Epic 40-day California to Texas RV Itinerary

Photo of covered bridge with title text overlay: Epic 40-day California to Texas RV Itinerary

When I finally pulled away from the home I had lived in for the past four years in Pine Grove, I was both relieved and excited. I knew there were things I would miss but there were also some uncomfortable things going on that I was glad to be leaving behind. The thought of what might lie ahead – whatever that might be – was exciting! I was headed to Texas in my RV, making a lifelong dream come true. I had a general idea of what my California to Texas RV itinerary would be but I also wanted it to be fluid and flexible. To set the stage for this trip for those of you who don’t know, this was my first time ever…

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Most Viewed Posts 2018 Edition

This is one of my favorite posts to do during the year. It is so fun to look back over articles and see what was popular and resonated with my readers.

This is one of my favorite posts to do each year. It is so fun for me to look back over my articles and see what was popular and resonated with my readers during the year. It gives me food for thought about what to include as future posts. 2018 was a year of huge changes for me. The first few months of the year, things went on pretty much as usual. I visited lots of places in Gold Country to find the gems to share with you on the blog. Then, somewhere around May, some events got put into motion and I decided to start a whole new chapter in my life. I wrote all about it in post #7 below.   Top Ten…

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Things to do in Bakersfield in Three Days

When you think of Bakersfield, do you think of a place to visit and explore? No? Me neither! But there is more to do there than you might imagine.

When you think of Bakersfield, do you think of a place to visit and explore? No? Me neither! When I was planning my RV trip from northern California to southern Texas, I scheduled an overnight in Bakersfield to break up the drive. At one of my going away parties – yes, there was more than one since my trip kept getting delayed – my friend, Sue, said, “If you are going through Bakersfield, you HAVE to go to the Buck Owens Crystal Palace.” Who knew? So, I penciled in a couple more days there to have time to do just that and spent 3 days in Bakersfield. I did more research to see what else there is to do in Bakersfield and was surprised at…

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Notes from an RV Newbie’s First Weekend on the Road

If my first weekend on the road as an RV newbie is any indication of how things are going to go for the next few weeks, I’m truly going to love this life.

If you have been following my blog, you know that just before my birthday I made a life changing decision to downsize, buy a travel trailer and do some long-term traveling while moving in the general direction of southern Texas. Preparing to be an RV newbie has been a monumental chore with not much to write about so it has been a while since I posted. I’m back now and plan to share the whole adventure with you. If my first weekend on the road as an RV newbie is any indication of how things are going to go for the next few weeks, I’m truly going to love this life. Day one, Friday, October 12 I finally pulled out from Pine Grove at about…

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View a Glorious Display of Spring at Daffodil Hill

Daffodil Hill is a privately owned farm that has been in the McLaughlin family since 1887. If mother nature cooperates, as many as 300 varieties of bulbs put out more than 400,000 blooms annually. Visitors can witness this spectacle from mid-March through mid-April, weather permitting.

When I moved to Pine Grove in Northern California’s Gold Country, one of the first things to go on my spring bucket list was a visit to Daffodil Hill in nearby Volcano. The blooms of the more than 300,000 daffodils are legendary and people visit from all over the world to see the spectacular sight.     I got lucky that first year. We had a mild winter with little rain – we were at the height of the drought – and the flowers were amazing during the spring of 2015. I’m so glad I made it that year because in 2016, a huge hail storm beat down all the flowers and forced them to close after just a few days.   Pretty excited that…

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Mercer Caverns: A Top Attraction in Murphys, CA

Murphys, CA, in Calaveras County is home to Mercer Caverns, one of four fantastic caverns in Northern Caifornia's Gold Country. Learn about the fascinating history and amazing geology on an entertaining guided tour.

My friend Joy and her husband were here visiting for a few days from Southern California so I planned some activities for them. We spent the day on Sunday in Murphys attending their Presidents’ Wine Weekend event. On the drive to Murphys, Joy wanted to know if we could visit Mercer Caverns wile we were there since it was only a mile away. One of my goals is to visit all four of the fantastic caverns in Northern California’s Gold Country, so I was happy to agree. Because it is so close and the tour only lasts about an hour, it was a perfect break from all the wine tasting.     Since I visited Black Chasm Cavern in Volcano last year, I figured Mercer…

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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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Things to do in Murphys CA — More than Wine Tasting

When you visit Murphys, it will be obvious why it was voted one of the top ten coolest small towns in America. Take a trip back to the 1800s while enjoying great food, shopping, art galleries, outdoor activities and more.

If you haven’t been to Murphys, you should definitely add it to your list of places to go in California’s Gold Country. I have been there for special events like the Chili Cook-off, just to shop, and to stop for breakfast on my way to Calaveras Big Trees State Park. When you visit, it will be obvious why it was voted one of the top ten coolest small towns in America by Budget Travel Magazine. There are cool things to do in Murphys CA! Murphys, California, is located in Calaveras County, about 3 hours east of San Francisco and a little less than two hours southeast of Sacramento. I’m only an hour away where I live in Amador County so I can visit often. If you…

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Small Town Wine Bar in California’s Smallest Incorporated City

When I learned that another eating and drinking establishment was opening in Amador City, I have to admit, I was a little jealous. They already had the Imperial Hotel and Jamison’s Ale House, two of my favorite places to eat in the county. They had Andrae’s Bakery, which puts out some awesome bread and pastries. Now they were going to have Small Town Wine Bar, too.     Small Town Wine Bar in Amador City Small Town Wine Bar owner, Ginger Budrick Carter, has been in the hospitality industry all her life. She started working in her parents restaurant in Sutter Creek at the age of 13 where she worked her way up through all the positions. She learned to pay close attention to every…

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Amtrak from Sacramento to San Francisco

Amtrak -- Sacramento to San Francisco -- who knew? Certainly not me. At least not until recently. I've lived here for more than three years and didn't know you could take Amtrak from Sacramento to San Francisco.

Amtrak — Sacramento to San Francisco — who knew? Certainly not me. At least not until recently. I’ve lived here for more than three years and didn’t know you could take Amtrak from Sacramento to San Francisco.     San Francisco is about a three hour drive and 130 miles from where I live in Amador County. Then there’s the traffic and the parking. When I learned from a client that you could take the train, I was quite eager to try it out because I LOVE riding the train, which you can read about here and here. It was on my mind for a few months but I just didn’t have a specific reason to go. When I received an invitation to ZinEX (hold…

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