Photo of the Week!

Just because this woman is my other half.

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There’s a special bond when you’ve been friends for 17 years. More like sisters than friends ❤

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We’re Not in Kansas Anymore..

Goodbye, Kansas – Hello, New York!

After driving across the country for the 3rd time in 2 months, we are finally home! I’ve been off the grid since Christmas Eve, traveling and getting everything set up in our new home. It’s been a bit eye-opening – how much more time I have to myself, Bobby and I are communicating better, and we’ve actually been able to enjoy our new house. Yep, I said house 🙂

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Our Traditional-style home was built in 1880 – how’s that for history?

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Just like the outside, the inside has been completely remodeled and looks immaculate. We got so lucky finding this gem! Two stories (3 if you count the creepy basement!) with 3 bedrooms plus an office, and 2 full bathrooms. Interior pics coming soon!

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Charming is the perfect word to describe it, along with old-fashioned. The heater vents are the huge, square iron kind in the floor, we have incredibly squeaky stairs, the basement is unfinished, and we even had to have a phone jack installed.

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Whoever remodeled this place did a magnificent job repainting, updating the lights and replacing the floors. The updates are awesome, but I’m really happy they left the original (I think) hardwood floor in the living and dining rooms. I just love the charm of this house and the whole city in general ❤

We are so unbelievably excited to finally be here. 2016 will be filled with new experiences, adventures and so much happiness!

Road Trip: Leg 3

Waking up in Vegas was nothing like the Katy Perry song – I was ready to hit the road bright and early. No hangover and no regrets, ain’t nobody got time for that 😉

This leg was split into two: Las Vegas to Phoenix, where I dropped my ma off so that she could fly home the next day…

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…and then Phoenix to Sierra Vista.

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See that hard black line at the bottom? That’s the Mexican border! We’re super, super close – Mexico is just beyond yet another mini mountain range.

We left Sin City before 9am, me driving first again. In fact, I was so excited to hurry up and get there, we never even switched drivers. 😆 I wish I would have so I that could have taken photos. Though there isn’t much to see other than the canyon that Hoover Dam sits in. More desert, mini mountain ranges and roads that stretch on for what seems like forever. Thankfully, the temps finally warmed up and we were able to roll the windows down and get our “car tan” on. 😎

After a yummy lunch in Phoenix and a tearful goodbye (<3), I hit the road for the final stretch of 184 miles. Windows down, music blasting and a smile plastered to my face, I raced to the place I’ll be calling home for the next month or so.

I checked my dashboard stats when I pulled in and saw that we had been driving for 23 hours and 57 minutes total on this trip. 😱 And even with a car load of stuff, my car averaged 35.8 miles to the gallon – which is seriously impressive considering we averaged speeds of almost 80mph. AND I only spent $105.38 total on gas, which is $130 less than what Roadtrippers estimated. Ha! Talk about a success!

I’d say it was “worth it”, but that goes without saying because it was tons of fun exploring, and being with my ❤ is worth more than anything.

Here’s to new beginnings and fresh starts!

Next Road Trip: Arizona to Kansas, coming this winter.

Road Trip: Leg 2

Reno dawned bright, clear and freezing cold. Nothing like 26* to wake you up! We hit the road at about 9, ready for the 7 hour drive to Vegas. Once again, I took the first half of the drive so I could navigate for my ma when we hit Vegas.

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This was by far the loneliest stretch of road we saw. Miles and miles and miles passed before seeing another car. We switched drivers and filled up my car about halfway, in a small town called Tonopah.

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The highway is mostly 2 lanes the entire drive, making semi trucks obvious obstacles – or so you would think. It was so flat and clear that I could see past the 9 semis backed up in front of me, and was able to safely pass them all, in a row. Talk about an adrenaline rush! I think that may have pushed me past my fear of big rigs.

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We saw countless old, dilapidated mining towns along the way. Nothing about them had changed except the effects that time had on their seemingly ancient buildings.

Time also did a number on the geography of Nevada, slowly eroding the countless little mountain ranges we passed along the way.

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I totally nerded out over the layers of rock that glaciers, wind and rain cut through to expose the beautiful colors embedded in the rock. Shoutout to my high school geology teacher, Mr. Reaney!

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These mini-mountains were the most interesting things on this leg. Every once in a while, we would see a tiny little cluster of mobile homes and shacks, backed up against these mountains and wonder “how?”. Where do they get gas, or groceries? Do they have water or electricity?

