Category Archives: Trippin

Welcome to New York

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It’s a funny thing going on vacation. There are three parts, maybe four.  First, you plan and anticipate which I will argue is the point of anything really. Isn’t half the fun of doing or buying something the search of that thing?  Which is sort of why I purposefully don’t buy certain things because .. the search!  Anyways, when planning a vacation its totally the same thing, you read all the articles, you pick a place to stay and you day dream. THEN you go on said vacation and its glorious but also not so glorious at all?  Which brings us to part two of vacationing: I’ve discovered I have what I’d like to call vacation stress disorder.  Which is basically where I stress the F out because there is not enough time in the day to do all the things. This disorder was real during my last trip to New York with Kelan.  Go on, ask him.  He will tell you that he was a good sport with my irrational grumpiness about not vacationing enough on our vacation.  I know, I realize now, that none of it makes sense. The next part of vacation is the honeymoon where you are glowing from the glory of being free.  THEN there is this part that makes up the rest of life where you forget what vacation ever felt like.  So that’s where I am at.  Dreaming of the next trip when, really, I am so fortunate to have gone on two big ones in very recent history.  So here I will attempt to re-live the New York trip (the stress free parts ok?).

Kelan and I have a couple traditions that I’m pretty proud of.  Early on we both shied away from big stuffy gifts around anniversaries.  Don’t get me wrong, a girl loves flowers (hint hint), but we wanted experiences more.  I don’t think we knew it would turn into a tradition, under maybe year three.  Every year since year one, we go on a trip for our anniversary.  Sometimes small and sometimes big. Sometimes  a month late and sometimes just right on time. Either way, we aim for it.  This year Kelan picked New York.  He had some time off, I needed some time off.  It was meant to be.

We have both been infatuated with New York for a little while now.  Wondering if this great city would be like San Francisco but on steroids. We judge a place based on the question “could you live here” which leads to “which neighborhoods would you live in” which leads to “would you drop it all just to move here?”.  We pretty much played the game the entire trip.  The result: we would totally live here if someone asked us to, but maybe not go out of our way to do so? The city is big, real big, real crowded.  I also found that while there was so much more stuff and things to see and do, there was no specialty in all of it.  There was not one epic thing, but rather all things were pretty darn good.  Food was really good, people were pretty nice, the city was cleaner than expected and the sights were amazing, but was it soul searchingly good?  Not totally?  It’s hard to explain.  Either way, we loved visiting and I for one want to go back in a different season.  In fact, that is one thing I adored.  This  city transforms in different seasons.  So lets go back 3 more times shall we Kelan?

We stayed in Brooklyn which I loved.  It was a good escape from the Manhattan and gave us a better perspective on how people live there. Which is usually what we search for. We walked 10 miles a day, which is also a thing we enjoy when on vacation. You really get to see a place when you walk in it.  We saw a million sights, and ate WAY TO MUCH food.

Here is my list for the trip (it’s easier than writing about it).

Favorite activity: Walking the Chelsea Highline.  I had wanted to do this ‘no matter what’ and didn’t tell Kelan much about it.  He had no idea walking into it all and was very pleasantly surprised. This an old railroad 3 stories high that is turned into a walk way.  Great views, great landscape and GREAT water towers.

Runner up: Walking Central park and seeing Central station or maybe walking through Brooklyn.  There are so many runner ups.

Favorite neighborhood: I adored Chelsea, but also Williamsburg

Runner up: I’d love to see more of Park Slope, but also Carol Gardens where we stayed was adorable.

Favorite food: There were so many, the donuts? The pizza in Williamsburg? The chai at Joe’s? There were restaurants but I forget the names!!! That one restaurant, on that one street when we walked home?  OMG the bagels?  I had 17 and a half bagels while we were there.

Runner up: The cookie and hot chocolate at city bakery.. holy smokes

Favorite moment: The sunset on the water looking back at the city sky line in Williamsburg.  This was something I had wanted to do but didn’t know how to pull it off. BAM it just happened.

