G is for Gypsy

For those of you asking, this is a partial look at the last few months of my gypsy life. These photos are from the end of November 2017 through the beginning of February 2018.

I went from Hawaii to Seattle, Seattle to Detroit, drove from Detroit to Florida, and then back up to Michigan. Michigan to California, where I hung out in Joshua Tree and Wonder Valley, and LA. Then I went back to Seattle, Portland, and down to San Francisco. I spent the last weekend at a retreat in Watsonville, CA, and am currently en route to Hawaii for the next nine days! Enjoy!

Bainbridge, WA

I go to school at IslandWood, out on Bainbridge Island, across the sound from Seattle.

West Bloomfield, Michigan

It was mostly hovering around 0°f but I was able to hang out with my best friend and her lil babe, all my favorite animals, and even got to go climbing for the first time in my life!

Michigan -> Florida

My dad and I took a road trip down to the gulf side of the Sunshine State for Christmas. We met up with some of our immediate family, and a couple of our extended family to relax by the water and under that big, bad, amazing sun.

Wonder Valley & Joshua Tree

I got to visit my brother and his girlfriend Lindsey out on her property in Wonder Valley. It was really cool seeing the things they've been up to and the amazing landscape they're in. I got to witness some desert rains and check out the local dive bar. My friends picked me up and we headed into Joshua Tree National Park for some camping/hiking/climbing adventures. 

Portland, OR and

Mount Madonna Center in Watsonville, CA

I headed back up to Seattle for class, then spent a week wandering around Portland, OR. After that, I headed to San Francisco. I got to have hang with my brother and his wife, and even got to meet up with some Big Island friends!

Then I headed to Mount Madonna Center out in Watsonville, CA for the weekend with some members of Presidio Graduate Schook, where I'll be graduating from in June!


And of course, these are photos you've all seen, but I know you want to see again. Tosi is Sean and Whitney's adorable English Shorthair kitten who demonstrates the most remarkable cuteness but has an almost militaristic survallience ability. Basically, she always has eyes on you.

Birds of a Feather

I've been off island for a little bit now, and will continue to travel for the next few months. At the end of July I'm heading out east for a friend's wedding, then flying to Europe to explore and drink wine with my cousin Maia!

Here are some photos from my time in California last month. I got to hang out with some of my favorite humans and see some pretty things. 

After California, I headed to Seattle to finish up my spring quarter, then Michigan for my brother's wedding. I went back to Seattle one more time to finish up summer quarter and am now sitting pretty in Michigan.

In case you missed it, I posted a DIY on shibori dyeing last week. Check it out (here), if for nothing else, to see my face scrunched up in the sun, and giggles from the women who participated in the workshop!

Home Again

I just left Michigan, heading towards warmer weather. For the next few days I'll be in California, and then Sunday I go home to Hawaii.

While home in Michigan, I got to hang out with my brothers and parents, and a lot of friends. I got to explore Detroit and reacquaint myself with my home-town. My three brothers were in town for Christmas, which made it an especially memorable holiday, since I haven't been home for Christmas in 4 years. We got into the city, walked around the conservancy on Belle Isle, then over to midtown to check out the shops, and finally to the DIA, so I could get my art fix in.

I have also been able to spend time with my grandparents, who are all experiencing transitional periods in their lives right now. My grandpa Dick is 93, still smiling and positive, but fast approaching what he calls his "final send-off". My grandpa George is as spunky as ever, getting ready for his next adventure, a move back to his hometown in Pennsylvania, after spending the last 60 years in Detroit. And my Granny is making a big move, downsizing in all areas of her life. It has made me realize how much in common I have with my family from totally different generations.

I also had the opportunity to party with friends! I got to see my brother's new house in Kalamazoo, catch up with friends in the area, and even had time to make some art! I was working with my mom at Specs Eyewear Studio, and got to spend quality time with my daddio.

Being home always feels good, and it gets harder and harder to leave, but I am looking forward to my next adventure in Hawaii - not to mention getting into the ocean and the 85 degree weather :)

Oh yeah, and here are some pretttttty lovely throwbacks for you guys! Sorry mom!!

The Long Way Home

The last time I posted, I was in sunny California, about to embark on the last leg of my travels with Peter. The travels have now come to an end, and I am sitting indoors, hiding from the chilly Michigan winter weather. I will be in Michigan until the end of January, then will return to Hawaii to begin more adventures through 2016!

