Archive | November, 2011

The most unreal sunset I’ve seen in a while…

14 Nov


I know I’m always posting about sunsets but they are just so incredible sometimes.  Last night was bittersweet for me.  I got to spend a wonderful Saturday night catching up with my two college best friends and also enjoy a last night with Ian before he left yesterday for Colorado.  I felt extremely sad leaving three major contributors to my life.  I know that sounds silly but the three of them have really been huge parts of my life and although I’m not leaving them forever or anything too dramatic, it’s very rare that the four of us are all in one place together.  I felt very lonely leaving without any of these three coming back with me but this sunset I watched while driving did make me feel much better 🙂

It was so vibrant and beautiful.  The florescent colors just seemed to splash endlessly across the sky.  This was definitely a rare sunset that came at perfect timing 🙂

Travel Thursday? I guess it’s a Flashback Friday – Breckenridge, CO

11 Nov

I wanted to post this yesterday since Ian is off to Breckenridge this weekend.  It’s such an amazing town nestled in the mountains.  I surprise visited him last year to come support him at his first Dew Tour and in return we got to snowboard a few of the different resorts and scout the town a little bit.  It’s so fun to get to visit all of the mountain towns that he calls “home” for short amounts of time 🙂  Lift tickets can always be expensive so if you are thinking about traveling for skiing/snowboarding, look into discounts online first!  Also if you get an all access seasons pass to Northstar (Lake Tahoe and my home mountain) or Breckenridge (CO), you’ll now have access to a handful of other mountains.  This is HUGE and a nice perk to being a season pass holder.

CO is one of the first places to get enough snow in the winter season to compete so a lot of snow sport athletes come here “pre” season.


It’s very cold in CO so definitely bundle up!

Be careful driving with ice on the roads!  This was the biggest mistake I saw visitors make when in Tahoe.  Don’t worry about being late, every one is on snow time any way 🙂

Some of the Breckenridge runs.

Downtown Breckenridge.  It’s tiny but sooo cute.

Then we headed over to Keystone and in the background you can actually see the Breckenridge runs drawn down the mountainside.

The views are beautiful.

Colorado is a great place to explore for a winter vacation and if you go around the middle to the end of December, you’ll catch the first stop of the Dew Tour which is where all the professionals come out and do what they do best.  There’s so much to do in this tiny town and I’d recommend it to any snow lover 🙂

I’m a week away

10 Nov

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I can’t stop thinking about it.  Can it be now?  I need some serious brain relaxation, surfing, and ocean dwelling.  It’s been a crazy work week.  I’m ready.

Scooter Date in Berkeley, CA!

9 Nov

Since last weekend was Ian’s last full weekend in the bay area before he’s off this coming weekend to start his snowboarding season, we decided that on Sunday we would go to Berkeley to use these Groupon‘s we got (which is one of the best fun creating websites) that allowed us to rent scooters for three hours.  Also, Chelsea and Anthony were able to join us for a double date!  We went to a Thai food lunch and then Scootered our little hearts out.  I can’t tell you how much fun this was and how easy it is to rent these things.  Our scooters were eco-friendly so luckily they didn’t go too fast.  Although that would have been fun, I’m sure we would have had some sort of accident.  I laughed almost the entire time riding the scooters it was so much fun.  Here are some photos:

Getting started.

Picking Chelsea up!

Of course Ian needed to test these things out to the extreme 🙂

He’s not in focus here but I thought this was pretty funny!


Chelsea and Anthony

After we played around downtown for a bit we let Anthony tour us around since he went to UC Berekeley and this was his old stomping grounds.  Here is the football stadium.

It’s currently under major construction!

Then we moved on to see the hills of Berkeley.  These scooters don’t climb very well but we tried to get as high up as possible.  It’s really beautiful up there!

The AstroTurf field!

This was Anthony’s old dorm.  Isn’t it such a beautiful building??

The trees and vines as we climbed the Berkeley hills continued to get more and more lush.  This was the ivy on the front of a house!

Ian and I acting and looking silly.

This spot overlooked the entire Berkeley area and San Francisco skyline!  I don’t have a great photo of it but it was incredible.

My scooter made it the farthest up the hill surprisingly!  Because they were electric they had somewhat of a harder time chugging up the steep hills.

This is the view near someone’s garage… I can only imagine what the view from their house looks like!

This was one of the funnest days I’ve had.  I know I’m pretty easy to please but this was a fun idea and I’d recommend it to anyone!

