NekoSam Images: Blog http://www.nekosam.com/blog en-us Copyright (C) 2015 Nekosam Images; All Rights Reserved! nekosam@me.com (NekoSam Images) Mon, 08 Aug 2016 02:04:00 GMT Mon, 08 Aug 2016 02:04:00 GMT Cape Lookout State Park http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2016/8/cape-lookout-state-park Tuesday

July 25-27, 2016

Destination: CAPE LOOKOUT STATE PARK, Oregon

 

My sister came to visit us all the way from Thailand last month. She could only stay for 10 days because she is very busy trying to complete her PhD. We decided that she needed an Oregon camping trip; her first time camping. Last year we had camped at Cape Lookout State Park and had the best time ever. So we decided to take my sister there with us this year. My sister loves the beach.

​DAY 1: As soon as we arrived at our site we set up the tents. Scott helped my sister set up her first tent. I must say she is a natural.

 

​Then Evan helped daddy set up our bigger tent. Evan enjoys helping daddy and we're pretty sure that he'll master this and will be setting up the tent all by himself in a few years time. 

 

I think my sister was happy with her set up and Evan had to check it out too, just to make sure it was perfect. 

 

After the tents & hammock were all set up we agreed to take a little snack break. Fresh fruits is always my favorite choice, especially since I was able to pick up some lychees the day before we headed for camp. Evan wouldn't try the lychees though. He is still a very Apples-Banana-Watermelon only kind of child. Someday he will be adventurous with foods...I know it (more like I HOPE SO, fingers and toes crossed!). 

 

Next we headed for the beach which is just a 2-minute walk from our camp site. 

 

My sister enjoyed a walk along beach. Evan and daddy attempted to stick their feet in the water but it was so cold. Evan opted to run around instead. Oh, and for a moment when he assumed no one was watching him, he did a little funny dance on the beach too. 

 

​Then it was back to our camp. It was time to start the campfire and get dinner going. 

 

& then the roasting of the MARSHMALLOWS...Evan's favorite. Life is good when you get to enjoy a nice campfire and roast marshmallows with your favorite people on earth. We then read some books with Evan and called it a night.

 

DAY 2: Good Morning Day 2. We started off the day with a nice fire and some grilled sandwiches.

 

Evan was all set for the Junior Ranger program that morning. These programs are always so much fun. Evan has already earned 3 Junior Rangers batches since last year. He marched off to the program area a half hour before the program was scheduled to start. Sadly the ranger was called off on duty else where and they had to cancel the program that morning.

 

Evan was very disappointed and disappointment turned into a bad mood. We decided to go on a hike instead. It was a nice hike up to a great view point.

 

The afternoon was spent playing on the beach. Family, sand castles & forts, boogie board, kites made for a some fun times. 

The water was cold and it took Evan a while to muster up the courage to hop on his boogie board and give it a try. 

Day 2 ended well with another great campfire, good camp food & roasted marshmallows.

 

DAY 3: Another morning camp fire followed by roasted marshmallows (I allowed it because it was our last day at camp) made for a great start. After breakfast we packed up and then headed to the Tillamook Cheese Factory before we headed home. 

We love Cape Lookout State Park and we might make it a yearly camping destination for our little family. 

You can find all of our photos from this adventure HERE.

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nekosam@me.com (NekoSam Images) Cape Lookout Oregon PNW adventure beach camp campfire campgrounds camping campsite caves childhood coast family friends pools sand sandstone sea tents tide http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2016/8/cape-lookout-state-park Mon, 08 Aug 2016 00:45:34 GMT
Hood River U-Pick Organic Farm http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2016/7/hood-river-u-pick-organic-farm Tuesday

July 12, 2016

Destination: HOOD RIVER U-PICK ORGANIC, Oregon

 

Last week was a pretty hectic week (hence this delayed blog post). Evan had Nature Camp every day from 9 a.m to noon. He also had sports camps in the afternoons/evenings everyday except for Tuesday. We took advantage of his free Tuesday afternoon and head to Hood River to pick cherries. We've never picked cherries before. Well, except for the first crop of10 cherries our little Dwarf Bing Cherry produced this year. I chose to go to the Hood River U-Pick Organic farm not just because the farm is so beautiful or because they had u-pick cherries but because their mommy pig 'Charlotte' had her babies a few days prior to our visit. I heard the word "piglets" & I was sold. 

