Benicia CA – May 2011

On one of my business visits to Oakland I meet Alex after work on a Wednesday night for dinner. It had been August since I’d seen him and it was great to find a new way to keep our friendship alive, and to continue shooting photos together.

We tried to explore a well-reviewed pub in Port Costa but the kitchen was only open on weekends, so we crossed the bay to Benicia and found excellent Mexican food and an incredible sunset over the bay from Benicia’s marina. You can see the Golden Gate Bridge shadowed in the fading sun in several of these shots, as well as a stray calico cat that made friends with us as we walked the shore.

Gallery is here – slideshow button is at the top-right corner.

San Francisco – February 2011

Finished off what is always a motivating, rejuvenating office visit with my team in San Ramon with a mini-vacation in the City by the Bay, one of my new favorite US destinations. Cara joined me just in time for the weekend, and Michelle and Brian generously offered to serve as hosts and tourguides, taking us through a sampling of SF’s exotic cuisines, dive bars, swanky patios and world-famous tourist attractions. The weather was in the 99th percentile, fantastic and sunny like the Fourth of July in the middle of February, and the city’s welcome was as warm as the sunshine, from the friendly local faces to the available front-door parking spots at seemingly every venue. Cara and I had an incredible time together, further cementing our shared belief that we would make excellent co-hosts for our own travel show, and Michelle and Brian kept us enthralled with their city and doubled over laughing until the moment we hugged them goodbye. It was an epic weekend, one I will remember fondly forever, and I hope the pictures capture at least a sliver of that feeling for everyone that flips through the gallery.

You can also download this Google Earth file to see all the places we visited.

Gallery is here – slideshow button is at the top-right corner.

Richmond Beach Sunset – August 25, 2010

Alex and I camped out with our tripods in the sand at Richmond Beach in time to see the sunset over the Cascades and try to capture it on film. We chose the spot with little discussion – I hadn’t been there before and it was close to home for both of us – and we chanced upon an idyllic summer sunset over Puget Sound, as well as an appropriately-bittersweet final Seattle photo adventure. Alex and his wife leave for California next week and while my occasional business trips south will hopefully cross our paths again, this chapter of our friendship has sunk beneath the horizon to be risen tomorrow as a long-distance one. In the past year since we both stumbled into the same photography meetup and instantly hit it off we’ve ventured out to see the world through each other’s eyes and lenses only a half-dozen times, perhaps because it seemed there would always be time. Now, however, that our time is up I realize how much I’ve both enjoyed his friendship and missed an opportunity to learn more from him – from his easygoing self-awareness, from his steadfast dream to be a writer, from his life lived so differently than my own. It seems this life, like the shimmering sea in these photos, is forever washing new people onto our shores and then washing them away just as quickly, off to their next adventure just as we continue down the beach to find ours.

Alex, I wish you nothing but success in Sacramento and beyond, and I hope to see you on the beach again soon.

Gallery is here – slideshow button is at the top-right corner.

Week on Maui – October 2009

I returned home last night from an amazing week in Hawaii, soaking up the tropical sun, sipping drinks around the pool with friends, and celebrating a very special wedding with John and Heidi. Danielle and I did more exploring than on previous trips to the islands, venturing out to Kula to tour a botanical garden, and tagging along with Bill, Jenn and Kristen for a day’s drive along the road to Hana. It was a relaxing escape from regular life and I was so tempted just to stay there forever, but if I’m going to move to Maui I think I’d at least want to come home first, pack my computer and my SLR camera, and ship down my motorcycle. 🙂

Gallery slideshow here.

Lance’s visit recap

Such an excellent weekend! Huge thanx to Lance for taking the initiative to come visit and remind me what a quality guy he is! Some great times to remember, a perfect way to finish out the summer.

I picked him up at seatac thursday nite, and it was straight to Sushiland Marinepolis for all the kanisara and california rolls we could eat. Friday we loitered around pioneer square, grabbing gyros for lunch and gelato dessert, and then took in a locks cruise courtesy of Kim (who rocks, btw), enjoying a perfect summer day on the water, complete with sailboats, wind surfers, and jumping salmon. After i ran home to get the baseball tickets i’d forgotten that morning, we watched the Mariners spank Oakland in an exciting (yet meaningless, as they’re already out of the running for the WS) game, and finished the nite at the New Orleans with spiced rum and a blues band.

Saturday morning Steph picked us up in her sweet new convertible for the ride down to Alki beach and crab cakes benedict at the Alki Cafe, prompting everyone present to conclude that we all need drop-top rides. A quick visit to Caleb’s apt to catch up with his parents, Lance’s aunt & uncle, in town from Bozeman, and then Caleb joined us for some sunshine at Gasworks park and a tour of the Ballard Locks and the (oddly) fishless fish ladder. A short stop for supplies later Lance and I were at Skyla and Jana’s posh new apartment (complete with balcony- and skylight-trimmed bathroom) for an excellent bbq and lots of laughs. Lest the fun end early, Skyla joined us for billards and a pitcher of Mac & Jack’s at the Onion, followed by the back nine on Golden Tee, before we finally retired for the night.

Lance let me sleep in a little sunday before he raided the fridge and made us breakfast! (what did i tell you about him being a good guy!). Despite my being lazy, we still managed to be in SoDo again by game time, with plenty of ticks left over for a pint or two at the Pyramid beer garden while we waited for Casey, Jenn and Matt. Matt got us into the club level with sweet tickets that only cost us ten bucks, so from the cushioned, pampered shade of the full-service section we watched the M’s once again trounce the A’s in a very satisfying last game of the season. Then (oh, i’m not done!) Julia and Steph – still lookin’ all that in their ballet-attending gowns – met us at the Garage, a billiards/bowling/arcade/bar on Capitol Hill, for a few rounds of both drinks and stick. Not too much for me, tho, cause by 6.30 we had to be on the road to the airport so i could get Lance to his flight on time. A killer visit that went way too fast!

It was still too nice to go home, tho, so i picked up Julia and we met Steph, Kim, Erwin, Julie, Scott, and Mark for smores and wine (they go together well, really!) around the campfire at Golden Gardens park (think sandy beach, sailboats, and a view of the Olympic mtns). And with a decided flourish, summer is over and fall is upon us. The looming fog will be here by morning.

So i’d just like to reiterate that i had a totally rockin’ weekend, living it up with the guy who became my instant best friend the first day of high school, and who’s always been one of the best people i’ve ever known. Lance, thanks again for coming to visit – i look forward to your next trip westward, and i’ll see you at Christmas!

Lucy Liu, I’m still waiting for you to return my calls

New photos up from the aforementioned Oregon coast daytrip. Go check ’em out! I know it’s been over a month… i hope you think they’re worth the wait! It was a fun trip, i had fun putting together the gallery – even really late! 😉

Got a few more steps done on Ian’s transmission today. Old automatic tranny is out, new manual tranny is working and assembled. Big old hole under the hood, couple pans full of tranny fluid laying around in Dave’s garage. Looks pretty cool. 😉

Doing laundry and staying up late watching movies with Josh. Well, i’m not doing laundry with Josh, just the staying up late part. A little Charlie’s Angels is a great way to finish the night…