Wa Kei Sei Jaku (harmony, respect, purity, tranquility)

I started off my morning doing some quick video edits from my recent Japan trip. Here are two short (~2min) videos. The art of tea in Japan is zen, and puts me in a good mood.

The tea officiant that we had, Maya, describing the meaning behind Japanese Matcha Tea Ceremonies: Wa Kei Sei Jaku.


aurora hunting

to see Aurora Borealis, you’d normally think of Alaska, Finland, Iceland, Greenland (basically a country ending in ‘land’), amirite?

well, we were in for a treat this past Sunday night as the KP Index was 7 – 9 all the way down in Washington state. in other words, NORTHERN LIGHTS. boom shaka laka laka, boooom!

before going any further, if you ever have any desire to check out the northern lights check out this amazing site: http://www.aurora-service.org/aurora-forecast/ which provided us all of the details needed.

the day started off chill. we camped at the colonial creek campground in North Cascades National Park. i went for a little stroll down to the lake to see what the fuss was all about. i decided after seeing it, that it was pretty chill.

we then went driving around the park to find a good look out. we didn’t end up going here, but check out this view. not bad, right?

this was the beginning of the show. we were sort of aiming our cameras in different directions to see what we could pick up. the purples were the first colors that showed.

while waiting, the milky way was out kicking @$$

then the colors started coming out.

at first we were bummed with these clouds, but then after seeing the streak it was creating with the long exposures i stopped minding. since i didn’t have a good foreground this sort of helped add an additional element to the shots.

it’s like a rainbow.

so friggin dope.


the ‘columns’ then began shooting up. this was all happening between the 1am-2am window and then it kind of died down. we then headed to another lookout to see if we could see anything there. we didn’t see anything but the milky way was really bold and prominent in the sky so i got some shots of that.

thanks for reading and please give me some feedback on these shots. we had an amazing time and can’t believe we could see this all the way down in washington. what a memorable night!

yellowstones cracks, veins, gases, and elements

this was day 2 of our trip to Yellowstone, back in August 2016. If you haven’t already, check out day 1.

the day started off with fog. the sun silently peered through the clouds and eventually burned through.

clearing it’s way for a bright ambush of patchy blue clouds

the landscape of Yellowstone is full of surprises. earths presence, if no where else, is strongly felt in Yellowstone.

the inner matter of earth, is literally flowing out of and settling into yellowstone.

providing science experiments. fermentations. gases. oils. pressure.

that come together and create masterpieces

reflecting the sky through it’s cracks, veins, smells, and elements

sometimes, even looking like the landscape of a war ground when the vents letting out gases appear to be the smoke of a burned land

and then there’s old faithful – good for it’s name. reliable.

the keepers of the land

what sometimes may be tempting, can be quite dangerous

the earth is stewing

the veins, stretch long and touch us

so deep, they go

and with colors, that burn the eye

life, flourishes

there’s something so wild about this place, that makes us all so curious

yellowstone … need i say more?

ok, i’m not gonna lie. if you don’t like waterfalls then this blog post won’t be for you.

[archives: August 11, 2016]

OOF (out of focus)

ahhh, the great outdoors

check out the gnarly approaching rain clouds. half of the img = blue skies, the other half = crazy storm

look at the size of the mouth on that thing

attention is in the details

can i fit in too, guys?

just, beautiful

look at that palette of colors!

mah goodness

some beautiful hills

hi d3r

oh, itZ m33h

pretty accurate and literal name

definitely loved these stop-offs


plant your roots deep

jealous of the trees daily view

a tall photo

by this time, the storm started to roll in along with the booming thunder

the details of nature

go see this place. now. like. seriously. now. go.

Aliens, UFOs, and Blinding White Sand

Roswell, New Mexico. For some reason I’ve always to visit this strange city. As a kid I was scared to death of UFOs and the thoughts of extra terrestrial life gave me nightmares. But I continued to watch Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack and would literally run in and outside as fast as I could when my mom asked me to take the trash out in the evening time as a result. Roswell always symbolized to me – if not somewhat naively – the destination for Alien lifeforms and collection of all things UFOs/aliens. I was right about the second part of that as we saw plastered all over town signage and cheesy marketing posters of aliens.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Because this was a pit stop for us we only had time for one attraction it seemed the most efficient use of our time to head to the International UFO Museum and Research Center.

Let’s just say you have to go to truly experience the museum. For $5 it’s a solid 1 hour of entertainment. I’m not taking a position on UFOs and E.T. and what happened in Corona, New Mexico here, but I will say that the documentation, artifacts, and other memorabilia at the museum is truly priceless.


we left the museum, and started our journey to Tempe, AZ. En route was White Sands National Monument. This was an unplanned trip, but once we saw it on our route we instantly allotted extra time to pick up yet another stamp in our National Park Passport stamp.


we normally take pretty good pics in front of the National Park Service signs, however, this sign for some reason got the best of us. My eyes are shut and Atalie’s sunglasses are a bit slanted.


it was quite windy and you can see in the pic above the sand blowing in the distance. this is not enough to deter these two children at the center of the image running with their sled to slide down the gentle dunes.


the footprints in the sand looked so cool


This 1.5 hour stop ended up being one of my favorite memories of this trip. The park is a hidden gem, and seeing the achievement of nature to produce this 275 square mile wonder field over the last 10,000 years blows my mind. But the narrator in the NPS video said, 10,000 years is “yesterday” in geological terms. Wonder what the next 10,000 years will do to the dunes.

