Comparing The Super Bowl Cities

San Francisco. Our backyard. Kansas City. A Midwest metropolis that many of us likely don’t know much about. The hometown 49ers face off against the defending champion Chiefs in this weekend’s Super Bowl. And Zillow broke it down in my kind of terms: comparing real estate in the two cities!

I was surprised to see that Kansas City actually has more EV charging stations than San Francisco, and almost the same amount of parks! And even though there is a massive difference in typical home value, Zillow actually ranks Kansas City as a much hotter housing market than San Francisco (18th, versus 30th for SF).

The article also delves into the runner-up cities (Baltimore, who lost to the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game; and Detroit, who the Niners beat in the NFC Championship Game). It’s always amazing to see what $1 million can buy you in other major cities, versus our major city, but it’s well worth a read!

Now, do I think this matters for the Super Bowl itself? Of course not! The Chiefs are defending champions for a reason, but our Niners are stronger than ever. I’ll tell you what – regardless of the outcome, I’m pretty sure stars on both teams can afford to purchase a home in San Francisco, Kansas City, Baltimore, Detroit, or pretty much anywhere in the United States!

I hope you all enjoy the game this weekend and Go Niners!

Fall Is In The Air!

If you are wanting a day trip or an overnight get away, this helpful poster was shared by Fidelity National Title, giving monthly fall activity ideas, including those for kids, in the Apple Hill area between Sacramento and Placerville. They even marked them on a handy Highway 50 driving route for you to enjoy.

This area is close enough to the Bay Area that I think it’s well worth a day trip up to one of these orchards or vineyards to see the fall colors and take part in some fun activities, fruit picking or wine tasting! I know the photo is a little bit hard to read, so I have included all of the still-relevant info below.

For general information about this region’s activities, visit applehill.com, email info@applehill.com, or call (530) 644-7692.

October

  • Oct. 20: Wreath Making & Wine Tasting at Smokey Ridge Ranch & Winery (530-903-6470)
  • Oct. 28: Vampires & Vines at Fenton Herriot Vineyards (530-642-22021)

November

  • Nov. 2: Wreath Making & Wine Tasting at Smokey Ridge Ranch & Winery (530-903-6470)
  • Nov. 9: Wreath Making & Wine Tasting at Smokey Ridge Ranch & Winery (530-903-6470)
  • Nov. 11: Veterans’ Day Specials for service members and veterans at participating farms
  • Nov. 18: Holiday Sip & Saver at Boeger Winery (530-622-8094)
  • Nov. 18-19: Bonfire, Chili & Cornbread and S’mores at Harris Family Farm (530-644-2194)
  • Nov. 18-19: Bottle Your Own at Fenton Herriot Vineyards (530-642-2201)
  • Nov. 24: Opening day for most Apple Hill Grower Christmas tree farms!
  • Nov. 25: Bonfire and S’mores at Grandpa’s Cellar (530-644-2153)
  • Nov. 24-26: Santa Visits (weather permitting) at Apple Ridge Farms (530-647-0613)
  • Nov. 25-26: Dust Off the Bottle Library Wine Event at Lava Cap Winery (530-621-0175)

Kids Activities

  • Abel’s Apple Acres: Gem Mining, Sand Art, Amazing Maze
  • Apple Ridge Farms: Maze, Nature Trail, Gemstone Mining, Face Painting (weekends only)
  • Delfino Farms: Farm animals (Babydoll SHeep), nature trail, large grassy hill, pumpkins/gourds. Mini pumpkin decorating on weekends.
  • Fudge Factory Farm: Farm Animals (Alpacas), Face Painter, Playground, Balloon Artist, Gem Mining
  • Harris Famly Farm: Nature Trail, Scavenger Hung, You-Pick, Berries, Apples & Pumpkins (in-season until picked out)
  • Hidden Star Camino: Kids Town Play Area
  • High Hill Ranch: Face Painting, Fishing Pond, Pony Rides
  • Indian Rock Tree Farm: Gold Mine, Indian Hut, Trout Stream
  • Larsen Apple Barn: Museum (self-guided), Park (lawn play, picnic)
  • O’Halloran’s Apple Trail Ranch: You-Pick Pumpkins off the vine, Flowers & Christmas Trees, Indian Corn, Johnny Appleseed Tree, Nature Trail
  • Pine-O-Mine: You pick apples (until all picked out – call for info), Pumpkin Patch
  • Rainbow Orchards: Hay Bale Hop-a-Crooked-Mile, Pumpkins, Winter Squash & Ornamental corn, Popcorn, Fresh Cider Mill, Grassy Orchard Play Area
  • Smokey Ridge Farmstand: Pictures on the tractor, you pick apples & chestnuts (in season until all picked out)
  • Carrot Farm: You-pick Flowers (in season)

Happy 4th Of July!

