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California Orange Grove

Sometimes the best places to shoot are stumbled upon. This particular weekend Christian and I ventured off in search of some landscapes. I must admit I was more along for the ride than anything but I was excited for whatever was to come.

I think it is always helpful to have an open mind when looking for a great shot or place to shoot because you aren't disappointed for what you don't find and see what is around you as an opportunity rather than a failure. 

Anywho, we ended up passing this orange tree grove on the way to our destination. I had said something about it but decided not to stop. To my benefit we ended up turning around because the snow had prevented us from getting to our planned destination. So we made it back to this grove before the light had set and this time I decided to stop. After all I couldn't stop thinking about it.

I had a blast shooting the last light in here. The only thing I was missing was a model but I enjoyed it either way. Something about the pop of color of fruit and trees that I love. Not only that is was something different to my everyday views.

I was very much pleased with the shots and wanted to share so here are my favorites!

Thank you all for reading, I'll be seeing you... Vroom Vroom!

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Iceland (Day Three)

Day Three: Sunday, October 18th

Our day at the Blue Lagoon

 

The day started later than expected because we decided to sleep off the rest of our jet lag. We woke up about 10am which gave us an hour to get ready to leave by 11am and make it to our appointment by 12pm at the Blue Lagoon. On the way we did make a quick stop at the bakery that we had stopped at on the way into Reykjavik, the bread sounded so good. I’m actually craving it right now also. Anyway, we continued on and arrived right on time. The Blue Lagoon is actually pretty close to the international airport too so if you are traveling it’s a good place to go once you arrive or when you are going to fly out. 

Once we parked we got our stuff and hurried to the doors because let me tell you it is cold, especially when their is some wind. Unfortunately the line was past the doors… or so we thought. I walked in to check how the lines were separated and noticed the line which we needed was the short one next to it. Yay! Thank you premium experience. They do have four different prices depending what you are looking for. With our package (per person) we got a robe, towel, flip-flops, one free drink, a dinner reservation at Lava & a free glass of champagne at the restaurant. While at the Blue Lagoon you get a chipped wrist band to wear which makes it easy to charge extras so you don't have to carry anything with you. It is also used to lock your locker in the changing area.

Once we got all checked in we continued to the locker rooms going our separate ways. Now from here it is easy to find a place to put your things and change into a swimsuit (they have some available for rent just in case you forgot yours). Keep in mind you are supposed to shower before entering the lagoon but they don't make it mandatory. However, all you ladies and men with longer hair they do recommend you put a lot of conditioner in your hair because the silica in the water makes it crispy and a lot harder to manage, which I did notice myself. From the locker rooms they do have entry straight to the lagoon so if you are meeting someone from the opposite gender just plan on meeting there, it’s easy to find one another that way. 

From here we went straight to the outside and hung up our robes and made our way into the water. I was surprised on the temperature especially considering I thought it was supposed to be hotter, don’t get me wrong it was hot just not 90 degrees hot. I then realized as we made our way around, the water temperatures seem to very. Certain areas would adjust more than others but they seem to be consistently letting hotter water in and as it cools the process is repeated. This is nice especially for those people who like warm water compared to hot jacuzzi water.

In a couple spots around the lagoon you can find these cases with buckets of white goo. These are filled with a type of silica face mask which is really good for the skin. You put it on wait for 15 minutes as you enjoy your time and then wash it off. I don't know how many times it is recommended for you however I did it twice throughout the four hours we were wondering around and my face was feeling silky smooth when I was done.

Making our way around we noticed that people had water proof cases on their phones and obviously having to have our phones on us to take pictures it seemed more and more ideal. After asking where to purchase them I made my way to the inside bar and purchased a couple. It was perfect timing because I also needed to go back into the showers to put more conditioner in my hair. (I repeated this process a couple times.) 

As I rushed back into the warm water, I found Christian as he sat waiting for me and we made our way to the pool bar. We decided to get a couple of the yummy strawberry smoothies which we devoured pretty quick. We continued to check out a couple more areas of the lagoon and noticed 16:00 was approaching fast and we needed to get to the waiting area for our massages.

The time had arrived, I was so excited to get this massage. It was unlike any I had had before. We each got a relaxing massage. What they do is lay you on a floaty pad which acts as a bed and they massage you as you float around this private section of the pool. They also use some essential oils. What was really nice was the fact that it started mildly raining a couple times which made it all more relaxing. They also put a wet blanket over you and continuously dip you into the water so you stay warm. 

Once we were done with our pampering we had a half hour to get ready and make our way to the restaurant, Lava. We ended up taking some pictures before returning to the locker rooms to get ready which made us a little later for our reservation. Thankfully they had a lot of open tables since dinner hadn't really kicked in yet which ended up being perfect for us. We got our champagne, a semi-sweet for me and really sweet for Christian. I thought I would splurge a little to continue our day of pampering and got the Chef’s menu including a cod, beef, and desert plate. Christian got a plate of cod (which differed from mine) and the same desert plate. We ended up going thru three plates of bread which I do have to say may have filled us up more than we had hoped but when it was time to leave I was perfectly satisfied. 

