Salt lick

Salt Lick Fire Road

Clearly I am not going to succeed in posting every day this year. I managed to do it four years in a row and even posted (and ran) every day in November when we went to Spain. The funny thing is that this year I just keep... forgetting. Ah well.

Here's a photo from a hike we took a few weeks ago. We've been hiking a lot this year (since neither of us has been biking much, so we have big multi-hour gaps of time to fill on weekends) and recently trod for the first time on Mt. Burdell, a smallish peak up in northern Marin County. It definitely felt like an adventure even though we could still see the city from where we stood next to the adorable summit marker. We've been hiking and running mostly on the same trails for 12 years, and while we love the old classics, it has been great to discover some new ones.

November 7, 2010 10:25 PM | Comments (1)

Fear the Beard

Pipe organ in the cathedral

Me: What do you want for Hanukkah?

Him: I want the Giants to win the World Series. And I got that. So there's nothing you can get me that will make me any happier.

Me: :\

Just for the record, Amazon thinks that women want perfume, jewelry, UGG boots and chick flick DVDs, while men want grilling accessories, expensive watches, and poker-night gear. What universe are they living in?

I am thinking of making a gift guide for my workplace and it includes things like really nice (and durable, practical, comfy) SmartWool socks and sweaters, a cool knife and folding cutting-board set, YakTrax, great water bottles (I think you can never have too many; Dave begs to differ) and travel mugs, snowshoes, extremely portable coffee makers, the latest headlamps and bike lights (which are amazing!), ski lift tickets, extremely functional luggage, and useful camera accessories.

I'd like to think that these are things that help create great experiences... they're not just stuff. Nothing against jewelry, but I think Amazon could encourage us to be a little more adventurous.

November 5, 2010 10:20 PM | Comments (1)

Carmel, Columbus, and klezmer

Carmel Beach

This month of non-stop blogging is turning into a 2010 adventure recap, so I guess I'll go chronologically. In May we visited Carmel for the first time. We've been to Monterey and Pacific Grove many times, but for whatever reason Dave and I had never actually been in Carmel.

We were there to attend a wedding. Not just any wedding, but a cowboy-themed Jewish vegetarian wedding on a cattle ranch in Carmel Valley. The wedding was fantastic and memorable, and we returned to our hotel slightly sunburned and smelling of wood smoke, with wonderful klezmer, bluegrass and traditional Celtic music looping through our heads. Let's just say the band was a versatile crew.

Some of the best trips we've taken in the past ten years were for weddings. I shudder to think that I might never have gone to Hawaii (!!!) if not for a wedding. A wedding took us to Mendocino for the first time. And we even had a blast exploring Columbus, which we certainly would not have had the opportunity to do if friends had not gotten married there.

It makes me wonder how Dave and I would choose to get married if we were doing it now. Back in 1997 (again: !!!) we didn't have strong opinions about what our wedding would be like; we just wanted to get married and have fun. Now I can imagine a dozen different scenarios involving tropical islands, mountaintops, grassy meadows, nightclubs, redwood groves, intimate bistros and beaches. Any one of them would be great.

Not that I have any regrets about our great little wedding in a grand old house in Chicago's Gold Coast. It just feels like it was so long ago, I can hardly remember any details. Of course the details don't really matter -- it's the 13+ years of wedded bliss that count, right?

But if I were to do it again, I'd definitely hire a klezmer/bluegrass/Irish band.

November 3, 2010 11:47 PM | Comments (1)

Stepping back

Snowshoeing above Hope Valley

In April we made an impromptu weekend trip to the mountains. We'd been wanting to check out Sorensen's Resort since driving past it years ago, so we called them up and were lucky to get a reasonable last-minute reservation, as ski season had just ended, but it was still too snowy to do much else.

And did we luck out! There was still about six feet of snow on the ground, but daytime temperatures were in the 60s. Perfect for snowshoeing... in shorts and t-shirts. It was heavenly. And a little surreal.

Snowshoeing above Hope Valley

Sorensen's is a cluster of cozy cabins surrounding an excellent restaurant nestled into the beautiful, peaceful Hope Valley south of Lake Tahoe. It's off the beaten path, but close enough to Tahoe that you can drop into "town" for dinner, groceries or whatever. At night, it feels like it's a million miles from anywhere. In the summer, it's a great area for cycling or hiking. (We'd stayed nearby in Markleeville for bike racing the previous two summers.)

We did a little hiking, a little showshoeing, and a lot of eating. I got a massage and we baked ourselves in the wood-fired Finnish sauna. Like, literally, I don't remember the temperature inside, but I remember thinking it was about 30 degrees hotter than the sauna at the gym.

And then on the way home, we stopped at a VFW hall in a little unincorporated town in Calaveras County to visit a memorial marker that has my grandma's name on it... and Dave got bitten on the calf by a crazy pit bull. But maybe that's a story for another day.

November 2, 2010 11:03 PM | Comments (0)

On fire

Campfire

The Giants just won the World Series, it's close to midnight, and I'm listening to the SF police scanner on SomaFM. What it sounds like is mild mayhem. The police on the radio are describing riotlike situations in pretty calm voices. This is weird. They are talking about storefronts being broken into, streets covered in broken glass, officers being pelted with full alcohol bottles. It doesn't sound like the situation is at all under control.

Speaking of situations, I haven't blogged since Dec. 1 of last year. I miss it, but my energies have been directed elsewhere. So will I try to blog every day this November, as I have for the past several years? We'll see. Will I follow a theme? Maybe it will be orange, in honor of the Giants' Orange October. Or maybe not. Will I remember how to use Movable Type after a year elbow-deep in Wordpress? TBD.

November 1, 2010 11:59 PM | Comments (3)