A man is riding a bike on a hill.
Close this search box.
A watercolor illustration of a typewriter with a note on it.

Kell in Cal(ifornia)

by Kellyn Roth |
March 1, 2017

As most of you know, I took a trip to California with my parents last week. I took quite a few pictures while I was there, and today I’ll be sharing a few of them with you.
However, before you move on to my excellent photography, I’d like to direct you attention to this poll. If you have a moment, hop over there and vote for The Lady of the Vineyard! If TLOTV gets enough votes, it will be “Book of the Month” over there are Long and Short Reviews (YA), which would be a huge honor for me. ๐Ÿ™‚
Now, without further ado, the California trip!


Isn’t that gorgeous? I forgot how amazing the clouds look from above with the sun shining on them. It’s just amazing.


This is a side view of the Organ Pavilion Stage at Balboa Park in San Diego. The architecture is simply fantastic, isn’t it?ย Oh, andย we saw someone taking wedding pictures for a rather large familyย while we were there, which was sweet.



I mean, seriously. It’s gorgeous. I just couldn’t stop taking pictures of it … most of which I deleted … but that’s beside the point.


There were many beautiful fountains there. That is one of the smaller ones, but it’s sure pretty.


I’m pretty proud of myself for this picture, even though it was an easy shot. ๐Ÿ˜‰


That’s a picture of my mother and my niece looking overย at the Japanese Friendship Garden at Balboa Park.


I think this is simply called the “California Bell Tower,” though I could be wrong. It’s pretty impressive. I want to climb it someday.


I told you there were lots of fountains …


See? Fountains, fountains, fountains. I was like, “Wow … creative …” ๐Ÿ˜› I seriously want to play in this one … it looks like so much fun!


That’s me! Wearing a coat that I legit did not take off even when the thermometer pushed 70. And I was oftentimes wearing a long-sleeved shirt under it. Honestly, I don’t understand myself sometimesย … I guess I was just determined to be miserable?
On that same day (like, moments after that selfie), we went into the Natural History Museum, again at Balboa Park. And I got to roll my eyes every time I saw “so many million years ago …” XD
Seriously, though, how hard is this to get, peoples?! THE EARTH IS ONLY ABOUTย SIX THOUSAND YEARS OLD, OKAY??? There is absolutely no evidence to prove otherwise.


That’s my brother, Dumas. Well, James. But Dumas is his stage name here. He was like, “Hey, Kell, take a picture of me pretending to be stupid and not knowing that this huge shark is behind me!” And I did, because he was the only person willing to pose for me … and I was getting sick of selfies. ๐Ÿ˜‰


“Dumas” again. ๐Ÿ˜› Like I said, he was the only one who would pose for me. Take a moment to examine his clothes. Several people asked him if he was from both Seattle and Cincinnati and how that worked … but he insisted on keeping his hat on. He never takes that thing off.

But yeah, there was a whole floor lined with pictures of animals. As if that weren’t enough, they were all endangered animals. I’m like, “Yep. That’s right. Why don’t you showcase 3% of the population …” ๐Ÿ˜‰


I’m posting this rather bad picture (the lighting in the museum wasn’t the best) mostly because the subject told me not to. He was like, “I’ll never be able to hold my head up …”
The next day (or the same day? Well, on one of the days …) we went to see Miss San Luis Rey, “the King of the Missions.” As (apparently) some people have no idea what the California missions are, I’ll explain.
Basically, this Spanish Catholic friar, Padre Junipero Serra, came to California in the 1700s and founded a series of missions on the California coast. Each was supposed to be about a mule ride away from each otherย so you could travel from mission to mission and never have to sleep on the ground.
These missions were founded to Christianize the Indians (or … Native Americans … as I have now been told they are called …) and spread the Gospel.
There areย twenty-one of these (nine founded by Padre Serra). We saw two of them in California … San Luis Rey and the first one ever founded, San Diego de Alcala (which I have mysteriously lost my pictures of, sadly).


Cacti at San Luis Rey. This is for anyone who knows my sister. ๐Ÿ˜› I actually took several pictures ofย @typativemamacat taking pictures of #theodorethedragon


Mission San Luis Rey. Yep. Had fun there. Almost interrupted aย Mass and made fun of dead people. *nods* And no, I’m not joking …


All me andย the kids (and my dad in the background) at San Luis Rey. And hey, I wasn’t wearing my coat! I was wearing a sweatshirt, though … and I remember that day being warm. Like I said, I don’t understand myself …


The inner courtyards …


And the beach! This is at Camp Pendleton, the Marine base at Oceanside. It was actually a pretty nice day.


The kids made a wall to fight the waves. Spoiler alert: the tide won.


Thad climbed on stuff. Big surprise … he always climbs on stuff … and generally falls off it, too …


That camera hog again … eating sand this time. And now he’s a Giants fan. MAKE UP YOUR MIND ALREADY!


And sand! Well, that’s it for today! I know that wasn’t a ton of pictures, but I’m running late, and I unfortunately deleted quite a few of them as it is. So most of the others are family pictures or repeats (because sometimes two photos is betterย than one).ย We also went to LEGOLAND, but my camera wasn’t functioning that day … and we did other stuff that just wasn’t worth photographing, such as, you know, hanging out and playing board games and stuff.

~Kellyn Roth

What do you think? Should I go for a career a photographer? No? Well, it was worth a try, anyway. Do you have a favorite pictures or do they all strike you as painful to look at? Isn’t Dumas/James a goofball? Did you know what the California missions were? Are you heading over here to vote for The Lady of the Vineyard? Comment!

