NY Canon pics

Pictures I took on my Canon SLR this summer in New York. Many more to come.
Clearly these pictures were taken in Chelsea at the Chelsea Market.  It was my first time there and it was much smaller than I had imagined.  I enjoyed it, but expected more out of it after all of the hype.
The inside...it was cute and quaint.  There was an Anthro amongst other stores and some restaurants and a few other cool places.
The little spice market made me feel like I was in the Middle East.
Highline Park is one of my favorite places in NYC. It's a park converted from an old railroad track and is just the perfect little hipster place to take a relaxing walk.  Food, flowers, water, views, people watching...everything you need for a great afternoon.

The views from the park are amazing, as you can see below.  

A couple of interesting buildings I spotted below.

Only in New York would you need parking like this....
The prettiest CVS pharmacy I ever did see.
Walked near the Standard Hotel, but didn't go up this time.  The waitresses outfit on the left though was sure interesting.  
New York signage

Encountered quite the parade near Central Park.  It was a lot of people from a South American country celebrating/protesting - I couldn't tell the difference, but it was loud and packed and made it difficult to get to where I needed to be since so many streets were blocked off.
I later made my way over to Brooklyn Heights Promenade and loved it!! I've been wanting to go here forever and was thrilled I finally made it. It's so romantic and just lovely.  I highly recommend coming with plenty of time to walk around and just sit and enjoy the view.
You'll find the most beautiful view of the NYC skyline.   I'm sure it's especially pretty at night.
You can even see Lady Liberty herself.
Had to get some ice cream from the famous Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.  Twas good.
The famous Brooklyn Bridge.

Proof of Heaven

For Christmas in 2012 Grandma gave me (and others) this book, Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander. I read it almost immediately.  It's a story about a doctor who has a Near Death Experience (similar to Return From Tomorrow) and has an out of body experience while in a coma.  These types of books always intrigue me, especially when they come from a fairly credible source, such as an MD.  You can never be sure if what they say is true or not, but most of his message rang true to me.  His terminology varied somewhat from what I'm familiar with, but his experiences largely supported my personal beliefs about life, the universe and the hereafter.  

Summary: "Thousands of people have had near-death experiences, but scientists have argued that they are impossible.  Dr. Eben Alexander was one of those scientists.  A highly trained neurosurgeon, Alexander knew that NDEs feel real, but are simply fantasies produced by brains under extreme stress.  Then, Dr. Alexander's own brain was attacked by a rare illness.  The part of the brain that controls thought and emotion - and in essence makes us human - shut down completely.  For seven days he lay in a comma.  Then, as his doctors considered stopping treatment, Alexander's eyes popped open.  He had come back.  Alexander's recovery is a medical miracle.  But the real miracle of his story lies elsewhere.  While his body lay in coma, Alexander journeyed beyond this world and encountered an angelic being who guided him into the deepest realms of super-physical existence.  There he met, and spoke with, the Divine source of the universe itself.  Alexander's story is not a fantasy.  Before he underwent his journey, he could not reconcile his knowledge of neuroscience with any belief in heaven, God or the soul.  Today Alexander is a doctor who believes that true health can be achieved only when we realized that God and the soul are real and that death is not the end of personal existence but only a transition.  This story would be remarkable no matter who it happened to.  That it happened to Dr. Alexander makes it revolutionary.  No scientist of person of faith will be able to ignore it.  Read it will change your life."


Page 72, "During the brain-based, physical portion of our existence, our brain blocks out, or veils, that large cosmic background, just as the sun's light blocks the stars from view each morning.  Imagine how limited our view of the universe would be if we never saw the star-spangled nighttime sky."

Page 83, "The very fabric of the alternate dimension is love and acceptance, and anything that does not have these qualities appears immediately and obviously out of place there."

page 84, "Free will is of central importance for our function in the earthly realm: a function that, we will all one day discover, serves the much higher role of allowing our ascendance in the timeless alternate dimension.  Our life down here may seem insignificant...But it is also hugely important, for our role here is to grow toward the divine."

Page 85, "How do we get closer to this genuine spiritual self?  By manifesting love and compassion.  Why?  Because love and compassion are far more than the abstractions many of us believe them to be.  They are real.  They are concrete.  And they make up the very fabric of the spiritual realm."

Page 96, "None of us are ever unloved.  Each and every one of us is deeply known and cared for by a Creator who cherishes us beyond any ability we have to comprehend.  That knowledge must no longer remain a secret."

Page 150, "We see the universe as a place full of separate objects (tables and chairs, people and planets) that occasionally interact with each other, but that nonetheless remain essentially separate.  On the subatomic level, however, this universe of separate objects turns out to be a complete illusion.  In the realm of the super-super-small, ever object in the physical universe is intimately connect with every other object.  In face, there are really no 'objects' in the world at all, only vibrations of energy, and relationships."

Page 158, "I am more than my physical body."

Page 161, "Communicating with God is the most extraordinary experience imaginable, yet at the same time it's the most natural one of all, because God is present in us at all times."

Page 162, "I must be willing to give up what I am in oder to become what I will be."  - Albert Einstein

Page 165, When Tomorrow Starts Without Me poem

I would definitely suggest this book to others.  Some might agree with what he says, others might not, but it's an interesting read and will open your mind to other possibilities and explanations about life that you might not have considered.  It's a quick read, with the occasional medical explanation that drags on a little too long, but overall very interesting.

