Jumpology #2

I’ve been trying to capture some more jumping shots, and expanding on my jump repertoire. So far the jumps seem to remain in a handful of positions, so I need to practice this some more. when we recently went along the ‘coast’ of Michigan we visited a few beach resorts on the hunt for some lighthouses. The landscape here was stunning and the pictures on their own were amazing. Needless to say I tried a few jumping shots at the lighthouses – this was pretty difficult giving how cold it was and the layers of clothing I had on, I’m amazed I got off the ground. It was also pretty icy and slippery, but I’m pleased to report I didn’t fall, although it was an incentive to try to take a picture in as few jumps as possible! Continue reading

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The good bits #5

wpid-eg_20150323125026927.jpgWowzers already 2015 is going at quite a pace. We’ve already been here for five months! We’ve had our first US Christmas which wasn’t too different to other years in a way. Moving to a new place is really hard, its especially difficult to rebuild a whole new life when the nearest soul you know is a least 300 miles away. January is often a time for detox – and to stop indulging in some of life’s nicer things. I don’t like starting the year with the idea I’m giving something up, I prefer to embrace life, and with that in mind 2015 has already been spent trying new things.

We had an awesome trip in San Fran, exploring all its bohemian glory and having an ice cream or two. Photography has been a bit of a theme so far this year, with experimenting with lomography to taking amazing jumping pictures at every opportunity as well as taking an image of everyday. The weather has certainly been a chilly one, meaning we’ve needed to wrap up warm and enjoy snowy wintry walks these have been helped along with some baking and two furry friends to snuggle up with. February should bring more snow and the chance to try cross country skiing, see some more sports and try some new recipes.

 

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San Francisco – The city of hills

We had a fantastic Christmas celebrating with friends in the beautiful and hilly San Francisco. I’ve not visited this charming city before and thoroughly enjoyed the warmer weather, and bohemian feel. We packed in a lot on our trip and acted as proper tourists. We spent some time browsing Union Square, and admiring the massive Christmas tree and Ice rink, before having a tipple or two in a local pub. We also had chance to eat lots of sourdough and cheese!

Before I left the UK I visited a cheese cave in London and had a bit of a cheese picnic, so stepping into the lovely ‘Say cheese’ reminded me off this and some of my favourite shops in Burford. We also found some chutney – something which seems to be lacking in the USA! This made a marvellous supper after our enormous Christmas feast. We explored Fisherman’s wharf and Pier 39, and enjoyed the nostalgic touristy shops with barrels of chocolate, candy floss and doughnuts. It reminded us a bit of Lands end. Excitingly at the end of the pier is a sea lion colony. They have pitched themselves onto some floating piers and happily seem to have set up shop. We had a trip on one of the older trams – there’s a whole collection of heritage trams which are wonderfully nostalgic. This follows the F line on the Muni and takes you up to the ferry terminal, that provides a pretty walk along the Embarcadero.

Of course a trip to San Fran wouldn’t be complete with seeing its famous bridge, its just as pretty in real life. It takes years for workers to continuously paint it! and it is much much larger than I expected. We rented some bikes and cycled our way up to the bridge and across it. This in itself is an experience as its very bustly with some serious lycra types taking no prisoners! We cycled over to Sausalito and jumped on the ferry back.

We had some time to explore golden gate park where we saw some hummingbirds, we also visited San Fran zoo which was awesome, One of the best zoos I’ve seen in a while. the penguin enclosure is brilliant and there wasn’t any mopy lions. The lemur exhibit is also really good, its well worth a trip, especially with a  picnic.

We fitted in some walking too, a stomp up Mnt Diablo was interesting – the weather had turned and to say it was a little windy is a bit of an understatement! But the views were spectacular, We also trudged up Mt Sutro and Tank hill which gave lovely views of this hilly city.

Before we left we also fitted in a day trip to Santa Cruz and Carmel (more on that soon), as well as visiting the Castro and enjoying the stripy crossings. We had a lot of amazing food and ice cream. We are looking forward to returning to visit Alcatraz and continuing to explore route 51, as well as visiting some local wineries! Needless to say this resulted in a LOT of pictures! Enjoy :-)

 

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A lovely dollop of ice cream

I really should just plan all future adventures around what the best pudding stops are. Its basically what I end up doing anyway. Sometimes I want to re visit New York just for the cheesecake – apparently its the murky water that gives it the delicious rich and creamy taste!

On our recent adventures to San Fran we found some delightful sweet stops. Ice cream was a pretty large feature on the list, with a 1950’s inspired ice cream bar and soda fountain down the road – they make sundaes, their own waffle cones, have awesome flavours all whist accompanied by a cocktail or two. Just walking in you may aswell throw on a vintage dress call me Nancy and bust into a jive. Its happy and nostalgic and did I mention the ice cream? If you are really hungry they do ice cream sandwiches :-) And really really good hot chocolate!

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We rewarded ourselves with a mammoth sized ice cream in Sausalito after a loong cycle ride over a rather famous bridge. It was also gigantic and creamy and yummy! It kept us well entertained whilst waiting to catch the ferry back to the mainland.

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Our next ice cream stop was the San Francisco creamery – as featured on man vs food with the kitchen sink. We plumped for a bowl of sweet potato fries followed by ice cream sundaes. I eventually settled for the pecan praline on a warm brownie after trying all the flavours possible. I remember going to a Whimpy as a kid- these don’t actually exist any more sadly – they were set up as poor imitations of American dinners and served knickerbockerh glories. I mean what can go wrong with an ice cream that sounds that ridiculous and they didn’t disappoint. I’ve continued my ice cream obsession every time we visit NZ (shout out to hockey pokey!) and regular visits to G&D’s when in Oxford, and Gelato stalls in London – not to mention eating all the champaign magnums this summer!

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