Category Archives: Vacation

white trucks, cleaning out closets, and consequences to everything

White pick-up trucks have a visceral affect on me.

White, Ford Ranger, pick-up trucks, specifically.

Previously, the affect was joy-filling excitement.

Currently, the affect is gut-wrenching painful.

The white truck knocks that box of sorrow off the shelf I so neatly tucked away a few weeks ago and throws its wide open, spilling it’s contents everywhere.

I stand there looking at the contents of the box, saying, “You again? Really!?”

But that’s the way it goes I guess. That’s the thing about things. Sometimes when you think you’re over something, (or maybe desperately trying to be over it) certain triggers pull you right back and make you dealwithitnow.

Consequently, this is what I will do.

______

This past weekend, Tahn and I traveled home to the Bay Area to see Buddy and my newest love, Lily (my brand new niece. And no, Lily’s not her real name).

On this trip home, I decided to clean out the closet of the my previous bedroom at my Dad’s house. The closet that hadn’t been touched close to the 10 years since I lived there.

Hello dust.

Hello old memories.

Hello junk.

Hello whydidIeverkeepthis?

It was overall good, cathartic and slightly odd. I threw away/gave away/ recycled most of everything save a few boxes of photos and cards from my grandma. And of course, a Justin Timberlake doll.

Old habits.

______

During our stay home, Tahn happily found herself at her grandpa’s. Like old times, he had her water bowl and bed out for her to feel right at home.

Over the weekend, my dad would occasionally leave Tahn alone.

Yesterday, after I returned home, my dad called to tell me a story.

My dad is in the process of putting new doors on his kitchen cabinets. Therefor, his cabinets and all such contents are exposed and open.

On Tuesday, he found a Brillo pad (which is usually kept under the kitchen sink) in the cabinet under the stove.

When he told me this story, he indicated this was a sign of protest by Tahn; she did not appreciate being left alone.

My response?

There are always consequences for your behavior.

😉

______

What are your current triggers? (Positive or Negative)

Do you have any plans for Spring Cleaning?

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Filed under Blogging, Crazy Dog Lady, Life, Stories, Tahnee, Travel, Vacation

Learning to Find Time

Unbeknownst to me, I’ve been losing my time. My self.

At the start of my First Summer in San Diego, I had two goals:

1. Have fun.

2. Make money.

And I did. Lots. Of both. I took a second job at my beloved Bar Method Studio, and jumped from weekend to weekend – working, entertaining (beloved) visitors,

attending very wonderful friends’ weddings,

attending AWESOME sporting events,

and meeting real life race horses up close and personal.

My summer? It was fantastic. My only regret? Not learning to surf.

But here’s the thing: from working two jobs, never having a day off, and continuous fun, I somehow lost a sense of me. I lost the time I used to spent doing things I liked – things I needed – to be a happy person.

I stopped writing. And blogging.

I got involved in a messy, toxic relationship – one I’m still dealing with the residual pain and nonsense.

I stopped walking Tahn. This summer? From my busy lifestyle, and my very physical full-time job, and the Bar Method, I got in the best shape of my life. My dog? Gained weight. Gained 12 pounds.

I lost time for myself.

It wasn’t until the excitement of the Summer passed, and leaving my second job did I realize how unhappy I was.

It wasn’t until I took my days off – to cook, to clean, to read, to walk Tahn, to sleep, did I realize how unbalanced my life had become.

It wasn’t until recently – almost 3 months after the CrazyFunSummer did I have the urge to write – to blog.

I’ve been reading a few books – books on how to simplify your life, your thoughts, your self. Recently, I read this from one of my absolute favs, Anne Lamott.

I hope you click over and read the fantastic article. But, if not, here is a quote, summing up what I’ve been working towards/thinking about/ attempting lately:

“I’ve heard it said that every day you need half an hour of quiet time for yourself, or your Self, unless you’re incredibly busy and stressed, in which case you need an hour. I promise you, it is there. Fight tooth and nail to find time, to make it. It is our true wealth, this moment, this hour, this day”. – Anne Lamott in Sunset Magazine

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Filed under Blogging, Exercise, Friends, Fun Things, Life, Living Simply, Money, Tahnee, Travel, Vacation

Home for the Holidays (and other special events)

(image source)

From November 19 – December 26 I will have traveled from San Diego to the Bay Area four times.

FOUR TIMES.