Evan was tired and grumpy when we picked him up from camp, a combination of a busy morning at camp & not enough sleep, and he fell asleep on our drive there. Such a shame because it's such a beautiful drive along the gorge. But a little nap helped put him in the best of moods when we got there. He was all GUNG HO...ready to climb tall ladders and pick cherries.

 

It was already towards the end of their cherry season so cherries were all very dark and ripe. Evan took his time picking one cherry at a time because he didn't want to squish them. He also wanted to wipe and shine every single one of them before he dropped them in the bucket. Six cherries and thirty minutes later we were able to convince him to just pick and drop them into the bucket and save the polishing and shining for later. 

 

We were also able to pick some cherries without having to climb the ladders. Evan had so much fun that we will be doing this again next year for sure. It's all about the experience and not about the quantity (he spent a couple of hours picking 3lbs).

 

After we were done picking cherries we continued on to Blueberries. Evan took his time, making sure to select just the ones that were ready for picking. He picked a pint.

 

When you're tired of standing and picking, you find a nice blueberry bush and you rest your legs while you continue picking berries.

 

It was a beautiful afternoon...and to be surrounded by so much beauty was such a treat. This farm is so amazing and the owners seem like really kind and charming people (we didn't get to meet anyone but you get that vibe from the signs they put up & from their website). We give them 5 stars!

 

After Evan was done picking berries we moved on to my favorite bit...the FARM ANIMALS. Kids are allowed to pet the animals. Oh boy!

Pet...Pet...Pet. Evan and I had so much fun saying hello to all the animals.

 

Evan's favorite was this mommy goat & her brand new kid. The kid kept following Evan around & mommy goat kept nudging Evan to pet her.

 

& then my favorite...the PIGLETS!

 

Evan's favorite was the spotted one.

 

What a grand time at the farm. We headed home smelling like little piggies but it was so worth this fun family adventure...and we came home with a bunch of organic goodies which we shared with some of our neighborhood friends.

 

Even our Yoda got to enjoy some organic blueberries. He was most happy.

 

You can find all of our photos from this adventure HERE.

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nekosam@me.com (NekoSam Images) Oregon PNW Yoda adventure beach caves childhood coast corgi family friends pools sand sandstone sea tide waterfall http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2016/7/hood-river-u-pick-organic-farm Thu, 21 Jul 2016 16:34:23 GMT
Tillamook Forest Center http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2016/7/tillamook-forest-center Saturday

July 9, 2016

Destination: TILLAMOOK FOREST CENTER, Oregon

 

Yesterday a friend texted me in the morning suggesting that we should try the 'Pokémon Go' app. I was totally clueless and wasn't aware that it's been all the rage this past week. So I went ahead and downloaded the app and left it up to Evan and Scott to go figure it out. Evan immediately wanted to test it out right after he was done with breakfast. He even changed into his favorite Pokémon t-shirt (he has a collection of them thanks to Grandma) and stuffed Pikachu into his backpack & headed outside to try out the app.

 

After a good half hour we decided to head to the Tillamook forest area for an adventure. I told Evan that perhaps he could go find Pokémons in the forest. It was a lie (I know, I know, mean mommy) because I knew that there wasn't any cell service out there. Evan was only too happy to hop into his seat and we were on our merry way.

Evan snoozed along the way.

The hubby...always happy to drive us around on our adventures.

I'm always happy to sit back and enjoy the views along the way.

 

We decided to stop at the Tillamook Forest Center for our adventure. We've been there before for a short visit and didn't spend much time there to really enjoy and appreciate the place. It's such an awesome nature center. 

 

Before wandering around Evan got our Nature Passports stamped.

 

We then walked around a bit and then attended 2 of their programs. The first was 'Killer Birds'...all about the birds of prey of Oregon.

Scott got to volunteer (because Evan was too shy to do so) as a Great Blue Heron.

​Evan used his little flashlight to examine owls' talons.

