Day Off

When James asked me if I wanted to go Kayaking on my day off, it sounded more like work to me. I’ve never been the out door person but he kept instigating it would be fun.

coffee The beginning of any good trip start with coffee. There’s this little place in Newport called Alta, probably the best coffee in town. Newport is always very chill and no one seems to be working. This is the best place for a workaholic to relax.

Kayaking  When we made our way to kayak I was a little worried it would be a lot of physical work. The guys joked that Gus would be the one doing all the work but I knew I could keep up if I tried. I found being out in the water was very relaxing, looking at the blue sky, hearing the birds.

food After, we cleaned up and asked the owners of the kayaking company where there is a good place to eat, they recommended Eat Chow. We figured we would try something new and check out this new place.

the beach  After we drove around town to  Huntington Beach and walked around. It seemed like everyone in town was outside enjoying the sun too.

shopping  Since we live about 40 miles away from the beach we knew that traffic was going to be bad. We hung out and shopped a little at The Lab. They have cute vintage stores and of course an Urban.

Days off – they’re the greatest! Now back to work 🙂

The Buzz of the City

The buzz of the city filled the air with endless possibilities. From the moment we saw the bay bridge we knew we were in for an adventure. I imagined young people working in their studio offices making creative decisions that would influence our culture.

The first stop we made was a hidden coffee shop. When I walked in the doors, I saw tables full of people talking and visiting with one another. I was tempted to ask them what they did for a living so I too could be in a coffee shop on a Tuesday morning at 10am hanging out with friends.  We ordered our lattes and pretend we were one of them.


We later made our way to watch the sun set at the beach. The people of the city seemed to be searching for a connection with nature, the parks were full of runners and the beach with surfers. I saw business people in their cars, looking in to the sunlight and an older couple standing at the edge of the sand taking in the moment. Then there was us, talking about hopes for the future.

The drive down the city streets made me forget about what was happening on-line and enjoy the present moment. We kept telling one another to stop taking photos, to look out the window and see what was all around us. 

Once we got inside a pub for dinner, I was glad to see there were no big TV screens on. We told one another to place our phones in the middle of the table and enjoy hanging out with one another. Conversations about business and dreams of making money seemed to light up the room.

We tried to imagine the lives of those who call San Francisco home. Its here that the city encourages individuality.

My favorite part of the trip was when we visited a fancy coffee shop that sold toast and coffee for $10. I figured I was paying for the experience of living a life style I’ve only dreamt of. I was inspired by the big groups of people exchanging ideas. I imaged staff from twitter, or from a new high tech company meeting at these very tables, planning on the next big thing. It made me want to create an encouraging community like this back where I live.

We gave ourself the afternoon to be tourist and to visit some well known locations.

A friend told us to visit the Golden Gate Bridge from a different location. I enjoyed hanging out by the water, listening to the birds pass by, laughing and making jokes with one another.

On our final night we left the car behind, and took public transport. We wanted to blend in and feel what it was like to live in such a thriving city. One thing is for sure, living in the city there is very little room for personal space.

I thought the city was beautiful at night, but at sunrise, it glows with hope.

I’ve been to San Francisco many times, but this time I finally captured the heart of what San Fran is all about.

Be yourself…no matter how weird you are. 

Road Trip: Portland

The  moment we drove in to Portland we could tell it was different from any other. The streets were full of bike riders, dog walkers and skateboarders. We got off the highway to find a coffee shop. We picked a small place called The Red Square, which made it easy to find because it was a red square.

As we drove the streets of Portland, we laughed at how accurate the TV show Portlandia is. We parked the car and did some exploring.

When we had to leave after only spending a day in Portland, we couldn’t stop talking about it in Seattle. “Can’t wait until we go back home.” When we returned, we both took a deep breath of relief.

The first thing we did was walk around Old Town. We found a great comic store in China Town. It was a young boys dream.

When we walked around the block we discovered the Portland out door market. The whole city was outside doing something creative.

By the end of the day, we were all tired. It was time to look for a hotel. For some reason every room in the city was booked. We all looked at each other hoping one of us would have a solution. After spending hours calling around we finally found a room open at a fancy hotel, which meant lots of money. Sleep in the car or in a palace? Us California kids chose the palace.

The next morning we all agreed to go to a rose garden. As we walked around and relaxed in one of Portland’s beautiful garden we all felt refreshed.

When Monday finally came along, hotel rooms were open in abundance! Living out of a suit case isn’t easy but it never loses its excitement. (I’m sure it does at some point haha.) But you never know what kinda room you’re going to get. At the Shilo Inn, we got a retro room that we adored!

Our last and final day in Portland, we did a Portlandia tour. I found a site that named all the places the show  filmed at.

