Travel Reflections

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I’ve been distancing myself from this blog since 2018. I think it is time to share some of the places that I have been. The photos are unique to my experiences, and at a time that can be confining, I hope to take you outdoors to the scenic beauty that is all around us. 

In November of 2018 we went on a short road trip around Phoenix, Sedona, and Tucson, Arizona. The desert has never been a place that I long to be. I have a lot of friends who love the desert but I prefer the ocean. With that being said, there is a sense of quiet beauty that exists there. It is a peaceful place that lacks color yet is filled with it too. The calm that I found there is why I am sharing these photos with you. This is a time when we may not feel very peaceful but we know that peacefulness is all around us, we just need to remind ourselves to look for it. I urge you to take a look at your own photos to help refresh your memories of those experiences you’ve had that filled you with joy and calm. This period of isolation will pass and perhaps be one of those memories you choose not to hold on to. Spend this time going in-search of your peace, your calm, and your beauty.

Quick Timing

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Is it just me, or does time seem to fly by quicker than it ever has before? 

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Discovery Bay at Sunset

We went to an amazing party in Discovery Bay this past weekend. I’d never been there before and was so impressed with the quiet that I found there. It’s serene and sits out in a place where you would never expect to find waterways.

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West Cliff Drive During Open Streets

Then we moved on to my hometown, Santa Cruz, CA. We went to one of my favorite lighting stores, Illuminee on Ingalls St. The owners have beautiful lights and all kinds of interesting additions for the home. We ate lunch at West End Tap. We’ve never had a bad meal there and it is filled with memories from former visits.  We moved on to San Mateo and shared some time with our newlyweds. I’m (a little) sad that the weekend seemed to go by so quickly. I certainly could have used more time in all of the places that we visited. We need to move a little slower, through our quick timing. 

 

Tower Bridge

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Just over a week ago, we were fortunate enough to be asked to attend the Tower Bridge Dinner, that takes place on the bridge that spans the Sacramento River, in Sacramento. I never thought I’d get to go to this event. The tickets are very hard to come by and sell out immediately. When we got the call, we dropped everything else we were doing and said, “Yes!” It was a Farm to Fork event and the weather, people, and sunset couldn’t have been better. The photo doesn’t do it justice as it was taken with a phone but I hope you can see the magnitude of the event and get a feel for the good time that was being had by everyone.

 

What a difference a week makes. The tragedy in Las Vegas is now weighing on all our minds. I can’t make sense of it. It makes me force myself to listen to my own words. My poem, Daffodil Spring, has a final stanza that goes like this:                     So I give to my children                                                                                                         Advice through their years,                                                                                                   “Look for life’s colors,                                                                                                                 Lest you drown in life’s tears.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I leave you with that thought, and this photo, taken last weekend in the Sierra’s. What an explosive sight, this weed going to seed, gives off. So try to remember that the world, though it may be cruel, is also a magnificent place.

Aloha

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Last week we got away to the island of Oahu and spent three days at Turtle Bay Resort before embarking back to Honolulu and the Hilton Hawaiian Village. They should really call it the Hilton Hawaiian Zoo. It was so much more relaxing at Turtle Bay. There aren’t turtles in Turtle Bay, it’s got good snorkeling, and the atmosphere is something that makes you want to return, time and time again.

The food on site was wonderful. We were even able to share a rather nice showing of a green flash with the other people who were staying there. It was a bit like the reaction people have to fireworks. You could tell that everyone had seen it. 

I just wanted to share a little of the aloha spirit today as you all started your week. I know you weren’t there to share it with me but these photos depict the feeling well. Open them to a larger size and remember your fondest memories of any one of the islands. Do you think that it’s time that you return to Hawaii?

Yellow

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It’s been very wet around here, but the ground is slowly soaking up the excess water, the skies are clearing, and the puffy white clouds gently stroll by in the breeze. It’s been a wild ride this winter in California. It’s made way for budding plants and gorgeous scenery. 

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Suisun Valley Mustard Fields

I was on my way down the hill from my house, the other day, and noticed this beautiful view. It wasn’t even close to sunset but the colors that the clouds were yielding were amazing. I flipped the car around and got out my phone. I don’t usually take pictures on my phone but I couldn’t resist this one. I have been thrilled with the views this year and we’re only at the end of February.

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Cloudy Afternoon Near My Backyard

I can only hope that this weather continues for a while. I am so enjoying the scenery and the thought that we don’t have to worry about water usage every day. So here’s hoping that March and April will continue to be rather moist months to -A few days of rain, on; a few days of rain, off.- It’s a balancing act.

