Every New Years Eve my husband Trent and I go out to dinner and write down our goals for the new year. We titled 2012 the year of change and we decided to title 2013 the year of adventure. I think everyone has a dream to travel and we are hoping to finally make those dreams come true this year. Whether it’s by car, boat, or plane we are ready to visit new places near and far. Our first adventure was a road trip around California. I have never been to San Francisco and we decided to head North and take a few pit stops along the way. We stopped in LA, Cal Poly, Sacramento, Redding, San Francisco, and ended our trip in Irvine. It was over 30 hours of driving, but I could not have asked for a better travel buddy. Thankfully, we both love the same music so our car rides were always filled with duets and playlists of awful singing (on our parts).
Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures in LA or Cal Poly, but I did manage to whip out my camera when we stopped in Sacramento to visit our state capitol. I have never seen the capital and I’m thankful we decided to make this last minute visit because it was beautiful!
After Sacramento we drove to Redding to visit Trent’s older brother Knute. Knute, Jess, and their beautiful children are the sweetest family to be around. We went hiking, visited a few tourists spots, and we spent endless hours playing with our two beautiful nieces. It’s crazy how much they have already grown and we just wanted to soak in every moment during the few short days that we were able to spend with them.
Trent grew up in Redding and I loved being able to see all the sites he described in his childhood. We visited their old house, school, and church. I think Trent has moved almost 20 times in his life and I am thankful during all those moves we were able to find one another. God has taken him on many journeys and I’m so happy that one of those journeys lead to San Diego so that we were able to meet in high school.
The last time I saw Kambria she had just learned how to sit up by herself. Now she is running, dancing, and talking. She has her favorite words that she loves to say and she repeats them all day long. Kambria is such a Brookshier, she is filled with so much joy and energy. She is also the spitting image of Trent. I’m trying to decide if Trent secretly had a baby and if Knute is just holding on to her until he breaks the news to me. It’s hard photographing Kambria because this girl is always on the move. However, she is pretty stationary during bath time. Kambria LOVES bath time and playing with all her toys, bubbles, and cups. She even gave me some model poses once we styled her hair with a handful of shampoo.
She’s also very lady like because she always knows how to cover up.
We stopped by Redding’s famous “Sundial Bridge,” which was breathtaking! There were amazing views of the mountains topped with snow, lakes, and we were surrounded with an endless amount of gorgeous trees.
During this trip I learned that Trent is the best uncle. He became Kambria’s instant favorite and once these two started hanging out they were glued at the hip. Trent is so amazing with children and he really knows how to have fun with them. He is going to be the best father some day!
I think this is when Trent developed “baby fever.” He still has the fever, but we are still living our life on a 5 year baby free plan… If that’s what God has in store for us!
I could not get over these trees. I loved all the shapes of the branches. They looked like they were all having a big dance party in the park!
Before we headed to San Francisco, Trent surprised me with a visit to Muir Woods. It’s a Redwood National Park and it was the most beautiful place we have ever seen! You can’t help but be humbled when you are surrounded by God’s amazing creations. These trees were massive some reaching as high as 379 ft and they were over hundreds of years old. We explored the park for hours and we loved taking in huge gulps of air because it was so fresh. There are a handful of paths that you are able to explore and once we escaped from all of the people the park became utterly silent besides the leaves rustling in the wind. We were in continual awe at this parks beauty and toward the end of our hike I could not help but be saddened. It’s a disheartening feeling knowing that there are only a few strips of Redwoods left because the rest have been cut down by man. It’s easy to pay no mind when you have never been to these parks, but once you are surrounded by these majestic trees it is hard to believe that so many people travel through and cut them all down. Men create beautiful things, but no manmade creation can surpass God’s creations.
This shot reminds me of a desktop screensaver.
This looks like a fake backdrop or the home of the hobbit, but believe it or not, everything you see is real!
