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Jannie's Favorite Things

Jannie has some terrific life hacks to share with you including great places to visit and fun things to do. Keep reading for more!

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California Caverns

I was thinking about everyone being cooped up because of the virus right now and how everyone will be raring to go out and enjoy the outdoors. I don’t think I have mentioned checking out the caverns in our nearby Sierras. There are 3 in particular we have visited multiple times with family and friends. Our favorite is Moaning Caverns in Vallecito, not that far from our area. If you’d not been, I’m sure your kids will enjoy the adventure. It’s a great outing, especially on a hot day as the caves are very cool. Take a jacket! Moaning caverns are, in my opinion, the best. It has a spiral metal staircase that takes you to the bottom of the cavern with a guided tour. They turn off all the lights for a moment and toss a coin from the top and you can hear it hit the bottom of the cavern! My son and his friends rappelled down the cavern and toured deeper into the caverns. They have added gemstone mining, gold panning, ax throwing, ziplines. 
 
Mercer Caverns in Murphys is also a lot of fun, great adventure! And, of course, while you’re there, check out the historic town of Murphys. I love their kitchen store especially! Ironstone Winery in Murphys has a museum with one of the largest gold nuggets ever seen!
 
My cousin and family live in Mountain Ranch where there is California Caverns, another interesting cave to visit. After, check out Sender’s Market-Hardware-Deli in Mountain Ranch. The community of Mountain Ranch is so lucky to have Sender’s. They have a great deli and fun to just walk around.

The Palace, San Francisco

Our favorite place to dine and celebrate the Christmas holidays is the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. Their Christmas lunch is over-the-top amazing! We’ve dined there several times and enjoy the immense variety of food offerings from around the globe. The Christmas decor is fitting for such a grand experience. The lunch is served in the Garden Court which has a massive stained glass or painted dome overhead. There’s usually a large decorated Christmas tree with a string quartet nearby. Just a bit of trivia…Michael Douglas fell through the glass dome into the Garden Court in the movie “The Game!”  Their website has several photos if Garden Court and the glass dome.    

Free Museum Day in Sacramento

Since the annual Free Museum Day in Sacramento on February 2 is coming up soon I thought I should pass this along. It’s such a great venue! Sacramento has 25 museums participating this year. Our favorites are the Aerospace Museum of California and Leland Stanford Governor Mansion. We’ve visited most of the museums in Sacramento over the years and enjoyed all. There’s also a cemetary tour that’s also interesting, historic. Of course, after all the touring you must stop at Rick’s Dessert Diner on J Street to end your day! It’s Sacramento’s premiere dessert diner. It has been voted the best dessert every year since 1986.

 
Happy Trails!

Complimentary Tickets at the Local Library

Here’s a something I had to share from Sister Roberta Carson. Go to your local library with your library card to receive “free” tickets to local places in the Bay Area like zoos, art galleries and more! Find out more here, Contra Costa Library Discover and Go!

 

Staycation in San Jose

I’d like to add another fun family excursion we have taken visitors many times. It is not well known, kind of a San Jose secret! It is the largest Egyptian museum on the west coast. Everyone should visit the Rosecrucian Museum  It is ran by monks. Interesting grounds and museum. Great educational experience for kids. Kelley Park is also a great place to visit while you’re there with the kids. Kelley Park has been recently refurbished with a great lawn, park area and small zoo. Of course, the Tech Museum is well liked also. Our fav place to eat is the Poor House Bistro  It’s an older building fashioned after old places in New Orleans. Great food! – Jannie

Day Trippin' in Oakland

My husband and I enjoy finding local places to visit and explore. I am fond of day trips or even weekend trips, not too far away. A great place to take the kids, although adults like it too, is the USS Hornet in Alameda. The Hornet is a national and state history landmark and was part of the Apollo Program. Visitors can see the space capsule in which the astronauts were retrieved from the water and decompression chamber. Fenton’s Ice Cream Parlor, Oakland, is a fun place for lunch or just ice cream. It’s a retro parlor with a large selection of sundaes and cones. We’ve not been but heard the Pinball Museumis also a fun place to visit. – Jannie