December is Upon Us!

Recent inquiries about getting just the right gift for a special someone is prompting this post. Too often that special someone in your life has all they need but could use just a little more art in their life! What a great gift a canvas or metal print would be for Christmas or Hanukkah! Here are a few that are favs of mine and might spark your imagination. If interested in ordering, please contact me soon. Order two and save! 12x12 and 12x18 are popular sizes -- just depends on whether you want square or rectangular.  Larger and smaller sizes work, too. I can get specific on price when I know what you're interested in.

 

Redding Rain - (square format, black and white version) The black and white version of 'Redding Rain' has been one of my most popular images over time. I found myself waiting for my son at the Redding Amtrak station int he middle of a rainy night. I looked up through my windshield and saw this marvelous sight. I'm so glad I thought to pick up my camera and play with those rain drops!

Redding Rain - (square format, black and white version)

The black and white version of 'Redding Rain' has been one of my most popular images over time. I found myself waiting for my son at the Redding Amtrak station int he middle of a rainy night. I looked up through my windshield and saw this marvelous sight. I'm so glad I thought to pick up my camera and play with those rain drops!

Redding Rain - © Mary Lascelles (square format, sepia version) Another version of 'Redding Rain' is this in sepia tones. I love the little splash of red in the right corner -- maybe it was the train coming!

Redding Rain - © Mary Lascelles (square format, sepia version)

Another version of 'Redding Rain' is this in sepia tones. I love the little splash of red in the right corner -- maybe it was the train coming!

Bird's Eye View © Mary Lascelles (square format, black and white version) An old, formidable valley oak tree captivated my imagination daily at our last home. A spectacular tree with so much character, it gave us much pleasure throughout the year watching it go through the seasonal changes. Here it is in its fine winter attire -- with a bird sitting on top of the world on the top of it.

Bird's Eye View © Mary Lascelles (square format, black and white version)

An old, formidable valley oak tree captivated my imagination daily at our last home. A spectacular tree with so much character, it gave us much pleasure throughout the year watching it go through the seasonal changes. Here it is in its fine winter attire -- with a bird sitting on top of the world on the top of it.

Good Night Moon © Mary Lascelles  (square format, black and white version) If you know Millville Plains Road in Shasta County, you probably are familiar with this tree. It seems the world is as I've seen it posted on Instagram by people who don't live in the area but they've heard about the tree. It's amazing. On this evening, I was saying 'good night' to the moon as it rose and I was headed home.

Good Night Moon © Mary Lascelles  (square format, black and white version)

If you know Millville Plains Road in Shasta County, you probably are familiar with this tree. It seems the world is as I've seen it posted on Instagram by people who don't live in the area but they've heard about the tree. It's amazing. On this evening, I was saying 'good night' to the moon as it rose and I was headed home.

The 3 Shastas - © Mary Lascelles (rectangular format, color version) Taken in the autumn of 2014, this was before the rains returned and the water level was down a bit. What a sight to behold! Mt. Shasta, Shasta Dam, and Lake Shasta.

The 3 Shastas - © Mary Lascelles (rectangular format, color version)

Taken in the autumn of 2014, this was before the rains returned and the water level was down a bit. What a sight to behold! Mt. Shasta, Shasta Dam, and Lake Shasta.

Shasta View Color - (square format, color version) Redding, CA seems to get more colorful annually. This curve of maple trees is tremendous to observe in the autumn on Shasta View near the entrance to the McConnell Foundation and Mountain View Middle School.

Shasta View Color - (square format, color version)

Redding, CA seems to get more colorful annually. This curve of maple trees is tremendous to observe in the autumn on Shasta View near the entrance to the McConnell Foundation and Mountain View Middle School.

View of Redding © Mary Lascelles (rectangular format, color version) This image actually hung in the Redding airport for a few months. It was printed on metal and looked stunning but I've also had it printed on canvas and have seen it framed and it was awesome. (framing optional, of course) Does anyone else think Redding is one of the prettiest towns in California??

View of Redding © Mary Lascelles (rectangular format, color version)

This image actually hung in the Redding airport for a few months. It was printed on metal and looked stunning but I've also had it printed on canvas and have seen it framed and it was awesome. (framing optional, of course)

Does anyone else think Redding is one of the prettiest towns in California??

Ten Thousand More Images Tucked Away

It is very hard to pick favorites for a blogpost -- to encourage people to start thinking about special gifts for special people. Or maybe filling a spot at home on the wall that's been BEGGING for some artwork. Why not a favorite BOOMEREYE (aka Mary Lascelles) photograph? I'd love to help you out on that!!

If there's one thing I'm not, it's a good self promoter. I love photography and have since I was young. There are few things that get me more excited than working with folks to come up with the right image in the right size in the right format. There are a lot of options but they can be narrowed down quickly. 

Here's to a wonderful last few weeks of 2017. Goodness knows we're all ready for it.

My best,

Mary Lascelles
boomereye@gmail.com


P.S. Please check out more images via my BoomerEye Instagram account. 
 

Thank You, KngaBlu!!

Here is KngaBlu, in all her glory, parked in Virginia last autumn. I couldn't have dreamed up the exceptional 15 months we lived and traveled in our motorhome. She is a 38' 2008 Fleetwood Bounder diesel pusher with 3 slides, a fully decked out kitchen, two recliners, a loveseat, a most comfortable queen size bed, TWO bathrooms (!), and loads of storage space - a perfect size for the two of us traveling the circumference of the USA with a venture or three into Canada. It is bittersweet she is now available for purchase! Here are a few images from our 15 months on the road. I could write a book but here's a post for starters. 

Note: If you're merely interested in learning more about KngaBlu and motorhome life firsthand, let me know. You might just want to do what we've done. AND, we have a beaut' motorhome that could be the answer. It's on a lot "for sale" in Skagit County, Washington.  Here is a look on the inside and more about details: See KngaBlu's Comfortable Living

ONE of the MANY RV PARKS KNGABLU ENJOYED This was well into our motorhome adventure but it's one of my favorite visuals of KngaBlu. Here she sits nestled by autumn leaves in Virginia late October / early November last year. One of the lovely things about motorhome life, is the changing view from day to day or week to week or month to month. We got to decide when it was time to change it. KngaBlu, we have truly loved our time aboard you -- living and traveling.

ONE of the MANY RV PARKS KNGABLU ENJOYED

This was well into our motorhome adventure but it's one of my favorite visuals of KngaBlu. Here she sits nestled by autumn leaves in Virginia late October / early November last year.

One of the lovely things about motorhome life, is the changing view from day to day or week to week or month to month. We got to decide when it was time to change it. KngaBlu, we have truly loved our time aboard you -- living and traveling.

ON THE ROAD UNTIL...

When we left Mt. Shasta, California in June, 2016, we were carefree and open ended regarding how long we would live and travel in KngaBlu. Since 1982, we had lived in several homes but in only one county in Northern California. Our sons have lived long distances away for years. This was a chance to see more of North America. Maybe we'd fall in love with another place and decide to put down roots there? We didn't know but we wanted to find out. We were curious and felt kid-like again, I think. What a cool feeling!

One gal I shared our BHAG with (big-hairy-audacious-goal) said, "Do it while you have this window of time. Health can change things on a dime."

Having worked as an RN for years (plus just plain living life) I often saw health mysteriously go downhill shortly after retirement. Why is that? Mark and I both figured it would help if we had something to look forward to. We both love travel and hadn't seen enough of North America. Here was an opportunity to change that. 

It was time to start sorting, tossing, and purging the accumulation of 34 years of stuff we'd collected since marrying. It scared me to think of anyone else having to do this for me if the day came I couldn't do it for myself. I'm more of a packrat than Mark so had more to deal with. Hard to get started but, once in the mode, I got pretty good at it. We donated carloads to organizations who could sell the gently used items and make money, sold more precious things we didn't want any longer via an online auction company (ask me about that, if interested), and stored what we weren't quite ready to let go. I wonder how many storage units there are in the United States alone? 

We listed our house the first Friday in March, 2016. By Monday, we pulled it off the market because we had received 3 solid offers. The couple who loved our house and was most tuned into our 5 miniature donkeys is now living in the home we loved so much. We closed in a month and rented back for six weeks. Then? We drove away in KngaBlu with KngaToo in tow.

HEADING EAST on NORTH CASCADES HWY We spent a month in Washington State last summer. When we finally turned East, this is what we saw on Highway 20, the North Cascades Highway. Sitting up high in KngaBlu and looking out the huge front window, there was never a shortage of breathtaking views of North America! 

HEADING EAST on NORTH CASCADES HWY

We spent a month in Washington State last summer. When we finally turned East, this is what we saw on Highway 20, the North Cascades Highway. Sitting up high in KngaBlu and looking out the huge front window, there was never a shortage of breathtaking views of North America! 

MAJOR LEAGUE ROAD TRIP and LIFESTYLE CHANGE

As we got more comfortable driving, riding and living in KngaBlu, we were pretty pleased with ourselves having taken this bold step. We were on an adventure in retirement. Woot! Trips to anywhere in North America had basically been business trips or vacations with time limited.

