holidays


Road Trip to LA: Where to Stop on the Way

There was no way out of a road trip to LA/Anaheim once the word ‘Disneyland’ had left my husband’s mouth and reached the ears of our 4 and 2 year old. We had a week to make the most of our trip and driving 7 hours in one day seemed like the worst idea I could imagine. It’s not just the kids, it’s impossible for me to sit for that long without getting cranky and thus starting the trip off on the wrong foot. Plus, there was no way I was spending an entire week at Disney!


Into the Green #4: The Lost Coast – A Beach Vacation with Bears

If Malibu Beach comes to your mind first when you think about beach vacations in California, you should probably not venture out to the Lost Coast. But if you prefer Alaska to ‘Baywatch’, this is your spot. Even the road builders of the Wild West steered clear of this coast, steep and rugged as it is. All the better for us, as well as for sea lions, black bears and marijuana farmers who peacefully cohabit in this wilderness.


Into the green #2: Hiking in Death Valley – of all places!

As promised in the California Outdoor Calendar we are going to present some of the greatest outdoor adventures in California on this blog to inspire your travel plans – first up, Death Valley. When hiking, climbing, biking or skiing you don’t make a lot of miles, but you take it all in. Slow-motion travels leave more impact on the mind than on the environment – and they definitely come with their own thrill.


Thanksgiving in Bay Area

As a newcomer to the Bay Area (and the US for that matter), I am always excited during Thanksgiving. I had never lived in North America before, so Thanksgiving is kind of new to me. So far, the only place I’ve learned about it is from movies and a little bit of reading. But to experience it firsthand is exhilarating. For me, it’s because of these three reasons: The colors of Thanksgiving If you have been living in a four-season area, please forgive my overbearing excitement. As someone who has been living in the tropics for most of her life […]


Visitors: How to Survive and Enjoy Guests From Back Home

When you made the big “We’re moving abroad” announcement to your family and friends back home, you probably followed up with a line such as – “It’s only a plane ride away – You can come visit whenever you’d like”…”we’d love visitors,”…How many of you are rethinking your words right now?!


First Time Pumpkin Carvers

Even if you’re not that into Halloween, you have to admit that carved pumpkins are pretty cool.  I especially like the ones that use multiples to create an image.  Jack o lanterns are not longer just faces.  The invention of the internet and the printer changed pumpkin carving forever.  You can find an abundance of free stencils/patterns online that will have you carving like a pro in no time.   I like thepumpkinlady.com who has free patterns, videos and advice. While I am no pumpkin lady, I have learned a few things over the years of participating in this Halloween tradition.  A few […]


Bay Area’s Oktoberfest in October

To me, Oktoberfest means that fall has arrived, and with it comes change.  The changes are more subtle in California, but they are there.  In other parts of the United States it is the changing color of leaves that signals a switch of season.  In the Bay Area, the first sign of cooler weather is the appearance of Oktoberfest activities. Oktoberfest actually begins in September but I can’t seem to get excited about it until October.  A short history: The first Oktoberfest was when Crown Prince Ludwig was married to  Princess Therese on Oct 12, 1810.  The citizens of Munich […]