Central Coast Fall

I got up to San Luis Obispo twice for back-to-back weekends. The first occasion was to celebrate October Birthdays, this included some time at the horses and a new-to-me hike in SLO. Mia got back on the saddle of her horse, George, to show his manner and perhaps have a new owner take over his care - a perfect match due to the limited time he gets ridden currently. 

The second weekend was for a trip we’ve talked about for years. My mom made the drive down to Paso Robles and we all met up to go wine tasting. The biggest highlight was a private tour through Steinbeck Vineyards on a 1958 Jeep by the 80-year old owner of the land. It felt special to get a history lesson from Howie as he cruised through the land and stopped for us to try different grapes. We also visited Scuplterrea which as the name may give away, has a some sculptures (Lots of photos below).

L&L In Tulum

Tulum, which is a 2-hour drive south of Cancun on the Eastern coastline of Mexico, was a special place to our friends Leif and Lily (L&L for short). They chose to have their wedding there and invited tons of friends and family from around the world. Mia and I fortunately were able to go a couple days prior to most guests arrival and had a brief vacation at a hotel called, Mi Amor. We showed up around 3pm from a full day of travel and the only room left was unoccupied because the AC unit was being replaced, but still in progress. Fortunately it seemed to be the room with the best balcony and view of the ocean. We waited happily with some complimentary beverages and food while unwinding from the flying and driving to get to Tulum. All was good, the next day we rode bikes to the Mayan Ruins in Tulum, which was impressive to see, although it was a tourist-heavy place. The days go by quick in Tulum. You wake up, each hotel we saw has really cool healthy restaurants and exclusive beach areas for their guests, for relaxation without enormous resorts, this is probably the easiest and coolest town to be in. Historically, Tulum began it’s popularity by being a yoga retreat town. That vibe still exists, but it also has a surf-town main road of restaurants, bars, clubs, shops, and spas. The water feels about 80 degrees and yes the seaweed is famously a problem there, people spend all day trying to clean up the beaches only to start all over again the next day.

The wedding was essentially a 3-day long, super mellow hang out between 70 friends and family. Most hotels have between 12-20 rooms, and our closest friends occupied all of them at Sanara where the wedding took place, so people we knew were everywhere all the time, it was a ton of fun.

Disclaimer - the humidity, abundant sand everywhere, and my constant state of mild intoxication were factors influencing me not to have had my camera out a lot, so below is what I did photograph plus a couple of iPhone photos from friends.

Summer Slideshow

From the end of July through September, there have been so many little trips and gatherings that I wanted to put on my blog. The photos below are from various activities through the end of summer. I was able to accept an opportunity for a new job, a pivot from what I’ve been doing over 9 years and able to (hopefully) grow many more career benefiting qualities while applying my experience to help others. With the job change, I took a week off and visited family in the Bay Area, that’s where the park playground activities took place. We got to celebrate a birthday for our friend Molly in Malibu with almost all of the attendees wearing blue and walking out to Pt Dume. Mia’s college roommate Laura and her husband Shaun and their black lab met up with us for breakfast and some chill time in El Segundo at a park. I bought a used longboard designed in a way that I’ve been wanting for a long time, to re-learn surfing in the longboard, nose riding style. I got to go to Half Moon Bay and walk around town and the Ritz golf course with my mom as an escape from the summer heat inland. There was a quick trip to SLO and I finally tried some long-exposure beach shots. There was another special birthday for our friend Kait which was celebrated at a rental house in Carpenteria right on the sand. Then, for my first week of work at the new company, I got to travel to Denver to their headquarters. I was able to arrive Sunday afternoon and walked around downtown, which is super cool and photogenic with perfect summer heat-wave weather. As you can probably tell, there’s been a lot going on. Hope you enjoy the wrap up in pictures.

Massachusetts

We got to go to a wedding for a friend, Caroline (picture below with the dogs) which was in Cape Cod, MA. We were even luckier that we had a couple days off to extend the trip and hang out with Nick & Jen in Boston (again, we visiting a year ago). We took a red-eye which was dragging us down a little upon arrival until we started to meet up with friends - it was a great crew attending this wedding - and the celebrations lasted for 2 straight days. Cape Cod is a wonderful place, especially in the summer. The town was old and the houses were huge, the beaches were very different from Southern California (trucked-in sand, lots of open space), and most things about the time there were charming and fun. The day after the wedding we drove back to Boston with Kait and Kevin, stopped in Plymouth for food - and as the hangovers wained we reached Nick and Jen’s place. They took us to the waterfront on the Charles for sunset and enjoyed a local beer / home-baked bread picnic on the docks. It was picture perfect. That night Nick and Jen taught us all about mezcal from their recent trip to Oaxaca, and unknowingly convinced me that I need to go. We all sampled mezcal from their trip and caught up. They took us up to a lake north-west of Boston before our flight back to LA the next day.

