Annual Road Trip: California Coast

I am so sorry for the radio silence this past week!

To be completely honest, while I am loving the world of blogging, I’m still getting the hang of writing posts every day and finding ways to push through the occasional writer’s block.  I also found it a bit difficult to post while on the road.

This past week, Brent and I took some time off work and drove down to Southern California to enjoy the 4th of July holiday, Brent’s birthday and my dad’s wedding in Newport Beach.  Since Brent’s birthday is July 1, and therefore always during a holiday week, we have made it our annual tradition to take the full week off and take a road trip.  In the past we’ve toured Oregon, seen the Grand Canyon, visited Death Valley in 110 degree weather and camped in Lake Tahoe.

The choice was obvious as to where we would be driving this year because of the wedding, but we had a wonderful trip  visiting with friends and family and then took our time driving back and stopping along the beautiful California coast.  We ended up getting back up to the Bay Area a couple of days before the 4th and took some day trips the rest of the week.

IMG_1747We visited our dear friends Jenna and Avery while on the trip and Jenna baked created this beautiful donut cake for Brent’s birthday!

IMG_1751Per Avery’s recommendation, we stopped at Bates Road and enjoyed the scenery.
IMG_1759Brent enjoying a fine brew from Firestone Brewery during his birthday dinner.

IMG_2985 IMG_1763We then headed to PCH to visit the beautiful Hearst Castle and lounged at the Neptune pool.

IMG_3080And we finished our road trip by visiting one of our favorite places on the planet, the Julia Pfeiffer State Park just south of Big Sur.

I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July weekend.  Although we already miss our vacation days, I’m happy to be back and writing!

Summer Time!

swing

I don’t mind admitting that I have a mild case of self-diagnosed OCD.   What event planner doesn’t suffer triumph from this right?  I’m detail oriented, organized and can’t get through life without a checklist, usually color-coded.   So since it was officially the first day of summer last Friday, I thought it was only appropriate to compile a list of all of my summer “to-dos.”

  1. Go camping in the Redwoods
  2. Master the skill of BBQing and make these and these
  3. Rent bikes and go for a ride along the coast
  4. Get in the habit of reading one book a month
  5. Hang twinkle lights in our patio and eat outside every chance we get
  6. Try out different workout classes to see what’s right for me.  I’m most interested in spinning and boxing so far, but the list is endless.  I even own a pair of these.
  7. Truly make yoga a part of my life. I feel so great when I practice; I’m not sure why I haven’t made it a daily habit.
  8. Re-institute Sunday day trips
  9. Host a picnic in the park with friends following a few games of bocce
  10. Visit at least three wineries in beautiful Northern Cali. Wine country, starting with this one

And the bonus to do….

11.   Learn to slow down, smell the roses and enjoy the scenery.

photo via Clement Demarquet

Summer Solstice and Weekend Plans

Summer_solstice_stonehengeHappy First day of Summer!  I hope you all have amazing plans this weekend filled with lots of outdoor activities!  Which reminds me, Brent and I REALLY need to get a BBQ.  He cleaned our back porch and we now have room.  Hooray!

This weekend we don’t have too many set plans other than a dinner with friends at Piperade tomorrow night.  We might also try and get some pool time and drink a few of these in honor of the solstice.  A Sunday day trip over to Santa Cruz for a hike on the beach might be in order as well. This one looks fun and we can take Daisy!

Here are some other fun things happening around the Bay:

I swear we will make it to next year’s Sierra Nevada Music Festival.  I’ve been wanting to go FOREVER!

If you’re in the East Bay and in need of a little culture, check out the 10th Annual Berkeley World Music Festival.

Film of the Month:  Where the Wild Things Are at the Disney Museum.  And while you are there, you should check out the Down the Rabbit Hole exhibit.

Brent misses surfing in Florida and down in the (tad-bit) warmer So. Cal waters.  It might be too cold up here, but we can watch from the shore at the 19th Annual Surf City Classic in Santa Cruz

Last week I mentioned the SF Jazz Festival and now Stanford is kicking off their season with Herbie Hancock.

And here’s whats happening around the World:

Countries around the world are celebrating the Summer Solstice.  This morning, There was a particularly large celebration happening at Stonehenge.

Have a wonderful weekend!

photo courtesy of Bugbog

Music Festivals and Weekend Plans

bonnaroo

So sorry for the late post today everyone! It’s been one of those days.  So what’s everyone up to this weekend?

