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new season

Thinking about the 65 degree weather we are supposed to have tomorrow has got me daydreaming for summer so hard right now. This is how I imagine I will spend the season.

 Image found  here .

Image found here.

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san juan 2013

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san juan 2013

I can never quite get enough of travel. I've never thought about why, I've just instinctively known that I loved it, and that was the only reason I've ever needed. As I've gotten older, that's not a good enough answer for me anymore. I feel like I owe it to myself to understand why I like the things I do, so I can make sure that positive mojo keeps coming my way.

Last week, I found out (part of) that answer. Fred and I were on a public transit bus in Puerto Rico. We were traveling from new San Juan to site see in Old San Juan. I sat there and stared at the people riding in the same metal can that I was. In that moment, in some way, I felt a sort of connection with those strangers. I thought about the lady sitting next to me. We were breathing the same air, which at the time seemed pretty amazing to me because we live over 1,5000 miles from each other. I was looking at the same exact streets as the young Puerto Rican father who fed his baby while he waited patiently for his stop. He made me think of how I used to bottle feed my brothers when they were little. I shared a smile with the older lady in front of me who reminded me so very much of my Mamaw Lois, a very special woman my family lost only 3 short months ago. I saw these people and I felt like I understood a part of each of them. Everyone of us on that bus had troubles, laughs, worries, and who knows what else waiting for us at our next destination. In one way or another, all of us are traveling...we all have stops and we're all in this life, together. If you sit down and think about it, that's pretty special. 

The Streets of Old San Juan: Kick-ass molding. Gorgeous tile. Unique architecture. Typography. Alleys. Cobble stone streets. Bright colors. Potted plants. Wrought iron gates and rails. Tall doorways and ceilings. These are the things I loved the most whilst traveling the streets ofOld San Juan.

Touristy shops. Creepers who followed us. Those are the things I liked the least. 

 

Fort San Felipe del Morro.

Nature life in Puerto Rico

Nature, in general, in Puerto Rico was pretty crazy.  For one thing, there were lizards everywhere. EVERYWHERE. 

One thing I really really loved about Puerto Rico was that there were plotted plants all around.  They were around houses, on sidewalks, in front of office buildings, in alley ways, etc. The locals there really find it important to incorporate nature and plant life into their daily lives. It was really, very refreshing. 

 

They were adorable, but they had some freak feet, so I decided not to touch them. 

During our time in Puerto Rico, we were lucky enough to be able to rent a car to travel an hour away to see El Yunque National Forest. It was there that we saw 2 waterfalls, and we actually even swam in one of them. 

This is my tiny husband in red, Fred, standing in front of La Coca Falls! 

We journeyed a half an hour hike to and from La Mina Falls! It was miserable and hot, but it was so worth the trek. This is what the path looked like. 

La Mina Falls.

The plants and trees in the rainforest were also pretty amazing!  

Beach life in Puerto Rico

Ok, so, doing a post about Puerto Rico is almost impossible without mentioning the gorgeous beaches there. 

This was the beach at Ocean Park, which was 2 blocks from our apartment. 

Another shot of the beach at Ocean Park.

This is a shot taken from a boat of Icaco Island. It was there that we did some snorkeling!

Sketchbook goodies

So, for the past 5 or so weeks, I've been doing a drawing for every day that passes by. I started this for several reasons, really, which I will explain in a later post where I gather all of my drawings and display them together. Anyway, I continued this new tradition while in Puerto Rico and I'm so glad that I did! I'm going to keep this going for every trip I take from here on out. It was really cool to be able to get away from the SLR and iPhone camera and record things by hand. 

All in all, we had a pretty awesome time in San Juan. There were infinite things to do and see there, and everyone we met was so very nice. Oh, and these photos don't even scratch the surface of the amount that I took while I was there, so keep your eye out for more down the road! Happy travels, and happy weekend everyone! 

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everyday

Everyday, I'm amazed by the beauty that surrounds me-everywhere. These are some iPhone nature captures I've taken recently.

