An unlikely mayor of Carmel, perhaps? When local resident Clint Eastwood got fed up with the bureaucracy in his hometown, he announced he would run for the top job himself. WIth a record voter turnout and 72.5 percent of the vote, Mayor Clint Eastwood moved into City Hall in 1986 to get stuff done his way.
Eastwood is quoted as saying, “We got things built – beach walkways, a library annex which had been waiting 25 years, and so on.” Saved from the wrecker’s ball, Eastwood’s 22-acre Mission Ranch Hotel and Restaurant on the ocean is a former dairy inn where sheep still graze in the meadow while guests enjoy the dining and drinks by the piano bar, complete with outdoor deck and fireplace. Another spot made famous by his previous ownership is Hog’s Breath Inn, a downtown bar and restaurant with outdoor fireplace pit, its tiny bar decorated with Clint Eastwood movie posters.
Click for Clint’s pretty Carmel-by-the-Sea
California is a big state. The 500-mile road journey from San Diego to San Francisco is certainly faster and shorter by plane or by car, but the train offers spectacular Pacific scenery, so it is an option when time allows. The journey takes a minimum of 12 hours and 30 minutes and deserves Amtrak’s name, “A Grand West Coast Train Adventure” for the views. This route can go beyond San Francisco to take passengers 1,377 miles, 35 hours from Los Angeles, all the way to Seattle. Bikes, surfboards, and luggage can be brought along.
First Leg: San Diego to Los Angeles -> read on here
San Clemente Pier has it all!
On a Sunny Sunday in December
Pop in $1.50 in quarters for an hour at the town parking lot and head for the ocean just a block away. Grabbing the children’s hands, we all felt excited by the view. Just beyond the Sunday farmers market at Avenida del Mar is a vast expanse of sea. We skipped behind the wet-suited surfers down to the shore. Hard to imagine this was December a mere week before Christmas; a warming late morning sun was keeping it toasty. A teenage girl appeared in her bikini running along the sand.
What a wonderful old pier!
Wonderful! A wooden beam pier, the very best kind.
San Clemente Pier is between San Diego and Los Angeles
History, Antiquing, Biking, Dining, Spas and Festivals in the Valley of the Moon
There is an unresolved debate revolving around the question: what are the best destinations in Sonoma Valley and Napa Valley? Well, if distance, time and the price of gas make a difference, there is certainly no better answer than the picturesque town of Sonoma, with much more to offer than wineries.
Under 40 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge, Sonoma is an historic town in the heart of wine country, easily do-able as a day trip, if not for a weekend. Sonoma is a top choice, having more historic interest than nearby towns in Sonoma and Napa and is also the shortest drive due north from San Francisco.
Beyond the obvious draw of the vineyards for which the rich soil of Sonoma and Napa Valley are world-renowned, there is plenty to do unrelated to wine making and wine tasting. Both counties have a healthy dose of small antique furniture shops, charming inns, resorts with spas, pleasant biking routes, good restaurants and roadside fruit and vegetable stands sprinkled along the local roads. Sonoma, known as the Valley of the Moon possibly from a translation from a Native American tongue, is convenient and abounds in all of these activities and diversions.
Sonoma Plaza and more. For full article, click here.
Pacific Shore in San Francisco is bl**dy c*ld, even in June
Lucky you and lucky me, to live in San Francisco. But don’t our dear friends and family, including wider Facebook circle of friends and rarely-heard-from extended family members know it as well! That is, you will hear from them all when they are planning a summer trip to (what they believe to be) a warm and sunny San Francisco.
Never mind, just take them to the legendary Cliff House on Ocean Beach. Your visitors will adore you for the reward of dunking their toes in the Pacific Ocean after hours of traveling to reach it! Only the toes, that is, as the shock of icy water banishes all thoughts of wading in any further. The views of Ocean Beach will knock their socks off and the sharp wind off the coastline waves will do likewise…<more>
Prisoner for a Day at Alcatraz (photo: Laurie Jo Miller Farr)
The U.S. National Park Service Offers a Guided Walking Tour and Self-guided Audio Tour
It was an unusually warm 75 degrees Fahreheit under gorgeous, cloudless skies in early February when we headed off for Pier 33 near Fisherman’s Wharf to hop on Alcatraz Cruises for a glorious 15-minute journey with absolutely stunning views of San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge and the beautiful bay.
Such a backdrop is juxtaposition indeed for the horrific stories that soon follow about inhospitable conditions at Alcatraz. Upon disembarkation, as luck would have it, Richie the Ranger carrying his burlap bag of props was ready to begin a thoroughly animated “Six Hats of Alcatraz” walking tour up the hill. At each pivotal stop along our route, a different hat was produced to stage characters from the past as our guide transported us to another time at this place.
Introducing the amazing Richie the Ranger:
Made it to sunny California! (photo: Laurie Jo Miller Farr)
Frisky Skips the U.K. (photo: Laurie Jo Miller Farr)
Moving this year?
Moving to a new home can be a tall order for anyone. When combined with moving to another city or country, to a new job or to find a job, perhaps even a new language, new schools and new friends to make as well, it can all be a bit daunting. And that’s without even considering the pets.
Read about our relocation story on Yahoo! Travel