Thursday, June 24, 2010

Goin' Public. . .

For those of you who might be wondering why my blog did not ask you for your password...I recently decided to set my blog to "public." I was considering starting a separate (public) photography blog, but realized I would be posting the same pictures and info so that is pointless, at this point, anyway. . .so now this blog is public so more people can enjoy my photos and musings. :)

Enjoy! And comment away. . . :)

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Here are some pictures I have taken on my new camera (well, the ones with me in them have been taken by other people). I would love your thoughts and feedback, so feel free to leave a comment. :) Some of these pictures are from a spur-of-the-moment photoshoot with friends which was a lot of fun. Hopefully there will be more photoshoots this summer. :)

I should mention that there was just a little bit of editing on most of these pictures. I used the "Enhance" option in iPhoto (the software I am currently using while I learn how to use Photoshop) and that makes some of the colors really pop. But actually a good portion of these pictures had no editing at all! And I'm learning, so they aren't perfect pictures yet, by any means. :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Little Camera Finds a Friend

Once upon a time there was a camera. He was a good Little Camera, doing his best to take excellent pictures whenever he was asked. He went all over town and even went on a couple trips to Boise and a couple trips to Seattle and a trip to Yellowstone. He was a well-traveled Little Camera!

Well, after a few years, he began to get lonely. See, he was the only camera in the room and it was beginning to feel a bit intimidating. So he began to leave little hints as to his loneliness. Occasionally he would not want to take as good of pictures in dark buildings (what do you mean, "user error"?), or he would look so pitifully sad when he would sit in his case. Slowly, but surely, his owner began to get the hint.

Or maybe it's just that she wanted to not necessarily replace him, but give him a buddy and advance in her photographic ventures. Regardless, one day a new camera moved onto the block.

The first Little Camera was a bit intimidated. Charlie (the new camera) was bigger. Much bigger. And Charlie had a couple different lenses, so his nose was much longer.

However, it did not take long before the two cameras were the best of friends...and now they are living happily ever after.

All this to say that I got a new camera! It is a Canon Rebel T1i DSLR camera and so far I love it. My little point-and-shoot will still serve a purpose as well, but this new camera is awesome and I can't wait to learn more about it! And yes, I named him Charlie. :)

Stay tuned for pictures as I learn how to use my fun new toy! :)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Boise 2010, Part 2

Saturday was graduation day. We awoke a little earlier than any of us probably would've liked, considering it was a vacation for most of us, but that gave us all plenty of time to get ready for the fun adventures that the morning would hold. Val and her dad left the earliest of us all, but soon all of us "kids" were ready, and Val's brother, Steve, was appointed as chauffeur and the first half of our large group of people headed for Boise State. This, of course, turned into quite the adventure, as we weren't 100% sure where we were heading (Steve had never driven in Boise before, and none of the rest of us were 100% sure where we needed to be on the 4-5 lane freeway). A little too late we realized that we should've taken a different turn-off, so we ended up making some phone calls and taking a slightly different route. But we made it, finally, and really no worse for wear, and headed for the Taco Bell Arena where we met up with Val's dad. Eventually we found enough seats for 12 of us, the rest of our group met up with us, and the graduation began. I have to give the President of BSU credit for giving an interesting graduation speech. In my experience, graduation speeches are notoriously boring, but this guy actually made it interesting and threw in some humor. Bonus points for him!

After the graduation we took some pictures and then headed in separate directions. Us "kids" headed to lunch (for most of us that consisted of Baja Fresh - yummy!) and then we went to downtown Boise to the Idaho State Capitol. Last time I was in Boise, 2 years ago, the Capitol was closed for renovations. So I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was open this time. And wow! I was totally unprepared for how amazing it was inside. I'd never been in a capitol building before so I really didn't know what to expect. Honestly, I figured you could walk in the door, look at the lobby and that was it. No way! We got to explore the entire building! All four floors! We saw the Senate and House chambers (very cool!), more marble staircases and pillars than I could count, offices belonging to people whose names I have heard for various reasons, and did I mention the marble? Marble everywhere. So awesome. After touring to our hearts' content, we took some pictures on the Capitol steps. On the way home we stopped at Marshall's (something we don't have in Cd'A) and then we stopped at a lollipop store which turned out to just be an ordinary candy store. I didn't buy anything - aren't you proud of me? :)

Saturday night found us feasting upon grilled steelhead (a relative of the salmon, they tell me), and enjoying a dessert of chocolate orange cake. We also played some crazy games! I don't know if any of you have seen "Minute to Win It" (I've only watched it a time or two) but I am pretty sure some of the crazy games we played were from that show! We had to be the first team to pull all the tissues out of a tissue box, the first person to get 3 marbles from point A to point B with our toes, etc. Everyone was laughing pretty hard pretty much the entire time. :)

Saturday night also found us watching a Bollywood movie, and this only bears mention since I decided that I do not like Bollywood. I'm just sayin. . .it's just not my cup of tea. For those of you who don't know what Bollywood is, it is Indian film. Indian, as in, people from India. The name is a play on "Hollywood." They have made their own style of movies with crazy dances and songs, and they are in Indian so you have to read the subtitles, they are about 3 hours long, and, yeah. . .not my style. Everyone else seemed entertained, though. 

