Category Archives: Off the Beaten Path

An Afternoon in Santa Cruz, California

We are so fortunate to be living so close to our favorite beach town of Santa Cruz, California; just a 20-minute drive on Hwy 17 over the Santa Cruz Mountains.  Santa Cruz has everything a beach town should have and more. First and foremost are what everyone goes to Santa Cruz for – the beaches.

Beautiful beaches line the Pacific Coast in Santa Cruz.

Panther Beach.

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Dinner at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California

We have heard so much about this talked about restaurant here in the Bay Area  – Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California.  The restaurant is so popular that you have to plan at least a month in advance just to make a reservation, and cross your fingers and hope that you can get a reservation. On top of that, there are guidelines for when one can call to make that reservation; one has to wait for the exact day to the month when you want to go for dinner. This is what I did; I patiently waited to the exact day one month before Hitesh’s birthday to make dinner reservations for his special birthday celebration with the family.  I was fortunate enough to make reservations for the day that I requested! This is how we ended up going to Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. Was it worth the hype and the wait? YES, YES, YES. Continue reading Dinner at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California

Half Moon Bay Nursery in Half Moon Bay, California

When was the last time you stopped by a plant nursery with soft classical music playing in the background? A nursery where during the holidays there is hot apple cider waiting to be sipped by their customers. A nursery that is more of an experience than a functional errand to purchase some plants. Half Moon Bay Nursery in Half Moon Bay, California is one of those places which is a destination rather than just a plant nursery where one goes to, to just buy a few garden plants.

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Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden. Old Palo Alto, California

Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden is a historic home and garden located in old Palo Alto, California. The story of how this lovely home became a historic home and garden can be credited to Ms. Elizabeth Gamble who lived in Palo Alto with her family.

Elizabeth’s family – the Gamble family moved to Palo Alto back in 1902 and had four children:  James, George, Elizabeth Frances, and Launcelot.  Palo Alto at that time was a little town with a population of a mere 3000.  One of the kids Elizabeth, decided after college to spend the remainder of her life in the Gamble family home on Waverley Street in Palo Alto.

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A Weekend in San Francisco. Fort Baker, Fort Mason & The Ferry Building

It was a warm sunny weekend when we went to San Francisco in the end of February and our plan was to relax at Fort Baker, grab lunch at Fort Mason, and stroll by the Ferry Building and the Bay Bridge.

With a cool breeze and the most beautiful blue skies with puffs of white clouds, the City by the Bay couldn’t have been any more perfect on this weekend.

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Visit to a Goat Farm in Pescadero, California

The twins were turning 10, and this was one of those times when I just didn’t want to plan and organize yet another kids birthday party. Those of you who have kids know this, there are countless kid’s birthday parties, and we as parents are trying to make our child’s birthday unique in some way or another. Parents have done every themed party and original idea there is out there to make their child’s birthday special. I was one of those parents who just didn’t want to do that yet again – that is, go out of my mind trying to be creative and original for another birthday celebration.

This was the year when as a Mom I just wanted to take a break from kids birthday parties.  So I asked the twins if they were okay with NOT having a birthday party that year if I promised to make their birthday very special. The twins thought about this and discussed it among themselves and decided to trust me. Now I was on the hook to deliver! But I knew what I had planned for their 10th birthday would not disappoint.

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A Victorian Christmas in Nevada City, California

We discovered this little town of Nevada City, California when I heard about it from my friend Radhika. She would tell me stories of this charming town and the wonderful Victorian Christmas fair that was held every year in Nevada City and how it was always a fun holiday event to go to. She used to live and work in Nevada City years ago after graduating from college. Radhika would describe Vitorian style stalls and vendors in Victorian costumes selling hot apple cider and warm roasted chestnuts, and the shops in town all beautifully decorated for christmas with shopkeepers also dressed in period costumes. Radhika has a way of making everything sound so romantic and nostalgic. She made Nevada City’s Victorian Christmas Fair sound so amazing that I decided: “That’s it, I want to go and check it out for myself.” Continue reading A Victorian Christmas in Nevada City, California