Looks Like California ~ Part Two

Our California city experiences were in San Francisco and Alameda county, primarily exploring Berkeley and San Francisco.

We visited famed streets and neighborhoods, museums and galleries, shops and festivals.

We choose our destinations and outings based on budget (everything mostly free) and relevance to our family's interests: art, comic book and music stores, and design.

We had the working vacation, Tougas family culture (a blend of nature, art, and digital tech) experience of the Bay Area of California.

I love California. It has its social problems, yes. And traffic. But there is a vast world of beauty, nature, and culture to explore and what we experienced was a drop in the bucket.

Everywhere we went it felt like we didn't have enough time. There was so much more I wanted to do, see, explore. I had to fight that feeling because we had what we had, and it had to be enough.

This is how it is to live. Never enough, but learning to accept and deeply appreciate what is.

Like so many places I've been on this trip, I hope to return one day to California.


Berkeley Kite Festival.

Surf boards at Stinson Beach, Marin county.

Alamos Square Park, San Francisco.

The flowering trees of the Bay Area are beautiful.

Summer of Love. Visiting Haight Ashbury neighborhood.

Driving was cheaper (for 4 or 5 people to visit the city) but public transit is way less stressful for traffic. San Francisco traffic is insane. This is a calm city scene before the chaos of 2:00pm on Market Street.

On a friend's boat near the Richmond Yacht Club.

We saw lots of this while driving. Tall trees rushing by on winding roads.

Northern CA coast. Abalone divers in background.

Leaving California, driving the Avenue of Giants.

Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

See Brienne's vlog at YouTube for the video story, through the eyes of a fourteen year old, of our travels.

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  • Jenna

    Jenna on Sept. 2, 2017, 8:01 p.m.

    This is my home. I love the nature of the Bay Area. I feel lucky to have spent our summer on a budget exploring Berkeley, Santa Cruz, and S.F. My little kids need these special places to keep grounded.

    I go to the Ohlone Herbal Center in Berkeley for flower essence therapy. It has helped me so much over the last six months. They are donations based and that is great for my life situation. Maybe they have something like this where you live. We added eleuthero (sp?) to help with my anxiety of going back to work after the summer break. I was able to keep calm. It seemed to have worked well, even back to school night this past Thursday went well.

    I'm 42, teach kindergarten, and have three kids, 9, 7, and 3. My plate is full.

    Glad you were able to visit California. I'd love to visit your city one day soon. You capture the beauty of every place so beautifully.

    All the best, Jenna

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