If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen a rush of black and white photos of San Francisco that I have recently posted. Those are my submissions for 472 Gallery’s show 40 Best – works of the city’s mobile photographers. They are picking 40 submissions for their show between May 3rd – July 4th. If my photos get selected they will be for sale at the show and I get 50% of whatever they sell them for… so wish me luck. Below are my submissions… what do you think?
1. Hike around Fallen Leaf Lake
During the warmer season there are several spots you can park and hike around the lake. During the winter part of the road is closed, but if you turn off on Fallen Leaf Lake Road you can find some trail heads and walk down to the lake from there. Please be respectful of the land and don’t leave any trash. It’s a very magical place.
2. Drink and Eat at The Free Bird
The Free Bird is a tiny coffee shop on Lake Tahoe Blvd and has some really tasty menu options. The macaroons are must try! They also make their own chai. There is only enough room to stand and make your order but the staff is really friendly and the food is delicious!
3. Visit Angora Lake
If you visit Tahoe often you probably already know of Angora Lake. There are cabins you can rent and stay for awhile. We just had lunch and did a little exploring. I would recommend planning on spending some time on the lake side and doing some cliff jumping.
4. Hike to Desolation Wilderness
You’ll have to get a day hikers permit but I’d recommend taking the journey. If you are a backpacker you’ll fall in love. We just hiked to the entrance of the desolation wilderness with the dogs but turned around since we didn’t have a permit. Next year I think we’ll backpack in and camp a couple nights. If you start down at the Fallen Leaf Lodge you’ll get an opportunity to see a lot of the landmarks of the Lake’s history. Stop in at the Lodge and check out the book on the history of the lake… pretty amazing.
5. Eat ice-cream at Richardsons Ice-Cream Parlor
Every time we drove by this place the line was out the door. We finally stopped and joined the crowd… and now we know why. The ice-cream is old-fashion and yummy. If you have a small appetite order the kid size cone, trust me, it’s enough.
There are a million things to do, so just make sure to enjoy yourself. Life is beautiful and it’s a blessing for us to be a part of it.
5:00am Saturday June 23rd – Rise and shine! We were out of the house by 5:40 and headed north. After a stop off at my parents to drop off at Dad’s car (my car is still on vacation) and pick up the rental we were finally on track to Tahoe. My Dad recommended we drive hwy 395 and so we did just that. If you live in southern California and ever want to drive to Tahoe, Yosemite or any place near those… drive the 395. It is amazing!
At first you drive through what looks to be deserted towns, past empty houses and trailers, and pass through small towns with nothing other than a saloon, a general store and a gas station. All the while surrounded by dry mountains in the far off distance. As we headed north the mountains seemed to grow on either side of us and in an array of color contrast. To the left of us there was the flat dusty brown down on the ground then the hill covered in dried shrubbery and behind them was the massive jagged gray rocky mountains. To our left was again the flat desert floor, then list black “popcorn” looking rock formations, then rocky hills with a sunset red hue… we were in the middle of mother natures canvas.
Eventually there were splashes of water here and there and the color green started to make its entrance. Soon we were driving along with Mt. Whitney’s mountain range to our left and meadows of tall green grass all around us. We stopped in the town of Lone Pine for some food and ate a pizza place that seemed to be were everybody goes… but the pizza was amazing. If for some reason you ever end up in Lone Pine California stop at the Pizza Factory. Their slogan is “We toss’em, They’re Awesome” and to us, the slogan holds truth. After pizza we stopped at Mono Lake. Mono lake is this beautiful turquoise color and has tons of history. If we had known about it we would have spent more time and explored. Now we know for next time.
From there till Tahoe every turn held amazement. Continue reading
“I left my heart in San Francisco
High on a hill, it calls to me.
To be where little cable cars
Climb halfway to the stars!
The morning fog may chill the air
I don’t care!”
Ok, actually I didn’t leave my heart in San Francisco, it’s still right here in my chest but every time I go there I get closer and closer to moving there. Although we spent most of our time in Marin County this time. Jonathan grew up there so getting around and knowing where to go was very easy.
