Goats! Harley Farms, Pescadero

I have a weakness for goat cheese, so as soon as I heard about Harley Farms Goat Dairy in Pescadero (and their award-winning goat cheese), I added the farm to our “must-visit” list.  After our visit this past week, I’m glad we did… and we’ll definitely be going back! During this trip, we simply walked around the grounds and shopped for cheese in the excellent … Continue reading Goats! Harley Farms, Pescadero

Rock City: Mount Diablo State Park

Love this place!! Great for both kids and adults… huge sandstone rock formations to climb, small caves to explore, gorgeous views, fun hiking trails… what’s not to like?? You’ll find Rock City in Mount Diablo State Park, on South Gate Road, near the Live Oak Campground.  For more information about Mount Diablo, visit the website… Mount Diablo State Park. Photos from our visit, June 21st … Continue reading Rock City: Mount Diablo State Park

Yoda Statue: Lucasfilm Headquarters, San Francisco

For my young Padawan, we made the pilgrimage to the Lucasfilm Headquarters in the Presidio to see the life-sized Yoda statue…. Photos taken June 20th, 2013 *** Interested in going?  You’ll find the Yoda fountain in front of the Lucasfilm Headquarters, located in the Presidio, at 1 Letterman Drive, San Francisco.  There is a security guard in the parking lot.  Simply tell them you’re there … Continue reading Yoda Statue: Lucasfilm Headquarters, San Francisco

Camping: San Mateo Memorial Park

OK, I have to admit, I absolutely love camping and hiking in the redwoods.  There’s something about those trees… so huge, ancient, beautiful, peaceful.  I already have a few favorite campgrounds located in the coastal redwoods, but now I have a new one to add to my list… San Mateo Memorial Park, located in the mountains above Pescadero, between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz.  … Continue reading Camping: San Mateo Memorial Park

Bay Area Train Rides: Niles Canyon Railway

Love trains?  Check out this railway with beautiful views located in the San Francisco East Bay…. the Niles Canyon Railway.  You have the option to board in Sunol or Niles for a round trip (out and back) trip.  We rode on the “Education Train”, which is popular with school groups, but other excursions that look fun include the Spring Wildflower Trains and Livermore Valley Wine … Continue reading Bay Area Train Rides: Niles Canyon Railway

Hike: Lower Cathedral Lake, Yosemite

It’s official… my son has truly become a hiker!  While in Yosemite over the weekend, we decided to let our kindergartener choose which alpine lake we’d hike to… one that would require a three mile, a five-mile, or a seven-mile round-trip hike.  He excitedly exclaimed, “The seven mile one!”  We gave him a few chances to back out of his decision, but he was firm.  … Continue reading Hike: Lower Cathedral Lake, Yosemite

Sausalito: San Francisco Bay-Delta Model

Apparently, back in the 1950’s, engineers were considering building two dams in the San Francisco Bay to create fresh water reservoirs, right in the bay.  Luckily, the US Army Corps of Engineers decided it would be a good idea to study the potential impacts that such a huge undertaking might have, both environmentally and economically, on the surrounding communities.  So, in 1957, they built the … Continue reading Sausalito: San Francisco Bay-Delta Model

New Experience: Travel by Train

In 2013, I’m going to steal an idea from Danielle over at 52 Brand New.  If you haven’t checked out this blog and you have kids, I recommend you visit it soon.   Each week, Danielle writes about an experience that’s brand new to her children.  It’s a fun, inspiring blog!  Check it out… 52brandnew.com. Now, I don’t intend to try out something new each week, … Continue reading New Experience: Travel by Train

Crissy Field, San Francisco

On Monday morning, my husband and I went for a run out at Crissy Field in San Francisco (while our so rode his bike).  This is my absolute favorite spot to run in the Bay Area.  Luckily, it’s also an awesome trail for kids to ride bikes!  I took a couple photos from the East Beach parking lot before heading out on our run… The … Continue reading Crissy Field, San Francisco

Devils Postpile National Monument

If you’re ever in the Eastern Sierras near Mammoth Lakes, you’ve gotta check out Devils Postpile.  This place is incredible, and unlike anywhere else I’ve visited in California.  The only other place I can personally compare it to is the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland.  Both places have these fascinating basalt hexagonal columns.  You have to see them to truly appreciate them. What’s so special … Continue reading Devils Postpile National Monument

