Fortune Cookie Affirmations

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Your talents will be recognized and suitably rewarded.

It's been some time since I've made an Art Card, mostly because the lack of motivation to do so has overwhelmed me. That was until I came up with a better idea of prompting myself when I feel like creating one. For a little over a month, maybe longer, we've been saving our fortune cookie messages on a window sill in the kitchen.

Initially, I wanted to save them to use as a background on an Art Card, but that quickly changed. After gathering a handful, I picked one out, and thought, "This is a good message", then thought, "Now, what can I do with it?". Which is why I decided to make an attempt at interpreting the 'fortune'.

Upon reading the message for the first time, I immediately thought, cha-ching!, and dollar signs came to mind. Of course, that's how I would like to be rewarded, with lots of monies!!! But then, I said to myself, come up with something that isn't shallow, and dig a little deeper. So I did.

This is how I interpreted the random fortune I drew from our growing pile of mini messages.


It sort of pairs with the little message I wrote to go along with the last photo I posted in "Window to the World". Holding on to a belief that if you work hard enough, and keep trying, you will get to where you want to be. My aspirations are running wild, and deep, but picking a place to start is the tricky part. Although there are a few things going on right now that I'm excited about, although I'm not yet ready to spill the beans - I don't want to jinx it!

I sincerely hope that you all have a fantastic weekend. And more California vacation adventure posts are in the works, but for now, I am slightly burned out on them so I decided to share something new.

Window to the World

~V E N T A N A~

May your walls know joy; May every room hold laughter and every window open to great possibility.
~Maryanne Radmacher-Hershey~

The prospect of possibility can sometimes be a scary concept.
Unable to fully grasp the idea of what you want, and how to obtain it.
But that spark turns into a step before you even realize that you're climbing.
...:::B E L I E V E:::...


On a Mission........

California : Carmel-by-the-Sea :
Carmel Mission Basilica

Blossoming Prayer
After the main highlight of our day, we decided to scurry over to the mission. Our itinerary was jam packed with activities on this particular day, but thankfully we managed to squeeze in an hour to take a self-guided tour of the mission. I didn't get to spend the amount of time I would have liked, to explore, linger, and read into the history of the mission, but we made do with the time at hand.

Mission Bell Tower
The Moorish style bell tower holds nine bells.

Carmel Mission Basilica Entrance

Just as we pulled into the parking lot, a gigantic charter bus pulled up and began to unload. Determined to stay two steps ahead of the horde, we rushed in past the crowd. The mission was closing at five, so an hour was all we were granted to absorb all the history we possibly could.

Mission Info

  • The mission was founded in Monterey on June 3, 1770 by Padre Junipero Serra.
  • The location was soon changed to Carmel because of certain issues with the current location.
  • Padre Serra also founded eight other missions during his presidency.
  • Junipero Serra died on August 28, 1784.
  • At his request he was buried beside Padre Crespi before the main altar. *On the right, you'll see Serra's grave.

Entrance Courtyard

Our tour took us through the Basilica, cemetery, and museum.......throughout the courtyards were many statues, and effigies all weathered by time. To be amongst history of this magnitude was very uplifting.

Mission Art

Each and every detail added to the integrity of the parish. Here I am again talking about the history of our trip. I think that sometimes in my daily life these are the technicalities I tend to overlook. Thinking about where we are and how far we've come, really doesn't mean anything unless we take where we've been into account.......

Mission Gate

One of my favorite statues was one that overlooked the cemetery, she was lovely.

She Beholds
*A closer look at her praying hands can be seen in the first photo.

I encourage you to look at some of the other photos belonging to this set so you can see other sights I haven't shown you here.
Carmel Mission Basilica(link)

Extra Details:
  • Carmel Mission Basilica Website(link)
  • This historic Mission has been renovated to it's previous glory as both a Catholic Mission and now a thriving parish and school.
  • Info from Wikipedia(link). *Pretty interesting, there's also a photo of the mission circa 1910.

Sorry, I couldn't give you more detail myself, but we've had a very busy weekend and I wanted to share this with you sooner rather than later.



To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter... to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring - these are some of the rewards of the simple life.

