Saturday, April 1, 2017

Military Homecoming

Most of us have no idea what it's like to be in the military. We have no idea what it's like to be away from our families, to leave our loved ones behind for so long. Most of us will never truly understand the sacrifice and dedication those in the military make to keep our country safe. However, what we do know is how grateful we are for these young men and women that sacrifice so much for us!! San Diego is home to a large number of military families and it is here in San Diego that I truly began to understand the impact that a deployment can have on a family. I've witnessed countless co-workers and friends lose their spouses for months at a time and I've witnessed first hand the strength that is needed to make it through these challenging times. This story is without exception.

When Lauren asked me to photograph Sergio's homecoming I was honored. I couldn't wait to capture such a special moment for them. Here are some photos from Sergio's homecoming at the Miramar base in San Diego...

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Phil's | Hitched in San Diego

I can't think of a better Christmas gift than seeing my mom happy. My mom and Phil (Phyllis & Phil, aka The Phil's) had been dating for about 2 1/2 years when Phil decided to pop the question. The proposal came on Thanksgiving day and the two decided to get married during an already planned trip to visit San Diego for the holidays. Their San Diego courthouse wedding couldn't have been more perfect. By San Diego standards the day was chilly, it was in the low 60's but the there wasn't a cloud in the sky and the sun was shining brightly.
flowers by the lovely and talented Maria at My Flower Shop in Point Loma
Lamb's ear & Roses 
The San Diego Courthouse is located at 1600 Pacific Highway in Downtown San Diego. A quick and easy process that takes about an hour and costs around $150. The location is beautiful and the process so simple it honestly had me wondering why everyone doesn't get married there!
quick trip through security
Phil reading ever so carefully ;)
Man I love making this woman laugh! We had so much fun waiting in the "hold" room before the ceremony. I never thought my Scopalopacus joke would make her laugh so hard!!  
My beautiful mama
"I do!!"
first kiss!!
beautiful lunch at Seaport Village- the tequilla was flowing!!
Congrats to the Phil's!! So happy we got to be a part of your special day!! Love you so much!!! 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

El Zonte

El Zonte is a small surf village divided by a rivermouth. Like many of the breaks in El Salvador this rivermouth helps form a pretty perfect right point break that produces consistent waves all year round. The "town" of El Zonte is small. You need approximately two minutes to see the whole thing, twelve if you add in the ten minute surf check. I first visited Zonte back in 2010 and I've stayed there two times since then. Warm water and consistent waves are definitely a draw but honestly you can find that in many places throughout Central America. Rustic and untouched there is something uniquely awesome about this place. In 5 years time not a lot has changed. There is still only one place in town with WIFI and not a single ATM. The town consists of a few comedors, a coffee shop, two shops stocked with minimal supplies (if you want anything other than snacks and water you have to go to La Libertad) and a few hostels. Oh and the newest addition- a small skate ramp that was put in about a month ago.
new skate ramp
Zonte point
Not much for surf pics but here are a few from our first day.
Around Zonte you'll find no shortage of amimals. You'll hear the sounds of roosters waking you up at dawn and hear the neighborhood dogs barking late into the night. Around town you'll see chickens, cattle and horses just roaming down the street.
This little guy now goes by the name Diego. He stole my heart and became my buddy for the week. We shared many pupusas, banana pancakes and lots of pizza during my weeks stay. Diego has a bum leg which causes him to limp and hop around on his three remaining good legs. Most likely he was hit by a car. He is very malnourished and they are pretty sure he has lyme disease. Some of the locals have been working hard to try to get Diego and the other countless stray dogs the medicine and treatment they need to survive. They have been working with a vet in San Salvador to try to get the neighborhood dogs healthy. Some are even being adopted by visitors and getting to go to the states. How rad is that?!
food coma from too much pizza haha :)
A short walk from the beach our place was tucked back about 1 km (5 min walk) from the point. 
our calle- Michelle 
Security in Zonte is interesing. Most of the homes are surrounded by large brick walls. The walls are lined with glass bottle shards and barbed wire. Most places, especially those with tourists have a security guard of some sort. In our case we had Carlos. At night you could find him in the hammock with a machete. Top notch security if you ask me!

Hanging around our house...
first night- Michelle getting her board ready
night reflections 
making good use of the Indo board :)
catching toads after the rain
I didn't take my camera out very much this trip but I did manage to grab a few sunset photos...
sunset soccer game - Zonte
sunset from Esencia Nativa
Zonte beach
rivermouth view from Escencia Nativa
lunch stop in el Tunco after surf at K59
our new friends from Tofino! These chicks can surf!!!