Oblique Coffee Roasters – This coffee shop was in the middle of the suburbs. We ordered the house coffee and enjoyed the morning paper.

In Other Words – This store was pretty exciting to visit. I was astonish that this place was real. I figured the show created it for the skit but when I looked in the window everything was exactly the same.  Video Clip

The last Portlandia location we went to is where they filmed the Pilot… which turned out to be a music video. We understood why, when you walk around Portland, you can’t help but sing how special it is.

We were finally understanding the city. Not everything is open during normal business hours, people make old houses in to coffee shops, you can’t buy a book but you can borrow one and weird is normal.

While we were out we came upon our own great Portland discoveries. Record stores!

The first thing we saw driving in to Portland were these space ship looking things going across the city. We spent all afternoon looking for it. Finally we found it at the Portland Hospital.

There was this book we found in the hotel room that explained that Portland is divided unto four parts. North-East, North-West, South-East, South-West. “Ohhh, now we get it!” We were finally understanding the city.

The last thing we did was hanging out at Powell’s Book Store. We must have been there for a few hours, there were floors and floors of books. I of course wanted to see if they had a Christian section, to my surprise they did with a lot of old vintage books.

After we walked around looking for an open coffee shop but no luck. I guess every one went home for the day. We went back to our car, left the city and said good bye to a place that felt like home.

Portland, I love you! 🙂

Road Trip: San Francisco

On our way to San Francisco I read off a sign with all the towns we were passing through. I remembered I had an aunt that lives near by. When I called her she was so excited, I couldn’t even get a word in. I introduced her to Gus and told her about our adventure camping. She fed us and let us get all cleaned up. It was a breath of fresh air to visit. I loved how happy she was to see us.
When we arrived in San Francisco we were ready to see the city. We drop our stuff at a hostel and went to go take some photos in front of the Golden Gate Bridge.

After dinner we made our way to the Arcade Museum. It was fun to actually play with the vintage games. I was so excited when I saw they had a photo booth. Gus said they are a curse for couples but I reassured him my parents took a ton when they were young.

The next morning Gus woke up early (due to staying in a hostel.) He text me early in the morning and said, “I’m ready.” We were up so early nothing was open when we walked around town. We set out a quest to find china town. I had driven pass it many times but never bothered to walk the streets. Since he is in to marshal arts, this place was heaven for him. We ended up spending three hours shopping, and looking around.

When we were done I said, “My turn, lets go to hippie town.”

I finally got a t-shirt made that I’ve been talking about. “Go Indie.” It was a comment I made once on Facebook when a friend was complaining about how dumb movies are. We made our way down to Dolores Park to get a coffee. It was kinda strange to find so many people sitting at the park on a Wednesday morning, it seemed like no one had anything to do. We found the atmosphere to be relaxing.

3pm hit and it was time for the long 10 hour drive to the magical land of Portland and Seattle!!!

Event: Dinosaurs, Lunch and Conan

You never know what will happen in LA. Today I took a trip out to the city with a friend to visit the Dinosaur exhibit. To my surprise, nothing was real.

For lunch we took a drive to sunset to eat at my favorite place. Molly’s opened up in the 20’s. I was sad to learn that they are closing. Eating out side on Molly’s bar is a real LA experience. It’s cool to see the different people who walk up to the window, the small chat that goes on between customers as they sit side by side together. There was this homeless man who walked by and made eye contact with me. I told my friend that the man looked like James Brown, my friend then said, “James Brown is dead.” I’m going to miss Molly’s Burgers. Their food is delicious.  We continued on our adventure to see, “Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop” in Bel Air. The neat thing is film maker and star were going to be there after the film to talk to the audience.

A lot of the staff and people who were in the documentary was there. Watching it with them made the movie experience real. Some people asked stupid questions but this one guy asked, “How do you want to be remembered?” to Conan. He was taken by the question and said he would like people to remember he did the best with what he had and that he was nice to people. “Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop” is extremely funny. I laughed every thirty seconds.

Another great day in LA.

Catalina Island

My friend and I went to Catalina Island for the weekend. Neither of us had ever been there so we had no idea what to expect.

I didn’t want to carry my big SLR around so I took my dad’s small digital camera. Since I have used the Mini Diana camera I really liked the two frames for one picture style. I turned on the “Panoramic” feature and began to have some fun taking pictures on our trip.

Instead of taking normal landscape photos I changed up the frame and allowed the camera to stitch them together. I got some really random creative shots. Finally, digital is fun!

There wasn’t much to do on the island but it was nice to get away. We talked to hotel driver about living here and he said you either love it or hate it. As for Krista and I, we liked it. We found out how pictures can be deceiving how there was no real beach on this island!

I joked with my friend how I kidnapped her from her husband and three kids. I recommend stealing your married friends for the weekend, they will thank you.