Posted 2 years ago

August 17, 2011

Yellowstone National Park + Grand Tetons

After a long day of driving, hiking and sight seeing we decided to try to look for a place to stay in Jackson, WY.  Little did we know that this time of year everything is BOOKED solid and the only places with availability had suites and more expensive rooms available only.  We decided to drive a bit further and quickly realized there is absolutely nothing outside of Jackson, and the windy mountain roads are not fun after a long day, and during the evening. 

Finally we drove through Alpine, WY, which had two motels next to each other.  One kind of shady, one less shady.  Needless to say, we went with the less shady one, and it was really a pleasure of a stay.  Had a lot of funny old lady quality to it.

After this part of the trip, our pictures become less frequent.  The following day we drove over 13 hours from Alpine, WY to Portland, OR.  Portland was amazing.  Good food, fun activities, and a wonderful little brewery restaurant called Hub.  I love this place. We stayed here from the 18th and 19th and then headed back towards Seattle to catch out flight back on the 21st.  The night before we left we stayed in Bremerton, WA, which almost ended up being a complete disaster!  I’ll try to post some pictures from that portion, although we were so tapped out from taking pictures there are only a few Instagram photos. 

All in all a quite spectacular trip!

Posted 2 years ago

August 17, 2011

Yellowstone National Park

Upper Geyser Basin + Old Faithful

Posted 2 years ago

August 17, 2011

Yellowstone National Park

Lower Geyser Basin + Midway Geyser Basin

Posted 2 years ago

August 17, 2011

Yellowstone National Park

With only one day to drive through the park, we got up bright and early to make the most of it.  Right before entering the park we stopped for a bite + some coffee in the town right outside, Gardiner: Tumbleweed Bookstore + Cafe- yum.

Next stop was the visitor center where the most efficient and awesome park ranger ever charted our whole day out for us.

Posted 2 years ago

August 16, 2011

Leaving Glacier behind and heartfelt goodbyes to good friends, Chris + I sent off to Yellowstone National Park.  Montana is a very tranquil state- lots and lots of open land.  Rolling.golden.hay.fields.

That night we looked at the map and noticed a place just north of the entrance to the park called Chico Hot Springs.  We decided a trip to the springs would be worht it and checked into a hotel of sorts before heading over.  The ‘hotel’ was interesting.  It used to be an office where they manufactured massage tables, but due to the economy the owner decided to rent out the rooms.  Interesting folks there, but the price was right.

The last picture from this series is the outside of Chico Hot Springs.  It wasn’t quite what we expected, since it was less of a ‘spring’ and pretty much a pool that used hot spring water. Good people watching though-

Posted 2 years ago

August 15, 2011

Heaven’s Peak!  Our treat while driving back through Logan’s Pass.

Posted 2 years ago

August 15, 2011

Hike to Grinnell Glacier.  A lovely hike although we never made it to the glacier.  Confronted with a Grizzly Bear warning we finally decided against it.  We walked by a beautiful lake, saw a wonderful waterfall and walked with a badger for part of the way.

On the drive back we stopped at Logan Pass again to attempt a hike of the pass.  With swiftly moving clouds, the ice-cold drizzle made us reconsider ;)

Posted 2 years ago

August 15, 2011

Glacier National Park: Logan Pass

Driving through Logan Pass, which connects the east and west sides of the park.  So gorgeous!  This pass is only open for a couple of short months and was covered in snow just a month before!

Posted 2 years ago

August 14, 2011

The road from Missoula, MT to Glacier National Park was full of rolling yellow hills and lots of huge lakes!  We left early in the morning, hoping to luck into a camping spot during a very busy summer season.  We lucked out and found a spot at the Avalanche Campground.  We pitched the tent and got in an afternoon hike to Avalanche Lake before heading back to the campground to meet Chesdin + Lindsay, who arrived closer to the evening.

Posted 2 years ago

August 13, 2011

We spent the morning at some Saturday Farmer’s Markets north of the river off Higgins Ave.  There we ran into Miss Chesdin and Miss Lindsay, during their own road trip/visit to Chesdin’s cousin Jessa.  We went to our hotel to get in a swimsuit, pick up more of the delicious IPA and headed to the river bank for some swimming with Chesdin, Lindsay, Jessa and Jessa’s daughter.  Had a blast :) and later that night met up at Jessa’s house for dinner, drinks, Foosball and B-B Gun Range.

Posted 2 years ago

August 12, 2011

Kind of wishing we had more photos for this day because it was truly one of the most fun of the trip!  A morning start from Spokane and we drove through N. Idaho to make our way to Missoula, MT, to check out some tubing and meet up with some friends. 

During the drive through N. Idaho we drove by Coeur d’Alene Lake for a bit of the way, which is definitely worth it if you are up around the area.  Hilly, majestic- just spectacular.  Sometime before 5 PM we arrived in Missoula… I had read about some river tubing from an online source and Chris + I were off to find out how to make it happen. 

A previous summer I had gone river tubing in Tennessee and there were places to rent tubes and trams that would pick you up at the end of the run.  Chris and I walked into the visitors center downtown, greeted by a Phish-hippie-esk college student.  That seemed to be the vibe around here- a bit hip-stoner-hippie.

