Snowy trees at Mount ShastaI love traveling. Seeing new places, discovering new “treasures”, meeting new people, and just enjoying the moment….those are a fragment of reasons why I love traveling. And I think a lot of us do share this same enjoyment. It’s the time factor that’s usually holding us down. In 2010, it was very hard to find time to travel. Work, play, hobbies, other commitments, you name it :)

But my boyfriend and I did find some time to go to these three wonderful places, all of them north of San Francisco. So if you have a day to take a break or three days to do a snow boarding or ski trip, then go for it while the snow is fluffy and powdery :)

1. Isabella Farms

Goatling & DallasThank you Groupon for putting this wonderful horseback riding place on my radar. The farm is lively (but not chaotic), the instructors are great, the horses are gorgeous and happy, the trails are wonderful…..this is a great daycation place.  That’s Dallas, the horse I got to ride when I was there. You can feel that these horses are well taken care of, so if you’re a horse lover like me, you’ll appreciate these kinds of things :)

The next awesome time to visit the farm is in April or May 2011. So go ahead and book a riding session or two with them, you won’t regret it.

2. Mendocino

Blair House at MendocinoA small little town  just off Hwy-1 just before Point Cabrillo Lighthouse and 10 minutes before Fort Bragg. Cute houses and beautiful scenery.

Mendocino’s perfect for a quiet lover’s weekend or when you just want to be having some serious thinking time. The town’s quiet, the food’s good, the people are nice, and the scenery is beautiful.

It’s likely that the lodging you choose have rooms that are quite a small treasure to stay in, as well. For example, the Blair House that we got to stay the night in was originally a family house that later converted into a dainty, 4-room inn. Lovely, huh?

3. Mount Shasta

Mount ShastaMy new favorite place to snow board. I mean, it’s really hard not to like this place.  I’ll explain more later. The drive up north is beautiful and you can see the mighty white Mount Shasta starting about 2-3 hours away from the place.

I went there with zero knowledge about snow boarding, and by the time we had to go home, our body was quite sore but we’re just way too happy not to care. The ski park offers awesome learning deals, one of which eventually scores you with free season pass starting in March 2011 (1-2-3 Learn to Board or Ski).

The staff are all generous and very helpful, the instructors are awesome and super cool, the mountain itself is a great to ride on. For brief moments on our 3-day stay, I feel like I’m starting to understand why people find snow boarding (or skiing) relaxing despite the thrill of it. Time well spent, indeed. We’ll definitely come back here again. And so should you.

3 more days to 2011,

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