This past Tuesday-Friday I was in Palm Springs with my mom and sister. I hadn't seen them since New Years Eve, so I was definitely looking forward to seeing them. I didn't take many photos, except some selfies with the family and the following photos from our search for the mountain goats. Enjoy the desert colors and feel the warmth from the desert radiate into your bones and warm them up! (I even succeeded in getting a tan, but NOT burnt!)
Over New Years Eve I went up to Seattle for a few days. The main reason for this trip was to see my brother, Marcus, before he graduated from US ARMY boot camp and headed out for his deployment. While there, I also had the pleasure of taking the engagement photos of my great friend and her fiance!!
Seattle, you will always have a piece of my heart.
This past December my Dad, his wife Barb, and her mom, made a pit stop in Oakland on their way down driving to Texas. They would rather drive many, many hours and be able to stop and see the sights and countryside instead of flying. It isn't something I would enjoy, but they do. We went into San Francisco and explored around the piers along Embarcadero and the different Golden Gate Bridge vista points. The weather was perfect - clear and sunny.
My younger brother just started ARMY boot camp on Monday and we had a going away party for him up in Washington. I can't believe he's off growing up. I still think of him being about 4 years old... not 18! But, I am extremely proud of him for following the dream he's had for MANY years! He is ready for this experience and I think he will gain so much from it. I'm proud of you Marcus and I love you SO much!
(all but second to last picture taken at party site)
Two weeks down and I'm still alive in SF! I made it safely and without any issues. Once I got off the BART I had to catch a taxi to Mardi's... I wasn't about to drag my 50+lb bag up the huge hill. I never took a taxi when living in Bellingham, so it's a new concept to me. It seemed they were all going the opposite direction I needed them to. I finally hailed one and up the hill I went.
|view from Buena Vista Terrace|
|my silly family|
I finally was able to visit my Aunt and Cousins in Oahu. My family had been before, but I was never able to join because of school or work. I went for a week in April and it was beautiful. My aunt lives in the town Kailua, which is on the opposite side of the island from Honolulu. They are on the windward side, so the mornings were usually drizzly and grey and then the sun would break through and shine throughout the day. This trip was originally going to be a “rent a VW Vanagan and tour the Big Island” trip, but the friends who would have been joining had scheduling issues and couldn’t join. So I figured, why not visit my aunt?!
Instead of a Vanagan, we rented a car and spent the week exploring the island. Places we visited included Honolulu and Waikiki Beach, Turtle Bay Resort, Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial. We also hiked Diamond Head, saw amazing views from the Lanikai Pillboxes, and drove from Kailua to Kaena Point and along the North Shore.
The second day we were in Hawaii we decided to explore Honolulu and see Waikiki beach. Before going into the city, we hiked Diamond Head. This was an easy hike with great views. Having never visited Oahu, it was impressive to see all the buildings and hotels that make up Honolulu with the turquoise water and beach sharing a shoreline. It also offered panoramic views of parts of the Island and coast. Beautiful!
Another day we decided to drive part of the Island and see the infamous North Shore. Our first destination was Kaena Point, which is the westernmost tip of land of Oahu. We didn’t end up hiking to the end, but we drove out as far as the road would go. The beaches there were rockier, but just as beautiful. We also saw many people kite boarding because the water is pretty shallow and conducive for successful boarding.
After seeing the kite boarders, we continued along to the North Shore. Construction was happening so there was a lot of traffic, which put a slight damper on the drive. There was no driving up and down the coast to find theperfect part of beach. We didn’t see any surfers, which the North Shore is famous for, but we were able to enjoy yet another beautiful beach. Once we soaked in the sun, we continued along the coast and headed home. Phew, what a day!
Renting a car was definitely the way to go. We were able to explore the whole island on one tank of gas, score!
I enjoyed the Northeast side of the Island a lot more, as it’s more remote and not as touristy. The scenery is beautiful, the water is turquoise and clear for as far as you can see and the beaches are not crowded (visit the Lanikai Pillboxes to see all these).