|| Seattle to Santa Cruz ||

When I was in my main land of the PNW I didn’t get to see the many people I love and adore. I shot a wedding, and had island get away time. It was private, relaxed, and stress free. In fact, the only time I was in the city was the day I was to drop off my friend Chuck off at the airport. We paled around Capitol Hill on May Day.

I was now headed towards Sacramento to a small town called Pine Grove, population just over 2,000. If you know where Pine Grove is, I am amazed.  Windy roads, big trucks, horses, chickens and wild turkeys are common around these parts.

A friend Lucas needed to get back down to Santa Barbara, which was perfect timing because I’ve been looking for an excuse to get back to the beautiful SB! Lucas took me around to explore Jackson, the ‘big’ town in Amador County, double the population of Pine Grove. 


I know that Sac-town doesn't have the best reputation when it comes to touristy things to do. In fact the capitol of California was once rated one of the worse cities in America. However, I find that to be untrue. I like Sacramento. I never have trouble finding something to do there. This time around I ate the best lamb burger you could ask for at Burgers and Brew, walked around Old Town and stumbled upon a spaceship at a park.

Mt. Diablo

I like to think I am a seasoned camper and have a good amount of knowledge when it comes to recommending some great campgrounds. Mount Diablo is definitely one of those places! On the drive up the mountain there are many signs that direct you to look out for bikers on the small windy road, and to leave your alcohol behind, because it is banned. At almost 4,000 ft, the scenery is unreal.

Santa Cruz

Beach towns. I love em. They offer a sense of lightness and clarity. When I can hear the ocean, I can reflect on my own thoughts without struggle. This time in SC was a short one. The few hours spent here were walking from the beach to eating at "Pizza My Heart"

Kickin' it in the East Bay

The East Bay - my new escape. It seems like I cross paths here more than a few times a year.

From spending time with my close friends in Alameda, joining in on the Bike Party, and getting drunk at a friends families wedding. I always leave here wanting more! I almost even moved here. Almost.

The town of Alameda is an island off of Oakland, where I spend most of my days cuddling with corgis and going out on the town with a Facebook group called the "Alameda Peeps". 

Urban Ore

There is a huge old warehouse that lives in Berkeley and inside sits a bunch of old stuff that is up for grabs. I found a few hidden treasures in including a "Buns of Steel" VHS tape, a keyboard that has a missing D key, many dusty old records, creepy mannequins and loads of books with missing pages. 

Wedding in the Bay

One of my best buds was unexpectedly coming to the Bay for his cousins wedding. I was invited along, and my job was to get drunk and eat loads of good food. I finished that mission and made new friends in the process.

Love'in the Bay Area

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I love the Bay area. I love being engulfed by the many neighborhoods in San Francisco, eating the best mac and cheese in Oakland, and even doing couch sailing in Sausalito. There is always something going on when I am there, and I am blessed to know so many good friends that surround the city. It’s never really hard to sell me into going on a trip to San Francisco. I always seem to come back a few times a year.

The main reason to come to the city this time was because I had won tickets to a show. This was to see the best in the world, Wild Child of course. If you have taken any sort of a road trip with me, you know I am a fan girl when it comes to Wild Child. Almost embarrassingly so. The box office at the Independent informed me I wasn’t allowed to take my camera in, so I was stuck with one job for the night, which was to embrace every lyric and beat that I knew. I did, and succeeded. I was even gifted a vinyl from their new album, Fools.

In the same neighborhood I met up with a new friend for a drink. The last time I was in town, I briefly met Dace when attending the REVEL party. A quick - How are ya? What’s your name? Good to meet you. Maybe next time you’re in town? – type of meet. This time we decided to go grab a quick drink at the Fly on Divisadero , and we spent an hour talking about life and what the quality of it means to us. The next thing I know it was over. Until next time my friend! It was a good, short lived chat.

16th Annual Burning Man San Francisco Decompression Party

I also happened to be in town the same time the Decompression was going on. Last year I attended the 15th annual Decompression, and it was a riot in all the good ways. I have now attended 3 burning man type of events in the Bay area, but have yet to go to Burning Man itself. Each of these events I attend gives me a bigger urge to make the move to get a ticket to Burning Man.

Bubbles, balloons, bananas, and burning man. Those were all part of the Decompression this year in San Francisco’s Espirit Park. This event is a place where people come to play and participate in the celebration of the previous burn. Also, it just sounds like another reason to party, so I’m down with it. Radical self-expression and body boogieing at different stages and dance floors are usually the things that go down at this event. I smiled every time I saw a child laughing alongside their ma or pa, or when these little ones were hula hooping like the bosses they are.

The Mission District

Also, known as the Mission. A place of captivating culture that is diminishing from dynamic. There are so many alleys to explore, and many pieces to capture in the Mission District. The culture of this neighborhood took over with powerful colors and vibrant messages, down many alleys and made into murals on beautiful buildings. It was clear that the Mission was changing, and the indigenous people of the mission are mostly native and Spanish origin, and by the pictures painted on the alley walls, it was clear that they felt that the change that was happening was not in their favor. 

The gentrification process started to take its place starting from the early 1990’s and still continuing to this day. The dot-com boom had brought in taken its place in more recent times, and with that comes hipsters and coffee shops. This new scene of young, urban, professional group of people hurt the local traditional businesses owners, artists, Latino American middle-class families diminished in population, and were basically moved to the outer Mission, or fully put out of the city, and into the East or South Bay regions.

Despite the Latino population dropping by 20% over the last decade, this artist friendly neighborhood is still showing love for its community, by painting up beautiful pieces in ugly alley ways.

Fun fact - The Mission is often warmer and sunnier than other parts of San Francisco.

East Bay

After eating the best mac and cheese of my life in Oakland, I was out. I wandered my way on wheels to Berkeley for a short time, mostly lingering around until making my way to the destination of Sacramento.

After walking through the campus in Berkeley, Chuck and I made our way to Peoples park, where Foods not bombs was to be provided.

I was educated about Food Not Bombs, while I stood in the line with many people who looked as if they appreciated any meal given to them. I myself was appreciating the fact that there was a collective group of people in many neighborhoods trying to feed the people, no matter who they were. This is a movement dedicated to non-violence and raises awareness to the issues on poverty and war.

Volunteers in the area that want to be of service to help out with the Food Not Bombs movement, collect food from local bakeries, grocery stores or restaurants who have a surplus of foods that are given away instead of going to waste.

It was also a good idea that I find a shower to bathe in. I hadn’t taken a shower in 5 days. There was a free shower service provided in a facility. It was for the homeless, or those living on the road.

It was like showering at the YMCA, except the ladies looked a little rougher, and you had a 5 minute limit. There was one particular lady who was showering next to me had a men’s pair of underwear on. A few minutes later I realized that wasn’t a women, it was a man with a wig. I was not trippin, I was just trying to get clean and get going.

As you can see, I didn't take out my camera for much during this time.

- Albany - 

Albany was the last stop for a photo adventure before heading out the next day. There is a beach spot called “The Bulb”. A parking lot, aligned with a path, which led to the West, which we were headed to, to catch the sunset. Along the path were rocks that had been painted with words like “Your Mother” on separated rocks that were close to each other, and even a perfect square rock that was inventively painted into a giant rubix cube. Overall, this place is perfect for a photo adventure near the golden hour. I do proclaim one day if I have a party here, it will be called Brie's Ballroom Bash at the Bulb. Mostly everyone is invited. :)