San Francisco has so many really great urban hikes around the city. I’ve lived here almost 10 years and I’m still discovering ones I’ve never been to. Brita asked me to put together my favorite hikes in the city and test out their new water bottles, I was happy to. The Brita Water bottle has a filter in the bottle, which comes in super handy when you are stuck with a less-than-ideal water source. San Francisco is my favorite place in the world and even if you are visiting I recommend mixing one of these little hikes in with all the regular tourist sites. They all take less than an hour and have great sweeping views.
1. Historic Trail. This trail is great because it makes me feel like I’m not smack dab in the middle of a city. It goes through a really nice wilderness area and ends up near Sutro Tower. The trailhead starts at Stanyan and 17th and is just a set of wooden stairs tucked in between two houses on the street.
See more after the jump.
We scored a hard-to-get reservation to Havasupai next week. If you haven’t heard of it, Havasupai Falls are these huge beautiful sets of waterfalls at the bottom of the Grand Canyon on an Indian Reservation. We used to go in high school and college a lot and it is amazing. You go for 4 or 5 days, camp, hike, swim in the clear blue pools and go cliff jumping. It is like a little hidden oasis in the middle of the hot desert. The only catch is it is a little tricky to get there. You can backpack the 12 miles in (the start point is a five hour drive from Las Vegas or Phoenix) or they have a helicopter service that flies in and out every few days. Once you get there the campgrounds are really affordable but you usually have to call in February to book them. We miraculously got some last month after a someone else cancelled theirs. I’ve been planning my packing list which includes a swimsuit and sunscreen (That’s all I need, right?) Here are some of the items I’ve been browsing from Target. I can’t wait to jump into those crystal blue pools! Have you ever been to Havasupai?
Havasupai Photo by Bryan Brazil
We are heading up to Stinson Beach to enjoy the beginning of summer at a friend’s beach house. I’m so excited, it’s even supposed to get into the 70′s! I went to Target last week to stock up on summer supplies, every time I go there I buy half the store. I’m not even sharing all the rad stuff I bought. I ran out of space on this post. Also, just a heads up: if you are in the market for some sand toys they have the best selection in the store (not the one below, I couldn’t find them online.) I realize by explaining this I’m revealing how I care way too much about sand toys BUT all my sand toy dreams came true at Target. I always do research before I buy anything and look for the most beautiful and best kind to buy. For two years I haven’t found any sand toys I like. They are always weird colors or really cheaply made. The selection at Target was so good I actually had to edit and take sand toys out of my cart. In case anyone cares as much as I do, get thee to Target. Have you found anything good at Target lately?
Beach Toys: As a mom of two little boys these get used at just about every park outing (find the good ones in-store.)
Chambray Skirts: I love these (here/here/here) for summer because they are casual and comfortable. So easy to throw on over a swimsuit.
Heart Sunnies: I bought a pair of these last week. I lose sunglasses like nobody’s business. Best to keep ‘em affordable.
Towels: All of our beach towels had disappeared so we were due for some new ones (here/here/here/here). Such a good selection.
Floppy Sunhat: I literally tried on 20 different hats at different stores and this is the only one that didn’t fall in my face.
Beach Bag: I’ve been wearing lots of basics like chambray lately so the pattern on this bag livens up my outfit.
Sandals: I like sandals I can wear to the beach or out to dinner. These are perfect.
Last month I had a meeting in Seattle so we decided to bring the whole family and make a trip out of it. We’ve always wanted to take the train down the coast so we decided this was the perfect opportunity. We flew up to Seattle, had a few fun days to explore the city and then boarded a train in Seattle in the morning. It was kind of an interesting adventure so I thought I would share it here in case anyone wants to try it. The airplane tickets at the time were around $100 each way and the the train tickets were $75 each way. The train from Seattle to San Francisco takes 24 hours so we decided to upgrade to the sleeper car. (I was worried about the kids being noisy at night and disturbing other people.) The sleeper car was about double what the plane tickets would have been (but it also includes meals). After a couple of hours on the train we were joking that we could have been home already. While the train was really cool, it isn’t the most time or cost efficient way to travel. Make sure you are doing it for the experience or you’ll be disappointed.
We arrived at the train station about 25 minutes before the train left. There were only a few other people in line so getting on the train was so easy. There was no taking off your shoes or putting everything through x-ray machines. It happened so fast that I can’t remember but I think we just walked through a metal detector. Within 5 minutes of arriving we were settled in our sleeper cabin. After we tucked away our bags the agent came by to offer us Champagne and Martinelli’s. It was so fun and we were all excited. The family sleeper cars felt spacious. I was worried I would feel cramped but that wasn’t the case.
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After moving back from Paris this summer we realized one of the things we missed most about living in Europe was the ability to take a little 4 day trip once a month. Everything is so close together in Europe so it is easier to get from country to country. And since you aren’t going to0 far it isn’t too expensive. I decided that I wanted to try to take more trips like that in the US. To make the trips inexpensive we have to watch for airfare deals and we are making efforts to visit places where we have family and friends to save on hotels. This week we are in Seattle and are having a great time exploring the city. I haven’t been here since I was 14 years old so it all feels new. Everything is so festive for the Holidays so even the grey weather is sort of charming. I would love recommendations for places to eat + shop if you have them.