{scotland} holyrood views

February 19, 2018

Holyrood happens to be the Queen’s official Scottish residence. It’s on the eastern side of Edinburgh and even though the Queen didn’t happen to be visiting when I was there, it was still fun to see her Scottish palace through the iron gates.

Beyond the royal residence, there’s also a huge park that makes up the Holyrood area. Edinburgh gets quite cold in the winter and climbing all the way up the hill in the center of Holyrood Park to Arthur’s Seat can be quite treacherous. In fact, I watched people that were not prepared for the snow and ice slip down to their own dismay. Despite the cold and ice, I did manage to make it to the top and was rewarded with a great view of the city including Edinburgh Castle, located about a mile away. I just love urban hiking!

Read more about our United Kingdom adventure here:
Scotland – edinburgh, the old cityall things national museum

A Scottish photo adventure:


I just love hiking. It’s one of my favorite past times, and surprisingly, despite my lack of athletic ability and regular exercise, I’m actually decently good at hiking … haha. When we were at Salt Point State Park, it was incredibly enjoyable to hike from forest to coastline (and the tidal pools) all in a single swoop. Salt Point State Park has quite a number of trails including one that leads through the Pygmy Forest. Apparently the type of soil in thatarea in particular leads to trees that just don’t grow as tall as in other places. Leaving the Pygmy Forest, you’re back on the coast where we found the most secluded cove where we watched the waves crash against the rocks and come very close to drenching us in freezing cold salt water. The best part about hiking is the views here at Salt Point!

A hikes photo adventure:

The best thing about Salt Point State Park being right on the coast is that this makes space for actual tidal pools! I love tidal pools. Growing up, going to the Cape always involves tidal pool exploration time. I remember during an overnight trip in middle school, I even picked to be in the group that spends all their time exploring tidal pools.

Even though we weren’t sure when the lowest tide was and we didn’t have any cell reception to look it up, it turns out we were pretty lucky and showed up to the tidal pools right around low tide late one afternoon. We spent over an hour just climbing around the rocks and staring into the mini pools looking for various signs of life. There were tons of different sea creatures. The starfish were of course the most magnificent along with a few crabs and the plant life, too, so neon-colored! I just love tidal pools! They’re like a secret world that’s only exposed a few hours a day!

A pools photo adventure:

I just love the ocean, particularly the Atlantic Ocean because the coastline in New England is very rocky. The coastline near Jenner, California at Salt Point State Park is also very rocky, which is why I love this area. The cliffs are way more dramatic and the Pacific Ocean’s waves is way more powerful so it’s even more beautiful! What’s even better is getting the chance to camp right near the ocean (not close enough to hear it at night though that would have been amazing), but close enough nonetheless. Besides, it’s definitely not too far to take a quick hike across Route 1 and enjoy the waves crashing into the high cliffs! So refreshing!

A coastline photo adventure:

I recently went on a later fall long weekend camping trip to Butano State Park. It was a bit of a spur of the moment decision, so we hadn’t booked a campsite, which always makes me a bit nervous. I mean, what if we drive all the way out there and there’s no where to sleep?!? What if we have to drive all the way back to San Francisco … what a shame that would be! Luckily, the place was practically empty and we had almost the whole place to ourselves, especially the first night (a Friday night). The second day more people showed up, but it was still relatively quite, which I really appreciated. The best part of all this though is that I found out what an amazing place Butano State Park is! Driving past Pescadero, you wouldn’t think much of this place, but then you drive straight into groves and groves of Coastal Redwoods. I just love this place and will definitely be making it back here soon!

A redwoods photo adventure: