Postcards From California – A Holiday In Pictures

Golden Gate

Summer in NorCal

Last summer we’ve visited our friends living in North California and we spent 3 wonderful weeks there. It was so blooming hot, that we really had to plan our stay. On some days, it was around 40 Celsius so we spent those days in water parks or travelled up to the Bay Area where it was generally cooler and breezier. We explored some new places like Stanford, Gilroy, San Jose, Palo Alto and Los Gatos. Revisited other favourites like San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay. We normally planned the days around the children (and the weather) as parents often do when on family holiday, but we also managed to squeeze in some grown up fun too, like a few museums, galleries and some evenings out as it was so nice and balmy to eat out. But most of the time, we enjoyed all the activities together: the beach, the water parks, the broad walks, the red forest trails, the fantastic tech museums designed for both children and grown ups – we really had a fantastic holiday.

Pinnable Postcards From California

Postcards from California

Taking photos with my iPhone

I did take my camera, but I hardly took it out as I still find it hard and fiddly to take photos with the two little busy bees buzzing around. I normally had to carry Lau everywhere as she refused going in the buggy, but she only just started to walk properly back then. So, I took all the photos with my iPhone – you know the modern age saying: the best camera is the one you have with you.

Silver Creek near San Jose

This is where we stayed. It does look a little bit like the Tatooine from a distance (this first photo was taken at a playground), but it is oddly lush green in the creek for the golf clubs. We had some fantastic Mexican food, when in California don’t miss out on Mexican food, as there are some great places to find.


Monterey Bay

It is probably my favourite place around here, we went for a day trip there every week whilst there. The children loved the Aquarium and it has a very pretty little downtown too. We walked the way between the harbour and the Aquarium once when it wasn’t too hot. It’s a beautiful scenic route, takes about 40 minutes, so it was just about doable with the children. Needless to say, we hopped on the free street car service on the way back. We also just missed the annual car show but we have still spotted some gorgeous old cars.

Santa Cruz

It does worth a few days too: the beautiful beach and the and all the broad walk fun can hardly fit into a very long day. Let alone the best ice-cream in California! It has got a very young vibe and quite hippie too. Lots of surfers around and the downtown is really cute. And they have a fab little place for ice cream called Penny Ice.

San Francisco

Always the best fun, always shows something new, always feeling welcomed. My favourite place in the US. There is so much to see and do, it’s such a cool town. Must visit for every travel lovers. This was the first time for me visiting the Castro and it was an item ticked off my all time travel bucket list. 

Palo Alto and Silicon Valley

Very pretty and suburban. Apple products are not less expensive. If you ever wanted to visit a famous US university, then have a potter around in Stanford. 

And other places

We have also revisited Roaring Camp and both my little  and big train enthusiasts were very happy to be back. And some other new places: the Winchester Mystery House and Pebble Beach with the Lone Cypress



If you like liked this photo blog, check out another similar post: Postcards from Sitges

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Sam - Serenely Sam March 6, 2018 - 3:45 pm

Amazing! If you could describe my dream holiday, this would be it. I cannot wait to go to California and San Francisco in particular. We are waiting until our little girl is a little bit older though – although I’m rethinking that after reading your post Lol. Fab photos. X #FamilyFunLinky

Sam - Serenely Sam March 10, 2018 - 9:13 am

Hi. Just popping back from #thesatsesh lovely. I’ve just had another look through the photos. They are brilliant. I really cannot wait to visit California. ?

Sarah Humphreys March 6, 2018 - 10:55 pm

I would really really love to go to California, the photos in this post are amazing, so serene and idyllic.

Balaka Basu March 7, 2018 - 9:18 am

lovely photos

Sabina Green March 7, 2018 - 12:13 pm

Oh wow what an amazing holiday, I always say that the US is one place I am not interested in visiting but then I see pictures like these and I think, ok maybe!

Alex Lamb & Bear March 7, 2018 - 9:34 pm

Wow your photos are amazing! I’ve been to New York twice but nowhere else in America andnim desperate to see more of the country. We will have to wait until my boys are older but I’d love to explore with them.

Tracy Albiero March 8, 2018 - 1:28 pm

It is on my bucket list to get out there one day. It looks lovely! #coolmomclub

Talya March 8, 2018 - 1:50 pm

Can I just say it was so refreshing looking at these pics after all the snow spam! Looks like you had a lovely time thanks so much for linking up to #coolmumclub xx

Kristie Prada March 9, 2018 - 11:07 am

What a gorgeous place to go on holiday! I’m so missing some heat! Going to add this to my travel inspiration list! #coolmumclub

Kristi McAllister March 9, 2018 - 4:40 pm

I haven’t ever been to California but I’ve always wanted to visit. My cousin lives in San Fran and he’s always doing something fun! I loved your pictures, too! My iPhone just doesn’t cut it so maybe I need to upgrade so I can get great shots like these! Thanks for sharing this — gives me a “bucket list” of things to do when I visit Cali myself!