South Tufa Trail, Mono Lake

On Friday, during our trip to the Eastern Sierras, we enjoyed a hike on the South Tufa Trail at Mono Lake, California.  This is a short, flat 1-2 mile trail, perfect for kids, with a lot to see…. fun limestone rock formations, a salt-water lake, views of the Sierra Nevada mountains to the west, ancient volcanoes on the north and east, and sagebrush everywhere.  Gorgeous… … Continue reading South Tufa Trail, Mono Lake

Butterfly, The Fen, Yosemite Valley

Quite a few of these beautiful butterflies were fluttering around “The Fen” in Yosemite Valley on Saturday morning. Haven’t heard of “The Fen”?  It’s one of my favorite little spots in Yosemite Valley.  It’s a short boardwalk trail through a marsh.  If you follow the trail from the Happy Isles shuttle stop to the Nature Center (open May through September), you’ll find the trail off … Continue reading Butterfly, The Fen, Yosemite Valley

Butterflies, California Academy of Sciences

On Monday, my son and I enjoyed a fun visit to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.  It was our last outing before his first day of school.  I think the highlight of this visit was the baby ostriches!  So many, and so cute!!   My son also wanted to go into the Earthquake Exhibit again (something he said he NEVER wanted to do … Continue reading Butterflies, California Academy of Sciences

Point Reyes Lighthouse

A highlight of any visit to Point Reyes National Seashore, on the California coast, thirty miles north of San Francisco, is the Point Reyes Lighthouse.  Growing up, my family would visit here every January to watch the migrating gray whales.  Assuming a clear day, the views from here are incredible!  The lighthouse is located on the tip of the Point Reyes Peninsula, which extends ten … Continue reading Point Reyes Lighthouse

10 Things To Do In Yosemite Valley With Little Kids

I’ve been visiting Yosemite National Park my entire life.  My adventures there began at a young age, with my first backpacking trip at three, followed by many more family camping, hiking, and backpacking trips throughout my childhood.  As an adult, I’ve regularly visited the park three-four times per year.  Before having a child, Yosemite, to me, was all about hiking and getting as far away … Continue reading 10 Things To Do In Yosemite Valley With Little Kids

Celebrating the Summer Solstice, Part 1, Shorebird Park, Berkeley

We celebrated the Summer Solstice yesterday with two awesome nature outings. The first? Beach play with friends at Shorebird Park in Berkeley. I’ve been wanting to visit this park for a while now, as this is where the famous Adventure Playground (considered by National Geographic to be one of the top ten playgrounds in the U.S.) is located. We didn’t make it to that playground … Continue reading Celebrating the Summer Solstice, Part 1, Shorebird Park, Berkeley

Strawberry Picking Fun! Swanton Berry Farm U-Pik

As part of our annual summer camping trip to Butano State Park, our tradition is to go strawberry picking at our favorite organic u-pik farm, Swanton Berry Farm, located just south of Pescadero (or north of Santa Cruz).  This is an easy day trip from the Bay Area, and great to incorporate into a visit to Ano Nuevo State Park or Pigeon Point Lighthouse. What’s … Continue reading Strawberry Picking Fun! Swanton Berry Farm U-Pik

Sticky post

First Time Camping with Kids? 5 Tips!

It’s that time of year when parents with young children are beginning to plan that very first camp trip with their young child.  Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve read a ton of articles about camping with kids.  What can possible be added to the discussion?  I have a few extra tips for that very first overnight camp trip specific to camping with … Continue reading First Time Camping with Kids? 5 Tips!

The Arboretum at UC Santa Cruz

For Mother’s Day, I wanted to explore someplace new with my husband and our son.  I reviewed my “to-see” list, considered outings in the Marin Headlands and San Francisco, and decided, instead, that it would be a great day for a visit to The Arboretum at the University of California Santa Cruz.   And I’m so glad we did! The collections at The Arboretum are … Continue reading The Arboretum at UC Santa Cruz

Urbia Adventure # 1: Treasure in the Hills of San Francisco

Aargh, Batman… there’s treasure in yonder hills!  OK, so pirate speak and Batman don’t really go together, but I can’t seem to get my little one out his Batman raincoat these days… not even for a bit of treasure seeking.  We had an unexpected break in the rain today, so we drove into San Francisco to experience our first Urbia adventure.  For those who missed … Continue reading Urbia Adventure # 1: Treasure in the Hills of San Francisco

Urbia Adventures: Exploring Nature in San Francisco

A friend recently told me about some fun-looking educational treasure hunting booklets created and sold through the Urbia Adventure League. These booklets were created based upon the concept of letterboxing (which I wrote about last week), but add so much more. Each booklet has at least ten pages packed full of information and activities designed to provide the child (family or class) with a two-hour … Continue reading Urbia Adventures: Exploring Nature in San Francisco