Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Travel Tuesday: Week 9

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Travel Tuesday! Today's suggested topic: What are some great day trips that you've taken? What has been your favorite domestic travel experience? Do you think domestic traveling is really traveling? As always, you are free to write about anything travel-related; don't feel obligated to answer my prompt. And, of course, don't forget to link up below!

Travel Tuesday

It's no secret that I never really cared for my California hometown. I mean, I did move 2,000 miles away for school, and I didn't even apply to any California schools. I just wanted to get out of there! But as much as there was to dislike about where I grew up, we did have this really nice little travel radius around us that was jam-packed with day trip options. I could drive two hours in pretty much any direction and be in San Francisco or in Sacramento, at the beach or in the snow, hiking in Yosemite National Park or riding roller coasters at Six Flags or wine-tasting in Napa—you name it, I could probably get there quickly. Today I will mostly share pictures from these day trips, but I'll add links for good places to eat or fun things to do in each area, as well.

First up: the beaches. Whenever I tell people I'm from California and see their eyes light up, I feel obliged to immediately say, "No, I promise; it's not exciting." But though I didn't live on a beach, we had quite a few options nearby. Clockwise from top left: Me with two girlfriends in Monterey before I left for my freshman year of college; my varsity basketball team in Monterey for a tournament in 2007; on the beach in Monterey (same trip as the first picture); my sister, Abby, and me reading at Manresa State Beach near Santa Cruz; the Santa Cruz boardwalk (we actually had our junior prom here, but I don't have any pictures on this computer); with my boyfriend, Jonathan, in San Luis Obispo (which was a little further away from home—about three hours instead of two).

Next: the city. San Francisco was probably one of the most popular day-trip options for my friends and me in high school. Clockwise from top left: With my college roommate Rebecca in front of the Golden Gate Bridge (she came home with me for spring break one year); with Abby at Wicked in 2010; a residential area of San Francisco; Jonathan and I at a Giants game (Look at my brother and dad being goobers in the background! Haha I love this picture.); the city skyline from Alcatraz Island; a sourdough bread turtle from Boudin (this is the place to get clam chowder in a bread bowl; turtle picture via Oyster).

If you want to get out of the city, just keep driving north past the Bay Area and you'll end up in wine country! My family partially owned a house in Sonoma (the less-touristy sister to Napa) for a while, which was sooo nice. Clockwise from top left: With Rebecca at my favorite winery, Benziger; view of Benziger winery from the tram tour; sunrise from the house; in the wine cellars at Benziger (from a different trip). Not pictured: If you're ever in Sonoma, grab lunch at Juanita Juanita on Arnold Drive; it's my favorite place to eat in town!

Then, of course, there are a multitude of ski resorts to choose from in central California. The bottom left picture was taken at Dodge Ridge; we probably went there the most. Bear Valley and Badger Pass were both fairly close, too. Lake Tahoe (two right pictures) was a little farther away—about four hours—but it made for a nice weekend trip in the summer and winter.

Speaking of Badger Pass, my absolute favorite thing to do when I go home is visit Yosemite! I'll write much more about the park next week (see below for prompt), but these are all pictures I took when I climbed Half Dome in 2009. So much fun!

Kudos to you if you read this entire thing! If you just looked at the pictures, thanks for looking. :) Now, I'm a little off-schedule, but this week is National Park Week (which means free admission through April 29!). To celebrate (albeit a little belatedly), I want to talk about national parks next week: Which is your favorite national park? What parks have you always wanted to visit? What are your favorite activities to do in a national park? Thanks for participating! I can't wait to read all your posts today.


Jessica Bucher said...

I lived in Arizona for a majority of my life and I always loved to visit California but swore I would never, ever live there. LOL I don't know why, it wasn't my scene I guess. I feel the same way about Arizona.
These are great pics. My favorite place I visited in Cali was Laguna Beach. It just had a quaint feel that I adored.

TicoTina said...

I hope you don't mind if I link up with a post a did earlier this month. it is probably my most interesting day trip to date!

Lilly said...

All of these adventures are so fun! I love your photos from California, there is so much to do there. I love state parks so I am already thinking about a good post for next week so I can finally join in!

My most recent day trip was to a suburban lake resort this weekend for my sister's bachelorette - so fun! I'm giving away one of our customized party cup favors from the weekend on my blog as well! http://pancakesandbeetjuice.blogspot.com/

Meghan said...

I really loved the Napa/Sonoma area! It was so peaceful, serene and delicious:)

Courtney said...

I spy my sister in a picture! :)