First Senior Moment

Not that kind of senior moment :).

I was in San Diego again for work last week, but this time I took my cousin with me who will be a senior next year.  We headed to Imperial Beach on Coronado Island. Here are a couple of pictures…

I’m so glad I was able to do this for her! She’s beautiful and I learned a lot without any pressure! Still a hobbyist and completly okay with it :).

Sea World and My Hiatus

 Ahhhh….I’ve been on Hiatus for a while. I feel like I’ve been saying that every time I post for the past couple months. LOL! But what can I say! I’ve been living life! I do however look forward when it’s not so busy with the “musts” but full with the “I get to do what I want to do”, like post more often, take more photo’s, spend long nights at my parents pool, wander in the desert, all that good stuff. Soon! I’ll be done with school in December so I’m hoping for some time after that. That’s if I don’t roll straight into the masters program. Shhhhh!!! Not sure how many people will be happy with that decision, but sacrifice in the present will lead to benefits of plenty in the future.  Or that’s what I like to tell myself anyways!

 

So I owe you all a HELLO, well anyone that still reads this, but I’ll just let the polar bear wave for me. As you can tell we went to Sea World last weekend. I was in La Jolla for work last week so the family came down to spend some time at the amazing hotel and hit up Sea World. Sal and I also caught a football (soccer) game on Wednesday. We watched Real Madrid vs. Guadalajara Chivas. We had a great time, and Sal was like a giddy little school girl watching Christiano Ranaldo play. He had the camera and I think the majority of the pictures are of him. Which is fine by me!!!

Roman recently watched Free Willy from beginning to end and is now in love with whales. So we got up Friday morning and headed to Sea World to meet all of Sal’s sisters and kiddo’s.  We knew we had to see Willy (Shamu- but try telling Roman that) and didn’t have anything else planned. There were so many of us that we didn’t really make plans besides that. Before the show started we stopped to see the seals. We fed a couple of seals, and one blasted seagull that took a sardine right out of my hands. Damn him! LOL!

We saw Nemo and Dori too! 

I have a photography challenge coming up where I will be in low light so I tried my hand at high ISO with no flash. I thought it turned out pretty good. Not good enough, but not bad. Maybe a little more brightness in LR? Anyways, this was the shark exhibit that Roman loved. He usually runs through these tunnels not really paying attention, but this one had his full attention. What is it with guys and sharks? For any of you interested, it’s shark week right now. LOL!

Finally, in the artic area a beluga whale giving the crowd a show :).

Romans First Trip to Disneyland

We took Roman to Disneyland for the first time last Friday. The picture above is at the very end of the day. Roman was wiped out :). Do it right or go home!!!!

I had reservations about taking Roman at such a young age for a couple of reasons. 1) He’s a little scared of giant costumes i.e. Mickey Mouse, Goofy, the Red Robin guy (there’s a story behind that). 2) He’s so young, and I wonder if he’ll even remember it. 3) Goes along with 2. If he may not remember it, is it worth shelling out the money to go? Disneyland tickets are NOT cheap.

After months of talking it over with Sal (who was all for it from the day Roman was born) and arguing with myself about it, we decided to do it. It didn’t hurt that ticket prices dropped by $30.

The best part of the day (for me anyways) was the Finding Nemo ride. If you havent been to Disneyland, Finding Nemo is a little submarine that goes half way under water. You look out the little port holes and see the whole cast of Finding Nemo hologram style. It’s really cool. You hear what they are saying, see them swim around, and are part of the adventure.

A little while before this picture was taken, this was the end, Roman was off my lap and had his whole head in the port-hole. He was talking to Dori and Nemo and the shark, waving his little hand as fast as he could. He kept yelling out Hi Nemo! Hi Dori! Hi Shark! He would turn back around and say “look momma!!!”. The joy on his face, the speed of the wave, the excitement in his voice…made it all worth it. The lights were turned out and the volume was up when tears were rolling down my cheeks. This little boy who I love more than life itself was having the best time of his life and “meeting” fish he had watched since birth.

We hit Toon Town after Finding Nemo and explored and played. Well….kinda. It was time for Romans nap and he was hungry. So we ate lunch and realized he had started to go down the dark path to evil. We had anticipated this though, so no biggie. So we started to head for the gate and finish the circle of Disneyland.

