Last night we gathered in a friend's backyard garden and dined al fresco under a multi-colored sky. With summer coming to an end and friends spread out from San Diego to LA, it felt special to reunite and share a home-cooked meal together. We started with wine and a charcuterie board while our host, Tae, prepared roasted tomatoes, green beans, and mashed potatoes. Her husband grilled BBQ beef and hot dogs and my friend Saem prepared an Ecuadorian salad with fresh red onion, lime, tomato, and cilantro. For dessert we shared Tiffany's vegan and gluten-free Fig & Almond Tart and Michelle's peach pie. My heart and belly are full!
This past weekend Ashley and I grabbed our cameras and took a little trip to Cabrillo National Monument in Point Loma. When we arrived at the park, the cloud-covered sky seemed to fade into the sea. For a moment I felt like I was back in San Francisco until the sun came pouring in and burned away the clouds. We checked out some of the historical exhibits, played around with our cameras, and took some of these photos by the lighthouse and by the seaside:
British Columbia has been on my bucket list for a few years now, so it was incredibly exciting to explore Vancouver, Squamish, and Whistler for the first time with my husband. We flew into Seattle, rented a car, and began our BC road-trip, adventure-style! Highlights of the trip was staying at The Douglas Vancouver, riding bikes through Stanley Park, hiking to Wedgemount Glacier, hiking down to Brandywine Falls, riding the Sea to Sky Gondola, and relaxing the Four Seasons Resort Whistler. Something that was absoluuuutely magical was experiencing Vallea Lumina, a multi-media night walk through the forest that leaves you captivated and full of wonder. It was hands-down the best way to end our stay in Whistler and highly recommend experiencing it!
The Sea to Sky Gondola is a beautiful 10 minute ride in Squamish, British Columbia. This is a fun pit-stop along the Sea to Sky Highway, along with Shannon Falls (only a couple minutes away). They have a coffee shop at the base, a suspension bridge at the top, and several viewing platforms and hiking trails to enjoy. I recommend visiting when they first open in the morning or closer to sunset to avoid large crowds (and to find parking)!
One of my favorite activities was hiking down to Brandywine Falls. Most people go to the viewing platform where you can see the waterfall from the top. If you're feeling adventurous, there's a less-known trail that leads you down a rock slide, through the woods, and down to the foot of the waterfall. The trail is hard to follow at times and some moments felt a bit sketch, but it's totally worth it when you find yourself at the bottom where you can feel the mist and experience the fall up close.
The Wedgemount Lake Hike is located in Garibaldi Provincial Park and although its quite the challenge, it's totally rewarding and worth pushing through to the top. It took us about three hours of hiking uphill to reach the summit and two hours to get down. We hiked up the glacier and had sandwiches with a million-dollar view! I recommend going at dawn when it's still cool out and packing plenty of water and lunch/snacks to keep you energized.
On my drive back down from San Francisco to San Diego, my friend Diane and I made a pit-stop at Point Lobos State Reserve for some some nature therapy. It was spontaneous so we totally hiked in our Avarcas sandals! At least the 3-4 mile hike was easy and totally worth it. The highlight of the trip was walking through the lush forest and seeing all the wildflowers in bloom. It was one of those places where you just want to soak in all the beauty as much as possible because it refreshes your soul.
We only had a few hours to spend in San Francisco, so we starting the morning at Cassava for weekend brunch. The Pork Shoulder & Fried Egg Open Face Sandwich is mouth-wateringly delicious - order that. While you digest, take a short drive over to Sutro Baths and Land's Ending for some seaside views and hikes. My 2.5 year old nephew absolutely loved exploring the ruins and running around on the beach. He held my hand as we walked along the old bath house and he kept telling auntie Clara to "be careful so you don't fall and drown." How did he know I have a proclivity to trip over my feet?? After our walk, we did some window shopping in Sunset District before heading back to my mom's place. Here's some snapshots from the short day trip:
Our chocolate lab, Skye, is already 9 months old and she has a boyfriend named Leo. They met in the dog park when she was 3.5 months old and it's been kisses and constant wrestling ever since! Here are some of my favorite shots of these little fur babies:
I heard there was going to be a Floral Arrangement Workshop near the the workplace (Make) so of course I had to sign up! I feel like there's something very calming and therapeutic about working with plants - especially spring flowers. We each started with a ceramic pot and learned how to prep the space with chicken wire and tape in order to support our arrangements. We learned to build a base with lovely greens, hydrangeas, sunflowers, and kumquats. Then we got to play around and gradually add more pops of colors and other accent flowers to build our floral centerpieces! Soooo much fun! A big thank you to Rissa of VEN for leading the event!
It's the last day of 2017 so I decided to finally post some of our favorite wedding day moments! Nick Radford was our photographer -- he was AMAZING! It's surreal to experience something you've been planning, preparing, and anticipating for over 1.5 years, so these photos are incredibly valuable to us. The whole day felt dreamlike and we were overwhelmed by the love and support from our family and close friends! A huge thanks to our vendors: Events by Ari for being hands down the best wedding day coordinator, Southfork Catering for mouth-wateringly good BBQ, Please & Thank You for craft cocktails that our friends still talk about, my talented Makeup + Hair lady (Sothea Ouch), our incredible photographer Nick, and Revel Weddings for the most romantic wedding video we could ask for!
This little chocolate munchkin is Skye, our English Labrador puppy! Her name was inspired by a glorious sunset that my husband and I both experienced the week before. We adopted her when she was 8 weeks old on November 29th, 2017 and she's an absolute sweetheart. Sure, she has her "crazy dog" moments, but she's also intelligent, confident, and crazy-good-looking, Right now she loves belly rubs, chewing on her stuffed polar bear (Huggy Bear), baby carrots (and eating them in her special corner), and she loves finding anything she can fit in her mouth and chew on (e.g. hands, shoes, sweaters, socks, plants, plastic bags, etc.). When she's not insanely hyper or destroying Huggy Bear, she sometimes indulges me and poses for photos. Here's a few of my favorite shots!
One November morning, my girlfriends and I packed my car with cameras, snacks, dresses, and sparklers, and headed east toward the Arizona border. It was thrilling to discover that the largest sand dunes in California were just two hours away from us! My friend Ashley brought her gorgeous red gown and I eagerly took photos of her running through the gorgeous desert. It was an exhilarating experience exploring this desert landscape and capturing the wonder and beauty all around us.
Daniel's been climbing for over six years but this past weekend I got to watch him boulder outdoors for the first time! We drove up to Yosemite on Thursday and camped at Tuolumne Meadows with a group of his climbing friends. On the drive up we witnessed an incredible lightening storm above the Eastern Sierra Nevadas. Giant bolts of electricity exploded across the sky, keeping us alert as we drove into the night.
Daniel and his friends impressed me with their strength and problem-solving skills. Every boulder was like a puzzle that they worked together to solve. I watched them try again and again and it was a thrilling each time they completed a challenge. We also jumped into pools of rushing water, hiked up Lembert Dome at sunset, and drank wine and whiskey around the campfire.