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    Rocks, Rocks and More Rocks

    As far as the eye can see in Joshua Tree National Park. The amazing landscape looks like you are walking on what used to be the ocean floor. While it looks pretty barren, it is the Mojave desert after all, this place is actually teaming with life as there are many different species of plants and animals that call it home. In fact, we were lucky enough to see a group of six or seven bighorn sheep lounging on some giant rocks as we started our first hike out to Barker Dam. Amongst the most diverse rock formations you’ve...

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    Monterey, Carmel and the Amazing Big Sur…the Ultimate American Road Trip

    I was afraid this would happen. I’ve been longing to visit the Monterey bay area for what seems like forever. You know how sometimes you read about a place and you just know that you are going to fall in love with it before you even get there. Well, that’s Monterey and Carmel for me. And yes…I did fall in love! Monterey offers the ultimately iconic California experience and it’s easy to see why the drive to Big Sur has been voted the top road trip in the United States. The coastline is just breathtaking. There are an endless...

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    Yosemite….Words Just Can’t Express

    And that’s how I truly feel, so this blog will be shorter than my typical posts for this trip as I feel it’s better expressed through photographs. The beauty of this place is unbelievable – it’s like being on another planet. So, I’m just going to highlight our hikes and of course the beautiful Tenaya Lodge where we stayed, and describe the rest of Yosemite through all of the great pictures we took. Tenaya Lodge sits on a cozy and secluded expanse of the Sierra National Forest just a few minutes from the south gate of Yosemite National Park....

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    Sustainable Lodging, Farm-to-Table Restaurants and Of Course Wine in Napa Valley

    Leaving Lake Tahoe, we traveled west to Napa on I-50 and happened to be driving near an area where they were having many uncontrolled wildfires. In fact, we were so close at one point that we could see the flames from the top of a ridge. We learned that they actually closed the road we were on the next day! Even when we arrived in Napa, there was still a haze on the horizon from all of the smoke blowing miles away. Our first stop was at The Meritage Resort & Spa. Just like the wine that inspired its...

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    A Sport’s Lovers Paradise in South Lake Tahoe

    Boating, paddleboarding, kayaking, skiing, biking, hiking, ice skating and bar hopping… whatever your passion, Tahoe South (as the locals call it) does it right. All on the shore of the largest alpine lake in North America – Lake Tahoe offers ridiculously blue-green, crystal clear water surrounded by the majestic Sierra Nevada, jaw-dropping vistas, stately groves of pines, and ludicrously gorgeous sunsets. Why would you ever want to go anywhere else? And that’s pretty much what every transplant here said – once they moved here, they’d never go back. Our first stop was check-in at the 968 Park Hotel and...

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    In Search of Pinot and The Legendary Rocky Coast of Oregon

    Once again I headed out on a wine tasting mission for a varietal that I’m not so crazy about. What is all the fuss about Pinot Noir? I’m sure a statement like that will make a few heads spin and send some people into an hour long dissertation on the subject of Pinot Noir. I’ll be the first to admit that I have probably not tried enough Pinot’s to make any judgement, however, like Merlot (you’re saying…did she really just compare Pinot to Merlot), it’s always been a little too light of a wine for me. I think the...

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    Great Wines, Great Beers and Everything Eco-Friendly in Portland, Oregon

    If you don’t get enough amazing food and drink in Seattle, then Portland, Oregon is just a short drive away. Our first stop was to check-in at the Kimpton RiverPlace Hotel which is right on the banks of the river. Having only been to Portland once and staying in the heart of the city, I wasn’t sure what to expect about this part of the city, but I wasn’t disappointed to find a mile long walkway by the river just out the door of the hotel that took you past restaurants, shops and beautiful views of boats, bridges and...

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    Crystal Blue Water and Orange Sunsets over Lake Washington

    We started the day with a fantastic brunch at Café Flora in the Madison Park section of Seattle. Madison Park is a beautiful neighborhood packed with locally owned cafes, pubs, coffee and ice-cream shops, boutiques, and salons. In the spring of 1990, three old friends and long-time residents of this neighborhood met to discuss the possibility of buying the abandoned laundromat at 29th and East Madison and converting it to a vegetarian restaurant. Their motives were simple: to establish a friendly, community based vegetarian restaurant close to home, to develop a restaurant that could stand as a model business...