Blue Ridge Parkway and Appalachia

Jen and I and the dog took a week off to head down south. There wasn’t much of a plan beyond finding a cabin in the woods for a few days and then poking around the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Appalachian Trail for a bit. We didn’t do much serious hiking; just the few-miles-out-and-back walks in the woods to see some waterfalls and overlooks. We managed to find a great cabin south of Asheville that was nice and cozy, and could actually have fit another half dozen people.

First day at Steamboat is a bust

We flew into Steamboat last night all geeked to hit the slopes today. We noticed it was really windy during the night and we kept waking up to the sound of the condo rattling and the sight of ratty white dudes with mangy afros flying through the air past our window. When I stepped out onto the deck I was immediately assailed by tiny glasslike shards of ice eagerly impaling themselves into the whites of my eyes.

Cooking Withdrawal

I think I must have had some kind of cooking withdrawal when we were out in California. All we had were a few pans and bowls with which to work, and our culinary creations were usually pretty slim. We never suffered for wont of food. We ate out at all sorts of restaurants all the time, and at each one, I was always curious as to how it was done, eager to get back to our full kitchen back home where I could try out a bunch of random experiments.

Unwinding in the U.P.

Life has slowed to a crawl. It’s been a few days since I’ve popped open my laptop. In those days, we drove from Santa Clara, California to Hudsonville, Michigan for a brief respite, then packed up our clothes and our puppy for another road trip up to Agate Harbor, Michigan. Our family has a cottage on a small peninsula directly on Lake Superior in the extreme Upper Peninsula, where only bears and snowmobilers dwell.

13.1 Miles of Fun

[][1]Yea, I brought my camera phone on the race This past Sunday I ran my first half-marathon in San Francisco. The last time I ran a race was probably when I was a wee lad, running in the neighborhood park to appease my parents. This time, I did it to appease my wife. Well, at first, I did it for her, but the more I looked into it, the cooler it became.

Tour Guide One Last Time

My brother, Scott, and his wife, Betsy, came out to visit us for a few days. Jen got screwed over by her shift and had to work the weekend, so I spent a few days playing tour guide, dragging the two all over the area until they were exhausted. They didn’t even tip me. Friday, we went down Highway 1 to Big Sur. The clouds hung low to the sky but visibility was still pretty good.

Horses over Surfing

Before we came out here, I really wanted to go surfing. I’ve only done a surfing class once in Maui and figured California would be the perfect place to hone my nonexistent skills. When we got here in May, the water was ice cold. It hasn’t gotten any warmer. This past weekend we went over to Half Moon Bay for either some surfing or horse back riding. The microclimates around here can vary drastically but, from what I hear, are relatively consistent.

Savannah Chanelle

We’ve been laying low since Melissa and Angelina left, taking in sites around our immediate area. I’ve found my favorite winery, and it’s not in Napa. It’s actually on the same road we live on. You just turn left and follow Saratoga Ave through the town of Saratoga, and then the road starts winding up the mountains and eventually reaches Big Basin. There are a few vineyards along the way, one of them being Savannah Chanelle.

I Got E-Metered

What I thought was garbage on my doorstep was actually Scientology propaganda cleverly disguised as garbage. It was a free personality survey called the Oxford Capacity Analysis, a name which has no affiliation whatsoever with the real University of Oxford and is full of such insightful gems as “Do you speak slowly?” and “Do you sleep well?” It’s meant to make you feel like a horrible person because Scientology can help with that.

Mountains and Palm Trees

I was staring out a window today at some nearby mountains, mindlessly focused on nothing in particular when I realized I was looking past at least five different palm trees without even registering them. They were a novelty when we first arrived. Palm trees were something we’d see at most, once a year on a vacation to somewhere warmer. Now they’ve become commonplace. The mountains too, have become part of the background noise; something which we’ll eventually drive over en route to somewhere else; something which I almost find myself chastising for blocking the sunset.