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Waikiki is for lovers

1 Dec

We spent a day cruising around Waikiki and of course I shot some photos.  It’s so interesting to see huge skyscrapers right down on one of the most beautiful beaches overlooking Diamond Head.  Anyway, here’s my take in pictures of Waikiki/Honolulu over the holiday!

Beach walk.

Diamond Head.

You know my love for modern architecture… this building was very interesting!

Surf boards and Christmas wreaths, I love it!

One of my favorite parts of the day!  We walked by this shop that had high windows and when the dog heard us he came running to window to greet us.  His tongue I’m pretty was stuck outside of his mouth though so it gave him an adorable “flaw.”

I’m sure he has to be really well known in the Honolulu area.  He’s too damn cute to not notice!

We also walked around the Royal Hawaiian which was BEAUTIFUL.

Pillars and columns everywhere.  I love symmetry in architecture and the Royal Hawaiian was stunning.

They were setting up for a wedding.

Hawaii is a must see if you’ve never been and like sub-tropical destinations.  It’s incredibly beautiful and well worth the vacation!

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Nighttiming – I’ve been trying to work on long exposures

30 Nov

I was playing around with long exposures in Hawaii because I think great ones are phenomenal, especially star circles.  Mine are far from fantastic but I had fun cruising around and shooting these photos!  I took many at the new Disneyland resort, the Aulani.  It’s pretty incredible in the pool resort area.  Anyways, enjoy and any good tips on long exposures is greatly appreciated 🙂

The sun starting to set.  This was about a 10 second exposure.

View from the balcony.

Walking to the Aulani.  The white building is the JW Marriott in Ko Olina.

Aulani lobby.

Aulani pool.

More Aulani pool.

Aulani infinity spas.

View from my Aunt and Unlce’s.  During the day you can see the ocean perfectly.  What if everyday you woke up to that?  It’d be beautiful!

Hanging around – why not spend a non-traditional Thanksgiving in Hawaii?!

29 Nov

More pictures from my getaway last week 🙂

Travel Thursdays – Sydney!

27 Oct

I learned to love travel from my amazing family.  They have shown me how important it is to see other cultures and enjoy the differences from around the world.   One of my absolute favorite family trips was to Australia.  I posted earlier about Cairns but didn’t get to share anything about Sydney in that one because I had so many photos.  I’ve decided to share only some of them today because I have hundreds from the trip.  It was one of my favorite spots to see and it was one of the last really big trips we took all together.  I made a movie from our trip and tried to take as many pictures as possible. These photos were all taken on a small point and shoot so the quality isn’t great but I think the subject matter does more of the talking 🙂

You absolutely can’t go to Sydney and not see the Opera House.  I know I LOVE modern architecture but even if you didn’t, you could enjoy it’s marvels.

The tiles!

It’s safe to say I was borderline obsessed 🙂

Even the bathrooms were cool! Ha!

The Harbor Bridge.  I thought it was so awesome that you could climb this!  I didn’t have the chance to but next time I won’t miss out 🙂

We got to explore Bondi and Manly beaches.  Both were beyond beautiful!

My brother and I watching the warm storm brew over the emerald waters.

Some of the trees had the largest, most interesting roots!

One of the large modern fountains.  You can’t tell here but this thing was huge.

We also ventured outside of the city to see the Three Sisters.  They were in the most beautiful area and we took this very steep ride-like “train/tram” down a rock face!  Very cool to get deep down in the tall trees.

The forests went on for a long ways.

While outside the city, we saw so much wildlife!  We ended up going to an animal reserve where we got to get up close and personal with some native animals.  This was one of my favorite things that we did in Sydney.

They have so many beautiful birds.

I liked this one 🙂

A wombat!  So fitting for my love of the Wombats (a band) music!

These koalas were fighting or communicating somehow.  I thought they were such sweet animals but come to find out they are actually pretty aggressive!

They are also nocturnal, they sleep all day and scavenge at night.

I loved the kangaroos!  They were so friendly and soft.

Obviously they were friendly because  we were feeding them but they were so gentle and sweet.  It was neat to get to interact with them.

