Ozette Loop in Olympic National Park, Part 2

We woke up in our tent to the sound of gentle rain. Ahh, what a lovely way to wake up. Except that we had to pack up our wet gear and hike the next section in said rain. The hike in was on a beautiful boardwalk through the forest and our group covered the three miles in about an hour. "Where's today's hike?" we started wondering, realizing we didn't see a trail marker anywhere on our way in. "Oh! We hike along the coast for three miles." "Oh."  "We hike along the coast for three miles."

With our packs. In the rain. On six inches of squishy sea vegetables or slippery rocks with barnacles.


Sea Vegetables | photo by Jessica Nichols, Sweet Eventide Photography

So there are zero pictures of the actual hike. It took 3.5 hours to go the three miles. It was actually very Zen. Every step could cause a fall and a twisted ankle so you could only focus on the moment. Or stabilize yourself to see what was coming next, how much farther we had to go (there was no way to tell). It was definitely the most strenuous hike I have ever been on and it was flat. However, we eventually did arrive at Cape Alava and scored an incredible camping site! Photos galore!

Lightweight Camping Chair | photo by Jessica Nichols, Sweet Eventide Photography

The Noodle carried a 28-lb. pack and when we arrived, we opened the chair immediately.

Our Campsite View at Cape Alava | photo by Jessica Nichols, Sweet Eventide Photography

Our reward -- the skies cleared and we had this view!

More Found Objects | photo by Jessica Nichols, Sweet Eventide Photography

I saw a pile of these found objects so I put them on display.

Sunset at Cape Alava | photo by Jessica Nichols, Sweet Eventide Photography

Shortly after sunset, we tucked ourselves in bed.

Tent View at Cape Alava | photo by Jessica Nichols, Sweet Eventide Photography

The view from our tent at Cape Alava.

The Gift of the Boardwalk | photo by Jessica Nichols, Sweet Eventide Photography

The beautiful boardwalk on the hike out, we love you boardwalk!

Stay tuned for the photos from the Osett Memorial to an ancient Makah village. Part one of our backpacking trip is here if you missed it.

Ozette Loop in Olympic National Park, Part 1

My husband, son and I recently completed our first backpacking trip with friends. We backpacked the Ozette Loop in Olympic National Park. I have wanted to visit Olympic National Park since 2013 when my sister-in-law went and told us all about it. For part one, I will share photos from the first leg of the trip, where we drove six hours to the starting point and then hiked three miles to the Sand Point camp site in one hour and set up camp in the late afternoon. ozette loop (11 of 55)

Sand Point beach

Sunset at Sand Point camp site

The Forest at Sand Point

Found Objects at Sand Point

Magic Light at Sand Point

Stay tuned for part two, the story of the rugged hike and the second camp site called Cape Alava.

Ceiba Del Mar + An Announcement

Hello and happy Monday morning! Grab your cup of coffee or tea, and get a little hit of pretty! Here are a few more photographs from our wonderful trip to Ceiba Del Mar and after the pretty pictures, there will be a summertime announcement.

And here is a photo that I did not take but I will treasure forever: me and Amy -- my sweet, cherished, loyal, oldest friend on earth -- whose wedding brought a wonderful group of people to paradise.

Thanks Chrissy for capturing the moment and I hope you don't mind my processing! :)

Now for the summertime announcement!

I'm going to have a different blogging schedule. I usually try to blog five days a week, Monday through Friday, and this schedule brings me much joy and happiness. Due to a variety of reasons, I'm going to adjust my blogging schedule to three times a week and you will find fresh posts from me on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays all summer long. I hope you'll understand and not forget about my Sweet Eventide. In the fall, I plan to go back to blogging five days a week again.

Are you making any changes for the summer?

