Friday, June 22, 2012

A Look Back: My Favorite Locales

This past Saturday, my blog quietly turned six. Since then I've spent some time reminiscing, looking at where we've been and thinking about where we're going. Today I share three of my favorite spots to photograph.
Guidebooks to Great Locales
  • Empire Mine State Historic Park: I began frequenting the Empire Mine State Historic Park when my paternal grandparents retired to Grass Valley in 1994. Since that time it's become one of my favorite spots for getting away from it all. (Three of the photographs shared on this blog in 2006 were taken at the park during a brief period of unemployment.) Depending on what time of year you head up to Gold Country, Grass Valley specifically, this park has something for everyone. There are trips down into the mine. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the mine goes back in time with Living History weekends.
    I especially like the park in the fall when the leaves are changing colors. I typically approach the park at Penn Gate off of East Empire Street and hike the Hard Rock Trail. I especially like the Osborne Hill Trail which is where you'll see lots of old mine sites and foundations. (I enjoy the park in the middle of the week in the summer or after Labor Day when the crowds have subsided.)
  • Hearst Castle: I can't remember how long I've been going on tours at Hearst Castle, at least since I was in grammar school. I remember driving up Highway 1 from Morro Bay where my maternal grandparents lived to San Simeon and my grandfather telling me to keep a look out for the Italian Cypress along the ridge.
    Unlike when I was growing up, you can now wander through the gardens on your own. If you love photographing architectural details and flora, be prepared to spend lots of time here. The interiors are amazing, although depending on which tour you choose, you'll see less of them than you'd like. Flash photography is prohibited so be sure to bring a camera (or film) that performs well in low light.
  • Mission Beach Cafe: My husband and I love sharing a well-thought out and executed meal (we did a tour of Wine Country Michelin star restaurants for our mini-moon when we got married). One of our favorite restaurants in San Francisco and in The Mission is Mission Beach Cafe. We loved this restaurant since our first dinner there over two years ago. With my dietary restrictions it's sometimes difficult to find a chef amenable to reworking a dish. Our waiter that night - Jeff - was able to steer me towards a dish that didn't rely on a dairy-based sauce (pork chops). Last year when I was pregnant, I was finally able to indulge in their famous pot pie, pastries, and desserts; I absolutely adored their sour cherry pie. We're looking forward to our first dinner here as a family (with Gates hopefully sound asleep in her carrier). If you visit this restaurant on either a Wednesday or a Friday night, be sure to say hi to Anthony and Jeff. They'll greet you with a smile and help you craft an experience you'll soon not forget.
What are your favorite spots for photographing?
Tomorrow I'll be back with a short survey; you'll have the opportunity to tell me where you'd like to see this blog go. Until then, happy trails!
Ciao Bella!
Credits: All images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.