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Guest post by Lorelei from California Globetrotter

It comes as no surprise, that when planning a trip to Germany, most often head to the southern states of Germany for it’s unbelievably beautiful landscape, culture and traditions as well as some of the most romantic towns and castles in the country. Everyone clearly wants to experience the romance of fairy tale half-timbered towns and castles, even if it only means pretending to be a princess for a day. But, if you could spend two weeks in southern Germany, you could feel the magic of a time long gone for more than one day in 15 of the top destinations to visit in southern Germany!

While there is no clear line separating north and south Germany from one another, there is, however, a distinct difference between the two regions. Northern Germany tends to be predominantly Protestant and quite liberal while southern Germany is hard core Catholic traditionalists, but both however, tend to mistrust the other’s food, politics and dialects. But we’re not here to talk about that. Despite the differences, the southern region is renowned for being home to the Black Forest, the Danube River and Rhine River as well as the Bavarian Alps. From romantic Heidelberg to the hustle and bustle of Munich to charming medieval towns like Regensburg, these are the best cities to visit in southern Germany!

The two largest states in Germany are Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria which is home to roughly a fourth of the population of the country. But you’ll also be passing through the states of Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland which is one of the warmest regions in Germany with vineyards scattering the rolling landscape.

journey of doing - Best Cities in Southern GermanyP I N I T

 Where should you begin your journey through the south? 

Quite honestly, you could either fly into Frankfurt Airport or Munich Airport and still continue in a circular journey. However, flying into Frankfurt Airport is often much cheaper, yet a bit more chaotic while flying into Munich Airport would be way less stressful and you would simply breeze right through as it is only a fraction of the size of Frankfurt. Once you have landed, you should rent a car as that is the easiest and fastest way to get around Germany, however, is you’re willing to ride the rails, then you can simply purchase the Bayern-Ticket (Bavaria-Ticket) or the Baden-Württemberg-Ticket each day which allows you to simply come and go as you please one day at a time with up to 5 people on one ticket. But, you would need to buy this ticket every day you plan to take the train.

Hesse

Frankfurt am Main

For those flying into Frankfurt Airport, Frankfurt is often where visitors get their first taste of Germany. It’s here that you can truly see a blend of historic architecture and modern high rise buildings. If you’re looking for that big-city buzz, then Frankfurt is your scene. With eye-catching skyscrapers, Frankfurt actually feels more like New York than a German city and is often nicknamed “Mainhatten”. Why might that be? Because after WWII, the allies divided Germany into four sections and Frankfurt fell into the American zone. While it might look all business on one side, the other is remnants of historical sites like the Römerberg offering a glimpse into the past.

journey of doing - 15 Best Cities in Southern Germany to VisitP I N I T

Rhineland-Palatinate & Saarland

The Rhine Valley (Rüdesheim am Rhine, Bacharach and the Loreley)

Just a smidge over the border from Hesse is the picturesque Rhine Valley. While still incredibly rural, the three main waterways, the Rhine, Mosel and Saar have played a vital role in shaping the region and is bustling with life, capped off by a plethora of ruinous and rebuilt castles. Spend a few hours in Rüdesheim am Rhine, an adorably quaint little half-timbered town at the foothills of vineyards before driving along the Romantic Rhine in the direction of Bacharach, another charming half-timbered town with cobbled-stoned alleys where you can even enjoy a Riesling flavored ice cream! Then head to St. Goarhausen where you’ll find the alluring siren, the Loreley, who sits at the end of a sliver of island marking the giant rock outcrop that is most dangerous to sailors. She sits combing her beautiful locks of blonde hair, bewitching sailors with her unparalleled beauty, luring them to their deaths with her song. Yes, this is my namesake, but hopefully only because I have unparalleled beauty!

journey of doing - 15 Best Cities in Southern Germany to VisitP I N I T

Cochem

Perched along the left bank of the Mosel River is a castle few have heard of. The Reichsburg Castle towers over the whimsical town of Cochem, with a mixture of half-timbered houses and simpler facades. The castle itself was destroyed by the army of the French King, Louis XIV and would sit in ruins for over 180 years before a wealthy businessman took it upon himself to restore it to its original Romanesque beauty. Cochem is one of the most scenic destinations in southern Germany still quite under the radar but definitely worth a visit!

