San Clemente State Beach, CA

It was another beautiful Spring day in Cali today (3/23/17) Ahh yes, my favorite season once again. A slight cool breeze dusted off the sandy cliff sides of San Clemente State Beach and threatened not only my eyes but my amateur friend’s photography skills as well. She tried haha and actually in essence produced a nice effect without meaning to.

Wild flowers are blooming! Painted upon the green grassy hills and mountains are dashes of yellows, purples, pinks and oranges. In full bloom by Carlsbad, all the way up along the 5 freeway and the coast! A great time for that road trip you’ve been putting off as those same small mountains have been dry, brown chaparral for as long as I can remember until this year’s rainfall.

If you happen to be heading up to San Clemente, be sure to stop by the state beach and find its many trails (they have a coast boardwalk trail too!). For food, Pierside Kitchen and Bar off of Avenida Victoria five minutes away; a delicious chic spot to stop for a light bite and some champagne with a view. I ordered the grilled cheese with tomato bisque yummm! It’s Thursday and apparently they do drinking competitions around 2; not sure if it’s every Thursday, but be warned… they’ll move you off the bar! Otherwise it is a very quaint place to enjoy brunch! Still in town? Check out some Nitro Infused Ice cream at Kaylani Coffee & Nitro Infused Ice Cream, really interesting consistency with great flavors and topping choices as well. So go see some nature! Happy Spring! ❤

Yosemite National Park, CA

It’s been many years living in California, never having made the trip to one of our state’s most beautiful national parks; Yosemite. Well, this last weekend (1/1/17-1/3/17) the courage was finally built up to kick off the new year right. Passing through the many desolate valleys and farmlands of California, one begins to wonder if something we’ve never even seen is worth the endless miles of traffic. The image of endless stretches of dusty gray tarmac begins to burn into the backs of one’s retinas with each passing telephone pole. And perhaps this is the main reason it seems like the road to get to a new place takes longer than the return trip; where we’re later fueled by motivation that we get from the desire of reaching the comforts of home. Here there was only heavy reliance on shreds of hope to make it to an unknown Yosemite Cedar Lodge.

But, alas! The surrounding mountains began to give hope of something more, with their snow encrusted peaks rising high into the clouds. The sound of the babbling river at the banks below eased one’s mind along the narrow curving roads. And further into the valley of the park it was snowing! Soft tiny white powders floated down upon a rich mossy green landscape. I can now say, having traveled to many northern parts of Cali, it is definitely a trip worth making! Here is a small glimpse of Yosemite through my eyes…

 

Below pictures taken with a cell phone camera:

 

The greatest fear before embarking on this journey, had been the difficulty of navigating the park and getting lost (especially without any cell signal!). But the park is made to be easily driven through (sticking to the tourist routes; backpacking alone is a different story), scenic landmarks are numerical and maps and visitor information centers are never too far away. Unfortunately, a lot of Yosemite is closed during the winter season (such as restaurants and most roads like the one to get to glacier point, boo) meaning a lot of the park was not seen. I can only imagine even greater beauty when those roads aren’t covered by ice! I will definitely be back for more seasonal photo taking! The hardest part is starting the journey… so get out and go!

2m Autowerks Xmas Toy Drive, Julian

 

This last Saturday (12/17/16) consisted of an adventurous Christmas donation event for Rady’s Children’s Hospital hosted by 2m Autowerks. Many toys were donated at 2m; the initial meetup located off of Commerce Avenue. As steaming coffee was provided along with sweet frosted donuts from Dunkin’s, people gathered in the small lot chattering excitedly about BMW’s and their plans for theirs. It was soon time to Caravan to Julian. Engines roared to life as people hastily rushed to the front of the car line. Having brought the only JDM vehicle (my partner in crime), the 2-4-oh, I made sure to stay towards the rear. We were off! BMW’s blazed through the streets, a few other makes and models coursed through such as a Mustang, Camaro and even a smart car… Here’s a small view of the event through my eyes…

After taking a pause at Dudley’s Bakery where more photography took place and the meeting of new people, the drive ensued through Julian and around Lake Cuyamaca. Spits of ice and snow dotted the brown grasses and rocky cliff sides along the roads as flocks of scavenging turkeys scurried for cover. Luckily it was my slow car that encountered a pair of deer crossing the road as I hurried to catch up with the line of cars who had sped through the same large turn just moments before. The drive ended back in San Diego at Ballast Point Brewery off of Old Grove Road. Once there, a much needed Wahoo White with a Mai Tai shot was happily enjoyed. ‘Twas a successful toy drive with 2m and the chill bimmer crowd this Christmas season! How did you donate this year?

