Archive for October, 2009

zach . on the guitar.

October 26, 2009

I often post photos of Zach & things like that here, but this is a first – a video of him playing guitar. He’s so extremely talented, but hardly anyone besides our closest friends & family knew. Well, I decided to record him playing one of his own original songs, cause I think he deserves to be heard. ;) So enjoy!

accidental double exposure . richmond bridge & patrick’s point, ca . polaroid 420

So after about 8 hours of driving, I arrived late at night in Berkeley/Oakland where one of my closest friends Carol lives; pretty delirious from the drive because driving along that stretch of I-5 is the most. boring. drive. ever. Even worse at night when all you see are headlights and darkness! Plus, I’ve gone along that drive so many times that I’m pretty tired of it to be honest. But I was glad to be there. I always feel at home up north.

After a several hours of sleep, we got up and headed to breakfast, at a place called Rick & Ann’s.  It was an absolutely delightful breakfast, and I loved the fact that the kitchen was an open one! After that, we strolled around the neighborhood before setting off to Oakland to explore.

rick & ann’s . berkeley, ca . canon 5d mk2

rick & ann’s . berkeley, ca . canon 5d mk2

around the neighborhood . berkeley, ca . canon 5d mk2

around the neighborhood . berkeley, ca . canon 5d mk2

jack london square . oakland, ca . polaroid sx-70

cathedral of christ the light . oakland, ca . canon 5d mk2

cathedral of christ the light . oakland, ca . canon 5d mk2

grand lake neighborhood . oakland, ca . canon 5d mk2

grand lake neighborhood . oakland, ca . canon 5d mk2

We explored several neighborhoods, which were all very fun to see & experience. The Cathedral that we visited was pretty insane to look at – the exterior is entirely of glass, but the inside was quite a surprise – it was all wood! Beautiful craftsmanship & design though :)

That evening, we visited a little eatery that I definitely think is a Berkeley gem, Gregoire Restaurant. It’s not so much as a restaurant as a charming open kitchen with a few stools and and outdoor seating. But the food is definitely what makes it because it’s French takeout!! Hands down the most gourmet takeout food I’ve ever had (and was extremely delicious). We took it back to Carol’s and ate it on plates, and I felt like we dined at a restaurant based on the quality of the food! What a wonderful way to end the first day. I will definitely have to be back again.

gregoire restaurant . berkeley, ca . iphone

The next morning I woke up at the crack of dawn, to begin the coastal portion of my trip. I would be driving from the Bay Area up to Portland along the California & Oregon coast, and I would be doing it completely alone. Needless to say, I was very excited.

As I sleepily looked out the window that morning, a gentle haze of fog greeted me over the rooftops of Berkeley.

morning . oakland/berkeley, ca . canon 5d mk2

morning . oakland/berkeley, ca . canon 5d mk2

What a way to start the morning. :)

So after packing my car back up, I headed off on my adventure. :) The most interesting thing I noted, was how alive everything felt. It looked so quiet and still when I looked out the window, but the town was alive and everyone was commuting as normal. Certainly a good morning. :)

As I headed towards Highway 1, I crossed the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge as the morning fog was starting to lift off the bay. Once I crossed, I looked back and was greeted by a most breathtaking sight. I immediately pulled over to take it in – the first of many, many pull overs during this trip.

richmond/san rafael bridge . san francisco bay . canon 5d mk2

pier . san francisco bay . canon 5d mk2

After taking a few photos (the first image on this post being an accidental double exposure from this day & another day) & marveling at how surreal it felt, I got back into my car, and headed off.

It was a lovely start, and I had many more miles to go.

i-5 & beyond . the grapevine . iphone


Here I am in the beginning, the beginning of all of it.

What is all of it exactly?

Well I’ll tell you. :)

If you didn’t already know, I recently partook in a soul searching, life changing roadtrip. I drove all up and down the west coast, all on my own. I had a lot of time to think, to look, and to see. Why did I take this roadtrip? Well, there were many reasons… reasons that I will be revealing as the sharing of this trip unravels.

Before I began the trip, I honestly didn’t fully know what to expect. I would be driving about 3000 miles over the course of two weeks, seeing various friends, new and old, as well as having a lot of alone time. I put all my expectations aside, really. One of the things that I’ve been trying to work on with myself is expectations for things – often I expect certain outcomes or emotions, or things to happen, and often I just get disappointed because my expectations don’t meet reality (if you’ve seen 500 Days of Summer, I loved the split screen scene with Expectations vs Reality – SO TRUE). So with this trip, all I told myself was that I would be here these days, see these people, and put aside all other expectations and agendas. My only agenda? To enjoy what came. :)

I started Sunday afternoon & jetted off to Berkeley, where one of my oldest and closest friends lived. I would spend a two nights there before heading off on the main stretch along the coast. I was nervous and excited before leaving, mostly because I knew that I would not be the same person I was when I return. I knew things would be different. The night before leaving, we were at a farewell bonfire for some friends who were moving to Chicago that week and in a small way, it almost felt like a private farewell bonfire for myself as well. Goodbye to what I knew; hello to the future.

The photo above (taken with the iPhone) was what it looked like right after I got past the Grapevine, when my stomach started to stir because the trip was becoming real. Once I went past LA (which I drive to fairly often), I began territory that I have never done on my own. And it felt liberating.

I will be slowly blogging my trip in the coming weeks, and I will also try to keep updating with my usual wedding & other posts. But for now, this is only the beginning, with much more to come.

Away I go. :)

post-trip . where to begin?

October 5, 2009

So where does one begin after a trip like this?

I have so many stories, pictures, & thoughts to share. They jumble up before me, not sure where to go. And I’m not sure how to organize them just yet.

Should I make a massive blog post? (I shudder at the thought of how large it would be) Should I share ALL the images at once (I took many film, polaroid & digital images), or should I split them up separately? Should I split up images & stories based on days? & should I even blog it all here? Or blog it elsewhere? (of course I will link it here)

So many choices.

What I do know, is that things definitely aren’t going to be the same anymore for me.

Life is about change, and change is good. :)

In the meantime, while I figure all that out, here’s a little playlist of music for you that are from my trip. Almost each one of these songs I discovered during or will remind me of my trip – either I saw them live, or they have a connection to me in some way.  The only two artists that I didn’t see live or have direct connections with are Greg Laswell & Owl City – I put their songs in though because Greg Laswell’s song will forever remind me of the redwoods & Owl City’s song of Seattle. :)

Enjoy. :)