Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 

           

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

Blogi_banner_en.jpg

Travelblog Gone with the Wine Blog

Travelblog and lifestyleblog. Life under the Californian sun - Gone with the Wine. Trips, food and wine from all over the world. Solo and family adventures.

10 Travel Pictures from My Past, Vol 2

Paula Gaston

Last spring I posted 10 Travel Pictures from My Past. It was fun to look at pictures from my past trips and try to find ones that would fit into the post. Now this blog challenge is back again, and here are my new photos for it:
 

WING FROM THE WINDOW

southwest.jpg

This photo is from our return trip from Utah to California with a beautiful sunset. On this trip we visited Arches National Park, Salt Lake City and we were able to swim in a hot crater at Homestead Resort


BEST PHOTO YOU ACCIDENTALLY NAILED

goldengate_pilvi.jpg

Everyone knows that San Francisco can get pretty foggy sometimes. And when that happens, it happens very quickly and often hides the whole of the Golden Gate Bridge. While taking this picture we were trying to get some souvenir pictures with our guests from Finland. We were not quite fast enough, but instead of ruining the picture, the fog actually made it look pretty cool.


A TRAVEL PICTURE THAT MAKES YOU SMILE

minnie.jpg

When we visited Disneyland in Anaheim, California, all my daughter wanted was to see Minnie Mouse. So all I can say about this picture is that it makes me very happy!


NATURE PICTURE

islanti.jpg

Some years ago, I stayed in Iceland for a month. The most memorable thing was the varied beautiful nature. I have heard that since then, the tourism there have exploded, but I was able to enjoy everything without too much hassle. The picture is from Skogafoss waterfall. 


UP AND HIGH

Basel_Munster_Paula.jpg

This picture is from Basel Switzerland, where we climbed up 242 steps to the bell tower of the Basel Minster. The view from up there was amazing!


A POSTCARD IMAGE

golden_pavillion_lampi.jpg

Kyoto, Japan has been one of the most amazing places I have visited. There is so much to see in the town, that I could easily do another trip there. The Golden Pavillion, where this picture is from, was extremely crowded.

TRAVEL BUDDIES

nara_kynttilat.jpg

During the years I have traveled with many kinds of people. When I was a kid, we of course traveled with my mom and dad, and then later with friends. Today, I mostly travel with my own family, who are in the picture; all but our 2 month old who missing from it. This picture is from Nara, Japan, where we visited the Giant Buddha in Todai-ji Temple.


CHILLIN UNDER A PALM TREE

palmun_alla.jpg

For some reason it was hard for me to find a picture where I'm under a palm tree. So maybe I don't do that very often, even though we live in California. Coming from Scandinavia, I can't ever get used to the palm trees and seeing them always makes me feel good. This picture was taken some years ago in Los Angeles. 

By the way, did you know that palm trees are not native to California, and they were all planted?


"GOOD MORNING" PICTURE

aamiainen.jpg

One of the best breakfasts I have ever had! We had long waited to visit Hawaii's Big Island again, and we finally went back last year. Since we were jet lagged in the beginning of our trip, we were always up early enough to be the first ones at breakfast. And because of that, we always got to choose the best table of the house and enjoy the sunrise.


FAVORITE CITY

fishermans_warf.jpg

As my favorite city, I chose San Francisco, since we live right next to it and I love it! Even though there are many other awesome cities in the world that I really like too. But I will never get bored with San Francisco!

 

In case you are interested in participating in this challenge, you can copy the list of the topics from here. Originally this was started by a Finnish blog Journey diary. If you do write a post about it, I would love to read it. Please link it to my comments, and also link my blog on your post so we can find each other's posts easily.

1. Wing from the Window
2. Best photo you accidentally nailed
3. Travel Photo that Makes You Smile
4. Nature Picture
5. Up and High
6. A Postcard Image
7. Travel Buddies
8. Chillin Under a Palm Tree
9. "Good morning" Picture
10. Favorite city

5 Reasons Why Korea is on My Bucket List

Paula Gaston

Since I love traveling more than anything, I have a loooong bucket list. As I have seen almost all of the European countries, had some adventures in the Middle East and Africa, and lived in North America by now, I think it is time to take over Asia. I successfully started that journey exactly one year ago by visiting Japan. I'm hoping to visit many other Asian countries as well, and one of them is South Korea.

bucketlist.jpg

This is why I need to visit Korea:

1. TO SEE THE TRENDIEST PEOPLE ON THE PLANET

I've seen so many pictures from Korea and people there always look perfect! Both men and women wear stylish clothes, and women are always so beautiful. While Koreans have managed to maintain their history and culture, the country has modernized extremely fast. In fact, it is now one of the leading countries in the world in terms of technology, and their architecture is world famous. People are obviously following the trend of modernization by being such fashionistas. K-pop is a perfect example of that.

