Capitola

Capitola

One of the things that amazes me around here is that every beach and the towns near those beaches are different.

The other day I took my in-laws to Capitola, a nice little beach town near Santa Cruz, California.
I’ve only been here once before with my family to enjoy the beach. That was during spring break. While it was entertaining to watch teenagers, the atmosphere was not too relaxing. This time is was a bit too cold for hanging around  at the beach.
surfer
Surfer in Capitola
While we watched some surfers we decided that it is proably a great spot to learn how to surf. The surf seem to slowly come in and giving you enough time to get ready.
We explored the little town with its cute shops. What stroke me as amazing was our lunch right next to the beach, a great meal with a beautiful view.
The Venetian Court
The Venetian Court
The colorful houses are the historic Venetian hotel  “The first Condominium Beach Community in the United States, built in 1924”.

What is your favorite beach in Northern California?

Holiday Markets

Holiday Markets

It seems these days I have only shopping on my mind. Well, Christmas is near, and while I am not really a big gift giver, I prefer to gift something homemade, or close to that.

This weekend (1/5/2015) are two holiday markets that I will try to catch. One is at my sons middle school: Graham Middle School in Mountain View, CA from 9am to 1 pm. I am hoping for a lot of crafty items. I also heard that the food is amazing!

The other on is at the Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara. This will feature local artists, not only paintings, but ceramics, jewelry and textiles. Sounds interesting, right? Well they have two bonus programs. One is a jazz pop performance from 3:30 to 4:30. The other one is the family art day from 10:00 to 2:00.

On December 12th, 2015 is the third annual German International School of Silicon Valley’s German Holiday Market from 11 am to 9 pm at the City Hall Plaza in Mountain View. This one I am really looking forward to! There are not many things I am missing from Germany (plenty people, not things!), but around Christmas time I like to stand in the cold and get warmed up by a nice mug of Glühwein. The food is also good traditional German fare.

Happy shopping, giving and partying!

Do you know of any Holiday Markets in the area?

 

Not your average mall

Not your average mall

Yesterday I wanted to stroll in a mall and I picked the Town and Country Village near Stanford in Palo Alto. This is a cute mall with some unique shops and food places. I saw some homemade ice cream and a french café with some great looking pastries. I went into the butcher and scooped out the amazing meats. Okay, guilty: I am a Foodie. But I managed to not buy anything. For the clothing stores and beauty parlors I would suggest taking your mother-in-law if she is on the wealthier end of the scale.

Anyway, what really got me was the christmas tree in front of the toy store. It is called a Family Giving Tree for the Holiday Wish Drive. (Yes, that is a mouth full and there will be a quiz at the end of the holidays.)

This is your chance to turn into a real live elf! Pick a card, buy a gift for a child, return to a participating store by December 18th, 2015. Easy, right?

Holiday Wish Drive
Pick up a gift for someone in need.

 

The idea is not unique to this mall. I was at the Mountain View YMCA and they also have a gift tree.

Do you know of any other gift trees in the area? Have you ever been an elf?