Old Sacramento in the cool morning

This time of year marks the time of year in Sacramento where it’s too hot to do much of anything outdoors unless it’s bright and early in the morning. So, baby bulldog and I headed for Old Sacramento to watch the old steam trains. We had a nice little walk through old town enjoying the architecture and trains and fresh air. While old town is totally commercial and touristy I’ve been visiting my entire life and never get tired of it unless it’s too crowded. I look forward to taking my son here many more times over the years to explore Sacramento history and to just travel back in time for a few hours at a time.

Mission San Rafael

California is speckled with Missions. Each and everyone one is different in size, color and current level of rehabilitation. They are a lot of fun to visit and a good excuse for a drive. My parents even took their honeymoon in 1969 visiting various missions up and down California. I’m not sure how popular that is now-a-days to do so. But, it’s a good excuse to drive the state and see what there is to see and visit everything in between. Mission San Rafael is clearly the recipient of a lot of love because it looks like new! #PINK I’ve always fancied trying to visit every mission. With any luck one day I’ll have them all checked off the list!

Wide Open Walls 916

The Wide Open Walls 916 festival is about to kick off again in Sacramento and I’m totally excited! I very much enjoyed visiting the various locations throughout Sacramento since last summer mural viewing and can’t wait to see what the artists come up with for this year’s festival. The art freshens up boring or run down buildings. It gives people an excuse to visit buildings or parts of town perhaps they wouldn’t normally. It freshens up areas of town and brings new energy. Somehow it makes me feel like my humble town has “finally arrived!”

Stay tuned for new murals big and small! Click here for previous posts on lots of exciting local art.

BULLDOG!!!!!!

Lands End Labyrinth – San Francisco

Ever wonder what’s at the end of the world?  Well, at Land’s End in San Francisco Bay, it’s a labyrinth and an amazing view of the most iconic bridge in the world…the Golden Gate.  I’ve been visiting this city for a long time and only just heard about this labyrinth.  Where has it been all this time?  I had to go check it out.  And check it out I did in the same high heels I used to go shopping earlier int he day.  Readers, I risked my ankles for you!  You are welcome! 😉

The labyrinth can be accessed most easily by parking at the Legion of Honor and walking on the cart path north towards the Golden Gate Bridge through the golf course.  The path will lead to the labyrinth but it also navigates around the entire peninsula making for a splendid sea walk.  The path is not handicap accessible.  If you plan it right stop for a visit at the Legion of Honor which is worth a look any day of the week!  Eat there at their lovely café or top it off for some Clam Chowder by Ubering to the Cliff House overlooking Ocean Beach at sunset.

California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park

I have posted about Golden Gate Park in San Francisco before but there is even more to talk about.  The California Academy of Sciences is a world class science center which proves entertaining for adults and children.  I was visiting the sites nearby and had a few hours to kill and thought it would be a fun stop. It’s been a few years since I last visited and the dinosaurs were visiting this time around!

One of my favorite features is the living roof which is reminiscent of a hobbit house being bulbous with port hole windows. From the roof one can see 360 degree views of the spacious and green park and get a burst of sea air.

Next on the list of my favorites is the indoor rain forest.  No time to travel south of the equator? Come here and see some lovely tress, flowers, birds, frogs, and butterflies native to the world’s rain forests.  Science center guides are available to educate children on butterfly and bird species and their habitats.

Not enough for you?  Head downstairs to a spacious and impressive aquarium where the littles can touch sea creatures in a tide pool and walk under the fish tanks. Don’t forget a visit to the famous albino alligator on your way out of the natural history museum area.  And bring a picnic because there is no better place to sit and enjoy the sunshine in the City by the Bay!

Don’t miss this wonderful stop on your next trip to San Francisco!

