• Kelsen Rowe

Our Adventures: Sunny Sand of California to the Big Light & Big City.

Updated: Jan 17, 2019

Well what can I say, having just landed back in the UK after an unforgettable time in the great state of California. Our trip took us from Los Angeles to San Fransisco to the south of San Diego.

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Los Angeles & The Beaches

There is something about the sea breeze and warm sun on your skin. Visiting the Hollywood Walk of Fame is an experience every photographer needs to witness. The diversity of architecture from the Grauman's Chinese Theatre to historic television studios. Heading up the coast to beautiful beaches of Malibu. We headed to the quiet serene beaches of Gaviota State Park, where the best surprise happened. The longest freight train with the most beautiful view cruising along the tracks, with the window down taking in the view. To the crowed tourist attraction of Venice Beach. There are so many beautiful stops along the way to San Fransisco. Stop off at the Big Sur, see the sea lions at Santa Cruz pier as well as the hundred of beaches along the way.


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Lake Tahoe & The Mountains

The trip around California, took us from the super sunny beaches to the snowy Mountain range of Lake Tahoe. A favourite spot of Johnny Cash and his friends, it's no wonder they spent their down time there, with spectacular views and calming sound of nature. Head there in the winter and enjoy the ski slopes or enjoy the open fire and live music in the hub of South Lake Tahoe.


You never know what's round the corner, waterfalls on the side of the road or amazing pyramid lakes, keep your eyes peeled for the signs. You never know what you might see.


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The Open Roads

If there's one thing to learn from California & America, the roads are long! Be prepared to drive hours without seeing a soul. The open road is a wonderful thing, you'll meet others that are road trippin' & natives going about their day.


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Joshua Tree Desert, Sequoia National Park & Noah Purifoy Desert Museum

If you're looking for something a little different to add to your portfolio, Noah Purifoy Desert Museum is the perfect location. This out of the way Museum is one many may question why? However when you witness these pieces of art, the feeling and emotion hits you. The open desert gallery was created by Noah Purifoy, his creations were constructed out of charred debris from the 1965 Watts rebellion. From grills of police cars to old chairs from church to left over shoes. It's an important part of California's cultural history, with each piece a dedicated emotion to the time.


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The General Sherman, at the Sequoia Tree National Park has to be on everyones list of the wonders of the world. It is the largest tree to ever be records, some say there are bigger Sequoia Tree in the park however their locations are unknown. The tree is 275 ft in height, 25 ft in diameter and is estimated to be 2,300–2,700 years old. The scale is hard to describe, although the altitude is another thing. When using Google Maps sometimes is a good idea not to pay too much attention, as nowhere said about the 2 hours it took to reach the tree up a Mountain with road works, but it is sure as heck worth the wait. As you walk down towards the base you are stopped by signs with even more history. Until you finally reach the bottom and hurt your neck looking up. The walk back up is harder than the walk down, you'll see multiple people stopping and wonder why. If you have asthma or any kind of breathing difficulties I would be prepared or even ask for some advice before hand, you defiantly feel the altitude on your lungs. The views driving through are just as breathe taking and you may even get a sight of a black bear - on my bucket list but missed it as it jumped over a cut down tree stump, ha!.


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Having seen the wonders of some many other, the Joshua Tree National Park was a bit for a disappointment, not in it's vast open spaces or wild rock formations, just that we were spoilt in other locations. It's great if you like hiking or rock climbing but for taking photos there isn't a great deal of range. Having said that for some this may be exactly what you've been looking for. There is an up side if you are ever in the area you have to stop off at Pie For The People, one of the best pizza places you'll ever visit, owned by the nicest people that will help you out on places to go and those to avoid.


Monterey Bay Aquarium

There isn't many places on this earth that is as pro-active and conscious of impact of helping marine habitats and sea life from becoming extinct or just simply in need. The non-profit work of Monterey Bay Aquarium is out of this world, everything they've done from the corals and sea anemone to the otters that have been rescued and rehabilitated.. Every tank which are huge are pumped with nothing but fresh sea water over 7,000 litres per minute, with natural currents from the ocean. Enjoy the views of the ocean with a bite to eat, reflecting on the incredible. There breathe taking exhibitions include African penguins, Shorebirds, Pacific sea nettles, The Deep Sea & many more. For anyone wanting to help keep these places open or maybe just to take some time off for a few hours. I couldn't recommend this places anymore. Although be prepared to pay a little more money than you anticipated to get in however it is worth every penny or should I say dime. Beware you may be popular with the kids as Finding Dory was based on the Aquarium.


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Must Sights To See

The Golden Gate Bridge is one of everyone bucket list, although taking photographs will most of the time come with fog. There a lots of multiple perfect spots to take incredible images of this historic landmark. The key is to research each location (which I didn't do) and how to get there as time runs out fast, as I found out. The weather's a lot colder so make sure take a jumper, you'll need it. You can also spend a full day strolling round the streets of San Fransisco, Pier 39 and take a tour of Alcatraz.


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Paramount Ranch is one of the coolest places, owned by Paramount Studios many TV series and Films were shot there from The Walking Dead, The Mentalist to the likes of Sandra Bullock standing in the same dusty sand. You might even get a glimpse of a camera crew setting up a scene like we did. It's a great little trip into some cinematic history and super cool for some old fashioned photos.


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Venice Beach well what can be said. It's a popular tourist destination full of artists, musicians, athletes and every kind in between. The skateboards are full of energy with full crowds taking videos and getting selfies. lt is something everyone should at least experience once with the silky soft warm white sand, watching out for the seagulls and tourists on bikes.


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California did not disappoint in weather, sightseeing and breathe taking views we'd all love to call "every day life". Will there be a return... of course! There's so much more to discover.


View all our California images here.

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