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Posts Tagged ‘california’

vacation pictures!

And only about 1/4 of them!

inspiration point, emerald bay

I am only on day two, have not even begun to write the blog post that I want to about this strip. The pictures I uploaded so far are here. There are descriptions and stories and what not, should you be interested.

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home

home.

That was what you would call a whirlwind vacation. We packed so much into seven days (five, really – I don’t count flying days) that we came exhausted and glad to have three days to recover before we head back to work.

Sacramento, Lincoln, North Lake Tahoe, Tahoe-Donner, Truckee, Tahoe City, South Lake Tahoe, Zephyr Cove, Lincoln, Old Sac, Fair Oaks, Sacramento again -with stops in Minnesota an Atlanta. Lots of miles, one tram ride up the mountains of Squaw valley, one birthday boat ride around Emerald Bay, a ridiculous amount of food, lots of walking, train museum, beaches and mountains, a tour of Todd’s childhood haunts, vegetarian burgers, roosters in the road, deer in the yard, one tattoo session, hanging out with old friends, time with Todd’s parents, 1,000 photos, intense heat and whole lot of fun. And somewhere in there I read a book and started another.

I have a day’s worth of photo processing/uploading ahead, news to catch up, unpacking to do…I hope to have most of the pictures up on flickr tonight and a recap of the vacation here. I think the only thing worse than forcing someone to look at vacation slides is asking people to read your blog about your vacation. But I will do it, anyhow.

Oh, we never did get to the State Fair. Eating deep fried White Castle burgers was not a good enough reason to brave the crowds and heat.

Stay tuned for pictures.

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the send off

the send off
[taken at Todd’s parents’ house in Lincoln]

The last shot I took on our trip. The clouds came rolling in that morning and it was raining on our way to the airport. The sun smiled on us the whole time we were there and started pouting just as we were about to leave.

As one of our cable car conductors in SF said to us: “California is a jealous state. She doesn’t like when you leave.”

As someone kind of famous for something once said… I’ll be back.

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you'll be there when i die, tattoo (365-81)

Day 81 of 365: a year in songs and photos

Song: The Who, Tattoo

(this is a pretty clever song by the Who, if you’ve never heard it)

This was….the second to last day of our trip. As mentioned in the other photos from this day, we spent five plus hours in the tattoo shop (Legacy Ink Tattoo, 21st Street, Sacramento) while Todd’s best friend Nelson worked on his arm. Their friend Dustin stopped by for a while and hanging out with them was a good way to wind down our trip. We had been walking around so much that it was nice to just kick back.

Dustin and Nelson are Todd’s friends from AA (along with Nelson’s girlfriend Lorraine) and they are a kick ass bunch of people. They’re part of the reason I can’t wait to go back to Sacramento this summer.

I think I’m done uploading for today. I still have a ton of Sacramento pics and almost all of the San Francisco pics to put up. But I think I should think about unpacking…

Or maybe doing one more 365 photo..

I put a shit ton of pics up at flickr today. You know how much a shit ton is? It’s.. a lot.

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you'll be there when i die, tattoo (365-81)

Day 81 of 365: a year in songs and photos

Song: The Who, Tattoo

(this is a pretty clever song by the Who, if you’ve never heard it)

This was….the second to last day of our trip. As mentioned in the other photos from this day, we spent five plus hours in the tattoo shop (Legacy Ink Tattoo, 21st Street, Sacramento) while Todd’s best friend Nelson worked on his arm. Their friend Dustin stopped by for a while and hanging out with them was a good way to wind down our trip. We had been walking around so much that it was nice to just kick back.

Dustin and Nelson are Todd’s friends from AA (along with Nelson’s girlfriend Lorraine) and they are a kick ass bunch of people. They’re part of the reason I can’t wait to go back to Sacramento this summer.

I think I’m done uploading for today. I still have a ton of Sacramento pics and almost all of the San Francisco pics to put up. But I think I should think about unpacking…

Or maybe doing one more 365 photo..

I put a shit ton of pics up at flickr today. You know how much a shit ton is? It’s.. a lot.

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the people, the places, the weather, the faces

Day 82 of 365: a year in songs and photos

Song: Vandals, Rico

I’m working backwards here. I’ll fill in all the days eventually, but I wanted to get started with this one first.

I’m sitting here in a freezing cold New York, drinking my Peet’s coffee and going through my pictures from California and I miss that state in a way that’s almost like homesickness. Can you be homesick for a place you’ve only visited?

I fell in love with California, particularly Sacramento. This is my love letter to that city.

