The Photo Gallery | Yellow

Yellow, in the garden, drawing butterflies in –

In the garden

Yellow, in the setting sun, drawing my eyes to the horizon –

Yellow in the setting sun

Yellow, reflecting off the water, as I finish my evening run –

Sunset reflections

And yellow, of my youngest daughter’s pirate hat, blowing bubbles on a boat with her friend –

Yellow in my daughters pirate hat

Linking up with –

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

Some sunsets feel too good to see alone | Prose for Thought

I took a walk, alone, on a Friday evening,
after a week of being with my three children, every hour of every day.

Alone, by the sea, I walked along the beach,
past couples entwined and groups of friends sharing drinks,
past people walking their dogs and jogging on the sand.

Sunset Miramar Beach 1

There wasn’t anyone else alone, completely alone. Just me.
The only company I had was my small pocket camera.
The one thing that everyone on that beach did share that evening,
was a mutual appreciation, for the incredible glow of the sky,
as the sun dropped over the Pacific Ocean.

It didn’t seem right to hold all my feelings and thoughts inside my head.
The beauty of the sky and the colours projected on the ocean,
and break waves rolling gently on the sand,
created too intense a feeling to contain within my one body.

Sunset Miramar Beach 2

It was one of those sunsets that makes a person feel very small.
A sunset that’s better shared.

I leant back, against a sea wall, behind which stood a prestigious property.
It wasn’t like the beaches I’m used to in New Zealand.
It was beautiful, all the same, but there were properties bordering upon its beauty,
encroaching on the natural beauty with their man-made finery.

I didn’t feel like I belonged.

Sunset, sea wall, Miramar Beach

The setting sun seemed to be pulling me out,
with a longing, to beaches thousands of miles away.

I was glad of the wall against my back.
It’s firmness gave me comfort,
though I’d sooner have had the touch of a lovers hand
pressed on the small of my back.

I’d sooner have been the couple out on the water,
sat on their paddle boards, limbs touching,
watching the sunset from their serene vantage point.

There were no others out on the water but them
and a yacht, silently anchored.

Couple on boards enjoying the setting sun

My silence was overbearing.
I needed to let out a sigh, a gasp,
some sort of vocal appreciation for what my eyes could see.

I needed the warmth of my lovers hand to hold.
My children’s silhouettes to watch,
dancing against the backdrop of the red sky,
as they dodged the waves.

This was a sunset to share with the people you love.
A sunset that with all its beauty held a tinge of sadness too.

© Sarah Lee, October, 2013

Prose for Thought

Back from our road trip to San Francisco

What a trip! Exhausting with three children and a husband working hard int he office Monday to Friday! It wasn’t a holiday, but most certainly an adventure and an experience – with some amazing sights either side of the working week and a couple of incredible weekends either side.

The drive back, from San Francisco to Santa Barbara, was broken up with a two night stop in Monterey Bay. Unfortunately it took us a little longer than anticipated to do that first leg – so many accidents and half of San Francisco leaving the city for a weekend away made the driving painfully slow.

We arrived in Monterey as the sun was setting and pulled in at Summerland Beach, attracted by the large sand-dunes. It’s often the half an hour stops on a journey that stay in the mind the longest.

Summerland Beach

All the traffic was soon forgotten and the stresses washed away….


Our hotel for our two night stay in Monterey was close to the waterfront, had a pool to keep the children happy and room service to keep the parents sweet. We checked in about 8pm and were in the swimming pool within ten minutes. The children finally got to sleep… they always do… eventually! Must have been about 11pm.

In the pool

On the Saturday we visited the incredible aquarium in Monterey – the best we have ever seen and truly never to be forgotten. As well has having the most beautiful aquarium tanks showcasing wonderful, exotic and breathtaking sea-life, there are also plenty of hands on learning exhibits for children to learn about ocean life. I will have to write a special post on our visit another time.

In awe

The location of the aquarium, set on the Pacific Ocean, in the most spectacular scenery, abundant with sea-life and bird-life, completed the perfection.

View from Monterey Aquarium

The beauty of the natural environment continued, as everyone promised us it would, on our drive down the Pacific coast back to Santa Barbara. There were so many similarities to New Zealand. We found ourselves remembering stunning drives along the west coast of the south island, as well as the breathtaking coast drives on the east coast of the south island – filled with equally abundant marine life.

Pacific Coast California Big SurElephant Seals dotted the beaches and whales made their migratory journey south.

Elephant seals

The landscape was rugged, with the winding road teetering on the edges of the cliff, leaving a defined cut.

Where the road had been carved out there were geological layers laid bare, exposed to tell the story of the earth; reminding us of driving through the central plateau of the north island of NZ.

The stop offs were stunning. If we’d had more time, and more pliable children, we would have lingered longer, had a drink, enjoyed the road stop cafes and live music (we did make pit stops – but flies were a problem in one place and ‘stinky seaweed’ smells in another…).

As we got closer to Santa Barbara we pulled up at a beach to fly kites and cover each other in sand, before the last hour of the drive.

Kite flying on the beach

It was with relief we pulled in at our ‘home’ in Santa Barbara. It is a stunning home, but not our home and all of the children said as much in their own ways, which touched me deeply.

Our three year old said, ‘Mummy, how many nights now here, before we go back to Wellington? I do love it here though.’

Our ten year old said, ‘I don’t feel the same way that I used to feel when got back to our home in Wellington after a trip away.’

And our seven year old said, ‘Mummy, it is nice here, but I don’t feel like I am back home’.

Nevertheless, it is great to be back and have time to get reacquainted with all our belongings that only arrived from New Zealand three days before our road trip away.

The older girls have played together all day, from riding on their bikes down the lane by the house and swimming in the pool, to board games of Dragonology and ‘Bingo’ games! They’ve dressed up as knights and ran around the house brandishing swords and shields, whilst young Alice has played with everything imaginable – from play dough and matching games to painting and imaginary games with ponies and trains. We’ve swam in the pool and sang along to songs. I haven’t managed to get any of them out to the local supermarket so I could stock up on washing powder and essentials – but they can wait!

Our minds are busy digesting all that we’ve seen and done this past week. It’s good to have ‘down time’ after a trip away!

It’s going to take me a while to sort through the hundreds of photographs and get them printed off for the older girls to add to their scrap books (which should then keep them busy for a while!).