Plant-Based Pizza, Willow Glen (San Jose)

Before Plant-Based Pizza opened in the Willow Glen district of San Jose in November, the Bay Area’s leading vegan pizza spot was Pizza Plaza, inconveniently located in Oakland. Now, we have a hometown option! In fact, with the November openings…

Veggie Grill Santana Row (San Jose): Opened November 8, 2012!

The Veggie Grill is an all-vegan restaurant chain that specializes in vegan “comfort food.” It’s got the kind of dishes you’d expect at an “American” restaurant–burgers, chicken sandwiches, fries, mashed potatoes, chili, etc.–but all veganized. The master chef behind the…

“Island Hopping in the California Channel Islands” Tour Recap

In May, I took a 3 day boat tour of the California Channel Islands through the Sierra Club. The boat, the “Truth,” left from the Santa Barbara harbor and visited four of the northern Channel Islands: Santa Cruz Island, Anacapa…

Best Hikes in California? My Opinions, and a Request for Nominations

My kids are getting old enough to pursue more ambitious hikes, so I’ve started to think about some of the must-do hikes in California that we should consider. I’ve done a lot of hiking in California, and some hikes that…

Rancho San Antonio County Park: Rhus Ridge to Black Mountain

See my photo album from this hike. Rancho San Antonio is the nearest “hiking” park to my house, but I’ve never been a fan of it. I don’t like the crowds or the fight for parking, but more than anything,…

Fall Creek Unit, Henry Cowell State Park

I love redwood hikes, and we are blessed with many fine ones in the Bay Area. But finding the “perfect” redwood destination is tricky. It needs to be a nice redwood forest, and some of the more convenient redwood hikes…

Coachella Valley Preserve: Hiking Through Oases and Moon Country

Hikes in the Palm Springs area tend to come in three varieties: 1) Local hikes from the Valley floor up to a ridge. These hikes tend to be steep thighbusters but they usually reward fit hikers with nice views. 2)…

Northern California Staycation Notes

After my big trip to Russia earlier this summer, it made sense to keep our family vacation local. We spent 3 days in the Sierra Foothills, then I took a father-son overnight camping trip with Jacob to Angel Island, then…

Alternatives to a School Field Trip to In-and-Out Burger

You may recall that my son’s school took an official school field trip to In-and-Out Burger as part of their lessons on food distribution chains and economics. I sent a polite but pointed email to the school principal explaining why…

Thoughts About a Second Grade Official School Field Trip to In-N-Out Burger

[Introductory note: next week my son Jacob's class is taking a school-sanctioned field trip to In-N-Out Burger during normal school hours. We have decided not to participate in that field trip. I sent the following email to the school principal...