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Category Archives: green

Picture Pages

Picture pages, picture pages time to get your picture pages……remember? with Bill Cosby? you know you want to youtube it! Good times! I love when random memories from childhood come bubbling up, like when Sesame street would show how something was made in 60 seconds? My favorite was the crayon factory, fo sho. So here’s my most recent picture pages; around the Bay Area and in Sonoma, CA, also went hiking in Yosemite with some friends.

Chocolates in Sonoma @ The Chocolate Cow

Viansa Winery

Vineyards for the Reserve wines

 

The Valley @ Yosemite

 

 

Beautiful view, with Half Dome on the left

 

Lower Yosemite Falls

 

Artisan bread @ Mountain View Farmers Market

 

Veggies!

 

Its not a Farmers Market until you see the sunflowers

Sonoma was perfect, not too hot for us Southern Louisianians, and much less pretentious than I expected. It was cute and had more of a country charm. I would definitely recommend Viansa Winery, Vella Cheese, & Chocolate Cow in Sonoma. Yosemite was gorgeous, crowded in the middle of the week, and has an unexpected full outdoor mall of gift shops. Luckily that is only a very small part of the vastness of the park, although we could see a man made lap pool from our lookout that kinda irked me. Overall, the beauty there is breathtaking and it’s definitely unfair that so many gorgeous sites are packed into one state. The local farmers market in Mountain View is amazing, its huge with tons of vendors, organic & conventional. I was surprised by the numbers of bakeries present. The vendors definitely put a lot of hard work and dedication into their products, which is why the market is usually pretty busy. We still have 6 mo’ weeks of fun in Cali! Plenty of time to make some pages full of pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Visit a Traveler

This past month, we’ve had quite a few visitors and began to prepare for our next move. At the end of March, my Mom & my nephew, Mickey came to visit for a few days. The first week in April, my best friend, Kellie & her husband Phil came to visit for a week-long birthday celebration (my husband & Kel’s birthdays are 4 days apart!).

When visiting a traveler:

1. Plan your trip near the end of your traveler friend’s time in that location. This way the traveler will know the area and be able to navigate the cool stuff.

Mom & Mickey with one of the locals

2. Be willing to sleep in small, cramped places, on the floor and share a bathroom.

Mickey enjoying the view

3. Save room in your suitcase for sheets, pillows, maybe even towels-no we don’t have extras!

At the base of the Manitou Incline, that summit up there is false!

Kel & I hiking down Barr Trail from the Incline summit

4. Be open to trying new food, new beer & wine, and seeing new things- that’s what the traveling lifestyle is all about!

Chad & Phil hiking down the dusty trail

5. Make sure you take EVERYTHING you brought back home with you, or it will likely go to Goodwill when we move again!

Me & the Husband with Kel & Phil @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre

We had a great time with all of our guests! Thanks to my great friend, Erin, my Mom & Mickey, & Kellie & Phil for taking the time and money to come visit us in Colorado Springs!! It was great to be able to share our traveling adventure with friends and family. We are currently booking floor space for visitors this summer when we will be in the Bay Area in CA!

Here’s a list of some of the fun stuff we did:

D’Vine Wine

Cave of The Winds

Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Manitou Springs and the Manitou Incline

Pioneer Museum

Shopping & Beer drinking in Boulder

Sunny Days are Here Again

The sunny days are finally outweighing the cloudy days here in Colorado. I’ve been waiting for some of these 300 days of sunshine that Colorado brags about! Luckily, the weather was beautiful for the weekend that my friend, Erin, visited. We recreated our fun, girl-y, college days by boutique shopping in the middle of the day while everyone else was at work, reading trashy magazines, eating chocolate, and having fabulous lunches. We had the best lunch ever at Adam’s Mountain Cafe in Manitou Springs. Seriously, if you’re ever in the Springs area- just do it, go, and you won’t be disappointed.

While Erin was here, she cheered my traveling buddy, Lori, & I on during the St. Patrick’s Day 5K in downtown Colorado Springs. The race didn’t start until 10 AM- hells yeah!

Me & Erin before the race. Loved all the green! Green is my signature cu-llah (name that movie!).

Action shot by Erin!

Post-race brunch at The Olive Branch. I had an amazing strawberry smoothie to match my (still) pink face. Then we had to drive Erin straight to the airport to fly home to New Orleans. Miss her already!

Since the weather has been so nice, we’ve been trying to get in as much hiking as possible. One of the places we’ve heard about is Helen Hunt Falls (NOT named for the actress- I’m not a fan!), named for a writer & activist. It was gorgeous, but unbelievably still icy! The increase in elevation from Colorado Springs for many hikes= colder temperatures, ice, & snow- of course I always forget about this factor when dressing since it was such a non-issue growing up in Louisiana.

