(mostly) daily photoblog

Posts tagged “Vacation

Good night. Sleep well.

sunset jimbaran 3

Ooh…so tired. Parent-teacher conferences tomorrow. A two-day school week with students. Some kind of Indonesian religious observance this weekend. It’s only Tuesday night, but I’m tired like it’s Friday.

Good night. Sleep well.


I love seeing other people taking photographs. I don’t know what I look like when I take photos, but I hope I look sophisticated, elegant even. I’m sure I don’t, but I like to think that I look like I know what I’m doing.



My son, Ben, and I were hanging around at Taman Sari Bali and I said I was thirsty. We sat near the pool drinking Orange Fanta, and I started to blow a note on the bottle. Ben tried, and failed. We tried again, and again, and again, and just at the moment I took this photo he sounded a note on the bottle. I think I was more surprised than he was.

Perfect timing, or dumb luck. Either way, it was fun.

Bali flower

flower water

We’ve been in Bali for a week now, and it’s been a beautiful Christmas holiday.  We stayed in a number of places, but our friend who did much of our bookings knew we wanted to stay in places that captured what Bali used to be like.  We’ve stayed in two different Taman Sari villas, one near to Ubud called Puri Taman Sari, and another along the north coast called Taman Sari Bali.  The owner of these resorts has worked hard, and succeeded, at making them resemble a Bali that doesn’t really exist anymore.  He is working at recreating the Bali village community.  Check them out, if you’re in Bali.

This flower was growing in the water at Puri Taman Sari.  Does anyone know what kind it is?



Actually, I was told by one of the surfers/workers on the beach that this beach, Seminyak Beach, is a great place for beginners.  It is not, however, where they like to surf.  They like bigger waves.  They all thought that this would be a good place for me to start surfing…if only I would pay them to teach me.

Still, the waves were pretty impressive.

Jineng Villas

the villa


This is where we stayed for our first two nights in Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia during our Christmas holidays.  There are villas listed from A through O, and each one has its own pool, separate bedrooms, and living space.  It’s beautiful.  I don’t know how we ended up in this spot, but I’m pretty amazed.

It’s been a pretty nice way to start Christmas holidays in Bali.

the villa 2

Beach seller


The hardest part of enjoying time on the beach is entertaining the many sellers that walk up and down trying to sell their stuff to the tourists.  Well, actually, the hardest part is saying, “No,” to most every one of them.  They like to look at me like they don’t understand English, as if waiting in front of me will make me say, “Yes.”  I don’t, but I just love feeling awkward…that was sarcasm.

I am impressed by their ability to balance their wares on their heads, though.  Seriously.  That’s amazing.

Love on the beach

beach love

I saw these two on the beach and they were so cute together.  He would clumsily go out into the water with his surf board and do amazingly awkward things, and she would stand on the beach taking pictures.

Later, when I was eating lunch, they were sitting and chatting, so I snapped this photo.  I wish them a great future together.

It’s the night before Christmas…LATE NIGHT SHOPPING!

late night shopping

I don’t know which Hindu god this is, but he might be battling a dragon for better deals for Christmas Eve shopping.

This is one of many gods we saw on our way into the city of Kuta, Bali.  The fact that the “late night shopping” sign is in the background just adds a post-modern materialistic context to a very old religion.  Hmm…I wonder what the rest of our trip will be like?

WordPress Photo Challenge: Surprise!


I love when I’m shooting and I find that, to my surprise, my candid photo has turned into a posed photo.

We were sitting in the Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Jakarta, waiting to leave on our Christmas trip to Bali and I was taking some photos.  I thought I had Ben without his knowing it, and then he turned to look right up my lens as I shot this.  Ha!  My son cracks me up.

Rice fields…again?


I’m on my way to Sulawesi, but I’m posting photos from my last trip to the Yogyakarta area.  I think this is the last rice field photo I’ll post for a while, but I hope you don’t mind.  I find them so beautiful.

What I also find beautiful is the very traditional way so many Indonesian farmers work their fields.  Giant fields are worked with small shovels and hoes.  Pretty amazing.

“Travel is fatal…


…to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. “

So said Mark Twain, and I agree.  I think that there are other agents for the fatality of negative human attributes, like education and education.  And I should be clear – some people can travel the world looking for McDonald’s restaurants and Macy’s stores and Holiday Inn hotels.  They can avoid all the culture and ethnicity and find North America everywhere they go, complaining that no one speaks English.  Sadly, I’ve been around some of those people as I’ve traveled around South Asia.

