‘Hobbiton’, New Zealand – ’10

so this is a story about how two people tend to be really really last minute with trip planning…and how this particular trip was so last minute that they didn’t even tell anyone they were going.

we were, in fact we were so busy with weddings in 2010 that our 9 days in a row that we had free that whole summer really crept up on us. so we talked about where we wanted to go [everywhere] and narrowed it down to peru and new zealand. peru is closer but when we priced them out, new zealand was much more affordable and faster to get to! so a week before we left, we bought our tickets and headed down under.

the photos below are a bit of a tease unfortunately because we can’t post many of our hobbiton photos until both the hobbit movies come out which i believe will be 2013…boo. ‘hobbiton’ is a working sheep farm in matamata. they found the location for the lotr movies by flying over it in helicopter. they asked the owner if they could work something out to use this as a set for the films. the neat thing is that the owner kept the ‘hobbit holes’ up for people to come visit. we expected to see what you see here, stripped down, but we got a real treat when we realized they were already dressing the set for the hobbit movies which is why we aren’t allowed to post the photos yet.

so we showed up after making a reservation for the tour and it was pouring rain…ya know…their winter. luckily they had boots for us to wear and better umbrellas than we had! turns out we were the only, yes the only people on the tour. this is not the first time i’ve accidentally had a tour all to myself but that’s another story. anyway, we awkwardly hopped in the tour bus and listened to an older man mumble in his kiwi accent for an hour or so as he led us through the town. we were able to wander out and go inside the houses (which i’ll post in two years if the world hasn’t ended). but then it got a little more awkward as we realized that the tour wasn’t over. since it’s a working sheep farm we got to have our very own personal sheep shearing demonstration! yippee. i even got to feed the lambs their bottles, hahaha. this was not our first experience with sheep on a trip either, but that’s another story…

our super nerdy van…just for the two of us and our tour guide, who used the microphone and speakers, haha

our tour guide showing us still frames from the lotr movies

the party tree!

time for sheep shearing…turns out the guy had been to the states a few times so we chatted about that before we got down to business

love his shoes, so authentic!

they are pretty cute, they wag their tails like dogs πŸ™‚

travel photography, new zealand, hobbiton, hobbiton new zealand, sheep shearing, travel portraits

Krystina & Mike – Engaged – San Diego Photography

Hope everyone had a great Valentine week, spending it with people you love. I thought this would be a good time to post a cute couple getting married this year. They are friends of Amy and Ryan, we did their trash the dress last year.

enjoy these engagement photos!

there’s a little bit of a rivalry going on with these two πŸ™‚

congrats you two! have a great wedding πŸ™‚

salvation mountain – ’09

here’s another travel from ’09 a little closer to home. we decided for our 2nd anniversary that we would do the same thing as our first anniversary, camping in julian. one of the days we decided to do a day trip to the salton sea. we’d been there before, and i’ll post pics of that at some point. this time, we drove around the entire sea and found this gem (with a little tip from our friends at zelophoto).

this guy leonard broke down here in the 80’s, felt that it was meant to be and decided to not only stay but also build on and paint the hillside. he gets donations of paint and bales of hay and this is his creation…enjoy!

we got a pic with leonard, he’s a pretty sweet old guy, i was already on the ‘tour’ when he grabbed my arm and asked me to join the tour…two different times, haha

**2012 update: leonard no longer lives on the mountain, he’s now in a home and others are protecting his work of art:Β http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/sep/27/hoping-to-save-salvation-mountain/Β glad we met him when we had the chance πŸ™

it’s surprisingly sturdy!

i love that we caught him checking his mail, does the mail really come all the way out to the middle of nowhere?!