journey of doing - 15 Best Cities in Southern Germany to VisitP I N I T

Baden-Württemberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg sticks out as not only being one of the most romantic cities in southern Germany, but also as one of the top university cities in the country. Having personally studied here, I can affirm the romance that the city is so renowned for as you stroll through the Altstadt (City Center), across the Alte Brücke (Old Bridge), along the Neckar River and with a visit to one of the most picturesque ruinous castles, the Heidelberg Castle. But that beauty and romance comes with a price, as Heidelberg is among the most touristy destinations in southern Germany as visitors flock here to follow in the footsteps of Mark Twain. Visiting during the Christmas Market season only enhances its exceeding loveliness!

journey of doing - 15 Best Cities in Southern Germany to VisitP I N I T

Skip the Crowds: Not far off is another equally charming university city, Tübingen with winding alleys and cobble-stoned alleys leading you past a plethora of half-timbered towns.

Esslingen am Neckar

Just a short 20 minute drive from Stuttgart, is the practically perfect half-timbered town of Esslingen am Neckar which escaped the disaster of the Second World War. At the heart of the town, is the stark red Renaissance City Hall while each new alley leads you to yet another beautiful cobble-stoned alley or church. What makes Esslingen so incredibly picturesque are the vineyards on the surrounding hills and a walk up to the Dicke Turm which offers breathtaking views over the picture perfect town. While here, be sure to try to sparkling wine which the region has been famous for since monks started producing it in the 19th century!

journey of doing - 15 Best Cities in Southern Germany to VisitP I N I T

Triberg im Schwarzwald (the Black Forest)

If there is anything that people seem to associate the most with Germany, it would be the iconic Cuckoo clocks which originate from the Black Forest in the southwestern portion of Baden-Württemberg. The Black Forest is the alluring setting of many of the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales, while the exquisite woodwork for making clocks is renowned worldwide. Of interest here, is Triberg which is home to Germany’s longest waterfall which falls over a series of smaller falls. It’s only fitting that not just one, but two of the world’s largest cuckoo clocks can be found near Triberg and you can go inside to see how a cuckoo clock functions. But, there is no better time to visit than during when the forest has been turned into a winter wonderland!

journey of doing - 15 Best Cities in Southern Germany to VisitP I N I T

Ulm

Just barely on the border between Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria is Ulm, a city quite often left off of the typical tourist’s itinerary for southern Germany, but which is worth a peak as it is home to the tallest church in the world, the Ulm Münster (until the completion of Barcelona’s Familia Sagrada). Tucked away in a snug riverside district in the city is the Fischerviertel is a picturesque neighborhood of medieval homes, including the Schiefes Haus (Leaning House). If you have more time, head just a few minutes out of town to the Wiblingen Monastery where you’ll find one of the loveliest libraries in Germany.

journey of doing - 15 Best Cities in Southern Germany to VisitP I N I T

Bavaria

Munich

Most tourists who think of Munich (München), their first and only thought is usually beer and Oktoberfest, but there is so much more to the capital of Bavaria than that. This Millionendorf (a village of a million inhabitants) was once the former seat of the Kingdom of Bavaria and therefore, visiting The Munich Residenz and the Nymphenburg Palace are both major attractions to visit. Other main sites include the impressive Flemish-influenced Altes Rathaus (Old City Hall) whose Glockenspiele carillon and dancing figurines attracts snap happy visitors. During the summer months, biergartens are an endowed right of all to enjoy and therefore, there are a plethora scattered throughout the city, but none perhaps more famous than the English Garden’s Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm).

journey of doing - 15 Best Cities in Southern Germany to VisitP I N I T

Schloss Neuschwanstein

No where in Germany, especially southern Germany is more iconic than the turreted Neuschwanstein Castle perched high on a rocky bluff overlooking the Schwangau valley. Set among breathtaking Alpine beauty, this was the romantic brainchild of King Ludwig II of Bavaria who was a bit of an obsessive patron of Richard Wagner’s fantastical operas. He dedicated his time and money on not just Schloss Neuschwanstein but several other costly but fabulous castles in Bavaria. While Schloss Neuschwanstein might be the epitome of all castles, and even influenced Walt Disney, another castle, Schloss Hohenschwangau, is both figuratively and literally overshadowed by is more famous counterpart but is still worth taking a peak at.

journey of doing - 15 Best Cities in Southern Germany to VisitP I N I T

Skip the Crowds: Schloss Neuschwanstein is without a doubt the most famous castle built by King Ludwig II, but you could easily visit Herrnchiemsee Palace or Linderhof Palace which are equally stunning. Linderhof Palace is actually the only castle he lived to see completed.