I was very interested in the programs but I couldn't help looking up, every once in a while, to admire the ceiling. Pretty neat.

 

After the end of the 'Killer Birds' program, Evan wanted to head outside to hike along the trails to look for Pokémons only to end up disappointed. No cell service. He pouted for a little while but then was back to his normal self after we promised to stop at another park after we were done at the forest center.

 

It started to rain so we headed back inside and waiting until the next program started. 'Nature's Yucky!' based on the book 'Nature's Yucky: Gross stuff that helps nature work' by Lee Ann Sandstorm & Karen Shragg, and illustrated by Constance Rummel Begum. We were the only ones there but the ranger still went ahead and conducted the program for us. Another fun program & such a great book.

 

After we were done with the program we headed out to climb the replica fire lookout tower. Evan got to hold Smokey's hand.

 

We then headed to the next park as promised. Fortunately the app's server was down and so Evan couldn't use it. He was fine with it and just played in the park. Mommy then surprised him with a bag of cool rocks from the Tillamook Forest Center. I was feeling a little bad for tricking him earlier in the morning. This was my peace offering to him and my little way for supporting the center. Evan was thrilled to get more rocks for his growing collection (Grandma helped him start one 3 years ago).

 

It was a fun and educational trip. Evan ended his day playing with Yoda and our little neighbor. Yoda loves popping bubbles and so does Evan. Bubbles are always a fun way to end the day.

 

You can find all of our photos from this adventure HERE.

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nekosam@me.com (NekoSam Images) Oregon PNW Yoda adventure beach caves childhood coast corgi family friends pools sand sandstone sea tide waterfall http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2016/7/tillamook-forest-center Mon, 11 Jul 2016 04:15:32 GMT
Back again at HUG POINT http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2016/6/back-again-to-hug-point Tuesday

June 28, 2016

Destination: HUG POINT, Oregon

 

A family trip to the beach is always so much fun. But a trip to the beach with friends?? Now, that's a grand time...especially in Evan's books. Yesterday we decided to go to Hug Point again. But this time we took Sunny with us and we met our friends (the Wong family) there. Sunny is my friend Jhuma's son. They used to be our neighbor but they moved away to a different neighborhood so we do not get to hang out with them as often anymore. Sunny comes to visit Yoda once a week and he sometimes takes Yoda over to his house for a few days. Yes, our Yoda gets to have playdates & sleepovers too. I like to joke that we have "shared custody" of the corgi. Since last Summer we've been inviting Sunny to join us on our day trips and on our camping trips. Evan enjoys having a friend & 'big brother' to adventure with. 

It wasn't your typical hot Summer's day at the beach. It was a cloudy day but not too windy...very pleasant. The water was cold though, well, at least it was too cold for me. The kids ran straight for the water as soon as we got there. 

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Evan brought his Boogie Board this trip but he didn't really try it out because he just wanted to run around and play with his friends.  Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!

The kids played in the water for a bit.

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Yoda, as usual, got a lot of attention at the beach. Everyone wants to pet the Corgi...& this Corgi LOVES all the attention.

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​After a little while in the cold water the kids decided to just hang out on the beach and build sand castles instead.

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Yoda helped them dig. 

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Last week Evan wanted to take a closer look at some of the sea creatures we found on the beach; jelly fish, sand crabs, etc. I didn't want him to touch them because I feel that he's still too young to realize that he sometimes is, unintentionally, not as gentle with the creatures as he should be. So this trip I took along a little 'observation tank' and we collected some jelly fish and a few sand crabs so that the kids could look at them up close without having to touch them. We released everything back into the sea once we were done observing them.

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At low tide we went exploring along the sandstone cliffs...into the caves and up to the top of the waterfall.

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These fearless little explorers are very good climbers.

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The waterfall area is so beautiful. I never get tired of it. Such a great place to explore.

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After that it was more exploring in the caves, climbing more cliffs and playing in the water.

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We absolutely love Hug Point...be it on sunny days...or cloudy days.
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When we were all packed up & ready to leave (around 6.30 p.m.) these 2 kiddos ran back into the water & played for another 30 mins or so. It was like 60F & the water was freezing but it didn't seem to bother them at all.

