Earlier this month, my brother TREE and I decided to do some spontaneous sibling bonding. We grabbed our cameras and headed to my car and just started driving. Our aunt mentioned to us over the holidays that if we ever had some free time, we should check out the lighthouse in Palos Verdes. So, we plugged it into Google Maps and off we went.
In our family, there seems to be at least one "lighthouse" in each home, whether that's a nightlight or a decorative wall piece. I never really thought much of it until TREE and I tried to find this lighthouse. When we got there, per Google's directions, we parked and noticed that there was a trail that led up to our destination.
While we were walking the trail, he was telling me how he was starting to realize how there seems to be more and more challenges as we grow up. We have to start "acting like adults, paying bills, making sure we think our decisions through, investing our money and time into things that will help us in the long run." People in their young adulthood can easily turn into a ball of stress with trying to meet school deadlines, getting good jobs to ensure bright futures, and making their parents proud. It's a difficult life stage because most of us don't really know what we want, but we know what we like. Often times, a lot of us feel lost and are just trying to make our way to shore. We're trying to find a lighthouse to guide the way.
Lighthouses bring us hope. They provide light in the darkness. Each of us have to battle the waves and times of loneliness, but know that there is a light waiting for you. It might take some time to find it, but it's there. You'll realize it soon enough.
Every year, my friend Helena and I spend our birthdays together. We started this tradition when we were just starting high school when we were finally allowed by our parents to hang out without their parental supervision. Growing up, we were always excited that our birthdays are just five days apart. This year, we decided to spend the whole day in Venice Beach and just catch up on the good times.
It's funny when you go down memory lane with someone who has known you for so long. Having been best friends since sixth grade, we've seen each other go through each other's ups and downs, awkward and embarrassing phases, as well as major milestones. Here are some of my favorite photos of us from over the years...
Happy birthday, Helena!
Here's to another great year of friendship and memories.
Jan 7 creation: movement/dance & smiles. Today has been filled with warmth and appreciating all the art around me with wonderful people. It started with meeting a new friend at my favorite local coffee shop. Then the day continued with exploring Jennifer Steinkamp's gorgeous installation, Madame Curie, at the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art. After, I wandered throughout Seaport Village with my good friend, Neda. There, we found a beer garden and danced with the live performers. Finally, I ended the night at Modern Times to to do some beer tasting and to catch up with some other friends.
This week has been quite stressful, so taking a day to relax, enjoy art, and be with good company was exactly what I needed. I highly recommend taking some time to breathe and look at the world through a less cluttered mindset; it's beyond refreshing.
Autumn is one of my favorite times of the year. We pull out all of our sweaters, scarves, beanies, boots, and mittens to stay bundled and warm. We get together with our friends and families to make new memories before the year ends. And we celebrate with FOOD. One of the best parts of the season is all of the pumpkin treats! Pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bread. Trader Joe's is definitely one of my go-to shops to pick up some of these sweet treats.
Aside from all of the yummy treats that appear during this time of year, I love that people decorate their homes for upcoming festivities with warm tones. This year, I went with two of my friends to the local pumpkin patch to choose a few new cute companions to decorate our homes with.
In college, I made many acquaintances, some professional connections, and a handful of friends. Some, I'm still in touch with. Others, we've gone our separate ways. Maddy has become one of my nearest and dearest friends. We met on the first day of college when we were both moving into our apartments on campus; we walked to get our photos taken for our student ID cards. We've been through plenty of ups and downs together from walking down to the beach to late night study sessions to the really difficult times where we need a shoulder to cry on. We may have different interests, but we've been able to remain close friends despite our differences and quirks.
It was an honor to take her senior portraits at none other than Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure. Maddy is a very talented dancer, and I can't wait to see her perform at Disney one day. The spirit of Disney brings her so much joy. It is delightful to see, and I'm thankful to have witnessed it when taking her portraits.
As the saying goes... Dreams do come true. I hope you never give up on your dream, Maddy. Congrats on all of your hard work, and thank you for your friendship.
This past weekend, my friend Maddy and I checked another thing off the ol' bucket list: strawberry picking in Carlsbad, San Diego. There were so many strawberries... it was overwhelming in the best way. The weather was perfect. Thank you, San Diego sunshine. The berries were incredibly brilliant in color and sweet in taste. The bugs surely agreed too.
If you plan to go fruit picking in the near future, here are a few things to note:
I heard that the wildflowers were in full bloom. So, I decided to stop by the Torrey Pines State Reserve for a quick hike after work a few days ago. After walking up a steep asphalt hill, the trail itself was fairly flat and had plenty of vibrant, colorful nature to keep me company. There are a couple lookouts where you can just breathe and look over the ocean.
Like many trails, there were signs to educate hikers. Here's a little bit about Torrey Pine trees… these trees are one of the rarest kinds of pine trees. They are only found in 2 places in the world naturally: the San Diego coastline and Santa Island (off the coast of Santa Barbara). The grooves on the needles are used to collect moisture from the ocean fog. The taproot also reaches for water but in the ground. These roots go deep into the earth. The cones that take 3-5 years to mature bear seeds at the top of the trees.
All photos were taken with my iPhone. "Sometimes, the best camera is the one that you have on you."
Earlier this month, I went on a quick impromptu adventure to Cuyamaca Rancho State Park in Julien, CA with a couple friends. We only spent half an hour in the park frolicking in this field of tall grass, but I certainly have plans on coming back. The greenery and nature are very picturesque and versatile... perfect for those looking for a filming location.
When life seems a little unbearable, it's good to find some time to go on small adventures to keep things fresh and exciting (in a good way), and you can escape from all the craziness for a bit. So, that's what I did.
Over the last three years, I've heard about this "awesome suspension bridge" near North Park/Hillcrest/Balboa Park area. I finally found it, the Spruce Street Suspension Footbridge. During sunset, the sky is painted with a beautiful array of colors and the trees start to become shadows. The bridge sways as people cross it. Couples leave little locks along the sides of the bridge with their initials on them. The ground below the bridge is covered with flowers and foliage. There's a clear trail for people who want to explore for a little more adventure. In the distance, the tops of the buildings in Downtown San Diego are seen. It's certainly a cute spot to take photos or have a picnic.
It can get a little crowded at times, but it's definitely a must see for people looking for hidden treasures in San Diego.
I was recently asked where would I want to travel to if I could leave right now. My answer: Ireland. In 2013, my aunt sent me to Ireland to visit my extended family who lives in Dublin. Between the gorgeous greenery, beautiful architecture, and kind people, I really want to go back and explore.
Until then, here's a look from my 2013 trip...
My thoughts, writings, and experiments. Big or small. They're here.