Classic California Road Trips

a close up of a rock next to a body of water: 7 Classic California Road Trips to Drive in Your Lifetime
© Photo by Lisa Corson

California is, hands down, one of the best places in the world for a road trip. It’s the third largest state in the nation, and its 164,000 square miles are absolutely packed with glorious, varied terrain highlighted by some 66 scenic byways. The 865 miles of coast are strewn with pockets of beach and stretches of sheer cliff. Rocky desert landscapes give way to rolling farmlands, and two-lane highways carve through quiet groves of towering sequoias before climbing into the high, rugged peaks of the 352 mountain ranges. With all that, it’s no wonder you simply cannot get to know the Golden State unless you hit the road. We’ve gathered together seven essential California road trips to get you started. 

Epic California Road Trips

a bridge over a body of water: The Point Reyes Lighthouse is a short but unforgettable detour from Highway 1.© Photo by Chris LaBasco/Shutterstock The Point Reyes Lighthouse is a short but unforgettable detour from Highway 1.Highway 1

Distance: 656 miles

Start: Dana Point (Orange County)

End: Leggett (Mendocino County)

Following the California coastline, iconic State Route 1—or Highway 1—is one of the best road trips in the world. It is sometimes referred to as the Pacific Coast Highway (or “PCH”), though technically, the PCH is only a southern part of the route; other sections of Highway 1 are known as Cabrillo Highway, Coast Highway, or Shoreline Highway. Think of Highway 1 as a collection of the state’s greatest hits. You could drive the route in about five days, but there’s so much to do and see, we’d recommend getting out of the fast lane and giving yourself a week and a half or two weeks to really enjoy it all.

Start off with your toes in the Pacific at Huntington Beach, or Laguna Beach, or any one of the other scenic beaches of sunny southern California, then head north. Catch Spanish colonial architecture and sip local Santa Ynez valley wines in Santa Barbara; as you pass San Simeon, keep an ear out for elephant seals and an eye out for zebras and Hearst Castle. Then follow the forested road through Big Sur, stopping often to marvel at mountains that end abruptly in sea cliffs.

Be sure to pay homage to John Steinbeck at Cannery Row in Monterey, then bundle up to cut through the fog in San Francisco. Don’t worry, it tends to clear just after you cross the Golden Gate Bridge. From there, the road gets narrower and feels more remote as it winds through the hills of Marin County. Grab some oysters in Tomales Bay and picnic along the Point Reyes National Seashore

Finish up your trip walking driftwood beaches and tree-lined trails in the sleepy coastal town of Mendocino, or if you’re feeling really intrepid, keep following the coast north. Highway 1 officially ends in Leggett, where it turns to Highway 101, but that route continues more or less along the Pacific all the way into Oregon.

(Read more about the best stops on a Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip.)a tree with a mountain in the background: Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is home to some of the oldest living things on Earth.© Photo by Laurens Hoddenbagh/Shutterstock Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is home to some of the oldest living things on Earth.

Distance: 232 miles

Start: Lone Pine

End: South Lake Tahoe

While Highway 1 follows the coast, its sister trip, Highway 395, traces the Sierra Nevadas, the backbone of California. Rather than beaches and sunsets, a trip through the Eastern Sierra features prehistoric forests, historic mining towns, and all sorts of fantastic geological features. The drive from Lone Pine up to Lake Tahoe is only about four hours—seven if you’re driving to the start point from Los Angeles—but you’ll want to plan for a four- or five-day trip.

Kick off your journey in Lone Pine, a former mining town sandwiched between Sequoia and Death Valley National Parks. Spend the day hiking around the boulders, arches, and jagged peaks of the Alabama Hills, where a number of movies, including The Lone Ranger, Gladiator, and Django Unchained, were filmed, before heading north. Before you leave, pay a visit to Manzanar National Historic Site to remember and honor the 110,000 Japanese Americans who were stripped of their rights and forced into the internment camp during World War II.

