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Category Archives: trails

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

California Love

I realized while talking on the phone to a friend tonight, I realized that I have been in California for 1.5 months already! Where has the time gone? Here’s some pics to document where it went:

Golden Gate Bridge on a Beautiful day!

Santa Cruz on Our 5 year Anniversary

Lisa and I getting our bib numbers for Bay to Breakers!

Costumes for Bay to Breakers- made out of bed sheets on the side of the road

On the boat to Alcatraz

Getting our Redwood fix at Big basin State Park

On the beach @ Carmel, a magical place

The California experience has been mostly a “thumbs up” so far. I made a list mostly pertaining to Silicon Valley and the region:

THUMBS UP 

*weather

*Trader Joes, Sprouts, Peets

*scenic vistas

*dog beaches

*redwoods

*mid-level hikes

*Carmel/Monterey

*National Parks

*San Francisco

*lots ‘o wine

*Bike lanes

*local produce!

THUMBS DOWN

*expensive (i.e. gas prices, food)

*over populated

*not so friendly people

*over-rated chains (i.e. In-N-Out Burger, Pinkberry)

*expensive movies- don’t they make movies out here?, shouldn’t they cost LESS?

So that’s what I’ve learned the last month in a nutshell.

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??)

 

 

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.

Disconnect

For me, one of the perks of traveling has been that it forces me to live with less and to think before purchasing new items. I definitely have lost that feeling of “want” for material things, which has helped to simplify my life in a tangible way. Now I feel the need to streamline the cognitive clutter.

I’ve noticed an increase in internet and computer usage since we started traveling. There are several reasons for this increase: stay connected with  family & friends, more free time, lack of television or DVD player, winter weather & early darkness. I hate that hours go by without other human interaction. I am definitely guilty of getting sucked in, and the computer is definitely a time suck. I thought I was doing good by living without a TV, but our computers have just replaced it.

So I proposed one night a week disconnected, without turning on a computer. No TV, no movies, no email or facebook on Wednesdays. I just want to get back to the basics. Last week was our first Wednesday, so we’ll see how it goes. I want to get away from electronic media for one night a week and do whatever it was we did before the internet. Remember that?  We are plugged in all the time, even on a hike-I have my email notification going off.  I want to practice how to “just be”, without checking in to see what I missed all the time.

So, I see card games, lengthy dining experiences, and probably going to bed early in our future for Wednesdays-but hopefully it’s also a learning experience.

Oh, here’s pictures from our last hike in Red Rock Canyon Open Space:View of Garden of the Gods from Red Rock

Red Rock Canyon Open Space, Colorado Springs

Also just watched another great documentary, 180* South. It’s about a couple of real nomads on an adventure, and they don’t check their email the entire trip! 🙂