Sunday, January 6, 2019

Chattazooga


So over Christmas break, I had the chance to spend some good solid quality time with my best friend. As we both enjoy nature photography and animals, we chose to go to the Chattanooga Zoo together. I had not visited the place for several years, so I was excited to go again and see what updates had happened in my absence. It was a slightly chilly day, but we bundled up and had fun. It was great to use my telephoto lens again. Here are some of my favorite pictures!

 The tamarins were quite active, but the reflections made them hard to photograph. Still very cool to see these creatures.


Thursday, January 3, 2019

One Year Ago: Exploring the Wild West in Sacramento


What's happening: One year ago I had the incredible opportunity to spend a week with my aunt, uncle, and cousins out in northern California playing tourist. I started writing this blog soon after the trip ended, and as I enjoyed myself so much, I have decided to write about my trip experiences in blog form.

In this last post, I'd like to share about my last full day in California. After the three intense day trips to San Francisco, it was nice to stay a bit more local. My uncle and I walked around the grounds of the California State Capital, then finished up at the incomparable California State Railroad Museum.

On my last visit to California several years ago, my uncle took me to tour the inside of the Capital, but we did not have much time at all to explore the grounds. This time we skipped the inside but spent a fun hour exploring the grounds. (Oh yes, and right before this, my uncle treated me out to a DELICIOUS breakfast place!!!!). It was very nice; beautifully kept up and some great memorials to veterans of different wars. There was also a fantastic memorial to California firefighters. I thoroughly enjoyed completing the virtual cache there!


Wednesday, January 2, 2019

One Year Ago: War & Peace

What's happening: One year ago I had the incredible opportunity to spend a week with my aunt, uncle, and cousins out in northern California playing tourist. I started writing this blog soon after the trip ended, and as I enjoyed myself so much, I have decided to write about my trip experiences in blog form.

One year ago today...'twas the third day in a row that my uncle and I made that two-hour commute from Sacramento to the Bay Area. By this point, it was old hat! But I must admit, that both my uncle and I looked at each other when we left at 7:30am and were like, "We're so glad that this is the last day we're doing this!" Three consecutive all-day trips from Sac to SF definitely took their toll! But the tiredness definitely did not diminish our enthusiasm for another exciting day playing tourist together :D

The main destination of the day was the USS Hornet Sea, Air, and Space Museum. I was excited to visit not only because it was an aircraft carrier, but also because it was the ship that recovered Apollo 11!! It was very interesting to walk around, see the planes, and hear from docents how everything worked - both with regards to the machinery and also with regards to what life was like. I especially enjoyed going up to the island! We also got to see the helicopter that picked up Gemini IV (McDivitt & White), and the Mobile Quarantine Facility for Apollo 14. After spending several hours on board, my uncle and I disembarked and drove north to Martinez. This is where the famed naturalist John Muir lived, and his home is now a national park. Another stamp, another video, another awesome experience!!! Really, really enjoyed touring his home and imagining what his life was like. An especial highlight was seeing his writing desk!!


Tuesday, January 1, 2019

One Year Ago: Point Reyes National Seashore


What's happening: One year ago I had the incredible opportunity to spend a week with my aunt, uncle, and cousins out in northern California playing tourist. I started writing this blog soon after the trip ended, and as I enjoyed myself so much, I have decided to write about my trip experiences in blog form.

It was January 1, 2018. I had been having an utterly fantastic time on vacation! Just yesterday my uncle took me all over San Francisco, and today we were going just north of the Bay Area to Point Reyes National Seashore. Once again, it was going to be around a two-hour commute; and all said and done we actually drove three hours because we had to drive for an hour in the park to get to the lighthouse, where we were going. 

It was roughly a 14-hour day trip to San Francisco, and I was up total for around 16-17 hours. Today, we slept in till 6am...only had to leave at 7am!!!!!! ;D It was so fun to watch the sun rise as we drove along; by this point, the commute was getting quite familiar! Though we did veer slightly to the north, as opposed to downtown SF. It was beautiful, crisp, clear...new day, new year, I couldn't imagine a better way to start 2018 off than by visiting a national park with my uncle!! As we drove along, we went from clear to fog, clear to fog, clear to fog...I honestly had no idea what to expect at the coast. Oh well, I was determined to have fun no matter what! We arrived at the visitor center parking lot a little prior to 10am, bought our bus tickets, and boarded the white beast for the ride out to the lighthouse. At least at the bay right in front of the visitor center, it was an absolutely gorgeous view. 







Monday, December 31, 2018

One Year Ago: San Francisco!


What's happening: One year ago I had the incredible opportunity to spend a week with my aunt, uncle, and cousins out in northern California playing tourist. I started writing this blog soon after the trip ended, and as I enjoyed myself so much, I have decided to write about my trip experiences in blog form. 

In this article, I'd like to share about when my uncle and I visited San Francisco proper - the Golden Gate Bridge, Fort Point, and SF Maritime NHP. It was really fun to visit these national parks and learn of the history and culture that San Francisco is. It was honestly hard to believe that I was seeing the Golden Gate Bridge in person - what a behemoth! I particularly enjoyed the exhibits at Fort Point on soldier life and bridge construction. The architecture of the fort was particularly appealing to me photographically speaking. I hadn't realized that the Golden Gate Bridge is LITERALLY built over the fort!!


One Year Ago: Muir Woods National Monument


What's happening: One year ago I had the incredible opportunity to spend a week with my aunt, uncle, and cousins out in northern California playing tourist. I started writing this blog soon after the trip ended, and as I enjoyed myself so much, I have decided to write about my trip experiences in blog form. 

One year ago today: hands down, unequivocally, one of the best days of my life!!! Due to a variety of logistical factors, Uncle Doug and I decided to spend December 31 exploring downtown San Francisco. My primary goal was to visit Muir Woods National Monument, a beautiful coast redwood forest that is around half hour north of the Golden Gate bridge. Secondary goals, if at all possible, included visiting Fort Point National Historic Site right underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, and San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park nearby. By day's end, Doug and I not only visited all three parks, but also nabbed San Francisco's oldest geocache, caught a sunset in the Marin Headlands, and shot a ridiculous amount of photos and video. Most importantly though, we just had a fantastic time hanging out together!


Sunday, December 30, 2018

One Year Ago: Gold Country, Part 2

What's happening: One year ago I had the incredible opportunity to spend a week with my aunt, uncle, and cousins out in northern California playing tourist. I started writing this blog soon after the trip ended, and as I enjoyed myself so much, I have decided to write about my trip experiences in blog form. 

One year ago today, my second full day in the Sunshine State, was a good day of rest and relaxation, compared to our other days! In the morning I went to church, then in the afternoon visited with some good friends whom I had not seen for many years. Afterward, my uncle offered to take me to visit Sutter's Fort State Historical Park - a fun destination that was not a far drive away at all! For those of you who don't know, Sutter's Fort was a major destination on the California Trail, and owned by the guy who owned the mill where gold was discovered. Gold was discovered up in Coloma, but it was verified to be gold in Sutter's Fort. At any rate, it's a super cool place regardless of what aspect of American history you are into, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time. It very much reminded me of the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, Florida. Photographically speaking, I was excited to visit Sutter's Fort during evening golden hour! Following are some of my favorite shots...


 It was lots of fun to walk around and see the sights.