Kayaking Through Jellyfish at the Elkhorn Slough

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The Monday of Labor Day weekend seemed like a great time to rent kayaks with my favorite people and glide through the salty waters of the Elkhorn Slough in Moss Landing, California. This protected nature preserve opens up to the Pacific Ocean, meaning all sorts of fascinating wildlife can easily swim their way into the…

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Exploring the Danish Village of Solvang

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Whenever we road trip to Santa Barbara for a long weekend, it’s customary for us to stop at Solvang along the way – “A little slice of Denmark in Southern California”. This historic Danish village tucked into the Santa Ynez Valley hills 45 minutes north of our destination provides more than just a much-needed pit…

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Sunflowers and Smiles at California Spring Trials

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If you’ve never been to a flowers trade show before, I highly encourage it. Beyond the obvious loveliness of the plants on display, I’m always impressed by the incredible coordination it takes to grow countless varieties of different flowers that all bloom perfectly at the same time, even as their growth cycles drastically vary through…

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Peacocks and Pit Stops at Casa De Fruta

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Anyone roadtripping from the south valley along Pacheco Pass toward I-5 has stopped at Casa de Fruta, the farm stand-turned oasis hidden among the rolling California hills. Home to waving palm trees and colorful blue peacocks, Casa de Fruta was founded back in the early 1900s by a family of orchard farmers who evolved the…

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Cruising the Mexican Riviera Aboard Norwegian

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Surfing through cruise deals online one day in March, we stumbled across an amazing early bird offer from Norwegian Cruise Line – four tickets for the price of two, for a week-long Christmas cruise to the Mexican Riviera, making port in Mazatlán, Cabo San Lucas, and Puerto Vallarta. What a steal! And completely worth the…

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Guide to Mexican Riviera Cruise Excursions

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Look at us – so happy, so sun-kissed. Planning our holiday cruise nine months in advance, we had plenty of time to research and pre-book our excursions, pocketing those sweet sweet discounts along the way. But how could we choose? Wading through beautiful photos of swimming with dolphins, guided city tours, ATV off-road adventures, zip-lining…

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NightLife – California Academy of Sciences

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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…

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Mt. Hermon Christian Retreat Center

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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…

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Take the Jelly Belly Factory Tour

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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…

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Sunny Family Fun At Boomers!

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One thing I love about California is that so much of our entertainment is outdoors, thanks to the perpetually sunny weather. I’ve seen entertainment complexes like Boomers! before in the Midwest, but usually they’re cramped and sweaty because everything is indoors, allowing them to remain open year round. Not Boomers. This place knows how to…

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Ostrich Land – Wild Muppet Dinosaurs

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I still can’t believe we found this place. On my way to Santa Barbara with Brandon and my brother Josh, we planned to stop by Solvang, the adorable Dutch town in the mountains about 45 minutes away. But passing this sign for Ostrich Land USA, we did a hard double-take. A place to feed real…

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The Superbowl of Flowers – California Spring Trials!

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Every year, bigwigs of the flower industry fly in from all around the world to California Spring Trials (CAST) to ponder the latest floral innovations and genetic improvements. It’s at this week-long plant extravaganza that marketers and breeders proudly reveal their newest and best creations – flowers that are longer-lasting, are available in new colors,…

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