What do you think of my thoughts?

45 Responses

  1. I totally understand when your screaming in your head “THE EARTH IS ONLY ABOUTย SIX THOUSAND YEARS OLD, OKAY??? There is absolutely no evidence to prove otherwise.” The architecture in California looks so interesting! Thanks for sharing your trip adventures!
    – Megan Joy

    1. I do that all the time. It really bugs me. Especially since there are two schools of thought and yet the evolutionist one is the one that actually shows up in the museums. *glares*

  2. You should totally go into a career as a photographer, Kell! ๐Ÿ˜‰ As long as you don’t like … stop writing … because I’m not sure I could do without the rest of the Alice and Ivy series for one thing and like … all the other planned books. So y’know, you’ll have to keep writing, but as long as you do that … ๐Ÿ˜› Seriously though, the pictures of the Pavilion Stage are gorgeous! And like … the other pictures too … including the ones of James/Dumas … which are probably the most beautiful. *snods* ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Yeah, I don’t think I could give up writing if I wanted to, so you and Alice and Ivy are all pretty safe. ๐Ÿ˜›
      Yeah, it was gorgeous. I don’t think I took pictures of the actual pavilion, but whatevs. XD And yeah, James … eesh. He is so ridiculous, but he’s kinda fun to watch, too.

  3. Nice pictures! A career in photography might be pushing it a little, no? :p Just kidding! You will be a great photographer. Nice post! (BTW, the indecisiveness between NFL teams also lies with me even if I do majorly support Pittsburgh…:D)

    1. Well, I doubt I’ll ACTUALLY be a photographer … but it would be fun.
      (Well, all except the Seahawks were uniforms for Little League … although I think he likes a wide variety of NFL teams, too. ๐Ÿ˜› )

  4. YAY!! Photos. =D I love them!! The fountains all look sooo pretty and the architect is neat. =) WAIT- you almost did…. WHAT?! A mass… dead people…. do tell. ;D
    James literally cracks me up. xD Keep the hat on, ‘Dumas’! Keep the people confused. ;D
    Ah, gosh, the beach. I wanna go so bad again. ;D
    Glad you had fun, Kellyn! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for the pics- but I have to know, who won the board games? Was it like a WW3 kinda thing? Cuz that’s how it is here…. ;D

    1. Well, we were in the graveyard and some of the names on the headstones were ridiculous and … yeah. And then I saw one with James on it, so I was like, “That’s you …” but he couldn’t find one with my name on it … ๐Ÿ˜›
      Hmm … we played quite a few times. I think my mom won and James won (several times …) and dad won … almost everyone won once or twice. ๐Ÿ˜€ And of course it was WW3. Is there any other way?

      1. OHHH. OK. Well, I must say sorry, because I find ‘weird’ last names all the time when we drive by graveyards…. 0-0 Oops.
        Nice! =D Nah… certainly not. That’s boring. ;D

        1. Yeah, we do, too. And then we always got a little confused when we saw a “Jesus.” It always gives me pause. I’m go, “But … you can’t do that …” ๐Ÿ˜‰

          1. Oh wow! =D That’s weird… see, that always makes me curious like… when they came to America or whatever, did they change their name sorta? Who knows. It’s cool. ๐Ÿ™‚

            1. Yeah, it is pretty cool. A lot of the people were probably Hispanic based on their names … though they could have just had a Hispanic-sounding name. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. amazing pictures Kell! Your a greatttt photographer! And I am hopping over to go vote for you you lovely suthoress! i love cali, but i haven’t been since 7 *Cries in despair*

        1. I would except I don’t know you in person and don’t have the money and neither of our parents would let us and how would we get there anyway and … ๐Ÿ˜›

  6. Yay–it looks like your trip was fun! ๐Ÿ˜€ And I went over and voted…but I didn’t read any of the other reviews so I guess I didn’t really follow the directions….oh well. My younger brother loves for me to take silly pictures of him as well, so I definitely understand. ๐Ÿ™‚ And I love the ocean picture with the little sand wall! And the one of you in front of the fountain, of course. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. It looks like you had fun! James/Dumas does look pretty funny. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I think it’s great that he’s a multi-team fan! Is he (or you) watching college basketball this March, by any chance?

    1. We don’t actually have TV. Mom just finds cable to be not worth it, and our little valley doesn’t get it very well … but we watch it whenever we go out to eat and there’s a TV or if we’re on vacation at a hotel or whatever. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Okay, I get that. We don’t have cable, either. You can follow the scores on the Internet, though. I look on cbssports.com. I get caught up way too much with March Madness. ๐Ÿ˜€
        P.S. I voted for The Lady of the Vineyard!

    1. Great to meet you! And … I kinda enjoyed my trip. It was a little boring (not California’s fault; it was my own for my inability to fit in with my sister’s family ๐Ÿ˜› ), but we did see some cool things.

    1. Oh, neat! I was in shock about how warm it is back there in FEBRUARY! I was like, “Whoa … where’s the snow/biting winds/sleet?!” It was actually sunny a couple days! ๐Ÿ˜›

  8. This was so fun to read. Your funny commentary made it all the more interesting. I didn’t know about the missions. I’ve never been to CA before ๐Ÿ™‚
    ‘Dumas’ is quite funny. I love how he wore so many different sports shirts.

What do you think of my thoughts?

Follow my blog

Want to receive notifications of new posts? Let\'s make this happen!

Join 1,619 other subscribers