California Adventure

We just returned to the heat of Phoenix from the cool temps of California. I have always wanted to travel up the coast on Route 1 and be a part of the magnificent beauty that the coastline has to offer.

We started in San Marcos where we stayed with friends for three days, spent a night in Hermosa Beach and a day a night with our niece and family in Santa Barbara.

Further up the road near San Simeon we made the discovery of Piedras Blancas Beach where the elephant seals hang out.  This was incredible!  In July the males swim from Alaska and stay here for over a month to shed their skin.  Some of them can weigh over 5,000 pounds!  You can read all about it Here.
We spent a night in Pismo Beach where the motels offer exceptional views.  This was sunset viewed from our room!

I love seagulls and they were plentiful along with pelicans.  It was offspring time so we saw lots of seagull babies.  When I see these beautiful birds it always brings back the memory of the movie "Johnathan Livingston Seagull. There wasn't a human being in the entire show and all the music was provided by Neil Diamond.

We spent all morning taking photos of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco from different sites.  It was foggy, cold, and windy, but we loved the time spent there.  The afternoon was an enjoyable experience at the Fisherman's Wharf.  I don't think I ever saw so many people in one place in my life.  Visitors from all over the world!

The day before we visited Monterrey Bay and had lunch at the Pebble Beach Country Club.  That was unique as only a couple of weeks previous it was the sight of the U.S. Open Golf Tournament. We spent a day in Napa Valley visiting wineries and enjoying the the sights of all the vineyards.

Next stop was Lake Tahoe where we took the time to drive around the entire lake, which took over 5 hours.  Wonderful small villages along the way and beautiful sights!  We also spent the night there.

Our last major stop was Yosemite National Park.  We were lucky enough to get this morning shot before the wind rippled the water and spoiled the reflection.  This may have been my favorite photo from the entire trip.

On our way back home we stopped for gas in Needles, California where the temperature was 122. Now that's hot!  It was a cool 114 when we arrived back in Phoenix.  Being semi-retired is nice because we can take off a lot in this terrifically hot weather.

This two week vacation was fantastic and consider ourselves very blessed for the experience.  I hope this summer is special for you!

You may click on the photos above for a larger view and I will be posting more pictures on my Photo Site, mostly in the "Misc Outdoor Shots" Gallery.