Passau

Snuggled up against the Austrian border, Passau is an extraordinarily beautiful town few venture to see unless they are on a Danube cruise tour. What makes Passau so incredibly unique is the fact that it’s located on a small strip of land between the convergence of three rivers, therefore, taking a walk along the banks of the town is a must! While there might not be so much to do here, it is home to the world’s largest cathedral organ at St. Stephan’s Cathedral. While there, I highly recommend enjoying a 30 minute organ concert to feel the power and softness of such an impressive instrument! After you’ve seen the Altes Rathaus (City Hall), catch a mini-bus up to Veste Oberhaus, one of the largest remaining fortress complexes in Europe. While up there, climb a tower or enjoy the views from Das Oberhaus Restaurant!

journey of doing - 15 Best Cities in Southern Germany to VisitP I N I T

Regensburg

My personal favorite, but then again, I’m biased because Regensburg is where I call home! A medieval historical city center loaded with small alleys that wind hither and tither through the city, but no matter where you go, you can always catch a glimpse of the Regensburg Cathedral spires. The entire city center is a UNESCO World Heritage site and Roman ruins can be found scattered throughout the city. The Steinener Brücke (Stone Bridge) is the oldest bridge in Germany that has never been destroyed and the Teutonic Knights once galloped over it to cross the Donau (Danube) River. Plus, we’re quite renowned in Bavaria for having our own “Oktoberfest” TWICE a year called Dult! Regensburg is just simply one of the most beautiful places in Bavaria!

journey of doing - 15 Best Cities in Southern Germany to VisitP I N I T

Nuremberg 

In northern Bavaria, you’ll come to the the capital of Middle Franconia, a region that is and never has been truly Bavarian as it was incorporated into the Kingdom of Bavaria by Napoleon. Nuremberg (Nürnberg) was once the seat of the Holy Roman Empire and a vital trading center, whose wealth can be seen with the splendid medieval structures that managed to survive the destruction of WWII, such as the Kaiserburg towering over the city. Otherwise, you can easily admire the soft pink stone structures like the Frauenkirche or even learn about the dark past of the Nazi Reich by exploring the Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds or check out where the Nuremberg Trials were held which sentenced top Nazi officials for crimes against humanity.

journey of doing - 15 Best Cities in Southern Germany to VisitP I N I T

Bamberg

A beautifully overlooked city by many tourists would be a complete and utter crime for that to continue. History has been kind to Bamberg and has been sparred twice from devastating wars, therefore, preserving its medieval city center. Scattered over several hills, the town offers a variety of amazing views from different vantage points, especially from the Bamberg Cathedral or the Baroque Residenz. But what draws people here, besides the Rauchbier (Smoked beer) is the stunning Altes Rathaus (City Hall) on a small island in the middle of the river with the River Regnitz flowing around it. It’s honestly one of the best places to visit in southern Germany!

journey of doing - 15 Best Cities in Southern Germany to VisitP I N I T

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

If there was one town which looks straight out of a pop-up fairy tale book, it would be Rothenburg ob der Tauber. It’s medieval appearance is the result of careful reconstruction after being devastated during WWII, but its charming size is due to the results after the Thirty Years’ War which significantly dwindled the town’s importance. Scattered with timbered houses in every color of the rainbow, a medieval wall with watch towers which still completely encircles the town and small alleys to get lost in, it is the epitome of every Disney movie. But that beauty comes with a hefty price as it is easily one of the most visited towns in Bavaria. Guess everyone wants to experience that Disney fairy tale!

journey of doing - 15 Best Cities in Southern Germany to VisitP I N I T

Skip the Crowds: I would also recommend visiting Dinkelsbühl or Nördlingen, but of which are equally charming and still surrounded by medieval city walls.

Würzburg

If beer ain’t your thing, then Würzburg could be right up your alley as vineyards cover every spare inch of land surrounding the entire city. Wine festivals can be found in the city center throughout the summer months where you can try a variety of locally produced wines. Overlooking the town is the Marienberg Fortress which offers some of the most classic views over the historic city center which has been rebuilt to its former glory after the devastation of WWII. Dominating the east side of town, you can find the Residenz which was the former prince-bishop’s residence. Today, you enjoy the world’s largest ceiling fresco.

journey of doing - 15 Best Cities in Southern Germany to VisitP I N I T

After your two weeks in southern Germany, you’ll have seen half of Germany and experienced the different dialects, cuisine and hopefully caught a few traditions. You’ll have seen a huge chunk of the top holiday attractions in southern Germany that I felt were the must-see destinations! Perhaps you’ll have fallen so much in love that you’d return for a northern Germany road trip too.

