Blog

My Thoughts

California’s Most Romantic (and Picturesque) Hotel

The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay: The Standard of Luxury

It’s not often that I use the adjective incredible to describe a hotel, but that’s the word I used when I wrote about The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay 12 years ago during my first visit. It is a truly incredible hotel.

When it was built over a decade ago, it set a new standard for casual sophistication and service in a state renowned for its world-class resorts. The hotel is dramatically set upon a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the only golf course by the sea in the Bay Area. The architecture can best be described as an oversized beach house in the Hamptons. It’s very understated and casual but elegant.

If you get a chance … stay for a few nights. It would be a vacation of a lifetime!

3C0A3703

 

For more details: http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/california/half-moon-bay

 

 

Bird’s Eye View of Pigeon Point Lighthouse

Escaped from the comforts of my hotel in Halfmoon Bay, California to drive north 18 miles to this lighthouse- Pigeon Point Lighthouse. The drive was spectacular. What I estimated as a 20 minute drive took two hours. I just had to stop at every cove to enjoy the view fly my drone (and answer questions from amused tourists about how the drone works).

When I got to the lighthouse, I was determined to get one of those shots that swoop in to the light house. Then I got nervous. But I did it anyway and both the lighthouse and the drone survived. (What a relief!)

Editing this video reminded me of how beautiful the world is. DO SOMETHING AMAZING THIS WEEKEND! I hope you take time to appreciate the beauty around us. HAPPY FRIDAY!

 

PIGEON POINT LIGHTHOUSE

MESMERIZING MARIN HEADLANDS

If I don’t tell you where this place is, you’d probably think I’m in a remote beach in Ireland, New Zealand or Kauia. But it’s actually just a stone’s throw away from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco- The Marin Headlands.

Not many people know of this place … tourists cross the Golden Gate Bridge, park their car and stop there to take photos of the bridge. In a way, I am sure locals prefer it this way. I’ve visited San Francisco over 20 times before I discovered this place through my friend Francis Rualo

It’s a mesmerizing gem of a park that is equally stunning as the Golden Gate Bridge. Have a look … but don’t tell anyone of this secret place.

(Press the HD button and sound for better viewing)

 

1,100 CAR LOOP: IT’S NOT A TOY, IT’S ART

Chris Burden’s Metropolis II is an breathtaking kinetic sculpture (If you’re into toys like me, it’s breathtaking!). It is like every young boy’s dream come true.

This sculpture featured at Broad Museum in Los Angeles is modeled after a fast paced, frenetic modern city. Steel beams form an eclectic grid interwoven with an elaborate system of 18 roadways, including one six lane freeway, and HO scale train tracks. Miniature cars speed through the city at 240 scale miles per hour; every hour, the equivalent of approximately 100,000 cars circulate through the dense network of buildings.

A collector bought the installation for “millions” of dollars, but was gracious enough to loan it to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for display over the next 10 years. Thanks Mr Millionaire. We appreciate it!

CARS

 

 

Sound of Music Tour: One of my favorite things

250A1732Sound of Music is our family’s favorite movie. We love it so much that during my first trip to Salzburg, Austria a few years ago, I researched all the important addresses used in the movie and drove to a few of them. The trip took a scary turn when I ended up in the wrong part of town and my car got stuck in a small, deserted, muddy road and it started getting dark and cold.

So when my family and I visited Salzburg for the holidays recently, they suggested we take the official Sound of Music City tours run by the Salzburg City Tours (http://www.salzburgcitytours.com). The tour, which has been Salzburg’s most popular tour for over 35 years, lasted about 4 hours at only 40 euros per person. It was worth every penny! We all had an amazing time, and we learned a lot of facts about the movie that were not available online. The guides were very funny, helpful, enthusiastic and knowledgeable (and we even sang songs from the movie on the drive to the different locations.)

Read More

EISERNER STEG: LOVERS’ LANE IN FRANKFURT

I was walking across a bridge in Frankfurt so I can photograph the financial district of the city when I started noticing that the tourists were taking photos of the bridge railing instead of the city skyline.

There were thousands of padlocks all along the bridge from people all over the world telling their story of why they were there; to announce an engagement, profess their love, celebrate an anniversary, announce the birth of a child, or to remember a loved one. Eiserner Steg have become a symbol of ever lasting love for romantic couples.

The bridge also offers amazing views of the city’s skyscrapers on one side and historic buildings on other side.

Someday I will profess my love to my future husband on this bridge … after all, fairy tales do come true (And it can happen to me!).

250A8063 250A8064 250A8078 250A8089 250A8096 250A8102 250A8124 250A8129 250A8148

 

250A8052 250A8056

LIVE ON THE EDGE, KIWI STYLE

While my American friends were celebrating a peaceful Thanksgiving in the US, I’ve decided to sign up for “Dart River Cruise.” I thought- “Wow, how relaxing.” Little did I know that this is what Dart River Cruise is.

The ride lasts for about an hour and 15 minutes at a speed of 50 miles per hour (I’m pretty sure it can go even faster). The river is quite shallow and has lots of twists and turns, with massive boulders at each turn. Dart River is in a very windy valley, and the boat has no protective glass or seatbelt.  As you can see, I was very calm. (NOT!)

To experience this, visit www.dartriver.co.nz/ and live on the edge.