Monday, February 1, 2010

My Story in Photos – Places I Love

POTD – February 1, 2010

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There’s no challenge this week over at iheartfaces. Instead, it’s a “Story in Photos” week and in honor of Valentine’s Day, it’s all about places we love. I thought about trying to do a story of romantic places…but that just wasn’t going to work. To be honest, the husband and I have gone on some wonderful vacations and visited some great places, but a romantic vacation…not so much! In fact, and not dissing him at all here, he just isn’t the romantic type. So, I chose this set of photos…our last vacation before children. And, it is by far my favorite vacation ever.

It was June 2006…we caught an early morning flight to LAX and headed to Joshua Tree National Park. We spent a few days in Southern California. We hiked, kayaked, snorkeled…saw the sights in Hollywood and Santa Monica. And then we headed up the coast. Of our 17 days in California, the 2 days along PCH and the 3 days in Yosemite were my favorite!

It took a while to get out of the metropolitan LA area…but we were finally going north! We stopped in Solvang for lunch and made it to Morro Rock in time for dinner and sunset.


IMG_0091Then on to find a place to stay for the night. Don’t really remember the details about where we stayed…after a LONG day of driving we really didn’t care. Food and a bed were really all that was important. And, Day 2 of PCH was ahead of us…and the infamous Big Sur!

Day 2 brought our first view of the Elephant Seals. We stopped near Hearst Castle to view the seals and take lots of pictures!


IMG_0169 We hopped back in the car and continued north. We needed to make it to Monterey by nightfall and wanted to spend a fair amount of daylight time in Big Sur.


IMG_0194The 2 pictures above are from Ragged Point…the entrance to Big Sur. The topography sure did change! No more sandy beaches…it’s all rocky steep cliffs from here on out!

IMG_0195 Limekiln State Park

We hiked the trail to the falls. At one point, we had to stop and take off our socks [in a failed attempt to keep them dry] and then put the shoes back on to walk through the stream. It was the only way to pass and there was absolutely no dry route [and too rocky to do barefoot]!

Then off to Julia Pfeiffer Burns…this was the whole inspiration behind this trip. I saw a photograph of this place in a book and knew I had to go! I often do that…see one picture of a place and then plan an entire vacation around one image!


IMG_0307And it did not disappoint. I could have sat there all afternoon and taken shots of every different angle. I really wanted to hike down to the fall, but that is no longer allowed [and the fine for trying is pretty HUGE!].


IMG_0248There were a few more stops…I just had to see everything. So many stops that we made it to 17-Mile drive at dusk! We did it anyway!

IMG_0365Then, off to dinner…a clean hotel room outside Monterey…and a good night’s sleep. It was off to Yosemite and lots of hiking the next day!




The goal was the top of Half Dome! We did a total of 17ish miles roundtrip but never made it to the top. The husband [who did not train at all for this hike and thought he was invincible] got heat stroke and we had to turn around. After he rested [slept on a large rock] for a few hours, we headed back to camp. I was disappointed, but glad we did not need helicopter rescue and happy that he was ok! I will go back and do it again someday…but I will tell you [that even though I trained for a year] it was the most brutal hike I have ever done!

IMG_0588This is the last shot I took that day before heading down the mountain. This was my proof for how close I did get to conquering Half Dome. See those little specks…those are the people going up the side on their way to the top! I was supposed to be one of those specks!

There is so much more to share from our time in California, but these were the few days that were my favorite.

Make sure to check out the other stories over at iheartfaces. Some lucky travelers have been to some amazing and exotic places!

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Lena said...

WOW, those are some incredible views!
You are my personal hero today for making all those climbs. Just last night we had to walk up 11 flights of stairs and I was literally crawling for the last few lol. Can't imagine trekking 17 miles in one day.
Thank you for doing all the hard work so we can look at the amazing photos!

Linds said...

these are awesome! Maybe if I show these to my DH he'll take me to California :)

Kimberly said...

Oh my heck! I would have been right there with your hubby laying on the rock. :) Such beautiful photos your travels took you to find!

The Kloeppings said...

Aw....those are some of my most favorite places in Cali! We did the PCH from SF to Santa Barbara and back and had the most amazing time! And there's a place I could get lost (and have!).

Great shots!! That last one of the ropes on Half Dome is great. We actually did get to climb those and about half way up DH froze up and refused to move forward. We had line of folks and I had to promise him all kinds of things to get him to move again.

Thanks for sharing them!

Becky said...

Completely AMAZING photos!!!

Kerry said...

Great photos! I didn't have many romantic spots either - we're more get up and go travellers than taking a romantic relaxing holiday - there's just so much to see and experience when you get to a new destination!

Sugar Mama said...

I have been to San Fran several times but never southern California. I would really love to go someday... and hiking is my favorite!