Travelin’ Through

Lincoln Memorial

by Allison on October 21, 2013

in Travelin' Through

Lincoln Memorial

There’s a familiarity to seeing iconic buildings and memorials that feels so comfortable.  These places have always been a part of the political landscape represented in pop culture.  When we visited the Lincoln Memorial, I was overtaken with emotion.  The immensity of the classic Greek architecture towers around you.  There are 36 columns, one for each of the 36 states in the Union at the time of Lincoln’s assassination.

Lincoln Memorial 2

The statue of Lincoln himself is much larger than I had realized.  If the statue Lincoln was to stand, he would be 28 feet tall.  The interior has inscriptions from Lincoln’s second inaugural address and his Gettysburg Address.

Lincoln Memorial Close-Up

It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.

Lincoln Memorial 4


Big Sur, California

by Allison on July 2, 2013

in Travelin' Through

Big Sur is beautiful.  We’ve been before but it was brief and we were exhausted from travel.  This time we were looking forward to exploring, taking in the green scenery and breathing easy a bit more.

Big Sur Map

California State Parks in general are a lot of fun.  If we lived in California and had a car natch, I think an annual day pass would be a lot of fun for exploration.  Maybe that’s just ‘Vacation Me’ talking.

Big Sur Hiking Signs

We went for a hike and while some of the signs pointed us in the same general direction, eventually there was a fork in the road where we had to choose.  In the end we decided to hike to both.  Not wanting to overpack, I was wearing non-hiking-appropriate footwear (Vans) but was careful in picking my path when extra tread might have been more helpful.

Big Sur Hiking View

The air was dry and it was warm by the time we wound back around to Valley View.  The tree cover provided shade for most of the hike until we emerged to a long range view of the dense forests.  As always, I’m a sucker for macros and textures.  Curly moss and bark of two different trees.  Shoes covered in dry summer dust, we came back to the site where our cute yellow tent was set up to play some cards until dinner time.

Big Sur Textures


Jade Cove, California

by Allison on February 21, 2013

in Travelin' Through

I heard about Jade Cove Beach while combing Yelp reviews for our trip to California.  Being coastal adventurers appealed to me, so I added it to the list of things we might check out during our drive up &/or down the California coast in October 2012.

Jade Cove Signage

It is likely you will miss the shoulder turn-out that is nearest Jade Cove Beach.  We did, but managed to pull off 1/2 mile up the road & trek back by foot to the trail head.

Jade Cove View

Ooh, look down there.  At first you will find yourself on a meandering trail along the top of a bluff.  & then you will find yourself doing switchbacks and the trail gets steep.  & then…then, you find a rope that some kind benefactor has tied so you can have the fake confidence as you rappel down the side.

Yes.  You heard me: rappel.

Once you’re down there, there are a bunch of tide pools to climb to and explore.

Jade Cove Seaweed

My favorite seaweed finds.

Jade Cove Seaweed 2

Below is me on the climb back up, hoping that this rope is tied as secure as I want it to be.  Real shoes definitely recommended.  It isn’t the place for a lot of loose accessories or bags.

Jade Cove Rope

There’s no official ‘Coastal Adventurer’ badge handed out once you reach the top again, but there might as well be!  What a remote little find on the California coast.


Crystal Cove State Park, California

by Allison on February 4, 2013

in Travelin' Through

Crystal Cove

Crystal Cove is one of my favorite places to visit in California because like so many state parks and beaches, there are a ton of different nooks and crannies to explore.

Crystal Cove Photographer

The weather on this trip was grey and overcast, perfect for a misty walk.

Crystal Cove Textures 2The cliffs have amazing textures and colors caused by the erosion of the waves.

Crystal Cove Teeth

If I hadn’t taken pictures of this, I wouldn’t have believed we saw it washed up on shore.  Look at those teeth!  I think it was an eel before it met its bloated and untimely demise.

Crystal Cove Overcast

And if you’re feeling adventurous enough, you can go explore potential tide-pools.  The tide was a little too high this time around.


In-N-Out Burger

by Allison on December 21, 2012

in Travelin' Through

A trip to California most definitely means a trip to In-N-Out.  In this case, four trips.  We covered a lot of ground & when in doubt for a place to eat, we sought out the nearest location for a inexpensive meal.  I’ve mentioned it before: In-N-Out is pretty great.  I like secret codes.  I like fresh ingredients.  I like consistency.

