Unfocused

Have you ever sat down to do one thing and end up somewhere else? Of course you have. Well that is what I am going through, therefore my ability to blog has been stymied.

It seems like just the other day that I planned to write about my last minute plans to just get in the car and get away from the Sacramento heat. And we did. I just booked a room at Half Moon Bay, and off we went. Coming from 100 degree heat to 65 degrees felt good. Thought I might be cold, and I brought along a sweatshirt, but never felt the need to wear it. The weather was overcast, the air still, and dry.

Lovely Public Art found along Redondo Beach in Half Moon Bay

Beach scenes along the San Mateo coastline.

Wildflowers along the cliff at Redondo Beach
Sam’s Chowder House – Good food, nice views, but no sunsets.

Downtown HMB has an artsy touristy vibe. One art studio is dedicated to the creation of art. Last time we were here it wasn’t open. This time I was able to explore.

Doris Williams, harpist, staging angel, and breath coach posed for this photo Go to her website for more info.
Crochet Graffiti Squid
Mural supported by local city and businesses abound.

Funny, but after a couple of days I was looking for some sunshine. So we headed south to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. Lots of sun, carnival games, fast food, and street photo opportunities with my Fuji x100f!

On the way back to HMB we stopped and watched some kite surfing!
Pillar Point Marina

Anyway, back to my thinking being all over the place. Going to HMB I was thinking of exploring the possibility of getting a small vacation home/condo, but after our 5 day stay decided, not for us. Food was good, but I did not get the feeling that I would want to stay long-term. Felt good to return home. My husband met his siblings in Las Vegas for a couple of days. Don’t think Las Vegas will be calling our name soon. He did make it over the New York, New York and I think that an east coast trip is inevitable (if only for the deli delights). Went to AAA and got tour books to the east coast from Washington DC all the way to Maine, from Tennessee (grandson lives in Knoxville) to Indiana (David’s sister lives in Indianapolis). Some air travel, some car time. I haven’t been east in a while, and I haven’t visited the east coast in the fall.

May have to take a trip up the hill to Lake Tahoe, and see if a cabin/condo will be a place for a small vacation home. No ocean though. Close to home for a getaway, cheaper real estate than the coast, and things to do.

Forgetting real estate for now I turned to genealogy. My family tree is growing, but I am not sure what my focus should be. It is said that as a detective you should have “a question” you want answered. My second cousin has concluded his investigation of my father’s paternal side of the family. He has a trunk full of information that I need to transfer to my house. Hence another reason to get to the Long Island. I would at least like to put a photograph with as many family members as I can. All of Lawrence’s work was done without benefit of computer. Amazing. My father’s side both paternal (16 aunts & uncles) and maternal (8) were large families. They lived in Krakow, Poland for centuries. Of course the town of Krakow changed hands many times. I guess I will learn some more European history. One question I have is to what extent did the Holocaust affect the family? I am also looking at how the family member’s earned a living. I have much less information about my mother’s side of the family. I know that her mother had a large family, but I can only trace back to my great grandparents. I would like to fill out more of this side of the family lost. “Never Forget!”

Max, my daughter’s 9 year old Pomeranian stayed with us last weekend. He was an easy visitor. For a small teacup sized dog he has a wonderful temperament. Happy, not yappy, and uncomplicated. Max visited once the previous week for a short while, and remarkably felt right at home both inside and outside. He did watch the door for his family to return but did not seen unduly anxious.

Dogs welsomed in HMB

This time I realized that what I truly missed was having my dog. Libby was my first dog, and she was a wonderful Labrador retriever. But I can see that a small to medium size dog would be a better fit. I searched all the dog breeds, of which there are plenty and thought about what I need. I know I have enough energy to train a puppy. It has been a while so I started to review what that entails. I am sure that I want a trained companion. A dog that I can pick up is necessary. I am looking for a friendly, outgoing dog who likes to accompany me on outings. Looking at a smaller dog brings my list down to the following: Labradoodle (small – medium sized), Cocker Spaniel, French bulldog, Nova Scotia Duck Trolling Retriever. So many choices, so many breeders.