It’s a warm, welcoming place that made me feel at home whether I was in the agricultural outskirts or walking the streets of midtown. There’s a pace, a vibe in that city that I’ve never felt in Manhattan. Where New York City is claustrophobic and grimy, Sacramento is wide open and clean. Not clean in a scrub-washed kind of way, more like bright and airy. It doesn’t make me feel like I need a shower when I leave it. Even the parts of the city that are not so nice to live in are still pretty nice to look at.

It’s a colorful place, splattered with art and neon signs and houses dressed in pinks and blues and yellows. Bars and clubs and restaurants dot every street, yet it always feels residential. Maybe it’s the abundance of trees, maybe it’s the way everything is so spread out instead of built upwards. Maybe it’s the laid-back feel of the people. There’s no hustle, bustle, get out of my way or get knocked down feel like there is in New York. There’s no angry, horn blaring gridlock. There’s a softness to Sacramento that embraces you. From the coffee houses to the record stores to the tattoo parlors, from the Farmer’s Market to the greasy spoons, from J Street to Del Paso Blvd., no place seems foreboding or unwelcoming.

We explored every part of Sacramento. I saw all 15 or so places Todd lived, so every bar he drank in and club he played in and every corner he puked on. We drove through towns on the outskirts and within the city, other places he lived like Arden and Fair Oaks. We walked through Old Sacramento and strolled through Old City Cemetery, we hung out with his friends, ate a lot, walked a lot. I had the best guided tour of Sacramento anyone could want.

We did hit other parts of the state, which I’ll write about later, with photos. We spent a day in San Francisco, stopped briefly in Berkeley and spent a lot of time at Todd’s parent’s home in Lincoln, a sprawling land of planned developments where the streets have golf cart lanes. But my favorite part of the trip was the time spent in Sacramento.

We had already made plans to move to California when both the kids are out of high school. I’m sick of New York winters, I’m tired of suburbia and I want to live somewhere in my lifetime besides Long Island.

Three years and counting, and I’ll call Sacramento home. When you are longing for a place you’ve never lived in, when you spend five days in a city and feel like it’s calling you back, you know that place is for you.

The sun and the air
The mountains and sea
Streams and palm trees

The valleys…
The canyons…
The mountains…
The beaches…

That’s for me.

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california, here we come

Day 76 of A year in songs and photos

Song: Phantom Planet, California

I figured I’d get this last post up here now, as I’ll be pretty busy after work today getting ready and we have to drop the pup off at my cousin’s tonight (goodbyes are so hard!). We leave at 6am tomorrow for the airport.

How obsessive am I about things? I packed a memo pad and pen in my camera bag so I can take notes each day on what photos I may use for the 365 project when I get back. Obviously, I won’t be posting when I’m away, but when I return I’m going to have to make up for the missed days and post almost a week’s worth at once.

It’s not too late to enter my How Many Photos Will Michele Take in California contest!

See you next week!

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won't quit til i hit california

Day 75 of 365: a year in songs and photos

Song: Atmosphere, Trying To Find A Balance

I’m finally packing. I like to save everything for the last minute. In less than 48 hours, I will be in California.

This is my first ‘real’ vacation. Well, my first vacation that won’t include having breakfast with Winnie the Pooh. I know, I’ve lived a sheltered life. Hell, this is my first time going anywhere off the east coast!
Travel wasn’t always on my agenda because I hate flying. But your fears are easier to face when you have someone holding your hand through them.

A couple of people here and there asked why the hell I am going to Sacramento. Mostly, because Todd’s parents are there and the main point of this trip is to see them.

While Todd spent a lot of his younger years in Fresno, he considers Sacramento his home town. It’s where he lived during his teenage years (when he lived at home), where he played in a local punk band, where he came home to after months on the road, and where he ended up after he left those days behind and tried to move on with his life.

It’s also where he was living when we first met (“met” in internet terms). Our relationship was long distance for a long time (there’s only so many trips you can make to NY while trying to save money to move to NY) and as such, we spent an awful lot of time on the phone. We navigated the time difference in clumsy fashion; while I was wrapping my night up, he was going out to get some dinner. So I’d be on the phone with him while he drove through Sacramento, going to various fast food places, running errands, going to meetings, meeting up with friends. I “rode” with him from place to place as talked and he mentioned landmarks and favorite places and I made a mental map of his Sacramento, knowing that I’d be there some day. So when I get there, it won’t be just some capital city of a huge state I’ll be visiting; I’ll be looking at places I came to know through our phone rides – Del Taco and Safeway, Fair Oaks Blvd and Howe Avenue and US50 – they are sentimental landmarks to me, odd as that may be to you. I’m sure no one visits California with the intention of sight seeing a Del Taco. No one but me. My sentimentality is my undoing sometimes.

