April 4, 2016

Chasing Wildflowers - Joshua Tree, CA




























A few weeks ago, my parents and I tried to make out way up to Fresno to see the almond trees blooming. Ten minutes onto the freeway, I thought I'd check out the blossom reports for the area to see where would be the best place to go -- only to find that the recent rains had all but stripped the trees of their flowers.

We made a quick u-turn and set out for Joshua Tree instead. Wildflower reports made a note that it was still too early for blooms in most of the park, but the southern end of the park (Cottonwood Springs area) was seeing some lovely color. We were not disappointed!

There were flowers sprouting from cacti, Joshua Tree poppies, blossoms of blue, yellow, white, orange, pink. Though perhaps most surprising were the Joshua Trees themselves. In all my years of driving down to the park, I have never seen Joshua Trees blooming like they were when we visited. (Apparently they need specific conditions in order to bloom -- freezing temperatures, for one).

I only have one more stop for my wildflower hunt this year, and I hope I'll get to check it off my bucket list in the coming weeks. Golden poppies, here I come!




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March 28, 2016

Chasing Wildflowers - Death Valley, CA






















More than anything, I have not wanted to blog the past few months. I could attribute it to a few things -- but mainly, blogging just was not as fun as it used to be. Every year, I go through a phase where I look at my blog and wonder what I'm keeping it up for. Am I trying to grow this space and make it into something I need to work at? Or is it really just an online journal?

For now, I'm taking the latter and running with it. 

So. Dear Skim. This year, I made the decision to see all of the wildflowers California had to offer. We started out last month by heading up to Death Valley to see the superbloom. It was nothing short of magnificent. Knowing Death Valley, and remembering childhood trips where the entire area was barren and brown (and most importantly boring), it was such a treat to see it bursting with color. Bright yellow flowers flanked the road on either side with sprinkles of purple and pink along the way.



 

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December 31, 2015

A look back at 2015.


Alas, it is once again time for a look back at my year. What a year it has been! 2015 whipped by, and I have barely had the time to digest everything that's happened. It's been a tough year to say the least, but it was filled with such special moments. Blogging took a definite backseat as I got ready to apply to go back to school, but I think the few bits I was able to post were very cool experiences for me.

If you're interested, here are the reviews from the past few years: 2012, 2013, 2014.

JANUARY
This year, we started out by taking a trip up to Oregon to drop my sister off for law school. We squeezed our family into the car and drove on up, stopping by the coast again. I also made a trip back out to New York, which was filled with lots of friends and good food. The trip made me realize that I need to not make so many plans when I go back next time -- I was exhausted from trying to run all around the city to see everyone! But what a great time it was catching up with my wonderful friends.




FEBRUARY
This month was filled with hikes. I went to new places and took my camera along for the ride (which may or may not have resulted in a few scratches, but those add to the aesthetic..right?). Feeling risky, I also dyed my hair this month. Which was a huge, huge mistake.




MARCH
I went on adventures with Caitlin for her birthday before heading back on up to Oregon. I went to see my sister to get some help with studying and to spend her spring break with her. We drove to Portland for the first time (for me, anyway) and I was not too impressed -- I think I need real Portland friends to give us suggestions on what to do next time!







APRIL
Most of this month was spent exercising, somewhat getting ready for my upcoming trip to Hawaii. This was also the month of practice tests -- I was physically drained in trying to keep up with work, studying, and working out. My days were busy but they were altogether okay. My parents and I went to a flower garden and I went on a few adventures with my friend Mariana.




MAY
Some of my favorite posts came about this month. My dad took me on a hike up through the Inyo National Forest, up to Kearsarge Pass which meets up with the John Muir trail. I was so humbled by not only the physical difficulty of the hike, but by the views! The entire place was unbelievably beautiful. Although I thought I was going to die in the middle of the night due to elevation sickness, making it down the next morning was one of my proudest moments of 2015.




JUNE
While I didn't blog about my Hawaii trip until the next month, Caitlin and I made our way out to Hawaii shortly after I had finished a big test. She graciously hosted me during my time there and showed me incredible things. I had my first acai bowl and fell in love, swam under a waterfall, almost slipped my way down a cliffside! Hawaii is one of those places that I know I would have loved as a tourist, but it was made even more special because I was with someone who grew up there. 







JULY
To help my sister move into a new apartment, my family and I made yet another trip up to Oregon. On the way up, very late at night, our tire popped -- and then our spare tire popped. We were in the middle of nowhere, somewhere north of Sacramento, and let me tell you: I do not wish that experience on anyone. Ever. While we had very little time in Oregon, we managed to squeeze in a hike up Spencer's Butte for the first time.



AUGUST
Los Angeles nearly succeeded in melting the skin off my bones with record heat. We ate lots of good food and I put exercise on the back burner as I started putting together my school applications (which took me forever and led to only one freak out, I'll have you know).




SEPTEMBER
The saddest part about my year is that I don't really remember what I did in September -- I was busy running around, trying to continue with the application writing and miscellaneous things. While I don't have many photos from the month, we did celebrate my grandpa's 80th birthday!!



OCTOBER
In an attempt to reconnect with the feeling of autumn that I became so familiar with in New York, my parents and I drove up to the mountains to see the tail-end of the fall foliage this year. We saw stunning colors of yellow and red, and waterfalls too.




NOVEMBER
Another very cool first for me this month was that I camped overnight at Joshua Tree. I know, everyone who has been following my blog for a while knows how much I adore this place. But! I had never camped there. Prepared with a tripod, I shot some of my favorite photos of the year.



DECEMBER
With a bang, I turned 24 this month. My siblings made their way home for the holidays and I went to see an exhibit I had been dying to see since I was in New York -- the Infinity Room. This month was filled with love, food, and family; what a great way to end the year.



Although 2015 was difficult, it was one of the most rewarding. I reunited with old friends and lost others along the way. I experienced a lot of new things and could not be more thankful to have had those moments. (Not to mention, this was the year I started listening to One Direction and found myself spiraling down the black hole that is that fandom.) Hopefully 2016 treats me a little more kindly.

This next year, I want to make the promise that I will travel more. As always, I want to seek new experiences and look forward to a very exciting adventure I will be going on for the next three years. And I can't wait to take you all with me!

Happy New Year everyone!





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