2007 West Coast

Garden Nursery in Alameda, CA – Day 12

garden_nursery_alameda_ca
It was the last day of our 2007 West Coast Vacation trip. Hours before we left for airport, we decided to check out a garden nursery in Alameda, CA. Pitty.. the plants I liked were too big to bring with us on the plane.

It was a drizzling day, flights were smooth (Okaland -> Denver -> Tampa). We arrived our home in Tampa, FL after midnight.

It was so nice to be home again.

A Pinkish Morning – Day 11

pinkish_morning_07_napa_valley
A Pinkish Morning to start the day – pictured this tree on our way to Napa Downtown for breakfast, (infrared photo style alteration).

shine_and_shadow_napa_valley_07_bw
The Shine and Shadow – A vine covered old house in Napa Valley, CA.

love_me_or_not_rose
Love me or Not Rose – During our this trip in Napa Valley, I have taken quite a lot of photos of Roses in Wineries we visited. All those photos were taken in harsh Sunlight. This one was one of them. The original photo was taken in V. Sattui Winery.
original photo
The original photo – doesn’t look alike? I know I know…it was terribly overexposured.

vintage_napa_valley_design
A vintage style photo design of a grape farm in Napa Valley.
the original photo
The original photo

aston_martin_fancy_car
An Aston Martin – 2004 aston martin DB9 coupe. Photo was taken in a parking lot in San Mateo where we were meeting our friends for dinner.

Bye Bye San Francisco – Day 10

byebye_san_francisco_alamo_square
We left SF at this morning, heading for Napa Valley – one of my favourite places in California.
This picture was taken in Alamo Square, SF on our way leaving this city. A row of Victorian houses on Steiner Street, they are also nicknamed as “painted ladies”.

chateau_souverain_winery_ca
Chateau Souverain – The first winery we ran into in Napa Valley. What a fabulous Architecture! Address: 400 Souverain Road (Independence Lane exit off Hwy 101) Geyersville

drive_by_a_winery
It wasn’t a perfect composition, but I gotta to press the shutter button before we passed this theme, though the bird on the right side of photo was flying at the right place where I liked it to be.
This photo was taken when we were driving in Napa Valley. Are you able to recognize which winery did we pass by?

cattle_xing_napa_valley_07
A Cattle Xing sign on a rural roadside in Napa Valley.

la_la_la_my_new_style_weeds
la..la.. la .. my new style of close up shot – weeds on roadside. I took this photo while we were waiting at a red light.. :D

drive_back_in_time_with_me
The original photo was taken on our way to a UPS in Napa Valley. We bought some bottle wine from a Winery, they couldn’t ship bottle wine directly to our home in FL. So they suggested us to ship them on our own. Later, we found out UPS’s charge was tripled price than we were told by the casher in that Winery. We learned our lesson. We would only buy wine from Wineries which can ship directly to our home from now on.
original_drive_back_in_time_with_me
The original photo

roadside_cottages_napa_07
Roadside cottages in a Mustard field (in Napa Valley).

color_version_giant_tree_napa_valley_07
An oil painting photo design I made from the original photo took during our ride on a rural country road.
giant_tree_napa_valley_07
I couldn’t decide which one is better… the color version or the monochrome version, which one would you prefer?
original_giant_tree_napa_valley_07
The original photo

supersize_oysters_buffet_ca_07
Dining with friends Nancy and her hubby Carl in a Chinese buffet after our busy day running around in Napa Valley. This Buffet is awesome.. I would say it’s the best Asian style buffet I have been to. Love their Oysters.. huge.. fatty..juicy…fresh… the best of the best!

Visiting relatives – Day 9

mr_milo_the_cat
Mr. Milo was a gentle and pretty cat, but not given to smiling. You can tell he is a fighter by the scars on his face and one ear.
I took this picture of this serious looking cat when we were visiting Alan’s cusin who lives one hour away from SF downtown. I will talk more about this cusin and his families later on..

afternoon_shadows_california_suburb
He is Alan’s cusin’s son, a very handsome young gentleman, resting in the afternoon shadows. The cat was the one in the previous post. This photo was taken in their neighborhood, a quiet, easy, old suburb in California. … A weird looking picture, isn’t it?

just_a_little_scary
He was a massive dog, belongs to a neighbor of Alan’s cusin who we visited today. I took quite a lot of photos of this huge dog, but I wouldn’t go touch him, not even a try. Though he was very friendly to the cusin’s two kids, one boy and one girl, the girl is the one on the right of the picture, she is a very sweet and pretty girl.