I spoke to my vet, and asked about a Lagotto Romanolo, and a labradoodle. She did not know about a Lagotto, but she has a labradoodle. Just check out breeder. Making a decision about a breeder is now harder with the Internet. All breeders have the same exact rules, information, and policies. No home visits (keep pups safe and healthy), place deposit before pups are born, pups are picked in order of deposit placed. Just get to see puppy place when the pups are 6 weeks, go home date is 8 weeks. Priced the same. So I asked to speak to previous buyers, and get information there.

After much thought I found a Australian Labradoodle breeder about 2 hours away. I spoke to and met some dogs from this breeder, and I feel comfortable connecting with her. To adopt a pup from her will require patience on my part. She doesn’t plan on breeding new pups until early 2020. Another alternative would be to adopt from a breeder nearby. I also spoke to previous buyers, and it looks like that may be a way to go. She will have pups this fall. This breeder is younger, and age may have been a factor when I first spoke to her. So the time may be sooner.

This is a long term commitment. I still have the energy to raise a puppy, and most probably will be my last puppy I will train if I am honest with myself. This is why I don’t plan to rescue a dog this time. I want to understand the temperment, and train the dog from the start. I guess my age is starting to factor in to my plans going forward. I’m practical. That in itself is enough to focus on in an unfocused mind.

But I did manage to blog today. Yeah!

And so the story goes.

Pacific Grove here we come!

A couple of weeks ago we took the opportunity to head to Pacific Grove. Just a quick getaway for our 49th anniversary.

These two were engrossed in conversation. The light was right, and I took the shot.

Breakfast stop at Starbucks

Usually we stop near Gilroy to get some Bing Cherries. With the long rainy season the crop of Bings were delayed. All the end of season rain did not help with this crop.

Got some cherries, just not Bings.
Split cherries

Arrived in Monterey, and decided to explore Fisherman’s Wharf.

Boats awaiting destinations.
Tourists passing street musician.
Interesting way to repurpose a parking meter.
Getting hungry. Tempted with clam chowder.
Cute face!
Life altering copping! We needed to see what this was all about.
Great lunch/dinner. Not sure how my life has been altered? But my tummy was satisfied!
Got so busy eating that I didn’t catch a photo of the cioppino.
Had to grab this sign at another eating establishment. A whole lot of NO!
More street photography from Fisherman’s Wharf.

Our lodging this time was near Asilomar Beach.

The next day we decided to spend in Pacific Grove. Our grab and go breakfast did not make the cut. We went looking for something to eat.

Kind of a running joke. Often we enter somewhere new and follow signs that promise “Information”. But we usually find this not a very helpful way to go.
Interesting sign tells everyone not to play with wind chimes. But where are they? A little late, or did they remove them for safe keeping.
Peeking through the lattice.
Haircut Time!

Many buildings have found new purpose in Pacific Grove. The landmark store now is home to many businesses. This gas station has found a different kind of customer.

After walking along main street in Pacific Grove we head out to Lover’s Point. Sea Gulls and squirrels are unafraid of people.

I’ll pose for you!

Walking along I found some objects to capture my attention.

Got so close to these squirrels with my Fuji xt2 18-55mm lens.

No extra cropping necessary. We just watched each other.
Pretty soon another squirrel joined the party.
Lover’s Point overlooks Monterey Bay.

Watching season 2 of Big Little Lies. Looking for location shots.

Oh, to live near the water!

Ready for an afternoon snack. Belgium Waffle ordered and eaten.

Two forks. We shared this tiny waffle.

Caught a couple more images, and we head back to cottage to relax before dinner at The Fishwife.

Goodbye Pacific Grove. Time to drive home.