Our motorhome provided us a pretty awesome lifestyle. It took us awhile to realize we didn't have to be anywhere on any given Monday -- unless it was of our choosing. And we could pick our route according to how the wind was blowing on any given day.

National Parks. State Parks. Blue Highways. Local diners for the berry-pie-dujour. Small town celebrations. Lakes. Rivers. Waterfalls. Mountains. Kayaking. Hiking. Meeting the locals. Oh, and the rail trails for biking!

GLACIER LAKE - GLACIER NP It was our first time at Glacier National Park. We stayed in an RV Park in Columbia Falls, MT and drove our tow vehicle (Honda CRV) through the NP. Look at the water in Glacier Lake. It was absolutely pristine! (A funny thing happened in Columbia Falls. We randomly ran into Rotary friends from Redding, CA - Chet and Sandy - who are traveling fulltime in their 5th wheel. Chet was out walking his dog as we were headed out of the RV park to go somewhere. What's wilder? We've randomly run into them in Texas and Washington since!

GLACIER LAKE - GLACIER NP

It was our first time at Glacier National Park. We stayed in an RV Park in Columbia Falls, MT and drove our tow vehicle (Honda CRV) through the NP. Look at the water in Glacier Lake. It was absolutely pristine! (A funny thing happened in Columbia Falls. We randomly ran into Rotary friends from Redding, CA - Chet and Sandy - who are traveling fulltime in their 5th wheel. Chet was out walking his dog as we were headed out of the RV park to go somewhere. What's wilder? We've randomly run into them in Texas and Washington since!

WINDOW with a VIEW One of the grandest things about motorhome travel is that view. Sitting high up in a comfortable captain's chair sipping a fresh cup of coffee and taking in the surrounds is pretty mighty. Did I mention the engine is in the rear in a "diesel pusher" which makes for a quiet ride?

WINDOW with a VIEW

One of the grandest things about motorhome travel is that view. Sitting high up in a comfortable captain's chair sipping a fresh cup of coffee and taking in the surrounds is pretty mighty. Did I mention the engine is in the rear in a "diesel pusher" which makes for a quiet ride?

MT. RUSHMORE via CAR Have you been to Mt. Rushmore? We were actually staying at a campground outside Lead, South Dakota and traveled to Mt. Rushmore via our tow vehicle early in the morning to beat the crowds. Our tow vehicle (a 2008 Honda CRV) was key to taking side trips when we were parked for a few days or more.

MT. RUSHMORE via CAR

Have you been to Mt. Rushmore? We were actually staying at a campground outside Lead, South Dakota and traveled to Mt. Rushmore via our tow vehicle early in the morning to beat the crowds. Our tow vehicle (a 2008 Honda CRV) was key to taking side trips when we were parked for a few days or more.

HAVE YOU HEARD of KENNETH, MINNESOTA? As a kid, I use to visit Kenneth, Minnesota with my parents. My aunt and uncle lived on the 2nd floor of this building over my uncle's welding shop. The tiny town sits in the middle of corn fields. As a kid, I had a hard time realizing there was much going on in the area. At this point in life, I know there's more going on than meets the eye. (Well, maybe not Kenneth itself but let's say the area in general...) And I love rural much more now than then! Being there, I could faintly hear my uncle and his barbershop quartet singing. THAT's the sort of thing that goes on in Small Town America!

HAVE YOU HEARD of KENNETH, MINNESOTA?

As a kid, I use to visit Kenneth, Minnesota with my parents. My aunt and uncle lived on the 2nd floor of this building over my uncle's welding shop. The tiny town sits in the middle of corn fields. As a kid, I had a hard time realizing there was much going on in the area. At this point in life, I know there's more going on than meets the eye. (Well, maybe not Kenneth itself but let's say the area in general...) And I love rural much more now than then! Being there, I could faintly hear my uncle and his barbershop quartet singing. THAT's the sort of thing that goes on in Small Town America!

KNGABLU in MY HOMETOWN - WILLMAR, MN We parked on the side street so I could jump out to get this photo of KngaBlu in the neighborhood where I lived until I was 18. What a splendid place it was. Loads of kids to hang out with, safe until after dark to be out playing games, riding bikes, whatever. We could catch fireflies and sell lemonade in our front yards. My first childhood friend lived two doors away and we're still very connected, like the Sister neither of us ever had. How quirky to introduce our motorhome to my first house in life! 

