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Picture Pages

Picture pages, picture pages time to get your picture pages……remember? with Bill Cosby? you know you want to youtube it! Good times! I love when random memories from childhood come bubbling up, like when Sesame street would show how something was made in 60 seconds? My favorite was the crayon factory, fo sho. So here’s my most recent picture pages; around the Bay Area and in Sonoma, CA, also went hiking in Yosemite with some friends.

Chocolates in Sonoma @ The Chocolate Cow

Viansa Winery

Vineyards for the Reserve wines

 

The Valley @ Yosemite

 

 

Beautiful view, with Half Dome on the left

 

Lower Yosemite Falls

 

Artisan bread @ Mountain View Farmers Market

 

Veggies!

 

Its not a Farmers Market until you see the sunflowers

Sonoma was perfect, not too hot for us Southern Louisianians, and much less pretentious than I expected. It was cute and had more of a country charm. I would definitely recommend Viansa Winery, Vella Cheese, & Chocolate Cow in Sonoma. Yosemite was gorgeous, crowded in the middle of the week, and has an unexpected full outdoor mall of gift shops. Luckily that is only a very small part of the vastness of the park, although we could see a man made lap pool from our lookout that kinda irked me. Overall, the beauty there is breathtaking and it’s definitely unfair that so many gorgeous sites are packed into one state. The local farmers market in Mountain View is amazing, its huge with tons of vendors, organic & conventional. I was surprised by the numbers of bakeries present. The vendors definitely put a lot of hard work and dedication into their products, which is why the market is usually pretty busy. We still have 6 mo’ weeks of fun in Cali! Plenty of time to make some pages full of pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Tale of Two Beaches

Coming from Southern Louisiana, the beaches we would often visit were in Alabama/Florida Panhandle or the “Emerald Coast” if you’re fancy like that. Those beaches had silty, white sand that was blazing hot and small waves in cool water. Everyone took a dip in the water, even if it was just to cool off and usually you would be dry again after 20 minutes in the tireless sun.  I spent several long weekends there from my time at college in New Orleans, and I loved those beaches!

August 2009 trip to Orange Beach, Alabama

Now we’re living in Northern California for the time being, and the beaches are definitely different than our “norm”. This is what I’ve learned:

1. They are cold and they have cliffs!

Half Moon Bay

2. The sand is more like gagillions of little pebbles and the waves are BIG! The crashing waves will easily lull you to sleep.

3. FOG! You’re driving to the beach, windows down, music up, blue skies, excited to be almost there….. and it creeps over you and hides the sun.

4. Rocks, seaweed, and dog friendly!!

Carmel, CA

5. You can wear all those linen long sleeve shirts and scarfs that you see fashion models wearing in the magazines on the beach. Back home, I would see these ads and think those women were insane…now I know & I want to throw in one of those “summer sweaters”.

Actually, I love the beaches here, too! I like that I can wear actual clothes to the beach & not leave dripping in sweat. I like that I don’t have to prepare a fake tan for 2 weeks prior to going to Northern California beaches, because I’ll likely never be warm enough to be in a bathing suit. I love that dogs are allowed on several popular beaches and I adore the cute beach towns here. My favorites so far are Carmel and Half Moon Bay, and I’m sure I’ll discover more in the next 2 months.

I do miss swimming in the Gulf, floating on raft, or body boarding and getting tossed in the waves.  The only people going into waves here are under 10 or have a wetsuit and a board. I also long for the “shopping high” after getting deals at the outlets lining the Gulf coast highways.

I’ve always loved being near the water for relaxation, reflection, inspiration, sleep, and drinking. All in all, the beach is one of my favorite places to go, no matter which coast I’m on!

California Love

I realized while talking on the phone to a friend tonight, I realized that I have been in California for 1.5 months already! Where has the time gone? Here’s some pics to document where it went:

Golden Gate Bridge on a Beautiful day!

Santa Cruz on Our 5 year Anniversary

Lisa and I getting our bib numbers for Bay to Breakers!

Costumes for Bay to Breakers- made out of bed sheets on the side of the road

On the boat to Alcatraz

Getting our Redwood fix at Big basin State Park

On the beach @ Carmel, a magical place

The California experience has been mostly a “thumbs up” so far. I made a list mostly pertaining to Silicon Valley and the region:

THUMBS UP 

*weather

*Trader Joes, Sprouts, Peets

*scenic vistas

*dog beaches

*redwoods

*mid-level hikes

*Carmel/Monterey

*National Parks

*San Francisco

*lots ‘o wine

*Bike lanes

*local produce!

THUMBS DOWN

*expensive (i.e. gas prices, food)

*over populated

*not so friendly people

*over-rated chains (i.e. In-N-Out Burger, Pinkberry)

*expensive movies- don’t they make movies out here?, shouldn’t they cost LESS?

So that’s what I’ve learned the last month in a nutshell.