~John Burroughs~

Quick Review:
  • I woke up when I felt like it this morning.
  • I did some yoga on my front porch with the singing birds as my soundtrack.
  • Cody cooked a nice breakfast, and of course I had my tea.
  • I'm now ready to go out and take advantage of this beautiful day!
  • The fact that it's a 3 day weekend is the icing on the cake :)

*The above photo was taken using the TtV method. Please refer to this previous post if you are curious to know how this look was achieved. These are some wildflowers growing in our yard, you can see more of what's growing around the house over at the {366} Photographic Journal Blog - link is on the right. I will be back to posting more California trip details with my next post, have a great day!

Through the Woods, and Over the Creek........

California : Big Sur : Limekiln State Park

To Limekiln Falls we go......

While making our big-time plans for Big Sur, I was dead set on camping at Limekiln State Park. But due to unforeseen events, this was not possible. Upon arriving at the State Park to go hiking one day, I quickly realized that it was actually for the best that we didn't get to camp there. My idea of camping next to the beach at Limekiln was completely different from the accommodations themselves. In my head, I was thinking, oh yeah, a nice sandy beach. But once we got there, it was more like, ooohh no, pebble strewn compacted dusty white dirt! Aside from the beach front camping, they had other sites that were within the surrounding forest. Although the path down the middle was the one leading you up to the trail head. My idea of solitude doesn't include strangers walking through the campsites while I'm cooking breakfast, or in our case, eating a granola bar. We totally dodged a bullet........I'm glad their wasn't any availability, and yet again, I'm glad I didn't make reservations prior to leaving for California. It all worked out for the best.

Limekiln Creek

We went to Limekiln on Wednesday, the day after my vacation sick day. I still wasn't feeling all that hot, but I couldn't stand to waste another day sleeping. Once we started hiking I immediately felt like I had been bulldozed by this horribly unwelcome nauseas feeling which engulfed my feeble body. I sound like I'm being dramatic, but really, I felt so weak - it was ridiculous! At this point, I wasn't even hiking, I was pretty much dragging myself through the woods. Good thing it didn't stop me from taking my photos though.

Downed Tree

One thing that I absolutely loved about this trail were the coastal redwoods. Even though I felt like death warmed over, walking through this enchanted forest gave me reason to keep chugging along. This forest had so much character, from the downed trees, to the clover-covered ground that lined the trails was straight out of a "Lord of the Rings" movie.

Limekiln Bridge

Cody pointed out, as well questioned my fascination with bridges.......I can't remember what mumbo-jumbo answer I gave him at the time.....but from the very first time I hiked a trail here in NC, I was hooked. Maybe bridges symbolize a connection in which I can understand, or more literally, that it's the juncture itself that I relate to........then again, maybe I like them because I don't have to wade through water to get from one side to the other?!?! Either way, he was just wondering, why the heck I have to take a photo of every single one we cross!! haha

Limekiln Trail

It was such a sunny day. A photographers nightmare, really. I would have given anything to have hiked this trail on a foggy day.......then it would have been doubly magical. I feared that my photos weren't going to turn out the way my eyes relayed the scene to my brain. Your in camera technique will only get you so far on a blindingly sunny day. Looking at the photo on the tiny little screen is not a true representation of what it will really look like once you see it on a computer screen for the first time. My laptop would only allow enough time to unload my memory cards before I needed to recharge the battery, so I never knew what my photos looked like until the night before we were leaving (at Jimmy's house). I was really surprised at how well these shots turned out, with nearly no post-processing. Go figure, the group I would peg as my worst set of photos, end up being some of my favorites?!?!

Walking up to Limekiln Falls

Above is the path leading up to Limekiln Falls. The climb to the falls was a very gentle grade, and required very little effort (even for a sicko). The creek crossings did require some agile maneuvering at certain points, but it kept things interesting! Overall it was a mere .7 miles to get to the falls. Before you realize you're near the end, you pretty much come to a screeching halt when the 100-foot wall comes in to view. It was incredible. I remember telling Cody, that this was my most favorite waterfall.....EVER! Even better than the McWay Falls, which was pretty spectacular too, but this one was better because of how close you could get. It must have been those negative ions giving me that feeling of euphoria........

Limekiln Falls II
The park's name comes from the actual kilns that were used to produce lime in the 19th century. The Rockland Lime and Lumber Company would load the towers of the kilns with limestone and use redwood lumber to stoke fires at their bases to purify the rock before it was hauled out of the canyon and down to the coast where ships were waiting. The lime was eventually used in cement and other products.

