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Shooting in San Francisco

I realize I haven’t said much about my visit to San Francisco a few weeks back.

It’s been a crazy few weeks …

One night in San Francisco, followed by Napa, followed by Texas.

I haven’t written about my Bay Area visit because I’ve barely even glanced at my photos from that visit.

How can I write a post without photos?

And what did I really do with only one night to visit?

First of all, I intentionally didn’t let many people know I would be up north.

Of course, I would have loved to see a lot of my friends.

(I think I have more friends in SF than I do in The OC.)

I knew, however, I only had a few hours to socialize.

My hotel was only a block or two from my friend, Thomas’s, office.

We always have a lot of fun together so we hit the city with our cameras.

Thomas took me on a tour of *tall* buildings.

(We, ahem, weren’t necessarily supposed to be on the top floors of some of those buildings.)

I have a small collection of photos of Thomas.

His photography astounds me.

I enjoy capturing glimpses of him creating his art.

It’s also a lot of fun to look back at our various shooting adventures.

I’ll share more of my city photos with you as I have time to go through them.

They weren’t all taken from up high, but a lot of them were.

It’s hard to resist the San Francisco skyline.

(There is *no* skyline in Orange County, so it’s a treat when I visit a city.)

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

We took a break for dinner, and a drink, and then did more shooting.

One of our friends saw an Instagram photo we put up and sent me a text.

She was only a block away from where we were.

We connected with her at the end of the evening for a visit too.

The next morning I was on my way to Napa.

Of course, I want to go back to the Bay Area soon …

Hopefully, for a longer visit next time.

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Moonrise Of The Blood Moon

Did you see the blood moon last night?

I never tire of the moonrises over “my” mountain.

I can see the moon rise from my kitchen and family room windows.

But, I went out on the patio to take this photo.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

I’m a beach-rat through and through, but the mountains call to my soul in a special way.

There really is something almost mystical about them.

I’m truly grateful I live in a place where I can enjoy both the mountains and the beach.

(And the deserts too, actually.)

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The Weekend

I had such a nice, relaxing, weekend.

Saturday night I got together with some friends I hadn’t seen for awhile.

We had dinner at Sol Cocina in Newport Beach.

There’s something special about being near the water, being with old friends, and enjoying a lot of  margaritas  laughter.

By the way, I really enjoyed the restaurant and I do recommend it for those of you who live in, or near, Orange County.

I spent Sunday at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad.

It had been two years since my last visit.

There’s something very intoxicating about being surrounded by FIFTY ACRES of blooming flowers.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

It’s both peaceful and invigorating at the same time.

There’s really no way a camera can capture the true feeling of fifty acres of flowers.

I tried to capture just a small slice of the beauty.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

I’m sure I’ll be posting flower shots (here and/or there) for ages ….

I had a hard time controlling my Urge To Click.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

It definitely is spring here.

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Fabulous Friday!

I’m SO glad it’s Friday.

It has been a chore-filled week and I’m ready to have some fun.

Mocha woke me up to share sunrise with her yesterday.

It was beautiful.

Sunrise With Mocha (From My Bedroom)

I don’t have any huge plans for the weekend.

I have exactly one definite plan for the entire weekend.

I’m having dinner with some friends one night.

I’m also going to attempt to finalize a summer vacation trip for August.

I hope to get a little shooting in, too, if my arm is feeling up to it.

(I’m seeing Paul Newman this morning.  I don’t think I’ve ever “needed” to see him quite so much.)

Depending on weather, I might head up to L.A. to spend some time at The Huntington,

And/or -

Head south to The Flower Fields in Carlsbad.

It’s a very “iffy” type weekend.

I love weekends with flexibility.

Anything is possible!

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Nail Art, Etc.

I thought you might like to see my latest toenail art?

Nail Art Toenails © SHaggerty 2014 W-1

I took the above phone photo yesterday afternoon.

It’s a nice spring-y nail art design.

I like the glittery corners for added bling.

I’ve been very busy this week trying to get caught up with everything – work stuff and personal stuff.

Napa was fun.

Texas was fun.

But … real life has been impatiently waiting for me.

I spent an hour with Baby Face yesterday.

Normally, I do a warm-up by myself, work out with Baby Face for thirty grueling minutes, and then do cardio on my own.

