I woke up to a strangely quiet house today as my husband and daughter are away visiting the grandparents.  I took my time cleaning Ellie's room and what began as a chore turned into an exercise of gratitude.  Seeing her presence in everything I pick up, her old toys that she once loved, her pajamas... Continue Reading →


Montmartre was a haven of struggling artists back in the day.  Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh...all have lived, worked, or socialized here--at Le Consulat or La Maison Rose--some point in time.  However, thanks to the fame of Amelie, Montmartre is also extremely popular with the tourists today.  Our hotel was right next to the Moulin Rouge,... Continue Reading →

Bonjour Paris!

It's been 10 years since I was last in Paris and the city was even more beautiful than I remembered.  Walking all day among gorgeous Haussmannian architecture, lavishly landscaped gardens, through museum after museum, across bridge after bridge, my senses were bombarded with beauty.  I loved wandering around the city, seeing how each arrondissement had... Continue Reading →

Plumas-Eureka Camping

Our Labor Day camping trip this year was at an old gold mining site in the Plumas National Forest.  There are still lots of old cabins and shacks standing shuttered and ghostly in the forest around our campsite.  Whenever I think of the gold rush the song My Darling Clementine comes to mind.  It's a... Continue Reading →

Top 15 Things to Do With Kids in the Bay Area

All things that go! Riding the ferry Riding the cable cars Riding BART Riding the Tilden Steam Train   Museums!  Chabot Science Center - Planetarium movies are the best! Habitots Bay Area Discovery Museum Children's Creativity Museum Oakland's Fairyland! More places:  Berkeley Adventure Playground   Oakland Zoo Jean Sweeney Open Space Park - awesome new... Continue Reading →

Summer Mood

It's September and school has officially started and I'm about to go back to work at the end of the month, yet these warm sunny days that have finally come to the Bay are fooling me into thinking that summer is still here... Here are a few snapshots of those slow summer days already past.

Summer in Lake Tahoe

One of our goals of this trip was to do a few short day hikes on the PCT.  After hiking all these years in the Sierras, I've come to the conclusion that the most scenic trail is by far the Pacific Crest Trail.  Every time we've hiked a segment of it, I get blown away... Continue Reading →

A Garden Grows in LA

Somehow it always feels like a vacation when we "escape" the fog of the Bay Area and come down to visit my parents in LA.  The sun doesn't hide around here and it's always the perfect temperature for splash pads, pools, and the beach.  All of which are on our to-do list. But the best... Continue Reading →

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