October 13th:  Sure, our eyes are always bigger than our stomachs on our first trip.  SO GOOD.  The lady at the table next to us couldn’t contain herself (I also don’t think she had ever seen them ‘animal style’ – with the sauce, sauteed onions, & cheese).  She finally asked, “Are you two really going to eat all that?”  & I grinned and said “Yes.. it’s delicious.”  She gave a disapproving stare.  Later she proceeded to steal fries from her teenage daughter’s tray.  What a weird world we live in.

Visit to In-N-Out Burger - Oct. 13, 2012

October 16th: Taken halfway through eating because I realize In-N-Out is fun to document.

Visit to In-N-Out Burger - Oct. 16, 2012

October 19th:  You can tell as the trip progressed, we’ve really honed our orders to exactly what we want.  We often share fries which is why one is ‘animal style’ & one isn’t.

Visit to In-N-Out Burger - Oct. 19, 2012

October 21st: Our last visit was on the day before we flew back to Toronto.  Our last kick at the can was a straight forward one.  When in doubt, our beverage of choice is a Neapolitan milkshake or a Dr. Pepper.

Visit to In-N-Out Burger - Oct. 21, 2012


Santa Monica Pier, California

by Allison on November 22, 2012

in Travelin' Through

Santa Monica Pier Signage

On our drive up the coast, we stopped by to explore Santa Monica Pier & have a picnic lunch.  There is a carousel from the 1920’s, an aquarium, arcade, trapeze school & tourist shops.

Santa Monica Pier Lookout

Santa Monica Zoltar

A highlight was seeing two Zoltar fortune telling machines standing guard outside the arcade.  (“I wish I were big.”  & yes, I got a fortune…and was very careful to not make any erroneous wishes during the process.

Santa Monica Pier Route 66

Santa Monica Pier Fog


San Clemente Pier, California

by Allison on November 12, 2012

in Travelin' Through

San Clemente Train Sign

I grew up sandwiched between a cluster of suburban beach towns.  San Clemente is one of those towns.  It is known for nice climate, Spanish colonial architecture (nothing like a good ol adobe roof tile) & being the “Western White House” for a post-resignation Richard Nixon in the process of writing his memoirs.

San Clemente Pier

San Clemente Pier Palm Trees

San Clemente Coast

San Clemente Water


Los Angeles: Getty Museum

by Allison on October 29, 2012

in Travelin' Through

Getty Museum

I just never get tired of visiting the Getty when we’re in Los Angeles.  This time we took their architecture tour which offered some interesting nuggets of information about the materials (16,000 tons of Italian travertine) & design behind the structure itself (30-inch squares arranged in a grid).

Getty Museum Labyrinth

Getty Museum Architecture

Getty Museum Stonework

Getty Garden Walk

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Canadian Exhibition 2012

by Allison on September 13, 2012

in Travelin' Through


One of my favorite things to do at the end of summer is visit the Ex.  The Canadian Exhibition is basically a gigantic carnival that lasts 2.5 weeks, symbolically drawing summer to a close on Labor Day weekend.

CNE Cockpit

One of the highlights this year was sitting in a CF-18AND a Snowbird.  I pushed a lot of the buttons & turned a lot of the knobs.  & the ejection seat button.

CNE Looking Up

CNE Carousel

I find it the most fun to go for their “$5 after 5pm” deal.  It isn’t too hot & often is less crowded because people with families have run out of steam by that point.  & the Midway is so much prettier once the lights are on!

CNE Rain ReflectionThis year we got caught in an absolute downpour of rain that sent everyone into the Food Building for cover.  Once I got over being soaking wet (aw man!) – it did make for some gorgeous photos.  See you next year, CNE!


Ottawa: Canadian War Museum

by Allison on September 10, 2012

in Travelin' Through

Canadian War Museum

We visited the Canadian War Museum during our trip to Ottawa.  We could have spent a lot more time there – there are numerous exhibits about Canada’s military history & its involvement within international conflicts.

War Museum Shattered Glass

One of my favorite parts was the LeBreton Gallery, which is a large multipurpose room that houses artifacts & vehicles from all over the world from the 18th century to the present.

Ottawa Missile

Ottawa Medic Van