The view from the Twin Peaks – Day 8

view_from_twin_peaks_sf_2007
Today is a big day. My parents left to China at this noon. We said bye to each other at SF Airport. The feeling was complicated.
This picture is a watercolor photo design I did on a photo which was taken from the Twin Peaks in SF. We stopped there on the way came back from the Airport. What a crowded city! oh.. my..

calamari_fettuccini_sf_fishermen_wharf
I had to sacrifice tonight. Why? I had to order a dish different to the ones I had before in this trip. Why? For taking pictures! haha..
I actually prefered to have crabs again for dinner, SF’s crabs are sweet and very tasty. I had bought same kind of crabs but frozen ones in FL before, the taste was very disappointing.
We had tonight’s dinner in another tiny restaurant on fishermen’s Wharf. Guess which restaurant is this one?

A full day in SF – day 7

fruit_crepes_sf
Fruit Crêpes for my mom – I ordered this breakfast dish for my mom from a tiny family restaurant near our hotel. She never had Crêpes before. I asked her how did she like it. Her answer was typical.. “pretty good”.
Well.. I hope she did mean it.. it looked pretty good anyway.

sf_sunny_afternoon_city_street
Lovely day, with Alan and my parents, long walk along the up and down hill streets in SF downtown.

ombard_street_digital_oil_painting
Digital painting of Lombard Street – This picture is by far the best photo design I have done in this West Coast Trip serial. Do you agree?

inside_a_cable_car_sf_2007
Inside A Cable Car – An aged photo design. I took this photo during the cable car ride in SF with Alan and my parents. My mom is the one sitting in the front.
original_inside_a_cable_car_sf_2007
The original photo

dad_in_nicks_lighthouse
my Dad – He is a dangerous man…has the ability to drive me crazy. I wish I won’t become him when I am getting old.
Alan and I took my parents to Nick’s Lighthouse – A seafood restaurant on Fishermen’s Wharf. Food was great… service was great, the only thing wasn’t perfect was the space for you to sit in, I felt I was dining in a matchbox.

San Francisco Suburb – Day 6

purple_and_wild
Wild purple flowers – They are growing along the twist and winding roads at the Marin-side view point at the Golden Gate Bridge.

sf_suburb_green_yellow_digital_painting
San Francisco Suburb – A painting design I did on a digital photo which I took from Golden Gate Bridge Vista Point.

sf_golden_gate_bridge_foggy
GGB = Golden Gate Bridge.

cobra_antique_sport_car_red_sf
Cobra Antique Car – This car is really hot!
original_cobra_antique_sport_car_red_sf
The original photo – this photo was taken in SF downtown.

Reunion in SF – Day 5

reunion_in_sf_2007
My mom had lost connection with some of her side relatives for 19 years shortly after they immigranted to the States. A few weeks before our trip to the West Coast, my mom mailed a letter to SF where the families were immigrant to. She wrote down two mail addresses of which were given to her by her relatives at that time.
We didn’t think it would work. Surprisingly, a week later, our phone rang, it was my mom’s relative! One of the mail adresses is valid.
So, we finally got chance to meet those relatives again.. after 19 years, in the States. Does this story sound weird to you?
PS: I did a sketch design from a photo Alan took. My mom and dad are the ones standing on the back.

A couple of street photos took on our way walking from our hotel to Chinatown…
sf_late_night_passing_park
Washington Square Park in North Beach, nearby is the famous Saints Peter and Paul Church.
bike_rental
Cross the street, a bike rental shop.

clay_pot_bean_curd_salty_fish_stew
In a restaurant in Chinatown, I ordered one of my favorite Cantonese dishes… Dried salty fish and bean curd stew in a clay pot. It’s my meal tonight, Alan didn’t have any interests to share this dish with me.
I discovered this Cantonese cuisine in 2003 when I went to Guangzhou, China. Since then, I fell in love with it’s unique taste.

sf_chinatown_painted_truck
Pictured this one in Chinatown. I noticed lots of commercial trucks in SF have been painted. But this one definitely was the winner!