Category Archives: Photography

Roadtrip: Part 1/Oakland, California to Fortuna, California

It’s been a couple of weeks, and so much has happened. I feel tired just thinking about it. Here are some highlights:

  • I flew back home to Alexandria to help my Mom recover from surgery. There is nothing like having your parents going through months of tests and a serious medical procedure to scare the living shit out of you, so I was relieved to be home, to see her with my own eyes. She also called me the drill sergeant, which, with my need for control in all situations was quite fitting. She is doing better week by week, and I know that she’ll fully recover. If she can just take it easy.
  • I flew home for one night, and then………..
  • B. and I were off on our week-long roadtrip through the Pacific Northwest.

The roadtrip. There was no plan, no hotel reservations, no specific points to stop, just 2,037 miles of road. I had my trusty 2007 atlas, Brandon had his not-so-trusty Garmin (it failed around Seattle), and we were off like a couple of prom dresses. It was one of the most wonderful trips we’ve taken. And here’s part 1 just for you.

We started by driving through San Francisco, across the Golden Gate and up the 101. The weather was perfect. After lunch in Mill Valley, we made our way to Highway1 through Sebastopol/Guerneville/Jenner. We stopped  in Duncan Mills to go to an antique shop where we’d bought a piece of furniture on our honeymoon. We were sad to see that it was closed, and that the shop had been taken over by some completely inane store that sold plastic picture frames and ugly t-shirts that no one should wear. So we moved on. We were trying to end up in Jenner at a reasonable time so that we could eat at the River’s End, but no such luck. Three o’clock just isn’t the time for lunch or dinner. We decided to just keep driving…

Our first real stop was right after Jenner, when we stopped at one of the many vista points on Highway 1. We couldn’t help ourselves,  because this is what we saw. And this. And it was just plain beautiful.

Moving on. Have you driven up Highway 1? If not, let me give you some friendly advice: don’t eat before you go, make sure your driver is completely lucid and not too high on caffeine, and don’t – under any circumstances – shout out a little when said driver is going slightly too fast on the hairpin curves because he thinks he totally has it. Instead, ask politely for said driver to slow it down so you can take in all the scenery. This does not always work like a charm, since said driver knows you like the back of his hand and knows you are just wanting him to slow down, because you can see the scenery just fine at the speed you’re going. I’m just saying, you may need to take part of the drive with a Xanax and a couple throwbacks of whatever hard alcohol takes you down a notch.

So moving on…from the views of the ocean, to farms, rolling hills, eucalyptus trees shaped by the wind, curves and winding roads, it was beautiful. We watched the fog roll in from the Pacific, saw cows sunning themselves perilously close to the road where there was no fence to protect them (or us), came upon an old, beautiful cemetary where the fog continued to blanket us and we saw this, this and this. It was getting dark, so we decided to head inland to Ukiah to eat and regroup. We took another long and winding road, Highway 253, that took us through a scattering of small towns before we hit the 101 North. We landed at Subway in Ukiah, where the guy making our sandwiches was too cool for school. We figured out we would continue on, even though it was already pitch black out. We got back on the road after a quick Safeway pit stop where I had to gently talk Brandon out of the large container of spice drops. That man is a fool for spice drops. At 10:00 that night, we decided to call it a day and ended up in Fortuna. 

And that was only day 1, my friends. Stay tuned for day 2, including an oversized Paul Bunyan, his blue ox, and magical trees. 

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Filed under Photography, Travel

Just because.

With the Leica in hand, I took a walk in downtown Oakland (no need to gasp). It’s beautiful now; I can only imagine the bustling beauty 30, 40, 50 years ago, when dressing up to go shopping was the right thing to do. When dates were brought to the Fox Theatre, and the Cathedral Building was still the Federal Realty Building. It was incredible to me that day, and maybe it will be to you, to know that all of the pictures below were taken within just a few blocks of each other.

           

         

       

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Woodrow becomes Woodreaux. And the Saints win big.

