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Project 52—Week #6 | Monterey, CA

Monterey, California—July 2016

big-sur-panorama

I have been SO SO SO excited to share these photos with you from a few weeks back!

Brian and I recently got back from a summer vacation to California.

It all started like this. Brian and I love to hike, and he has been trying to get selected for the lottery to hike the Half Dome in Yosemite for the last THREE YEARS. Finally, he looked up the statistically best days to hike (or the days people statistically do not apply for). Turns out it's Wednesday and Thursdays after the 4th of July and before Labor Day. So there you have it!

We applied and marked my birthday as our preferred date, and low and behold we were selected! THEN Brian was also asked to take a work trip to Monterey, CA. The timing was perfect, so we just turned two trips into one.

Monterey was so much fun. It was lovely weather also—it was like fall in Nebraska, and I hear it's always very cool there. It was such a nice change from the steamy weather we've been having lately in Hawaii and I loved wearing a sweater everyday. Haha. Oh the things. Have I mentioned Fall is my favorite season? Have I also mentioned before that my favorite food group is soup? (We even served a soup buffet at our wedding...). That being said, I wore a sweater and ate clam chowder every day I was in Monterey. Walking down fisherman's wharf with every vendor offering chowder samples was the bomb. 

Day 1

Our first day there we decided to drive part of Big Sur. We were typical tourists and stopped about every 5 minutes for photos. It was getting ridiculous. Me: "Come on, let's get to Big Sur!!" (because all along I thought it was a destination...) Brian: "Yes, Ma'am!" <--became the saying of the day. 

Day 2 — Fisherman's Wharf

The next day...we both worked, but afterward we went down to the Fisherman's Wharf. It was so fun! We ate some really good clam chowder and I ate an entire crab at the Fisherman's Grotto that evening. Mmmmm! Afterwards we just wandered around taking photos.

Day 3—Out on the town

The day after that was such an amazing day. I rented a bike and just rode around the town while Brian was at work, and you couldn't've wiped that smile from my face even if you tried. I had such a thoroughly enjoyable day, and it wasn't anything extraordinary—just kinda a normal day but I guess I just didn't realize how much I missed my bike. I literally just wandered. Ate peaches. Went to an art gallery featuring Dali, found a quaint little restaurant and ordered artichokes and steamed milk (<--another favorite of mine). Listened to some street musicians. Talked to my sis and a dear friend on the phone. Waited for Brian to come home. Lovely. Not many photos of this day, I just didn't really want any distractions I guess :) That evening we went to a nice restaurant and had way too much fun playing hang-man on our paper tablecloth.

Day 4—Casanova

We ate really well on this trip. Our favorite little restaurant was actually in Carmel, called Casanova. Both Brian and I commented that it may've been the best Italian food we've ever eaten in our lives. They were also selling lavender outside for $5 a bundle?!? You have no idea how badly I wanted to buy some! But I wasn't sure how customs would handle that. I didn't know, so I just photographed them instead. It was making me feel really sentimental for some reason, but I couldn't put my finger on why.

Day 5—The Monterey Bay Aquarium

On our final day in Monterey we visited the aquarium!! Shout out to Nick and his family for letting us use his guest pass, that saved us a lot of time and money and we were able to really enjoy the aquarium as a result—thanks again, Nick! I'm trying to improve my video skills, and so I practiced a bit here. Here's a mini film I put together of some of the things we saw!

Day 6—Napa Valley

Next we headed North to visit our good friend Darrin. It was so nice catching up with him. We met his super fun girlfriend Stephanie (and her pet pig Samson!) the next day at Napa and did a few wine tastings, ate at an oyster bar (my first time) and really enjoyed the valley, the company and the beautiful views! Thanks for showing us around you two! We are really looking forward to popping that bottle of wine! That night we also were able to meet up with more friends, Cheryl and Clarence. I'm so glad that worked out, you guys! Thanks for meeting up with us, it was so nice to see you all! 

Well, that's a REALLY long post for this week. Leave me a comment if you made it this far! :D Stay tuned for next week because I'll be sharing about our Half Dome hike on my birthday and the second leg of our trip! And as always check out Sharleen's photos this week!


I am an event photographer. I love documenting life as it unfolds, and so that's why I specialize in birth photography and wedding photography. I also am interested in capturing what your day's look like to help your memories of some of your favorite activities with your loved ones—walks in the park, having dinner with your family, playing in the back yard, going on epic hikes. Shoot me a message if you are interested in more information about what lifestyle family photography is, or if you have an event you would love to have documented! 


Did ya miss a week? Here are some of my recent Project 52 postings! Thanks for following, I'm loving sharing my life with you!