January – February – March
The first quarter of the year is a good time to travel when the weather is mild and the crowd is nowhere in sight. We were quick to avail of a Vegas vacation package on sale. While hassles arose due to scheduling conflicts and changes, the Vegas trip went as planned with the exception of how to get there. Initially we were to fly but we drove instead(long story) – road trip #1 for the year.
The trip was meant for photo walks. Finally got to see Zion National Park, although I always thought that we would hit the big 5 at one trip, this side trip to Zion was well anticipated and thoroughly enjoyed.
On the same trip, we returned to visit Valley of Fire State Park, a park that stole my heart at first sight, then stole it again on second sight.
While we didn’t get to see much of Vegas nor experience much of its allure, the trip was worth it. Vegas became our home base as we visited nearby parks for photo shoot. Death Valley was in the plans but we ran out of time, may be next time.
April – May – June
Road trip #2 to Lake Tahoe and Yosemite. Stayed in a cabin with Murphy’s bed (my first) in North Lake Tahoe (first time too) for two nights, drove around the lake stopping to enjoy the sights and took a lot of photos by Emerald Bay lookout. Took the scenic drive through Highway 395, stopped to admire the tufas in Mono Lake, entered Yosemite, took photos, drove through and rested for the night at the borrowed cabin of friends in Groveland.
The next day we set out to do a little hike at Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite. Hetch Hetchy Reservoir is the supplier of drinking water for the city of San Francisco. The day was pleasant, quite warm for late May, but the scenery was fantastic and we engaged in photography.
This trip also made us see the devastating outcome of the rim fire a year ago that gutted a huge part of Yosemite. It made me sad to see a large portion of the forest burned, but likewise pleased that regrowth has been happening and nature started to heal itself. (In the summer, another fire came to Yosemite. I am not sure if it was in the same area as the year before.)
July – August – September
The summer months are my time to hibernate. I normally don’t schedule any trips around this time, because I know that this is the peak season of traveling. Kids are out of school so the sights are crowded, the hotel rooms are expensive, and the weather is super hot.
However, summer is perfect for a camping trip to nearby Samuel P. Taylor State Park, an hour’s drive from home. The camping trip was organized by my husband for our church group. We stayed for two nights, cooked our meals, sang songs around the campfire, roasted marshmallows, hiked, some went to nearby beach, played games, did yoga under a cathedral of tall redwood trees, and afterwards had a mass in the same site.
October – November – December
For three weeks in October – November, I was in 2 continents, 6 countries (7 if you include a layover in Germany), 4 islands, 7 cities.
The trip/s went like this:
Flew to Venice, stayed there for 2 days. Took a cruise for 7 days and visited the following Greek islands: Corfu, Mykonos, Santorini and Katakolon.
Cruise returned to Venice and stayed in Lido for one night.
Flew to Barcelona, stayed for 2.5 days. Took a cruise for 9 days and visited: Marseilles, Genoa, Malaga, Casablanca and Lisbon. Decided to leave cruise (was on the way back to BCN)and stayed in Lisbon for 2 days.
The flight back was long and exhausting. It went like this Lisbon – Barcelona – Munich – San Francisco. It felt like we were flying for a whole day.