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Insta-life recently

8 Dec

In case we aren’t friends on Instagram or Twitter already, I thought I’d give a little update of my life lately through iphone photos.  Enjoy!

Waimea Falls

My aunt and uncle’s new lab puppy!

Spot!

Beach!

Pier 7 in San Francisco.

SF skyline.

Sunrise.

SF tunnel walk.

I know, these pictures are all over the place but I guess I’ve been all over the place recently 🙂

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!

Anthony!

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!

Santa Cruz with Ian

25 Oct

Ian and I spent this past Sunday on the Santa Cruz beach boardwalk.  It was such a fun day and a great way to spend time together!  I lost some of my favorite photos of the day somehow but I was able to save a few.

We went on the cozy chairlift first that sweeps across the boardwalk.  It was fun to check out all of the rides and scenery before we started our extravaganza.

Here’s the older part of the boardwalk.  There were some interesting and creepy old keep sakes from the original boardwalk.  The boardwalk is over 100 years old but the infamous rides didn’t start until about 80-90 years ago.

I LOVE that the beach is hugging the sand on the boardwalk.  It’s so great to have so many different options of things to do while your there and the best part is… you don’t have to pay ANY admittance fee!  You can go peruse the boardwalk, fee free.  You just pay for rides, food, and/or any of the other givens.

People strewn about.  I loved this picture until I realized the two center piece people are drinking tall cans of beer… ha!  Oops.

I don’t know if you can tell but these donuts were HUGE!

This was inside the old “bathe house.”  They used to have a swimming pool inside this building where swimmers would put on aquatic shows through trapeze, diving platforms, and other amusements.  Now it’s an arcade and mini-golf house.  A sign of the times 🙂

The Giant Dipper!  Childhood memories… I remember this coaster being so much bigger when I was younger, funny how that happens.

The beautiful swings!

I had one of the best days on this day.  The sun was out and I was in great company.  What more can a girl ask for?!

Mt. Diablo – my backyard mountain

20 Oct

I thought I’d do my travel Thursday on somewhere a little closer to home.  While Ian’s family was here this weekend I thought it’d be fun to take them to my backyard mountain, Mt. Diablo.  When I was a kid we used to go up to Rock City all the time and I loved climbing and exploring the amazing rocks.  They are interesting for so many reasons and it’s just one of a few detours you can take on the long, windy road up to the summit.  This was a win-win situation for all because Ian loves driving his all wheel drive Evo on the roads and the rest of us love the adventure.  Here are some photos from our day trip. The landscapes are all a tad different around the mountain.

These rocks had wind caves.  Since they are such soft rocks, holes can easily form on these enormous boulders.

Here’s all of us in one of the caves!

Over time, foot holes have even been pressed into the rocks making it easy to climb to the top of the rocks.  Going up is always easier than going down.

Eryka climbing!  She is an ice climber and actually just got back from being a safety guide in Greenland with National Geographic.  She has some amazing photos from that trip but needless to say, climbing this rock was probably a piece of cake for her 🙂

Ian and Eryka on top of one of the big rocks.

Everybody climbing!  I don’t know if it was the smartest to climb with my camera but it’s kind of a part of my body now.  I don’t like to go anywhere without one : )

A close up.  It was almost like sand stone.

Eryka is also training to become a yogi!  She definitely has skills.

This lizard had the brightest tail I’ve ever seen!  The mountain is also known for Rattle Snakes and Tarantulas so don’t forget your closed toe shoes if you venture up this mountain.

Along the way the leaves were all starting to change colors for Fall.

It may have looked like everything was green in some of my other photos but it was pretty dry on the mountain.  After summer, everything gets extremely dried out.

There were bikers in it for the long haul.  This would take an immense amount of endurance and strength to make it all the way to the top.  You also would have to be careful coming down to go slow enough to make it around every hairpin turn.

Ian’s other girlfriend.  The evo does handle very well on the tight switchbacks and it fit all of us for the ride.

A small piece of the narrow roads to the top.

Mount Diablo is a wonderful place to go explore.  They have endless hiking trails, campsites, and places to explore.  It’s a fun way to hang out with family and friends while enjoying the outdoors.  Beware though, in the summer the heat can be unbareable so the best times to go are Spring and Fall.  Sometimes in winter though, we will get a very special snow and you can catch kids bringing their sleds up high enough to sled down a little slope (none of the extreme cliffs of course).  Enjoy 🙂

Swinging on Steroids?!

23 Sep

Our fellow blogger, Kathleen, has shared something extremely cool, that she has recently conquered, with the world recently that I’ve just become fascinated with!  Anyone who has done this is my hero.  Yet somehow if I ever get the chance I don’t know how I’d ever turn it down… but seriously check this out!

