Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Adopt a peach tree in Fresno, CA next summer! We did this July and it was fabulous!

This year, a friend who lives in the central valley of California e-mailed me about being on a team to adopt a peach tree.  The team has to apply, and then when accepted each member pays for the years upkeep of the tree.  The peach picking was last Saturday and there was brunch set out such as chips and peach salsa and other things from the Masumoto recipe book. Each person on the team went home with several boxes of freshly picked, organic peaches.  My city friends have loved the peaches!  What I love is that in a small way I have supported a small farm in the central valley of California.  Included is a book by David Mas Masumoto called, Letters To The Valley, A Harvest Of Memories, which is a book to his ancestors about farming in the central valley, it is touching and a great sentimental read!


Masumoto Family Farm
9336 E. Lincoln
Del Rey, CA  93616
Certified Organic by California Certified Organic Farmers

Letters To The Valley
A Harvest Of Memories
by David Mas Masumoto
(Written in the form of letters from a farmer to members of his family.)

Epitaph for a Peach
Wisdom of the Last Farmer

The Perfect Peach:  Recipes and Stories
from the Masumoto Family Farm (2013)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Crop Swap, Berkeley, CA- Every Monday evening from 6:30PM to 7:30PM, through summer

Resources for Crop Swap
Transition Berkeley

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Feet on the Street Tours, Food Tours in Detroit, MI

On my last trip to Detroit, MI, I discovered the Feet on the Street Food Tours.  They have the following  offerings, and now that I've been on my first first tour in Chicago last summer, I'm addicted!

*Delish Detroit- Food Tour

*Prohibition and All That Jazz Tour

*Mexicantown Strolling & Tasting Tour

*CEU Tours for Social Workers looking at the diversity, ethnic and cultural traditions in Detroit (This tour is open to anyone.)  It is a combination of bus tour and continuing education program.

*Blast from the past tour. This is a perfect tour for a reunion group (family, classmates,) birthdays, anniversaries, or simply a trip back to the old neighborhood if you are from Detroit or to visit past lives in the D.


Feet on the Street Tours
1400 E. Fisher
Detroit, MI
(248) 353-8687 (TOUR)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Amtrak- Travel on the train

My son recently completed a cross country journey from Emeryville, California to Lansing, Michigan by way of Amtrak.  My son is a true train lover and has wanted to do this journey for years!  I recommend a roomette for anything over a day, especially if you are traveling with children.   Since we got the roomette, this included 3 meals a day which is the highlight of a cross country journey!  The people you meet are so interesting and we loved it! The most difficult part was stopping each time a freight train went by which caused us to be delayed into Chicago by several hours.  Most people we had been traveling with missed their connection and most people were referred by guest services, who told us to wait by a water fountain.  They made us wait with no information, everyone waiting over an hour with no food or drink other than what we had with us.  One woman had her purse stolen, a few people were arrested,  a mom crying holding her young baby and a preschooler and traveling with her senior mom.  Amtrak travel in the year 2014 is not for the faint of heart!  I recommend that if you take the train into Chicago that you already have a hotel arranged in Chicago and then start again the next day!  If your train is late going into Chicago, Amtrak will not offer hotel recommendations, but will instead make you wait for other late trains coming in, then bus everyone as far as Flint, possibly not arriving to a train station in a city at 2:30AM in the morning, which could be dangerous!

Would I take the train again? Yes!  Yet, I have some suggestions I will write about later today to make the most of your Amtrak train experience!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Recommended Restourant in Indian village, Detroit, MI- The Gathering

In my research about Indian Village I discovered a restaurant called The Gathering located in a historic building int the Indian Village area of Detroit.  The soups are supposed to be delicious!


The Gathering Restourant
Indian Village, Detroit, MI

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Lindsay Wildlife Museum

We spent a fantastic afternoon visiting the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek.  The museum is co-located with a wildlife rehabilitation hospital.  Many different species of birds, all rescues, are on display.

Highlights for us included an interactive computer program that allows you to fly like a raptor over Mt. Diablo, an indoor bee's nest that has a transparent tunnel to the outside, a raven that can say, "hello," and a hospital demonstration in which we watched a vet examine a possum through a one-way window/mirror in real-time with a camera over the exam table.  Really amazing local attraction!

The bee hive:

 The raptor simulator:

Indian Village neighborhood of Detroit, MI

Detroit, Michigan used to be a grand city and the homes in areas such as Indian Village show this beauty.  If I was living in Detroit still, I'd love to visit some open houses in the neighborhood to see the gorgeous architecture of some of the homes, some of which are still available for $300,000.  I believe that the area still has soul and grace!  The area of Indian Village is over 100 years old so many the homes need TLC, but I think they are worth the work!

The Indian Village Home and Garden Tour, back in June, is a great way to visit the area and see the community.
( (link only works if logged in to Facebook))

There is a historic indian village Association to also find out more.

I've always loved the area, though I live in California now, I have fond memories of visiting Detroit as a child.  I predict that home sales in Detroit's Indian Village area of Detroit, MI and the other historic mansion areas of the city will continue to gain popularity!  Back in April an article was written in the Detroit Free Press about these areas.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Recommended Claremont, CA Accommodations, Casa 242

The best place to stay in Claremont, CA is the Casa 242!  This is a Four Sisters Inn, and I found it by accident when looking for accommodations in the Claremont area.  I started looking at the Doubletree Hilton and there was a problem with the hotel reservation.  Though I generally like the Doubletree hotels, I did not like the one in Claremont as it is overpriced and not very friendly and welcoming.

The Casa 242, on the other hand, is gorgeous!  Plus, Casa 242 is expensive!  It is right in town and there are plenty of tasty restaurants right out your doorstep.  I wanted to stay a second night at 242 but they were full, but they were super nice about keeping my son and I's luggage in the back room for us for a day!  The restaurant is really cozy too, located in a courtyard!


Casa 242
425 West First Street
Claremont, CA  91711

Claremont Self Guided Walking Tour starts at the historic Claremont Train Depot

The Claremont Heritage Society in Claremont, CA offers a self guided walking tour available online.


Claremont Village Self- Guided Walking Tour
Claremont Train Station
150 W. First Street

Claremont Village, CA, walking tour is today, July 7th, at 10:00AM!

On the 1st Saturday of every month there is a walking tour that starts in front of the historic train depot at  150 W. First Street.  Today's tour starts at 10:00AM.


Claremont Village Walking Tour
1st Saturday of every month
150 W. First Street
2 hours, $5.00
(909) 621-0848

Friday, July 4, 2014

Fourth of July at Jack London Square

We had a great day at Jack London Square in Oakland.  Lots to do, including creating boats to ride down a miniature river, a bouncy house, and free tours of a US Coast Guard cutter!

View of the cutter:

Bouncy "ball" house, where kids try to get from one side to the other by jumping on very large air-balls:

Lego truck:

Boarding the cutter:

 One of the guns on the cutter:

 Looking up at the bridge:

Steering the cutter:

View from the bridge:

The bridge controls:

Happy 4th of July!

Happy Independence Day!

Mo's mom got this dog shirt at Old Navy for only $5.00.