2007 West Coast

Garden Nursery in Alameda, CA – Day 12

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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.
The original photo

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

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

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 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..

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?

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

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..

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 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.

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

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 – 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.
The original photo

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

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

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

GGB = Golden Gate Bridge.

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

Reunion in SF – Day 5

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…
Washington Square Park in North Beach, nearby is the famous Saints Peter and Paul Church.
Cross the street, a bike rental shop.

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.

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