Weekend Snaps, Big Sur!

Who loves weekends? Me! *raises hand*. Typically a normal weekend for me and my husband is staying at home, and doing some chores, so when we find any excuse to get out of the house, we take it. This past weekend, my niece (who is visiting from the Philippines) was over and so we decided to take her and some of our other family to Big Sur, CA.

My niece
MY NIECE, JANINE

FISHERMAN'S MONTEREY WHARF

Big Sur is a good 3 hour drive South from where we live. We left at around 8:30AM and headed on our way. We stopped by the Fisherman's Monterey Wharf for lunch, which is about an hour before Big Sur. There we're a lot of restaurants to choose from and food choices are mostly in the seafood category. If you're craving for some clam chowder, a lot of the restaurants offers free taste tests, so be sure to do that before choosing where to eat. With all the clam chowder options, I ended up having clam chowder on a breadbowl which was delish btw.

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FISHERMAN'S MONTEREY WHARF

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MONTEREY MARINA

BIXBY CREEK BRIDGE

After walking around the wharf and having lunch, we started our drive to Big Sur. Our first stop was Bixby Creek Bridge. It was built in 1932 and stands tall at 260 feet. Can you imagine how difficult the task of building this thing was during that time? To get to this spot, search "Castle Rock Viewpoint" in google maps and it will lead you to this turnout. The bridge is not the only thing you'll see there, you also get panoramic views of the Pacific coast line (see below). Talk about breathtaking!

TAKE NOTE!!! There is absolutely NO RECEPTION when you get around Big Sur so definitely save the map on your phone.

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BIXBY CREEK BRIDGE

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PFEIFFER BEACH

Next on our list was Pfeiffer Beach. So when I said that there is no reception, we found this out the hard way. When we left Bixby Bridge, there was absolutely no reception to get a map to Pfieffer Beach. On top of that, I read online that the way to the beach is really hard to find as there are no signs for it whatsoever. So the adventurer in me decided to "wing it". I figured, Highway 1 only goes one way and back, plus there's bound to be a clue on the road somewhere. I thought that if we'd gone too far, we can just drive back and head home.

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Luckily, we saw Pfeiffer Big Sur Campground Visitor Center and I looked for a map. I took a picture of it and went on driving. We totally missed the turn the first time, but was finally able to find it heading back. The direction to the beach was a windy 2 mile drive down hill. The entrance fee is $10.00 per car, but if you don't feel like driving the windy, narrow road, there is a shuttle that goes around from the Pfieffer State Park Visitor Center  to the beach (check the Visitor Center for the schedule). The beach was not crowded, and the view was once again...AMAZING. What makes this particular beach unique are the massive rock formations. Some of them form arches/caves that the waves flow through.


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ARCH ROCK FORMATION
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HERE'S ME FEELING LIKE A MERMAID LOL
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WITH MY COUSIN AND NIECES
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It was a day full of adventure and boy was I pooped after! I am so glad I was able to take my family to see these beautiful sites and I am able to cross these two spots off my must-see list. If you're planning on checking these places out, see my Tip List below.

TIP LIST:

  1. Definitely print out a map to Big Sur or save it on your phone to access it without reception.
  2. Be careful standing/walking on the Castle Rock Viewpoint, it is a cliff and you can easily slip off.
  3. Bring $10.00 in cash for Pfeiffer Beach entrance fee.
  4. It can get windy on the beach so hold on to hats/scarves etc.
  5. Take lots of photos and have fun!

Thanks for stopping by!

♥kai

Weekend Snaps, LA!

Is it Friday yet? Here I am stuck at my desk, "multi-tasking" and reliving this past weekend. Take me back to LA!

My hubs and I celebrated 12 years of being together, it was our dating anniversary (does anybody celebrate those after you get married? lol). We decided to hit the road and drive down to SoCal. We live just 6 hours away and though we've been there countless times, figured there are still tons to explore. Here is our weekend, in snaps!

MOCA - Museum of Contemporary Arts

Our first stop was at Museum of Contemporary Arts. We've visited LACMA on a previous trip and really enjoyed it, so we opted to visit another museum. MOCA is a one story museum in downtown LA filled with unique exhibits.

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I've noticed that I am really drawn to artworks that are symmetrical, have lots of straight lines and are neutral in color. See some of the ones that caught my eye below:

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Sky Cathedral - Louise Nevelson
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Pillar of Delay - Morris Louis (Left)
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Night Landscape - Louise Nevelson
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Plank Piece I-II, 1973 - Charles Ray
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Strange Fruit - Haegue Yang
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The Pool Party of Sardanapalus - Kara Walker

After the museum, we decided to walk around the area to see what else is there. One google search and we found a gem.

Angels Flight Railway

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A couple of blocks away from MOCA was Angels Flight Railway. This odd landmark took our interest because according to their website it is the world's shortest railway, and they were not kidding. This railway has been taking riders up and down the steep Bunker Hill since 1901. Check it out:

Rail cars "Olivet and Sinai" in action

The fare for the railway was $1.00, one way. If you want the souvenir ticket, you can get the two way ticket for $2.00. The railway cars can probably sit 10-12 people and the interior definitely has a vintage feel. See the view from the top of the hill below:

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We walked around more and saw The Broad Museum (that's on my list to see) and the Disney Music Hall. We then went to Hollywood and Highlands to eat and do some window shopping. We headed to the hotel and got ready for day 2.

Venice Beach

The next day, we drove to Venice Beach. Luckily it was only 30 minutes away from the hotel so it was the perfect spot to end our weekend getaway.