2. TO EAT KOREAN FOOD SUCH AS LIVING OCTOPUS

We all know Kimchi and Korean Barbecue. Kimchi is a delicious and spicy dish made by fermenting some cabbage and radishes, and usually served as a side. And Korean Barbecue restaurants have spread all over the world. But I recently saw a video of someone eating a dish of living octopus. Well, actually the octopus is not alive, but freshly killed, so it's tentacles are still squirming and make it look like you are eating an living octopus. Freaky!

3. TO SEE IF THEY LOVE COFFEE AS MUCH I DO

Well, they can't possibly love coffee as much as I do, but I have been told that Koreans drink a lot of coffee. And not just any coffee, a good coffee. Actually, coffee has been part of Korean history for a long long time. I definitely need to experience this myself, so I can say wether I might be sharing some coffee genes with Koreans. 

coffee_korea.jpg

4. TO SEE IF THE KOREANS CAN REALLY DRINK ANYONE UNDER THE TABLE

And with that "anyone" I mainly mean Finns. I'm originally from Finland where people consume an absurd amount of alcohol. When the weekend comes, there is always a reason for a party or you can just stay home and enjoy some beer or cider. But now there is this other nation that sounds disturbingly similar to my heritage. This is something I need to see for myself before I believe it. 

5. BECAUSE THEY HAVE EVERYTHING; EVEN THE OLYMPIC GAMES

As I have mentioned, Korea has a mixture of history and modern life. But they also seem to have everything that a tourist wants; big cities, beaches with turquoise water, mountains, great food and friendly people. And they have four beautiful seasons. Because of all this, Korea makes a great place to have the olympic games. Not only did they have Summer Olympics in 1988, in a few months they will be hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics. As I have lived most of my life in a Nordic country, I love all the winter sports. Cross country skiing, ski jumping and ice hockey are on top of my list. 

The Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, Korea, what a bucket list item! And if I can't do both, I would love to at least visit Korea someday. 

 

Small Luxuries on My Travels

Paula Gaston

All these pictures are from my Instagram account. You can follow me @paulagaston

When travelling it is nice to spoil yourself a little. We usually don't travel in business class or stay at five star resorts, even though we have tried both of them. The luxury on our trips comes from small things. We usually like to explore our surroundings and be in nature, so staying in a resort sometimes feels like a waste.

At least the following things bring us joy and feel like a luxury on our trips:

LUXURY IS...

10611055_668489719910815_1203172101_n.jpg
10175301_1413287228933428_906876060_n.jpg

...PAMPERING YOURSELF WITH GOOD FOOD.

We love to try local foods and we especially love seafood. When travelling we eat out a lot which definitely feels like a luxury to me, since I don't have to cook all the time. All the moms know what I mean! You don't have to think "when do I have time" or "what ingredients do we have". You can just sit down and enjoy.

10844285_587975804668674_346585731_n.jpg
insta_maitai.jpg

...TRYING SOME LOCAL DRINKS.

Every country or state seem to have their own drink. It is always nice to try something new and different. When traveling on wine regions we always choose a local wine, and my husband likes to try local beers as well. We sometimes also get a cocktail for an aperitif. 

san_jose.jpg
1527553_644429858937113_176195109_n.jpg

...CULTURAL EXPERIENCE IN A THEATRE OR MUSEUM.

You can't ever go to the theatre too much. I feel like we don't do that often enough, but most trips we end up going to a museum at least. There are however, some cities or countries that you can't leave without seeing a show or a musical first. Also, some seasons require an occasional visit to the opera or ballet. 

10249119_296523930503103_1834526931_n.jpg
11355259_1433107396996054_775500680_n.jpg

...A CUP OF REFRESHING COFFEE.

We are huge coffee snobs. When home we always grind our coffee from fresh beans. Finding a good cafe while traveling feels like luxury since most coffees served in hotels are like poison. I am not a big friend of Starbucks or other chains; the best coffees are served at small, independent cafes. 

13658783_1750280251913585_10823411_n.jpg
pinnacle.jpg

...A MOMENT OF SILENCE IN NATURE.

Best ever! I love it when I get to escape the city somewhere where I can only hear the sound of nature. There is nothing better than that.

12935134_1713953302220839_121968578_n.jpg
10597363_1543111145904552_1530394618_n.jpg

...THE MOMENT WITHOUT A RUSH!

And then there are moments when you really are not in a rush and you can totally relax. Very often this happens on a vacation when you are travelling.

12356325_741083142688736_1837684529_n.jpg
10597534_732175873584567_408192084_n.jpg

...A FIRE PLACE AND A CUP OF HOT CHOCOLATE ON A COLD WINTER NIGHT.

Here in California, I am sometimes missing a real winter. My childhood Christmases were always white, so I miss that. Especially when the evenings are dark and Christmas lights are already up, it would be such a luxury to have some snow. It really brings the Holiday feeling!

All Nippon Airlines business class dinner.

All Nippon Airlines business class dinner.

A warm crater at Homestead Resort in Utah.

A warm crater at Homestead Resort in Utah.

...SWEETER IN SMALL DOSES.