KNGABLU in MY HOMETOWN - WILLMAR, MN

We parked on the side street so I could jump out to get this photo of KngaBlu in the neighborhood where I lived until I was 18. What a splendid place it was. Loads of kids to hang out with, safe until after dark to be out playing games, riding bikes, whatever. We could catch fireflies and sell lemonade in our front yards. My first childhood friend lived two doors away and we're still very connected, like the Sister neither of us ever had. How quirky to introduce our motorhome to my first house in life! 

SILVER ISLET near THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO From my hometown in Minnesota, we headed north and had a grand night in Duluth (what a cool town!) prior to visiting my brother, sister-in-law, and niece in Thunder Bay, Ontario on Lake Superior. An afternoon jaunt to Silver Islet brought us to this beautiful spot. I kind of thought I'd died and gone to heaven. It was such a lovely community of cottages owned for eons by the same families - handed down through generations. It wouldn't have been complete without a picnic, on flat rocks draping down to Superior, including smoked fish, cheese, and tasty bread. 

SILVER ISLET near THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO

From my hometown in Minnesota, we headed north and had a grand night in Duluth (what a cool town!) prior to visiting my brother, sister-in-law, and niece in Thunder Bay, Ontario on Lake Superior.

An afternoon jaunt to Silver Islet brought us to this beautiful spot. I kind of thought I'd died and gone to heaven. It was such a lovely community of cottages owned for eons by the same families - handed down through generations. It wouldn't have been complete without a picnic, on flat rocks draping down to Superior, including smoked fish, cheese, and tasty bread. 

MARQUETTE, MI - GOOD WALKABILITY There's something about cold that draws both my brothers. Are we really of the same DNA? One lives in Thunder Bay, Ontario and the other in Marquette. Michigan. KngaBlu did the Circle Tour of Lake Superior making our way to Marquette. It has grown up a lot since I was last there, maturing beautifully. Here's a peek at Marquette's downtown where we enjoyed a restaurant or two and were able to walk to our destinations --> good walkability factor. Oh, and a big lake to watch my sister-in-law and her rowing crew early in the morning. Go, Zhong! (If interested, read about our Lake Superior Circle Tour: Part 1 // Part 2

MARQUETTE, MI - GOOD WALKABILITY

There's something about cold that draws both my brothers. Are we really of the same DNA? One lives in Thunder Bay, Ontario and the other in Marquette. Michigan. KngaBlu did the Circle Tour of Lake Superior making our way to Marquette. It has grown up a lot since I was last there, maturing beautifully.

Here's a peek at Marquette's downtown where we enjoyed a restaurant or two and were able to walk to our destinations --> good walkability factor. Oh, and a big lake to watch my sister-in-law and her rowing crew early in the morning. Go, Zhong! (If interested, read about our Lake Superior Circle Tour: Part 1 // Part 2

ST. GEORGES RIVER - THOMASTON, MAINE There are 1000's upon 1000's of images I took along the way so I could be here forever just trying to convey how wonderful it was traveling via KNGABLU. We spent the month of September in Thomaston, Maine (<-- my story about falling in love with Maine - again) which was a central location to so much along the Midcoast. We can highly recommend! There's something about this area that grabs hold. It definitely made our list of possibilities of areas to relocate.

ST. GEORGES RIVER - THOMASTON, MAINE

There are 1000's upon 1000's of images I took along the way so I could be here forever just trying to convey how wonderful it was traveling via KNGABLU. We spent the month of September in Thomaston, Maine (<-- my story about falling in love with Maine - again) which was a central location to so much along the Midcoast. We can highly recommend! There's something about this area that grabs hold. It definitely made our list of possibilities of areas to relocate.

KNGATOO LOADED in GULF SHORES, ALABAMA We had made it to the Deep South by election night last November. One of the things appreciated hugely was it was easy to ignore daily news during this election year! Here we were and we had cable so we tuned in. Gulf Shores is a good place to enjoy a "shark attack" or two. Election night begged for two, pretty sure! Still not knowing where we were going to stay for the winter, Gulf Shores had a spot for us for a few nights so we enjoyed some Cajun food and kayaking. KngaToo, our trusty tow vehicle, was loaded down with two kayaks and two bikes. It had a job to do! Kayaking in Gulf Shores was fun. They have multiple waterways to enjoy. We were warned to beware of alligators. Was it a joke? Not sure but we were on the look out! The other thing that surprised me here was a nest of fire ants tackling my lower leg. Yikes! A few days later and voila! Blisters galore.

