Tag Archives: BEACH

On the Beaches of Praslin Island, Seychelles

Praslin in Seychelles is a small island with exquisite beaches that are often featured on the best beaches of the world. In addition to the Coco de Mer in Valle de Mai, the beaches in Praslin often bring tourists to the islands. When we decided on Seychelles, we were looking for an island to relax on and with no temptations of crazy hikes. Praslin won the lottery for those reasons.

After two days of walking, we decided to spend the rest of our week exploring beaches in Praslin. While we chose public transportation for some of our exploration, it required planning since the buses went to our hotel every hour or so. We decided to rent a car to explore the beaches so we wouldn’t have to time our beach day. On a bright and warm Seychelles morning, we began our beach exploration with the Anse Lazio beach. Anse Lazio is one of the best beaches situated in the northwest of Praslin. After parking our car, we trekked our way to the beach.  Fairly secluded, the road made way to beautiful expanse of blue water against white sand.  I cannot swim and when people hear I am going to the islands, they wonder what I could be doing at the beach. While I get my feet wet, and being Indian I don’t really need to sunbathe for a tan, I enjoy the beauty ahead of me. I try to capture God’s creation through my lens and in through my eyes. I make a snapshot of the beauty in my heart and head forever. Anse Lazio was my muse and I captured every corner of the beach through my lens. We ended our day at PK restaurant where we had the best Creole food.

In addition to Anse Lazio, we visited various beaches in Seychelles such as Cote D’Or. Sometimes it was a conscious decision to visit a specific beach, and sometimes we just stumbled upon an expanse of water that was too beautiful to resist. Seychelles provided several moments that were almost inexplicable. The islands have the best beaches I have ever seen in my life, and I am so glad I chose to end our couplehood with Seychelles before we began our journey into parenthood. Seychelles allowed me to relax with her sun and sand, amazing food and the warmth of the people.  I don’t know what Paradise if like, but Seychelles is the closest I have been to paradise on earth.

 

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Pristine Point Reyes in California

Point Reyes in California promised pristine beaches, sun and sand, and delivered with tons of memories. This past weekend my husband and I along with our year old German Shepherd puppy Zed spent the weekend in Point Reyes. This was not our first attempt at visiting Point Reyes. Seven years back, my husband and I decided to visit Point Reyes for a day.  We knew CA-1 was windy but I had no idea how windy it could be. While being beautiful beyond words, the ride had me reeling with terrible motion sickness. I couldn’t remember much of the day beyond trying to hold my composure. This weekend was our second attempt at visiting Point Reyes, but this time we decided to spend few days there at Nick’s Cove.

 

We decided to take the lesser windy path this time around. We reached Nick’s Cove and after a briefing on our cottage we were ready for the day. As soon as we walked outside to our porch, we were welcomed by the beautiful coastline. We decided to visit the Kehoe beach, but ended up at Millerton Point. With limited to no reception in the area, and no google to help us, we decided to explore Millerton Point. We thought we were going on a hike but were pleasantly surprised by a beach in addition to our hike. Our puppy Zed is not very excited by the gushing beach waves, but Millerton Point with its calm waters was exactly what Zed was looking for. He marveled at the water, tried chewing on a mussel. I love mussels but I learned the hard way that touching uncooked mussel can be disgusting. The smell stuck on my hands as I tried to remove the mussel from his mouth, and I had to use his poop bag as my version of Michael Jackson gloves to ward off the mussel smell. We ended our night with a dinner at Nick’s Cove.

 

On Sunday we began our journey to Bolinas Lagoon, a 24 mile drive from Nick’s Cove. We walked the beach while Zed acquainted himself with some puppy friends. Our next stop was at the Samuel P Taylor Park where we hiked for an hour before returning back to Nick’s Cove. We took Zed to the waters near Nick’s Cove hoping our puppy would finally enjoy some beach fun. After 30 minutes of analyzing the waves, growling at the water, digging up sand holes, Zed was slowly turning into a beach bum. He frolicked in the water, tried to catch the gushing waves and at the end of our two hour beach fun was covered with sand all over his black lustrous coat.  On Monday, we did some more beaching at the Limantour Beach, a pristine beautiful beach on a windy path. Being a workday, we had very few companions on the beach giving it a perfect secluded aura. If ever I am stuck in a island, I would hope for these two beach bums- my husband and Zed were with me. Zed dug some more holes and tried eating crab shells. In short the weekend was a beautiful and serene getaway.