 

 

Lorelei is an American expat who moved to Germany in 2012 and is the author of California Globetrotter. Since then, she has been traveling around Germany discovering the best kept secrets. She has a serious addiction to adorable half-timbered towns and castles beyond the typical touristy destinations. For more on these charming, wanderlusty towns, you can follow her on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest

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  • Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders - I love that y’all did a blog swap today! As if I needed 15 more reasons to head back to Germany again! I feel like my time was too short and I definitely want to check out Rothenburg and Nuremberg too! Now if I could only plan it right to go to the Christmas markets too!ReplyCancel

Last November, I tacked on a little self-care to a business trip by checking into the Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey before my advisory board duties started.  I’ve stayed at this hotel a few times, but I have not stayed since the renovation.  Let me just say this:  I’m obsessed with the Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey rooms.  If (when?) I redecorate my master bedroom, I want it to look and feel exactly like this.  It legitimately feels like an ocean retreat.  I remember laying there on Sunday morning and thinking that I didn’t want to get out of bed.  I felt so relaxed and peaceful.

If you’re looking for a relaxing getaway (Spa del Rey weekend, anyone?!), the Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey is perfect.

Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey Arrival

I think it’s easiest to valet at this property (pro tip: reserve a room with a stay credit and use it for valet), and since I was arriving late in the evening, I just handed the keys to valet.  Traveling solo, I only had a few small bags with me so I skipped the bellhop and headed straight for the front desk.

I booked my room about an hour before arrival and the property was basically sold out, so there were no room upgrades available.  (Even as a platinum, I’ve never gotten a room upgrade at this property, so that wasn’t a surprise.)  They did give me a room on the marina side of the hotel though, which is the side I always get when I stay here.  The arrival service at this property is always exceptional, and this stay was no exception.

As a side note, I did not have a problem asking for and being granted a late check out.

An updated Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey review of the renovated guest rooms that shares more about the property amenities as well as the incredibly relaxing Spa del Rey.P I N I T

Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey – The Renovated Rooms

My room was on the fourth floor, far from the elevator, which I request and appreciate.  Despite being sold out, everything was quiet once I got out of the lobby.  My late booking didn’t stop turn down service, and I was excited to find water and chocolate in my room.  Music was playing.  The lights were turned down.  The drapes were already pulled, and the room had a relaxing vibe from the moment I walked in.  (I love the small service touches at great hotels.)

An updated Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey review of the renovated guest rooms that shares more about the property amenities as well as the incredibly relaxing Spa del Rey.P I N I T

An updated Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey review of the renovated guest rooms that shares more about the property amenities as well as the incredibly relaxing Spa del Rey.P I N I T

There is not a lot to say about a standard hotel room, but I want to make a few notes about the things that I love about these renovated rooms.  First, the color of the walls.  I didn’t fully appreciate this until Sunday morning, but it’s the softest, most calming shade of blue.  Immediately, I considered repainting my bedroom at home.  Second, the textures of this room – from the carpet to the drapes to the wallpaper – created an upscale and custom feel.  The carpet reminds me of this rug (that I want to go on sale).  Third, the mixed metals in the room work well together.  I can’t pull off mixed metals; I wish I could.  Fourth, again, the textured wallpaper.  Between Amy, Christina, and Kristina and their home renovation posts, I’m obsessed with wallpaper (but not brave enough to do it myself – yet) and how it changes the look of a room.

As I looked at the details on this room, I kept thinking how unfair it is that I really don’t have a design eye.  I love how all the details come together to create a relaxing room that is functional and relaxing with a little sparkle.

An updated Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey review of the renovated guest rooms that shares more about the property amenities as well as the incredibly relaxing Spa del Rey.P I N I T

An updated Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey review of the renovated guest rooms that shares more about the property amenities as well as the incredibly relaxing Spa del Rey.P I N I T An updated Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey review of the renovated guest rooms that shares more about the property amenities as well as the incredibly relaxing Spa del Rey.P I N I T

An updated Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey review of the renovated guest rooms that shares more about the property amenities as well as the incredibly relaxing Spa del Rey.P I N I T

An updated Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey review of the renovated guest rooms that shares more about the property amenities as well as the incredibly relaxing Spa del Rey.P I N I T

 

An updated Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey review of the renovated guest rooms that shares more about the property amenities as well as the incredibly relaxing Spa del Rey.P I N I T

An updated Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey review of the renovated guest rooms that shares more about the property amenities as well as the incredibly relaxing Spa del Rey.P I N I T

The Bathroom

The one frustration I have with the Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey is the bathroom.  It’s small.  The doors are large, which I like in the design aesthetic, but it’s not completely functional.  Most Ritz Carlton properties I stay at have separate shower and bathtub, and I wish that this property would have made that change.  The bathroom amenities include the standard Asprey Purple Water amenities.  (I love the mouthwash.)

