Rub a pig’s belly at the Animal Place Sanctuary

On Saturday we headed up to Animal Place to visit the 600-acre sanctuary and meet up with the rescued animals. It was a little bit of a drive for us. Animal Place is about 2 and an half hours away from where we live, but it was worth every minute of it.

Animal Place Sanctuary and Education Center  is located in Grass Valley, Northern California and is one of the oldest and largest sanctuaries for farmed animals in the country. Animal Place was founded in 1989 and is the safe and loving home to 200 rescued animals … sheep, cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, goats and two donkeys. All of the animals come from a sad, abused, neglected and abandoned story but now they are living the life they deserve.

As soon as we arrived, we started on a tour of the farm, led by Marji Beach the Animal Place Education Director and one of the wonderful volunteers.

In our first stop Marji introduced us to Shelby and Magnolia, two beautiful cows. Everybody has the opportunity to have some close-up and petting time with them.
Animal Place Sanctuary and Education Center

In our next stop our tour guide and the volunteer at the sanctuary, spoke about the conditions some of the animals live in the factory farms … it was a little bit sad to discover what really happens to farm animals to produce our daily food, but if we don’t face the truth, we can never hope for a change. It was really an eye-opener to everybody and many of us cried during the story.

Animal Place Sanctuary and Education Center

Animal Place sanctuary

The sanctuary give the children the opportunity to come here and interact with the animals in a respectful way, teaching them to love animals, gentleness and kindness. The sheep were very friendly and looking forward to head scratches! (they were very loud too) :-)

Animal Place Sanctuary and Education Center

Animal Place Sanctuary and Education Center

Animal Place Sanctuary and Education Center

Carmen – Her stump is too small for a prosthesis so she ambles around on three legs. When she starts to hurt, she’ll approach a volunteer for massages.

After visiting the sheep, we started to walk to the pig barn. The grounds of the sanctuary are beautiful. The farm is surrounded by big trees, rolling hills, pasture land, gardens, wooden fences and big red barns. The sanctuary provides a relaxing and peaceful environment that radiates the love for the animals.

Animal Place Sanctuary and Education Center

The sheep ran next to us and were excited to have the attention of the group of visitors :-)

Animal Place Sanctuary and Education Center

Animal Place Sanctuary and Education Center
From the moment we walked into the pig barn area we were greeted by Wilbur’s sweetest smile! He melted everybody’s heart. It was one of the highlights of the tour!

Animal Place Sanctuary and Education Center

That SMILE!!!

Animal Place Sanctuary and Education Center

Warm Pink Tummies

Our last stop was at the bunnies home. Some are very shy and some have special needs but all are the softest, gentlest and sweetest creatures.

Animal Place Sanctuary and Education Center

Animal Place Sanctuary and Education Center

Animal Place Sanctuary and Education Center

In our way back after two hours of tour we meet Nick, the Jersey cow with the cutest mophead! :-)

More Information:
Website: www.animalplace.org
Address: 17314 McCourtney Road, Grass Valley, CA 95949
Sanctuary Hours of Operation: Tuesday-Saturday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

It was such an amazing experience. If you haven’t been to a farm animal sanctuary, you should definitely try to find one near you. Great for families, school groups or Scout troops. We ended up having a fabulous day: the perfect mixture of education and fun. This experience will leave an imprint on your heart forever and will help you to find ways to be more helpful, more engaged, and more compassionate!

Please share your favorite local sanctuaries in the comments below … we would love to learn about them!

Have a Smiley Day!!!

Victoria 😉

PD: Check this beautiful video of Jellybean and Mr. G two residents of Animal Place Sanctuary :-)

Visiting Point Bonita Lighthouse

point_bonita_lighthouse01

Visiting the Point Bonita Lighthouse is a perfect kind of day trip with friends and family! It is located on the southernmost cliff of Sausalito and has one of the most breathtaking and spectacular views of the California coast.

We visited Point Bonita last weekend. It was a clear sunny day with the most beautiful deep and bright blue sky. Because of the warm weather it was full of tourists and locals enjoying the dramatic views of the ocean coast, the Golden Gate Bridge and keeping an eye on the seals swimming on the ocean. I just loved the sound of waves crashing into the rocky shore…very relaxing!

The active light house is situated on a rock formation away from the shore. To get there you must walk a half-mile trail down a dirt path, pass through a narrow low ceilinged and hand carved tunnel and cross the suspension bridge that connects the walking trail to the lighthouse itself. Be careful, especially with little kids, you will want to hold their hands on several areas to keep them away from the edge of the trail where there are very steep drop-offs…. and remember to hold your breath through the tunnel 😉

The Point Bonita Lighthouse built in 1855, was the third lighthouse built on the West Coast and is maintained by the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the largest urban national park in the United States.