Sunday found us getting a little extra sleep and then watching another Bollywood movie. Well, I think I stayed upstairs for the first half of the movie, playing games on my iPod, and then I watched a little bit of the Bollywood movie but was rather confused and confirmed that I don't care for that genre. 

Sunday afternoon we went to the mall and walked around for a few hours, admiring (expensive) dresses and gagging at some of the current styles. :) I happen to like walking around "normal" malls, especially since the one in Cd'A (and the ones in Spokane, really) are quite pitiful. Our mall here in town is a whopping 1-level. . .with about 10 stores. And only about 3 of those are worth going in. So the "real" mall in Boise was great fun.

After the mall, we headed "home" and ate a delicious dinner of Elk steaks (I told you we ate good!) and packed to go home. We played cards for a little bit and talked a bit, too, and then fell asleep, knowing full well we would have to wake up bright and way-too-early for our long drive home.

Monday was our day to return home. The alarm went off far too early and after a quick breakfast of GoGurt, we were on the road, bright eyed and bushy tailed, by 7:15am, Boise (Mountain) time. We occupied ourselves with music (I took my iPod, and the cassette adaptor didn't cooperate as much as we wanted it to, but it did work okay), and games. 

After several hours on the road we made it to Craters of the Moon National Monument. We purposely took the long road home so we could go to Craters of the Moon, and I'm glad we did. We got to do some hiking and exploring, even got to walk through a cave. It was pretty cool (the cave was literally cool!).

After lunch and a few more hours on the road we stopped to look at Borah Peak, Idaho's high point, where I took a picture for my dad (he really wanted one). We drove some more and stopped by the Salmon River and then soon passed through the city (town?) of Salmon and before long were into the great state of Montana. I decided the prairie of Montana would be a beautiful place to live, although perhaps a bit lonely at times. We hit a lot of rain in Montana, but it had basically stopped by the time we got to Taco Bell in Hamilton for dinner. I was a bit disappointed we didn't end up stopping at Cracker Barrel in Missoula, like several of us hoped to do, but that's okay. Eventually we made it back into Idaho, and finally got home around 10:30pm, Cd'A (Pacific) time. Total time for travel/stops? 15-1/2 hours. Yep, it was a long day.

But was it worth it? Totally. And would I do it again? You bet. And do I want to go back to Boise? Oh yes.

It was a great, fun trip! Hope you enjoyed the armchair version! 

Boise 2010, Part 1

WARNING: Long blog post and a decent number of pictures ahead. . .skip or read, it's up to you. You've been warned. :) This is Part 1 of 2. :)
At the middle of May I had the opportunity to go to the capitol city of Idaho (Boise) for my friend Val's graduation from Boise State. My friends Michelle, Sarah and I flew down to Boise and Val's family met up with us there (most of them drove down, and one of her aunts flew down from Seattle).

We had a grand weekend! We arrived on a Thursday, and I am not going to lie and say that I wasn't nervous about the 41-minute flight. I hate flying and was mostly not too excited about takeoff and landing. Once I got to 10,000 feet, I was fine. :)

That evening we made elk tacos, and relaxed while waiting for Val's family to arrive. We took the poodles, Giselle and Tucker, on a walk with Val's cousin (we stayed at her cousins' house, where she lives while at school), checked out some baby geese at a nearby pond, and relaxed.

On Friday we made an hour-long drive to Idaho City, which is a former mining town and is now a touristy town/borderline ghost town. We stopped at More's Creek on the way to take some pictures since it was such a pretty pull-off. While in Idaho City we enjoyed walking the streets, imagining how it was, and then we spent some time in an old cemetery. I am sure those buried there have quite the story to share. After enjoying ice cream at an old ice cream shop, we headed home where we enjoyed a dinner of elk burgers (Val's dad is a chef and they brought all sorts of yummy goodness with them!) and then watched Leap Year while doing our nails and getting ready for the big day the next day.

(To Be Continued. . . )

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Coming Soon!

I am working on updating my blog with some of the recent happenings. . .right now I am writing an entry about our Boise trip (but since it was several days and I took about 1Gig of pictures, I am sorting through my thoughts and pictures to make it just right), and then soon I'll do another recipe post, and then I have a couple other things I am thinking about blogging about. So hang tight. . .there are more entries on the way! :)

- Laura