Friday, July 27, 2007

DB's Big Adventure - Day 3

Or "The day the Gods smiled upon me, got me back to Civilization and gave me a Starbucks."

Day 3 dawned shiny and new, mostly because there was a Starbucks within walking distance of our motel. Mike swears Marisa and I can sniff out a Starbucks from 50 miles away. I just know how wonderful it is to have coffee-flavored caffeine flowing through my veins. On long trips, some people count license plates... I find Starbucks.

No, no! Thank YOU!

We rolled into the Estes Park YMCA around 3:30pm. The last time I stayed in a camp like this was in 6th grade, so it all felt like alternate universe. In addition to rooms with bunk beds and a cafeteria and baskets with single servings of bug spray, there were all kinds of camp activities. Remember arts & crafts? Making picture frames from popsicle sticks? Learning how to read a compass? Identifying poison oak and poison ivy so at least you knew which one you had rolled in before being sent to the camp nurse? It was exactly like that.

Since we were here for a family reunion, the first night at the Y we had reserved a fire pit for a family campfire. Since I'm a newbie and didn't really know anyone, I became self-designated photographer. No one really seemed to mind.

This baby won't learn to walk until he's about 5, with all the people vying to hold him

His forehead got hot while roasting the "mallows"

There were actually a lot of people at the campfire, but after I got done chasing the kids around, it was pretty dark and I didn't want to scare these nice people off with my monster flash after I had just met them. I figured I would save that for the next day.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

DB's Big Adventure - Day 2

My brother and his wife are the ultimate hosts. Not only did they feed us, loan us fluffy towels, and take us to Cabela's* (the ultimate redneck's paradise), they also gave their toddler a foam sword to whap us with whenever she pleased. Is that heaven, or what?

* Cabela's was pretty noteworthy in it's monstrous size, scope of hunting/fishing/outdoor gear, and the amount of dead, taxidermied animals that one store could house. It was both awesome and depressing.

My nephew, Jackson. I went in to pick up a crying baby and ended up snapping a couple photos before I actually finished what I went in there to do. Don't worry, no babies were harmed in the making of these photos.

Caitlin has more energy than an ant colony in full swing. This is one of the few I got where she was sitting still... without being bribed by Cheetos.

Since there was so much driving involved, there was a lot of scenery to contemplate.

When I visit places outside of my home, I often wonder what it could offer me if I were to move to that place. How is it better than where I currently live? Since I've never been a true "California Girl", I feel like I am able to look at this more objectively than some. I'm not lured by the constant sunshine, the moderate weather 568 days out of the year. Instead, I see those places with inclement weather, wide open spaces, or bustling urban areas and imagine myself there. How would I fare on my own in a strange, new place? Because the landscape outside my car window was ever-changing, there was a lot to contemplate. Here are a few of the highlights:

The theme I encountered in Utah that carried over into the other states was referred to as "monsoon season." It was most prominent in Colorado, but all the states we drove through had huge fluffly clouds that would roll in sometime in the afternoon, thunder and lightning for a bit, and then sprinkle for 10 minutes or so. I wished for more rain, but only New Mexico delivered in that dept. It was all still very cool though.

See? It doesn't take much rain to make me smile....

We drove through part of Wyoming on this day, looking for a good place to stop for the night. Although we drove through Kemmerer and didn't stay too long (all the bars were closed), it's noteworthy to mention as the home of the original JC Penney store. If not for this place, I don't think I would have been clothed as a child.

JC Penney's "Mother" store

This place would have been a lot more fun if it were, maybe... open?

The Victory Theater. I love the girl pulling her brother along to try and get out of the picture.

We drove a bit farther and ended up stopping for the night shortly after these were taken. And this concludes Day 2.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

DB's Big Adventure

Otherwise known as "Making it to Utah and not being struck down by lightning on my first night there."

We left Temecula on Saturday morning... errr, afternoon, about 4 hours later than we had planned. Since none of us had packed until that morning, we were destined to be stressed out and running around like crazy, throwing things into suitcases all willy-nilly. It's just how I roll, y'know? Anyway, we only had to go back to the house for forgotten items on 3 separate occasions. Not bad, the way I see it.

Commercial-free tunes for the road

Keeping myself occupied (and distracted from motion-sickness)

The first day spent on the road was a doozy. We tooled up the 15N, through Barstow, gassing up in Vegas, and then on to Utah, where we were going to stay with my my ultra-conservative Mormon brother. I wonder what his neighbors thought of his harboring of us heathens?

Speaking of heathens, a picture of a church in Vegas

Mountainous Utah

We made it up to my brother's house around 9:30pm - tired, hot and dusty. He didn't seem to mind much.

My niece and SIL - very unconcerned at the prospect of providing refuge to the dangerous heathens

I had a few other pictures of the scrub brush and (lack of) scenery along the highway in Vegas and it's surrounding areas, but it's not much to see. No really, trust me on this one...

To Be Continued....

Monday, July 23, 2007

So in love...

with this portrait:

I'm finally back from my whirlwind trip across the Cowboy State and all the other states I just really don't fit in, but I'm saving the stories for when I actually get some photos proofed.

I just really couldn't help myself and had to post this one, though.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

One of my favorite traditions on the 4th of July...

... the other is fireworks, but it's a little early to be posting pictures of those.

Happy 4th of July!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Luna luna lunita lunera

I'm a bit behind. You see, when I shoot a lot at one time, I tend to prioritize only by which ones are needed first... or which ones I'll get in trouble over if I procrastinate on. It's not a very good system and my personal pictures suffer as well as the ones for my friends when we're goofing off. How odd is it that the photographer of the group is the worst when it comes to "developing" the pictures of the latest get-together? {sigh} Blame it on my sign, my lack of organization, genetics... it is what it is. However, since I haven't shot much as of late (been working on the latest website update) my procrastination means that I still have something new to share. :)

That something new is the newest addition to my extended family - in a word, I'm a brand-new fairy dogmother to Luna, the new frenchie pup of one of my best friends. In May I took a trip up to see her and got to spend a couple of days documenting one of the worlds cutest dogs:

Stuck behind the baby gate & not very happy about it

How can you not help but pick her up and give a little squeeze?

Mom! You crack me up with your funny faces!

Love the loose lip....

As much of a profile as you get with a smashed-in nose

We even got some family shots in:

C'mon guys! Get a room!

If I give you the puppy eyes, will you let me in?

The fabulous Luna! Performing in a town near you!

I think this one is my fave. I love the colors and her expression.

Sit Luna!


Frenchie butt:

Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend!