All Posts in Adventure

September 27, 2016 - No Comments!

Portuguese Beach

There are few things as calming to me as the Northern California coast. There is serenity and beauty to the foggy skies and dark green cypress. A weekend filled with brisk walks on the beach, eating good food with family and friends, and simply sitting in the hot tub while watching the fog roll by helped me slow down and feel refreshed.




September 8, 2016 - No Comments!

A few Tulum photos

Tulum was absolutely gorgeous! I loved my time there, and will be writing more about it in my new personal project, Hydeaway Magazine. But for my family and friends, here are a few quick photos :)

August 26, 2015 - No Comments!

Weekend Getaway


Last weekend my boyfriend Samir and I made our way down the coast for a weekend getaway in Carmel and Monterey. We had been wanting to do this for a while, and so we booked an Airbnb and were soon on our way! It was the perfect little break from work and school. We shopped and ate tons of food in downtown Carmel, did the 17 Mile Drive (of course), went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and got some serious R&R on the beach. The weather was perfectly overcast, which was great for me to step my Instagram game up! I love a white aesthetic, I always have and probably always will. I have tons of photos coming up that you can also see on my instagram: @micaelaballew. I couldn't pick just a few to share on the blog, so here goes all of them! Enjoy.


This was taken along the 17 Mile Drive, a beautiful drive I recommend to anyone visiting the Monterey Peninsula. You truly feel the ocean vibes with the roaring, tumbling waves and the sublime rocky shores. Along the drive, we stopped to check out the Lone Cypress (a good photo spot), and also paused at Pebble Beach Golf Resort to check out the 18th hole and tell our parents we were there haha. Samir loves to play golf, and he had fun exploring the grounds and seeing the awesome views straight from the course.


Pebble Beach

Pebble Beach


We spent a lot of time at the beach on Saturday, which was amazing. The cool breeze and ocean air was so refreshing, it really felt like we could stay there forever. We walked down almost the entire half of Carmel Beach, away from a lot of the crowds of people to our own spot on the rocks and near the golf course.


Carmel Beach

Ocean Beauty

Carmel Beach

Above is the view from our rocky perch. You can see Pebble Beach Golf Course on the left. So many people were walking their dogs on the beach, it made me wish Penny was with us! After a day at the beach and getting a delicious Italian meal downtown, we made it to the Aquarium on Sunday to see the jellies (my favorite) and the sharks (Samir's favorite).



The jellies are my favorite, they are just so beautiful. I hope you enjoyed all of these photos and definitely recommend visiting the area if you get the chance! It was just as wonderfully beautiful as I had hoped.

x Micaela


June 8, 2015 - No Comments!

Excursion #2

"When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence."
—Ansel Adams

On a sunny and warm Friday afternoon, my mom and I made our way down to Mumm Winery on the Silverado Trail. I was excited to see the Ansel Adams exhibit as I had heard from friends that it was really beautiful. This little excursion from the normal was exactly what I needed after being stressed with school and finals coming up. Neither I or my mother had ever been to Mumm before, so it was a new experience for us. The grounds were beautiful, the sunny patios filled with people, the red accent chairs and umbrellas on the brink of a beautiful view of the Napa Valley and rows of endless vineyards. On the horizon line was the edge of the valley, light blue rolling mountains that are signature to this place I call home. We went into the gallery, and were entranced by the beauty we found there in the black and white photographs! Here is my photo journal.

The outdoor setting was beautiful! I really loved the aesthetic and the warm breeze coming through the patio. Below are some of my favorite photographs from the exhibition.

The church by Bodega Bay that I have seen many times on family excursions to the beach (like the one in Excursion #1!). I recognized this photograph almost immediately and it brought me back in time to when I  was standing at the bottom of this road looking up at it.

The above photograph was particularly interesting to me because the caption told of how Ansel Adams would manipulate different colored lenses as well to get the right amount of deep richness in the black and white photographs. He was trying to recreate the image he saw in his head or make it look as close as possible to the magnitude and sheer sublime that he felt standing before it. He wanted the viewer to feel what he felt, which I thought was really neat.

