Category Archives: Travel Logs & Excursions

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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“FIght for a just cause; LOve your fellow man; LIve a good life.” FILOLI Gardens in the Summer

I’ve been to Filoli Gardens in Woodside, California so many times that I’ve lost count. But somehow I’ve never visited the gardens in the summer. Hard to believe, even for me. I usually stop by Filoli Gardens in the spring for their Daffodil Daydreams Extravaganza, or in early summer around May for a Mother’s Day girls afternoon out, or to attend one of their classes on watercolor painting.

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I’ve never gone to Filoli Gardens in the peek of summer – i.e. July. I’ve assumed all the flowers are frying in the summer-time heat, so why bother going? But this year I had an opportunity to stop by this beautiful garden with my Uncle Chary and his niece Geetha and husband Sampath who were visiting from Mumbai, India.

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Who knew Filoli Gardens could be just as spectacular in the summer as at other times of the year?  At least not I.  The garden is amazing in the summer! Continue reading “FIght for a just cause; LOve your fellow man; LIve a good life.” FILOLI Gardens in the Summer

Banu’s Emerald Green Philadelphia Garden

My sister Banu who lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has a lovely home and a beautiful garden. Banu is an avid gardener just like my Mom and me. But she is crazier than me when it comes to gardening. She enjoys it so much that just like my Mom she will spend hours in her backyard and lose track of time.

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Banu’s garden is lush and emerald green. It’s the greenest garden I’ve ever seen. Continue reading Banu’s Emerald Green Philadelphia Garden

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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Humble Hwy 280

I know you are probably wondering who writes an article about a highway? And that too one that many of us in the Bay Area drive on every day to get to and back from work. But I tell you, I love Hwy 280! Stanford University has called Hwy 280 The Most Beautiful Urban Highway in America, and I concur.  Especially the stretch from Sunnyvale (right where Fwy 85 and Hwy 280 intersect) all the way up to San Francisco. This stretch of Hwy 280 is absolutely beautiful.

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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.

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

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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Continue reading Visit to a Goat Farm in Pescadero, California