Northern California

Sometimes I go places to take photos, and sometimes I take photos at places I go. This is a case of the latter, as in, here are images from one of the many work/pleasure trips I took this summer. We started out in San Francisco, and no trip to San Francisco is complete without a stroll on the pier. Only we weren’t strolling; my youngest daughter and I were hauling ass so she could see the Golden Gate Bridge before sunset (she’d never been to SF.) I kept saying, “The view is right around this next bend,” only to find that I was wrong again. I’ve been to SF several times, but as it turns out, I’m no expert. 

Here's where we ended up; she could actually see the top of the Golden Gate Bridge at one point. If she stood on her tippy toes. And used her vivid imagination.

This is the Vaillancourt Fountain, where Market Street meets the Embarcadero (I love saying “Embarcadero.”) A few fun facts about it: It’s 40 feet tall, pumps 30,000 gallons of water per minute, and there have been several attempts to demolish and replace it because apparently some consider it an eyesore (all such attempts have been unsuccessful.) U2 played a free concert on the plaza in 1987 and Bono defaced the fountain with spray paint. Now he’s hanging out at the U.N. and stuff.

Here are a couple of shots I took at Magowan’s Infinite Mirror Maze on Fisherman’s Wharf. Super cool freaky experience.

I don’t know why I love these — perhaps because they make me think of pinwheels. Remember when pinwheels used to do it for you? In this digital age, pinwheels just don’t seem to rank very high on the kid thrill-scale anymore. When I saw these I just rolled down my window and shot these while we were racing down the highway.

Yosemite. My first time there. It was very hot (100 on the valley floor) and there were way, WAY too many people there. But it was absolutely gorgeous. 

Half Dome.

L: Half Dome; R: Fountain at the Wowona Hotel

Sentinel Beach. While we were there, my husband randomly ran in to a guy he hadn’t seen in years.

Along the hike to Vernal Falls. This was the first hike we did when we got there, and my husband assured me it was an easy climb. And it was, if by easy you mean turn your lungs inside out. I need at least a day to acclimate to higher altitudes. And don’t let the sparseness fool you: those trails were packed with hikers (I had to wait for this shot.)

Sentinel Dome. This was my favorite hike. 

The view from the top.

Random girl resting after the hike. I love the first photo of her in this post.

We took a day and drove to Tuolumne Meadows, and I’m so glad we did. One of my favorite spots in the park.

Soda Springs. Cold, carbonated water bubbling out of the ground. 

This is where we stopped along the side of the road to have our lunch. It was a lovely, impromptu picnic, and there were miles and miles of unpopulated spots like this. The Tuolumne Meadows area was much less crowded than the rest of the park.

I plucked this off of an almond tree and shot it in the car while Craig was pumping gas.