Top 5 Holiday Activities around the Bay

I love being home for the holidays. Being back in the Bay means walking my favorite trails, shopping downtown and catching up with old friends. I have many traditions around the holidays with my family and friends. My favorite tradition is meeting up with my friends from high school at our favorite café to grab some warm drinks and walk along Ocean Beach. Spending time with family and friends is a huge part of the holiday season. This year we hope you include the Bay in some of your holiday traditions. These are some of our favorite ways to celebrate the holidays on the Bay in style.

Embarcader in SF_4.8.15_Hai Nguyen_twt

  1. Spend time outside. Celebrate the winter solstice on Wednesday, Dec. 21 by stretching your legs and spending time outdoors. Enjoy a Bay view from the nearly 350 miles of the San Francisco Bay Trail or challenge your friends to hike to the top of Mission Peak in Fremont. Your legs will be burning but you’ll have a beautiful view of the Bay to enjoy while you catch your breath.
  2. See the Bay Lights. Everyone loves to admire the neighborhood Christmas lights, but this year take it a step further and enjoy the beautiful Bay Lights on the Bay Bridge. Grab a cup of hot cocoa and stroll along the Embarcadero to enjoy the amazing view of the lights over the Bay.
  3. River Otter Snow Day. We may not get snow days in the Bay Area but the river otters at the Aquarium by the Bay in San Francisco are getting a fresh snow day every Wednesday this month. Both kids and adults love to watch the cute otters as they slip and slide around in the snow. See the otters play in fresh snow every Wednesday from Dec. 7 to Dec. 28.
  4. Lighted Boat Parade. The lighted boat parade is an annual tradition put on by the Fisherman’s Warf Community Benefit District and the St. Francis Yacht Club. It started in 1994 and is the oldest and largest lighted holiday boat parade on San Francisco Bay. The best viewing spots are at Aquatic Park, Pier 39, Marina Green and Crissy Field in San Francisco. The parade takes place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 16.
  5. Water sleigh ride on Lake Merritt. Enjoy a festive light-filled cruise around Lake Merritt in Oakland, complete with caroling and hot cider. Water sleigh rides will start at 6 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, from Friday, Dec. 2 to Friday, Dec 23. Rides are $6 per person.

I hope you all get a chance to enjoy the Bay this holiday season and remember to take public transportation or carpool in an effort to help reduce the amount of pollution that flows into our Bay. Happy Holidays!

Will You Go Out With Us?

My favorite place around the Bay to go when I feel stressed or overwhelmed is Land’s End in San Francisco.

The past two weeks have been emotional to say the least.

The stress from the election and the approaching holiday season has got many of us looking for a way to escape. I’ve been contemplating a long vacation to Canada but I’ll most likely end up going for a long walk with my dog Bodie. This time of year can be stressful enough just planning for Thanksgiving but with the uncertainty of the direction of our country we all need a moment to breathe and clear our minds.

The best escape for me is through nature.

My friends and I found the secret labyrinth while running here in high school and it has been one of our favorite spots ever since.

My favorite place around the Bay to go when I feel stressed or overwhelmed is Land’s End in San Francisco. I love walking along the cliffs and looking out at the symbolic Golden Gate. As you walk the trails of Land’s End there is a secret labyrinth, which maybe isn’t so secret anymore. The labyrinth is on the edge of a cliff and is the most beautiful spot to reflect and observe where the Pacific Ocean meets the Bay. My friends and I found the secret labyrinth while running here in high school and it has been one of our favorite spots ever since. The overwhelming beauty and awesomeness of this place allows me to let go of all my worries and live in the moment.

Black Friday is the perfect opportunity to set aside time to go outside and enjoy the beauty of the Bay Area.  Instead of furiously searching for less-than-amazing Black Friday deals, I will be outside enjoying the beautiful Bay Area that I call home–and working off Turkey Day dinner.

There are so many breathtaking spots around the Bay Area waiting to be explored, like the drop-dead gorgeous views  of the Golden Gate Bridge at Marin Headlands, or a hike to the beach at Tennessee Valley.  Tilden Park is home to a lot of dog-friendly, off-leash  trails on the ridge with big vistas, and Montara Mountain provides a little bit of a challenge with a strenuous hike that has great views up and down the coast and into the Bay.