KNGATOO LOADED in GULF SHORES, ALABAMA

We had made it to the Deep South by election night last November. One of the things appreciated hugely was it was easy to ignore daily news during this election year! Here we were and we had cable so we tuned in. Gulf Shores is a good place to enjoy a "shark attack" or two. Election night begged for two, pretty sure!

Still not knowing where we were going to stay for the winter, Gulf Shores had a spot for us for a few nights so we enjoyed some Cajun food and kayaking. KngaToo, our trusty tow vehicle, was loaded down with two kayaks and two bikes. It had a job to do!

Kayaking in Gulf Shores was fun. They have multiple waterways to enjoy. We were warned to beware of alligators. Was it a joke? Not sure but we were on the look out! The other thing that surprised me here was a nest of fire ants tackling my lower leg. Yikes! A few days later and voila! Blisters galore.

FIRST TEXAS FERRY RIDE for KNGABLU We had NO idea ferry rides were in our future! We hit Texas and, after unhitching KngaToo, we boarded this ferry separately. Mark drove the motorhome and I drove the car. No cost. FREE! And it cut many miles off our journey from A to B. We were skeptical at first. This was our HOUSE boarding this little ferry. It worked and we didn't hesitate thereafter when we found it was just what you did in Texas.

FIRST TEXAS FERRY RIDE for KNGABLU

We had NO idea ferry rides were in our future! We hit Texas and, after unhitching KngaToo, we boarded this ferry separately. Mark drove the motorhome and I drove the car. No cost. FREE! And it cut many miles off our journey from A to B. We were skeptical at first. This was our HOUSE boarding this little ferry. It worked and we didn't hesitate thereafter when we found it was just what you did in Texas.

A MOST IMPORTANT CIRCLE of FRIENDS - PORT A, TEXAS This circle of people represents the most important new friends made during our 15 months on the road. We had no idea when we arrived in Port Aransas, Texas what was about to eventuate. Port A is located on Mustang Island on the Texas Gulf Coast and is where many of these fine folks have been going winter after winter for years. Lucky for us they were open to welcoming us into their circle. It was at 4pm each day we would gather round with our beverage of choice to catch up on what everyone had been doing during the day. Be it biking, kayaking, fishing, carving, birding, yoga, painting, knitting... These were the fine folks who showed us the ins and outs of the Texas Gulf Coast. Before a Coast Guardsman from Texas who we'd met in Maine suggested the area to us, we hadn't given it consideration. It was a most serendipitous meeting in Rockland, Maine. Sadly, Port A was hit directly by Hurricane Harvey and they will be re-building for a long time to come. Some of this group is returning to assist in the effort. Others are headed to Florida, Alabama, other destinations in Texas, and Arizona. We will always cherish our winter in Port A, Texas.

A MOST IMPORTANT CIRCLE of FRIENDS - PORT A, TEXAS

This circle of people represents the most important new friends made during our 15 months on the road. We had no idea when we arrived in Port Aransas, Texas what was about to eventuate.

Port A is located on Mustang Island on the Texas Gulf Coast and is where many of these fine folks have been going winter after winter for years. Lucky for us they were open to welcoming us into their circle. It was at 4pm each day we would gather round with our beverage of choice to catch up on what everyone had been doing during the day. Be it biking, kayaking, fishing, carving, birding, yoga, painting, knitting... These were the fine folks who showed us the ins and outs of the Texas Gulf Coast. Before a Coast Guardsman from Texas who we'd met in Maine suggested the area to us, we hadn't given it consideration. It was a most serendipitous meeting in Rockland, Maine.

Sadly, Port A was hit directly by Hurricane Harvey and they will be re-building for a long time to come. Some of this group is returning to assist in the effort. Others are headed to Florida, Alabama, other destinations in Texas, and Arizona. We will always cherish our winter in Port A, Texas.

THE VENTURE - WE BOUGHT a HOME, KNGABLU is FOR SALE

The stories, they do go on. I'm basically ending this saga in mid-March 2017 with months more to go.

The more I write, the more that comes to mind. I've got a winter ahead to collect my thoughts and get a gazillion photos and stories in order. Wish me luck!

One of the goals in this motorhome venture around the USA was to see where we might want to settle down again. Would one place or a few places stand out?  We had a checklist. One of them was we were looking for "not to hot, not too cold" and preferably in one of the Western States. We found it! And now KngaBlu is on the market. We don't want her to sit idle but for someone to buy it and have the fun and adventures we had. It's 15 months we will never regret.

                                                ______________________________

MORE PHOTOS OF KNGABLU

If you missed the link above to look on the INSIDE OF KNGABLU, click here. I have also postedmore photos on Instagram under BoomerEye.