Now, a month later, I’m still processing some of the activities and fun that was able to be packed into about 3.5 half days.

Lake Tahoe Wedding

I got to go up to Lake Tahoe with Mia and her extended family for the wedding of her cousin, Russel who married Deborah. We hung out a lot in Incline Village in north Lake Tahoe and the wedding was held at Deborah's fathers house on the lake. It was a beautiful setting and a ton of fun being there. The weather was perfect all weekend and I took advantage of it as much as I could. Sure I might have left sleep deprived, but at least I packed a lot of activity into 2 full days. 

Below are photos in order of events - We flew up Friday afternoon, rented a car in Reno and got to the house rental in Incline Village and quickly got over to the rehearsal dinner. After that, we had to get in the lake for a late-night dip. I actually couldn't sleep that night, so I was up before dawn and drove around taking pictures and getting eating by bugs, followed by a hike up the State Line fire road overlooking the California and Nevada border in north Tahoe. Saturday was wedding day, obviously an awesome setting for it on the water with a dock. The newlyweds even went out for a fast speed boat loop between the wedding and reception. There's a photo of Russel stepping in as bartender at the end of the night, which was basically my last non-fuzzy memory... thanks, Russel. 

Sunday was off to a slow start and we hung out at Incline Beach in perfect summer lake weather. Mia and I drove to the Ritz Carlton at Northstar in Truckee just to make the most of our short weekend trip and walked around the grounds and had a nice early birthday dinner celebrating Mia at one of the restaurants there. Being at a ski resorts in the summer is awesome, it's not crowded, the air is fresh and the views are spectacular, but we definitely want to make a trip back now in the winter. We got up before dawn Monday morning to hurry to the airport and catch a 7:20am flight. The last picture was in Truckee during the sunrise, of an unusual looking thin layer of fog settled in a valley.

Ojai Heat Wave

Record high temperatures were forecasted for Los Angeles, hovering around 96 at the beach - which is insane - and 118 in land. We knew there was no escaping it and staying on the beach would have been unbearable. Luckily, we got to to Ojai and meet up with Mia's family. This was my first time back with my new camera so I made sure to get up pre-sunrise Saturday and I hike up a trail overlooking the Ojai valley. There were intense devastating fires throughout this area in December but the valley and many of the homes were spared. We saw evidence of this when we camped here a couple months ago at Wheeler Gorge. The sunrise wasn't great but photos are below. It was 80 degrees at 5:30am and I spent the rest of the day trying to stay cool inside and by a pool. I was so lucky for the opportunity to get away from the boat for the weekend and enjoy a little vacation.

This is actually the first time I tried taking nighttime photos with my new camera and the different is remarkable compared to the older smaller camera sensor. I’m pleased with it. Can you spot the rabbit in the night photo?

May-June Catchup

In the slideshow below, it shows some of the events in the last few weekends. The highlights were that Mia and I celebrated a 5-year anniversary since we had out first date. We went to Laguna Beach, hung out at thousand-steps beach and stayed at the Laguna Beach Inn. I didn't take a lot of pictures except for in a really cool bell-tower on the property of the Inn. The weather was pretty gloomy after a sunny beach day, which was perfect.

Another weekend, Matt, Julia and Andy flew down from San Francisco and we all met up at my dad's. It was the first time my dad got to meet his grandson and a really special weekend hanging out both Saturday and Sunday. There was a weekend to visit Sierra Madre and celebrate Mia's cousin, Sydney, graduation from UCLA with her PHD. It was a big all-day party with friends and family. For me personally, it felt like two worlds colliding with Mia's family and our friend group all in the same place hanging out, it was a ton of fun. There are some photos of people throwing the little parachute-men from a balcony, but I promise there was a lot more fun activities going on all day, I just didn't have my camera out for very long. The following day was fathera day and Mia’s dad drove up to have lunch with us and we hung out at the nice open-area around the restaurants in Manhattan Beach just to tak and catch up as well as make some summer beach day plans.

