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third anniversary trip – espiritu santa island and la paz baja mexico

Hello! Yesterday I posted photographs from our rejuvinating week in Cabo. Now, here are some photographs from our day in La Paz, Baja Mexico! On our last full day in Mexico, we got up before the sun to drive our little rental car to La Paz, the capital of Baja, to catch a Mar y Adventuras boat. We had booked an island kayaking/snorkeling trip out to the amazing natural preserve islands in the Sea of Cortez, including El Espiritu Santa Island.

Unfortunately, our “waterproof” Lifeproof phone case broke early on during our Cabo trip (next time we’re getting a GoPro!), but I was able to take my DSLR on the boat in a dry bag for a few photographs. It was so magical to experience the stunning pink lava rock desert islands, white sand beaches and warm turquoise waters.

The most amazing part was getting to snorkel with the wild sea lions! While snorkeling we watched a mother sea lion catch a big fish and feed her young. We also observed two adolescents playing, dancing and spinning under the  sunlit waters of a natural rock arch. It was incredible to be in the water watching the beautiful selkies! The boat ride back to mainland was definitely an adventure as we hit evidence of Hurricane Marie and were soaked with blinding rain and huge waves (not pictured); we were thankful for a great captain. When we got back to the city (that almost never rains!) the streets were flooded.

One day on the islands didn’t feel like enough, and we would love to go back someday to explore around La Paz more (or shoot a destination wedding!) especially when the friendly whale sharks are passing through!  We hope you enjoy these photographs from our adventure.

 

Sunrise on our drive to La Paz

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Waiting for the Mar y Adventuras boat

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Magnificent Frigatebirds (who drown if they get very wet)

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Beautiful Sea Lions

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Heading into the storm

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Back on the mainland of La Paz

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third anniversary trip – beautiful cabo baja mexico – destination wedding photographers

Its kind of crazy how a good vacation can do wonders for the soul. Paul and I have volunteered abroad together (6 months in Thailand, Christmas in Haiti) and we have backpacked on the cheap (Japan, Cambodia, etc.) and it is always an amazing experience. But this year has been tough in some ways, so we wanted to take a more typical, relaxing vacation. Cabo, Baja Mexico was the perfect spot to celebrate our third wedding anniversary (and five years of being together)!

We rented a lovely ocean-front condo for the week at Misiones (we hiiighly recommend Casa-Mar-Azul and CPM). It was a perfect spot away from the resort crowds, and I was able to cook most of our own vegan meals to keep things healthy and affordable. We explored some beautiful beaches and we spent hours swimming and snorkeling in the warm, clear water every day. Heavenly!

We hope to return to Mexico to photograph some Cabo destination weddings in the future and we always have our passports ready! Now I’m diving back into our wedding photography season here in California feeling rejuvenated and grateful.

We hope these photographs will happily transport you to beautiful Cabo temporarily! Check the blog again tomorrow for one more Mexico post featuring a day adventure in another area of Baja, La Paz and Espirito Santa Island. Enjoy!

Sunrise from Playa Cabo Bello

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We did a boat tour with beautiful views of Lover’s Beach and the famous arch, El Archo

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We enjoyed lots of homemade tacos and sunsets from this amazing porch – all of the remaining photos were taken around the Misiones condos

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Paul took these portraits of me in my happy place!

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This was taken near Misiones from the Sunset De La Mona Lisa restaurant which is an amazing destination wedding venue – just look at this view!

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haiti volunteer trip – christmas 2013

I am so, SO excited to share my Haiti experience! This December Paul and I spent a week with Paul’s parents and a wonderful team of volunteers supporting Village of Hope Haiti. People from all over the U.S. (including some of my fantastic girlfriends!) donated Christmas gifts and supplies for the children, and our team had the honor to transport, prepare and deliver the Christmas gifts to 600+ students who would not otherwise receive any gifts.

When I was first getting to know Paul a few years ago I fell in love with him for many reasons and in many moments. One of those moments was hearing him talk about his previous experience in Haiti. His blue eyes lit up with joy when he talked about the children at Village of Hope. How could a girl resist? After we got married, we spent six crazy months volunteering at an orphanage in Thailand. But finally going to Haiti and having the joyous light reignited there was so special. I will always admire the Maree Family’s incredible heart for Haiti and am so thankful that they have shared it with me.

This trip actually inspired us to start seriously researching adoption! Its something that we have always wanted to do and we will be doing some soul searching to figure out what our best adoption path might be. From what I can tell, younger couples like us are not allowed to adopt from Haiti, but there are so many international and domestic options to explore. We are very excited to begin the journey and would absolutely love to hear from anyone with adoption/foster knowledge/experience/contacts/resources to help us begin!!!

