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Travelblog Gone with the Wine

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.

Filtering by Tag: Lake Tahoe

The Most Popular Instagram Pictures of 2017

Paula Gaston

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

 

The year 2017 is ending soon which means people are summing up the highlights of their travel year in different posts. My summary is Instagram related, as I wanted to see which pictures on my account were the most popular ones. And here they are:

 

JANUARY

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Morning swim at Clarion Hotel Helsinki's rooftop

Swimming after sauna and sauna after the swimming. The rooftop in January was cold, but at least the sauna made me warm again. This picture is from Helsinki, Finland, where I participated in the Nordic Travel Fair. A morning swim at sun rise really wakes you up!

It was also nice to visit my home country Finland!

 

FEBRUARY

 

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Visit to the Instagram Headquarters in Silicon Valley

I was invited to the Facebook/Instagram Headquarters, and of course I went. We had lunch, toured around the campus and drove from one building to another by shuttle bus. I also saw Mark Zuckenberg. Since it is Instagram, there is of course some photo spots where we took some pictures. 

You can read more about life in Silicon Valley from here. 

 

MARCH

 

 

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At Alcatraz Island in San Francisco

In March we visited Alcatraz Island in San Francisco. The weather was nice and we had a lot of fun. The tickets to Alcatraz are sold out months before, so if you are planning to visit, make sure you book early.

 

 

 

 

APRIL

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Memories from lovely Stockholm

This post was inspired by a sad tragedy; a terror attack at Stockholm. Despite this, my own memories from this beautiful city are only positive and fun, and I hope to visit Sweden soon again. 

 

 

 

MAY

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California road trip - Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Trees Park is in the Mojave Desert in Southern California. We spent a day in Joshua Tree National Park and saw some rare plants and animals.

 

 

 

JUNE

 

 

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Tightrope walker at Joshua Tree National Park

Both hikers and climbers love Joshua Tree National Park, and we saw multiple groups on the rocks. I bet this group was the most photographed, since they were doing tightrope walking. 

 

 

 

 

JULY

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Pregnant blogger

This year has been different and very special to us. In the summer months we had to take a step back and relax since as you can see, my tummy got huge. This is at the end of my pregnancy in our yard in California. The whole time, I was feeling well, even though I wasn't able to travel as much as I did with my first pregnancy.

Read about travelling pregnant.

 

 

AUGUST

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Point Reyes lighthouse in California

Point Reyes lighthouse is on California coast in the Point Reyes National Seashore. You can visit inside the lighthouse if you first descend 300 steps down. Just remember, you also have to use the same steps to get up. We have been there many times, and you can read about it here. I would recommend this place to anyone who loves outdoors.

 

SEPTEMBER

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A new family member

In August, during the American Solar Eclipse, our family grew with a little baby daughter. Now there is four of us conquering the world. Passports and papers are already ready for some future travels. New adventures are awaiting! 

 

 

 

 

OCTOBER 

 

 

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Tarantulas in California's Golden Hills

In October you might see some tarantulas crawling around the California hills. They come out to find a mating partner. With this picture, I wanted to remind people about the post from last year when I went to hike to see some tarantulas. I was surprised to see that it was the most popular picture in October.

 

 

 

 

NOVEMBER

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Lake Tahoe - The pride of California and Nevada

Beautiful Lake Tahoe is located in Northern California, on the border of Nevada and California. It is a popular skiing destination, but in summer time people can swim, hike and camp. The picture is from my post about Lake Tahoe.

 

 

 

 

DECEMBER

 

December is not over yet so a picture will be added to this gallery later. Maybe it is the main picture of this post; the City Hall of San Francisco which was lit up in blue and white to honor Finland's centennial. (Photo credit: Paivi Hakala). Go check out my Instagram account @paulagaston, and like the picture from December that you think is the best!

Lake Tahoe - The Hidden Gem in California

Paula Gaston

About 300 kilometres from San Francisco in Northern California, in Sierra Nevada mountains lies Lake Tahoe. It is known for its clear water, beautiful scenery and casinos, since half of the lake is on the Nevada side. Californians head to Lake Tahoe to get closer to nature, party or ski, but many who are visiting California from abroad, have never heard of it. Even celebrities like Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe have visited here.

Emerald Bay

Emerald Bay

 

Lake Tahoe formed about 2 million years ago around the time of the ice age. Even though the winters of the Sierra Nevada are snowy and people go there to ski, the lake never freezes over. Some salmon and shrimp live in the lake, but now also huge gold fish have been found. Most likely someone has dumped their pets in the lake and they grew and grew.

The area can be roughly divided in two parts; South and North Lake Tahoe. The biggest town is South Lake Tahoe and it is at the south side of the lake. Over there, one can literally walk from California to Nevada, stop at the casino or party until the morning. On the California side, the bars must close at 2 am. In the north, Stateline and Tahoe City are the most popular towns especially during the winter. I have visited Lake Tahoe at every time of the year, and it is always magnificent. I have been there at winter, summer, Halloween, New Years and 4th of July. We went riding horses, swimming, hiking, partying and everything else. On top of that, I also got married there on 11/11/11.

