December 2014 – January 2015
Half Moon Bay-5

Half Moon Bay, CA

We wrapped up our trip to California with a real treat: a slow day in Half Moon Bay with the cliffs and the coast. This was my favorite stop in CA: the lit afternoon cliffs thick with succulents, the bagpipes from the hotel in the background, and curling up in blankets on the hotel deck as the sun set. The hotel was situated so perfectly for taking a deep breath by the window, and exhaling into the night, so starry and full of the sound of waves. The wind, the golf, and the cold surf all reminde…


Big Sur and Carmel-By-The-Sea

From Sonoma, we drove into the miniature-sized town of Carmel-By-The-Sea just as the orange of a sun was rolling down into the Pacific. Our old-world hotel offered champagne at check-in, and we had just enough time to breath in the last, vibrant sunset of 2014 out the window and (why not?) take some end of year portraits! We ended the evening with Scrabble and a quintessential French meal at Andre's Bouchee: courses of chestnut soup, smoked salmon, John Dory with Beurre Blanc, confit duck with…



We pulled into the town of Sonoma a back way fairly late in the evening after visiting the mystical Muir Woods and a calm, couple-hours drive, and the town seemed to consist mainly of a gas station, except for our hotel, a cozy collection of cottages around a central shrub-mazed courtyard. But when we went to dinner, the town was completely charming! Large windowed stores lined the town square, and the whole town was lit in white lights. No one got the memo about colored lights (or everyone got …


The Golden Gate: San Francisco and Muir Woods

When the sliding doors of the airport opened and we stepped into the California breeze, it surprised me for two reasons. It was cold, and it smelled so clear and empty for a city. After a few restful days in Minnesota for Christmas, we ended 2014 and started 2015 in a state I'd never visited other than in layovers. We stayed in four different areas of the state, so I'll post separately about Sonoma, Carmel, and Half Moon Bay, but today, I wanted to show you my first visit to a Cali city: San Fra…