Travels with Tucker

Travels with Tucker

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Dog Beach at Del Mar

Getting close to time to leave San Diego, we hit another dog beach and beach town after the rains cleared on New Years Eve day.  Del Mar is north of La Jolla and reminded us of Laguna Beach up in Orange County.  Lovely town and great beaches.

We went to Pacific Beach for a great seafood dinner at a local joint that had a great concept.  You order from the counter and first pick your kind of fish, then pick a marinade from a choice of about ten, then pick how you want the fish served-fish tacos, on a salad or in a dinner with sides.  The fish was cooked perfectly and the atmosphere was pure Southern California beach town.  On the way home, we stopped to shoot some night shots of San Diego from the Balboa Park bridge.  A very beautiful city!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Zoo

We had a great Christmas.  Lucas flew in for the long weekend (much to Tucker's delight!) and we had Jeff on video chats (with mixed success) on Christmas day.  The weather was spectacular and we hit the beach a few times, hiking at Torrey Pines Reserve and giving Tucker a run at Ocean Beach.

We turned the little tree outside our window into a Christmas tree.
The day after Christmas we decided to go to the zoo...or more accurately, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.  I wanted to photograph some animals out in the "wild" and it seemed like a good activity to play tourist.  We spent most of the day at the park and saw pretty much everything.  It was very fun and I got some nice shots.  I am posting a few here, but if you want to see more, click this link to see a bigger gallery (note: new feature of the blog that I hope to do more): Zoo Gallery

Monday, December 22, 2014

Instagram Instameet

For a year, my son Jeff had been telling me I had to get on Instagram to showcase my photos.  I had an account but I didn't use it--didn't see the point.  Finally, back in October I started posting pictures there and "following" other people whose pictures I liked.  It was fun.  Long story short, I got hooked.  Now I spend some time each day posting a few pictures and looking at a LOT of pictures by some fantastic photographers.  I have learned a tremendous amount doing this and I think my photography continues to improve. For any of you on Instagram, my username is "@denis.p.leblanc".

This past weekend, I took it up a notch.  Some local Instagramers, who met using the site, were having an "Instameet" in San Diego to shoot pictures together.  Lynnae and I decided to check it out, not knowing what to expect.  We showed up at the first of two meeting times/places only to find at least 40 photographers gathered around, some from over a hundred miles away!  People were friendly and I got to know a few.  The sunset was a bust, so L. and I went off to shoot at a different location and grab some dinner.  I left her at a nice restaurant to draw and drink wine while I went back out to wander downtown San Diego at night with about 30 Instagramers.  It was very fun and I met a few more people.  I got to talk shop with folks and get advice.  Some nice pictures came out of it below.  I will hopefully be able to do this again somewhere on our future travels.

Coronado Bridge at sunset
The historic Santa Fe train station in San Diego
Steel wool spinning at the waterfront

LED spinning underneath a sculpture
The pedestrian bridge to Petco Park baseball stadium
Another shot of the bridge to Petco Park
Entrance to San Diego's Gaslamp District with light trails from the brightly-lit pedicabs that swarm the area

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Clean Teeth!

One of our tasks to get done in San Diego was getting Tucker's teeth cleaned. Look how white!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

We Visit Ocean Beach

I wanted to go over to the coast to shoot the sunset one night, so we randomly picked Ocean Beach (in San Diego proper, but a distinct neighborhood) out of the numerous coastal areas to choose from.  I got some nice shots on the shore, but the real prize was Ocean Beach itself.  I am sure it isn't as quirky as Venice Beach up by LA, but it definitely had a culture to itself. I loved the International Hostel building on the main street, as it really captured the spirit of Ocean Beach.:

We ate with the locals at a middle eastern restaurant and walked around looking at the lights and avoiding the ubiquitous skateboarders.  By the way, these aren't 13-year-old kid skateboarders, these are 40-something-year-old men with chestnut brown tans, no shirts and long hair. The sunset was just kind of middling but the beach and sandstone bluffs are beautiful and the pier is huge with a cafe at the end.  They are predicting the coming storm will bring waves that could reach or cover the pier tomorrow.

R & R in San Diego

Well, not completely rest and relaxation (isn't that what R & R means?).  We are having our main living room/kitchen/dining room floor replaced with new vinyl and carpet, we are shopping for Christmas, we are doing some spruce up and housecleaning on the trailer and we are doing our share of hanging out.

This park we call home this month is simply amazing.  The birds here are varied and abundant.  I've counted at least 6 species of duck and there are many herons, egrets, coots, cormorants and osprey. We saw our first flock of white pelicans today.  There are seven lakes, all connected, that are the final treatment for about 500,000 gallons of reclaimed water per day.  A stream runs behind our trailer much of the time. There are a fair amount of snowbirds here and a few activities like pot lucks, coffee socials, etc. We met a couple from Massachusetts who spend winters here and summers in Springfield.  Here are some random pictures of our surroundings and some more feathered neighbors.

Monday, December 8, 2014

New Photo Site Up and Running

Just in time for Christmas, you can now order prints of my photographs online.

Fine Arts America is a high-quality fine arts site showing paintings, prints, photographs and more from thousands of artists.  My images are available as canvas prints, acrylic prints, metal prints, notecards, framed paper prints and even cell phone covers!  All items are produced and ship directly from FAA and from everything I have read, the quality is superb and they have a money-back satisfaction guarantee.  They are priced very reasonably and shipping is pretty quick too. Note, I don't have many images up there yet, but will be adding more all the time.  If you have a favorite from a past blog post, let me know and I can make it available on FAA. Please take a look!

Fine Art America

Take me home, please!