Showing posts from July, 2013

California Dreamin' Series 3: Carmel-by-the-Sea and Pebble Beach

The Beauty and the Beach You can’t go to Carmel-by-the-Sea without driving the 17-Mile Drive . Take the North entrance (cost $9.50) and drive southbound, ending at Carmel. The drive itself is terribly exciting, and every few seconds reveal more of one of the world most famous scenic drives. The drive is marked with twenty-one points of interest: From a vista point that gives you a grand view of Monterey Bay and the Santa Cruz mountains to the Pacific coastline. You will pass through the majestic Del Monte forest and canopies of majestic trees. Make sure your camera battery is fully charged as there are even more revelations as you drive along the Pacific Coast. The China Rock where Chinese fisherman build lean-tos rocks for their homes in the late 1800s and early 1900’s will inspire you.   Don’t let the pure white sand beach below the Fanshell Overlook entice you to set up your beach umbrella yet, there’s a white sandy beach waiting for you at Carmel.  Peel your eyes o

California Dreamin' Series 2: Stinson Beach

Stinson Beach, taken from Dipsea Trail Ah, summer! The flowers are in bloom. The California hills are brown. That magazine spread of Grande Anse Beach in La Digue Island, Seychelles may look so alluring, but it would take some effort and a whole lot of money to get there.  You don't have to travel 3000 miles to enjoy the beach this summer.  Maybe a weekend drive or a family outing to a beach near you is all you need to enjoy summer.  For example, beaches are plentiful along the Northern California coastline: the Ocean Beach in San Francisco, Half Moon Bay State Beaches, Santa-Cruz Twin Bridges, Lovers Beach in Monterey, and Stinson Beach. Situated 20 miles north of San Francisco, Stinson Beach is the quintessential California beach town. Stinson Beach is crescent shape, surrounded by parklands of the GGNRA (Golden Gate National Recreation Area). It is usually the final stop for Dipsea hikers to soak their sore and tired feet. But you don’t have to do a s

California Dreamin’ Series 1: Back in Silicon Valley

You are going to ask: and where are the lilacs? and the poppy-petalled metaphysics? and the rain repeatedly spattering its words and drilling them full of apertures and birds? I’ll tell you all the news. --Pablo Neruda -- from "I'm Explaining A Few Things" My mother failing health deterred me from making any travel plans to far-flung and exotic destinations this summer. So I decided on taking a continuing education class at a local university to be near her. That’s when I found myself driving and crossing Dumbarton Bridge from my temporary residence, heading west to go to the university campus, passing the Facebook headquarters. Continuing onto University Avenue, I noticed for the first time, the charm of the place. I drove through University Avenue many times, to go to Stanford Shopping Center or eat at one of many restaurants along the avenue or attend a concert at the University Memorial Church, but took this charming place for granted. As I dr

National Park Series 6: Denali National Park

FLYING OVER DENALI Photo taken aboard ERA Alaska by Jax Odena If you are an adventure seeker or had something on your bucket list that you wanted to see, but you don't think you have the physical capability and endurance to accomplish a strenuous activity like hiking or climbing mountains or even a long bus ride, you might want to consider ‘flightseeing’. Flightseeing is an activity of viewing places of interest via an aircraft. Flightseeing, for instance, is a great alternative to experience Denali National Park, which covers million acres of wild land, and home to the highest mountain in North America, Mt. McKinley (Mt. Denali to Alaskans) which towers over 20,300 feet tall. You will fly up close to see views of the Alaskan mountain ranges and valleys. Some flightseeing tours land on Ruth Glacier  where you can take in the scenery and take pictures of the majestic mountains and valleys from a different perspect