An Actual Limekiln
(One of four kilns, which are still largely intact)
We were very close to skipping the actual limekiln's themselves because I just wanted to lay down. Thankfully I sucked it up, and trekked a little further to catch a glimpse of these rusty towers. To get to the kilns, we took a separate hike off the main trail once we backtracked from the waterfall. I can just imagine the bustling activity taking place there day-to-day, way back when. Big Sur harbors a lot of history, that I haven't even begun to fathom, but I'm learning more and more as I delve deeper into the trip.

Limekiln Falls Framed
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Would you believe that there is actually MORE?! I mean, really, is anybody tired of seeing all of this stuff yet?!

Extra Details
  • Aerial Shot of Limekiln: Link
  • Panoramic View of the Limekilns: Link

*Fiery Finish*

Fiery Finish

May the sun shine, all day long,
everything go right, and nothing wrong.
May those you love bring love back to you,
and may all the wishes you wish come true!

~Irish Blessing~

Good Food & Great Views

California : Big Sur : Nepenthe Restaurant

Nepenthe Entrance

Upon walking onto the terrace at Nepenthe, something catches your eye.

Nepenthe Phoenix

A stately Phoenix bird carved out of a single piece of wood, by Sculptor Edmund Kara, demands to be noticed. At the base of the old oak tree that it is perched upon are, 'birds of paradise' planted to add a touch of fire!

View from our Table

The next, and almost immediate observation is the jaw dropping view of the Santa Lucia Mountains rendezvousing with the Pacific Ocean. We decided to sit outside to soak up as much of the view as possible before we left Big Sur for good.

Smoked Wild Salmon

We didn't want an entire meal so we just ordered an appetizer. Pictured above is the
Cold-smoked Sockeye salmon with basil aioli, crumbled goat cheese, slivered red onions, capers and toasted baguette slices - it was scrumptious!

Nepenthe Web Cam shot

The above photo is a screen shot taken by a friend of Cody's. You see, Nepenthe has a weather web cam on their website. During the planning of our trip we visited, quite regularly, the camera page just so we could see the coast and what the weather was like. Before we left I had the bright idea to call someone while we were at Nepenthe so that they could get a screen shot of us on the deck. After trying a few different people we were finally able to get someone who was sitting at a computer! Thankfully, T was kind enough to entertain our little idea - thanks T. You can barely tell that it's Me & Cody, but it was still cool to see ourselves on the very camera where our dreams began to take form.

View From Nepenthe

I'm glad that toward the end of our trip we jumped on the opportunity to stop by Nepenthe. I think we would have regretted not going if we skipped it. Along with the spectacular view, Nepenthe has a lot of history. It opened in April of 1949, and has seen many travelers during its time. I'm glad that we can also say that we have been.

Believe it or not, I still have so much more to show you. Nepenthe was one of our last stops in Big Sur, but there is still a lot of in between that I have yet to share. I just like to mix it up a bit - keep you on your toes!?!?

Extra Details:
  • Nepenthe's Weather Cam
  • Nepenthe says -In Greek, Nepenthe means "isle of no care".
  • But Wikipedia says - Literally, it means "the one that chases away sorrow".

...:::Taking the Sun from the Day:::...

Silhouetted Sunset
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Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.
~Benjamin Disraeli~

I am in the most severe state of yearning to feel the way I did - I felt so free.
This photo gives me such a sense of peace. I remember that tranquil breeze. And how we were supplied with a colorful conclusion to a flawlessly spectacular day.
We caught this scene at the tail-end of an action packed day. It was so serene, and windy, but still magnificent. It makes my heart ache and smile all at the same time.

More to come......

Stunning Oasis

California : Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park : McWay Falls

McWay Falls
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It is of the utmost importance that portions of our wilderness remain unspoiled. For the sole purpose of allowing others to witness the same breathtaking beauty that many others have had the privilege to see. I feel so very fortunate to have had a sneak peek at something that someone so long ago knew needed to be preserved for generations to come.

I was positively enamored by this stupendous sight - who wouldn't be, right. I have never seen anything like it, especially as far as waterfalls go. There's really no need to paint a picture because you can see for yourself. But, I'll do it anyway...........

