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

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.

Frankfurt, Germany

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Frankfurt is unlike any other Germany city.  It is a finance and business hub, home to one of the world’s largest stock exchanges as well as the new headquarters for the European Central Bank.  Its airport is the third largest in Europe.  Due to its soaring skyline and the Main River that runs through it, Frankfurt refers to itself as “Main-hatten”.

Mentioned in historical documents as far back as 794 AD, Frankfurt was an important center for the Holy Roman Empire.  With the election of Frederick I in 1152, the city became the customary site of the selection of Emperors and German Kings.  A stock exchange began operating in Frankfurt in 1585.

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Geneva, Switzerland

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Geneva is surrounded on three sides by France and its Lake Geneva is shared with France.  The primary language is French but Geneva is a very international city with approximately 46% of the population being foreign born.  This is mostly due to the raft of international organizations that either make their home here or have a substantial presence, such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization and the headquarters for the International Red Cross which was founded here in 1863.

Jet d'Eau

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