Additionally, I got home early enough a couple times on a Friday to see the weekly Redondo Beach car show at Ruby's. It's more of a community meeting than any official car show, just people parking in the lot and telling stories for a few hours. But I've learned that I have an interest in more automotive photography, picking out the critical design pieces of era-specific cars, and finding interesting compositions with all the tiny details that made people fall in love with these vehicles. 

This most recent weekend I had no plans, I took advantage of that by replacing the insulation for the refrigerator lid, replacing a lightbulb in the v-berth and a much needed boat cleaning. Mia and I went kayaking (her) and rowing (me) Saturday and Sunday I kayaked solo. I also drove up to the top of Palos Verdes to get a glimpse of our weather situation - all weekend, the South Bay was cloudy and gloomy, but I could see sun inland. It was all divided by Palos Verdes, so I was able to get some nice pictures of the fog rolling over hills and burning off for a few minutes, until the afternoon clouds were blown in. 

Arizona

Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley, Horseshoe Bend. These were the targets of my second ever photo-based trip (the first being Yosemite a couple months ago). I left LA  at 2pm Friday with my buddy / basically pro-photographer, Leif. The trip was his idea and given the itinerary and opportunities to excel my experience in photography, I obviously had to go. It was about a 9 hour drive to Page, AZ. The entire area is in Arizona along the Utah border, and the highways take you back and forth over state line, between Friday and Sunday we crossed state lines 16 times. 

 

Another major driver to go on this trip and get more serious about photography is to expand my portfolio on my other website, philipskinnerphotography.com . I'm testing the waters of what potentially could be done to spend time working on my hobby while sharing the results with others. 

 

Local Scenery

 Friday night I hiked down the short path at Bluff Cove down to a rock reef. I've sailed around this rocky point in the Catalina 30 and sailed over and through it one summer day on a 15' sailboat. The amount of land to take pictures from drastically changes depending on tide levels.Friday night, just as the sun was going down, I was able to walk around the tide pools and get a close picture of the horizon and tried using the pools for reflections. It was a dull sunset but I was content to get back in time to use my camera and try out the wide angle lens.


The next morning I was up at 4:45 and drove up to Del Cerro park, located at a good lookout point on top of Palos Verdes and facing Catalina Island. Here's some pictures of the shipping traffic, the moon high above, and the sun coming up over the channel and over Los Angeles to the north.

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To round out the weekend, I finally went kayaking again, leveled the v-berth bed with some Dri-Deck that I had to wash the scent of plastic off of, and did other random projects around the boat.

Car Show

There was a corvette club car show in the parking lot next door on Saturday. I was pretty dang excited to try my new wide angle 17-35mm lens which is perfect for getting right up close to the classic cars and the lens distorts how they look which produces interesting results. 

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Also a first for my blog,  trying a slideshow (below) of photos. Hope you enjoy! 

 More testing out of my new lens. And a really awesome relief-style map of Redondo / Hermosa beach that was on a wall at the Redondo Beach Hotel.  

More testing out of my new lens. And a really awesome relief-style map of Redondo / Hermosa beach that was on a wall at the Redondo Beach Hotel.  

Mia’s friend Laura flew down to visit and they stayed in the Redondo Beach Hotel just across the street. As a special event for the weekend we went to Justin Timberlake’s show at the Forum on Saturday night. We also checked out Eatily in Century City which was a huge open seating room which about 15 different restaurants and shops all for good Italian food. 

Upgrade

 Big Tujunga Canyon Bridge near the dam  

Big Tujunga Canyon Bridge near the dam  

 Sun setting under hazy clouds over Malibu mountains from Mt. Lowe trail. I didn’t see a single other person on my hike which seemed weird given how great it was.  

Sun setting under hazy clouds over Malibu mountains from Mt. Lowe trail. I didn’t see a single other person on my hike which seemed weird given how great it was.  