The rushing water flowed fast and furiously over the side of a tree topped cliff hitting the sandy shore at its end before being swept away into the multifarious shades of blue..........

Extra Details:
  • This was the shortest and most accessible hike we did while on the trip.
  • Length was 1/4 mile, and it was pretty flat.
  • Elevation gain was about 50 feet - easy peasy!
  • There was a parking fee ($8.00) within Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, although like most others, if available, you could park outside the gate and hike in.
  • Approximate height of the fall - 80 foot
  • It was easily the most popular hike in Big Sur.

Four Down......

"{366} Photographic Journal"

At the beginning of April I was pretty pleased with the photos I was churning out. As it stands now, It's been some what of a struggle for me to finish up the month. I've had a time going through the vacation photos - good and bad, which has put me severely behind. But I am finally done with April.

My worst fear came to fruition this month, I forgot to take a photo! The day in particular was when we were going to California, I suppose that the traveling threw me off, and I simply forgot. I was so mad at myself, over and over, I would say "I can't believe I ruined it!?", and Cody would say, "It's not the end of the world." I felt like it was at the time, I made up for it ten fold while we were in Big Sur. Looking back, it wasn't that big of a deal.

In all honesty, May has been even more of a struggle. I just haven't been really motivated to take any photos, so the next batch may be a little uninspired. As always, I just want to thank you all for the tremendous amount of support you supply - it means the world to me!

{366} April

1. Overview of Brookshire Park, 2. Cherry Tree Blossom, 3. Everlasting, 4. Morning Whisper, 5. Manfrotto, 6. A Path, 7. Guide to Big Sur, 8. Inner Fire, 9. Bleached Blossom, 10. Moser in the Morning, 11. Catnappers, 12. Residual Satisfaction, 13. Ely Pea Pie, 14. Frosty Flower, 15. I Love Gifts in the Mail: TERESA, 16. Sunny Weather, 17. Bird: First Try, 18. Ray of Sunshine, 19. Stepping Stones, 20. Sleepytime Entourage, 21. So many lists......., 22. Earth Day Festivities, 23. Sweet Potato Fries, 24. Absentmindedness #115, 25. Oceanic Introduction, 26. Crossing that Bridge, 27. Possibilities, 28. Don't Get Wet!, 29. Big Creek Bridge, 30. Carmel Mission Gate
*Clicking on the above links will take you to larger photo in Flickr*

~My Favorites from APRIL~

Well, I guess that I had a lot more favorites than I thought!

From the beginning:
{366} Photographic Journal

...:::Domed Dwellings:::..

California : Big Sur : Treebones Resort

We spoiled ourselves way to early on this trip. Through no real fault of our own, though, things just happened the way the were meant to. I'll explain: in an attempt to let go and allow the trip to govern itself, I had the bright idea to go to Big Sur, California without making any reservations for our accommodations. It is no real surprise that I tend to have some control issues when it comes to planning, sometimes, I overdo it! But with this trip, I wanted to fly by the seat of my pants, and let things happen more naturally.

After we left Santa Cruz, we were headed toward Big Sur to seek out a campsite for the evening. Little did we know that it was going to be such a challenge. From everything I read, I found that the time we were going to be there was during the off-season, which was supposed to make it easier.

After stopping at a few different campsites with no luck, we decided to stop at Treebones Resort. I remembered that they had campsites, albeit at a hefty price, but at this point, we were desperate! Now just so you know, when I first began planning our trip I had my heart set on staying at the resort, but blew it off because of their 2 night minimum rule. The accommodations at this resort are pretty pricey, and at a two night minimum, well, we just decided to stick with camping instead to keep our costs low. Seeing the resorts perched on top of the cliff overlooking the ocean was a treat in and of itself, but what wasn't so great was, being told that they didn't have any campsites available—DANG!

Sunset @ Treebones

Luckily for us, they had just received a cancellation on yurt # 7, and promptly handed us a map so that we could go take a look. We took off running since there was a couple behind us who would have been next in line if we decided to keep looking elsewhere. Being as though we were so drained, and I wanted to stay there from the beginning, it really wasn't a hard sell! Upon returning to the desk, I wanted to get my questions out of the way, 1.) Could we just get it for one night? 2.) How much?! I was happy to know that, in fact, they would allow us to have it for just one night, but the price, oh vey, the price was not what I had in mind, but what the hay, let's do it!

