Salinas San Francisco Pebble Beach Soledad & Big Sur

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I recently spent 8 days over the Thanksgiving holiday with my family in Salinas California. It was a refreshing departure from the wet and cold of Washington State. My aunt and uncle were excellent hosts and I had quite an adventure. Here is a small update. Earlier I had omitted the series from Salinas. Their are some really cool buildings around the John Steinbeck Center downtown. All and all the town has the ambiance of America 20 or 30 years ago.

 

We took a day trip up to San Francisco on Nov 26th the day after Black Friday. Me, my aunt Becky and cousin Katie. Traffic was a mess but we had a great time. We visited the district around Union Square. I was suddenly very excited as this is where the opening scenes of one of my favorite films, Gene Hackmen’s The Conversation take place. If you haven’t seen it please do. It is a great film, complex, subtle, yet the message is clear. I don’t think they make films like that anymore. We took a quick drive through Fishermen’s Wharf then made a stop to see some tall ships and brave souls taking a late November swim. We finally made it to the park overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge just in time to capture some dazzling images in the twilight. I’m so glad my family puts up with me and my camera.

 

 

 

 

My aunt Becky is a hostess at The Tap Room at The Lodge at Pebble Beach. If you are in the area do stop in. The hamburger with cheese and bacon was the best ever. I promise a week of nothing but carrot juice! Later I toured 17 Mile Drive snapping lots of pics and shooting a bunch of HD Video, what for I am not yet sure. Amazing sites along the drive included The Lone Cypress, Spanish Bay, Fanshell Overlook and Point Joe. Photos of these can be seen in the gallery below. I took some interesting time laps shots of the stormy sea and had some fun with the effects in Lightroom.

 

 

 

Me and my Uncle Bobby visited the Corral De Tierra Golf & Country Club. The next day we took a trip to the Monterey County wine district. We started out near Soledad California at the Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad. Not for the communion wine but for a taste of the local history. The Mission was founded in the 1700’s when California was still the property of the Spanish crown. At some point in time the area became the property of the United States. It is a very charming and well kept establishment. Our 1st wine stop was Paraiso Vineyards One of two wineries that have lovely views of the valley below. As Bobby tells it much of the wine that sells in Napa Valley actually comes from Monterey County. Our next stop was the Hahn Estates also with a view, Wrath Wines, with a view of the haunted house you can see in my gallery, Manzoni and finally Pessagno. After several trips to the tasting rooms of the various wineries I realized that it was all good. And indeed it was. The wine tasting fee was small and waived if a purchase was made.

 

 

 

Before I left I made it down to Big Sur. My mother tells me that as a young child I stayed at Esalon for a time. Perhaps this is why everyone tells me that I seem so enlightened. I stopped in at Cafe Kevah at the Napenthe Restaurant. My hostess must have given me two ounces of jasmine green tea in my tea pot. I do love a good pot of tea. With two visited crows and 50 miles of coast to look at it was a very high tea indeed. I only had time for a quick stop at Pfeiffer Beach. Amazingly the sea has made two tunnels in the massive stone which protects the beach. Which do you think will win the sea or the stone? I had a glimpse of the future when the local gas station charged me $5.69 for a gallon of regular. My fault for not gassing up sooner. On the way home I rescued a small teddy bear near the Big Sur lighthouse. It was dirty and had no legs but was otherwise a charmer. I propped him up in a tree looking out at the lighthouse. Hopefully he will be there for some time to come.

 

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Hopefully you also enjoyed taking a look at my galleries as well. Those interested in my motion and video can view my film, motion graphics and TV portfolio here.

Author: Michael

I am a filmmaker & photographer residing in Seattle Washington. My loves include photography, film, theater & the outdoor activities. I am available to meet your filmmaking & photographic needs for both creative and industrial applications.