Sunday, August 30, 2015

California Vacation: Carmel-by-the-Sea and our drive along Big Sur

Keith and I agreed that these two days of our trip were probably our favorite part. So much natural beauty of the scenic coastline, the absolute charm of Carmel, the interesting architecture to enjoy.

Here are some glimpses...

:: I was really excited to visit one of California's first Spanish missions. Such a beautiful chapel and gardens. This type of architecture is so appealing and interesting to me; I couldn't get enough. And if you've read my blog over the years, you know I have a thing for monasteries and monks.

:: our cozy alcove of our host's beautiful home is here with the door partially opened. The cup of tea, plate of cookies, and juice they brought to us on our arrival was such a kind and welcoming gesture.

:: the trees here are very striking and unique.

:: ahh, that first barefoot walk along the beach, the sound of the waves crashing along the sandy shore... this was what I'd been dreaming and longing for...

:: the rare opportunity to spot a real life Frank Lloyd Wright home. Do you see how this house jets out like the bow of a ship?

:: "charming", "storybook village", "delightful", "romantic"... these would be the words I'd use to describe this enchanting village. 

:: loving the little passage ways and hidden courtyards scattered among the shops and restaurants.

:: the best vegan meal I think I've ever had at this little restaurant... Fresh wild flowers on all the tables and strung across the ceilings, warm, just-out-of-the-oven homemade pita accompaning a bowl of smoky roasted red pepper hummus, fresh homegrown dressed salad greens, and a delicious vegetable lasagna... my mouth is watering just thinking about that meal... Our visit with the kind older gentleman owner/cook after finishing... So happy we found this place and could support a wonderfuland local family- owned restaurant like this one. 

:: getting out of the car on our drive along the coastline to climb around the rocks and explore some tidepools. 

:: stopping here and there for a few "pull over!", breathtaking photo ops.

:: we couldn't miss a chance to take a little detour up to the  New Camaldoli hermitage... Such a peaceful place to visit with a magnificent view of the coastline... Browsing around the interesting bookstore (excited with so many of the titles I was familiar with and have read in the past few years. Topics like stillness, mindfulness, spirituality, living a simple life of introspection and beauty, etc.), tasting some of the friendly monk's homemade fruitcake and purchasing some jam to enjoy later. So glad we stopped here.

:: Near the end of this stretch of the trip, and as I started to drift asleep, Keith suddenly pulled over for us to stop and see a colony of elephant seals. What a fun treat to see those amazing, huge creatures just basking in the warm sun.

Next up: our time in Morro Bay and Santa Barbara.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

joy formula

found the perfect joy formula today:

drizzly day, empty day to spend alone here at home.
pulling out thoughts to fill a notebook followed by
meditation time that turned into nap time.
a quick tidy of the house with
inspiring podcasts to listen to while
dishes and kitchen and floors all become clean.
chocolate chip cookies  bake in the oven and then
the day's highlight of
another afternoon to play with color and form;
a painting completed to satisfy something deep within.
my ear to the phone as I sit waiting in the carpool lane, 
this son's voice telling happy news and excitement.
connection and visit with a neighbor friend  and
now prepating plates of dinner
to share with my parents.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Jane & Preston's Wedding Day

July 23, 2015

This day we dreamed of.
This day of complete joy.
This day of beauty and love.

Such precious, beautiful memories.
Such support from those we so cherish.
Such happiness for these two.

Thanks to Alicia of Gray Wren Photography  for capturing 
the special moments of this day.

A heart-felt thank you also to my friend Doug Larson of Pointe Digital 
for this wonderful wedding day video.