Well here we are 2 months into 2014 and I have been dealt my first large dose of change. I can’t say that I am entirely surprised, there was a part of me that knew this could happen any moment for the last 3 years. However, surprised or not, it is hard to be fully prepared for change…that’s why it’s called change! The best I can do is be as ready as I can with how to process a life blip.
Different can be scary, and right now it is scary.
But, there is this other part of me, deeper inside me and not in my moment to moment thoughts, that knows this is good.Why? Because I value personal growth, rebirth, newness. Not in theory, but in reality and practical terms. I know that from this tearing down of my once manicured routine, I have the opportunity to reshape and rebuild – to grow. Sure I could have done this on my own before, but I didn’t. Now, I have been lovingly ‘kicked out the door’ to make this happen, ready or not.
Well, I’m ready.
This is not a crossroads. Full steam ahead into my great unknown.
Just a simple photo of a forest in winter time.
(Click to enlarge)
On my recent trip to Maui, my wife and I “found” a road that unexpectedly turned out to be one of my favorite adventures of the trip. We were looking to get back to a certain part of the island and the GPS kept taking us back through what looked like the long way. Going the ‘short’ way was never shown as an option…I thought “hmmm, well now I just have to see for myself if there is a road this way, because it just looks closer on the map.” That and I like exploring, so this intrigued me. I soon found out why the GPS never gave this route as an option.
This was a fantastically scenic route, but it was also a fantastically SCARY route! The road quickly turned into a two-way road, but with barely enough room for one car… for miles and miles. Luckily, not many people were on this road, either from all the mainlanders blindly following the GPS’ instructions or because they have taken it once before and swore to never voluntarily take it again! However, there were a few cars on the road and these few were enough to really make me sweat. [The video below is a short clip showing the moment where we faced oncoming vehicles on a very narrow road, rocky cliff side on the right and a straight drop on the left.] Luckily I found a small indentation in the mountainside and backed my perfectly pint-sized Nissan Versa into it, allowing for barely enough room for a couple of cars to squeak by. Mind you that the trusty Versa was not my first car choice, nor my second. Or third. In fact, I literally told the rental car attendant when she came back with my keys and told me my choice that “I hate that car.” Little did I know that it would take me almost 800 miles in a week and through the edge of insanity, above the clouds to the top of a volcano, and miles into “4×4 only” country to see a Hawaiian Red Wood forest. By the end of the trip, I had a deep respect for that little car!
But I digress.
When it was all said and done, I would definitely take this wild road again. There was a spot at the top that just seemed magical. Isolated on the top of a Hawaiian cliff with the ocean and valley surrounding each side of me, along with rolling grassy hills and the best tropical winds you can imagine. All at dusk. Does it get any better? I will save you the guessing, it doesn’t. I think the crazy road allowed for this place to stay special and isolated. The shot above (best viewed large) was taken at this spot as my wife took a moment to take in the scenery. This little spot will stay with me for some time for two reason: It felt totally tranquil, serene even. And almost dying for 2 hours straight has had a strange effect of burning the experience deep into my psyche!!
If you get a chance, take the road less travelled. You
might will be glad you did.
This picture below is when we successfully returned from our experimental off-road journey to the Red Wood forest! Notice the sign…but more importantly notice the thumbs-up!
The California coast is so pretty, you can be walking down the street and catch a 4 ft wide view of a harbor and it will still be gorgeous! I thought this little peek-a-boo view between these homes was a magical moment during this sunset…not quite as magical as these homes’ views, but hey, still pretty nice!
I love this picture. So peaceful, so beautiful.
I recently took a trip to Cambria, CA for the weekend, just to get away. While there, amidst relaxing and just taking in the relaxing surroundings, there were these large birds playing in the coastal winds (sorry, I don’t know what kind they were – maybe you can tell me!). They are incredible animals and it was awesome to watch them play in their natural habitat!
Mostly a black and white set, but I liked this color version below and wanted to share that one too.
A sculpture in Laguna Beach, CA.
Say hello to Sarah. She is a proper young woman weighing in at a whopping 4.5 pounds. She manages to stay so beautiful because she has mastered the art of beauty sleep. If you ever are fortunate enough to meet her, let me pre-warn you that you may want to bring your nose plugs…because as good as she is at beauty sleep, she is even better at stealthily licking inside one’s nostrils. You have been warned.
My wife and I recently visited Kauai, HI. We went there for our honeymoon 2 years ago and loved it so much that we went back. It is so beautiful there, I highly recommend it to anyone who has not been! They call it the “Garden Isle” for a reason – 360 degrees of beautiful, raw nature.
While there I took my camera, of course, and attempted to capture they way I saw the island, the beauty. Below is a collection of those images. I singled out a few below and then put the rest in a gallery below these. I hope it gives you a sense of “Ahhh”
There is a local spot referred to as “Top of the World” in Laguna Beach, CA. This spot has fantastic views of the Laguna Beach coastline and skyline, as well as the valley behind Laguna Beach. After a rain here recently, I knew there would be some great cloud action going on so I jumped in “Em” and jetted down to, er, up to TOTW.
Over the summer I visited the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. I highly recommend visiting this place if you get the chance. Most animals are able to roam free in large open exhibits. Below are a few of the animals that caught my eye and lens.
For Labor Day I visited my family. They live down in the desert of CA where a typical summer day is 115 - almost just as typical are 120 degree days. So after visiting I drove back up to Orange County and after the three hour drive, I arrived. The beautiful weather got me thinking how I do not appreciate the beauty of where I live enough. It was this thought that made me take a spontaneous left to Laguna Beach instead of the right turn that lead home. I drove down to the beach with my wife and two dogs and we walked along the beach. It was perfect timing – I drove straight to the closest parking and found a parking spot open – that alone is a miracle during the summer time! We arrived just in time to catch a beautiful sunset; I was able to snap a few photos – What a confirmation of thoughts!