35 Short Years Ago - Our Wedding

It was a windy Wellington day 35 years ago when we said "I Do.".  This is one of the few wedding photos I can even find. As much as I love photography, we didn't have a professional photographer at our wedding! Too bad as I would LOVE to have had some more shots of that hat I'm wearing! :-)

NO I's to DOT or T's to CROSS It was long enough ago, it's hard to believe color film was available. It was. For this purpose, B&W seems suitable. Handsome Mark is signing the marriage certificate. He had no i's to dot or t's to cross in his name. It was that simple. Photo by Uncle Les / Wellington, NZ on that day.

NO I's to DOT or T's to CROSS

It was long enough ago, it's hard to believe color film was available. It was. For this purpose, B&W seems suitable. Handsome Mark is signing the marriage certificate. He had no i's to dot or t's to cross in his name. It was that simple. Photo by Uncle Les / Wellington, NZ on that day.

WHAT WAS GOING ON IN 1982?

For certain, this wedding photo was taken with film. Digital cameras didn't exist. The first CD player was sold in Japan that year. Thriller (remember Michael Jackson?) was released in 1982. And Prince William was born. I'm sure there was a lot more than happened, too, but...

Mostly what I remember from 1982 was hitchhiking and exploring New Zealand top to bottom with a childhood pal and falling hard for a Kiwi I'd met in Minnesota a few years prior when he was an exchange student at the University of Minnesota. The other things I've mentioned weren't on my radar - except for Prince William. THAT I remember. Why? My first and forever friend in life had a beautiful baby boy on that same day back in South Dakota. It was June 18th and happened to be her own birthday. What a day!

Why did ZeKiwi catch my eye? 

*That-Accent  (let's be real, after all)
*Humor galore
*Integrity-Beyond-Belief
*Fun-Master
*Adrenaline-Junkie
*Solid-Roots
*Adrenaline-Junkie
*Focused
*Creative
*Works-Hard-Plays-Hard
*World-Adventurer
*Those-Blue-Eyes
*Impressive-Musterer (ever watched sheep dogs working?)
*Idea-Guy
*The List Goes on...
 

WHO IS THIS GUY -- REALLY?

I wonder how many of us REALLY know who we're marrying when we say "I do?" It's kind of a _____ shoot in so many ways. Somehow I was fortunate to hit the Bull's Eye. It surely helped to get to know his small but wonderful family around the country.

When Linda and I visited Mark's 82 year old grandmother, all 4'11" of her in her humungous home in Dunedin, and saw how she lived with chickens and flowers in the yard balanced with beautiful art work in the house, I was intrigued.

After hours of conversation and getting to know Gran, I spotted her spinning wheel and asked if I could please pay her to knit me a sweater. When she said, "For YOU, I'll do it for free", there was nothing that spoke to me more clearly that this guy MUST be the Real McCoy!

I DO, I DO

We married in Wellington on September 25th. It was a small and intimate gathering in a wee church on a hill above the City. Following the ceremony was a very fun dinner reception at a hotel on Oriental Bay. Done in Kiwi style with long speeches and toasts that had everyone laughing and thinking thoughtfully, too. It was only when the red wine spilled on the Bride and Groom's table decked out in white linen that the cigars came out...

Having left New Zealand the end of October when the weather was getting good (Spring time), we leapt right into a Minnesota winter at Christmas time. And that's the truck I purchased to haul my things back to California from Minneapolis where I'd stored them in my apartment I thought I was returning to.

Having left New Zealand the end of October when the weather was getting good (Spring time), we leapt right into a Minnesota winter at Christmas time. And that's the truck I purchased to haul my things back to California from Minneapolis where I'd stored them in my apartment I thought I was returning to.

NEW ZEALAND to CALIFORNIA

It was bittersweet to say good-bye to family inNew Zealand, but we were looking ahead to the adventure of the unknown. We flew to Hawaii for a couple weeks before hitting Los Angeles where we stayed with friends while looking for a car. Once purchased, it was time to hit the road and drive north.

Our original destination was Bend, Oregon -- on the dry side of the Cascades. Redding, California nabbed us on the way! Late November when we arrived, the temperature was perfect and autumn colors STUNNING! It took years before we even got to Bend for a visit! (Beautiful town, BTW -- much cooler temperature wise than Redding.)

Mark found work that would tide him over while he worked on his real estate license. I found work as an RN at one of the (then) three hospitals in town. Life was good. We dug in and became part of the Greater Redding community where we lived until 2016!

 

REDDING RODEO We dug into Redding area life. It was a great place to raise our two boys. It's not May without the rodeo in Redding.