For those of you who could not open my video a couple of weeks ago. I had left out a number. Here is the link if you would like to go take a look at an excerpt from my new book.

 

Lovely Lake Okanagan

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Last week we took a trip to Lake Okanagan, British Columbia, Canada. We just happened to be there while the trees were turning golden. It was quiet and slow-paced, as the summer tourists had returned home. It was the perfect Fall vacation.

We were staying in Kelowna, near the Lakeshore Wine Route. We didn’t have a meal that wasn’t spectacular, the locals were friendly, and the weather was wonderful. This is a place I want to return to someday, perhaps at another time of the year so we can experience it during a different  season. We traveled there with friends, took in wineries, (accidentally) saw Will & Kate’s motorcade and Kate’s waving hand, sipped and painted on the deck, and played cards. We came back fully refreshed. I realized that you don’t have to go very far to find a place that rejuvenates you with its stunning silence and beauty. You just have to look and listen. 

Chasing Sunsets

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My sister was disappointed that my first blog, once back from vacation, wasn’t a beautiful sunset from Cabo San Lucas.  I was disappointed that I didn’t have a wonderful photo of a sunset from Mexico as well.  It just wasn’t meant to be.  It wasn’t until we were in Barnstable, Massachusetts that we found Sandy Neck Beach.  We could see a storm coming, so we headed to Hyannis to grab dinner by the docks.

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By the time we finished our lobster meal at the harbor in Hyannis, the skies didn’t seem quite so filled with dark clouds and the stormy weather seemed to be moving on.  As we began to drive back to the Bursley Manor, where we were staying, we could see that the sunset might finally be one worth photographing.

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We were hoping to make it back to the beach in time to watch the setting sun.  We made it with only a few moments to spare.  It was a lovely sight.  It felt like something I would be viewing while watching the sun on the Pacific Coast.

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This one captures the sand dunes and the quiet beach.  I was thinking that this beach would be anything but quiet during a storm and though the clouds had seemed very thick, when we were there earlier, they had lifted to reveal this beautiful sunset.  I’d like to return to sit on the sand and fully take in another gorgeous East Coast sunset. 

Fleeting Time

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A Look Back at Molokini Crater

We went to Maui recently and I was thinking back on the trip.  It seems we were there ages ago yet I know we went recently.  While there, we got up very early one morning to go snorkeling at Molokini Crater.  It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for a very long time.  We were the only boat there and the fish were amazing and brightly colored in the clear cool morning water.  Sounds delightful, doesn’t it?  It was!

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Bumble in the Flowers

After breakfast we went for a quick walk.  It was all we had time for and we wanted to see a little more of the surroundings before we returned back home.  The Hibiscus were lovely, as always but I am always looking for the wildlife, so to speak.  I was fortunate to get a shot of this giant bumble bee as he flew from flower to flower.

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Sunset from The Canoe House

I would be leaving the best part out if I didn’t include this photo.  We had a fabulous time at The Canoe House while the sun was setting one evening.  There had been several evenings when we could not see the setting sun but everything about this evening was perfect.  I love how captured images can take you right back to a special event.  This Saturday, I hope to find more of that magic in Berkeley.

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.

A Weekend Away

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We took off last weekend with high hopes that we would be on Avila Beach at sunset.  Unfortunately, the traffic was not accommodating in helping to make that happen.

Catching Sunset Color

Catching Sunset Color

The hills stood between us and Avila Beach.  For those of you who don’t know, Avila Beach sits just below San Luis Obispo.  It reminds me, a bit, of Santa Cruz when I was very young.

Sunset from Avila Beach

Last Hint of Sunset from Avila Beach

Morning Tide at Pier One

Morning Tide at Pier One

The next morning we walked from pier one to pier three and the colors in the water were amazing.  I found that I was longing for Kodachrome.  I just can’t do it justice digitally.

Birds by the Third Pier

Birds by the Third Pier

One thing I like about this place is how extraordinarily ordinary it is.  This boat is a perfect example, it’s not a yacht.  Some places are filled with expensive boats.  I didn’t see that here.

Lonely Boat

Lonely Boat

It’s a calm place where people seem happy just to be out in the morning enjoying a cup of coffee with friends.

Under Pier One

Under Pier One

It is clear me that I need to spend more time in this place.  I really like it here.  I like the activity and I like it’s peacefulness.

 

Orange County Birds

Orange County Birds

We carried on down to Newport Beach.  It’s got an ocean full  of water but it doesn’t have the feel of Avila Beach.  I found myself missing the place from hence I’d come.

Go out and have a lovely weekend away.