I hope you all had a safe and enjoyable 4th of July this year! Here is some fun trivia I pulled from the internet – how many do you know?

Where was the first celebration of Independence Day held?

How many times does the Liberty Bell ring every 4th of July?

Which famous document does Independence Day commemorate?

There has been one President born on July 4th – who was it?

Which President was the first to host a 4th of July celebration at the White House?

How many total people signed the Declaration of Independence?

How many hot dogs are consumed every 4th of July?

On the Declaration of Independence, who had the largest signature?

Which two Presidents died on July 4th of the same year?

What was the estimated population of the United States on July 4, 1776?

Answers below!

Keep scrolling!

Don’t cheat!

  1. Philadelphia, PA in 1777
  2. 13
  3. Declaration of Independence
  4. Calvin Coolidge (July 4, 1872)
  5. Thomas Jefferson in 1801
  6. 56
  7. 150 million
  8. John Hancock
  9. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, in 1826 (fun bonus fact: this was also the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which both Adams and Jefferson signed!)
  10. 2.5 million people; today, it is estimated to be over 334 million!

Lessons From Ted Lasso

One of my favorite shows is Ted Lasso and I am sad that season 3 was the series finale – there may be spin offs. I don’t always find gems to share on this blog while perusing LinkedIn – but recently, I did just that! I really like this post from Katie Jablecki about 12 Ted Lasso Leadership Lessons. I think the following applies to anyone in a position of leadership or in Real Estate- and for all of us in general!

1. Believe in yourself
2. Doing the right thing is never the wrong thing
3. All people are different people
4. See good in others
5. Courage is about being willing to try
6. Vulnerability is a strength not a weakness
7. Tell the truth
8. Winning is an attitude
9. Optimists do more
10. Stay teachable
11. Be a Goldfish – If you do something wrong do not let it define you. Forget it – like a goldfish – within 10 seconds.
12. Happiness is a choice

Credit: @TedLasso on Twitter

For those who have not watched Ted Lasso on AppleTV, it’s a really addicting show that is a lot less about soccer than it lets on. Ted (played by Jason Sudeikis) is a lovable character with great leadership traits. I especially resonate with numbers 1, 5, 7, and 11. In my line of work, I must always believe in what I’m doing (and in my clients) and tell them the truth. I had the courage to switch careers into real estate and not earn a steady paycheck while going through a divorce. And lastly when dealing with other people in the stressful situation of making one of the biggest purchases in their life, things get said to you or $h*t happens that you can’t dwell on, otherwise you will be out of the business, you have let things go – be a goldfish!

Which of these apply to you? Let me know in the comments!

My Favorite Podcasts

When my oldest son, Ryan, came to visit last Christmas, we drove to Reno to see his brother, ski, and watch a UNR basketball game. On the drive up, he wanted to listen to some podcasts – thus, my addiction to podcasts began! This blog will be a slight deviation from my normal ones about restaurants to try and real estate property in the East Bay, focusing on Walnut Creek.

I want to share some of my favorite podcasts! I often listen to a couple of short ones in the morning on my iPad before I even get out of bed. Here we go:

