Monday, November 30, 2009

Researching Mendocino

Based on the recommendations of @PreppyDude on Twitter, I am planning to visit Mendocino County on my next vacation to California. So, I am currently doing some research on what Mendocino is all about. Mendocino is a Northern California coastal county in the heart of wine country. Besides wine, Mendocino is also known for crabs, whales, and mushrooms. Both wine and crabs are celebrated every January during the Mendocino Crab & Wine Festival. Mendocino is home to Ft. Bragg and has also been the home to legendary racehorse Seabiscuit and Jessica Fletcher--the main character on TV's "Murder She Wrote" (which was filmed in Mendocino.) One of the sights I am hopeful of seeing is the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, which is a 47-acre public garden located with direct ocean frontage. While I will be in California during the time-frame of the Crab & Wine Festival, I am doubtful that I will partake of the festivities as I don't really care for wine, nor do I eat crab. However, there are plenty of other things to see and do in Mendocino, so that I won't be missing out if I don't go to the festival. I look forward to exploring this new area and reporting back on what I see and do. Most of all, I look forward to capturing some of the wildly beautiful scenery and sharing it with you.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

California's On the Horizon...Where Should I Go?

I will be making a return visit to the Bay Area in January and am looking for some new places to go. I've been told that I should go to Mendocino, so I definitely plan to check it out as I have not been that far north yet. I am, as always, looking forward to my trip (especially since California will be nicer than Ohio in January). This time, I'm especially excited, because I plan to visit the deYoung's exhibit: Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs. I'm also excited, because I scored a ticket with frequent flyer miles, making my trip more affordable. I plan to spend the next month or so before my trip researching new places to go and new things to see. If you have any suggestions, let me know. I also plan to visit my favorite Taco Bell in Pacifica since I haven't been there for a while.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Help Keep California Parks Open

As reported in an earlier post the California State Park system, like the rest of California, is in a budget crisis. On November 3, Save the Redwoods League and partners filed language to put a measure on the 2010 ballot that would ensure stable funding and protect wildlife in the chronically underfunded California state parks.

As part of state-wide budget cuts, nearly 60 state parks will be shut down part-time or will have reduced hours of operation. It is expected that more budget cuts (thus reducing operations even more) will occur next year. It is extremely unfortunate that at a time when usage of state parks has increased, funding has decreased. Due to personal budget constraints people are staying closer to home for vacations, thus using the natural resources available to them at home...such as the California State Parks. It is extremely important, not only for California residents, but for future tourism in the state, that the parks are kept open and available for use by the public.

In response to this major issue, Save the Redwoods League, California State Parks Foundation and The Nature Conservancy prepared the statewide ballot measure called "California State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund Act of 2010." If the measure is passed by voters it will provide funding for the state park system and wildlife conservation through an annual State Park Access Pass which will cost only $18.

So, if you are a California resident, get involved and help save your state parks. You can visit the websites of the various organizations supporting the ballot measure to find out how you can help. If you don't live in California, but respect the natural resource that is the California State Parks, then donate to one of the organizations supporting the ballot measure. These organizations work to preserve our natural resources and conserve wildlife. As a traveler to California, I appreciate the natural beauty of the California landscape and look forward to having the opportunity to enjoy these resources. If funding is not reinstated to the California State Parks, then the opportunity for anyone to enjoy these natural resources will be severely limited, if not eliminated.