USA : Orange County

This is a series of belated journals that I have forgotten to put up. It's been nearly two years and it's about time I post this up. I did a post about my stop over in Narita on my way to the US. This is actually the continuation of that post. I was in California on wedding assignment for a Japanese couple and traveled to a few parts of US. Most of the shots here were taken with Sony A6000 and some on Nikon D800E. #orangecounty #oc #california #usa


 After my 10 hours transit in Narita I arrived in San Diego the day after. And soon after I had to do another transit to Los Angeles.


 Boarding American Airline domestic flight to LA.


 Hello LA! It's been a while and it's nice to be back!




 Just in time. Took this shot from AmTrak double decker train from LA to Orange County.

I didn't realize that I'll be arriving on Thanksgiving day and most of the services were closed for the holiday. I had bought a one way train ticket from LA Union Station to Orange County and that line was not running that day. The refund procedure was quite tedious. I had to buy another ticket for another train and I was lucky as that was the only train heading to Orange County that day, or else I would have to sleep in the train station over Thankgiving night by myself. Now that would have been an experience!


 I finally made it after nearly 2 days of traveling. My Air BnB host Barbara even had welcome muffins and Stella Artois beer waiting for me in my room in her lovely apartment.


My room with a nice big balcony facing St Regis Monarch Beach Golf course.


Waking up to a nice view like this is something to treasure. On the left you can see the Monarch Beach Golf Link.


And being greeted by this fella.


And this doggie.


Let's do a quick tour of the place. This is the kitchen which is next to my room.


The living area.


The huge balcony that connects the living area all the way to my room.


 The view from the balcony.


 This jogging and cycling path leads all the way to the beach. In this picture you can see part of the ocean.


 I only have 3 days here so today will be the wedding venue recce and after that exploration.


  The wedding is taking place at St Regis Monarch Beach Resort so it's just a few minutes walk along the jogging and cycling path from the airbnb.




 View of St Regis Monarch Golf


 A wooden bridge connecting the golf course to the cycling path.



 Let's have brunch.


 Nice burger from a little cafe by the golf course.


While reaching St Regis I could hear drums and people cheering. I thought to myself  there must be a party there so I ran up to the garden from the golf buggy path and saw this. There was an Indian ceremony taking place.


 Everyone was dressed in traditional Indian costume and cheering for the groom as he rode and danced on top of an elephant.


 Apparently St Regis Monarch Beach Resort is popular for Indian weddings. Many Indian couples had their weddings here so a company actually set up an elephant farm near by to rent out their elephant just for Indian weddings.


 After meeting with the couple and the wedding planner I went around doing some recce.


 Took this from the balcony of my client's room.




The balcony of the wedding suite.


 Wine storage at the restaurant.


 Check out the huge selection of wine.


 The bar.



 The lounge by the lobby.


The venue where the Indian wedding ceremony is taking place.


 The fire place at the lounge.


Salt Creek Beach Park.



 Families by the beach in late winter afternoon.



Life guard on duty






The three shots below were shot using panaroma mode on the Sony A6000.








This was shot with the Sony A6000 with the kit lens zoomed to 55mm.




 This one was shot with Nikon D800E at full 36megapixel on AFS Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 IF ED VR1 on DX crop mode. The following shots below were shot using this setup.








This shot was taken with Sony A6000 with it's built in flash. Manual adjustment with EV on both flash and exposures.


 Shot with Sony A6000. From here on all the shots were taken with the Sony A6000.





Here's a photo of my Japanese client shot at Salt Creek Beach Park on their wedding day. I can't upload the whole wedding collection online at the moment.


The day after my wedding assignment my airbnb host Barbara brought me out and showed me around Orange County. We ended up at her favourite golf club which only the locals know about. It's a really nice place. The wild deer roam around freely there.


 We had lunch by the golf course.


The club sandwich was really delicious.



 According to Barbara only the locals come here as this golf course is pretty hidden. It's actually in a valley.


 And it's located in Laguna beach.


 It used to be a ranch.


While the chief of security drove us around while he make his security round I came across this cool lock. This lock basically takes multiple padlocks but you can open it if one of the padlock is unlocked. Each staff uses his own padlock and key. What a genius design.


 This valley was once a ranch. The very first ranch in the whole of Orange County and this is the location where they used to have the ranch house.



This is my airbnb host Barbara and David the chief of security. Not forgetting the doggie in the carrier.


 A picture of me and the chief of security David Eagle, a Native American. David was formerly with the USMC scout recon unit and apparently he is one of Geronimo's descendants. I can't remember from which tribe though. Cool!


Saying bye to my house mate the cat and the doggie before I leave for San Francisco.