Tag Archives: California

I love this city

9 May

With another beautiful weekend, you know I had a hard time staying indoors.  The best place to be is outside when the weather is in your favor.  It was a very close friend’s (Brie) birthday on Saturday so I swooped her and a few other friends up and we headed to the beach.  This beach is pretty iconic in San Francisco and you’re about to see why.  Baker Beach is known for it’s stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge and dog friendly sands.  There was no fog and the sand was like a warm blanket underneath our bodies.  I couldn’t have asked for a better Cinco de Mayo!

Dog’s were frolicking every just so happy to be enjoying the sun, water and tennis balls being thrown for them.  There’s nothing like watching a happy dog, living the life : )

Tuckey even went swimming!  He wasn’t the only brave one.  The water is ferociously cold but there were many brave swimmers on this warm day.

A huge freighter passing through.

Perfect day.

To help get you through this mid-work week day, I leave you with a good summer jam.  Hope you’re having a great week!

Coachella – There’s no stopping us right now

18 Apr

Wow is all I can say.  With being the music lover I am, I cannot believe I missed so many years of the infamous Coachella in Indio, California.  Every year I had to miss out for one reason or another and always was so bummed to hear what a great festival I missed out on.  Well this is my year of no regrets and so far I think I’m doing pretty well.  A lot of large changes but all have enhanced my life and have really allowed me to spend close time with some of the best friends the world could give you.  We packed our bags and hit the road for one of the most epic weekends I’ve ever experienced.

I was a little bit hesitant to how the festival would be because I don’t always do well in large crowds and feeling trapped but this was a mass of people that were all there for the same reason – to enjoy some of the best music the world has to offer.  It was impossible to catch every band that I wanted to but some of the highlights for me were: Miike Snow, Feist, Calvin Harris “Feel so close” and Rihanna’s guest appearance for “We Found Love,” Grouplove, Justice, the Shins, M83!!!, and so many more.  There were guest appearances left and right on any set stage and the music was going all weekend long.  The sound quality was nothing short of excellent and the Tupac hologram that performed was UN-REAL.  Snoop and Dre were a set I wasn’t sure I’d like but ended up loving.  Eminem, 50 cent, Wiz Khalifa and Usher were all guest rappers to close out the weekend of all time.

The weather was the coolest it had ever been for Coachella and I was not complaining.  At a perfect 70-75 degrees the entire weekend, we maintained the sun living while not sweating our lives away in the normal 100 degrees this festival usually is.  The forcast for weekend 2 is hitting triple digits so bring your water bottles to the festival to re-fill at all of the watering stations.

I couldn’t bring my nice camera in and my little camera wasn’t always charged but I tried to shoot some photos of the atmosphere of Coachella is like so that if you’ve never been you can have a little taste of it for yourself.  On the grounds were some of the largest art sculptures and lights to just add another amazing element to the scene.  Oh and did I mention this is held on polo fields so there are horses everywhere?!  Talk about my heaven!  I’ll have some more posts this week on Coachella Weekend 1 but for now I give you these, enjoy!

The iconic Ferris Wheel.

Palm trees.

Just ONE of the many stages/tents.

Dance parties everywhere.

Grouplove ❤

Cooler weather rolling in for the night time.

Sculpture made out of recycled cans.

Huge light sculpture by the main stage.

The light sculpture from far away.  Gives you the idea of how large it is!

All of the past Coachella line-ups.

Sunshine and balloons.

Manchester Orchestra!

If you are going for weekend 2 be prepared for nothing short of amazing.  However, be careful with the scorching weather and go prepared.  I can’t wait to share the rest of my experience with you all!

Flashback Friday – A month of sunrises and sunsets in CA

18 Nov

At the time of day I catch my train in the morning is right about the time when the sun starts peaking over the mountain.  This past month I have seen some of the most beautiful sunrises and although I have a brutal time waking up in the morning, the sunrise usually makes it all worth while.  Here are some of my favorite iphone photos from the past month.

The sun coming out in San Francisco.

When it’s overcast, everything seems to turn blue.

This was a sunset.

And at last but definitely not least, this morning’s sunrise.

The most unreal sunset I’ve seen in a while…

14 Nov

 

I know I’m always posting about sunsets but they are just so incredible sometimes.  Last night was bittersweet for me.  I got to spend a wonderful Saturday night catching up with my two college best friends and also enjoy a last night with Ian before he left yesterday for Colorado.  I felt extremely sad leaving three major contributors to my life.  I know that sounds silly but the three of them have really been huge parts of my life and although I’m not leaving them forever or anything too dramatic, it’s very rare that the four of us are all in one place together.  I felt very lonely leaving without any of these three coming back with me but this sunset I watched while driving did make me feel much better 🙂

It was so vibrant and beautiful.  The florescent colors just seemed to splash endlessly across the sky.  This was definitely a rare sunset that came at perfect timing 🙂

Santa Cruz with Ian

25 Oct

Ian and I spent this past Sunday on the Santa Cruz beach boardwalk.  It was such a fun day and a great way to spend time together!  I lost some of my favorite photos of the day somehow but I was able to save a few.

