Pineapple Carnitas at Cult Taco in Monterey

By Jessica Willis

“California cuisine through a Oaxacan lens.” – Chef Michelle Estigoy Welcome to Cult Taco in historic downtown Monterey, California! Please step up to the touchscreen to place your order. What are you in the mood for – tacos? An Ensalada? A Torta? We’ve got your homemade chips and salsa right here. You look like you…

3 Places to Hydrate in Morgan Hill

By Jessica Willis

Welcome to Morgan Hill, California, the rapidly expanding south valley city that started as a bedroom community for Silicon Valley, but is quickly asserting itself as a thriving center of culture in its own right. Downtown restaurants like Odeum and Prova entice with flavorful dishes created by a Michelin Star-awarded chef. Yearly events like the…

18th Barrel, Beer & Wine Tasting Room

By Jessica Willis

Taste the best of both barrels. – 18th Barrel Tasting Room Bye bye Napa Valley, hello Central Coast. The fertile soil between San Jose and Los Angeles has quickly grown to rival the classic wine trails of Northern California, with family-run wineries and tasting rooms popping up along the countryside. The sunny, but mild climate…

Homeroom Mac + Cheese in Oakland

By Jessica Willis

Some of the best restaurants begin with the simplest of dreams and menus, wouldn’t you agree? Such is the case for Homeroom Mac + Cheese in Oakland, CA. Founded by a former lawyer-turned-restaurateur, Homeroom is the women-owned, schoolhouse-themed macaroni and cheese restaurant you never knew you needed in your life. Every meal begins with the…

Fine Dining in Yosemite National Park

By Jessica Willis

Venturing to Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada mountains of east-central California is an all-day event, well-worth the drive from the Central Coast. We visited on a whim one Wednesday in the early fall, marveling at the sheer size of everything – the giant sequoia trees, towering granite cliffs, and delicate misty waterfalls. After…

NightLife – California Academy of Sciences

By Jessica Willis

Our mission is to explore, explain, and sustain life on earth. (calacademy.org) Strolling through Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, you’ll recognize the typical neighborhood public green space – large grassy lawns, squirrels and geese, quiet tree groves, maybe a rabbit peaking out from under a bush. But turn the next corner and a different…

In-N-Out Burger – A California Icon

By Jessica Willis

Yes, this is a blog post about a fast food restaurant. No, this isn’t just any fast food place. It’s In-N-Out Burger! I love all the palm trees here in California. They represent the breezy, sunny lifestyle we live everyday, which is probably why they are In-N-Out Burger’s symbol of choice for its iconic yellow,…

Mt. Hermon Christian Retreat Center

By Jessica Willis

Situated among the ancient redwoods of the Santa Cruz mountains, Mount Hermon has served as a peaceful retreat for more than 100 years. Anyone and everyone are welcome to reconnect with creation and the Creator through fellowship with friends and family, great food, and beautiful greenery. I visit Mount Hermon every fall with my church’s…

Tasty Tapas at Prova California Table

By Jessica Willis

“Prova” – Italian word meaning “to try” or “to taste” (provamorganhill.com) From the same Michelin star chef who brought you elevated Mediterranean soul food cuisine at Odeum comes Prova California Table in the heart of downtown Morgan Hill, California. Brandon and I visited this airy spot on our wedding anniversary this year, on a quiet Tuesday…

Take the Jelly Belly Factory Tour

By Jessica Willis

Welcome to the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield, California! On this self-guided tour, you’ll learn all about Jelly Belly’s four-generation candy-making history, the company’s love for former president Ronald Reagan, and the secret behind how those tasty beans are made. Jelly Belly history in brief, 1869 – 2016 (Click here to see photos matching each…