S: San Francisco, CA

Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center: San Francisco, CA (April 2018)

Focusing has been difficult the past few months, so I'm taking an alternative approach to A-Z this year: looking back at past travel, editing or re-editing images from travels before, and responding to travel-related questions. Hope you are able to join me on this journey to my past!

For Day S, I wanted to share this lovely shot of the Golden Gate Bridge! It seems simple enough, but I actually had a hard time getting this picture. Every day we were in San Francisco it was foggy! Except for the last day! Just before we needed to arrive at the airport, Justin and I drove by the welcome center and took this. And even when editing it, I was still dealing with fog. 😳 Luckily, I had enough tools at my disposal to bring out the beautiful blues, reds, and greens. I think the image came out well. 🙂

Other places I considered for this post: Savannah (GA), Sharm-El-Sheikh (Egypt), St. Pete Beach (FL), Solvang (CA), Sarasota (FL), Strasbourg (France)

Onward –

55. If you could swim with dolphins or go shark diving, which would you do?

I'm a wimp! I'd swim with dolphins.

BUT! I am also concerned with invading dolphin territory. I mean – yeah, it would be super cool! But what about the lasting effect of having people in their habitat? Surely, it has an effect?

So, I have mixed feelings about doing either of these things.

56. What travel scams have you experienced?

1. In NYC, while in line to board Amtrak for Canada, some guy placed a rose in the crook of my elbow. (I was carrying a bag, so my arm was up.) Having read about the scam, I moved my arm and let the rose fall to the floor. The guy who placed it on me got all up in arms about this. "How dare you not want my rose! You should show some appreciation when someone gives you something!" Everyone in line was looking at me. How dare I cause such a scene! My husband told the guy "She doesn't want your rose" and then we ignored him. He picked up his rose and moved onto the next victim.

2. When returning from a trip abroad, our carryon broke in NYC, so we went to Macy's to buy a new one. As we wandered through Times Square, exhausted, with the new roller bag following behind my husband, a scammer on the street noticed our dazed expressions and decided to take advantage by smashing a bag of broken glass into our new roller bag. The guy then claimed we had broken a $50 bottle of whiskey. I thought the bag of broken glass sounded a little too broken to have been caused by my husband, but I decided to let him handle it. Poor decision. He gave the guy money, less than what was being requested but still. Alternatively, we got away without any major problems, so that was good.

3. In Egypt (as well as many other cities – Paris, Venice, etc…), people tried to push souveniers on us. Some of which were Chinese! This what I would consider a light scam. You are still getting a thing even if you are paying twice what it costs for the item.

4. We have seen people wandering the streets with petitions. I don't know what those are about, but I'd recommend not signing them.

5. Our first trip to Paris, we had the use of a rental car. While waiting at a stop light, someone approached spraying soap on the car and offering to clean the car for money. I was torn between being extremely angry and really scared. We didn't speak French! What would they do if we didn't pay? Even though we were stuck in traffic, we looked down and avoided eye contact indicating, as best we could, that we weren't interested. Luckily, they did.

57. How many photos have you taken?

I started taking pictures in elementary school. I think I was in 4th or 5th grade when I asked for my first camera. My parents got me one of those one-time-use cameras. I filled it up with shots of my toys. :) Then for my twelfth birthday, I got a film camera right before going to Walt Disney World! Of course, I promptly lost it on the It's A Small World ride. Luckily, Disney was kind enough to send me a check for a replacement.

… Let's jump ahead a few years. Took photography in college (two classes) and my senior project also included the use of photography. I spent A LOT of time in the darkroom in college; it was one of my favorite places. :)

I participated in a number of internships where photography was my main focus, which helped introduce me to the DSLR, Lightroom, and Photoshop.

And now? I practice my photography through travel blogging. So even if you consider that I take a minimum of 1000 pictures per trip and maybe 4 trips a year? I’d assume more than 52,000 images shot in the past 13 years… And I think that number is quite small indeed.

Has anyone ever tried (or succeeded) in taking advantage of you while you were traveling?

Is there anything creative (art, music, writing, drama, etc…) that you've spent a lot of time on and many years building up your experience?

See other posts in this year's A-Z.


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