Vacation of Sorts

Terry and I are on holiday break or winter break or whatever its supposed to be called these days. A little time away from school is nice. But we have stayed incredibly busy. Terry's parents visited from Cheyenne, Wyoming, so we did the whirl-wind tour of the central Cali coast. Here's the quick summary. First we headed down the coast to the south with the ultimate objective of seeing the waterfall at Julia Pfieffer Burns State Park. But of course when you drive down Highway 1 through Big Sur, one tends to stop at every pretty little view of the Pacific. Eventually we did make it down there.


Then we were trying to get back to Carmel for the sunset, but we didn't make it. Instead we stopped at Garrapata State Beach and froze our butts off while shooting one of the best sunsets Terry and I have seen here.


Terry's parents wanted to see a 'cross race while they were here so on Sunday I dragged them all along to the Peak Season series opener at Harbor High. I hated this course last year and was not surprised to see that it was the exact same course this year. But at least this year I didn't feel like I was going to die after 2 laps. I ended up winning while rocking some santa socks. This picture looks a lot muddier than it really was. We got our race in just before the downpour came for the last two men's races.


Of course since we live on the Monterey Peninsula we had to go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where Terry and his dad proceeded to photographically document nearly every single fish in the place. The next day we went to San Francisco to check out the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. They have an indoor rain forest with butterflies fluttering around that is pretty cool and an aquarium, too. I would highly recommend not going there on a day when kids are out of school was obscenely crowded! After the museum we wandered around GGP and then went over to the Marin side of the Golden Gate Bridge before dinner in Chinatown.


On Christmas Day we headed up to Yosemite National Park for a few days. It was snowing pretty hard when we got up there and had to put the chains on...luckily Terry and his dad are some sort of expert chain installers so they went on in a flash and we were off to Yosemite Valley in no time. It was snowing so hard that there weren't many good views, but we did wander through some snow to check out Lower Yosemite Falls.


On the way back from the Falls some deer wandered on to the trail to check us out. They were so comfortable around people; one even licked my hand. We practically had to shoe them out of our way so we could keep moving along. I actually had to zoom out to take this photo.


The next morning the snow had ended and the skies cleared and we were rewarded with bright blue skies over a beautiful winter wonderland. We wandered around checking out all the good viewpoints in the Valley. And everyone bought new boots at the Sport Shop. I swear we should buy stock in Keen Footwear. Or maybe we already hold stock considering the number of pairs of Keen shoes sitting in our closet!


Our last morning in Yosemite we did "photography walk" with a staff member from the Ansel Adams Gallery. I would definitely recommend doing one of these walks if you have the photo bug. Our guide was great and encouraged everyone to shoot in full manual mode and even let us use his filters. We trudged through some thigh-deep snow (good thing everyone bought those new boots) to get an incredible view of Half Dome over the Merced River. It was great! We were really lucky to make it to Yosemite to witness some amazingly beautiful conditions. We're slowing getting our favorite images uploaded to the Flickr page.

That covers most of the highlights. Except for one. Terry's mom had a knack for unknowingly ordering the biggest dish every time we went out to eat. So I had to throw in this photo from our post-race lunch at Sarita's. She ordered a breakfast burrito. Note how its wider than her. She had part of it for lunch and then we all had leftover breakfast burrito the next morning!