  1. NPR’s Up First, which is 12 minutes of recent news. Depending on the topic I will also listen to NPR’s Consider This.
  2. Other NPR podcasts I enjoy are Planet Money and The Indicators.
  3. The Daily by The New York Times is another news-related podcast in a more editorial style. These topics range from 20-40 minutes, and even over an hour for their Sunday podcasts.
  4. I recently started listening to Dua Lipa’s At Your Service, where she interviews authors, designers, musicians, and more. It is brimming with authentic and inspiring stories, tips, and recommendations. My favorite part of this one is that, at the end, she asks them to share five things, like favorite books, ideas, and so on. She often asks the five places she must see or try if she visits where they live (or where they are from). This is a fairly new weekly podcast that started in February of 2022. However, she is currently on tour so there hasn’t been a new post since April.
  5. I saved my favorite for last. This was a recommendation from my youngest son, Jackson. It’s called the All-In Podcast. They post weekly (usually on Friday) and it is four besties who are industry veterans covering all things economic, tech, political, social, and poker. What I like best is they give a broad view of topics with each their own opinion. it is like a debate, but there is respectful discourse and more varied views. I recently found you can watch it on YouTube and see their expressions, which is a bit more intimate. I am bummed that I just started listening, because they had tickets for a three-day event with speakers, poker, and parties in Miami open to those who bought tickets. They even had scholarship tickets for those that may not be able to afford the ticket amount. I would have loved to go! Maybe next year.

I have also branched out since I started listening to podcasts. Now, I occasionally listen to Learning German, Freakanomics, Akimbo, and more. What are your favorite ones to listen to? Drop some suggestions in the comments below!

Pumpkin Hacks & Tips!

It’s that time of year! Halloween is just around the corner and you want to carve the most epic pumpkin of your life. Well, lucky for you, I’ve found a few great tips and even a pumpkin hacks video. First, tips on how to make your pumpkin last longer:

  • Before you start, let your pumpkin dry completely. Scoop out all the guts and then let the interior get completely dry before starting carving. This means less moisture inside the pumpkin to accelerate rot.
  • Did you know cutting the stem off the pumpkin is actually bad for it? That stem is still delivering vital nutrients to the pumpkin, even after it’s been off the vine. Try cutting a hole on the side or back of the pumpkin to keep the stem attached.
  • Once you’ve carved, try making a DIY pumpkin spray! Just fill up an empty spray bottle with water and add one tablespoon peppermint castile soap. Shake the bottle to mix, and spray your carved pumpkin daily to slow down the decay process.
  • This may seem counterintuitive in a carved pumpkin, but you can avoid candles and keep the pumpkin from drying out too fast. Use one of those flickering battery-operated lights in there instead.
  • Those edges of your carved pumpkin that start to rot first? Try putting a little petroleum jelly on them to lock in moisture. Olive oil and coconut oil should have a similar effect!
  • If your pumpkin is starting to shrivel, that’s an indication that it needs a cold shock (pumpkins resist heat). Try giving it an ice bath for an hour or leaving it in the fridge overnight.
  • Finally, to keep fruit flies from eating away at your pumpkin, make sure ALL guts are removed (this is what attracts the flies). If they’re still coming, throw a small fruit flay trap nearby to get rid of those pests.

Now, on to some fun pumpkin hacks! Check out the YouTube video below. Enjoy your pumpkin-carving and trick-or-treating this weekend!

Cherry-Picking And Local Farmer’s Markets

I recently went to Brentwood for cherry-picking and we also stopped by a strawberry farm to pick a few strawberries. I went with my friend Veronica, her husband, Geoff, and their grandson, Tanner. Having an almost-3-year-old with us made it so fun, as we had the ability to see the experience through his eyes. He thought it was the best day!

There are multiple places to pick cherries, but the season is short (mid-May to early June). I recommend googling “u-pick cherries” in Brentwood, then on the day you want to go, visit the website to make sure they are open. As the trees get picked, they have to wait for others to ripen. I also recommend going early. We got there around 10:15 and by the time we were checking out about 90 minutes later, there was a line to get in.

Cherry Time was where we were going to go and they were already picked out, so they sent us to the neighboring orchard they share a parking lot with – Moffatt Cherries. There was another place on Sellers Pomeroy Farm, but with only parking along the roadside, it was a zoo trying to find a place to park.

We saw a Strawberry farm on the way in, and since it didn’t take that long to pick a 10-lb. bag of cherries, we decided to get some strawberries. Once we were done, we went to downtown Brentwood (the old part) and had lunch. Overall, it was a great day that I’d highly recommend. There’s nothing like fresh-picked cherries! I ate a few but saved most to can some boozy cherries for holiday gifts. Hit me up if you want the recipe! There is a map of the various orchards (can pick-up at the orchard) and what they sell in each month, so cherries are not the only thing you can pick (e.g., peaches!).