They are also known for their reptiles which I didn’t as many pictures of because I’m deathly afraid of snakes, let alone me take a picture of one!

Here’s me and my family.  This was one of the best trips of my life and I can’t wait to go back someday.  I’m so thankful I had the chance to have such a great experience with my family.  We visited so many other places including the Olympic grounds and other beaches so I may post about those on another Travel Thursday but for now, enjoy!

Jacuzzi – the wine!

23 Oct

Another stop on our wine tasting tours was a place called Jacuzzi.  It had a very interesting story behind it and is most definitely connected to the bath tub Jacuzzis!  Here are some photos from the stop at Jacuzzi winery.

One of the entry ways to the winery.

I love this stonework!  I’ve always loved the mixture of stone and wood on a house.  When I lived in Lake Tahoe I noticed that it was much more common in less populated areas.  It’s truly a beautiful combination.

Entryway and the amazing Chandelier.

My mom in the entryway of the wine barrel room 🙂

Their vineyards!  The grapes had all been harvested this year.

Someone had put sunglasses on the statue… ha!  I think it added a nice touch 🙂

Then we saw 5 little planes fly by together.  It was really neat to see.  They were flying pretty close together.

A closer view.

The gardens on the way out.

After the two wine tasting excursions we decided to head to grab some food.

We headed over to a burger place called Gott’s.  It was SO delicious!  I would definitely recommend this for anyone looking for a good burger in Napa.

Ian was lucky enough to have a home-made cheesecake made for him on his birthday by his family friend, Lauren.  She’s notorious in their family for making the best cheesecakes and now I can officially say I know why.  This cheesecake was next level delicious!  She definitely has some baking skills 🙂

After a full day we headed back to the bay area.  Here is a picture of Ian’s family.  From left to right – his cousin Courtney, cousin Damon, sister Eryka, Ian, dad Ron, and mom Frida.  I’d go anywhere with this group 🙂

Sonoma – Champagne Country?

21 Oct

Another excursion we partook in over the past weekend was venturing up to Sonoma and Napa for a day.  Ian and his family had never been and I’ve only been once or twice before (my last excursion to Napa).  I’d never gone to the places we went to this past weekend though so it was another adventure together.  My parents helped guide us around and Ian’s cousins were also able to make it along for the fun day.  It also happened to be that special loverboy of mine’s birthday, so it was an extra special day 🙂

I had to break the trip up into a few different postings because I took that many photos… Ha!  So here was our first stop, a Champagnery if you will.

Domaine Carneros known for their bubbly.

This time of year in wine country is called “The Crunch” because all of the wineries are harvesting all of their grapes in preparation for their wine making.  Most of the grapes were off the vines so no grape tasting for us.

Ron and Frida!

It was very castle-like.

Large doors!

Champagne tasting!

Red wine tasting.

Very large bottles of Champagne.


There were these little birds all around.

That’s a lot of Champagne and wine bottles!

Eryka, me, my mom, and Frida!

This was only one stop from our day.  I have many, many more pictures to come!

Travel Thursdays! Venice, Italy Edition

13 Oct

Ohhh Italy… You hear about it from everyone who has experienced it but yet it’s never the same as when you experience it for yourself.  Strolling through the cobble stone streets is even more enchanting when you have not a worry in the world but to enjoy your travels.  I love how you either walk or take a boat taxi everywhere in Venice.  The food and desserts are also a huge reason to see the sights of Venice.  This is coming from a person though that could be won over by a single slice of delectable pizza… Here are some photos of what I enjoyed when in Venice.

The infamous Rialto Bridge.

View from a gondola.

Corridors.

No handicap access anywhere, just an FYI.  I like the symmetry of these stairs though.  We hiked them with our luggage which is always entertaining!

YUM!

Casanova’s home.

Our Gondolier.

Water taxis.

By St. Mark’s Plaza.

Birds!

Prison across the water.

I loved all the beautiful glass work at the shops and the cheap jewelry.  You can’t go to Venice and not take home a keepsake.  It’s a beautiful place that should be a bucket lister.  I’d love to go back and hopefully will in the future 🙂