    We ventured thru the gift store and then made our way to the car. The drive back was hard to make because we were both tired and very comfortable after just eating and relaxing all day. Once we got back to the hotel (Luna Hotel Apartments, room 205) we went straight to sleep. 

Overall, our day was incredibly enjoyable and everything I could have imagined. I almost want to book it all over again for the last day we are here! For anyone contemplating, I would easilyrecommend taking the day and pampering oneself like we did. I know Christian wasn't really excited about taking the whole day originally but I know he was glad I talked him into it in the end. I think he may have even enjoyed it more than me. It was an experience for each of us and even better to do together.

Thanks for reading & stay tuned for the rest of the trip!

** All photos of me taken by Christian Becerra & all the shots in this section are iPhone **

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Iceland (Day One & Two)

Day One: Friday, October 16th

 

Packing… now isn't that fun?! It seemed to take me all Thursday to pack and even into the early morning. I stayed up to finish laundry & made sure I had more than enough just incase. Needless to say, I ended my “night” at about 2:30am and needed to get up at 3am to get a shower and finish placing my essentials in my two bags. Which means I reset my alarm and actually got up about 3:20am. We left the house at 4:15, a little later than planned to catch BART at 5:13am. Thankfully we made it on time because traffic wasn't as bad as it could have been. We rode BART all the way to SFO with a transfer in the middle which was easy. I enjoyed not having to drive that’s for sure. 

Once we made it to SFO we checked in with our first airline, Alaska. The woman was nice even though she overshared a bit. We came to find out that her ex husband was originally from Iceland and that pickled shark is not all it’s made out to be. We continued thru a short line in security and to our gate with about an hour or two to spare. Grabbed a couple morning coffees and some breakfast foods to get us through our wait. 

The plane boarded on time. It was a small plane and we sat completely in the back. Last row on the left to be exact so we couldn't recline but at least we got the window seats. Unlike the stranger next to us who happened to be the last person on the plane. He was a quiet neighbor which was a good neighbor in my opinion considering we were both so tired. The next hour flew by as we both fell asleep. Christian was such a gentleman letting me fall asleep on his shoulder, I didn't even know he had also fallen asleep until later. I fell asleep so quickly and woke up to him grabbing a drink from the lively flight attended. She had taken a photo for us upon boarding after getting comfortable but not without a friendly photo reminder of herself too for me to go back and find in my phone.

We took our time getting off the plane because we had a few hour layover so we were in absolutely no rush which was nice. We found a little bar like restaurant as we approached the terminal we were going to later be needing and sat to replenish our bodies. We both ended up getting a salad with garlic bread which ended up being really good and just what I needed. I also had a beer, just because. Unfortunately, as we ate we were waiting for a terminal to be assigned to our next flight and it never happened. As we waited and waited our upcoming boarding grew near and we were questioning where we needed to be. Easily enough we slowly made our way down the terminal and found our plane no help from the flight directory. 

The plane didn't seem to board when we had expected and yet it was showing it was on time. However that works, I don't know?! Either way we finally boarded and made our way into the sky where we feel asleep, missing the sunset. With five hours of the flight remaining we woke up to crunched necks and not the most fulfilling of rests but we made ourselves busy with electronics and the touch screen tv in front of us. We continued our flight with some food and rest only to arrive in Iceland the following day, Saturday between 6-7am with the whole day ahead of us. Adventure, we have arrived!!!!

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Day Two: Saturday, October 17th


We landed in Iceland after many hours of traveling to find ourselves stepping out into the cold chilled air down stairs from the airplane onto the ground near the landing strip to take a shuttle to the airport terminal doors. Shortly after arriving we were in search of sim cards, our rental car, and a little bit of nourishment. After taking a stop in the food court while trying to find where we needed to go I found myself surprised to see the language barrier is more prominent then I would have expected but everyone speaks English so I can easily communicate. I also heard rap and r&b playing loudly from the closest espresso bar which was unexpected as I sat and readjusted since three sweater/jackets are not ideal inside. Then we found this place called, “Joe & The Juice”, which looks like a coffee shop but seems to mainly sell juices. It’s a relaxing little stop for me as Christian waited in line for the rental car shoeing me off so I would wake up and leave him to relax a moment. I sat and waited to receive my drink listening to what else but a song about San Francisco. 

Our time now rested on the outcome of our rental, which come to realize wasn’t booked till 12pm and it wasn't far past eight am yet and of course the only rental company with a line was the one we needed. So we crossed our fingers hoping they had one available!

We were luckily able to get a car right then and there. Thank goodness. We made our way out into the gusty rain to find our little Ford Fiesta. We ended up with a manual but only have it for two days until we get our camper van, (shriek) I can not wait. Until then Christian is stuck driving since I don't know how. Once we got to the car we put the new sim cards in our phones and headed off. Easily enough the signs on the side of the road led us straight to Reykjavik which was perfect. They even had arrows which would be amazing in the US. Even though we did take one wrong turn but it was okay because we stopped at a bakery and grabbed a really yummy bread and chocolate milk.

