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It had to happen eventually, something had to happen with me in the camera department that would make me want to tear my hair off (well, what I have left of it at least).

After arriving back to the U.S. when my backpacking adventure through South America was over, I took a quick family vacation to L.A. before heading back up to San Francisco. My parents had brought back my suitcase and all my camera equipment that I left at home. To make a long story short, we believed that all my equipment had been stolen from our Rental Van.

The hotel was taking too long to respond or even answer the basic question of “did you find anything in our room?”. After not getting contacted for a couple of days, we decided to file a police report and claim it to the insurance so we can get reimbursed. But still, I was devastated. All I had acquired (from my flashes, lenses and accessories) was in that camera bag.

Luckily, my parents are perhaps the coolest people on earth and reassured me that everything was going to be alright. They were so positive in fact, that it would work out with the insurance, that they bought be an even better camera from my previous ones. Ones that actual professionals use (well, at least my favorite photographers anyway).

Needless to say I was pretty damn happy with this new camera (which I named Natasha). I was actually shaking with excitement with the fact that I could take my photos to a whole new level. I’ve done nothing but play around with it, and its true what they say, once you go full-frame its almost impossible to go back.

Yesterday the hotel called and told me they found my camera bag

@#$%^&* DAMNIT!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know I know, I should be happy they found everything (or I think they found everything), but still, those Karma Gods definitely knew how to play with my emotions and get my hopes up. I should have trusted my instincts, while we were buying the new camera, my gut told me we should have waited a little longer.

So now my mind is racing on how I can keep beautiful Natasha. Sell my videogame systems? Its not like I play them much anymore. Sell my piano? I take pictures more than I play these days. Work the street corner? Although, I would probably need to get a rocking body for that. Sell all my lenses and camera’s and just keep one versatile lens for now?

Ugh head reeling. Oh Natasha, why are you doing this to me?

So what will happen? I don’t know, but what I do know is that I need a beer.

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Whenever you live in a dorm, you will meet people that you will keep close to you for the rest of your life. I am lucky that I have so many close friends from that one amazing freshman year at the University of Washington. Katherine did live in the same floor as I did, but we didn’t really start getting close until our Sophomore year. After we both made fun of each other’s race, we knew that we would be evil best friends for life. I can’t really be evil with Greg since he is, without at doubt, probably the nicest guy I know. That is a hard title to keep, since I know a lot of nice guys.

After a successful visit in San Francisco and a road trip up to Seattle, Katherine had asked if we could do her engagement session when we were both in Seattle. We picked a day and voila, in true Seattle fashion, it was raining hardcore. It wasn’t going to deter us though, we got some rain gear and stole an umbrella from the University Village (OK Borrowed). There really was no need for it though, because as soon as we got out of the car the rain let up and the sun came down.

It was great. The light was just A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

I could go on and on writing about these two, but you can just tell from the pictures that they belong together. I have had the honor to laugh with them, party with them, travel the world with them and basically have been blessed to see their relationship blossom to where it is now.

I can’t wait to see the rest.

Congratulations Katherine and Greg!!


Thank you Uruguay. It was like a food Angel coming down from the heavens and licked the inside of my mouth.

It was also a huge piece of steak. I couldn’t even finish half of it.

Speaking of food, Dalina told me right at the start of our two week adventure in Argentina that Buenos Aires has a high percentage of people with Anorexic and Bullemic  problems. I believe it completely. They are so skinny yet all there is to eat here is carbs galore. Bread, Pizza, Empanadas and Pastas; food with such high calories that no wonder they smoke and throw up all the time.

This also tells you that on this trip. I have NOT lost any weight.

Mucho cardio when I get back home for sure.

Writing about or posting pictures of Iguazu Falls seems silly to me. There is nothing in the world that could possibly explain the wonder of the falls than actually being there yourself. Nothing. Not even the best photographer or videographer in the world could capture the image (and noise) of that cascading water coming from a river that is split between Argentina and Brazil.

I will steal an excerpt from my friend Laura:

“I will happily shell out fistfuls of pesos, trek obediently along well-worn trails with other travelers, stand and wait for trains and busses and shuttles and my turn to come, if the end result is having the massive good fortune to be able to see a wonder of the world like this.”

Every since I saw The Mission in class on day, with the Christ like figure going over the falls, I knew that one day I wanted to see them myself. The 40 hours total we spent on a bus, the frigid temperatures, the massive amount of rain and the outrageous prices did not in any way lesson the experience for me. I felt so lucky, and it was one of those feelings when you should give yourself, completely, to the golden, fate-filled moment.

Then, I bought a blow dart from a Guaraní warrior.

This song should be required to be played at all times at the “Garganta Del Diablo”.

Being a monkey in the largest street in the world (apparently). It takes approximately 3 million minutes to cross from one side to the other. That is, if cars don’t hit you on the way across of course. Cynthia has become an expert at crossing the street. Meanwhile, you would think that after surviving crossing the streets in China and Southeast Asia, this would be a cakewalk. Yeah, not so much.

At least there are spots where you can cartwheel.

I know I know that I haven’t updated in a long time, but it is really hard when you are in the middle of a trip such as this one. I am super behind, I know, yet it is really hard to care.

Cynthia and I made it to Buenos Aires, but at a price. Cynthia got extremely ill the first two days. We actually blame it on the airplane food. So just a little FYI, if on a pane trip within South America its probably best to not eat the food. We didn’t do much the first two days in BA since Cynthia was in bed trying to recover.

After a couple of days there though I have made some observations that include the following:

– People from Buenos Aires walk around everyday like they are part of a fashion show in Milan, making most backpackers look like ugly versions of trolls that live under bridges.

– They are very passionate people. They try to argue that everything in Buenos Aires is the best and I enjoy arguing that it is not. They think their pizza is the best in the world and I think its probably the worst I have ever tasten. They also think their pasta is better than Italy, so obviously they have never been to Italy because it is definitely not true. Although, they also argue that their gelato is the best in the world, and this I might have to agree with.

– Watching Las Madres De Plaza De Mayo was extremely emotional, reducing Cynthia to tears. Which is what is great about this trip. Without visiting Argentina or Buenos Aires, she probably would have never even known about the country’s “dirty war” and the thousands that had their human rights violated by the government.

– Zero personal space. I have never sat closer to people than I have in Buenos Aires.

– Lots of wine. Me Likey.

– Walking up and down the widest street in the world (Avenida 9 de Julio) is a lesson in pedestrian safety.

– I have no Idea why it is called Buenos Aires, since there is no clean air anywhere in the city.

– I think 80 percent of the worlds cigaretts are consumed in the city alone. They scoff at the idea of having public places ban smoking, but it is definitely one thing I miss in the United States. I don’t smell like a chimney when I leave a restaurant.

– The guys here have the worst haircuts in the history of the world.

– Its amazing.

More posts and pictures to come. We just arrived to Iguazu after an 18 hour bus ride from Buenos Aires. No worries, the busses here are beyond amazing as I will point out later. It is also currently raining more than I have ever seen in my entire life. Its hard to forget you are in a rainforest here.

Oh, and here is a picture of my sisters super black hair (she dyed it in Palermo) that my parents wanted to see.

CIAO!