Fisheye Yurt

So now the question arises, what the heck is a YURT?!?! To give you a simple answer, it's sort of a round semi-permanent tent-like structure. A better explanation would be to tell you that, originally they were, and still are, portable dwellings used by nomads. Instead of spending a lot of time explaining it to you, why don't I just show you!!

Now, I only had the idea to do a video right before we were getting ready to leave, so the room isn't exactly as it was. I love how you can hear the birds chirping in the background, but I don't like how you can hear me breathing into the mic.......haha oh, well.

See photos of the inside: HERE

It was like a little ewok village with about 16 other domed abodes. It was quite a task getting our belongings to the yurt, but they provided a nice little wagon with beefy tires to transport everything. I really liked how there was only a walking path around the village, it helped you to stay more in tune with nature.

B&W Yurt Village

The panoramic ocean views were spectacular from up there. And our little yurt had a full ocean view!

Morning @ Treebones
(this wasn't our yurt)

After showering in the community bath house—that's the thing, the yurts didn't have private baths (but I didn't mind)—we had dinner in the lodge. The restaurant within the resort requires that you pre-order dinner from the fixed menu (if you want to eat). So, at the time you chose, you show up at the restaurant, and wait for them to bring it out to you—no waiting around, it was great!

Dinner @ Treebones
(Veggie Lasagna For Technodoll)

Inside Lodge
Inside the Lodge

The lodge had a wonderful community feel to it, and the staff was super friendly—I didn't want to leave! Next time, I want to stay in a yurt the entire time :o) Another cool thing about Treebones Resort is that they are off the grid, meaning that they generate their own power. The resort also has its own well, and everything is powered by propane-fueled turbines; the heat produced in the process is used to warm water and some of the yurts. Several, including ours, had gas fireplaces. Man, I wanna go back there right now!

Cody and I have thought about getting some land and buying one of our own. These were not very big, but they make some really nice ones for an affordable price that are much larger. Staying there gave us an idea of what it would be like to have one of our own. They definitely held up against some fierce winds the night we stayed, I seriously thought the roof was going to blow right off!

Sorry for such a looooooooong post, I know some folks will appreciate it though :o)

Our First Hike in California

California : Big Sur : Partington Cove

One of Many
One of Many

Inviting Path

This was our warm-up hike, and one that stands out in my mind as the coolest. Not that I don't have a monstrous amount of photos that are equally as cool from other hikes, but a TUNNEL!?!?! I mean, seriously that's pretty dang cool. haha Other than being "cool" the tunnel did serve a purpose at some point in time. Around the turn of the nineteenth century this tunnel was used to reach a loading point in which mules hauled tanbark to.

Partington Cove Tunnel
Partington Cove Tunnel

While walking through the 60 foot tunnel, the past transpires with each and every step; I can't help but think about how many others have traveled between these walls decade after decade.

Inside Tunnel
Inside the Tunnel

After exiting the tunnel you follow a winding path semi-open to the cove on your left, complete with a kelp forest below. The path ends at a wooden bench to overlook the pacific ocean and surrounding cliffs. You'll also notice something that is a little out of place, two tall pieces of wood embedded into the edge of the cliff that form a pinnacle.


The old hoist station was used to load cargo, lumber, and tanning bark. As you can see in the photo, Cody isn't paying attention to the beware sign, but that's not half as bad as the locals that were hanging out around the corner - very bad influences, indeed.


After backtracking, and strolling back through the tunnel, you take a fork in the trail down to a scenic rocky beach. As dorky as it sounds, I was so amazed to see the the river racing to reach the ocean. Never in my life have I seen a river meet the ocean, it was a wondrous sight - for me at least.

Where the River Flows
Where the River Flows

All in all it was a pretty steep little trail, especially on the way out. But at just one mile, it was well worth the effort. Amazing at it sounds, this was just one hike of three that we did on the first day. I couldn't bear just posting a couple photos of each hike done on that Sunday, so I just decided to do them all separately. By the time I'm done telling you all about the trip, you might just be sick of it all?!?! haha In the end, it is really going to help me get the material together so that I can make a photobook as a vacation keepsake. There is still so much more to share! Stay Tuned......

If you're interested, there are a few more photos from this hike - HERE