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Another great day & another great adventure. These kiddos...I hope they remain friends forever!

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You can find all of our photos from this adventure HERE.

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nekosam@me.com (NekoSam Images) Oregon PNW Yoda adventure beach caves childhood coast corgi family friends pools sand sandstone sea tide waterfall http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2016/6/back-again-to-hug-point Wed, 29 Jun 2016 23:09:23 GMT
Hot Air Balloons http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2016/6/hot-air-balloons Saturday

June 25, 2016

Destination: Festival of Balloons in Tigard, Oregon

 

This past weekend we decided to check out the Festival of Balloons in Tigard, our first time for this particular festival. We had already missed the morning launch but thought we'd go anyway to watch the glow show at dusk. We got there around 5pm. It was still so sunny and there were so many people and not a single balloon in sight. We've been to a few International Hot Air Balloon festivals before and there's always a team or 2 around with their balloons during the day, after the morning launch & before the glow show. I just assumed that this was going to be the same. I assumed wrong.

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Evan was a tad disappointed until he saw the carnival! Did someone say CARNIVAL?

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This was a nice distraction that kept him entertained until dusk. He agreed to only go on rides (and games) that he was allowed on without a parent, so that mommy & daddy didn't have to get extra tickets. He particularly love this one, full of fun mirrors. I think he attempted this 3 times in a row.

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He won a prize at the 'Big Bass Fishing' booth.

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So many fun rides.

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It was crowded indeed but the lines for all the rides weren't that bad at all.

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Whoa.... Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved! Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!

 

Mommy & daddy just followed Evan around with our cameras. We got to spend time on our favorite hobby, photography, while he had an enjoyable evening. Win-win for everyone in the family.

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Close to dusk the teams started setting up in the field. 
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Evan got to check out the wicker baskets.

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Sadly the wind picked up. All but one team decided that it was too windy & too crowded to risk inflating the balloons. 

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& so...the glow show happened with one balloon and the rest had their baskets & torches set up, open flame. 

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​I think we got home around 10 p.m. Next year we will aim for the morning launches...hopefully I will be able to drag the hubby & son out of bed at 5 a.m. 

You can find all of our photos from this adventure here.

 

 

 

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nekosam@me.com (NekoSam Images) Air Balloons Carvinal Hot Oregon PNW Tigard adventure colors family fun games rides sunny teams http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2016/6/hot-air-balloons Tue, 28 Jun 2016 15:59:50 GMT
Hug Point http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2016/6/hug-point Tuesday

June 21, 2016

Destination: HUG POINT, Oregon

Hurray for Summer break! We finally get to go places during the week to avoid weekend crowds. We plan to go camping often and explore the coast a little more this Summer. The hubby has been watching 'Oregon Revealed: Coastal Wonder' & the "Oregon Field Guide' and he's been dreaming up an 'Oregon exploration' list for our family.

This week we got to check out Hug Point which is 5 miles South of Cannon Beach. Such a neat spot. We were there all day and enjoyed exploring the beautiful sandy beach, the seasonal waterfall, caves carved into sandstone cliffs, tide pools and so much more. 

The first thing these boys wanted to do as soon as we got there was to go exploring and to scout out a nice spot on the beach for our picnic. Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!

We got there at low tide so we were able to go check out the tide pools... Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved! Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!

 

...and the beautiful caves carved into the sandstone cliffs... Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved! Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved! Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!

 

Yoda likes to lead but he will not leave anyone in the group behind either. He'll stop & wait for you until he can see you...& then he'll go back to leading. I always know I'm taking my own sweet time when the Corgi lifts up his little paw & gives me this "please hurry mom, let's go already!" look! Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!

 

I'm always lagging behind and Yoda is always there waiting for me...reminding me to keep up with the group. He also loves to participate in every activity, especially if Evan is involved. I love this dog! Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved! Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!

 

You'd think with his short legs he would not be able to run as fast as other dogs or climb rocky hills. But he can. Look at him go! 

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At the top of this little cliff we found this... Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved! Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!

 

Evan's favorite spot was right here, at the top. A look through spot where you could see the other side of the cliff.  Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!

