A few years ago, I took a road trip with my parents down CA-1, also known as Pacific Coast Highway, from San Francisco to Los Angeles. This stretch is not known for its sandy beaches, but rather, the jagged, rocky coastline. The waves of the Pacific Ocean meet the coast to create white pillows that stand out in a sea of blue.
Many people have heard about Monterey and Big Sur, given their proximity to the San Francisco Bay Area, but San Simeon is another nice little town on the way to Los Angeles. Hearst Castle is a little gem on the mountain side. American castles are just not as commonplace as they are in the European countryside. Right beside the ocean, there are barking elephant seals who have made this area their habitat. The white wall of Piedras Blancas Lighthouse also stands out in this landscape.
I can’t believe it has taken me this long to write about Boston. It’s probably my favorite city in all of New England and I have been there a handful of times over the years. For the longest time, I wanted to move there, although now I’m glad I don’t ever have to deal with Boston’s cold and snowy winters. It’s a relatively big city, but very much manageable.
We got to Boston the first day in July, when the temperature was heating up and summer storms were unpredictable. We were lucky to have gotten a hotel just a couple of blocks from Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, which were the two places we wandered to after checking into our hotel.
The following day, we took a trolley tour around town, which was colorfully introduced to us by Vacation Vinny. As he says, “We don’t have crimes in the North End, it’s all organized!” Included in our trolley ticket was a harbor cruise, so we got to see 90% of Boston both by land and by sea. We also waited to see the USS Constitution, which is still considered to be an active warship since it gets towed a mile into the Boston Harbor every year.
Finally, on the last day, we took a tour of Fenway Park, which was probably my favorite part of the trip. We contemplated getting tickets to a Red Sox game, but it just didn’t fit into the schedule. The tour of the park was even better since we got to go on the field and into the visitors’ dugout! At the end of the tour, this old volunteer showed us some World Series rings, which he aptly called “chick magnets.” We also went to the Samuel Adams Brewery, where we got to sample three of their beers. Lastly, we got dinner in Chinatown, but the soup dumplings weren’t quite up to par and I was slightly disappointed.
In Hong Kong, Part I, I showed you the typical side of Hong Kong that many people know: the lights and the glamour. But there’s another side of Hong Kong: nature. You just have to know where to find it.
Hong Kong is typically known for Hong Kong Island and the mainland portion (Kowloon and New Territories), but it actually consists of more than 200 islands. Lantau Island is largest island in Hong Kong, known for being the home of Buddha. It’s also where the airport is located, so as long as you fly into Hong Kong International Airport, you will have traveled on Lantau Island.
Even frequent travelers to Hong Kong, however, may not have been to some of the smaller outlying islands. Getting there usually requires a ferry ride through what seems like the open water, with hazy mountains in the distance and small fisherman dotting the water.
Sometimes, you can come close to some of the uninhabited islands, such as the one containing a devil’s claw.
Tung Ping Chau is one of the smaller islands in northeastern Hong Kong, located across the sea from mainland China. The shale that mostly makes up this island is a very unique geologic feature of it.
Our current home is a mere 5-minute drive from a National Wildlife Refuge. It’s in a small town, so it’s usually pretty empty. It’s great having the wildlife refuge only a few minutes away because I can go as often as I want. In fact, it’s great being able to go during the golden hours when the light is beautiful. It was also a great place to go when I received my new lens and had to test it out on some wildlife objects.