 From the Mt Lowe railway tunnel looking towards Mt San Antonio. Also displaying some of the power of this 28-300mm lens  

From the Mt Lowe railway tunnel looking towards Mt San Antonio. Also displaying some of the power of this 28-300mm lens  

Welp. I made a significant investment into this photo hobby of mine that I've been gradually learning since the beginning of last year. You might remember how it all started, last winter I dug out a Pentax film camera from storage and shot a few rolls. This camera had some risks of losing precious film in the mail and limits to 24 and 36 exposures that must be perfectly done or were a waste of money. I loved taking pictures and that shutter click, though. So I got the most sensible bang-for-my-buck entry-level camera in June which is the Olympus OM-D EM-10 mark II. Many good reasons to justify that, but it left me wanting a couple of things. Better photo quality from a larger camera sensor, better feel of the camera and quality of images. Now that I've taken some more trips and learned a lot more about photography, and thanks to my brother for an Adobe subscription, I kept rolling my eyes at the limitations of the micro four-thirds mirrorless system. I missed the cler-chunk feel of a real shutter opening and shutting and how much more information a full-frame camera can gather. There are pros and cons to everything and I was tipping the scales back and forth for a long time to determine if I should get a full-frame DSLR.

 Sunday’s walk around the Redondo pier area. I just had my earphones in and tried to find a creative way to compose the place.  

Sunday’s walk around the Redondo pier area. I just had my earphones in and tried to find a creative way to compose the place.  

I finally did. The Nikon D750. It's been around for a few years but it's a workhorse and powerful camera with solid reviews and the right price range. A user can use an endless variety of lenses to it and it's likely not to change for a long time. The other front-runner was a new Sony A7iii which is a mirrorless camera but it's full-frame and offered a ton of technology like my Olympus. Some of that worried me, because I feel like the mirrorless cameras are kind of delicate, but what worried me more is the cost of native Sony lenses... most are more than the camera itself and it would've brought a bundle out of my budget. I could go on, trust me I was fully engaged in thinking about these two cameras for weeks.


For now I still have the Olympus and if nobody wants to buy it then I guess I'll keep it. It's funny because the complete setup I had for that is less money than an *inexpensive* lens for the Nikon. So I guess you could say this hobby is getting serious. I am excited to learn even more as I go on.

 Other pictures from around Redondo as well as the result of “operation hoist kayak so I don’t have to keep cleaning the bottom” by using extra dock line to suspend it out of the water. I’m please with the result and hope no more really strong winds come through for awhile. Center is a picture of the new Nikon D750 and 28-300 lens. I probably won’t use the lens hood that Often as it makes it seem even bigger and caused some minor vignette when at the widest angle. 

Other pictures from around Redondo as well as the result of “operation hoist kayak so I don’t have to keep cleaning the bottom” by using extra dock line to suspend it out of the water. I’m please with the result and hope no more really strong winds come through for awhile. Center is a picture of the new Nikon D750 and 28-300 lens. I probably won’t use the lens hood that Often as it makes it seem even bigger and caused some minor vignette when at the widest angle. 

 not much of a sunset through the haze 

not much of a sunset through the haze 

 Does this qualify as street photography? 

Does this qualify as street photography? 

 I’ve noticed the colors are different on this camera. probably more true and wid-ranging especially the dynamic range between light sky and dark shadows. 

I’ve noticed the colors are different on this camera. probably more true and wid-ranging especially the dynamic range between light sky and dark shadows. 

Back to my adventure. Mia was out of town which meant I had some boat chores to do, including hoisting up my kayak on extra dock line and (hopefully) the last time I had to scrub the bottom of it. Midwaythrough SaturdayI was antsy and decided to pack a cooler with lunch and my backpack with some hiking clothes and go for a drive. I went up north of LA into the Angeles Forest on the winding 2-lane roads. These are popular for car and motorcycle enthusiasts who speed around the corners so I found myself pulling aside at turn-outs at least 20 times. I was on an entirely different pace for my day. The point was to see what's up there because I was always curious, and to find some good vantage points to try out my new camera. I eventually made my way to the Mt Wilson summit which overlooks the LA basin and could see all the way to Catalina even through the haze and clouds. I then hiked on a trial that was once used as a railroad from 1902 - 1938 wrapping along cliffs and through tunnels on narrow trestles - It's actually insane that they built this. It looks more like a frightening wooden roller coaster nailed into hillsides from the black and white pictures online. As things go, there was a devastarting wind at the observatory that it served, which knocked it down. So someone turned the land into a tavern to keep people coming up but then that had a fire and was never rebuilt. It was dismantled a few years later.


Sometimes I want to take these far trips to find hikes, views, and a feeling of the outdoors along with some interesting history. I think of Death Valley, Sequoia, Joshua Tree, Big sur, Lost Coast, etc. But this was basically in Los Angeles and checked off all the boxes, albeit they'd be smaller check marks.