Below are photos from our trip! We started heading east from San Clemente, California on December 1st and ended in West Bloomfield, Michigan on December 18th. Pete and I traversed over 6,000 miles, $600 worth of gas, two oil changes, went across the border to Mexico, through 13 states, 5 National Parks, the longest bridge in the country, and several other hidden and known jewels in the continental US.

We bought a car and food for the road, grabbed a couple maps and were on our way. We experienced camping in below freezing temperatures, next to highways, beside bayous, on beaches, on mountains, and in valleys. We got to see friends and family, and had the experience of making new friends as we passed each small town or big city. The people we came across were friendly, interesting, open minded, and ready to share their stories with us. We are forever grateful to everyone who opened their homes to us, let us use a bed, a couch, the floor, a warm shower, and clean water.

It was an amazing trip, but we are enjoying life a little slower, with my family in Michigan. The holidays have been good to us here, but we can't wait to get back to the Big Island for another few months of loving life on that beautiful little rock in the sea :)

Happy New year!

Bagley Optical and The Glass Man

Being from the Detroit area is a point of pride for many people in Michigan. It has also grown into an identity for many of us. Since I live out of state now, I always introduce myself as being from the Detroit area, or while traveling abroad, I usually say I'm from Detroit, instead of the US.. It's an odd habit that seems to stem from my childhood experiences in and around the city.

The Guardian Building peeking through in Detroit.

The Guardian Building peeking through in Detroit.

I had the great fortune of growing up on a little lake surrounded by other little lakes, 40 minutes northwest of Detroit city. My mom's dad and my dad's parents lived in the city for most of my childhood, so we got into the city on weekends, for baseball games at Old Tiger Stadium, to explore the historic Palmer Woods neighborhood, and for Christmas Eve, to attend the most magical mass of the year at Gesu Catholic Church.

A view of Green Lake from our backyard.

A view of Green Lake from our backyard.

Up until a couple months ago, my mom's dad, Grandpa George, owned a building on Bagley and 14th in the Corktown neighborhood in Detroit. He had been in the building for over 50 years. His optical had been running for 40-some years. From his rooftop (which I regrettably could not access for photos), you can see the Ambassador Bridge, the old Michigan Central Station, and several other historical buildings and neighborhoods in the area.

As kids, my brothers and I would ride along with my parents to the building, which we fondly dubbed The Dungeon. We were told not to touch anything, not to walk in the dark corners of the building, and to absolutely not go on the rooftop - which we did many times, usually because my grandpa would order us to do some kind of odd job up there. The staircases were always off limits, due to their unsteady nature.

Once we could drive ourselves down, my brother, friends, and I would go to concerts, Tiger's games, and always cruise to Lafayette for coney dogs. We'd stop by my grandpa's building and he'd hassle us about school, how much money we have saved or are making, and about why we are wasting our lives listening to this crap music. We always enjoyed showing people the mysterious and quirky building.

My Grandpa had created a closed off area he called a courtyard, and kept several unnamed and apparently untame dogs. When we walked by the patchwork of windows and doorwalls, the dogs would lose their shit and threaten us with teeth and absurdly loud barking. My grandpa kept busy by created partitions, dark, minimally livable spaces, and Gee's Bend quilt style repairs to the inside and outside of the building. He'd rent out apartments to whoever would put up with his crass remarks and his creative engineering.

Most people who stepped into the building in the last ten years knew grandpa didn't have a money making optical anymore - he kept it up to keep his friends around. They'd drop by, pretend to need something, recieve a quick snarky remark, maybe a repair frame or lens, and be on their way, back to their own dungeons and patchwork lives. He was George the Glass Man. When I'd call him, he'd pick up and say 'OPTICAL!' assuming people knew exactly who they were calling.

A sign maker's characature of my grandpa at work. 

A sign maker's characature of my grandpa at work. 

A couple days ago I went to the building, possibly for the last time, and took photos of the interior and exterior, trying not to disturb my grandpa's lair. He was in his last few days of moving out of his beloved building and I got to be there to listen to his stories about the random items that made up his home. I came across a lot of collections - he told us people would come to him, needing money, and offering random appliances and clothing in exchange for a good negotiation. There were piles of bullets to lost guns, lenses with no frames, posters of old eyewear advertisements, and chairs and dressers and sideboards piled up to the ceiling in one room.

Although it is sad to see this legendary building go from our family, I am excited to see what happens with it. The city of Detroit is going through an intense creative period and the new owners of the building are young artists, and have lots of energy to put into the building and are adding on to the already colorful history of the property.