In Big Pine, stop for pulled pork and ribs at Copper Top BBQ, then and take a short detour onto Highway 168 to visit Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, home to some of the oldest living trees on the planet. Be on the lookout for hot springs once you pass the climber’s haven of Bishop: Wild Willy’s Hot Springs and Hot Creek Geologic Park are both worth a stop, but as you continue north there are plenty of secret spots locals might share if you ask. A bit farther along Highway 395, you’ll pass Mammoth Mountain, a popular ski resort, and then Mono Lake, with its mud-drip rock formations. Yosemite-bound drivers would head west here, but those continuing north might take a detour to explore the ghost town of Bodie off Highway 270. Leave Highway 395 near Topaz Lake and take Highway 89 to South Lake Tahoe, where you can finish your trip relaxing on the shores of a place Mark Twain once referred to as the “fairest picture the whole world affords.”

Northern California Road Trips

a row of park benches sitting in front of a tree: Be sure to add extra days to your wine country road trip to properly enjoy tastings at wineries like Clos du Val on the Silverado Trail.© Photo by Rocco Cesalin Be sure to add extra days to your wine country road trip to properly enjoy tastings at wineries like Clos du Val on the Silverado Trail.

Northern California Wine Country Road Trip 

Distance: 161 miles

Start: San Francisco

End: San Francisco

A road trip through the Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley should never be about getting from Point A to Point B. It’s more of a circuitous route that meanders through a countryside full of small towns, vineyards, and state parks. Plenty of people treat Northern California wine country as a day trip from San Francisco, but go for a long weekend so that you can really savor those winetastings and pamper yourself with a stay at the Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa or Meadowood Napa Valley.

Make a beeline from San Francisco to Domaine Carneros to start your trip sipping California bubbly. Then jogging north on Highway 121, you’ll pass through the town of Napa, where it’s worth a stop for lunch at the Oxbow Public Market. Continue northeast on Highway 121 and you’ll pass the hot springs resort Vichy Springs, or turn north instead onto the Silverado Trail, where you can hop between some of the best wineries in the area, including Clos du Val and Mumm.

The Silverado Trail ends in Calistoga. From here, loop back to Sonoma via the winding Calistoga Road and Highway 12, stopping to walk off your wine at a few great state parks, including Robert Louis Stevenson State ParkSugarloaf Ridge State Park, and Jack London State Historic Park. Dine on seasonal tacos at El Molino Central in Sonoma, or pick one of the many restaurants that ring historic Sonoma Square. There are plenty of small wineries and towns to explore in this area before you end your trip with a sunset drive back to San Francisco. a flock of seagulls standing on a rock: Lassen Volcanic National Park is filled with lakes and meadows as well as with hydrothermal sites. © Photo by Galyna Andrushko/Shutterstock Lassen Volcanic National Park is filled with lakes and meadows as well as with hydrothermal sites.

Redding to Lassen Volcanic National Park

Distance: 188 miles

Start: Redding

End: Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park and the area around form one of the more beautiful parts of the state, especially if you’re a mountain junkie who loves craggy peaks and volcanic rock. But it’s one that even locals tend to miss, partly because, at two and a half hours from Sacramento and almost four hours northeast of San Francisco, it’s harder to get to than the coast or the state’s wine countries. But those who make the trek should plan for a three-day weekend with plenty of day hikes and geologic curiosities—this is, after all, volcano country. 

Starting in Redding, a bustling city on the Sacramento River, travel north on 1-5 to Shasta Lake, the largest reservoir in California. Continue north on I-5, passing through the Shasta-Trinity National Forest and maybe stopping to take in the ragged spires at Castle Crags State Park, before reaching Mount Shasta, where you can stop to stroll through town or hike in the mountain’s foothills.

Then, escape from the interstate and head south on Highway 89. This section of the highway is actually part of the 500-mile Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, which travels from Oregon in the north down to Lassen along the Cascade Mountain Range. Take some time to hike McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park and see the 129-foot-tall waterfall that shares a name with the park. Or kayak and paddleboard on serene Lake Almanor. Finish your trip with a day, if not two, wandering through Lassen Volcanic National Park, which is filled with mud pots, geysers, lava fields, shield and cinder cone volcanoes, mountain lakes, and even a few green meadows where you’ll find wildflowers in the spring. a tractor on display at a forest: In its heyday, Empire Mine produced 5.8 million ounces of gold.© Photo by Jim Felcinao/Shutterstock  In its heyday, Empire Mine produced 5.8 million ounces of gold.

