Five things I can't live without.... farmer's markets, 4-legged furry creatures that like to snuggle and sit on my lap, birds singing in my garden, my bicycle, time with my kids. I would also say living by the ocean, but I suppose I could live near a river, lake, or stream in the mountains as long as I make regular treks to the ocean!
I am a high school teacher and live with my partner, Dan, who is a builder in Santa Cruz County. My daughter (in her 20s) is also temporarily living with us. I have lived in Santa Cruz since 1980 and Dan grew up in the area. We love spending time in nature: hiking, biking, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Interests include salsa rueda dancing, local history, marine life, traditional plant uses, permaculture, cooking, gardening, and observing the many species of birds in our backyard. Dan has surfed here for decades, so can advise good surf spots. He also knows of a fun archery range in the redwoods nearby. We love showing people around our area! We strive to be conscientious of our environment and are excited that our home is now powered by solar panels!!
I have traveled to many places, including Mexico, Jamaica, Ecuador, Bali, Java, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Belize, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines, Norway, Greece, Turkey, and Tanzania. I recently climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with my daughter- the hardest thing I've ever done. Of course, a safari in the Serengeti was a childhood dream that was also fulfilled on that trip. Camping and cross country skiing are favorite things to do in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, where I go several times a year. I have driven across the United States 4 times (when gas was cheaper and before my understanding of global climate change issues) and was able to visit many of our National Parks, like Yosemite, Yellowstone, Death Valley, and the Grand Canyon. When I visit another culture, I love to immerse myself by learning some of the language, eating local food, and exploring the history and social background. I prefer staying at hostels or homestays over big hotels. A little adventure, time in nature, and physical activity are always important to me.
I grew up in Illinois- until I was 14, when I moved to California to live with my mother. My mother is the 10th woman to solo circumnavigate the world and now lives in Mexico, so I've spent quite a bit of time sailing and living on boats. Now I prefer a kayak or paddleboarding, as they give more opportunities for observing wildlife. I once worked as a crewmember on a whalewatching boat. I've also been a veterinary aide, exotic animal caretaker, stained glass artist, and a docent in the state parks.
My favorite part about hosting air bnb guests is discovering how much we have in common. I am inspired to know there are so many people out there from all parts of the world who are thoughtful, fun, interesting, and with a good sense of humor- and who share my passion about caring for this amazing planet we call home. It's so fun to share ideas- I've gotten many helpful tips from guests on how to live more sustainably. The biggest surprise was a guest who had an aunt that was my neighbor and shared a driveway with me for 5 years!