Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Old Fisherman's Wharf - Monterey

I don't exactly know how it happened, but for two consecutive years we have been going to Monterey for our anniversary get-away. Whatever the reason is I'm very happy that it happened that way. It seems like I see something new each time I go to Monterey. For sure, I have never really gotten to all the "surface" that is Monterey.

This May we stayed in a beautiful hotel called Portola Hotel and Spa which is a few steps away from everything, especially the Old Fisherman's Wharf, which sadly I haven't seen before until that day. Imagine looking out from your hotel room and seeing the activity below on the wharf.

Here are what my camera captured while enjoying the lovely early evening light.

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Splash says the harbour seals!

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I am enjoying being a tourist in my own state.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Eat Real Festival Year 3

~ Read Eat Real Festival Year 2 here. ~

September is the time for food festivals in this neck of the woods so I was a bit bummed that my vacation fell at the same time as the Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival in San Francisco and the Solano Stroll - 2 of my fave food festival slash street fair. There is always a next year, I consoled myself.

But all was not lost as my luck held out when I found out that the baby in the food festival group in the Bay Area was holding it's yearly show right after we got back from our vacation.

And so with a few friends we tackled the festival with this plan - each has to go and roam the festival and seek out the food truck that interests them and bring 3 items to share. We all met at a certain spot and laid out all the food we got from the food trucks/stalls and shared with everyone.

This year's festival ran from September 23 to 25, 2011 at the beautiful Jack London Square in Oakland waterfront.

I didn't take many photos this year. I was still having photo fatigue after shooting my heart out while on vacation.

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Newcomer this year.

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The food were priced either 3 or 5.

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Display of the food they sell. We bought kuku paka - the coconut chicken/spinach dish. Familiar taste courtesy of the coconut milk.

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Also from this stall, we got the beignets, which were showered with powdered sugar. If Emeril Lagasse was serving this he would kicked it up a notch by drizzling it with butterscotch syrup or chocolate syrup, I know I would.

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I noted that the Mac N Cheese stall was popular.

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Also new this year is this stall, where I got the best tasting burger I'd had in a while.

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And speak of the devil, here it is - tadaaaa!!!!!

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Vegetarian tamale - I have had better tasting ones.

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Cooking demo, then free tasting for the crowd.

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Clueless that food trucks were not legalized at all throughout Oak town.

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This festival is about buying fresh and buying local and supporting sustainable means of growing food.

I missed seeing the french food truck SPENCER'S ON THE GO. I hope they would participate next year.

*** I am going to play catch up at work so in the next week I would still be scarce in your blog, but I will visit yours as soon as I get free time.***

Friday, September 23, 2011

James Fitzgerald Marine Reserve

During periods of low tides, pools form along the rocky depressions. In them you find marine life that are not always available to nonswimmers like me.

I heard of James Fitzgerald Marine Reserve from the hubby who suggested we take a short stop here on our way to Monterey last spring. To maximize our time and fully enjoy the tide pools, I called ahead of time for the low tide schedule.

The Fitzgerald Marine Reserve is west of CA Hwy 1 in Moss Beach at the westend of California Avenue. Look for the large highway sign that says California Avenue and a smaller sign for the Marine Life Refuge just below. Drive to the end of the road and park in the lot. [source]

Best time to go: May and June generally have the best (lowest) tides and they stay low longer. Check a tide table before you go to be sure you get there at the right time of day. Tides are measured in feet: 2.0 means the water is 2 feet above sea level. Go when tide is less than 1.5 (minus tides are even better). Tide pools will be exposed about 2 hours before and 1.5 hours after low tide. [source]

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Signs along the entry of the reserve.

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The rocky crags are full of marine life. Inspect carefully.

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Established in 1969, the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve is one of the richest intertidal areas on the California coast. Extensive shale reefs are home for a wide variety of marine life, such as giant green anemones, limpets, purple sea urchins, crabs and snails. In fact, over 25 new species have been discovered at the reserve. It's best to see the tide pools during the low minus tides which expose the rocky shoreline to view. [source]

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Large beds of mussels. Careful where you step.

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Also calling this home are the harbor seals. Keep your distance.

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There is a little beach area, but people come here for the tide pools.

It's one of the best spots I've seen, rarely known around these parts.

BTW, I had the most amazing vacation so far. It wasn't a relaxing one. I was on my feet walking and sweating. I am happy that I didn't overdo it with picture taking and I have just enough photos I thought, but still too much to get organized right away.

Will blog about this later after the other posts in queue.

Friday, September 09, 2011

I Wanna Go Somewhere

And photograph something.
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A cool rock formation perhaps.
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A quiet river.
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Someone making a memory.
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I want to make a memory and photograph places and things and everything I see. So I'm taking a couple of weeks off to do just that.

If you haven't guessed yet, these are shots from Yosemite. And no it's not where I am going, although I would love to be there in a heartbeat.

I may be offline for most of the 2 weeks so I'll see you all soon.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Another Day At The Ballpark

My baseball team is currently struggling BIG TIME. They have been beset with many injuries this year, their offense is nonexistent, and their rock solid pitching has had some rocky patches this year. It's a wonder that they were not as far behind as they are right now. But being the defending champions, their fans are expecting much more. A repeat is the only thing that would satisfy. It doesn't look like that will happen from where I am sitting.

So this is quite an inopportune time to be posting this, but I have been very busy lately that I have no time to collect all the other images I have for other posts.

It was Father's Day this year when hometown rivals San Francisco Giants crossed the bridge to play the Oakland Athletics in Oakland.

Our tickets were way up high, I think they called those seats Mount Davis or something. But the good thing about those seats, they were practically over the home base so the shooting was good.

Here are some of the images I took of that Father's Day game.

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The singing of the national anthem.
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The lineups were exchanged.
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The A's starting pitcher approaching the mound.
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The Giant's hitter tries to bunt for a base.
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But the pitch was a little too close.
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The Giant's starting pitcher.
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After a play.
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The second baseman on the right signals 2 for 2 outs.
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The lord of the left field.
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The centerfielder watches as a balloon passes him by.
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The Athletics lorded it over the Giants.