Idyllwild, CA – ’09

jared and i just visited idyllwild this weekend so i thought it would be fun to share a travel installment from the first time we went there four years ago! i’m not exactly sure why or how we decided to go to idyllwild that time, but we had so much fun that we’ve been twice since! we don’t do winter sports, we love quaint small towns and it’s only 1.5 hours away. we brought chains just in case, but since we’re newbs to driving in snow we didn’t know how to put them on. turns out that by the time we got up there it was already dark and there was snow and ice everywhere. so, in the dark and in falling snow, we pulled over and jared worked on putting on the chains for the first time. we couldn’t really figure it out and about 5 miles down the road one of them fell off. so then, in the dark and the falling snow we had to go hunting for our fallen chain. we found it, put it on again, lost it two more times, put it on two more times and finally made our destination.

we found these little cabins that are so fun! they are a little ghetto inside, but the outside is really cute and they have a wood burning fireplace! we were especially just happy to be there finally and not driving anymore. and there was falling snow!!!! i can count on one hand the times i’ve seen falling snow in my life (my favorite being on another trip i’ll blog about later) and so it’s pretty exciting for us to experience it 🙂 that night we heard all sorts of wildlife having a party…love the forest!

in the morning, we awoke to a winter wonderland. it was seriously magical! i liken it to the feeling people get when they see the ocean for the first time. the back door to our cabin opened up to a virtually untouched hill of pure snow full of animal prints, evidence of the noises we heard all night. we ended up making snow angels back there, something we hadn’t done since childhood.

this was definitely a first. good thing we were staying one more night and didn’t have to deal with this until the next day!

seriously…amazing! the powder from the night before softly falling through the air. a beautiful taste of heaven.

 hmm, really smokey?

i kinda want to live here someday so that i can have my name on a sign, how fun!

suicide rock

playing in the snow! that’s right, we wore our snow pants all weekend! [being married, you always have to prepare for a snowball or getting tackled in the snow]

this bear looks awesome with a fanny pack. reminds me of the time we thought it would be funny to try to bring fanny packs back…[future blog post] 😉

along with enjoying the beauty and wonder of the snow and forest, we thoroughly enjoyed the funky shops in this town. there are some seriously awesome things for sale, like this!

or these…

but i think our very favorite thing was people watching. anyone ever watch the show portlandia? we kinda think that people believe that the dream of the 90’s is alive in idyllwild 🙂

also, notice the top right photo below…that is jack nicholson…well so we thought. i even posted this to get opinions from people and it was about 60/40 that it WAS him. well a year after we went on this trip, we went again and were bragging to someone in the coffee shop that ‘we saw jack nicholson last year when we were up here’. the guy who we told said, ‘no you didn’t, that guy is a local here and everyone thinks it’s him but it’s not’. embarrassing!! haha. and recently some of our photographer friends told us the same thing, and that apparently he buys into it and lets people take pictures with him and buy him drinks. so look out for nack jicholson [that’s what we’re calling the fake jack nicholson] if you’re ever up there 🙂

on the way back down the hill, we built a snowman on the car to see how long it would last 🙂 surprisingly it lasted quite a while (see video below)! 

had to pull over and mocktography these guys! so so random! since we were back up there this weekend, we wondered if we’d see these guys again, but sadly they are gone. good thing we stopped when we did!
 and here’s the silly video we made of this trip. yup, we’re total dorks and here’s the proof:

Winneweer, Holland – ’09

holland…or the netherlands…discovering my roots! i’m half dutch and still have some relatives over here so we went to visit 🙂

here are some excerpts from my travel journal:

one phrase to sum up this leg of our journey – lost in translation

we took the train from berlin to gronigen where we accidently got off a stop too early. we called tante dicky [my great aunt] but i guess she only gave me her home phone number so we started fast walking to the next station 2km away. when we got there, we found her and oom henk a little worried. i guess they had called us over the p.a… embarrassing! We drove to winneweer from there, settled into our room which was their finished attic and rested. in the afternoon they took us on a drive. we went to the harbor and saw a couple ‘tall boats’ that were coming from around the world for a festival. we also drove through EVERY village along the way to check out their churches and surrounding buildings. the next day, we saw the farm where my opa met my oma [grandpa and grandma], where my opa went to school and where he went to church. we also got to meet my second cousin and got to (were forced to) sit in his big rig (it’s kind of a big deal so we just went along for the ride, ha!) we also took a bike ride around the beautiful little town and saw a graveyard where some of the family is buried. tante dicky makes homemade liquor and so we enjoyed that while trying to figure out why there are two names for the country. they must have explained it 3 times and we still can’t figure it out. that, along with some other explanations, were definitely lost in translation. but that’s the beauty of traveling and adventuring. you can’t always figure out what’s going on, but you enjoy the ride!

