California Paradise.

san diego

I’ve only been to California twice in my life, so I was ECSTATIC to visit again this February for the last leg of my book tour. I spent 4 days in San Fran, 3 days in San Diego, and 1 day in Newport Beach.

And 8 days on the west coast wasn’t nearly long enough!

san fran at sunrise

While I felt like I worked the whole trip, looking back– we actually did a TON. Kevin was able to join me on the trip, so we found adventures and explored Cali paradise as much as we could.

We had family meet us and we all went to the San Diego zoo, we woke up early to see the golden gate bridge at sunrise, we spent a day at Alcatraz, we drove up and down the coast one day, we visited our friends in Los Altos, and we celebrated Valentine’s Day. All that and I held 4 book signings and met some of the best people at each. Can I go back? 

alcatraz cruises

And what made it all even better? It was only 15 degrees back home on the east coast. Now is that lucky timing or what?!


Love this shot. Set on my tripod with the slowest shutter speed in the world.

Doesn’t the water look like silk?! ↓

golden gate bridge


sanfran fog

san diego zoo-2

san diego zoo

san diego zoo-1


san diego-2

Jalapeño basil pineapple marg. Is that a cuppa paradise or what?

jalapeno basil pineapple margarita

san diego-1

California readers, consider me eternally jealous!

sanfran bay

Shot with Canon 5D Mark iii & Canon EF 24-70mm f/4.0 lens.

Q: Ever been to California? Have any favorite spots?


  1. You should come back and visit! =) Your photos of your trip to California are soo amazing. Especially that shot of the Golden Gate Bridge at dawn.  I’ve lived in SF all my life and I haven’t been over to Alcatraz yet. It might be time to remedy that. And now, I have to put the San Diego Zoo on my list of places to go. 

  2. i love that picture of the golden gate! and the sky looks so pretty in all of these (: next time, i highly recommend twin peaks at night, or billy goat park during the day. both of those places have amazing views over the city!

  3. That first shot of the Golden Gate Bridge… the water DOES look like silk! So dreamy and gorgeous. I’m also jealous of anyone living out in California. It’s 20 degrees and icy here today. Boo. Thank you for the warm-up with these photos! Looks like you had so much fun. And that jalapeno margarita! Say what?!

  4. Beautiful pictures! I’m so glad you came to San Diego! I really enjoyed meeting you! I know it’s a little corny, but I wrote about it on my blog this week, and if you get a chance could you take a look?? 🙂 Happy Wednesday!

  5. Gorgeous photos and the sky is such a crisp, virbant blue *sighs* I want sunny warm days!

    And I’m so with you: a trip to the zoo would be the perfect Valentine’s day date for my boyfriend & me, all that cuteness 🙂

    And that photo of the Golden Gate and all the others of the ocean.. *sighs* beautiful!

  6. These photos are fabulous and remind me of the road trip my husband and I did in 2014 around California. We’re from little New Zealand so it was so exciting for us! Looks like you had a great time there too! San Diego zoo is amazing isn’t it!? And that bridge…makes me want to binge watch “Fuller House”… 🙂

  7. Hi Sally! Love the photos and your blog!!!! In the pic of the Coronas, are those jalapeño slices in the glass? A lime/jalapeño Corona? Could be interesting!!

  8. Oh yes many many times I’ve been to cali. I dated someone that lived there. Spent a lot of time in San Diego and would love to go back. I’ve also been to Disneyland twice which is fun. My favorite place is Mission beach which they have an old wooden Rollar coaster. I would love to take my family there someday. 

  9. Yay, CA is pretty amazing! I am a Bay Area native who has also spent considerable time in Southern CA and love them both. However, I do have to say, none of my pictures look as great as yours. There is something to be said for visitors taking the best shots. 🙂 
    Glad you enjoyed your time here Sally! 

  10. YES AND YES!!
    i lived in Monterey for two years and there was nothing ever so pretty as that ol place :”)

  11. Gosh, Sally, you have an incredible gift! These pics are insanely good! I hope someday I’m “this good”. I have been to CA only once. I went out for a large Sales Meeting to Anaheim, BUT….I tapped into some great, long time friends from PA that moved out there to Malibu! Oh my heaven! My friends sister’s house is right on PCH at Laguna Beach. Her kitchen was used to shoot Oceans 11 (or was it 12). Oh and did I mention her outside spa by the pool was where J Lo’s “Jenny from the Block with Ben Affleck was filmed?”. Well, long and behold I HAD to go in it and sit on the lounge chair by the pool where Ben did in that video! I still can’t believe to this day my friends sister’s house was used for these films & videos. Yep! Total heaven. It paid big time to tap into that friend! And then a few days it was ‘back to reality!’. Total beauty out there.

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