Travel Archives - MALLORI MA | Photography
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Napa and Sonoma Valley California | June 2016

Kevin and I recently traveled to Northern California visiting San Francisco, Carmel, and our last stop was Napa Valley! Visiting Napa and Sonoma was an absolute must for me … wine is kind of a BIG DEAL! If you have been following our journey through San Francisco and Carmel you probably noticed that we took a ton of photos and we had so many is was hard for me to narrow it down for the blog! Well, you are going to notice this post is much shorter and not because it was not absolutely gorgeous … but for very good reason, we were drinking wine! If you missed our San Francisco post click here and to check out our Carmel post click here!

So let me start by telling you there are a ton and I mean a ton of wineries. And not only do they probably have amazing wine but the buildings and grounds are gorgeous. So I am sad that I was not able to visit all of them but we definitely had some FAVORITES. So I am going to start with our favorite Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars (not to be confused w/Stag’s Leap Winery which is completely different).  This was one of the few wineries we knew we had to visit. We were introduced to their wine on our honeymoon in Hawaii and fell in love, amazing wine! So we made sure we booked a cave tour and tasting here which was fantastic. If you are visiting Napa or Sonoma I highly recommend taking at least one behind-the-scenes tour to learn some of the history and what goes into making the wine … you might even learn a few tasting skills!

Some other favorite wineries we visited were Robert Mondavi (our wedding wine!), Cairdean Estate (love their decor and their logo is awesome), Buena Vista Winery (the oldest commercial winery in CA), and Cakebread Cellars! We had a great experience at all of these wineries and the wine was delicious! And if wine isn’t your thing Napa and Sonoma is a foodies paradise, luckily we like both! But I made the mistake of picking a noodle house that Kevin fell in love with … so needless to say we had noodles two nights in a row lol.

I hope you enjoy the last post from our California vacation and check back for more future travel adventures!

Napa Valley CA Cakebread Cellars & Stag's Leap Wine Cellars

Castello di Amorosa

Castelle di Amorosa Napa California

Castello di Amorosa Napa California

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Big Sur, Carmel, & Monterey California | June 2016

I have been dreaming of going to Big Sur forever so when planning our vacation to San Francisco I really wanted to work this into our trip. And as it turns out there are some truly beautiful hotels and rentals in Carmel and Monterey California! We chose to stay at the Hyatt Carmel Highlands and it was AMAZING … gorgeous views overlooking the water and a wood burning fireplace in your room was just what we needed after spending the previous few days in San Francisco!

So we rested up after our drive and planned our road trip to Big Sur the next day!! Big Sur gets pretty busy pretty fast so we decided to get on the road early. The road to Big Sur on Highway 1 was like an attraction all by itself! There were so many breathtaking views and pull-offs I was starting to think we should have left even earlier because we just wanted to stop at all of them and soak in the beauty. Not to mention … being photographers it was pretty much a dream to photograph! And wait till you see the Bixby Bridge, if you love bridges like me this one is just stunning! When we finally reached Big Sur it was nothing short of amazing, a place that just seemed pretty magical. I feel blessed and thankful to have been there and urge anyone considering a trip here to go.

And because we wanted to see as much as possible while in Carmel we spent the second half of our day exploring 17-Mile Drive Pebble Beach, California. The drive is kind of touristy … but I guess since we are tourist its fine lol. It was a fun way to see some neat lookouts and landmarks such as the Lone Cypress, Spanish Bay, Bird Rock and of course world-renowned golf courses! Neither of us are golfers so we spent more time walking the beaches, watching seals and sea lions and admiring the coastal views! And we wrapped up our day with a seafood dinner in Fisherman’s Wharf Monterey where we saw more seals and sea lions as well as our first otter (not in an aquarium), so CUTE!

Before heading to the last stop on our trip and my next blog post Napa California, we spent some time hiking at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve in Carmel where we saw gorgeous coastal views along the cliffs, stunning cypress trees, harbor seals and a Killer Whale! And on the way to Napa we stopped at one of the other main reason for this trip, the Muir Woods Redwood Forest! Truly incredible to see in person and the smell … nature never smelled so good lol! So I am going to stop now because I feel like I could write about this amazing trip forever but enjoy a little bit of Big Sur, Carmel, Monterey and Muir Woods through our lens!

Pigeon Point Light House State Historic Park California

So many beautiful lookout points on the way to Big Sur!

California Highway 1 Lookout Points on the way to Big Sur

California Highway 1

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San Francisco Vacation | June 2016

Where to start? San Francisco has been on my bucket list of vacations forever! So glad we finally took the plunge and booked a vacation here as well as some other awesome spots in Northern California (I will be sharing some blog posts for those awesome locations as well). I can’t believe it has already been a month since we left for this amazing vacation!

For only having three days to try to see as much of San Francisco as possible I think we did pretty good! We stayed in Fishermans Wharf so it’s only expected with my obsession with animals that we stopped to see the famous Pier 39 Sea Lions first! Before we actually reached the spot where they were sunning I actually thought the sound was fake … I had no idea they were so loud! Touristy or not I loved them and Kevin had to drag me away from their cuteness! We actually spent most of our first day walking along the harbor and eating some pretty awesome seafood … the Dungeness crab is delicious!

Day two was our scheduled trip to Alcatraz Island. A little travel tip if you are planning to see Alcatraz Island and the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary you should plan on buying your tickets ahead. I tend to over plan so I booked our tickets as soon as I planned our vacation but I overheard the ticket counter telling people the tickets were sold out until July … and we were there the first week of June! But this is a MUST-SEE if you have never been and the self-guided audio tour is fantastic! A little awesome fact about Alcatraz Island that surprised me because I only associated Alcatraz with the prison is that it is actually a sanctuary for seabirds and we just happened to be there during nesting! Wait till you see the photos of the baby seabirds … ADORABLE!

And because we were not tired enough from Alcatraz we also took a boat tour that went under the Golden Gate Bridge and visited the Sutro Baths ruins, quite possibly a photographers DREAM golden hour location for it’s amazing light! A big thanks to the super talented Olivia Richards who captured our couples session at Lovers Lane and Bakers Beach for the recommendation! You can check out the photos from our couples session here!

And our last day before heading to our next stop in Carmel, California was filled with some other very important must-sees! Our first Trolley ride, Chinatown, Lombard Street and the “Painted Ladies” … because I was the biggest Full House fan and I could not imagine going to San Francisco without saying I saw them! So enjoy our adventures and be sure to check out our next blog post that follows our travels in Carmel, California!

Pier 39 Fishermans Wharf Sea Lions

San Francisco California Harbor

San Francisco Harbor and Fishermans Wharf

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Birthday Weekend in Charleston, South Carolina | 2015

So I am going to start by saying I am ready to pack my bags and move to Charleston, South Carolina! Just kidding … sort of … I really really would love one of those old historic homes, I think I am going to start saving. And if anyone knows me I just love seafood, I don’t think I have ever ate so much seafood during one weekend in my life! Definitely not complaining about that though. And I have to thank my wonderful husband who I love very much for this amazing weekend, he did all the planning to surprise me for my 30th birthday.

So anyway besides having gorgeous homes and amazing seafood there are cobblestone roads, dreamy trees and all of the different doors … umm I don’t think I have ever been so obsessed with doors lol. But its true and I will definitely be sharing some of my favorites because of course I was the creeper photographing everyones front door. And I really wish I had the chance to take more photos than I did  but I was already slowing us down wherever we went!

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These are the DREAMY trees! I really need to photograph a destination wedding here!

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And since it was my birthday and Kevin knows me so well he not only bought me the most delicious blueberry cake from the Sugar Bake Shop but it was almost too pretty to eat! And check out how cute the Bake Shop is. I will definitely be making a trip back to try some more of their goodies!

And because one cake is not enough, our hotel graciously provided me with another beautiful cake. Big thanks to the Belmond at Charleston Place! I am one lucky girl who will definitely be needing a diet for the New Year!!!

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