Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sunday October 11th
We woke up and went to Huntington dog beach with Annie, Sarge and Sprout. We didn't know until we arrived that there was an event happening. There were all kinds of tents set up with different types of doggie activities and accessories. But the coolest thing we saw were surfing dogs-whoa. After some time at the beach playing with the dozens and dozens of dogs we went down main street to check out the scene and visit Ian at work. He took lunch and we all went to El Pollo Loco for lunch-ah the crazy chicken. Then we went back to the house, hopped on bikes and rode to the local goodwill. When we got back we got ready to go over to Ian's parents' house to make homemade pizza for dinner. Ian's parents were very nice and they had such a lovely home. From there we rode bikes all around and went down to the Newport beach pier.

Monday October 12th
I decided I wanted to cook a big meal for everyone. First thing in the morning I looked all through Annie's kitchen and formulated a plan. We all went to the grocery store and I picked up a few things. Annie went to work, Joey went out on a bike exploration, Ian stayed home to study and I started cooking. I ended up marinating tofu that I put with sauteed vegetables and making a crazy three bean, pepper, mango, sweet and white potato casserole with pumpkin butter, cilantro and lots of other stuff, o yeah and guacamole and no bake oatmeal chocolate peanut butter cookies. So when everyone got home we ate. Then we went to see Inglorious Basterds, good movie. MMM sleep.
Tuesday October 13th
We had a slow morning and when Ian got home from school we went back to Huntington dog beach to surf. The conditions were awful, it was 2-3 foot but the water quality was bad from the rain and it was super choppy from some pretty harsh winds. Needless to say the surfing didn't go so well. Annie met us at the beach with Sarge when she was done with work. We headed back to the house and showered up to get back on the road south. From Costa Mesa it was a short drive down Highway 1 to Dana Point where I used to work. We stopped in at Stella's and said hello. There were still quite a few people from my day working there. Back in the car we drove to San Clemente. We stopped by what would be our temporary home base, the Headrick residence, for dinner. Laurie made good food as always (lentils, kale, onions, and rice). Joey and I then made the rounds. We went to my old house, 150 Miramar, and saw Brandy and Harlan, then to the Pier and to Greg and Kristen's. Faith was asleep so we didn't get to meet her. Back to Gary and Laurie's to sleep.

Wednesday October 14th
We woke up to another spoiled morning. Just like Annie, Laurie had gone out and bought a bunch of vegan groceries for Joey and I-so sweet. Like I said-so spoiled. We had quinoa for breakfast and coffee with soy creamer-yes! My good friend Shannon was on her way down from San Bernardino. It was looking like a cloudy day so we decided to save San Onofre for the next day and to run around town instead. First we drove up to Laguna Beach and ate at Taco Loco. They have awesome vegan Mexican and American cuisine, they also cater to the non vegan/vegetarian crowd. Even though Taco Loco is the best spot in Laguna we decided to explore. We went into the downtown area and walked around. Went into an old candy shop and stocked up. On our way back south we stopped in Dana Point at one of my all time favorite spots, The Lavender Lounge. They have a huge selection of teas, however, this is not what makes it great. The coconut meat that they put in the tea, like little chewy bites of sweetness, is what sets this tea apart. With our tea we ventured into Revo, a bicycle shop/espresso bar and into a neat little thrift store. We went back to S.C. and I got to see Isabella (Nate's niece, Gary and Laurie's granddaughter). She has gotten so big and is an absolutely beautiful and joyful child. Back from our adventures we showered and headed to Greg and Kristen's to meet little Faith and make dinner.
Ryan came over for a bit, we all cooked and drank together. And again I got to play with an adorable little one. (Don't worry I don't want one of my own, I just like playing with them and making them laugh-it kinda warms my heart). A few of my old work friends organized a little party at a condo in Laguna so Joey, Shannon and I went there next. I got to see Michele, Michaela, Kiko and Gill and that was nice. We didn't stay there very long, just long enough for some good stories to come out and to catch up. The three of us retreated to Greg and Kristen's for the night.

Thursday October 15th
We woke up and headed back to the Headrick house to grab boards and head to San O!!! The conditions were great, 3-5 foot and glassy, the beach wasn't very crowded either. Joey took out his kayak for a while and then attempted his first real day of surfing while Shannon and I caught up on the beach.
Then she and I went out and had a great session. It was so fun and what little I do know about surfing came right back. Yay San Onofre! After beach time we went back to the Headrick's for family dinner. Laurie made chilli and Mardie, Rob, Naomi, Isabella, Gary, Joey, Shannon, Laurie and I all sat around the table and ate together. Sadly I didn't get to see Eric or Jeff, they were both feeling a little under the weather. We all had a good time together just talking and keeping one another company around the fire.