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sketchbook

I forgot about this little Ontonagon, Michigan nugget! If you read my last post titled Farewell, you know that I was recently in Michigan for 4 days. Well, the drive home was all of 12 hours, and so I found plenty of time to draw. These are some things that stuck out most in my mind as I thought about the little town of Ontonagon.

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farewell

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farewell

Ontonagon, Michigan beach and an interesting piece of driftwood. 

Ontonagon, Michigan. That's where I was for a majority of last week, and what a truly beautiful place it is to visit. Unfortunately, I was there for grievous reasons. My Grandmother passed away unexpectedly while visiting her family there, and the service was held right there in her home town of Ontonagon. Despite being there under very sad circumstances, my family and I managed to have a decent amount of fun. Following in my Grandma's footsteps, we all took full advantage of what this little town had to offer, and drank in as much of it as we could.

We tried Pasty's for the first time. They are very popular in that area. If you've never heard of a pasty, let me tell you that it is one of the most delicious things you will ever eat. As my mother described it, "It's basically like a pot pie only without the gravy." I'm not huge on gravy, so that's probably why I enjoyed it so much. I'm sure there are plenty of different recipes, but the pasty I ate had beef and potatoes inside. Back in the day, the copper miners up there used to pack them for lunch often. 

We (my husband and I) took a lighthouse tour. Having never been inside or even close to one before, we were pretty excited about it! We geared up and went to the local town museum and payed our $5 for the tickets. A bus then arrived shortly thereafter to take us to the Ontonagon Lighthouse. The guide was amazing, informative, and so very courteous. The tour was well worth the money and we got to learn a bit about local history. 

Ontonagon Lighthouse 

While in town, we also visited a few local shops where Fred and I spent monies on postcards and bring back gifts for our nieces and nephews. Our favorite shop was called Gitche Gumee but the Nonesuch Gallery had the best signage. Check out that hand drawn, hand painted type. Daaaaaamn.  

 

Hand painted sign right outside the Nonesuch shop. Nice work!

We had a bonfire on the beach right behind the little caboose-turned-vacation-home that we were staying in. We made s'mores and waited for the sun to go down so we could see all the stars. I didn't realize this, but this time of year-it doesn't get fully dark until 12 or 12:30 in the morning in that part of the country! Needless to say, it was a late night for us. The wait was worth it, though. I saw more stars in the sky than I had ever imagined even existed. 

Brothers, husband, and brother's girlfriend gathering beach wood for the fire to be had.  

The wildflowers in Ontonagon were gorgeous. I think these are called Indian Paintbrushes.  

My family and I went on a boat ride on our very last night in Ontonagon. My 2nd cousin Scott took us out. This was probably my favorite outing as a family. We drank. We made fun of each other...and we laughed. It was good to get away from dry land for a while to free all our minds, even just for a little bit. My 2 brothers, (hopefully one day) sister-in-law, and husband all stripped down to their suits and decided to go for a swim in Lake Superior. It was so freezing cold, I could barely stick my feet in. I heard that the ice just fully melted only a month ago! 

 

My view from the butt of the boat. Not too bad, I say.

And last but not least, we visited the Porcupine Mountains while in Michigan, too. Specifically, Lake of the Clouds. The view there was so increadibly beautiful. So much green and blue. 

Lake of the Clouds.  

So, this concludes our trip to gorgeous Ontonagon, Michigan. Although the passing of a special lady brought us to the tiny town, there was precious time spent reconnecting with intermediate and extended family. Farewell, Michigan and farewell to you too, Grandma. I'll remember our travels together and I'll always still think of your face when I eat Caramel Nips. 

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home again

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home again

It's warming up and I've been out & about on my dog walks...which means I'm also guilty of somewhat stalker-ish behaviors. If you read my last home post, you know that I like to snap photos of my most favorite houses and buildings while sweatin' it out with my dog friend(s). My home town of Norwood is busting at the seams with beautiful historic homes, churches, and businesses. My photos will never portray them exactly as beautiful as they are...but hell, I've gotta' try. 

This is my all time most favorite home in all of Norwood. I have posted pictures of this house before, and I will post pictures of it again! 

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