Monday, January 21, 2013

The Waves before Maverick’s Invitational and More

Recently, Maverick’s Invitational, the world’s premier big wave surf contest, took place south of San Francisco in the town of Half Moon Bay.  We didn’t make it to the day of the contest, but we did drive to Half Moon Bay the day before.  However, we ended up turning around because the traffic jam in town was simply crazy!

Before we headed to Half Moon Bay, the three of us hiked up Mount Montara, a gorgeous 7.8 mile round trip hike up Montara Mountain with amazing views of the Pacific Ocean.


We had done this hike before on a cloudy/foggy day and had totally loved it. The very steep climb up the mountain is great exercise, and the second half of the hike, going down, makes for a great time to relax, chat and enjoy the views of the ocean. Of course, because of the fog, the first time we were not able to see much of the scenery around us.

This second time it was completely different as the skies were clear and the sun was shining. It was just a beautiful winter day California-style, in the 60s!

As we went up, we could see the town of Pacifica, Mount Diablo and even the Golden Gate bridge up in the distance!

While on the hike we also saw huge ripples on the water. When you are up 1,800 feet, the huge waves in the ocean looked like ripples, giving the water a very interesting texture and live. The waves were big but they were only going to get bigger for the next day’s surf tournament.

The first time we hiked Montara, flowers were blooming. This time, we only saw very few flowers, but we saw lots of moss. Moss, with its fun and unique texture, color and shapes, make up for great photos and for great photo editing as well.

Back down at the parking lot after a bit over 3 hours and with an exhausted dog, we jumped on the car and drove south towards Half Moon Bay to look for a place to eat lunch.

When we arrived to Half Moon Bay, the line of cars was too long and this was when we decided to head back and look elsewhere for a place to grab some fish tacos to go. While on the hunt for tacos, we found a Mexican/Peruvian restaurant in Pacifica called El Toro Loco ( I couldn’t resist it, so we stopped there for lunch (one things I LOVE about CA, you can just stumble upon Peruvian restaurants, just like that!).

After lunch, we headed into the town of Pacifica, where we walked back and forth on the beach boulevard, watching gigantic waves crash on the pier, the shore and far in the ocean. I don’t think I have ever seen bigger waves than these.

We watched the waves for an hour or more. The sun was still shining and we were having a blast trying to capture the magnitude of these walls of crashing water as they rolled into Pacifica beach.

After hiking up the mountain, we were happy to just sit down and relax, enjoying the view, the sun and the energy of the people around us as well as the uniqueness of every single wave coming in.

Even though we didn’t go to the tournament, we got a good preview of what the waves must have looked like then. Maybe next year we’ll go…

At the end of our day in Pacifica, I had over 300 photos to choose from for my blog and for my Etsy store! I love days like that.

This past Sunday we also went on a daytrip to St. Helena, a cute town in Napa Valley, to go meet the artist that had made a painting based on my photograph of a door in Chinatown.  I wish I’d had taken more photos during our daytrip to St. Helena, but I did capture a very magical moment during our drive back to San Francisco.

It currently is low season in wine country. The vineyards looked bare and, some of them, have been completely covered with tiny bright yellow flowers. As the sun was starting to go down, these fields of yellow were glowing under the light. It looked simply beautiful! We pulled over and I was able to snap some photos of this great moment. Talk about being at the right place at the right time!

And that was our weekend. Today is another warm day and we are going to head out to enjoy the sun very soon!  I guess I shouldn’t complain about it being cold here because, after all, we do get days in the 60s in the middle of wintertime!

I hope you enjoy this week’s photos. For more fun photos, visit my Etsy store at:

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