Loi Kathrong // Yi Peng

 We had the pleasure of being in Thailand during Loi Kathrong & Yi Peng so that means floating lanterns!!


This was our second experience with sky lanterns. The first time was two NYE’s ago. We walked around the street markets and purchased one from a vendor. (30 baht / a little less than a dollar). Then we walked inside a temple gate, set a flame to it, and asked a nice looking, trust worthy stranger to take our photo. People are doing the same thing all over, and lanterns are released sporadically.


This time we got referred to a tour company via our AirBnB. We paid for tickets to this event, and traveled from the city to a village by bus. This was different than the last time because this time there were 500 of us gathered together, and the idea was to release the lanterns at the same time.


We were told to wait until the speaker told us to let go, because there’s a certain “wow” factor when the lanterns go up simultaneously.


It’s happening, semi-simultaneously. 😉


 I released my lantern, and looked up to see the most beautiful sight.


Hundreds of illuminated lanterns against the dark sky.

The closer ones pulsating a yellow flame, and others gently gliding in the background.

All moving together in perfect rhythym.


They looked like jelly fish swimming in the sky.


Then I had this moment of ” I can’t believe I am witnessing this with my own two eyes!


A gentle reminder that little moments like these are worth the exploration, and enough beauty to make your jaw drop and put butterflies in your stomach.



Tickets $50/each
round trip bus ride (30 minutes each way)
1 sky lantern + 1 lathrong (not pictured because we didn’t participate)
1 souvenir (small lantern ornament and coin purse)

Dinner from local vendors $3
 fried banana
a bag of chicharron (so random, I know!)
1 bottle of water


I highly recommend experiencing this!
The date is different every year, because its based on the full moon on the 12th month of the Thai lunar calendar, on a Western calendar it falls somewhere in November.


Photography: Andrew Brown
Shout out: to Mary, my generous co-worker & dear friend for gifting us this experience.
for more information on our AirBnB & the tour company
email: kalaniandandrew@gmail.com


Big Sur

Big Sur is intriguing. Marked with history and landscapes where the mountains and the ocean meet, it’s beautiful all right.

We left a little before 8am with hardly any traffic. On the way we stopped in Carmel at  La Sala’s Bi-Rite Market for sandwiches. (Thanks, Yelp!)  Grab your bread first, take it to the counter, and choose your meat, and fixings. The employees were really friendly & nice. You can grab snacks, and drinks, too.

Back on the road like a kid in a candy store, we stopped at several locations of the freeway. The view was incredible and the fog was rolling off the mountains.

Big Sur, no wonder everyone loves you.


Our destination was Julia Burns Pfieffer Park. We parked outside of the entrance and to our surprise, we were right outside of McWay Falls.


We went through the entrance of the park and walked down to the falls. It’s breathtaking. With no public access to the beach its no wonder why it looks pristine.

Felt a little hungry so we ate our sandwiches with this view. (Sandwiches were great, would definitely recommend visiting La Sala’s!)


In the 1900’s there was a house built here and this was view outside of the bedroom window. Talk about a million dollar view! Even cooler, she was a Mrs. Brown. 🙂

IMG_2356My best friend and I – she’s a silly one.

Further down there is another look out with a couple of benches to enjoy the view.


Onward to the hike!
This trail has it all: clear water running through, and beautiful trees everywhere. We passed a couple spots with picnic tables and grills.



The trail is paved with plenty of shade. It goes uphill with 1600 elevation gain so plenty of water and good socks + shoes are a must!


In 2008 there was a wildfire leaving some of the trees with burnt markings, and hollow inside.

Trees unveiling history. The texture is so beautiful.


We had such a great time, and will definitely come back.






Cheers to 1 Year!

This past weekend Mr. Brown & I ventured to the Santa Cruz mountains. Not only is it one of our favorite places to visit, it’s a special place to us!

It started off with a recommendation from my sister, The Cremer House. The salad and soup combo was delicious, mixed greens paired with a beet, and ginger soup. Brown got the Cremer burger with bacon. We shared a flight. That was fun. A mix of IPA, pale ales, and even a plum cider. My favorite were Dread Brown & Death and Taxes.

The ambiance is nice and simple with a historical feel. If you appreciate beer, you should visit!

Afterwards we walked around the New Leaf Market, and caroused the bulk section for snacks. It was great. From teas to honey, and granola, I could’ve stayed in there for hours. We took our snacks and ventured right down the street to The Abbott. It’s a thrift store with everything from clothing to furniture, and even a store cat. (Score!)

We decided to kill time and go to Quail Hollow Ranch for a hike. This was my first choice for a wedding venue. The only downside was it accommodates 100 people max. While making the decision to book, it became unavailable. Which was totally fine, we got married 6 miles away at Highlands House & Park.

My heart sunk a bit when we walked around Quail Hollow because it is so.stinkin.beautiful, and part of me wished we got married here instead. I think it’s more our style. The bright side is we can visit anytime we want, and at our 10 year mark: vow renewal. he he

It’s a historical house built for farmers, and later owned by the owner of Sunset magazine. There’s original wall paper, and issues of Sunset magazine displayed, with photos attached to storylines of history. There were also stuffed bobcats, mountain lions, birds, owls, and snakes (that I didn’t take photos of).

The “backyard” leads to different trails. We chose one and it went around the corral. Brown found a friend, and snuck in some handfuls of grass to feed him.

More walking along the trail. This trail was paved. I stopped to take a couple of photos here and there. A snake was nearby, and I freaked out a bit. Andrew ran after it. And yes, running after and befriending animals happens quite often on our adventures.

And to spice up our day, we somehow managed to meet the dead end of our trail. We turned around and found this was in fact, the way to go. The tree fell and blocked our path. So we climbed through it.

We made it out okay, with only two snake sightings, and 1 piggy back ride.

Afterwards, we ventured to our Airbnb.  On our way we saw this Farm Stand. It works on the honor system so you must have cash. Prices are marked, and you leave the money on the counter in a locked box. There’s plenty of space to sit and enjoy the day if you want to stick around for awhile.

We finally made it to our Airbnb, and I didn’t know what to expect. True to his nature, Brown just knows. Accompanied with outdoor space to relax, a grill, fire pit, badminton net, and a walk down to the creek,  it was perfect.  The cabin is small and has a restricted occupancy, so it’s a great visit for 1 or 2 people.


The inside had everything we needed: kitchenette (we  microwaved our pullet eggs into an omelette), bathroom with shower, queen size bed, small table, TV with dvd player, and some board games.

A fully stocked kitchen with spices, steak rub, coffee, tea, and even hot cocoa mix. There were jars of little chocolates, and homemade bars for us.

The view outside the windows look like this:

Brown programmed the coffee maker so in the morning we woke up to the sound of coffee brewing, filling the entire place with its aroma, the sound of a faint rooster crow, water streaming behind us, and looking up to a window in the roof with a view of: more leaves and branches! Incredible.

A great start to a two day celebration. Cheers to one year of marriage, and soaking in God’s goodness.