Three of the four times will for sure be by flight. I may drive the last trip.

I know what you’re thinking: “Why!?!?” Well, I went to home (the Bay Area) last weekend to celebrate S2‘s graduation from her master’s program, I’m in the airport tonight for Thanksgiving, in a couple of weeks I’ll be going home for Buddy‘s first birthday (Can you believe it has already been a year?!?! Buddy will be one year old. Seriously, so amazingly exciting). Then, for Christmas. I may drive home for the Christmas trip, but it has yet to be decided.

I got a late flight out of San Diego today. I did this for two fold: 1) I didn’t know what time I would be off work and I didn’t want to risk missing my flight. 2) I didn’t know what the traffic would be like and I didn’t want to miss my flight.

Even though I was home um, TWO AND 1/2 DAYS AGO, I didn’t want to miss a single second at home.

And although my sleeping situation this Thanksgiving is a little, well I guess I’ll say nomadic, (Of the four nights I’m home I’ll be sleeping in four different beds in two houses. It’s complicated. Never mind) I am thrilled to be on my way home.

Again.

Last weekend was sort of a blur and I imagine this weekend will be too. I try to see so many different people, and spend lots of time with this special girl:

Oh, Tahn

She is just as sweet as I remembered.

_____________________________

I hope everyone has a great, Happy Thanksgiving!

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Filed under Crazy Dog Lady, Family, Food!, Friends, Fun Things, Holidays, Tahnee, Vacation

My sister visiting Sacramento! And TSwift

Happy Labor Day, everyone! I can’t wait to tell you about my weekend, photo journalistic style. (aka I am so tired but I really want to blog about it).

My fabulous sister, Sarah flew into Sacramento on Friday. This was her first time visiting me – ever! It was so exciting. She had never really spend much time in Sacramento, so it was super fun showing her my little town.

On Friday night, we went to happy hour.

After happy hour, on the way to dinner.

Saturday we slept in and then my mom, brother, S2 and Buddy came to visit. It was so much fun. We had lunch and loved that sweet little baby a lot.

After an afternoon of hanging out with my mom and sister (my brother and his family had other people to visit in Sac), my mom decided to try on my sister’s shoes.

I swear I was not posing in the background. I really couldn't believe my mom was trying on my sister's platform shoes... A little dramatic, I know.

Saturday night, Sarah and I went to the Taylor Swift concert. My pseudo step-sister went to the Taylor Swift concert in LA last week and called it the TSwift concert – so that is what Sarah and I called it for the entire weekend.

For the TSwift concert, Sarah bought vintage boots for me to wear.

My outfit was a hit.

Yep. That's Tahn pouting in the background. She's upset that we were leaving.

On the way to the TSwift concert!

As soon as we got to the concert, my prediction of being the oldest people at the concert sans children was confirmed. Not only were there tweens there, but there were also four and five-year-olds.

Yep. that’s right. Women in their late twenties, at a concert for teenagers. It was awesome.

As soon as we got seated, we started tweeting like crazy. If you follow me on Twitter, you were very amused stopped following me immediately after my large amount of tweets. Sarah and I started tweeting to each other, which, (was confirmed later) was only funny to her and me.

Anyhoo. Taylor came on just after 8:30, and performed a full two hours. I couldn’t help but to compare her performance to Britney’s performance earlier this summer.  Not only did Taylor sing every song, but she also was so interactive with the crowd. (Compared to Britney who lip-synced most songs and barely talked to us). As my sister pointed out, Taylor was truly grateful that we were there and made us feel that way.

Plus, she put on a fantastic performance.

Photo from the concert.

By the end of the night, Sarah and I were on a TSwift high. The TSwift concert was the best concert I have ever been to. I will always go and see her perform. I recommend you do too. 🙂

Sunday morning, my dad came up and took us to an amazing brunch before Sarah headed to the airport. It was such a great weekend!

During the encore, Sarah captured me doing the "Taylor Heart". Taylor, and all her fans do this heart at her concerts. It's truly what I felt at the end of the night.

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Filed under Family, Fun Things, Things I love, Vacation

Sarah and Brittany’s Week of Fun!

I’m super-crazy-busy on vacation this week, so I’ve had no time to blog and I barely have enough time to blog right now. I’m so super-de-duper-busy that I don’t even have time to call back the guy who is trying to date me (and that’s my story and I’m sticking to it…)

Anyways, my sister Sarah came home this past weekend to celebrate her birthday, S2’s completion of her oral exam, my dad’s retirement and his birthday. After our celebration, Sarah and I went back to San Diego for a few days (not a week, fine…) of fun.