It took us a couple signs to realize we actually made it to Reykjavik but as we drove we found a couple places we had been planning to visit. Since we could not check into our apartment hotel until the afternoon we decided to explore on foot for awhile. We parked near the waterfront and made our way to the Sun Voyager first. As we were here it started raining a little more so we went back to the car to get a couple things like our lens hoods and continued to the Harpa. We wondered around there as much as we could but they were having a conference so we were very limited.

We decided to walk to Hallgrimskirkja from here, it is the tallest church in Iceland and a good 10-15 min walk from the waterfront so we got to see a good amount of the area just in walking there. The town reminds me somewhat of San Francisco in size but smaller, however just as easy to walk around. The shops are small and seem somewhat tourist based but cute none the less. Once we arrived at Hallgrimskirkia we got to see the beauty of the architecture and made our way inside and then up to the clock tower which had an amazing overlooking view from all four sides of the city. 

At this point we were hungry and tired from the little sleep we had gotten the past two nights. So we walked back to the car stopping in a shop or two & taking photos on the way. We decided to eat at The Laundromat Cafe since it was recommended to us by Pei (@pketron). Unlike what is to be expected their are no washing machines here only food, coffee, and a constant flow of people. We both got types of pancakes, which I would recommend, and chocolate milkshakes. It seems like they use actual grounds of chocolate in the shakes here which was unique to me but not something I would get again. Side fact about Iceland. They do not tip, so unless you have some money to leave on the table, if you so choose, you can not add it to the bill when you use a card. 

The next twenty minutes were used to wonder the streets by car just to see a little more of the city. After reaching our peak of exhaustion we called to see if we could check in a little early & made our way to our apartment hotel. At this point I fell asleep hard core and Christian got us all checked in and even upgraded for free (Thank you!!!). He woke me up to get out of the car and we made our way to the room which was beautifully lit with open windows, a little balcony, and nicely decorated. We were originally supposed to be in a studio but instead have a full bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and lounge area. It feels so homie I could easily move in for the week. However, our stay here will end Monday. (I will let you know the exact location after we leave- just for safety purposes.) 

Once we kicked off our shoes, I laid down and could not believe it, the bed was like a cloud in heaven. Laying down and being able to stretch out was the best feeling in the world. Shortly after we fell asleep until about 7pm. 

Waking up to an empty stomach had me in search of food. I was pleasantly surprised to find that most restaurants here close at 10pm or later. We got ready and went to Roadhouse for dinner. A ten minute walk and we were seated right away. This place is pretty much an American style barbecue restaurant and one of the best I have ever had, ever! I got a pulled pork sandwich (which was pretty much a burger with pulled pork instead of ground beef) and Christian got BBQ ribs, they both came with fries & we also got Cokes. They were both so filling and really enjoyable. I may add, if you are ever get a burger in Iceland you can expect to still get a fork and knife since they don't use their hands. 

The walk back was relaxing with the crisp cold air and only slightly sprinkling compared to the rain we experienced on the walk there. We stopped at one of the little markets on the way and grabbed some things including these chocolate eggs that Christian has told me so much about. He used to get them special as a little boy and they happened to have them here so I had to try one since I’ve never seen them before. 

We are currently back in the room enjoying each others company. Time for bed soon and ready for so much more tomorrow, I can not wait to tell you what we have planned…. Thanks for reading, join us tomorrow for more of our Iceland trip.


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Pacifica Pier, CA

I had a weekend filled with many beautiful memories, including this sunset in Pacifica. It was a last minute decision that led us here but it was the best decision. We have had some amazing sunsets in the bay area lately and the best seats are those on a beach.

We happened upon the 30th anniversary of fog fest when we arrived, which made parking a little bit of a pain so we ended up paying but it went to a group of boy scouts & being a girl scout myself I was happy to contribute especially for a closer spot. We were just a block or two down from the festival which was filled with people drinking, listening to music, and shopping. It was one of the largest street festivals I have been to which was nice to enjoy for a little bit.  

We continued to our original destination of choice, the pier. It was full of people fishing from above and enjoying the view however the beach below was pretty vacant, which is always my preference. The downside though of being without a tripod and only having my boyfriend and I to photograph is a lack of subject. Don't get me wrong I love a landscape/beach shot but sometimes the light is perfect and you just envision someone standing in the spotlight. In other words I get to work up some extra courage and be a creeper on the beach asking random strangers to take their photo. Thankfully this couple welcomed my randomness and allowed me to do so.

Even though I didn't take any photos of the red and pink lit sky it was very magical. The darkness overtook us in no time and we found ourselves walking back to our car with only the light of the street lamps to guide us. That is until we decided to pull out the flashlight app on our phones. 