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I have been waiting to come see this beach because it is popular for photographers. I got to take some photos at the popular VENICE sign, and saw many colorful wall arts that caught my attention while walking up and down the boardwalk.

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Rainbow Lifeguard Tower

Another landmark here is the Rainbow Lifeguard Tower. We were lucky because it recently just got repainted for Pride Week. I love its colorful contrast to the white sand and pastel sky.

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It was such a nice and relaxing weekend that I did not want it to end, but here I am typing away in my cubicle. I probably should go back to work.

Check out some bonus pics of me at the Disney Music Hall.

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2018 WARRIORS PARADE

LET’S GO WARRIORSSSSS!

To anyone that doesn’t follow basketball, Golden State Warriors is a NBA basketball team located in Oakland, CA. They are also the reigning champs for 2018!

The Warriors parade was on Tuesday and I was lucky enough to take part of the celebration again (I’m 3 for 3 in parade attendance since 2015). Going to the parade was totally spontaneous. I only received the approval of my time off that morning and I was not prepared at all. I figured, “It’s meant to be, right?” So, I lugged my photography gear and took the Bart train to Oakland.

Overcome with stress, I kept thinking how late I already was and how I was all by myself. It was so last minute that none of my family or friends could go. I figured I won’t find a good spot to take photos from and will be lost among the crowd. I thought, “this is a bad idea” and considered heading back, but I didn’t want to lose a great opportunity to take photos. Luckily, I found a spot along a sea of fans and found myself standing next to fellow Filipinos who were nice enough to take me in with them (kabayan!).

Something different that they did this year was to not have a rally. The team wanted to spend more time with the fans so many of the players came down from their double-decker buses and immersed themselves among the people. The whole place was lively and everyone was ecstatic. People were standing under the very hot sun (it was 90s weather that day) just to partake in this historic celebration. I’m so glad I came. I was able to capture great photos and experience being part of the Bay Area community.

See some of my favorite shots below:

KD walking among the fans saying hi!

Jordan Bell partying it up on top of the bus

Steph Curry was going around dancing and giving fans high-fives

Quinn Cook and KD on top of the bus smiling at everyone

Even E40 was slapping hands with fans

Here are some of the coaching staff

Here’s Klay getting ready to pop the champagne

Draymond just hanging out

Though this mini-adventure was last minute and was scary, I say it was worth it. It taught me that I can do things by myself…I just have to be brave and do it.

See the rest of the photos I took below, enjoy!

Style Snaps: Beach Session with Designer, Alyssa Nicole

 
 

I am so excited to share this post to everyone. I have been waiting to post about this style session, but just haven’t gotten around to it. I just love how the images turned out. Here are some of my favorite images from my latest shoot with SF-based designer, Alyssa Nicole.

I have worked with Alyssa before and instantly fell in love with her brand and the beautiful pieces that she creates. I want them all (hehe). Alyssa’s dresses are so feminine, romantic and luxurious. I love the neutral colors, flowy feel and the fact that they are custom made per person.

 
 

We did our shoot at Stinson Beach and decided to wait for the sunset to get that perfect lighting. Hard to believe from the images but it was so crowded and windy that day. We made it work and Alyssa was a champ. See my favorite shots below.

The Holly Dress

If you like what you see, check out Alyssa’s store for more dresses, tops, skirts and even home items.

Visit her shop here Alyssa-Nicole.

Thanks for stopping by!

For session inquiries, email me at hello[at]kaisotto.com

♥ kai

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MINI-ADVENTURE 02: Spending a Day in San Francisco, CA

I have been living in the Bay Area for 14 years and though I have done a lot of sight seeing when my family and I first moved here, there are still tons of things to do and see. So I spent a day to explore some of the sights my city has to offer.

First on the list was food. We were driving around town and was starting to get hungry when we saw this spot. It was a small donut shop on Noriega Street called, Twisted Donuts and Coffee. It was close to the first spot on our list and well the egg plant purple building caught our attention LOL.

I went and got the Maple Bacon Donut (seen above) and boy was it yummy! They had tons of other options too and the service was good. After eating, we then went of to our first tourist spot on the list called, The 16th Avenue Tiled Steps.

It is a total of 164 tile-designed steps that is in the heart of a residential area. Luckily, there was not a lot of people checking the place out and there were tons of parking. We didn’t go all the away up to the Grand View Park though, which I heard had a great panoramic view of the city (definitely will do that next time!). Below are some other photos from that spot, including my friend G in front of a perfect Instagram background. LOL

We then headed over to the Golden Gate Park where we stopped by the Conservatory of Flowers. It was after 6PM so we didn’t get a chance to go inside but we did take advantage of the beautiful structure and took tons of pictures outside. There were a lot of people hanging out on the grass, playing games and just socializing. Others were strolling, walking their dogs and exploring with their kids.

I really loved seeing people actually out and about instead of cooped up in their homes or on their electronics. One man was even under this bridge (below) and was singing “Hallelujah”. His voice was so beautiful and I enjoyed it very much. Too bad he walked away after one song.

Last stop was walking around Stow Lake, which is also in Golden Gate Park. The sun was setting so we took a quick stroll and took some pics. See some shots below.


I loved these golden hour shots of me, G and the trees. So beautiful!

It was a long but lovely mini-adventure. I can’t wait for what’s in store next!!

If you want to check these spots out, see map below. 🙂

For inquiries, email me at hello[at]kaisotto.com.

♥ kai

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