OK, fine. I can't lie that I wouldn't enjoy if I sometimes got the first class treatment, that "real" luxury. Sometimes it is nice to stay in a better room, fly with more room for yourself or eat in a fine dining restaurant. Especially the last one is familiar to me due to my old job, and I still like to find great restaurants. But when you don't get these things every day, you will appreciate them more.

What is your luxury when you travel?

 

Why Travel to California in October

Paula Gaston

I have probably mentioned many times already, that after I moved to California, the fall has become my favorite time of the year. It is still quite warm and sunny here, but not too hot. The fall colours and harvest decorations are everywhere. Different kinds of pumpkins and corn are put in to peoples' yards, and there are many kinds of events at the vineyards. I think it is absolutely the best time for visiting California!

Kids are of course waiting for Halloween, which is celebrated on the last day of October. Halloween starts the holiday season. Soon after that, there is Thanksgiving, and not long after is already Christmas and New Years. Pumpkin patches will be opening right at the beginning of October and we usually visit them a few times during the month. Among the decorative pumpkins, you can also buy some edible ones as well as some corn to make popcorn. Corn is a very common decoration in the fall. My favorite squash is the butternut squash, which makes an excellent soup. Pumpkin patches usually have many activities for kids, and while they get to be outdoors, they also get a little bit of exercise. 

pumpkin_house.jpg
vihreat_kurpitsat.jpg
Maize

Maize

Also, don't forget the fall treats like pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread. They are often served on the holiday feasts with other pies and other breads. Pies are served with whipped cream and as a dessert while pumpkin-, zucchini- and babana bread are eaten with the food. You can tell that the fall has arrived when the pumpkin pies can be found from the grocery stores. 

If possible, you should also head to California's wine country. The harvest season is the best time to visit wineries. Many of them have special events during this time. You might be lucky and get to go pick or stomp some grapes, and join the harvest festival. Just remember to book your hotel room early, since this is the high season for the wine areas. 

viinitynnyri.jpg

October ends on Halloween evening. Many people already start to celebrate on the weekend before, especially if you go out to the night clubs. So much fun! Americans love to dress up and wear their halloween costumes everywhere; home, work and parties. And they really go all out when planning their costumes. The actual Halloween evening is dedicated to kids who will go "trick or treating" from door to door. Some houses have over the top decorations with music and smoke, and might be too scary for the little ones. There is usually a haunted house close to our neighborhood which is built on a cul de sac of houses every year. I am waiting to visit it again.

Another sign of the arrival of fall is the cheaper flights. After August the prices go down for the winter and you might find some pretty good deals. So definitely the best time to come visit California!

Happy Halloween!

 

Legoland Discovery Center Tokyo

Paula Gaston

On our last trip to Japan, we also visited the local Legoland. Legoland Discovery Center is located on the island of Odaiba, at the Tokyo Beach Island Mall where we also visited the Trick Art Museum. Both of the places were quite small, so it was possible to visit them in the same day. Getting to Odaiba is easy when you take the local train, and there is so much to do for families with kids.

I was surprised that the Legoland seemed to be very small. I have never been to the original Legoland in Denmark, or the one in San Diego, California, but I always thought that these were big outside parks. The one in Tokyo was indoors and it didn't take long to walk through. It wasn't until later that I realised, that Legoland and Legoland Discovery Center are two different things. There actually was a "real" Legoland in Japan too, in the city of Nagoya.

lego_banner.jpg

So the Legoland Discovery Center was indoors. The tour started in a "Miniland" where we saw all the cool sites we had just seen on our visit to Tokyo. After Miniland there was a movie running, but we decided to skip it since we wanted stay active. We continued to a factory tour where we learned how legos are made. We also did a couple rides which were fun. Unfortunately they were the only rides they had! The rest of our visit we dedicated to playing. Our daughter enjoyed the play area, and there were several areas to built legos too. She tried the karaoke and made some friends while playing. 

lego_japani.jpg
Shibuya Crossing which we saw just few days before. 

Shibuya Crossing which we saw just few days before. 

The lit building in the front is Nijo Castle which we visited in Kyoto. 

The lit building in the front is Nijo Castle which we visited in Kyoto. 

lego_karaoke.jpg

After a while we moved down stairs to "City Train World". We saw many warning signs saying that once down stairs, we would not be able to return. This was a little confusing since we didn't know how big the downstairs area would be. Did we spend enough time up stairs or should we stay longer? We had no idea, but we decided to see what was downstairs, since we were starting to get a little tired. "City Train World" was a room with different kinds of train related legos, and it didn't take us long to move on. The tour ended at the souvenir shop. 

Overall I think that the Legoland Discovery Center was a little bit disappointing. Or maybe I was just expecting too much, as I thought I was in an actual Legoland. If you are planning to visit this place, you should consider getting tickets beforehand online, since they are cheaper that way. There is a cafeteria inside the discovery center, however we ate at the mall where they had more to choose from. There is so much to do for kids and families at this mall. 

lego_joulu.jpg

Legoland Discovery Center can be found from: Odaiba 1-6-1 Decks Tokyo Beach Island Mall 3F, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 135-0091, Japan.