I do appreciate that there is a separate closet, but again, so many big doors in a small area.  There are plenty of hangers and a full-length mirror.

An updated Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey review of the renovated guest rooms that shares more about the property amenities as well as the incredibly relaxing Spa del Rey.P I N I T

Ritz Carlton Marina Del Rey – Amenities

Sunday morning, I woke up with a hankering for a spa appointment.  I called down to Spa del Rey and booked a massage for later that morning.  (Spoiler alert:  It is glorious and I’ve seen deals for it on Travelzoo.)

The pool and hot tub are heated, so you can enjoy a swim, even on November mornings.  They have private cabanas, fire pits that overlook the marina, and plenty of comfortable seating for whatever you fancy doing.  I saw several people reading kindles by the pool.

An updated Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey review of the renovated guest rooms that shares more about the property amenities as well as the incredibly relaxing Spa del Rey.P I N I T

An updated Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey review of the renovated guest rooms that shares more about the property amenities as well as the incredibly relaxing Spa del Rey.P I N I T

The hotel runs along the waterfront, and there is a paved promenade that runs along the marina.  I took a long walk around promenade and around the hotel before my spa appointment.  The grounds are well maintained with beautiful flowers alongside the palm trees.  There were plenty of people biking and running along the promenade, and there are plenty of lampposts, so I’m sure it’s well lit during the evening.  The workout facility overlooks the pool and the marina as well, so there’s plenty of opportunities to exercise with a view.

There’s a grocery store within a couple minutes of the hotel, and you can get to some of the more popular beach cities easily.  I’ve stayed in club level rooms previously, and the lounge is worth getting – if the price is right.  There’s a very popular farm-to-table restaurant on-site, as well as a poolside grill, but I skipped both in favor of my pajamas.

An updated Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey review of the renovated guest rooms that shares more about the property amenities as well as the incredibly relaxing Spa del Rey.P I N I T

Final Thoughts on Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey

I was sorry to check out of the Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey.  It’s not the most glamorous Ritz Carlton property, but it’s a very solid option.  Despite my short stay, it was the most relaxed I have felt in a very long time.

The renovated rooms are nothing short of perfection.  Service has always been exceptional at this property, and nothing has changed in that respect.  Spa del Rey is incredible, and I would book a room here for no other reason than the convenience of going from the pool, to the spa, and back to the room (or any other combination).  There aren’t a whole lot of hotel stays that I’ve had that I think are flawless, but this is a good example of one.  I will definitely be back… and if anyone wants to come redecorate my master bedroom, you can use this hotel room for inspiration.

An updated Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey review of the renovated guest rooms that shares more about the property amenities as well as the incredibly relaxing Spa del Rey.P I N I T

Wanderful Wednesday

P I N I T

The Sunny Side of This,

Snow in Tromso,

What a Wonderful World &

Lauren on Location

City Tripping

Mummy Travels

&

Wander Mum

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  • Bri @ My Life As... - That room looks like it would feel so calming!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders - This sounds like a glorious hotel with all of the right amenities too! I could really go for a nice relaxing night away, especially if I could also book a massage for the next morning!ReplyCancel

  • Tanja/The Red Phone Box travels - beautiful hotel #citytrippingReplyCancel

  • Sarah - There are really gorgeous details here! I always judge a hotel room’s worth by it’s bathroom and that one is stunning – I love the clean marble look.ReplyCancel

  • beatravelling - Looks great! Then again I don’t know what it looked like pre renovation 🙂 #wanderfulwednesdayReplyCancel

  • Maggie - I’ve actually always wanted to stay here! My favorite beach is only a few blocks away, and I’ve really been thinking about doing an overnight stay here once. It looks as beautiful as I imagined!ReplyCancel

  • Ruth - What a way to take a business trip to another level! I went once to this hotel for a travel event. We had a great time since everything was top notch. I didn’t know the place was renovated. I imagine it is even more stunning than before. I think this is a great area to stay (away from the craziness of LA).ReplyCancel

