All these pictures are from my Instagram account @paulagaston, follow the adventures over there as well!
The year 2016 brought many kinds of trips to us all the way from local travels to long distance trips to destinations we have never been to. We mostly traveled together with out little family; our 4 year old little daughter, my husband and me.
NEW YEAR IN FINLAND AND ALL OVER CALIFORNIA
We started the year 2016 in Ylläs, Finnish Lapland. It was very dark and cold, but Finland is my home country and I always enjoy visiting there. Most times it feels like my vacations there end too soon. In February we visited Livermore Wine Country here in California, and filled our wine cabinet with some local wines. Then we got visitors from Finland, and did a road trip in California. Of course, we took them to San Francisco, but we also drove down Pacific Coast Highway and stopped at Pebble Beach, Morro Rock and Paso Robles. We also visited Hearst Castle, which we had wanted to visit for a long time. And of course, we showed our guests around Silicon Valley where we live.
ENJOYING HAWAII AND BACK TO FINLAND
This spring, California got some long hoped for rains and a chilly winter. Or should I say "normal winter". The past couple of years we have got used to warmer temperatures. To escape the April rains, we went to Hawaii, and again the Big Island didn't disappoint us. We loved the warm ocean waters and amazing nature. In May we were mostly working, and I was planning my summer trip to Finland. On Memorial Day we drove up to Point Reyes National Seashore for hiking, and visited some beautiful beaches. I spent June in my old hometown, and I also visited couple other a cities on the coast of Finland.
In the wine valley during harvest time and a road trip to northern california
After returning to California we got some rest. We celebrated the 4th of July, independence day at home, and visited Filoli Gardens in the San Francisco Bay Area. August is often the hottest month in California, so like many others, we too headed to the Santa Cruz beaches. I love Septembers and Octobers in California. The weather is still warm but the evenings are dark. During harvest time you can see colourful pumpkins and decorative maize everywhere, and it is the best time for wine trips. I did a small trip to the Livermore wineries with the girls. We also did a family road trip to Northern California where we saw Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, some light houses, Bowling Ball Beach, and we visited the town of Mendocino.
beautiful fall foliage of japan and christmas in southern california
In October I started a new series in Gone with the Wine called Monday Memories. You can read about my travels from the times I wasn't writing a blog. So far, stories from Basel Switzerland, Windsor England and Petra in Jordan are published, but there are still many more travel stories coming. In November we finally travelled to Japan. This was a trip we had been planning and awaiting a long time. From that trip too, there are many new stories to tell, so stay tuned! In December I wrote about the cool Christmas places in San Francisco, and Christmas spent in Rancho Cucamonga, Southern California.
Happy New Year 2017 to everyone, and have great travels!