Monday, June 14, 2010

Flowers Galore... and the Painted Ladies.

So my birthday has come and gone. I went with Jacques and his mother Elizabeth to Sebastopol, California to visit his aunt who is an artist specializing in porcelain and stoneware clay. She has her own studio right next to her house and I found it very inspiring being around her. It made me want to get back into my traditional art, such as drawing and painting. If I had a setup like hers, I'd definitely be motivated to do that. I'd love to live that life.

This was also the first birthday that I didn't get to spend with my mom. But at least I'll get to see her in 10 days in Cancun. She said we'll celebrate my birthday there. I really missed her cake that she usually makes for me, since I didn't get a cake at all this year. Maybe she'll bring one to Cancun... haha! Wishful thinking.

Anyway, on with more photos. I definitely won't let it get this backed up again. This next batch is going to be a little mix of photos. I'll start out with another trip to San Francisco when we visited the Conservatory of Flowers and the Botanical Gardens. I was in heaven, seeing as how I love taking photos of flowers...

Our first stop was at Alamo Square, which is famous for the Painted Ladies and the field in front of them that was used for the Full House intro. I grew up watching Full House and I had been wanting to visit this place ever since I came here. We didn't realize that we had parked right next to the Ladies, so we ended up walking around the whole park before we saw the view we'd been looking for:

From there we drove to the Conservatory of Flowers. It was so incredibly beautiful, both inside and out!! From daisies to irises to orchids to lilies and more; get ready for an incredible flow of flora:

Next, we walked from the Conservatory through the National Aids Memorial Grove to the San Francisco Botanical Gardens. These next photos are a mix between flowers that I found along the way and views of the beauty of nature in her natural state.

And I'm ending this post with a beautiful side-view of a rose that I found on the trip to Sonora, California, on the way to Bear Valley.

Whew. That was alot of flowers.
I enjoyed the trip immensely! :]

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Spontaneity + Road Trip + Snow = Bliss (at least for me!)

Okay, so now I'm up to February of this year. I'm really trying to get this photoblog up-to-date before I leave for Cancun in less than two weeks so I can be ready to post those photos after I get back. At least I'm only 4 months behind now.

So, like I said, this batch of photos are from February. Jacques and I took a spontaneous road trip up to Bear Valley to play in the snow! I remember exactly how it happened... it was around 10:30pm and we were in Best Buy, just browsing around the store, although I can't remember what exactly we were looking at. It started with an idea to drive to Reno, Nevada that night and go casino-hopping. He wanted to take his mom there as well, so he calls her from the store, but she doesn't feel like going anywhere that night. So with that idea being shot down before it could even take off, as we're leaving the store he mentions something about this small ski-resort type place about 2 hours away, called Bear Valley. But he doesn't act like he wants to go. And I remember being more than a little disappointed during the 20 minute ride home. Later, I'm on the computer minding my own business when he surprises me by asking if I was going to get ready to go to Bear Valley anytime soon.

So I jump up, pack a quick change of clothes and some winterwear, ready to go about 10 minutes later. And it was the best weekend I've had since moving here! The views were incredibly beautiful, more than pictures can even express. Photographically speaking, snow is one of my most favorite things, along with palm trees of course!

First, here's a [bad] picture of me that Jacques snapped with his phone in a little diner in Sonora where we ate breakfast before heading to Bear Valley:

Then we stopped at this little lake area on the way:

Next, there was an area called Vista Point where we stopped for some beautiful views of the snow:

Finally, we reach Bear Valley. We rented a snowmobile for an hour to explore the village. It was sooooo much fun! The following were taken while riding on the snowmobile with Jacques as the driver.

And we end the day with these photos taken on the way home:

Monday, June 07, 2010

I Left My Heart in San Francisco!

Well-said, Mr. Steinbeck, very well-said! I have loved San Francisco ever since the first time I laid eyes on it last fall. And every time I go back, I fall in love even more. If I could get away with living there, I would in a heartbeat. But alas, I think I'll have to settle with frequent visits. It's such an interesting city and I totally wouldn't mind being handcuffed to it with the key thrown away!

So I promised in my last post that I would share some of the photos from the visit to San Fran with my dad and Jacques. When we arrived in San Francisco and attempted to get some shots of the Golden Gate Bridge from above, it was incredibly foggy and we could barely see the bridge through it all. But the longer we stayed put, the less foggy it became, though the bridge was still difficult to see.

[ Of course, my dad was more interested in the rock formations; here he is giving Jacques a geology lesson! ]

[ Though I have to admit, they were very interesting. ]

From that little area, we went back down to drive over the Golden Gate Bridge:

... and into San Francisco. We parked in the Presidio and walked down to Crissy Field to get some beautiful shots of the bridge.

[ ... and the San Francisco skyline ]

[ Dad explains this as giving me an Indian headdress... ]

[ While walking to Fort Point, I looked back and got this shot ]

From there, we went on through the heart of San Francisco to the Sutro District to view the Sutro Baths ruins and Ocean Beach, then on to Fisherman's Wharf:

[ Catching rays of the sun through the trees across from the Sutro Baths ruins ]

[ What's left of the Sutro Baths ]

[ a CLEAR Alcatraz ]

[ Finally got my view of Lombard Street! ]

We ended the day with some awesome hot chocolate from Ghirardelli.
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