Hi there. I hope you're all enjoying a wonderful holiday season full of friends, family and good food. I for my part enjoyed all of the above and more! It's been really nice to take some time off after the madness of the holiday rush and I've been making the most of it. The Photographer returned from his world travels and it's been so wonderful to have him home. We've spent time with friends and family, attended an End of the World Party, exchanged handmade gifts, eaten delicious food, and spent a lot of cozy time indoors. We also managed to both get sick, which was a bummer. This weekend though we're heading up to Lake Quinault Lodge in Olympic National Park for a few days to celebrate our one year anniversary, which should be really fun! I'm looking forward to lots of reading, napping, hikes and sitting in front of a fireplace. I hope you're all doing well, and I'll see you in the new year!
Recently we went to a friend's potluck/going away party. It was a lovely evening full of friends, good food, and lots of little rugrats running around. It was a good reminder of how much I need/want community in my life (a topic I've been thinking about a bit lately) and of how easy it is to hole up in our little space and just work all the time. I brought my camera with me (always) and shot a few photos that I liked, so I thought I'd share. Hope you had a great weekend too!
There is something immensely liberating about packing the basics into your car (or in this case a super sweet, tricked out van) and heading out on the road. No planned destination, nowhere to be, music drifting out the open windows and the world whizzing by. Road trips, they're where it's at.
This particular adventure was hatched for the purpose of attending a dear friends wedding in Northern CA (more on that later), and we figured why not make it an excuse for some coastal wandering. The wedding weekend was spent with friends and family, cooking and eating copious amounts of amazing food (can you say salmon burgers with homemade aioli, cherry tomatoes and avocado? Yum!), and generally reveling in each others company.
After the festivities were over, The Photographer and I headed up the coast seeking new sights, waves, and photos. I've driven this section of coast many times, but rarely have I given myself the luxury of being able to stop frequently and take detours, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.
We spent a night camped amidst towering redwoods, followed by a first-thing-in-the-morning dive into a radiantly clear creek. We surfed, including a perfect near-dark evening session, the water so glassy it appeared oily and pink as the sun sank into the ocean. We spent a golden late afternoon scampering around on the tidal beds of an exquisite sandstone bay, snapping photos and taking in the sunshine. We stopped to visit family, took photos, ate more amazing food, stopped to take more photos, enjoyed a few hikes, and generally had a ball. Overall it was a rejuvenating, inspiring trip, and a perfect way to kick off my self-employed lifestyle.
Enjoy the photos!
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As you may have guessed, we've returned from our California adventure and are enjoying settling back into work and play in our cozy little home. As always I've been a bit busy and haven't been able to get to editing and processing the 1,000 plus photos I took. Still, I figured the least I could do was let you know I was alive and share a little sneak peek of everything we did, saw, and ate. It was a wonderful and rejuvenating trip, full of friends, family, good food, surfing, and beautiful places. I hope you're having a wonderful fall so far. Enjoy the images!
We decided early on that we wanted to allot a few days to spend driving the notoriously narrow and winding roads of Highway One between Fort Bragg and San Francisco. I'm so glad we did because this ended up being one of my favorite parts of the trip. Part of what makes this section of coastline so magical is that it isn't easy to get to. The road is almost comically curvy and narrow at times and the only way to get there is to hope you don't get carsick and take it slow. Because of this there is hardly anyone there. I, being a small town girl, loved this!
We drove through many tiny, slightly run down towns that looked like they hadn't changed much in the last fifty years. Crumbling old buildings weathered by salt air and time. Rolling green hills, eucalyptus, climbing nasturtiums, falling-down split cedar fences, wildflowers and cliffs.
One of my favorite things about this section of the trip was the local architecture. I wanted to buy, or just knock on the door and ask to move into, almost every other house we passed. I have been building a "dream house" in my mind for a few years now and it was like the people of Northern California had somehow seen my blueprint and then improved upon it. There were so many dreamy houses built of weathered split cedar shakes with whimsical details, domes, spires, stained glass and curved roofs. And to top it all off many of them had big vegetable gardens, old barns, acres of land and separate little outbuildings (one of my all time favorite things!).
We spent the better part of a morning exploring a really lovely secret beach that I had been to years before. You have to know that it's there to find it, leave the road at an old Inn, hike through a meadow of wildflowers and climb down a cliff. Many years ago a building (the story I heard was some kind of factory) crumbled into the sea, and as a result the beach is full of many colored chunks of sea glass, shards of pottery, and rusted, twisted pieces of metal that have fused into the rocks. The tide pools, aquamarine water and wildflowers weren't too bad as well.
The town of Mendocino was one of my other favorite stops. We spent a morning writing in a sweet coffee shop and an afternoon riding our bikes around the neighborhoods in a heavy mist ogling dreamy houses and gardens. We had drinks at the divey local bar where the regulars dogs sprawled on the beer-stained floor and begged for a head scratch from the patrons, then devoured delicious seafood for dinner. The next day was bluebird sunny and we parted ways for a few hours and wandered around, cameras in hand, each in a bit of a sun-struck happy daze. Bright colors, ocean, sunshine, camera in hand-what more do you need?! I was in heaven.
Next up, big city adventures in San Francisco.