How to Plan the Perfect Staycation

La Feria Nature Center observation deck across lake

Some people plan a staycation as a special event, but, for me, it’s a perpetual state of being. I am always planning the next adventure in my own backyard and hope to inspire you to do the same. We are often so busy with our daily lives and looking forward to that long vacation away that we forget about the awesome things around us. For the last few years, I have made it my mission to explore every nook and cranny of where I live and I want to help you plan the perfect staycation. What is a Staycation? Simply put, a staycation is a vacation where you stay home and participate in local leisure activities. Wikipedia says a staycation does not involve overnight accommodations…

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Quinta Mazatlan Celebrates the Monarch Butterfly

orange umbrellas and bougainvillea decorate entryway

I have been anxious to get outside and visit more of the amazing nature areas nearby but the weather has been less than cooperative in that arena. Even on the day that Quinta Mazatlan celebrated the monarch butterfly with their Monarch Festival, there was a 30-40% chance of rain. I decided to risk it and go anyway. It rained on the way there so I was mentally prepared to just find a place to go have breakfast. But the rain finally stopped about 10 miles from McAllen and held off until I was driving home. The colorful entry really brightened up an otherwise pretty gray day. I loved the vibrant orange umbrellas overhead and the striking red bougainvilleas down the walkway. There was lively music…

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Three Years and I’m Still Here!

I'm celebrating the 3rd year anniversary of the blog with a video walk down memory lane, a toast with California wine and a giveaway. Come on by!

Today, March 7, 2019, marks the 3 year anniversary of this blog. On my first anniversary in 2017, I wrote a post about the journey to finding my blogging passion. Last year, I was so busy, I actually forgot about the anniversary! Where the Blog has Been Two and a Half Years Documenting Gold Country I moved to Gold Country in October of 2014 but I didn’t start the blog until March of 2016 when I decided I missed writing about travel. I was still writing my two pet blogs but travel, including wine and food, is my passion. The blog was fairly static in terms of growth during 2017 and 2018, but already in 2019, it is on track to more than quadruple in…

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Geocaching with Harlingen Parks and Recreation

Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game. Learn about the area while you have fun geocaching with Harlingen Parks and Recreation's Geo-Quest.

Geocaching first came to my attention several years ago when I lived in southern California. I love scavenger hunts and solving puzzles so I thought it sounded like fun. I was about to get involved when I decided to move to rural northern California where there really weren’t many geocaches. Now that I’m in Texas, there are dozens, if not hundreds of geocaches all around me. Searching for geocaches seemed like an entertaining way to learn something new about an area, so I started geocaching with Harlingen Parks and Recreation and their Geo-Quest. I think it will be fun to log geocaches in all the places I visit while I’m RVing around the US! What is Geocaching? For those who may not be aware, geocaching…

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Why I Missed the 2nd Anniversary of the Blog

March 7th was the 2nd anniversary of the Gold Country Cowgirl blog. I had intended to do a special post and a giveaway for the blog anniversary. Check out this post to see the wine events and more that kept this from happening.

March 7th was the 2nd anniversary of the Gold Country Cowgirl blog. I had intended to do a special post and a giveaway for the blog anniversary but between a three-day trip to Southern California, having company, lots of wine events, being sick twice and an especially busy couple of weeks of pet sitting, that special day came and went with hardly a thought. In fact, I haven’t written a blog post since the end of February. When I sat down and made a list of all the things I’d done over the past four to five weeks (and that list didn’t include several personal events), I wasn’t surprised that I haven’t gotten much written and that I’m sick! The good thing is that several of the…

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Amador City: Where to Eat, Stay and Play

Although Amador City is the smallest incorporated city in California, covering less than a square mile, it has lots to offer. It has a hotel and four great places to eat. Main Street is also dotted with unique shops, a wine tasting room or two and a museum.

Although Amador City is the smallest incorporated city in California, covering less than a square mile, it has lots to offer. It has a hotel and four great places to eat. Main Street is also dotted with unique shops, a wine tasting room or two and a museum. If you want to learn about local history, you can take a walking tour of the town. Hike the back roads to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the area.     Where to Eat in Amador City Imperial Hotel The Imperial Hotel is the perfect place for an elegant dinner for a special occasion or just some really delicious food. The hotel dining room prides itself on featuring organic, locally grown produce, fresh meats and sustainably…

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A Glimpse into Local History during Sutter Creek Heritage Days

Take a look at this post on Sutter Creek Heritage Days for a glimpse into the history of Sutter Creek, the gold rush era and the old West.

Sutter Creek Heritage Days I think I saw more of Sutter Creek in a few hours during Heritage Days than I have seen in all the other times I have visited put together. Most people visit Sutter Creek to shop at the many antique and vintage stores or to go wine tasting. During Sutter Creek Heritage Days, all the historic venues were open with free admission so I went on a fun, self-guided walking tour. There were plenty of other family-friendly activities going on like stagecoach rides around town and gold panning at Miners’ Bend. If you follow my blog at all, you know I love learning about local history so I was excited to see some new places!   Finally here! So excited for…

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Dining Solo on My Birthday — Are You an Introvert?

Traveling, or even dining solo, is something I always tried to avoid. Turns out, it is probably because I am an introvert. You might be too if...

I have always considered myself a shy person. I am attracted to “take charge” extroverts and was always happy to let them be my front person. New people I met rarely remembered me or, if they did, I was so-and-sos friend. Traveling, or even dining solo, is something I always tried to avoid. I didn’t want to have to interact with strangers or wonder what they were thinking of me. Are You an Introvert? Over the years, I learned that my “shyness” comes from being an introvert. Some still think that being an introvert is a negative thing, but no, it doesn’t mean I don’t like people or I’m antisocial. It just means I enjoy my alone time. I didn’t realize how much of an introvert…

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Wildflowers to Snowshoeing in 30 Minutes or Less

I tried snowshoeing for the first time this week. I love that I can go from wildflowers to snowshoeing in 30 minutes or less in Gold Country. Check it out.

When I lived in Southern California, I lived near the beach and loved that I could be in the mountains within a couple of hours. Now, I live in the mountains of Northern California and the beach is only a little farther than a couple of hours away. I live at a great elevation where I get a little snow but not enough that I’ve ever had to dig out, at least not so far. I love that I can go from wildflowers to snowshoeing in 30 minutes or less. If I want to see a lot of snow, I just have to drive up the hill another 30-40 minutes and it’s a winter playground. That’s just what my hiking group did earlier this week. I…

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Birth of a Blog — or Four: Finding My Blogging Passion

One year ago today I published my first post on Gold Country Cowgirl. I was not new to blogging. It just took a while to find my blogging passion.

One year ago today I published my first post on Gold Country Cowgirl. Although that was my first post on this blog, I was not new to blogging. It took me a while to find my blogging passion but I think I finally made it. One of my biggest passions is horses. I’ve owned horses for quite a few years and have done a lot of trail riding and camping. I decided I wanted to document and share these experiences so I launched my Horse Buzz A-Z website in August of 2012. Of all the blogs I’ve written for, I think I enjoyed writing these destination travel guide posts most and would still be writing them except that horseback riding is a lot different here than in…

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