 

& then the descent. Evan is adventurous but also cautious. I love and appreciate that about him.  Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!

 

After an hour or so exploring and with the tiding coming in we decided to head back and find a spot on the beach. Yoda did not like the cold water and he got stuck on a rock trying to avoid the waves. Scott had to go rescue him.  Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved! Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved! Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved! Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!

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Then it was time for some fun on the beach. 

Sand castles to be built...

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Scott attempted to fly his first kite but it wasn't windy enough. Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved! Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!

 

Evan & Yoda wanted to play frisbee. Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!

 

Yoda was too excited & couldn't wait. Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!

 

But, for this Corgi, the problem with playing frisbee on the beach is all that SAND. Yoda does not want to get sand in his mouth. So when the frisbee lands like this he tries to dig around it to flip it with his nose.  Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!

 

Success! Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!

 

I ended up playing frisbee with Yoda while Evan pretended to be a great warrior....he had found himself a big stick. Scott was still attempting to fly his kite.

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Evan had plans to go swimming in the ocean. He came prepared. But, like Yoda, he found the water too cold as well.  Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved! Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved! Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!

 

So he spent time standing on his board, waiting for the waves to 'get him' instead. Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!

 

Then daddy buried Evan in the sand. Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!

 

& they built a fort together. Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!

 

& then Evan, Yoda & I combed the beach for "treasures". Evan found a dead crab. Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!

 

It may seem like I'm only there taking photos but I'm not. I get to do other fun stuff with my family too. Scott took this. Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!

 

It was a perfect day.

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...he took one final dash into the sparkly water...before we headed home... Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved! Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!

 

Oh, & Scott finally got to fly his 2nd kite in the evening. Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!

 

I love my family & we love adventuring together.

Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!Copyright © 2016 NekoSam Images; All Rights Reserved!

 

You can find all of our photos from this adventure here.

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nekosam@me.com (NekoSam Images) Oregon PNW adventure beach caves coast family pools sand sandstone sea tide waterfall http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2016/6/hug-point Thu, 23 Jun 2016 19:37:14 GMT
Flying with Evan http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2014/11/flying-with-evan I often receive emails from friends informing me that they're getting ready to take their first long flight with their kid/kids and if I could recommend things to take on board to keep the little ones entertained and happy. I never know what to answer because, well, I think that...(1) every child is unique, and (2) I do not know your kids well enough to say "you should take this and that". But since Evan and I are starting our 24 hr journey (door to door) to Thailand tomorrow, I thought I'd share what we've stuffed into his little carry-on bag.
 

LUNCH BOX: Evan has been taking this 24 hr journey with me once every year but he has not developed a liking for airline food; I don't blame him...I don't care for it either. So, I make sure to pack him a bag of his favorite foods/snacks. This keeps his tummy full and him in a better mood. 

GRUBEvan's favorite foods/snacks

 

ENTERTAINMENT: The KINDLE is my best friend on flights. It is loaded with Evan's favorite movies and games. That keeps him entertained for hours. Oh, and something we never fly without is his headphones (works just as great on the individual inflight entertainment units as well). Those little earphones they hand out on flight aren't really kid-friendly and sometimes don't work. Next, we've packed a travel buddy. This year Victor the Fox gets to visit grandma with Evan. Then we also pack a few games, which we rarely get into but is always a good back up especially if your flight is delayed.

 

BOOKS: Evan loves his books...especially his sticker books and activity books. These are great when you're not flying through turbulent weather. I also picked up the Rebel Journal (Evan is a huge Star Wars fan) for this trip just to give him an idea of what a journal is all about...hoping that he might find it cool and start his own journal someday.

 

THE NECESSITIES: I don't know about other kids but my kid never fails to spill something on himself at least on one of the 2 flights, or both. I always carry a change of clothes for him, ALWAYS. Speaking of spilling, this time I've also packed one of those Take & Toss cups. He will be served his water/juice in it which will hopefully translate to NO SPILL on board. Anti-bacterial wipes!!! I never fly without it because when you're flying for 16 hrs you're bound to hit the loo a few times and THAT is the most traumatic part of flying for me...helping my 5 year old clean up after he's done with his potty business. ACK! 