Runner up: People watching on the subway.  Walking around Coney Island in the rain and talking to a fisherman.

I’d like to go back just so I could do more normal things and not see all the sights.  We did the big items, but I feel that we missed out on the small things.  I’d like to see a few museums, go to a concert or a show, get a better feel of the neighborhoods.  All in good time I suppose.  Here is a photo bomb of our trip.

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This was our first ride on the Subway.  I don’t know how any one gets anywhere.  The second I go downstairs I get so confused I have to come up, take a big gulp of air and go back down.  I would not have ended up anywhere I planned if it weren’t for Kelan.

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The Statue of Liberty. So itty bitty.

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Balthazar! This place was recommended by so many people. I think we missed out because we don’t eat meat.  It was good, but I’d pass next time.

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Park slope was jaw dropingly adorable

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See what I mean? Breathtaking.

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This was our subway ride home after some amazing pizza and an amazing day.

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Everyone was right.  Go to time square, see it and then leave. It’s utter chaos.

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The Cunninghams!  This is my Dad’s best friend’s son. AKA: amazing tour guide.

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water tower

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You can see Kelan, way on the other side, below the christmas wreath on the right, with his arms up.

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water towers

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Chelsea Market was adorable but also, way too crowded.

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Just go here and thank me later.

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This is our album cover.

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New York.  You and your water towers are dreamy.  We will hurry back now ok?



Guatemala I love you so

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It’s probably time to start discussing my Guatemala trip and throwing photos at you.  It already feels like a lifetime ago and a million miles away, well that second part is probably true.  It’s hard to remember what my expectations where before I left for Guate, but these words came to mind: unsafe, third world, dirty, colorful, busy city, and travel.  About half of those turned out to be true, but some of those words were a bit off.  The words I’d use to describe Guatemala now are, colorful, green, nice people, yummy food (NOT mexican food), adventures, green hills, volcanos, and third world/ bustling city, oh and crazy crazy drivers.

The trip was inspired by Cassie, who moved down there back in July.  She had some things planned for our trip and I couldn’t have been happier with their outcome.  First, hang out in Guatemala City which most tourists skip and I’m so glad I didn’t.  Yes it’s crazy, but also so great to see how another city functions or how their roads are totally whack or that I was definitely the only tall blonde person for miles.  Next we went to Antigua for the day/night on our way to Semuc Champey.  Antiqua is touristy, gorgeous and cobblestoney.  Yes that’s a word.  Semuc Champey was way back in the outskirts of the wilderness, an 8 hour shuttle ride, up and down a windy, wet, slippery dirt road and on a partially flat tire.  This was was Cassie best describes as “Indiana Jones” adventures. We could hear the Indian Jones theme song all day long, we road in the back of a truck with 15 people (standing), swam in bat caves, jumped off rocks, swam with a candle in hand and went as far back as we could go.  I fell at one point which really shook me up.  It made me realize that we are so vulnerable in nature and to be more cautious.  The nearest hospital was 3 hours way on a dirt road.  I didn’t want to take any chances.  And yes, I saw one bat hanging above, all snuggled in for the day.  I even saw it strreeetch it’s cute wing.  After the bat caves we dove in the river via a rope swing.  This was rad up until the point where this girl in our group almost didn’t jump off the swing and could have seriously broken her back.  We then tubed down the river and laughed at the three people from singapore who didn’t know how to swim, and then feared for their lives when they did NOTHING to try and get to shore before the waterfall around the bend.  Oy!  THEN we had lunch. After lunch, we hiked to the top of the hill, which felt much more like a mountain, and took pictures of actual Semuc Champey, which was breathtaking, hiked down and explored the river.  This was a major highlight of the trip, warm blue water, new found friends, green green hills.

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It was the devil’s birthday, so tradition has it that you burn a devil piñata in the street and rid your sins from the year.