Extreme Auto Fest 2016, Qualcomm

This last Saturday (7/30/2016) was spent on the hot tarmac of Qualcomm’s expansive parking lot. Only a true car enthusiast would tolerate waiting in the ever intensifying heat; a dreary view of a line of cars snaking endlessly ahead. Once past the security check however, the energy buzzes once more as competitors feverishly wipe down their cars before the real sweltering sun hour strikes down. A car show consisting of variety, locals, socializing, vendors, legal racing and awesome rides… Here is a portion of EAF through my eyes:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cars & Coffee: Porsche Day, La Jolla

Today (June 25, 2016) was Cars and Coffee Porsche Day at the Lot in La Jolla. Despite driving down Fay Avenue somewhat out of place in the 240, on lookers gawked; eyes hungrily scanning for even greater uniqueness. Both young and old lined the sidewalk in huddles of bound energy amidst the street parked Porsches. Upon reaching the front of the chic Mediterranean restaurant and outdoor patio, it was apparent that the camera was going to be an issue… Here is just a peak at CnC La Jolla through my eyes  as I sadly made the rookie mistake of not bringing a back up battery!

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There will be another CnC La Jolla next month; I have provided a link to their event page. Look out for their updates! Will definitely be returning for more!http://carsandcoffeelajolla.com/

The Birds and the Butterflies, SD

It was dark. Suddenly the doors were pushed open; bright light instantly flooded the darkness, causing a brief moment of blindness. Pushing past the plastic strip door veils, I was greeted with a stroke of humidity and a flurry of colorful butterflies. This of course, was the butterfly exhibit at the San Diego Safari Park. Having never been, I had decided to make an appearance a few days ago with my best bud (camera) in hand! Here is the butterfly exhibit and my favorite subject… (BIRDS!) through my eyes:

Don’t miss out on this awesome exhibit! The San Diego Safari Park’s butterfly jungle exhibit (next to the lorikeet encounter) is open until April 10th this year (2016). You can purchase butterfly food (a watermelon chunk) for a chance at an even closer encounter. Below is a link for more info, Happy Spring!

http://sdzsafaripark.org/butterflyjungle/

Shipwreck Hunt, Coronado SD

Yesterday ( 2/10/16), was one of those days where you think you’ll be lounging at home on your day off until a coworker spontaneously blows up your communication device with the quest of finding the recently uncovered shipwreck (SS Monte Carlo) off the Coronado Coast. Our adventure began; Starbucks and fat camera in hand, we set off for Coronado. After near run ins with perfect bod runners that seem to litter the sidewalks nearest Hotel Del, we managed to get some directions from a life guard as to the exact whereabouts of the lost ship. About a half-mile down from the Hotel Del we managed to find a crowd and some remnants. The sight itself was a bit disappointing, I’m sure an aerial view or catching it at an even lower tide would have been more impressive as many bikini clad bodies stood upon a geometric formation of what appeared to be stone covered in soft green algae. However; the adventure itself was amazing! Who can go wrong with the imagery and scents of Coronado? One of the many gems of San Diego; here are just a few sights of this sparkling beach town and unearthed history through my eyes:

 

After watching just another beautiful San Diego sunset from the Hotel Del outside bar (Try their Strawberry and Basil Lemonade! [I had the Non-alcoholic version but to each their own] perfect for those hot days) we ended up at a different, really chic and charming bar complete with live music called Leroy’s right next to the famous Mootime Creamery. Two thumbs up if you need ideas for date night! You can’t go wrong with their mac and cheese or try a raspberry muddled cosmo concoction.

Below I’ve included a link for the history on the shipwreck.

http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/El-Nino-Storms-Unearth-1930s-Shipwreck-in-Coronado–366799351.html

Cheers and happy hunting!

 

 

Monterey & Big Sur, CA

On November 4th and 5th the decision to finally make the trip up to Monterey Bay (Yes, including the aquarium!) and Big Sur was kicked into place; I wasn’t going to allow the passing of another Fall and its foliage! It was an amazingly beautiful trip full of vibrant blues, varying shades of green along the coniferous California coast and dotted with splashes of red and orange. Although I failed to see an immense deciduous landscape that was excitedly anticipated; I instead captured just another inconceivable, nature filled adventure to add to the books. This is Monterey and Big Sur (along the 1 highway) through my eyes:

I will be adding many more edited pictures in due time!

If you plan to visit Big Sur and are spontaneously winging it like I did, I highly recommend checking out the book, Photographing Big Sur, by Douglas Steakley. I Found it at the Monterey Bay Aquarium gift shop and it has exact gps coordinates for many awesome places to see while visiting! Happy Adventure Time!

SoCal Euro 2015, Qualcomm Stadium SD

Sunday September 6th was the day of SoCal Euro 2015! A vendor car show designated for enthusiasts of European cars as well as the vendors appealing to these makes and models. There were plenty of bimmers, imports trickled throughout the parking lot… and what most came for; clean exotics that don’t need much else other then their presence… and perhaps a quick rev ear job! Here are some images of SoCal Euro through my eyes:

Extreme AutoFest 2015, Qualcomm Stadium SD

On July 25th, a good 12 hours were spent by many in the baking heat at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium, where an annual car show called Extreme AutoFest was underway. In the early hours, car enthusiasts vigorously wipe and re-clean their prized autos which will be judged for category based trophies. Extreme AutoFest is a car show that includes drag strip races, car part+food vendors, a beer garden, DJ’s from local car crews favoring hip hop as well as a large stage with performers. Here are just a few shots from this year’s Extreme AutoFest Car Show with my car crew; Stanced and Enhanced [S&E]!