All posts filed under: Explore.

tennis tuesday: sectionals.

This week on Tennis Tuesday: Sectionals! Sectionals were held at a few locations in the Monterey Bay Area. We hadn’t been in the area in a few years so we were excited for tennis and to do some exploring in between matches. Hubby and co played at Chamisal Tennis Club in Salinas and at the Carmel Valley Athletic Club in Carmel. Chamisal had a ‘by the water’ feel; I admired all of their landscaping and spectator seating areas (including the lawn where you could view up to four matches at once). Carmel Valley Athletic Club felt more ‘woodsy’ – like a log cabin in Tahoe feel and they had signs throughout the facility that said ‘members only’ – basically ‘keep out.’ I preferred hanging out at Chamisal; I felt more welcomed there. Also, Chamisal had really good fries in their cafe (so good we ate them twice…) and better-at-their-job tennis officials. Chamisal for the win! 😉 Like Districts, there were four matches in three days. Competition was tough, but this made for some exciting matches! …

keep moovin.

One of my goals in life is to go on more hikes, so when my friend suggested a last minute one, I was all over it. We ventured to Tilden Park, entering via the Tilden Nature Area (by Little Farm). My friend made sure we got in some nice views and a good sweat – that means uphills! My personal goal was to walk for at least 5k; we did 10k! (And then I drank a well-deserved Thai iced tea afterwards. ;)) There were lots of wildflowers, and I stopped to take photos of my favorites (of course!). We saw a dam, a lake… …and my share of cows for a lifetime. Apparently the cows roam free and feed on the land. There was a herd that was walking on the same trail as us; we  let them pass by while we waited on the sidelines. I was legit scared and ready to run if needed, but they just moseyed right on by. Excited for my next hike. There is so much to explore. Where are …

nearcation’s all I ever wanted.

For our second wedding anniversary, Hubs and I planned an almost 24-hour nearcation adventure across the Bay in San Francisco. Since we thoroughly enjoyed last year’s SF nearcation, and there is so much to see, do, and eat in the City, we decided to do it again. Plus, we lazy and didn’t want to drive or fly far away. 😉 This time, we stayed at Hotel Nikko. I love the art in the rooms and throughout the hotel, and the squishy beds, and the touch pad on the nightstand that welcomes you by name. They have the most amazing line of bath products, too; the custom scent is bamboo lavender, but to me it has notes of chai spices which I love. Also, I’m into the separate stand up shower and bath options. Note to self for future home. The hotel sits between Union Square and the Tenderloin. I made sure we stopped to see some of the mural art nearby. A lot of the ones I wanted to spot were either painted over or …

cactarium!

Also on my Palm Springs weekend wish list: a visit to the Moorten Botanical Garden, a privately owned garden with over 3,000 cactus species. This garden is everything. I never thought I’d enjoy a botanical garden without flowers. There is a small fee to enter garden, and you can spend however long you want strolling the grounds. The garden is organized by region, and most of the plants are labeled. There are so many kinds of cactus varieties that I’ve never seen before. One of my faves were these Giant Golden Barrel Cacti. Another special treat – the garden’s cactarium (the first of it’s kind) which houses rare cactus varietals. We weren’t allowed to touch any of them. I wouldn’t want to anyway; look at these spikes. The Moorten residence is on the garden grounds… And look! Garden crafts – natural dye! You can take a piece of the garden home with you, too. They had lots of plants for sale. Hubby and I brought home four mini cactuses. Super cute! We hope the Bay …

joshua tree.

Joshua Tree!!! I’ve been looking forward to an adventure here to see an actual Joshua Tree in Joshua Tree. They come in so many shapes and sizes. I couldn’t help but take photos of all the trees. We followed the Burnt Hill Trail for part of the way, perfect for all levels of hikers. There were lots of signs to guide our hike, and paths are clearly marked. There isn’t much shade around but we all had our adventure hats on, plus, to my surprise, the weather was much cooler than the Palm Springs area and there was a nice breeze blowing throughout our hike. Side note: Other than all the awesome plants, I found desert clouds to be interesting  to look at, too. I spotted this thought bubble cloud as we begun our hike and we all took photos under it. …And now, all the Joshua Trees, plus a dash of other desert finds like berry bushes, rocks and cactuses. I want to go back! Once we got into the ‘deeper’ parts of the …

fogrise.

I’m a big fan of sunrise adventures. They are glorious! Behold, our sunrise adventure to Hawk Hill in the Marin Headlands. We started our adventure walking through a tunnel and entering what seemed like a scene out of Lord of the Rings… It was super foggy and we didn’t expect to see much… So I took to taking photos of the plants. It was already bright on Hawk Hill… But then nature pulled through and we saw the most amazing sunrise, beginning with a peachy/orange glow. Pictures, of course, don’t do this sunrise justice. Which is probably why my camera battery decided to die midway through my photo taking so I could simply enjoy the view. 😉 Above: the tunnel we came out of + the trail we walked to see the views. Below: early morning wefie filled with excitement because coolest sunrise ever! West Coast, where are your favorite spots to see sunrise? Share, share, share!

garden apothecary.

Any place with the word apothecary in the name and I must go to there. My friend took me on a shopping adventure in Half Moon Bay and we stumbled upon Garden Apothecary. Filled with items for gardening, teas, glass bottles, succulent arrangements, and a handful of locally made items, there’s a gift idea for every occasion. They also carry what they deem foraged curiosities, like these spectacles! Even when you look up, things! On our visit they were sampling a red rooibos tea and handing out copies of the gather journal…Fun, fun, fun. I ended up gifting myself a bag of dried elderflower and a bag of cacao powder for steeping. The cacao is the shopkeep’s fave to use for iced tea. I must try it for myself! What a lovely find in a cute part of town. Where have you explored lately? Share below!