Travel

Trailer Park Living At Its Best: The Vintages

Gone are the days when the concept of a trailer park implied cutoffs, crop tops, Pabst, and mangy dogs. The Vintages Trailer Resort is a whole new 2016 breed. Located in the heart of Oregon wine country, at the crossroads of Dundee and Dayton, you'll find trailer park living at it's quintessentially Northwest and subsequently, it's very best.

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 The Clubhouse

The Clubhouse

Ides Of March

OK, so minus any sacrifices or brushes with Ceasar, March was a festival of travel, family and friends.  The Nones found me in San Francisco celebrating my step brother's wedding. The Ides were spent on the island of Oahu photographing the magical wedding of a dear friend.

This infusion of different sights, sounds and smells served alternately as a relief from the weight of the last eight months, as well as a celebration of what it means to be alive, and not least, an intense expression of gratitude for the life I have.

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La Bella Vita

I recently had the incredible fortune of traveling to Italy with both my mom and my daughter...I had been a few times before, but this particular experience was a bit of fairy dust and magical medicine all rolled into one, for each of us in our own way. 

We stayed with family who have lived in Florence for the last 50+ years and and who now live la bella vita in true Italian fashion.  Our days were bookended by the most simply sweet and leisurely time eating amazing home cooked meals, imbibing of the local grapes, sharing stories and otherwise just being present in each other's company...a luxury that almost makes my heart ache (she said as she ate a lunch of almonds and coffee over her keyboard at 4 p.m.).

In between those generous slices of heaven, we navigated the beautiful and historic city with what seemed like a billion of our fellow tourists.  Apparently, they didn't get the memo it was off-season, so despite the fact we were also contributing to the masses, it was hard not to feel a bit overwhelmed and selfishly long for a city that more closely resembled the one of my imagination.  Portovenere and Cinque Terre were no different (damn you Rick Steves), though the (top secret) house we stayed in on the coast provided it's own brand of stunning beauty and respite.  

I have such immense gratitude for the abundant generosity of our people in Florence who so lovingly took us in and for having had the opportunity to share this sabbatical of sorts across three generations of family.   And hope that in sharing these images, they can provide some small measure of the profound mental escape hatch they have given to me.




Tour De Oregon

Or at least 750 miles of it.  It was like a kinder, gentler Thelma + Louise, minus the Thunderbird and dramatic car chase scenes (plus one of the two of us is seven).  But we had four wheels, one dog, no reservations and miles of open road.   And lots and lots of Macy Gray.

And four seasons in four days.   Welcome to spring break Oregon style.

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24 Hours of Tolovana With Mr. T

What's a girl to do when the forecast calls for summer temps?  At the beach?  In February?!  24 hours of Tolovana Beach served up pure bliss and then some. 

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Land Of The Sun + Exotic Prickly Things

I tell stories with my camera that typically involve people.  This story is about a place. A girlfriend and I ventured down to Scottsdale for a weekend escape and were rewarded with much more than a fabulous pool side bar and tan lines.  Skipping the overwhelming number of turquoise and silver and otherwise general southwest tchotchke shops crowding Old Town, we partook of some A-mazing food, Taliesin West {Frank Lloyd Wright's winter residence}, a pre-sunset hike in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, and an afternoon at the Desert Botanical Garden.

To my Northwest-via-East-Coast-eye, it's a land of enchanting and exotic prickly things.  A place with warm light and warm colors. And after a winter spent in greyish-blue light, a trip to the southwest was like a trip to the spa for my eyes and creative senses.

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Swell Athletic Clubs

Swell and Santa Barbara saved my Oregon winter once again.  I was thrilled to have another opportunity to work with Swell Athletic Clubs, stocking their photo library with images of their newly remodeled Cathedral Oaks Athletic Club + Santa Barbara Athletic Club.   Thank you so much to the awesome team of Swell staff, Kara Richard's styling skills, and the good humored {+ uber fit} team of members and models, who helped pull off yet another fun shoot!

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22 Cities In 20 Days

Or "How I Spent My September".  Or "Another Excuse For Why I Stopped Blogging". 44+ hours of flying time.  25 pounds of camera gear.  22 security patdowns.  22 Starbucks {tall:nonfat:double shot} cappuccinos.  20 Starbucks yoghurt parfaits.  20 rental cars complete with 20 different sets of directions.  20 hotels {might I recommend the A-Loft Hotel or Hotel Indigo over La QUIN-ta Inn}.  5 hours of 2 drunk brothers {not mine} repeating over and over "I love you, man".

I could go on.  But I think you get the picture.

A few other observations from the road...

My driving has gotten...soft...here in the Northwest.  Average speed on pretty much every interstate in the country besides the one that runs through Portland, is 70 mph.  And I was reminded again what that thing in the middle of the steering wheel is for.  You know, the one that goes "beep" when you hit it as you're passing drivers from Oregon?

I have an infinite capacity to entertain myself.  99.9% of that entertainment involves a camera in some way, shape or form.  Or Instagram.  You are never really alone if you are traveling with Instagram.

My high school French teacher would be so disappointed in my pathetic attempts to order a beer, in French, in Montreal.

There's a lot of really groovy public art in airports.

Flo Rida's song "Whistle" has captivated the nation.  Except for maybe Pittsburgh.  That's where 80's metal lives on.

A large percentage of the country survives on sub-par coffee {and food for that matter}.  I'm not sure how they function.  And I'm not sure of the exact time and date when I became such a coffee snob.

But despite my snobbery, and despite the fact some parts of the country made me feel like I had landed on another planet, I still hold fast to the belief we live in an amazing country filled with a lot of incredible, friendly people willing to share their time, advice, story, a smile... if you allow yourself to open up to the experience.

Ultimately though, there's no place like home.  I came across a quote {on a piece of airport art no less} from the artist Martin Donlin that summed it up best.  "Back home on the ground, we discover that the gift the great wings give us is new eyes to see that this place where we live, we love more than we know."

This sight of the Pacific Ocean on the morning before my final flight home, captured for me those words in an image.

I love the lessons of travel.  I love coming home.

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