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Category Archives: happiness

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Tale of Two Beaches

Coming from Southern Louisiana, the beaches we would often visit were in Alabama/Florida Panhandle or the “Emerald Coast” if you’re fancy like that. Those beaches had silty, white sand that was blazing hot and small waves in cool water. Everyone took a dip in the water, even if it was just to cool off and usually you would be dry again after 20 minutes in the tireless sun.  I spent several long weekends there from my time at college in New Orleans, and I loved those beaches!

August 2009 trip to Orange Beach, Alabama

Now we’re living in Northern California for the time being, and the beaches are definitely different than our “norm”. This is what I’ve learned:

1. They are cold and they have cliffs!

Half Moon Bay

2. The sand is more like gagillions of little pebbles and the waves are BIG! The crashing waves will easily lull you to sleep.

3. FOG! You’re driving to the beach, windows down, music up, blue skies, excited to be almost there….. and it creeps over you and hides the sun.

4. Rocks, seaweed, and dog friendly!!

Carmel, CA

5. You can wear all those linen long sleeve shirts and scarfs that you see fashion models wearing in the magazines on the beach. Back home, I would see these ads and think those women were insane…now I know & I want to throw in one of those “summer sweaters”.

Actually, I love the beaches here, too! I like that I can wear actual clothes to the beach & not leave dripping in sweat. I like that I don’t have to prepare a fake tan for 2 weeks prior to going to Northern California beaches, because I’ll likely never be warm enough to be in a bathing suit. I love that dogs are allowed on several popular beaches and I adore the cute beach towns here. My favorites so far are Carmel and Half Moon Bay, and I’m sure I’ll discover more in the next 2 months.

I do miss swimming in the Gulf, floating on raft, or body boarding and getting tossed in the waves.  The only people going into waves here are under 10 or have a wetsuit and a board. I also long for the “shopping high” after getting deals at the outlets lining the Gulf coast highways.

I’ve always loved being near the water for relaxation, reflection, inspiration, sleep, and drinking. All in all, the beach is one of my favorite places to go, no matter which coast I’m on!

Road Trippin’

Did you know it takes at least 22 hours to get from Colorado to California’s Bay Area? I did not, geez, it only took 18 hours from the Louisiana coast to Colorado. We had some fun in the past 3 days of driving, as well as some not so fun times (going through Death Valley with 55 mph wind gusts with all our possessions strapped to the top of our lil’ Prius)! The best thing about the trip was visiting Arches National Park in Moab, UT.

Delicate Arch

Standing in the enormous Arches has a way of centering a person, I felt connected to the Earth and appreciative to witness such a beautiful place. Definitely made the stress of traveling melt away while we were hiking.

We made it to California yesterday and have been enjoying the beautiful weather and absolutely gorgeous plants & flowers. Although it’s not all sunshine and roses-we are stuck in an extended stay hotel for the next week while we are awaiting our apartment placement- a usual hazard as a traveling therapist. So I wake up with mountain bike tires parked next to my face. Traveling contract work is definitely a lesson in not sweating the small stuff! It’s not often that a job in the exact location that you want to travel opens up at the same time that you’re available AND there’s a dog-friendly apartment just waiting for you?! puh-lease, I can’t complain.

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??)

 

 

Jampacked!

The last couple weeks have been FULL of new adventures!

1. Snowboarding, love it!

2. Fun dinners & Girl Time with my other traveler OT, Lori!

3. Boulder, CO- favorite town in CO, so far!

Lots of beer in Boulder! The craft beer here is amazing! This was at Mountain Sun Pub.

4. Finally broke down and started running outside with the hills & the wind vs. the treadmill. Signed up for the 5k next week.

Saturday March 12, 2011 @ 10 AM Acacia Park in Downtown Colorado Springs

 

5. Getting ready for my next visitor, my BFF from college, Erin! yay!! She’s coming to visit during the last half of her Mardi Gras break! I can’t wait!



Beer & The Bitter Cold

Last weekend we attended the Winter Brewfest in Denver. It was a good time!

Before moving to Colorado, we had heard about all the microbreweries and great beer. We put attending a beer festival on our “to do list”. There was definitely an eclectic mix of brews here, with several choices from each brewery. Chad trended toward the dark ales and I chose more pale ales or wheat beer. Out of all that we tasted, Chad’s favorite was the Moose Drool from Big Sky Brewing in Montana and I liked the Colorado Native, which is made with ingredients all found in the state of CO. Good Stuff!

This is the food truck that saved my life. Basic Kneads offers wood-fired pizza that is amazing! They use organic flour in their dough and the veggie margherita pizza was superb. It was perfect on a stomach full of barley and hops! If you’re in the Denver area you should try it out.

 

Since last weekend, the bitter cold has descended upon us! We’re talking negative temperatures, but luckily not too much snow. It’s been an inside kind of week, with the exception of our apartment building’s fire alarm going off at 3 AM for about an hour with a temp of -12. Boooo!

The sad part of my week is that my traveler BFF left for her rotation in California, :(. Miss you, Lisa!

(she was being an honorary Saints Fan with us, but her loyalty lies with the Buffalo Bills & Tim Tebow since she’s a Gator!)

The best thing that’s happened all week is that my good friend from OT school who is also a traveler came to Colorado Springs to work with me!!! Her name is Lori & she even brought her dog, A.C., so that Kerbey could have a friend. We can’t wait to show her around Colorado & have some new adventures!

Look at sweet A.C. mugging for the camera. Poor Kerbs, that’s just her face, she can’t change it.

So, it’s been a rollercoaster week. I hope everyone is staying warm out there!