Field Trip: Road trip with the family in California with Frank Vilsack

Field Trip: Road trip with the family in California with Frank Vilsack

All images courtesy of Frank Vilsack. All images were edited with the Summit presets by Tribe Archipelago.


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My wife and I got married in Las Vegas. The plan was to live it up in our Bellagio penthouse for a few days and then travel most of the west coast with our daughter. We knew we would be limited to adventures with a four-year-old but it didn't matter, it was all about seeing things we've never seen and enjoying each other's company.

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We headed to Lake Tahoe as our next stop. The 9 hour drive through the desert might have been my favorite part of the entire trip. The desert is just so visually stunning and completely opposite from what I see in my hometown, Pittsburgh, Pa.

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Lake Tahoe is as beautiful as I remember. Gorgeous views and warm summer nights, swimming in the water and cruising around the lake.

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Then, we drove to San Fransisco. Seeing the Golden Gate Bridge was on my a bucket list because why not? The craziest part of the city to me was how steep the roads are. Santa Cruz had the most amazing sunset which really made for a great atmosphere. Everyone was hanging out, surfing, and just enjoying life. I could live here for sure.

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Getting into the LA area was definitely on our list to do as well. As we got closer, my wife wanted to visit Malibu so we rolled up and parked in the first parking lot we could find. We sat on the beach and for the first time this trip, we truly felt relaxed.

There were no visitors or vacationers or anyone telling us what to do. It was just us on a beautiful beach watching the sunset. I'll never forget this moment, ever. We visited various other beaches in LA, including Venice Beach where I captured this amazing silhouette of my daughter running in the sand.

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The end of our road trip was San Diego. The Sunset Cliffs were just as beautiful as everyone said they were. Steep rocky cliffs and rough waters sitting at the bottom of what might be the nicest neighborhood to live in.

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California is truly amazing and cannot be fully experienced in under two weeks. Because of the time we spent here and the things we did experience, I know we'll definitely be back.