May 2015

SURF ILLUSTRATION

Four years ago I created a surf illustration for my now brother-in-law and sister-in-law’s wedding. They got married in Maui and they wanted an image that was surf inspired. After the wedding I painting and framed this image which is currently hanging in their house. Fast forward to present day and they now have a wonderful three year old daughter. My niece is already an outdoor guru with experience in climbing, surfing and skiing. She is truly an inspiration to toddlers and parents everywhere. Whenever my niece looks at the image I created she asks where she is (because she is missing from the art). So for her third birthday I added her into the image and printed the illustration on canvas. I didn’t have the time to paint it, but I used photoshop to get the same look as a painting and everyone was quite happy with the result, especially my niece.


 

MAMMOTH SNOW

I am an east coaster that now lives on the west coast, i.e. I’ve never experienced a winter without snow. Even in the six years I have lived in San Diego, I have spent time in the snow every winter. But this year that almost changed and I was struggling with the idea of having my first snowless year while my parents were experiencing their hardest winter on record in Boston. I realize I shouldn’t complain, living in San Diego is great but a year with only sunshine and 70+ degree days can be frustrating especially when our current drought conditions desperately need the rain and snow.

As the days passed and winter turned into spring I came to grips with the fact that I am officially a southern Californian, and there would be no snow this year. But thanks to my husband and his family, I was lucky enough to experience one of Mammoth’s last snowstorms of the year. I haven’t been defeated yet!

We headed up to the mountains during the last week in April, to spend time with Danny’s brother and wife and our 3 yr old niece. Yes there was definitely sledding involved and also a beautiful and snowy hike up 2,500ft outside of June lake. I finally got to experience the Mammoth hot springs as well, and of course local craft beer from Mountain Rambler (in bishop), Mammoth Brewing Co and June Lake Brewing. It was just what the doctor ordered, snowy mountains, family, hot springs and beer!

 


 

GONZAGA BAY

MAY 2015

We recently went down to Gonzaga Bay in Baja for the weekend with a couple of friends. This is the same place that Danny and I took our first trip together, four and a half years ago. On that trip we brought a canoe, for this one we brought our little inflatable so we could venture out to the islands to fish. We ended up catching more fish in the canoe! But even with crappy fishing conditions, there is something really special about being offshore in a little boat in such a wild place, surrounded by the mountainous desert landscape and rocky islands. This place always reminds me of what’s important in life (to me), to continue having experiences that make you realize how beautiful and diverse the world is. Because nowadays its a pretty easy thing to forget.

 


 

HOMEMADE PRESENTS

My best girlfriend recently asked me to make a gift for her sister’s bridal shower. I love doing crafty projects so I happily agreed. My friend and her sister are both into baking, so the shower and the gift were to be kitchen themed. My friend gave me a quote/recipe that she wanted me to design and frame and asked if I was willing to create a recipe box, of course I jumped at the chance to practice my woodturning skills. Finally we decided that a custom apron would be the perfect finishing touch to the gift. My friend was very pleased with the outcome and I hope her sister will be as well. Creating homemade gifts for people is quite a rewarding experience, and I think it is more meaningful to the recipient when they see the care and thought that has gone into their present. I only hope that I will continue to grow creatively so I can take on more projects like this one in the future.

 


 

BACK TO BAJA

MARCH 2015

Our friends from Idaho came to visit in March for their Spring break so we decided to head back down to Conception Bay for a spring fishing trip. But on our way down we stopped in San Ignacio to see the gray whales. This is something I have been wanting to do for a while now so I was especially excited to have this experience. For anyone that isn’t aware, gray whales travel down to Baja to have their calves. There are a couple of different bays that the Gray whales will give birth in and you can hire a trained guide to go into these bays by panga to see the mothers with their calves. The whales are not afraid of the boats and will come up to check the pangas and it’s passengers out.

This was an incredible start to our trip. Seeing and touching these humungous, powerful and gentle animals was an unforgettable experience and one that I highly recommend.

After San Ignacio we continued down to Mulege for the rest of the week. A week that consisted of 4am wake up calls and non stop fishing but one that also resulted in a whole lot of yellowtail to bring home. There was also a lot of life on the water… specifically the giant mobular rays that were swimming around offshore. They were everywhere, jumping out of the water and circling underneath the boat. But the biggest highlight of the week unfortunately happened on the one day I decided to sleep in, Danny and our friend Steve saw a pod of Orca Whales! Lets just say that I learned my lesson and I’m never taking a day off again. 🙂

 


 

OFF TO ARUBA

FEBRUARY 2015

This past February Danny and I were able to vacation in a place we would have never traveled to on our own, Aruba. Thanks to a family raffle, my sister won a vacation in Aruba and graciously gave it to us as her wedding gift. This was definitely a different kind of trip for us, solely based on the fact that we would be staying in a nice resort and not in our camper van or outside. We will never be “resortists” but it was nice to live in another person’s shoes for a week.

I am pretty sure we did almost everything that Aruba had to offer. Danny went scuba diving and windsurfing, I went SUPing, we snorkeled, we rented a dirtbike, we went sightseeing, we tried to do it all. But in the end, I think we had the most fun sitting by the pool, drinking pina coladas and playing with the resident iguanas. Also, spending some quality time with my family that happened to be there as well. I don’t get to do that enough nowadays.

 


 

BAJA SURF TRIP

JANUARY 2015

Sometimes you should treat yourself to a weekend away, even if the gigantic swell means you are beach-bound taking photos/videos and doing some painting. Just being outside in a beautiful environment can make all the difference.

 


 

HOMEMADE WEDDING

September 2014

Danny and I got married this past September and we were on a tight budget, but we are the ultimate Do It Yourselfers so we decided that we were going to have a homemade wedding. I was in charge of design: the invitations, the decor, and the venue and Danny was the carpenter and the beer brewer. We teamed up and created: the beer system, home brewed bottles for our guests, the center pieces, the cake stand and loads of other wedding decor. It was not an easy task, but were very pleased with the outcome and minus the cold temperature and chilly wind gusts it was a wonderful day! Plus, I learned a valuable new skill, wood burning which I really enjoy and luckily there have been no fires in my quest for knowledge!

 

 


 

BAJA HONEYMOON

November 2014

In November, Danny and I spent our honeymoon in Baja California Sur. It is our annual Thanksgiving tradition to be in Mexico but this year was special, not only because we were newlyweds but also because we were able to spend three weeks exploring. It was my first time going south of Conception Bay, needless to say I was pretty excited to see how the landscape and life changed as we moved toward Cabo San Lucas. One thing I learned is that I am not a big fan of Baja’s larger cities, I would much rather spend my time on the isolated beaches or in the ocean or the sea. But overall the trip was a success. We visited friends and went fishing offshore and in Magdalena Bay. Danny caught his first Wahoo and Snook. We camped on a beach in Cabo Pulmo, explored its reefs and had a way too close encounter with a school of bull sharks. We took the dirtbike down to Cabo San Lucas and met a group of friendly donkeys, we even visited a brewery there. We also spent quality time on Conception Bay and I finally got in the water with a whale shark, a baby one. One thing is certain in our life, Baja will never disappoint.