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This is Antigua, see what I mean about cobblestoney?

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These tostadas need a whole post in themselves thats how good they were.  If I could have one thing here in the states it would be these tostadas.  Don’t be deceived, it looks plain, but good lord its a slice of heaven, or a tortilla shell of heaven.

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Here we stayed in Semuc in a  cabina

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Mayan tradition says you wear face paint, or the tour guide was playing a big joke on all of us.

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This picture above does not do it justice, but it really looked like heaven on hearth at this moment

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Totes normal.

After our trek back to the city, we drove our car up to San Pedro at Lake Atitlan.  Having a car was glorious up until we got stopped by the policia and had to pay them $200Q ($25) for driving without a license.  I had to take the wheel with my drivers license, Cassie’s passport and another person’s car registration, huh?  Anyways, San Pedro was amazing.  Quant little lake town with too much time on our hands.  We ate, we drank, made amazing friends Katie and Steph.  The highlights here are quiz night, Zoola food and hiking to the top of Indian Nose at 4am to watch an active volcano and sunrise over the lake.  Epic I tell you.  We ended up staying in San Pedro for the duration of the trip and skipping out on the beach.  We packed in a day trip to Chichicastenango, where the huge Sunday market is. Pronounced “Chia-cast-eh-nahn-go”

This is such a brief summary on such a big adventure, but I’ll let the pictures tell the story.

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Lake Atitlan!


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Also, totes normal.

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IMG 0563 of the tortillas in this country are hand made and I vote these tortillas for president!

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Real life yo.

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These are the girls we met in San Pedro, both Australian and both amazing.

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This was the cemetery outside of Chichi and boy was it colorful

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This lady here on my right made the shirt I am wearing.

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We set fireworks off at the top of Indian Nose

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See on the right how it totally looks like a face in the mountains, that’s indian nose.

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And lastly, this guy made my shoes!!!


Wow, this is long over due.  Here I was looking for the post I did on camping back in July.  Turns out, I didn’t post one.  To summarize, my mom came up to visit for my birthday which was just perfect.  We had a Thursday all to ourselves, walked all over the city, Mission Beach Cafe in the morning for breakfast (NO LINE!!) then we meandered down Valencia, stopped at Tartine, because there was NO LINE!! we picked up some bread pudding and this meringue thing I love so much, we walked past birite, searching for a pie needed for the family camping trip, no luck.  This brought us right past bi-rite ice cream though, and since it was my birthday I was all, who cares if we just had brunch and have bread pudding in a doggy bag we are getting ice cream yo, because again NO LINE!!.  So we walked up to the top of Dolores park, for the view.  We talked about this and that, pondering on where we would end up next when all of a sudden I said RUN, bc the J came and I knew our legs were tired and there was a pie shop with our name on it.  My mom, so proud of her, didn’t even hesitate just ran right with me.  Turns out the pie shop had the pie we needed. WIN.  After this long adventure we napped before indian food for dinner.  Family came, it was precious.  Then we went home early because we all had to get ready for camping the next day.  Which leads me into part 2, but first, a commercial break.

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these mimosas were huge. Just how we like ’em.

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these ladies worked at cooks in a restaurant near by, they just happened to be on a lunch break. Loved the scene

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Camping was fun.  I can’t do a summary, because a) I lost my phone for 3/8ths of the visit.  I loved camping so much that I thought, eh who needs a phone.  ME, I was the one that said that.  The one who takes one bagillion photos of the same damn leaf.  This spot was so perfect, a big beautiful lake, boats to rent, islands to swim to and on the other side of the highway were pot holes to hike and swim in.  So much fun was had I can’t even get into the details.  Spending time with family while camping is now at the top of my list. Something about allowing everyone to do what they want but all be near by is so comforting.  20 people, including the dog.  There was always a nook where someone was laughing, others were screaming, others were napping.  Pure magic.  I can’t wait to do it all over again.