Before we went to San Diego, Sarah stayed at my dad’s house and I stayed at my mom’s (there aren’t enough beds at either house for us both to stay together – unless I wanted to share a “double bed” sized air mattress with my sister and Tahn, whom both are guilty of totally hogging the bed and I wake up barely on the mattress). Sarah was missing her beloved dog Sami, so I let Tahn stay with her at my dad’s.

This picture was texted to me on Saturday morning.

Tahn LOVES snuggling with her Aunt Sarah

I call Tahn my ‘shadow’ not only because she’s black, but also because she follows me everywhereIgo, all the time.  My dad refuses to let her follow him around the house, so she was giddy to have my sister (a.k.a. another version of me) to follow.

I tried to get a picture of Tahn and Sarah… and it wasn’t very successful.

Annnnnd finally:

Aunt Sarah and Tahn.

After our photo shoot, we caught a flight back to San Diego.

Well, not until we visited the wine bar at Oakland Airport:

On the Fourth of July, we went to Palm Springs and hung out by the pool:

We out with Sarah’s friends:

Back in San Diego, we caught Sarah’s dog Sami, eating Sarah’s birthday cake:

Yep. That's cake on Sami's ear.

We also got to meet up with some of my good friends for dinner. It was so much fun!

I flew back Wednesday night and spent the day yesterday with Buddy.

So far, a great vacation!

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Filed under Family, Fun Things, Travel, Vacation

Taking a minute

After a very long, sad, uneventful, dull, end of winter and most of spring, I now have a jammed packed social calendar.

From the months of January until the middle of May, I was beyond bored. It seemed that everyone wanted to stay in with their significant others, and I, being single and all, found myself alone most Friday and Saturday nights. At first I enjoyed it. Living alone for the first time, I never had peace and quiet on the weekends. However, after a few weeks, the peace and quiet was no longer fun. Me, the 26-year-old who is usually in bed by 10pm was dying to go out. Dancing. To a Bar. To anyone’s house. I was anxious to get the hell out of the apartment that I love.

Since my friends were hard to nail down, I decided to join a Friday night bowling league. (Because I loved my dodgeball league so freakin’ much). Well, that was a disaster.

But, oddly enough, after my first weekend of bowling, my social calendar picked up. No, correction: it went from non-existent to full speed, in over drive. Normally, I would credit this shift in my friends because of the warm weather starting up and everyone wanted to get out of their houses and socialize.

Except, it was the end of May and beginning of June and it was 50 degrees outside and still raining. I spent Memorial Day Weekend in the rain. The following weekend, the first weekend in June, I spent in Napa County wine tasting for my dear friend’s birthday in the rain. (That was a fantastic weekend – full of gluttony). The following weekend, the second weekend in June, I spent at Bella Vista at a “start of summer” party. (That was truly wonderful – yet another weekend of gluttony). Then their was Britney. Then, last weekend, I spent one night in San Francisco, with one of my favorite people, (and some of my new favorite people), trying to not act like a hipster in the Mission District. The next day was Father’s Day, celebrating with my dad, my Grandma and my brother and sister-in-law (Buddy‘s parents).

And guess what? I have three more jammed packed weekends ahead of me. In fact, most of my weekends the rest of the summer are full of social activities.

I am not complaining.

I am actually overjoyed about all the fun I’ve had and I am looking forward to more. But, here’s the thing: previously my weekends were very mellow and I got to relax and recharge. Now that my weekends are so full, I am sleepy all week. So sleepy, I’m afraid to admit, that at 7:30pm tonight I almost fell asleep.

I also blame my sleepiness on the extreme 102-degree weather.

I am not complaining.

I was over the rain in April, so I welcome the heat. I welcome the hot nights, where (like I did on Friday night with Jessica), I can sit outside at 10pm enjoying a cold beer in a t-shirt and be perfectly warm.

But, I think my body has to get use to the heat. Also because of the heat, I haven’t been taking Tahn on any walks. We both miss them. Sorry Tahn. But it is just too dang hot. Even at 8pm.

So now I am taking a minute.

And it feels pretty good.

