Vacation Slides…

I have all my pictures posted from my trip to Yosemite. It was a great trip and so beautiful.

I have the pictures up on my photography website. They are right mouse button protected which means you can just right mouse button click on them and select Save As… If you see one you like just note the filename and email me. (And this is for those of you who I know) Below are the links… Enjoy!!!


Back to work for a week and still on vacation

It’s so hard to believe that I’ve been back to work for a week. I really enjoyed my vacation this year and am even thinking about trying to go to Yosemite during Mark’s spring break. He wasn’t excited about the idea but maybe I’ll just go by myself!! Unlikely…

My photo hosting site made some changes. I think now that I have it all figured out they’re kind a cool… but some of the links did change. Just to view my overall site you can go to: or you can go directly to Vacation Pictures here

I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them!

Yosemite Fun!

Overall it was a great time in Yosemite… A beautiful drive in via 395. We took one of the scenic loops and saw some beautiful lakes and a waterfall. Yosemite is just beautiful. The only down side was my brilliant idea of taking the shuttle bus to Glacier Point then hike down the 4 mile hike back to the valley. Great idea right??? Well, the 4 mile was closer to 5 and I fell not once but twice! My knees are a mess not to mention the rest of my body. But it was beautiful right??? Yes, yes it was.

I have some great pictures… you can find them here:

No pictures for today… just getting out of Yosemite was more or less a mission…

Day 2 – Traveling North on 395

Today we just headed north up 395 in preparation to head into Yosemite tomorrow. We thought about going to Bodie Ghost Town, but with temperatures of 100 degrees we opted to relax in the room watching Batman. One of the better ones with Val Kilmer, Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones…

Here are some pictures I took along the road… it is quite pretty if you don’t mind desert. But I like rocks and mountains so I thought it was pretty…

For those of you on mobile devices who don’t have Flash… here’s a link to the smugmug directory

Picture of the Day – Light Painting

So my good friend and fellow photo buddy, Scott who does some amazing wildlife pictures and other outdoors stuff. My favorite stuff he does is called light painting, you can check out all he does here.

For our first day of vacation I wanted to try doing some shots at the “golden hour” as well as some HDR pictures and some light painting.


I used Photoshop’s built in app to merge the 3 files to create the HDR picture… not too sure it really worked well. Got lots to learn about HDR.  Needs lots of work on the red showing in the clouds…



Mark was a huge help with the lights as we were playing with the light paining and trying to get some picture. This one is our favorite… and probably the best one…


Lots and lots to learn….

Anyway, no idea what pictures I’ll have tomorrow…  we’re heading north to see what adventures await us..


Vacation 2011–Home

Mark and I made it home this afternoon safe and sound. It was a good time. Mark even gave me a hug and thanked me for taking him on the trip.  That was pretty cool! 

No pictures today it was point the car toward home and get here.

I’m really glad we did the trip.  It was a lot of fun and some great memories. 

Here are all the pictures (the good and the bad) from Day 1

Vacation 2011–Day 12

Our last day of vacation and things are winding down.  We had breakfast at the Station Grill.  Great breakfast burritos!! Of course, I should have ordered Mark bacon instead of sausage.  But they were still good.  (did I mention they were HUGE!)

From there we headed south on the 101 to Lake Cachuma. We use to camp there over Thanksgiving weekend.  It’s been about eight years since we’ve been there. Some things have changed but much of it is the same. Mark thoroughly enjoyed the Nature Center.

The Lake is still beautiful.




From there we went to Solvang. Mark isn’t big on shopping but he he was excited to find Volume 2 of the “Encyclopedia of Immaturity”  So watch out world!!


The Boss told me about Aebleskiver and that I needed to try them.  They were REALLY good! Of course, they have raspberry sauce Mark wouldn’t touch them, so I had to eat all 3 of them.  but they were good.

Mark found this house really cool! It’s covered with ivy except for the windows… which Mark assumes grew that way. Smile No not really!