 

What I pack for him is never the same for every trip because he is only 5 and his interests/likes keep changing BUT I always make sure that I pack right...because...when my kid travels happy, I travel happy. 
 

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nekosam@me.com (NekoSam Images) http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2014/11/flying-with-evan Wed, 12 Nov 2014 05:28:21 GMT
Strawberry Lemonade Slush http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2013/6/strawberry-lemonade-slush The things I miss most while traveling are all the fun projects my 3 year old and I get to do together when we are home. Last week we decided to get back into that a bit after having spent the last couple of months traveling and spending time with family. Our first project was to make some Strawberry Lemonade Slush, quite perfect for the beautiful sunny weather we've been having lately. 

 

Evan was so excited and wanted to do everything "BY MYSELF". I let him squeeze the lemons, load the blender with all the ingredients and I must say that he's quite the assistant. We didn't follow any particular recipe. We used fresh organic strawberries, fresh squeezed lemon juice, organic homemade simple syrup and ice. We blended the first 3 ingredients together, tasted to make sure it was to our liking and then added the ice and continued to blend.

 

The result was some pretty amazing slush...Evan was so thrilled and thoroughly enjoyed a whole glass by himself before sending me over to his friends' house with a few glasses for them too.

 

Deliciously refreshing 'STRAWBERRY LEMONADE SLUSH'! Simple & fun to make :)


 

 

 

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nekosam@me.com (NekoSam Images) ice lemon lemon juice organic simple syrup strawberry sugar http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2013/6/strawberry-lemonade-slush Mon, 10 Jun 2013 17:06:05 GMT
GRILL POACHED COD & VEGGIES with GRILLED MISO-BUTTER CORN ON THE COB http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2013/6/grill-poached-cod-veggies-with-grilled-miso-butter-corn-on-the-cob Today's weather was perfect. However, I still had a 'MEH!' sorta, kinda day. My sister finally dragged me out of the house for a walk. We walked all the way to the grocery store and picked up some cod fillets and vegetables to throw on the grill. I came home feeling a little bit better after the walk and got busy cooking almost right away. I prepped the vegetables (bell peppers, cilantro, zucchini, portobello mushroom, onion, tomato) and placed them on a piece of aluminum foil. I then seasoned the cod with a dry rub and placed it on top of the vegetables and drizzled some olive oil and fresh lemon juice on top of all that and closed the package securely and sent it off to the 'grill master' to be placed on the grill for 20-30 minutes. In between all that I decided that I should maybe try and get some 'before & after' shots of the food, un-styled though they may be. 

(Before) GRILL POACHED COD & VEGGIES

(After) GRILL POACHED COD & VEGGIES 

 

Since we had the grill fired up and I had some Miso-Butter, left over from the other day, I went ahead and grilled some 'Miso-Butter Corn on the Cob' as well.

 

I got my 3 year old to help butter up the corn. He was so careful and followed my instructions so well. 'Proud Mommy' moment!

 

These are always a hit. Oh, to make the Miso-Butter just blend 1 part Miso paste with 4 parts of unsalted butter. The Miso flavor goes really well with the sweetness of the corn. (OPTIONAL: add lemon juice, or crushed garlic or green onions to the miso-butter)

Dinner was successful and now, in an attempt to understand the process of Food Writing/Blogging, I'm off to read "Will Write For Food" by Dianne Jacob. Being a hobby cook and photographer is a lot of fun but I'd like to take it a step further. 
 

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nekosam@me.com (NekoSam Images) bell peppers butter cilantro cod corn corn on the cob grill grill poached miso miso paste onion portobello tomato zucchini http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2013/6/grill-poached-cod-veggies-with-grilled-miso-butter-corn-on-the-cob Wed, 05 Jun 2013 06:06:30 GMT
MOREL MUSHROOMS http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2013/6/morel-mushrooms I'm back! Sadly, I will not be continuing with the 365 project. I've been traveling way too much and now that I have a little time at home I'd like to concentrate on photographing things I'm passionate about.

