Monday, February 24, 2014

Big Sur Adventures: Mcway WaterFall & Pfieffer Beach

While driving down the coast of highway 1, I determined that people were right by saying that it was a very scenic highway. Although I was driving on a mountain, I didn't find it as intimidating as driving to Santa Cruz. I guess the reason for that might be because there's two lanes on the way to Santa Cruz versus one lane for highway 1. I guess that means I felt less intimidated when I knew I wasn't as cramped and that a car might quickly pass over to me in the left. There were multiple places down the highway that are beautiful and you can just park in the small road if there's any more space left or maybe even a parking lot. Among one of the sights you can see while driving down highway 1 are beaches, whale watching, Bixby bridge and other bridges, national parks, and other sights. If I knew there were more to see in highway 1, I would have planned my trip down there differently.

One of the main reasons why I decided to go to Big Sur this weekend was because I saw beautiful pictures of the place on Pinterest. As part of my personal goals, I want to see more of California, especially its hidden gems. I recently created a "Places to go in California" board and there were a few pins of Big Sur on there. Not to mention whenever I searched through the travel section, Big Sur was a popular one that showed up for places in California.

Among one of the destinations I randomly stopped while I was at highway 1 on route to McWay WaterFalls was this random beach. I tried to look for signs of the name of the beach, but I couldn't find it. But, that beach is absolutely lovely! Well worth the visit!

After parking on the small strip of road, I walked down the path and it led to the beach.

I love that there were multiple kind of rocks on the beach.

As I walked down the beach, I noticed this huge rock in the middle of the beach. I really like it because its a mini waterfall rock in the middle of the beach.

After visiting that beach, me and my friends were on route to meeting my other friends at McWay Falls. Pretty soon we realized that we had no reception and didn't even had reception when we arrived. After I parked, I quickly found where the waterfall was and decided to head there to see if my friends were there, but they weren't. After looking around the area, I determined that they have not arrived yet. So, I decided to stand in the small street parking and across the street from this sign hoping that one of us will notice each other when they drive by.

As I was standing at that spot looking at cars, I noticed a park ranger checking out all the cars and he came around twice, so make sure you are parking correctly if you are parking in the street or to pay your fee if you are parked in the parking lot.

After standing in that spot for a good 15 minutes,  I spotted my friends driving past and I yelled out "HEY!!!," but they just drove off. There I was thinking. "did they hear me or they just went to find parking?" I decided to walk towards their car and noticed they were parking on the small road. I walked up to them and they told me they drove past the destination and was an 1 hour away before they turned back.

There are two routes down to McWay WaterFall trails. One of them is to go down this hill, which was made by tourists and is short and quick. It's pretty dangerous, so if you don't want to risk it, you should take the other path, which isn't that long.

One of them is to walk on the trail that is made where the fee parking lot is located. After walking about 3-5 minutes on the trail, you will walk through this tunnel and keep walking to your right until you see the waterfall.

The stream of the waterfall is pretty small, but the beach and waterfall together is magnificent.

I just love how the water sparkles. It was lovely. It was a great view. Too bad we weren't allowed to go down to the beach.

As I walked down the trail, the view was different and beautiful.

After me and my friends finished touring Mcway Falls, I decided to go to our next destination, which was Pfieffer State Park. I'm glad that I looked at the map a few times before making this trip, as well as the views on the road. Otherwise, without no reception I wouldn't have known my way to Pfieffer State Park unless I bought a map. Unfortunately, since parking was $10, we decided to head to the beach instead. I asked the park ranger for the directions to Pfeiffer Beach and she handed us a small strip of paper with instructions on how to get there. Once we exit out of Pfieffer State Park, we would make a left and continue and pass two openings, but only turn at the second opening, which had a yellow sign "narrow road". While I drove down the narrow road, I noticed how small and windy it was. Also, I noticed there were horses there!

As we almost reached the parking lot, a park ranger greeted us and told us that parking was $5. After parking, there was a brief walk to the beach.

Imagine seeing that small stream when you first hit that beach and thinking that's the beach? But, luckily, that was not the beach.

Pfieffer beach was one of the places I seen a lot of pictures of on Pinterest. And, I got to say the pictures on Pinterest look better than mine. I think it's the camera and that a lot of them had a picture with the sunset. That being said, I wished I was there when the sun was setting.

Before some of my friends and I went back home, they wanted to eat dinner. We decided on going to this restaurant called Damatra in Carmel, CA. After looking at the menu, I decided I didn't want to get anything, but my two other friends decided to order food. The restaurant seemed perfect for a date.

The ride back home didn't seem as intimidating as I thought it would be. Most of the time, it was only me and this other car ahead of me, which was good because that car provided more light. Also, the road back was just straight roads and I didn't have too turn much at all. I wished I could have looked out the window, while I was driving because there were a lot of stars outside.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Natural Bridges State Beach & The Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz

On President's Day, me and a few friends decided to head down to Santa Cruz. It was my second time going to Santa Cruz. The drive there was shorter than I remembered.

Our first destination was Cafe Brasil. I love that cafe. It has a great menu and I like their food. I ordered the Chicken Delight again and got a guava shake. This is the only place I found that offers guava shake or guava juice, which I love!

After eating at Cafe Brasil, we went to Natural Bridges State Beach. I definitely wanted to go to a beach while I was still in Santa Cruz, but didn't want to go to boardwalk again since I already been there. We did try to go to the boardwalk again, but we ran out of time.

There were more people in the beach then I had expected. Maybe it's because I usually go to the beach later on in the day.

