Fair warning, this has very little to do with the 4Runner. I just felt that having posted the last two X Mas trips here, that there might be questions of what happened this year. Our normal trip always ends up with a stop to visit family. This year they decided to make the trip to the west coast which left us playing host this time.
THURSDAY DECEMBER 18TH 2014 DAY 1:
Day one is actually day 6 of my off time, but since this is the first day I’m out and about I’m calling this one. It’s amazing how long you can live in a place with out really ever getting out to see it. I decided to spend a few days exploring on my own to find some sights that I thought they would like as well as playing photographer for myself.
Today I started off just before sunrise right outside San Francisco at the Marin Headlands. I spent a bit of time around the area taking in the sites before heading over to the Sausalito side of the Golden Gate Bridge for a few more photos. This is an amazing area to take photos if you can be here early on a weekday. Normally this area is so full of people that parking is a nightmare.
THURSDAY DECEMBER 25TH 2014 DAY 8:
In the last few days I have mostly been in the shop working on projects except for for Christmas Day of course. For the Holiday we drove up to Santa Rosa to visit Jamie’s Family. On the way back I managed to conveniently go by way of the Bay Bridge to grab a couple of the night shots I wanted to get.
SATURDAY DECEMBER 27TH 2014 DAY 10:
The family actually arrived late last night and went directly to their hotel to check in. Unfortunately or maybe fortunately the studio apartment with additional retail shop space doesn’t offer any spare bedrooms. Today was one of those chit chat and showing people around days.
SUNDAY DECEMBER 28TH 2014 DAY 11:
We started the day off with a drive to Carmel-By-The-Sea and then down hwy 1 for that coastal view.
We finished the day up with trip out to the city and stopping by some of the sites.
MONDAY DECEMBER 29TH 2014 DAY 12:
Most of the day was spent shopping, but we did manage to make it out to the Marin Headlands to show them the sites, and to snap some pics.
TUESDAY DECEMBER 30TH 2014 DAY 13:
I was duped. They told me they wanted to relax, but somehow I ended up doing a timing belt and water pump on their 4Runner.
WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 31st 2014 DAY 14:
On Wednesday morning we left San Jose early and headed out for something a little less “city”. We entered Sequoia National Forest from the south on hwy 198 around noon. Cue tourist mode.
We spent the afternoon driving through taking in the sites. Quite an amazing place to spend the afternoon. As the sun set we headed out of the park and into Fresno for the evening.
THURSDAY JANUARY 1st 2015 DAY 15:
Yosemite was the destination of today. While the beauty of this area is undeniable, the crowds can be challenging. Driving with two trucks meant we always needed two parking spaces, so some of the more popular spots were missed by one or both of us. Not the way I generally like to vacation.
On the positive side of things, since we came up from Fresno we got to enter the area on hwy 41 which is a different direction than “normal” coming from the bay area. Wawona was our first stop to check out the Pioneer Yosemite History Center. That’s where the vintage saw blade photo is from. This is a place I hadn’t been before and that wasn’t at all busy compared to the main Yosemite loop. A great stop to add to your potential trip.
FRIDAY JANUARY 2nd 2015 DAY 16:
While we said goodbye to my parents and grandma after we left Yosemite, there were still a handful of items on my to do list. Living in San Jose, means we don’t make it out to San Francisco very often. The drive combined with the parking congestion makes weekend trips almost unbearable. Luckily this wasn’t a weekend.
I’m not a tea drinker, but none the less our first destination was the Japanese Tea Gardens. We didn’t spend too much time here, but did manage to snap a few pics. Personal opinion, San Jose’s Japanese Friendship Garden is better.
The Music Concourse is right around the corner, so that was our next destination. Quite a bit to see here, and a great backdrop if you are looking to do portrait work.
The Legion Of Honor Museum was next on our list. We didn’t plan nearly enough time here so we actually postponed our time inside and only spent a bit of time enjoying the building itself. Of course no trip would be complete with out stopping to pay our respects at the Holocaust Memorial.
On the way to our final stop we took in some of your standard “San Francisco” city sights.
The area known as Chinatown was our final stop of the day.
I walked into this area knowing nothing about the people or culture of China itself or the people that populate this area in San Francisco. I still don’t know anything mind you, but it was a cool sensory overload being immersed in so much that was different from my normal routine just by walking a couple of blocks away. Other than a little bit of a guilty feeling snapping photos of people just trying to go about their daily lives.
SATURDAY JANUARY 3RD 2015 DAY 17:
Final day was much like the first and 12th with a trip to the Marin Headlands. This was a specific evening trip to re-shoot the day 12 shot. While day 12 was a quick hand held photo done while our guests waited, this was a deliberate tri-pod long exposure kinda trip.
Well worth the trip.
So there you have it. Not as much 4Runner content as some of our other trips, but you were warned. Next year will be back be back to a more traditional trip. I’m pretty positive that there’s no way were getting them to make the drive back out here again!