26th Birthday

A bit over 3 months ago (yes, as we all know I'm clearly very behind on my blogging) I celebrated my 26th birthday and it was lovely.  I really can't believe I'm 26 now.  When people ask how old I am I always start to say 24 or 25 before I realize, daaaang I'm 26 now.  25 was a good year, but I hope 26 will be better.  I didn't imagine my life at 26 would look the way it does now, but I suppose the way we envision life is never how it really turns out.  Some things for the worse, others for the better, but hopefully always for our best in the end.

A birthday is not complete without some of the best cookies in the world.  No matter where I am Mom always sends these to me and they make my birthday complete :)
 My birthday was on a Tuesday, so I had to work and most of the day was fairly normal except for the major increase in texts and Facebook posts I received.  That evening Mom and I went and had a delicious Thai dinner.  Mom told the server that it was my birthday and he asked if I would like free dessert or a gift certificate.  I went with the certificate and I'm sure glad because it was for $20! Happy birthday to me!
Also, two of my best friends, Brandon and Erin, sent me adorable birthday packages.  I can't even express how much they meant to me.  
   We had a family dinner a few days later to celebrate our family's fall birthdays and that was a lot of fun to all be together. 
Pomegranates from Grandpa's tree and Grandma's world famous shrimp salad - my absolute favorite foods! 
 Here I am opening a giant quilt from Anthropologie that I had really been wanting.  I absolutely love it.  I need to post a picture of it on my bed.  
  I don't remember what I wished for exactly, but I think it was probably a dual wish of hoping to travel overseas again while I'm 26 and just simply that I will have happiness throughout the year.
 Had a dinner celebration with Dad and Paula one evening at the country club where we ate some delicious pasta and wonderful dessert.  I love birthday week where I get to celebrate it so many times with so many people I love.  Last year I was away from all of my family so it was nice to spend it with them this year. 
I'm not really into horoscopes, but Mom showed me my horoscope just for fun so we'll see if this comes true this year.
Oh 26, I wonder what it's store.  This is the age my Mom was when she had me which is a weird thought.  I'm trying to imagine what it would be like to be married and expecting my first child right now.  I don't feel grown up enough for that, but I'm not sure I eve really will.  Hopefully though, in the next few years I'll get to that stage.

As I reflect back on the past year I realize how much happened.  I celebrated my 25th birthday in Spain, continued traveling around Europe, went to the Bahamas, Hawaii and the Holy Land.  I was also in my first car accident, Jake passed away, struggled to know what direction to take my life, moved back home from DC, and started my new job at Oxy.  What a year.  So far my 26th year has been much calmer and that's quite a welcome change.

Still here

Gosh, it sure has been a long while since I've posted.  And even the posts that have gone up have been months overdue.  I don't know why, but I just don't feel like blogging anymore, which is crazy because I've been blogging for 6 going on 7 years.

This post is just a string of random thoughts, so it might be a little confusing, but just go with it.

Life is still good and all that jazz - my lack of blogging has nothing to do with a lack of topics, but I just can't seem to commit to sitting at my computer and pumping out a post.

It's been a gradual change that started with me rarely posting on Facebook and Instagram and now even my blog is going quiet.  I'm not any better about responding to text messages or phone calls either.  Prince Harry could call me and I probably wouldn't even find the motivation to get back to him.  It's weird, I can't explain it, but connecting with people in this virtual world often feels like a chore regardless of how or who.

I'm going to try to get back into it, but if it feels to forced I'll probably just stop entirely or make this blog private.

On the other hand though, I can't help but feel that my lack of interaction via social media is rather concerning for someone my age and I should probably get back into things.  Because it's such a great way to keep in touch with friends and also have a journal of sorts. Even it's just a instagram photo here and a blog post there I think it would help me get out of this funk.  So I'm gonna try, because I've loved this little blog for 7 years and I'm not ready to say goodbye to it just quite yet.

Giant Sequoias

Since moving back to California one of my goals has been to see more of this beautiful state.  It's so massive that it's going to take me a long to see all of it, but hopefully every few weekends I'm able to explore a little more of it.  

Recently I visited Sequoia National Forest with my Mom and Grandpa.  Grandpa had been wanting to take Mom and I to see the 100 Giants - a grove of giant sequoias a couple of hours from our home for a while so we finally picked a day and went up.  We had a lovely time visiting on the drive up and enjoyed listening to Grandpa point out various things we saw along our drive.  He told us lots of stories about Uncle Ken and also explained to us the types of plants and animals we were seeing.  He also told us stories of his youth that I had never heard before.  Even if they day had ended there it would been a good day.  We finally made it up to the trees and they did not disappoint.  Some are 1500 years old and are so massive you have to crane your neck far back to see the top of them.  The trail is just over a mile long loop that takes you around the grove of trees.  While it's not very long and an easy path, I would still plan on spending a couple of hours there since there is so much to see.  It's definitely a place you don't want to rush through.   
Fun fact of the day - sequoia is one of the only words in the English language that has all 5 vowels.
The air was cool and crisp and smelled fresh and clean.   
 I will let the pictures do the talking, but as you can see it's a beautiful place to visit and definitely worth going to.  If you live in Bakersfield don't wait as long as I did to go - it's a quick day trip and totally worth it.


Cute Mom and Grandpa. 

Eeee I love chipmunks!!  
Can you see me peaking out of the hole in the tree below? hahaha  
We met a cool couple visiting from New York.  He teaches a high school class in NYC that is basically like a giant field trip for students.  They come from all over and spend a semester in New York exploring the city.  What a great idea! 

 Looking at the rings in the trees.



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