Gold Chain Highway (Highway 49)

Distance: 295 miles

Start: Oakhurst

End: Vinton

Follow in the footsteps of miners and prospectors through California’s Gold Country along Highway 49—a road named after the gold-seeking immigrants, or “49ers” who made their way to the state during the 1849 Gold Rush. Plan for five days to give yourself time to strike it rich panning for gold in the region’s rivers. You’ll want to spend time exploring the rocky meadows and pine-covered foothills of the Sierra Nevadas too. 

Start off with a history lesson at the California State Mining and Mineral Museum in Mariposa, just north of Oakhurst. As you move north along the route, you’ll pass a number of Gold Rush–era buildings and towns—many of which you’ll have learned about at the Mining and Mineral Museum. In Coulterville, Hotel Jeffery, first built in 1851, is known for paranormal activities and claims John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt as past visitors. Jamestown’s Railtown 1897 Historic State Park gives a glimpse of what transportation was like in the late 1800s, and Columbia State Historic Park and the town of Sonora are both well-preserved mining towns. 

Highway 49 passes over the South Fork of the American River near Placerville, which is a popular place for river rafting. A little farther north here, in Coloma, you can actually try your own luck with a gold pan at Sutter’s Mill in Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park. Continue up through Auburn State Recreation Area, where the north and middle forks of the American River meet, stopping in Auburn’s Old Town and later Nevada City for Victorian-era homes and a little more historic charm. From there, Highway 49 heads northeast through Tahoe National Forest, but there’s more mining history to see before you end in Vinton. Be sure to stop at Empire Mine in Grass Valley, one of the oldest, largest, deepest, longest, and richest gold mines in California.

Southern California Road Trips

a statue of a bear: Southern California’s Big Bear is full of outdoor activities.© Photo by Shutterstock Southern California’s Big Bear is full of outdoor activities.

Rim of the World Scenic Byway (State Highway 18)

Distance: 117 miles Start: Cajon Pass End: Big Bear

When most people think of Southern California, they think of beaches. But the lower half of the state has just as much glorious mountain scenery as its other half. For visitors who want to spend most of their vacation frolicking in the sand, but also want some mountain air, the relatively short Rim of the World Scenic Byway offers an easy weekend getaway to the rockier terrain of the Inland Empire.  

State Highway 18 officially begins at the Cajon Pass, which is about an hour outside Los Angeles on Highway 138. The route heads east, passing small mountain towns and following cliff edges and skirting the peaks of the San Bernadino Mountains, which are sometimes called the “Alps of Southern California.” Take a slight detour onto route 173 to visit Lake Arrowhead, a popular escape for Angelinos, who head up to camp, hike, and ride the Lake Arrowhead Queen steamboat, and more. You can even hike a section of the Pacific Crest Trail here. Back on Highway 18, at the town of Running Springs, you can take a quick, five-mile side trip up to Keller Peak Fire Lookout, where on a clear day, you might be able to spot the Pacific Ocean. Finally, Highway 18 follows the edge of Big Bear Lake to the town of Big Bear. Book into a cabin and enjoy the area’s hiking and water sports in the summer or snow sports in the winter. 

a person riding on top of a mountain road: Some of California’s most stunning scenery isn’t along the coasts, it’s in Joshua Tree National Park and other desert areas.

© Photo by Lisa Corson Some of California’s most stunning scenery isn’t along the coasts, it’s in Joshua Tree National Park and other desert areas.

The Desert Drive

Distance: 290 miles Start: San Diego End: Joshua Tree National Park

Plenty of travelers make the trip from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree National Park to marvel at its spiky namesake trees. But many think of Joshua Tree as a destination and miss out on all the beautiful and sometimes quirky things the deserts of Southern California have to offer along the way. In fact, you should really spend a full five days exploring the rock formations, wildflower meadows, art installations, and architectural hot spots of this region. 

Starting in San Diego, point your car northeast on Highway 163 to Highway 78 heading toward Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, famous for its wildflower super blooms in the springtime. But even when the flowers aren’t blooming, the landscape is striking, with its badlands, slot canyons, and cactus forests. Near the park entrance, keep an eye out for the 130-foot prehistoric animal sculptures created by Ricardo Breceda.