What attracted me to this beach was the rock formation! I loved that the beach had it!

Yes, that's me on the rock. I was brave enough to go on it and for a picture. I wish I had taken more photos, but wasn't aware that my friend wasn't screaming at me to do more poses.

After we went to Natural Bridges State Beach, we headed to the Mystery Spot. Once we reached the Mystery Spot, we had no reception, so I was unable to check in on Foursquare or use my data at all.

As part of our tour, we went inside this house. When you are inside, you can take some pretty cool photos. Among one of the things you saw in the house was this picture below.

This ball was one of the demonstrations used as part of the tour. I will leave out why it was part of the tour.

The tour guide we had for the tour was very good. He was friendly and humorous. He made a lot of jokes during his presentations. During one of the demonstrations, he ended up picking me as one of the people to help demonstrate something.

Lastly, we ended the day with food. We first got bakery at 85 degrees C bakery in Newark, CA. Afterwards, we ate dinner at OZ Korean BBQ in Elk Grove.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Day in Half Moon Beach & San Jose

A few weekends ago, I decided to go to the Bay Area and hang out. I wasn't sure of where to go at first because I pretty much seen most of SF and been to other parts of Bay Area already.

My friend told me she really wanted to go to Half Moon Bay, so we decided to go there. When we arrived, parts of the beach were flooded from the other day when the waves were too big. In the image above, this is where a stair leads to the beach, but it was too flooded to go down this route.

I ended up going down this hill in order to go down to the beach. However, on the way back to my car I found a easier route!

I have to say going to the beach was the best part of the day! I tried to be more adventurous by touching more of the water although it was cold. One moment I wasn't really paying attention and I go splashed with so much water.

Our next stop was the Japanese Friendship Garden in San Jose. There was a parking fee for the parking lot at the park, so we decided to park on the street. However, it was about a 15 minute walk to the park!

The pond didn't have much water, but it was a rather big pond.

While walking through the park, me and my friends discovered this donation dispenser. You can get a coin to spin by first putting it on the glass and watching how fast it can go in the hole, which was pretty cool to watch. The money goes towards the garden.

Next, we went to the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden.

The fountain was really nice to look at. It's a perfect spot to just relax and read a book or look at nature.

I was really excited to go here because I was really looking forward to seeing some beautiful roses. However, when we went all the roses were cut off and weren't growing at the moment.

Before we left the Bay Area, we went to Bambu in San Jose. I love that place! And, afterwards we went to 85 degrees bakery again. That was a fun weekend!

Monday, February 3, 2014

DIY Pinterest Inspired Projects

For my Bucket List of 2014, I decided to do at least 5 DIY Pinterest projects. I decided to put that in my bucket list because I surfed through Pinterest several times before and Pinterest has many interesting images. There were many things that I not only wanted to make or eat, but go travel to just because I saw it on Pinterest. So, I made it a goal to get one of those things done.

One of the first things that I decided to make was "Fairies in a Jar". It looked so beautiful in the pictures that I saw on Pinterest that I decided that I wanted to make it. All I needed was a few simples items in order to do the project.

When I first attempted to do the project, I put too much dark glitter which didn't go well with the glow and did not work out as much. So, when I tried again the second time I used a lighter colored glitter and added more glow, so the jar would really glow.

My second DIY project was actually inspired by a cute scrapbook note. DIY does mean Do it Yourself after all, so I decided to make my own version of the note that was very similar to what I saw on Pinterest.

Among one of the awesome projects I saw on Pinterest was the "Lollipops in a stick". I thought that it was very cute and simple. I automatically decided that I wanted to do the project. When I first did it, I thought I had enough Lollipops, but I didn't! I believe there's over 100 lollipops in ball! Also, I think this is my most succesful DIY project!

All Pinterest projects look so beautiful. I guess that means that people aren't really a fan of posting their failures. When I attempted the crayon art project, I imagine that all the crayon wax was going to come down slowly in one line. But, I ended up messing up when the blowdryer blew all the colors in the middle and spread them around. I also should have chosen only a few colors.

My last project was inspired simply by seeing a project that had two stamped thumbprints on piece of paper, which was most likely used for a card. I thought it was simple and cute. I decided to do the project and wanted to use my thumbprints to make a heart. Hmm.. maybe I should have decorated it more?

After completing these projects,  I was really happy that I did them all. But, I did have a headache after finishing them. Through browsing through Pinterest to look for more DIY projects, I found myself also interested in making Pinterest inspired meals. I was also inspired to go to places that looked amazingly beautiful on Pinterest!

Ending my Gaming Addiction

I finally came to the point in my life, in which, I realized I had to stop playing Clash of Clans. I stopped playing the game for over 2 weeks now. Firstly, I started by saying goodbye to all the clan members. Then, I stopped attacking and going on as frequently until I finally stop going on the app at all.

I know I said it before that it was hard to leave because of my commitment to my clan and how much I wanted to help them. Also, I wanted to keep building up my base and made it as strong as possible. But, what I realized was that I had spend too much of my time building a game and clan in the virtual world. There's so much in my life now that needs major development and what I need to do is work on them. I need to accomplish goals in my life. I need to work towards getting into a career that I enjoy and want. I must spend the time that I used on the game on life development and improving myself.

It was super hard to let go. But, knowing that I am working towards something good helped me let it go.

I learned a lot from playing Clash of Clans. So much so that I could have made a tutorial on attacking, base building, and so on, but I never attempted. Now that I have distanced myself from the game, I must make the things I do worth my time.