btw, the picture below is straight, but the buildings and roads are so old that they are sinking!

my aunt and uncle’s house, isn’t it beautiful!! i LOVE LOVE their backyard but have to keep reminding myself that this was in the middle of summer so i’m sure i wouldn’t love it in the middle of winter 🙂



where it all started…if you’ve seen my facebook album full of what we call mocktography, you should know that it started way back in 2004. i was living abroad and before long, photos of statues and just posing and smiling became quite boring. i honestly don’t remember how we thought of it, but it became a hobby of ours, and jared and i have run with it. so here’s a few mock photos of when it all began.

we always enjoyed making other people pose to be part of the collection too 🙂

stay tuned for more fine art mocktography

where it all began..

we used to have this game called geo-safari when we were kids. my brothers and i got so good at the game that when the tv show where in the world is carmen san diego, started, we were in heaven! we wanted to be on that show and actually go to all those places they talked about.

but my love for travel did not start there, it started when we were pretty young and we had our first exchange student. she piqued my brother and my interests in traveling. we had exchange students every year for years from sweden, norway, denmark, france, holland, portugal, morocco,  and australia. we would talk to them any chance we got, learn how to count to 10 in their languages, and make fun of their eating habits (pizza and fried chicken with a fork and knife, don’t you know we eat with our hands!)

the first trip i took out of the country was by myself for five weeks, i went to australia to visit 5 exchange students. i saved all my babysitting money and went, and i was hooked. i was awed by God’s creation in a place i’d never seen or even dreamed of really. i enjoyed the culture, learning the differences in our versions of english, and seeing that the world was much bigger than a 15 year old could even imagine. i knew i had to see more, and learn more, and this is where it all began.

ALSO – do please notice my awesome fashion choices! oh wait, i had no idea how to dress myself for the better part of my life…

Glastonbury, CT – ’12

on the connecticut leg of our new england adventure we decided to stay at a place called butternut farm. i found the place online ahead of time and it sounded quaint and fun. turned out it was slightly creepy and were weren’t 100% sure we were going to ever leave once we got there. it did grow on us though and the owner is a very sweet man, don.

as much as i love animals, i’ve never really had much luck with geese, they always attack me…

so when we first arrived, we met the owner and a few other house guests who were leaving. they were in the sitting room and offered us wine right off the bat. so we put our bags away and hung out with them. then they left and we were the only ones staying there that night. we wandered around the house a bit, and yikes…lots of stuffed animals and more pelts than are generally acceptable for one house.

he had these two cats which were really sweet but super needy…and we were very allergic to them!

in case you were wondering, yes, that’s a real dead stuffed bird in that cage…

signed the guest book 🙂

ahhh, we’re going to be eaten alive!!!

here’s our room, and when we were shown the room, he said ‘here’s a little sherry to help you sleep’

love the old school calendar with us written in! actually, in order to book him in the first place, i had to call to reserve the date, and then send him a check!

meeting some new friends as always, they were much friendlier than the geese!

we also got to have dinner with my friend from high school and her husband who happened to live 15 minutes away! of course we forgot to take pictures though 🙁 the next day as we were leaving, don said ‘you come into my life, and then you leave me’ – guess he just absolutely loves running a b&b, most people get burned out but he’s been doing it over 30 years.

we wandered around the town and surrounding fields and river, very pretty 🙂

Seattle, WA – ’11

one of the places in the US that we both always wanted to go was seattle, so we took another random trip.

our main goals were to find the fremont troll and to have coffee in as few starbucks as possible..

this was the view from our hotel!!! so legit. and just a bike ride away from the downtown area. we did ride bikes there and discovered that washington has a bike helmet law for everyone so we were nerdy tourists with our helmets and cameras.

there’s me taking photos and then the photos i took below!

i had always heard of the gum wall in SLO but have never been to it, apparently there’s one here too. it was just as gross and awesome as you would expect!

we found the first starbucks, just to take a pic but then went and had coffee somewhere else. i can’t believe how many starbucks there are in this dang city!! we did achieve our goal though and found quite a few cute shops to have coffee.

sometimes on trips we get sick of eating out, so we have to find other ways to have meals…and we always bring a laptop with plenty to watch, this time dollhouse

ooh, look! i touched the space needle!

and jared is holding it

and our other goal: achieved! the troll is awesome!

this was in a bathroom

jared, nerding it up in front of google

and fun architecture! yippee!

we drove to some of the other areas surrounding seattle as well, cool places to live and to skip rocks, which if you are wondering, is just as awesome as it used to be. you should do it soon.