  • California Globetrotter - I really love the decor in this one!! #WanderfulWednesdayReplyCancel

  • Dorothy - I love the modern decor in the muted tones.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - This sounds like the perfect way to rest and recharge before a big event. I try and tack on personal travel to business travel when I can, and as you say it’s a great way to use points! The property looks beautifully done, by someone with a great design eye. I have zero design talents so I’m in awe of people who can make things look this pretty – and evoke that relaxed feeling. I think that’s the key bit. Anyway, glad you enjoyed your stay and sign me up for the spa trip!ReplyCancel

  • Emily @ Martinis & Bikinis - WOW gorgeous! The rooms look so pretty and trendy but the most important is that comfortable looking bed…being able to sleep well is my top priority for hotel rooms! Emily @ Martinis & BikinisReplyCancel

  • hilary - Wow! I Live in LA, so don’t really stay in hotels locally, but If I do a staycation I know just where I’m going! Awesome photos by the way! #CitytrippingReplyCancel

  • Mandy - I’m so jealous of your status with Ritz Carlton. They have so many beautiful hotels that I’d love to explore, but I don’t have status with them, so I stay away. I tend to go with cheaper hotels that I have status with or can get through the Chase Luxury Collection.

    Was your trip to southern California purely for business/relaxation or did you get the chance to explore?

    Also, totally agree with you re: the interior design. Absolutely gorgeous. They can come redo my home too if they want. 😉ReplyCancel

  • Cathy (Mummytravels) - Oh wow, what a complete treat – that looks so luxurious and restful, and the idea of wandering from spa to pool to cabana to restaurant to bed would be blissful. Thanks for linking up with #citytrippingReplyCancel

I have a fun guest post coming your way on Thursday, so I’m hijacking today for my Thoughts on Tuesday business.  This is proving to be a week of all the things related to my work, covering the entire spectrum from college to career.

College to Career: The College Pieces

Yesterday, I recorded a podcast about the challenges facing our students with our local collective impact network.  I spent my weekend thinking about it.  A lot of it comes back down to my work with The Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success – with affordability being at the top of the list.  The second piece is, of course, access.  You can’t work for me and not understand those two core pieces.  (Success comes in once those two pillars are addressed.)

Today we’re meeting with a local university to talk about whether or not we can use space on their campus to host a couple of summer melt sessions to alleviate some student fears about college.  We’re hoping to take Jocelyn’s summer classes from last year and turn them into official programming.  (I really do work with the best humans who want to impact change… not just show up and say we tried.)

College to Career:  The Career Pieces

Tomorrow I’m meeting with a highly-ranked, out-of-state university and with a local bank to talk about college partnership and career programming (independently).  Here’s my ask of you:  How did you find your career?  What sort of information or activities would have been helpful in high school to help you find a pathway or an idea?

Personally, I stumbled around through a couple of majors before landing on Petroleum Engineering.  This involved a couple of college transfers, a necessitated major change, and a lot of happenstance.  I remember a friend’s dad telling me that I shouldn’t be an engineer – approximately a year before graduating.  This put me in crisis mode, but my parents weren’t having any of that talk.  I would be graduating as an engineer, period.  End of discussion.  How I ended up where I am today is a completely different discussion (somewhat chronicled here and here).

The Kids Who Will Change the World

In another unrelated matter, before Wednesday’s school shooting, two of my kids sent me deferral updates that included their solution to the gun control debate.  I can’t get into the details because they have a patent pending, but I remained convinced that this generation is going to help bring about change.  If you have the opportunity to mentor the youth in any capacity, I encourage you to do so.  They are going to change the world.

Other things our kids have identified as necessities to address in their lifetime this year:

  • Personalized learning robots because not every student learns the same way and not every student starts at the same starting point.
  • An organization that brings to light the number of underrepresented voices in Hollywood, especially the disabled, women, and certain minority groups that are rarely cast in starring roles.

The idea that I get to play any role in the lives of these humans is beyond my comprehension.

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  • Biana - I’m so with you – these students are incredible and I know they will be the change we need!!ReplyCancel

  • Ballet Buddy - Honestly, I had terrible career counseling in HS. My verbal/reading/English and overall SAT/ACT scores were very good but my math scores were not so good, so my career counselor told me my best career was to be a HS English teacher. My interest in science was ignored and minimized because of the math scores even though I did well on the science section of the ACT and had good grades in my science classes.

    Anything would have been better than my career counselor basically informing me that I wouldn’t succeed in anything involving math or science because of my test scores.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - I love the sound of all the stuff you’re putting into motion. You and your kids are game changing!