Thank you all for reading, I'll be seeing you... Vroom Vroom!

"The waves danced before me unlike anything I had seen before. A moment of true beauty, as the waves kissed the shore. They moved about me as if I didn't exist. They continued on dancing- so elegant & swift."

-Catherine Alyce

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Road Trip Necessities

Every road trip is different but they always have one thing in common, the question "what do I bring?" Here is my road trip check list of questions and things to take. 

1. Check the weather. Not only with this help you with packing what clothes to bring. You may need other essentials like an umbrella.

2. Bring chargers (car chargers prefered). For your phone, computer, camera. Anything that needs a battery. If you don't have a car charger you can always charge in the hotel/motel or if you are a rest stop junkie or sleep on the road Starbucks is always a great place to recharge.

3. Mentioning Starbucks, don't forget your snacks and refreshments. These to me are very important. You don't want to stop and get out of the car every time you get gas. Plus, having them before hand you take what you really want and will enjoy rather than just getting a handful of things that normally aren't as good for you. Also, I personally always like to have a couple bottles of water on top of whatever else I like to drink just in case something happens, like the car breaks down, it's also great for overheating on your engine & if you get dehydrated or end up hiking an awesome mountain you weren't expecting- you have it.

4. Research the location you are going. Now obviously this doesn't always happen. Sometimes we stumble upon things & sometimes we decide on a location last minute. However, the more you can find out the better. Especially if you like to explore landmarks and like to get a great photo. Some places are better for sunrise and others better for sunset. Then again some are great all times of the day.

5. A great playlist. Making a playlist on your phone or making a cd is always a great idea. I don't know about you but the 4th time listening to the same song on the radio makes me rather not listen at all. Not only that sometimes you can only listen to static & no one has got time for that so here are my top ten favorite songs from my summer road trips.

  • Love Myself, Hailee Steinfeld
  • Living Dead Girl, Rob Zombie
  • Tied Up (feat. DeJ Loaf), Casey Veggies
  • Trampoline, Kalin and Myles
  • Love Me Like You Mean It, Kelsey Ballerini
  • Desert Rose, Sting
  • Locked Away (feat. Adam Levine), R. City
  • Yoga, Janelle Monae & Jidenna
  • See You Again (feat. Charlie Puth), Wiz Khalifa
  • Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae), Silento

6. Make sure you pay attention to your gas. Food for thought: other places do not have gas on every corner and depending if you are traveling holidays, some gas stations close. Last thing you want is to end up on the side of the road at midnight because you didn't fill up, trust me.

7. When I pack for a weekend or even a day trip I like to bring (or wear) layers. It's always a good idea to have a couple tanks on or have another shirt in your bag just in case you get dirty, end up sleeping on the road and your are smelly- especially to those guys out there, or you like to take pictures & are a fashionista you don't want people noticing you wore the same thing three days/two nights in a row (Do I hear a chuckle?). No matter what the reason, a change of clothes are always a good idea but layers are better because the weather is always changing and having options may end up saving you from buying something oversized and uncomfortable from a convenient store.

8. Bring Aspirin. Now, this one is for all my people who get car sick easy or just tend to get headaches or hate confined spaces. Obviously, you still want to adventure too and have a good time with friends- it's never fun to miss out. It's also a good idea to just have around, you never know when it will come in handy.

9. Money! Pretty obvious right?! Well maybe not. Depending where your trip takes you think about having some cash, some cards, and also coins... You may have metered parking, stumble upon a little restaurant in the corner of nowhere that only takes cash, or you may find a last minute hotel for the night that you need to book online to get the best deal.

10. I saved the best for last. A road trip companion. This is the person(s) who helps you drive, sings with you super loud with the windows down, makes you laugh - but also knows when it's a good time to be serious, takes goofy pictures with you, and is down to stop anywhere just because you want to (as long as you have time). 

Hope you enjoyed my top 10 road trip necessities. Thank you all for reading, I'll be seeing you... Vroom Vroom!

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Yosemite National Park

Photo by Christian Becerra (@throughthetinylens) of myself and Half Dome

Photo by Christian Becerra (@throughthetinylens) of myself and Half Dome

Yosemite is one of my favorite places to visit in California. It has always been less than a day trip away and since we (Christian & myself)  moved this past month it is even closer, so a trip was way overdue. This time we decided to take the little, Dorian, with us to experience this place for the first time.

During our visit we went to Taft Point, which was a new stop for all three of us. It was such an amazing place and the colors were overwhelming. We made it just in time for sunset because you do have to hike/walk down to see the cliffs and overlook the valley. Standing just inches from the edge of the cliff was the most freeing feeling. You feel as if you have the world at your fingertips and it just doesn't get better. One of the best experiences was seeing Dorian's face. The excitement was unbelievable. I can see a little adventurer in the making. 

We continued our trip with a night under the stars & the milky way on Glacier Point. Taking photos and enjoying each others company was a great way to end the night. Eating cold S'mores made it even more enjoyable. We snuggled up in sleeping bags and waited for the sunrise.