My sisters are here visiting us in Beaverton and of course I told them that they couldn't visit Beaverton this time of year and not visit the Farmers Market here. So we did, yesterday, and it was a lot of fun and a lot of good produce/food and the friendliest vendors. I found some Morels at the market. I've never had them before but I bought some anyway just because I found them freakishly interesting with their distinctive honeycombed cap

 

The vendor was kind enough to suggest a couple of ways to cook them. Sautéing them seemed like the way to go. I decided that I'd sauté the morels with some asparagus so I picked up a bunch of that from the market as well.

 

I prepared them for brunch today. Morels, asparagus and garlic satuéed in butter and served it with a poached egg, some sourdough toast and fresh tomatoes.

 

THE PERFECT BRUNCH

 

 

 

 

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nekosam@me.com (NekoSam Images) asparagus butter egg garlic morel mushrooms morels poached egg toast tomato http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2013/6/morel-mushrooms Sun, 02 Jun 2013 21:21:58 GMT
365 Photo Project: Day 28 'LIGHT' http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2013/2/365-photo-project-day-28-light Light in the desert.

365 Photo Project: Day 28

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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nekosam@me.com (NekoSam Images) 365 Photo Challenge 365 Photo Project Canon EOS 5D Mark ii desert light palm sun trees http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2013/2/365-photo-project-day-28-light Mon, 04 Feb 2013 18:49:39 GMT
365 Photo Project: Day 27 'LUNCH' http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2013/2/365-photo-project-day-27-lunch This is my lunch these days...inspired by my father-in-law of course. He has a sandwich, raw nuts and a plate of raw veggies with some low fat sour cream-onion dip. I skip the sandwich and just eat an assortment of raw veggies. Feels right.

365 Photo Project: Day 27

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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nekosam@me.com (NekoSam Images) 365 Photo Challenge 365 Photo Project Canon EOS 5D Mark ii lunch raw raw vegetables sour cream veggies http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2013/2/365-photo-project-day-27-lunch Sat, 02 Feb 2013 03:50:34 GMT
365 Photo Project: Day 26 'COLOR' http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2013/2/365-photo-project-day-26-color When you say color I think "Hummingbird"! Truly, madly deeply the new love of my life.365 Photo Project: Day 26

 

 

 

 

 

 

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nekosam@me.com (NekoSam Images) 365 Photo Challenge 365 Photo Project Canon EOS 5D Mark ii color colorful colors hummingbird http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2013/2/365-photo-project-day-26-color Sat, 02 Feb 2013 02:02:04 GMT
365 Photo Project: Day 25 'SOMETHING YOU MADE' http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2013/2/365-photo-project-day-25-something-you-made I took this photo and I love it. There, I said it. I'm going to get a big print made and hang it somewhere in the house.

365 Photo Project: Day 25  

 

 

 

 

 

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nekosam@me.com (NekoSam Images) 365 Photo Challenge 365 Photo Project Canon EOS 5D Mark ii Indonesian Sea Nettles Monterey Bay Aquarium Something you made photo print http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2013/2/365-photo-project-day-25-something-you-made Sat, 02 Feb 2013 00:20:32 GMT
365 Photo Project: Day 24 'GUILTY PLEASURE' http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2013/2/365-photo-project-day-24-guilty-pleasure Once in a while I cave in and say "F*** It! Why Not?" :)

365 Photo Project: Day 24

 

 

 

 

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nekosam@me.com (NekoSam Images) 365 Photo Challenge 365 Photo Project Canon EOS 5D Mark ii food guilty pleasure hamburger http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2013/2/365-photo-project-day-24-guilty-pleasure Sat, 02 Feb 2013 00:03:22 GMT
365 Photo Project: Day 23 'SOMETHING OLD' http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2013/2/365-photo-project-day-23-something-old Speaking of my father-in-law (from my previous post), this is a replica of his first 1950 Chevy Belair that he bought when he was 16 years old (in 1954). He bought the real car for $500 with money he earned from his paper route. He brought this replica out of his workshop so that Evan could play with it. Needless to say, Evan was over the moon. 

