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USA Wanderings: Santa Cruz to Monterey

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On my third day here Anne from SLOW SHUTTER SPEED picked me up and we went down to Santa Cruz and finished the day in Monterey getting a sunset. I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed my day with Anne, she was a lot of fun.

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The place we went to was the Santa Cruz boardwalk. Lots of games, rides and colours there. We didn’t go on any rides, but it was gorgeous place by the sea. The weather was stunning and in complete contrast to what we had the day before.

It was my first time to a broadwalk, it was a lot of fun.

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We went down to the pier and walked along it and then went to see the sea lions underneath it. They were lying around resting around, they were fun to watch.

We went to Olitas for lunch and I had my first taco there, and they are nothing like what we get in Australia. I did put a photo of it on Instagram. I had a blackened fish taco and it was so nice, really good. I can’t believe, a taco and a beer for $6, best lunch ever. Olitas have that special every Tuesday and Thursday.

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On the way to Monterey we stopped off at Capitola. A quaint little seaside town with colourful buildings. We didn’t stay long, but it was beautiful. Would have been nice to do a sunset there, but in the end we decided to go to Monterey instead. If I ever get back here this is one place I would like to see again and explore more.

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We got to Monterey just as the sun was setting. We found this beach that was very rocky, but the rocks were really nice and sculptural. I liked taking photos of them. I was using the D750 but because I don’t have a remote shutter release for it I couldn’t really do any long exposures for it.

The above photo was taken with my  Nikon 24-70mm lens, while the rest of the images were taken with the Tamron 28-300mm. I am loving that lens, I love how versatile it is. I am finding myself favouring it quite a bit.

I’ve been using the Nikon D750 most of the time and finding it great, though not having the right cables for some things can be annoying, but that’s to be expected when you are only borrowing it. I have had trouble connecting the wifi and my phone so I can send photos to my phone to load up to Facebook or Instagram, but finally got it working yesterday so will try and see if I can get it working again today.

The Merrell shoes have been fantastic and have been on my feet everyday. I am so glad I got them for this trip and everywhere I go and tell people my shoes are Merrell they tell me they love their Merrell shoes as well. It is like we are a little club.

I also got a new camera strap from Joby and I’m really enjoying that as well. I like how it feels when I am wearing it and how it is easy to slide around to use the  camera.

I have a few more photos for you now. Theses are the photos from Santa Cruz, Capitola and Monterey.

79 Comments
  1. Nice to read that you have a good time Leanne. Thanks for sharing those beautiful photos: -D

    September 6, 2015
    • No problem Irene, I am having a great time, it is exhausting, but great as well. Thank you.

      September 6, 2015
  2. Glad you are having fun!

    September 6, 2015
    • I am Pam, it has been fantastic so far.

      September 6, 2015
  3. !!! Mmmm Tacos !!! Glad you are having fun Leanne. 🙂

    September 6, 2015
    • I am John, it has been quite amazing so far. 🙂

      September 6, 2015
  4. Great series, lots of fun colors and shapes. Looks like a neat place to visit!

    September 6, 2015
    • It was and I really enjoyed it. Thank you.

      September 6, 2015
  5. Nice! Love the sea lions and the pier 🙂

    September 6, 2015
    • Thank you, the sea lions were a surprise, a great one.

      September 6, 2015
  6. -N- #

    Great coverage of California! SF, Monterey, and Santa Cruz are just the beginning. If you get to hit the Big Sur area, you are in for a real delight. Add to that, Merrells are fantastic shoes for long-wearing comfort. I am looking forward to seeing more of the US through the eyes of another. Enjoy!

    September 6, 2015
    • Thank you, they have been great so far. I don’t know that I am going there, but lots of other places have been suggested. I love my Merrells. That’s great to hear, I’m sure there will be more to be seen.

      September 6, 2015
      • -N- #

        I have spent 30 years working on my feet, running from here to there, and the Merrells clogs were my go-to shoes once I discovered them. Day in, day out, they were the best. Meanwhile – enjoy your shoes and your visit.

        September 6, 2015
      • It sounds like you found the perfect shoes, I only just discovered them recently, but I am in love with them now.

        September 6, 2015
  7. Looks like a real, California, Beautiful day. Love those pier shots and fish tacos are the best! I think I could eat them for ever meal if I had to 🙂

    September 6, 2015
    • I think it was Carrie, it was lovely and sunny. I love the taco, it was great, we don’t get those at home.Thank you Carrie.

      September 6, 2015
  8. One of my favorite places in the U.S. You’ve captured it beautifully.

