So after Christmas, I went on a trip up north with zee familia. We went to Sequoia National Forest, Yosemite, Fresno, Sacramento, San Francisco, Solvang, and Mission Santa Barbara.

The trip was fun and I definitely won’t forget it because I twisted/sprained my ankle while we were there. I wish I could tell you that it’s this epic story where I’m hiking through the forest and I fell from a rock and twisted my ankle… but no. What happened was that I was stepping down from the curb and I missed the step (according to my mom) because the next thing I knew I was on the ground. Lamesauce, I know. I’m such a loser (hahaha). We were suppose to go to Hearst Castle, the only thing I had requested we go to, and we had to cancel the trip because ain’t no waaay I was climbing up and down 100+ steps with a swollen ankle. So sad.

The forest was beautiful. I’ve never been to Sequoia National Forest or Yosemite, but it was nice to see that. The only part I (as well as my sister and mom) did not like was that we got kind of car sick because of the winding roads. It didn’t help that I was taking pictures of EVERYTHING while my dad was driving… there was one point where I was pretty much leaning over him so I can take a picture of the view that was on his side.

On the way to yosemite, we had stopped by this small thrift store and I bought a lace tablecloth, lace doilies, and lace ribbons. (I’ll show you guys one day)

Then in sacramento, we strolled through old town sacramento. It was really cute and I took pictures of my sisters near the brick buildings. We also went to the “57th Street Antique Mall” They have have some pretty awesome stuff. Pricey though. The dealers were literally following me around, I felt like they were watching my every move. I did buy a couple of old books, The Scarlet Letter and War & Peace, from there (picture to follow another day).

I twisted my ankle the morning we were going to go to San Francisco. We were suppose to do A LOT while we were there but since I couldn’t walk, we just stayed at pier 39 and took this bus tour around the city. (the ones with the double decker bus) Then we went back to the hotel after.

Then we were on our way to Solvang because that’s where my sister wanted to go. Spent the night and walked around the town the next day. Then after we were on our way to Mission Santa Barbara. Took some pictures then went home because we had a family party to go to for New Years Eve!

That was pretty much the quick summary of my trip. Hope ya’ll enjoy the pictures below.



175 thoughts on “Favorites

    • Thank you! :) Is this a 365 project? (or in this year’s case… 366?) If so, then I wish you good luck. I tried to do a 365 project a couple years ago but decided to stop when I was in the 200’s. I found myself just photographing random things I found around me instead of actually trying to take good pictures.

      • Yes, I guess you could say it’s a 366 project. I actually did not realize that the theme was such a common one until I embarked on it myself. For me, I feel it’s more than a 366 project in that my goal is not only to capture the visual but to relate it to our lives in some way. The insight, so far, is where I have really grown, as I used to be an opinion writer and am getting to tap into that again! :) Thanks for the feedback!

      • That’s great! I’m glad that you’re capturing your everyday moments and that other people can relate to it as well. Good luck again and just have fun with it :)

    • Thank you! you know what… I’ve noticed that I didn’t post any pictures from Yosemite. They’re mostly from Sequoia National Forest. Yosemite was beautiful though and my family and I couldn’t stay that long so we just drove by and took some pictures. Try going for a hike while you’re there! :)

  1. Beautiful pictures … and I have to say, I love love LOVE the background on your blog!

    Having a red and black theme myself (but considering a change), I’m wondering: Is this a custom image?

    Fun stuff!


    • Hello Mikalee! Thank you, and I got the background from this website I had stumbled upon. Sadly I didn’t save the website and I’ve been trying to find it ever since. If I come across it, I’ll let you know. :)

  2. Thank you so much for these wonderful photos!
    I’m so glad I found someone on WordPress who enjoys sharing original photos as much as I do! :) (I have a WordPress too for my photography)
    Beautiful landscapes! I have trouble with getting good landscapes, I like shooting emotion or close ups.

    • Thank you so much! I love taking portraits too, mostly of my two sisters. I’m really not that great of a “photographer” (I don’t like to call myself as one; at least not until I get paid for it.) but I tried and I’m grateful that I got a handful of great shots that I’m particularly proud of. Hooray for improvements!

  3. Lived in Fresno for 2 years and managed to visit Kings Canyon National Park as well as Muir Woods (over by San Fran). Your top most left-hand photograph really shows great perspective on how tall those trees really are!!! Well done.

