Florida Sunshine

Ah, at last we had arrived in the Sunshine State and our first stop {ok technically the second stop — the first stop was at the Destin Outlets obviously} was off to AJ’s to catch the sunset while enjoying some yummy vacation style cocktails while watching the Destin Fishing Rodeo! With a city tag line “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” you bet those fisherman brought in some good competition catches!

The next day, we decided to catch the ferry to Shell Island near Panama City and soak in the isolated, sandy island and our first touch at the sugary sand!

Look at that water – looks refreshing huh? Makes you just want to bury your feet in the sand and tread further into the waves. That is until you see one of theeeeese guys!   

JELLYFISH! The Gulf Coast is covered in jellyfish. Um, yeah you bet we were staying out of that water! 

And instead we will get back to admiring this yummy sand. You ready for a little Wikipedia fact?  Turns out the sand comes from the Appalachian Mountains, and is made of finely ground quartz crystal giving the appearance of sugar. Basically, it is truly remarkable and I wish I could curl my toes up and walk in that sand just about everyday. 

We couldn’t leave Destin without a quick stop to Donut Hole, a local bakery and cafe. While everything looked so delicious we settled on a few omelets, eggs, and left with a couple of donuts for the road!

We had a great trip visiting my sister and it was a great way to extend our summer all the way into October! We can’t wait to go back!


Friday | Picture of the Week | Week 33

It’s picture of the week time and I can’t decide which picture to feature!!! I know it’s just picture of the week and not the decision of a lifetime, but I am stumped on which to choose, so I thought it might be fun to see which you like better?!

I love these little girls playing in the water and thought the lighting on them was beautiful. This was a harder picture to take because I had to expose for the girls first but make sure that I didn’t lose the water’s reflection on the sand. I position myself so that the sun was behind me and the light was reflecting right onto the girls faces. Also, snapping the shutter when both girls were relatively still took a little patiences.

However, this picture was much easier to take with less technical knowledge required. Expose for the sky, then underexpose it by about 1 stop and ta-da! In fact, I grabbed this as I was getting back into the car in a rush because Ry was blocking the alley. I love the colors of this as it looks like a photo featured on a classic California postcard.

So which is your favorite and should win picture of the week??!


Friday | Picture of the Week | Week 15

Opps, Friday came and went without a picture of the week because I was too busy enjoying a much needed trip home!  This is a picture I took of one of the fabulous pink sunsets we had last week —  pink is always a welcome color especially when it comes in the way of nature.


Friday | Picture of the Week | Week 7

Click here for bigger.

Riding bikes? Nah, not for me.

Crusing the beach on a strand cruiser? Now that is something I can do! Although I did not grow up in Southern California, I have lived here long enough to learn a few cruising musts: 1) wear a bathing suit under whatever you are wearing; 2) grab your sunglasses; 3)  if you break a sweat you should probably slow down!

Enjoy the weekend!


manhattan beach beauty.

Pictures of the Manhattan Beach Pier or the light blue lifeguard towers have been captured thousands of times by photographers and tourist alike, so while these pictures are nothing new to Manhattan Beach locals, they were just pretty pictures that Ryan and I captured a few Saturdays ago.

Ryan took this picture using our Tokina 12-24mm, f/4 (one of his more favorite lens):

These next two pictures I took —  one of the lifeguard tower and the other of the pier.  This summer all of the lifeguard towers from Zuma Beach to Palos Verdes were painted in funky colors as part of Santa Monica-based nonprofit Portraits of Hope’s project titled, Summer of Color. Nearly, 6,000 children in schools, hospitals, and social service programs and thousands of adult volunteers were involved in the painting of the panels which were installed on the walls of the lifeguard towers.  The panels have now been removed and the lifeguard towers have been returned to their standard light blue, but here is a picture I took of one of the colorful towers before the panels were taken down.

And lastly, my picture of the pier captured during low tide at sunset.

25/365 – Leafless Oaks

Being newlyweds and having families in cities 430 miles apart creates a bit of a dilemma come holidays.  Obviously, we both want to share the holidays with our families and share comfortable traditions in our home cities but whichever place we decide, one of us is away from family.  In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we reminded ourselves that we are fortunate to have two places to celebrate, and doubly so, because each family understands if we end up elsewhere.

This Thanksgiving we woke up early and drove up to Placerville to visit the Zavoda’s.  We enjoyed great company and an outright feast that included a bbq’d and deep fried turkey, ham and no joke six desserts!

Did I mention that Thanksgiving is the best holiday of the year?

After dinner we took a walk from the Zavoda house and a enjoyed a cold country sunset which included some great leafless oaks.

25/365 - Leafless Oaks