2020 Apr 12 | 5th anniversary at Tickle Pink Inn in Carmel, Canon 5DS

I told Ogii to not buy me a big birthday present until I decided what I really wanted. She had wanted to buy me a DSLR, but I wanted to research which one a bit more. And now that I'm not working most of the time due to the stay-at-home orders, I had more time to decide.

I went with the Canon 5Ds. It's a bit older, but it has a very large megapixel count, even compared to other new cameras, of 50MP, which is good for printing larger images. My last DSLR, the T3i, was 18MP. Also, the lenses on my last camera were the entry model ones, usually with an f/3.5 or f/4.0 lens. Since this camera is better than my last one, I thought I'd get better lenses, too, so I bought mostly the Canon f/2.8 ones. They can take better pictures, but they're much heavier and it's easier to have most of you picture out of focus if you're not careful, so you have to really know what you're doing. I bought one zoom, one regular, and one wide angle. The wide angle was a Rokinon lens because the Canon wide angle was simply much too expensive; $400 vs $2000. The others I compared to similar Tamron or Sigma lenses, but the Canon lens was only $100 or $200 more for the zoom and regular lenses. Altogether, it was around $5,000.

I also bought a 360 camera, the GoPro Fusion. Also an older model, but it was fairly cheap. Mom and Dad also send me the drone. Again, it's a bit older, but I don't plan on using that too much. So all kind of photography options now.

The first day CVS had a line to let people in.

They were limiting it to 25 people at a time.

Also no returns.

Since the grocery store removed the fresh orange juicing machine, I decided to start doing it by hand.

Not too much juice from a single orange, but it tastes good.

We went to the Point Pinos lighthouse to test out my new camera for the first time. Gotta figure out how to put everything together correctly. This zoom lens is much heavier than my previous one, so you actually hold onto the middle of the lens instead of the camera.

There were a fair number of other people out there walking around and getting exercise, but everyone was still fairly spread out and practicing good social distancing.

Ogii taking a picture of me taking a picture of the sunset.

Very nice colors in the clouds.

And then we turned around a got a shot of the full moon rising over the lighthouse.

A got a bit more juice out of the orange this time; my technique is getting better.

There are a lot of people using the apps to order groceries, although we're still going in person. Especially in the mornings, there are very few other shoppers.

We used to go to the grocery store multiple times a week and only buy what we were going to make the next day or so; now we load up and have the entire week from one trip.

We'll try this party size meal instead of our regular order, since it's a few dollars cheaper. Except we had a ton of fries left over. I guess I'll stick to the usual.

The new Star Wars movie available for rental now.

We woke up around 4am on Saturday. It's now our fifth anniversary, so time to exchange cards.

Ogii's to me had a nice envelope.

And a nice card.

She put all the little stickers I had given her over the past few weeks on it. So cute.

I gave her one that fold out into a box.

Since we're up, might as well go test out the new cameras some more.

We can take the trails right behind our house; we don't even need to drive anywhere. Although it's very dark; hard to see where the mud puddles are.

We can see with our eyes that there are flowers here, but the camera can't.

At least, not without a flash.


And without a flash. It's getting a little brighter now.

Although it's not going to be a very good sunrise with all the clouds in the way.

The flowers are still pretty, though.

Just Ogii.

Ogii taking pictures.

These are sky lupines.

Me getting pictures.

The shot.

There's a bit of light, but no good color.

Using the wide angle.

Using the zoom.

The f/2.8 aperture lets you get only a limited plane in focus; everything in front or behind will be blurry.

Ogii got a picture of a little pink flower above the purple ones.

Ogii took this one, too.

Getting low.


Lower. Just have to look around to make sure I'm not squishing any flowers.

And from way above with the drone.


A few other people are starting to hike as well now.

Including these two little kids on their bikes.

A clearning with flowers inside.

A lighter trail.

Ogii getting more pictures on the hike down.

Me getting close.

A purple flower.

With more petals opened.


This one looks like an alien with multiple eyes.

Ogii got another picture.

With an ant.

Ogii by some flowers.

A lily.

Poppies in different stages of openness.

A bunch of poppies here. The basketball courts are still open behind me.

Although they closed off the swing set.

Getting close again.

White with purple.

Light pink.

Dark pink.

