Tonya is my cousin on my dad’s side. I remember when she was just a little thing running around. It really makes me feel old when I think about her getting married. But I’m so incredibly happy for her and Ernesto. I had never met him until we did this session, but I’ve seen plenty of pictures of him on Facebook over the years (6+ years they’ve actually been dating). He is such a sweet guy and I could see their love and deep connection as we shot their session. They live in Austin, TX so this was a perfect little weekend getaway for me. No husband, no kid, just me and some time with family, and exploring a little bit of what Texas has to offer. Tonya & Ernesto are saying “I do” in July, and I’m super bummed I can’t be there to capture their day, but I have a perfectly good excuse….I’m having a baby! That’s right, Baby Woodruff #2 is due June 22, 2017. Since their wedding is about 2 weeks after my due date, I knew it wasn’t going to be a possibility to fly so soon after and spend the whole day working when all I will really want to do is cuddle my newborn. Nevertheless, we had a great time in Downtown Austin and I love the way these images turned out. Tonya & Ernesto, you guys look like models and made it all super easy for me. I know you will both look fabulous on your wedding day, and I wish you so much joy and love as you become Mr. & Mrs!
That seems like a long time and a short time. A long time because we’ve had so many adventures and created so many memories. A short time because we have so much still on our bucket-list, and because having a kid seems to make time zoom by. Either way, we desperately needed some alone, adult-time. Maui was a perfect getaway from our reality. It’s so different from California. Maui is on island time so everything is more laid-back and friendly. Everything is lush and green, and nearly everywhere you go there’s a view whether mountain or ocean. But besides the paradise that is Maui, it provided us a chance to “re-connect” for lack of a better word. When your built-in babysitters (aka grandparents) are over 2,000 miles away, you tend to spend all your time taking care of your kid and not nearly enough time taking care of your marriage. Luckily, we talked our built-in babysitters (aka Trey’s parents and my mother) into making the flight to Cali to keep Lincoln for us. So for this trip, it was so nice to simply be husband and wife, not mommy and daddy.
Day 1 : After arriving, we drove straight to Lahaina. It’s a cute little town with shops, art galleries and restaurants. We had lunch and walked around until it was time to check into the condo. I don’t actually have any pics on my camera from this day because I had a bit of a headache (it happens a lot when I fly sadly) and carrying around a heavy camera didn’t sound so great.
Day 2: We had planned to visit Iao Valley State Park, but as we approached the park entrance there was a sign posted that the park was closed due to storm damage, and would be for the entirety of our trip. Bummer. Oh well, we decided to move things up a day and drive up to Haleakala National Park. It covers about 75% of the island and contains the world’s largest dormant volcano. Unfortunately, this was also a bummer because once we reached the top, it was cloudy and rainy. We couldn’t see anything and it was freezing up there. We got out for about a minute and decided it was useless so back down we went. So all that was left to do was lounge on the beach at our condo.Day 3 : We checked the weather, and thought our chances were pretty good to make the drive back up to Haleakala, thankfully, our park entrance fee was good for 3 days. As soon as we reached the top, we were so glad we decided to go back. It was clear and comfortable. It looks like an alien world up there. And in way, it kinda is. There are species that can only be found in the crater and no where else on Earth, pretty cool huh? You will see in some of the pictures the Nene (a bird) and the Silver Sword (a plant) that are native only to Haleakala. The Silver Sword only blooms once every 50 years which makes it even more remarkable. After a short hike around part of the crater, we headed out to Twin Falls. It is basically the first stop along the drive to Hana but we wanted to make sure we had enough time for it. Ignoring the sign that warns against inexperienced hikers (as did many others), we ventured into the jungle. We might’ve got turned around and went down a couple wrong paths before finally finding the right way. When we finally got there, it was really cool…for about 5 mins until a horde of other tourists came and kinda spoiled the serenity of it all. Oh well, still worth the hike. Back to the condo for the evening.