    • I’m sorry.. according to google translate this is in Swahili? but sadly, it couldn’t translate it for me. So I have no idea what you said.

      “Msamaha wangu. Kwa mujibu wa google kutafsiri hii ni katika lugha ya Kiswahili? lakini cha kusikitisha, inaweza si kutafsiri kwa ajili yangu. Hivyo mimi sijui nini alisema.”

  4. I grew up near Yosemite and I still can’t get over the beauty of it. Hopefully you’ll be able to go again when you’re able to do more hiking, it’s worth the trip!

    • I agree! My friend had told me the same thing and I wanted to go for a hike but my family and I had no time because we could only stay for a couple hours. Hopefully next time I go back, I’ll be able to go on a hike :)

    • Thank you so much! please go! It was so beautiful while I was up there… I wanted to tell my dad to stop the car multiple times but we were on a schedule so he couldn’t.

  5. I love the pic of the staircase in Old Town Sac, and the yellow bridge, too, of course! California’s forests are spectacularily beautiful, my favorite destination for peace and serenity. I’ve been to all the places on your destination list with the single exception of Solvang. And I haven’t been to Hearst’s place either. Too bad you didn’t make it there, I understand it is quite wonderful. Your photography is gorgeous, I can completely relate to your wanting to take good pictures rather than just random shots. Keep up the good work!

    • Thank you so much! yes, I do want to further improve on theses skills and I try every time to make my pictures better. Old town sacramento was just wonderful and I want to have a photoshoot there hahah :) Solvang is such a cute town, you should visit soon! Hearst Castle is definitely on my list still and I am determined to go back.

  6. Twisted ankle on vacation’s trip with the family? Oh, I’m really sorry for that!
    And, by the way, great pics, love them ;)

  7. Great pictures there, I aspire to be that good when I go on my own travels next year! What camera did you use by the way?

    • Hello! Good luck on your travels next year! where you headed? I used the Nikon D60, and surprisingly… I didn’t use my favorite lens on most of the pictures (which is the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX) I just used that lens on 2 of the pictures that I posted. I used the standard (AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR) lens with a telephoto lens adapter that I got from photojojo.

      • Fair play! I guess that shows that it really is natural talent rather than the camera that took these stunning shots. I’m inter-railing around Europe next year, definitely Bulgaria where my friend lives and Paris but not sure where else after that!

      • hahah thank you :) oh how fun!! I’m so jealous! I look forward to seeing pictures! Hopefully you’ll have a blog to post them :)

        oooh! try to visit Croatia! I’ve seen pictures and it’s absolutely beautiful.

      • Thanks I will certainly visit Croatia! I do have a blog but it’s just started and not very good at the moment! Check it out anyway if you like http://wimpydaredevil.wordpress.com/. Until I get a ‘real’ camera there wont be any great pictures on there. You’ll just have to wait till next year ;)

      • It’s okay! I just started as well… and look where it got me! :) What camera are you planning on getting?

      • I’m not sure yet, I know far more about video cameras than I do photography so I don’t know what’s the best option. I need something fairy cheap at least it’s meant to be for my final adventure once I finish Uni so I’m not going to have much money!

      • hmm well there are a lot of cameras out there that are fairly cheap yet can perform really well. Even better than mine! (personally, I think my camera’s not all that popular…) Just keep researching! I’m here if you need help. I’m a Nikon but when it comes to video, I’d prefer Canon… If I were to do photography AND videography… I’d definitely switch to Canon. Sometimes even the other brands like Fujifilm, sony, etc… has really good cameras. I know my photography professor shoots with a Fujifilm point and shoot because the one that he has has an 18-300mm range (I think…). So all he has to bring is the camera and he doesn’t need any other lenses. So you don’t have to limit yourself to a DSLR, since they’re making a lot of the mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera (which is really good actually… my friend has one and his pictures are really great! and it’s easily portable!), and they’re making better point-and-shoots.

        so there you go.. my little quick spiel on cameras :)

      • Haha thanks for the camera tips! I’ll probably get a point and shoot because I don’t really fancy lugging extra lenses around on my travels ;) Yeah for video I prefer to use a Sony Z5 but that’s only because it’s what I’ve been trained to use and they’re brilliant quality. The Sony handicam is also surprisingly good for those awkward shots in car interiors etc and the quality is still quite good!