He confirmed there was tubing and gave us the number of a place where we could get tubes.  We were concerned about starting off so late (after 5!) but apparently the sun doesn’t set until after 10PM in the summer up in Montana.  Finally getting a hold of the ‘tube guy’ we met him in random backyard where he gave us tubes, robes and a ‘beer bag’…..

He gave us directions to the start and end of the trail, but let us know there was no transportation and that we should hitch a ride to the start and have our car parked at the end.  So that is what we did. 

First, we were on the wrong road and almost hitched a ride from an older gentleman, who then pointed us back to where we came.  In the parking lot at the end of the run we luckily ran into a few guys headed the same way, who had 2 cars, so they could get their truck later.  They kindly gave us a ride.

The run was fantastic!  No one around, totally serene and quiet.  We even saw a bald eagle.  The IPAs helped make for a fun trip, and conveniently, they sell local crafts in a can.  It also helped sooth the pain from a rapidly setting sun behind the mountains which welcome very cold breezes. 

After the tubing we went looking for a hotel, which were surprisingly expensive and all booked!  While getting a ridiculous price from a Comfort Inn we decided to ask the motel next store what their prices were.  1/3 of the price and surprisingly big and comfy, the Family Inn became our home for the next couple of days.

That night we walked through the neighborhood surrounding campus, which felt a lot like Gainesville.  Nice older homes- a very comforting feel.  We wandered over to Higgins Ave where we found a delightful pizza place called Bridge Pizza.  Any good place has to have good pizza and this was no exception.  We closed the place down with a large pizza, tossed salad and bottle of Chianti.  All in all a splendid day :)

Posted 2 years ago

August 11, 2011

And the trip begins!  Bear with me since it has been nearly a year since the trip, but I want to record as much of it as I can remember, before those memories continue to fade.  This morning we caught a 7AM flight from Burbank to Seattle, where we decided to begin our road trip.  Arriving at 11AM we took the train to downtown where we rented our car to start our day of travel.  Our goal was to make it as close to Missoula as possible, since we planned to meet up with friends in the next couple of days and head on to Glacier.  

The drive between Seattle and Spokane (how far we made it) was absolutely gorgeous with it’s rolling yellow hills.  I also never realized it but Washington has a lot of wineries that I think I will have to come back and visit.  We got in to Spokane as the sun set and had some beer and food at a bar/restaurant down the street.  Delicious and fun and probably the only adult friendly place, because we tried to go out afterward and only encountered drunken debauchery and toga parties.  Ah, college towns. 

Posted 2 years ago

::ispark.promo.video::

july.2011

This is a promotional video made at the end of the program which gives an overview of the different topics covered during the workshops.  Video by Bill Megalos, who taught the boys documentary workshop.

Posted 2 years ago

::ispark.documentary | week 1 | girls.documentary.workshop::

7.july.2011

This is a video one group of girls made during the Week 1 Documentary workshop with Nora Donaghy.  They were making a documentary about iSpark and interviewed me about my opinions on the program.  This is the girls’ 1st attempt at a documentary and actually their first attempt with any kind of video production.  I think they did pretty-darn-well!

Posted 3 years ago

::saudi.arabia-in.a.nutshell::

It’s been almost a week since I’ve been back in LA and Saudi somewhat feels like a dream.  I really cannot believe that I was just literally half-way across the world in a setting that is so completely different than I’m used to.  I want to take this final Saudi post (at least I’m planning it to be the final post for now) to talk about a memory I had just before I left.

Just a few days before I was leaving, I went to the Rachid Mall with Ramez and Nora as Nora was looking at Nikkon lenses for her camera.  We walked into a camera store there.  It was the same camera store I walked into my very first day in Saudi Arabia.  I remember that day very well.  I was extremely jet-lagged, feverishly hot in the relentless sun, experiencing my first day in my abaya.  Everything was so foreign, so barren.  I remember the trip to the mall, I watched all the men in thobes driving their cars and the people walking outdoors with their scarves covering their faces (mostly because it was a dusty day).  Inside the mall it felt bizarre.  It felt cold and empty and dull.  I felt out of place.

This experience in the store was worlds away from the first.  It’s funny how that happens, you know?  Your perception of a place changes completely when you get to know the roads, the buildings, the people.  You literally SEE everything differently.  It’s like they don’t even belong in the same universe.  I had friends, I had familiarity and I had comfort.  My abaya wasn’t as hot (surprisingly you get used to it- the heat that is… or maybe it’s that you just learn never to go out during the day time).  And everything even seems to be a different COLOR from that first memory.  In the end it was more vivid, it felt warmer, I felt happy.

Of course this whole experience has had ups and downs.  There were times I was frustrated, times that I cried.  But of course I wouldn’t trade it.  I learned so much from everyone here.  I met so many wonderful people who were gracious and eager to answer any questions I had about the culture, the country, their opinions.  I didn’t want to come in judging.  I wanted to learn and to understand.  Of course in the end we are all just people.  We are all the same and can connect with kindness, love and respect.  I think that was achieved here on many levels and I really want to thank everyone here for creating a very well-rounded experience.  Hope you enjoy this personal slice of Saudi and learn something too!  Thanks for reading :)