The Long Way Round

a road trip west

With maybe two hours of sleep my husband and I rose to his mother singing at the top of her lungs “it’s time to get on the road!” We both turned our heads looking at each other as if reading the other’s mind “what the heck did we get ourselves into?” A road trip that’s what. A road trip with his parents. Phones fully charged, camera at the ready, truck packed to the hills and the cooler in arms reach of the rear window; we’re set. In the cover of darkness we packed ourselves in their Honda Ridgeline me at the wheel, my mother-in-law as my co-pilot we headed east.

Our first stop of the morning was breakfast and of course there is not much open at 6 a.m. We landed in Yakima as the sun rose and stopped at Mel’s Diner. The coffee was amazing and much needed and so was my omelette.

Our waitress gave us a tour of the diner showing us the artwork on the walls.

We drove until we couldn’t settling on staying the night in Provo, Utah. A beautiful “old town” set against the backdrop of mountains.

Two things were going against us when finding a restaurant on Saturday night. 1) it was prom weekend so the hotel we stayed in was host to a few prom goers getting ready and staying the night as well as a wedding. 2) It was also Easter weekend which made it harder to find open restaurants on Sunday in the small towns we traveled to. Planning on my next drive around to be able to take more time to see the sights in each small town we visited.

We opted for the longer routes which gave us faster highways. This decision actually ended us with taking a longer way around then planned. After we stopped in one of the cutest small towns in Colorado for lunch we mistakenly missed our turn which added about an hour or so to our trip. We went through a few more smaller towns, plains, two lane roads with few chances to pass slow vehicles then winding through a mountain pass where our truck stopped working 5 miles before Antonito, Colorado (one hour away from our destination). It didn’t take long for a tow truck to reach us. Several family members who were near by came to our rescue to help us divide our truck load into two cars. Tired but wound up we made it to the family ranch late in the evening. Again, I can’t wait to do this drive again.

After Sunrise
Into the Mountain Pass


Kubota Garden Series I: Winter


Nestled among homes in South Seattle there is a hidden gem. It is a welcomed surprise, a beautiful 20 acre Japanese Garden known to locals as Kubota Garden.

In 1927 Fujitaro Kubota, a self taught gardener, purchased five acres with a mission to show the beauty of the Northwest in the art of the Japanese garden.

In the garden you can find streams leading to waterfalls, rock formations, beautiful trees and many beautiful spots to have a romantic picnic.

The garden has been a favorite of photographers, weddings, picnic goers, and sunrise chasers. On a visit with my family we got glimpses of young lady getting her Quinceanera photos taken. I wish I’d taken photos of her beautiful white dress that was sparingly covered in pink flowers. But I didn’t want to disturb them. We also stumbled upon a first date among trees near this pond sitting on a green plaid blanket sharing hard cider.

My husband and I have visited a few times and for the first time we discovered the waterfall. Neither of us new it was here and was such a pleasant surprise to discover with our daughter leading the trail of followers we collected on our stroll. It is the perfect escape amongst the urban surroundings. I highly recommend a visit.


Resolutions 2019

We’re in the last few days of vacation slowly preparing to get back into the busy days of school and work. It has been nice to wake up to the sun peaking through the blinds. No alarms, no rush to get ready just easing into the day. Some days grey and rainy but wonderful just the same. It has been nice binge watching new and old television shows, movie and game nights galore. Few early evenings were spent in the kitchen making sweet potato pies and chocolate cookies that rarely made it to the next day. Ending 2018 was spent with ones I love hanging on with heaving eyes trying to make it to midnight. If you’re wondering I did in-fact make it. I could not have asked for better people to spend that time with.


In this morning of 2019 I am excited about the things to come. The positive changes of life as if I am seeing the new year with the optimism of youth. In looking forward to the new and exciting magic of life sometimes we must look backward taking inventory of things that helped shape our present and exhale in serenity that we’ve made it through. I will spare you the exhausting details as there are so much I am still going through and learning to process. I will tell you there has been loss, near loss, injuries, weddings, and births. Life has its way of serving curve balls nearly knocking you off its axis testing your balance. May be that is what I am still needing to find. That “perfect” balance. To help keep me focused I decided this year I would share my 2019 Resolutions to not only put my intentions into the universe as they say (speaking them into existence) but to find them and hold myself to it. I am typically a quiet goal setter, a shy goal setter. As one of my resolutions states it is time to do more of the things I dreamed of, to step out of my comfort zone.

Here are my resolutions in no particular order:

  1. Read more (never stop learning)
  2. Watch less television
  3. Write more
  4. Help my daughter navigate the trials of youth
  5. Take weekend trips – explore more of the Pacific Northwest
  6. Get back to Yoga
  7. Meditate
  8. Less is more (learn to live with less)
  9. Waste less
  10. Shop small – Buy local and with purpose
  11. Define my style as a photographer
  12. Execute photo ideas for portraits of cousins
  13. Cook more
  14. Save money (for travel and a house)
  15. Learn to be more comfortable sharing my life
  16. Open online shop
  17. Work on professional goals
  18. Step out of my comfort zone
  19. De-clutter – get rid of “stuff”
  20. Nourish my daughter’s creativity
  21. Love more -forgiveness



I had been meaning to post days ago my mind felt like mush. I had been trying to fight a cold that I graciously received while on a mini holiday {vacay}. Sweet as he could be mi viego {nickname I call my hubby} nursed me back to health with popsicles, homemade posole and my choice of what my loving family like to call “mommy movies.” On my last full day in Arizona I managed to wake up with a cold. At first I assumed it had to be allergies. I mean how could I possibly get a cold my last day here? But, alas I remembered I had spent a few days among some under the weather individuals exchanging pleasantries, recipes, car talk and just plain good conversation.

Other than getting a cold my time in Yuma was wonderful. I’d never been to Arizona so I chose to fly into Phoenix and take a casual paced drive to Yuma. I loved it! I hadn’t done a solo mini road trip in quite some time. I put on some ol’skool jams and I was coasting down I-8. I could not get over the scenery. The first thing that came to mind was this place is BRIGHT. The sky is beautifully blue with a scalloped edge from the mountains. Clouds like fluffy white waves I could just run my fingers through. It was magic.

I spent time with family and got much needed vitamin d with a side of rest and relaxation. It was hard being without my little family for 10 days. I’ve never left my not so little for more than a weekend and 10 days took some getting used to. She’s my buddy, my shadow. FaceTime was our primary means of communication. We kept our morning ritual of light conversation about what kind of day we’ll have and anything she may have forgotten to share the night before. As a working mom missing moments is hard but for those traveling working mamas I have so much respect. Trying to hold down the fort miles away by phone and email plus tackling the work in front of you takes the skills of a master juggler.

The casual pace of Yuma was something I could get used to. My favorite place to eat was here where I had the best burger {with avocado} and B.L.A.T. {bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato} sandwich. And I could not get over how cheap the avocados were. A bag of eight cost me four dollars when at home I would get maybe three for that price. These avocados were so fresh and delicious my grandmother suggested I buy a bunch to stuff in my suitcase. I didn’t. A few nights my grandmother and I shared small lemon tarts for dessert which we ate while watching her newest novella obsession. Although I understood some Spanish and subtitles were provided that did not stop her from reading them to me. Although I wasn’t entirely there for play I did manage to see a few sites and jotted some down for next time.

A visit to the Yuma Territorial Prison.

A few items made by the prisoners….