 

Point Reyes epitomizes California with its sunny weather and beautiful beaches. It also made me feel like I was miles away from the hustle and bustle of the Bay Area with its fog capped mountain, pristine and untainted landscape and the serenity of the ambiance around.

John Steinbeck’s Monterey in California

I was first introduced to Monterey through the words of John Steinbeck’s the Grapes of Wrath. Until I had read the book in my sophomore year of college, Monterey never figured on my must see places. Why would I visit a Monterey when I could spend my weekend visiting the San Francisco? I am a city gal who loves the city more than any beach and enjoys hiking to laying in the sun.  As I read the book, I decided to drag my parents along to explore Monterey. That was my first time in Monterey. We walked through cannery row in downtown Monterey. Cannery row used to be the sardine packing industry which formed the backdrop for Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath. It was cool to walk through the old world charm of cannery row imagining what had been.

 

Monterey in the central coast of California is lush with beaches and water everywhere. The most famous inhabitant of Monterey includes the Monterey Aquarium. The Aquarium is big with fishes of every kind, gelly fish of every color flocking around you. They also have a backdoor pass wherein they take you through the backdoors of the Aquarium. I have visited so many aquariums that they no longer tickle my fancy but the Monterey Aquarium was my first in America, and I had never seen anything like it before. It is an absolute must see in Monterey and one can spend a whole day just marveling at the varieties of fish there.

 

While most people go to Monterey for the Aquarium, my absolute favorite is the serene seventeen mile drive. The seventeen mile drive provides breathtaking landscape of the Pacific coastline. One encounters the Pebble beach, golf courses and beautiful mansions while driving on the seventeen miles of beauty. There are different vantage points to enjoy the view and take pictures.

 

My last visit to Monterey was in February 2016. We took our puppy to the beach and stayed over in Monterey for the weekend. While the beach continues to haunt Zed, my german shepherd, he had fun frolicking on the sand, getting acquainted with dogs at the beach and just getting his paws wet. We chose Monterey State Beach for our day out. Zed had his fix of puppy friends while we walked the beach. After an exhausting beach day, we ate at Rosine’s Restaurant. I am not an Italian fan but this restaurant made me a believer. I cannot wait to go back to Rosine’s again!
Monterey offers everything California is known for, sun, beach and scenic beauty. The next time you are in the bay area, gorge on some clam chowder at Monterey. Even if you are not a beach bum, that one spoonful of clam chowder will make you return back to the town that inspired John Steinbeck.

Mesmerizing Half Moon Bay!

Half Moon Bay, a serene town on the beautiful CA1 stretch was scenic, pristine and quaint. The amazing part of traveling for me has been the unknown. You think you know the destination but as you unravel each layer, you are in awe, surprised and speechless. Every place I have been to, be it the majestic Morocco or the lesser known Dominica have left me speechless. Half Moon Bay in California was yet another one to the list.

The first time I ever visited Half Moon Bay was five years into my American stay. I had heard about it from word of mouth but never really had an opportunity to visit. The little beach town offers stretches of water against the Pacific, unlimited clam chowder and seafood and an ambience of complete relaxation. It is hard to believe the hustle and bustle of San Francisco is in its backyard.

This past weekend we took our little puppy to his first beach expedition and Half Moon Bay won the lottery again. While he wasn’t too fond of the waves messing up his lustrous coat, he rolled in the sand to no end. He smelled sea weeds and flaunted a fish carcass like it was his kill. While Montara State Beach has people, it was mellow in comparison to the Santa Cruz beach or Ocean Beach. We ended our Half Moon Bay trip with clam chowder from Barbara’s Fish Trap.

