2014

January 1st, 2015. Random

On this first day of 2015, I offer a list of 80 thoughts, actions and memories of 2014…

  1. I took Nik to his first ever football game because my college class decided to meet up 10 years after graduation
  2. I found out that a college professor is working at the San Francisco Planning department…I should get in touch
  3. My hair is short. I mean SHORT.
  4. My nieces rode bikes with me, their parents and Nik through Golden Gate Park
  5. We hosted our first sleep over for those nieces and served mac & cheese for dinner
  6. Nik and I beat my parents in Rummy once
  7. My parents beat us in Rummy at least 8 times
  8. Nik redesigned my blog
  9. We went to the top of the Knoxville Sun Sphere…I lived there for 5 years, and never went
  10. We made an origami star for the Christmas tree
  11. Alex came to visit and we ate really really well while chatting about everything
  12. We had dinner with Katie and my cousin Emily weeks before they both moved to New York City
  13. We bought road bikes and saw small towns in the Bay Area that I never knew existed
  14. We rode an informal century (100 miles in a day)
  15. I fell off my bike twice because I could not clip out of my pedals quick enough
  16. We swam in an infinity pool overlooking rice terraces in Ubud, Bali
  17. Dominic & Charinee were wed in Borneo, and we were there
  18. I contributed to at least 4 successful construction projects
  19. My sewing machine is collecting dust because I haven’t had the gusto to sew
  20. We missed another opportunity to move across the hall into my dream apartment
  21. I was given a pretty fantastic art print by my bosses
  22. My health has been exceptionally good, and I am thankful for that
  23. Christy came to visit and I took her around to my favorite places, and then we had dinner with our guys
  24. We went to visit Christy and she took us around to her favorite places
  25. Chris & Keisha facilitated our first ever family shrimp boil on the porch of a coastal South Carolina vacation home
  26. Lindsey made her famous cinnamon rolls
  27. Mom & Dad took us all out for dinner, mini-golf and ice cream
  28. Nik & I made raspberry sorbet from the America’s Test Kitchen recipe
  29. The Sinz family took turns swinging in the hammock
  30. Nik swam in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time
  31. We went stand-up paddle boarding for the first time
  32. We stayed at a fire-lookout cabin in Mendocino National Forest
  33. We almost stayed at a fire-lookout cabin in Tahoe National Forest, but wimped out because it had snowed the week before
  34. I rode my bicycle in a charity ride with Jonas
  35. The Vespa served as my commuting vehicle to work most days
  36. California continued the 3-year drought for most of the year, and then nearly shut down because of rain storms in December
  37. The Giants won the world series again, and I watched most of the games from bars I had never been to before
  38. The Johnke family celebrated 100 years on the Ranch in Montana, and I got food poisoning
  39. Donna & Mark hosted us poolside for a few summer evenings
  40. We sat ringside under the big top for Kurios
  41. We watched America’s Test Kitchen, Parks & Recreation or Anthony Bourdain’s Places Unknown during dinner
  42. Mom & Dad gave us a coffee maker, and our morning meal has been 1000x better ever since
  43. We acquired very nice desk chairs…with head rests
  44. We rode the Tilden Park steam train for the second time
  45. We saw a pod of whales off the coast from Sutro Heights Park
  46. Matt & Olivia hosted us for happy hour in Atlanta
  47. Keith & Lindsey joined me for breakfast
  48. The most beautiful black wool dress hangs in my closet, and I haven’t found a place to wear it to
  49. We talked a lot about our future
  50. I let the year slip away without asking for a raise
  51. I learned a lot about how to lead a team
  52. We called the cops on our neighbor for trying to break into his own apartment, and then he gave us a cheesecake as an apology
  53. I soaked in a mineral spring spa for the first time (in Santa Fe)
  54. We met up with an old friend from high school that also went to architecture school, rowed crew, and moved to San Francisco
  55. I stumbled across the largest neighborhood of Eichler homes on a day where I circumnavigated the San Francisco Bay in a Zipcar
  56. At Hardly Strictly Bluegrass I shared my huge bag of ice and a 6-pack of beer with a few other couples sitting near by
  57. I left work early one day to have a cocktail at the Palace Hotel
  58. We walked along the new east span of the Bay Bridge to see the old span being dismantled and over run by birds
  59. Mom & Dad joined us for wine tasting
  60. The first project I ever worked on after college completed its final phase in October
  61. We went scooter camping in Samuel P Taylor State Park
  62. One cousin got married while another cousin got engaged
  63. I worked on a quilt made up of 100s of 1”x1” squares
  64. We built a Lego VW Bus on Nik’s Birthday before and after having dinner at Aziza
  65. I was the target of an attempted robbery in Kuala Lumpur, but they didn’t get anything and they did ruin my favorite purse
  66. Nik continued to do sporadic freelance work while I did the 9-5 (really…8:30-6) every day
  67. I started compiling books of photos from 2006-2008, but haven’t finished
  68. We had a better time with my college classmates than I ever could have expected
  69. A friend hosted a successful kickstarter campaign which means I get to have an awesome shelf very soon
  70. My nephew has this back and forth with my brother all the time…”Dad?” “Yes, Aaden.” “I love you.” “I love you too, buddy.”
  71. Our stag horn ferns are getting bigger and bigger
  72. I paid for a very expensive professional organization membership, and did not use my benefits once all year. Not gonna do it next year.
  73. I slid down a concrete slide in Cole Valley
  74. We hiked around Point Lobos for the first time
  75. I chatted with a B&B owner over a glass of wine about how I want to be like him one day
  76. A Malaysia Airlines flight that left from Kuala Lumpur was lost the day after we took a Malaysia Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur
  77. Day dreams of big travel began again
  78. We started looking at real estate websites with a true interest in investing, and decided that San Francisco is way too expensive
  79. We talk more and more about what we will do with the home we own one day…part of getting older I suppose
  80. I turned 33 and worked on my birthday

