California

Yosemite

About a month ago Tim and I spent a few days exploring Yosemite. And, though I tried to capture the grandure of it all, I still don’t think the pictures completely do this place justice.

This is the view on the drive in. It was at about this point that we started to really get excited.

IMG_4372 ps IMG_4375ps

El Capitan

El Capitan is the first really identifiable thing you see as you enter the park (the north side of Yosemite Valley). It is absolutely ginormous, and is probably my favorite of all the rock formations in the park. Made of granite, it is 3,000 feet tall from base to summit. It is, not surprisingly, a favorite destination for rock climbers and BASE Jumpers, though I can’t imagine doing either.
IMG_4386 ps

IMG_4387ps

Half Dome

Half Dome is agruably the most recognizable rock formation inside Yosemite (it was even depicted on the California state quarter). You need to obtain a permit to hike the cable rout up to the summit. I feel light headed just looking at the picture, so I don’t think I’ll be doing that any time soon.
IMG_4393 copy

Yosemite Falls

At 2,425 feet from the top of the upper falls, to the base of the lower falls, Yosemite Falls is the highest measured falls in North America. I fully suggest going in mid to late spring when the water flow is at its peak.

IMG_44282014-04-28 14.52.13

Tim taking a picture of Yosemite Falls.

IMG_4415ps

Camp Curry

We stayed at Camp Curry, one of the many lodging options inside Yosemite. We didn’t want to stay in a hotel, but it was still a bit too cold at night to stay in a tent (at least in my opinion), even though we would have preffered tent camping. These canvas tent cabins were the perfect compromise. They even have cabins you can rent that include heating units.

IMG_4390ps IMG_4471 ps IMG_4472 ps IMG_4473ps IMG_4483ps

Mirror Lake

Mirror lake is seriously rediculous. It’s one of the prettiest lakes I’ve ever been to. On a smaler scale, it actually reminded me a lot of Trillium Lake back home in Oregon, but that may just be because of the comparison between Mt. Hood reflecting in Trillium Lake, and Half Dome reflecting in Mirror Lake. It’s a must see/must photograph spot for sure.
IMG_4526ps IMG_4527 ps

I loved how this tree on the shore of Mirror Lake managed to grow around that giant boulder. IMG_4500psHere’s the thing about the deer in Yosemite. They aren’t all that afraid of people. I guess that makes sense seeing as how many people are visiting the park at any given time. I have mixed feelings about this fact. On one hand I think it’s pretty sad that these wild animals have no real fear of people. On the other hand it was pretty cool getting so close to them. Now, I should clarify, I am in no way advocating getting “too” close to them, as they are still wild animals, and I certainly don’t recommend trying to pet them, etc. Let’s be smart people. But, there were a few occasions where my proximity was closer then I’ve been before to deer, and afforded some pretty cool experiences.

Walking back to camp from Mirror lake we found ourselves in a small deer stampede. Seriously. We were walking up the trail, saw one deer up on the side of the hill. Stopped to see if she would make another appearance so I could grab a pic. Then that one deer turned into five up on the hill, and suddenly the male of the pack was herding them our dirrection…at a full on run. We jumped out of the way, onto the opposite side of the trail, as all five deer darted within a foot or two from us. It was pretty awesome.

IMG_4536ps

Here are some other random pics from our adventures in Yosemite.

IMG_4459ps IMG_4460ps IMG_4470psIMG_4488ps

Muir Woods

My husband and I are collecting National Parks. We want to see and experience as many of them as possible. Most recently we spent a few days enjoying Yosemite, but prior to that we spent a quitet Tuesday afternoon hiking through Muir Woods again.  And though it’s technically a National Monument, rather than a “Park”, it is still a favorite of ours, and best yet it’s basically in our backyard (or at least within a quick drive of it). You’ll hear all about Yosemite soon enough, but first lets go on a walk through the giant redwoods.

IMG_4328_FotorIMG_4331_FotorIMG_4333_FotorIMG_4334_FotorIMG_4335_FotorIMG_4340_Fotor 2IMG_4343_FotorIMG_4344_FotorIMG_4345_FotorIMG_4351_FotorIMG_4353_FotorIMG_4354_FotorIMG_4362_FotorYou can read all about our first trip to Muir Woods here.