My cousin Lorin made this rad video.  Damn she is talented.

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note Jackie’s little lion chair

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Jackie fell back, but don’t worry nobody was harmed in the making of this picture.

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clothes line + tent = heart eyes

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My canoodle partner <3

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we boated over to this private island and we declared it to be called grass island from here on and forever

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How adorable is the committee above.

All the rest of these were taken by Lorin

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we didn’t get the whole gang, but this was the only group shot we took.  Note Kelan’s ensemble

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Stella and bowie silver lake

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hooowww adorable are they?


Tom in waterfall

chillin in a waterfall 🙂

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House sitting, birthdays, camping and other related event

We’ve been house sitting slash pet sitting as of lately and I have to say its been so very interesting.  I suppose I’ve never been near home, but not actually have gone home for extended periods of time in, well, ever.  It’s this weird- I know where I am, I know the directions and all the places around, but I am too far from home to just stop over and water the plants or swap out some t-shirts but I’m still close enough that I cooould do it.  Keller and I had these big ambitions.  We thought that a shake in the routine, a good change of scenery would kick our butts into gear and let us unleash the productivity bubble we had been hiding.  Turns out, nope. Just the same.  Actually, it’s not the same, its’s worse!  Ever since we started this house-pet sitting extravaganza I feel like we have lost about 4 to 5 hours a day.  Yes, my mornings are cuh-razy with the kids, but the evenings are wide open, yet I go to bed far too late having not a moment to spare.  Our initial goals, er I mean MY initial goals were to hike, bike, walk, cook, jump full force into illustrator all the while skipping along with normal life.  So far, I’d say we have touched on all of the goals but a very mild easter egg pastel, not a full punch in your face neon like I had hoped. I might blame it on the weather though, 90 degrees does not lend itself to running, hiking or cooking fall soups.  Things might turn around though, we still have time, and I can see a WALL of fog lingering over the hill near by.  It’s been tickling the neighborhood for about an hour now.  Rolling in, rolling out, in, out.  Right now we are on the in.  I’m hoping it cools it down enough to cook some squash.

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evidence of our hike

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isn’t that moss oh so rustic?  It is obviously not evident, but this picture was so awkward to take, but I just had to!  About 20 feet to my right were two highway patrol officers holding 4 boys hostage.  We decided later that they were being held hostage for having BB guns.  I bet those little shits were hitting squirrels and birds 🙁 Let’s not think about it.

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How cute is this lending library in the neighborhood? I wonder what kind of books are in there.  Next time I’m going to take a peak.

Fun fact, I have not taken ONE picture of the kids.  It’s really weird, I love them so much, all their little feathery parts, but I have not taken a picture during this visit.  I have TONS and tons from past visits, but I keep looking at my phone for one and don’t see any.  I attribute it to the lack of time, the missing 4 hours.

Keller and I went to celebrate Stina’s birthday this past weekend.  She turned 30, 30 full swings around the sun – she said.  I agreed with her, 30 was not very much at all.  We camped at Refugio which is this adorable little camp site RIGHT off the highway and RIGHT on the beach.  We scored a huge group spot, and camped to our hearts content.  Apparently camping to my hearts content meant eating s’mores for breakfast.  Don’t judge.   I make a mean s’more only perfected by jumbo marshmallows and andes mints.  Don’t worry I have the step by step perfect s’more instructions.

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adorable I know.

