Rebecca Ames Photography | Chapel Hill Wedding Photographer

Arcata wedding photographer

The Em and Mom trip to California | Personal work. San Francisco, Bodega Bay and Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

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I couldn't help this. I know I should be working on weddings and engagement sessions, but I just got back and couldn't help but look at my personal photos first from my trip to California for a wedding. Every time I travel (almost every time), I take one of my girls with me on the trip. I really, really, really, really love to travel and want to be sure that I instill that passion in my kids too. Plus, we get a little bonding time and that is also very nice. This time, Em came with.

When I give a description, it will be under the photo.

Obviously, the Golden Gate Bridge. Although, I've crossed this bridge dozens and dozens of times, this will be the first time I had stopped to take a photo. Quite honestly, I never noticed the turnoff because I was too busy staring at the bridge. Em didn't realize how big it was from photos and was properly awed. That was my favorite part, her awe of engineering.

The first day, we got off the airplane and went straight to In N'Out for our grilled cheeses (they are excellent) and headed north. Side note here: I grew up in Southern California. I didn't move away until I was 17 and I have never actually had a burger from In N'Out. Never, only grilled cheeses. I am a disappointment to pretty much everyone from the region. I know. I actually never had Mexican Food while living down there either, I subsisted completely off Asian Food and pizza.

After eating our grilled cheeses, we headed to Bodega Bay. I got lost a couple of times, because I will do whatever Apple Maps tells me to do. I almost went down some gravel alley going inland (ew, inland). Since this trip, I have switched to Google Maps, for your information. We pulled into our campground really late, around 11pm Pacific Time and went right to sleep. This was our view when we woke up. 

We drove up PCH (Pacific Coast Highway to you East Coasters), which is on my top three list of favorite roads in the country. It is slow and windy and slow (did I say that already?) but we saw wild marine life!!!!!!!! I'm a total sucker for sea creatures! So, harbor seals and a sea otter. So cool. Jelly fish are my favorite of the animals, but the water was way too effing cold to go looking for them. That I leave for the Monterey Bay Aquarium. But, seals and otters!!!!

The next day, we headed even further North to Humboldt Redwoods State Park (and getting closer to our wedding destination). There we camped with one of my favorite people in the whole wide world and hiked, waded in the river, and just talked, talked, talked and talked. Monica and I have been friends for 17 years??? I love her. Anyways, she schooled my daughter on all things about the State Park and took us to see an ALBINO REDWOOD TREE. I have never heard of one before. It was pretty cool. Then down to the river. I don't get wet unless it's 80 degrees. Notice my jeans and a t-shirt.

We woke up the next morning at Big Lagoon State Park and went out for an early morning walk on the beach and collected agates. They are these rocks that have a high amount of quartz crystal in them, and are super pretty.

Then we headed to Fern Canyon. This is by far my favorite hike outside of the redwoods. It is so gorgeous that the shot Return of the Jedi (the part with the ewoks) and Jurassic Park Two there. During most of the trail, the 30 foot high canyon walls are covered in ferns and it is my happy place. This was at the top of my list for my daughter to see.

The next day we camped at Patricks Point State Park. Did I tell you that I rented a 1989 VW Eurovan for the trip? Well, I did. It was awesome because all I had to do was pull up, pop the top and go to sleep. I highly recommend it. The company is called California Campers. This was the day of Sydney and Ronnie's wedding, so we had to hit up Wedding Rock.


Our final night camping and my daughter had decided that she needed to camp amoungst the redwoods one more time. I agreed because I wanted this to be HER vacation, since we are going back to her birthplace that we left when she was just a mere one year old, but also, because it was on the way.