Wednesday, June 27, 2012

California - Part One


 The journey begins - waiting at the station to take the train to Narita Airport.
Soon after finding out I was able to take some days of summer vacation off from work, I very quickly booked plane tickets and planned a last-minute week-long trip to the Bay Area, which I haven't been back to for over a year and a half. This trip was mostly to see my family. Jittery with anticipation and sleepiness, I stepped onto the train.


Inside the train from Tokyo to the airport.


At the airport. Previous times there, I had been rather rushed or focused on other purposes... but this time, I rather enjoyed the short time at Narita Airport before taking off. I completely savored the feeling of departing on a journey to a destination thousands of miles away. 
After a nine hour flight, I arrived all too quickly, 
and it was as though I had been transported back in time.


 First, there was a lovely trip to the Monterey area.


We witnessed an amazing sunset on the ocean.


 I breathed in the cool, salty sea air and heard myself sigh in tranquility.


 The skies darkened slowly, leaving only points of light along the water, and inky darkness near the beach. My fingertips froze a bit in the night wind.


We discovered a small, old-fashioned town a bit inland the next day.


 Small, colorful surprises lay hidden all around us , just waiting to be discovered.


This California poppy petal caught my eye, sparking out from amidst the fallen leaves.

 These flowers caught the afternoon glow perfectly.


 And more California poppies!

 I just love natural light and greenery.



We also spotted this huge brown pelican perched on someone's car near the beach!
I wonder why it chose the car as its sunning location. The pelican was very calm and didn't seem alarmed at the spectators trickling around to stare and snap photos. Including me.


Lovely ground squirrels! So friendly and daring.


Got any food for me?


Crows near the beach.


A gull spreading its wings for landing.


 And more to come soon!
Now that I've recovered from jet lag by sleeping nearly the entire weekend after returning to Tokyo, I've finally made some time to go through my photos.
Life seems to move at a faster pace here, but thanks to the trip back to California, I think I've managed to take a bit of that sunny, easy-going feeling with me and bring it back.
The weekend and early this week have been so comfortable and mild. I wonder if the rainy season is really going to come?

P.S. I've started a new Flickr account to house all the photos I'm taking! Feel free to take a look.