I’ve also had the pleasure of traveling with and around people who are looking for a better understanding of the world and its people.  It may be, though, that it’s the attitude of the traveler that will determine whether prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness are fatally eradicated.  Mark Twain, from what I’ve read, seemed to be the kind of man who was willing to challenge himself as well as others.  Some people, sad people, do not have any desire to upend their tiny understanding of the world.

Photo Friday: Mood

What mood do you read off this guy?

Walking on the beach was never so mystical

I will try to write as little as possible for this photo, as I feel it speaks volumes on its own.

It was shot on film, not digital, media.

It was shot on a camera that is thirty-five years old.

It was shot on the Oregon Coast, near Manzanita.  It has not been touched by Photoshop; the only processing that occurred was at London Drugs Photo Center.

It has captured the mystical, magical, other-worldly aspect of the Oregon Coast and shows the main reason why my family will probably return to the coast for all of the foreseeable summer vacations.

Cue cheesy product placement…now!

For my wife and son, this may be the greatest reason to visit the north coast of Oregon: the Tillamook Cheese Factory.  I’ll admit, their ice cream is unparalleled and the tour of the factory, wherein one has the opportunity to watch fifty pound blocks of medium cheddar move on a byzantine labyrinth of conveyors, is pretty cool.  Even the cheese taste-testing, with its squeaky cheese and pepper-jack, is pretty great and the Peanut Butter Chocolate ice cream, and the Root Beer Float Ice Cream and…

You know what?  I think my wife and son are onto something.  I’d like to head to Oregon again.  Now.  Just for ice cream and cheese.  Anyone with me?




Oregon Coast: a love story

I just got back from spending five days on the Oregon Coast.  It is the second summer the Family B has visited the Oregon Coast and we’ve fallen in love with it.  It is easily the most beautiful, natural area I’ve ever vacationed.  The triptych above (just for you, Karina – triptych) shows you the area where we camped.  The town of Manzanita is at the foot of Mount Neahkahnie (seen in the bottom right) and the beach extends out from the cliff-sides down to a spit of land that ends where the Nehalem River meets the ocean.  Our campsite was about halfway down the beach you can see in the photo on the left.

We stayed in a yurt (Year-round Universal Recreational Tent) that was a five minute walk from the beach.  The sand is soft and light and completely enveloped my foot as I walked in it.  The ocean gently lapped at the beach all day and night and lulled me to sleep.  There is virtually no light pollution, so I got to see all the stars I remembered from when I was a child. I nearly cried the first night I looked up and was met by billions of lights while being serenaded by the constant sound of waves crashing on the sand.

Playing with my kids on the beach and in the water tops the vacation cake.  There’s nothing in the world like this.

I love this place.

Oh, and I was so in love with this place that I had to post today, even though it was the second post of the day.  Whoo!

Happy place…go to my happy place.

The Canucks are (currently) losing the fourth game of the Stanley Cup.  The score, right now, is 3-0.  I am currently thinking words I haven’t thought since I was working in landscaping in the rain.  I hate Boston right now.  Hate is a strong word, but I’m not sure it’s strong enough right now.  I mean the Bruins, but where my brain is at this moment makes me also hate the Red Sox and the Patriots…what the heck – the whole city.  They’ve played a cheap game since game 1, but the Canucks have stopped playing the type of game that got them the President’s Cup.

I obviously don’t hate the whole city, but I’m ready for the cheap-shotting, injury faking (Horton obviously excluded) Bruins to go away.  Now.  Please.

It’s also June and I’ve got a week and half left of instruction and I’m ready for a vacation.  The stresses of my job along with the stresses of watching the Stanley Cup series has got me wishing I was on the Oregon Coast with little to nothing on my mind.  Nothing at all.  Nothing.


When “Photo Friday” and the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge collide

Just over this dune is the Pacific Ocean.  It’s beautiful on the Oregon Coast.  I kind of wish I was there.

As Spring Break comes to a close, I’ve been thinking ahead to summer holidays (sad, huh?) and that we’re heading to Nehalem Bay in Oregon again.  Add to that the fact that Photo Friday and WordPress’ own Weekly Photo Challenge this week is ocean, I though it would be fitting to post a photo from last year’s summer trip.  It covers both mother nature and the ocean.