We hope that the next time we’ll be able to sled in the sand like the kids pictured above and hike 1 mile out and camp in the middle of the dunes.

na na na na na na, BATMAN!

ok, so we didn’t see any bats. the bats migrate to Carlsbad Caverns during the spring through late Autumn, but we did see some awesome stalagmites, stalagtites, and other really cool scientific-y speleological formations.

don’t know what speleology is? neither did i. i’m here to hook you up.



this marks the 36th National Park (out of 59) that we’ve been to together. If you didn’t know, we have a goal to see every park by the age of 35.


in order to get to the massive cave system one must go through the natural entrance (which we didn’t do) or go down an elevator.

i was immediately shocked by the operation in the base of the big room. it sadly resembled the look and feel of a theme park. there were cheap, processed, fast foods and cheesy, overpriced souvenirs for purchase. want a corny pic with your family with the cave as your backdrop? – similar to the way you receive a pic post theme park ride – they got you covered. now, i know that the park system has to succumb to this likely 3rd party vendor to manage the tourist economy in the park to generate revenue, but i still can’t help to crumble in sadness when i see it.


long carrots?


they called this doll theatre? or something to that tune.


it was very challenging taking pics in the cave without the use of flash – which mostly would wash out the images – so i did my best to reduce shake. had to crank up the ISO which increases the graininess in some of these imgs.


if jellyfish mated with coral reef?


idk about you, but i see a walrus.


side profile of walrus.




would you go down?


it’s the cave monster



the stalagmite columns in the appropriately named “Hall of Giants” were flippin’ massive. the worlds tallest stalagmite exists here with the measured stats of 16 feet width, 62 feet in height. It took only 280 million years of water dripping from the 285 foot ceiling for this formation to birth. grab yourself some popcorn.

fact credit: http://www.city-data.com/articles/Giant-Dome-Carlsbad-Caverns-National.html


lion tail.

i see upside down kale. or brocoli.




now, i haven’t been to Spain to see the famed Sagrada Familia, but thanks to the int3rw3bz I have seen many images of it. When in caverns and I see a mighty room dangling with stalagtites that are brightly lit, I see this as nature’s version of the Sagrada Familia. But upside down.


img credit: http://www.inspiredspaces.com.au/wp-content/uploads/La-Sagrada-Familia-Exterior.jpg





mother earth, most beautiful designer ever, so beautifully decorates her halls, rooms in caverns with some impressive drapery (drapes).



thanks for giving this a read.

oh, Canada

i know, i know. I’ve been slacking. But now I am feeling pumped up to get more blog entries going to share memories from our trips. To start this off, here’s a flashback to last week Sunday when we spent the day in Richmond, British Columbia.

One thing we’re loving about living in Bellingham is how close we are to Canada – it’s such a short drive! But one thing we miss from the Bay Area is the Chinese food. Richmond in B.C. has come through, in the clutch for us, serving up amazing Chinese food options for us. 😬

Screen Shot 2016-11-13 at 10.55.43 PM.png

This was a trip we made a few days before the US election and we heard the funniest thing on the radio from the DJ: “On Sunday, we set our clocks back an hour. This upcoming Tuesday, America has the opportunity to set the clock back 40 years.” We had a good laugh, naively, not realizing what would happen on Tuesday. 😢

This is not a political post so let’s just get right into the pics.

It was cool taking the Olympic Experience tour in the Richmond Olympic Oval, and the best part was that we were the only guests. It felt like we had a private tour and could participate in all of the simulations without any wait time.

how much more Canada could you get with a hockey rink?

I have so much respect for olympic athletes, former and inspiring.

The stories within Olympic athletes, and even to inspired fans, family members, and enthusiastic observants pack into it the beautiful side of humanity.

Okay, I know I said at first there wasn’t going to be any political commentary in here, but I can’t help it.

But we need this now more than ever.

Olympics are a time of celebration. A time where we celebrate the human will and determination.

This last week has been the exact opposite of the Olympics for us in the US and even abroad.

Because it’s clear. We’re hurting.

I hope the coming days, post-US election will hold with it brighter days.

ok, i’ll end that there.

we came ill equipped. all we had was US money, but luckily (at a terrible conversion rate) the noodle shop owner accepted US $ and gave us our change in CAD $.

the indoor market served up a ton of food options, leaving us full, and satisfying our Chinese food cravings.

then it was off to Storybrooke, Richmond B.C. where they film the show “Once Upon a Time”. The city name Storybrooke is used in the TV show but the name of the actual city is Steveston in Richmond B.C.

Atalie was geeking out. 🤓

that was about it. we ended the day by taking Kaua’i to a dog park and then went to try some delicious 🍻 at Fuggles & Warlocks – Keeping Beer Weird. They certainly did that.