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Tuesday, July 31, 2012
As of today, all new blog posts can be found on my new site: www.lynndao.com. Venture on over for the latest travels to Holland. (and eventually much more!) See you over there!
Thursday, July 5, 2012

Aspen, Colorado!

In light of all the wildfires occurring in Colorado at the moment, I dedicate this post to this beautiful state and its people. I think most people love going to Colorado during the winter for it's unbeatable skiing. But Drew and I love the summer there. Everything was so lush and green during our (way too short) stay the first week of June. This place deserves at least a week instead of the measly four days we gave it. But I'm so glad we got a chance to explore a little of what Aspen had to offer and can't wait to come back again next summer! We started off in a little town called Morrison so that we could watch a John Denver tribute band at the Red Rock Amphitheater. This is an incredible place to watch an outdoor concert - surrounded by red rocks, blue skies, and fresh air. Photobucket Photobucket Day 2, we headed west toward Aspen and passed through the Continental Divide. Most awesome! Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket When we arrived in Aspen, I was in love. Yes, another place that I've fallen for and picture myself living in...what else is new? But who wouldn't want to walk outside their door in them morning and see this? Photobucket Ok, I guess the Maroon Bells aren't exactly right outside most people's doors, but it's only a 20 minute drive from town. And I know there are a ton of other great hiking spots, but when it's your first time in Aspen, I heard you HAVE to go to Maroon Bells. So we went. And it did not disappoint. Photobucket Photobucket A real live beaver dam! Photobucket Photobucket Great fishing on this lake. We saw a guy with six good size trout on his line! (Though it wasn't the guy in this pic.) Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket And one more with my dreamy Holga. Photobucket The main reason we came to Aspen was because they had this great event going on over the weekend called Outside Aspen to promote the tons of different outdoor activities available in the area. Drew and I wanted to try out fly fishing, and it was every bit as scenic, beautiful, and amazing as it seems in the movies. Photobucket Our guide's flies. He was born and raised in Aspen and learned how to fish as a youngin...When asked how it was growing up in Aspen, he just had this fat smile on his face. =) Photobucket Photobucket The best part about the fly fishing excursion was that I caught a beautiful brown trout!!! A totally exhilarating experience! Photobucket So much so that I think it deserves a second, closer picture of this gorgeous creature. Check out the red spots on its body! Photobucket And I gotta throw one in of our sexy wader gear. Photobucket On our last day, before heading to the airport, we did a quick morning hike on this trail right in town. I can't believe people living here can just walk to an area this beautiful. And at the beginning of the trail, they even provide leashes for people who forgot theirs. Photobucket All the pretty flowers on our hike. Photobucket Not only does Aspen have unbelievable scenery and tons of outdoor activities, but they have some stellar restaurants in town too. But that's another blog post. On someone else's blog - who cares to carry their cameras to restaurants. Maybe I'll put a little effort in at the next travel destination. =)
Friday, June 22, 2012

Sunset Bridge

On this evening's walk...lovers on the bridge.
And my little babies out on their evening bird watch. Photobucket
Thursday, June 21, 2012

My little sister GRADUATED college!!!

What can I say? I am SO proud of my baby sis, Michelle for graduating in four years from UC Davis with a bachelors in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior. Yes, that's all one degree. I remember how hard it was taking all these science classes at Davis (my God, over a decade ago!) and I give her so much credit for doing so well and finishing in four years.

Not to be outdone, her boyfriend, Scott graduated with honors at the top of his class with a degree in Computer Science Engineering. I've seen and heard about them both studying so hard throughout their undergrad years and it's great to finally be able to celebrate their accomplishments with them.

Davis has changed a LOT since I left it. Downtown is full of unique shops and restaurants. There's a Trader Joe's in town now. Whole Foods is opening up soon. It's a charming, small college town with lots of character. Man, it used to be such a cowtown when I went there. The biggest thing Davis was known for back then was cowtipping! Now it's ranked #38 in US News & World Report.

Anyways, I'm glad to see my alma mater flourishing and even happier to see Michelle and Scott graduating. Here are a few images of two of my favorite people in the whole world around the UCD campus.

Excited seniors ready to graduate!!! (In the background, the beautiful Robert Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts)
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The famous UC Davis water tower in the palm of their hands. (What? You've NEVER heard of the UCD water tower?!!)
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The future's so bright...
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Stargazing with one of UCD's eggheads named Stargazer.
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She's so beautiful. (I'm not biased.)
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The hi-five outtakes...there were several, but I narrowed it down to two. One good, and one that looks like Michelle is getting smacked upside the head. Guess which one is my favorite?
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After her Friday morning graduation with our proud & happy parents.
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Congratulations Michelle!!!! We're all so proud of you!
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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Fishing & Camping at Woods Canyon Lake, AZ

WOW! After almost four years of living in Arizona, I have finally found my favorite place in this state! Northeast of the Phoenix metro area are actual woods. Forest! Acres beyond acres of trees for miles on end. I couldn't believe it when I saw it. It reminded me a bit of northern California where I'm from, and I loved it. There's just something so peaceful for me about the mountains and tall trees surrounding me. It gives me a huge sense of connection to life itself. It's energizing, rejuvenating, and comforting all at the same time.

After reading an article on the White Mountains in Arizona Highways magazine, Drew and I wanted to head out and camp there. Before driving that far east though, we decided to stop by Woods Canyon Lake and camp in the Aspen Campground for a night. We loved it so much there that we decided to save the White Mountains for another trip. Below are a few images from our little camping and fishing excursion -less than two hours away from where we live, and oh so much cooler. (Square images = Instagram, Horizontal images = DSLR)

We found the perfect campsite at the Aspen Campground.
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Aspen Campground, AZ

I left my hiking shoes out by the tent and found this little blue caterpillar hanging out.
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Our first day, we hiked the Horton Creek trail. BEAUTIFUL!!! I can't believe I've been missing out on this little piece of heaven all this time I've been living here. But I'm glad the discovery has finally been made. Will definitely be back.
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The top left image of the two butterflies was right at the beginning of our hike. A sign of good things to come!
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Evening came and we got our rods ready. Woods Canyon Lake. Couldn't ask for a better place to fish.
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Woods Canyon Lake

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Before we headed home the next day, we walked along the rim trail. What a view from up there! Hello...why doesn't this area get more love? When people think of Arizona, they think cactus. But mountains & forests? Check!
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After this short trip, I am so excited to head up to the White Mountains now. If anyone has any suggestions on where to go, feel free to share them in the comments section. I'd love to know!