Before I start, I should point out the title is slightly inaccurate as I had two Pureview devices with me. The Nokia 808 and the Lumia 920, at least for the later part. This post will cover two trips, one last November to San Francisco and the more recent one to Connecticut and Washington DC this April.
Let’s start with San Francisco. The primary reason for the visit was to spend Thanksgiving with friends and of course to do some shopping, so sightseeing was secondary. We did of course manage to see the important sights, such as the cable cars, Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge.
A pretty impressive bridge I have to say. For those of you lucky enough to go here, there are many viewing areas for the bay and the bridge.
A must see for anyone visiting San Francisco, I hope you get better weather than we did on our visit, very gloomy and overcast. Not great for taking pictures. Also I would suggest getting the audio tour, it is very informative and doesn’t droll on too much.
If you have time when you visit be sure to go to Napa Valley (whether you like their wines or not), there is some beautiful scenery. A lot of the more famous wineries there only do private tours, so be sure to book in advance if you can. Otherwise you can do what we did and visit two that allow you just to turn up, Sterling Winery (you might guess from the name, owned by a Brit).
The last place that is a must see is the forests around the San Francisco area, more specifically the Red Wood forests.
There are many many more places and things to see, but my memory is not as good as it once was, age is getting to me and this was nearly 6 months ago.
Now for the more recent trip. First to Stamford Connecticut, where we lived for about 2 years and now have a lot of friends. The weather was pretty good for our visit, but Stamford seems to be having a late spring this year so most of the trees and plants were only just starting to bud. Connecticut was also still clearing up after Hurricane Sandy.
After seeing a few friends on the Sunday/Monday, I had some free time on Tuesday, so after a quick look on HERE Maps I decided to go to Cove island, which is just on the outskirts of Stamford.
After the walk around Cove Island, which incidentally is a popular place for fitness fanatics so loads or people walking and running, I drove up to Sherwood Island, near Westport in Connecticut. Not my best choice of photo destinations. Pretty deserted and not looking its best after Sandy. Bulldozers were busy sorting out the beaches. So not many shots here I am afraid.
As I said not the best place for photos but I did my best. In summer (after no hurricanes) this is a really nice relaxing place to visit if you happen to find yourself in Connecticut. If you are there in autumn you will understand why Connecticut is part of New England, the trees are simply stunning, such deep vibrant colours, especially along the Merritt Parkway (CT15). Well worth a drive just to see the trees in autumn.
After a few days here chatting to mates, it was time for the next part of the trip, so I picked my wife up at La Guardia airport and we drove down to Washington DC.
We eventually found our hotel in Washington DC, actually the same one the NY Red Bulls were staying at – the only reason I know this is I saw someone I thought I recognised, Thierry Henry. Turns out I was right after a quick check with Twitter Peeps. It really amazed me that I recognised him, you see I hate Football (soccer).
The day we arrived the weather was fantastic, the car was reading 33ºC . So all was looking good and on our first night we ate at a Tapas Bar on M street called Boqueria. If you like Tapas you will love this place. The Sangria was pretty good too.
The next morning I got up at 5.30am (sunrise was stated to be 6.30am) as I wanted to walk down to the Lincoln memorial to get some photos. To my dismay the heavens had opened up over night, yep it was raining. So instead I just went to Starbucks to drown my sorrows. That morning was spent getting soaked in a queue for the Holocaust Museum, Very interesting place and very moving exhibits, well worth a visit and it is free.
After we got a taxi to Georgetown and went to the famous “Billy Martin’s Tavern” for lunch. We then meandered back through Georgetown to our hotel.
Georgetown is a really nice part of Washington DC, almost feels like being in good old Blighty when you wander around the backs streets, Some really nice 3-storey townhouses. That evening we went to Mai Thai in Georgetown for dinner, not a bad Thai restaurant, but be warned though the portions were pretty large.
So the next morning I got up at 5.30am again (yes I am a glutton for punishment). This time the sky looked pretty good, so fingered crossed I started the 1.5 mile walk to the Lincoln Memorial.
This time I was not disappointed!
One hell of a morning for photographers and I’m sure that there are some really good images knocking around from that morning as as there were a few professionals around.
I wandered back to the hotel, thankfully Starbucks was now open and I could get my caffeine fix. I met up with the others and we took a taxi to the eastern market near Capitol Hill. This is where we saw a really nice photo of some blossom with Capitol Hill in the background. Rather than buy it, I set myself a challenge, Can I do something similar?
The answer is not quite, but a nice photo I think.
From there, we simply wandered around. Washington DC really is a great city and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone looking for somewhere to go for a long weekend, or even a week. You will need time if you like museums etc.
Here are the full sets of pictures, including some from my Canon 6D DSLR.
Sunrise at the Reflecting Pool – Nokia Lumia 920
Connecticut – Nokia 808
Washington DC – Nokia 808
US Trip – Canon 6D