Sunbathers

On our drive down Highway 1, we stopped to stretch our legs along a nice section of the Pacific coastline. There were other cars parked in the parking lot and soon we saw why. There were hundreds of seals just lazing around on the beach enjoying the spring day. They seemed to be sleeping as they weren’t moving at all. Upon seeing this pic, a friend of mine just had to ask me “Are they dead?” What a life…

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Greenery

Muir Woods was an interesting experience in park management. You have these raised, wooden walkways which meander through the forest floor. I guess they did this to protect the ecosystem and prevent damage and contamination from the thousands of visitors that go through here. As we were walking, I noticed these beautiful green plants which were sprouting from the forest floor. I tried capturing them in their graceful beauty but you can’t step off the pathways so this is the best I could manage.

The Zuellig

An impulse shot I took with my phone while negotiating the crazy traffic. This is one of the better looking buildings that recently came up in the past decade or so. I just liked the reflections of the clouds on the building that day. Oh BTW, I’m playing with this new WordPress editor called Gutenberg. It’s quite powerful and frankly offers too many doodads for me to appreciate just now. But, I love new toys and will be trying this out of course. Tell me what you think 🙂

Tears for Cali

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Seeing all the devastation and sadness wrought by that fire which is ongoing in California just gets to you. I was in awe with these majestic trees at Lake Tahoe which, fortunately, is far from SoCal but it still saddens me to think of all that forest cover going up in flames. I hope they contain that fire very soon and pray for the safety of all those firefighters who risk their lives every day.

SF

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What more can one say? Show some SF love. Saw this at Pier 39, one of the most popular places visited by tourists in San Francisco. Had some clam chowder while we were there and in general, had a good time with the kids. Tourist trap that it was, it’s still an iconic part of San Francisco and hopefully, remains that way.

CLOGS

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When in Denmark, do as the Danes do. And what could be more Danish than clogs. Compared to the abomination called Crocs, clogs IMHO can be quite sexy. I remember how girls in my youth (don’t ask when this was) used to wear these original Anita-brand clogs with tight shorts and make us boys go crazy. Nice to see that some good things just never change.

Solvang

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Okay so we have Denmark in California by way of a town called Solvang. So how did we end up here? Well, I had the bright idea of taking the scenic 14-HOUR (!) drive via Highway 1 from Los Angeles to San Francisco. It was on my bucket list as one of the things I always wanted to do with the kids. I didn’t regret it as having a nice breakfast in Santa Barbara  and seeing Big Sur and the beautiful Pacific coastline is truly an amazing experience and I can just play it over and over again in my mind as one of those things I’ll never forget. My only regret is having to squeeze in the experience in one trip as against spending a couple of days and immersing oneself in the different towns along the way. Seeing and appreciating so much beauty gets to be a challenge when one is just plain bombed out from driving for 8 hours straight but it is what it is and I wouldn’t mind doing it over again. So we took a side trip to this town called Solvang as it was recommended by some of the travel sites and what can I say? It’s definitely unique and offers some decent food stops on the way but I would grade it as one inch short of being labeled as a tourist trap. Would I recommend it? Well why not? I was probably too tired to really appreciate it and maybe my perspective would have changed if I spent more time there.

Zoltar The Great!

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I couldn’t believe my luck! Seeing Zoltar! Until I learned that it’s a relatively common sight in most American amusement parks. Sheesh… but it still brought back flashbacks of that classic film of Tom Hanks, “Big“. On another note, I really liked the way this image came out. The lady in blue looks really mesmerized, or almost hypnotized by the eyes of Zoltar.

SanFo

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My wife and and I always have this little argument about which town or city is better…Los Angeles or San Francisco. I mean it’s not like we’ve lived in either one but she has relatives and friends in L.A and spent more time there for work and some play so I guess it’s that feeling of familiarity or belonging. I on the other hand made SF my first destination when I went to the U.S.A. for the first time back in 1976 and fell in love with the mood, vibe and overall charm of the place.

This of course, was the original San Francisco. Land of the hippie, home of marijuana and unspoiled with the trappings and evils of the Silicon Valley tech sector. My aunt’s place was on Taraval Street on the Eastern side of SF and I loved it. Early mornings were chilly and the first coffee and cigarette of the day was heaven. Oh the simple things. My aunt was also a smoker and it was a joy for me to enjoy the vice (I was only 15!) unimpeded by parents and persons of authority. Discovering the USA through the fog and mist of the city was really memorable and I loved every moment. SF was also my father’s college town and as a kid, I would go through his photo albums which were meticulously organized and labeled and spend hours just looking at black and white pictures of him doing some fishing, going out on the town with his college buddies or just having a good time in his SF State University jacket. I guess this somehow imprinted on me the goal of finding out more of SF and what made it so special.

And special it is…I will always love San Francisco and it will always have a place in my heart.

Oh about this pic. I took this while on top of one of those double-decker tour buses. My wife and I, along with the kids, took this on a whim just to get a quick tour of the city.

Colour My World

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One of the more colorful things I saw at Pier 39 that day. Being Filipino, we don’t really get into taking long baths just showering sometimes even twice a day so the concept of using bath salts doesn’t quite appeal to me. Nonetheless, maybe it’s something I should try at least once.