Once you’ve explored the park, you can either head north on Highway 79 and cut through Anza en route to Palm Springs—the drive through wooded Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument is a nice break from the desert sun—or continue on Palm Canyon Drive toward the dying Salton Sea. Admittedly not the most scenic part of this drive, the Salton Sea is fascinating nonetheless: It’s one of the world’s largest inland seas and is rapidly drying up. Skirt the southside of the body of water, then make your way toward Slab City, an abandoned Navy base that’s become an off-grid living community, and the massive, hand-built and brightly painted art piece Salvation Mountain, just outside.

From Slab City, take Highway 111 north to Palm Springs, an oasis of midcentury modern architecture that’s home to plenty of pools that provide respite from the heat. From Palm Springs, follow Highway 10 to Pioneer Town for a drink or a meal or maybe a concert at the famous saloon Pappy and Harriet’s, just outside of Joshua Tree Park. The area has long attracted artists and bohemian types, so while there’s plenty of natural scenery to enjoy, such as Jumbo Rocks or Skull Rock, make time to visit local art galleries, the Noah Purifoy Desert Art Museum, and the Integratron Sound Bath too.

Article by Maggie Fuller for Afar©

Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/tripideas/7-classic-california-road-trips-to-drive-in-your-lifetime/ar-BB168bpR?ocid=msedgntp

Honey Perfume Roses Have Wonderfully Fragrant, Long-Lasting Blooms

a close up of a flower: Their pretty apricot-hued blossoms will brighten up your garden.
© Southern Living Their pretty apricot-hued blossoms will brighten up your garden.

Rosa ‘Honey Perfume’ brings bright color and inviting fragrance to Southern gardens. These cultivars are Floribunda roses, deciduous shrubs in the family Rosaceaeand their showy blooms appear in eye-catching peach, apricot, and yellow hues. The blossoms are deeply fragrant, which is where they get the apt name “Honey Perfume.” While we love red and pink roses, peachy flowers will always have a place in our gardens, and with a fragrance this memorable, we look forward to these blooms season after season.

As they grow, ‘Honey Perfume’ roses form a compact shrub that grows to 4 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide. Their full, frilly blooms appear in summer—usually in May—and continue until frost. They bloom in abundant clusters and can be counted on to rebloom throughout the year. They’re grown for their attractive appearance as well as their strong fragrance. The foliage is deciduous and dark green.

According to the Missouri Botanical Garden, these roses are “best grown in medium moisture, slightly acidic, well-drained garden loams in full sun. Tolerates some light shade, but best flowering and disease resistance generally occur in full sun.” They thrive in full sun with regular water and maintenance. The Missouri Botanical Garden recommends that gardeners “water deeply and regularly (mornings are best). Avoid overhead watering. Good air circulation promotes vigorous and healthy growth and helps control foliar diseases. Summer mulch helps retain moisture, keeps roots cool and discourages weeds. Remove spent flowers to encourage rebloom.”

‘Honey Perfume’ roses were hybridized by Dr. Keith W. Zary in 1993 and have become garden favorites in the decades since they appeared. Plant your own, and you’ll soon see why so many Southern gardeners covet their fragrant blooms.

From the editors of Southern Living©

Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/home-and-garden/honey-perfume-roses-have-wonderfully-fragrant-long-lasting-blooms/ar-BB167bOj?ocid=msedgntp

10 Best Small Beach Towns in Florida

Not all coastal communities are created equal, but these idyllic locales in Florida stand out from the crowd.

Slide 2 of 11: Located at the halfway point in the Florida Keys, Islamorada is a whimsical paradise where small-town businesses cater to the ultimate island state of mind. If you’re a beer lover, Florida Keys Brewing Co. and Islamorada Beer Company both serve up an impressive selection of local craft brews. Fine Florida-kitschy institutions like Lazy Days Restaurant and Lorelei Restaurant & Cabana Bar offer a quadruple threat of killer water views, fruity cocktails, live music, and fish tacos.

 © Walter Bibikow/Getty Images

Islamorada

Located at the halfway point in the Florida Keys, Islamorada is a whimsical paradise where small-town businesses cater to the ultimate island state of mind. If you’re a beer lover, Florida Keys Brewing Co. and Islamorada Beer Company both serve up an impressive selection of local craft brews. Fine Florida-kitschy institutions like Lazy Days Restaurant and Lorelei Restaurant & Cabana Bar offer a quadruple threat of killer water views, fruity cocktails, live music, and fish tacos.

