Airplane Sunsets

Earlier this fall, I took a flight from Santa Barbara on my way to Chicago which had me flying out of SB around dusk. Like usual... the plane here in SB took off headed directly west and then took a long slow left turn to head south towards LAX. I was fortunate to be sitting on the right side of the plane because I got to see something that you just don't get to see every day.

For as far as I could see out of my all-too-tiny airplane window... there wasn't a cloud in sight. The Pacific Ocean and sky met in the longest, straightest horizon one could imagine. And this straight edge between water and sky was so distinct because it was highlighted in these amazing streams of rich red light. The sun had just dipped below the edge of the earth but the horizon still shined with the deepest reds, oranges, and yellows. Very tough to describe, but breathtaking to say the least.

Now I've seen my fair share of sunsets here on the west coast... looking out over the ocean where it's flat as far as you can see. But there was something very distinct about being 10,000 feet up in the air and looking down at the horizon. It was almost like I could see more than the normal 180 degrees of horizon. The sunset was stretched out so much further than anything I was used to seeing. It was phenomenal!

I tried to grab a picture of it... but by the time I had picked my jaw up off the seat and wiped all my drool off the window... I couldn't get anything decent with my phone's camera. Bummer.

However... on my flight home from Christmas in Sacramento... I was fortunate enough to find myself in a similar situation. Flying south... sitting on the right side of the plane... and taking off around dusk. This time I had a little bit more time to grab some panoramic shots from about 25,000 feet up. The colors are amazing... and the horizon just goes on forever! They need to make planes with bigger windows! There's a slight tear in the image where the different pictures didn't line up... but you get the idea. Click on the image to see it bigger.


A New Trick...

Before I took off for Sacramento to meet up with the family for Christmas, my friend Chandi told me I should teach my niece a new trick. Now I'm not sure if this really counts as a trick... but I got a kick out of it... and my niece loved it.

There was actually much more than this. A lot of dragging on the nice heated tiles in the kitchen of my aunt and uncle's house... and then of course the spinning. I don't think my mother approved, but my brother-in-law was the one taking the video! :o)



It was quite perfect timing for it to snow a little bit in the Tahoe area right before Christmas. It was quite perfect because my cousin and I had made plans to go boarding while we were up in Sacramento with the rest of the family... and a little bit of fresh snow is always a good thing when there isn't much to begin with.

We didn't actually get that much sleep the night before... so when we got back to the car for lunch... we both took 15 minute naps! I didn't think I was going to get back out for the second half of the day... but 15 minutes was the perfect amount of sleep. The second half ended up being the better half of the day... and we even got a nice little sunset towards the end. A nice first day of boarding for the season... can't wait to get back to the mountains for more!

I think I need new snow gear... simply for the pictures! Pictures from the last 4 years are all identical!



So my mom and sister made a trip out to New York back in October. Partly to see one of my cousins... and partly because neither of them had ever been there to sight see before. They got the chance to see a couple different shows while they were there... but they really ranted and raved over Wicked. So when I was home to visit over Thanksgiving I flipped through the program from the show... and I knew I had to see it. So I just went for it... I asked my friend Chandi to go with me... bought the tickets a week in advance... and we saw it at Pantages in Hollywood.

INCREDIBLE! Absolutely awesome!

If you're here on the west coast... it's only playing through the end of this spring... so make sure you get down to Hollywood and see it! You won't regret spending the money.


I'm A Wedding Photographer... Kinda...

So what does it take to "officially" be a wedding photographer? If owning your own digital SLR and lenses is a requirement... then I'm definitely not one. However... if borrowing the equipment from your good buddy and then shooting your friends' wedding counts... then maybe I am a part of the club! :o)

Earlier this fall, my good friend Jen asked me if I'd be willing to shoot her wedding for her in December... which threw me off a little bit.

"I'm not a professional photographer... but if you're okay with that... then sure!" I sez.

"Great!" She sez.

And just like that I had my first job as a wedding photographer. It wouldn't be until a week before the wedding that I would really start to feel a little bit of stress. Oh boy... I really can't blow this... or I might lose some friends!! Pressure... pressure... pressure.

In a very typical Santa Barbara fashion... the wedding was very low key. Ties were strictly forbidden... and the bride (who literally put on make-up and got dressed in less than 10 minutes) actually wore long-johns underneath her dress! But in no way does low key mean anything less than absolutely wonderful!

In fact... they did it the right way if you ask me. They made a weekend of it... a rehearsal, frisbee golf, wine tasting, a trip to the zoo, an evening at a coffee shop and then a wedding ceremony... all the time being surrounded by wonderful family and great friends! Check out the pics below... my first wedding ever...


Christmas Tree Shopping

So as I get ready to make this post... I'm shocked! Shocked that when I looked back to last year for a blog post that I'm sure I would have made... it didn't exist. This is strange because an afternoon Christmas tree shopping at Lane Farms is no ordinary afternoon. Christmas trees, a little bit of sap, a corn maze, and friends... a perfect combo for some fun!

This was our second year spending the afternoon running through a corn maze and finding the perfect tree for the ladies' house. Above is a picture from last year... and then below is a picture from this year. Unfortunately, Alex is away at school during this point of the month... so he's sadly missing from these group pictures. The scarecrow tries to fill his shoes in these pictures... tries....

Just in case you were wondering... I'm 2-0 in the corn maze. What can I say... I guess it's a hidden talent of mine.

Maybe I should be a professional corn mazer... either that or a lab rat. :o)