-click on image for larger view-
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls: this is it!!!! The end of the California series!!! Its been an awesome journey, but as all wonderful journeys must, this one has come to a close. This last image is a an aerial view of Los Angeles (obviously snapped from the plane shortly after take-off). Can we say crowded???? And that highway!! I can safely say that this view made me appreciate my hometown a bit more. Now, if only dear Pittsburgh had the Pacific coast nearby…
So, adiós California. It was grand exploring you and hopefully we shall meet again soon for a whole new set of adventures!
Ah, yes. Our tour of California is drawing to a close. Here we have the view of the Avalon Harbor, hillside, and mountains.
Taken with the Powershot G12.
1 California photo left. One. As in the name of the Highway that I am wholeheartedly convinced is the best drive in the country.
A slightly different vantage point from high above Avalon on Catalina Island, California! Love it! I do have one small problem, though. I just can’t decide if I like it better in black and white or in vivid color! Which do you prefer? Vote below!
Of course, taken with the Canon G12!!
Its a pretty blue shutter!
That is all.
Ok, ok. Just kidding. I’ll at least tell you where this pretty blue shutter is located. No joke, this is a small electrical “out house” sort of thing on Catalina Island. I’ve never seen one so pretty out this neck of the woods. Must be something about that sweet California air…it just makes everything a bit prettier and sunnier I just love the stark contrast between the intricate blue shutter and the cracked white stucco!
Of course, taken with the Canon Powershot G12.
Stay tuned! Only 3 California photos left! At least, I think. At the very least, only 3 more that will be posted for now so we can finally move on to something else!!!
Oh, how I love this photo! Just let the mesmerizing shades of blue draw you in…and just try to imagine the sounds of the ocean mixing with the steady breeze. Sea & sky. **sigh** And, if you look very closely at the horizon, you can see the California coast (Los Angeles area). Click on the photo for a larger view. Taken from Catalina Island, California…looking across the channel to the mainland.
Of course, taken with the Canon Powershot G12.
And now, for some very fitting lyrics from a great song:
So keep your eyes set on the horizon
On the line where blue meets blue
And I’d bet that silver lining,
Well I know it’d find you soon
‘Cause I have sailed a 1000 ships to you,
But my messages don’t seem to make it through…
~Rachel Platten, 1000 Ships
Here we have *yet another* shot from gorgeous and oh-so-photogenic Avalon, Catalina Island. The yachts in the harbor!! Don’t you wish you could chase down the Pacific horizon in one of these? :-)
Of course, taken with the Canon Powershot G12. Slight sepia tone added in Photoshop CS5…I love how the filter enhances the vibe of the photo!
Stay tuned for more!
So, its been a month-and-a-half! Oh my goodness! Where has the time gone?!? Here is a much delayed post! From the same hilltop that the previous photo was taken from, there is a white cross located just on the edge of the cliff, overlooking the Pacific. What a lovely and serene spot…there was even a little tree swing up there!
Stay tuned for another view from the top of Avalon on Catalina Island!
Short n’ sweet post today! The view of Avalon on Catalina Island from atop the hillside! Such a quaint little town.
Sorry for the long delay between posts! Residency has been keeping me quite busy lately!
Ahhhh…the California sun setting behind a palm tree. With a lens flare. Does it get more quintessential than this?
Taken at the Descanso Beach Club on Catalina Island, CA (and yes, for you Bachelor/Bachelorette fans, the show did a date here a few seasons back).
All I have to say is, good Lord, that was the single most exhilarating thing I’ve ever done in my life. During the longest zip, that spans the two mountains, you are 300 feet above the valley below. Lets just say, taking the step off of the deck into nothing so that the “zip” could begin was the most difficult step I’ve ever taken in my life. You literally just walk off the deck into the thin air and…whooosh!…are whisked off over the valley at 45mph! This photo gives a good representation of that step.
Hehe…and here’s me in my “zip” gear:
Note the expanse of ocean in the background. Needless to say, the tour gave the best view of the island itself, valley flora & fauna, and the ocean from high above. Great facts and tidbits about the island and its animals/plants from the tour guides. Did you know that while the school on the island does not have Snow Days, they do have Bison Days, for when the buffalo randomly venture out of the mountains/island interior and roam the town? And that they were left there after a 1924 movie and now have a full-on colony on the island? Note for ladies: do not zip line in tiny shorts. Trust me, you’re gonna want full-coverage walking shorts or capris with that harness at those speeds.
Ahhhh…California. I cannot wait to go back.
And now we are approaching the final leg of our California adventure…Catalina Island! This is the view of the town of Avalon on Catalina Island, as seen from the ferry that hails from Long Beach, California. And the excitement of exploring a Channel Island starts to build…
Of course taken with the Canon G12! From atop the ferry! Crossing the Pacific! Stay tuned for more Catalina Island!
