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Annalise shared this poem with Maggie not long before she died, and whenever I feel overwhelmed or sad I bring it somewhere awesome outside in nature and read it to the sky. (also, note my cat nails, which also bring great peace and happiness)

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I’ve added another retailer for my postcards – the Yoga Room in Tahoe City. I hope in this comforting space, yoga-goers will think of a loved one, see my postcards and be inspired to snail-mail some thoughts… or at the least, it’s some local art on the walls!

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I also reconfigured my old snowflake print, adding some pen-ink lines. I have it in postcard version at the Yoga Room, and in mini cards with envelopes at Riverside Studios in Truckee.

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One of my besties, Ruth, has opened Lawton Trading Post in Outer Sunset, on 43rd and Lawton next door to Andytown Coffee. I’ve spent a few hours cleaning, merchandising, cash registering and stamping bags to help her out & her shop is now a retail location for my hand-carved and printed postcards. Stop by, say hi to Ruth, buy an amazing sandwich (tri-tip on Tuesdays!) and a postcard. General goods, with beer, wine, booze in a custom-built liquor library with a sliding ladder… plus prepared food touched by the culinary goddess hand of Ruth!

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I’m back at AdventureSmith Explorations after some travels, now subbing in for their Content Manager while she’s on maternity leave. From social media posts (like the one above) to building new trip web pages to updating rates for the coming travel season, I’ve been busy! One of my coworkers is a hobby mixologist and his amazing craft cocktails inspired a new series on the AdventureSmith blog that I launched: Sunset Sippers, a craft cocktail paired with one of our small ship cruises. Chris essentially makes one of his drinks, and we brainstorm our ideal small ship deck and destination to sip it on!

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Trip building is one of my biggest tasks as the company grows and provides custom travel services for more and more small ship cruises around the world. One of the most recent trips and ships I built, Preservation Inlet Discovery, travels in New Zealand’s Fiordland region.

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Here is a picture of most of the team on a small ship cruise aboard the Tahoe Gal in our hometown. While we don’t sell trips on Lake Tahoe (no overnight accommodation allowed here), we can still benefit from some on-water experience.

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Browse the AdventureSmith blog to see more of my current posts.

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Here’s another look at some of the sketches in my journal from traveling in New Zealand. (view my Australia sketches here)

Franz Josef Glacier: I drew this on the hike out, sitting on a rock, looking back at the glacier. It was a very peaceful moment for me, and super satisfying to be traveling alone, able to hike as fast as I wanted, and stop for as long as I wanted to sketch in the sun.

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French Ridge Hut: drew this at twilight sitting outside on the kea perch between the outhouse and the hut. Colored it inside as it got too cold! We were looking at the map in the hut’s kitchen as I colored and at first thought a bit of Mount Avalanche was East Peak. The hut sits at 4,856 feet above sea level, which was an all-fours advanced tramp up 3,508 feet of elevation in just 4.5 miles from the Aspiring Hut in the Matukituki Valley floor, just outside of Wanaka near Rob Roy Glacier. This is one of the most rugged and magical places I’ve ever been. 

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Gebbies Valley: I drew this sitting in the front paddock of the farm I WWOOFed at on the Banks Peninsula just outside of Christchurch. I don’t love how the recently sown paddock came out; kinda wish I’d left the field white. In person, it was super cool looking with lines of new green sprouts. But this sketch does give a good sense of the happiness and home this land meant to me.