As if making plans for a romantic Valentine’s Day isn’t hard enough, it always seems to fall on a weekday. And if you haven’t noticed already, this Valentine’s Day is on a Thursday (How rude!). So for most of us working stiffs who have to go to work on Friday, a trip to the coast is out of the question. The easy answer: A Stay-n-Play Valentine’s Getaway (patent pending) to a hotel that’s an easy drive from home and work. Here’s a great example….
So you’re going to take your lover to a fancy restaurant on Valentine’s Day, eh? How original. C’mon people, let’s spice it up a bit. Let’s plan the kind of romantic getaway that will make you look like the most thoughtful person on the planet. This year Valentine’s Day falls on Thursday, so that gives you both a weekday and weekend opportunity to woo and wow your better half with one of our special Valentine’s Day getaways that will keep you out of the doghouse for months (well, for weeks at least).
There’s something about riding on a train that’s just… cool. And to ride along with your family, friends, or significant other while celebrating the holidays is all the better. During the month of December several local train companies festoon their vintage passenger cars with thousands of lights and ornaments and host a rolling Christmas party. So if you’re looking for some romantic weekend getaway ideas or something fun to do with the kids while they’re on break, take a look at my train of thoughts below (oh my that’s a bad pun). Read full article »
If you haven’t already made plans for Easter weekend and you want to be a shoo-in for the Parent-of-the-Year Award, then I’ve solved two problems for you. Because show me a little kid that doesn’t want to spend the day both hunting for Easter eggs and playing with real miniature horses? Chances are you’ve never heard of Equestrian Center of Walnut Creek, but on Saturday, March 30, they’re hosting a combo Easter Egg Hunt and Horse Fair that will have your kids in non-stop giddy-mode from 9am to 3pm. And admission to the whole shebang is free.
“Mom, Can I Please Have a Pony?”
You’re going to want to bring a camera for this one, because you’ll be framing that picture of your kids playing the those irresistibly cute miniature horses, which is just a fraction of the exhibits and riding demonstrations taking place immediately after the Walnut Creek Easter Egg Hunt at Heather Farms Park. From 9 to 10am the hunt is on for brightly colored eggs hidden throughout a small section of the park, then at 10am everyone is invited to the Horse Fair.
A little-known fact is that Heather Farms used to be a thoroughbred racehorse training facility, so it’s ideally suited for the public to come and watch expert riding performances and techniques (Western, English, Jumping, Gymkhana, Trail, Showmanship) while the kids can partake in numerous games, petting zoos, a Kids Activity Arena, and exhibitions by the Pony Club and 4-H Club. For example, at the Mini-Horse Exhibit, kids have the chance to groom, pet, and lead minis through a short obstacle course.
And of course, what Horse Faire wouldn’t be complete with live music, equine art and apparel booths, and a big ol’ western barbecue with all sorts of drinks and snacks for children and adults? Admission is free, and Activity Tickets are only $1, making the Walnut Creek Easter Egg Hunt & Horse Fair the most affordable and fun family entertainment taking place this Easter weekend.
Stay the Night!
If you’ve ever arrived late for an Easter egg hunt then you know: kids don’t forget. So I highly recommend you get an early start by staying Friday night at one of Walnut Creek’s four very affordable and kid-friendly hotels such as the Holiday Inn Express Walnut Creek, Walnut Creek Marriott, or Motel 6 where kids stay for free. Then you can get a jump on breakfast at the hotel or at Katy’s Kreek (voted the Bay Area’s Best Brunch and open every day at 7am) before driving over to Heather Farms in time for the 9am start.
If there’s still fuel in the kids’ tanks after the Horse Fair, I highly recommend heading over to the Lindsay Wildlife Museum, a unique natural history center where kids can get just inches away from live, wild animals, listen to the cry of a red tailed hawk, go eye-to-eye with a gray fox, and watch a bald eagle eat lunch (very cool). More than 50 species of live native California animals are on exhibit at this incredible museum that everyone raves about.
For more information about the Walnut Creek Easter Egg Hunt & Horse Fair, log onto www.ecwc.org. And for information about lodging, activities, restaurants, shopping, and more in Walnut Creek, log onto the Walnut Creek Convention & Visitors Bureau website at gowalnutcreek.com.
After months of 100+ degree days, we suddenly find ourselves tiptoeing into fall here in Southern California. The days are becoming crisp (if you call 75 degrees crisp) and the nights are getting cooler. Pretty soon, we might even be able to start wearing sweaters…okay, a girl can dream, can’t she? Anyway, it’s about this time of year that we start longing to do fall-type things. Since we’ve recently signed a few great Los Angeles hotels, we thought we’d provide some ideas for fun fall things to do and see in and around Los Angeles.
Standing in the center of San Francisco’s Union Square during the holidays is an experience not to be missed. The city has a living pulse of its own this time of year. All the stores are resplendent with twinkling lights and fanciful displays. Christmas trees festooned with lights and ornaments fill the square while children stand in line to talk to Santa. Sharing these kinds of special moments while discovering the perfect gift for your loved ones are what the holidays are all about. Being in the fashion industry for nearly ten years, I have come to find that San Francisco is loaded with high-fashion hideaways all over the city, and here are a few of my favorites. Read full article »
So you’re going to take your lover to a fancy restaurant on Valentine’s Day, eh? How original. C’mon people, let’s spice it up a bit. Let’s plan the kind of romantic weekend getaway that your significant other would never have dreamed you’d be clever enough to think of.
This year Valentine’s Day falls on Monday, so that gives you the entire weekend to woo and wow your better half with one of our special Valentine’s Day weekend getaways that will keep you out of the doghouse for months (well, for weeks at least). Read full article »
I’ve done your holiday shopping for you. You’re welcome. All you need to do is go for a weekend getaway to the Wine Country, stop by a few places I recommend while wine tasting, and you will be the rock-star gift-giver this Christmas. I promise. Because if there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s a crappy, schlocky, what-the-hell?, white-elephant present bought as an afterthought at some tacky gift shop. So why not add some wine tasting and spa treatments to your holiday shopping schedule? There are worse ways to spend a weekend. Read full article »
Independence Day falls on a Sunday this year, making it a three-day weekend for many and the perfect excuse to put some fireworks in your holiday with a getaway trip out of town. There’s hardly a community in Northern California that’s not planning a full day of entertainment, from county fairs and small-town parades to street festivals and beach parties. Here are a few of my top picks for a fun-filled Fourth of July. Read full article »
Memorial Day Weekend is coming up next week and you still haven’t made any plans yet, have you? I didn’t think so. Well, now’s a great time to start, so pour yourself another cup of coffee and take a few minutes to comb over my top suggestions for fun and affordable Memorial Day getaways in Northern California: exploring petrified forests, kayaking with sea otters, hiking along the coast, and many more. Read full article »