Living Yolo

Living in Yolo county is so different than most people assume – it’s not that exciting and there’s not a whole lot going on. But what we may lack in nightlife and excitement, we more than make up for in views.

Sunday I was driving back from the store and noticed some awesome clouds, a sure sign it would be a beautiful sunset. I stalked a good location and set my alarm for 8pm since the sun is setting around 8:30 these days.

Here’s my first stop:


You know how much I love sunflowers, right? Well, you should.

There were some great, big walnut trees shielding the bee hives (which I stayed far away from):


This field had a good mix of open and closed flowers, they’re months away from harvesting:


After awhile I jumped back in the car and raced up to the gravel access road above the fields between Zamora and Knights Landing. Aka no man’s land.

I reached the place I wanted to shoot just as the sun disappeared but that didn’t mean the view disappointed.



As I was driving back I noticed that the irrigation canal had a plant growing along the surface and the reflection of the sky was so beautiful I had to stop:


One more shot from the trip back



Under the Sea

It’s a little known fact that every time I get on the moving walkway at the airport I hum the Jetsons theme song quietly as I ride.

I should also mention that I wanted to belt out “Under the Sea” the entire time I spent at the Atlanta Aquarium in Georgia last week.

It all started so innocently, with an event sponsorship in the city that I had just visited last year. While I arrived very late the night before we started, I booked a flight one day after the end of the conference so I’d have time to play. Top of the list? The Botanical Gardens which I missed seeing last year and have heard rave reviews about since.

The Botanical Gardens are closed on Mondays. Womp womp.

So I went to Plan B and started looking at the Aquarium, which was just a short MARTA ride away. Also MARTA? Just like BART but more expensive for a single trip.

Anyway, I bought my ticket online early Monday morning, picked it up at Will-Call after tramping happily through Centennial Park and went right into the Aquarium as it opened.

Did I mention yet how hard it is to narrow down 514 photos to my favorite dozen? No? Well: impossible. I’ve already edited, cropped and sent my favorites for printing so I’ll have another update soon with those on the walls. Until then, here’s a little sample of what you’ll see under the sea at the aquarium:

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This was the first little guy I met. Turns out these jellyfish don’t swim as much as they float with the current which is why the tank is rounded, per the attendant, “or they’d get trapped in the corners.” Adorable.

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See, these two are not so much engaged in a very slow game of chase as they are on an inevitable collision course with the glass. Hilarity.

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While it may be hard to tell, these guys were HUGE. They dwarfed the little baby jellyfish in the first tank and had 8 or 10 in the same space. Which resulted in several tentacle tangles (say that 5 times fast) that I’m sure they’re still sorting out.

Ethereal no? I want this in glow in the dark paint for my bathroom stat.

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The tropical fish were as bright and fun as I remembered from snorkeling, just smaller. The aquarium has these small vignettes, to steal a design term, with specific species and settings. But then they had these giant tanks:


In the early morning there were actually divers in the tank cleaning, something that happened in a few other tanks as well.

It was much harder to get good pictures in these areas so I mostly stuck to the animals I like most.

Like the belugas.

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This is Maris, an adult female beluga whale. She’s fat because she’s pregnant and in 4 months there will be a baby beluga! The male who knocked her up, Beethoven, was sent away “to do the same thing” in Chicago. There were two adolescent belugas in the tank as well but they were hiding off to the side.

While somewhat hard to photograph, Maris would swim in wide sweeping passes right up to the glass. An adorable little kid asked the attendant, “is it your pet? how did you catch her? do you take her home?” while I stood by snickering.


This exhibit also had the worst sponsor tie ins I’ve seen. Such as “belugas eat this type of fish, but not on these plastic plates!” Right… so forgettable I don’t remember the sponsor except I think I saw that plastic plate in the “recycle don’t trash our ocean” box across the aquarium.

I suggested a sign “does this glass make me look fat?” with info about the pregnancy because it seemed none of the visitors knew why Maris was rubbing her head on the floor breaking up the rocks in her habitat. I guess it’s the beluga version of nesting.

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Also in this section of the aquarium were the penguins which were alternatively sitting behind water splashed glass, diving too fast for the camera or hiding in a nesting hole. You could crawl through a tunnel that had little “pop up stations” along the habitat but I’m an adult. With bad knees. And dignity.

On to the big tank.

While the aquarium has over 10 million gallons of water, the lion’s share is in this amazing exhibit complete with a walk thru tunnel (no crawling required) and whale sharks.

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Notice how you can’t even see the back of the tank where people were standing? That’s how deep this sucker was. And I loved this manta ray, he would swim lazily and then do flips in the water. Amazing.

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Doesn’t he look so happy to be swimming?

Before I do a quick recap of the exhibits, I want to circle back to my favorites. The jellies.

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On my second pass through, they had just fed these guys, it’s all the specks you see in the water. The jellyfish was capturing the food with all those tentacles as the current carried them here and there.