    In terms of career advice that would have helped me:
    1. A real person (we had a multiple choice computer program, and a set of ringbinder files from the 80’s)
    2. Personality testing as well as skills testing. Yes, I’m good at science, but will I be suited to working in a lab?
    3. A network of advisers with real world experience. This is a big ask. But perhaps once a general avenue of aptitude has been identified, the school could have a long list of working professionals in those fields that the student could then call for a brief meeting to discuss what their job ACTUALLY looks and feels like, what they do on a daily basis, how they got there, what skills and personality traits work and don’t in their industry, what opportunities there are for graduates, and what their overall career trajectory might be like in the space. Like I said, big ask, but this stuff is never discussed and is so crucial to decision making.

    Oops I wrote an essay.ReplyCancel

  • Mandy - I have no idea how I ended up where I am. The wrong choices? Or maybe they were the right choices? I’ve ended up working with lots of people associated with my college, but it’s all been for pretty low paying jobs. i.e. Without my husband’s assistance and engineering career, it would be difficult for me to pay back my student loans. For that, I am lucky. One, in that my school background has influenced my ability to get a job and two, that I married someone working in a major field. But it does have me worried about the future and students ability to get a job whether or not they go to college or not. (And I definitely feel college is important! But that cost?)

    I have loved hearing about the kids in Florida who are fighting for change in the current gun policies. I can hardly believe the negative reactions they are getting, though. The politicians are refusing to listen, and it’s so frustrating! When are these kids going to be able to vote and help enact change? I’m ready to get our current representatives out! Bring on November!ReplyCancel

For More Half Moon Bay Postcard Photos:

Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay Romantic Getaway

journey of doing - Half Moon Bay Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Half Moon Bay Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Half Moon Bay Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Half Moon Bay Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Half Moon Bay Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Half Moon Bay Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Half Moon Bay Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Half Moon Bay Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Half Moon Bay Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Half Moon Bay Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Half Moon Bay Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Half Moon Bay Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Half Moon Bay Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Half Moon Bay Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Half Moon Bay Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Half Moon Bay Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Half Moon Bay Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Half Moon Bay Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Half Moon Bay Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Half Moon Bay Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Half Moon Bay Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Half Moon Bay Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Half Moon Bay Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Half Moon Bay Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Half Moon Bay Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Half Moon Bay Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Half Moon Bay Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Half Moon Bay Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Half Moon Bay Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Half Moon Bay Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Half Moon Bay Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Half Moon Bay Postcard Photos

The Weekly Postcard

California Globetrotter

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  • Emese - Absolutely beautiful photos, Sara! Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.ReplyCancel

  • California Globetrotter - Half Moon Bay looks beautiful! Would love to stay at a Ritz just once in my life! Thanks for linking up with #TheWeeklyPostcard!ReplyCancel

  • Emily @ Martinis & Bikinis - Gorgeous scenery and breathtaking photos! I’ve never seen anything like it in person but what a beautiful place to explore! Emily @ Martinis & BikinisReplyCancel

  • Dorothy - Beautiful photo sharing #TheWeeklyPostcardReplyCancel

  • Anisa - Just beautiful. I have heard a lot of good things about Half Moon Bay. It’s nice to see the pictures. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.ReplyCancel

  • Ruth - I have explored the California Coast from San Diego to Santa Cruz. I still need to drive from Santa Cruz to San Francisco and then, all the stretch till Oregon. I am exploring little by little. I have heard a lot about Half Moon Bay. Your photos make me want to start a road trip right now (well, maybe tomorrow). My husband and I are already preparing music for our next driving trip! #TheWeeklyPostcardReplyCancel

  • Urska - What a gorgeous photos! #TheweeklypostcardReplyCancel

  • Bri @ My Life As... - Every time you post these pictures they make me want to just get away.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley The Wandering Weekenders - And now I want to go back to California so badly! The coastline is just so beautiful! Chris and I took a day trip here on our big NoCal vacay a few years ago and it was one of the most beautiful and best day trips ever!ReplyCancel

  • ANda - Ah, your pictures are absolutely gorgeous! I love the California coast. Lucky me that I live in California and can very easily take this trip.#TheWeklyPostcardReplyCancel

  • Kasie - Half Moon Bay has been on my must visit list for quite a while now and after seeing these photos it is there to stay! What an incredibly beautiful location!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - This is like a proper breath of fresh air and I love it. Thanks for sharing, just what I needed at the end of a boring Tuesday work day. Half Moon Bay looks like the perfect place to relax, recharge and forget the world exists for a minute.ReplyCancel

