Getting away from the big city with its noise and the crowds by going to places that are the exact opposite of the city is a good way to recharge the body and soul.
In the back country is where you can meet people who share your enjoyment of the outdoor life. Or, if seclusion is what you are looking for it is easy to find.
Sequoia National Park has many trails to walk both for a one day round trip or to go into the backcountry and enjoy the sights and sounds of a road less traveled.
Picking the time of year for hiking can result in an experience that can be completely different even if it is the same trail.
A day hike in the redwoods during a winter’s snow fall is very different than that same trail in the middle of summer.
This one year, one of the events that were setup for us was at Great America Theme Park in Santa Clara, CA. Amazing theme park with amazing rides. They have this one ride called the Daemon, it has 15 loops and cork-screws that took you under Plexiglas-covered rivers of roiling fake blood.
At the end of the ride you can buy T-Shirts that say "I survived the Daemon" - it was the scariest ride I have ever been on. I survived three times that morning. We ate popcorn and walked around all day while enjoying the carnival atmosphere.
This is a great vacation idea for a family, as there is so much to do here and you will never run out of fun and interesting ways to not only keep yourself but your whole family constantly entertained. It’s very close to San Francisco, so you can have a day full of fun and a night full of dining.
Pier 39 has great views of Sea Lions, Alcatraz and of course the Golden Gate Bridge. It has great shops and wonderful restaurants such as the Bubba Gump Shrimp Factory. We always like to get clam chowder in a sourdough bowl. You can purchase tickets to get bus tours that will take you throughout the city. You can also purchase tickets for Alcatraz and lots of other attractions.
See people on the street trying to make money by playing instruments, singing or doing different odd tricks. You get a variety of culture, which makes it a fun place to be. It is fun to hang out at the pier in the evening. The nightlife atmosphere is superb! I would definitely recommend checking out Pier 39 San Francisco for yourself. You won't be disappointed!
Woke up Saturday for some early surfing, some all you can eat crab, then a lovely wedding at the botanical gardens. Weather was amazing and just what we needed. Wrapped the weekend up with a Mermosa Breakfast Buffet on the pier, a must in San Diego, as well as the crab scrambled eggs, it is to die for, before we had to endure the long and hot desert drive back to Arizona.
He started out piling green lumber and ended up managing a hotel, which is now a bed and breakfast. The owners were surprised that I had old photos of that town. I toured a museum where I saw my father's picture and that of his uncle on the way, and met someone who remembered them.
It was a company town then, parts of it established after the mill here in Minnesota burned down. The streets are named the same as the streets in the town where my dad grew up. I got to see the magical Mount Shasta, and I bought artwork, books, and tee shirts at a general store.
I had lunch in a diner that looked like it had the same furnishings and linoleum that might have been there sixty years ago. On the way down from Oregon I saw a corral with about 100 funny looking horses that upon closer examination turned out to be mules.
I watched “Entertainment Tonight,” “E,” and “Showbiz Tonight” and saw that celebrities were everywhere – restaurants, shopping malls, amusement parks, driving down busy streets, attending fabulous parties and premieres.
I decided I wanted to be part of that life, at least for my upcoming week’s spring vacation. I headed for Hollywood and the big shopping complex at Hollywood and Highland. I was met by hundreds of “stars” on the “Walk of Fame,” those gold emblems with a star name emblazoned on each one (and was amused to find they had to start putting them in rows next to each other because there were so many).
Next door at Grauman’s Chinese Theater were the handprints and footprints of famous stars. There were bad imitations of Superman, Marilyn Monroe, Spider-man and others posing for photos, and Madame Toussand’s had just opened on the same block and offered wax figures of Marilyn Monroe and Samuel L. Jackson outside for tourists.
But, there were no real stars. So, I decided to do what anyone in search of stars did. I jumped on a bus with tours of the stars’ homes. That was a true adventure. We headed west (no stars are in Hollywood, I found) toward Beverly Hills. There was a block on Roxbury Drive where Lucille Ball, Jimmy Stewart, the Gershwins and a young George Clooney once lived.
I saw Candy Spelling drive her Prius out of her long driveway at the house she and Aaron Spelling built (ironically, not in “90210,” but in an area called Holmby Hills.
Hugh Hefner lived down the block in the Playboy Mansion, but all I saw was an electrician’s truck pulling in. (My imagination ran wild.) On the way back, we stopped in front of an old apartment building where Bruce Willis lived before he hit it back. A very handsome man walked out and waved and smiled at us. I’d like to think he’ll be a star someday, and that I was among the first to spot him. I definitely recommend taking time to tour the stars’ homes.
Even though I didn’t trip over Lindsay Lohan or get to sing with Britney Spears, I did see where they live and hang out, ad that was almost as good. If you want to see celebrities, Los Angeles is the best California vacation spot. You can explore the Walk of Fame and other top Hollywood sights with a professional tour by Red Line Tours.