At the North Park Festival of the Arts we had the pleasure of stopping by the High Falutin Franks booth run by our good friends. | Sarah and I were craving some open space and fresh air so we headed for Julian and spent the weekend camping in our local mountains.
Our campsite had glorious views of this gorgeous pond.
With no campstove, we tried cooking over the open fire for the first time and were pleasantly surprised with how good the shrimp turned out. Unfortunately I can’t say the same for the ash flavored scrambled eggs we had the following morning.
The biggest news from the past few months is that we bought our first house! After just a few months in our apartment (above left), we were feeling ready to make the leap into home ownership. We thought we would be looking for months before we found a house we liked in our budget, but surprisingly within a week of getting approved for a loan this house (above right) came on the market. After checking it out and lots of conversation we decided to place an offer. We put in our offer the second day the house was on the market and the seller accepted it that night.
The next month was a whirlwind of signing papers and getting all our money consolidated and ready to make the down payment and home inspections and negotiations and contemplating percentages and points. It was a crazy month but we closed escrow and were able to move into our new home just a few days before we were leaving the country for our Indonesia surf trip.
We packed our bags, left our new home looking like a storage unit after an earthquake, dropped Fawkes off with my incredible brother and sister-in-law’s family, drove to LAX, and finally made it on our plane, ready to relax for the next 2 weeks.
The best stop on the way to Indonesia is the layover in Singapore. The Changi airport is absolutely beautiful and full of cool features like this Koi pond. They also have a butterfly habitat and other natural environments that make it a really cool place to travel through.
One thing we love about Kandui Resort is the dock they have in the water in front of the resort, right next to a super fun wave called 4 Bobs. The family spent loads of time watching the surf from the dock and swimming in the water around it.
My dad scored some great underwater shots of me surfing over him.
Sarah, getting her surf on.
Bank-vaults, one of my favorite waves in the world, got a little out of control with imperfect wind conditions. I watched the waves from the safety of our boat for quite a while before deciding to paddle out and give it a go. The above wave is the biggest I’ve ever surfed, and, appropriately, it ended in the worst wipeout of my life after a huge section (a piece of the wave collapsing at the wrong time) closed the wave out, and I was sent spinning through the water in a rapid sequence of somersaults. After surfacing, I looked up to see another wave bearing down on me and went through another torturous beating. When I came to the surface again, my board was long gone and I had to swim back to the boat against the current.
Was it worth it? Definitely.
The sequence below is from a session at a spot called Hideaways. This day was about as good as surfing gets and this wave was probably the single most perfect wave of my life.
Same exact wave, different angle. This shot was captured by Zak Noyle, the photographer swimming in the wave in the first photo.
After 10 incredible days on Kandui Island, we packed up our bags and started the long trip back to our new home and got started on our ever-growing project list.
One of our first projects was to paint the living and dining rooms a new color. We felt the “cappuccino” colored walls were just a little too dark. After playing around with a few light tan/biege colors that were basically white paint with fancy names like “Bohemian Lace” and “Storyteller,” we opted for a light grey “Filtered Shade.”
Sarah and I love walking up and down the alleyways near our home, searching for abandoned treasures. It’s possible to find some great pieces left in the alley for dead. This chair is our best find yet by far. One of the screws connecting the legs to the seat had ripped out but it was in otherwise good condition. With a little work we were able to fix the leg and make it a great addition to our home.
After wearing ourselves out with projects we drove south and spent a weekend with friends at Las Gaviotas, one of our favorite close-to-home getaways.
We had a great weekend full of surf, sun, volleyball, card games, and beer.
On the drive home the rain started to pour and the roads flooded, forcing us to cross some very deep water in our Subaru Outback. At one point the water was so deep that it began to leak in through the doors. Fortunately the car made it through and carried us home safely.
One of the things that excited us most about having a home was creating more opportunities for hosting gatherings with our friends and family. So we were super excited to celebrate National Hot Dog Day with great friends in our little back patio space. We still have no patio furniture so we moved all of our dining chairs and table and coffee table out back for the evening.
After making plans to have our friend Andy play a house show at our place, we decided we should spruce up the backyard by replacing the old fence. We wanted to build a fence with horizontal slats of stained natural wood about 6 feet high. Part of our motivation in replacing the old fence was that it was only 5 feet high and it felt a little awkward that one could easily see into our shower from our neighbor’s backyard.
In the end we were so happy with how the fence turned out. It is a major improvement over the old one and really livens up our backyard.
In late July we found ourselves heading camping again as we joined some good folks from our church for a weekend retreat in Idyllwild.
The next weekend Sarah and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary. I really can’t believe how fast our first 2 years of marriage have gone by.
As we had to be in the Pasadena area for our nephew’s birthday party, we decided to celebrate by staying a night in downtown Pasadena.
As I mentioned above, we had planned to have our friend Andy play some of his music at our home and invite a bunch of people over to listen. This was partly for good times’ sake and partly as a going away shindig to send him off on a 3-month European exploration.
Andy’s girlfriend, Emily, made this rad poster for the show. | Max, laying down the aforementioned phat beats.
To cap off the summer adventures, I traveled to the great state of Alaska with my dad and brother on a fishing trip.
Our itinerary forced us to kill some time in Juneau before heading to the small island in the Chatham Strait where our destination lay. We spent our time cruising around the surprisingly small capital city, admiring the giant cruise ships in port and browsing overpriced souvenir shops.
This memorial honors the many lives of Alaskan commercial fishermen and women lost at sea.
The next morning we boarded a ferry at 6 AM and went for a 3 hour cruise to Whaler’s Cove Lodge, where we would be fishing for the next 4 days.
Most people staying at Whaler’s Cove choose to hire a fishing guide who takes you out on their boat and does everything for you. We have a bit more of a DIY approach and instead rent one of these smaller boats and do everything ourselves.
This was our 5th trip to Whaler’s Cove over the past 15 or so years. Being such, it was fun to go back to places that are rich with memory. For example, this waterfall above is the same one as in the photo below of my dad and I many years ago.
The highlight of the trip was my dad catching this 135# giant halibut. Big halibut are relatively easy to reel in, but they go crazy once you try to get them in the boat. Needless to say, we had a blast landing this thing and I ended up drenching wet from all of it’s splashing.
It’s always a treat to have some quality time with pops.
Wow, that was a longwinded post. If you’re still with us, you’re a true friend.
Up next: We’ve come a long ways in making our new house a home, and we want to share it all with you soon. We’ll have a home tour post coming soon.
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