Happy Wanderer: For a nearby getaway, try historic Benicia

jay solmonson, staff, 1/3/04  herald newsThe old state capital in Benicia.


There’s nothing like a ghost to make history come alive. Touring the old Fischer-Hanlon House (circa 1850) in Benicia, my husband encountered a specter. And it made quite a spectacle of itself — popping open not one, but two, cabinet doors. Continue reading


Happy Wanderer: Tour Wine Country with trip to downtown Napa


Contracostatimes.com: April 15, 2016

Car. Carriage. Bike. Balloon. There are lots of ways to tour the Napa Wine region. I prefer to kayak, dock my boat in downtown Napa and walk to the tasting rooms. It’s easy with a tidal river that actually pushes you forward if you time the tides right. Continue reading

Happy Wanderer: New magazine spotlights best of state’s national parks

tumblr_mk898cc0Ui1qjlza3o1_r2_1280INSIDEBAYAREA.COM: January 14, 2016

It’s not easy being 100. The sheer number of well wishers can be — well — overwhelming. That’s undoubtedly what we’ll see with our national parks as they turn 100 in 2016. Luckily, a slick new publication can help you navigate the best of California’s national parks, trails, monuments, seashores and historic sites. It’s the full-color, 128-page magazine put out by San Francisco’s Bay Area Travel Writers (batw.org). Continue reading