It’s been a very long two weeks since my last post. 

A very.long.two.weeks. 

Highlights include: 

  • Woodrow making the trek from Northeast Oregon to the Bay Area with no hiccups.
  • Me not killing my husband during said trek.
  • The Superbowl party of a lifetime.
  • The Superbowl win of a lifetime.
  • Woodrow miraculously passes crazy California emissions test and gets a high-five from our mechanic, Robert.
  • Woodrow makes another trek – this time up to Tahoe – with only minor hiccups.
  • I rediscover that Brandon is MacGyver when he fixes the back window (after taking the entire thing apart) – and has the patience of Job when he has to put everything back together again.
  • I don’t completely lose it when I have to spend two hours registering Woodrow at the DMV this morning. TWO HOURS. This included one of the ladies talking to me like a four year old with a listening problem. I don’t have a listening problem, by the way. I have a you-are-a-dummy-and-no-two-people-that-work-here-give-the-same-information problem. It’s like you need a secret handshake, an archaeologist and a Bible to uncover the mysterious ways of the DMV.
  • And last but not least, Woodrow officially becomes part of our Louisiana family – and therefore, he is now Woodreaux.

Hope you guys didn’t miss me too much. But dang, I missed you. 

A few pictures from the last couple of weeks (I’ll upload all of them in the next couple of days): 

From Ashland to Oakland.

From Ashland to Oakland.

 

From Eugene to Ashland.

From Eugene to Ashland.

 

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Filed under Family, Football, Fun Times., Photography, Travel, Wagoneer

Football, Farmers Markets and Fiction

This week was a busy week, a full week, an exciting week.

Let’s start off with the most important news first: The Saints are going to the Superbowl. Now, if you’re not sure who the Saints are, or if you’re thinking the Superbowl has anything to do with cereal – you, my friend, might be feeling a little lost right now. It’s okay. You have a full week to get the facts straight. You can start with these:

  • Uh, really the most important thing to know is that the Saints are awesome.
  • In their entire history, they have never once been to the Superbowl, so it’s kind of a big deal. By the way, they’ve been a franchise since 1966, and that’s a long dang time to wait for a win like this. But Southerners are patient (that’s a bald-faced lie – we wore bags over our heads at one time because we were so ashamed of our Saints).
  • Drew Brees was born one day before me in the same year. If you don’t know who Drew Brees is, remember the overall rule: you have a week to figure it out.
  • Peyton Manning is from the New Orleans area, so he’s practically committing a sin playing against his hometown team.
  • Did I mention the Saints are awesome?

If you want some New Orleans Saints gear, go here to Dirty Coast Press. They have really awesome tees that are for New Orleans locals (and for those of us who aren’t so local). I ordered two tees today – one for me, one for Brandon (Brandon’s will have the church image above) – and I cannot wait to show them off. If we win the Superbowl, they might have to cut it off me, because I’m going to just wear the mess out of it.

In other highlights of the week, we went to the Temescal Farmer’s Market. It’s amazing what beautiful produce, live music, cute kids and smiling people can do to a DMV parking lot. This is one of my favorite farmer’s markets to go to – I feel really lucky to live in a place where food, like the kind I find here, is so close. I ended up buying golden cauliflower – which I wish I had taken a picture of since my Mom said she’d never seen it – some chard, some pretty little orange flowers, two preztels to help us keep our stamina up (farmer’s markets can sometimes be a deadly place with all those toddlers on tricycles), lots of carrots and a few other odds and ends.  I roasted the cauliflower and carrots, sauteed the chard and served it all with pork medallions. Easy as pie.

