Happy New Year!

After 3 weeks of vacation and a week of getting life back to normal in Korea, the blog is ready for an update.  I took 3000 pictures in 3 weeks and I'm slowly working through them all, a tough task when all I want to do is sit around and eat the cheese and chocolate we brought back from Spain.  The weather here in Korea is really cold, not conducive to photography for me, so the next couple of weeks will probably just be pictures of our vacation.  Madrid and Istanbul were both great places to spend Christmas and New Years and we were overjoyed to get to spend it with both of our families.  We're both really lucky to be in a position where we can take vacations, and afford to take vacations, to such awesome places with our families.  Anyway, let's start with Madrid and El Escorial.  One of my favorite parts of going back to El Escorial is going to the monastery in San Lorenzo.  It's a big, beautiful, old building and it's just amazing.  I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.  As always, here's 10 pictures and some foolish comments.

A few nights a week, or a few nights a year, I don't know, they light the monastery up and it's this giant shining monument in the sky.  We had the great idea to drive up one of mountain roads and get a look from afar and snap some pictures.  This was a great idea, except I didn't bring a zoom lens.  I had a wide angle and a 35mm, both of which made the monastery look like a tiny dot in my pictures.  This is one that's cropped significantly, but it's my best shot from the entire adventure.
Sara's mother thought it was hilarious that the monastery looked like a tiny pin dot in all the photos, she was laughing and laughing.  Not a lot of great pictures but some good memories.  Here's a long exposure with a car passing through.

We made it up to the monastery at sunset and it was beautiful.  This one's  a bit Willy Wonka in terms of the colors, but it really was a beautiful sunset.

Sara and her new sunglasses love the monastery.

I posted this one on facebook, but I like it so much, here it is again.

I have a beautiful, 500 year old monument behind me and I'm playing games on my phone.  No, I'm posting pictures to Instagram and Sara's taking awesome photographs.

This is a long exposure, 10 seconds I think.  Sara and I stood as still as we could while people walked around us, and that's why they look like ghosts and we don't.  It's a neat little trick that requires a lot of standing still.

Another one as the sun goes down.


One more long exposure, eight seconds I think, with a car passing  through.   I love this spot, it's beautiful, quiet, serene. The monastery at San Lorenzo de El Escorial, one of my favorite places in the world.

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