I am a Californian. A northern Californian. No, I wasn't born here. Didn't grow up here. I didn't get here until I was 33. But on my very first visit I felt that little "click" that said, "this is where I am supposed to be." California life has been the best part of my life. By far. And it . . .
The thing about San Francisco is that it has countless faces ... and many moods. I've been there innumerable times when the sky was inescapably blue and the sunshine as golden as the hills. But I think I appreciate the City most in the fog, when its mood and romance envelope us. The other Saturday . . .
We live about two hours from our favorite wine country, Sonoma, but dotted in the hills above San Jose and conveniently, much closer, are some beautiful wineries and tasting rooms that make for a relaxing day of wine and roses. No matter where you live in the San Francisco Bay area, unique . . .
There's no place like The Castro (district) in San Francisco, not even Greenwich Village (which is hallowed ground, thanks to the 1969 Stonewall riots that began the rebellion against repression and police raids against gays. Honestly, it boggles my mind that police were concerned about gay men's . . .
Sometimes the Fog City isn't foggy at all. Sometimes, the day is so spectacular that you almost expect the Chamber of Commerce to come out to capture the sights for tourism brochures. For example, these birds, enjoying a brief respite in the sun, before either winging away or getting into someone's . . .
There's only one reason why to visit wine country in fall, and that's "harvest." Grapes hang full and heavy on the vines in the fall, waiting patiently in their lush beauty for the buzz and hubbub of the harvest. They're just beautiful. And grape harvest? It's exciting, it's fun and it's romantic. . . .
Whether it's the Pacific crashing on rocks or the Gulf of Mexico roaring in the sunshine, there's something magical about big bodies of water. The power and the majesty of the ocean remind us that we are only one small part of a greater world. The central California coast is dotted with lighthouses . . .
Alcatraz is a mystical place for me. That big rock sitting out in the middle of San Francisco Bay, sometimes glinting in sunshine and other times cloaked in fog. Where convicted criminals were housed in cold, bare cells and isolated from the world. It's said that at night they could hear the music . . .
Spring in wine country has none of the bustle of the fall harvest. Vines are budding--sighting of first buds is called bud-break-- and winemakers are busy with the many tasks required to help make a successful vintage. Including ensuring proper irrigation in a drought. But the vineyards, themselves, . . .
Spring. It's sprung, at least this week and at least in the San Francisco Bay area and on the Monterey peninsula. And in Sonoma. Here's what I found on my street: Down in Big Sur, the succulents are plump and green: Some are even flowering: Flowers in the wooden box at the Big Sur River . . .