So, remember that last post? About the adventuresome trek up and over the mountains on what appeared to be little more than a paved goat path? And remember how Jay is super great about halting the car whenever I would squeal “photo!!”? Well, alas. That goat path winding up and up the mountain afforded beautiful views…like this one! Its sort of like a different type of Sunset Boulevard, a very abstract interpretation of “a sunset boulevard.”
Picture it: You’re up on a mountain, overlooking the wild Southern California coast, with the Pacific waves crashing below and not a sole on the road. You gaze ever-so-slightly northward and your face is gently met with the warm setting rays of the golden sun, dipping below the horizon. The colors are hues you’ve only ever dreamed of and the mountain-scape is silhouetted against the star of the show that is gracefully bowing out for the night. As the fading light touches the foggy haze hanging over the ocean, an other-worldly glow fills the foreground of your sight. Deep blue-purple fades into blazing orange, and you watch as your beacon of the day slips away to give way to a moonlit night. It is just you, the sky, the mountains, and the sea.
Ok…now look at the photo? Decent attempt at trying to summarize a photo and all it embodies in less than a thousand words? Read it again for a brief mental vacation and relaxing “guided imagery” moment!
Of course, taken with the Canon Powershot G12.
Ahh, yes. The Pacific Coast Highway. The PCH. Highway 1. Oh, how I love thee. Except when you get occluded by a landslide forcing me to backtrack 10 miles and take a detour over a mountain in a PRIUS. A one-lane, no guardrails sort of road spiraling up the mountainside kind of road. With the occasional car hurtling around a blind bend at you, forcing the little Prius to carefully navigate between the “road” and falling off the edge of the mountain. At dusk. With no GPS. In a Prius, which just isn’t a mountain-climbing sort of vehicle (thank goodness, though, for the ability to take the sucker out of “eco” mode and put it into full-on power-engine mode…an ability that was quite needed in San Francisco as well). Through a military base (Fort Hunter Liggett), which greeted us with warnings of “live fire” and two tanks at the entrance. Driving through the base gave us a lovely view of soldiers practicing their “tactics” at night. Oh…and did I mention that the detour took, oh, 3 HOURS? And we still had to get to LA/Long Beach that evening to check into the Queen Mary??? Awesome hotel, complete with all of the vintage fixings. Too bad we got in at 3am, bleary-eyed, and had to leave 3 hours later to catch the 8am ferry to Catalina Island. Can we say traveling by the seat of our pants? At least it was a fun adventure!!
Alas, misfortune does bring opportunities! Holy good view of the Pacific Coast Highway at sunset, clinging to the edge of, well, the country. Basically, the Prius rounded one corner of the mountain road, I spied this vista, and yelled for Jay to stop the car so I could snap a photo. That was how much of our vacation went :-)
To me, this photo just says “classic America”. I love it. :-)
Canon G12, of course.
Moving away from Big Sur along Highway 1 South brings us to Lime Kiln State Park near Fort Hunter Liggett. Majestic, deserted coastline…absolutely stunning. I love how the almost-sunset light gives an illuminated quality to the water and waves.
And…about 5 miles later, our trip down the coast abruptly stopped due to a landslide that closed down the highway. Stay tuned for the ensuing adventure and photos from atop the mountains!
EEEEeeeee!!!!!!!!! Its my favorite photo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! McWay Falls at the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Big Sur, California! So gorgeous. It seriously seemed like a dreamscape. I mean, really. A waterfall crashing onto a beach with turquoise waters and crashing waves, with glorious flora all around? PARADISE!! It is a very easy place to get to…a short walk (maybe 0.5 mile?) along a very level trail and…BAM! you are struck with this view. This is the “other side” of the trail view that I mentioned in my previous post.
And now, I will stop typing. Because sometimes a picture truly is worth a thousand words, and no matter how much I write, it just won’t say all that this photo has to tell.
Stay tuned for some upcoming close-ups of the features of McWay Falls!
So, from this point forward in our journey down the California coast, we start into some of my favorite photos EVER. The coastline became just stunning around Monterrey/Big Sur areas on Highway 1. Especially Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Big Sur. Seriously. Go there. Its incredible. I rather like the view shown in this post’s photo…but wait until the next post. Its like a dreamscape. OMIGOSH. I’m so excited for the next post. I’ve seriously been just waiting to post it since I started this California series and ITS ALMOST TIME!!!!
So, this photo was taken from the walking trail that takes you out to McWay Falls in the Park. This is the view from the “other side”. Not to be taken lightly. I would have been satisfied with just this view!!! But just you wait…
And the little specks on the beach is a flock of seagulls. Oh, and if you’d like to imagine the soundtrack that went along with this wondrous nature view, it went something like this: “CRAZY LOUD OCEAN WAVES. INSANE WIND NOISE. SEA LION HOWLING.” Ah, yes. Nature.