    September 6, 2015
    • That is wonderful to hear, thank you.

      September 6, 2015
  9. mists of Monterey, lazy sea lions, your pier shots Perfect! beautiful photos Leanne

    September 6, 2015
    • Thank you Debi, always helps when you have great subjects to photograph.

      September 6, 2015
  10. If you’re still there, try to go to Point Lobos. We went there some weeks ago. Magical! You’ll may have the chance to see whales 😉

    September 6, 2015
    • Thanks for the tip, we might see what we can do, we might try and get there next week.

      September 6, 2015
  11. Welcome to the USA, Leanne! I didn’t realize you were coming to see us in America – but so glad you are enjoying your trip!!
    I really hope you’ll go to the Big Sur – the Redwood trees would make a wonderful place for you to take pictures…I’m just sayin’
    Are you coming east, too??

    September 6, 2015
    • Thank you Sheila, yes the trip has been in the planning for quite some time. I might see if it can be done, but many of my days are being used up so we might try. I am going to a redwood, apparently there are a couple, not sure which one yet but it is on the list. Yes, I am going to New York for 10 days.

      September 6, 2015
      • Yes, but are you just flying over the South with no stop in South Carolina?? Our loss…would love for you to take pictures here, too!! 🙂

        September 6, 2015
      • I don’t know if I am flying over the south or not, I’m going straight from San Francisco to New York, I could wave lol I would have loved to have visited more places but it really wasn’t possible this visit.

        September 6, 2015
      • Another time then – we are glad you came and hope you enjoy your visit immensely! 🙂 Yes – do wave!!

        September 7, 2015
      • Yes, I hope so Sheila, another time. I have enjoyed it a great deal so far. I will. 🙂

        September 7, 2015
  12. Amanda Hodgins #

    I am enjoying following your trip Leanne. Love seeing all the photos and the places. The sea lions remind me of the ones out in port Phillip bay near Queenscliff. Enjoy the rest of your trip. Can’t wait to see what you get up to in New York.

    September 6, 2015
    • Thank you Amanda, I’ve been very lucky and have managed to see heaps while I’ve been here so far. More great places coming up. I didn’t know there were sea lions out there, much look sometime. I can’t wait to see New York, going to be quite exciting.

      September 6, 2015
      • Amanda Hodgins #

        Enjoy every moment .

        September 6, 2015
      • I’m sure I will Amanda, thanks.

        September 7, 2015
  13. That is a fabulous part of the country. One of the best, and you got great photos!

    September 6, 2015
    • It has been fabulous so far, thank you Mary.

      September 6, 2015
  14. What great photos. It really is a beautiful country isn’t it? Are you going to make your way across the states?

    The seals are so adorable. But I think my favorite pearse-beach-bairgowrie-sorrento-sunset-2473 (I copied and pasted the title from clicking on the photo.)

    And you can count me into the Merrell club. Love them too. 🙂

    September 6, 2015
    • It is, quite amazing. I am going to New York, but that is about it.
      The seals were great and so much fun.
      I love those shoes, great to hear how many others do as well. 🙂 Thanks

      September 6, 2015
      • Ah so you’ll experience both coasts. Glad you’re enjoying it. I’ll look for your NY pics. I’m on the east coast (not in NY) and I’ve been out west as well. Have a safe trip across the country.

        September 6, 2015
      • Yes, I will, only for a short time on each, but that fine.I get to NY on the 15th, so photos will start then. Thank you.

        September 7, 2015
  15. Nice trip and photos. I wear Merrell shoes too.

    September 6, 2015
    • Thank you, and they are great shoes.

      September 7, 2015
  16. Superb images! It sounds like another great day. I need to get to Monterey some time. The one time I was there, all I saw was the inside of a hotel room as I had terrible food poisoning from rice.

    September 6, 2015
    • It was Laura, I didn’t see much of Monterey, but hopefully I might get a chance, I hope you do as well. Thank you.

      September 7, 2015
  17. Love your photos!

    September 6, 2015
  18. Welcome to California, my part of the world. Glad you’re having a great time. If you get a chance, while in NYC, go to the Brooklyn Museum. They have some nice Albert Bierstadt paintings… great to see in person.

    September 6, 2015
    • Thank you, it has been great so far. I’m looking for to NY, and I will keep that in mind, depends on how much time I have, though I would love to see them.

      September 7, 2015
  19. Wonderful images and info..tacos…oh my…bring it on 🙂

    September 6, 2015
    • Thanks Bev, the tacos are weird here. lol

      September 7, 2015
  20. Gorgeous pictures! They really make me miss my hometown (Monterey, CA). I spent so much time in Santa Cruz as a kid, we had my birthday every year at the Boardwalk.