The crisp morning air was so refreshing & made the moment even more memorable. We enjoyed the view with another group of people who made their way to see the sunrise as well. As the little woke up he asked, "Can we go home now?"... which made us laugh because it was just too cute. Our little adventurer was already pooped after day one.

Our morning was pretty easy going. We ventured more around Glacier Point & then made our way down to the valley to Curry Village for some breakfast. The line was long since summer is tourist season but it was well worth the wait. We relaxed a little bit before getting back on the road and made some new friends with a couple squirrels that were wondering the common areas. I'm already excited to go back and visit our furry friends. 

Thank you all for reading, I'll be seeing you... Vroom Vroom!



Dorian Becerra by Catherine Alyce

Dorian Becerra by Catherine Alyce

Yosemite Valley by Catherine Alyce

Yosemite Valley by Catherine Alyce

Taft Point by Catherine Alyce

Taft Point by Catherine Alyce

Taft Point by Catherine Alyce

Taft Point by Catherine Alyce

Taft Point by Catherine Alyce

Taft Point by Catherine Alyce

Taft Point by Catherine Alyce

Taft Point by Catherine Alyce

Taft Point by Catherine Alyce

Taft Point by Catherine Alyce

Taft Point by Catherine Alyce

Taft Point by Catherine Alyce

Taft Point by Catherine Alyce

Taft Point by Catherine Alyce

"Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them." 

-William Arthur Ward

Dorian Becerra by Catherine Alyce

Dorian Becerra by Catherine Alyce

Glacier Point by Catherine Alyce

Glacier Point by Catherine Alyce

Glacier Point by Catherine Alyce

Glacier Point by Catherine Alyce

Glacier Point by Catherine Alyce

Glacier Point by Catherine Alyce

My Must Haves by Catherine Alyce

My Must Haves by Catherine Alyce

Glacier Point by Catherine Alyce

Glacier Point by Catherine Alyce

Dorian Becerra by Catherine Alyce

Dorian Becerra by Catherine Alyce

Yosemite by Catherine Alyce

Yosemite by Catherine Alyce

Dorian Becerra by Catherine Alyce

Dorian Becerra by Catherine Alyce

Dorian Becerra by Catherine Alyce

Dorian Becerra by Catherine Alyce

Christian & Dorian Becerra by Catherine Alyce

Christian & Dorian Becerra by Catherine Alyce

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Shark Fin Cove & Natural Bridges State Beach

Shark Fin Cove by Catherine Alyce

Shark Fin Cove by Catherine Alyce

Not every adventure has a rhyme or a reason; or even a plan for that matter. Some adventures are just those we take when we leave the front door & end up in a new coffee shop or sitting at a beach we never intended to go to. This adventure was very much that. We wanted to go out and shoot and that was about all we knew.

Our adventure like many and most others included a stop at Starbucks and then a freeway. Not much over an hour we ended up at Shark Fin Cove. We enjoyed the view from the cliffs next to the fields of cabbage and some other plants growing in their midst. The view was lovely and has a good view of the people below along with the waves crashing along the cliffs. We gazed upon all these small caves which remained unexplored by foot, which was a new sight for me. 

After photos we made our way around the area making a few stops for a variety of foods and just continued enjoying our weekend out and about. Our last stop before heading home was Natural Bridges State Beach, where we ended up pickniking on the beach in the only shade available. I must say I was greatly surprised no one was taking cover from the rays of the sun.

I normally do enjoy a good beach day but this time at Natural Bridges was different from any time before. Flies were everywhere and the beach was completely overcrowded. I guess that is what happens at the beginning of summer on a weekend in high heat, and we should have expected it more.

We left a little before golden hour and we were okay with that, due to people and not having enough space to really shoot. Overall, it was a fun day just shooting & good company always makes a day more enjoyable. Thank you all for reading, I'll be seeing you... Vroom Vroom! 

Cabbage From Above by Catherine Alyce

Cabbage From Above by Catherine Alyce

Weeds by Catherine Alyce

Weeds by Catherine Alyce

Weeds by Catherine Alyce

Weeds by Catherine Alyce

Postcard of Cabbage by Catherine Alyce

Postcard of Cabbage by Catherine Alyce

"Start Each Day With A Thankful Heart."

-Unknown

weet Nectar by Catherine Alyce

weet Nectar by Catherine Alyce

Cabbage Views by Catherine Alyce

Cabbage Views by Catherine Alyce

Fields of Cabbage by Catherine Alyce

Fields of Cabbage by Catherine Alyce

Natural Bridges by Catherine Alyce

Natural Bridges by Catherine Alyce

Natural Bridges State Beach by Catherine Alyce

Natural Bridges State Beach by Catherine Alyce

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Santa Cruz Boardwalk & Pier

Santa Cruz Boardwalk by Catherine Alyce

Santa Cruz Boardwalk by Catherine Alyce

Santa Cruz is a lovely area, yet one I do not visit often. I like going every once in awhile but it tends to be one of the more frequented beach areas around and I have to admit that I do like my beaches with less people most of the time. It is a great area though for a day out and about and Downtown has some great coffee stops and shopping spots. Don't forget your foodie friends either because there are some great places for them as well. What is awesome about the boardwalk though, are all the family things especially the rides and games. It's like being at the fair without the entrance fee and you have a better view.