Taken with the Canon Powershot G12. Minor exposure fixes in Photoshop CS5.
The Bixby Bridge!!! I just loved the way it spans the mountains and overlooks the coastline! Have I mentioned that I love the Pacific Coast Highway (a.k.a. Highway 1)?!?!
I used the Canon Powershot G12 for this one, with a wide-angle lens attached. Enjoy! Stay tuned for more!
Goodness! Its been almost a month since I’ve posted!!!! Why does October, my favorite month, always slip by so quickly? Birthdays and residency and crisp sunny weather and residency and warm chai lattes and residency and a trip to NYC (before the storm, luckily!) and residency and much needed vacation week…and residency. Well, today is the last day of my rotation this month and I have the day off! Woohoo!!! Hence, I be postin’. I figure I should seize the opportunity before I start the ICU and a research project in November. Adios, light of day.
Anyhoo, NYC was AMAZING. Awesome Manhattan hotel, got to see the Naked Cowboy in Times Square, found the spot of the last scene (favorite scene ever) of my favorite movie ever (You’ve Got Mail), got to play out the last scene and take a pic (! dream come true!), and got to see ANNE!!!!!!!!!! BEST PART OF THE TRIP!!! Aaaand got to go to Coney Island Beach on the way home just so I could see a beach before retreating back to the ‘burgh (seriously, how did I get so lucky to have a man who not only accepts my beach obsession but wholeheartedly encourages it????). Some photos of NYC/beach will be coming but not too many of the city as the weather was just NOT good for shutterbuggin’.
On that note, NYC, you will pull through this disaster beautifully, just as you’ve conquered every obstacle in the past! You weathered the storm and will shine even brighter than before. And, Anne, so glad you’re safe and sound!
Now. On to the posted photo! Its about time, eh? Took this one from our little red Prius while driving down Highway 1. Lovely coast in the foreground (can you find the rock arch?) with the Bixby Bridge spanning the mountains in the background! :-) Yes, we came around the corner of the mountain, I squeaked about the bridge, subsequently missed the shot, so Jay promptly turned our eco-mobile around, I took the photo, and we then continued on our journey (towards great memories and hundreds of more photos). Oh, Jay. Beaches and photography. A girl should be so lucky.
And, a quick shot of one of the views out of the Prius…
–click the photo to open in a new window–
Ladies and gentlemen: Lake Sonoma! It was an afterthought of a trip, but so glad we went! We were heading down to San Francisco from Santa Rosa and had heard talk of a glorious lake atop the mountains in Sonoma. Of course we were game! After a beautiful drive through Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma (see previous post!) we ascended into the hills and mountains and were greeted by a breathtaking view. There were several wooden structures that you could climb up into to get an even better vantage point on the surroundings, but I found a great spot to capture a panoramic shot of the landscape. It was just so lovely up there! And there’s more lake than would even fit in the photo!
Of course, taken with the Canon Powershot G12. Stay tuned for more Calfornia! And after California…on to St. John, USVI!
Wine Country!!! I actually meant to post this towards the beginning of my California series (as we traveled from Santa Rosa to San Francisco via Sonoma), but totally forgot! This is a shot of a vineyard that we passed while driving through Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma. Simply gorgeous. It felt like driving through Italy (or at least what I imagine that would be like!)
And the wine was pretty darn good, too!! Stay tuned for a Special Sonoma Shot coming soon!
And we all know what camera this photo was taken with. I refuse to actually say it this time. It was The-Camera-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named.
Chinatown Laundry!!! So, if you go slightly off the main drag in Chinatown, you come upon the buildings that people live in…and a you get a much better feel of the essence of Chinatown. I loved all of the colorful laundry that was hanging out to dry. And so many of the pieces were very ethnic! It may be odd…I’ve taken lots of “laundry out to dry” photos in my travels…but I feel like these photos tend to capture a culture in some of the best ways. They show everyday life. Regardless of how different people and cultures may seem to be, we are all so similar at a fundamental level. We all do laundry. We all laugh when we’re happy. We all smile. We all fall in love. We all feel an astounding array of emotions and incorporate our experiences into our very being.
Alright. Enough of the waxing philosophical. I found the most amazing little restaurant in Chinatown. Hole in the wall kind of place, really, but with the best food ever. It was down a side street. I’m now convinced that the further you go away from the “touristy” places and the worse the restaurant looks from the outside, the better the food is. I had the beef with scallions and eggs. Oh. My. God. The beef was pan-fried most of the way and then coated in the egg and all tossed into a pan so that the beef was coated in egg and there were also delicious bits of scrambled egg. All of this was mixed with very fresh scallions that were just waved over the heat and piled on top of delicious brown rice. I’ve tried to replicate it and am slowly getting closer, but I just can’t wait for the day that I can return to San Francisco and eat to my heart’s content. Mmmmm. By the way, the key to well-seasoned, crispy beef is a bit of soy sauce and coat the beef in a corn starch slurry before pan-frying. Mmmmmm.
