Quick Get-Away to the Coast

A four day weekend presented itself last week, and my husband suggested a trip to the coast. Libby visited her friends at Carly’s, Alyssa went to her Mom’s and we were left to decide where to go.

Pacific Grove was fully booked, so I looked to Half Moon Bay and booked our accommodations. I last visited Half Moon Bay (HMB) 20 years ago. There we celebrated Joshua and Annie’s wedding on the beach. And exactly 20 years ago we also celebrated my Dad’s 80th birthday. With those two celebrations I did not visit the surrounding area so this would be a new adventure.

Got an early start, and stopped for breakfast in Davis. Solomon’s Deli beckoned us.

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Travel should take about two hours, but unfortunately this was Fleet Week and traffic was tough getting through San Francisco. No problem. David brought along cds of rare Doo-Wops, and we only had to figure out what lane to stay in to pay cash on the Bay Bridge. Seems like other travelers were having the same problem with lane switching going on. We let this stranded car ahead of us, and when we got to to toll we were told the driver had paid for us. Nice!

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Bored with traffic delays so I got out my camera and had some fun with my camera. At home I played around just a bit with Luminar 2018.

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Yerba Buena Island Tunnel

Montara State Beach was the first beach we stopped at.

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Found this rock left in memory

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Single perfect California Poppy

Arriving in HMB we found our hotel, and with nice weather, a balcony overlooking the golf course I sat outside and read.  Currently I am reading Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver. Her words hit the paper beautifully. Drawn in slowly. Hints of a more powerful meaning are quietly dropped. I’m taking my time reading this novel.

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View from our balcony

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A swing and a hit

Explored the Main Street checking out the shops. Used my Fuji x100F for the street shots.

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Main Street in historic Half Moon Bay

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Since 1898. Imagine!

It is obvious that this town is gearing up for the big Pumpkin Festival happening next weekend. Glad we decided to beat the crowds. Plenty of orange happening.

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Sam’s Chowder House was our dining destination. Ordered New England Chowder, and a Lobster Roll to share. Added a glass of wine and Key Lime Pie for dessert. So good!

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Such a great day on the coast. Part 2 – coming soon! Tomorrow I’m off with my friends and camera.

 

San Francisco People Watching

It is summer, and in Fair Oaks that means it is hot. A photography meet-up group planned to meet in Vallejo and travel by ferry into San Francisco. Great escape from the heat, and great way to capture some images with my new Fuji x100f.

The Vallejo Ferry goes to the San Francisco Ferry Building or Pier 41 near Fisherman’s Wharf. The drive is easy, and parking early on this Saturday morning was simple. The parking fee and round-trip ferry ride cost $22.00 (for Seniors). Cheaper than finding parking around the Embarcadero. I like hassle free travel.

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We pass under the Oakland Bay Bridge

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Satisfied with the image

Arrived at the Ferry Building and right away the group scattered. I like to spend the day photographing with a friend, and so Anne and I forged ahead. Preparing for this day I decided that I would focus on little stories or interactions between people. There was no shortage of people out enjoying the day. The San Francisco Ferry Building was getting busy when we arrived just before 10 a.m.

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Artisan Cheese discussion

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An interested by-stander

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Sampling some chocolate

Lighting was tricky, and we decided to head out to walk the Embarcadero. Plan to meet @ Pier 41 for our ferry ride home at 4 pm.

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He shows me what he was eating. Looks yummy.

Families, tourists, and locals crowd the street.

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The little red haired girl caught my friend’s eye. I was interested in how the rest of the family reacted to her getting the attention.

There are lots of ways people travel down the Embarcadero.

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Many tour buses allow for on/off possibilities

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A modern version of a rickshaw

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Go-cart tours stopped in traffic

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Skooter power

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Attention Grabbers from Alcatraz

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Segway tourists take off

My friend and I click away as we walk down the street.

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Spotted this lone man waiting to cross the street

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Having trouble taking everything with him into the restroom

It is about lunch time, and we arrive at Pier 39.

I leave you with the promise to post more from this adventure soon.

Street photography is fun! Where do you go when you want to capture your images?

 

 

 

 

 

Continuing up the California Coast

Leaving the Elephant Seal Rookery we drive up the coast until we reach the Big Sur closure. After massive storms in March 2017 Hwy 1 was cut off  between Cambria and Big Sur.  Big construction trucks pass us going south on Highway 1. Cal Trans has been busy working to reconnect north and south. I spoke to this employee and work is ahead of schedule. Opening may be in July.

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She is here to open the gates for the construction trucks

Heading back to Cambria we stop and admire the foggy coastline.

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Thick fog yet it was not cold or windy.

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Graffiti boulder. I loved the colors and thought it worth a photo.

We happen upon another gem. And again, no parking fees. Yeah.

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Took one look and decided that I would heed the warning.

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Narrow uneven steps

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Braver and younger take the trail to the beach.

 

This public art points at Big Sur.

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A pretty garden path leads to a nice restaurant.

 

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Pride of Madeira

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Bougainvillea in my favorite color

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Right outside the restaurant this bird was enjoying a dip.

Such a nice day exploring the Central California coastline. Quiet, no hassle, get away from the noise kind of day I needed.

Nature and my camera (Part 2)

Sacramento is located 2 hours from the Northern coast, and during the hot summer days this is a welcome relief. This location takes a bit longer (about 5-6 hours). The central and northern coastal beaches are beautiful, rugged and cool.

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The fog is dense. Feels like cool misty rain.

We drive north  on Highway 1 from Cambria, and about 4-5 miles north of Hearst Castle and come to Piedras Blancas Rookery.  This is a most amazing place.

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Elephant seal line the shore, take over the beach.

The seals started coming to this beach in 1992 when one pup was born. In 2016 5300 were born. There are always some seals here, and we arrive at a time when the seals are molting. Shedding and growing a new skin layer. When at the rookery the animals fast, and they conserve their energy. No eating or drinking at the Rookery.

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Different colors represent molting stages

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“Make way. I’m coming through!”

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“Don’t mind me. Just out for a stroll!”

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Young juvenile males sparring on the beach. 

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Sparring at the shoreline the juveniles are playing. This time it is not serious. 

 

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Males sparring in the ocean

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Time to cover up.

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I’ll just quietly make my way down the beach.

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Do you mind if I get some sand on you?

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Love the way I captured the sand motion.

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A docent from Friends of the Elephant Seals provides information. Docents train for 20 hours and commit to 4 three hour shifts a month.

Male elephant seals develop their distinctive nose (Proboscis) after they mature at 5 years. The nose is part of their status during the breeding season.

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At peace. 

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Able to get a good view from a safe distance. I am using a 150mm lens. Equivalent to 300mm since this is my Olympus OMD E5 camera. Pictures are not cropped.

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All quiet on the Central Coast of California

One of the best parts of this experience is that there is no fee. Plenty of parking, easy access, wheelchair accessible,  knowledgeable guides, no reservations, and the ability to safely watch these magnificent animals. WOW!!!

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Amazing place. Elephant Seal Rookery now covers two beaches. Docent will point out best spot if they see you are a photographer!

For more information follow my links provided above. You can even watch the elephant seals be web cam.