Friday October 16th
Since the surf was so good the day before and it was just getting better we decided to postpone leaving S.C. until the afternoon and get in one more day at the beach. It was great, super sunny, perfect conditions and I got to see Ryan and Olivia. From the beach we went back, showered up, packed up and said goodbye. Just before we left Gary picked up Mateo. He was on a job in San Clemente so I got to see him too. Thanks so much to Laurie and Gary for giving us a great place to stay and taking such good care of us. Thanks to Greg and Kristen for being such great friends to me. And thanks to Shannon for being awesome, plain and simple, awesome. We got a late start on the road and hit some traffic. Around the San Bernardino area Jolene decided she needed a little bit of love. Joey and I stopped and called Andy for some pointers. We tried a few things and decided we needed a mechanic. Shannon found us a place to stay with her friends mom Sue. YAY SUE! We stopped there for the night and took refuge in the home of a kind and gracious stranger. The type of person who helps one to remember that good does exist in every nook and cranny of this crazy world, you just have to find it.

Saturday October 17th
We had a sort of hellish morning trying to find a mechanic open on a Saturday who would work on a carburetor. Finally, we found Eddie's-great shop, great guy. They figured out what we needed, fixed it cheap and quick and sent us on our way. With Jolene purring like a kitten we headed North past Las Vegas to Zion National Park. A close friend of mine Barry was on his way back to San Clemente from Vegas so we stopped on the 15N in a little blip on the map, Baker, to eat together. We ate at the Mad Greek, and to our surprise it was awesome. Barry enjoyed telling Joey all of my embarrassing stories before we got back on the road to southern Utah. We enjoyed the pretty drive through the land of the Joshua Tree. It was nice to be back in the car just the two of us. I consider myself blessed to have a partner who is a such a wonderful friend, someone I can talk to, someone to confide in, someone who understands me. We all need someone like that. If you have someone like that make sure they know you love and appreciate them. That night we slept at a pull off just outside Zion.

Sunday October 18th
Wake up, coffee mission. Since the majority of the next week would be spent in National Parks Joey broke down and bought the Golden Eagle Pass, good for all the National Parks for an entire year. At $25.00/day per park it's totally worth it. We got in to Zion and rode the shuttle up to Weeping Rock. We got off there and hiked Hidden Canyon and Observation Point. The names are pretty self explanatory. Both hikes were super physical and after about 10 miles of hiking I was pretty tired. We rode down and made dinner in the park. Baked beans with vegan links and instant mashed potatoes=best dinner ever. Leaving town we stopped at the local rental/outfitter shop and they gave us directions to a free campsite. The campsite was very secluded. The sky was so clear, we could clearly see the milky way and the Big Dipper (or it could've been part of Pegasus) We sat underneath the endless sky and watched for shooting stars. (I know it sounds cheesy but we really did see several shooting stars.) Our brains unfolded further and further and allowed the release of our thoughts as we drank more and more warm Evan Williams and Coke (yuck).

Monday October 19th
We woke up at our awesome campsite and headed into town for our habitual morning mission-coffee. From there we headed back into Zion and hopped on the shuttle. We rode the shuttle all the way to the Temple of Sinawava (then due to false advertising back down to get water and then back up again) where we got off and headed to the Virgin Narrows. This super classic hike was totally rad. The first mile is paved and runs alongside the river, then it just stops. From there the hike just gets better and better. You walk upstream (up river) through the cold water (~50degrees) in the river bed. The canyon is beautiful and extreme. Another scene impossible to capture on film. We walked upstream for a few hours in awe all the while. After getting down we hopped back on the shuttle to dry out and head back to the truck. We made dinner in the park again. This time leftover vegan links with pasta and marinara was the evening cuisine. After dinner we went to yet another outfitter store in search of some fitting shoes-none to be had, then to a cafe, then back to our awesome campsite.
Tuesday October 20th

TODAY! This morning we woke up, made grits and cowboy coffee, and hit the road.
We arrived in Bryce National Park before noon and went for a hike. We did a couple of short loop hikes and saw some amazing sites. Bryce is equally as impressive as Zion but in a way all its own.
The jagged Hoodoo (towers) are quite unique. Amazing color contrasts of white, yellow, orange, red, tan and brown surround you there. The view is spectacular, on a clear day you can see over 100miles into the distance. Near the middle of our hike we heard thunder and it started to sleet. That's right I almost got a sunburn yesterday and it is sleeting today-go Utah. We went back to Jolene and headed for the visitor center. We enjoyed the neat little museum they had there and hopped in the car to press onward toward Escalante Grand Staircase National Monument. Now we're sitting in a little cafe/outfitter store having the Polygamy Porter-yum.

Oh and here is a picture of Jolene that I have been meaning to add.

1 comment:

  1. Go Utah is right! You just put it on my map.

    PS: why is it so fucking hard to comment on here? Do you know how I can do it w/o logging in to anything? (using livejournal currently)muchas gracias. enjoy the parks!