Iced over Falls

Love this picture Lori took while we were rested, even though Miss Kerbey was too cool to be seen with us.

I have a little less than 3 weeks left in this rotation! I’m going to be sad to leave, but excited to check out California! I’m not 100% sure on where I’ll be next, but I’ve been doing phone interviews & one in particular is promising! If it works out, I owe a lot to my recruiter, Kim, and my staffing company, Reflectx Staffing. They have been able to find me great assignments in unbelievable locations! “I love it when a plan comes together.” ( What TV show/movie??)

 

 

Cotton Candy Weekend!

This weekend was all about family friendly fun. Since my husband and I act like big kids most of the time, we had a great time! On Saturday night, we went to see the Cirque De Soleil tour, Alegria! It was amazing! I felt like a kid watching the performance. The lights & costumes were beautiful to watch, the music was perfect, but I was most impressed by the athleticism of the performers. They were absolutely amazing ! I was on the edge of my seat most of the show!

the stage before the show started

Flash photography was not allowed during the show, due to safety concerns for the performers. So I snapped this picture when we first sat down.

 

Yum!

Cotton candy was completely necessary at intermission!

The show was amazing, but I will say tickets were pretty pricey ($39-$97 + tax).  I would say that the show was definitely worth the money, particularly because of the limited number of tour dates. After seeing Alegria (“jubilation”), I would love to see the Cirque De Soleil Vegas show.

Today we toured the Royal Gorge Bridge in Canon City, CO. It’s the tallest suspension bridge in the world!

Check out the cables holding the bridge together. I should have taken a picture with my hand near it to show scale, they looked like they were about 16 inches wide!

View of the Arkansas River from the top of the bridge. It looks like a tiny line,  but this river is actually a popular rafting spot.

Thanks to our friends, Lisa & Zack, for spending a fun Sunday with us! We had a great time!

 

This weekend, I also bought the book, Crazy Sexy Diet By: Kris Carr. I love her blog, so I wanted to see what her book had to offer. I just started reading the first couple chapters, and she has definitely done her research. The book is not so much a “diet”, but more like a green eating lifestyle.

Snowy Hikes & Christmas Presents

Needless to say, I was right about “Wireless Wednesdays”: Chad was asleep by 8 pm and I finished the book I was reading. Not the most successful, but all that was missing was a plan. This week we are going to a used bookstore/coffeeshop/restaurant & wine bar on Wednesday night. My Chad can use his Christmas present: a Kindle. Yeah that’s right, we don’t wait for Christmas. Neither of us can stand it, every single day that the presents have been under the tree he has asked me if I want to open my present yet. He went first: tada! a Kindle! Then it was my turn: tada! a nook! Ha! We had essentially gotten each other the same thing! We will be married 5 years this coming May, but together almost 12 years, so I guess it’s about time that we started thinking alike. We returned the nook since it was purchased locally and easier to exchange.

Then we took off on a hike, it was a consolation hike to make up for the fact that I didn’t feel up to skiing/boarding. We stopped at The Pantry first, where I had a veggie sandwich and Chad had his first bison burger. He thought the burger was good, but lacked seasoning. I think everything lacks seasoning here-I need to keep some Tony Chachere’s in my purse!

Here’s pics from our hike in Green Mountain Falls.

 

This was our view while we ate lunch outside! It was a gorgeous December day here & the pond looks straight out of a miniature Christmas village!

The resident cat stalking Kerbey.

Kerbey REALLY wanted to play. Her whining got so loud & the cat just laid there, loving her tortured whimper. She did stop while chomping down the rest of the bison burger.

Flowing water under the ice at Catamount Falls.

This is the same view as this from our hike in October. It’s amazing how much different a hike can be with ice and snow on the ground! It was definitely more interesting crossing over the waterfall with ice, Chad had to carry the Kerbison. I wish I had gotten a picture of that!

On a side note, for all you yogis out there, yogadownload.com is offering 40% off memberships. I’m thinking about signing up for the $5.95/month which allows 6 downloads and unlimited streaming.

