Field Trip: Revisiting childhood in Carmel and Monterey, Califormia with Erin Aasland

Field Trip: Revisiting childhood in Carmel and Monterey, Califormia with Erin Aasland

All photos from this sponsored Field Trip are courtesy of Erin Aasland. All photos were edited with the Wolf Pack presets (Wolf Pack 02 and Wolf Pack 07.)


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Revisiting My Childhood

During my youth in California, we would take a trip down to Carmel and Monterey for my birthday every year. It has always been my favourite place because of this, and I believe it is where I get my love for blues and greens. I have long wanted to take my kids on a trip to show them places from my childhood, and this was the perfect field trip to take with one of my daughters. She loves photography and is my muse.

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Day 1 | Flight from SEA to OAK

I scheduled our flight at the crack of dawn so my daughter could see the sunrise on the plane and watch as everything came into light. It was her first flight ever and she was in awe of how intense the colours of the sunrise were from so high in the sky. We landed in Oakland so we could visit with my dad and stepmom, and to borrow their truck for our adventure. We spent the morning eating breakfast and laughing… it was so good seeing each other.

Starting our road trip in Oakland actually was perfect, as we got to take the same route to Carmel as I did when I was younger. The countryside was vibrant and my daughter learned “panning” on the drive down, capturing some of the different hillsides and terrain. We also stopped at a barn on the side of the road, that was selling anything and everything garlic, to get a picture by an enormous flag. 

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We checked into our quaint little hotel and headed down to Monterey for our first day. We drove along the coast, stopping in antique stores we found along the way and walking through the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which was fantastic. The jellyfish exhibit alone was worth the entry, and we saw a huge fish that had rainbow reflecting across his face. We named it “David Bowie”.

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Heading back to our hotel in Carmel, we drove thru 17-mile Drive. I love how many places you can pull over and explore the beach. Each spot to pull over is different than the last and has a little history to go along with it. Standing at Spanish Bay, my daughter was amazed at all the different shades of blue in such a small section of the ocean.

This gave me the biggest smile, as I used to marvel at the same thing when I was little. I still do; I could photograph these waves forever. 

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Day 2 | Mission and Downtown Carmel

We woke up early to visit the Mission and learn the history of Carmel. Every time I come back, a little bit more of the Mission has been restored but it still holds the same beauty. At the end of our tour, we came across a small framed painting of the Virgin Mary and the sense of peace that surrounded this portrait was so beautiful. We spent the rest of the day walking around Carmel, laughing and snacking. I honestly didn’t even remember to take images of us around town — we were having too much fun just being mother and daughter. #sorrynotsorry, lol. 

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Day 3 | Back to OAK

Eating breakfast at our hotel each morning was perfect: amazing food and the guests were so friendly, providing a great community feel. And the lobby had the best collection of cassette tapes! We spent the morning at Carmel beach before heading back to Oakland. Whenever I walk along this beach, I feel at home. It’s just one of those places that you come across in life and no matter how long you are gone, it always feels like your soul is home. Being able to take my daughter here truly makes me feel so blessed. We had a hard time leaving, we both wanted to stay so much longer. 

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Before leaving Cali, I always stop at the Golden Gate Bridge to take in the whole city. My daughter has seen images from my previous stops there, but being there in person was quite breathtaking. Growing up in the Bay area, as well as Carmel, really has a tight hold on my heart. When it is time to leave, I catch my breath and hold onto hope that the next time I visit, it will be for a little longer. 

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Flying home, my daughter asked when we are going to be back in Carmel because she is so in love. Mission accomplished. 

Equipment : Canon 5D Markiii | Sigma 35mm Art 1.4 | Prism