Leilani Marie Labong
The first time I became aware of a place called Sausalito was 25 years ago when Pepperidge Farm came out with a macadamia-chocolate chunk cookie named after the city. I never imagined that I’d eventually live in San Francisco, 10 minutes' drive away from that mythic place, which means 10 minutes away from warm summer days, 10 minutes away from paddle boarding on calm waters, 10 minutes away from the loveliest of lemon mousses, 10 minutes away from my favorite design shop, 10 minutes away from an invigorating morning jog to the ocean.
On a New Year’s trip to Sedona, Arizona (a reward for spending an intense three days hiking in the Grand Canyon), I visited energy vortexes (vortices?), saw a tarot reader, and attended a music and meditation class—on Day One. While I’m naturally inclined toward New Age arts, dabbling here and there in oracle cards and crystal-healing treatments, this total immersion seemed a bit over the top, even for me. Which is not to say that I didn’t enjoy every last minute of it.
No time like the present to indulge in your escapist fantasies. There’s a lot of real life to dodge, after all: Forced holiday gatherings of awkward people. The obligatory year-end audit of missed opportunities and failures. The fabled El Niño. If you’d rather head to the beach in sunny Costa Rica, where you'd spend your days wandering the ocean on a standup paddleboard and doing yoga, no one would blame you. (Though we can't do anything about their deep-seated envy.)
As a San Francisco resident, why oh why would you want to do a city staycation anywhere other than the Presidio, since it’s by far the only place in town in which you can actually feel like you’re somewhere other than the place you actually live.
Four enamored Bay Area power couples play our version of the Newlywed Game to reveal how they win at love.
Even in the rain, Big Sur is a remarkable place to explore. We holed up here recently on a particularly showery weekend, which didn’t stop us from exploring beaches and redwoods or foraging for high gastronomy. (It also didn’t stop us from bunkering in our room, fireplace ablaze, for cozy afternoons).
Having grown up in the southwest, I feel a deep affinity for all desert landscapes. The otherworldly terrain of southern Utah is particularly close to my heart. I have spent many winter holidays over the last 15 years hiking in Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks, as the days are usually sunny and the cold is never too bone-shattering.
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