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Friday, May 29, 2015

Big Sur 2015

Those of you who follow this blog regularly and/or those of you who know me personally are aware that we absolutely love Big Sur.  Limekiln State Park is our second home.  We try to go there every year!

This year was no different.  We went to our favorite camping grounds with some of our favorite people.  Some that we camp together all the time, and some new ones.  We even had one of our friends camping for the first time and it was a blast as usual!

Here are some photographs from this multi-cultural, adventurous (my wife hurt her knee) and absolutely wonderful 5-night camping trip...

Camping with kids in Big Sur
Chasing Bubbles!

Turkish coffee is not brewed, it's cooked.  And you can cook it anywhere!
Turkish Coffee on Hot Ambers

Eagles Nest Outfitters Hammocks are absolutely wonderful. Easy to set up, high quality, durable material.
Father-Daughter Hammock Fun

Cooking black rice in a stone skillet takes a bit long, but in a camping trip, you're not in a hurry. Absolutely delicious!
Black Rice in Stone Skillets slow-cooked over ambers... Absolutely delicious!

These deer came and had dinner across the creek from our campground every single evening!
Our neighbors were these lovely deer and they had dinner across the creek every single evening!

While my 4-year old daughter was not completely comfortable, she was game for most of the shoot.
My 4-year old daughter's first beach night and first night photography experience.
 While she was not completely comfortable, she was game for most of the shoot.
On the second day of our trip, we were waiting for two of our friends to join us in that afternoon.  My wife Jennifer and Vivienne went to explore the surroundings of the campground.  My friend Burhan and I stayed at the campground.
Half an hour or so later, two young guys came and told us that my wife needed us!  She injured her knee while she was hiking with Vivienne.
The day after, we took a 60-mile ride to Monterey so she could be seen by a doctor.  During Jen's long Urgent Care visit, I took Vivienne to the historic Dennis The Menace Park in Monterey.  She had a blast and I really enjoyed this lovely park as well.
If you have little ones and if you are passing by from Monterey, make an effort to see this place.  It really is a great playground!
My daughter having a blast at Monterey's historic Dennis the Menace Park
Vivienne having a blast at the Monterey's historic Dennis the Menace Park
My wife, the trooper... She is the MommyHiker, she is the founder of Outdoor Families Magazine... An injured knee will not stop her exploring while camping!

Despite being injured from her knee during a hike just the day before, Jennifer is still out and about on crutches.

Hanci Family left its temporary mark at the Sand Dollar Beach in Big Sur
Hanci Family left its temporary mark at the Sand Dollar Beach in Big Sur
Some nature photographs... Macro and not...

Shai had the lovely idea of bringing his huka to the campground!
Huka on Hammock - Shai had the lovely idea of bringing his huka to the campground!
What is a camp without barbecue?!
Wings, drums, Israeli style köfte, sucuk... Protein Coma.

Enjoying one of the best espressos I've ever had in US with one of the best views on Earth.

This is the way to start your day when you're camping
A camping trip without David's Special Limekiln Bloody Mary would not be complete.
In 2010, when our beloved cat Katie passed away, we brought her to Big Sur and set her free there...  When her son Nile passed this year, it only made sense to let them join each other.  Here, Vivienne is saying goodbye to her friend.
Nile got back together with his mom Katie.
Katie and Nile are now together forever.

My daughter asked me to photograph the "Good Team"  of Cinderella
On Vivienne's command, I took a group picture of her Cinderella toys...
I also took portraits of each character, which actually turned out great.  I might share them at a later date!
I was grateful to be able to spend some quality time with my family and friends.  But I was even more grateful to be able to spend time with my daughter.

Dan and I were talking about the way Jen and I were approaching raising our daughter.  From the get-go, I wanted my daughter to be involved with everything we do.  Her involvement in our lives brought our good friends' playful sides out as well.  And seeing her interacting with our friends is absolutely priceless.  And I absolutely loved how everyone included her not as a kid of their friends, but as a member of the camping team.  It was a refreshing experience.

Raising a kid is a constant adaptation process. While they are growing, they are becoming themselves, they are finding themselves and I couldn't pick better friends to surround her with during this process.  So, thank you!

Vivienne gets silly with Shai on the Hammock
Vivienne gets silly with Shai on the Hammock.

David and Vivienne stop their intense conversation to pose for this shot.

Vivienne and her silliness in the beach with Burhan

I specifically chose the above picture as I wanted to finish this entry with the night photography.  The following was a collaboration of Burhan, David, Dan and myself.  Burhan was on the camera, David and Dan were making the sand rain and I was playing around with the flash. I love the result!

Night Photography on the beach.
Sand Rain on the Beach

Night Pictures on the beach in Limekiln State Park
Burhan operated the flash light to back-lit the bridge while I operated the camera.
This might be my favorite picture from this trip.
Two more fun ones, and I will bid you farewell for this week.  Make it a fun weekend friends!