Thursday, August 21, 2014

Too Busy to Post

Sometimes life just gets away from you. I had these plans to post little bits of my life on here pretty regularly, just little updates on what I was doing, but life sure got busy.

It's a shame, really, that when I am the busiest, when I have so much I'd love to talk about, that I don't have enough time to reflect on everything that is happening and jot down a few notes about it on here. I'd love to be able to look back on this thing in a few years and be able to read through a few of the wonderful and silly things I've done, so I'll have to set aside some time each week to write. As it is, about six months have gone by and I'll need to do a quick recap.

I got married!

I've mentioned this before, but it's such a big part of what has happened in the last few months. And she still likes me! Who knew?

Honeymoon in Hawaii

My brand new wife and I said to each other, "For our honeymoon, why don't we do something unique and original? I don't want our honeymoon to be just like everyone else's." So, we went to Hawaii. That's unique, right?

Well, let me tell you about this strange place. There are mountains and beaches, warm blue waters filled with colorful fish, and this interesting little drink called a Mai Tai. The weather is consistently in the 70s all year, the most delicious coffee in the world is grown here, and the sunsets are amazing. Definitely not for everyone.

Snorkeling in Kona

We quit our jobs and moved to San Luis Obispo!

Let's see. Over the last year, I proposed to Erinn, moved into my first apartment, got married, went to Hawaii, quit my jobs, and moved to San Luis Obispo. It's been a slightly abnormal year.

The last couple weeks we've been wandering all over the central coast, enjoying the amazing weather over here. "It's August and it's only 75 degrees!" In Bakersfield, we'd try to get chores done in the morning since it was usually 90 degrees by noon. In San Luis Obispo, we've had our windows open constantly and we've hiked almost every day. Living here has been a complete turnaround and I'm loving it.

I can't wait to post more about our new life in San Luis Obispo. For the more SLO-related posts, I'll be posting over at (Click the button Our Life in SLO at the top). For everything else, I'll continue posting here.

On top of a pole at the peak of Islay Hill

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Few More From the Wedding

To go from the stress before the wedding to the realization afterward that everything was wonderful and we didn't need to worry makes me wish we could get married all over again, this time with no worry. We had a wonderful party with lots of friends and family, signed a few papers making legal what we already knew, and it's a shame we can't do it again next year. Oh, well! Here are a few pictures from our wonderful photographer, Rebecca Stark.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Get Hitched!

"Get Hitched!" said the calendar on my phone, so casually. As if it were just reminding me of some movie I was looking forward to. "Get Hitched!" it said without a hint of stress, nervousness, or worry. And why not? This is the day I've been looking forward to for years, to get married to my best friend!

And yet, as the day approached, stress began to set in. "How's the wedding planning coming?" Thoughtful friends and family would ask of us and we would share a nervous smile as thoughts of all the things that still needed to be done were brought again to the forefront of our minds. The cake, a photographer, flowers, drinks, food, who is doing what, how to get the sound system to play our music at the right time... and so on. But these worries were easily tempered by supportive family who reminded us that everything would be great, weddings are what you make of it, and the most important thing is to relax and have fun. They couldn't have been more right.

January 25th, 2014, I married Erinn, my best friend, and our wedding was truly wonderful. The weather was a perfect 70 degrees with sunny skies, we were surrounded by loving friends and family, and we definitely did not do that thing with the cake where you're supposed to feed each other, but really you just smash your cake in their face and for some reason that's still a funny thing for people to do. We didn't do that. Instead, we cut the cake, fed each other, danced with each other, sang Country Roads, and had fun. We didn't have a big wedding, a fancy wedding, one with rituals, or one with seven courses for dinner. While these are all great kinds of weddings (and I've been to some great ones), it would have been strange for us. We wanted a simple, fun, beautiful wedding where we could relax and spend time with people we love and that's exactly what we got.

I am so thankful for all the people who made it up to Aptos for the wedding and for everyone who helped put it all together. Now if only we could get married again. Wouldn't that be fun!

Uncle Richard

(Some of) My Family

Erinn's Family

(Some of) My Seattle Family

A Wonderful Toast from a Wonderful Friend

My Wife

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Movies That Move Us to Travel

A few days ago, we finally saw The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, a movie we had been looking forward to seeing for quite a while, but hadn't yet found the time to see. We made our way to the movie theater, got our popcorn and Cherry Coke, turned our phones on silent, and settled in.

I had a friend once describe movies as two-hour vacations and I always loved that description. You pop in a movie and you're off to Paris with Owen Wilson and Ernest Hemingway for a while. Or maybe take in the afternoon fighting mummies in the Egyptian desert with Brendan Fraser. If there's an overarching theme of the movies I like to watch, it's that they're usually set in some far-off or otherwise exotic location, usually someplace I hope to visit. But my favorite movies are always the ones that get me excited to get up off my butt and travel!

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was just that. One of those wonderful and exciting movies that teases you with beautiful landscapes and the fun of life on the go and leaves you at the credits wanting to trade the drive home for an Airstream and the open road or maybe a backpack and a hiking trail. For me, the movie is about remembering that life is moving very quickly whether I spend it sitting in front of a TV or camping in Yosemite, so I really should make every effort to live my life fully instead of regretting the things I didn't do. To quote Richard Dahlstrom, "there's a glorious life in each of us that’s waiting to be lived.  It’s the crises we face that will either fan it to flame or kill it." I might not spend my life travelling constantly like I sometimes dream, but I shouldn't settle for life in a place I don't love or jobs that leave me with no free time to do the things I enjoy. Walter Mitty reminded me that I need to make more time for the things that enrich my life.

Into The Wild is another favorite of mine. An idealistic traveler who roams the western United States, trying to have a real, genuine life experience is exactly the kind of movie that inspires me to travel. Although the tone of the movie is sometimes sad and the ending is not one I'd envision for myself, the main character's longing for a life lived fully coupled with some beautiful music by Eddie Veddar touched at the part of me which wants to get rid of everything and travel.

Amelie was one of the first movies that made me want to see France. The music, the love story, the cinematography, and the beautiful city are just so much fun to see on screen. Amelie, herself, is adorable and sweet, but is living her own restrained, inhibited life. She is shy and sometimes dreams of doing things, but mostly keeps to herself. She's no recluse or social idiot, just a realistic rendition of what it can be like to be shy. This is all challenged through love, neighbors-turned-friends, and her own desire to do something with her life and it's all beautiful and wonderful to see.

Paris je t'aime is another fun movie about France's great city. Less about wanderlust and more about the many different ways one can enjoy Paris, as an American living in a desert valley of California, it certainly tugs at my desire to travel. One great bit about Paris je t'aime is that it's essentially 18 short movies tied together by Paris. So, if you get bored with one story, just wait a few minutes for the next one. For me, they're all good. One of my favorites is the segment on a middle-aged American woman who visits Paris alone, speaking with a very American accent, trying her best to get a true Parisian experience, taking in the food, gardens, and museums, and realizing that while she loves her time in Paris, she longs for home. Travel can be a good reminder of the wonderful things we have at home.