Discover Northern California's
Continued #2

What is
#TravelTuesday #Photo-of-the-Week?

When we first started blogging our #TravelTuesday photo series back in January of 2013 at Discover Northern California's Travel Blog, it didn't occur to us that those items - like all the others on that page - would eventually drop off the bottom of the viewable page.

When it did occur to us, we realized we needed to collect them somewhere, so those who weren't around when they originally posted could find them. So here we are!

In case you're wondering, #TravelTuesday is a Twitter phenomenon created by Katy Lynch of Where I've Been, the popular social media app used by over 9 million people on Facebook, MySpace, bebo, etc. to share the places they've been to, lived in, and/or want to go to.

And, of course, Photo-of-the-Week (or -Day or -Month) is a favorite publishing tool throughout the Internet.

Do you have a favorite NorCal story?
From a family visit from years ago to something
you discovered last weekend,
Share it with the rest of us
- we'd love to learn about it!

If you're looking for Northern California lodging, you can't do better than to compare prices with before you book:

Compare hotel prices and find the best deal -

#TravelTuesday #Photo-of-the-Week: The days of wine and roses!

While visiting Healdsburg in Sonoma County recently, we discovered - tucked in amongst the vineyards and wineries - a lovely, family owned and run rose farm.

Started in 1990 by Jan and Michael Tolmasoff, the Russian River Rose Company is home to over 600 varieties of roses, "ranging from ancient roses to recent introductions; native species to highly hybridized ones; GIANT shed-eating climbers to micro-minis, and many 'found' roses."

In addition to cultivating, growing, and selling roses, Jan and Michael have re-created historic Bulgarian perfume-making methods and offer California's only estate-produced rose oil perfume and rose water.

Visit the Russian River Rose Company's beautiful and fragrant display gardens where - depending on the time of year - you may take a perfume rose harvest tour, attend a workshop or demonstration, witness the blessing of the roses, enjoy butterflies, birds and bees in the garden, take an Iris class, or learn about the mysteries of Russian teas, culture, and music.

“They are not long, the days of wine and roses: out of a misty dream our path emerges for a while, then closes within a dream.”
~ Ernest Dowson, "Vitae Summa Brevis"

Russian River Rose Company

#TravelTuesday #Photo-of-the-Week: Discover Crystal Cove Cottages!

Crystal Cove CottagesCrystal Cove Cottages and Beach from PCH; Photo by Suzi Rosenberg

Located in Newport Beach - just off the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) - in Southern California, Crystal Cove Cottages and Historic District is one of the last remaining examples of Southern California beach architecture and happily for us, it is being protected, preserved, and lovingly renovated through the combined efforts of the California State Parks system, which owns Crystal Cove, and the Crystal Cove Alliance -- and it's now listed as a Federal Historic District.

Visit and explore for the day, or rent one of the historic cottages for a weekend, it's charming and chock-full of nostalgia!

For more about the story behind Crystal Cove,
see Getaway Guide to Crystal Cove State Park's Historic District

#TravelTuesday #Photo-of-the-Week: Hark! We give you the Pacific Banana Slug!

Banana SlugsBanana Slugs; Photo by Andy Goryachev PD

You might be wondering what reason we could possibly have for presenting a picture of two banana slugs as our #TravelTuesday #Photo-of-the-Week. Aside, of course, from the fact that it is a beautiful photograph. In answer, we would beg you to consider that if you travel in Northern California - particularly if you visit any of the coastal rain forests, famous Redwood forests, or even parts of Yosemite National Park - there's every possibility that you might run into one of these curious critters.

In a 1989 special-to-the-New-York-Times article by Jane Gross, Ms Gross makes the claim that the Pacific Banana Slug is "as prolific here as cockroaches in New York." While that may be a bit of an exaggeration, they are so abundant in the region of the Russian River that there once was a Russian River Banana Slug Festival, featuring slug races and a recipe contest.

What to do if you encounter a banana slug in your traipsing of the wildernesses of Northern California? Well, in Santa Cruz - where the banana slug has been adopted as the mascot of the University of California, Santa Cruz - it's traditional to kiss the slimy creature, though you are advised not to pick up banana slugs as the salt from our skin can injure them. Oh, and rinse your mouth and lips before kissing for the same reason!

But don't worry -
banana slugs are perfectly harmless to humans!

1989 New York Times article: Russian River Journal; Courage Is an Ingredient At Banana Slug Festival

For the best prices on Northern California lodging:

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#TravelTuesday #Photo-of-the-Week: A creek runs through it!

Foot Bridge over Ashland CreekAshland Creek with foot bridge in Lithia Park; Photo by Suzi Rosenberg

"In the hub of downtown sits Lithia Park, Ashland's crown jewel. Lithia is a 93-acre vista of emerald lawns, tennis courts, a sand-pit volleyball court, picnic area, colorful landscaping and playground equipment. The park follows Ashland Creek through undeveloped woodlands, and also includes a Japanese garden, two duck ponds, a formal rose garden, groves of sycamore trees and a number of secluded spots."

What the above description doesn't mention is the wilderness-style areas running deep into the park along Ashland Creek. Strolling the paths and byways, watching the waters bubble and gurgle along the path of the creek, crossing the foot bridges - sometimes seeming as if no one is sharing the park with you but the local wildlife -it's easy to forget that you're on the edge of a thriving and busy arts community and tourist attraction.
Over 100 years old, Lithia's landscape design was improved upon in 1914 by John McLaren, the landscape architect who designed San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. More improvements were undertaken in the late 1930s as part of the WPA program during the Great Depression, and the park was finally listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

"I don't want to save a creek for the creek's sake,
but what's in it for human beings."
- Jim Fowler, co-host of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom

For more photos of Lithia Park and Ashland: A Weekend in Ashland

#TravelTuesday #Photo-of-the-Week: Call them Bedrock Mortars, Indian Grinding Stones, or Gossip Rocks...

Indian Grinding RockIndian grinding rock at Oroville Dam; Photo by Suzi Rosenberg

... to the Miwoks of Northern California, they were Chaw'se, the native word for "grinding rock." Used to grind acorns, grains, and seeds into meal, these cup-shaped depressions were created slowly over a period of time as Native American women gathered together to work and visit.

This particular rock was discovered near the site of the Lake Oroville Visitor Center. Lake Oroville is a reservoir formed by the Oroville Dam across the Feather River in the Sierra Nevada foothills just east of Oroville, California.

Stop by the Visitor Center to learn about the tallest earth-filled dam in the country, and to see exhibits on how the dam was constructed, the rich historical heritage of the area when Oroville was a bustling Gold Rush town, the story of Ishi, the sole survivor of his tribe, nature displays, and a full-sized diorama of a Miwok village.

Take in the panoramic views from atop the center's 47-foot tower of the lake, the dam, Bidwell Bar Bridge, the Sacramento Valley, and Sutter Buttes, smallest mountain range in the world.

When you're finished exploring the Visitor Center,
drive across the top of Oroville Dam!

For more photos of the Lake Oroville Visitor Center, see our Facebook album, Lake Oroville Visitor Center.

Please continue your exploration of what Northern California has to offer by using the Nav Bars in the left and right columns or by using the links at the bottom of the page.

Return to #Photo-of-the-Week from
#Photo-of-the-Week More Photos #2

For more of our #Photos-of-the-Week, follow these links:

More photos #1,

And even more photos #3,

And yet more photos #4,

And yet even more photos #5

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And thanks for coming!