Coco Loco

Hello friends! We are back home, a bit weary from the 22-hour travel day returning from Mexico (long layover plus weather delays) but we had a truly amazing vacation. I have 654 photos to sift through, process and organize so it's going to take a bit of time.  Words cannot really express how wonderful it was to spend so much time with old friends, and I made some awesome new friends too. Amy and Sean's wedding was beautiful! They definitely chose a little bit of paradise to start their marriage.

My Coco Loco

We made great friends with the bartenders (Alfredo and Lorena) at the swim-up bar in the resort's pool.  Pina coladas were my drink of choice for most of the trip and when I told Alfredo that I was a bit crazy for coconut, he offered to make me a Coco Loco. It took him 30 minutes to make it! He took a fresh coconut, shook out the juice and then mixed it with Malibu rum, coconut milk and I don't remember what else, then poured it back inside the coconut.


I want to say MUCHAS GRACIAS to my guest bloggers Erin, Jacqueline, Katie, Jamie and Elaine! I really appreciate you all for keeping Sweet Eventide company while I was away!

As for me, I will keep working on my images and of course, I'll share them with you as much as possible. Some are being saved for certain people's wedding present (they know they are receiving an Apple photo book from me so I can say that here).

P.S. My favorite Spanish phrase that I learned in Mexico was "Mucho gusto!" It is just about the most fun thing to say out loud. :)

Guest Post: Katie of Art Wall

Hello folks, happy Monday to you all. I'm Katie from the Art Wall website and blog, here to fill in for Jess while she basks in the sun. Unfortunately it is a gloomy day here in Madison, Wisconsin but the thought of Jess's trip has got me stewing about a dream vacation.

While we were in Jess's neck-of-the-woods this spring in the Napa Valley, we came across a really special spot, and I filed it away in the "gotta do someday" segment of my brain. Nestled between Napa and Sonoma is a sprawling haven called The Carneros Inn. Is a completely contained everything-you-need kind of place with the most beautiful grounds, a wonderful bar, restaurant, spa, and lodging. The board-and-batten architecture, furnishings and styling are a mix of campy, modern, comfortable, eco-friendly, simple and cozy. The resort has a village feel complete with its own boutique and deli.

I think this would be such a wonderful spot for a destination wedding or landmark birthday event. I'd love to invite all my friends to stay in a courtyard of cottages, complete with extended wine-tastings and campfire stories.

Oh or maybe one of the tricked-out luxury homes would be better, with everyone gathered around the coffee table for games, and dinners on the terrace each night.

Hmmm, now I have a reason to look forward to my next big birthday, or perhaps I've just completed the planning for my daughter's wedding. She's only 2 so I've got a few years to complete the details.

Highlights of Pajaro Dunes

We went to Pajaro Dunes for the second time this past weekend, and the first visit was four years ago when Jaden was a little bitty baby still.

I have lots and lots of great pictures but I need to feed that kid and go tour yet another overpriced, overbooked Peninsula preschool. So here are a few highlights for now.

Jaden assumes the lifestyle quite easily and with little direction.
"Life's a beach" -- isn't that how the saying goes?

Making some fierce faces to go with his fierce spikes.
"This is the fiercest face I know how to make Mama." (Phew!)

Nothing like a spontaneous family photo.
(No, this won't be on our Christmas card).

Jaden and I went for a couple of lovely walks on the beach.

Another gorgeous sunset.

Moody Blue

Okay I think 99.9% of people would agree that the Monday after a vacation sucks big fat ass. You feel jolted by the time, the to-dos and the boring familiarity of everything. Let me just say it -- laundry is not nearly as entertaining at home as it is in a resort where a pina colada is a few steps away.

Oh Maui, how I miss your blue skies, warm winds and aloha spirit. I left a 737-size container of tears in your waters on Saturday. I cannot even speak yet of my heartbreak over the other Js. My only consolation is my dear Craigslisting husband found a rental on Cordilleras last night. That is promising!

Here is my little surfer boy telling me to hang loose brudda:

I wish I could dude, I wish I could.