When in Marin area you must check out the following places. And I do mean must…
Rustic Bakery - this place is soooo yummy. You must try the quiche. Also if you are fan of coffee, order a vanilla latte with whipped cream. The vanilla syrup and the whip cream are both house-made. They also have other pastries like gluten free scones, grilled sandwiches and such… but the quiche is the way to go.
BackyardBOOGIE - Awesome t-shirts, awesome art. It’s a “retail lounge” with unique t-shirts from mostly local artists. If your around pop in and check out the artwork on the walls. Entertain your eyes, buy a t-shirt and support a local business.
Half Day Cafe - Yum yum yum. My recommendation here is to sit out in the patio if it’s a nice day. Sip on a Cafe Borgia and enjoy some lip smacking food. One view gives you lush ferns, the other gives you rustic brick. Either direction you face you are bound to have have a happy belly.
Alpine Lake & Dam – If you like to bike you will love the road out there. Once to the Dam you can hike down into the forest. We took the dogs down to the creek and let them swim around. Talk about happiest dogs in the world! Pack a lunch and bring it with you so you can really enjoy it down there… so beautiful and peaceful.
Deer Park – I randomly took the dogs here while Jonathan was running errands. The trail is up by the children’s center and it takes you back behind where you can find several different trails. I kept to the main fire road but it was beautiful and very quite… there were only a few people on the trail so it felt like my own personal nature walk. You can also find lots of picnic tables. You drive through Fairfax to get there, so make sure to stop and do a little shopping while your there.
Cafe Gratitude - You guys already know I love this place. They have a location in San Rafael. Order the “I AM GRACE” and enjoy some positive feel good vibes.
Good Earth Natural Food Store - This place was amazing. I wanted to mention this store because its the perfect stop to pick up picnic items. If you will be doing any hiking, bike riding, or nature walking in any of the surrounding mountains, Good Earth is a perfect place to pick up some lunch or to refuel afterwards.
Mt. Tamalpais - LOVE. Mt. Tamalpais is the tallest mountain in Marin County. You can’t miss her. You can hike the mountain or if you are short on time you can drive to the top. It’s $8 to park so make sure to have cash. There are a few different trails you can hike around and the views are astonishing! You can see all of Marin County and on a clear day you can see the Bay and San Francisco. We will be camping here next time…
Muir Woods - Muir Woods is magical. That’s really all I can say. Although I will say that if you are traveling with dogs you can’t bring them with you. But you must visit. I don’t know how I feel about the boarded board walk but at least it keeps people on the trail. Make sure to take some of the trails off of the main trail.
Muir Woods Beach Lookout – My favorite place on Earth right now. Head to HWY 1 after Muir Woods, you can’t miss it. It gives you the best view of the coast. Ahhh… it’s so amazing. Go, go… go there now!
Guess who’s headed to San Francisco tomorrow…. me!!! I can’t wait. Jonathan and I are taking the dogs and headed up early in the morning. I love San Diego but I’m looking forward to getting away from here for a few days. Jonathan has family up there and my cousin lives there and I have tons of friends, so it’s always a good trip. Plus… I believe San Francisco has some of the best food. Ugh… can’t wait. I might break my no coffee commitment to enjoy just one cup of joe from Four Barrel coffee… love love love that place! But for sure sticking to the no-meat thing. It’s been going so well. I have something fun for you vegetarians out there that are looking to slim down a bit. After speaking with my super-fantastic-nutritionist friend Heather over at Conscious Nutrition, I’m going to try a 5 day lean out program… just for fun to see how it works. If all goes well, I’ll share we you all. Unfortunately it does include egg whites so for those you that don’t eat eggs… sorry. Anyhow… we’ll see how it goes.
So it’s getting to be that time again where I start thinking about my next travel adventure. There are so many amazing places on this planet it’s hard to decide where to go. Jonathan and I are wanting to do a yoga teacher training so we’re thinking about planning our travel around that. I don’t have anything solid yet but I do have some ideas… let me know what you guys think.
South America: I’d like to travel all over South America if I could. Maybe find a yoga school somewhere, then travel a bit, then maybe work in a cafe or hostel, then travel a little more and so on…
Or how about India? Jonathan has already been and is not sure if he is ready to go back, but I know I will end up there eventually. Continue reading