Bodega Bay’s Kortum Trail

My husband and I and friends have been camping in Bodega Bay for years and years. We typically camp on the beach in the Sonoma Coast State Parks which is pretty darn glorious. During many of those trips we hiked portions of the Kortum trail which parallels the coast for approximately 5 miles round trip. The mild and maintained trail connects Wright’s Beach all the way to Blind Beach.

Since baby made his arrival in my life two years ago we haven’t been back to the beach or the trail. So finally my Mom and son and I spent the weekend visiting the area and I took the opportunity here to show you some views from the trail. One can see magnificent views of the ocean, beautiful rock outcroppings, lovely wild flowers, seals, birds, rabbits, and sunsets. iPhone photos but hopefully I get the point across.

It frankly does not get much better than this friends.

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Salmon Creek Art Walk, Bodega Bay

While visiting Bodega Bay recently we stayed on Salmon Creek.  The tiny community hosted the Salmon Creek Art walk in part due to a large number of resident artists and secondly due to the sheer beauty of the area and its relationship in general to art.  While baby and my Mom were napping I snuck away and visited a few of the art walk locations and have posted a few of the more “interesting” finds.  A surprising number of people walked up and down the hills looking for the various locations and enjoying the architecture and landscape.  I particularly enjoyed getting perspective in to the interior of some of these adorable and eclectic beach homes.

 

Fisherman’s Fest – Bodega Bay

Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Fest occurred recently in coastal Bodega Bay, California.  The festival was a fun little stop while in town with my mother and son.  There was something for everyone.  The fest started with a blessing of the fleet, crafts, and tons of seafood.  There were bounce houses, dog parades, and tide pools for the tots.  The festival even boasted a contest for groups to build and navigate a wooden boat in only a few hours.  Naturally the coast guard is on hand for anyone who sunk!  Sadly naptime conflicted with timing so we didn’t get to enjoy watching all of the sailors compete in their handmade boats or go for a very cool swim when they failed.  However, we were able to watch a coast guard rescue demonstration with divers in the ocean and a helicopter adeptly plucking people and dropping them to safety.

Di Rosa – Modern Art in Napa

Di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art is not your average stop in Napa.  The art is serious and IT.IS.LARGE.  The grounds are lovely.  Wine is nowhere to be found (except for the vines on the property) which is welcome in a place where stopping at one winery about hits my max these days.

Di Rosa is highlighting the largest collection (over 100 pieces) of art by Viola Frey in one exhibition ever. Many many pieces were on display including her larger than life pieces in living 80’s color. Most of the pieces are ceramic ranging in size and purpose.

The exhibition space is spectacular.  Be sure to come early since they close at 4 p.m. and one must be shuttled to the exhibition space.  I was lucky visiting during the week as I was the only visitor and had the entire place to myself save one security guard.

Napa has some world class art happening which perhaps could be taken more seriously if everyone wasn’t so tipsy all the time. 😉

My favorite installation is below.  Something about a swinging angel was entertaining and not expected.  And what’s not cool about a random car hanging from a tree?

Below are the grounds and the main exhibition space with some pretty wild and colorful pieces.

Come enjoy Napa.  There is something here for everyone.  Cheers!

Random Napa

A lot of people go to Napa for the wine. Some come to shop or to visit the spas and places of healing. Many come for the outstanding world class food. I second all of those reasons. But this trip I came for the fresh air. I came for the antique stores and the art. (More of that later)  Mostly I came to get some fresh air.

A life-size corkscrew must bring a smile to your face.  And who doesn’t love a good tree lined drive?  What about a converted gas station wine tasting room?

I also wanted to see the burn area from the recent and devastating fires.  If you look close in a few of the photos you will see a lovely and charming country winery scene. But if you look close the hill behind the winery is the fire line and miles and miles behind it burned along with much of what was in its path. Many moons ago I presented my dissertation at the Mayacamas Ranch which sadly was lost in the fire.  They vow to rebuild and I wish them luck because their place was spectacular.  Its been a little while since the fire so green is growing but all of the trees are dead and much devastation still exists.  And a lot of building…