Thanks to Annetta Tsapouklis from Placer Title Company for sharing this lovely graphic about local Farmer’s Markets! Now that COVID restrictions are lifting and we’re into the best weather of the year, I can’t wait to explore a few of these and get my produce fix! If you can’t go cherry-picking yourself, do the next best thing and attend one of these:

Where To Go Camping Near The Bay Area

It’s that time of the year when the weather heats up – and so does the desire to get outside! We live in an area where camping opportunities are plentiful. There is no shortage of beautiful campsites near the Bay Area. Here is a 7×7 story about some of the best ones within 100 miles of San Francisco.

orange camping tent near green trees

From the redwoods to the beaches, this list has it all. It even includes a few campsites on our own Mt. Diablo, if you really don’t want to travel far. But it will take you as far as Mt. Tamalpais, or the cliffs of Santa Cruz.

Personally, I prefer going all the way up to Tahoe or down 395 for my camping adventures. But for a quick, local getaway, it’s hard to beat the beauty of the Bay Area. You can pretty much pitch a tent at any campsite around here and be satisfied with the nature surrounding you.

Where is your favorite place to hike in the Bay Area? Comment below and share!

Fun facts for St. Patty’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone! Under normal circumstances, this would be a happy day full of beer-drinking, block parties, and lots and lots of green outfits. The pandemic has put a bit of a damper on that, but we can still have some virtual fun. Here are 13 fun facts about St. Patty’s Day from MentalFloss!

St. Patrick's Day parade in New York City, 1960
A picture of New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, circa 1960.PETER KEEGAN/GETTY IMAGES
  1. We should be wearing BLUE on St. Patrick’s Day: apparently, the color green only became associated with the holiday after it was linked to the Irish independence movement in the late 18th century.
  2. St. Patrick wasn’t Irish: what?! Although he made his mark by introducing Christianity to Ireland in 432, Patrick was actually born to Roman parents in Scotland or Wales in the late 4th century.
  3. St. Patrick’s Day used to be a dry holiday: pubs were closed in Ireland and Northern Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day until the 1970s. Before then, it was a solemn, strictly religious occasion.
  4. NYC’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been happening since 1762: one of the world’s largest parades was actually canceled for the first time in its history due to COVID-19 in 2020.
  5. Chicago runs green for St. Patty’s Day: you’ve all seen it – the Chicago River has been dyed green on St. Patrick’s Day every year since 1962 (but won’t be this year).
  6. Some St. Patrick’s Day parades are…different: from 1999-2007, the Irish village of Dripsey hosted a 26-yard St. Patrick’s Day parade between two pubs. Today, the shortest one is in Hot Springs, Arkansas (98 feet).
  7. There’s a meaning behind the shamrocks: according to Irish legend, St. Patrick used the three-leafed shamrock (not a four-leaf clover, by the way), as a metaphor for the Holy Trinity when he introduced Christianity to Ireland.
  8. Credit where it’s not due?: in Irish lore, St. Patrick gets credit for driving all snakes out of Ireland. However, modern scientists suggest that Ireland has never been home to any snakes because the island was too cold to host reptiles during the Ice Age, and the surrounding seas have kept them away ever since.
  9. Corned beef, hold the corn: corned beef, a popular Irish-American staple on St. Patty’s Day, doesn’t have anything to do with corn. The name is a nod to the large grains of salt historically used to cure meats, which were also called “corns.”
  10. St. Patrick’s Day is a bar owner’s dream: it was estimated in 2017 that 13 MILLION pints of Guinness would be consumed worldwide on St. Patty’s Day. In 2020, it was expected that American beer sales would be up 174% and that Americans celebrating would spend more than $6 billion on the holiday.
  11. His name wasn’t originally Patrick: hold on, what? According to Irish legend, St. Patrick wasn’t originally called “Patrick.” His birth name was Maewyn Succat, but he changed it to Patricius after becoming a priest.
  12. There are no female leprechauns: in traditional Irish folk tales, there are no female leprechauns. Rude!
  13. The lingo makes sense: you can’t attend a St. Patrick’s Day event without hearing a cry of “Erin go Bragh.” What’s the phrase mean? It’s a corruption of the Irish Éirinn go Brách, which means roughly “Ireland Forever.”
Green Chicago River on St. Patrick's Day
Every year, the Chicago River is dyed green for the holiday.TASOS KATOPODIS/GETTY IMAGES