365 Photo Project: Day 23

 

 

 

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nekosam@me.com (NekoSam Images) 1950 Chevy Belair 365 Photo Challenge 365 Photo Project Canon EOS 5D Mark ii car replica car something old http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2013/2/365-photo-project-day-23-something-old Fri, 01 Feb 2013 23:33:55 GMT
365 Photo Project: Day 22 'YOUR SHOES' http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2013/2/365-photo-project-day-22-your-shoes I've never been a girly-gal with a closet full of shoes. I wear hiking shoes 365 days a year and buy a new pair every once in 2-3 years. Why buy shoes when I can buy new photography gear instead eh? We've been doing quite a bit of exploring and hiking out here in CA and you can imagine the state of the new hiking shoes that I gifted myself over Christmas...yup, this is it. I'm always on the look out for birds and other critters and rarely look down when I'm walking, even when I've been warned. Thankfully I have the best father-in-law who helped me clean them when we got back to the house. They look brand new once again.

365 Photo Project: Day 22

 

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nekosam@me.com (NekoSam Images) 365 Photo Challenge 365 Photo Project Canon EOS 5D Mark ii hiking shoes your shoes http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2013/2/365-photo-project-day-22-your-shoes Fri, 01 Feb 2013 22:19:23 GMT
365 Photo Project: Day 21 'REFLECTION' http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2013/1/365-photo-project-day-21-reflection Somewhere along the way. When you're on a road trip there are many cool reflections to see and also time to reflect on many things. That's what I've been doing lately. Reflecting about this and that...my life.

365 Photo Project: Day 21

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nekosam@me.com (NekoSam Images) 365 Photo Challenge 365 Photo Project Canon EOS 5D Mark ii pond reflection water http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2013/1/365-photo-project-day-21-reflection Thu, 31 Jan 2013 07:01:54 GMT
365 Photo Project: Day 20 'SOMEONE YOU LOVE' http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2013/1/365-photo-project-day-20-someone-you-love OK, so this wasn't taken on the 20th day of this project but it goes well with what I'm thinking for the theme. I love my family and friends very much, no doubt about it. But I didn't just want to take a photo of someone I love because it is hard to pick one person without, maybe, potentially, slightly hurting the feelings of the rest. Well, except if I took a photo of Evan then everyone would have to be fine with it. But I already take  a ton of photos of Evan so this is me thinking outside the box (& playing it safe LOL).

I had the opportunity to shoot these mini sweet potato pies for SweetPotatoMayas, a local Beaverton up and coming 'Mommy Business'. These are amazing mini pies, delicious, cute and most importantly HEALTHY. It got me thinking. For this Valentine's Day why not give the someone (or the many) you love and care about something healthy instead of candy? Right? Just a thought.

Want to order some of these mini pies or want to know more about them??? Check out SweetPotatoMayas ;)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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nekosam@me.com (NekoSam Images) 365 Photo Challenge 365 Photo Project California Canon EOS 5D Mark ii Monterey Monterey Bay Aquarium Nekosam Nekosam Images Photo A Day SweetPotatoMayas love pie someone you love sweet potato sweet potato pie http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2013/1/365-photo-project-day-20-someone-you-love Tue, 22 Jan 2013 17:09:51 GMT
365 Photo Project: Day 19 'SWEET' http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2013/1/365-photo-project-day-19-sweet Monterey Bay Aquarium - SWEET!
Guest Passes to the aquarium courtesy of my friend Leigh Vintson - SWEETer!

We had a great day at the aquarium. Thanks again Leigh. Of course the cutest creatures there has got to be the seahorses. They are so adorable and are monogamous, mate for life; AWWWW that's so sweet. To top that, the male bears the unborn young. The SWEETest!!

Here is my favorite seahorse tank at the Monterey Bay Aquarium:

 

365 Photo Project: Day 19

 

 

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nekosam@me.com (NekoSam Images) 365 Photo Challenge 365 Photo Project California Canon EOS 5D Mark ii Monterey Monterey Bay Aquarium Nekosam Nekosam Images Photo A Day aquarium seahorse seahorses sweet tank http://www.nekosam.com/blog/2013/1/365-photo-project-day-19-sweet Mon, 21 Jan 2013 23:47:19 GMT