"I love the beach. I love the sea. All my life I live within - in front of the sea."

-Rafael Nadal

Micaela McLaughlin at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk by Catherine Alyce

Micaela McLaughlin at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk by Catherine Alyce

Boardwalk Ride by Catherine Alyce

Boardwalk Ride by Catherine Alyce

Carousel by Catherine Alyce

Carousel by Catherine Alyce

Ride by Catherine Alyce

Ride by Catherine Alyce

Micaela McLaughlin by Catherine Alyce

Micaela McLaughlin by Catherine Alyce

This specific day trip was actually for a friend of mine, Micaela McLaughlin (@mock_five). She was in need of some photos of the Santa Cruz Boardwalk for her school dorms and I was happy to help. We headed down at a decent hour and made our way along the pier and then down and around the boardwalk. Unfortunately, the day we visited the power was out and my hopes in grabbing a hot dog or turkey leg had vanished, along with the long lines and crowds of people. However a good amount of people still remained in the area for the beach and ice cream.

Bar & Grill by Catherine Alyce

Bar & Grill by Catherine Alyce

Santa Cruz Pier by Catherine Alyce

Santa Cruz Pier by Catherine Alyce

Santa Cruz Pier by Catherine Alyce

Santa Cruz Pier by Catherine Alyce

Canoes by Catherine Alyce

Canoes by Catherine Alyce

I will say the highlight of this trip was when we were on the pier, we found ourselves walking down this flight of wooden stairs to people who were surrounded by sea lions. It was so interesting. All the sea lions were crowding the smaller dock, which at the time was lower than the main dock we were standing on. They were pushing each other and jumping upon it as if playing but they were probably marking territory. Then on the dock, on the opposing side were a few more sea lions which must have been laying on it from the night when the tide was higher. They were in touching distance of us and not moving a muscle. They were alive mind you but just resting, sleeping, or possibly waiting for the tide to change so they could get back in. I am not sure. It was so amazing though and I am so happy we came across them because I'm sure it was a once in a lifetime experience. 

Sea Lion and Pup by Catherine Alyce

Sea Lion and Pup by Catherine Alyce

Sea Lions in Santa Cruz by Catherine Alyce

Sea Lions in Santa Cruz by Catherine Alyce

Sea Lions in Santa Cruz by Catherine Alyce

Sea Lions in Santa Cruz by Catherine Alyce

Sea Lion just feet below by Catherine Alyce

Sea Lion just feet below by Catherine Alyce

Overall, it was a great day spending time with a friend as well as a personal challenge for pictures and I enjoyed it all. Thank you all for reading, I'll be seeing you... Vroom Vroom! 

Lifeguard Stand by Catherine Alyce

Lifeguard Stand by Catherine Alyce

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Mount Tamalpais State Park

Kate Davison (@katedavison) in Mount Tam by Catherine Alyce

Kate Davison (@katedavison) in Mount Tam by Catherine Alyce

Sometimes you come across a place of such beauty you find yourself daydreaming of magical lands and places unlike any other. You become so entranced that anything could become a reality. Mount Tam is that place for me. The large open fields of wheats that one could easily hide in. The trees that create amazing forts and spots for rest. The one thing that makes this place unique, in my mind, are the clouds. These clouds of fog pushing and climbing along the hill side. Making one feel like anything can be attained. Anything could exist, like unicorns could appear and race towards the trees. It may sound silly but it makes me feel like a child once more.

I can picture myself running across the field where I grew up. Running to the tops of the hills into the shade that the large oaks created. Hoping I would come across something that no one could explain or thinking that I could become one with nature and talk to everything as if it could understand me.

Places as this create such wonder in minds willing to embrace it. In the few times I have been here, I am constantly awe struck. As many have said before me and even I have said many times, "The world has so much to offer"; and this place is perfect to see it in all its glory. 

Please enjoy these photos from one of the most inspiring days I have had in awhile and also from one of my favorite places in the bay area. Thank you all for reading, I'll be seeing you...  Vroom Vroom!