I’m also looking forward to visiting all his old haunts in Sacramento and San Francisco; for every story he has from his wild days, there’s a dot on the map that corresponds with it. Places like Lil Joe’s and the Round Corner and Gilman….all places I’ll just stop and take a shot of and move on, marking them in my little mental scrapbook of Todd’s life so I have a visual to go with the audio when we sit in a diner on Long Island on a Saturday morning and he tells me more California stories.

That’s why Sacramento is interesting to me. And just a small part of why I’m looking so forward to this trip. The personal sight seeing, the picture taking…those are awesome things. But they pale in comparison to actually getting away from everything – work, cooking, cleaning, the kids (anyone who has teenagers will understand that), the day to day humdrum of life, of being in a place I’ve ALWAYS been in, a place I’ve barely left in my 45 years…to just be far away in what seems like another world to someone so landlocked in their hometown, and to do it with my best friend….yea, I’m looking forward to this.

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won't quit til i hit california

Day 75 of 365: a year in songs and photos

Song: Atmosphere, Trying To Find A Balance

I’m finally packing. I like to save everything for the last minute. In less than 48 hours, I will be in California.

This is my first ‘real’ vacation. Well, my first vacation that won’t include having breakfast with Winnie the Pooh. I know, I’ve lived a sheltered life. Hell, this is my first time going anywhere off the east coast!
Travel wasn’t always on my agenda because I hate flying. But your fears are easier to face when you have someone holding your hand through them.

A couple of people here and there asked why the hell I am going to Sacramento. Mostly, because Todd’s parents are there and the main point of this trip is to see them.

While Todd spent a lot of his younger years in Fresno, he considers Sacramento his home town. It’s where he lived during his teenage years (when he lived at home), where he played in a local punk band, where he came home to after months on the road, and where he ended up after he left those days behind and tried to move on with his life.

It’s also where he was living when we first met (“met” in internet terms). Our relationship was long distance for a long time (there’s only so many trips you can make to NY while trying to save money to move to NY) and as such, we spent an awful lot of time on the phone. We navigated the time difference in clumsy fashion; while I was wrapping my night up, he was going out to get some dinner. So I’d be on the phone with him while he drove through Sacramento, going to various fast food places, running errands, going to meetings, meeting up with friends. I “rode” with him from place to place as talked and he mentioned landmarks and favorite places and I made a mental map of his Sacramento, knowing that I’d be there some day. So when I get there, it won’t be just some capital city of a huge state I’ll be visiting; I’ll be looking at places I came to know through our phone rides – Del Taco and Safeway, Fair Oaks Blvd and Howe Avenue and US50 – they are sentimental landmarks to me, odd as that may be to you. I’m sure no one visits California with the intention of sight seeing a Del Taco. No one but me. My sentimentality is my undoing sometimes.

I’m also looking forward to visiting all his old haunts in Sacramento and San Francisco; for every story he has from his wild days, there’s a dot on the map that corresponds with it. Places like Lil Joe’s and the Round Corner and Gilman….all places I’ll just stop and take a shot of and move on, marking them in my little mental scrapbook of Todd’s life so I have a visual to go with the audio when we sit in a diner on Long Island on a Saturday morning and he tells me more California stories.

That’s why Sacramento is interesting to me. And just a small part of why I’m looking so forward to this trip. The personal sight seeing, the picture taking…those are awesome things. But they pale in comparison to actually getting away from everything – work, cooking, cleaning, the kids (anyone who has teenagers will understand that), the day to day humdrum of life, of being in a place I’ve ALWAYS been in, a place I’ve barely left in my 45 years…to just be far away in what seems like another world to someone so landlocked in their hometown, and to do it with my best friend….yea, I’m looking forward to this.

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CONTEST! WIN FABULOUS PRIZES! (updated)

a contest! win a fabulous prize!

Here’s the deal. I got to talking with Todd about how many photos I will take while in California. Considering I took 714 at ONE hockey game, the amount will be considerable. He suggested a contest. So,here it is.

I’m leaving on the morning of the 16th and coming back on the 22nd. So we’ll say, officially, how many photos I will take on the vacation total, meaning from the time I get on the plane, to the time I get off the plane at JFK on the night of the 22nd.

You can leave your guesses here, I’ll also be doing this on my flickr page. Whoever comes closest without going over (sorry, that’s the Bob Barker in me) wins something. Not sure yet, but whatever it is, it will be brought back from the Land of Infinite Sunshine or whatever you Californians call that place.

Update: Since people have asked, I will be in Sacramento for most of the trip, with one day in San Francisco (no Alcatraz). We are NOT doing the usual touristy things as we are visiting with Todd’s family and friends. But, keep in mind that I never really take photos of the usual stuff. And Sacramento has lots of vintage and neon signs, which I’m a fan of. I’m using a 4 gig card, and I will most likely buy another of those before I leave. I think that’s enough to go on.

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