We went on the cozy chairlift first that sweeps across the boardwalk.  It was fun to check out all of the rides and scenery before we started our extravaganza.

Here’s the older part of the boardwalk.  There were some interesting and creepy old keep sakes from the original boardwalk.  The boardwalk is over 100 years old but the infamous rides didn’t start until about 80-90 years ago.

I LOVE that the beach is hugging the sand on the boardwalk.  It’s so great to have so many different options of things to do while your there and the best part is… you don’t have to pay ANY admittance fee!  You can go peruse the boardwalk, fee free.  You just pay for rides, food, and/or any of the other givens.

People strewn about.  I loved this picture until I realized the two center piece people are drinking tall cans of beer… ha!  Oops.

I don’t know if you can tell but these donuts were HUGE!

This was inside the old “bathe house.”  They used to have a swimming pool inside this building where swimmers would put on aquatic shows through trapeze, diving platforms, and other amusements.  Now it’s an arcade and mini-golf house.  A sign of the times 🙂

The Giant Dipper!  Childhood memories… I remember this coaster being so much bigger when I was younger, funny how that happens.

The beautiful swings!

I had one of the best days on this day.  The sun was out and I was in great company.  What more can a girl ask for?!

Meeks Bay – Lake Tahoe, CA

13 Sep

One of my favorite beaches in Lake Tahoe is on the West Shore and it’s called Meek’s Bay.  Ever since I was little my family took us here and parked their boat in the mom and pop harbor.  Can you say paradise??  A quiet Friday 🙂

It gets deep really fast.  When you are in a boat or on a kayak, etc. you can see all the way to the bottom.  It’s truly amazing.

The harbor.

I can’t wait to go back to this amazing place!

Tahoe Sunset

12 Sep

 

This weekend at my brother and Liz’s wedding there was the most phenomenal sunset!

Many, MANY more photos to come!

A day in Napa, CA

6 Sep

This past weekend my mom and step-dad took my brother and I to Napa, CA for a day of wine-tasting on Saturday.  I’ve been before with friends one time but we went to two completely different wineries then I’ve been to before.  The last winery I’d been to before but only the inside portion.  Needless to say, it was nice to have some down time away from my hectic schedule lately.  Words cannot do enough justice, it was simply beautiful.  It’s just about to be harvest time so the vines were full.  I learned quite a bit about wine that I’d never known before on this trip.


  First stop on our adventure was Rombauer.  My mom, step dad and brother LOVE this wine so it was a perfect place to start.  I went with the Classic taste assortment because I don’t know much about wine in the first place so I thought I’d start with the basics.  There are three different tasting menus and once you pick one, you get to taste 4 different Rombauer wines.  It was delicious!  They have somewhat of a small set up in the tasting area but the winery is tucked away on a hill in a completely private secret garden if you will.

You could sit out on this beautiful deck enjoying your wine, stroll the garden and/or buy wine to give a gifts or bring home with you!  I do have to say the Rombauer gardens were one of my favorite parts of the day.

The eloquent gate to my favorite gardens…

Some of the extraordinary findings in the gardens.


There were rustic creatures throughout the garden.

UN-REAL colors!

After the gardens we went back to the main area where the ever so friendly staff wraps a brand new wine glass up for you to take as a souvenir.

You can also buy t-shirts and chocolates and many other things.  It’s a great winery to see when making a trip to Napa.

As we were leaving our first winery I noticed the sides of the winery were covered in this gorgeous greenery.  It was something I noticed at almost all of the wineries in Napa.  They are extremely keen on ivy growing on their buildings.

We were on to the next winery after a lovely time at Rombauer.

Next stop…

…the Frank Family Winery!

This winery had a much bigger lot partly because it was on flat property.  The tastings were held in a really neat old yellow farm house.  The wood floors would creak with every step and for some reason made me feel like I was suddenly on a southern farm.  This wine was good but had a stronger taste to it.  It’s really hard to actually taste each wine after you take a sip of a few.  I heard from one of our taste pourers that to clean your palette you put the new wine in your mouth and let it marinate for a few seconds.  Then you gently swish it around before swallowing it to clear your mouth.  The next sip you take then will be the actual taste of the new wine!

After we were done tasting, I really wanted to go see the grapevines and Frank Family is a great place to get close to the vines.

There’s a lot of hard work that goes into harvesting these grapes.  There are all different types of grapes, soil, harvesting techniques that contribute to making each wine different.

My mom picked some grapes for a snack in the car.  I’m not sure this is allowed but they were delicous!

I loved getting to see all the grapes and workings of the wineries!  After scoping out the vines we headed off to our last winery…

…the Duckhorn Winery!

There vines and grapes were completely different looking!  It really is amazing how from afar wineries can all look the same but once you get up close they really are unique.