Weekend Adventures

This is our last weekend in Central PA! We really wanted to check out Amish Country, south of us in Lancaster County. But we had one problem:

Kerbey has rendered her kennel completely useless. It was inevitable and we knew it was coming. Prior to making the large Kerbison-sized hole, she had been using her claws to unzip the opening, even after we had tied the zippers together. We did not want to leave her out in the guesthouse that we’re renting while we drove down to Lancaster. So, a trip to Petsmart was in order:We chose this kennel because the top and bottom half come apart and one sits into the other and it will fit like a turtle shell under our large Yakima bag that we carry on the back of the car (at least that’s what we’re hoping!). The only thing we don’t like about it is that there aren’t any holes in the top or the sides at the bottom. The husband will have to drill some, the next time we have access to a drill.

With Kerbey all set, we headed to Lancaster for a couple of hours. It really was a short trip, and I’m sad to say that we missed out on the main reason that I wanted to go,  The Central Market

 

source source

It’s a huge indoor farmers market with produce, dairy, baked goods, seafood…you name it. We were only 20 minutes too late-it’s open from 6 am to 2 pm on Saturdays. We walked around town which was a mixture of old historic buildings and more contemporary buildings, galleries, and storefronts. For some reason, I noticed a ton of barber shops and salons, hmmm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We toured the visitor’s center, where admission is FREE, and learned all about the history of the printing press. Johannes Gutenberg was the first to standardize type and created the first version of the Bible in type. I got to try out a version of the original printing press, which was very labor intensive.

I love free education! We walked around a bit and found an Irish pub that was having an Oyster Fest with discounted beer. I ordered the oyster po-boy, knowing it would be nothing like what I could get back home. The sandwich they brought me did not even meet my already low expectations. It was the bread, it was the worst excuse for french bread that I have ever seen. But the Blue Moon draft was on special and I was happy to have a place to rest my feet.

Our trip to Lancaster was short, but we are finishing up our weekend with the day trip I’ve been waiting for!!!

Cherry Crest Corn Maze!!

We decided to go today, because it’s potato festival day at the farm! Yay! More pictures and posts to come!

 

Road Trip!

This weekend we finally put our passports to use and headed across the border to Niagara Falls, Ontario! It was a quick 2 hour drive for us, and well worth the trip! The Falls are absolutely amazing and the landscapes are beautiful!

 

Kerbey  LOVED the falls! It must have felt similar to sticking your head out the car window.  It was super crowded and a little overwhelming for her, but she got used to it pretty quickly. Actually, we had several people walk over to us just to pet her and tell us how much they love boxers. 🙂

We got there Friday evening and quickly made our way to the falls. It was a really nice evening. The Falls are lit up with changing colors every night- I had no idea! Also, every Friday and Sunday night in the summer there is a fireworks show over the falls and we were lucky enough to watch while sitting on a restaurant balcony drinking coffee (well, the husband was drinking Canadian beer).

Everything was so GREEN there! We saw of ton of tropical plants that we actually recognized from back home in La. The Niagara Parks Commission does an excellent job of keeping up all the landscaping, it’s very impressive!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We learned quite a bit about Niagara Falls and its history through self-guided (free) tours and just taking the time to read plaques, etc. The Falls are one of the greatest sources of hydroelectric power in the world and they are a large producer of power in the state of NY. We decided against the boat tours and behind the falls- since it was Labor Day weekend, it was just so crowded! We took our own walking tour, which exhausted both us and Kerbey, but we feel like we covered all of Niagara from Queen Street to Table Rock.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was painted in an alley on Queen Street. We passed up the chocolate, we were on a pizza mission! We ending up eating at That’s Amore Pizza, where the pizza was good, the service was friendly and they welcomed our pup at the outdoor dining area. After walking all over creation, we decided that we just wanted to sit and watch a movie.

We opted for the IMAX feature “Legends and Daredevils” the movie explained a little about the history of Niagara Falls, but mostly focused on shocking and daring acts. We were not too impressed with the reenactments and lack of scientific facts about falls.  However, I did learn that the first person that went over the falls in a barrel was a woman named Annie Taylor in 1901.  She was an aging school teacher that did it all for the fame. The IMAX also had an exhibit with actual barrels or metal chambers- for an additional fee 😦 .

Before we left, I took a brisk stroll with Kerbey for last minutes photos while Chad did the packing. It was beautiful this morning and the crowds were considerably less!

 

 

 

 

The only thing I would have done differently is to start planning earlier to rent a condo or cottage. I would have loved to have a kitchen or even a kitchenette; eating out for every meal was taking its tole by the time we got the breakfast bill this morning!

All in all, we had a great trip and I’m so glad that we went! I would definitely suggest visiting the Canadian side, the parks and walking paths are gorgeous and the city is planned out to be “walker-friendly”. It was also surprisingly dog friendly with all the green areas and some outdoor eating. Perfect for a weekend trip!