roaming the deserts

I’ve been spending a lot more time exploring the treasures of southern California after realizing that I’m surrounded by such incredible beauty and don’t explore it nearly as often as I should. I’ve also been getting over my irrational fear of ‘finding parking’ and thus, venturing out more.

This past week I went to check out the super bloom in Lake Elsinore and to Desert X in Coachella Valley. Both were incredible experiences that I’m so grateful to have had. I’ve included some of my favorite shots taken on my DSLR from both locations below. Looking through my lens at works of art and the art that is our world truly brings peace to my heart. Grateful for the means to go on these adventures and the joy they bring my soul.

 

explorin’ home 

As I’ve said before, hubs and I try to take a short trip after every block. At our school we only have finals so that really adds a lot of stress to each set of exams since our entire grade rides on that. With all the stress of trying to figure out my new schedule for boards and remediation, I didn’t get to plan anything in advance. Last minute, we decided to have an overnight stay-cation in downtown Los Angeles. Then we realized that we’re not hip enough to hang out there and then decided to go to Pasadena instead.

Because it was so last minute, all the hotels were going to be really expensive so we decided to try out Airbnb. I’ll hopefully have another post separately on advice on using Airbnb in the next few weeks.

I’ve been living in California for well over a decade but still haven’t really explored all the touristy spots in SoCal. Because we wanted to stay local for our trip, we decided to go to Pasadena and check out places around there. Our first stop was The Huntington. I’ve included some photos below from my ‘real’ camera.

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kohl’s adoption story

If you follow me on Instagram, you already know this but we recently adopted a kitten! I thought I would share a bit about how we got him and how it’s been as a first time pet owner.

We adopted Kohl from a local rescue group about three weeks ago and he’s quickly moved his way into our hearts. He’s currently roaming around the room as I type this, playing hide and seek with himself, and I can’t imagine our home without him. While we were doing research, we saw that black animals (both cats and dogs) had lower adoption rates due to superstitions and stigma associated with them, which completely broke our hearts. How ridiculous is it that humans are even racist against certain animals!?

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arizona adventures

Last week, hubs and I took a trip to Arizona for our winter vacation. We try to take a short trip every time we both get some time off at the same time, since that so rarely happens. We’re both pretty much homebodies so it’s nice to take a few days away to get our fill of adventuring.

We spent a night in Sedona, two nights in Page (where Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend are) and two nights at the south end of the Grand Canyon. In hindsight, I wish we’d stayed two nights in Sedona and only one in Page because there wasn’t really much to do there.

Below I’ve included some info on where we stayed and a couple places we ate. And at the very bottom of this post, I added some of my photos from my ‘real camera.’

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hi-def warmth

Every year we have Thanksgiving at my aunt’s house and the past couple times we’ve had gatherings at her house, it rains! We were joking around that we’ve solved the drought – we just need to keep having parties at her place. Someone call Governor Brown!

Below you can see the rain soaked tables. Thankfully the covers from her previous party were still up so the rest of the tables were nice and dry.

My cousins did an awesome job with the decor, as usual! I loved all the fall colors in everything – so many autumn vibes. It was pretty chilly because of the rain but that actually made it feel more like Thanksgiving.

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the realness

So glad I got to look through my lens again this weekend. Here are some of the shots from my Nikon D90. I really don’t play with it as often as I should but I’m definitely making an effort to do so more often. I used to get so lost in my photography. I’d go on photo walks to a park or something and then end up completely lost because I kept following the ‘next’ thing I wanted to photograph and completely forgot to keep track of where I was going hah. Going to make a real effort to go on photo walks more often. Especially now that I upgraded the RAM on my laptop, uploading and editing photos is not nearly as frustrating so I have one fewer excuse!

The first couple photos are in San Francisco and the rest were all taken in Muir Woods. Still deciding which ones to print for our gallery (& I’m open to suggestions)!

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road trippin’

Because I had the Thursday and Friday after finals off from school, we planned a last minute trip up to Northern California. My cousin, who’s more like an older brother, moved up there with his family a few months ago. We were supposed to make the trip a while back but I got sick so we didn’t make it up.

I really needed to get away from everything after the madness that was this block. I honestly wasn’t sure if I passed the block but I knew there wasn’t anything I could do over the next few days that would make any difference so we packed up some clothes, junk food, my DSLR, grabbed some coffee and made the drive up after I got out of clinic on Thursday.

It was absolutely the perfect long weekend full of long conversations with family and friends I don’t get to see nearly enough. Every morning was a lazy morning.  We drank delicious coffee and ate scrumptious food. We went on a hike in the woods and I bonded with my nephew. Hubby and I finally got to wear our matching t shirts I got for his birthday this past year.

Tomorrow I start another block of medical school and I’m feeling good about the rest of the year. Going on this trip was the perfect break from all things medicine and I’m ready to get back into things. So many exciting things coming up the next few months and I have a few series I want to start on Instagram so look out for that! The first years start anatomy this block so please stems some good vibes into the universe for them.

About to jump into the driver’s seat and finish off this 400 mile drive. Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and have an even lovelier week ahead!

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