Friday, August 26, 2016

Why Humboldt Should Be Your Next Roadtrip

The past week we took a small four day road trip up to Northern California. We are in Northern California you say? Well, I mean the very north, Northern California, Humboldt County.

This area of amazing natural beauty, often referred to as being behind the 'Redwood Curtain,' is a 6-7 hour drive north of the Bay Area and yet remote enough that most Californians have never been. 

Long ago in the era of the family road trip, the 'redwoods' were something one did with the family, preferably in a station wagon and most likely in the 1970's. Now the luxury of time and long family road trips seem almost a bygone era. People want to get to their destination via plane and fast. To all those who have never done a real road trip of multiple days, this is your spot! Do you want to see ancient redwood forests, fern canyons and foggy beaches with a few VW buses thrown in? Humboldt has all this and more!

Flights can be expensive costing as much as a trip to Hawaii and prior rail services that connected here have been sadly been retired. Car is the way to go and it's a pretty drive.

Leaving from the Bay Area, stop in one of the cutest town on the way up, Ukiah for a lunch.

Our favorite bakery Schats in quaint downtown Ukiah.

This Dutch bakery has at least 40 sandwiches on the menu and makes fantastic bread and sweets. I think The Verdict is the most popular sandwich on their amazing Sheepherder bread. (Did I mention they are across from the courthouse?)  Afterward pop into the wonderful Mendocino Book Company around the corner with it's expansive selection of books, cards and all kinds of lovely things I just can't find elsewhere.

Friday, August 12, 2016

I Heart Salzburg

Hi friends if you are following along here's the second installment of our trip to Europe. The first is Our Two Days in Munich.

After two jam packed days in the wonderland that is Munich, we hopped a train and in under two hours were in Salzburg. With just 12 days in Europe we debated which cities to visit. We knew we wanted to see some of Austria and thought perhaps we'd do Vienna, but Salzburg was a little smaller and the fact they had a 'Sound of Music' bike tour made us choose it as our Austrian stop.

My boys chilling on the train.

The trains in Europe are wonderful and there is usually no need to get tickets in advance or go first class. It's easy to get seats together unless you're traveling during a holiday time. After checking the schedule online, we bought the tickets in the Munich station and walked on the train ten minutes later. I so enjoyed seeing the small towns and villages and the countryside of course. We bought cappuccinos and read our books when we weren't fascinated with the view.

When we arrived at the station, we grabbed a cab at the taxi line and took a short drive into the Altstadt or Old Town of Salzburg where our charming hotel was located. The city is divided by the Salzach River with the Medival and Baroque building of Old Town on the left and the 19th century Neustadt or New Town on the Right bank.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Five Favorites From the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Another lifetime ago, I worked at Nordstrom. It began as a college job and was lucrative enough that I kept it a few years after graduating. Nordstrom was a wonderful company to begin working for and I have only good memories of how well I was paid and the Nordstrom family who believed in treating customers and employees very well. As a young person their values really stuck with me. We worked hard, but they also believed in excellent compensation and more holidays than any other retailer had. 

Back in those days one of the most exciting times was when the Anniversary Sale came. It was the brainchild of the Nordstroms to counteract what used to be the very dead mid-summer. They asked their best vendors to come up with special pre-fall items priced lower just for a few weeks, exclusively for them. They eventually did the same with the beauty companies. It worked wonderfully as people came from all over to get to this once a year exclusive sale. I remember customers even flying in from Texas just for the sale! The sale has been copied by many other retailers, but still no one does it like Nordys. I eventually moved on to a job in advertising, but never forgot what I learned working for the Nordstroms (yes we did get to meet the family and often), and I also never miss a chance to check out the Anniversary Sale either.

My past week was crazy as we had college orientation for my oldest, but I got over to Nordstrom at Stanford (my favorite location) today and did some investigative shopping just for you all! There's so much to choose from, but I thought I'd share a few things that might be a good addition to the wardrobe, and not so trendy. The thing is, this sale is a good place to get a nicer item you might not normally spring for. In the past I've bought a Burberry trench, good boots and many nice bags as well as stocked up on my favorite bras and beauty items.

