Friday, January 6, 2017

Silicon Valley Characters Found in Saratoga, CA

Silicon Valley Characters found in Saratoga, C

Fun Friday Photography

This is one of my most active pictures on Instagram and my series of “Characters of Silicon Valley.”   I took it after lunch in downtown Saratoga,CA with my iPhone5s.  This historical community is not as well traveled in Silicon Valley as other communities, yet it is a fun place to go.

The San Francisco Bay region is not just an active metropolitan area; people may escape to the open spaces of natural landscape and numerous gardens. A road trip taken south of San Francisco, on Skyline Blvd. from Woodside to Saratoga, shows this beautiful scenery with the Pacific Ocean to the west and the San Francisco Bay to the east. Even the faster route of Highway 280 escapes the hustle of city streets. 

Don’t Miss this Historical Villa and Art Community

Montalvo Arts Center was the vision of Senator James D. Phelan, who left the Mediterranean-style villa on 175 acres in the Saratoga hills to the people of California to encourage art, music literature, and architecture. Available to
visitors are 2.5 miles of hiking trails, three performing arts venues, a 10-studio artist residency complex, and a formal Italianate garden.

The following pictures are from my Instagram feed. 

A photo posted by Donna W (@meetdonnaw) on

A photo posted by Donna W (@meetdonnaw) on

Wine Tasting in Downtown Saratoga, CA

A photo posted by Donna W (@meetdonnaw) on

Click link for the Villa:

Downtown Saratoga, CA 
What is your favorite find in Saratoga?  

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Out and around enjoying our San Francisco Bay region ~ The Fun Tour Guru

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Picturebelong to the Fun Tour Guru - please contact for usage. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Wintertime, Holidays, and Christmas - Santa Cruz, California Style

Wintertime, Holidays, and Christmas - Santa Cruz, California Style 

Everyone has different traditions, beliefs – what are your experiences with winter festivities and the holidays?
I do love waking up on Christmas morning and peek out my window to see the fresh new layer of snow on the ground without any footprints yet.  I also appreciate the holiday time energy from our California coast. I do not compare these experiences, I know one experience builds on the other.

Weather elements are likely to change where we are located. Are you in a cold climate like Germany, and Norway?  Or are you in a warm climate like Brazil and Kenya?  I was reminded of the variety of regions around the world reading this article, Travel Bloggers Share their Top ChristmasDestinations.

My Local Insight is Santa Cruz, CA Festive Decorations

Enjoy this fun collection of festive pictures and tips I gathered of Santa Cruz, CA. These are common scenes to find on an easy afternoon getaway to our coast from Silicon Valley.  Thank you to these local photographers for their excellent captures.

My favorite Santa Cruz lighthouse picture popped up with decorated lights while scrolling through my Instagram feed.

Lighthouse Photo by @matthofmanphoto — at Santa Cruz Harbor.

Insider tip: I definitely will print out a copy of the new holiday giftguide and holiday stress relievers on the Santa Cruz Visitor blog to make sure I stop at these ideal shops and places to see. 

I have not been to some shops and places recommended. I should stop writing this and head over the hill! Many of these places are local merchants and artists shops to get acquainted with. Let's share our great finds here! 

Surfin' Santa is a common find in this beach town.  

Photo by Covello Covello Photography
Surfin’ Santa in Capitola        
Photo by Covello Covello Photography

 The Boat Harbor is a must for me to head to on my getaways. I love to start my day with breakfast/lunch at Aldo's Harbor Restaurant. Don't forget to 'cruz' over to the other side of the harbor for more delicious restaurants. 

Santa Cruz Lighted Boat Parade takes place at Santa Cruz Harbor in early December  Photo by Barbara Karleen

I am adding to my list the Tannery Arts Center to go see.

Arts Council of Santa Cruz County
 Griswoldia at the Tannery Arts Center Photo courtesy of Arts Council of Santa Cruz County

 The Holiday Lights Train through the redwoods is an extra special treat.
Photo by Scott Eerkes
 Santa Cruz Holiday Lights Train Photo by Scott Eerkes

Seymour Marine Discovery Center is one of favorites - I need to go see this exhibit.
Photo by Rachel Leonard
Ms. Blue at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center Photo by Rachel Leonard

Everyone has different traditions, beliefs – what are your experiences with winter festivities and the holidays? 

Out and around the coast enjoying Christmas and Holidays Santa Cruz CA Style ~ The FunTourGuru

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Thank you to the friendly folks of the Santa Cruz Visitors Center for sharing pictures and information. Included with pictures are the indiviual credits. This is not a sponsored story. 

My favorite Santa Cruz County posts
Surfing Hot Spot
Help our Environment: Ideas from Santa Cruz, CA 
Chasing Mavericks Santa Cruz CA
At the Top: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Roller Coaster 
Annie Glass Artist Studio
Santa Cruz, CA More than Surf, Historic Mission
Woodies are the Stars! At Santa Cruz Wharf 
Santa Cruz Mountains Wine Passport Day 
Fun Fridays: Salt Water Taffy, Chocolate, Wine Tasting, Shopping 
Local Art Gems Santa Cruz, CA
My Favorite Spots around Santa Cruz County
Favorite Bakery in Capitola

Wintertime Festivities Santa Cruz CA Style by DW