I usually don’t post so many photographs, but there is just so much beauty and cuteness to share! I hope you enjoy these photos and that the children’s sweet faces will bring you joy and inspiration.

To start off, here are some scenes of beautiful Haiti.

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6-Haiti-VillageofHope-JewelMaree-1671_WEB This set of photographs was taken at Little Children of Jesus, an orphanage for children with special needs. LCJ is run by Food for the Poor and Village of Hope provides some financial assistance. Connecting with these beautiful, loving kids was the most meaningful part of the trip for me. 10-Haiti-VillageofHope-JewelMaree-1689_WEB 12-Haiti-VillageofHope-JewelMaree-1734_WEB The girls loved C who is currently living in Haiti with her family. 15-Haiti-VillageofHope-JewelMaree-1724_WEB 17-Haiti-VillageofHope-JewelMaree-1761_WEB The girls also loved me and my sunglasses! 18-Haiti-VillageofHope-JewelMaree-1751_WEB 20-Haiti-VillageofHope-JewelMaree-1779_WEB This set of photos is from an afternoon spent at the Village of Hope School.
23-Haiti-VillageofHope-JewelMaree-1991_WEB We got to attend the Kindergartner’s wonderful afternoon assembly and distract them!  25-Haiti-VillageofHope-JewelMaree-1862_WEB We got to see the school lunch hall and the children enjoying the colorful frisbee plates of rice and beans.
31-Haiti-VillageofHope-JewelMaree-1974_WEB Many of the kids wanted their pictures taken and would swarm around Paul and me waiting for a turn!  33-Haiti-VillageofHope-JewelMaree-2000_WEB Of course, Paul and I had to grab some photos with the cuties, too!  36-Haiti-VillageofHope-JewelMaree-2034_WEB 37-Haiti-VillageofHope-JewelMaree-2021_WEB We also delivered gift bags to all of the wonderful Health Center staff members 41-Haiti-VillageofHope-JewelMaree-1902_WEB For our last day in Haiti, we returned to the school for a special Christmas celebration! The children performed songs and dances for us and we also performed some carols for them. Then we spent the rest of the day helping Papa Noel (Santa) deliver the unique gift bags to each grade of boys and girls. It was so amazing to share in the children’s joy and excitement.  43-Haiti-VillageofHope-JewelMaree-2313_WEB 49-Haiti-VillageofHope-JewelMaree-2191_WEB 50-Haiti-VillageofHope-JewelMaree-2370_WEB 56-Haiti-VillageofHope-JewelMaree-2347_WEB 58-Haiti-VillageofHope-JewelMaree-2240_WEB

second anniversary weekend – big bear lake, california

Hello there! A beautiful, busy wedding summer is coming to a close. We’re up to our eyeballs in wedding editing (wedditing as I like to call it) but I wanted to take a moment outside of the wedding world to share some personal photographs from our recent Labor Day Weekend on Big Bear Lake! We made the little trip to celebrate our SECOND WEDDING ANNIVERSARY (and 4 years of togetherness)! We stayed in a little cabin like we did for our first wedding anniversary in Iddylwild.

It was so, so nice to take a little drive up to the lake for the first time and spend a few days with Paul & our puppy Bonnie! Isn’t it crazy how much she has grown since we first got her?! At 4 months, she now weighs 26 pounds and has learned a whole bunch of new things. She still is a little unsure about the water though. She will go in if persuaded by treats or ticked by ducks, but no more than chest-deep. So we’re hoping that as she gets older she will learn to love the water as much as we do, she sure is adventurous and a great traveler. We did take her on a canoe ride for a few hours and she loved it! If you haven’t seen our iphone photos of Bonnie in a doggie-PFD, you gotta check it out on her instagram. We enjoyed Big Bear Lake, though all of the beautiful pines made me miss my home-state of Oregon! We hope you enjoy these photographs Paul and I took and we hope you have a BEAUTIFUL weekend!

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camping in Big Sur, California

We love adventures! Last month we took an impromptu road-trip up to Big Sur, California to spend a couple of days camping, hiking and exploring. Its now one of our new favorite places! We lucked out with a sunny first day before the fog rolled in. Can you believe these colors?

We set up camp in Lime Kiln State Park. The smell of the Redwoods and the sound of the creek slowly trickling by below the tent were so beautiful and relaxing.

Sunset from the campground beach

Paul had amazing timing to capture these pelicans gliding by in formation!

Hummingbird friend

One highlight for me was seeing wild Elephant Seals! Babies, males and females! They were so huge and strange. During our trip we also saw a coyote and a baby bobcat! Can’t wait to go back.

An iphone snap of Paul and me (he is wearing his baseball cap along with my pink beanie to stay warm!)

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