Mount Tam by Catherine Alyce

Mount Tam by Catherine Alyce

Kate Davison   (@katedavison) in the clouds by Catherine Alyce

Kate Davison (@katedavison) in the clouds by Catherine Alyce

Kate Davison   (@katedavison) by Catherine Alyce

Kate Davison (@katedavison) by Catherine Alyce

Hill in Mount Tam by Catherine Alyce

Hill in Mount Tam by Catherine Alyce

"Yesterday, my day continuously surpassed my expectations. Met up with new and old friends who made great company. Found myself sharing a couch with my man in the cutest apartment in SF provided by the most adorable hostess! (This lovely right here^) Then as the night came to an end I went to cleanse my social media addiction by looking thru Instagram only to find I've been suggested, AGAIN! I think they are just pulling my leg or crazy! Haha! Needless to say, a perfect day led to unexplainable things and I just wanted to thank everyone who made this wonderful day possible"

- Catherine Alyce

Kate Davison   (@katedavison) in the brush by Catherine Alyce

Kate Davison (@katedavison) in the brush by Catherine Alyce

Let us walk in the clouds by Catherine Alyce

Let us walk in the clouds by Catherine Alyce

Kate Davison   (@katedavison) feeling the breeze by Catherine Alyce

Kate Davison (@katedavison) feeling the breeze by Catherine Alyce

Kate Davison   (@katedavison) in that golden light by Catherine Alyce

Kate Davison (@katedavison) in that golden light by Catherine Alyce

Mount Tam by Catherine Alyce

Mount Tam by Catherine Alyce

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Marshall Beach, San Francisco

Glistening Waves by Catherine Alyce

Glistening Waves by Catherine Alyce

Marshall Beach is one of my favorite beaches in the city. The only negative is you have to walk down and haul your butt back up. Once you make it to the bottom though it is completely worth all the stairs in your future. You get an amazing view of the Golden Gate. This particular beach also gains my love because the few times I've been here for sunset it has been mostly vacant. A couple groups of people are around but they are normally photographers for photo sessions. Once you walk down the beach the large rocks block most of the other visitors from view so you feel like you have your own private beach. Be prepared to get wet if you are staying late. Once the tide starts to rise you find your yourself running past rocks to stay dry, but if you are like me and do not mind getting wet you shouldn't have a problem. Another great thing about this beach are the couple look out points you can stop on your way down. They are not big but if you make it there first they each have a bench so you can still enjoy the view even if you don't want to walk all the way down.

"I'd like to sit on a cliff with you and watch the waves kiss the shore. Be under the sun with  you, at least once more."

Christian & The Golden Gate by Catherine Alyce

Christian & The Golden Gate by Catherine Alyce

This beach is also special to me because it was the end to one of the first "surprise" dates I put together for Christian (@throughthetinylens) and I. I made a picnic lunch/dinner for us and brought blankets and even a pillow. We set everything up a beach or two over and as golden hour arose we packed up and he took me here, since I had never been before. It was a great way to end a day let alone a date night. So all of you who want to make your partner smile or find a romantic spot, here it is! 

Crashing Waves by Catherine Alyce

Crashing Waves by Catherine Alyce

Overall, this beach is beautiful. One of the best views and once I am back at the top overlooking the cliffs I always want to go right back to the beach. To put my toes in the sand and feel the spray of the ocean waves crashing against the rocks. Plus the framing of the bridge you can get is just lovely.  Thank you all for reading, I'll be seeing you...  Vroom Vroom!

Golden Lights by Catherine Alyce

Golden Lights by Catherine Alyce

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Captivation

Kristine (@kristine_nicole) & The Golden Gate Bridge by Catherine Alyce

Kristine (@kristine_nicole) & The Golden Gate Bridge by Catherine Alyce

A person can be captivated by many things like people, a hobby, maybe a job, but for me I love to find places that captivate me. Sometimes I get so caught up in taking a picture of a place, Snapchat, or some other social media that I find myself forgetting to stop and really enjoy where I am. To really look and see what is going on. To stop and take a deep breath as the crisp air blows on by and my hair sweeps across my face. So my personal goal has been to take a moment when I get to a place and really enjoy my time. The main question I ask myself lately is, what is captivating to me? What about this place makes me really feel in awe? Not only does this leave me breathless most of the time but also helps with my photography. Which keeps me in check of my surroundings and comes in handy when you are a clumsy person like me and consistently find yourself standing at the edge of cliffs. 

"Captivate: To attract and hold the attention or interest of, as by beauty or excellence; enchant."

- dictionary.reference.com

Kristine (@kristine_nicole)  in all her glory by Catherine Alyce

Kristine (@kristine_nicole)  in all her glory by Catherine Alyce

This was my second time going to Slacker Hill in Marin Headlands, and it was just as beautiful and just as windy. I may need to reconsider my outfit choices though and dress warmer from now on. The first time I enjoyed this view was for sunrise with Christian (@throughtthetinylens). Unfortunatly, we only had a brief visit because work was awaiting me and life continues. Even though we try to preserve moments with photography and want to stay in a place longer or forever that is not always possible. Needless to say, I had been eagerly awaiting a time to return to this place and when the possibility arose, I took it. Kristine Herman (@kristine_nicole) and I met up at the parking lot below and made our way up the hill together. This is one of those unexpected hikes, in my opinion. When gazing up the hill you know you will be ascending it but it seems less intense then when you do it. However, I am out of shape and do not hike as much as you would think so I may not be the best judge. Either way I was left breathless both times I arrived at the top and for more than just the view. To our surprise Karl the Fog (@karlthefog) decided to accompany us. Thankfully his visit was short and we were still able to get a lovely view of the Golden Gate Bridge for sunrise. We were in no rush so we took our time enjoying ourselves catching up and shooting from different places along the ridge. We even made our way to the lower hills.

