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Big Sur - Hiking Andrew Molera State Park

One of the great delights of living in the Bay Area is the proximity to the natural beauty of California and it's hard to beat the stunning drive down Highway One to Big Sur. This is certainly one of the iconic American road trips, but for me the joy of being in the area is getting out of your car and hitting a trail, so you can be "in" the landscape rather than just looking at it from the asphalt. 

Restaurant Month in Napa

So we're thinking about a weekend away in Napa and I recently discovered they have a January "Restaurant Month". Rather like Dine About Town in San Francisco  they offer special deals to get you into restaurants at what is a quiet time of year. It may be too late for us to make it this year, but I think it's worth knowing about. I particularly  fancy the four course $35 "Whole Hog" dinner at the Culinary Institute of America.
Unlike the San Francisco program the Napa incarnation is more freewheeling in its style. Instead of a common price for a three course prix fixe meal, the Napa offerings are more varied.  Lunches, dinners tasting menus, even deals on tacos! It's  all part of "Cabernet Season" designed by the tourist board to take the valley through the doldrums of winter until they arrive at the next public relations invention 'the Mustard Season', complete with its own festival!