A Masterpiece of Nature: The California Redwood

The California Redwood, 1200-1800 years old, growing taller than 300 feet, is a true masterpiece of nature. *** The tallest tree in the world, at 379 feet, is a California Redwood (Sequoia Sempervirens). *** Photo taken July 30th, 2013 San Mateo Memorial Park Where the tallest tree is 225 feet, and 1600 years old. *** WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge:  Masterpiece Continue reading A Masterpiece of Nature: The California Redwood

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San Francisco East Bay: 10 Great Paved Trails for Stroller Walks, Runs and Kid Bike Rides

The San Francisco East Bay has an abundance of paved trails, all excellent for stroller walks, runs and bike rides with the kids.  Here are ten of my favorites! Nimitz Way, Inspiration Point, Tilden Regional Park:  This was a favorite of ours during our stroller-walking days.  The trail over rolling hills begins at the Inspiration Point parking lot, on Wildcat Canyon Road (between Orinda and … Continue reading San Francisco East Bay: 10 Great Paved Trails for Stroller Walks, Runs and Kid Bike Rides

Hike / Trail Run: Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park

In the coming months, I’m going to be trying out trail runs throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Most of these trails will be great for both hikers and trail runners. My personal form of trail running is a combination of both (I prefer to hike the hills and run the flats, rollers and downhill sections). However, I’ve become bored with covering the same terrain … Continue reading Hike / Trail Run: Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park

Animal Fun! Sulphur Creek Nature Center, Hayward

I’ve been wanting to write about the Sulphur Creek Nature Center for a long time now.  When my son was two and three, we visited the center regularly for their awesome toddler wildlife classes (for 1-3 year-olds).  I found it was the best place in the San Francisco East Bay to give my son hands-on wildlife experiences.  In each class, the children are introduced to … Continue reading Animal Fun! Sulphur Creek Nature Center, Hayward

Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgic

We visited my parents this weekend, who still live in the home where I was raised.  Whenever we visit, my son likes to play with my old childhood toys.  This one is a classic, the Fisher-Price “Play Family Sesame Street”.  I loved this set!  This will clearly date me, but this toy was only produced from 1975 to 1979.  Watching my 6-year-old play with the … Continue reading Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgic

Solar Cooking Science: Melting Marshmallows

We had a bit of fun on Friday afternoon, melting marshmallows to make s’mores, using the Thames & Kosmos Solar Cooking Science kit. After a week of higher than 100 degree Fahrenheit heat, the weather finally cooled down to a high of 80 degrees on Friday…. cool enough for us to head outside for a solar energy experiment. First, we built the solar oven provided … Continue reading Solar Cooking Science: Melting Marshmallows

Camping: Ben Ries Campground, Butano State Park

I’m frequently asked what my favorite campground is near the Bay Area.  My answer is always, “the one at Butano State Park, just outside of Pescadero, in the Santa Cruz Mountains”  We’ve been camping at Ben Ries Campground in the park every summer for several years now, and it’s become a family tradition.  The small campground, tucked away in the redwoods, is extremely popular with … Continue reading Camping: Ben Ries Campground, Butano State Park

Organic Olallieberry U-Pick: Swanton Berry Farm, Pescadero

In addition to offering an organic strawberry u-pick, Swanton Berry Farms also grows fields of olallieberries and blackberries.  During our visit to the Pescadero area last week, we incorporated a bit of organic olallieberry picking. Curious what an olallieberry is?  It’s kind of like a cross between a blackberry and a raspberry, but not quite (it’s truly a cross between a loganberry and a youngberry).  … Continue reading Organic Olallieberry U-Pick: Swanton Berry Farm, Pescadero

Organic Strawberry U-Pick: Swanton Berry Farm, Davenport

Gotta love freshly picked organic strawberries!!  And it’s all the more fun when we pick the berries ourselves.  Strawberry picking at Swanton Berry Farm has become a beloved June tradition for us. Interested in going?  The actual picking season (and location) varies slightly each year, so check the Swanton Berry Farm website for current details… U-Pick.  This year (2013), the strawberry u-pick is located at … Continue reading Organic Strawberry U-Pick: Swanton Berry Farm, Davenport