Thoughts

The Muse

IMG_0037

I read an article in Medium the other day and this quote from it stuck with me. The photo is of me sitting and waiting on the sunset, with my camera that hadn’t been used in months. (I didn’t know my friend snapped the pic until the next day)

I was in LA about a month ago, and one of the things I wanted to do while I was there was get some sunset pics at the beach.   I had no doubt that it would be spectacular, but waiting for it to occur took longer than I thought it would. (I had dinner reservations to make, people!)  I quickly realized that missing dinner would be a fair trade for what I was about to witness. And if I changed my perspective slightly, I would know that sunset took the exact right amount of time that it was supposed to take.

That waiting period gave me plenty of time to be alone with my thoughts; in fact, I had more uninterrupted time than I’d had in a very long time. I was able to just BE.  It was nothing short of transcendent.

Looking back, that time of reflection marked the start of an adventure – one that I knew deep down in my soul I needed to embark on for a long time, but I had just (for many reasons) not had the motivation to do.  (I may touch on those reasons at a later date, but not any time soon).

Long story short, I’m writing again.

I had no specific goal in mind when I [brushed the dust off and] opened up my laptop.  I just started a blank document and let the avalanche of things inside my mind tumble out.  Basically, I showed up for the Muse and she showed up for me.  She took me by the fingers and we worked the keyboard together.

It’s too exciting to keep it to myself.  I’m sooooo glad to be feeling like Me again.

((waves hand)) Hi! I’ve missed you!

Travel, Uncategorized

PNW Part 10 (Ruby Beach)

Of all the beaches we visited, this was the most populated.  To me, it held my interest more on land than in the sea.  Of course it was beautiful, as all the beaches along the coast are, but the sea stacks didn’t grab my attention here.  The things along the immediate coastline did.

_NLG0562

Of course I got the obligatory shot…as did (two) other photogs…

_NLG0585

_NLG0591

…but there was just so much more to look at on this beach!!

_NLG0599

My kids even had a Kumbaya moment:

_NLG0576

(Actually, I think he was handing her something, but a Mom can dream, right?!)

_NLG0597
Gnarly, Dude

They found another fort to play in:

_NLG0602

We came upon a smoldering campfire:

_NLG0614

_NLG0616

I found a(nother) heart-shaped rock.  [On a side note, I re-found that rock at the bottom of my camera bag last week.]

_NLG0624

All in all, Ruby Beach was well worth going to. I really wish we had stayed longer and walked out farther, but my kids were giving me small heart attacks just by climbing all over the driftwood. I didn’t want to add drowning to the list of possible injuries.  Sigh…

Read about our entire trip to the Pacific Northwest here:

PNW Part 1 (Seattle)

PNW Part 2 (Out and About in Seattle)

PNW Part 3 (Pike’s Market)

PNW Part 4 (Seattle Underground)

PNW Part 5 (Whidbey Island)

PNW Part 6 (Lake Quinault)

PNW Part 7 (Kalaloch Area Beaches)

PNW Part 8 (First Beach)

PNW Part 9 (Second Beach)

Travel, Uncategorized

PNW Part 9 (Second Beach)

In case you’re not familiar with the beaches along the PNW coast, here is a a bit of explanation:  To access the beach, you must park in a lot (or along the side of the road) up top, then walk the deceptively short-looking distance down to the beach.  The hike to Second Beach took what felt like a looooong tiiiiiime and due to many twists and turns and elevation changes, it made for quite a little workout.  This turned out to be a good thing because there was plenty to see along the way…_NLG0980

It felt like we were visiting another world and it was impossible to ignore the fact that we were in a rainforest climate.

_NLG1053

_NLG0964

Every surface of every thing was teeming with life, but there was also decay – beautiful, twisted decay – everywhere as well.  The circle of life was in full swing.

_NLG0963

_NLG0968

The beach itself was a stark contrast to the lush green cocoon of the world along the trail and beautiful in a completely different way.

_NLG1040

I was new to the term “sea stacks” but that is what these big rocks sticking out of the ocean are called.  They are actually part of the land that used to jut out into the ocean, but over time, erosion has separated them from the mainland.

_NLG1000

To me, they were simply breathtaking._NLG1015

To get a grasp of the scale of the beach and the rocks, play “Find My Children” in the next picture:

_NLG1013

We hadn’t brought flashlights (very stupid of us!), and the trip back up to our car was dark even in broad daylight because of the lush forest, so we had to leave before we were ready to.  But….I did get to see something* I thought was a mythical creature imagined by Santa Cruzians of questionable sobriety.

Banana Slug (a.k.a. UCSC mascot)
Pacific Banana Slug

Thus ended another wonderful day in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest.

* It has been brought to my attention that the California banana slug that is beloved of UCSC is bright yellow with no spots, while the banana slug I found is of the Pacific variety

If you liked this, you’ll LOVE the previous posts in the series!  Look here:

Read previous posts here:

PNW Part 1 (Seattle)

PNW Part 2 (Out and About in Seattle)

PNW Part 3 (Pike’s Market)

PNW Part 4 (Seattle Underground)

PNW Part 5 (Whidbey Island)

PNW Part 6 (Lake Quinault)

PNW Part 7 (Kalaloch Area Beaches)

PNW Part 8 (First Beach)

Travel, Uncategorized, Vacation

PNW Part 8 (First Beach)

I have to admit, at first, I was a bit underwhelmed at seeing First Beach.  I wasn’t expecting to see Bella and Jacob or anything, but still… :p…

_NLG0937-2

I guess I was expecting the rocks to be closer to the shore.  At the other beaches, I could see and hear the surf hitting the rocks which made the experience more interactive (read: louder) than this.  I soon found that the longer I stood looking out into the ocean, my original twinge of disappointment turned to serenity.  In addition to that, this beach was less crowded than the others, so I’m sure all of these factors led to my being pleasantly surprised by First Beach.

