Muir Woods Engagement Photography | Renee & Brian

This is just a teaser from Renee & Brian's session, but I already had trouble narrowing down my faves.  We explored Muir Woods, some off-the-beaten-path trails and the Mission District for their engagement session.  I had so much fun with them, I can't wait to go through all their images!

Do the Cha Cha Cha

We drove the dark, rainy streets trying to navigate through the city to find something to eat. I never used the gps before and marveled at the ease of typing "mexican restaurant" in search of food. The long day had been marked by sweet, lovely events with serious car-ride talks in between. The frustration of the day and new environment culminated during that drive to the restaurant and we missed our turn more than once. Finally we made it to our destination, and we spotted a parking space directly across. Parked, I took a big puff of fresh air, overwhelmed by the sinking feeling in my chest, but it soon subsided with reassuring words and the clasp of my hand. Walking hand in hand across the intersection in the rain, we started afresh, opening our hearts once again to each other.

Patient patrons waiting for tables overflowed out of the restaurant, but we wiggled our way through and found two seats at the bar. I sat there feeling a tinge of defeat covered by a blanket of hope, believing we would continue to move through the discovery of our lives together like we always had in the past. The kitchen staff bustled in front of us, unaware of our attempts to recover from the tension in the car. Somehow we made it through that day, I thought stronger together than the day before. And as the night wound down and it was time to go, I had no doubt that we would always be able to get through whatever adversity life would throw at us. But as my confidence increased, I didn't notice the fabric of that hope slowly unraveling before me, and little did I know that soon I'd be grasping at those threads desperately trying to bring back all those dear moments.


It was December, and I woke up with chills, feeling lifeless hidden under a rolling sea of comforters.  I bitterly pictured the effort it would take to fall out of bed and carry myself to the bathroom to get ready.  That night I was to meet Christie at Coda for a night of food and jazz.  I had spent previous days anxious to listen to some good live music, but my desire to go was getting pummeled by my aching body.  Still, not wanting to flake out on my friend, I focused what was left of my strength to get ready and make the long trek to the Mission in San Francisco.  Feverish and slightly delusional, I was near to tears in pain as I rode bart.  Before meeting with Christie, I made a stop to Walgreens to collect some friends: tylenol, cold/flu/headache medicine, orange juice and a jug of bottled water. Meeting up with Christie, we walked a couple blocks (well, she scampered in the way a petite person like she is does, and I trudged along as a bigger, sicker person does) to Coda.  It was a gorgeous interior with exposed, natural wood rafters and a welcoming mood.  I ordered truffle ravioli and guzzled hot water.  The searing hot liquid coated my throat with a soothing effect, and I started to feel like my sickness would allow me to enjoy the night.

A small jazz group started off the night with an assortment of original music, then later joined a big band for some delightful Christmas, jazz and big band music.  For a moment I forgot the sickness growing inside me.

By the end of the night I desperately needed some sleep, floating away in a daze from the restaurant back home.  Despite my sickness, I deeply enjoyed the night at Coda with deliciously sinful food and heart-lifting music.

(I spent the following two weeks sick in bed.)

Adventures with Christie

Christie and I met up in the Mission District in San Francisco for lunch and an afternoon adventure.  We walked by Gracias Madre and decided to check it out.  Whenever either of us had passed it, it was always packed, so we were excited to find a table in their outdoor patio.  We had a pom/apple juice... delicious!  While I was ordering and searching for some carnitas, I realized it was all vegetarian and organic!  Nonetheless, the food was yummy and filling but very light! After lunch we walked around and found some great spots and shops! Hurray.