Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ozona Abode

We moved into this great neighborhood that is completely different from the rest of Tampa. The houses are these really cute old Florida Key style houses. The neighbors are so friendly, and there's tons of things within walking distance. Almost everyone in the neighborhood drives around in golf carts. It's a really special place, and a really great dwelling to return to after dealing with Tampa city all day. I'll try and get some photos of the neighborhood up soon. Here's some photos of our new home in Ozona, including some furniture we've been redoing to fit in with the rest of our furnishings. We've really been enjoying creating our own living space. Eliot and I have never been able to start from scratch and have our own stuff together.

~Living room w/ fireplace (I know we live in FL), looking towards the front door and enclosed front porch~

~Couch and coffe table~

~Living room looking towards the kitchen~


~These little yellow tables we've been working on sanding and painting, and Eliot had to build a new base for the long one. They were cheap on Craig's List and they look 100x's better than when we first got them~

~Before picture of our dresser~

~After: With new knobs and all~

~Found these on Etsy~

~Before picture of our dining room chairs- pretty bad I know~

~After: Cleaned and refurbished~

~The set~

~Our country style hutch, another great Craig's List find~

Friday, January 15, 2010

I Guess It's About Time

I'm going back to school.

I finished my associates degree 2 years ago and I had no idea where to go from there. There's always that worry when you take a break from school, that you might not go back. I've never loved going to school and sitting in classrooms with lectures and essays and tests. I really envy Eliot in the way he's so academic and all around "good" at being a student. I realize the value of an education, and I've known I wanted to finish it, but I just didn't want to waste my time and money doing something "just because." This past year and a half of traveling has been exactly what I needed. I started it, not having any clue or direction of where I wanted to go. Now, I feel like there's a dozen different things I would love to do. So after brainstorming and weighing my options I've decided...


I've gotten a lot of encouragement and positive feedback about the photos I put up on this blog. I love the feeling of being able to capture not only an image but also an emotion that's linked to a memory and to be able to put that in a picture. So I really want to learn more about it, and figure out exactly what I'm doing behind the lens. So Thank You for the encouragement and kind words.

I'll be attending classes at The Art Institute of Tampa working towards my Bachelors of Fine Arts in Photography. Hopefully most my credits transfer over from my previous associates degree, and in 2 years I'll be graduating.

I think this blog is going to be evolving.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Not to darken the day, but....

Tourist killed by 'dinosaur-sized' shark off South African beach

From The Guardian

Witnesses today described their horror at seeing a tourist being eaten by a "gigantic" shark in South Africa's most popular holiday destination.

Lloyd Skinner was pulled under the surf and dragged out to sea by the shark, believed to be a great white, off Fish Hoek beach in Cape Town. His diving goggles and a dark patch of blood were all that remained in the water.

CLICK HERE to read the rest of the story.

This story is a complete tragedy, and my heart goes out to the friends and family of this man. I can't even imagine what it would be like to lose a loved one in such a terrifying way. Eliot sent this story to me with the comment "This is what nightmares are made of," and it really is.

Sharks are an important part of our eco system, and desperately need to be protected right now. However, we also need to remember that these are wild, dangerous animals with instinct that we can't even begin to understand. It bothers me so much when I hear someone say that sharks aren't dangerous. Although I don't believe they're out to kill humans, they are unpredictable and need to be respected.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Finally! The Holidays!

Whew! So my lack of updating is due to our move to Sunny FL! Well....actually we arrived in FL in the midst of a cold snap, and it's actually been colder here than Seattle (not even joking like 29 degrees).

So I've been seriously busy trying to organize furniture for a house so we can stop looking like we're just squatting here with our mattress on the floor. More on Florida later, all I'll say is that we're here, we love the house we're renting and there's lots to share but that's for another post on a different night, including some news on going back to school.

How bout those holidays? 5 countries in 3 weeks!

We started our trip from South Africa to England to visit Eliot's family and friends. It was so nice to go from hot SA to wintry England during the holiday season. Suddenly it felt like Christmas. We didn't spend Christmas in England, but Eliot's mum had a holiday party, inviting all Eliot's friends. And the evening before we left made a proper English Christmas dinner complete with Christmas pudding. Eliot has always spoken about these dinners and I was very grateful to be able to share it with him and his folks.

~A walk in England~

~This fountain was so cool~

~Catching up with our friend Mike from Argo~

~Christmas Pudding (after it's been lit on fire)~

Also while in England, Jenny (Eliot's mum) took me on a side trip to Paris! It sounds extravagant, but really it was only a 2 hour train ride on the EuroStar from London. Although freezing temperatures, we saw a lot of Paris in a day.

~The Louvre~

~Notre Dame~

~Inside Notre Dame~

~I can't quite remember what this is called...~

~Jenny and I~

From England we headed south again and went to Florida for 2 days to try and sort out a place to live when we came back in 2 weeks, and also to grab our snowboarding gear to head back north to Bellingham!

~Sunset from the deck- gorgeous shot of the San Juan Islands~
(Eliot's photo)

~Going for a walk at Whatcom Falls~

We spent Christmas there with my parents. My dad cooked a lekker prime rib roast on Christmas Eve. It was really nice to spend Christmas at home and catch up with friends and family. Also, my niece is at a great age now (almost 3), and it was so much fun to see her eyes light up on Christmas morning.

~Sunny Christmas Eve at the park~

~Playing with my old toys in the basement Christmas Eve- Obviously not very exciting~

~My sister Char on Christmas morning~
(Eliot's photo)

~An old Disney movie that is apparently more exciting than her gifts~

~Dad enjoying sunny Christmas day on the deck~
(Eliot's photo)

~My brother Alan~
(Eliot's photo)

The day after Christmas we said goodbye to my parents as they headed off to Maui, and Eliot and I headed up north to BC to go snowboarding. Eliot's best friend and his family were visiting Kelowna for the holidays, so it was the perfect opportunity to hook up with them and get some turns in at Big White.


~Eliot and Nick mid day pub run~


~End of day pub run~
(Eliot's photo)

So those were our holidays in a fairly small nutshell. But we really had such a great trip. It always makes me wish all our loved ones were closer by, but at the same time, we're so lucky to have great family and friends all over the world.

Happy 2010!
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