My Vegan Experiment in Portland

I’ve been a vegetarian for 23 years but I’ve never wanted to be vegan; even less so as we travel and it’s hard enough avoiding meat and fish, let alone dairy too. It was on a last minute whim that I decided to go vegan for our nine days in Portland, Oregon. While researching vegetarian restaurants in this alternative city it seemed that veganism was widespread. There were tons of options and I thought it would be a good way to start a healthy eating kick, after a rather unhealthy few weeks of chocolate, cheddar, and chips in England.

Continue reading →

Yosemite National Park in the Summer: Our 3 Day Itinerary

Everyone told us it was the worst time of the year to visit Yosemite National Park. In July it would be crowded, temperatures scorching, and the waterfalls dried up. But it was our third visit to California and we still hadn’t made it to the famous park. We didn’t want to miss another opportunity so we went anyway and hoped that the awe-inspiring beauty that everyone raves about would overcome the negatives.

Continue reading →

The Best Vegetarian Restaurants in San Francisco

San Francisco is the best city in the world for vegetarians. I’ve said that previously about Chiang Mai in Thailand which certainly is an excellent budget option, but on our third visit to San Francisco in July we were reminded what a gourmet heaven it is. It’s an amazing place for anyone to eat. The city has easy access to quality, locally grown, organic ingredients. Its food scene is diverse with cultures from all over the world represented. And it has a population who loves to eat, and who cares about the quality of the ingredients they are consuming. Add to that a sizeable vegetarian community and world class chefs who cook creatively without meat, and it really is a vegetarian paradise.

Continue reading →

Sonoma Beyond the Wine: Cheese, Art & Hikes

On a summer morning the Golden Gate Bridge was immersed in thick fog, its iconic red rails barely visible. We drove into the void, surrounded by the thick haziness, unsure what we’d find ahead of us. Exciting as it was it didn’t bode well for the start of our road trip, yet only minutes later we emerged into the dazzling sun of Marin and left San Francisco’s cool summer behind. We headed up Highway 101 and in less than an hour reached the historic town of Petaluma, the starting point for our trip to Sonoma County.

Continue reading →

Wine Tasting in Sonoma: An Alternative to Napa

Our day of wine tasting began in a barn and ended in a Tuscan-style mansion. We met an artisan wine maker who has been practicing sustainable farming since before it had a name, and toured a winery whose wines have appeared on White House menus. Sonoma is diverse—from the approaches of the winemakers, to the soils in which the vines grow, to the micro-climates created by the cool fog from the coast and the heat of the sun further inland.

Continue reading →