Baby Face “surprised” me yesterday with a full hour with him.

I think it’s his way of punishing me for my travel schedule lately.

My legs!

My ass!

(Remind me why I keep going back to him?)

I also had a visit with Dr. Painless this week.

(No surprise.  After all, I’ve been traveling.  When I travel my pain always flares.)

I love Dr. Painless.

I can’t tell you how much it means to be able to talk to someone who understands Pain (one hundred percent) as the separate, evil, living, entity it is.

He’s also treated me long enough to understand MY pain, my triggers, my flare-ups  ….

Mentally, emotionally, intellectually, it’s so helpful to have that type of understanding in my life.

Every time I’m with him, I feel grateful I have a doctor who totally “gets it.”

No pretenses, no acting like it’s okay when it’s not, just very real acknowledgement I live my life with this Other Entity we must manage and control.

I’ll see Paul Newman (whom I also adore) tomorrow … and then, hopefully, my body will be on its way to recovering from my recent trips.

In the meantime, my arm may hurt but at least I have pretty toes!

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Trip To Texas: Days 3 and 4

Last Saturday was Day #3 of my latest Texas visit.

After a leisurely breakfast with my son, we decided to return to the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.

The previous day, we’d only had time to visit two of the gardens there.

On this visit, we strolled through the “Texas Garden.”

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

Along the way, I met a garden employee who mentioned to me there was a “butterfly exhibit” going on in the conservatory.

Curious, we eventually made our way to the giant greenhouse.

When we entered, we were immediately transported to another world.

The inside of the greenhouse looked (and felt) like a tropical rain forest.

Along with the beautiful plants, we saw hundreds (thousands?) of butterflies perched on leaves and/or flying about.

The theme of the exhibit was “butterflies of Asia.”

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

I was so delighted with everything about the event.

I’ve never been to a butterfly exhibit before;  I didn’t even know such a thing existed.

The butterflies seemed to like my son.

They kept flying around and/or landing on him.

My favorite were the BIG, BLUE, morpho butterflies.

It felt like I was watching a Disney cartoon when they flew around us.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

I would squeal with delight every time.

Eventually, we bid the butterflies good-bye.

We were due at an organized frat activity for the afternoon and early evening.

But …?

As we left the greenhouse, the sky opened up and it began to pour.

Our afternoon, pre-planned, activities were scheduled to be outdoors.

We knew we needed to come up with an alternative plan.

Not long after, I found myself watching Captain America in 3D at an IMAX theater.

(Chris Evans is SO attractive as Captain America.  Not that I noticed ….)

It was a fun, entertaining, movie.

When the movie ended, the rain had temporarily stopped.

We decided to take a long walk along the Trinity River pathway.

Our day ended with a Tex-Mex dinner and accompanying margaritas.

Sunday was my fourth, and final, day in Texas.

My son’s fraternity had organized a really, really, nice brunch at a beautiful country club.

It was pouring on Sunday so I didn’t take my camera.

I’d love to return someday and take photos of the country club.

It was so traditional, so Southern, so beautiful and so charming.

My son was such a gentleman, presenting me with a long stemmed red rose.

He had written me a nice note on a card and even insisted on holding the umbrella for me as we came and went from brunch.

Who is this boy who is all of a sudden growing up?

I was very touched.

After bunch, when we had left the country club, it became apparent the remainder of the day would consist of pouring rain.

We had some time to kill prior to my flight.

We hung out at a Starbucks and had a nice long chat about … well, everything.

In time, I took him back to his dorm and began my journey to return my rental car, etc., etc., etc.

It was a great, very special, four days.

It’s hard to believe he’ll be done with his freshman year in less than five weeks.

And yes, he is coming home for the summer.

P.S.  If any of you have a summer job opening for a 19 year old, please let me know!

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My Trip To Texas: Days 1 and 2

I had so much fun spending four days in Texas.

Thursday was a travel day and I was pretty tired by the time I arrived in Dallas.

It was super hot and humid when I stepped off the plane.

I felt my energy level instantly zapped.

Once I picked up a rental car and got settled in my hotel,

My son and I hung out for awhile in the hip, trendy, 7th Street area of Fort Worth.

Around 7th St Fort Worth © SHaggerty 2014 W-1

Around 7th Street, Fort Worth, Texas.

