Hakone Estate & Gardens

Stroll and whisper. That‚Äôs what you do when you enter the peace and quiet of Hakone Japanese Gardens. If you‚Äôre there when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, you‚Äôll want to shout about their beauty. Shhhh. Keep it to yourself and continue quietly enjoying the rest of the gardens. Over eighteen acres, there‚Äôs much… Continue reading Hakone Estate & Gardens


When we told San Francisco friends we were heading to Benicia, they asked, “You’re going where? Why?” They said there was nothing to see or do in Benicia. They were wrong. Though rebuked and scorned and mainly unknown, Benicia is a delightful¬†little waterside town in Solano County. For thirteen months (1853-54), it was California’s state… Continue reading Benicia

San Luis Obispo

About 45,000 lucky people live in San Luis Obispo (SLO), the city that sits halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco in the middle of the wine-rich Central Coast. Why are they so lucky? Let me count the ways … no, actually there are more than I can list here, so I’ll restrict myself to… Continue reading San Luis Obispo

Pacifica California

Headline news, January 2016, Pacifica, California. Residents have enjoyed the cliffside ocean view from their decks and backdoors for decades. But that is about to end this hyperlink. As waves relentlessly eat away at the soil beneath their homes, their decks and backdoors are falling into the sea. Reluctantly, residents have to move before they,… Continue reading Pacifica California


Carmel-By-The-Sea This little beachside town on California‚Äôs Monterey Peninsula defines ‚Äúcharming and quaint.‚Äù With fewer than 4000 people who all want to keep the town as it is (thank you very much), it‚Äôs understandable how quaint city laws are kept on the books. These laws include not allowing high heels without a permit, not installing… Continue reading Carmel-By-The-Sea