SUMMER AT LAKE TAHOE

The best thing about Tahoe summers are the nature and the clean mountain air. The forests are full of hiking trails. Even though the weather can sometimes be + 30C, the water in the lake stays brisk due to it being so deep. Driving around the lake is also fun! Sometimes you can find a beach all to yourself, where no one else is around. Absolutely the best views are at Emerald Bay where you can see the lake from high up. Close by the beach is a Scandinavian style mansion called Vikingsholm which is open to visitors.

If you want to be as close to nature as possible, you should forget a hotel and rent a cabin instead. Just be aware of where you park since the giant pine cones can fall on your car. When staying in a cabin or a tent, you should also remember that there are bears in the area, and follow the safety rules.

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This teddy bear with his friend was roaming around people's yards. 

This teddy bear with his friend was roaming around people's yards. 

LAKE TAHOE IS A PARADISE FOR WINTER SPORTS

When the first rains hit the San Francisco Bay Area in the fall, at Lake Tahoe it is usually snowing. There are several ski resorts, and many professional athletes practise there for the upcoming season. Weather there is ideal. During the day time, you can often ski in the sun shine, but at night time it gets freezing to prevent the snow from melting away. If you are heading to Lake Tahoe in the winter time, don't forget to carry chains in your car. If you get surprised by a snow storm, you are required to use them, and the local shops along the way will charge an arm and a leg.

Many Californians head to Tahoe even if they don't know how to ski. It might be the only place for many kids to ever to see the snow and play in it. Lake Tahoe's Squaw Valley hosted the 1960 winter olympics.

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Close to Lake Tahoe there are several other places worth a visit. Reno, which is often called "little Vegas", is only less than an hour drive from Tahoe, and the capital of Nevada, Carson City is only half an hour drive as well. Even though Carson City is small, it is pretty idyllic. On the way there you might even see some wild horses. One of the most popular places among tourists is the old mining town Virginia City. This old ghost town is now full of life as there is so much to do and see for visitors. If you like an old western vibe, this your place.

Wild horses

Wild horses

If you are close by, you should absolutely visit Lake Tahoe which is outdoors California at its best. 

 

10 Travel Pictures from My Past

Paula Gaston

We just finished a road trip in California, but before sharing those stories, I decided to participate in a blog challenge which I have seen in several Finnish travel blogs. I got the picture themes from Ne Tammelat -blog (which is in Finnish) and anyone who has a blog is welcome to join.

So here are my 10 (and even few extra) travel photos:

A PERFECT MOMENT

I love Filoli Gardens in the San Franciscon Bay Area. You can find many hidden spots in the garden and they have also filmed the television show Dynasty over there. Both spring and summer time are the best times to visit Filoli, and I did write about our visit there about a year ago.

THE TRADITIONAL TOURIST POSE

Is there anything more traditional than this? I think everyone who has ever visited Paris has posed in front of the Eiffel Tower. This picture is from 2008.

FROM AS FAR AWAY AS YOU HAVE BEEN

When looking for this picture I was first trying to figure out if I should use a picture that was taken far away from my home country Finland, or my current home in California. I think Japan is pretty far from both of those places, so I chose a picture from our trip to Kyoto to see Fushimi-Inari-Taisha. 

IN THE HEART OF THE BIG CITY

Even though I have seen several big cities, I think Tokyo is the winner here. It was just so hectic and crowded, but also cool at the same time. 

ZZZ - TIRED OF TRAVELING

You can't get anymore tired than this! I was traveling from Finland via Sweden to Chicago when my flight was delayed over six hours due to thunder storms. Then they added an extra flight on my route so I flew to Philadelphia first. I finally made it to Chicago, but my luggage didn't. Oh well, that happens! 

SUNSET

I can't really use a sunset picture from anywhere else than California. California sunsets are the best! 

TREATS ON TRIPS

I have always liked Mexican food but who ordered all this? Ooops! There is no way two girls can eat all this! 

We like to treat ourselves with some good food and wine on our trips. This picture is from San Diego.

A FAMOUS PLACE WHICH WAS A DISAPPOINTMENT

I had to really think about this since I usually always find something interesting in each place. I chose this picture from Jerusalem since I mostly just remember chaos and queues from this place. We did a day trip from Eilat to Jerusalem and we only had limited time to explore the place. Maybe if I had more time there I would have been able to see all the beautiful places in the city. 

I WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR A GOOD PHOTO

It seems like I have a lot of these pictures.. ha ha. The two first ones are from Lake Tahoe, California and the last one is from Yosemite National Park.

A PICTURE FROM A ROAD TRIP

On our road trip in Northern California we drove thru this redwood tree. It was such a fun trip! If you want to hear about our newest road trip and where we went... stay tuned! More about it on my blog soon! 

 

If you want to participate in the blog challenge, here is the list of themes for photos. Please link my blog (Gone with the Wine) in your post and I would love to read your stories, so if you have time to leave a link to your on a comment, that would be great. Have fun!

1. A Perfect Moment
2. The Traditional Tourist pose
3. From as Far Away as You Have Been
4. In the Heart of the Big City
5. Zzz – Tired of Traveling
6. Sunset
7. Treats on Trips
8. A Famous Place Which Was a Disappointment
9. I Would Do Anything for a Good Photo
10. A Picture from a Road Trip