They really were huge but I love this image even more because you can see the dramatic colors on the crown:

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Now that’s going on my wall. Somewhere. To be determined.

Okay, recap time. If you’re planning a visit check out the Aquarium website here. It’s… okay but could really stand for a remodel and some editing.

Here are the exhibits they feature:

Cold-Water Quest – amazing. Here you’ll find the belugas, penguins, otters, sea horses, octopus, starfish, crabs and a baby beluga in March.

Tropical Diver – my favorite. Corals, reef fish, JELLYFISH, need I say more?

Ocean Voyager – the giant tank, must see. Get there early so you can get up close. Manta rays, whale sharks, lots of tiny fish, sharks, and a cool moving walkway. Jetsons theme song optional.

River Scout – eh, kinda boring. It was also late in the day with a ton of people so hard to see the exhibit around all the ankle biters children. Very cool small turtle exhibit and an albino alligator (who was camera shy).

Georgia Explorer – was closed. Boo. The giant sea turtles were beautiful on the website though so next time turtles, next time.

Dolphin Tales – this is a free show but you have to get a ticket. As soon as you walk in make a sharp left and pick one up at the help desk. The show was fun, if totally cheesy, and think it of more like a short opera with dolphins than an “about dolphins” exhibit. Seriously, guy with a light up cape singing the whole show. But the dolphins are wonderful, the trainers are in the tank for many of the tricks and they are fun to watch. The first 5-6 rows really do get wet and you might spend more time in line for a good seat than the show will last. Good for kids according to the ones around me who were wide eyed and they play several cute videos before the show to keep the natives from getting restless.

Also, there’s no photography during the show at ALL (ahem, woman in front of me who didn’t care about the rules) so take pictures of the dolphins in the tank before/after the show if you have time.

Upstairs there’s also a 4-D show which I ignored completely and another exhibit (which isn’t even on the website…) which was basically fossils and dead fish. Interesting if you’re a biologist but otherwise completely deserted and totally boring.

So there you have it, my Under the Sea voyage and photographic documentation. I did a lot of research on taking good pictures at the aquarium so if you’re going make sure you have the right equipment and settings to get the pictures you want.

Back to the Hill

It’s a tradition every fall to make the trek up to Apple Hill. This November the trees were especially gorgeous, even if the drought had a big impact in the area.

I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the trip. It was amazing.














all of these items are copyrighted.

Photo Friday

I shared a snapshot from the sunset last week but after working on the rest of the photos: wow. Amazing

IMG_3489I can’t wait for another storm so I can get back out with my camera. Oh and we really need the rainfall here.

IMG_3482Also, getting down and dirty on the side of the road was so worth it! And I learned how to shoot through my sunglasses so you can see what I see through the other lenses:



Nixon has been especially cute this week, if not just as mischievous as usual. here he is looking at me like I owe him an explanation for… something:


And in the other chair, trying to figure out how to sit:


here’s a peek at what I’m doing this weekend:

IMG_3538I grabbed this screenshot because I think it’s a perfect snap of what I share on Instagram:


Yep – flowers, dogs and sunsets plus the rare snapshot of food, drink and people 🙂

I’m krazevedo on Instagram if you want to follow!




My week in pictures

So I’ve fallen WAY behind on the weekly photo dump, mostly because as soon as I returned from Cabo my phone died and I hate, hate how the iPhone imports photos.

No, I don’t want to use iPhoto. Just import my damn files.

Anywho, now that I’ve maxed out my storage I’m getting more diligent at downloading the photos regularly.

Here’s a glimpse of my week:

Nixon continues to sleep in the most uncomfortable, awkward positions…

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Trying to keep all the dogs off the fabric I’m working on has been a challenge.

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I’ve been painting. Again. I’m sure no one is surprised.

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I got the chance to hang out with the lovely Ana this week.

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Here’s a peek at the new bedroom paint from the office:

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The dogs are loving the bed piled high with pillows. I found them in there taking naps on Saturday:

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Oh and this weekend had the most beautiful sunsets in ages:

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New pictures. Of me. For reals.

I know, I’m typically the gal behind the camera and love it that way but recently I had a few portraits done and wanted to share them. I had a blast shooting these with my new bff Lauren.

And because it would be me otherwise, enjoy my snarky commentary along the way. Oh and some newsy news for you at the bottom of the post too!headshotthis was the first one I got in a proof and got mixed reactions. Some say “too serious” some say “hell yeah” so let’s just call this one “hella serious, yeah!”

state_capital (6 of 59)This ended up being my favorite. Of all times. Sure the purple shirt photographs a little blue but you can see my necklace (which I wear all the damn time), my hair is a crazy and I’m smiling. Good things.

state_capital (11 of 59)Another favorite. This one is more straight on “trust me peoples” but I lurve it anyway. Also the bilateral hair is kinda awesome, no?

