Vintage Leather bag from Melrose Trading Post

Check out this awesome score I found at the Melrose Trading Post, the  flea market held every Sunday in the Fairfax High School parking lot. I love the rush that comes from being on the hunt in flea markets but I absolutely hate the negotiating part. Left to my own devices I would pay full price for everything which isn’t exactly the smartest thrifting strategy. Fortunately, E. Dohrmann loves to bargain which is another reason why he’s my favorite travel partner. I walked by it four times before finally sending my mom (who was visiting from Portland) and E. Dohrmann over there to do my bidding for me. I absolutely love the “Dr.’s bag” feeling and it fits both cameras and my lenses perfectly. Say hello to my new camera bag.

Melrose Trading Post
7850 Melrose Ave  
Los Angeles, California 90046

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Damn, we live in a pretty country. Check out these shots I got from the passenger’s seat during our drive down from Oregon to California. I’ve made this drive several times and the beauty of the landscape never ceases to amaze me. Many thanks to E. Dohrmann for being my life chauffeur.


I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to put into words what this trip meant to me. Looking back at these photos I cannot believe I was able to take a trip like with my Dad. As an adolescent I often felt estranged from him for one reason or another. It wasn’t until I was in my 20′s that we seemed to find common ground based on our mutual love of travel and exploration. I dislike the phrase “a trip of a lifetime” because I believe a person can and should have several of those. But I will say that this trip was unforgettable, incredibly sacred, and one my greatest adventures to date. Many thanks to my Dad and Felice who let me take the reins on this one. I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate the arrival of my 30th year on this planet. I look forward to the adventures that surely lie ahead.


Penguins at Boulders Beach


Gorgeous presentation at Martin Senekal’s booth at the The Old Biscuit Mill


The pizzas were to die for at the Simply Italian Pizza booth at The Old Biscuit Mill


Butternut and tomato gnocchi, buffalo mozzarella, tomato jam, spring relish at La Motte Estate


Rose custard filled doughnut with toffee and guava ice cream at La Motte Estate


View of Hout Bay from Chapman’s Peak

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The Twelve Apostles


Signal Hill


View from the cable car going up to Table Mountain


Breakfast at the Cape Royale Hotel

IMG_9866View of the Franschhoek Wine Valley from La Petite Ferme


My traveling companions taking it all in

When my dad first proposed the idea of taking me to South Africa for my 30th birthday he had one condition: “I don’t want to have to plan any of it.”

WHAT? How could I resist?

My dad clued me in on the budget and gave me free reign creating an unforgettable 16 day itinerary for our family. In order to do so it was important for me to keep my travel companions in mind. (Sadly, E. Dohrmann had to sit this one out due to a work conflict.) A brief overview: My dad and step-mom are a social, outgoing and fairly active couple in their mid sixties. My dad’s perfect vacation normally involves Disneyland, a cruise ship, and noise cancelling headphones. Felice is a dance teacher who cares deeply for the preforming arts and culture in general. Her ideal vacation normally includes: attending a performance of some kind and a day at the spa. They both love to cook, drink red wine and look to traveling as a way of connecting with the world. It was important for me to create an itinerary that included fun, sun, adventure, culture, good food and enough creature comforts that this trip would feel unique and exciting without being too scary or out of the box.

First let’s get one thing straight: There’s no easy way to get South Africa from Portland, OR. It’s as simple as that. It took multiple flights, 31 hours, and several laps around the plane before we arrived in Johannesburg, South Africa. And don’t forget about the impromptu airport yoga that happened between layovers (important to keep the blood flowing!), and the constant shuffle of Bob Marley, Paul Simon, the Talking Heads and Nina Simone on the iPod. The first ten days of our trip went something like this: Jo’burg>Victoria Falls>Durban>Hluhluwe. It was a crazy amount of traveling to do in such a short amount of time but I wouldn’t change a thing. After all, how often do you have the opportunity to visit one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, dip your toes in the Indian Ocean, and take in a 6 day safari tour?

HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE ( but are not limited to):

01. Hunting and finding the most beautiful seashells alongside the local fishermen in Durban
02. “Lions, and Tigers, and Bears! Oh my!” We supplemented elephants for bears and cheetahs for tigers on this trip but “Oh My” is right! I didn’t realize how emotional I’d become being so close to these beautiful beasts. I was simultaneously freaked, elated, nervous and incredibly humbled (and tearing up more often than not!)
03. A visit to a local Zulu Village and neighboring elementary school outside of Hluhluwe
04. Watching adventure junkies putting in rafts just below the towering Rainbow Falls at Victoria Falls
05. Drinking cocktails at sunset, also known as a “sundowner” in these parts
06. Sunsets in general. With or without booze. Absolutely brilliant, full, and breathtaking.

IMG_8793Jo’Burg Airport

IMG_8908Sundowner Cruise on the Zambezi River
(I could get used to this!)

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Victoria Falls

IMG_9057Durban Sunrise

IMG_9065Durban Boardwalk

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Zulu Ancestor’s Hut

IMG_9410Zulu School

IMG_9406  IMG_9454Lion Pride


IMG_9109 One of many breathtaking sunsets

Stay tuned for PART II: Capetown and the Winelands

Thanks to an extremely generous gift from my dad I will be celebrating my 30th birthday at La Petite Ferme Restaurant, Guest Suites and Winery in Franschhoek, South Africa.

Photo courtesy of La Petite Ferme

To say I’m ready to embrace this new chapter of life is an understatement.