirt that says “I stomped in Napa Valley!” You get to keep that as a souvenir along with your wine cup! All for $35! So affordable! Now lets talk about the not so affordable hahaha dinner at Auberge du soleil….oh boy, I wish Mike could tell you guys the story. The way he would start off would be “I hate Liana.” Okay so a few people on IG recommended this restaurant for dinner but why did nobody warn me about the price!!!!!!!!!!!????????? I quickly browsed through the menu online, didn’t know what half the food was but the location and scenery of the place sold me. I called a week in advance to make the reservation and being that we had Luna, an earlier dinner worked best for us and apparently it was the only slot available until 3 weeks! The lady proceeds to say “Oh and we also need a credit card on file. Feel free to cancel 24 hours prior to dinner. But if you don’t then its $50 per person.” I thought okay whatever thats understandable since tables book up fast they just need to make sure people cancel on time so they can rebook the table. We start driving to the restaurant. Everybody starving!! Mike says pull up the menu again and read out a few things…I started reading “Osetra Caviar, Sautéed Foie Gras, Lobster Risotto…..” Mike doesn’t eat any seafood so he’s like “please tell me theres meat for me?!” I started scrambling around “AH HA! Japanese Wagyu A5! And a Prime Beef Pavé! (whatever the pavé means.)” Then something caught my attention, where the hell were the prices to these dishes?! I told Mike and he looked like he wanted to strangle me. He shouts “Liana if the prices aren’t on the menu its probably because its a set price dinner!!!!” I’m freaking out because I know what that means….dinner is going to cost more than our flight tickets lol Mike is mumbling to himself “damn! It wouldn’t be so bad if it was just you and I but we also got your mom, your grandma, and luna who won’t even let us enjoy this expensive dinner….shit its probably going to be like $75 per person…” It was too late to turn back because it would cost $200 for everyone to cancel plus we would still need to go eat somewhere else which would be another $200-300 so it wasn’t worth canceling at this point. We got seated with the menus placed in front of us…which confirmed it was indeed a “set priced dinner menu.” We had the option of picking the 3 course meal for $115 per person. A 4 course meal for $135 per person or a 6 course meal for $175. We couldn’t hold our jaws from dropping. Here Mike thought $75 AT THE WORST!!! Come to find out it starts from $115! Again, it wouldn’t have been that bad if it were just Mike and I out on date night. But also having my grandma, my mom AND LUNA there!? We made sure to lick those plates clean after each course! Omg and I’ll never forget what happened during my moms first course. She ordered soup. So this huge bowl comes out with 3 little pieces of bacon in the middle of it. She starts hysterically laughing! As the waitress stands there waiting to pour the soup in. My mom forgot she ordered soup and thought that this was her first course meal these 3 little pieces of bacon. She started laughing, my grandma started laughing and then I couldn’t hold myself back from laughing but also trying to spit the words out “mom she hasn’t poured in the soup!” So all 3 of us sat there like idiots laughing. Im not joking after a good minute the lady says “can I continue?” Then my moms light bulb went off and she realized the waitress was not finished presenting the first course meal to her. Anyway….overall we had a great evening! Yes it cost a little too much, but the price means nothing when seeing how absolutely grateful and intrigued by everything my mom and grandma were.
This by far is the most memorable place for me. I literally got emotional as I walked into the amusement park. As a little girl I use to go to Funderland all the time. I have so many memories there, and fast forward 20 years later… I get to bring my daughter there. Its amazing how places like this stay in business for so long. I hope they continue running this cute little park because they have people like me who cherish it dearly. I made my mom go through hundreds of albums to find photos of me when I was little at the park..and compare them to the trip with Luna. A few rides have been tweaked here and there (obviously for safety) but they still all stayed the same… Like my absolute favorite, DRAGON RIDE. Omg even years later its still scary and so fun! haha Luna isn’t old enough to ride it yet but I’ll be taking her on it in a few years! =) Speaking of Luna and rides, this little girl might be a dare devil. At one point Mike and I had to take turns going with her on the rides because we were getting so dizzy!
Until Next Time Sac Town!
It was so sad having to say goodbye to my mom at the airport, she cried, then Luna cried, then I cried! It was an overwhelming emotional domino effect. Pretty sure mike cried too but he acted like something was in his eye. Sacramento will always be my home. I was raised there and everywhere I go brings back so many memories. Like I said before, I wouldn’t want to live there again but visiting every 3 months would be ideal =D Now if I could just convince Mike on that plan lol
Also, I got the chance to run into some amazing people who recognized me from social media and I just want to say thank you all for being so sweet and not being shy to come up and say hi! It made my day when people would recognize Luna and want to give her a hug. She loved the attention! I hope when I come from Christmas I get to hang out with the people I really wanted too!! My time there is just so limited so I try to spend as much time as I can with family… But theres a few of you who I really wanted to catch up with (you know who you are) I’ll do my best to see you all in December! <3
Back In Florida
Its been about 2 week since we’ve come back from our long 3 week vacation in California. The second we landed and got to our house I cried. Everything just seemed so quiet. My brother Larry isn’t there convincing me to check out his cool car, my mom isn’t singing songs in Russian to Luna, my grandma isn’t cooking piroshki, and my dad isn’t lecturing me like he always does…Second day it was still a little hard, but the third, forth and fifth day got much easier. A few beach days made me realize how blessed we are to live in such a beautiful place. I was sad to see so many trees, and buildings messed up after the hurricane but I thank God for keeping our house safe with minimal damage. And the most important part, my family and friends were OK.