Another great spot for the whole family to enjoy is the Roberts Regional Recreational Area in the East Bay Regional Park District. This particular spot is surrounded by gorgeous Redwood trees, and has lush beautiful fields and a playground that can’t be beat.

I hope on Black Friday we can all use the day off to destress and appreciate this amazing place where we live.

Find more amazing outdoor spaces near you by using REI’s #OptOutside activity map. Happy Holidays!

Humans of the Bay for Prop 67

Bodie3 (800x450)
Bodie, my 8-month-old golden retriever, is pictured here during our walk at Ocean Beach.

My YES vote on Prop 67 will be for both Bodie and I.

Bodie is my 8-month-old golden retriever who, as you can imagine, likes to put anything and everything in his mouth.

Bodie2 (600x800) Toxic trash and plastic bag pollution are forever changing the landscape of the places Bodie and I once loved to escape to.
Toxic trash and plastic bag pollution are forever changing the landscape of the places Bodie and I once loved to escape to.

I love taking my puppy for walks along the scenic Bay Trail and out at Ocean Beach. Both places have always served as a magical place to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. But the other day, I was brought back down to earth by the harsh reality that toxic trash and plastic bag pollution have forever changed the landscape of these places Bodie and I once loved to escape to.
Like most puppies, he likes to pick up everything off the ground from dirty socks to plastic bags and food wrappers despite my best efforts to keep a watchful eye on him. I support Prop 67 to ban plastic bags, not just because there will be less trash on the beach for my dog to eat and I won’t have to pull plastic trash out his mouth every 15 feet. It’s also because seabirds and marine mammals don’t have anyone there for every step of those 15 feet to watch over them, and to stop them from eating plastic bags. They often mistake plastic bags for nutritious food sources like jelly fish and are entangled, suffocated, or poisoned by toxic trash.

They, and Bodie, are relying on us Humans of the Bay to speak up for them.

By banning plastic bags in California we can drastically reduce the amount of plastic trash polluting our waterways and poisoning marine life. I am voting YES on Prop 67 to sustain the beauty of the San Francisco Bay and its wildlife for future generations. The passage of this important environmental legislation will hopefully influence other states to pass statewide bans as well.

But don’t just take my word for it, or even Bodie’s.  Listen to the reasons other Humans of the Bay for Prop 67 are stepping up in support of banning plastic bags in California.

 

 

Humans of the Bay
Click to view more Humans of the Bay for Prop 67.

Join me and the many other Humans of the Bay in voting YES on Prop 67 and NO on Prop 65 to uphold the statewide ban of plastic bags.

Bay Day 2016: a day of celebration

Earlier this month, thousands of Bay Area residents and dozens of  community organizations celebrated the first-ever Bay Day. Here’s a quick look at how we marked this new regional holiday:

[View the story “Bay Day 2016” on Storify]

Bay Day Basics: The 5Ws

The Bay is alive and wild and that's why we are celebrating
The Bay is more than a stunning view — it’s alive, wild, and worth celebrating.

The first-ever Bay Day celebration is fast approaching! To help you get ready for the big day I’ve created the 5 Ws of Bay Day! These 5Ws consist of what, why, when, who, and where. Basically, everything under the sun you’ll need to know in order to have an awesome Bay Day on Saturday, Oct. 1!

What is Bay Day?

Bay Day is an annual celebration of San Francisco Bay. It’s like Earth Day but for the Bay!  Cities all around the Bay have officially declared Bay Day, and many community partners and local businesses are hosting celebrations, leading special Bay-themed programs, and offering discounts for the public.

Why are we celebrating it?

The Bay is home to not only a growing population but also to hundreds of different species of birds, fish and mammals. It is the largest and most ecologically important estuary on the West Coast, providing habitat for migrating shorebirds and larger mammals like porpoises and sea lions. When we take one day each year to celebrate this amazing natural resource, the movement to preserve and protect it for future generations grows stronger.

When is Bay Day?

Saturday, October 1, 2016. All day!

Who’s invited to celebrate Bay Day?

Everyone in and around the Bay Area is welcome to participate in Bay Day events and share their love for the Bay.

Where will Bay Day celebrations be held?

From Oktoberfest at the Napa Valley Museum to Port Fest in Redwood City the activities stretch across the entire Bay Area. Click on the links below to learn more about some of the Bay Day activities happening around the Bay Area on Oct. 1.

Find an event happening in your neighborhood at BayDay.org.