Christmas Deadlines!

Thanks to the post office mailing deadlines... and being human there are indeed deadlines for when you can order calendars and have them arrive by Christmas! Please place any Christmas orders by Monday, December 18th so that they can arrive by Christmas!

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Fantastic Trees and Where To Find Them: South Point, Hawaii

When I think of Hawaii the scenes that come to mind are sandy beaches, surrounded by palm trees and stunning mountains, with sunny skies that meet sparkling blue seas on the horizon. My visit to Hawaii was filled with scenes like that, and so much more. Many places were vastly different from what I had in mind for what Hawaii would be like. On the Big Island my aunt was showing us the southernmost point in the United States, which is aptly named "South Point", when we came across this lone tree in a field. 

It looks like the kind of tree you could read under for hours. Did you see that over the years the trade winds have shaped it, but never been strong enough to topple it. Have you ever been unexpectedly inspired by a tree?

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Wandering Through The Forest

The other day I was scrolling through my photos posted on Instagram, hunting down a photo being used in a calendar so that I could double check the location. While I was looking through my images I started to get a little choked up. {Just so you know, I'm not someone who gets choked up very often or very easily.} I felt overwhelmingly grateful to have seen, experienced and photographed so many truly stunning places in this world. 

So many of these photos practically teleport me back to the location and the moment when they were taken.

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This boardwalk carves a path out to the westernmost point in contiguous United States. When you look at the photo can you feel that It is an old growth forest? Wind whispering through the leaves and pine needles. Fog leaving it's slightly cool touch on the air. Glance around and you'll see the moss growing on any surface that sits still long enough. And don't forget the clean, earthy smell, laced ever so slightly with the smell of decaying foliage.  

Some people may think that they are just photos, but to me they will always be a way to travel through time and space, if only in my mind.

This photo can be found in the Seasons of Green calendar! Buy one today so you can enjoy a year full of stunning photos in a practical package.

Fantastic Trees And Where To Find Them: Mount Si, Washington

If you ever look at lists of hikes near Seattle there is a really high chance that Mount Si will be on it. Mount Si has hiking trails with different difficulty levels and isn't very far from Seattle, making Si the perfect mountain to end up on all of those hiking lists.

This past spring I finally made it to Mount Si with the intent of an undemanding, early-season hike. Actually arriving at the trail head happened at a slower pace than intended, thanks to a couple of extra stops along the way. Not too long into the hike there was a fork in the trail and we headed up what we thought was the trail to "Little Si". The moderate hike to the shorter peak on Mount Si.

After we'd been hiking essentially straight uphill for approximately forever, we finally met someone heading down the mountain and quizzically asked them if we were nearly to the top, as we should have been by our calculations. We were also trying to figure out why we hadn't really seen many people on the trail when it's such a popular one. The couple jokingly mentioned that we weren't close at all, which made sense when we asked someone even further up the trail. He let us know that we were actually still quite a ways from the top, then asked if we had crampons or ice picks with, as there was still snow and ice at the peak! We'd been hiking the trail known as "Old Trail" which is probably the most difficult trail on the mountain! 

We ended up turning around not too long after that. It was late enough in the day that it seemed wiser to head down when we knew we would still be able to see the trail. 

On the way down I was initially disappointed that we hadn't seen the sweeping scenes from the mountaintop, but going through my photos later made me appreciate the photos I had taken of the first signs of spring showing up in the old growth forest.

Antique Books in Paris

What a day it had been... not quite as I imagined spending my 30th birthday in Paris would be, but still wonderful in all the ways that make it real. The morning had started off overcast and drab, but opened up to patches of beautiful blue skies almost simultaneously with rounding a corner to my first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. Climbing up the Eiffel Tower had been my goal for so long, that completing it seemed surreal.

The day continued with wandering through the Parisian streets and seeing more iconic places throughout the city. We were walking along the Seine when a riverside vendor captured my attention. Most of the vendors were selling cheap souvenirs to tourists, but this space was filled with gorgeous antique books. He was closing, so I didn't want to delay him too much, but I couldn't resist letting him know that his books were "magnifique"!

He smiled and proceeded to show me a few of his favorites, including some of his oldest first editions! An admission that I don't read French was responded to with acknowledgement that I wouldn't really be able to truly appreciate everything that these books had the potential to share. He then showed some illustrations, from books like "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and an illustration of the bridge spanning the Seine between us and the Eiffel Tower. After sharing the highlights he insisted that I take as many photos as I wanted. I took a few of the stunning ancient books, but wish I had taken a least one of him, with his beautiful antique books.

This image is part of the 2018 Vignettes Calendar, available for purchase here!

Christmas Socks and Calendars

My dad is one of the most difficult and one of the easiest people in the world to Christmas shop for. He is difficult to shop for because he doesn't want "things". I've scoured dozens of "Top Christmas Gifts for Guys" type lists, and finished the lists discouraged because every single item listed is one that would make my Dad a bit puzzled as to why I spent money on that for him. He doesn't want the latest tech gadget or bacon Band-Aids.

He is easy to shop for though because he likes new socks. For years I've defaulted to getting him new socks for Christmas. And when I say socks I'm not talking about the fancy stylized ones with cool colors and patterns. Nope, they are the black or white cotton crew socks that come in a big bag and happen to be the socks that he wears to work every day.

You may be thinking at this point..."What in the world do Rochelle's dad's socks have to do with calendars???". Well you see, this year he actually asked for the Wandering Washington calendar for Christmas! Which means that calendars are officially a fantastic Christmas gift for the people in your life who are difficult to shop for.

This year you can elevate your gifting game from socks and give that difficult person (or people, let's be honest!) a stunning calendar they will enjoy throughout the entire year.

Check out the calendars available here!

Pssst... Dad, you still have to act surprised on Christmas!