Day 4: The drive to Hana. What an experience! The saying is that it’s all about the journey and not the destination, right?! So true! Hana itself doesn’t boast much, but the road along the way is full of sights, sounds and smells that will have you feeling like you could stay forever. We made a number of stops. I can’t remember them all, and the names are so difficult to spell and pronounce so I won’t bore you with all of that. Just know that if you go to Maui, you must make the 50+ mile drive to Hana. Take your time. Take it all in.Day 5: Our last day. This day was all about relaxation. We did however want to check out at least one other beach besides the one just outside our condo. So we headed to Big Beach in Makena. After a couple hours there, we headed back to the condo for lunch. A little more relaxing on the beach and then we were off to dinner in Lahaina. We strolled around town and popped into a few art galleries. One had an exhibit of Dr. Seuss’ work. I had no idea he was such an amazing artist. If only I had an extra $2000 laying around, I would have purchased a piece for myself. Ha! Anyway, as we finished dinner, the sun was setting in the distance behind the island of Lanai. It was a perfect ending to a wonderful trip. We really didn’t want to leave. Trey likes to talk about retiring to a tropical locale, and Maui jumped on his radar after this trip. Who knows?! Maybe one day.
Sometimes I have clients that just make me step back and cherish the moments I have with them. Tiffani & Scott are those kind of clients.They are so in love, and it was so evident on their wedding day. The were full of joy and everyone could feel it. Tiffani was absolutely stunning, and Scott cleaned up pretty good too. But behind all the wedding day glamour, they are just the sweetest, most down-to-earth couple.Surrounded by the people who love and support them, they were united as husband and wife and came together as a family with their daughter, Sophia. They finished the day with a P-A-R-T-Y, seriously, they know how to get down! Their beautiful outdoor ceremony took place at Windmill Ridge Winery in Tracy, CA, and the reception followed at Scott’s family home. I had such a wonderful time with these two and their crew. Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Carrillo! Married looks good on you guys!
This adventure took us South. All the way to San Diego. The hubby had a long weekend off work so we decided sorta spur-of-the-moment that we would make the long 7 hr drive on 4th of July weekend. San Diego is such a colorful city. We heard so many different languages as we passed people on the sidewalks. There was culture to be found wherever you go, making for a nice escape from reality for us. And the weather was INCREDIBLE! I mean, seriously! I can see why so many people enjoy living there.
We decided not to attempt the ever popular San Diego Zoo or SeaWorld due to it being a holiday weekend and the fact that the tickets cost a small fortune. We did a little researching and decided to hit Old Town San Diego, Seaport Village, Balboa Park and Imperial Beach. Old Town was like stepping back in time. It’s said to be the birthplace of California, making it a fun destination for history-buffs. Seaport Village is Downtown right on the water providing picturesque views and salty breezes. It’s a nice place to shop, dine, walk and people-watch (haha). Balboa Park is massive! It has something like 17 museums as well as other things, and is also home to the San Diego Zoo. The last stop was the beach, Imperial Beach to be exact. San Diego has several beaches actually, but we chose Imperial based on it’s proximity to shops and restaurants and it’s family-friendly atmosphere. All in all, we agreed San Diego was worth visiting again one day. Maybe when our little guy is older and able to enjoy more of what San Diego has to offer. Thanks for a fun and relaxing weekend, San Deigo!
Weather forecast said it was gonna be a great day, and it was. We loaded up and took another drive. On the list: Calaveras Big Trees State Park, Murphys, and Columbia State Historic Park.We had been to Muir Woods to see the giant redwoods, but the giant sequoias are a bit bigger. After our stroll through the woods, we hit the little town of Murphys for some lunch before heading to Columbia State Historic Park. As we walked around, I tried to think what it would have been like to live there in it’s hayday. Even though most of the buildings are recreations, you get a feel for what life was like in this mountain town. Another fun family adventure in the history books.