Whale Watching in Half Moon Bay

Back towards the end of January we went on a whale watching trip with The Oceanic Society . It was a beautiful day out on the ocean. We saw lots of sea lions, jelly fish, harbour porpoise, but alas…saw no whales. We were invited back for a second trip (to rectify the whale-less 1st whale watching trip), and went just yesterday.  The second trip was much rockier (ie. many seasick passengers), and much much foggier. But this time we did manage to see whales!  Two gray whales, and one humpback.  It was pretty cool.

If you are ever visiting San Francisco, and looking for something a bit out of the norm to do, I fully suggest a whale watching trip. Peak gray whale migration is from December through May.  Don’t forget your sea sickness pills, your waterproof pants, and your binoculars! We took the sea sickness pills, and I’m convinced it’s the only reason the two of us didn’t end up hung over the back of the boat like many of our fellow passengers.  I forgot my waterproof pants, wound up standing in the wrong spot at the wrong time and ended up with drenched jeans due to some errant splash. We also forgot our binoculars.

This post may seem a bit anticlimactic, as there aren’t actually any whale pics. We just couldn’t photograph them fast enough, and they weren’t exactly posing for the camera. But here are lots of pics of the sea lions…

IMG_4301 ps

IMG_4272 ps

IMG_4267 ps

IMG_4260 ps 2

IMG_4244 ps

IMG_4242 ps

IMG_4240 ps

Pacifica Beach & Pier

So, I have a rather rediculous confession to make. Technically speaking we live at the beach, but in the three years that we have lived here I have only walked on the local sand twice. TWICE! I know, I know…that’s just silly. But here’s the thing, I really don’t think of the San Francisco Bay area as a beach town, so I really do forget that there is beach close and accessable to enjoy. San Francisco just doesn’t have that beach town feel. I mean it’s a big city! My brain just doesn’t equate “big city” with “the beach.”

But regardless, it’s silly. And last week we had a string of really warm, sunny (by Bay Area standards) days that just begged for a beach chair, a good book and some sunscreen.  So we meandered our way down to the Pacifica Pier and Beach for a day of sitting in the sun, and consequently (and despite multiple apllication of admitedly expired sunscreen) obtaining lobster sun burns. Seriously, a week later and I’m still peeling. I guess sunscreen really does go bad. Lesson learned….But I digress.

Anyway…

This is the Pier:

IMG_3622All of those little dots along the pier are people crab fishing. At first we thought they were regular fish fishing, but realized that they were hooking crab. I didn’t even realize that you could catch crab on a fishing pole. They use these gross little boxes of raw squid as lures and aparently find great success. Even though it seems like a rather mundane way to spend the day, expecially considering that while we were there we only saw one guy catch a crab, it still seems worth while. I mean who doesn’t love crab, expecially crab you caught yourself and paid nothing for?

IMG_3654

IMG_3655The waves were pretty big that day too.

IMG_3634

IMG_3635

IMG_3637Here are some more beach shots.

IMG_3648

IMG_3649

I thought that Tim’s shirt nicely matched the American flag. It was a photo begging to be taken.

IMG_3662I like watching dogs run on the beach.

IMG_3667And checking out peoples beach gear. Some people really have it all figured out!

IMG_3669And then there was this guy. Yeah, I don’t even know what to say about this. Trucker hat. Empty beer bottles. Clearly, no sunscreen bottle in site. There is so much wrong with this picture, lol.

IMG_3673Turn around from the ocean and this is some of what you will find behind you.

IMG_3672

IMG_3692

IMG_3693That’s about it. I guess since it’s basically summer and all that,we should probably try to spend more time at the beach. If for no other reason than snapping pics of cliche passed out college kids on the sand…

 

 

 

 

 

My Week (According to Instagram)

2013-05-26 16.47.58-2

All we could find at the grocery store were gigantic red onions. Like, ridiculously big onions. 

2013-05-27 16.38.25-2

Grapevines? Who knew?

2013-05-27 17.59.51-2

A little bit of everything cookies.
2013-05-30 14.43.32

Finally reading a book every one else has already read.
2013-05-31 15.45.18

Annie being Annie.2013-05-31 16.56.38

Wandering around Pacifica Pier.