The lovely Kristine (@kristine_nicole) by Catherine Alyce

The lovely Kristine (@kristine_nicole) by Catherine Alyce

As we found ourselves ready to leave, we decided to get some sustenance and made our way to The Mill on Divisadero Street, San Francisco. This ironically was also the second time I had been to this location. We arrived a little before 9am and the place was already filled with locals. We waited 5-10 minutes in line and then bombarded a woman and her child as they were ready to leave to get a table. If you haven't been here before you should know it is not the easiest to get a table let alone the big table in the front corner with amazing light. Being the persistant women we are, four tables later with empty dishes accompanying us we finally made it to "that" table. 

Overall, it was a great morning catching up with an old friend and worth the morning lag to get up and see such an enchanting view. Thank you all for reading, I'll be seeing you...  Vroom Vroom!

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San Francisco from New Heights

San Francisco by Catherine Alyce

San Francisco by Catherine Alyce

They say some things are just impossible and other things are just impractical. I would say this is one of those impractical things. I never thought about riding in a blimp until the opportunity presented itself and I am so lucky it did. All thanks to Hendrick's Gin, their team, and my amazing boyfriend, Christian Becerra. A lot of things led up to this moment including miscommunication, bad weather, and an instameet but all these things (as unfortunate as they were for the people who encountered them or had previous obligations) led to me and wasn't I lucky.

Pilot and Christian Becerra (@throughthetinylens) talking by Catherine Alyce

Pilot and Christian Becerra (@throughthetinylens) talking by Catherine Alyce

The blimp itself looked like a giant flying cucumber which is how it received its commonly known hashtag #flyingcucumber. Green on each side with a giant eye placed near the carriage and a painted banner reading Hendrick's Gin. It is not to be confused with the Hulk after all, it weighs a lot less; however both are filled with a lot of hot air. The passanger carriage located at the bottom can fit up to three-four people plus the pilot comfortably but thankfully it was just Christian and I alongside the pilot for this ride. The team on the ground is just as important at the person who flies the blimp itself. Without them, landing is not possible because the blimp would remain hovering and bounce (and possibly blow away) because it needs to be attached to a stationary mount.

Christian Becerra (@throughthetinylens) taking photos of San Francisco by Catherine Alyce

Christian Becerra (@throughthetinylens) taking photos of San Francisco by Catherine Alyce

All the work that goes into attending a blimp, let alone flying one, never crossed my mind before and it is so interesting to see it all in action. Especially the pilot. To fly the air craft you have to know many things but one of the most interesting are the controls. The left and right seem pretty simple. You use foot pedals, kind of like in a car, and the up and down motion is controlled by wheels attached to the pilots chair, very much resembling a wheelchair.

San Francisco by Catherine Alyce

San Francisco by Catherine Alyce

The whole experience made this flight amazing in more ways than one, however, I must say the topper on the cake was seeing San Francisco from new heights as well as one of the towns I grew up in and went to High School. San Francisco is one of my favorite cities in the world. It has so many beautiful views and spots to see and the people are fascinating, overall it is different than any other place. It is a melting pot as they say and I can never get enough.

San Francisco by Catherine Alyce

San Francisco by Catherine Alyce

Looking at it from a view I have never seen before made it only more special and unique. You almost feel as if you can pick up the city like little building blocks from a train set. Yet, too big to pick up all at once. As I might add seeing it right before golden hour (sunset) was delightful. The light pastel colors layered the city, almost like frosting, with bright yellows and pinks. It looked so soft and warm, even though I was personally freezing from the window in the blimp being open for Christian and I to get pictures without a crazy reflection. I might add the noise is so loud. You can't seem to hear anything but the workings of the blimp which is why we wore headphones to communicate with one another.

San Francisco by Catherine Alyce

San Francisco by Catherine Alyce

Overall, this experience was one of a kind and worth every second. Even though I got "blimp sick" only twenty mins in because you feel as if you are on a boat ride with a storm about hit. The whole ride being a little over two hours was quite the experience and I could not have been happier. Learning so many new things and getting a chance to see San Francisco from the sky had me on my toes. I loved it and will now check blimp ride off my list of once in a lifetime experiences. Thank you all for reading, I'll be seeing you...  Vroom Vroom!

Hendrick's Gin Blimp by Catherine Alyce

Hendrick's Gin Blimp by Catherine Alyce

Christian Becerra (@throughthetinylens) and I enjoying the ride in the flying cucumber by Catherine Alyce

Christian Becerra (@throughthetinylens) and I enjoying the ride in the flying cucumber by Catherine Alyce

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"The journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step."

-Lao Tzu

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