San Francisco, California

“If you’re alive, you can’t be bored in San Francisco. If you’re not alive, San Francisco will bring you to life.” -Mark Twain.

If you follow me on Facebook and/or Instagram you may have seen all of the photos I was posting from our trip to San Francisco. I apologize for blowing up your feed with all of my California pictures! This blog post won’t be any different! Lol! 😛 I have so many photos to share with you all!

I’m SO HAPPY I took my camera. Many times when we go on vacations, I have this urge to leave my camera at home, because I don’t want to feel like I’m ‘working’. I also don’t want the responsibility of taking care of my work camera & lenses, etc. This time I took our back up Nikon D610 and wasn’t so terribly paranoid about something happening to it, (you can imagine how I felt flying internationally a few months back, with thousands of dollars of equipment, talk about anxiety!!!). We also took two lenses, my 50 mm & my ‘big daddy’ lens the Nikon 14-24mm, this one was so heavy to carry around, but Ivan insisted that we take it & I’m so glad I listened, because we sure did use it a lot!

It was my first time visiting California, I mean hello, where have I been!? I have many friends who moved to Texas from California & my question to all of them is WHY!? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT!? Lol.

I also don’t feel bad for California photographers AT ALL, because every where you turn, there is beauty. I mean, you have fog, mountains, the beach, snow in some areas, greenery, gorgeous trees, I can go on & on. & when I spoke to Cali. Photogs, they would agree with me & say, “oh yes, we are so hashtag blessed!” Kidding, they wouldn’t say that, but they did agree!

I really didn’t know what to expect from San Francisco, but I knew when we booked our trip, that I would love it there. I kept telling Ivan, “I think I’m really going to like it there, I feel like I belong there!” It’s hard to explain. Every person we came across & spoke to, incredibly friendly! Every where you turn, there is something to see and somewhere yummy to eat.

This trip was one of those trips that was not planned at all! A couple of months ago, I had applied to take a class by my FAVORITE wedding photographer, Jasmine Star! I had to fill out an actual application, had to enter my website, tell them a little about myself, tell them why I wanted to take this class & how I thought it would help me/my business. I NEVER would have thought I would have been picked. Never in a million years. Out of all of the applicants, what are the chances this chickaroo from San Antonio, Texas would have been picked!? Lol. I remember thinking- “well, why not?” What are the chances I would get picked? When Ivan got home that evening from work, I said, “Hey babe, sooo I applied to this Creative Live class that Jasmine Star is hosting. Oh & it’s in San Francisco!” Ivan, “Oh, that’s great!” Me: “Yea, but you know, I’m sure a lot of photographers are applying for this opportunity, so what are the chances.”

….

Well, a few months later, there is the email from the CreativeLive team- with CONGRATULATIONS in the subject line!!!

I pretty much had a heart attack & scared Ivan to death! Lol! So, next thing you know, we are heading to San Francisco!

(More on my CreativeLive experience in a later blog post, because there is so much more to talk about!)

So here we go! Our flight left at 5:30 am (I KNOW!) I couldn’t even sleep the night before, I was so excited! We ended up waking up at 3:30 am, to get to the airport on time. We got into San Francisco at 9:30 am & we rented a car for our trip. We had heard from some friends that we really needed a car and others that said we really didn’t. We decided to rent a car, because Ivan wanted to take us to surrounding towns & I’m really glad we did, because we went to A LOT of places! If you are heading to SF, it really depends on what you want to do, surrounding towns are not too far from SF at all & Napa Valley is just an hour & a half away, more or less! I even felt comfortable driving around SF. I thought it would be a lot like NYC driving, so that made me nervous, but it was actually not stressful at all. I def. recommend getting a car if you want to go outside of the actual city.

First stop was Berlingame, a cute little town that reminded me a lot of Alamo Heights actually, but bigger! My husband used to live there with his family for about a year, before he moved to Brooklyn, NY. So that was a lot of fun to see his old house & the J.Crew he used to work at when he was 19 years old. While we were there, we were starving (& I’m not gonna lie, I was getting hangry) so we headed to Crepeville. They are known for their awesome crepes, but they also had sandwiches, salads. So good! Afterwards we went to Peet’s Coffee & Tea, great little place!

