Chasing California: San Francisco and Napa Valley

The road to becoming more is never easy. Some people focus on money, others focus on fame, while another group focus on salvation; I focus on experiences and learning new things while travelling, eating and photographing the world as I see it. In San Francisco, I left out a lot of my normal focus on the photography; I just needed time to recoup and be a tourist. I needed to spend time with V. and not be worried about getting that shot before I could go for a swim or head to the hotel.

For this particular trip, I went with the Canon 50mm f.1.2 lens on a Canon EOS T3i  Rebel. I needed light, but a camera body that could still deliver solid food shots while still being able to shoot video if I needed to. I will be the first to admit that while the lens was up to the job, the body just does not deliver the dynamic range that my 1DmkIII does. Still, I love this sunflower shot outside of Sinsky Vineyards. If you are unfamiliar with the brand, then you must check out both the   wines and his sheep photography – sheet perfection.

Ahhh Cervantes…while I seldom like to have my own photo taken, I was wrapped up in the idea of having me pose with Don Quixote and Sancho Panza in the Golden Gate Park. Cervantes is one of those authors that can be returned to multiple times in one’s life, and with each return comes a deeper understanding of who you have become.

The best photograph of the Japanese Tea Garden in the Golden Gate Park had to be the reflection of the garden in the tranquil pool. I seldom shoot such photos, but the vibe in this area was truly Japanese, which is a culture that I feel connected to deeply.

Napa Valley brought us to Frog’s Leap Vineyards, and perhaps the nicest wine experience that I have enjoyed to date. For $25 we were able to taste four different wines from their selections and then munch on a nice cheese and dried fruit selection. The birds were creeping close to beg for crumbs  and the flowers were all in full bloom as gentleman played bean-bag toss in the noon sun. On the wide veranda, we relaxed for the first time in months, and all was good. I picked up one bottle of the Rutherford vintage for $75 and will save it for my 40th birthday next year.

Sinsky…carp. If I could only have the space to build a little pond for the carp, then I would do it with wild abandon. Mingus and India could freak out all afternoon long, and perhaps the koy could protect my raspberry vines from the awful Mingus, who loves to chew them out at their roots.

Loved this car. Absolutely, loved it. A Volvo c70 convertible with a metal flake in black/bronze. It accelerated like butterscotch and the convertible in California was $400 well-spent for the two days in the Valley. I am certain that my mom would approve.

I am now en route to Portland, Oregon. My horoscope has predicted that whatever I will experience today will change my life forever; I assert that what I experience every day changes my life forever, and that it should change yours, too, if you are to consider yourself to be alive and living.


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