Slide 3 of 11: The birthplace of the modern shrimping industry, Fernandina Beach is a waterfront village nestled on the north end of Amelia Island. Celebrating pirate culture is a way of life, so it’s not uncommon to see people dressed as swashbucklers just for the heck of it. Visit during the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, when the historic district bustles with parades, live music, lots of shrimp, and—you guessed it—pirates.

© Kara Franker

Fernandina Beach

The birthplace of the modern shrimping industry, Fernandina Beach is a waterfront village nestled on the north end of Amelia Island. Celebrating pirate culture is a way of life, so it’s not uncommon to see people dressed as swashbucklers just for the heck of it. Visit during the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, when the historic district bustles with parades, live music, lots of shrimp, and—you guessed it—pirates.

Slide 4 of 11: Anna Maria Island is what beach town dreams are made of. You won’t find any hotel chains or condominium towers here, just a collection of tropical-style homes and friendly neighbors who wave from golf carts. Stretching from the bay to the gulf, Pine Avenue is the perfect place to shop funky boutiques, dine at local cafes, and get a feel for that ultimate island lifestyle.

© Kara Franker

Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island is what beach town dreams are made of. You won’t find any hotel chains or condominium towers here, just a collection of tropical-style homes and friendly neighbors who wave from golf carts. Stretching from the bay to the gulf, Pine Avenue is the perfect place to shop funky boutiques, dine at local cafes, and get a feel for that ultimate island lifestyle.

Slide 5 of 11: Flanked by two picturesque beach parks and home to the historic Cape Florida Lighthouse, Key Biscayne is an island village with a sophisticated feel. It’s close enough to Miami that you can easily get to and from the 24/7 action of the city, but just far enough out into the ocean that you immediately get that sense of “ahhhhh” when you drive over the Rickenbacker Causeway.

© Crawford A. Wilson III/Getty Images

Key Biscayne

Flanked by two picturesque beach parks and home to the historic Cape Florida Lighthouse, Key Biscayne is an island village with a sophisticated feel. It’s close enough to Miami that you can easily get to and from the 24/7 action of the city, but just far enough out into the ocean that you immediately get that sense of “ahhhhh” when you drive over the Rickenbacker Causeway.

Slide 6 of 11: Perhaps one of the quirkiest beach towns in Florida, Captiva Island is full of character. Golf carts are the preferred method of transportation, and there are zero traffic lights on the island. Beaches here are second to none and offer some of the best shelling you can find. The island sparkles every year during the Captiva Luminary when residents light candles from one end of the island to the other, marking the launch of the holiday season.

© japrz/Getty Images

Captiva Island

Perhaps one of the quirkiest beach towns in Florida, Captiva Island is full of character. Golf carts are the preferred method of transportation, and there are zero traffic lights on the island. Beaches here are second to none and offer some of the best shelling you can find. The island sparkles every year during the Captiva Luminary when residents light candles from one end of the island to the other, marking the launch of the holiday season.

Slide 7 of 11: A colorful coastal town full of pastel houses and funky local eateries, Seaside is a breathtaking nod to life on the beach. The best way to soak up stunning Gulf of Mexico views and explore this friendly community is by foot or bicycle. Neighbors and visitors alike gather every year for the annual 30A Songwriters Festival, with live music performances at Seaside venues and other locales along scenic 30A Highway.

© Tommy Crow Photography/Visit South Walton

Seaside

A colorful coastal town full of pastel houses and funky local eateries, Seaside is a breathtaking nod to life on the beach. The best way to soak up stunning Gulf of Mexico views and explore this friendly community is by foot or bicycle. Neighbors and visitors alike gather every year for the annual 30A Songwriters Festival, with live music performances at Seaside venues and other locales along scenic 30A Highway.

Slide 8 of 11: A hidden gem nestled on the east coast of Florida, Vero Beach is a nature lover’s paradise. Think unspoiled beaches, salt water lagoons and protected wildlife refuges. With miles of biking and hiking trails, there are ample opportunities for eco-friendly adventures. Then enjoy the small-town charm in the “main street” area of Vero Beach, where you’ll find weekly gallery strolls, a vintage market, and plenty of quaint cafes.  

