Mount Diablo State Park

I hope all of you amazing moms had a wonderful Mother’s Day! The past couple of years, I’ve spent Mother’s Day at my daughter’s volleyball tournaments. It’s not my favorite way to spend Mother’s Day, being inside a convention center with absolutely nothing resembling a Mother’s Day brunch, and hundreds of cheering fans – NOT … More Mount Diablo State Park

Russian River and Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve

Celebrating milestone birthdays gives us an excuse to do something a bit out of the norm, to go ahead and splurge a little because it’s always good to celebrate life. My mother-in-law celebrated her (mumble, mumble)th birthday by renting a house in Healdsburg right on the Russian River and kindly invited all of us family … More Russian River and Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve

Sunset Bike Ride on the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail

When a trail is described as “one of the top bike trails in the nation,””world-renowned,” or the “jewel of Sacramento” I just have to check it out for myself. The Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail (also called the American River Parkway) located in the Sacramento area is a paved 32-mile trail that parallels the American River … More Sunset Bike Ride on the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail

Hearst Castle, a California State Historical Monument

We love to be active and enjoy the outdoors, but hiking is not necessarily the activity of choice when we get together with grandparents. No problem, there are plenty of outdoor activities we can all enjoy. One of our favorite excursions that we took with my in-laws was a trip to San Simeon on the central … More Hearst Castle, a California State Historical Monument

October Day Trip Along the California Coast: Apples and Monarchs

October is one of my favorite months. The craziness that is September has passed and things have settled into a nice rhythm. My daughter has gotten used to her school routines, the weather has cooled down and beautiful, orange pumpkins are everywhere. October for our family is when middle school volleyball season is in full swing … More October Day Trip Along the California Coast: Apples and Monarchs

Camping in California’s Oldest State Park

Location: Big Basin State Park, California Directions: Big Basin is located about 1.5 hrs (65 miles) south of San Francisco and about 40 minutes (25 miles) north of Santa Cruz via Highway 9 and 236. Campground: Huckleberry Campground Fee: $35/night Ever since I heard about the Berry Creek Falls loop hike at Big Basin State Park with … More Camping in California’s Oldest State Park

Sunset State Beach

Location: Sunset State Beach, California Directions: 16 miles south of Santa Cruz (from Hwy 1, take Andreas Rd exit to Sunset Beach Rd) Day-use fee: $10 Parking: end of Shell Road Date: April 2016 We have been coming to Sunset State Beach for years now. We discovered it one day when we were checking out beaches south … More Sunset State Beach

Salt Point State Park

Location: Salt Rock State Park, California (off of Hwy 1, about 90 miles north of San Francisco) Campground: Lower Woodside campground, $35/night (first come first serve during non peak season, reserveamerica.com up to 7 months in advance during peak season May-Sept) Hike: Prairie loop trail (4 miles) Trip Date: November 2015 We love to travel right before … More Salt Point State Park