More bowl looking.

Next we headed to Carmel. On the drive, we had been discussing which car Ogii would want next, and then she started eating some candy. I asked her which color she likes best. She said gray. I said there are no gray candies. She said she thought we were still talking about the cars. I like the green, red, and black candies best; she likes the yellow and orange ones. Perfect.

We stayed at the Tickle Pink Inn for our anniversary.

The lobby.

Which has a beautiful view of the ocean.

To get to our room, we had to go back down the driveway, onto the highway, and then back onto a seperate entrance. There are some very expensive cars in Carmel; we really don't want to hit this one on our little drive.

We stayed at the Senator's Cottage, which is all by itself separated from the rest of the rooms.

One bedroom, with a view of the forest.

The bathroom.

The living room.

With amazing views.

And a second bedroom, with a view of the ocean.

Movies you can rent.

And a fireplace with pre-stacked wood and paper so all you have to do is light it.

Down some stairs.

To a massive private balcony.

With these flowers hummingbirds love.


A very modern, very expensive house on the other side of the road. I wonder who owns it?

To get to the rest of the hotel from the Senator's Cottage, you have to walk up these stairs.

Up the stairs a bit is a hot tub.

Only one couple at a time due to COVID-19, but there weren't many people staying here anyway.

Expensive houses with nice views on the hills.

A wine and cheese reception.

With food.

And wine.

A deck with tables right outside.

Also with a great view.

From just outside the deck.

Many flowers.

A very bright one.

Ogii sat in her robe and watched the hummingbirds.

While I took pictures of them.

A little bee one one.

A hummingbird with a red head.

And another hummingbird with his tongue out a bit.

There were also a few caterpillars walking along the railing that were fun to watch.

A fake deer hidden in the bushes.

And some fake rabbits as well.

Some chocolates.

Ogii liked standing by the heater in her robe.

While I preferred hanging out on the living room couch.

Time for anniversary presents.

All opened.

I bought Ogii a Black Hills gold necklace and earrings with hummingbirds.

She bought me a ring with "I love you" enscribed on it.

She also bought me this light, which looks like us watching the sunset. It came with a customized saying in gold foil, although she had to put those all on by herself one by one.

Me: "Honey, why don't you come to bed in your sexy new outfit?" Ogii: "No, I'm still working on my puzzle."

The patio and cottage in the evening. This is actually the perfect size for us. We like small houses with huge patios, especially if there are flowers hummingbirds like. I wonder how much we would have to offer to purchase this from them?

This says in-room dining is available from the nearby Hyatt.

I'm really in the mood for some steak. Except when we called nobody answered. My original plan for dinner tonight was the Rocky Point Restaurant, except they're closed down completely due to the stay-at-home orders, so maybe the Hyatt restaurant is the same. I guess we'll have to drive in to Carmel Crossroads and get something. Except by the time we got there even all of the restaurants that were offering take out were closed.

So we ended up having the ready-to-go chicken from Safeway. Not very upscale for an anniversary.

At least I can light a fire to make it a bit more romantic.

Slippers we can take home.

That would be nice to wake up to every morning.

Watching hummingbirds from the living room.

There was a little book previous guests had written in.

From the UK and France.

Ogii put a little note and a picture, too.

Her writing.

It had rained a bit overnight and we couldn't find the caterpillars on top of the railing. They were just on the sides, though.

Ogii half dressed.

Out on the patio.

And a little area by the hot tub.

And up above by the dining deck.

A new house being built. It doesn't seem to have much of a view, though.

Grabbing breakfast.

They gave us a little picnic basket to carry it.

Eating in our robes and slippers.

These skylights really let a lot of natural light in.

As do the huge windows. I like the tree in the middle of the room, too.

Soaking in the jacuzzi.

Checking out the view with some binoculars the front desk gives out.

A memorial to a former worker.

A little table out here as well, surrounded by flowers.

Ogii with her rose and champagne.

We left a message on the window.

Our cottage on the right and the rest of the hotel on the left from the road.

A better view of the expensive house.

This one has its own private beach.

The walls have space for the trees to come out.

The new house being built from a different angle.

And old farmhouse. This is just out of Carmel, but there seems to be a lot of farms here.

Some geese by the road.

A sign for wild boars and piglets, although we didn't see any.