An Adventure + An Engagement

Adventure, Personal, The Outdoors, Travel

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Just over a year ago my brother in law started hanging out with this pretty awesome girl called Jana. Pretty soon we all knew she was the ‘one’.  Not just the ‘one’ he was going to date, but the ‘one’ he was going to be with… like, forever. But sometimes when we’re the midst of things it’s so easy to not realize that the other person feels the same way about us as we do about them and as he figured things out, as a family we started to panic that the moment may go by and he’d miss out on being with this amazing girl!

A few months of playing what we’ve now come to call the ‘boyfriend and girlfriend game’ they finally got together and we all not so secretly cheered them on. Fast forward a year later he invited us to go backpacking with them, they’d head out a few days earlier and we’d meet them halfway and bring them home.  At first I kind of panicked because, well, I’d never been backpacking before and the thought of carrying a backpack for 10 miles was a little daunting; but I also had an idea of what was going to happen during that trip, so the obvious answer was yes!

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So Seth & I packed our sleeping bags, camping food, lightest cloths and set out on the trail to Obsidian Falls.  About 4 miles in, once I’d gotten used to the 30+lb backpack and managed to get a rhythm so I could keep up with my husband, we find ourselves in 4 ft of snow and struggling to find the trail, and just as panic was beginning to creep in, as if on cue, we heard screams and shouts and saw the happy couple sliding down hill on the snow!

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Being a girl the first thing I did was grab Jana’s left hand and look at her finger and realized that yes, after all the games and 12 months of dating, he’d put a ring on it! I really thought we’d do some screaming and jumping, but I’m pretty sure that the 4-mile hike in and their encounter with mosquitoes had something to do with the calmer yet excited hugs and embraces!  Nevertheless we went up the hill and found the campsite, set out a blanket, pulled out the cheese, crackers, summer sausage and wine and listened to how he asked her if ‘he could make her last name sound a little more like his’.  We then celebrated by jumping into 32f water (or at least it felt that cold) and watching the sun set

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The views were absolutely stunning and included The Three Sisters, The Husband, Mt Washington & Mt Jefferson and more on the horizon.  If you ever get a chance to do at least part of the Pacific Crest Trail, this is a beautiful spot to go on it.

Seth & I had planned to sleep under the stars, but we didn’t realize how many mosquitoes there would be so we jumped in with Eli & Jana into their two-man tent and slept like sardines. Next time I’m taking a sleeping pill… or bringing my own tent. But what would any trip be without a good tent story!

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All in all I absolutely loved backpacking, more than I thought I would – it may have had something to do with the views and the company though 😉

North, via US-101

Adventure, Personal, Travel

Heylen Thienes | California No1

When we headed to California two weeks ago, we had bought one way tickets as we weren’t sure how long we were going to be, but while down there we figured out that not only it would be way cheaper (since it was last minute, again) to drive home, but also a fantastic adventure! So on a whim, we rented a car and headed North via US 101!

It was so much fun! My favourite part of driving home was that not only did we get to a make handful of stops that allowed us to see sights we hadn’t seen before (such as the Hollywood sign)  but also got to say hi to friends we wouldn’t normally see because of distance.  I loved catching up with Marlene and Jessica who are both in LA and Kasey in Vacaville, it’s amazing how much depth and meaning a quick hello can add to a trip!

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On such long trips making stops is vital, as are wine, coffee and a good night’s sleep.  We ended up spending the night in Santa Cruz (and got to see our other friend Kari) to break up the drive and get some rest, as day two was spent on I-5.  The stretch between LA and Santa Cruz on 101  is probably one of my favourite I’ve driven on, it’s so interesting to watch the landscape as it changes from palm trees and big cities, to pines, farming communities and northwest architecture, if you haven’t done this before, make sure you put it on your bucket list!

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We started in Murrieta, CA and this is where we stopped and ate:

+ LA; Brakfast at Lamill

+ Ventura: Blenders in the Grass 

+ Pismo Beach: Farmers Market

+ Paso Robles: Amsterdam Coffee, you can’t buy wine by the glass, but you can buy the bottle and drink it there – great if you need to use the internet!

