San Francisco is absolutely breathtaking and a must see on any travel bucket list! It is rich in history and vibrant in character. It has a mystical quality to it and truly is a magical city with so much to offer. It is packed full of local gems and well known attractions. Here are a just a FEW of my favorite places and all time classics of San Francisco!
1. Visiting Sutro Baths
Ancient swimming pool ruins from the late 1800s. Gorgeous and eerie at the same time…
2. Golden Gate Bridge
The world’s most photographed bridge…
3. Amoeba Records & Haight Ashbury District
Intersection of the 1960s counterculture movement. The Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin lived in this neighborhood. Coined “Hashbury” by Hunter S. Thompson.
4. The Warfield Theater
A gorgeous 2,300 seat music venue opened in 1922.
5. San Francisco Bay
Ferry rides from Sausalito back to San Francisco are amazing!
6. Pop Up Art Shows
The Beehive Society present Springfield, Springfield!
7. Baker’s Beach & Fort Mason
Gorgeous views of the Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge – fun for the whole family!
Whew! I had a whirlwind weekend of fun in the mountains of North Carolina. I was there to celebrate the marriage between two wonderful friends. I arrived in Raleigh, NC at midnight on Thursday and more than happy to see my family! I have missed them every single day since we moved away.
Friday, my mom and I packed up the car and headed to Brevard – just outside of Asheville. It felt so good to be back home in North Carolina. Everything was familiar, everything was so lush and green. I even saw it rain – so rare in California – it was wonderful. We stopped for lunch at The Salt Box Seafood Joint in Durham, NC – my mom insisted it was the best. Boy, was she right! I needed some fried southern food and this was my fix! I highly recommend the Honey Hush – hushpuppies drilzzled in honey and rolled in special seasonings! Whew!
We arrived at our bed & breakfast, The Red House Inn, we stayed in the small cottage out back – and it was absolutely delightful. The owners were pleasant and helpful and we were treated to a nice English breakfast.
My mom and I journeyed to see Looking Glass Falls, a beautiful waterfall just 15 minutes from our B&B. The view was breathtaking and so peaceful. It’s always nice to start the day with a little retreat to nature.
We decided to visit a few thrift shops in downtown Brevard. I stopped by a gem shop and picked up a few stones for jewelry. We picked up a couple of gifts for friends and headed back to get ready for the wedding.
The backdrop for the wedding were lush green Appalachian mountains – it was stunning! The evening was calm and full of love. The love between Hayley and Neil was adorning affectionate and genuine – it was magical to watch them together.
It was great to catch up with old friends, even after all the time apart it is still the same smiles and laughs. Cheers to Hayley and Neil and your beautiful life together!
Take Care, Lucia
Beautiful potted plants at my mother’s front door
Seth and I love to get out and explore during the weekends – and of course give Bayla a chance to be free and roam around. We typically have activities planned in the evening so we like to get easy hikes & sightseeing in the morning. One of the great things about the Bay area, there are so many great hiking options – beach trails, marshlands, open space preserves, mountains, foothills – you name, it is here!
1. Joseph D. Grant State Park
Just south of San Jose – we took the Dutch Flat Trail to the scenic overlook. Beautiful views of Silicon Valley and beyond.
2. Castle Rock State Park
Located west of Saratoga in the Santa Cruz mountains – this spot is one not to miss! It has tons of Douglas-fir, and madrone forests intertwined with sandstone rock formations. Just amazing!
3. Fremont Older Open Space Preserve
We hiked to Hunter’s Point, a 3 mile loop through woods and grasslands and sweepings views of Silicon Valley at the top!
4. Coyote Ridge
This is an area of protected land between the Santa Cruz mountains and Sierra Nevada mountains near Anderson Lake. It is a major wildlife corridor, and home to the bay checkerspot butterfly and abundant amounts of wildflowers. My coworkers and I received a docent led hike from Santa Clara Open Space Authority and it was such a treat to see this stunning land.
5. Slacker Ridge
A easy hike in the gorgeous Marin Headlands with breathtaking views of San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and the Pacific Ocean. This peak is a few back from the main attraction of Battery Spencer, and is a hidden gem from the tourists. Seth and I were all alone on the mountain top just taking in the views. Bring layers – the hike up gets steep but the wind at the top is seriously fierce!
The Bay area is FULL of hiking options, anyone out there know of some really great spots?
Santa Cruz, California – A picturesque beach town located South on Silicon Valley with a famous Boardwalk, bustling surfer culture and a hip music scene.
Seth, Bayla and I took a trip to Santa Cruz! We arrived Friday evening and walked a couple miles along the coast and saw the Boardwalk lights glistening on the ocean water in the distance, it was so beautiful. We let Bayla run on the beach, one of her favorite things to do.
