Need a place to think? Anywhere in the Japanese Friendship Garden will do. The manicured gardens and burbling streams offer a quiet respite from the busy streets just beyond the wooden gates. The garden's design was inspired by the Korakuen Garden in Okayama, Japan, a sister city to San Jose. The Japanese Friendship Garden is a popular backdrop for professional photo shoots and weddings. Take a seat by the teahouse and admire the cherry blossoms, or ruminate on the beautiful willow tree alongside one of the garden's three koi ponds.March 28, 2012 Like Add a Comment
While waiting for the bookstore to open, "Noon or sooner," it is just as likely to be later. Beachview Books is one of the island's lasting institutions and the only place to buy and sell used books. Its most important community service might be that it is a mainstay of the grapevine. Books or chat? Over a cup of coffee and on the chintz couch, discuss one of many authors living on the island and their new books. Find an out-of-print history book shelved in one of the store's many cubbyholes and then pick the brain of owner Nancy who has lived much local history herself. But the best subject to chat about is "island drama," which is, of course, fodder for writers —or just plain snoops. The cup of coffee is de rigeur for the scuttlebutt to flow.March 28, 2012 Like Add a Comment
This steel helmet, used by various European Explorers, bears the name of a Spanish word meaning 'helmet' or 'headpiece': morion. Made of thick steel, engraved, embossed, and assembled with rivets, it stands in stark contrast to the headpiece in the next case which was a traditional Native American headpiece made simply of feathers. This newly-renovated exhibit about California history is informative and extremely well-done. We will definitely visit again when we have more time on our hands.March 28, 2012 Like Add a Comment
Our 4th grade teacher recommended this museum as a possible Spring Break destination since the kids are studying California history and this museum has a newly renovated exhibit about California. It opens with this interactive map, asking people to place a sticker dot on the country or countries from which their families came to California. With our two families, we placed dots on Denmark, Sweden, Portugal, the Philippines, and several spots in the United States. What a great visual!March 28, 2012 Like Add a Comment
"Quiet Zone. Owls Nesting." reads the sign in a dilapidated barn on the Slough. Other signage tells about the Great Horned Owls who make their homes there. Looking up into the rafters of the structure, we try to discern owlet heads peaking up over scraggly nests in wooden boxes. But there's nothing. Just cool silence. It's a welcome bit of shade on a hot Spring day.March 28, 2012 Like Add a Comment
Our contests often focus on themes, concepts, and specific geographic areas--but we also keep an extensive list of assignments around the world that are on our list simply because our editors want you to check them out and report back (and win weekly prizes). Enter the Weekly Worldwide Contest as many times as you like. Feel free to suggest a spot (firstname.lastname@example.org). We're always adding new assignments.
Prize details: $50 writing contract to cover three places and $50 photography contract to cover three places.
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