the world's best bike ride?

Back in June, we had some exciting visitors from Australia -- Madeline and Rob -- and decided to use this chance for a touristy activity we had been wanting to do: biking across the Golden Gate Bridge from SF to Sausalito. Lucky for us, it just happened to be an unusually warm summer day, with high temps and a clear blue sky.

Our starting point was Bay City Bike near Fisherman's Wharf; from there we headed west along the bay, through Fort Mason, the Marina and Chrissy Field. After taking a quick break at the Warming Hut for some cold drinks and a re-lathering of sunscreen, we made it to the bridge. As many times as I've driven across the bridge, I absolutely never get sick of the feeling you get when you're on it and the amazing views you get from it. Biking across is even better, for obvious reasons: more time on the bridge and the ability to stop when you want to take photos.

After the nearly two-mile ride across the bridge, which separates San Francisco and Marin counties, we descended toward Sausalito, quite possibly one of the country's loveliest towns. Our goal was Bar Bocce, a new-ish restaurant on the water that serves up wood-fired pizza, excellent sangria and a bocce ball court. A couple of hours here replenished us for the short ride to the Sausalito ferry terminal, where we boarded a boat with our bikes and headed back to the city.

To see all the photos, click here.


horsin’ around

Last weekend, we got a great deal from zozi.com for an afternoon trail ride in the South Bay. So we put on our baseball caps (we don’t have cowboy hats, sadly) and our sneakers (nor do we own cowboy boots), and headed south to Chaparral Ranch in Milpitas for some western fun.


lake shasta

Two weekends ago, a group of 10 of us packed up our cars (and four dogs) and headed north on Interstate 5 for a weekend of camping at Lake Shasta, part of Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Just south of Mt. Shasta in the very southern end of the Cascades, Lake Shasta is one of my new favorite California destinations, if only for the fact that I can rent a boat, actually swim in the water (basically impossible in the Pacific or in Lake Tahoe, unless I want freeze to death) and feel like I’m back home at Table Rock.

We camped at Hirz Bay campground and rented two pontoon boats, loaded down with ice-cold drinks and slightly freaked-out canines, for a day of fun in the sun.

Photo Jul 07, 10 03 39 AM


a wine country 4th of july

Thanks to a twist of luck due to some out-of-town friends, we found ourselves spending most of 4th of July week housesitting/dog-sitting in Sonoma. For five glorious days, we lived the suburban wine country life in the small town of Healdsburg. We had cocktails on the back patio. We grilled. We played with the dog. We went for hikes right outside our front door. We found a lake. And we spent the actual 4th at the fabulous pool at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery.

Photo Jul 01, 4 21 33 PMPhoto Jun 08, 8 08 00 PMPhoto Jun 09, 6 15 43 PMPhoto Jun 29, 10 03 09 PMPhoto Jun 08, 8 08 16 PMPhoto Jul 04, 12 38 48 PM
From top left: You may assume these leafy vines are part of a winery, but it’s just a front yard in the neighborhood; our friends’ lovely back patio; the hilly view outside the front door; hiking; our charge – Bosco (he warmed to us); grillin’; homemade flatbread, grilled to perfection; the awesome, custom-made table with succulents and a space to hold cold drinks; this is what working from ‘home’ looks like in Sonoma; our discovery – Lake Sonoma – only a 15-minute drive from the house; the ‘beachy’ area we hiked down to on the lake; two views of Lake Sonoma from a lookout point; the pool at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery; celebrating the 4th of July



I have a love-hate relationship with the hills of San Francisco. On one hand, they make for a beautiful city setting. On the other hand, they are a b*tch to walk up every single day. But back on the first hand, they offer amazing views of the bay, and provide natural workout equipment. At least I don’t have to join a gym.