 Looking down at Pasadena from the tunnel

Looking down at Pasadena from the tunnel

 There were images at the trail head of a railway track and train along this cliff through the tunnel to provide supplies to Mt Wilson. Also I was impressed by the camera gathering the sun hitting the peak on the right while still gathering detail in the tunnel. Unedited.  

There were images at the trail head of a railway track and train along this cliff through the tunnel to provide supplies to Mt Wilson. Also I was impressed by the camera gathering the sun hitting the peak on the right while still gathering detail in the tunnel. Unedited.  

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 dusk view Angeles Crest Highway and long exposure to get some of the cars racing down it. 

dusk view Angeles Crest Highway and long exposure to get some of the cars racing down it. 

Wheeler Gorge / Ojai

 Smoke from late afternoon campfires starting throughout the full campground. 

Smoke from late afternoon campfires starting throughout the full campground. 

 We arrived at 9:30 Friday night and our reserved spot, #066, we discovered was essentially a parking spot in another groups much larger combined campsite area. I should’ve assumed something was up when the host saw our reservation and replied in a hesitant mumble of acknowledgement.   We drove back to the host and found out about the first-come-first-serve sites and since we were some of the first arrivals for the weekend we took advantage of #020 pictured here.  

We arrived at 9:30 Friday night and our reserved spot, #066, we discovered was essentially a parking spot in another groups much larger combined campsite area. I should’ve assumed something was up when the host saw our reservation and replied in a hesitant mumble of acknowledgement. 

We drove back to the host and found out about the first-come-first-serve sites and since we were some of the first arrivals for the weekend we took advantage of #020 pictured here.  

 We got lucky the campsite also had perfect trees for a hammock. In fact the site to the right of this photo was occupied by 2 guys who showed up and excusively slept in their hammocks and never set up a tent thanks to all the trees. 

We got lucky the campsite also had perfect trees for a hammock. In fact the site to the right of this photo was occupied by 2 guys who showed up and excusively slept in their hammocks and never set up a tent thanks to all the trees. 

 Saturday afternoon. In some areas of the campground, flames did make it in and burned patches of trees. The problem at hand now is mud slides that have eliminated nearby trails and extra campsites up the hill.

Saturday afternoon. In some areas of the campground, flames did make it in and burned patches of trees. The problem at hand now is mud slides that have eliminated nearby trails and extra campsites up the hill.

 Right after we made breakfast a friendly man drove up to us and told us about opening day for the visitor center. Live animals like this owl, a hawk , snakes and critters were on exhibit. We checked it out and talked to a few Ojai locals about the impact of the Thomas fire, how the center and campgrounds were miraculously saved by setting “back-fires” to surround the area and fight back the approaching wildfire. There was an REI CoOp booth and we had what I’d guess was a record breaking Jenga game (look how high that tower is!) and each won some REI steel cups. 

Right after we made breakfast a friendly man drove up to us and told us about opening day for the visitor center. Live animals like this owl, a hawk , snakes and critters were on exhibit. We checked it out and talked to a few Ojai locals about the impact of the Thomas fire, how the center and campgrounds were miraculously saved by setting “back-fires” to surround the area and fight back the approaching wildfire. There was an REI CoOp booth and we had what I’d guess was a record breaking Jenga game (look how high that tower is!) and each won some REI steel cups. 

 We didn’t do much, which was why we came camping. We drove into the outskirts of the town in order to get cell service for a few minutes for something and when we came back to our site we just read and laid around. It was perfect. 

We didn’t do much, which was why we came camping. We drove into the outskirts of the town in order to get cell service for a few minutes for something and when we came back to our site we just read and laid around. It was perfect. 

 Weather was as good as it could get for camping - 80 during the peak of the day and in the mid-50s at night.  

Weather was as good as it could get for camping - 80 during the peak of the day and in the mid-50s at night.  

Point San Vicente Lighthouse

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Took a trip back around Palos Verdes and stopped at the lighthouse. It was a super clear day after rain and wind the day before and it was enough to see the Santa Barbara Channel Islands and San Nicolas island, way out there. From this spot a group of people track whale migration and we were fortunate enough to see some grey whales breach between us and Catalina Island. I’m 

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There was a Holi celebration across the street from our boat at the Lagoon. I was actually waiting for this since last year because I wanted to get pictures of it. Got some! I saw a photography documentary series, Tales By Light, essentially a 2-season long Canon commercial, but one photographer was immersed in India for the holi celebrations and although I didn’t even enter the lagoon area I’m happy I got to get a better look at and photograph the activity. There’s hundreds of people covered in color powder who attend over 2 days and it’s a nice reminder of the local diversity and pride in culture. 