The Oregon Coast view, through driftwood.

Our campsite was within throwing distance of the ocean.  When we first arrived we set up our tent and then went for a quick walk on a less than well-walked trail that took us over a dune and when we reached the pinnacle we saw the ocean.  Less than a five minute walk from our campsite was the entire Pacific Ocean.  Driftwood was strewn around the beach, the beach that stretched for miles north and south from our campsite.  It was amazing.

The photo above was taken facing north towards Neahkahnie Mountain.

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f11; ISO 100; 1/250 sec.

Small children flying through the air

Two very excellent professional photographer acquaintances of mine (Jason and Darcy at Revival Arts) are a huge photographic inspiration to me.  I am in awe of the shots they think of, let alone take.  While we were on the Oregon Coast, I thought I might try emulating some shots I’ve seen on their blog (which you should totally check out – it’s over there, on the right).

What do you think?  Did they work?

That’s Ben.  At first I was sure this was going to be a remake of White Men Can’t Jump because Ben could not get off the ground.  He managed this shot pretty well.

And this is Hannah.  I set the camera on high speed continuous shooting and managed to pull out a couple of good frames.  She was game to keep jumping, but I think that may have been because she was so psyched to be at the ocean.

Portland Tourism owes me for this one.

On the way back from the Oregon Coast, which was beautiful and cold and wet and not very sunny at all, the Family B stopped in for a couple of days in Portland.  My ulterior motive, knowing that our stay would be short and mostly centered around the kids and their interests, was to get to Powell’s Books.  Specifically the City of Books on Burnside in downtown Portland.  I love this place.  You can look up the history, because it is really interesting, but to me it’s just a gigantic bookstore.  I am a bibliophile to the point that I buy books that I don’t even read because some day I’ll want to read it and then it will already be in my bookshelf.

On the second day in Portland we took the kids to the Oregon Zoo and then the family indulged my wife and we went to see Pittock Mansion.  This house has four floors and about 4000 square feet of floor space on each floor (the perfect summer cottage – ha!).  The extravagance of the house is offset by the facts that the Pittocks, who built the house, only spent their last years in the house and Mr. Pittock spent his entire life amassing the fortune that would allow him to build such a house, only to die within four years of moving into it.  Sad story, amazing house.

Happy bookstore, sad mansion, fun family vacation.

My daughter is a gift of which I couldn’t have dreamt.

When my daughter was born I was pretty sure that I was out of my depth.  When the obstetrician said, “She’s a girl,” I thought two things:  “Yay!” and “Oh crap!”  I didn’t know anything about girls.  Sure, I had two sisters, but my job as the older brother was to make their lives miserable and scare off boys I didn’t like.  But raising a daughter?  Yeesh.

Over the past nine years I’ve had the joy and pain of raising my daughter.  I love her more than my own life and I can’t wait to watch as she grows into a woman (although I secretly hope she stops growing up and stays my little girl).  Honestly, I think I’m more terrified now than I was nine years ago when she was born.

Pentax K20D; Sigma 70-210mm; f11; ISO 100; 1/640 sec.

A little more Haystack Rock. This one with more girl power.

My daughter, above, and I have had some fun during this holiday.  She is certainly becoming a big girl and I’m a lucky dad.  I just hope that, years from now, we’re still best friends like we were this last week.

The shot above was taken at Cannon Beach, Oregon – Haystack Rock is in the background.

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f11; ISO 100; 1/320 sec.

Haystack Rock; or how I started my Oregon Coast vacation

The B Family is almost done a week-long run along the Oregon Coast and I thought it would be appropriate to share a religious moment:  Haystack Rock.  See, when I grew up there were these two movies, Goonies and Kindergarten Cop, wherein Haystack Rock featured.  The image of this rock, and its accompanying “needles”, has been burned into my wife’s and my brain to the extent that we both squealed when we came off the US 101 highway and first saw Haystack Rock in the distance.

As we giggled and grinned at each other our kids looked at us, then each other, and had a good laugh at us.  When we tried to explain to them why this rock was making us silly, they stared at us with even more wonder.  They were impressed with the beach, but our strange fascination with the rock, well I don’t think they will ever get that.

Pentax K20D; Sigma 70-210mm; f11; ISO 100; 1/200 sec.


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