San Francisco, Muir Woods and Napa Valley

Who knew you could pack so much into three days!

Day 1 – Start out in the morning with a walk along the Pier, toss in a tour of Alcatraz (take the early tour if possible) and then nibble your way down the Embarcadero.

Day 2 – Cross the Golden Gate Bridge where you surprisingly go from city-to-nature without even blinking.  If you do this at night, watch out for coyote and deer in the road.  I recommend staying at the Mountain Home Inn just outside of Muir Woods and enjoy a sunrise breakfast on the deck to a backdrop of stunning views.

Day 3 – Drive a couple hours over into Napa Valley and tour a winery or two.  We chose Castello di Amorosa which is a beautiful replica castle complete with torture chamber.  Spend the night in Calistoga before heading back to SFO!

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Mammoth Lakes, CA

Mammoth Lakes, CA

Kids in the woods at Mammoth LakesYou know that feeling when you just want to get away?  It sets in about 8:00am every morning for me and usually can be set at bay with a little daydreaming (and completely obliterated by the time I get to work) or temporarily satisfied with a bike ride or a good book.  But every now and then it’s more urgent and demands attention.  Like when I really wanted to get away….far away from the sweltering heat of a Florida summer.  Plane tickets, hotel, car rental and food can be a pretty  costly spur-of-the-moment whim for a family vacation but the internet can be a wonderful thing when you don’t have any particular destination in mind.