And last but not least, I hosted the Glen Book Club at my house. I haven’t really mentioned the neighborhood that I live in, and how much I love it. I’ll say it again, but I’m one lucky gal to live here. My neighbors are my friends, and the Glen Book Club is just a gathering of those friends. I like it because we’re all different ages and at different stages in our lives – retired, just married, single, having babies, in jobs we love, in jobs we hate – and it’s nice to know that no matter how busy we are, we’ll always have one time during the month when we can catch up. Oh, we talk about books – we do! – but the real point (at least for me) is the gathering itself. By the way, we chose Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder as our February pick. I’ve updated my Book page (above) with what I’m reading right now, so the book club pick will be up next.

Hope you all had a nice week – let’s do this again real soon.

Temescal Farmer's Market - Handmade Produce Bags.

Temescal Farmer's Market - Handmade Produce Bags.

Temescal Farmer's Market

Temescal Farmer's Market

Temescal Farmer's Market

Temescal Farmer's Market

Temescal Farmer's Market

Temescal Farmer's Market

Temescal Farmer's Market

Temescal Farmer's Market

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Two dinners and some shelving.

Today was a good workday, even if I never stepped foot in the office. A few things that got accomplished today?

  • My craft room is finally in order – shelves hung, fabric folded, and random objects all in place. Thank you to Brandon.
  • I cooked not one, but two meals today – so that I won’t have to cook for the rest of the week. Bove’s lasagna and good ole’ red beans and rice (if you’ve never made this, I recommend you give it a try at least once). Bove’s was on a Food Network show (Bobby Flay’s Showdown – ps…I hate it when the locals don’t win), and I really liked the whole family. And their lasagna was just calling to be that extra two pounds on my thighs. I made it somewhat according to the recipe – I didn’t use their brand because we don’t have it here, I used lower fat cheeses, turkey and meatless meatballs and half veggie/half noodles. Good stuff. To top it off, Ed/Nat/Will came over for dinner.
  • I took a nice long walk. It’s supposed to rain all week here, and today was no exception. I wanted to take my usual run, but I settled for a nice long walk. I took my camera along and by the time you read this there should be a Mountain View Cemetary Walk, version 2. It was cloudy, windy, quiet and perfect.
New space.

New space.

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Filed under Fun Times., Holidays, Photography

354 Project.

There’s a little project going around in the blog world like cooties in a daycare. Everyone’s got it, called 365 Project. I thought it sounded pretty interesting, and even better, low commitment. A picture a day is all it requires, and one created that day. Of course, I was supposed to start January 1 (hence the name). But I just found it, so it’ll be my own 354 Project. For the rest of the year, you’ll be able to click on the 354 Project page above to see the daily view from my world.

Starting today (the first will be slightly fudged, taken from a previous day – but nonetheless a favorite). Enjoy kids.

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Sun, Ryan Adams and Mountain View

Today was a beautiful day, and around 2:00 I thought it was high time to get dressed and make the most of it. I grabbed my point-and-shoot and iPod and headed down to Mountain View Cemetary for a good long walk.

The first place I went was the mausoleum – it’s beautiful and quiet. There’s this classical music that’s piped in throughout the entire building, and you can practically walk through without seeing another soul. Given the fact that it’s huge and you never know quite where you are (or how to get out), the added ambient music is just ever so slightly haunting. You’ll probably notice from the pictures that there are a lot of shots of chairs – I’m not sure what it was, but i just had a thing about the chairs there.

From the mausoleum, I walked outside and up the hills. If you live in the Oakland area, and you’ve never been to Mountain View, you should stop whatever it is you’re doing right now (reading this blog), and head on over. Seriously, this blog is nowhere near as interesting as Mountain View. And don’t forget to bring your camera.

For the full Mountain View album, click on the Photographs page above.

Almost to the cemetary...

Almost to the cemetary...

Mausoleum interior.

Mausoleum interior.

Mausoleum interior courtyard.

Mausoleum interior courtyard.

Mausoleum interior.

Mausoleum interior.

Mausoleum interior.

Mausoleum interior.

Mausoleum interior.

Mausoleum interior.

Mausoleum interior.

Mausoleum interior.

Mausoleum interior.

Mausoleum interior.

Mausoleum interior.

Mausoleum interior.

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