Duckhorn had this really neat outdoor setting with a HUGE open tent with lounging areas.  It was amazing to be outside but covered with a breeze flowing through.

Here’s my mom and my brother under the tent.  This is the only photo I have of the cool outdoor area but it was a really great way to stay cool but still enjoy being outside.

After we finished at Duckhorn, it was time to head home.  The drive in and out of Napa is incredibly enrapturing.  Seeing these massive, architecturally interesting buildings is a site to see.

Napa is an amazing place to make a trip to and learn about the wines that are available all over the country and in some cases more.  If you ever have the chance to visit Northern California, Napa is a picture perfect vacation.  There are many activities available for all!

Summers in Lake Tahoe, California

29 Aug

There is no better place to spend a summer than in Lake Tahoe, California.  There are many reasons for this but I do believe pictures do way more justice.  Here is a photographic catalog of why I believe summers are so incredible by the lake.

Visit Emerald Cove (on the west shore of Lake Tahoe) where you can hike, swim, bike, boat and anything else outdoorsy.

Here’s a part of Emerald Cove where you can climb around a waterfall that leads all the way down the mountain face from the top as melted snow run off.

You can get a crazy lean going on if you go sailing!  The colors are just so unreal.  You can see all the way down to the bottom in the more shallow parts of the lake.

Hike one of the many ridges around the lake.  This is Eagle Ridge near the West Shore.

Enjoy hanging outside at night with friends and making s’mores 🙂

Relax on the beach.

Watch a sunset from one the many public piers.

Catch some interesting photos of the sometimes unpredictable weather that may roll over the lake.

Grab dinner or a drink with family/friends down by the Lake.  You can also enjoy ice cream down at some of the piers.

Watch the sun go down.

Float the river!  The Truckee River is one of the most fun rivers to float.  Yes, I know this picture is ridiculous but it’s my brother and me and that’s what you get when you put us together. Ridiculous-ness : )  You can rent a large raft like this one or you can bring your own which I’ve also done plenty of times.  This is a MUST in the summer time, don’t miss out on this fun.

On the river.

Paddle board, kayak, swim, whatever your aquatic needs desire.

Go tubing on the Lake!

I’m just so in love with this lake, I could go on and on but it’s a destination made for explorers.

I’ll be going back to my heaven on earth in less than two weeks for my brothers wedding and I’m counting down the days.  I can’t wait to be on the water and relaxing with all of my family.  I will most definitely have plenty more summer on the lake photos!

North Beach, San Francisco

25 Aug

Lucky me, North Beach is also very close to my work so today I grabbed Rani and Chelsea and we headed to North Beach for our lunch time shenanigans!  This city has gems around every corner and when you are in good company, there’s nothing better.  We cruised around North Beach for a while and then ate at House of Thai.  It’s incredibly delicious Thai food and everything (food wise) on the menu is $5.  I’m starting to realize that not everywhere in the city is out to rob your pocket book 🙂  Here are some photos I took today.

The bookstore on the corner of Broadway and Columbus is very unique.  Outside on the corner they have all these floating light books in the sky.  At night they flash on and off and are so amazing to see.

There’s also a really neat hand painted mural in the background that covers the entire exposures of the corner building marking the beginning of North Beach.

Another part of the mural.

It’s amazing the things you find when you just look up above the tree tops.  A large cathedral here.

Columbus St (from Broadway on) is lined with adorable eateries and cafes.  Stroll along this strip and you are sure to find a stomach pleasing, heart happy experience.

Did I mention it’s also considered “Little Italy”??  Maybe that’s why I like the selection of food so much!

We did the extraordinary today in “Little Italy” though… we ate Thai!  I have to say it was absolutely delicious.

This is Vesuvio in the half yellow building.  It’s a bar that we just so happened to try out last Saturday night and it was a great time.  The drinks were, for the most part, $5 and the environment was cozy.  There were tables throughout two stories so it was intimate enough where you could still talk with the people you were there to spend time with.  A great, inexpensive place to go before perusing the rest of North Beach,

North Beach is a touristy area though so if you aren’t a fan of being around a ton of people, this might not be the place for you.

If you were to head the opposite direction on Columbus, you’d be headed towards Market St. and the Trans America Building.  Crazy how you can look two ways on a San Francisco street and see two different worlds.

Full of lots of little alley ways.

My partners in crime, love them tons.  We have so much fun together!  After we were done in North Beach of course we wanted to go to Chinatown and buy random things…

The things sold in these stores is beyond me what the real purpose is but boy do I love trying to think of who I could buy some of it for as a silly gift!

More stuff.

Chelsea had the genius idea of buying the snappers you throw and they pop when they hit the ground.  That was probably the most fun we’ve had in a while finding interesting ways to snap the little contraptions.  Here’s Chelsea trying to throw one at me and I find it to be a classic photo haha

  Great times 🙂  I hope to have more good places and times soon!