staycation


Japantown San Jose with the kids

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wearing: blue and silver earrings / lipstick / white knit turtleneck / blue scarf / grey faux fur teddy coat / belt / bootcut jeans / black satchel / spring nail polish / western style boots /

The San Francisco Bay Area is full of hundreds of nooks and crannies. There is always something to do, and something to see. Although I am born and raised Bay Area, I had never been to San Jose’s Japantown before this month!

We decided to take the kids down to Japantown San Jose in order to see what was there, and also enjoy some sushi. Unfortunately, I won’t share the sushi lunch with you, it wasn’t very good. I think we chose the wrong restaurant. That being said, I am sure there are other places to eat, and I heard the ramen place is really good! Wish we had gone there, but I digress. . .

There are plenty of fun things to do in Japantown San Jose with kids. There is a museum, the temple, and many historical buildings. It is easy to walk around and see everything in one day. There are also cute shops with imported items from Japan. Some of the shops have been owned for generations and have their history posted inside. You can learn a lot by chatting with the shop owners, and reading the signs! It’s really a cool outing.

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My son posing in front of one of the murals found in San Jose’s Japantown. This area of Downtown San Jose is full of street art. It’s fun to walk around and enjoy the beautiful murals. This one was my son’t favorite. He loves the characters depicted, and seems to know who they all are! I had no clue!!

If you are local to the Bay Area, and are looking for a fun daytime outing with the family, or without, I highly recommend visiting Japantown San Jose; and wearing walking shoes! High heel boots were not my best choice for the day. haha

Shop my winter faux fur teddy coat look:

Have you been to Japantown San Jose? What is your favorite site to see?

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

Cathy

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Lunch at CIA Greystone in Napa Valley

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wearing: blue and silver earrings / lipstick / blue scarf / long sleeve black tee / cardigan sweater / black satchel / black belt / bootcut jeans / nail polish / boots /

My middle child is interested in going to cooking school to become a chef, and possibly own her own restaurant someday. So, I knew we had to check CIA Greystone during our road trip to Napa Valley with the kids. This is one of the most prestigious culinary schools in the country, so it is definitely high on my daughter’s list as places she would like to attend.

Greystone was originally a winery established in 1889. The original building has 22 inch thick walls which are made of locally quarried tufa stone. It was designed by Hamden McIntyre. He also designed Inglenook! The winery fell on hard times during prohibition, and went to auction shortly after the Great Depression. In 1950, the Christian Brothers purchased the property to produce wine, brandy, and port. In 1990, Greystone and it’s drink production was acquired by Heublein, Inc. In 1993, CIA, the Culinary Institute of America, which had a location in New York, acquired Greystone and began classes in 1995.

CIA Greystone offers Bachelor Degree’s and certificates in culinary arts, which are known throughout the world. In addition, they have two on-campus restaurants which are equally known around the world; the Gatehouse, and the Bakery Cafe by illy. Off campus they have CIA Copia; which is located by the Oxbow Public Market. We ate lunch at their casual eatery, the Bakery Cafe by illy. The food was delicious, and my kids really enjoyed the experience of touring the school, and getting to eat there too.

You can learn more about CIA Greystone on their website.

Shop my Napa Valley outfit:

We really enjoyed our visit to CIA Greystone. I highly recommend stopping by for a meal if you are in the area.

Stay tuned for more from Napa! Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

Cathy

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Petrified Forest in Calistoga

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wearing: silver earrings / lipstick / long sleeve tee / sweatshirt / backpack / jeans / nail polish / hiking boots /

Our family loves the outdoors, and hiking! So, when I was researching hiking trails in the Napa Valley, I came across The Petrified Forest located in Calistoga. I had no idea we had one here in the Bay Area! This sounded amazing, and like something we needed to check out. We are so glad we did!

The Petrified Forest in Calistoga features petrified redwood tress which are frozen in time. They fell over about 3.4 million years ago, you read that right, 3.4 million years ago! The trees were knocked down forcefully by a volcanic explosion from a volcano located behind present-day Mount Saint Helena. It is no longer a mountain, and it is dormant; buried behind our current mountain. The explosion was so forceful, it toppled a redwood forest filled with trees which have been aged at over 2000 years old at the time of the explosion. Can you imagine? Trees which were already 1000-2000 years old, toppled over by a volcano, then preserved under the ash for 3.4 million years! It’s incredible!

We took the 11am guided tour which was incredibly interesting. Our tour guide taught us so much about petrified wood and the history of the forest. He was incredibly nice, and so informative! We really enjoyed the tour.

The tour is also a hike, so if you go, wear a good pair of hiking shoes or boots. My hiking boots were perfect for the terrain. Also be sure to allow enough time for the tour. It was roughly 1.5 hours which was not only a good hike, it was a lot of time to learn a ton of information from our guide. We loved it!

You can learn more about The Petrified Forest on their website.

Shop my hiking outfit online:

Have you seen a petrified forest before? What did you think?

XOXO
Cathy

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