Half Moon Bay has become our go to spot for beaching (if that is even a word!!). While I am not too fond of the windy roads in the scenic route, the landscape is unparalleled. With Halloween around the corner, pumpkin patches decorated the streets, the sunshine was just right and the fog provided the icing on the top.

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QUAINT MENDOCINO

Mendocino, a little quaint town in the foggy hills north of San Francisco is unlike any other town in California. I have visited several towns in California having lived here for over twelve years, but Mendocino was unique. The gushing water, foggy mistiness amidst the very beautiful hills, Mendocino seemed like a quaint, untarnished town away from the hustle and bustle that defines California.

We decided to visit Mendocino for a weekend. We rarely go away for the weekend, and this was perhaps the second time we drove somewhere for the weekend. On a warm August afternoon, we embarked on our 3 hr and 30 min drive to Mendocino, California. Anyone who has drove in California knows Friday traffic can be a complete nightmare. There was some traffic, but once we passed San Francisco, the traffic God’s were good to us.  We reached the windy roads to Mendocino with two lanes, one up the hill and the other downhill and we knew this journey was going to be forever. It took us over 6 hrs to reach Mendocino, and the higher we got on the hills the more beautiful the scenery got.

We reached Sea Rock Inn, a beautiful bed and breakfast overlooking the water. They have individual villas and regular hotel rooms. We had a villa waiting for us when we got there. I grew up in homes with porches back in India, and the picture of the villa online showed a porch with chairs. I was sold! It was my weekend to experience the nostalgia of my childhood again, even if it was in California and not India. The instant we got out of our car, we knew Mendocino was special. I instantly fell in love with Mendocino.

The ladies at Sea Rock were beyond hospitable. They made us comfortable, and ensured we knew the restaurants nearby for food. We were famished and really needed food after hours of driving. We went to Patterson’s Pub, a restaurant close to our hotel. We had to wait for a while before we got seated. I was famished and regular fries felt like the greatest fries ever!

Our next day began with an organic breakfast at Sea Rock Inn. We decided to sit out for breakfast with mist falling on us, and the water gushing in the background. Nature played perfect hosts as we enjoyed our breakfast in the tranquility. We decided to go to the Mendocino Botanical gardens for our first stop. The gardens were big and beautiful. There were flowers and plants everywhere. I am not a big plant person, so the gardens seemed like every other I had visited before but it is still a good place to visit.

Our next stop was the famous glass beach, before which we decided to stop for our lunch at Fort Bragg. Fort Bragg was town with numerous shops and restaurants. Glass beach had tons of sea glass created from the garbage that was dumped in the nearby coastline years ago. We saw people trying to pick glass, and in some areas there were lots of glass. We were planning to pick some as well, and bum out on the beach. We might have walked the beach too had it not started pouring. We decided to head back to our hotel for cover from the rain. On our way back, we saw the Skunk train, which was another one of the Mendocino must do’s. We were late for the Skunk train on that specific day and we were returning back the next day. So Skunk train is on my agenda for the next Mendocino weekend. We ended our night with French cuisine and it was fabulous. The escargot (snails) was amazing, and it was perfect end to a great weekend.

We were leaving the next morning. We soaked in the natural beauty around as we ate our breakfast. After checking out, we walked the downtown area where there were numerous shops. We walked around planning not to shop until we saw a chocolate shop. Mendocino went up on my favorite place list at that point. They had real Belgian chocolates, and my “no shopping” pact went out the window. I went overboard and bought lots of chocolates. They were planning to have a chocolate festival in November, and I promised to be back.

The ride up the mountains to Mendocino was tedious for someone like me who has battled motion sickness my entire life. Mendocino was everything I did not expect it to be. I thought it was going to be like the other Californian towns but was sweetly surprised. The chill air, fog, the gushing waters- Mendocino had my heart from the instant I got there. Mendocino is California’s little secret, and my favorite spot in California.

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