Then we headed to Half Moon Bay & Pascadero.

We were driving for a while, on these curvy roads, when we pulled into this State Park to visit the Red Wood trees! I have never seen trees like this before. They were so beautiful! I could have spent hours & hours there! Makes you appreciate God’s creation so much!

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I was in my happy place…

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This fallen tree made us feel so tiny! It was incredible!

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Next stop, Pescadero Beach.

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Next, we headed to Moss Beach, where we encountered the prettiest forrest! These trees were seriously amazing! Looked like an enchanted forrest!

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It started raining, but that didn’t keep us from exploring!

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Rain drops on my lens, ha!

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SEA LIONS! I was so excited to see the Sea Lions in their natural environment. Made me SO HAPPY!

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Off to Pacifica…

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Next stop, another beautiful State Park to see the Golden Gate Bridge from afar. So pretty!

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On Thursday, I was attending the class taught by Jasmine Star & I was gone all day, from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm. So, Ivan did some exploring on his own! We met up after the class for dinner with new photog friends.

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Another awesome day to explore! We stayed at The Hotel California on Geary St. We LOVED it! It was a boutique hotel in a building that was built in the 1900’s. They serve upside down pineapple cupcakes in the afternoon, I mean, really!? That’s kinda what sold me. Lol! 😛

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This was our touristy day & we had A LOT to see!

First stop, we crossed the bridge & hoped to catch a glimpse of the red beauty.

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That fog was incredible!

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All along the sides of the Gold Gate Bridge, there are parks for you to see the Bridge differently. We went to all of them! Lol!

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Off to Sausalito! I fell in love with this little town. So pretty!

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Then we came across the sweetest pup, he was off leash with his owner & came right up to us. He was loving the cuddles.

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When you vacation as a couple, you gotta find ways to take photos together when no one is around to take it. Lol! My camera was balancing on a rock here!

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Palace of Fine Arts! I had always seen photos of this beautiful place, but in person it is GORGEOUS!

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Lombard Street, such a cool place.

Seriously though, I feel so bad for everyone who lives in the houses on that street, because the amount of tourists is crazy!

You would see home owners coming out of their homes in their PJ’s to get their mail, or sitting on their stoop drinking coffee, I mean, can you imagine? Thousands and thousands of people that are right outside of your home every single day. Gotta be annoying, right? Or maybe they are people watchers and they love it! Lol!

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Lunch at Fishermans Wharf! Where we had the Clam Chowder at The Franciscan, SO GOOD!

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California Sea Lions on Pier 39! A must see!

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I kinda NEEDED to stop at Ghirardelli for a hot fudge sundae  & it was so delicious! Ivan asked, “should we share?” … “NO WAY! I want my own!” We ate our sundaes in front of the ocean & took a little nap while we were there too.

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Of course, we had to visit The Painted Ladies!

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How cute!!!

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Full House anyone? I used to watch Full House ALL THE TIME when I would get out of school, it was the BEST!

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Since we had pretty much gone to all the touristy spots on Friday, on Saturday we decided to take a day trip to Napa Valley! It was everything I had imagined + more!

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Breakfast at Andaz Farmer’s Table.

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First stop on our wine tour, Beringer!

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Next stop, Castello di Amorosa. Incredible!

2015-06-18_00652015-06-18_0064 Then we headed to The Sterling Vineyards!
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This was probably our favorite stop …

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Our last day, we drove around, took pretty pictures, and ate A LOT of good food!

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We looked all over, until finally, we found Bakers Beach! It was SO COLD, but we were so happy to be there! 😀

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Coit Tower!

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Our trip was incredible, such an awesome experience that I will never forget! & I’m so happy I was able to share these memories with my love Ivan. & I can’t wait to go back!!!

Sweet comments make me happy.

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