Our next stop was San Francisco. It was the only place we had to book a hotel because we were lucky enough to stay with family and friends along the way. I was so excited when we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and as we were driving over I could not help but think about Full House and their family cruising with their top down on this same bridge. We found a hotel in the heart of Union Square and it was shopping heaven! I am so blessed to have a husband like Trent because I know shopping isn’t always his idea of fun, but as we passed the largest Macy’s and a five story Forever 21 he was like, okay you better take advantage of this. We needed some energy before our shopping spree so we decided to eat at one of our favorite restaurants, The Cheesecake Factory. This has become my new favorite Cheesecake Factory because it sits on top of Macy’s, which gives you the best view of San Francisco. We then explored all the department stores until they shut us out. I was exhausted when we arrived in San Fran., but most women would agree with me that they always seem to find a new source of energy once they start shopping!
My favorite part of San Francisco was when we visited Alcatraz Island. Trent and I are a little rebellious while traveling in the fact that we don’t like to have “agendas” when we are on vacation. We want to explore places on our own time and we never want to be a part of any tours. However, this lady came up to us saying that we HAD to do the audio tour of Alcatraz. We denied her at first, but she was persistant. We already explored the island for over an hour which was enough for us because we had so many other things that we wanted to do. The thought of spending another 45 minutes doing an audio tour wasn’t very appealing. However, we could not turn down this sweet old lady so we decided to grab the headphones, wait until she was out of site, and then rush back to the boat which would take us off the island. We put on the head phones to humor her for a few minutes, but that was all it took. We were HOOKED! It was definitely one of the coolest memories from our trip. Trent and I are as stubborn as they come and we will both confess that the Alcatraz audio tour is AWESOME! It was worth every minute and the story of Alcatraz is so interesting that you want to learn even more once the tour has ended. It contains so much history, mystery, and eeriness which is combination that we love. We made sure to search for the sweet lady on our way out and thank her for her persistance!
Alcatraz is also amazing for photos. If only I lived closer. Oh the possibilites! Thankfully, I bring a handsome model with me everywhere I go so I don’t miss out on any great photo opportunities. Check out that jawline! mmhmm!
Oh and there’s me. I’m not much of a model. I always start laughing!
About to enter into the audio tour! Doesn’t he look excited? Ha!
These are the isolation chambers. Prisoners would be thrown into these and then they would be locked up in complete darkness. To entertain themselves they would rip off the buttons on their beds and toss them into the air. They would then search in utter darkness for their button. Could you imagine? Trent and I walked into the chamber and you could not help but feel a ghostly presence when you were inside. Spooky!
We then headed over to the famous, Fisherman’s Wharf. I have seen so many pictures of this sign and I was so excited to actually be standing beneath it. The sky and the ocean are my two favorite creations. I loved the chaos of the people, the live music, the smells, and the shops. It definitely lived up to it’s name!
This became my favorite picture from our trip. I’m not much a landscape photographer, but I fell in love with this shot. I became inspired to shoot more landscape after we visited an amazing photography gallery along the wharf. It would be an exciting career because you would always be on the pursuit to find new places. I can’t wait to print this picture and frame it in our house.
We were just about to leave San Francisco to avoid traffic until we found this amazing dock which gave you a beautiful view of Fisherman’s Wharf and the Golden Gate Bridge. We were only 15 minutes away from sunset and we decided to find a cozy seat and enjoy our final moments in this lovely city. You know you have found the right person when you are able to sit with them in silence and enjoy the world around you and their simple presence. It was definitely worth the extra hour we had to spend in traffic. Well, maybe Trent wouldn’t agree because that was his shift to drive.
I could not have been blessed with a better husband. I am thankful that when we are together we are able to toss all work aside and enjoy our time with one another. Those who live by email understand how hard it is to turn it off. Trent worked so hard to make sure that we had a smooth road trip and he exceeded all my expectations. He is such a fun, loving, and thoughtful man and I am so lucky to have him as my travel partner and as my life partner. Here’s to 2013– the year of adventure. It’s going to be an exciting year to say the least! Thanks for reading!