Mission San Juan Bautista

Located on a low hill overlooking the fertile San Juan Valley, Mission San Juan Bautista sits on a rising crustal block on the Pacific side of the San Andreas Fault. Since it was established in June of 1797, the mission has suffered damage from a variety of earthquakes. Shaking was said to be so severe…

Portal to the San Francisco Bay Trail

A quirky house-shaped structure and doorway frame the entrance to a boardwalk over the Alviso Marina Park salt marsh. The boardwalk leads to the San Francisco Bay Trail and the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, a favorite location for bird watching, hiking, and bike riding. On this evening visit, the sun’s golden…

Casa Juan de Anza

About an hour south of San Jose, the historic town of San Juan Bautista has some fine examples of old adobe style structures. One of my favorites, the Casa Juan de Anza, is one of only four historic adobes still standing in San Juan Bautista. Built in 1799, Casa Juan de Anza sits at the southwest…

Spanish Style Gardens & Doors

Do you have a special local spot you go to when you need an escape from the bustle of daily life? For me, it’s the Spanish-influenced gardens and artisan shops at the Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park. Every season brings different blooms and lush green vegetation thanks to our mild California climate. I last visited…

California Winter Wonderland

A series of rainstorms have rolled into the San Francisco Bay Area this week. After a fairly dry and sunny month of February and early March, we are cheering the rain on! The hills and fields are bursting with the growth of new grasses in glorious shades of green – our version of a winter…

Street Details: Los Gatos

Today, a selection of street details that caught my eye in Los Gatos, California. I was drawn to the patina of aged wood and painted corrugated metal siding on the backside of a shop called Natural Creations. Plants growing on the inside of the shop peeked through cracks in the structure. A toy dog was humorously…

Horses & Doors

Some fresh air, a walk with the dog, and finding a few interesting doors to photograph was my motivation for a short excursion to a nearby horse stable yesterday. Buddy loves to be around the horses and they don’t seem to mind his calm presence. Check out the blue shoes on this white beauty. Hmm….

Unworldly Beauty at the Alviso Salt Ponds

One late summer day, I headed to Alviso Marina County Park for my usual walk on the trails around the tall grasses of the saltwater marshes. The day was sunny and breezy without a cloud in the sky. The onshore breeze kept me cool and put me in the mood to explore beyond my comfort…

The Sweet Taste of Satisfaction

While I’m not Greek, I’m a lucky gal married to a Greek, and love all things Greek, especially Greek food. It’s an annual tradition for us to celebrate my birthday with a classic Greek meal of grilled lamb chops with baklava for dessert. Ah, the sweet taste of satisfaction when I bite into a juicy,…

Bay Area Coastal Towns

Living in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, we have the pleasure of hosting many family and friends from across the states and overseas. Of course, San Francisco and Napa Valley always top the must-see list for first-time visitors. Nevertheless, we manage to lure our guests on a tour of our favorite Bay Area…

Street Scenes: Historic Downtown Pleasanton

One of my go-to places for lunch with friends is Historic Downtown Pleasanton. Mid-19th-century architecture mixed with modern-style businesses give the town a unique, eclectic vibe. A good variety of restaurants, cafes, and boutique shops make this a perfect spot to spend the afternoon. Today, a selection of doors, historic buildings, and street decor for…

Bayside Canning Company Blues

There can be an uneasy beauty in scenes of decay and crumbling structures. Places once teaming with life now abandoned and weathered by decades of sun, wind, rain, and neglect. Places we often pass by and ignore as they’ve become a fixture along our route to somewhere else. For me, that place was the former…

Wintertime at Sandy Wool Lake

This past weekend we headed to Sandy Wool Lake at Ed R. Levin County Park for a much-needed walk in nature. Wintertime is a good time of year to visit the park when temperatures are cool, and the dry, golden brown grasses of summer turn green under the rainy days of winter. When last at the…

Waiting for “The Shining”

An eerie calm before the storm at the Hayes Mansion in San Jose, California. It’s not the Stanley Hotel from the movie, “The Shining,” but it sure looked and felt like it on this ominous day.