Staff Spotlight: Clare Toy

A member of our marketing team, Clare, discusses how she rediscovered her home after attending college in the Midwest.

Whats up, you just happened to come across this article. Maybe you were a little interested in Northern California, or maybe you were just aimlessly surfing the web. Whatever it may be, you’re here now. My name is Clare Toy, I’m an incoming senior attending Miami University and a marketing intern for Skive it! My role in Skive it is truly multifaceted, not only am I tasked with completing articles, but I produce visual content, manage social media as well as help develop new and exciting features for Skive it. While that is all extremely interesting, this article is more or less about me and where I live.

Where: Marin County, California

When: Summer 2017

My Background

The first thing people ask me at college when I tell them I’m from California is: “What are you doing here? Why would you choose to come to Ohio??” To be honest, even though I grew up in one of the most beautiful places in one of the most famous states in America, I never really had any appreciation for my hometown. When you grow up living in a place, you never truly understand how good you have it. I took everything for granted. I thought where I lived was boring, and I desperately wanted to get out. I honestly thought I knew everything about where I lived. I wanted to see and experience something new. I had never been to the Midwest, and I loved the school so much when I visited, I thought trying out a different region of America would be a wild ride. And it was. Ohio is not like California, in the slightest. The weather changed constantly, the winters were extremely cold-so cold that I had to buy my first ever “Parka.” The lack of legitimate authentic asian food was disturbing, there were no beaches or mountains to be found, and the diversity in both cultures and people were lacking. This kinda put me in a sort of shock. It was a rude awakening, really. While I loved Miami University, I found myself missing home. Miami University is located down south of Ohio, in a secluded town called Oxford. I found myself missing being able to go outside and drive 5 minutes to my nearest beach trail. I missed watching the sunset on a mountain overlooking beaches and bodies of water. I missed the variety of food and drink I was able to easily acquire and consume. So when it was time go back home for break and summer vacation, I made it my job to explore and savor the beauty and culture my home had to offer.

My Fave Spots

I come from a little city a little less than 20 minutes outside San Francisco called Mill Valley. Located within Marin County, flourishing with mountains, beaches, and harboring mass amounts of biodiversity I’ve enjoyed growing up in one of the most beautiful places in the country. Because of my upbringing, I’ve grown to deeply appreciate and cherish wildlife. One of the many things I love to do around my hometown is hike and frequent beaches. One of the most well recognized mountains located within our city is named Mount Tamalpais. Many hidden trails and gems nest within it’s confines, and growing up one of my favorite spots to venture to when the sun began to set was a little place many locals called “Sunset.” Located on Panoramic Highway, nestled within the Mount Tamalpais State Park-is where I enjoy looking at the sunset while enjoying a spectacular view.

I’m found of venturing outside of my city to neighboring cities within Marin County-since they, too possess a great deal of beauty. One of my favorite beaches to hang out with friends and get my tan on is Stinson Beach. It gets pretty crowded during the weekends and summer months, but if you get there early and leave late it’s a dream. Since I do live here, I’m able to go when tourism isn’t at its peak, and I usually love to read there.

Good Eats

Aside from amazing views, I’m a sucker for good food. I pride myself on being a huge foodie and I thoroughly enjoy trying new things. My favorite place to go for food would be San Francisco. Filled with unique and varied foods, I frequent the city often in search of amazing meals. One of my favorite foods is Pho, a Vietnamese rice noodle dish. My favorite place to get my Pho fix is Pho Phuc Quac, located on Irving Street. When I’m feeling extremely hungry and fiending for flavor I order the Chicken Curry with Pho.

I’m also a big fan of Boba, or bubble tea (all the rage in California). There are so many variation of Boba I never get the same thing, but one of my favorite spots is Boba Guys, located on Balboa Street! Its super stressful because I never know what to get, I always try to order something new every time. My favorite so far is the Horchata Milk Tea with Honey Boba.


It’s not hard to believe I love my city, as well as the places surrounding it. I’m huge on exploring both nature and food! Being back from college has really opened my eyes and made me gain a deeper appreciation and love for my hometown. Even if you spend your whole entire life living in one place, if you’re willing to dig deep-it’ll never stop surprising you! For those interested in seeing a bunch of other cool places: I post daily videos featuring both Marin and San Francisco. These videos are located under Skive it’s new feature known as “Daily Skives,” to see my uploaded content search for the hashtag: #Clareskivesit in the search bar (!

By Clare Toy


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