I'm very sorry it's been so long since I've written!
We decided to take a much needed vacation after the crazy holiday season. We packed up our bags, stopped the mail and the paper, found a loving home for our sweet pup to stay in during our absence, and headed out to the airport at 5:00am, ready for our trip. Apparently we needed a reminder that we are most definitely NOT in charge here, because our flight was cancelled, and not just temporarily, mind you, but for a week! And so we headed back to our quiet, dog-less, mail-less home.
After a week of this strange "stay-cation" of sorts, we finally boarded another plane. We barely made it out of Orange County, into the air, across the country, and into New Jersey, just before another blizzard struck and all flights behind us were cancelled again! Upon our return, I realize that it is much more likely that this forced relaxation at home was probably exactly what we needed to fully enjoy our amazing but whirlwind journey.
We spent most of our vacation with Prasad's delightful nephew, Avi, his beautiful wife, Tasneem, and our sweet niece, Amita. They have a lovely home in New Jersey and were the perfect hosts. They live only an hour from New York City, so we were able to go in frequently and knock several items off of my bucket list!
One of those items was to see Rockefeller Center all dressed up for the Christmas holiday season. I was sure I'd missed it, thanks to the debacle with our flights, but it was still adorned with everything Christmas when we arrived! So there's one item checked off the bucket list. Only a few more to go...
During our stay, we visited another nephew, Abhinav, in Philadelphia for a few days. We stayed in Old Town and loved this quaint, picturesque town! It reminded me of a European city, with cobblestone streets and sidewalk cafes. The snow was falling lightly enough that we were able to walk all about the town, even happening upon a movie being filmed with Bradley Cooper! (sigh), until we found the best restaurant in town, Le Parc.
Parc, as you may infer, is a French restaurant situated on the edge of a beautiful park. Tables had been set up just outside the restaurant, but it had started to snow and so the tables were piled high with fresh snow. What a beautiful sight that was. We opted to sit, snow-free, inside by the window and enjoy our meal. The meal was magnificent, but the true highlight was being able to gaze outside and watch children dressed colorfully in their snowsuits, playing on the white snow, people bundled up, walking their dogs, and just enjoying nature. It was a work of art.
I adored Philadelphia, Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and all. I was captivated by Elfreth's Alley, the oldest street in the country! It was a tiny little street with tiny little houses. We were able to go inside a couple of them and I could not believe how small these houses were! It shocked me more to learn that people are living in these houses still!
Ah, if it weren't for my brood back here on the West Coast, I could easily see myself living in Philadelphia. It is charming and close-knit, and you have all of the conveniences you could desire, yet the access to New York City is easy and quick. It is like having the best of the big city without living just within it.
I truly can't wait to head back to that side of the country again. It was stunning, breathtaking, and a lot of fun.
However, for the moment, I am very happy to be home.
This stunning young woman recently came to us for a headshot. Her aunt, Dr. Sangeeta Patel, is a longtime client and friend and a well-known and loved pediatrician in Tustin. Over the years, we have had the privilege of photographing Sangeeta's daughter's arangetram as well as several sessions of the family. On a recent trip to India, Sangeeta took a DVD of our images to share with her family there. Nikita saw the DVD and loved our work! Lucky for us, because she traveled all the way here just to have us photograph her!
Okay, so maybe she was planning a visit to her family in the US and it just so happened we photographed her while she was here, but it all worked out very nicely regardless!
Nikita is a lovely and sweet young lady who actually spends most of her time behind the camera. In India she studies filmography and would like to become a film director. She has a great appreciation for the art of photography which made it a lot of fun to work with her. Her experience and background in the film industry makes her very comfortable being photographed and the camera loved her!
Because she told us her family in India is fairly traditional, we also photographed Nikita in classic Indian clothing. Once we got that out of the way, she dressed into her western clothes, where she felt completely comfortable and had a blast modeling for us as the modern, young woman that she is! With her brains, great personality, and unmistakeable charm, we are sure she will be quite a success in the world of Bollywood films!
It doesn't matter how this young woman dresses. She is beautiful in every way, inside and out, and it was a joy to spend some time with her and capture some fantastic images!
I have been so excited and eager to share with you that we adopted the most amazing dog. Admittedly, after years of not having a dog, or any pets, actually, we were a little nervous about this huge responsibility. And by huge I mean nearly 100 pounds of golden, silky-haired, sweet and perfect dog!
Buddy came into our lives a few weeks ago when my daughter Andrea introduced us to her Baby Boot Camp instructor (mom/baby fitness class) who was looking for a home for her dog. The instructor, Nancy, and her husband, James, had been relocated to Russia for work. They knew that if the 14+ hour flight to Russia didn't do Buddy in, any possible time in quarantine would. This is a dog who just wants to be surrounded by his people. He will go to great lengths to make sure he is by the side of the people who love and care for him. Knowing this, Nancy and James began to search for a new home for their boy. Somehow the fates aligned and brought Buddy to us. We knew he was meant to be with us, and us with him.
Though it devastated us to separate Buddy from Nancy, James and their children, Ricky, Fiona and Vanessa, we brought him home in early May and have been having a wonderful time getting to know him. With the help of books and tapes by Cesar Milan (The Dog Whisperer) we have established an amazing connection and relationship with Buddy. Buddy follows us around all the time and just wants to be near us. He is with us when we work, eat, play, and sleep. When we leave for a quick dinner out or a trip to the store, we come home to Buddy's beautiful, huge face smooshed against the glass in the front door, waiting eagerly for our return. He is the most well-mannered and gentle dog whose greatest desire involves a prolonged rub of the tummy or some chewed up tire pieces.
Our granddaughters, Makenna and Annika, finally got to meet Mr. Buddy last weekend. He was in Heaven with all the love they were giving him! They were petting his giant head as he rested it in their little laps, laying their little heads on his belly... they were smothering him with attention and affection. And Buddy has probably never been happier!
Every morning we wake up and take Buddy out to the Upper Newport Bay near our studio. He loves these hour-long walks and never seems to tire. I'm telling you, this dog is so happy and easy to please. Yes, he loves the belly rubs, hugs and kisses, but he absolutely adores being out in nature as well. You can see him taking it all in - each flower, each bird, each scent. He is really in his element out there.
We can not imagine what it was like before these 100 pounds of love were in our lives. We have been blessed with the most perfect dog and can't wait for you to meet him. Please come and visit our new studio mascot soon!