We’re looking forward to kicking off our 2018 wedding season next month but, in the mean time, wanted to share a little from an off-season adventure we had this month. We spent a week in Southern California – which happened to be perfectly timed to miss single-digit temperatures here at home! – and it was so wonderful.
This was the first time Seth and I have been to California together since our honeymoon seven years ago, and it was also the first time since before we were married that we went on a trip without a DSLR (i.e. a large professional camera). This was a bit of a tough decision, as we’re sticklers for image quality and up to this point have dealt with the inconveniences of toting around heavy gear to get it. But it was such a relief on this trip to travel light, and I’m so happy with what we were able to capture even with less high-end equipment.
Just skip to the photos if this technology talk doesn’t interest you! But for anyone who wonders, I was using an Olympus OM-D EM-10 Mark II paired with 14mm and 35-100mm Panasonic lenses. (And Seth used his iPhone 8, sometimes with Moment lenses and a gimbal.)
Especially with the smaller lens, my gear was so light I hardly knew I was wearing anything! And although there were a few times I missed the low-light capabilities of our professional equipment, having a (literal) weight off my shoulders was more than worth the photographic limitations during the hours we spent hiking in the desert and walking through the city and along the beach. I was also really pleased with how well the Olympus + Panasonic set-up performed in most settings.
Don’t worry: We won’t be giving up our beloved Canon gear when it’s time to get back to work! But here’s a look at how we fared without it:
We caught an early-morning flight out of cold Kansas City and spent some of our time on the plane watching “Dunkirk,” which I joked was a 4D experience thanks to turbulence we experienced over the Rockies!
January 10-12: Encinitas
We stayed with my cousin’s family and took some (early) first-birthday photos of her son to earn our keep! (Some of you may remember the newborn photos and film I did for them last year.) While in Encinitas, we visited the Self-Realization Fellowship Meditation Gardens, Moonlight Beach and the shops along the Pacific Coast Highway.
January 13: San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Escondido)
This is actually separate from the San Diego Zoo. Since we’d already been to the main zoo on our honeymoon, we thought we’d try the safari park instead and really enjoyed it. Many parts of it felt much more like viewing animals in the wild.
After the safari park, we made the two-and-a-half hour drive to Twentynine Palms, missing an exit on the way. This added some time to our trip but also led us to a Gateway Drive – which happens to be the name of the street we live on! So that was a surprising little piece of home away from home.
Finally, we made it to our destination and had to shop for that day’s dinner and the next days’ hiking snacks … and for some reason I always find grocery shopping on vacation exciting enough to document!
January 14-15: Joshua Tree National Park
A highlight of the trip for sure! It wouldn’t have been on our radar if my cousin hadn’t suggested it, so we are so glad she did. We’d initially planned to spend just one day there but ended up stretching it to two!
We drove back to San Diego after our second day in Joshua Tree, and upon arriving at our Airbnb condo, we found a faithful friend within walking distance:
January 16-17: San Diego
This leg of the trip included whale watching, Balboa Park and a nighttime walk to the marina and through the Gaslamp Quarter. Then on our final day, we had a pancake breakfast and a beautiful couple hours at La Jolla Cove before reluctantly making our way to the airport!
Whales! Our ship captain said our cruise was especially “epic” because a young gray whale jumped nearly all the way out of the ocean several times, which he’d only ever seen a few times before. (Unfortunately I wasn’t quite quick enough to get a shot of the whale, but the bottom right photo in the collage below shows the splash it made re-entering the water.)
– motion pictures –
See below for a slideshow of our adventure!