 

Sail away on the bay

7 Sep

Wow, wow, wow… is all I have to say about sailing on the bay.  I had an AMAZING time this weekend setting sail with Liz and all of her friends for her Bachelorette party.  It was one of the best ways to see the city and bond with friends.  I highly recommend sailing in SF with Captain Kirk and his crew.  We sailed for three hours and it was a hands-on, fun experience that I will never forget!

We set sail from 40 South Beach Harbor by the AT&T park in San Francisco on the Bay Wolf.

After a short safety brief, we were off!

We started out using the little boat motor to get out in the open waters and then they asked if anyone wanted to help raise the sail and of course I was all for it.  It was very easy to start raising but the higher it got, the wind pushed and the sail was much harder to raise.  Once I couldn’t raise it anymore, Molly (Liz’s sister) helped crank the rope tight so we could be in full sail 🙂

Climbing to the back of the boat after raising the sail was hard because it was so tipsy that you have to hold onto something solid on the boat at all times!  We got the boat ready to go though before reaching the Bay Bridge.

Finally we were about to embark on the rougher waters past the Bay Bridge.  After this point was when we felt our first full sailboat lean!

The start of the sailboat lean.  You can’t tell how much the boats were leaning but it was definitely fun!

Then we were in full lean!  I had my feet braced against the side of the boat like it was the bottom of the boat because it was tilted so far over.

As we started getting closer to the Golden Gate, the winds picked up and so did the activity around us.  There were kite surfers, wind surfers and many other boats of all kinds.

The stormy weather was mainly over the water at this point but the sun sure was shining on San Francisco.

We started to pass Alcatraz and then Captain Kirk let me steer.  He also taught me to steer while we “jibed” which is where you slowly let the sail’s boom switch sides of the vessel.  We had to do this once we started going in the reverse direction to catch the wind to push us in the right direction.

This windsurfer was very far out in the water and flying by.  He was doing so well considering how choppy it was.

It was really cool to sail under the new Bay Bridge that’s been under construction for a few years now and should be done in 2013.  It’s been a big deal to have this new bridge built because supposedly the old Bay Bridge won’t withstand the next “big one” aka huge earthquake.  This bridge is going to be amazing and I really enjoyed seeing it so close and personal!

The finished part of the new Bay Bridge.  Both directions of traffic will no longer be stacked on top of each other but instead set side by side.

Going under!  It’s a lot lower than the old one.

The moon!

After coming back under the Bay Bridge on the other side of Treasure Island the lighting really started to change and morph into one of the most amazing sunsets.

Other sail boats, the famous Oakland cranes and the two Bay Bridges.

I had so much fun shooting photos on this day.

Rope torch is what I see here.

Sun spot light shining into AT&T park, home of the world series winners the Giants!

Sunset over AT&T park, downtown San Francisco and the Bay Bridge.

Alcatraz.

The city lights started to dapple the city skyline.

The final shots of the sail.

The Bay Bridge with all the lights on 🙂

We chose to use Captain Kirk and his crew, Alex and Jennifer.  They were AWESOME.  They allowed us to be hands on and had a plethora of knowledge to share!  Along the sail, the crew supplied tons of snacks and beverages to keep our energy up.  10% of their proceeds go to charity (Team in Training) which is a wonderful thing.  We were the only group on the boat and I had one of the best times of adventure ever.

And one last photo before I go…

🙂

Upcoming Sailing Adventure!

1 Sep

This weekend I am embarking on a very new and exciting adventure!  I will be setting sail on the San Francisco bay with about 10 other girls for my brother’s fiance, Liz’s, bachelorette rendezvous.  I couldn’t be more excited because I have constantly watched these magnificent vessels from the piers of San Francisco for years now.  I’ve been on power boats my entire life (wakeboarding, tubing, etc) but never sail boats!  I went once with a great friend of mine, Sheena, while I went with her home one summer in high school to her native island, Barbados.  That experience was unforgettable as you can imagine sailing around a tropical island and snorkeling above and around sunken ships in transparent turquoise marvels.  I’ve also heard all the great stories from Ian about growing up spending entire summers on his grandparents sail boat and just having the time of his life.

However, this new experience I imagine to be a little bit more adventurous for the simple fact that the bay area waters are not exactly calm or warm.  It will definitely be safe but I look forward to being a little more involved in the process.  This is also a great experience I look forward to because it’s not your average bachelorette party.  We are going to be bonding over an adventure together and this is how I know Liz is the one for my brother.  She is up for the crazy challenge of life ahead with my brother.  Just kidding brother, love you 🙂  But I love that they will continue to explore life together through new and exciting adventures.  I hope to capture my own photos from the sunset sail this weekend so I can share with everyone but for now here are some from a SF travel site:

Summers in Lake Tahoe, California

29 Aug

There is no better place to spend a summer than in Lake Tahoe, California.  There are many reasons for this but I do believe pictures do way more justice.  Here is a photographic catalog of why I believe summers are so incredible by the lake.