(photo source)

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Filed under Dodgeball, Family, Fun Things, My Apartment, Tahnee, Vacation

Kinetic Grand Championship – Part One

This past weekend, I participated in the Kinetic Grand Championship – a 42 mile, 3 day race over land, sand, mud and water across Humboldt County. The people who participate in this race only use man-powered machines, “sculptures”, usually propelled by bicycles somehow built into the sculpture. It’s a pretty difficult race to explain. I really had no concept of what it was before I participated in it these past few days, but I will do my best to explain.

It all started on Thursday with Tahn going to visit her Grandpa.

Tahn all packed and ready to go.

I hated leaving her, but I decided it was too difficult to bring her along. I was going to be on the go the entire weekend, I didn’t want to create extra stress for her or me.

Thursday night was hard without Tahn.

Tahn's bed without Tahn. It sucked.

Early Friday Morning, my friends Jessica, Izzy, and their sweet little girl and I set off to Humboldt County – not a short drive to say the least.

We arrived at the warehouse where the “sculpture” we were going to help race was being stored. Friends of ours had spent nearly every weekend in the past four months working hard on the sculpture.

Our sculpture, the “Corpi Cruiser” was built of 90% recycled materials. (It’s very living simply of them, isn’t it?) The Corpi Cruiser was a “salmon” (I believe…) with 7 seats – 6 seats were propelling the sculpture forward. The 7th seat was the “barnacle seat,” and we got extra points for having it.

This is the front of the Sculpture - not a great picture, but hopefully you get the idea. The "scales" of the fish are recycled CDs and DVDs.

This is the back of the Sculpture, before it was completly assembled.

Some of the seats inside the Sculpture.

Inside the Sculpture, looking out the front.

Oh, about the points. This race is not a typical race. Although we were technically racing, many, many other factors were important to help win the race. I won’t go into them here, but the rules are quite silly and very ridiculous. Let’s just say that some very creative people run the race, so any creativeness and bribery went a long way.

Here are my two favorite rules:

#1 RULE
It is mandatory that all Sculpture Pilots, Pit Crew, Officials, Spectators, Law Enforcers, Communicators, Volunteers, Merchants, and even innocent bystanders put great effort into having great fun for it is such Craziness as this that keeps us all Sane! If you insist on being a grumpy racer and not having fun, you may declare “diplomatic immunity” (since you are surely from another planet) and not be cited by overly excited officials for that infraction, but we reserve the right to adjudicate any such declaration.

The sole purpose of this race is to have fun. So, many of the rules revolve around having fun.

9.00
In case of sunshine, the race shall be run anyway.

Since the race is run in Humboldt County, it rains most of the time, so most of the time; this race is run in the rain.

A few other details about the Kinetic Grand Championship:

-“A Pilot” is what the racers are referred to. If you chose, you can to rotate pilots.

-“Pit Crew” is the support people who help the vehicle as needed. And, trust me, the vehicle needs a lot of help.

-“Peons” is another group of support people but technically they cannot help with the sculpture.

I was originally signed up as a member of the “Pit Crew” – but I was allowed to ride the sculpture a few times.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

The first day:

After seeing the Corpi Cruiser, Jessica, Izzy, their little girl and I went to dinner, then went to our beautiful campsite to set up camp.

(Quick side note: I hate camping. I hate it. HATE it. And, I am sorry to say, but, this camping experience did not change my mind on it. Most of the time I was cold or wet, or cold and wet – it rained and I just didn’t enjoy it. But, it was a beautiful campsite and if I had an RV to sleep in I would have been a much happier camper…)

That first night it rained – and was very cold. Unfortunately, my “summer” sleeping bag was not sufficient for the freezing cold night. So, I spent most of my night waking up because I was cold. It was not good. Thankfully, one of my friends gave me a great sleeping bag so the rest of the weekend I was very warm.

And, also, my camera got some sap on it so as of the first morning and my camera did not work. I am waiting on pictures from Jessica to continue my story of the Kinetic Grand Championship.

But, until then, here is the Kinetic Grand Championship, by the numbers:

32 – the number of feet the Corpi Cruiser

3 – the number of nights I slept outside/ in a truck

4 – the number of nights I was suppose to sleep outside/ in a truck

7 – the number of seats on the Corpi Cruiser

6 – the number of seats on the Corpi Cruiser at the end of the race

1 – the number of shoes I wrecked

5 – the number of nights I was away from Tahn

Countless – the number of people who experienced hypothermia (including myself)

21 – the number of months of age Jessica and Izzy’s little girl is (and who is unbelievably good)

To be continued….