Tomorrow we head for home… Hard to believe vacation is almost over… of course, I seriously doubt we’ll drive straight through with no stops…   I wonder what adventures we might find on the way!

Vacation 2011–Day 11

Another long day of driving!  We started in Monterey and ended in Grover Beach.

We went to Cannery Row, which I must say, smells. Smells very fishy.  We had a lunch at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.  Mark had the fried shrimp which he loved and I had an excellent piece of salmon. 

We walked around a while and took pictures when Mark asked to go to this place called Mirror Maze. For $15 he could go through this maze of mirrors as many times as he wanted and go through this room of lasers trying to get from one end to the other without breaking the laser beam.  He had a blast doing it.  Not sure whether I was suppose to or not, but I took Mark’s picture on the TV screen.  He’s on the left side of the screen, his jeans show up light. 




From Monterey we headed toward Grover Beach and dinner with my kid, Michael Rivas.  I opted to take the 101 since I had heard PCH was one lane for parts of it.  The problem with 101 is it’s BORING…. So when I saw a sign for the Soledad Mission…





Dinner at the Station Grill was WONDERFUL!  Not only the food but anytime I get to spend time with Michael it’s special. I miss having him in the next building over 4 or 5 times a week.  But hopefully he’ll be back in the area sometime soon.

After dinner Mark and I walked the short distance to the beach and I tried to get some pictures of the sunset.  The pics I show on manual didn’t come out very well… they’re brownish.  Thankfully I flipped it over to auto and let Nikon give me some good pics!




Vacation 2011–Day 10

I had the opportunity to visit San Jose back in February for a conference. I had planned to visit the Tech Museum then but opted for a train ride to San Francisco!

So today Mark and I went to the Tech Museum. It was a great time! Lots of hands on things to check out and being in the heart of Silicon Valley lots of technology stuff as well.  After a couple of hours there we had lunch at Johnny Rocket’s. 

Winchester Mystery House was our next stop.  Sadly,. no pictures allowed inside the house.  But what a whacky place. The sad part was Mrs. Winchester (wife of the second president of Winchester Rifles) lived her life ruled by the spirits. After her daughter and husband died she consulted a psychic that told her to buy an unfinished house and continue building and never stop.  Which is exactly what she did.  It’s crazy the staircases and rooms that are pointless or go no where. She even had a séance room where “the spirits” told her what to build next and how to build it.

We also took the “Back scenes tour” which was really good.  Our guide was funny and it was interesting to see the basement. As well as hear some more of the stories of just the crazy involved with the house and property.

I wanted to try and go to the Natural Bridges State Park in Santa Cruz but Mark didn’t seem excited and I was too tired to fight it. 

Tomorrow is going to be fun.  It’s off to Monterey and then to Pismo Beach and dinner with my kid Michael Rivas!!!







Vacation 2011–Day 9

We are now beginning the journey home, sort of…  We drove into San Francisco this morning and although I’ve been to San Fran three or four times this was my first time to drive in San Francisco.  And with a little luck, it will be my last time.  Traffic wasn’t bad until we were to the Bay Bridge.  UGH!

Fortunately, we go parked in plenty of time to get to Pier 33 for our trip to Alcatraz.  The trip over was uneventful.  Alcatraz is an interesting place.  As you walk around and look at the facility and feel the wind howling you realize how miserable being on that rock would be.  Of course, the most notorious criminals ended up there.  One guy commented that Alcatraz straightened him out.  I wonder if we still used a place like Alcatraz we wouldn’t have repeat offenders. 

We wondered around Pier 39 after we got back to “the mainland.” Mark isn’t too into wondering around shops. We ate at the Hard Rock Café.  Which was fun, though the food wasn’t that great this time. 

From there we drove to San Jose which took FOREVER because the Dodgers are playing the Giants and where is their stadium!?!?!?  In downtown San Fran and the street that I needed to get out of town.  Oh well… we’re here and it’s almost bed time. 

Tomorrow the Tech Museum, the Winchester Mystery House and maybe the Natural Bridges of Santa Cruz.