+ Santa Cruz: We stayed at this super cute Airbnb place, grabbed food at Whole Foods and then got some fuel (Coffee) and amazing pastries from Verve Coffee Roasters

 

Oh What a Month It was…

Adventure, The Outdoors, Travel, Vacation

It’s hard to believe that just 31 days ago we were ringing in the New Year.  Just after the midnight bells rang we all went around the room sharing a challenge we were giving ourselves this year or something we hoped to achieve.  Mine, clichéd as it is, was to get out of my Comfort Zone… and boy has this month taken me up on that challenge.

From realizing that if we go to a Spanish Speaking country I am going to have to do all the talking (all introverts will understand this feeling) – it’s only fair, since I am the Spanish speaker in our marriage; to (un)lucking out with our accommodation on the same trip (turns out pictures don’t always reflect the truth – who would’ve known it!).

All in all, the whole comfort zone thing is about having fun, meeting new people, seeing new places and enjoying life a little more with purpose.  And so far 2014 has provided all of those.  Watching my little sister get married in Costa Rica will be hard to beat, but also going to Miami (post on this coming soon), making new friends and meeting new clients makes for an exciting start to get rid of that comfort thing!

Are sticking to your challenges/goals/dreams?

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Boxing Day 2013

Favourite Things, Photography, The Outdoors, Travel, Uncategorized

Boxing Day has become more and more of a special day in my life, maybe it’s the fact that it isn’t celebrated in the States that makes me miss it the most.  This is my third Christmas Stateside and each year has been unique. And while Seth & I do not have traditions of our own yet, he has allowed me to continue the “let’s go for a walk on Boxing Day” Espinosa tradition in one way or another.  This year our ‘walking’ was more like ‘driving’ as  we drove home post Christmas celebrations, and a beautiful drive it was. Gorgeous blue skies and green forests, Oregon never disappoints.

Boxing day, being so close to the end of the year, also requests that we do some reflecting. And so we did.  Looking back over the past year, we have been extremely blessed with and amazing family, friends, health, great business and work opportunities….  However, as we talked about it more and more the word BUSY kept coming up, I couldn’t remember half of Summer, let alone late Winter because although this year was full of blessings it was BUSY.  And while being busy is great, it can also become an excuse; an excuse to not see friends, not visit grandparents or even call those close to you, or an excuse to stop going for walks and letting daily, unexpected adventures happen.

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So on our drive home, as we were talking about it we decided to not let busy get in the way of adventure and spontaneity.  On the way to Christmas we had noticed the Detroit Dam had been opened (is that the right expression?!) and the river was extremely, eerily low – which just made it even more beautiful. We couldn’t stop because we were running late (we were ‘busy’), so on the way back we just had no excuse, and Seth was able to capture these beautiful shots.

 

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Don’t let busy get in the way of life and adventure.

Photos take by Seth Thienes

Throwback Thursday: San Francisco Twenty Twelve, Film

Adventure, Photography, Travel, Vacation

Photography, traveling and new adventures.  I can’t quite express how much I love these three things.  I love the excitement before a big (or small) trip, especially to somewhere new.  I get there and my eyes have a hard time focusing on one thing, I want to take it all in – so this where my camera comes in, and I can’t help but take thousands of pictures  of little details, different angles and faces, at different times of the day.  Then I get home, put them on my computer and then that’s it.  Or have a roll of film processed and then put it in my filing cabinet.

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I hate bombarding people with pictures on Facebook, and so one of the reasons I started this blog was so I could share more of them without feeling guilty of clogging up people’s newsfeed.

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I realise I have a lot of pictures to share, going way back when… so I thought it only appropriate to name and post these series on “Throwback Thursday”.  Starting small with a just 5 pics from a trip to San Francisco last year, it was the first time my parents came to visit me in the States since I moved here.  We hang out in San Fran and a visit to the Golden Gate was a must, and honestly a bit of a dream come true, because I’d been drooling over that bridge since I can remember!

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I used my Diana F+ lomography camera and it it took me so long to get the film processed, that I had forgotten what as on it, so it was a nice surprise when these guys popped up!

Leaving the city at sun rise

I used the Lomography XPro 200 ISO 35mm film for these pictures.  I love how the day time pictures turned out, and at first I wan’t quite sure if I liked the night time/dawn pictures, but they’re growing on me…

Seth by the Golden Gate