The lighthouse sits 124 feet above the sea. Inside is a little museum where you can find a volunteer docent who will answer all of your questions. The lighthouse offers free docent guided tours if you want to know the history of this fascinating place. The lighthouse is open only Saturdays, Sundays & Mondays 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. If you come during off-hours, you can only walk as far as the tunnel.

Visiting Point Bonita Lighthouse

Visiting Point Bonita Lighthouse

Visiting Point Bonita Lighthouse

Visiting Point Bonita Lighthouse

Visiting Point Bonita Lighthouse

Visiting Point Bonita Lighthouse

Visiting Point Bonita Lighthouse

Visiting Point Bonita Lighthouse

Visiting Point Bonita Lighthouse

The Marin Headlands …. looking north from the Lighthouse.

After our visit to the lighthouse we headed to Rodeo Beach, one of the most visited destination in the Marin Headlands to have a picnic there.  Because of the hot weather it was really packed!!! Great for surfing, hiking,  bird watching, dog walking, kite flying or just relaxing…..  Your young kids will enjoy the kiddie pond that is detached from the ocean.

point_bonita_lighthouse09

Rodeo Beach

More Information:
Address: Fort Barry, Building 948, Sausalito, CA 94965
Hours: The lighthouse is open only Saturdays, Sundays & Mondays 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
If you come during off-hours, you can only walk as far as the tunnel.
Website: https://www.nps.gov/goga/pobo.htm

 

You definitely owe yourself a visit…this is really a secret jewel of the Bay Area!

Do you know in what Key is the lighthouse’s foghorn?

Have a Smiley Day!!!

Victoria 😉

Beautiful mustard fields in full bloom!

The beautiful mustard fields in full bloom! – Napa Valley

Beautiful mustard fields in full bloom!

San Francisco Architecture – Crocker Galleria

Crocker Galleria in the Financial District.

I love the spectacular glass dome at the Crocker Galleria in the Financial District.

The galleria is a three-story shopping center with more with more than 40 shops, designer boutiques and little cafes and restaurants. Check out the roof garden…good place to sit and eat.

On Thursdays, visit the farmers market from 11am to 3pm, with 12 farmers and vendors, lots of fresh locally grown vegetables and fruits.

Location: Crocker Galleria, 50 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94104

Crocker Galleria in the Financial District.

Visiting The Fortune Cookie Factory in San Francisco

The Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory is a must-see while you are exploring Chinatown. It will take you less than 5 minutes to tour it but this is an experience you will enjoy. The Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory is located in the historic Ross Alley between Jackson and Washington Streets. Even thought it is a hidden tiny place you wont miss it…the smell of the fresh and sweet vanilla fortune cookies will draw you in 😉

Visiting The Fortune Cookie Factory in San Francisco - See more at: http://thebubblybay.com/?p=2550&preview=true#sthash.47K3OkdU.dpuf

Read More

The Tom and Jerry Christmas House in San Francisco

The Tom and Jerry Christmas House in San Francisco

We finally visited the famous Tom & Jerry Christmas House yesterday (last year we passed by too early and they were still setting it up… they had a crane and an army of helping elves) :-) This is definitely one of the most delightful Christmas display in San Francisco.

Read More

Painting Pumpkins

Painting pumpkins has became a fun tradition for my family, specially for my teenage daughter. A couple of months ago we started to discuss which character we were going to do this October.
My daughter wanted to do Cheshire Cat and the characters from the “Inside Out” movie. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do but once I watched “the Book of Life” movie with all the explosion of colors and a great life’s message, I instantly knew I was going to do one of the characters of this gorgeously animated film. Yeah, I loved it!

Painting Pumpkins The Book of Life

Read More

Visiting the San Francisco Flower Mart

San Francisco Flower Mart

Imagine the smell of a thousand flowers all in one place. Don’t imagine it…experience it at the Flower Mart in San Francisco…

Read More

Hollow Café

Had coffee and the best empanadas in the cutest little café in San Francisco, Hollow Café.

The cutest little café in San Francisco, Hollow Café.
Hollow Cafe
1435 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122
Inner sunset neighborhood
www.hollowsf.com

 

Let’s Go Fly a Kite at the Berkeley Kite Festival!

Let’s Go Fly a Kite at the Berkeley Kite Festival

Last year we attended the Berkeley Kite Festival held at Cesar Chavez Park at the Berkeley Marina, one of the country’s largest kite festivals. It was very nice to see hundreds of kites in different shapes, colors and sizes decorating the beautiful blue sky.

Read More