Anniversary

Catch and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary a few weeks ago—on the same day as the anniversary of the day we met 7 years ago.

I was grateful for a quiet evening this year. We stayed home and made cheese fondue (and then chocolate fondue) and drank a bottle of my favorite white wine. We ordered a movie on cable, snuggled on the couch, and just enjoyed the night.

It’s amazing how time flies. Sometimes, it feels like we can’t possibly have met seven years ago—that’s 2,555 days—where did they all go? 

In seven years, we have traveled together to:

Oregon—from Portland to Salem to wine country to the Oregon coast

Oregon

Washington

Space_needle

Alaska

Colorado

Colorado snow

Nevada—From Vegas & Reno to Virginia City

Virginia City

Mexico—Puerto Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta, Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas, Ensenada

Mazatlan

Canada

Canada

And within California, we’ve visited San Diego, fallen in love with North Lake Tahoe, rafted on the Truckee & American Rivers, and camped in the Sequoia National Forest, Big Sur, Oxnard, Goleta, Ojai, & Santa Barbara

Big sur

(Big Sur)

Sequoias

(Sequoias)

Tahoe

(Lake Tahoe)

Sandiego

(San Diego)

We have lived together in 3 different homes and planted vegetable gardens in all of them.

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(our first vegetable garden)

We went from no dogs to one dog to two dogs, and currently, we’ve applied to foster with our local basset hound rescue group.

Two_dogs

We got engaged.

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We got married for real.

Hands

We got married for fake.

Fake_werdding

We’ve bought cars, picked out furniture, lost weight, gained weight, made new friends, and lost old friends.

We’ve been to funerals—my grandmother, then her grandmother, her uncle, then my uncle, then my grandfather, and then her uncle.

We’ve lounged and danced and laughed and cried and fought and made up.

We’ve been broke and then not, and then broke again and then not.

We’ve put holes in walls—accidentally and on purpose.

We've learned to like love wine.

Wine

I have learned the ins and outs of softball, and she has learned to laugh when she sits on a knitting needle.

It’s a good life, this one we have. No question about it. 

 

Kern River Camping

Our camping trip to the Kern River this year had its high points and its low points, but I'm going to try to only remember the high points.  All I'll say about the low points is that I don't understand why large groups of people feel the need to go camping just to drink like idiots and blast their music–it ruins the experience for those of us who are looking to enjoy the peace and quiet of nature.  We should be able to fall asleep at night to the sounds of crickets and a rushing river, not to the thump of the radio, the crush of beer cans and the screeching of children who should have been asleep hours ago. Basic camping etuquette seems to have vanished.

The weather was wonderful–hot (as you would expect), but not too miserable like it can be. As long as you had a cold drink in hand, and your feet (at least) in the river, all was right with the world.

We had to move campsites after our first night, but I'm so glad we did–we camped in an area of our favorite campground (Goldledge/Gold Ledge) that I've never been in before, and it gave us so much privacy–and our own swimming area away from the masses.  It was WONDERFUL.  

I forced myself to use my (Nikon) camera on manual settings only this time around, and only brought my 50mm 1.8 lens.  (I LOVE that lens.) I wish I'd brought my tripod because on some of the long shutter speeds I was balancing the camera on a rock and shooting 25 times in the hopes of getting a stable image.  It worked most of the time, but didn't give me many options on the angle of the shot.

The view from the middle of the river just a short walk from where we were swimming

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Rapids on a slow shutter speed

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The view from our campsite looking down at the river

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Moon rising over the hills

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My dad, fishin' away…

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We left the river wanting very much to go back as soon as possible. I call that a successful camping trip.

Alaska

We’ve had so much going on in our lives, lately and I’ve just been too wrapped up in the moment to bother sitting down and writing about it—but some of it really does deserve the mention.

For example… Alaska. We took a Holland America cruise aboard the Westerdam at the beginning of July for my mom's 60th birthday.  It was just the three of us in a Verandah suite with a beautiful balcony and it was perfect.

Alaska was amazing. Probably the most beautiful place I have ever been—and I have been to some beautiful places.

From the glaciers and icebergs to the rainforest and bald eagles, I am absolutely in love with Alaska.  There really aren’t even words to describe, so I’ll just show you a few photos:

This one was taken on our way into Glacier Bay. It is my favorite photo from the trip, I think.  I have already had it printed as large as it can possibly be–now I just have to wait until I can afford to have it framed.

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This one was taken in the morning as we approached Juneau. It's actually an iPhone photo–and thank goodness for iPhones, because I managed to forget my camera battery.  Fortunately, there was a shop in Juneau where we could get it all sorted out because this was not a trip to be without a camera.

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This particular bald eagle was spotted in Ketchikan, but there were so many.  It was amazing to be able to pause for a moment, look up, and see one of these guys soaring overhead.

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This was taken in the Totem National Forest in Sitka.  I absolutely loved Sitka.  Although I loved Ketchikan, too.  It's a toss up with those two–they are surrounded by such beauty.

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Here are a few more from Glacier Bay:

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Alaska gave me a travel bug, for sure. I have ten trips in my brain, and after this trip, none of them in the budget–se la vie!