One of the Bay Area’s top mom bloggers, Jennifer Regan describes her life and raising her two kids on her blog Eighty MPH Mom. We especially love Eighty MPH Mom’s Monday Mingle, where you can ask contributors questions or share your parenting experiences with other parents. Now Jennifer takes Red Tricycle for a spin to show us her favorites in and around the city.

1. What’s your favorite “escape hatch”—a way to put in some “me” time to recharge?

Oh how I love “me” time! I typically take a walk around the neighborhood, or sit under the gazebo in our backyard. We have a very lush backyard – I usually have the fountain running, and I watch the squirrels scamper about in the large oak tree. It is so relaxing!

2.  Where do you shop for your kids clothes?

My kids are older, so I usually take them to the Sunvalley Mall. When they were little, I always enjoyed Gymboree, The Children’s Place, or Sweet Potatoes on 4th Street in Berkeley. It is fun to shop for unique clothing for the kids!

3. What’s your favorite local vacation or day trips?

We have several favorite places! The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is somewhere we all love, and we go each year. We stay at the Dream Inn which is right on the beach, and it is a blast to watch the activities on the beach–when we aren’t down there ourselves! For day trips, we like to go to the tidepools in Moss Beach. The Fitzgerald Marine Reserve is a wonderful place for parents and kids to see the smaller creatures of the ocean up close!

4. Where do you like to catch a bite with the little one in tow?

As I mentioned, my kids are older now, but we love to head to downtown Walnut Creek and eat at P.F. Chang’s or The Cheesecake Factory. Also in Walnut Creek is Tin’s Tea House – a dim sum restaurant that kids will definitely enjoy. Another of our favorites is Giant Chef in Pleasant Hill. It is a small place, but the food is really good!

5. What is your favorite family ritual?

One thing we really love to do together is take walks together along the Canal Trail. The Canal Trail runs throughout Contra Costa County, and it really is fun. There are ducks, geese, egrets and just beautiful scenery (not to mention good exercise). The Martinez Waterfront is also a fun place to visit!