© Doug Schneider Photography/Getty Images

Vero Beach

A hidden gem nestled on the east coast of Florida, Vero Beach is a nature lover’s paradise. Think unspoiled beaches, salt water lagoons and protected wildlife refuges. With miles of biking and hiking trails, there are ample opportunities for eco-friendly adventures. Then enjoy the small-town charm in the “main street” area of Vero Beach, where you’ll find weekly gallery strolls, a vintage market, and plenty of quaint cafes.  

Slide 9 of 11: Cruise down Atlantic Avenue, the main drag in Delray Beach, and you’ll end up at one of the most beautiful beaches on Florida’s east coast. A haven for beachcombers and art lovers, you’ll find more than 20 galleries and iconic public art pieces in downtown and in the Pineapple Grove Arts District, home to Artist Alley. Go for one of the popular Friday gallery nights and browse local art, listen to live music, and dine at one of the eclectic eateries on the “Ave.”

© Jodi Jacobson/Getty Images

Delray Beach

Cruise down Atlantic Avenue, the main drag in Delray Beach, and you’ll end up at one of the most beautiful beaches on Florida’s east coast. A haven for beachcombers and art lovers, you’ll find more than 20 galleries and iconic public art pieces in downtown and in the Pineapple Grove Arts District, home to Artist Alley. Go for one of the popular Friday gallery nights and browse local art, listen to live music, and dine at one of the eclectic eateries on the “Ave.”

Slide 10 of 11: A laid-back beach town with a healthy—and well-loved—population of vintage ice cream parlors, Pass-A-Grille Beach is an island town located at the southernmost end of St. Pete Beach. Sunset is a nightly rite of passage as locals and visitors gather at the seawall outside of Paradise Grille to ring the sunset bell. The rooftop deck of the Hurricane Seafood Restaurant also offers spectacular views of the sun’s descent into the Gulf of Mexico.

© Kara Franker

Pass-A-Grille Beach

A laid-back beach town with a healthy—and well-loved—population of vintage ice cream parlors, Pass-A-Grille Beach is an island town located at the southernmost end of St. Pete Beach. Sunset is a nightly rite of passage as locals and visitors gather at the seawall outside of Paradise Grille to ring the sunset bell. The rooftop deck of the Hurricane Seafood Restaurant also offers spectacular views of the sun’s descent into the Gulf of Mexico.

Slide 11 of 11: Surrounded by the azure waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Gasparilla Island is truly an ode to Old Florida. Shelling enthusiasts find an impressive assortment of treasured sea shells and sand dollars tucked between layers of pure white sand, while fisherman flock to the area for its prized tarpon fishing. Visit one of the two stately lighthouses on the island, where you’ll find postcard-perfect views, especially at sunset.

© MyLoupe/UIG/Getty Images

Gasparilla Island

Surrounded by the azure waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Gasparilla Island is truly an ode to Old Florida. Shelling enthusiasts find an impressive assortment of treasured sea shells and sand dollars tucked between layers of pure white sand, while fisherman flock to the area for its prized tarpon fishing. Visit one of the two stately lighthouses on the island, where you’ll find postcard-perfect views, especially at sunset.

Article by Kara Franker of Southern Living ©

Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/tripideas/10-best-small-beach-towns-in-florida/ss-BB167dnW?ocid=msedgntp#image=1

6 for Sunday

I confess to being an extremely amateur gardener. My efforts are to attract hummingbirds and butterflies to my backyard. This year I have failed miserably. Few hummers (all male), no butterflies. By now, the yard should be a dangerous place to walk, dodging hummers thinking my red shirt is a flower, and curious Monarchs looking to find the perfect nectar plant. The weather, fierce storms and wind, the rain in deluges then nothing for 10 days ? God, please not the virus! Or maybe they have sense to stay away from us humans. Anyway, here’s hoping that July will bring a host of fluttering to everyone’s yard. Until then, this is today’s lineup:

Salvia Black and Bloom just waiting for the hummers
That’s about 2 1/4″ of rain on Friday. More tonight, tomorrow…Oh, hello Yarrow!
The last of the Buttercups. Goodbye til next year.
I first planted Kniphofia (Red Hot Poker) 10 years ago. Due to my shady conditions, this is all I can hope for.
Daisies
Hummer chocolate cake, Bee Balm Jacob Kline. Where are the hummers?