We had a nice mediterranean dinner at the end of the day and then I begged off to get some sleep.

I still can’t get over all the lightning and thunder that night!

Gigantic thunder cloud:

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

WOW!

Friday, I was fully recovered from traveling and FULL of energy.

The weather was beautiful – a perfect 72F.

After a nice breakfast, my son and I spent a few hours at the Fort Worth Zoo.

We had so much fun.

The zoo is particularly proud of their two baby elephants.

(Excuse the photo quality on the zoo shots – harsh sun conditions!)

Baby Elephant © SHaggerty 2014 W-1

I adored the babies, but I also loved watching the gorillas at feeding time.

Did you know gorillas love peanut butter?

Gorilla © SHaggerty 2014 W-1

The zoo keepers put peanut butter into the “holes” on a feeding/puzzle board.

The gorillas have to work the peanut butter out with their fingers.

Yum, yum??

The flamingoes, with all their beautiful oddities, provoked a philosophical, “But why??” conversation.

Flamingo © SHaggerty 2014 W-1

Who knew it could be so fun to go to the zoo with a 19 year old?

We really had a great time.

After the zoo, we drove a few blocks and entered the stunning Fort Worth Botanic Garden.

People have been recommending the garden to me as a “must see” for over a year now.

My expectations, however, were low.

I’ve spent a lot of time at Descanso Gardens and The Huntington - surely Fort Worth could not compare?

However, I was pleasantly surprised by the beauty of the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.

I particularly liked the rose garden and the Japanese garden.

An even bigger surprise?

I thought my son would be bored to death, but he absolutely loved the gardens.

(I think he might have been scoping them out as a future-date location.)

I’ll do a separate post soon with photos and more information about the garden/s.

It was a full day with lots of walking.

But, even after the zoo and the botanic gardens – we weren’t done yet.

We took a short break to get cleaned up and then drove to downtown Fort Worth.

We walked several blocks checking out the city scene.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

Fort Worth is a nice mix of old and new architecture.

I like how they’ve made downtown user-friendly, particularly in the Sundance Square area.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

(Fort Worth was hopping with activity due to Fab Four basketball events.)

For dinner, we connected with about 150 other college mom/sons at Ruth’s Chris.

What a yummy  martini  dinner we had!

But wait, we still weren’t done ….

The last stop for the night was for a round of miniature golf.

My son, Mr. Amazing Athlete, signed us up for the most difficult of three courses.

He promptly hit a hole in one at the very first hole.

Sigh …

I was afraid I wouldn’t even be able to hit the ball because of my bum arm.

But, I did okay once I figured out how to make a few adjustments.

I even got a hole in one (eventually) on one of the more difficult holes.

!!!

It was really exciting!

And okay, it didn’t put my score even close to my son’s but I was still very happy about it.

It was a nice way to end a very busy day.

Tomorrow, I’ll share a little about the other half of my trip.

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Home Again

Sorry I didn’t post much while in Texas the last several days.

I was in an asbestos filled hotel room, with no wifi, no Internet connection, and no safe to store any of my photo gear (which means I had to carry it everywhere with me).

It kind of felt like I went back in time by a few decades or so.

I had a very busy (but very fun!) schedule while I was in Texas.

The best part, of course, was being able to spend some time with my son.

It’s so great when your kids grow-up and you really LIKE the person they’ve become.

I got home on the late side last night.

I’ll have more details about my trip for you tomorrow.

First things first …

I need to unpack.

(A little sleep would be awesome too!)

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Thunder and Lightning and Rain!

Traveling is always an adventure.

I was up at six a.m. yesterday – early for me.

On my flight to Dallas, two kids seated near me vomited.

The short, two hour, flight suddenly seemed incredibly long.

There was also an “incident” with an

elderly man.

In other words, it was the longest two hour flight ever.

I arrived to 90 degree, very humid, weather.

I was, however, delighted when the heat turned into an amazing lightning show in the evening.

I gasped out loud at every clap of thunder … I’m not used to it.

My son laughed at me -

He’s already become accustomed to Texas weather.

I didn’t bring my computer with me so I’m going to keep this brief.

Typing on an iPad is slow for me.

I just wanted to check in while I had the chance.

I hope you have a nice weekend.

If I can, I’ll put a photo up sometime this weekend.