On my to-do list: Northern California hiking spots

The weather has been beautiful here in Northern California (specifically the South Bay, but generally all over) and I have been dying to get out and see some nature besides my backyard.

And later this month, I will be hiking in Yosemite for the first time ever! After, I might go and have a look at How to Hike the Valley of Flowers to completed my hiking experience! Please leave comments below for any trails I must go on.

McWay Falls in Big Sur

After seeing a photo of the McWay Falls in Big Sur, I knew this would be my next hiking adventure. The trail is in the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, and is apparently an easy one at .5 miles round-trip. So while I’ll go for the falls, I’ll stay for one of the nearby hiking trails.

Castle Rock State Park in Los Gatos

Highly rated on Yelp, Castle Rock State Park has 32 whopping miles of hiking trails. The only problem will be trying to pick one. Can’t wait to sling on my Arkadia Supply backpack and get going though!

Arroyo Seco in Monterrey County

Arroyo Seco swimming taken via iphone

source: friend’s Facebook page

One of friends went on a dog-friendly hike in the beautiful Los Padres National Forest Park and posted pictures of the beautiful Arroyo Seco River Gorge (above) she swam in. The hike entrance is near the Arroyo Seco Campground, a campground I would love to stay at sometime soon!

Bass Lake in Bolinas

After a thumbs up review of this swimming spot from my co-worker, Nuala, Bass Lake has been added to my list. Sometimes there’s some nakedness so virgin eyes beware. Whether or not you chose to frolic around with or without a swimsuit, a dip in the lake after a hike sounds well-deserved.

Hike to the Tourist Club in Mill Valley

A nice cold beer at the top of the hike? It’s like they read my mind. Find directions to this very unique spot and read all about the Tourist Club‘s history, which dates back to the early 1900s.

What are some of your favorite hiking spots? Any trails you suggest I try?

Camping spot on the coast: Half Moon Bay

Whenever I go camping, it usually takes at least an hour or two to get there. The roads are really winding and most of the day is spent getting to/finding the campground. Oh, and there usually isn’t a restaurant and full bar with — wait for it — karaoke (!) within walking distance.

Half Moon Bay Camping Cameron's

Back in May, I stayed at a campground ran by the folks at Cameron’s Inn & Restaurant in Half Moon Bay. I wouldn’t call it glamping by any means, but it’s definitely not a place where you’ll have to rough it. On Saturday nights, the bar has karaoke and after a few pints, all the songs sound like the perfect one to sing. I did get a kick out of the two techy guys straight out of Silicon Valley who sang Coolio‘s “Gangsta’s Paradise.” Of course Gabie and I had to sing “Take Me Home Tonight” by Eddie Money. We played that song on the way to school at least twice a week, maybe more. It never gets old. “Oh, oh, oh, oh, ohhhhh.”

The RV park and campground is only minutes south of Highway 92 and just off Highway 1. Tent campsites run $30 a night for up to 4 people. For a quick getaway, I will definitely keep this place in mind. Yeah, there’s the whole covered in fog thing most of the time, but the day we went, I actually got sunburned. Look at my sunglasses tan below. Not cute.

camping in half moon bay

tent camping in half moon bay

If you’re looking for a local Bay Area campground that’s near the beach, check out Cameron’s. According to the website, here what’s available now:

  • Plenty of space for RV’s, campers & tents
  • Great pub food right next door
  • Volleyball
  • Horseshoe pits
  • Access to the Coastal Trail
  • Some of the best coastal bird watching in the Bay Area
  • Short walk to the ocean
  • Showers
  • Gathering place
  • BBQ
  • Wireless internet hotspot

Coming soon:

  • Audubon Interpretative Center
  • Birding supplies
  • General store
  • Full laundry facilities

Activities:

  • Hiking Coastal Trails
  • Coastal Horseback Rides
  • Stand Up Paddle Lesson Instructor available upon request

 

Yay! I have a garden.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Summer’s been busy! I moved into a house (rental) the end of June and have embraced my new garden. I was considering using someone like Treequote to develop a tree service plan that meets my needs. But then I decided that I could sort everything out myself.

The lemon tree produces too many lemons to keep up with. I can only make so much lemonade! There’s a peach tree, nectarine tree, apple tree, fig tree, and walnut tree too. After we moved in, I re-planted our strawberry and tomato plants, and added some annuals to the flower beds for pops of color. I finally have my own garden!
Robin's Garden at Dusk

TGIF!

Got any special plans this weekend? I am finally going camping for the first time this year in Half Moon Bay (I hope it’s not too foggy) and maybe laying by the pool. It’s supposed to be in the 80s this weekend!

Have a great weekend!

 

Girls Night: dinner and ballet

My mom and I had a wonderful girls night this past weekend in San Francisco. I came away from the evening with a new appreciation for vegetarian dishes and ballet. I always liked ballet per say. I mean, I took ballet lessons as a kid, though apparently all I wanted to do was run around instead. I loved the movie Center Stage. So yeah, I like ballet, specifically modern types of ballet, and I like to watch it (not do it).

For dinner, we had reservations for Greens in Fort Mason, a lovely bayside vegetarian restaurant with views of the boats in the Marina, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin headlands. The food was delicious and filling. I had no idea that I could get that stuffed off of vegetables! I barely had room for dessert, but do you see the picture below? I made room in my stomach for that cookie sandwich! Our server had an adorable accent (Australian maybe?) and we couldn’t have seen a prettier sunset. Greens is a little pricey. The Saturday prix fixe dinner came to be about $130 for two people so it’s definitely some place I would only go for special occasions (or all the time if I won the lottery).
Greens Restaurant

What I ordered:
Salad: Grilled Zuckerman’s Farm asparagus with lemon pistachio gremolata, Regina olive oil and Andante Dairy fresh goat cheese
Main course: Sweet pea ravioli
Dessert: Meyer lemon ice cream sandwich with tangerine shortbread, blood orange caramel and citrus supremes
Wine: a glass of Kung Fu Girl Riesling 2010, Columbia Valley

company c contemporary ballet

The ballet was held in the Cowell Theater (also in Fort Mason). I bought discounted tickets from Bloomspot and picked up our tickets at will-call. The first part of the performance was choreographed to Led Zeppelin songs. SO COOL!

To learn more about Company C Ballet visit www.companycballet.org.