Until next time, flower power to you all!

Staycations are quite the thing!

With so many vacations to beaches, mountains and big cities and everywhere else — being canceled this summer, many would-be travelers are diverting time, attention, and a few of their dollars to staycations.

Turning your home into a “resort” — or at least a better staycation destination — isn’t as crazy or as complex as it might sound. Some fairly simple changes can add a getaway feel to your all-to-familiar surroundings.

Those looking to make their home a better staycation destination should think about what they love about their favorite vacation spots, said Matt Zimmer, a designer with the Cleary Company, a remodeling company based in Columbus.

Of course, you can’t add an ocean or a mountain view to your home, at least not in central Ohio, Zimmer said. But there are other ways incorporate reminders of favorite destinations, he said.

“I had some clients who said, “We want that Vegas feel in our bathroom.” What does that even mean? “It turned out that meant a large, open shower.

Zimmer recalled another project he did recently, designing a covered patio. During the design, Zimmer asked his client to recall a favorite vacation memory.

“She mentioned a trip to Charleston (S.C.) and a ceiling fan in the best place they went in Charleston to get oysters. It became important to me in the design of the project to find that specific fan.” With some internet research, Zimmer found the fan, which the customer adored, he said.

“Little things like that are going to make your home feel more like you’re in your favorite special vacation places, wherever those favorite places are.”

Enhancing outdoor spaces is often a good way to enhance that staycation feel, Zimmer said. “Tying the indoors to the outside adds to that Zen-like feel at home,” he said.

“You don’t have to do an entire porch addition. There are a lot of little things you can do, like building a little bar area, or adding a TV outside with a little covering over it, all things that might make you more inclined to hang out outside.”

Here are some visual idea’s for a comfy home staycation:

a large kitchen with stainless steel appliances: Entertainment areas that flow from indoors to outdoors are popular with homeowners undertaking major stay-cation projects. [The Cleary Company]
Entertainment areas that flow from indoors to outdoors are popular with homeowners undertaking major stay-cation projects. [The Cleary Company]
a garden in front of a house: This renovation turned an Upper Arlington backyard into an inviting staycation “destination.” [The Cleary Company]
This renovation turned an Upper Arlington backyard into an inviting staycation “destination.” [The Cleary Company]
a room with a sink and a mirror: A new vanity, tile and paint helped turn the Warner’s old bathroom into a bit of a getaway.
A new vanity, tile and paint helped turn the Warner’s old bathroom into a bit of a getaway.
a chair sitting in front of a building: Jen Carlson’s updated deck is now hosting small groups of friends who never knew it existed before, she said.
Jen Carlson’s updated deck is now hosting small groups of friends who never knew it existed before, she said.
a chair sitting in front of a building: Jen Carlson and Matt Cooper are using their backyard deck for the first time in the 10 years they’ve been in their home.
Jen Carlson and Matt Cooper are using their backyard deck for the first time in the 10 years they’ve been in their home.

Article by sstephens@dispatch.com Photo’s by The Columbus Dispatch ©

Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/realestate/right-at-home-some-people-are-creating-inviting-settings-that-feel-like-a-vacation-destination/ar-BB163VnK?ocid=msedgntp#image=BB163VnK_1|1

Siya Kakkar, TikTok Star, Dead at 17

Nia Ramadhani smiling for the camera
© You Tube

TikTok star Siya Kakkar has died at 17 years old. Her manager, Arjun Sarin, confirmed to ET that Kakkar died by suicide at her home in New Delhi, India, on Wednesday, June 24, around the hours of  9-10 p.m.

Sarin told ET he had talked to Kakkar earlier in the day, noting, “She sounded very normal, just like we talk every day.”

“I can just say she was one of the finest artists and her focus was not money,” he added. “Her focus was to work for her happiness.”

