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I was in Vegas for the consumer electronics show until Thursday. Wiped out by meetings and the general energy draining properties of Las Vegas, I spent the weekend fairly low key. Yesterday (1/12) was baseball tryouts for my eldest. Definitely means spring is around the corner. I'm going to have to get some skiing in quick, or the snow will all be gone. Tentatively, that's slated for next weekend.

 

My family and I decided to try some new trails at Sandborn County Park by Walden West, a short 2 miles outside of Saratoga.  

 

 

It was very dark, but very mossy and green!! Almost felt like Ireland. The trails were steep, but perfect for trail running. The kids and I were on a newt hunt. We started off at a pond, where we saw our first newt. Searched every puddle and creek we saw, but didn't see another one until the end of our hike. We also saw a Coyote. I see them fairly often, but it was a first for the kids.

 

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After our hiking adventure at Sandborn, we headed back down towards Saratoga. The Hakone Gardens was on the way, so we decided to stop for a short tour.

 

 

The last time I had been to the garden was 10 years ago...right after moving back from Yokohama. I loved visiting as it made me feel less homesick. Then, once I got adjusted to being back we stopped going. It was definitely nice to visit.

 

         

 

 

 

We're thinking of taking the kids to Japan this summer, so the gardens was a great way to wet their appetite. The gardens are, IMHO, one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan. I always feel right back in Japan when I visit. It's definitely a slice of Japan in Silicon Valley!!

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