TRAVEL :: NorCal with Me: The Launch of the Summer Vacation Tour, a Virtual Travel Series

I am so excited to launch the Summer Vacation Tour, a brand-new virtual travel series! I have enlisted the help of some amazing friends and bloggers, and over next couple of weeks, they will take you to places like Costa Rica, London, Paris and more. This series wouldn’t be possible without their photos and perspective, so a huge thank you to each of you who contributed!

To kick off the series today, I want to share NorCal with you. It was really hard to narrow down what I wanted to say, since my love for this place is a whole lot bigger than I can convey in just a handful of photos. But, I’ll try… :)

THE SACRAMENTO VALLEY of NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

My top five things to love about the Sacramento Valley

  1. The people, of course! This goes without saying, since California holds a huge treasure trove of my dear friends and my husband’s family, whom I love like my own.
  2. The food! It’s less expensive, fresher, and there’s more variety than anywhere else I’ve lived. California produces more than half of the United States’ fruit, vegetables, and nuts. When you break it down to specific foods, the percentages are even higher — nearly 100% of the nation’s pomegranates, kiwis, olives, figs and artichokes come from California. The state also provides 90% of the nations’s avocados, 85% of the nation’s garlic, 75% of the nation’s lettuce…and the list goes on. This is all available to locals at farmers’ markets, and is reflected in the state’s restaurants, too, which are widely diverse in terms of different cuisines and different countries represented. (No, actually, not everyone is a vegetarian. Californians cook up a mean tri-tip steak, a cut of beef the rest of the US has rarely even heard of. My mouth is watering just thinking about it, and I don’t even eat beef!) Oh, and did I mention food is much less expensive there?
  3. I love Californian style. I love that Californians, by and large, are a stylish lot. Clothing and looks pop up in California long before they appear in the rest of the United States. In fact, our family jokes* that if one moves away from California to another state, one doesn’t have to buy any clothes for five years! (*very much based in fact)
  4. The weather in the area surrounding the Sacramento Valley is perfect. Spring is a gorgeous display of every kind of bloom imaginable, and definitely the greenest time of the year. The hot dry days of summer are countered by the refreshing Delta Breeze which blows in each evening and creates as much as a fifty degree difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures. Autumn’s crisp days and crunchy leaves swallow up the summer haze little by little, until it’s suddenly winter. Winters in the Sacramento Valley are cool, wet, and deliciously windy (although the strong winds which blow everyone’s fences down in December and January always seem to take people by surprise!) It regularly freezes in the Valley, and just 30-45 minutes away, into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and beyond, winter is white. An hour outside of Sacramento, snow is measured in feet, not inches.
  5. Is it cheating to say that a favorite thing about this location is…the location? The Sacramento Valley is right in the middle between the Golden Gate Bridge and Lake Tahoe. Enough said, right?

Favorite Places in Northern California -  Rural Towns Rural landscapes — Yes, California is FULL of the most gorgeous rural areas you’ll ever see. This photo was taken on the street we lived on before we came to Florida. Looks are deceiving, because this view is only a mile from city life. I LOVE that California is full of contrasts like that.

Favorite Places in Northern California - Lake TahoeLake Tahoe area in the Sierra Nevada mountains — From where we lived in NorCal, one could go the ocean and the snow in the same day — there’s that profoundly wonderful California contrast for you again.

Favorite Places in Northern California -  Point Reyes Point Reyes — If we’re Facebook friends, you likely recognize this as it’s my cover photo. I took this picture on our second anniversary, right before we hiked up 2,948,795,843,987 stairs to the Point Reyes light house. I was pregnant. It was a loooooong climb. But the view is one of my favorite in the world!

Favorite Places in Northern California - Bodega BayBodega Bay — I could write for days about Bodega Bay, and I’m still not sure words could do it justice (and that’s saying a lot, because I am a lover of words).

Favorite Places in Northern California -  Oak Trees and Foggy Sunrise Foggy sunrise shining through the oak trees — another photo from our old home in NorCal. I miss those trees, and the cool morning air that we definitely don’t get here in Florida.

So there you have it! NorCal, my favorite place. I can’t wait to introduce you to the other locations in this series!

This post is a part of the Summer Vacation Tour, a virtual travel series hosted here on Oaxacaborn.com. To ‘travel’ to other locations while I’m taking a brief break from blogging, click here. (Want to be featured in the future? Email me!)

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