Sun, Snow, and Ice

If you visit Iceland during the winter, as we did a couple of years ago, you will certainly be surrounded by some harsh conditions. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t beautiful, though, as we found so many sights that were absolutely stunning. There is something about the sun shining through the wintery clouds and then reflecting off of the frozen tundra that is hauntingly attractive. Having just gone through the “bomb cyclone” here in Colorado where we were buried with snow and ice, it definitely brought back thoughts of our time in Iceland. As we drove around the countryside, we were constantly amazed by the incredible scenery and could only imagine what it would be like if we didn’t have the comfort of a car to return to. Here are a few of our favorite photographs of sun reflecting across the icy terrain.

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Sunglasses Might Be Required Even Without the Sun
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Combination of Sun, Clouds, and Ice
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Just Enough Light to Reflect on the Ice
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Not Quite Frozen
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Almost Surreal
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A Perfect Moment
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You Don’t Want to Get Lost Here
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Almost Like Another World

 

Carlsbad Village in California

If you are looking for a relaxing stay along the Pacific coast in California, then visiting Carlsbad might just be the perfect choice for you. Located about 30 miles north of San
Diego, Carlsbad is a resort town with many restaurants, public beaches, and a very walkable downtown area which is called Carlsbad Village. We spent close to a week there and enjoyed walking the beach, watching sunsets, and even went on a wine tasting tour. On Wednesday’s, the heart of the village shuts down to allow for a farmer’s market with a variety of fresh fruit, vegetables, art work, and other local items for sale. We also happened to be there the weekend before Halloween and the local shops provide candy and a safe environment for families to go trick-or-treating.

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Beach Style Architecture
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Vineyards in Temecula
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Farmer’s Market
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One of the Sunsets
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European Style Architecture

Carlsbad Village is certainly charming with a variety of architecture from typical beach-style buildings to some old-world type buildings. There are many different shops offering boutique clothing, beach clothes, gift items, as well as unique artwork. There are as many restaurants as there are shops offering a variety of meal choices. Although you can certainly find any type of food that you might want, the majority of restaurants offered seafood, Mexican food, and Italian. We had some wonderful meals during our stay.

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Busy Beach on the Weekend
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Fresh Vegetables at the Farmer’s Market
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Another Sunset on the Beach
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Shopping Area
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Town Sign

Clearly the beach is the highlight of going to Carlsbad and if you are a surfer, you won’t be disappointed. It was a little too cool while we were there to swim in the ocean as the fog rolled in every morning and didn’t always burn completely off keeping the temperatures low. That didn’t keep us from walking along the beach though, watching the surfers, and making sure to catch some beautiful sunsets. Even in the off-season, the town got quite busy on the weekend as people from the surrounding areas come to take advantage of their beach properties.

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Surfers on the Beach
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Walking the Beach
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Not Too Busy During the Week
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Fresh Seafood at the Farmer’s Market
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Tropical Flower

We took a wine tour in Temecula where we visited four different wineries and tasted a wonderful variety of wines. Napa Valley certainly has the best known reputation for producing quality wines, but Temecula certainly has a right to be proud of their growing reputation. Not only do they have a lot of vineyards currently, the hillsides are being covered with new ones as the city has approved additional vineyards to be started. Although you can certainly drive yourself on a wine tour, it is best to let someone else do the driving. We tasted up to six types of wine at each vineyard, which even in small amounts is a lot of wine.

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Temecula has a Tuscan Feel
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Vineyard About a Month After Harvest
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Wine Casks
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Looking Up the Hillside
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New Vineyard in the Distance

Carlsbad Village is definitely an enjoyable destination with a relaxing atmosphere. Beautiful beaches, friendly people, and all of the food and shopping make staying their a wonderful experience. There is also a train called the Coaster that will take you into San Diego if you want to spend some time their and go to Sea World, the world famous zoo, and other museums. Legoland is also a highlight of Carlsbad for those with children or just a child at heart.

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People Out for Halloween
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Kids and Candy
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Last Glimpse of the Sun
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More Architecture
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Just Another Day at the Beach

 

Do You Want to Get Away?

Remember that airline slogan? That is definitely the feeling that we’ve been having lately and today we are finally getting that opportunity. We leave later today to start our trip to Carlsbad, California, which is a located about 30 miles north of San Diego. It will be our first time visiting this city on the coast and we are certainly looking forward to some relaxing days exploring what the area has to offer.

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Sitting on the Tarmac During a Previous Flight
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Looking Forward to the Beach

Sunsets on the beach will certainly be on our itinerary and we are looking forward to enjoying some fresh seafood as well. There is a railway system that runs between the coastal towns and San Diego, so getting into the city to see some of the sights there should be easy to do in addition to seeing Carlsbad. We look forward to sharing images from our trip while we are there, but forgive us if we aren’t consistent with our posts.

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Looking Forward to Walking on the Beach
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Looking Forward to a Pacific Ocean Sunset