    September 6, 2015
    • Thank you, a great place to grow up. That’s fantastic to hear, must give you good memories.

      September 7, 2015
  21. These are lovely! Glad you are enjoying!

    September 6, 2015
    • Thank you Debby, I’m having a great time.

      September 7, 2015
  22. I wear the Merrell Jungle Mocs, best shoes ever! Glad you are enjoying your loaner equipment. Wouldn’t it be nice if all cameras from a particular line used the same cables or remote triggers? Wonderful shots. When you get to NY, you should try to squeeze in a day trip to New Hampshire (or at least New England), the fall foliage should be in full swing by then.

    September 6, 2015
    • I love my Merrell Moabs, they are great too. It would be nice, maybe one day. I’m not sure what the plans are when I get to New York, I’m fairly certain it will be a busy 10 days. Thanks.

      September 7, 2015
  23. Sandra #

    Wonderful photos Leanne, and it sounds as if you are having a great time.

    September 6, 2015
    • Thanks Sandra, and I am, it has been so amazing so far, but you forgot to tell me that at high altitude it is hard to breathe.

      September 7, 2015
  24. I love your photos. 🙂 After your glowing reference for Merrell shoes, I think I’m going to have to investigate them.

    September 6, 2015
    • That’s great to hear Elaine, and thank you, I think they are great, and seems I’m not alone.

      September 7, 2015
      • I had a look online – what a choice! I don’t know where to start…

        September 7, 2015
      • There is a big choice, I have the Moab boots and shoes, but only brought the shoes with me. I do love the boots, but they look funny with shorts, lol.

        September 8, 2015
      • I’ve seen people with boots and shorts and often thought it a slightly unusual mixture. 🙂 However, if it was comfort over style, I’d go with comfort every time. 🙂

        September 8, 2015
      • I totally agree, comfort always has to come first. 🙂

        September 10, 2015
  25. Leanne, nice images and I’m glad you enjoyed the boardwalk. It is a fun place to shoot.

    September 6, 2015
    • Thank you Tim, it was fun, though we didn’t stay long.

      September 7, 2015
  26. Excellent pictures! Thank you so much for sharing!

    September 7, 2015
    • You’re welcome, great to hear you enjoyed them.

      September 7, 2015
  27. Wonderful photos, Leanne! I especially love the sea lions (they are so adorable) and of course the long exposure. Looks and sounds like you’re enjoying yourself 🙂

    September 7, 2015
    • Thank you Stacy, they are adorable and I was amazed to see them. I really am, and equally looking forward to getting to New York to meet you.

      September 7, 2015
  28. When we were there, in addition to the sea lions, while we ate we watched some young sea otters cavorting in the water. I love Monterey. It’s my favorite place in California.

    September 7, 2015
    • That would have been amazing, we didn’t see that. It is gorgeous Marilyn, I can see why you like it. Thanks

      September 8, 2015
  29. They are all beautiful photos but the sea lions grab me the most. Wonderful trip you are having. I lived in Arizona for three months and never had a taco. Stupid me!!

    September 7, 2015
    • I think they are very popular there. I am, oh that is a shame you didn’t have one, I’m trying to try as much of the food as I can. Thank you.

      September 8, 2015
  30. Welcome, welcome! You have certainly found some of the prettiest spots already! Enjoy those great California tacos–I miss ’em!!!

    September 7, 2015
    • Thank you Lori, I have, it has been wonderful. I’ve been so lucky. Other people have planned the trips and I’ve seen so many wonderful places. Thank you.

      September 8, 2015
  31. Rebeca #

    I love Santa Cruz! I have spent a lot of time in that area and Capitola and Monterrey are pretty too. I love the boardwalk, next time try to go in! It’s a lot of fun and you can always see the ocean! And the pier is so amazing, you can see the animals so close!

    September 7, 2015
    • I loved Capitola, would love to spend more time there. I really didn’t get to see much of Monterey, but I might get another chance to go back, which would be good. We did go in but we stay long, we did work around the rides. Thanks Rebeca.

      September 8, 2015
  32. Ou! I love the photo with the beautiful colorful buildings! Thanks for sharing some of those stunning photos, I especially like the basking sea lion, they look like they were enjoying themselves!

    September 12, 2015
    • The sea lions were very relaxed, which was really nice. thank you Ally, it is a great place to explore.

      September 13, 2015

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