Monday, November 10, 2014

California Dreamin'

     CALIFORNIA... What can I say about this state? Everywhere I go, people are in "awww" of where I am from. I have always had an appreciation for this beautiful place, but I also felt that Hollywood distorted what California really is. It is not always sunny here, we don't all live on beaches, and we don't all surf... I learned how to surf for the first time in my life in Australia last year.  Oh yes, it also snows in some areas! Let me tell you about some magical places here on the west coast that Hollywood may have not shown to the world.

     I have traveled all over this globe and have had amazing friends show me around their cities.  Now it was my turn to show some of them where I am from.  This was so much fun for me!  What I love most about California is it has amazing nature.  The first place my family lived was in South Lake Tahoe after moving from Thailand.  I would spend a lot of my childhood swimming, kayaking, and hiking the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

    My friend Raphael from Switzerland was on a 3 months west coast trip.  He went everywhere from Vancouver down to Tijuana as well as going to Kaui.  He surfed at all the best places we have to offer.  I was able to take him to South Lake Tahoe, into the northern desert, and last but certainly not least, the magic that is Yosemite.  He loved it and we had such a nice couple of weekends enjoying all the nature.

 Fallen Leaf Lake

After a great kayak

 Overlooking Mono Lake

 Yosemite National Park

Half Dome

Sunset on our drive out of Yosemite

 Night out with some close friends

     A few weeks later, my friend Michael from Australia came to the States for a 2 month holiday.  I had the pleasure of seeing him towards the beginning of his trip and was able to help him plan out the rest of his time in the States.  In 2 months, Michael has seen more of this country than I have.  I'll have to get some tips from him as I make the effort to see more of the USA.  Michael stayed at mine for 5 days, and in the short amount of time, we covered quite a bit.  We went to San Francisco, downtown Sacramento, and headed up to Lake Tahoe as well.  It was quite the adventure, lots of great memories.  Can't wait until we meet up again in a different location mate!

 Downtown Sacramento

 Lake Tahoe

Huge fire on our drive home in Pollock Pines

     One of my best friends Lindsey, absolutely loves Halloween, so this year we made a trip to the Winchester Mansion in San Jose.  Pretty freaky experience being in a creepy old house in the dark, but fun none the less.  We stayed in Santa Cruz where my brother goes to school.  It is such a beautiful small beach town and I recommend it to everyone on their trips to California.  Truly a gem to our state.

Pacific Ocean

Natural Bridges State Park

Now I leave you with my favorite California song and the title of this post.

"There are not many places in the world where you can get to the beach in an hour, the desert in two hours and snowboarding or skiing in three hours. You can do all that in California". -Alex Pettyfer

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