  • Rob+Ann @TravelLatte(.net) - Gorgeous! We’d recognize the Ritz-Carlton with a blindfold on! That’s such a iconic hotel and what an amazing view! (Both of the hotel, and from the hotel.) It’s been years since we’ve been to Half Moon Bay, but we’d love to get back for the Pumpkin Festival and some Mavericks surf action this year. Gorgeous photos – thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard!ReplyCancel

On Tuesday, I took my staff to a workshop on focused on Race and Education, and I fully intended to share some of my thoughts from that today, but real life happened yesterday, and I found myself thinking about the world in which we live today.

journey of doing - policy change for americaP I N I T

Yesterday was the 1,606th mass shooting since Sandy Hook.

Friends, I’m tired of it.  (October refresher.)

We must ask the politicians to do more.  And we must vote them out if they don’t.  I don’t want to hear another prayer, platitude or political posturing from an elected politician.  Marco Rubio tweeted out that he called the superintendent of Broward County Schools yesterday – the call you pray you never have to make.

Marco Rubio has taken 3.3 million dollars from the NRA.

He shouldn’t be calling the superintendent.  He should be apologizing for being a part of the problem.  He should be apologizing for not doing anything.  He should be apologizing for not protecting children.  He should be apologizing for allowing Americans to have the same kinds of guns that we allow our military to have.  (And why can’t I have a tank if we’re going to allow regular Americans to have military weapons?)

I send a staff of world-changers into high schools every, single day.

If you don’t believe I don’t think about this on a regular basis – and what it must have been like for those students, faculty, and staff to live through the absolute terror of yet another school shooting… you’ve got another thing coming.

I was in school when Columbine happened.  I remember the terror we felt going back to school.  The copycat threats.  The fear of the Columbine anniversary.  And we have done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to alleviate that fear for future generations.  We’ve allowed it to get so. much. worse.

How many more innocent people have to die before we say enough is enough?

Enough is the day when it’s your loved one, your friend, your parent, your spouse – but that shouldn’t be how it works.

If we are going to pray for whatever city/school/community affected by gun violence, we should also love all of our fellow men, women, and children enough to act courageously and say NO.

This can’t be how it works.

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  • Stephanie - I liked one I saw someone post on Instagram yesterday (Steph’s mom maybe?) ‘One time a guy tried to blow up a plane with a shoe bomb and now we all have to take off our shoes’ and yet this happens over and over and we do nothing. How true is that?
    I don’t know what the answer is. Because in Chicago we have among the strictest gun laws in the country and we have the most shootings on a very regular basis. But there has to be an answer somewhere.ReplyCancel

  • Mandy - What you said and so much more.

    It’s absolutely ridiculous that our politicians have their hands tied. Why? At what point do you stop accepting money from the NRA and say enough is enough?

    I will doing my part to help vote republicans out of office come November. America deserves better. I only hope that the democrats will be the change we need … or, best case scenario, the people running for office are the people we need in office, the ones who are fed up with our government standing by and watching as innocent children are killed.

    Unfortunately, I don’t really know what to do until then. I do know that I need to call my reps more often, though. Despite the fact that they are the absolute scum of the universe and don’t listen to a thing I say does not mean that I need to let them off easy. In fact, I need to remind that they are scum as often as possible because they need to hear it. Hopefully, in 2018 they will be voted out or retire. But I feel like that’s a great leap of faith given where I live (republican country).ReplyCancel

  • SMD - NRA must get out of government.

    Every citizen must have affordable, single payer healthcare that weighs mental health as important as physical health.

    We must stop fetishizing guns as a culture.

    It must be harder to get guns.ReplyCancel

  • Emily @ Martinis & Bikinis - Well said. These senseless shootings need to stop. It is indeed scary and unsettling for parents to send their children off to school with the news of more shootings. Something needs to change! Emily @ Martinis & BikinisReplyCancel

  • Emese - 🙁 I have a child in middle school. So I get an email from the school superintendent outlining all of the measures they have in place to keep our kids safe. It’s meant to make us feel better. Yet I don’t want to hear that. I am not sending my kid to school to just have someone keep her safe; I want them to learn there, I want them to feel free, not scared. They learn all sorts of “what to do in case of” lock-downs, gunmen on premises, etc. This is not what I want my kid to learn in school. Yes, you are right, something much more has to be done! Hope we can figure it out soon…Thanks for posting this.ReplyCancel