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.
Is it just me, or does time seem to fly by quicker than it ever has before?
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.
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.
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.
Tower Bridge Dinner
Going to Seed in Explosive Fashion
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.
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.
Sunset at Turtle Bay
Waimea Beach Park Hibiscus
Beached Driftwood & Shells
Turtle Bay Resort Oahu Hawaii
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I recently drove from Southern California to Northern California through some road conditions that were less then wonderful. As I was driving there was an amazing sunset but I didn’t want to stop to take a photo because of the road conditions. I wrote the following poem to help my mind remember the colors that I saw. I hope you can visualize them too.
Storm Set Colors
This sunset that surrounds me
I haven’t a photo for
I’m driving North through cold slushy rain
But it’s colors, I adore
Bright bubble gum pink and glaucous gray clouds
Form a nimbus line to the East of me
Atomic tangerine with black cumulus legs
Hang eerily as far as I can see
Ochre grays and rusty coppers
Linger throughout the clouds
They push their way around me
Then they drop, rain pounds, out loud
A tiny patch of light blue sky
Glows off in the distant West
Illuminated rolling green pistachio hills
Front snow sprinkled mountain caps
I push on through the misting,
Through the downpours, and endless showers
Remembering the colors
The soft, bright, and wickedly gloomy,
We stopped for the tail-end of a gorgeous sunset at a Wildlife Refuge off of Z Road just outside of Chico, CA a couple of evenings ago.
Wildlife Refuge off of Z Rd
It made me think about the end of each day and that the year was soon coming to an end as well. I hope you all have had a lovely 2015 and that your 2016 will be even more delightful. Happy New Year to you all.
Last weekend some friends of ours invited us up to Lake Wildwood outside of Grass Valley. My parents had asked us for years, “when are you going to move this way?” I always said, “never!” What I didn’t know was what a little gem of a lake this place has.
Near the Landing and Looking a Bit Like Memories from Lake Como
We went out on their pontoon party boat to view the entire lake. The homes were beautiful and everyone on the lake was very friendly, waves all around, (no pun intended.)
Sunset Ride for Us and the Security Boat
We stopped for a bit at one of their friends houses and sat out by the lake. It was such an easy pace and we talked and laughed until we needed to return back to the dock.
Deep Blues and Full Moon Rising
The full moon began to rise over the hills and the magic of the place completely set in on me. There are experiences in your life that just seem easy. This location has that peaceful easy feel to me.
Sunrise and Steam Rising Over the Lake
I couldn’t wait to see the sunrise on Lake Wildwood. The air was still as the fine moving mist rose across and off the lake.
We had to leave early because we had a conflict with another event. There are days when I wish I never had those sorts of conflicts. I could have enjoyed this view for…..well…..forever!