Driving next to us while we wait in traffic. Don’t want to end up like these cars.

Fun getaway. Guess I need to plan some more. Where do you like to go when you have a couple of days?

Back to Nature in Kauai

Exotic Hibiscus Flower

For such a small Island I can say that five days left us little time with nothing to photograph. Each day we found a new area to see, and new things to photograph.

Up on the North shore Kilauea and Hanalei were an eye catching treat to explore. Weather was cooler, and changeable. Due to some storms last year roads past Hanalei were washed out. On my last visit I had a private docent led tour by my daughter-in-law of the Limahuli Garden  Perhaps, next time.

Approaching the Kilauea Lighthouse



My friend with her long lens finally got to capture images of the birds of Kauai. I tried, but quickly found other things of interest. Without long lenses, and strong arms to hold said lens, I look for things that are possible with the tools I can carry.

Meet the yellow garden spider. Aside from the wind, this spider stays still for a photo opportunity.

Yellow Garden Spider

The Nene is the official bird of Hawaii. I even caught a photo of it young.

Nene, official Hawaiian bird

Nene young

The views from this spot are spectacular. I so enjoyed visiting the north shore.

Rain started up, and we continued on to Hanalei, our selected lunch spot. But oh so fabulous a landscape.

View of Hanalei Bay


Waioli Huiia Church

Capturing some of the flowers here on Kauai. For some of these we stopped at a nursery where we could get close to our subject.

When I’m in Hawaii I like to take in a luau. The garden setting is lovely. A tram ride tour started us off.

Plenty of roosters
Smith Family Garden Luau is a family business. Now four generations continue the tradition started 50 years ago

Kalua pig roasted in an imu oven starts the ceremonial tradition. Followed by song and dance show. Not to easy to capture. I used my Fuji with a 35mm f1.4 lens and we had good seats!

I’m leaving the last bit of this photo tour for another day! Hope you enjoy the images as an arm chair traveler!



Kauai – Looking for Water on the Coconut Coast

The last time I visited the Garden Isle I spent much time at the beach visiting my son and daughter-in-law. This time photography pushed us to explore, explore, explore. There are 4 distinct areas to visit. West Side: Waimea Canyon and Hanapepe, North Shore: Kiluea, Hanalei and Princeville, East Side: Coconut Coast – Lihu’e, Wailua and Kapa’a, and South Shore: Koloa, and sunny Po’ipu.

Surrounded by ocean, with waterfalls and rivers interspersed there is no shortage of water. Landscapes full of green provide much appreciated photo opportunities. Especially when you travel from California after a summer of drought.

Opaika’a Falls enhanced by cloud cover
Looking for a closer view, a longer and heavier lens might do!

Our trusty Nissan rental provided our only means of transportation. Maybe if I return I may plan a trip down the river by boat. Not being able to get close to the waterfall kind of took away some of the excitement for me.

Wailua River found on the other side of Opaika’a Falls.

On to our next waterfall of the morning.

Beginning of a muddy trail to find the Secret Waterfalls
Meeting a much younger and experience hikers returning, I decide the Secret Waterfalls will remain as such. My friends and I enjoy the jungle atmosphere.
Looking out from the jungle path is a clearing with goats and bird friends.
Muddy, broken flip flops abandoned by a more adventurous hiker.

Lunch in Kapa’a at Bubba’s Burgers and a quick stop at Kapa’a Beach. Ocean

Plenty of wait time. Amusing signs always capture my attention.
Wild ocean waves on Kapa’a Beach

Last stop of the day is the Wailua Waterfalls. Picturesque, but did not get my heart thumping like Niagara Falls. What can I say.

Wailua Waterfalls
Amused to watch selfies be taken.
I guess this sign does not apply to the lizard attached!

This ends the exploration of the Coconut Coast. Didn’t photograph any coconuts. I understand that this side of the Island has groves of coconuts. Something to see, next time?