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! 5 Reasons why I’m so excited for the Holiday season

8 Nov

OK, OK.  I know it’s not even Thanksgiving, which I am also VERY excited for, but with the time change and all the new exciting lights out in the city, it’s really getting me prepared for a wonderful holiday!  There are so many reasons why I enjoy this time of year but here are 5 to get me started:

1. Gingerbread!

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I love gingerbread cookies, gingerbread with icing, gingerbread teas/coffees, gingerbread scented candles and pretty much gingerbread everything.  There’s something so nice about being snuggled up inside the warm house with gingerbread around.

2. Decorations!

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San Francisco turns all of the large financial district buildings into large presents.  At least that’s what I see when I look at them 🙂  The lights are so beautiful.  I also love driving around all of the suburban neighborhoods and looking at the Christmas decorations.

3. Snow!

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Although we don’t get snow where I live, this is the time of year when I know snow is falling in all of the mountain towns.  The resorts will fill up and it’s time to go snowboarding.  I usually make a trip out to Michigan around Christmas where Ian’s family is and spend time in the snow with them.  It’s always so beautiful to experience snow around the holidays.  Last year it snowed on New Year’s Eve in Michigan and it was beautiful!

4. Quality Time!

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I know, I’m a total family person.  I love getting to spend quality time with my friends and family on the few extra days off of work.  It’s so nice to just share stories and catch up on life.

5. The Movies!!!

I feel like every family has their tradition of what movies they watch around the holidays.  I LOVE holiday movies so much.

A Christmas Story has always been our staple.  I love the scene where Ralphy’s brother is trapped in his snow one-sy.

Progressively over the years, Elf has become more of a staple.  It’s just so hilarious I can’t even point out one of my favorite parts.  Will Ferrel does such a great job of bringing the jolliness in this movie.

Christmas time is one of my favorites and I’m going to enjoy every moment of this upcoming season 🙂

How to save a life

7 Nov

Over this past weekend I was able to reunite with my brother (who will be traveling for the next three years in pilot school with the air force) for the first time since his departure to flight school.  It was for a very special reason that we were able to get together and allowed our family to come together and celebrate the courage my brother has shown in his time overseas with the military.  While he was overseas, as the flight engineer on the Pave Hawk Helicopters, he had a death defying encounter.  He was coming back to the area to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross Award.  Here’s part of the story the Mercury News ran:

Lt. Col. Rhys W. Hunt, 2nd Lt. Andrew S. Hedin and Chief Master Sgt. Jason E. Red were sent to rescue five critically wounded U.S. Navy SEALs from the middle of a battle in Kandahar. Their team of helicopters came under heavy fire, including from rocket-propelled grenades, one of which exploded so close it rocked their ship. With Hunt at the controls, they returned fire. Red leaned out of the craft to keep his eye on their foes. Hedin sprayed additional gunfire that knocked out the enemy gunners. They were credited with saving the lives of 16 people as well as two helicopters.”

This was just one of the 4 or 5 stories told while giving recognition to these brave soldiers that are fighting overseas for us.  It’s something that I couldn’t be prouder of my brother for and it really puts in perspective how things are for soldiers in high intensity areas overseas.

Here are some of my photos from this extraordinary ceremony:

Driving in we saw the huge C-130’s practicing right overhead.

The ceremony was held in a large open hanger at Moffet Field.

This was the first time I’d seen my brother since he left for school and he looks so great in his officer’s uniform.

He had a lot of support there on Saturday including: Liz and her entire family, my mom and stepdad, my dad and stepmom, and of course Ian and I!  In the background is the helicopter my brother was on when he was engaged in the fire fight overseas.

Being introduced.

The flags.

My brother and the three others on his flight stood at attention while the commander explained why they were receiving this prestigious award.

In total, 11 people received this award on Saturday which was the highest number since WWII.  We are lucky to have these people in the military.

My brother accepting his award.

The oldest (still living) recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross Award then presented a plaque to the base so they would have history of this amazing feat.

They had all of the active Air Force members come down and support the award ceremony.

I’m so thankful for these people.

After the ceremony, we finally got to talk and hang out with my brother.  Here’s my mom and brother.

My brother and his new wife, Liz 🙂

Molly, Liz’s sister, in the helicopter.  They allowed us to go inside and all around the helicopter after the ceremony.

My brother basically lived in this tiny seat while overseas.