Since we were so close to the beach, Stina and her friends brought a kayak, paddle boards, floaties and goggles.  This was SO FUN.  I tried paddle boarding finally, harder than it looks, but WAY more fun than I ever gave it credit for.  It’s this mix of keeping your muscles tight for balance but completely limber to roll with the water.  The trick is to A) not think about it.  It’s similar to meditation.  The second you think about it, release that thought. Just let it go.. there is no need for the thought of standing on water to enter your mind.  It won’t help you.  and B) look in the distance horizon, beach, surfers, boat, anything but the water in front of you.  You can eventually look below you because that is the coolest part.  Seeing the world below you which was not revealed to you before when you were swimming in it.  Somehow, standing above the water, not roughing it up allows for a clear look down below to the shells, fish and goodies.  All this floating, swinging and laughing chalked itself up to one of the best weekends.  I’m starting to think there is a pattern, whenever I go camping I say out loud several times “this is epic”.  Outside of this camping world, I never use this word.  It is not a word I’m comfortable with throwing around, yet come sleeping bags and apparently breakfast s’mores and you got me practically yelling “eeeeepic”.

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This moment, we were free.  We just let it all go.  On those swings, in that moment we were free.

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Don’t even get me started on the water and how clear it was.

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How adorable is this camp site?  The dude appreciated the fact that we had to back up and take the picture of his campsite.  I got a smile and wave/thumbs up as we went past.

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Here is that s’more I was telling you about.

Anyways, epic times were had and I’m so ever grateful for them.

Happy Places

Not last weekend but the one before there was a whole lot happening.  I took a few days off work to squish faces with lots and lots of people.  I was hoping one of those would be Mickey Mouse.  No joke, Cassie and I hit up Disneyland and it was eeepic.  Say it like a surfer, epic man.  It really was.  I have and always will love that happy little place.  How do they do it!?  No really, how do they make everyone so happy? Cassie and I have discussed this in depth.  It’s part music, part, sunny weather, part everything is clean, part nothing is run down, part sparkle, and a whole lot of tinker bell.  Anyways, it was perfect timing for Cassie and I have to a whole day together one on one before she moves to Guatemala.  I am SO oober happy for her and so oober sad to see her move so far away.  I know I know, I will see her just the same amount, but its knowing that she is only an hour flight away that lets me sleep well at night.  I suppose I will sleep better knowing she is a happy lil camper down there in Central America.

After Disneyland I spent sometime with my half brother and sister in law Joel and Brandy.  Geez they are cute.  Plus he is a clone of my other brother Narayan.  It’s sort of a twilight zone situation when you see them together.   We had a little BBQ, mom and I made a blueberry tart, we played guitar, we hit the beach.  All in all it was a weekend for the books.  Which is why its going here.. this is the books if you didn’t already know.  Oh and I saw Emily and Megan who I have not seen in YEARs.  Boy those girls are gorgeous.  Here are way too many photos for proof of a good weekend.

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Flower Crowns

Here it is 4th of July again, my 3rd in this great city of SF.  3rd in which we lazed about and kept it pretty low key.  Its a hard one for me to grasp.  On one hand my whole childhood is called and saying, “hullo, the beach is where its at, hot, sandy, salty water and all that watermelon.”  On the other hand, the beaches here are .. meh, foggy or “fogsey” as Kelan said it earlier.  So, we laze about and enjoy the empty city.  You know, take advantage of no line at brunch, no crowd on the street.  Tomorrow we will brunch it up in hopes that the normal hour wait is down to 15 min.   Hot dogs, corn on the cob and a big ol’ pile of green beans are whats on the menu.

Soooo, since I don’t have any pictures of our cub-razy 4th.  I will flood you with our trip to SB a couple weekends ago.  We went, and discovered it was the Solstice festival, which was pretty rad since I’ve never had the chance to go.  Kelan and I left late Sunday, shared the drive as the other lazed and dozed about.  We ate our backyard bowls on the squirrel stairs, wore flower crowns, drank large amounts of beer, laughed our butts off, ate my favorite thai, watched Maleficent and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

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I had confetti in my hair for three days.  I’m pretty sure there was confetti in my hair when I went to work on Monday.

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Doesn’t he look adorbs?

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On the drive home we found what I call Pelican city, which is my new favorite stop alongside the 101.  It’s pretty much home to a gabillion pelicans.  They fly in and nussle in next to all their little friends.

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