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For those of you who don’t know, prostitution is legal in many parts of Nevada. It was no surprise when we passed this lovely run-down brothel in the middle of literal no-where. It seems business isn’t so hot with no towns around for miles and miles (shocker..). Kudos to the realtor who placed the for-sale sign over the E in “nude” –  Nud Girls sound so much more interesting. 😂

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I couldn’t believe how many of these mini-mountain ranges there were and how different they all looked! It seemed like every single one was made up of a different kind of rock.

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The closer we got to Sin City, the warmer the temps got, finally reaching 67* when we rolled into town shortly before sunset. Obviously the warmth didn’t last long.. We were disappointed to walk the strip in Vegas with jackets on – it sure didn’t feel like the desert!

I didn’t feel like lugging my camera around the strip, so the rest of the photos I took were on my phone, which I uploaded to Instagram.

Click here to see more photos and videos from my road trip, along with lots of other glimpses into how I live my life through a lens.

After walking the strip, we were in bed and watching Antiques Roadshow by 9pm. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas – even if that means watching someone discover that Grandma’s buttons are worth thousands. 😂

Road Trip: Leg 1

Our first leg was from Portland, OR to Reno, NV – the longest of the three legs: a 9 hour drive.

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I drove from Portland all the way down to Weed, CA, where my mom took over the driving and I got to shoot Mt. Shasta and the beautiful forests of Northern California, not to mention the incredible mountains off Interstate 395.

These are in the same order that they were taken so you can feel as though you were there too 🙂

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Mt. Shasta was beautiful off in the distance, as seen from the city of Weed, but even more impressive up close.

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Highway 89 in Northern Cali was lined with the most perfect, picturesque evergreens I’d ever seen, and topped with a sky so rich in blue I couldn’t believe my eyes.

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As we headed into Lassen National Forest, the elevation rose quickly and mountains loomed all around.

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The scenery changed pretty quickly from summery forests covered in sunshine to mountain peaks and evergreens topped with snow.

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We’d crest the top of one peak and descend into the valley below, usually filled with cows munching on cud.

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The highway wound around tons of beautiful little town nestled into the forest – McCloud was my favorite.

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The farther south-east we went, the more snow we saw.

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This is one of my favorite shots from the entire 24 hours we spent in the car:

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The road was almost completely empty, aside from a semi here and there. It was incredibly peaceful and serene.

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After finally descending out of the forest, we passed through another sweet little town called Susanville. The sun setting over the mountains surrounding it only added to the town’s charm.

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I’m such a sucker for a sunset. If you look close, you can see wisps of fog at the base of the mountain and cows in the pasture. I was starved and wanted to eat one for dinner, but we snacked on Sour Patch Kids instead – much healthier 😉

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This was the last photo I took that day, and I’m bummed that it doesn’t do the view justice. The entire sky was painted in pastel pink and orange, and was beautiful when offset by the bright white of the mountains.

We rolled into Reno at about 6, checked into our hotel, had dinner and passed out shortly after. We woke up to blue skies and 26* temps. BRRRR!

After waking up early to get a kick start on the traffic, we started our trip to Las Vegas!

Stay tuned for leg #2! 🙂

Road Trip!

Ahhh, I finally made it to my ❤ in Sierra Vista, AZ friday night! After a wonderful weekend full of snuggles and catching up on sleep, I have finally had the time and energy to edit the photos I took during my drive from Portland to Sierra Vista. Woo!

Before I share photos of the beautiful landscapes from Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona, I want to share this one:

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Without this beautiful woman I call my ma, this trip would have been a thousand times more stressful and I’d have certainly ended up in a ditch somewhere, having gone insane from loneliness. I wouldn’t trade the hours of chatting about literally everything, laughing at dear memories (and making even more), road trip games, walking the strip in Vegas, and peaceful silences for the world. It was wonderful seeing our beautiful country with an even more beautiful soul.

Thank you thank you thank you for being my biggest fan and support system, and for joining me on this journey to the next chapter in my life! Love love ❤

Arizona or Bust!

As many of you know, my husband and I recently road-tripped from Kansas to Arizona. We saw 4 states within 8 hours: Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico, spent a total of 18 hours driving, saw The Blue Hole and visited our first hot springs, all in the 100+* desert weather. It was a very long, very straight and very flat drive. I thought Kansas was flat, but Texas really is something else – I have never seen for so far!

 All the hours spent in the car were worth it. He’ll be in Arizona for almost 6 months, training for a safer job with more opportunities while I’m home in Portland, photographing everything. We are both thrilled for the future and this next year!

Anyways, here are my favorite photos from the drive 🙂

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