[Nature Is Nurture] This Friday, Green Is The New Black

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Dear 2016, there might only be five weeks left of you but I have a feeling these are going to be the longest five weeks ever.  Despite the fact I have my first true health diagnosis in three months, the icecaps aren’t melting, the world feels slightly post-apocalyptic and our president-elect is #notmypresident. It can’t just be me that feels an extrasensory burden of the cosmic consciousness, wrapped around life like a wet blanket; sometimes, it really did feel like David Bowie, Prince and Alan Rickman held together the fabric of the cosmos.

In just a few days, Thanksgiving will be here – but this year feels so very different feel than other years. Whether it’s the post-election depression that the country has seemingly been swimming in, the horrific actions against the protestors at Standing Rock, or the lack of chill between your neighbors tearing down their Halloween decorations and fast-forwarding right to the Christmas cheer – this moment, this moment right now feels different; it feels manufactured and store-bought instead of well-loved and handed down gently. And in a sense, that’s all Black Friday truly is: a day of fabricated happiness and discounted opulence masquerading as necessities for people who, no less than 12 hours before, were proclaiming how thankful they were for all that they had. Instead of rushing to the mall this Friday – think outside of the box and into the great outdoors where Green is the new Black, especially for you California locals out there. Spearheaded by the Save The Redwoods League and in conjunction with the California State Parks and the California State Parks foundation, the Green Friday initiative invites Californians near and far to venture to the state’s wonderful parks with their loved ones and enjoy themselves some nature.

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Spearheaded by the Save The Redwoods League and in conjunction with the California State Parks and the California State Parks foundation, the Green Friday initiative invites Californians near and far to venture to the state’s wonderful parks with their loved ones and enjoy themselves some nature. Enjoy high-quality time and high caliber conversations surrounded by the epic beauty and dramatic landscapes from the coast to the mountains of California.  Green Friday supplies access to one of California’s 116 state parks with a free day use pass so you don’t have to pay the $12 fee – instead, think of donating that $12 to a worthy cause like Standing Rock, the World Wildlife Fund or any number amazing organizations. The parking passes are first come first serve, and many parks are selling out – meaning you might even make a new best friend!  To get your green on in California this Friday, simply head to the  Green Friday website and get down on that web search.  If you’re not located in California, never fear – REI is continuing their #OptOutside campaign, this time with a little bit of help from the folks at Subaru and Google.

For more information on the California State Parks + Foundation, Save The Redwoods and Green Friday, head to their socials:

Save The Redwoods: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Blog

California State Parks Foundation: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Blog

California State Parks: www.parks.ca.gov | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Blog

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[Oh, Snap] Gallivanting Through Crissy Field and Over the Golden Gate Bridge

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For the last week of 2014, my wanderlust swept me away from the City of Angels and up to my favorite City by the Bay – San Francisco.  Even though I was born and raised in the Silicon Valley, now that my father lives in the heart of the city I spend a significant proportion of my time gallivanting around neighborhoods in search of epic street art, beautiful scenery and the unique architecture of the city.

Typically, my parents are my road dogs while I roam but this time, Danny and I enlisted a few of our LA favorites to explore with us.  Due to weather issues (typical) and unexpected detours (also, typical) over my last few trips, we never managed to make it down to Golden Gate Park, and I’ve kinda been begging, pleading – maybe even whining – to be dwarfed by the awe inspiring Golden Gate Bridge.  As we descended on the city after a hearty (and delicious) brunch at the Butler and the Chef, my friends asked around to see where we wanted to go; after squeaking ‘Golden Gate Park’ from the back seat, my friends smiled in agreement.  In sync, we took a sip of our roadies while rolling down the windows, the slow backbeat of a moody rock song filled the car while the engine purred in response.  Adventure was calling, and we were ready to answer.

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How lucky were we that the last day of the year also turned out to be a beautiful one? A quick storm from Canada trampled it’s way through California earlier in the week.  Though it left the city windy and cold our first night, paved the way for radiant blue skies dotted randomly with assorted fluffy clouds.  First on the list – Crissy Field.  Originally build as a US Airfield, Crissy Field has since been repurposed into one of the best natural spaces in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is often considered the Golden-gateway, or proverbial front door, to the Presidio.

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Slowly but surely, we made our sundrenched way through the winding paths and up through the Battery Trail to a great viewpoint of the Golden Gate Bridge.

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One thing I’ve always stood by is that you never know where the limits of your comfort zone are if you refuse to push them.  So, on Wednesday – I decided to conquer my tried and true fear of heights (known as acrophobia) and walk the Golden Gate Bridge.

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What are you determined to accomplish this year?

Shout out your resolutions in the comments below and let’s conquer them together!