      • yeah, extra lenses can be such a hassle… oh wow! I just looked at a couple videos on vimeo that was shot with a sony z5. That’s pretty good! huh.. maybe if i decide to get into videography, i’ll try that camera :)

  8. A twisted ankle is no fun, but your trip looked like it was well worth it! Have been through those areas MANY times and never get tired of the scenery. Perhaps once your ankle heels (heals, ha ha, couldn’t resist the poor pun) you could revisit the areas you really want to explore. Until then, stay off your ankle and write more. :)

    • hahha yeah it was no fun at all. I was clinging on to my dad’s arm while I was walking in San Francisco. They got me crutches the next day :P. HAHAH nice pun. Yeah the ankle is much better now though, at least I can walk properly… I do have trouble going down stairs so I try to avoid them when I’m out in public. Thank you! I’m not a great writer.. but I will take more pictures :)

  9. I love these pictures! The sky one is probably my favorite, but the one that looks like it was taken in an orchard is also beautiful.

    Also, you have my condolences. I have spent the last 4 months on crutches in New York City, and at least here we have taxis and such if we need. I absolutely cannot imagine being on a trip like that and twisting your ankle – it sounds terrible! I hope that you are healing up nicely, and thank you for both sharing the details of your trip and the lovely photographs.

    • ooooh you know… the orchard picture is my favorite one AND it was the first picture I took during the trip. I thought it was a great photo to start the trip :) oh noo I’m so sorry to hear that! I’m lucky enough that my foot was able to heel faster to the point where I didn’t need the crutches for support anymore. Thank you for the concern though and I’m glad you liked the photos :)

  10. Oooh, gorgeous pictures! I would love to see the Sequoias, but not sure if i’ll make it out that way again anytime soon!

  11. I know it takes a “genius” to know a “genius” but given that there are exceptions to every rule I’m gonna go out on a limb and declare you a “GENIUS!!!” The shot from the base of the trees looking up gives you away…I’ll bet you were wondering why they grow so tall…right? Well, the grow so tall so they can be closer to you one day…if I’m wrong about this whole thing it’s because I”m an idiot…I find irony “stunning”…don’t you…?

  12. I was never really interested in California (sorry, I’m just a city boy born and raised in South Detroit), but these photographs are making me very, very, very interested.

  13. Wow, i just stumbled upon your blog and love it! i love how you put together all your photos into one file and then its all connected together. I was just inspired by another photography blog and just started my own. If you have the time id love for you to have a look and tell me what needs changing, whats good and whats bad. It would really mean a lot to me.

    • Hello James!

      I’m glad you like my blog :) as for your pictures, I really love the ones you took in your most recent post: “A walk in the park.” I’m just an amateur “photographer” just like yourself. Only I don’t really like to call myself a photographer at least, not until I get paid for it :) I say just keep it up. You live in London, then show other people what you love about London. I personally, want to see the parts of London that other people don’t normally get to see. I look forward to seeing more pictures! :) We can give each other tips and critiques.

  14. The contrast from nature to urban is wonderful. Great perspective on our society today and how we have segregated nature and urban living/style.

  15. What gorgeous pictures! I’m from further up the West Coast (Vancouver Island, Canada) but it’s definitely on my list to do a road trip down the coast. Your photographs are inspiring! (And I hope your ankle is feeling better!)

  16. Found your blog from ‘freshly pressed’ and I’m SO glad I did! Your photos are wonderful and are teasing my wandering self to hit the road again. I love road trips! So sorry about your ankle, changes the perspective, doesn’t it? Stay well :)

  17. Glad your ankle is feeling much better, it takes time. Aside from that, your vacation sounds wonderful. I’ve never been to any of those places but the pictures are wonderful.

    Your post makes me think I might want to post a story about my last vacation in Arizona.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • thank you! and yay! hahha we have different spellings though.. My parents decided name my sisters and I after boys. Thank you! I really like wordpress but i have to be honest, I was going to go to blogger at first but someone had already took franciful. I’m grateful to be here though :)

  18. nice photos! love those with the aligned trees!. i have this liking for photography too unfortunately i have limited resources. love this site because i was able to appreciate work of others and yours are impressive!!

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