REDDING RODEO

We dug into Redding area life. It was a great place to raise our two boys. It's not May without the rodeo in Redding.

IT'S BEEN MORE THAN FUN

Today we celebrate 35 years of marriage. How'd THAT happen? The saying "time flies" is an absolute understatement. Raising two active sons went by in a heartbeat and now we're finding joy watching their adventures as adults while taking on new ones of our own. Retiring and rolling along in a motorhome for 15 months and now settling into the Pacific Northwest post KngaBlu -- it's been a bit of alright, to say the least. Always looking forward to what's ahead.  Loveyalots!

A Wedding in Egypt?

Our first born, a son, fell in love with a Muscovite more than a handful of years ago when they met in the Himalayan state of Kashmir, India.
 

Here they are in March of last year while visiting us in Mt. Shasta, California. 

Here they are in March of last year while visiting us in Mt. Shasta, California. 

 

THAT SNOWY NIGHT IN KASHMIR

Will grew up skiing on the slopes of Mt. Shasta in Northern California planting a healthy seed for adventure. Traveling to Kashmir, India for work on a film project in early 2010, it was a cold and snowy night when he and his filming comrade stopped their truck to pick up a couple hitchhikers coming down from the mountain - snowboards in tow.

The hitchhikers' genders were concealed under heavy winter clothing. Assuming the
hitchikers were guys, the guys-in-the-truck soon realized these were a couple keen-outdoor-CHICKS as soon as they heard a few Russian words and giggling. Guys don't giggle.

For all 4 of them in the truck, it was their first time to Kashmir. What are the odds that Will and Olya's life changed with that random introduction? Whoever believes in fate, raise your hand! (My hand is high in the air for it was the way Will's dad and I met many moons ago when he was studying at the University of Minnesota on an Exchange from New Zealand.)

Fast forward to 2017, the hitchhiker and the filmmaker traveled a zigzag path to say "I Do" in Egypt. With deep roots and family ties in Russia and the USA, they moved to New Zealand in 2013. It became the most straightforward place for the two of them to live without having to drop everything and part ways due to Visa expirations. Will was able to obtain dual citizenship with New Zealand as a teenager, thanks to his Kiwi-born-dad. NZ was welcoming to Olya. Any country should be, IMO, as she is one amazing gal!

THE WORLD IS THEIR OYSTER

W&O are world travelers by anyone's standard. Both into videography and making a living at it, they are lucky to travel finding work in some of the most gorgeous, interesting , and unusual places on Earth. Be it Bolivia, Peru, Tunisia, Himalayas, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Australia, Russia, Alaska, the length of New Zealand, Europe, China, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Mumbai, Delhi,  the Faroe Islands -- the list goes on. They have seen so much more already than I will ever in my lifetime. The world truly is their oyster. Friends have been made wherever they go. Thus...a venue needed to be determined where they would marry this past Spring. It had to be a place "central" to people coming from a variety of countries around the globe. Where would it be?

DESTINATION WEDDING - SHARM EL SHEIKH

Olya and her family had been to Sharm El Sheikh several years ago. Direct flights were available between Moscow and Sharm which was inviting for Russians to enjoy the Sinai Peninsula. 

In 2017, there are no direct flights between Moscow and Sharm. Politics have shifted which meant the Russian contingent had to take a flight with one stop on the way. Quite manageable, just not as straightforward as it had been.

There were U.S. State Department warnings to Americans traveling to Egypt. We've gone places before where this has been the case so entered it into the equation but the wheels were turning and the show was going to go on. We try always to be aware of our surroundings - anything can happen anywhere - and booked our tickets from Seattle - Cairo leaving April 17. After spending a night in Cairo near the airport, we flew onto Sharm the next day. Let the adventure begin!

The wedding venue was at the stunningly beautiful Domina Coral Bay Resort in Sharm El Sheikh. It is fashioned after an Italian village with its winding streets and white stucco structures. Palm trees blow in the breeze under blue, clear skies. The white sand and thatched umbrellas match the Isle of Tiran in the distance. Oh my! I can see why Olya and her family had been so impressed years ago. 

At the first opportunity on this warm day, we all got in the water. The temperature was just right. Whether you're into swimming, snorkeling or diving, there was plenty to see amongst the coral right there! 