Diana March 9, 2018 - 4:50 pm

San Francisco is one of my favourite cities in the USA. I only got to visit for 4 days and would love to go back and explore some more. Thanks for the memory reminder. 🙂

Reply March 9, 2018 - 8:54 pm

San Francisco’s definitely a lovely corner of this world.

Rosemary Palmer March 10, 2018 - 12:42 pm

We’ve never visit California but there are certain areas I would love to see. SF, SD, and wine country are at the top of my list.

Reply March 11, 2018 - 8:52 pm

Oh the wine countries are on my list too!

Jewish Chick March 10, 2018 - 3:31 pm

I lived in San Fran a few years back and can attest to what an amazing city it is with it’s great places to eat and eclectic people!

Reply March 11, 2018 - 8:51 pm

One of my favourite places for sure! I love its hippie vibe!

Shernette Williams March 10, 2018 - 5:23 pm

I remember my trip to SanFran. The bridge was an amazing experience for me and my son! It was super foggy that day too so it was really cool. Loved the photos and glad you enjoyed your time there!

Reply March 11, 2018 - 8:50 pm

Thank you, we did have a great time indeed x

Alana - Burnished Chaos March 10, 2018 - 7:32 pm

wow, so many great photos. Sounds like a truly amazing holiday. I’d love to visit San Francisco.
Thank you for joining the #FamilyFunLinky x

Beola Lawal March 11, 2018 - 11:04 am

I surely need a vacation in my life right now, this would be a perfect getaway place for me! All these pictures are beautiful, the weather is so sunny and bright. I love it!

MomOfTwoLittleGirls March 11, 2018 - 2:49 pm

Those are great photos. I also only ever use my phone. I think a camera would just get wrecked by my two.
Thanks for sharing.

Sarah Dixon March 12, 2018 - 8:47 am

Wow California does look like such a fab place – love your photos. #FabFridayPost

Reply March 12, 2018 - 9:41 am

Thanks so much Sarah x

Hayley @ Mission: Mindfulness March 12, 2018 - 9:15 pm

Looks and sounds glorious! I am a little bit jealous right now as would love to visit California one day! #thesatsesh xx

Annette, 3 Little Buttons March 12, 2018 - 10:35 pm

Wow! Those photos are stunning. It just goes to show how brilliant the iphone cameras are in terms of quality. It looks like you have had such an adventure out there. It makes me want to jump on a plane and head over there right now! Thanks for sharing with the #DreamTeam x

Kara March 15, 2018 - 2:30 pm

Monterey Bay is on my bucket list, such a stunning location and the wildlife there is amazing. I remember California being very hot when I visited as a child

Reply March 15, 2018 - 9:42 pm

Yes, it’s my favourite place in California.

Sarah March 15, 2018 - 9:37 pm

So many gorgeous, vibrant photos! I love the cable cars & the yellow school buses!

Rebecca | AAUBlog March 15, 2018 - 10:18 pm

completely fell in love with San Francisco when I want a few years ago, I found it quite like Britain if I’m honest. Would love to explore more 🙂

Rachael March 16, 2018 - 8:23 am

Some absolutely gorgeous photos here – the bay looks stunning! I would kill to come here, my sister has been before and I was so jealous. 40 degrees sounds a bit extreme for me though, I think it would take a few days to get used to it.

Reply March 19, 2018 - 9:14 pm

It’s really hard to get used to that heat!

emma white March 16, 2018 - 3:48 pm

oh I am so jealous right now and your pictures are stunning I take most of mine with an iPhone too

Leigh Travers March 16, 2018 - 8:47 pm

It looks like you had an incredible time! I’m off to California for the first time next month. I also end up taking most of my photos on my phone, even after I’ve dragged my bulky DSLR with me too, haha!

Reply March 19, 2018 - 9:13 pm

Oh enjoy your holiday! It’s a good time to visit, will not be too hot.

Whatlauraloves March 18, 2018 - 4:35 pm

Oh wow what a fabulous place to visit. I haven’t seen much of America yet and would very much like to travel to California xxx

Dena McGuinness March 19, 2018 - 10:52 am

This post has made me SO jealous! I’d love to go to California. Looks amazing and sounds just as good!


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