The photographs I took of the photographs don't do any of these justice, but they were quite beautiful to look at. I was also loved learning more about Ansel Adams and his passion for preservation of wilderness lands. He was a very important figure in environmentalism, and I do not think I realized how much work he actually did for conservation. His passion for Yosemite really shows through his photographs, and I could tell how he had fallen in love with it. They were beautiful. I'm really happy I made the trip down to Mumm. It was a great experience.


May 31, 2015 - No Comments!

Excursion #1

"For whatever we lose (like a you or a me), it’s always our self we find in the sea."
—e.e. Cummings

Yesterday afternoon, Saturday, was a day well spent at the beach. My boyfriend's family packed up a van full of snacks and dogs and decided that Doran Beach was our destination. Only 45 minutes outside of Santa Rosa where his family lives, the car ride was easy and we had plenty of time to bask in the overcast sun at the beach. It was so nice to get away from all my responsibilities at home and school and relax in a beach chair and put my toes in the sand. Below are some pictures and sketches from the amazing afternoon we spent at the beach.

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The beach was surprisingly not crowded, probably because of the overcast day. We loved running down to the beach with the dogs and putting our toes in the wet sand. It had been so long since I had felt beach sand and frigid water hit my legs that it was somewhat surprising at first. We screamed and laughed and had a good time.

"In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is the story of the earth." —Rachel Carson

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First views of the beauty down at the water. Looking east towards the hills and peninsula. There weren't many people down here, which was really nice for us, we felt like we had the whole beach to ourselves!

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Gorgeous views up on the dunes/bluffs above the beach. Rocky terrains and cliffs are a soft spot for me, and I snapped tons of pictures. The sounds of the waves crashing against the rocks was something I had been missing for a while. Funny how comforting that sound really is.

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This was the dune trail that we followed down to the beach and sand. The sand was surprisingly so soft, without hardly any rocks or roughness to it. I loved the way the palette was when we got here. The soft blues, dark greens, and light creams are such a pretty combination to look at, especially for a design major like me. I really appreciated that, and of course put it on my Instagram.

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This is a photo of my boyfriend Samir, laughing and looking out of the water. He always laughs at me for taking so many pictures, but it's memories like these that I can't help but save in my mind as well as my phone. A true adventurer, he wanted to take a short walk on the beach and bluffs, so we did. :)

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This is my boyfriend's family's dog, Buster Posey. I absolutely adore dachshunds, since I have one of my own. He is so adorable and we took him out to the water where he ran around and enjoyed every bit of it. His favorite part of the trip was digging in the sand.

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As we walked back to our car at the end of our beach day and afternoon, I saw this amazing Airstream camper sitting out on the campgrounds and just had to take a picture of it. These things are so cool looking, I wish I had one! I thought about how fun it would be to camp out here as well.

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Here are a couple sketches I did while chilling on the beach, eating some peanut M&Ms. It was hard to see a lot, since it was so cloudy and overcast, but I thought it was really pretty how the clouds came over the green hills and right on top of the houses. There was a golf course up on the hills as well that you could barely see, and that was also something I wanted to draw but it was so far away. I was surprised at just how many houses there were on the hills and bluffs, there were many more than I had thought would be there. Overall, this beach trip was a total success, and I can't wait to get some more time to go back. Not worrying about anything and being able to enjoy others' company while also enjoying God's creation was definitely the highlight of the trip. The sound of the ocean is one of my favorite sounds, and I couldn't stop thinking about it when I left.

Hope you enjoyed my little excursion from the usual!



March 1, 2015 - No Comments!

Albion Weekend

This weekend I ventured up the coast to Mendocino and Fort Bragg. Armed with an iPhone and a few friends, I had lots of fun exploring and almost getting caught by some waves. By far, one of my favorite spots of the weekend was Glass Beach.




Mendocino cliffs