1) Introduce yourself to at least one neighbor you don’t know very well, or rarely see. Bring over a plate of cookies, flowers from your garden, or just say hello and let them know how to reach you if they ever need anything. Or if you’re at a social gathering, introduce yourself to a stranger and tell them you’re trying something new…ask if they’d be comfortable answering one of following questions: What’s your earliest memory? Who are you closer to and why: your mom or dad? What’s the worst date you ever had?
2) Make a meal using fresh local produce, incorporating at least one ingredient, spice, or vegetable you’ve never tasted before.
“Technology is always calling to me. It’s a Siren song. Did I get a new email? Did someone post something interesting on Facebook? And usually, that temptation is just a browser tab away when I am otherwise trying to be productive. I’ve taken to using different methods of unplugging: Not answering a call, turning the phone off while I’m at my son’s baseball game, even leaving it in the car so I can have a clear head. It’s nice to dial that back a bit. Being unplugged makes you a lot more present.” (Dan Fost)
When was the last time you took a guided horseback trail ride? You’ll find this and more at the Will Rogers State Historic Park. Will Rogers, often called the “Cowboy Philosopher,” bought this spread in the Santa Monica Mountains in 1922 and built a 31-room “weekend cottage” on the premises. Today, Rogers Ranch is maintained as this expansive state park, set aside in 1944. You can tour the Ranch House where Rogers and family relaxed and played host to fellow actors and entertainers. With trails designed by Rogers himself, hikers can enjoy a moderate 3-mile loop to Inspiration Point, while more adventurous types can tackle the Backbone Trail into the Santa Monica Mountains, taking you all the way to Point Mugu. Enjoy breathtaking views with rows of eucalyptus trees and a sweeping vista of forested canyon hillsides overlooking the Pacific. The park is open daily from 8 am to Sunset. Admission is free.
Be a kid again…or take your kids! Either way, there is way too much to explore at the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley. Climb a life-size fin whale called Pheena to understand just how big these leviathans really are, visit the Animal Discovery room where you can meet Kelby the Iguana, or check out the super cool interactive planetarium. Be sure to explore the the current Imaginate exhibit where you can produce a short film, create your own fireworks, or create a musical masterpiece using sound panels. We’re not really sure what this means, but we’re dying to find out. Admission is $12 for adults; $6 for kids.
The subway — New York just wouldn’t be the same without it. Most people don’t get cell phone service down below, but even if you do, take this opportunity to unplug as you ride. Create a special music mix or write in a journal during your journey. Ride to the MTA Museum and catch Steel, Stone & Backbone: Building New York’s Subways 1900-1925, an exhibition that gives you insight into the construction of NYC’s first underground subway line and the people who built it. The museum itself is housed in a historic 1936 IND subway station in Brooklyn Heights. Turn of the century pictures, artifacts and videos will give you a new appreciation for the marvel that you ride on every day. $7 for adults; $5 for kids & seniors.