Kakkar, who lived in India, was known for her dancing and has more than 1.9 million followers on TikTok. On Thursday, Delhi Police told local news outlet India Today that Kakkar died at her residence on Wednesday night and had been battling depression in the four days prior to her death. Sarin told ET that he was not aware of the Tik Tok star receiving any online threats.

The manager also spoke about Kakkar’s death to India Today on Thursday, saying, “I had a word with her last night for a new project and she sounded normal… This must be due to something personal…work wise she was doing well.”

“Me and my company Fame Experts manage lots of artists and Siya was a bright talent,” he continued. “I am heading to her home in Preet Vihar.”

Sarin’s management company posted a smiling picture of Kakkar on Thursday on Instagram and mourned her death.

“Rest in peace @siya_kakkar 💔,” the post reads. “We will always miss an artist like you. May God give all the strength to her family.”

‘Sleep Divorces’ Are on the Rise—Could They Actually Save Your Marriage?

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We spend nearly one-third of our lives sleeping. Which is great because without it, we get cranky, irritable, cloudy and tired. In fact, research shows chronic lack of sleep even ages our skin. But what happens when the reason you’re not getting your zzz’s is because of your partner? Maybe they snore, roll around too much or blast the AC. This might just call for a “sleep divorce.” With the help of matrimonial attorney and author of The New Rules of Divorce: 12 Secrets to Protecting Your Wealth, Health, and Happiness, Jacqueline Newman, let us explain.

What’s a “sleep divorce”? Simple: A sleep divorce is when a couple makes the mutual decision that they’re not going to sleep in the same bed for the sake of wellness. That could unfold in myriad ways depending on what the problem is. For instance, if the bed is too soft for one person, maybe they sleep on the couch, pull-out, guest room or perhaps even purchase a new bed. If snoring is the issue, the couple may decide to sleep on different floors of the house. Seems strange? Well, according to a survey commissioned by SleepStandards, sleep divorces are more popular than you think—35 percent of couples interviewed are considering separate beds.

But isn’t sleeping separately bad for marriage? Au contraire! The word “divorce” probably makes you think it’s a bad thing, but according to Newman, a sleep divorce actually restores a lot of marriages and relationships. In fact, the whole point of a sleep divorce is to salvage or at least improve the relationship. If sleeping together means one or both partners is losing sleep, then sharing a bed might actually be bad for the marriage. “Culture says we have to sleep next to each other because of intimacy, but what if all we’re doing is keeping each other awake?” Newman asks.

How is sleeping in separate beds good for a relationship? We’ll let Newman explain: “Everyone’s cranky if you don’t get enough sleep—and you take it out on the people who you hold near and dear, most often your spouse.” If your partner is the reason you’re not getting a solid eight hours, your anger and contempt could escalate to a whole new level. A sleep divorce could prevent these negative emotions from simmering to a boil. When we’re better rested, we’re healthier and happier, making us better partners because we’re able to show up. “If you’re getting along and not fighting, does it really matter if you don’t sleep next to each other at night?” Newman wonders. In fact, she recalls a friend who announced her sleep divorce and then said, “You know what? My husband’s much funnier now.”

But what about sex? If you like your sex with a side of sleep, get it done and then retreat to your preferred sleeping arrangements. Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean your relationship has failed; you’re just at a new stage. “It’s just the practicality of life, it doesn’t mean your marriage is doomed,” explains Newman. For couples just starting out, maybe their partner’s snoring is cute, but the reality is intimacy comes in lots of forms, and if spooning all night isn’t working for you, why not get a good night’s sleep so you can actually enjoy your partner when you’re both awake?

Sold. So, how do I ask for sleep divorce? A healthy sleep divorce means the decision is mutual. Newman advises that the couple has to be on same page. “If one person derives huge amount of comfort from snuggling and connection, weigh your needs. Make the decision together.” And if you’re the partner who isn’t so into a sleep divorce, don’t just dismiss the idea, especially if your partner will experience this as rejection. Instead, like every other aspect of your marriage, make sure to communicate, be vocal, address needs and make compromises. Divorce granted.

Question: Have you and your partner ever tried a sleep divorce? What were the results?

Source: Dara Katz for purewow.com

https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/relationships/sleep-divorces-are-on-the-rise-but-they-could-actually-save-your-marriage/ar-BB15YPkK?ocid=msedgntp