Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Day I Fell In Love…..With Paddle Boarding

Today was the best day! It was my second time paddle boarding and I’m hooked. My desire for a new hybrid bike has now passed and I must have a paddle board! I have a mountain bike already and it will do for now. But I must have more time on the water on a board! My friend Doris and I decided to get a lesson from One Heart SUP. I highly recommend getting a lesson if you have been curious about paddle boarding and want to see if you even like it and Harris Lake was great. And at the suggestion of a friend Pokie came along for the adventure (I’d forgotten all about taking him on new adventures). I “bravely” ziplocked my iPhone and brought it along with me to be able to capture the experience:

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Erik, our illustrious guide

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Doris standing tall under the low clearance bridge

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Pokie liked the paddle board until we came upon the lillie pads

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Pokie thought he found a friend to swim with

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Land sharks

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Every paddle board adventure should end with a glass of wine

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Cali Adventure Day 4: Goodbye to Santa Monica and The Two Hour Drive That Lasted All Day.

So as every morning I woke up early but today it was because I needed to get a morning beach walk again before leaving SoCal. If only I could live within six blocks of a Cali beach everyday. This was Christmas morning and for some silly reason I thought the beach would be deserted. I was wrong. All the day workers (I assume) were at the beach trying to get some surfing in before doing the family Christmas thing. I still maintain that Santa Monica smells like two things these days, ocean air and freshly smoked pot,medicinal of course????:).  I spent the better part of an hour just watching the surfers at the beach but I was a lot more intrigued by the pelicans. Crazy I know but they fly in line formation always just skimming over the water. It intrigued me. I will have to show these images on my other blog because my iPhone could not capture these guys.

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I kinda wanted this van.

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#Pokie found a palm tree that was just his size, relatively speaking.

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Why get a christmas tree when you can decorate the outside trees with oversized ornaments?

At the end of that hour, after my feet had gone from painfully cold to numb I decided to head back to finish packing and be on our way. On my way back I had the pleasure of meeting Heavenly at the corner of Ocean Park Blvd. and Main St. Now I am a sucker for animals, that can’t be helped, but one that carries its own bags cannot be ignored! Heavenly’s person is named Aliene, she has a bad knee and Heavenly helps her by picking up things for her and this day carrying the bag to help raise funds for The SAR Dog Foundation. Not only did I get a kiss from Heavenly I also got to witness this. I know its cheesy but I love cheese;)! Go here (link coming soon) for more images of Heavenly and more info about SAR Dog Foundation.

The rest of the day entailed a lovely breakfast at Main Street Bagels served to us by Jack from St. Louis, Missouri. I felt bad they were open on Christmas day but not that bad because I like breakfast;). So thanks Jack for the food and the jokes, I would not have had it any other way.

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Smoked salmon and cream cheese, is there really any other way to have a bagel? (rhetorical question…the answer is no…;) ).

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View from inside with pup desperately hoping for a dropped crumb.

The rest of our day included stopping at Point Dume, the sand hill at Thornhill Broom Beach (one of my favorite places on earth) and a place off the highway (apparently called the edge of Heaven on Instagram) to watch the sunset (it was off the PCH when it comes back out from being the 101 in Ventura). There we met some surfers from BYU. One of them was incredibly intent on having this shirt off…I can’t make this stuff up. I also got the chance to photograph a motorcycle rider taking a road from Seattle and heading south down the PCH.

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Beginning of the longest 2 hr road trip;)

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The view from the top of the sand hill.

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Cardboard will not help you slide down hill so don’t bring and/or leave it! Thank You;)

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#Pokie was a little apprehensive of the hill when the usually big people looked so little (Look for blue dot at the top of the sand).

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View of the ocean from the top of the sand hill

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Sunset off PCH just North of Ventura.

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Motorcycle rider in above sunset off PCH.

Cali Adventure Day Three: Rain, Camera, Action

This day started out with the pitter-patter of rain that had come in the night. This rain had also woken me up throughout the night but was a lot more tolerable than Nuclear Shelter Lady from the previous morning. The curse of being a light sleeper. On the upside no one is going to sneak up on me in the middle of the night and kill me like they do in the movies;). As soon as Doris came out of her room I informed her we would be enjoying a good breakfast that morning so we could take time to plan the rest of our trip. We decided to go to Urth Cafe based on friend’s and Yelp recommendations. I highly recommend their Eggs Salmone. It can get busy though so be prepared.

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The building itself is decorated with beautiful tile artwork.

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While we were starting our breakfast Doris received a call with sad news from her Vet that her beloved pup Jake had died. He had been diagnosed with diabetes a few days before Doris left for California. The good news though was that her awesome vet had brought him home since he seemed to be getting better. Jake died on the vet’s chest while they both napped. I think it was such a heart wrenching thought for Doris. It was good Jake was with someone he knew well but she was sad that she couldn’t be there. We took some time to talk about it but Doris takes things in stride and doesn’t let things hold her back from her goals but rather uses them to keep pushing onward. I do think our rainy morning was for a purpose though other than to try to plan our next steps.
Our next stop was the camera store. We went to three spots before I got to the store that actually sold what I needed which was Polaroid and medium format film. While there Doris decided to browse for a camera. She had been wanting a new one ever since her last “nice” camera went flying off a cliff after a family member um…., startled her. Luckily the camera is only item that was sacrificed in that prank. After deliberations between myself and Doris about what she wanted vs. what I think she needed the sales guys brings out THE camera that had essentially been recommended by other’s to Doris. And so it was and Doris and her new Nikon and I left Samy’s Camera.

As we drove home I got some texts and phone calls alerting me to some home drama which seemed to suit the situation we drove up to at the Venice & Sepulveda Blvd intersection. The corner 7/11 had a cop car pulled into the parking lot all haphazardly and three cops with their guns pulled at the front door of the store. I was on speaker phone with my friend trying to get a video but ended up with this crap photo instead. I allowed myself to try to capture this since I had been so good at the Whole Foods when I saw Cobie Smulders, Robyn from How I Met Your Mother, and left her alone. I know I’m a loser but I really wanted to say hi since I love the show but I wanted to respect her privacy.

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In the afternoon the sun came out and Doris and I made it to the Venice Canals. I have been to Venice Beach numerous time but had never gone to the canals. After we spent some time there exploring and photographing we went home to change and get ready for dinner at Bianca’s family’s restaurant in Thousand Oaks. This meant driving PCH then going through the mountains via Kanan Rd, some of my favorite drives. This said I also miss Cali radio.

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Pokie liked the Canals

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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Sky Flames

The clouds this morning looked a little like flames to me, you know if flames were white. Perhaps a have a vivid imagination. While trying to capture them I also got a bird and a plane come at just the right time.

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Lunch Time Picnic

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Picnic at lunch on one of those water resistant blanket with a strap. Such a beautiful day.

Handmade Christmas Ornament

Having too much fun making handmade Christmas ornaments as gifts while listening to Michael Buble’s Christmas CD and drinking some wine.

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With ribbon:

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