Sunny Skagit Valley

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We took a little tour of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Washington State this last weekend. We were so lucky to find sunshine and acres upon acres of beautiful flowers. We began by crossing the Salish Sea on a twenty car ferry to Lummi Island for a short stay and a meal at The Willows Inn. The sun was setting and the evening was divine.

We took a couple of walks on Sunset Beach, where it occurred to me, that we had been on Sunset Beach in Hawaii just a couple of weeks prior. Both places are uniquely lovely and well worth spending extended time at. One has soft golden sand and tiny shells while the other has incredible stones from the San Juan Islands. We visited family at Lake Whatcom, ate at EATS in Bellingham, cruised down Chuckanut Dr. to view the oyster farms, walked to Whatcom Falls, and ate at Seeds while taking a short tour of La Conner. I shouldn’t forget the blueberry ice cream. I’m not a great lover of ice cream, it always makes me thirsty, but this was wonderful. Maybe because it’s made locally and is fresh. I always thought that I needed to go to The Netherlands to see the bulbs in bloom. I was wrong. This place is well worth seeing. I’m removing Holland from my list. 

Beyond The Ocean Blue

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There are times when I wonder why I am so drawn to taking photos when I travel to various places. I suppose it’s so I’ll keep those images with me in a tangible way. I find that I keep those images and experiences with me anyway. When I look at these photos from Hawaii,

it seems that I can still hear the pounding surf, see the sea spray on my sunglasses, and feel the gritty sand between my toes. These images bring back the temperature of the day, the wind that completely messed up my hair, and the delight I found in seeing the crab’s shadow rush across the sand. The mountains were quiet, filled with hanging clouds that spat occasional raindrops at us. My mind is filled with these memories but these photos bring back all those other pieces and feelings that made taking the photos so important to me at that moment in time on that particular day.

I take photos because I love all the places I have been and I want to keep those memories with me always.

 

 

Peacful Blue Sea

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I haven’t written in my blog for a couple of weeks.  I’ve been very busy with a kitchen remodel.  There is dust everywhere and it doesn’t even bother me, as I know that the end result should be amazing. I also know that it is my last kitchen remodel ever. That is a joyous thought. With that being said, we did find the time to drive down to Newport Beach, the weekend before last. We just happened to be there between storms.  We’d had it booked for quite a while so we did feel very lucky to catch such good weather.

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Four Caspian Terns & Four Marbled Godwits

Once we were there, we were so taken with the restaurants, the company, and the beautiful beaches.  This was taken from the beach where the movie Beaches was filmed.  It’s Crystal Cove and I can’t say enough good things about the vibe in this place.  They’re raising funds to restore all the little cottages.  Many are still in use but just as many are abandoned and in need of great amounts of repair. I understand that this was quite a happening place in the 1930’s to the 1960’s. I was wondering; what would be said if those old walls could talk?  I’m sure there were many good memories made here.   

We went to The Beachcomber, that sits adjacent to Crystal Cove Beach, one of the mornings because we were told that the beignets would remind us of Cafe De Monde in New Orleans. They were very good so we returned for a sunset and a delightful dinner that very same evening.

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Lone Seagull at Sunset

Here’s what I really want to convey, it only takes a little effort to find a place that fills your soul with joy. I’m finding that true for the remodel as well as taking small trips to beautiful places.

Go out and find the joy.

Cooling Down

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It seems that when the valley gets to temperatures in the hundreds, my mind drifts off into thoughts of favorite water shots that I’ve taken in the past.  There’s something almost cooling about them.  With pictures being worth a thousand words, I tend to conjure up old memories of my favorite places too. 

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Westlake Park

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Montage Walkway

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Reflection at Whitehawk Ranch

Even though the temperatures are high, these photos make me think about how cool it would be to dip my toes into any of these waters.  Westlake Park sits on the west side of Santa Cruz and I spent countless hours playing there as a child.  The Montage at Laguna Beach hosts magnificent views of the Pacific.  Whitehawk Ranch holds a serenity that is very hard to find in many places these days.  What are some of your coolest memories and do you have a favorite place you like to go to when things get a bit hot?

Nothing Marginal About It

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A couple of weeks ago we were in Maine and took a walk along one of the prettiest shorelines that I have ever seen.  I’m quite used to walking along the West Coast but I found the East Coast walk simply charming.

We couldn’t have asked for a better day to take the paved one mile walk (The Marginal Way) from Ogunquit to Perkins Cove.  I don’t think these photos do it justice but I wanted to share them anyway.  Should you ever travel to Maine, you really must look this place up and take the walk.  I finished our walk wishing that the path was twice as long.  I suppose we could have walked it twice but why spoil a splendid moment?  Is there any place that you would like to return to?  I am very sure that I will return to The Marginal Way with the hope that I can spend a lot more time, next time I am there.

Sunrise

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You’re going to think this is a little crazy but almost everyday I awake and think, “I have a good life.”  Maybe it’s because images like this one run through my mind.  This is what I love about taking photos, once you have them in front of you, they tend to stay in your mind.  People used to write poetry to help those images stay with them.  We simply point and shoot and there it is, like an instant magical memory.

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Quiet Sunrise in Hawaii

I think while shooting photographs, you are constantly looking to capture the most beauty out of a subject that you can.  I look at the photo below and can remember the sound that was made as the surge of the waves would push up through the hole.

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Tropical Imagery

Then there is this beast.  I only got to spend a short time with this subject but this image stays with me for some reason.  I wish that I had more time to spend there but we were on a bus tour that gave us enough time to disembark, click, click, click and off we would go to the next quick stop.   

Mad Dash Tour in Scotland

Whirlwind Tour in Scotland

This next image takes me back to walks to the waters edge in England, good friends, and happy times.  I know it’s often gray there but I found it to be a delightful place and now I can go back and pull up these photos and return to my wonderful memories any time I wish to. 

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Gray Day in Southern England

So look at my memories, and remember your own.  Perhaps we all have, “a very good life.”

Corals and Crimson

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With the recent large waves that have been crashing into the California Coast and Hawaii, I’ve been reflecting on the stillness that can also be found on the coast.  One of my favorite places is Half Moon Bay during very low tide and sunset.  There is a magical presence that I find there.  It revives my soul and calms my spirit.

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Copper Colored Bluffs at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve

I’ve also been thinking about the old saying, “home is where the heart is.”  I always thought that saying was referring to a structure but I think I was wrong.  Anywhere can be home as long as you find peace in that place.  Even fond memories can be home if they lighten your spirit, like the childhood memory of warm sand moving in-between your toes.  I find that I need to keep these pleasant thoughts close to me in this chaotic world that we find ourselves living in.

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Tidepools at Sunset

I want to share one other sunset that wants to linger in my mind.  It was beautiful and the company devine.  The whole trip was such a wonderful time.

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Etretat France

Waves are everywhere, pounding and changing the landscape but in my mind it will always look like this until I return again.  It was almost a bronze color and then in an instant it returned to grayish white.  This is one of the places my heart finds it’s home.  I never want to let go of those lovely memories.  I hope this stirs up some lovely memories that you want to hold on to also.