It’s a massive machine.

Here’s our dad.  He loves history and now that his son is such a big part of it, I can only imagine how he was feeling this day.

details of the helicopter.

My dad and Liz’s dad, Joe dangling their feet.

My brother with his helicopter.

The award.

Outside of the hanger.

The weather was so dark but beautiful.  It was kind of symbolic of the day.

It had been too long

4 Nov

It’d been about three weeks since I’d been able to get out to the barn to ride and I’d really been missing it.  Even with the storm coming in, somehow I still think it’s one of the most beautiful places.

The clouds were moving somewhat fast in this :30s exposure.

Happy Friday!  Enjoy a great weekend 🙂

Travel Thursdays – House of Air!

3 Nov

This post is more about something fun to do in a destination and what better place than my stomping grounds?!  Ian has been here for about two months now and I’ve been loving every minute of it.  You see, we don’t have a “normal” relationship to some people but I wouldn’t have it any other way right now.  He’s normally traveling all over the country/world for snowboarding and I go visit him.  Then when he gets some downtime, we try to make the best of it.  This has by far been the longest amount of downtime he’s had since we’ve been dating.  When I lived in Tahoe he was living there in the winter but of course for a snowboarder that’s the busiest time of year!  Anyways, now that he’s gearing up for his season he was extended free trampoline training at House of Air in San Francisco (by the Golden Gate).  We’ve often gone to other trampoline training centers for his training but House of Air was set up a little differently than I’ve seen before.  I’ll stop jabbering on now, here are some photos.

It’s set up in a huge hanger right on Chrissy Field (by the Golden Gate) with a wide open front.  Pretty neat set up!

Here’s Ian getting ready to go train haha

They of course had the standard dodgeball court.

I love when places bring old chairlifts in for chairs.  I always thought it’d be cool to have one as a porch swing, if that’s even possible.

You of course always must sign a waiver before jumping.  Some of these trampolines can launch you up to the rafters.

Ian started his warm up in the large trampoline room with another extreme sports athlete.  Him and the big mountain skier were allotted their own time, spotters and trainers at the facility.

You can bounce off the walls as well which is always fun.

You can recover for a minute or two in one of the mini-lounges.

Then it was time to head to the training zone.

Here was the group before Ian and the skier started their training.  They allow anyone to come pay for lessons to learn on the tramps.

Here’s Ian getting some pointers from one of the aerialists.

They also had ropes you could support yourself with or hold onto a handle and practice wake-board tricks.

Ian practicing some spins for this season.  He’s always working on something!

Oh yeah and they even let me bounce!  It’s always so fun but these trampolines intimidate me a little bit because they launch you if you do one bad bounce!

The skier practicing some of his tricks!

This is a great place to practice and train or even just go have fun!  I had my 24th birthday at a trampoline center and it was amazing.  We were duking it out in dodge ball and flipping into foam pits.  It may leave you a little sore but a little exercise never hurts anyone 🙂

Golden Lights

1 Nov

Oh Happy Day!!! Ceremonials has been released to the public!

1 Nov

It’s the day I’ve been waiting impatiently for, for a few months now… Florence has publicly released Ceremonials and it’s nothing short of fantastic!

I know it may seem like I’m borderline obsessed and there is definitely some truth to that.  Now I have some back up though as to why she is so amazing and that’s her new album Ceremonials.  The two singles that they’d been teasing everyone with on the radio were “Shake It Out” and “What the Water Gave Me.”

I’ll start with breaking down some of the songs.  Heartlines is so beautiful and slow.  It almost sounds like it has a wind chime in it and her voice starts out wind like sounding.  Very high and whispering into the lyrics.

I’ve posted about my absolute favorite before here, “Never Let Me Go.”  It’s just like a smooth ride to listen to.  It starts off to a gentle start and it’s simple.  Her voice carries you throughout the journey of the song.  It lulls slowly up and down throughout the song from beginning to end.

My other favorite so far is “No Light, No Light.”   It’s so empowering.  It starts slow like some of the others and then steadily picks up with a powerful bass line.

“Breaking Down” almost gives me a Vampire Weekend feel.  It’s a little more musically upbeat contrary to the title.

The entire album carried me along on a wonderful ride.  It’s so gentle yet makes a bold statement through her voice.  This is her best album to date and I’m so glad she is now touring with this new album.  The dog days are over but to no complaints because Ceremonials is in and better than ever.