The Last Week of the Year

December 27th, 2014. California
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The spider’s web revealed by drops of dew

The final week of the year is always a good one because it often begins with Nik’s Birthday and ends with Christmas and days off of work. This year was unique because we chose to stay in San Francisco for the holidays and celebrate on our own for the first time. It was hard not to be with our larger families, but perfect because we got to spend so much time together.

Monday afternoon, Nik’s birthday, we took a walk along Land’s End to check out the rock labyrinth before beginning the process of building a Lego VW Bus. Nik has been talking about both the bus and the Mini for a few months, so it was only appropriate that he receive one of them for his 35th birthday! The bus is easily the most complex set he has yet, and it took well over 3 hours to complete with both of us working on it. We did have dinner reservations at Aziza, so we had to take a break to refuel.

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Half way to 70

The coast line

The coast line

On Tuesday, we rented a car and drove up to Tahoe to stay at Sorensen’s. It is a little slice of heaven near South Lake Tahoe in Hope Valley that we have been going to for the past 3 years. Each year we have rented a different cabin, and this year’s, Creekside, was the best. It is a single room log cabin with a small kitchenette and a cast iron wood burning stove. We had a hard time regulating the temperature because it got so hot and we could not resist throwing another log on.

Creekside

Creekside

We spent two full days (Christmas Eve & Christmas Day) and three nights in Hope Valley. We played cards, cooked dinner, went skiing/snowboarding, put together puzzles, listened to throw-back CDs from my high school years, built sled runs, watched the snow fall, read books, failed at getting chains for the rental car and had a blast. It was the perfect winter getaway, and one of the best parts is that we came back on Friday and still have a whole weekend before going back to work.

The small one among giants

The small one among giants

 

 

Here & There

December 15th, 2014. Other Places
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Whaler’s Bay in Pt Lobos State Park

Since I last posted I have mostly been working, but I have also had a few spare days here and there to wander around California, skip over to South Carolina to surf the waves with my family, hang out at the ranch in Montana with the whole Johnke clan, see a couple friends get hitched in Malaysia, pass along a handmade to two of the coolest people I know, and even made an origami star for our home made christmas tree.

I have also been without a camera of my own for a little over two years now since my Canon G9 decided to quit, and that just changed. An Olympus D-10 now happily resides in my purse whenever we take long walks or hop on planes. I’m excited because the image quality is definitely better…but the photographer is a little rusty. I’m making rookie mistakes of using the wrong ISO, forgetting about white balance, composing frames awkwardly, and generally taking crappy photos. My goal is to carry it around more often…so we’ll see!

In the meantime, here are a few photos from the past year or so.

Buffalo in Yellowstone

Buffalo in Yellowstone

The spectators at Old Faithful - June 2013

The spectators at Old Faithful – June 2013

At the top of Heavenly - February 2014

At the top of Heavenly – February 2014

The Pacific

The Pacific

Katie & Gregg - Christmas Eve 2013

Katie & Gregg – Christmas Eve 2013 (Photo by Nik)

N - June 2013

N – June 2013

This place

This place