Some of the goodies I saw today...
Love this big ALLSAINTS tote. It's very lightweight and has the prettiest leather and can be worn snapped closed or open. For me this is a great everyday bag as I like to carry purchases and bottles of water along with my usual stuff. I also like the size of the strap which will easily fit on a shoulder when winter comes and we are wearing coats and bulkier items. Some of the hobos just don't have enough clearance for a coat and that makes me nuts.
There are a zillion cute booties and shoes at this sale. I was looking for something I'd wear a lot and would be new to my closet. I immediately liked these Reyanne shoes by Sam Edelman with their studs on the heel. A good selection of colors, but I love this berry color as a nice pop with fall neutrals and jeans. I have so many black and taupe winter shoes and sometimes it's nice to have a little color. Best thing about these shoes are they are very comfortable! They feel well made. I test drove them!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Staying Stylish and Cool at Bank of The West's Ladies Day

Just a quick post to share all the stylish ladies I saw today at the annual Bank of the West Classic Ladies Day. This lunch is held on two days and includes lunch, meeting one of the players, a raffle for prizes, swag bags and most importantly tennis! Many of the attendees are from tennis clubs far and wide that organize this and gather tables. Today we saw two matches and the weather was wonderful for July.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Wimbledon Chat 2016 and Fashions from The Royal Box

It's that time again tennis loving friends, grab your Pimm's Cup and let's chat about all things Wimbledon.

 I was thrilled to bits to see Andy Murray win and wow was he in top form. He so deserved it. Murray made virtually no mistakes in the final and there was almost nothing he couldn't return against the powerful Raonic, including a 146 mile and hour serve.

Andy is one of the most under-rated players and does not depend on his serve, but likes to hack away out there. He is so humble and normal you can't help but root for him. I'd like to see him get to world number one some day and it looks as if he's really on track to get there.

I think we may be on the cusp of a major shakeup in the hierarchy of tennis. Federer may be on his last years or so to win another after dominating for so long. I'm not sure if that's the case with Serena, who seems still so strong. Hers is a game that is overwhelmingly powered by her serve, strength and stamina.

Yet, Serena had yet to win a Grand Slam tournament this year after winning last years's Wimbledon. This was her 22nd Grand Slam win. Women however, have shown they can hang in for longer time than most men in tennis as in the case of Navratilova (with nine Wimbledon wins), Steffi Graff, Chris Evert and others.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Our Two Days in Munich

I wanted to share our twelve day family trip to Europe we did in early June. This was partly a trip for the our son Jackson, who just graduated from high school and also to retrace a trip my husband Max did at the same age more than 30 years ago.

We began in Munich where we checked in for two nights at the beautiful Charles Hotel. This gem was a great place to get our bearings, relax and see some of Munich before moving onto Salzburg, Lucerne and then London. We used our United miles and so were able to fly free. We stayed in hotels this time as we had more stops and only just planned this in early May. It actually worked out great. We had some adjoining rooms with our boys and a rooftop apartment at another. We took trains between all the cities except we flew from Zurich, Switzerland to London to save a travel day. 

The Charles is located in a perfect spot overlooking the botanical gardens and just a ten minute walk to the Marienplatz, and the old city center. It has a charming front courtyard where we checked in and had some cappuccinos which they served with a little dish of chocolates. Welcome to Germany!

I think I'm half asleep here!

In this pretty patio you can have lunch or just a drink and watch the bikes go by on the quiet little street that circles the park.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Getting Back in the Summer Mindset

Hi friends I'm back. We were away on a European adventure and before that both my sons graduated - one from high school and the other from middle school.  Leading up to that I was consumed with the year end celebrations and also preparing for the trip which we insanely planned just three days after the graduations! To say I lost my mind a bit would not be an understatement. I couldn't even think about my blog and when we returned from our holiday I was in a jet-lag and laundry induced haze. I'm just coming out of it and I plan to share about the trip and more summer-themed posts.

I just LOVE summer and the summer way of thinking. I relish the time to recharge, relax, read books, reorganize, de-clutter, and take stock and sometimes just do nothing, but watch the hummingbirds in my yard with a cup of tea. Best of all, are the days that unfold with no plans. Maybe we'll get frozen yogurt or do a craft or bike to lunch. The rest of summer we will take a few road trips, do an annual camping trip to the Sierras with the whole family and then get our oldest ready to go to college, which will be a big adjustment for us all. I just can't wrap my head around it yet.

Most of all I look forward to the things that make summer seem like a little vacation each day-swimming, popsicles, bike rides, fruit from everyone's yards, growing my own tomatoes (which are almost ripe!), lots of alfresco dinners, happy hours with friends, family movie and game nights with the boys and reading as many books as I can happily squeeze in.