Mark Thode Photography | California Road Trip
Travel blog of a family road trip in California, USA
travel, california, USA, roadtrip, portrait, pacific coast highway, PCH, Lake Tahoe, San Fransisco, Los Angeles, Monterrey, Big Sur, Yosemite, Napa, winery, beaches, coastal
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Our Trip to California // Travel Photography

In August we traveled to California to sample the USA for the first time. We saw it as a great chance to make the most of the cheap airfare on account of Sienna’s age (you pay next to nothing for an under 2 year old) and who doesn’t want to travel?!  We saw driving the iconic Pacific Coast Highway as a great thing to do for our first big trip away, and a great way of mixing things up and seeing different cities/towns and landscapes. It worked.

We had time in LA before driving up to San Fransisco, staying at Santa Barbara, San Simeon and Monterrey along the way. After a wonderful time in Sanfran we headed east through Mariposa up to El Portal, where we based ourselves for a night while exploring the mind-boggling scale and beauty of Yosemite. Unfortunately, there were forest fires that prevented us from exploring the entire park (and taking the direct route to Lake Tahoe). So, an extended cross-country drive saw us pass through so wonderfully quaint small towns that clearly have their roots in the Old West. Very cool. No stopping for photos though – a sleeping baby is a special thing on a 6hr+ drive! As we drove across the Eldorado State Forest and ascended up to 8,000ft in elevation our jaws started dropping as the pine trees got bigger, the vistas more incredible, the sky and lakes a deeper shade of blue, and the air a little thinner! Three nights in Lake Tahoe and a drive around the lake was enough for us to get super relaxed and feel quite sad about having to leave. So much green and blue. Then it was a boring freeway drive to Napa for our last night, where we managed some wine tasting at Artesa Winery before a relaxing night at a proper hotel. Our last day involved driving from Napa to Sanfran, with an unexpectedly lovely stop over in Sausalito for brunch. It reminded us of a cross between Auckland’s Mission Bay and Devonport. We then found ourselves visiting the Painted Ladies on a dreary day, playing in the park with Sienna, and purchasing a Timbuk2 bag because we were there. With time to spare we waited at the airport with an amped child who surprisingly, once in the air, settled down for another long sleep on the plane. We can’t complain there 🙂

Just.an.incredible.time.

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2 Comments
  • Steven E

    August 29, 2015 at 2:20 pm Reply

    Dude, such a rad photo journey. It makes me miss Cali even more than I already do!

    • markthode

      September 10, 2015 at 9:41 pm Reply

      Cheers Steve! They came out ok eh?! 🙂

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