Monday, January 16, 2012

Touring in my own town

Happy Monday, all!

Researching opportunities for quirky mini-adventures in exotic and distant (ha!) cities these past two weeks reminds me that I am also fully capable of discovering and embarking upon quirky mini-adventures in native and near cities.  As did my recent travels through Europe (remind me, that is).  In Europe, I filled my days with yummy food; musical performances; museums; meandering alongside bodies of water, through parks and gardens, and over bridges; observational walks; photography (which really helped me focus on noticing all the delightful things I was witnessing); and vista points.  I see no reason why I can't spend my free time doing similar activities wherever I am.  Think of how enriched our lives would be if we lived like tourists at home.

Not that I haven't always looked for fun activities to fill my time, but I want to be truly conscious of appreciating all that wherever-I-am has to offer, with the same kind of awe I have when touring another town.  This week, I'll take you along on my tour of my hometown, Castro Valley, California.  Castro Valley is not as sparkly as say, Paris (or, heck! even its neighboring city, Hayward), and it'll certainly prove to be a short tour, but I am determined to recognize and observe the good things.  There is beauty everywhere.  Why not focus on that?         

I invite you to follow along and tour all the sparkly things in your own hometown!  What are your favorite outdoor locations, activities, art offerings, food haunts of where you currently are? 

p.s. When reflecting on the idea of being a tourist wherever I find myself, I realized that there are so many magnificent places I've never been, sights I've never seen, in San Francisco.  Which is preposterous really, since I've never lived more than 20 minutes away from the Bay Bridge my entire life.  SO!  I'm very excited to say that after our Tour of Castro Valley, we'll be headed on a Tour of San Francisco next week!  Let's make a pact to not leave our hearts, there, though.  ;]

The controversial "Castro Valley Sign" image source 


  1. Hmmm. Quite a challenge. My local town is Bakersfield, as you know. I'd have to say my favorite outdoor spot is my front yard. I love the tree in front of my house. My favorite place to eat: no brainer, El Sombrero. When in doubt, eat an enchilada. Preferably a chili verde enchilada with chili verde sauce and some rice and beans to round out the meal. One great thing about lovely Bakersfied: it is close to everything. 4 hours to Vegas and San Francisco, 2 hours to the snow, the coast and Los Angeles. Oh yes, and one cannot fail to note that on a clear spring day you can see the mountains that surround Bakersfield to our East, South and West. Simply gorgeous. It is at that moment that I remind myself: here is the reason the dustbowlers made their homes in the valley.

  2. The Bakersfield you paint is very lovely, Valerie! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. :D