Of course, taken with the Canon Powershot G12. Contrast fixed a smidge in Photoshop CS5 because that alley had some seriously funky light going on.s
So, here we have a very rusty ship resting in the San Francisco Bay. Not much to say about it, except that it had a slightly eerie quality at sunset. You can almost picture it in its hey-day, sailing on the open Pacific, sails billowing and sailors rushing about their on-deck duties…but now it just bobs in the bay, completely abandoned.
Taken with the Canon Powershot G12.
As the sun set on our last day in San Francisco, I snapped a last shot of the Golden Gate Bridge with the Marin Headlands in the backdrop and a wave heading for the Presidio in the foreground. Oh, how I didn’t want to leave San Francisco!!! Such an amazing city with so much more to explore! I truly cannot wait to return!
Although, as we left the Presidio and the bridge behind, we returned to In-n-Out for a delicious wharf-side burger dinner! Yes, in a city with myriad dining possibilities, we had both of our dinners at In-N-Out. It was just so good!!!! Its all about the “hidden menu”. That’s where “animal style” lives. And, all that walking and hill-climbing definitely cancels out a double animal-style burger with a side of animal-style fries and a large lemonade, right? Right?!?!? :-) Oh well. Happy tummy, happy girl.
Top two San Francisco foods: In-N-Out burgers/fries and the delicious beef/scallion/egg dish from Chinatown! OMG…that was sooooo good. I keep trying to find a replica here at home, but so far have been unsuccessful :-( But, my attempt at making was probably the closest to the original that I’ve yet encountered! Huzzah!
Alright. Enough the food talk. Its making me hungry. I’m on my Trauma Surgery rotation right now so food is a precious commodity. I covered 90 patients last night. That leaves no time for grub. But it was fun!
That said, postings might be few and far between for the month of August. I have 14 hour days and average 1 day off for every 7. But, I promise to post when I get a chance!!!
One final note: GO TEAM USA!!!!!!!!!!!! OLYMPICS 2012! I think it is amazing that even with the amount of international turmoil these days, the entire world can come together and play nicely for 2 weeks. And it is an honor to watch it and the level of sportsmanship displayed every day. I love the Olympics and everything they respresent. USA! USA! USA!!
((Yes, it was taken with the G12. And yes, I promised that a previous post contained the last Golden Gate Bridge shot. I lied. Sorry. But this is the last! I think! ))
Setting: Alamo Square, San Francisco.
Time: An impossibly clear and sunny, crisp afternoon in May.
Players: Liz, Jay, the Canon Powershot G12, and a very patient flowering tree subject.
Off to the ER in a few hours, so I’m keeping it short and sweet today! Also, my computer has slowed to a snail’s pace & is running ungodly hot and thus needs an emergency virus scan. So, quick post and on to saving the computer!
So, here we have a shot of the building-clad hills of San Francisco with a tiny glimpse of the Bay Bridge in the background! This photo was taken from a street that Lombard Street intersects with. Those are some seriously exact directions, eh? And, have I mentioned that it was an absolute hoot to drive down the curvy portion of Lombard Street??? So much fun!!!! What’s not so fun: attempting to ascend Lombard Street in a Prius. When a street is so steep that steps need to be cut into the sidewalk, it should serve as a warning sign that someone driving a Prius may not wish to attempt the hill. Ah, yes, many fun adventures that truly tested the limits of our little red Prius were had on this California trip. And you know its always good when a bus coming at your stop-sign-intersection that technically has the right-of-way waves you frantically to just go through the stop sign without stopping. Kinda sad, really, that it looked like the little automobile was having such obvious difficulties. Note to anyone attempting a big hill in a Prius: TAKE IT OUT OF ECO MODE…PUT IT INTO POWER MODE. You don’t have a prayer if you’re still driving in the hybrid mode!!!!! Good times.
So, anyhoo, Lombard Street was great fun. And exploring it led us to some great vantage points of the city. Sadly, upon returning to our little red Prius after taking this photo, we found that someone had stolen our GPS (which we needed for our drive down the coast!) in the whole 8-minute span that we were away from the car. Oh well. S**t happens. Turns out we didn’t need the GPS and got many great photos down the coast to prove it! So, thief, if you are reading this post: you may have taken our GPS, but you didn’t steal our fun!! :)
Of course, this shot was taken with the Canon Powershot G12. Stay tuned for more California photos and eventually shots of the scenic Virgin Islands!!!!!!!!!
Adios, y’all. I’m getting back to my lovely day off from the ER! :)