My kids found this makeshift driftwood “fort” and had a blast playing in it.

_NLG0945

I found a heart-shaped rock which gave me a bit of a thrill. (I’m easily entertained like that)

_NLG0941

I was (and still am) fascinated that trees are able to grow on those rocks sticking out of the ocean.

_NLG0957

_NLG0950

We ate dinner at the only restaurant in First Beach that Yelp recommended.  (From the looks of it, it also looked to be the only restaurant in town.)  We had a front row seat to the “show” – a family of otters were having dinner right outside the window where we sat.  ***These pictures were shot from inside the restaurant through the glass window, so please excuse the quality. There was no way to have this vantage point from outside – I tried!***

_NLG1069

As the meal progressed, they had to fight off the birds that tried to abscond with their fish:

_NLG1071

Note the stink-eye of the otter on the right and the charging of the one on the left.

_NLG1072

After that, we saw the first and only bald eagle we were to see on this trip (again, I had to shoot through glass. Ugh!).  You can see him there, front and center, perched on the roots of the overturned tree.  We watched him fly to his perch, then sit for a good while surveying his territory, fly around some more, then back to the perch again.

_NLG1088

I had hoped to see one closer up, but that was the longest lens I had with me, so this is all I got.

*Side note: If you’ve been reading my blog for some time, you’d know that I have a tele-zoom 70-300mm lens, but it is HEAVY and I’m trying to sell it, so I had left it at home for this trip.  Boo!!!

More PNW beaches posts to follow…

Read previous posts here:

PNW Part 1 (Seattle)

PNW Part 2 (Out and About in Seattle)

PNW Part 3 (Pike’s Market)

PNW Part 4 (Seattle Underground)

PNW Part 5 (Whidbey Island)

PNW Part 6 (Lake Quinault)

PNW Part 7 (Kalaloch Area Beaches)

Beauty in Unlikely Places, Travel, Uncategorized

PNW Part 7 (Kalaloch Area Beaches)

Kalaloch Lodge was my first choice of places to stay on our trip, but (sadly) had no vacancies the week we were there.

The beach nearest Kalaloch Lodge was wild and beautiful.  It was the only beach we didn’t hike down to.  I can’t imagine it being more stunning than the view looking down from above.

_NLG0642

_NLG0645

_NLG0648

After we left the lodge, we continued north on 101 and the weather got drearier and drearier.  We found this to be the case most of the time on the coast in that area.  The next beach we visited was called Beach 4, sometimes called Kalaloch Beach 4.  Apparently, people come from all over the area to dip for surf smelts.  Surf smelts are fish that are bigger than anchovies but smaller than sardines, and we saw the fisherman competing with otters and birds for who gets to eat smelt for dinner.  (When I found out what the people were doing and what the fish were called, it made me wonder if the inventor of the Smurfs cartoon was from the Pacific Northwest.)  🙂

_NLG0517The sky was not pretty, but the beach was a visual feast!

_NLG0461 _NLG0468

Textures, textures, and more textures!!

_NLG0492 _NLG0494 _NLG0495

Isn’t nature just The Coolest?!

_NLG0546 _NLG0556More beaches on the next post!

***Take a look at previous posts in this series***

Part 6 here

Part 5 here

Part 4 here

Part3 here

Part 2 here

Part 1 here

Photo Theme

Travel Theme: Beaches

*Alternate title: I Got 99 Problems But a Beach Ain’t One.  Face-palm? Giggle?  Your choice. 🙂

Ailsa’s travel theme this week is beaches.  I must thank her because looking through my pictures was a great way for me to jumpstart my summer vacation planning! I hadn’t realized just how many beaches I’ve had the pleasure of visiting, and these don’t include the ones from the pre-digital photography era.  I have been blessed! There are all kinds of beaches in the world…

Some beaches are quintessential

IMG_1919
South Beach, Miami, FL, USA

Some beaches are the opposite

Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, Big Island, Hawaii, USA
Punalu’u Black Sand Beach, Big Island, Hawaii, USA

Some beaches are for camping

North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii, USA
North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii, USA

Some beaches are for living

Somewhere on Oahu, Hawaii, USA
Somewhere on Oahu, Hawaii, USA

Some beaches are for playing

Cannes, France
Cannes, France

Some beaches are covered with lush, green grass that make you want to walk around on bare feet

_NLG5892
View of Mokoli’i island from Kualoa Regional Park, Oahu, Hawaii, USA

Some beaches are covered with lava rocks that will slice your feet to pieces if you don’t wear shoes

North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii, USA
North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii, USA

Some beaches are humbling because of their history

Omaha Beach, Normandy, France
Omaha Beach, Normandy, France

Some beaches are humbling because of their opulence

Monte Carlo, Monaco
Monte Carlo, Monaco

Some beaches are meant to be splashed in

North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii, USA
North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii, USA

Some beaches are meant to be hiked on

Somewhere near Captain Hook, Big Island, Hawaii USA
Somewhere near Captain Hook, Big Island, Hawaii USA

Some beaches are meant to nap on

_NLG6434
Anaeho’omalu Bay Beach, Big Island, HI, USA

Some beaches are named one of the world’s best beaches

Kauna'oa Bay, Big Island, Hawaii, USA
Kauna’oa Bay, Big Island, Hawaii, USA

Some beaches are named after me 🙂

South Beach, Miami, Florida
South Beach, Miami, Florida, USA