Oakley, CA

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Continuing our mini-vacation to the San Francisco Bay Area, from Oakland we headed east to the town of Oakley, home to Valerie’s long time friends, Roger and Jo Anne.  They have been friends with Valerie and her kids for many years.

Half Moon Bay

On our first day, we took a day trip when Roger drove us all back west to San Francisco, across the Bay Bridge and then south to Half Moon Bay.  This is a small beach community that seems to have mostly avoided allowing itself to be overrun by development.  Just to the south of the town is a four mile stretch of beach that is the Half Moon Bay State Beach with a walking path, nice broad beaches and a campground.  We had lunch at the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company.  This is a beautiful stretch of California coastline.

The next day, we took a walk around their neighborhood with Roger and saw some of his favorite neighbors, sheep, goats and emu.   Before leaving we enjoyed a beautiful salad that Jo Anne prepared for us.

Next stop:  Placerville, CA

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Oakland, CA

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Next up on our mini-vacation to the San Francisco Bay Area was a quick stop in Oakland to visit with Valerie’s cousin, Marcy and her significant other, Marc.  They have an apartment near Jack London Square in Oakland.  This part of the city is very lively with lots of restaurants, breweries and other activities.  Their apartment is in one of the recently completed buildings nearby.

Waterfront at Jack London Square

We started our visit with a stroll around Jack London Square and they treated us to a wine tasting at Rosenblum Cellars, a winery right on the Oakland waterfront.  Afterward, we had a terrific brunch at Fat Lady restaurant.  In the evening we went to a nearby brewery that was having a comedy night with 5 local stand up comedians.

We started off our Sunday with a nice hike in nearby Redwood Regional Park.  This a huge park with miles of hiking and mountain biking trails in the hills east of Oakland.  There are some nice spots with good views to the west to Oakland and the San Francisco Bay beyond.  After working up a good appetite, we had brunch at one of their favorite spots, the Chop Bar which very recently moved to a new location which is just downstairs from their apartment.  Quite delicious.

Our time with Marcy was all too brief but filled with fun activities, food and beverages.

Next:  Oakley, CA

July in Lake Tahoe

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Lake Tahoe

We’ve had the great pleasure to spend all of July at Lake Tahoe, specifically, Zephyr Cove, NV, at the home of our friends, Steve and Wende.  Part of the time we were here alone pet sitting their two dogs and part of the time was with Steve, Wende and Brady.

Snow capped mountains, deep blue lake, clear skies and daily high temps of 80 degrees, plus or minus a couple of degrees.  It’s a near perfect combination.  We have taken many hikes and bicycle rides, shared a 4 hour ATV adventure through the mountains with Steve and Brady, spent a half day boating on Lake Tahoe and many enjoyable hours visiting with the family.  We even had the opportunity to attend the American Century Championship, an annual celebrity golf tournament featuring 60 to 70 sports and entertainment stars including, Jerry Rice, Marcus Allen, Steph Curry, Tony Romo, Charles Barkley, Justin Timberlake and many more.

South Lake Tahoe offers a wide variety of ways to spend a summer day from the beaches to the mountains.  There are all kinds of activities on and above the water and on the beaches.  The same can be said for the mountains.  The only downside is that weekends can be very busy, especially at the beaches.

We plan to stay here for the first 3 weeks of August as well, with the exception of a short side trip.