Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"All I can say about life is, Oh God, enjoy it!" ~ Bob Newhart

Welcome to this weeks entry of "Sisterhood Stories," a blog circle, of an international group of photographers, sharing friendship, stories and imagery. 

This week, I have a question for you.  Are you making beautiful memories for your family and yourself?  Are you enjoying your life?  My husband and I made a decision, after three people we were close to, died recently in a very short succession.  It certainly was a wake up call to remember that there is a great "the end" to one's life.  At a funeral we attended, they mentioned that our friend had a passion to create one amazing memory a day with each of his family members.  When it rained, he grabbed a pair of rain-boots, and took his youngest child out to jump in mud puddles.  Believe me, I was impacted by his passion for life, and the reality that it did end, and in his case, sooner than anyone expected.  

I wanted to share a visual diary of some of my own new "lasting memories" and the outcome of my "saying yes" attitude to opportunities.   

First stop, a trip to downtown Los Angeles, to my first opera, Mozart's Opera, Don Giovanni.  Right outside the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion is a peace fountain and the Mark Taper Forum in the background.

 This is my neighbor, and my silly husband, enjoying our night on the town. Thank you to our neighbor John (left), who invited us to go to the opera with his Italian Club.

We all enjoyed the ambience and beauty outside the theater.

And we parked near Disney Hall, which we are so lucky to have in Los Angeles.  This night out was my first time to an Opera. Thankfully, there were English subtitles above the stage.  It was fascinating to realize the this opera was three hours long! ;)  Mozart certainly was prolific, and Don Giovanni was enjoyable.

Next early morning drive to Union Station.

My friend responded to an advertisement to get free tickets on Metrolink's Surf Line.

You could spend hours inside Union Station with your camera. 

We chose to take a Sunday trip to San Juan Capistrano, on their double decker train.

We sat at a nice table, in the upstairs section of the bicycle train.  It was a great spot to see the sights and take photos.

Upon arrival, we headed to Mission San Juan Capistrano, founded in 1776.

The garden is filled with native plants, that thrive in our dry, arid climate.

This is "The Jewel of the Missions" founded by Junipero Serra.  It is number seven, in  California's twenty-one Spanish missions.

I've always enjoyed gardens where Catholic priests and monks bring their rich gardening experience. They planted beautiful patches of Mexican Sage, which is a favorite to hummingbirds and butterflies.

This mission is a photographer's paradise.

It's chapel gives you a spiritual nudge to pause and pray.

And California's Oldest Chapel, a stunning golden chapel, evokes peace and tranquility.  

Southern California tends to have ideal weather 320 days of the year, being 70 degrees and sunny.  We accidentally traveled there when thermometers hit 100 degrees.  We were sweltering by the mission bells, where the famous swallows flock to the Mission each year on March 19.  We finally gave in to the  heat and went to an air-conditioned restaurant.

Finally, after a ton of iced tea, and a delicious lunch in town, we strolled over to the historic section of San Juan Capistrano, located right beside the train stop.  There we found charming Victorian homes.
Plus, a sweet bed and breakfast spot, where you could host a wedding, or family function.

 There were cottage gardens, and we found a few leaves giving a slight hint of Fall's approach.

 Interestingly, I noticed that this vintage property had a sign for a lawyer's office.

And my personal favorite shop in the town was this sweet artist nook called "Nest."  

It's great to say "yes" to new experiences.  Be sure to tell me what you say yes to, and share your beautiful memories with me.  Thanks for stopping by, and please visit my photography sister Aziza Alghunaim, of Little Twinkles at

Thank you for visiting. ;) 


  1. Abby, I love your post and the idea of making special memories is something I agree with whole heartily. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos with us.x

  2. I so agree with you! Let's stay open and say YES!

  3. What a great post! and photos!!!!


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