Thursday, May 24, 2012


This coming July is going to mark the start of our THIRD year here in Oakland. How can that be? Sometimes it feels like we've been here forever and other times it's like the blink of an eye. Megan was still only 3 when we moved here. (nearly 4, but still 3!)
Anyway, so we've lived here for 2 solid years now and I know I've spent way too much time in my little house, or staying near the little places I know, but not really ever venturing out. There is SO much to do around here. I feel like we've only scratched the surface. We are so lucky to be in an urban area full of culture, museums, parks; a 20 minute train ride from SF, the beach etc... But not only that...There are literally hundreds of hiking trails within 5-10 minutes of our house. That's the beauty of the Bay Area!
So I want to make an effort to get out more. Explore. See what there is to see around here.
Tuesday Pete text me and said: It's a beautiful day, you guys should go to Lake Chabot. We go to this lake often, but hadn't been there lately. So instead of just saying maybe or maybe tomorrow, I said OK and had the kids pack up a lunch. (don't let anything sneak in and tell you otherwise, just do it!)
We had such a nice time. The kids brought their scooters and raced down all the hills on the walking path. I was reminded how much I love being outside. I love exploring. Finding something new. Taking the long road. That spur of the moment Sunday drive. I decided right then to make a conscious effort to do this more. We've been to Lake Chabot a hundred times. And while it's a great place to go, I wanted to explore other places too.
So the next day I got on Yelp and found us another place to go. This time it was Joaquin Miller Park. It's a huge 500 acre park right here in Oakland, just 2 or 3 minutes away. And we'd never been there before! There's a nice playground, a huge amphitheater, loads of walking trails and even mountain biking trails. The whole park overlooks Downtown Oakland, the bay and San Francisco on  a clear day.
The park had great reviews on Yelp but I was sad to see when we got there, this gem of a park had really been let go over the last few months? years? who knows?

This is the view from the amphitheater looking down on what is supposed to be these cascading water falls that flow into several different pools and then down to 3 reflecting pools and a fountain at the bottom. Unfortunately though, the only thing we found was dried up mud, lots of weeds and thousands of tadpoles and frogs.  

It's the tiniest frog I've ever seen!
Of course the kids didn't care. They were perfectly happy catching frogs and would have stayed there all day had I let them! 
But I could see how beautiful this park must have once been. It was sad to see it in such disarray. The hiking trails weren't marked well. There were fallen trees and overgrown weeds on many of the paths.  Some of the people we talked to said this is their favorite park. I could see if you'd known it forever why you'd say that. I did overhear one of the park workers say they were trying to get it back up to par again. I hope they do. It was still a good day. I don't regret going one bit. That's what this exploring thing is all about. How will I ever know if I don't go see for myself? 
Going to check out Huckleberry Nature Preserve next week. 


CAmport said...

You are so inspiring! I need to get on Yelp and make a plan. Our lives have been in such a holding pattern that exploring hasn't been much of an option. NO MORE! I'm going to explore.

Should you ever want to explore the east coast, you have a place to stay.


Jude said...

Yeah for exploring! that is why we do our summer list, so I can keep on track and not just be a summer bum ;)