All my life my mom was trying to drag me and my dad on a trip to Hearst Castle, and we always told her no. I probably wouldn't have appreciated it anyways in my younger years. However, before I moved to Hong Kong for work, I took a trip with my parents, and we finally made that trip to Hearst Castle. It was quite exquisite and incredible. I can't believe how much money this man must have had. I can't even fathom it. There are so many gardens, pools, rooms, and cottages on the premise. My mom actually did all four tours; which is way too much, but it was definitely a beautiful and rare place. It was rather impressive to see all the things Hearst had collected from around the world, and you could definitely see his world travels in his architecture and home furnishings. It was nice to see the world/home of another great world traveler, especially one in the era that he lived, even...
My mom and I went out on a whale watching charter boat early in the morning and saw so many whales! It wasn't very much money either. The water wasn't too choppy, so we had really good luck and saw a dozen whales. I was lucky enough to capture this picture of two whales fluking at the same time. Monterey is a great place for whale watching. We saw them in June, but not every season is so good for whale watching.
These zebras on the San Simeon ranch are the remains of Hearst's last herd of zebra, some of the many exotic animals Hearst once had on his lavish estate. It was so cool to see zebras roaming about on the California coast. You can also see giant elephant seals on the beach in San Simeon.
It was so beautiful to canoe the Sacramento river with my dad in the summer morning. We began at dark and finished by lunch. There are so many different beautiful waterfowl out there!
My mom had a garden tour book of Carmel. It sounded kind of silly, but Carmel has some very interesting gardens and fairytale/storybook houses, as well as other interesting architecture and the houses of other famous people such as Charlie Chaplin, Robinson Jeffers, etc.
The day after Chinese New Years in one of the historic alleys of China Town in SF... The red paper remains of fire crackers are everywhere! Red is good luck in Chinese culture....Chinatown in SF is primarily Cantonese...
If you want the best least crowded view of the Golden Gate, drive out near the old military base.....and hopefully the weather will be clear for a great picture like this!
If you have time just walk around Golden Gate Park. It's a great way to spend the weekend in SF, and there are so many great trails!
I went on a trip with my parents on the California coast for a week before I moved to Hong Kong. Although I grew up in California, I had been gone for long frequent periods of time in various places around the world, one of them being Turkiye. Therefore, I was quite shocked when I saw the large blue evil eye (nazar) and Turkish rugs on a small side street of the very yuppy Carmel. I quickly walked that way, dragging my anne (mom) to see if the person selling rugs was a Turk or not. To my delight, he was. After talking to him I learned that Carmel has a small area of Turkish boutiques. I went there with my parents to check it out. Of course they were selling things more than 10x's too much, so I didn't buy anything, but it was delightful to see this hidden corner of Turkiye in little Carmel. It reminded me of a small corner of the grand Bazzaar in Istanbul....
This picture really...
This view is so gorgeous; it looks unreal. My mom saw this spot near the highway in Big Sur and we pulled over. If you ever have the chance, take the scenic route and drive the California coast line!
My dad took my mom and I on a drive to Anthony Peak, near Chico, CA to see the stars and sunset one evening before I moved to Hong Kong. The view was breathtaking.
So I went to high school in Chico, so this isn't exactly a trip for me, but it had been so long and rare since I had been home, so in a way it was. Before I moved to Hong Kong I made sure to hit up all my favorite places, and I'm glad I did because it turns out macaroons are so expensive here!
Growing up I wasn't a big fan of Chico, but it has some really nice hidden cafes, as well as art...and of course beer!
If you're ever in Northern California go to Tin Roof bakery for the maccaroons and other desserts. So worth your while!
So this is my favorite cafe back home. They have this delicious chamomile tea with frothed milk and honey. The drink is called bowl of soul, and the cafe "The Naked Lounge." ...or as locals and pretentious people call it, "The Naked." It is so much deliciousness! It's very relaxing, and the cafe has a great atmosphere with very interesting local art.
If you want a really great view of SF and like seeing socialist propoganda, Coit tower in SF is the place for you! Other great views of the city include the view from the top of the DeYoung Museum of Art (in Golden Gate Park) tower. It's totally free too---just walk past admission at the DeYoung and take the elevator to the top. Spectacular view! ....also, if you are in SF try taking some of the hidden trails. They are amazing! You can buy a book with the hidden stairway trails or find it online. Another great place for socialist propoganda artwork are the murals in the beach shalet in Golden Gate Park.
Ok, Chinatown isn't exactly Hong Kong, but they have some pretty nice dimsum in SF Chinatown, if you go to the right places. Also, the eats are cheap, so if you like dimsum, or if you've never had it, be sure to try it in SF Chinatown, the biggest Chinatown in the world outside of China!