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Filed under Tahnee, Travel, Vacation

10 Things I learned at Bella Vista

This past weekend, I accepted an invitation to go to my good friend’s parent’s house in Amador County. The view from the house was amazing, hence the name of the house, “Bella Vista” (beautiful view). The weekend was full of laughs, delicious food and excellent beverages.

All in all, we were treated like royalty. (By her parents).

In these past few days, I learned a few things during my time at Bella Vista:

1. Saving your money and waiting for your dream home is totally worth it. So often my generation (and the generations before me) have a sense of entitlement and no patience to save or wait for anything. At 21, I was taught by a company I worked for to: “buy your dream home and then everything else it will fall into place.” My friend’s parents bought the property and years later build their custom dream home and it is totally worth it!

2. There are still good, kind, funny, successful, educated men out there. Contrary to the constant evidence saying otherwise, I was reminded for the first time in a long time that there are good men in the world.

3. Having my own, private space is priceless. I had my own room separate from the rest of the house and it was so restoring to go into my own little space and not be bothered.

4. Napa County is NOT the best place to go wine tasting in CA. I had no idea there was a wine country in Amador County, and I especially didn’t know how great it was!

5. The air is different in Amador. When I left for my heaven on earth on Friday afternoon, The Roomy was doing a home improvement project that involved boiling paint off of the hardware of the house and the toxic fumes were really getting to me. I had a pretty intense headache when I left, and about half way to my destination, the air circulating in my car changed. Dramatically. In a short amount of time, I started feeling much better, and my headache was gone.

6. The city is much louder than I thought it was. At night, when I went back to my little private bungalow, it was so quiet, that I almost couldn’t sleep. I’m used to hearing cars go by, a frequent siren or two, and occasionally a neighbor dog barking. At Bella Vista, the night was so dark and so quiet it was incredibly foreign to me. It must be way people love camping so much (sans the dirty, uncomfortable floor you have to sleep on, lack of showers and lack of refrigerator).

7. Animals treated well truly taste better. If you know me well, you know that I care about animals and although I am not and most likely will never be a vegetarian, I want the animals I do eat to be treated humanely, being free to roam and fed grass and not corn. January 1st of 2010 I gave up pork in protest to how poorly the pigs are treated. I vowed to only eat free range, grass-fed pork, which is extremely challenging to find (and very expensive). Except for a handful of times, I have resisted the urge to eat pork. (I usually ate pork at a work function where it was served and I did not want to be rude). The host and hostess of Bella Vista buy all of their meat from this amazing butcher, Swingle (http://www.swinglemeat.com/). The meat (especially pork) was unlike any other meat I have ever tasted. The constancy (especially the bacon) was different than the other bacon I have eaten. It made me feel happy that I could enjoy my meal knowing the animal was treated with respect and dignity.

8. Munnerlyn’s is the best ice cream in the Sacramento area. As a fan of KCRA’s A List, and especially of ice cream, I was excited to eat at the Creamy voted to be #1 on KCRA’s A List for this year. One word about this ice cream: unreal. (http://bit.ly/bAC0WP)

9. Not having cell reception all weekend was a blessing. I did not have cell reception for most of my weekend. Shortly after I returned home, my cell phone rang and instantly I was offended at the noise. Surprising, I did not miss being interrupted, and was slightly sad that I was back to my normal life.

10. I missed my dog way too much. Unfortunately for my good friend and other guests staying this weekend, I spent many conversations talking about Tahn. Since she stayed home with The Roomy, I was away from her for 3 nights and almost 3 days. This proved to be incredibly difficult because I miss her so much while I am at work during the week, and I get so happy to have the weekend with her. But, since I did not have this weekend with her, I missed her very much.

Yes. I know. Crazy Dog Lady.

So, if you are interested, here is the photo roll from the weekend. Enjoy.

The welcome I got when I arrived at Bella Vista. So wonderful!

Grapes at a Vineyard in Amador County.

Amazing view from the house.

my own personal bathroom- and sink!

Their full bar.

The theme of weekend was definitely wine.

Fresh popcorn? Yes, please.

Oh, you know, just a personal, home theater.

THE view. Again.

Came home to my Tahn. So sweet.

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Filed under Crazy Dog Lady, Food!, Friends, Tahnee, Things I've learned, Vacation