For days, the Humpback whales had been taunting us from the bay as if they knew what we wanted. Every now and then they’d breach the surface or send a spout of water high into the mist, as if to say, “Catch us — if you can.” The rare sea otters teased us, too, playfully popping their heads above the surface near the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Continue reading In Monterey, the action’s on the water — if you can get there
Blink and you’ll miss Buellton, Calif., a tiny town a two-hour drive north of Los Angeles. And maybe that’s just fine with Buellton, one of those undiscovered destinations where everyone expects you to stay a few exits south, in touristy Santa Barbara, or just keep driving through to nearby Hearst Castle. Continue reading Blink and you’ll miss Buellton, California. Here’s why you don’t want to.
Silicon Valley draws me to it like a powerful magnet, with its Mediterranean climate, irresistible culture of innovation and iconic technology brands that have defined a generation. It pulls in my whole family, which, like many Americans, lives in a world defined by Apple, Facebook and Google. Continue reading The real reason why Silicon Valley is the world’s most elusive tourist attraction
Don’t look now, but there’s a guy next to me at the bottom of the chairlift. He’s snowboarding in a swimsuit. And nothing else. Continue reading Skiing in summer? Only at this California resort
A week before we visited Yosemite National Park, Alex Honnold became the first person to free-climb the near-vertical 3,000-foot face of El Capitan. And just a day before we arrived, two other climbers — Leah Pappajohn and Jonathan Fleury — scaled Yosemite’s El Capitan without clothes. Continue reading Cover your eyes, kids! I think I see two nudes ascending El Capitan!
If you’re a skier or snowboarder, then the winter of 2016 will be one not just for your record book, but also for the record book. And that’s particularly true of the Lake Tahoe region in California, which got slammed with ridiculous amounts of snow.
Turns out that was just the opening act. Continue reading “In Lake Tahoe, spring snow gives way to summer adventure”
We’re moving to Mendocino. No wait — we’re not! Will somebody stop us, please?
We visited the Northern California coast with our family, and were immediately taken with its cool climate, a welcome relief from August’s triple-digit temperatures. We were smitten with its dramatic cliffs plunging into the frigid Pacific, and with the region’s too-charming fishing villages with their organic coffee shops and the no-nonsense residents we met.
We said to ourselves: “We’re home!”
And then: “How are we going to talk ourselves out of moving here?” Continue reading “How to talk yourself out of loving Mendocino (hint: it’s hard)”
Each trip to San Diego started with the best of intentions. We wanted to visit the famous San Diego Zoo with our three young children. We planned to explore the historic Gaslamp District. We wanted to check out the USS Midway aircraft carrier museum.
And then we arrived in Mission Beach, and it all fell through, like the coarse gray sand slips through your fingers. We were grounded.
Continue reading “The San Diego beach that ate my family”