Entries in personal/random (15)


weekend getaway

.....70's style.

we snuck away to the tiny town of Arnold to be off the grid for a little while. 

no phone service, no internet, no cable.

our cabin was awesome...musty, funky, and majorly 70's. just the way a cabin should be. 

you see...sometimes life is hard, and weird, and busy, and stressful. things need to be processed, relaxing needs to be done, and remembering what truly matters is brought to the forefront. 

luckily, aaron and i need the same things when a long weekend comes our way....an adventure, something new, tall trees, fresh air, a new challenge, and nowhere we have to be.

the first night there, we settled in, made a fire, scoped out our new surroundings, mapped out weekend activities, snuggled the pups and played jenga before drifting off to sleep. the next morning, we ate breakfast on the deck and set out to explore a few nearby towns (murphys & arnold). there were a ton of flea markets and outdoor vendors set up for the long weekend. after cruising around and exploring old treasures, we headed to lunch at burgerz....a cool little stand right off of hwy 4. I had the salmon burger...two thumbs up!

the big agenda item for the rest of the day was calaveras big trees national park...what a place! we started with the north fork walking tour before heading to explore the south fork. stand outs: "big stump", 270ft sequoias, and the couple making out nonstop at every marker. what a treat!:) 

sunday, we set out for bear valley. we knew we wanted to explore via mountain bike, and had heard good things about the ride to alpine lake. it's only a 7 mile ride....however, you gain around 1100 feet on your way up. us sea level people were feeling all 8000 feet of bear valley! the ride was awesome (and hard!), and the lake was incredible. I intend on going back to camp at the lake.

as usual, the weekend ended much too soon. before I knew it, we were back on the road. so glad we took this trip before we kiss goodbye for the month of june. 

....long story short, I needed it deep in my bones. and as usual, the great outdoors delivered as she does. I have been soothed and humbled once again.

....here's to a wonderful week:)  

(our awesome/hilarious/retro/cozy cabin)


a few shots via iphone:

...back to the grind:/


a shower for my beautiful friend 

the best lady alive is getting married, so we showered her with love and desserts! I brought my big cam and was able to snap a few. I can't wait for the upcoming festivities and big event in june. 

her sister was the hostess with the mostess and had it at her lovely place (thanks jas!). we tag-teamed it and it turned out perfectly.

love you (soon to be) lady hogan!  


coastside guide 

....the family that plays together, stays together. 

(from a beach session in half moon bay)

I feel like I'm still so new to my little Half Moon Bay town, but in actuality, we've been here almost two years (!). When friends/family/clients are heading to the coast, I get a little "hey! what should we do there" note in my inbox. I'm a very unofficial tour guide, but I thought I could share a few of my favorite things coastside. I still have so much to explore, but here's the lineup so far:


It's Italia (my most favorite!) - Great for weekend dinners....perfect atmosphere included. My beloved is the scallop dish with a blood orange margarita!  

Moonside Bakery - Stop in for your favorite caffeinated beverage, quick pastry, or sit down brunch.

El Gran Amigo - The best of burrito stands! On our way to the beach we stop and get the carne asada burrito for him, and the veggie quesadilla (or tacos) for her.  

La Costanera - The best cebiche I've ever had (aka ceviche....it's Peruvian!). This place has an awesome downstairs area....you can eat fireside with the best of views! (Located in our hood: Montara)

San Benito Ale House - A fun bar on main street with a great beer selection....and for all you diehard bloody mary peeps, theirs is dynamite.  

Odyssey Pizza - For those lazy dine-in nights, this place has the greatest pizza.....the crust is amazing!



HMB Coastal Trail - A coast-front trail offering miles of biking, walking or running with great views and stops along the way! We take our bikes and stop for lunch in the harbor. 

Montara Mountain - The McNee Ranch trail offers several trails...the longest trek taking you 6 miles (12 total) to the top. It's steep and awesome with killer views of Pacifica and Half Moon Bay!

Surfing - I don't surf, but it's quite the hobby around here. Aaron has given surfers beach and montara state beach a go.

Abode - The cutest store in town! I love looking at new design elements. If you enjoy scoping out home decor, this is your place. Their handmade goat milk soaps are my fav! I gift them over the holidays to the ladies in my life:)

Farmers Market - On Sundays, the harbor is host to one of the farmers markets. Pick up produce and cruise around the shops!

Last but certainly not least, cruise down hwy 1. Once a month (at least) we drive south (towards Santa Cruz) to hit our favorite trails, the best little towns, and killer beach spots. It never gets old. 

Bonus: We're 25 minutes from SF. Most weeks, we head north at some point for a little fun on the city. It's so wonderfully accessible....making it easy to get home to our little beach town when a days fun is done. Before we got married, Aaron had his eye on bringing me to the coast. He takes all the credit for knowing how much I would love it. I always act like it was mostly my idea....but he really knew what he was doing with this one:) 

...more favs in the months to come!