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 Went to a local park in Redondo that I previously never knew existed. We were going a little stir crazy in the boat so turned the opportunity into a picnic and then a little photography as we walked around the park. I was trying to demonstrate stuff with these pictures so I’ll leave them here. Bokeh, aperture, focal length and composition were on the lesson plan. 

Went to a local park in Redondo that I previously never knew existed. We were going a little stir crazy in the boat so turned the opportunity into a picnic and then a little photography as we walked around the park. I was trying to demonstrate stuff with these pictures so I’ll leave them here. Bokeh, aperture, focal length and composition were on the lesson plan. 

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 Sunset in King Harbor  

Sunset in King Harbor  

 Redondo Pier  

Redondo Pier  

 putting my tripod to good use with a long exposure shot

putting my tripod to good use with a long exposure shot

Windy weekends

 A lesser photographed pier in the South Bay - I think this one is getting torn down soon. 

A lesser photographed pier in the South Bay - I think this one is getting torn down soon. 

 I was really far away for this picture - across the boat launch basin and in a parking lot, but I think the composition and subject of this photo were great  

I was really far away for this picture - across the boat launch basin and in a parking lot, but I think the composition and subject of this photo were great  

 Always surprised by how many fishermen are out on the rocks all around the harbor. Spotted a really awesome classic landcruiser which deserves a spot on here somewhere.

Always surprised by how many fishermen are out on the rocks all around the harbor. Spotted a really awesome classic landcruiser which deserves a spot on here somewhere.

 On my walk around sunset trying to find some interesting pictures. It was really windy and I was glad to see a couple sailors going for it. 

On my walk around sunset trying to find some interesting pictures. It was really windy and I was glad to see a couple sailors going for it. 

 We went up the street to a couple formal looking places like the local library and high school as a backdrop for Mia's new professional photo - which I’m really happy how it turned out. I got to use an old manual focus 55mm lens on my camera which was fun and created a nicely blurred background 

We went up the street to a couple formal looking places like the local library and high school as a backdrop for Mia's new professional photo - which I’m really happy how it turned out. I got to use an old manual focus 55mm lens on my camera which was fun and created a nicely blurred background 

 these fishermen are taking risks for their catch 

these fishermen are taking risks for their catch 

 afternoon crowd at Naja’s 

afternoon crowd at Naja’s 

Thirty-two

 Exploring slo in this car with James. I pretended I was a race car driver then I pretended I was photographing it for a magazine.  

Exploring slo in this car with James. I pretended I was a race car driver then I pretended I was photographing it for a magazine.  

 Thankful for some amazing and thoughtful gifts: a tripod (not pictured but used for the night photo), a 70s film camera, a customized CNN vest, and beer plus soap made from beer! 

Thankful for some amazing and thoughtful gifts: a tripod (not pictured but used for the night photo), a 70s film camera, a customized CNN vest, and beer plus soap made from beer! 

 Shots from the Newport breakwall Sunday and the Redondo breakwall (I had to pumpout the boat) earlier.  

Shots from the Newport breakwall Sunday and the Redondo breakwall (I had to pumpout the boat) earlier.  

People usually don’t prefer their birthdays to be on a weekday but I saw an opportunity: use both of the weekends surrounding it to celebrate. 

Mia and I went up to San Luis Obispo the weekend before and her family made me an insanely good cake on Sunday, I got to drive a 911 turbo S as well as some scooters, and we hung out and watched the olympics.  

On my birthday, our friend Molly hosted a small dinner at her apartment and I was totally blown away by the generous and really awesome birthday presents. I felt really lucky to have spent the evening with such solid friends.  

And the following weekend, Presidents’ Day weekend, Mia and I went to Newport to hang out with Dante and Jenn who I’ve known since college and a new crew of friends I met for the first time. We cruised electric Pedego bikes around and then took a Duffy boat out during sunset. epic celebrations all around! 

 Mia got me a tripod I picked out and I couldn’t wait to try it out - this was at 11pm on Saturday out in the cold.  

Mia got me a tripod I picked out and I couldn’t wait to try it out - this was at 11pm on Saturday out in the cold.