On our way out we found some ducks.

This was the end of the day. Poor little guy and family were worn out. I’ll leave you with the best picture of the day wich was also the first….

He was soooo excited to meet Mickey Mouse….until he met him. Lol! He was a little bigger in real life than I think Roman expected him to be.  All in all Disneyland was awesome! Cant wait to go again!

Death Valley

We took a little trip to Death Valley. Something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now, but something I had gotten some resistance on now for some time. I won!! Lol!  I’ll give you the scenic pictures first…

We went the “back way” through Olancha and ended up getting to Furnace creek about 3 hours later. Haha. Yeah…I thought that was the only way to get there. Apparently it’s not. And apparently the only way to get to Trona besides Ridgecrest is through Death Valley. I’m telling you, I learn things by leaps and bounds every day! Anyways, we stopped at the Furnace Creek Resort. Its built into the side of a mountain and you go through this tunnel and take an elevator up three floors to get to the lobby. My pictures of the tunnel do it no justice. Jake however has taken some amazing pictures of it if you want to see something cool.

We got a room for the night even though we weren’t planning on it at all. We had no change of clothes no toiletries, nothing! But the offer they made us was half price what it normally is, and we were tired of driving. So we went swimming and strolled the grounds, exploring the natural springs. The pool is a natural spring and the green is all from the springs. Nothing piped in from a well or city water. A true oasis in the middle of the desert.

Trona Sunrise

I got up unbelievably early today to head down the road about 20 minutes to Trona, CA. I wanted to catch the sunrise, but without someone counting on me I wouldnt have gotten up. So I called my Dad and asked him to go with me. It was his birthday yesterday, so I thought while we were in Trona we would have breakfast with his granddaughter and my niece Lexi.

For those who don’t know what type of town Trona is I’ll break it down really quick. If you blink you miss it. It smells like rotten eggs because it’s home to a Borax mine. The highschool football team plays on a dirt field. It used to have a HUGE salt water public pool. The roads are red.  A lot of movies were filmed here including but not limited to The Planet of the Apes; that desert scene…ya that’s Trona.  The people are close-knit and are very protective of each other and the town. 

While I hate mornings, Trona did not disappoint. The clouds colored the sky with blues an pinks and oranges. Beautiful. 

Trona has a lot of abandoned houses and for lack of a better word…junk, laying everywhere. That’s not a bad thing though! It makes for some cool photo’s. This was my first time shooting a sunrise, and I learned a couple of things. You need a tri-pod. My dad bought me one, but my brain didn’t wake up and remember this morning :). And you need a coffee. Got one of those a little later in the day.

I plan on going back and trying again soon. The scenery would lend itself to HDR so easily. I’m excited to see how that works out! BTW that’s really teal you see through the window. That wasnt me.

I really like over saturated processing right now. Or desaturating to get a B&W. Maybe it’s because I’m a beginner :).

One of the coolest murals I’ve seen in a long time.

One of the mines.

Enjoy your weekend!

Milestones

How freaking awesome is the processing on this picture? I love it! Thanks to presets :)!  What a beautiful day in sunny Southern California! I’m not even sure how hot it was! It was definitely hot enough to go swimming in the blow up dragon/volcano pool we have. 🙂 So the title of todays post has multiple meanings. One of them have to do with the rug rat you see above.  The pool that was previously mentioned has a dragon on it. You have to go through his legs to go down the little slide. Roman for some reason is terrified of it. He has never let us blow it up, let alone get near it. For the last year he asks “what is dragon doing” when we go in the garage, which is quiet a bit.  So weird because he loves the movie How to Train Your Dragon but he’s not having any of this one! But…today he actually let us blow up the pool and the majority of the dragon (not the head). He even went through the legs, as long as we were standing right there :). Growing up so fast, but still so little. I love it!!!

Another preset that I’m in love with! On to the remaining milestones.  One and a half were reached today! First…I got a promotion! Freakin soooooo excited! I have the best boss ever, and am so thankful to have had him! Its great when the big guy takes care of his employee’s! I officially feel like I’m a big kid at Journeyman Level! Thank you!!!

