Monterey, Los Alamos, and Alhambra, California


At the end of November, Alex and I spent two wonderful weeks driving down south, staying in Monterey, Los Alamos, and then Alhambra for a week. 

First, a little stop in Santa Cruz.

There was a cute little street market in downtown Monterey, near our historic hotel where we checked in for two nights.

The next morning, a leisurely walk to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Our very first record shop visit, Recycled Records! Alex decided on a Bob Marley record, and I got Rachmaninoff’s 2nd Piano Concerto and Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. A pretty great start to our record collections!

Then it was time for Lesley & Min’s gorgeous engagement session. I’m so grateful to have such amazing clients who bring me out to the most beautiful places in the world with them. It’s truly a privilege.

Knitting some puffs at the hotel!

Nepenthe, perched on a big hill overlooking the coast in Big Sur.

The elephant seals are here to roost!

Checking in to our favorite tiny town of Los Alamos. 

It’s a one-street kind of town, with no stop lights. But very cute, with lots of shops, lots of style, and it even boasts a Michelin star.

Our Thanksgiving dinner: a feast at Pico.

And lunch the next day, walking in to the Michelin-starred Bells.

And finally, we made it to Alhambra! Checking in to the Yauhaus and watching the big game with the girls the next morning! Go Blue!

Alhambra has a cute little record shop too.

The main event: Second Thanksgiving. Not just leftovers, but a whole new Thanksgiving feast on the weekend following Thanksgiving.

So much good food, as always.

The kids table is growing every year!

We contributed our favorite cocktails, an elaborate concoction we first encountered at Thanksgiving one year ago, at the NoMad Bar in Vegas.

So many TAFers!

Followed by holiday crafts for the kiddos

On Sunday, a visit to the Alhambra Farmers Market, where we bought some very fancy Wagyu for Alex, who had never had Wagyu before.

Turkey porridge! So good!

My little puff-stuffing assistants are back on the job! 

She drew this sign for us, unprompted. So good! Plus, kid nail salon time. 

Checking out the new Pine & Crane spot. Very cute! Very tasty! Love the proliferation of 2nd gen Taiwanese food places these days.

Shopping for my wedding band at Everett! This sample was close, but we customize it a bit so it would stack more perfectly with my engagement ring. Afterwards, we paid a visit to Alex’s old haunts by UCLA, watching the US soccer team in the world cup- we won!



A nice little browse through Abbott Kinney. Very different vibes from two years prior when we stayed in the neighborhood in peak pandemic times.

The Santa Monica Pier.

Urban Outfitters – I picked up the Linda Lindas, and Alex picked up She & Him’s Christmas record.

Dinner with Alex’s friends from his LA days!

Wagyu night! So good!

General antics with the girls. It’s December! Time to start their advent calendars!

Double date night at Kato, the Michelin-starred Taiwanese restaurant in The Row. Such a wonderful experience! We opted for the nonalcoholic drink pairings, which were all so interesting and delicious, as well as ordering other drinks a la carte. 

This was not even all the dishes, but it was all such a delight.

The next day, brunch over at Yang’s Kitchen in Alhambra.

And Blossom Market Hall for dinner.

Ditroit Taqueria

Then we saw a thriller play with this TAF crew! 2:22, starring Constance Wu and Anna Camp. It’s been forever since I last saw a play, and this one was really well written and well done. I didn’t know what to expect, but we all really enjoyed it!

Followed by Korean takeout at Jon and Pei’s place, conveniently located in K-Town!

What a wonderful, restorative way to spend two weeks. Would do again!

Anna Wu is a wedding and portrait photographer based in San Francisco. She compulsively documents and blogs all of her daily adventures. Follow her on instagram and view more of her professional work at