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Here were my options for the week of July 4th:

  1. Stay in Houston and study, then maybe take the night off on July 4th to relax at home while eating Boston Market.
  2. Go to San Francisco where she is, study during the day at coffee shops (aka Mint Mojito at Philz), eat good food at night with her, and take July 4th off to rent a car and drive it down to Santa Cruz & Capitola Beach, which includes a coastal scenic route, 75 degree weather, blue waters (not used to this in TX), and fireworks off the boardwalk.

It’s rare, but life has some easy decisions.

"North Carolina." When I see that I think of baby blue of course, Devil’s blue, maybe some bbq mixed in there, and firstly-but-stated-lastly, Diana. And so I went. We ate, we hiked, we laughed, we fought, but we were together.

The ups of long distance is that when you are within physical reach, it’s usually in a place where at least one of you is not familiar, and so there’s things to be discovered with another. There’s a novelty about reunions for two people who are separated by miles and time zones — that’s the consolation, the redeeming factor that makes it okay.

I was asked by an old friend to film her wedding in Baltimore. It was a lovely day with it’s fair share of funny moments coupled with touching ones (truly it was, even though you can’t really say otherwise). Very glad and honored to have been an integral part of keeping the memory of it fresh.

DC in B/W. Black suburbans, lots of tourists, and heightened security. Never expected anything less.

First thought: Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

Second thought: This place is unreal. Visiting the Greek islands Santorini and Mykonos was like walking through a postcard. Every sight was worthy, nothing was underwhelming. Too blue, too white, and too pure didn’t exist there.

My time in Israel and Egypt was short, very short. We barely managed to to get glimpses of places that have surprisingly survived after all these years. For the dudes who hauled rocks up the pyramid, this is way short of consolation, but you’d be happy to know your work is still standing today. Congrats, I think.

New Orleans, a truly unique place. Great food, questionable entertainment, historic, French, Southern, and gritty-beautiful. These images were taken in 2011 when my sister and dad were restless at home, so we decided to head 6 hours east for beignets, oysters, and gumbo.

The summer before college, I took a month-long trip to The East. From jungle to jungle, I started in Hong Kong and ended up in Malaysia, passing through the developing Xi’an, and sitting ten feet up in the air atop an elephant in Thailand.

Africa, taken from 2006 and 2008 when I had the opportunity to visit this wonderful, beautiful place that is ridden with its unique ills, not unlike any other place.

"Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it." (Roosevelt on the Grand Canyon)

Diana & I decided to make the absolute most of our coinciding Spring Breaks. Instead of taking a flight and then renting a car to hike the Grand Canyon, we drove around 2,800 miles, 40 hours, and burned a surprising amount of gas.

We sped through the comedically desolate cities of West Texas, literally played in the White Sands of New Mexico, visited our long lost parents in Albuquerque, left tire marks on the Historic Route 66, drove endlessly towards the San Francisco Peaks, topped off in Flagstaff, and then spent the next few days hiking, then cramping, and finally blistering on trails of the Grand Canyon, a place where you can walk and sweat on God’s great design of erosion.

The trip home was more or less the same, except with a self-guided tour of Breaking Bad, truly scary Texas roads at night, and a couple hand-picked tumbleweeds off the highway (tumbleweeds are so funny).

And it was all worth it, because we would have missed so much if we sat in plush seats thousands of miles in the sky, letting some other driver navigate our journey.