BEACH PERFECTION in SHARM EL SHEIKH Domina Resort at Coral Bay in Sharm El Sheikh (Isle of Tiran in distance) has beautiful beaches accented by alluring water,  incredible coral and fish to enjoy while swimming, snorkeling and diving. Photo © Mary Lascelles / BoomerEye

BEACH PERFECTION in SHARM EL SHEIKH

Domina Resort at Coral Bay in Sharm El Sheikh (Isle of Tiran in distance) has beautiful beaches accented by alluring water,  incredible coral and fish to enjoy while swimming, snorkeling and diving. Photo © Mary Lascelles / BoomerEye

The wedding was small and intimate -- about 25 guests all told. Olya's parents (Alexander and Ludmila), my childhood friend (Lana), plus Mark and myself represented the parents' generation. Two young nieces and a nephew represented the youngest generation. Friends in their mid-20's to early 30's completed the picture. I must say it was an exceptionally fun group of people made up of adventurous types from various countries. And it was good to have both our sons in one spot - something that doesn't happen nearly enough.

THE BRIDE'S WHITE CAMEL

All I can say is the wedding was amazing from start to finish. What stole our breath away was not only the handsomeness of the groom waiting for his bride, but the actual entry of the bride on a white camel. Seriously? As if she wasn't stunning enough. This was the icing.

THE BRIDE AND GROOM, CAMEL, and GUESTS We couldn't just let the white camel leave without getting a shot of Bride AND Groom on top with guests celebrating after they'd said their "I Do's"... What a great day in Sharm El Sheikh!  Photo © Mary Lascelles / BoomerEye

THE BRIDE AND GROOM, CAMEL, and GUESTS

We couldn't just let the white camel leave without getting a shot of Bride AND Groom on top with guests celebrating after they'd said their "I Do's"... What a great day in Sharm El Sheikh!  Photo © Mary Lascelles / BoomerEye

AN HOUR INTO MARRIAGE And here come the Bride and Groom for an evening of superb food (several courses) served with wine and a bit of Cognac (she's Russian, after ALL) and entertainment plus dancing. Olya had changed into another stunning white dress. All the beads on her wedding dress would have been tough to twirl on the dance floor! Photo © Mary Lascelles / BoomerEye

AN HOUR INTO MARRIAGE

And here come the Bride and Groom for an evening of superb food (several courses) served with wine and a bit of Cognac (she's Russian, after ALL) and entertainment plus dancing. Olya had changed into another stunning white dress. All the beads on her wedding dress would have been tough to twirl on the dance floor! Photo © Mary Lascelles / BoomerEye

TWIRLERS AND FIRE DANCERS

Will and Olya said the Event Planners at the Domina Resort were top notch. There was ease working with them allowing them to visit with friends and family who'd traveled a long distance to be there days before the wedding. They could actually chill and enjoy their guests prior to the big day.

Now the wedding was over (really? that fast?) and it was time to party. Dinner was done and the entertainment unfolded. It was unlike any I've seen at a wedding anywhere. Check this guy out...

I've never seen Twirling or Spinning Dancers. I'm not sure how this fellow kept his balance spinning and spinning for what seemed like minutes. Those  brave enough to give it a go in the audience could. Of course, the bride and groom gave it a shot and were surprisingly good! Let's just say they each stayed upright! No easy task...

THE TWIRLER Part of the evening's entertainment after the wedding was watching this fellow "twirl". He  was extremely adept at it. It must be amazing for your sense of balance to keep up the practice!  I almost needed some Dramamine simply watching.  Photo © Mary Lascelles / BoomerEye

THE TWIRLER

Part of the evening's entertainment after the wedding was watching this fellow "twirl". He  was extremely adept at it. It must be amazing for your sense of balance to keep up the practice!  I almost needed some Dramamine simply watching.  Photo © Mary Lascelles / BoomerEye

EVENT PLANNERS  at DOMINA RESORT in SHARM EL SHEIKH Will and Olya posing with their amazing Event Planners who helped make their wedding incredibly memorable at Domina Resort at Coral Bay in Sharm El Sheikh. I'd like to say THANK YOU!! © Mary Lascelles / BoomerEye

EVENT PLANNERS  at DOMINA RESORT in SHARM EL SHEIKH

Will and Olya posing with their amazing Event Planners who helped make their wedding incredibly memorable at Domina Resort at Coral Bay in Sharm El Sheikh. I'd like to say THANK YOU!! © Mary Lascelles / BoomerEye

NOW THAT THE WEDDING IS OVER

The wedding was over but we had plans the next day with most of the guests (some sadly had to catch flights) chartering a dive boat which would take us out to some amazing dive areas near the Isle of Tiran. While swimming in some of the most incredible water ever, I was thinking I must have died and gone to heaven. Then I heard the word, "SHARK" and never swam faster in my life!  Stay tuned...