Visit Emerald Cove (on the west shore of Lake Tahoe) where you can hike, swim, bike, boat and anything else outdoorsy.

Here’s a part of Emerald Cove where you can climb around a waterfall that leads all the way down the mountain face from the top as melted snow run off.

You can get a crazy lean going on if you go sailing!  The colors are just so unreal.  You can see all the way down to the bottom in the more shallow parts of the lake.

Hike one of the many ridges around the lake.  This is Eagle Ridge near the West Shore.

Enjoy hanging outside at night with friends and making s’mores 🙂

Relax on the beach.

Watch a sunset from one the many public piers.

Catch some interesting photos of the sometimes unpredictable weather that may roll over the lake.

Grab dinner or a drink with family/friends down by the Lake.  You can also enjoy ice cream down at some of the piers.

Watch the sun go down.

Float the river!  The Truckee River is one of the most fun rivers to float.  Yes, I know this picture is ridiculous but it’s my brother and me and that’s what you get when you put us together. Ridiculous-ness : )  You can rent a large raft like this one or you can bring your own which I’ve also done plenty of times.  This is a MUST in the summer time, don’t miss out on this fun.

On the river.

Paddle board, kayak, swim, whatever your aquatic needs desire.

Go tubing on the Lake!

I’m just so in love with this lake, I could go on and on but it’s a destination made for explorers.

I’ll be going back to my heaven on earth in less than two weeks for my brothers wedding and I’m counting down the days.  I can’t wait to be on the water and relaxing with all of my family.  I will most definitely have plenty more summer on the lake photos!

North Beach, San Francisco

25 Aug

Lucky me, North Beach is also very close to my work so today I grabbed Rani and Chelsea and we headed to North Beach for our lunch time shenanigans!  This city has gems around every corner and when you are in good company, there’s nothing better.  We cruised around North Beach for a while and then ate at House of Thai.  It’s incredibly delicious Thai food and everything (food wise) on the menu is $5.  I’m starting to realize that not everywhere in the city is out to rob your pocket book 🙂  Here are some photos I took today.

The bookstore on the corner of Broadway and Columbus is very unique.  Outside on the corner they have all these floating light books in the sky.  At night they flash on and off and are so amazing to see.

There’s also a really neat hand painted mural in the background that covers the entire exposures of the corner building marking the beginning of North Beach.

Another part of the mural.

It’s amazing the things you find when you just look up above the tree tops.  A large cathedral here.

Columbus St (from Broadway on) is lined with adorable eateries and cafes.  Stroll along this strip and you are sure to find a stomach pleasing, heart happy experience.

Did I mention it’s also considered “Little Italy”??  Maybe that’s why I like the selection of food so much!

We did the extraordinary today in “Little Italy” though… we ate Thai!  I have to say it was absolutely delicious.

This is Vesuvio in the half yellow building.  It’s a bar that we just so happened to try out last Saturday night and it was a great time.  The drinks were, for the most part, $5 and the environment was cozy.  There were tables throughout two stories so it was intimate enough where you could still talk with the people you were there to spend time with.  A great, inexpensive place to go before perusing the rest of North Beach,

North Beach is a touristy area though so if you aren’t a fan of being around a ton of people, this might not be the place for you.

If you were to head the opposite direction on Columbus, you’d be headed towards Market St. and the Trans America Building.  Crazy how you can look two ways on a San Francisco street and see two different worlds.

Full of lots of little alley ways.

My partners in crime, love them tons.  We have so much fun together!  After we were done in North Beach of course we wanted to go to Chinatown and buy random things…

The things sold in these stores is beyond me what the real purpose is but boy do I love trying to think of who I could buy some of it for as a silly gift!

More stuff.

Chelsea had the genius idea of buying the snappers you throw and they pop when they hit the ground.  That was probably the most fun we’ve had in a while finding interesting ways to snap the little contraptions.  Here’s Chelsea trying to throw one at me and I find it to be a classic photo haha

  Great times 🙂  I hope to have more good places and times soon!

Chinatown, San Francisco

23 Aug

Today for lunch Lindsay and I decided to head up to Chinatown and explore the overwhelming stores.  The shops in Chinatown will shock you because they appear to be small little shops with one door openings but once you step in, it’s like your Alice in Wonderland transporting from the street to a huge indoor market full of trinkets.   OK, some may say junk but it’s really impressive what’s hidden in all the Chinatown crevices.  Here are a few things we found today at lunch.

All of the windows above the Chinatown shops have tons of clothing and/or artifacts hanging outside on display.

I thought this beaded rooster was quite interesting!

One of the neatest shops we found was a huge pet store!  It was about 3 or 4 stories tucked away with all sorts of interesting animals for sale.  This fish was twice as big as my head!

Chinatown is a pretty unique place to peruse.  If you decide to encounter it on your own, make a point to duck into a few stores because you will be very surprised at what you will find!