stop and look

Yesterday -- the day we were scheduled to leave after a spectacularly full time in Santa Monica -- Maile and I woke up without an alarm, got dressed at a pretty leisurely pace, and wandered out of our awesome hotel to find an agreeable spot to have our last meal in California before heading to the airport.  We succeeded:  the place we chose, Le Pain Quotidien, was a fantastic little Parisian-styled café, with organic foods and outdoor seating, perfect to soak up the morning sun.

Maile is, of course, a dear friend, and I have to say it was especially delightful to be traveling with someone who is also a photographer.   I've heard people say that taking photographs often keeps you from enjoying the present moment, but I disagree:  I find that being a photographer actually forces me to stop and look -- I notice things like beautiful light, or the fact that the café serves warm beverages in mugs without handles, making the cupping of your cappuccino feel extra cozy -- and when I'm in the company of a photographer, details like that get doubly-appreciated.

We lingered over breakfast for a good two hours, before reluctantly heading back to our hotel to catch our cab to the airport.  Hanging with Maile was such a good reminder that I need to ensure I notice the little things even when I don't have a camera nearby.  Because part of what makes a relationship lovely for me is not only the trust or laughter or empathy or even intellectual stimulation that friendship brings, but also the way that the myriad of surroundings in which friendships are created, with their light, textures, colours, ambiance and even quirky little oddities, all magically contribute to helping make those moments memorable.

And with that, happy Love Thursday.  May you both see and experience a memorable moment with a good friend today.

Images:  All photographed with my Nikon D300, 50mm lens, at an aperture of 1.4, and an ISO of 200.  The top picture was shot at a shutter speed of 1/1250, and the remaining images were shot at a shutter speed of 1/800.


SongAutomatic by The Pointer Sisters.  After this lovely gentleman told us his name, Maile could not stop singing this song.