Monday, December 27, 2010

Rainy Day/Winter Fun

Are you allergic to water?
Are you allergic to snow?
I didn't think so.

I love getting outside no matter what the weather has in store for me
Wind, Rain, Snow, Excessive Heat
as long as you're prepared, you can have a great time out there!
Here I am on December 18th, 2010
taking a break from kayaking in Newport Bay, CA
between the Coast Guard Beach and the Jetty
enjoying a little rain after playing in the wind and waves by the jetty

Don't let a little rain, wind, or snow stop you
from enjoying The Great Outdoors

Here are some more of my favorite pics
from cold/stormy/wet/snowy adventures

This is me enjoying my first real winter
(far from the warm winters of Los Angeles, CA)
on lake Taneycomo in Branson, Mo

I love warm and fuzzy hats
especially when they cover my ears!
: )

One thing I don't enjoy is being cold
but that can easily can be taken care of with the right clothing
Once I get moving
the kayak gets pretty toasty.

But be warned
if you decide to go kayaking in super-cold weather
wear Gortex/something waterproof
It's not the threat of falling in or getting rained on
that you need to be worried about
It's the possibility of sitting in soggy pants
because the condensation that collects on the inside of the kayak from your body heat mixing with the kayak sitting in cold water can create some really drippy-drawers.
: /

This is me one NYE on Santa Cruz Island
enjoying some bubbly and treats after hiking all day in the rain

It cleared up just long enough to snack for about an hour
Enough time to take some silly pictures, and laugh at a huge crow
that flew off with a WHOLE wedge of triple cream brie
which weighed about a 1/2lb

I figured it would be a good thing to pass the time by taking silly pictures

I was in good company
20 year Tawny and some Bubbly

2nd night
still raining
What the heck
more snacks and more bubbly

Here I am on San Miguel Island
enjoying a super drizzly, super windy, ranger-lead hike to see the Elephant Seals
I'm right here, in the back
wearing the super-sexy outfit with the backpack, high socks and the skirt
; )

This is one of my all time favorite pictures
because it was taken on one of my all-time favorite adventures
backpacking the Kalalau Trail on the Na Pali Coast in Kauai, Hawaii
I look very happy here
because I was lucky enough to be able to pitch my tent
before the next really bad storm hit.
This was my first backpacking trip ever!
Here's an incredible quick google aerial video of the trail
: )
it turns out that I was there during the worst storm
Kauai had experienced since Hurricane Iniki.
This trip is responsible for changing my perspective
on my personal expectations, acceptance, pride, ability, and respect.

I encourage you to get outside
Embrace a little discomfort.
Face a fear.
: )

Bar Snacks 12/12/2010

Cute snacks for cute guests
go great with a  BIG bottle of Sake!
Prepared for Erin and Ann
on Sunday, 12/12/2010
 : )
One does not have to slave over a hot stove for hours
to make their guests feel appreciated.
This quick little snack
was put together in as much time that it took for Erin, Ann, and Andrew
 to head to the 99Ranch Market (2 miles away)
to pick up the BIG bottle of Sake.

I figured these little treats would do the job
to hold them till I prepared the

Cute little deviled quail eggs
topped with caviar and chives
served with
garlicky/buttery toasts, cold sake, and cold beer.
I love
our  Kitchen "bar" at "Chez Calasanz"

: )

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Joshua Tree Winter Adventure December 1st and 2nd 2010

Thank goodness for this man
for agreeing to be at the mercy
of my random plans to take off in the middle of the night.
: )

I love to get away!
I love to go where there is no noise,  plenty of fresh air, amazing sunsets, huge stars in clear evening skies, and amazing sunrises.

I crave views, where I can see forever
where there is no sign city life

This is at the Keyes View Overlook in Joshua Tree National Park

On the evening of December 1st, 2010
I baked a quiche; packed some quinoa, berries, and some water; grabbed all of our down bedding and cozy clothing, and around 8pm, I dragged Andrew to Joshua Tree for his first time.

 I love it out there!
Options for trails are endless
and I couldn’t wait to share this special place with my wonderful man.
If you can handle the cold nights, the days are spectacular
There is almost no one out there at this time of year
so you get the world to yourself.

We arrived around midnight
I did all the driving that evening so I could let Andrew sleep.
 The sky was clear, the stars were bright, it was beautiful.
It was about 30 degrees
when we finally snuggled up to sleep in the back of the 4Runner.
I couldn’t wait to see the sunrise.

This was our little nest for the night
Uh, kinda messy, but boy was it cozy!
It didn't look like this while we were sleeping

Andrew enjoying the super-cold sunrise
About 34 degrees...brrrr!
Good Morning Andrew!
 Joshua Tree's Hidden Valley Campground.

I LOVE the mornings in Joshua Tree!
Had to strike a pose
: )

After watching the sunrise
I couldn't wait to drive Andrew through the park
to see some of the best views, and trail options.

I guess he wants to go that way...
...or he's practicing his best disco moves...
or, it's just...
Andrew, being Andrew...making me smile at
At Hidden Valley Campground.
: )

Andrew's first view
from one of the highest points in Joshua Tree
This is Andrew's "I'm at the Keyes View Overlook" pose

hahaha! I look like I'm in my PJs
wait, I am in my PJs...that's what I slept in : )
This is also at the Keyes View Overlook

Look closely at the trail
there I am
 Near Mt Ryan Trail Head by the Indian Caves
Doing what I do

: )

One thing I will never do
is eat crappy food when in the outdoors
My motto:

if it goes good with champagne, it goes perfectly in a back pack!
: )

About to unpack our morning treats
Couldn't resist the raspberries
: )

at Jumbo Rocks in Joshua Tree

On the Menu
Quinoa with lentils, cashews, and dried cherries;
Quinoa with heirloom tomatoes, red onions, and green onions;
Shell Beans with red onions.
Baguette for Andrew.
: )
We nibbled on all this throughout the day : )

This man makes me smile!
: )
He really does make me smile...every day! : )

I think he was trying to distract me with his smile... he could snag a treat.

The best part of the treats that I packed
they do not require refrigeration
Even the quiche
(one of my favorite back-packing treats)
: )

This is one of my favorite spots to watch a sunset
Jumbo Rocks Campground

I kick up my heels for happy days in Joshua Tree!

Here are some of the fun things we got to see on our adventure

aka "Jumping Cactus"

Here's the Cholla Garden

Don't touch it!

those little fellas look so cuddly: )

oooh, I want to touch it!
: )
definitely NOT so cuddly
: /

Fine, I wont touch it!
: )
I'm keeping my hands to myself
: )
Ocotillo Thorny Branches
Absolutely NOT cuddly!
: /
Andrew getting friendly with an Ocotillo

Getting in touch with nature
at the Cottonwood Canyon Visitor Station
: )
Definitely Cuddly!
: )

A cool grinding stone
along the Lost Palms Oasis Trail
Here's another one

On the Mastodon Peak Trail
Doing what I do

Hey check out my cool top
I love my new long sleeve top from ARC!
Perfect for a chilly morning in Joshua Tree!
: )

I guess it warmed up
Getting some sun while waiting for Andrew to run up the trail

Andrew Doing what he does
Running up the Mastodon Peak Trail in Joshua Tree

Doing what I do
Scampering up the Mastodon Peak Trail in Joshua Tree
: )
to the arms of my wonderful man

There he goes again...
...striking another pose
; )
Doing what we do
smiling together on the Mastodon Peak Trail in Joshua Tree
: )

I cannot wait till our next adventure!
: )