Tomorrow, I’ll be having brunch in the cute town of Burlingame with a couple of my girlfriends.  It’ll be nice to sit back, catch up and have a couple of mimosas. On Sunday, I’ll be working Commencement for Stanford University.  Have I mentioned I work for Stanford?  Seriously, it’s the best job ever.   I’m excited to see all those bright-eyed students accepting their diplomas ready to take on the world.

Happy Father’s Day to all those wonderful dads out there!

If you’re looking for something fun to do, or perhaps somewhere to take dear ol’ dad,  there’s lots going on in the bay this weekend.

We’re a few days into the SF Jazz Festival, but you have until the 23rd of this month to check it out.

If you’re out in the East Bay, be sure to check out the Martinez BBQ festival.  We hunt down BBQ every chance we get in our house.

The 2013 Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic is on Sunday. You have to be up pretty early, but I hear it’s quite the spectacle.

The 59th Annual North Beach Festival is this Sunday.  I love street festivals, so we might try and make it up here after Commencement.

We hardly pass up a free music festival, especially when in a great location like Stern Grove.  Don’t worry if you can’t make it this Sunday, it’ll be happening all summer long.

And finally, Summer always equals fun movie nights in the park.  I’m happy to see that also happens in Dolores Park.  This week’s pick is Indiana Jones.

And around the world:

Three major music festivals are happening this weekend!  If you find yourself in this corner of the world, or perhaps getting an early start on fun plans for next summer, make sure to check these out.

Sonar – Barcelona

Bonnaroo Tennessee   (photo via Wired)

Download Fest – England

p.s.  My friend, Emily just told me that there will be free beer (for dads) at Steins in Mountain View for Father’s Day.  Brent and I will be drinking one for our dad’s there!

Travel Bug

Last night, Brent and I had dinner with our friends at Figo in Palo Alto.  Isn’t the name of the restaurant fun to say?  It makes me want to throw my hands up and say Figo with a thick accent like how a little old Italian man would say it.

Over some La Fin du Monde beers and a Bulleit Old Fashioned (which our server called the mullet) we started discussing and dreaming about upcoming travel plans.  I have had the travel itch for a while now, since it’s been several years since I’ve been out of the country.  My last trip was to Costa Rica and that was almost 7 years ago! And confession: Brent has NEVER been out of the country (except to TJ which really doesn’t count).

So now comes the fun part: Where do we go?  Should we do a European vacation(we’re thinking starting in Amsterdam, then traveling to Belgium, Germany and ending in Prague) or perhaps take a trip to Southeast Asia and go to Thailand and Indonesia?  How about staying a little closer to home and going to Vancouver or taking an Alaskan cruise?  And then again there’s always my favorite place in the world, Paris!

Where do you think would be the best place to visit for someone new to traveling?

Here are a few photos of the beautiful world we live in that are at the top of my list.

Thailand Belgium  Italy

From top to bottom (Ko Thao, Thaliand via ThatBohemianGirl), a tree tunnel in Belgium, Lake Sauris, Fruili, Italy)

Grease Sing-A-Long

grease03Do you ever think about what it would be like to live in a different era?

Yesterday, a few fabulous ladies and I got together to go to the Grease Sing-A-Long at the Castro Theatre, which was amazing, by the way, and I highly recommend it!

It got us thinking of how cool it would be to live in that era, where friends meet up every day after school/work at a diner and drink strawberry milkshakes and attend sock hops on a regular basis.

What era would you liked to have lived in?

I wouldn’t mind living in the 40’s

40s fashion

or 60’s

70s especially because of the fashion!

Karneval and weekend plans

Karneval 2013

My weekend is starting off with some exciting plans.  A few of my best gals and I have reservations at State Bird Provisions tonight.  Not only did my friend, Laura have to make these reservations 6 weeks ago, but she had to make them at 6am, exactly 6 weeks out.  I guess that’s how it goes when you wine and dine at the Best New Restaurant in the US. On Saturday, Brent and I are excited to finally check out the Palo Alto Farmers Market, which had it’s grand opening last weekend.  Later, we’ll head to a nice dinner with  some of our newest friends, a lovely couple that we’ve met since we moved up North.   Have a great weekend!

Here are a few other fun things going on around the Bay:

Napa Strawberry Festival with a wine and chocolate tasting portion too!

Spring Dog Festival.  I love that there is a festival totally geared toward my four-legged pup, Daisy.

Bay to Breakers is 102 years old on Sunday.

And around the world:

Berlin Karneval is this weekend!

photo courtesy of: Karneval-Berlin