I was excited to catch up with East Bay native and happiness expert (cool job, yes?), Dr. Christine Carter. Christine is the author of RAISING HAPPINESS: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents , a sociologist at the Greater Good Science Center (GGSC) at Cal, and an online happiness coach. She is the parent of four children between the ages of 10 and 13. I want to thank her for talking with me and sharing her East Bay favorites with our readers.
What East Bay neighborhood is home?
We live in Thousand Oaks, best known for the Solano Stroll and all the block parties.
What's your favorite place for one on one time with the kids?
We try to make time in the evenings to bring our dog to the Great Stoneface Park, which is close to our house. It has huge boulders that my kids scramble up easily, but I find hard to climb. My children beg me to go up there with them, but I have to wedge by big body into the cracks and it makes me feel uncoordinated and old. But once I'm up there, I love it. We watch the neighborhood and the dogs playing from our position. It is quiet and we could sit up there forever.
We also do one on one kid date nights sitting at the bar at Khana Peena, the owner is fun to talk to.
What's your favorite grown-up date night?
We love food, so we always try to go out to eat. In our neighborhood, we love Fonda, Rivoli, and Renee's. Living so close to Solano Ave, everything we ever want is walking distance from home.
What discovery you want to tell every new-in-town parent about?
In Berkeley, there is so much. Every new-in-town parent should go to Adventure Playground. And do the park circuit: bring cardboard to Codornices, hike in Tilden (with other adults, and without your kids, if possible!), climb Indian Rock and watch the sunset.
What's your favorite Bay Area day trip?
We love to spend the day outside. One of the great things about living in Berkeley is being so close to San Francisco and Marin. Our family likes to hike the Tennessee Valley Trail, go to Muir Woods, or Spirit Rock. We also like to fly kites at Crissy Field. We like the beach in Half Moon Bay; there's great place for BBQ called Gorilla BBQ.
Thank you again to Dr. Christine Carter for sharing her happy Bay Area places!