The sky was a beautiful orange, purple and pink mixture. California beach sunset are truly hard to beat! We grabbed dinner at Hula’s Island Grill and headed over to the Catalyst to see Sturgill Simpson – OH MY THAT VOICE! The show was incredible, I am sad I didn’t get any pictures! Saturday morning, we walked on the beach and got to the Boardwalk as it was opening at 10am. We decided to take the skyline lift across the park, as soon as we got on and our feet were dangling 30ft above the ground, we were feeling pretty scared! We headed to the 5th oldest roller coaster in the United States, The Giant Dipper. It was an old rickety wooden roller coaster – but still fun. The look on excitement on Seth face as we rode the rides was totally adorable and heart melting.
We grabbed Bayla and headed to the beach – it’s so funny she knows the word ‘beach’ – Santa Cruz has an amazing beach area where dogs are allowed, Bayla had so much fun running with all the other mutts. We explored the beach and jumped around on slippery rocks.
We headed across town to Aldo’s Harbor for a fresh seafood lunch. We walked along harbor, there were giant jacks blocking the waves – they were so interesting looking! We laid out on the beach for a bit while Bayla chewed a stick. We packed up and headed home. Santa Cruz left me lusting for the laid back surfer beach life, luckily it is only 45 minutes away!
A day on the hunt!
I am a thrifting junkie and I admit it. My favorite places are old, eclectic vintage shops with tons of clothes, records, furniture & lamps. I have always been a lover of the 60s and 70s aesthetic, there is just something about the bright colors and geometric prints that I really inspires me. Who doesn’t love to find that perfect vintage treasure? I sure do – through all my days of thrifting adventures, I have learned to always prepare myself with a couples items to make the day go smoothly.
1. Make a List
I always jot down ideas of things that could work in my space or DIY projects I’m working on. Right now, I am looking for vintage cocktail glasses for my bar cart.
2. Arrive Early
The old adage is right – early bird does get the worm!
3. Bring Essentials
Small Tape Measuere, Notepad & Pen, Scarf, Water
I like to keep little swatches of paint & fabrics in my notebook so I can reference hues and patterns in items I already have.
Take pictures! It helps to inspire creativity and maybe you should run back and grab that mirror that would fit perfect in your entryway!
6. Be Open Minded
Always have your creative thinking eye on full alert on when thrifting. A fresh coat of paint can help the most dingy of items. Items like bottles & wire baskets can easily be turned into lamps with a simple light kit from a hardware store. Look for unique colors and patterns you don’t traditionally see. Check the bottom of glass and dish ware to see where it was made.
7. Be Patient
Think about where and how a piece can fit into your space. If you are on the fence about it, sleep on it. If it is something that truly represent you and your style and you can’t stop thinking about it, get it – life is short. Enjoy the little things that make you happy.
8. Keep Searching
That perfect items you are searching for is out there. Whether it is the perfect vintage Kilim rug or an antique vanity set. Keep your eyes and ears peeled! That perfect piece could be right around the corner.
What are some of your most treasured thrifting finds?
Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature – Gerard De Nerval
Coyote Ridge – Staff Play Date
The poppies and cream puffs are in full bloom here in Northern California. We needed something to brighten up our front door. I was wanting to make a wreath – so I started brainstorming. I am inspired by the light, airy with hues of spring in California so I decided to get crafty and make nature-inspired paper flowers with spice dyed coffee filters.
Here is a simple DIY to a make a beautiful spring wreath!
Grab some coffee filters, turmeric, smoked paprika and ground mustard. Pour each into a pot with 1.5 cups of water. Bring to a boil then take off burner and let cool. Dip or submerge a handful of coffee filters into each pot (you can mix dyes together to create an unique color) then hang up to dry. After they are dry; twist them into large (peony) and small (rose) shapes. Use floral wire to secure paper flowers to grapevine wreath.
Using spices to dye these paper flowers give them an all natural earth tone appearance, proving that everything is nature is precious and interconnected. A bow made of fabrics like linen and burlap compliment the yellow and peach hues of the flowers and top of this natural DIY spring wreath.
P.S. – We took a weekend trip to Santa Cruz – stayed tuned for a peak into low key surfer beach life!
I love to go thrifting and antiquing in search of a perfect piece to fit my space. There is real gratification that comes with taking something old and making it new again. I am a firm believer in recycling and reusing. Case and paint (get it :P) this old table, I found at a junk store in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. We needed a table for our front porch and voila – this was born!
Before, old and dingy after – bright and cheery! I bought a silver handle from Lowe’s with a simple design to balance the bold color. I finished with a beautiful succulent in a painted ceramic bowl. Seth and I stopped by from Reader’s Corner, a NC State classic, and grabbed some books in muted tones of blues and greens to match the table. Overall, I am pleased with how it turned out!
Have you tried any painted furniture projects?
Life is a whirlwind of sheer fate and coincidence and the winds have taken me from beautiful North Carolina to magical California.
There is so much to share about this wonderful place! I recently came across a quote,
“California take a lifetime to experience properly, that’s what makes California so great.”
Those words spoke so true to me.
I am here to share my journey of travel, food, style and DIY and everything in between.
Seth and I decided to pack our bags and see the world.
This is our story, follow along for a glimpse into the California life!