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Showing posts with the label travels

Niles Canyon Railway

Toot! Toot! Allllll Abooooarrrrrrrrd!

Last year, the Husband and I took a ride on the Niles Canyon Railway, a living museum that runs through the gorgeous Niles Canyon in the San Francisco Bay Area. We rode in historic train cars pulled by a vintage diesel engine. It was about a 90-minute round trip between two small historic towns, Niles (which is now part of Fremont) and Sunol (which is off of Highway 680).


The Niles Canyon Railway is operated by volunteer conductors and engineers. They're part of the Pacific Locomotive Association, a non-profit organization. The volunteers in this group rebuilt the line that was once part of the transcontinental railroad. The volunteers continue to obtain and rebuild train cars. Near the Sunol depot is the train yard where the cars are stored and worked.  One of the association's objectives is to provide the public with a sense of what riding trains was like in small communities throughout the United States once upon a time.


You can sit eit…

Moss Landing

Moss Landing, California is a fishing village with over 200 residents. From the photo, it doesn't look like a quaint fishing village, but believe me it is. It has a few great antique shops and restaurants. This photo is of the harbor and the more commercial part of Moss Landing.

Moss Landing is located on Highway 1, about 15 miles to the north of Monterey. It stands at the mouth of Elkhorn Slough, which is a fun place for hiking, birding, and kayaking.

I have three wonderful memories of Moss Landing.
Eight years ago, the Husband and I did a kayaking tour with friends on Elkhorn Slough. That was the first time we went kayaking. At one point, we paddled by a wall of pelicans. They were not fazed at all. They did not seem to move a muscle. "Yup, there go more humans."In the early 1990s, the First, Late Husband and I floated down the slough on a wildlife viewing tour. That was my introduction to Elkhorn Slough and the beauty of wetlands. It was also the beginning of the fin…

Between Lovers Point and Cannery Row

Lovers Point in Pacific Grove is about 1.25 miles to the west from Cannery Row in Monterey via the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail. It's a fun, lovely trail to take however way you choose to travel it—walking, jogging, or pedaling a two-wheeler or a four-wheel surrey bike.


Lovers Point is a popular city park and beach to both locals and tourists. It's a great place to picnic, stroll, swim, or simply sit and enjoy the amazing Monterey Bay views. When you're there, don't be surprised if you happen upon a wedding ceremony.

The Husband and I walked the trail between Lovers Point and Cannery Row with friends on New Year's Day 2014. We started from Lovers Point, where we had a picnic and remembered our friend Charlie who had passed away the previous year.

The walk back from Cannery Row was tough. My knee protested every step back. Thank goodness for the camera, which distracted me as I clicked away.








It's Alphabe Thursday with the lovely Jenny Matlock. Today…

Ka Lae, Hawaii

"This is it," I said to myself, looking out at the Pacific Ocean. "The farthest place south in the United States."

Thirteen years later, the Husband said something similar as we gazed out at the horizon. We were standing at Ka Lae on the Big Island of Hawaii. It's also known as South Point or The Point.


I've had the good fortune to visit Ka Lae twice. The first time was on my solo trip in 1984 and again in 1997 with the Husband, which was his first trip to Hawaii. These photos are from our trip.

The water at the most southern point of the U.S. was very inviting. Even looking at the photo, I imagine myself jumping in.  Imagining is best. The currents are very strong at Ka Lae, so swimming is not recommended. The Husband and I are good swimmers, but we knew it was best to heed the warnings.


The windmills weren't there in 1984. So I was very surprised to see them. Ka Lae is a perfect place for a wind farm, with the steady, strong trade winds. From w…

St. Joseph Cathedral Basilica

I've driven and walked by St. Joseph Cathedral Basilica in San Jose, California countless of times over the last 40 years or so. But, it was only last October when the Husband and I were walking back to our car from the nearby San Jose Museum of Art that we popped into the cathedral on a whim.


It was not all what I expected. The interior was large, airy, and light.  The ceilings and dome were  adorned with amazing art murals.  And, the sanctuary was surrounded by spectacular stained glass windows.


The cathedral began as a small adobe church in 1803. It was the first parish in California. (San Jose was established as the first Spanish settlement about 26 years earlier.) Earthquakes and fires destroyed four churches. The fifth, and current, building was completed in the 1880s.


Major restoration was done on the church in the late 1980s. In 1990, it formally became St. Joseph Cathedral.  Seven years later, the Vatican granted it status as a Basilica.

Here are a few more photos of th…

First Time Hawa'ii

I visited Hawaii for the first time in Fall 1984. A girlfriend and I had plans to backpack the trail in Kauai, but she dropped out a few weeks before our departure. My vacation days were already set, so, I took the plunge and went to Hawaii by myself.

The moment I stepped off the plane in Honolulu, I felt like I'd come home. The warm breeze, swaying palms, the sultry air, the local people. They all spoke to my being. Unlike the Philippines that I'd visited 10 years earlier. Unlike Hollister where I was born and raised. Unlike San Francisco where I was then living.


The first time I drove into a sugar cane field, I wondered if the Daddy may have worked there long ago. The Daddy lived in Hawaii from his early 20s to his early 40s. I asked him once, "Where did you live?" "All over," he said. "Maui. Hilo. Kauai. Oahu. All over." He signed a three-year contract to work in the Hawaiian sugarcane fields. Go there, make money, go home to the Phil…

Gilroy Garlic Festival

If you loooooooooove the taste and aroma of garlic, then the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California is for you. I finally experienced the garlic extravaganza a few years ago. As I grow older, I sometimes get overwhelmed by crowds so I don't go to as many festivals as once upon a time. I'm starting to understand the Mama's response of "I've been there before." when we ask if she'd like to go with us to nearly anywhere.

The garlic festival was fun with loads to see and buy. Lots of cooking demonstrations.  And, lots of arts, crafts, and vendors.






Best of all, this food festival had lots of food loaded with the food it features—garlic! There were the usual yummies, such as garlic bread, and the unusual—hello, garlic ice cream, which I remember as being rather delicious.



Celebrating its 37th year, the three-day festival will be July 24 to 26, 2015. It has always been in Gilroy, about an hour away from San Jose and the next town over from us. Here's the Gil…