The half…I picked up my diploma for my Associates of Business Administration! I finished back in December, but just now got the diploma :). Trying to decide if I’ll “walk”. I wont for my B.S. because it’s all the way in Alabama, so…. Yeah, not sure yet. I’ll figure it out.  What an amazing Monday! I plan on carrying on the momentum for the rest of the week :)).

Whiskey Flat Days

Every year there’s a little festival in Kernville, CA called Whiskey Flat Days.  It’s a festival that reverts to the day’s of gold mining.  A lot of people are dressed up representing the era, and there are small booth’s of trinkets as well as food everywhere. They also have a small rodeo and tons of stuff for kids. I havent been for a while and it had been even longer for Sal. We had a small break in the weather today so we headed out of town. Doesnt it suck when you have a four day weekend and the weather just doesn’t cooperate?! Oh well, we made the best of it.

Unfortunately we didn’t stay for long. It was cold and windy when we got there and Roman doesn’t do well in either. He’s a desert rat for sure. So we got a couple of tri-tip sandwiches and some home-made soap and headed back.  On our way back though we stopped in Onyx, CA which is tiny! They have an awesome little general store though that I used to stop at all the time when I was little and get some home-made pickles. I got one today and it was yummy!

I wanted to take pictures of the inside of the store but unfortunately they had a sign that explicitly said to pictures inside. Too bad, it was sooo cute inside with a little wood burning stove and copper posts everywhere.

Our next stop was the Cottage Grove Cemetery. I have a thing for cemeteries. I don’t know why, I just do. 

All in all it was a pretty good day. I’m pretty tired though and have some reading to do for school so I bid you goodnight!

Vapor Trails and March for Babies

Let me start off by saying that there is a picture of Gigi’s urn at the end of this post, so if that bothers you, you have been warned.

What a beautiful day here in sunny California! I live in Ridgecrest, California, which is home to  Naval Air Warfare Station (NAWS), China Lake.  What you see above is a vapor trail from the fighter jets flying at sunset.  I love when I hear the “green” people talk or post something about how they are chemical trails. Ahhhh….a little investigation leads to a lot of knowledge. 

On another note I have created a team for the March for Babies.  We will all walk on April 30th in Gigi’s name.  I am so excited for this event for the obvious reason, and because my best friend and family will be walking with us.  They currently live in South Carolina and will be here during that time and donated their time and money to walk for team GigiRoman. I am so lucky to have such a great friend. Hopefully some of Sals family and mine can also join us. AND….we have met and beat our goal to raise $200 before the march! In only one day! Thank you to all of our friends and family who have donated. It really is very meaningful that you have helped out a cause that is so near and dear to my heart. The generosity shown today warms my heart.  If you would like to walk with us or donate the link is below.

It’s a Zoo Out There…..

The excitement continued today with a trip to the L.A. Zoo. There are so many things I don’t like about California, but I love the City of Angels (minus traffic). This (above) is Roman excited to see the elephants. He could hardly contain himself. We had a great time looking at all the different animals and running through the Zoo. I think I got my daily workout in :). 

I am absolutely in love with monkeys. They always seem to be at the window when I am at the Zoo and the fact that you can communicate with them without even speaking (or so it seems) amazes me. 

Ahh the giraffes. They are always so pretty.

These two looked like they were in love.

These two look like they could be famous :)! Well, all in all it was a fabulous day with lots of things to see and new animals to learn. Roman behaved wonderfully and got a little alligator toy to take home. Pretty close to perfect if I do say so myself.

Randsburg, CA

We headed up to Randsburg CA today. It’s about 22 miles up the road from Ridgecrest but we had never been! Crazy huh? Randsburg is an old mining town, and was formed in 1895. They have a ton of old antique shops, saloons, and a general store. The weather is probably somewhere in the 60’s right now and it was perfect outside.

The picture above is an old train donated by the Butte Mine to Ransburg way back when.

This is an old press. I have no idea what they pressed with it but its massive.

Two old cars, love the texture on them.

We had lunch at the old Saloon, then went across the street to the General Store and got some Malts! Yum!

This was the painting above the bar at the General Store.

Ahaha, my little copy cat! Not the greatest picture but I wasnt expecting him to get on the floor like me. Haha!

Love it!

About the only time I can get a picture of him without him yelling at me. 🙂 He’s all tuckered out. 🙂

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