Monthly Archives: December 2012

Cali Adventure Day 2: Joshua Tree

So day two of our adventure “started”, for me, at roughly 5 am. I have the word “started” in quotes and say roughly because that is the time that the upstairs neighbor of the apartment we were staying decided to start building what I can only assume was a nuclear shelter. It involved a lot of dragging things across the floor (that was not carpeted) and standing on the most creaky part of the floor that happened to be right above where I lay my head to sleep. After imagining nine different outcomes to what would happen if I marched upstairs and knocked on the door and then literally telling her out loud, from my bed, to “Go Back To Bed” I admitted defeat and decided to get up at 5:40am. Even Doris, my travel buddy and self-proclaimed deep sleeper, was overcome by Nuclear Shelter Lady.

Before heading on the highway we made a couple stops. The first was to a coffee place called Dogtown Cafe on Main Street in Santa Monica. We both got our respective versions of coffee and some egg burritos.The decor there was so fitting for the area and of course since dogs are welcome there was a bowl of dog treats for “Fido”.

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Next we went to Whole Foods to get snacks for our full day at Joshua tree. I had to buy a beer (keep in mind it was 8:30 on Sunday) not because I wanted it but because I could. In North Carolina there are no alcohol sales allowed before 12pm on Sunday. I showed them!;)

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And so our trip began after all that and maybe 30 minutes into it I ended up needing to nap because of the time difference, the full day on Saturday and of course don’t forget Nuclear Shelter Lady. Once we arrived Doris got the details of where to go to try to get some of the things she wanted to do while allowing me the opportunity to get some photography in. We had a pretty well-rounded day and learned a lot about these little bushes with tiny thorns that dig right through your clothes and dermis and deep into your soul.  This may be a slight exaggeration (and I mean Slight) on my part. But these bush tree things  would dig into your clothing, then skin and while trying to carefully remove the offending branch from your person another branch would somehow grab your rescuing arm though you were being careful not to get it caught too.  I am not saying they were alive and moved but I am not saying that they didn’t.

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As the sun was setting we found a spot next to the road that contained a field of Joshua Trees and since I had not yet photographed any ( you know since I was busy trying to clean my spilled blood after being accosted by the living thorn bush-trees), I thought we should stop get some photos. I got to work digitally capturing these trees and soon into my efforts my memory card filled up so I ran back to the car. Once I return I started to photograph again only to find that my battery is out of juice. So I make a second run to the car. With the fresh battery in I press the shutter only to be left wanting. I look at the top of the camera and it shows that the second battery has no power! I had charged both the night before and only used one so far. I am left with no option but to run back to the car a third time and get the Hasselblad and film out. I tell myself all the time to shoot more film and this time fate decided it for me. But seriously the sun was setting and guess what? It does not care if you have no memory card, battery or if it takes a “minute” to add film to your camera. Overall I’d say things worked out I suppose I’ll find out for sure when the film comes back;). Doris and I found a fun and nice looking set of rocks to photograph from for fun but things got wrapped up with a quickness when I uttered the words “Oh look a coyote!”. Doris said it was time to go. I was reluctant initially because he looked more scared of us but then I imagined a Mountain Lion could be nearby and I know those aren’t scared of us so we headed back to the car, quickly.

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My gear (right) vs. Doris' gear.

My gear (right) vs. Doris’ gear.

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Pokie had a fun day too at Joshua Tree.

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California Adventure-Day One

So I landed in Cali with no problems other than being exhausted. But on the upside while boarding in Raleigh. I met my first “stranger”. One of my goals this trip is to meet and actually connect with 5 new people. I met Bianca while we were waiting to board the plane and as usual Delta (which must stand for “oversold”) was asking for a volunteer to give up their seat and for people to check in their carry-on at no charge. Bianca and I connected over the fact that neither of us was letting the baggage guys use our bags in a shot put contest.
Once in LA I got to the rental place I somehow ended up with a Dodge Charger rather than an economy car. I asked for a sun roof since I knew I’d be driving the PCH and after all if you are going to order caviar you should also get champagne;). Here is the Orange Beast:


This car was so wrong and so right at the same time. I do not regret upgrading one bit since I only needed it for a day.

So Saturday began with my drive to Ventura along PCH for a battery! Yep, a battery. I found a Polaroid Land Camera 250 that takes an old battery. The Batteries Plus in Ventura was the only one that had one! The camera was made in the 60’s so I’ve no one to blame but myself.


Along the way I stopped at one of my favorite places, the sand hill across Thornhill Broom Beach. I did just say sand hill. Here is the view:


After trying to figure out if the camera did work (it did) I headed to Thousand Oaks to get some real chocolate eclairs from a bakery called Chocolatine. I highly recommend it if you have tasted what French treats really taste like and if you like to speak French. It is owned and operated by a French couple.



Here is my travel buddy with her birthday chocolate eclair:


After the eclairs I had to race back to Santa Monica to meet up with Kate & Brian to do an engagement shoot. I met up with them just in time-ish. We ended up having a blast. The two hours with them entailed drinks stolen by seagulls, swings on the beach, eye contact with a smurf (stop it Kate!;) ) and lots of laughter. So glad the threat of rain held of til later.


The night ended with hunting down the Lobsta Truck for lobster & crab sandwiches and free bisque because we stood there so long they closed while we enjoyed our food.


Overall a pretty good and productive day.