O California

Travel Log: California Central Coast
Dates: 05.01.15 - 05.04.15 
Towns: San Luis Obispo, Solvang, Santa Barbara
Favorite Eats: Finch & Fork (Santa Barbara), Juice Ranch (Santa Barbara)
Favorite Revisit: The Book Loft (Solvang)
Favorite Beach: Avila Beach (SLO; traveler's tip--Farmers Market on Friday Nights)
Favorite Beach Runner-up: Shell Beach (SLO)
Favorite Surprise Guest: Dolphin in the Santa Barbara harbor

California's central coast captured my heart yet again.
Thought I'd share my memories through these filtered visuals.  
Special gracias to mi compadre for a wonder-filled weekend. <3

A Night at the Planetarium

Universe.  Hubble.  Orion.  Andromeda.  Stars.  Galaxies.  Constellations.

For someone who dreams too often about being among the celestial bright bodies of our evening skies, the presentation of Universe at the Morris Planetarium last Thursday night was nothing short of extraordinary.

For a time, I shared this fascination and love of stars with a man quite special.  However, as with all beautiful things, our relationship slowly turned to stardust.  Sitting in the Planetarium that evening, in the presence of these entities he and I once talked about, I wanted very much to turn to my right and see him sitting next to me . . . quietly smiling as he always does and gently squeezing my hand ever assuredly.  And I thought (perhaps foolishly) that if I just closed my eyes and wished hard enough, somehow the Pinocchio effect--that Disney magic--could happen a second time.  I was, after all, in the midst of countless twinkling stars.  Alas, when the presentation came to an end, the possibility of that real boy came to an end, too. 

As I walked out into the night, I was greeted by a sky full of stars (or as he and I used to call it, a sky full of moles).  Though bittersweet, I was genuinely happy to be reminded of him and to think about us as we were once, instead of what we are no longer.

And for a brief moment, I stood quietly under the brilliance of those bright stars . . . reveling, appreciating, and simply remembering the feeling of being.


"In the presence of nature, a wild delight runs through the man, in spite of real sorrows."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

March 2015.
Big Basin Redwoods State Park, Santa Cruz County.

These photos came on the heels of my pit bull, Nala, passing and moving onto her next life.  I would like to imagine that next life being somewhere over the rainbow, comprised of luscious green rolling hills, the bluest of skies, and an endless stream of glistening water under the oath of a golden sun that never sets further than the three o'clock mark.  For twelve years, she graced my life with affection and love, lightheartedness and mischief--not to mention laughter of a very rare kind.  It does not feel like she has left my side; instead, I would like to think she has only thrown on an invisible cape and is running wildly and freely beside me now, no longer in pain and ever happy. 

 Nala, March 2012 (film SLR)

Until I can wrap my arms around you again, run wild and free in the forever place, my love. 

Sunflowers & Snowy Plovers

Seems a storm is brewing . . . the city is expecting some much needed rain tomorrow.  By habit, I picked up a few sunflower stems to balance out the grey day(s) this week.  

Also, I finally stopped by Andytown Coffee Roasters to see what they had brewing.  And that was when I met Snowy Plover: a little fizzy over ice with espresso--most ingenius pairing.  I was plentifully pleased by the Plover (think Pellegrino teased with a shot of aromatic coffee, topped with the freshest dollop of in-house whip cream this side of the coast has tasted), and the customer service was, in short, superb.  Outer Sunset, San Francisco.  



People fall into it, people fall out of it.  Some find it, some search for it.  Others yearn for it, others let go of it.

Love is risk.  It is seeing beyond ourselves and into the hearts of the ones who capture ours.  It is painful.  It is beautiful.

Love involves the highest degree of selflessness.  It encourages us to give without the expectation of a return.  It makes life amusing.  It makes life worthwhile.

Sometimes, wounds emerge.  Over time, scars will replace those wounds.  And they remain with us.

I do not believe those scars should be covered; they should be embraced.


You fall into it, you fall out of it.  You find it, you search for it.  You yearn for it, you let go of it.

You take the risk.  You see beyond yourself and into the heart of the one who captures yours.  It is painful.  It is beautiful.

Love requires your highest degree of selflessness.  It encourages you to give without the expectation of a return.  It makes your life amusing.  It makes your life worthwhile.

Sometimes, wounds emerge.  Over time, scars will replace your wounds.  And they remain with you.

You do not have to cover those scars; you can embrace them.


This is how I paint it.


A few Sundays ago, as I was driving back from church and waiting for the traffic lights to change at this intersection, I found myself traipsing through the background details that were set before me.  Mural.  Bulldozer.  Fog.  Perspective.  

Succulent Sunday

Sloat Garden Center on 3rd Ave.  Two pots of quirky succulents. 
Whole Foods on Ocean Ave . . . Blue Bottle Coffee's New Orleans Iced Coffee in milk-carton form.

Late Nights, Early Mornings

Memorial Day weekend 2014.
Summer legs.
Mission Beach Cafe: Crab and shrimp eggs benedict. 
Tartine: Lemon cream tart.
Rebirth: Gerbera daisies and begonias.