48 Hours of North Coast Bliss

California, Travel

I had Glass Beach on my list of California must-see for a while, so I decided booked us a hotel in Fort Bragg! We drove up early Saturday morning, and headed straight for Russian Gulch State Park for a hike.

If you know me, hiking up a mountain to a waterfall is so gratifying. The sound of the rushing waterfall is one of my most favorite things. We hiked about 7 miles out and back on the Fern Canyon Trail.

It was much more lush and green than the Bay Area, the ferns and moss covered rocks were absolutely beautiful.

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We headed to the other side of the park where it meets the ocean – incredible! Once again there are no words for the California coastal blues. Just pure magic.

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Our hotel was nearby in Fort Bragg, so we continued up Highway 1 and settled in at the Sand and Surf Lodge right around 4pm when the sun shines in so beautifully, our room faced the ocean – it was great treat! This was our view!

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I was in hurry to get to Glass Beach and it was perfect timing for sunset, we grabbed our camera and wandered our way about a mile or so and found heaven.

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If you are ever near Northern California, I highly recommended stopping here! People in the 30s and 40s use to throw their trash here and they way the currents move it brings it back to this same spot. Really fascinating!

Watching the sunset here ranks in my top of my life’s most treasured moments.

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We found ourselves at North Coast Brewing Company Taproom where we had a lovely seafood dinner. The next day we got up early and took Bayla for a walk along the coast, and ended back up at Glass Beach, I wanted to do some more beach combing! It was around 9am the the tides were low, I spotted a red shell on the ground and got to grab it and realize it was what I had been looking for – a beautiful abalone shell! I was ecstatic!

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It was a quick trip, so we packed up and headed to brunch at Eggheads – highly recommended, the food was amazing! We wandered around the shops in downtown and picked up some goodies at Mendocino Chocolate Company. Our last stop was another one of my favorite things, lighthouses!

Point Cabrillo Lighthouse lies south of Fort Bragg and about a mile north of Mendocino. It was about a mile walk along the costal bluffs. It was early afternoon and very few people were out, it was a peaceful walk. The majestic red roof against the blue water was so stark and stunning.

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Sometimes you need to escape far from Silicon Valley. Looking for a beautiful, serene and absolutely stunning place? Drive 4 hours north to find the tiny quaint coastal towns of Mendocino and Fort Bragg – you will not be disappointed! Nature is always the best refresh for the soul.

Take Care,

Lucia

 

Year One – Wild California

California, Travel

Wow! 2015 is gone just like that – what an incredible year it was! It was our first year living in California, 3,000 miles from where we met, our home in Raleigh, NC. I became fully dedicated into a job focused on protecting and preserving the environment – which is very rewarding and something I am truly passionate about! Seth and I explored and adventured all over Northern California – it was a truly remarkable year of change; full of new faces and places. So many absolutely special sites and sounds, my heart is so full and grateful. Here are a some of my favorite visual highlights from 2015!

Cheers to a happy, healthy and nature-filled 2016!

 

 

Keep Tahoe Blue

California, Travel

“…at last the Lake burst upon us—a noble sheet of blue water lifted six thousand three hundred feet above the level of the sea, and walled in by a rim of snow-clad mountain peaks that towered aloft full three thousand feet higher still! … As it lay there with the shadows of the mountains brilliantly photographed upon its still surface I thought it must surely be the fairest picture the whole earth affords.”

-Mark Twain, Roughing It

I have been wanting to visit Lake Tahoe for a while, Seth’s birthday was coming up and decided October in Tahoe would be a nice surprise.  We stayed at an adorable retro cabin!

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Luckily, the Airbnb was a 5 minute walk to the lake – amazing! The best part was we got to take Bayla along with us, she love going to any type of water and luckily South Lake Tahoe is very dog friendly.

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It took us about 8 hours from San Jose to get there Friday evening because of traffic. Oh well, we found it and settled in and stayed up late hanging out and talking. The place was so cute and retro it was perfect!

The next morning Seth and I woke up at 8am because Bayla was begging to go out, she knew we were somewhere special. We took the 5 minute walk (or 10 with picture taking) to the lake and there are just no words for its beauty. The street feel like a small mountain town but being out on the lake felt like a completely different planet, so  serene and quiet and the water so clear and blue – absolutely incredible!

 

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We decided to go kayaking on the lake, whew that water was freezing! We had to take our shoes off and wade in the shallow water until we both get in. It was so fun! Seth was the better one at paddling, I was admiring the blue water and the mountains in the distance it was magical!

Later on, we adventured over to the Emerald Bay area – just wow! So pristine and still – really remarkable. We went on a short 2 mile hike, Cascade Falls, the views were specular – Lake Tahoe is truly a special place!

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An absolute must see if you’re traveling through California.

Take Care,

Lucia

McWay Falls

California, Travel

“Ah, life is a gate, a way, a path to Paradise anyway, why not live for fun and joy and love or some sort of girl by a fireside, why not go to your desire and LAUGH…”   

We had some visitors in town from DC. We decided to get them away from the city life and reconnect with nature. We took a trip down to the California coast to show them the magic that is Big Sur. If you only have one day to spend in Big Sur, I recommened heading to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, which has the breathtaking McWay Falls and also redwoods and canyon hiking with ocean views – all which make up the Big Sur experience. We took the Ewoldsen Trail, a 4.5 loop that first traversed cool and shady scrub underbrush. I loved how the light beams through the magesitc redwood canopy.

DSC_0658 DSC_0661As we contiuned uphill, we would chase glimpses of the beautiful blue water. We saw a group of people coming down and mentioned they just was a condor soaring in the sky, at the top of the canyon. While walking along to ridge at the top of the canyon – I stopped the condor! It had an least an 8ft wingspan with a large white stripe on the underside of its wing. It was a magnificent site! There was a large wildfire in 2008 and burned through a lot of the Big Sur region, you can still see remnants of char, yet these giants have grow through the burns.

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After the hike, we ventured down a 1/2 mile path to see McWay Falls, an 80ft waterfall that drops into the ocean. It’s so beautiful from every angle. The colors of the water are the truest shades of turquoise you will ever see. It is hard not to be entranced my the vibrant water, salty air, serene simplicity. I could really just sit and watch the ocean all day here.

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We stopped to eat at Nepenthe, our all time favorite place with the most remarkable lunchtime views.

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Take Care, Lucia

P.s – You won’t remember that weekend spent watching Netflix – go climb that mountain. Never stop exploring!

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7 Reasons to Visit San Francisco

Local, San Francisco, Travel

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…
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2. Golden Gate Bridge

The world’s most photographed bridge…

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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.

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4. The Warfield Theater

A  gorgeous 2,300 seat music venue opened in 1922.

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5. San Francisco Bay

Ferry rides from Sausalito back to San Francisco are amazing!

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6. Pop Up Art Shows

The Beehive Society present Springfield, Springfield!

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7. Baker’s Beach & Fort Mason

Gorgeous views of the Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge – fun for the whole family!

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Xo, Lucia

East Coast Mountain Escape

Travel

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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.

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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!

DSC_0379We 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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Beatiuful potted plants at my mother's front door

Beautiful potted plants at my mother’s front door

    

Hello World!

California, Travel

Life is a whirlwind of sheer fate and coincidence and the winds have taken me from beautiful North Carolina to magical California.IMG_3739

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.

 Processed with RookieSeth and I decided to pack our bags and see the world.

This is our story, follow along for a glimpse into the California life!

Xo, Lucia