Yosemite National Park Visit

Another National Park that I was able to visit this past weekend, which is only a 3 hour drive away. This place has been on my photography bucket list forever and I am so happy I had great weather and great company on this trip. For 3 days we drove around stopping at many places. El Capitan to watch climbers, many views of Half Dome, the falls in the valley, and the windy road out to see the Hetch-Hetchy dam. Of course the camera got full use during my trip and I am yet again amazed at the shots I got.

Check out a few of my favs below and then head over to the full gallery!

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Family Trip to Vancouver, Canada

I got the chance last week to go along with my family to Vancouver, Canada to celebrate my fathers and sisters March birthdays. Great way to have some family time and explore a new city. I had been near Vancouver on our way into BC a few years back but did not stop and mostly drove around the city.

The weather was overcast most days and although it did rain it was light so it did not interrupt most of our plans. However I was excited for the cloudy skies and thought it would be a great opportunity to take some metered shots and do some black and white photography for once. Admittedly I have not explored black and white photography much cause I just love color as a big component of my photographs, but this was the perfect setting. From Stanley Park, botanical gardens to Victoria and the suspension bridge I got many chances to try some different shots and settings.

Check out a few of my favs below or head over to the full gallery here!








My first trip to Muir Woods National Park

It is hard to properly express this place without having been there. Much of my family has been to Muir Woods before (visits go all the way back to the 40s) and it was always somewhere I wanted to visit. Having moved to CA recently you would think I would have made a bee line to this place the second I arrived, strangely though it took 18 months and my family being in town to finally make the trip! We stayed on the main path this time so I will be making another trip back another time to get further into the forest however even right as you walk away from the information building they are all around you. These massive tall and beautiful red trees, you find yourself walking looking straight up most of the time, so watch for others doing the same and you won’t run into other people!

Here is the whole gallery below, I only got about 150 shots total so I ended up with 12 keepers this time, yes, must make another trip back for sure!!!

22 hours in Genoa, Nevada

A 4.5 hour drive brought me to a small town called Genoa, which is just inside the Nevada border from California, yesterday afternoon. I went there to visit my in-laws and 2 of their closest friends, they were staying the week at the David Walley’s Hot Springs Resort. So over the next 22 hours I got to visit the oldest bar in Nevada, do some shopping next door to the saloon, we then all took a soak in a hot springs pool (the hot tubes were too hot for me!) and then played a few games of Carcassonne after a home cooked vegan meal. The following morning we all had massages and then had brunch after which I headed out and drove back to that South Bay via Tahoe (which btw, has snow now!). What a great short trip!

In the morning before our massages I also got to take a quick walk from the resort towards the main road that leads into Genoa, it was early light and so the sun was on its way up, but cloudy so I got some really neat photos I think. Check out the full gallery here!


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Miles the #SFBatKid saves Gotham!

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend part of this heartwarming event yesterday in downtown San Francisco’s City Hall (aka Gotham City). Thousands showed up to cheer for Miles, who was diagnosed with Leukemia (recently now in remission!) and was granted a wish by the local Make A Wish Foundation. His wish? He wanted to be BatKid! So when news of this got out to the internet a few weeks ago, and I saw the article about what was going to happen, I just had to be there.

Not only did he get to travel to his numerous capers in a donated black Lamborghini, he saved a damsel in distress, freed the Giants mascot and captured both the Penguin and the Riddler. How amazing is that! Read more about his capers: Article by SF Bay CBS Local

When he finished ridding the city of all of the villains, he was honored at the Civic Center Plaza, in front of thousands, by the Mayor of San Francisco (Gotham City), members of the FBI, Make A Wish and even the Chief of Police! To top even all of that,  President Obama sent him support all the way from the White House!

It was overwhelming how much support this city gave Miles and his family yesterday, the Mayor even named November 15th as BatKid Day and the city will celebrate it every year from now on! Since Miles’ wish went viral it has been promoted, featured and broadcasted on hundreds of news sites, blogs, and other social media. Just simply search Twitter for the hashtag #SFBatKid and you will see notes of support from all over the globe.

I was so moved by this event, the support from so many volunteers from Make A Wish, the city of SF, Miles and his family for enduring this hardship, I am still tearing up about it. If you are also were inspired by this inspirational event, I encourage you, like I will be doing after I finish writing this, to donate or even start to volunteer for your local Make A Wish foundation. Every kid deserves to have their wish come true, just like BatKid!

Some photos I took at the event are below. Have a great weekend!

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Photo Feature!

For the past few months my sister Val has been involved with Nat Geo for a clip in their Nat Geo Wild show Caught In The Act. It is a clip about our family trip to Africa back in May of 2011. See my page about this trip here. It is set to air tomorrow night at 10pm EST on their HD channel NatGeo Wild. About 2 weeks ago I heard an update announcing the air date of the show and also that a local Pittsburgh news paper was doing a story about Val being interviewed for the Nat Geo show. The show will feature her YouTube video you can view here:



They did not select any of my photos to go along with the video (sad panda) however the Tribune-Review selected one for their feature image for the article!

This is the photo they used:

mombokill05 - Published in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 11/14/2013

Here is a link to the article that they wrote.

Super exciting to hear and that my photo is in the newspaper, of course since I live in the bay area now I could not get my hands on a copy of the paper but never fear, Val picked up a stack and will be sending me a copy!

Once the clip airs I will get a link to it in case many (like myself) do not have cable because Nat Geo Wild puts up their shows on their site at some point after they air which is great. So stay tuned for that link too!

A Day at The Ritz

My husband got to go to a meeting at The Ritz in Half Moon Bay yesterday and I was allowed to tag along. I was excited because I heard how beautiful the grounds were and couldn’t wait to walk up and down the coast line. I spent a good 2-3 hours and walked about 2 miles up and down yesterday afternoon. So pretty, I great photo op for sure, and I found out you do not have to stay at the hotel to park for free and walk up and down the Coastal Trail that runs along the golf course they have. Super nice, here are some of my fav shots, head over to the Gallery Page for more!

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Day Trip to Pescadero Beach & Woods

My husband and I drove up to Loma Mar, CA for a weekend getaway to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary  and we took a day walk around Pescadero State Beach and hiked a nearby trail through some redwoods. It was such a beautiful day! Full gallery is HERE, below are a few of my favs!

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Ardenwood Historic Farm Visit

This afternoon I got to wander around the Ardenwood Historic Farm, located in Fremont, CA for a few hours with some family. We watched the whole wheat thresher machine pull off the wheat from the stalks since this is the Fall Harvest and walk around the grounds. There was a patch of some really pretty large sunflowers and luckily I brought my camera and snapped a few photos of them! Check out the SF Bay Area section to see more!

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2013 Fireworks!

Every year my husband and I venture up to Chautauqua, NY to spend the 4th of July with my family. One of the many reasons I enjoy this trip is to get some great shots of fireworks that are set off just 3 houses down from us off the dock by neighborhood friends. Check out the Fireworks Page for 32 new shots from this year!

Here are a few of my favs:

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