Systems Academy WelcomeHere’s one in the black shirt, a little smarmy if you ask me but I still like it! Besides, this is my “do what I say or I’ll get you” look usually reserved for children.

state_capital (59 of 59)Finally, my behind the scenes pic – this one was shot while I was recording a few videos and I think it’s a nice meta shot.


Okay, so what else has been going on at Casa de Kelly? Well, I have some new pictures to show you of the front yard after planting a ton of flowers (about half survived our little heat wave this week) and setting up the cutest  patio cart. Love it. Also, I decided I needed Adirondack chairs and ended up with 2 sets. So I needed more pillows. You see how this all spirals out of my control so easily!

Inside I’ve been working away: painting baseboards, remodeling cabinets in the bathroom, I finally picked up the tile for those bathroom floors, I rearranged the living room (again) and have big old plans  in the works for the house (think AC, floors, windows, paint, power washing, BIG dreaming).

So, stay tuned for more of those posts as summer drags on. I’m fine as long as the heat abates and I don’t have to deal with 105 as the weekly low.





Saying Bye to Beamer

It really wasn’t until late today that the significance of events really sunk in. There was so much happening that once the rain stopped and things were put away it hit me.

My grandparent’s house has been sold.

The new owners are moving in.

And just like the loss of a life, this represents the loss of a property that has been in my life since my birth. It’s where I grew up a little bit each summer from the time I could crawl.

Kelly Azevedo 1985_3

And continued through the years and especially the summers I spent learning to swim at the high school pool. Grandma’s house was the hub, especially after my uncle divorced and in the years before my youngest aunt bought the place next door.

Grandma was always there with hugs, treats and advice.

Jessica, Thelma and Kelly 1985

Grandpa was there to teach us how to dress like a cowboy and to stay out of his chair. And say ‘fiddledoofie’.

Blackie Truitt, Alex and Kelly Azevedo 1989

Blackie and Justin Truitt 1987

We climbed the trees out front until they were cut down and replaced by the city.

Kelly Azevedo, Jessica and Katie Payne 1995It was hot in the summer, easily over 100 degrees many weeks. So there was always a pool whose size varied based on the number of grandchildren in residence.

Katie Payne 1995 Kelly and Alex Azevedo, Casie Truitt  And when we were done swimming there was lunch on the picnic table grandpa built.

Jessica Payne and Kelly Azevedo 1990

The house has been in the family since the 70s, it hosted family dinners, Christmas, Thanksgiving, sleepovers and more than one kid with chicken pox. Or a broken arm.

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We cooked here, only occasionally dumping over a canister of flour.Kelly and Joyce Azevedo

Celebrated birthdays.

Casie Truitt 16 yo 1996_2

More than one grandchild was rocked to sleep by Grandma.

Thelma Truitt and Zech Thompson 1994

Outside we played in plastic pools and later in a hot tub, in the motor home and sometimes on its roof. Under grandpa’s fishing boat and behind the shed.

Justin Truitt and Jordan Payne 1995

This backyard was a kid’s dream with the orange tree, plenty of room to run and always something to explore.

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This is the cover built for that motor home, which has long since been sold, which housed hours of play:

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This is where cousins became friends

Jessica Payne and Kelly Azevedo 2

Kelly Azevedo 2 yo and Justin Truitt 1 yo 2

And pets were welcome as part of the family

Kelly Azevedo with Ben, Tootie and Roxie 1989

and there have almost always been dachshunds here.

Thelma Truitt and Tootie

and not just outside but watching the street as well

Ben and Tootie 1992

We loved our own families

Dave, Toni and Zech Thompson 1997

and the extended one

Truitt Grandchildren 1999

It’s these memories that I’ve feel like have been lost, just a little, because the next generation won’t be crawling through those floors or playing football after Thanksgiving in the backyard.

I know that I am one of a few grandchildren who lived there, and the only one who did so as an adult. I did it so my grandparents could stay there longer, enjoy their home. Losing a home that’s been in the family for all my life is harder than I imagined it would be.

But even now as I reflect, sitting at the desk that my grandma used for years, I know things are okay. Moving forward. There are little reminders of the house here. A mirror. A teacup and saucer set. I don’t miss living there, for many reasons it would never have been a home that I could enjoy like mine now.

Even drinking the glass of merlot I’m enjoying tonight would not have been as relaxing (I gave up alcohol when I lived there out of deference to my Grandpa who is 46 years sober).

Today, after clearing out the final items in the shed and waving goodbye as the new owners unloaded their boxes, I continued to work on the bench seat. It sat on the front porch at the house for many years. Grandpa would sit here and drink his coffee and watch the cars pass. Grandma would relax with him after gardening or walking with her friend Betty.

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I brought it to my house in 2008 and now, in the midst of revamping it, I know that it’ll be something I cherish, just like the memories we had on Beamer Street.