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A Summer of Activity or a Summer of Simplicity?

CentralCAMay15-3.jpgIt is about this time of year that moms around the country mark up their summer calendars, filling in the boxes with summer camps, family vacations, and retreats.  The ritual is like clockwork, and my friend once told me she would buy extra calendars and rip out the summer months in order to get this one schedule completed ahead of time.

Let's face it, there seems to be a a bit of competition to be organized with summer preparations. If you aren't done by now, you just aren't with it. But let us help you with your planning. Local, regional, and nationwide trips are in this issue, and we want to give you plenty of options.  Our own Joyce Kiefer has written a splendid article on wildflowers she discovered in the California Sierras. On less than a tank of gas, you can get there from the Bay Area. 

For a Parent Getaway, Barbara Barton Sloane has the latest on Napa and Sonoma happenings. Find out more about this and where you can take the kids too!

We have highlighted Deals for you this summer that cover the country with great hotel bargains. And if you look at our calendar, you will find some local events worth the drive.  After all, you don't have to go far to make memories. You can make them in your own backyard with a little imagination. Backyard movies, anyone?

If you are in the place for a new car, we have reviewed the compact Toyota Yaris for you as well as the Lexus NX 300h luxury crossover. See our other review on the Lexus GX460 Luxury  Take a read, just for fun!  

HomeMay15-1.jpgFor redwood coastal trips in Northern Calif., be sure to get your free guide called Parents Guide to the Coast Redwoods. Save the Redwoods League, a San Francisco-based land conservation trust has published a 21-page downloadable color guide includes two kid-friendly day trip travel itineraries and activities for Muir Woods National Monument in Mill Valley and Redwoods Regional Park in Oakland, California. 

Five multi-day family trips are filled with suggestions for hikes, camping and lodging resources and enhancements. Multi-day itineraries cover Humboldt Redwoods State Park, Redwood National and State Parks near the Oregon border, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, and Big Basin Redwoods State Park and Portola Redwoods State Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains. California’s mighty redwoods are nature’s multi-taskers. They clean the air by storing carbon, host a huge variety of animals and insects and inspire song lyrics. They’ve survived drought, fire and human interference to live more than 1,000 years. To download Save the Redwoods League guide, visit 

And when you are ready to fly outa here, consider going to Virginia. It has many, many family activities, and you can find one here on my article called Finding Pleasures on the Pleasure House Oyster tour. You can take your kids on a boat ride and see how this boutique oyster farm grows and harvests oysters. While you are there, visit the historic town of Hampton, and you'll enjoy your weekend thoroughly. See Hampton Happenings in this issue. 

Going to Hawaii this summer? Check out Kimberly Horg's review of the spa for families at the Disney Aulani Resort in Oahu. She's been there, and she gives us the scoop!   Click on the highlighted link above.

Barbara Barton Sloane has been busy for us, and she brings us to Texas to see Austin and San Antonio. Great sights for families can be had, so check out A Texas State of Mind in this issue.

Got a place you would love to write about? Let us know. Contact me at  I would love to hear where you've been and where you're going!

Kathy Chin Leong

Executive Editor

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