Fall in Vermont

September 22nd, 2009

Picking apples from a neighbor’s tree, walking to a pond, talking about raising children with one of my dearest oldest friends. Playing with the baby on the grass, giving him an apple to teeth on. Watching a 4-year old enjoy a late summer impromptu swim.

Videoconferencing with Juanjo, having it be all about the kids as the baby tried to eat the computer and the 4-year old listened with interest to our lock story (and saw the old lock). Missing my guy. Enjoying the complete absorption that children are, feeling far away from my Fulbright project. Enjoying sitting down just now and getting back into it, reading about language issues in Europe and newspaper articles on immigration. Looking forward to more walks, playing outside with a little boy, and seeing how much the leaves have changed tomorrow.

Ft. Bragg

March 8th, 2009

Ya hace una semana que fuimos a Ft. Bragg con mi familia! Como me encontraba mala unos dias se me fue la semana volando. Me quedan 2 meses y una semana para el exámen oral, y me queda muchisimo trabajo, asi que no deben de estrañar se me ven poco… tambien mi familia me van a ver poco hasta mayo. De momento, aqui vienen unas fotos del fin de semana. La casa fue muy bonita, lo mejor que no llovió hasta el último dia, y estabamos a pie de playa. Ahora, a cenar, que hoy he hecho pechugas al estilo de Marisa!

Me encanta esta última foto de Juanjo!

Twin Peaks with the New Bikes

August 19th, 2007

twin peaks juanjo 3_8-17-07.JPGWe hadn’t been up Twin Peaks yet with the new bikes (replacing the stolen ones), and found a new route that takes a little longer but is easier at the beginning, so on Friday afternoon Juanjo picked me up from the train and we got the bikes and went up. It was a rare afternoon in San Francisco, actually feeling like summer with a mild instead of whipping wind and not a bit of fog anywhere. The new bikes do the job (mine’s not nearly as nice as my old one, but probably just as well because if it gets stolen again I won’t be heartbroken), and the day was so glorious that the stress of the week quickly melted away as we rode up the hill. Not that it was easy, of course! I don’t think it matters how in shape you are, those hills are brutal. But the late afternoon light cut across the golden grassy hillside on the west side of Twin Peaks, blackberries hung heavy from a few brambles along the road, and the temperature was temperate and enjoyable. We enjoyed the ride so much that we then headed down Market all the way to the Ferry Building at the end to extend the fun, enjoy the afternoon, and eat dinner (burger and shake) on a bench by the bay.

twin peaks juanjo 1_8-17-07.JPG

Another 13 miles!

February 19th, 2007

After promising each other that we were going to hike less today, Juanjo and I gave in to the peer pressure and hiked even further than yesterday with Kim and Erik. We took a different path than yesterday, one that  led us up the mountain and across a different ridge, down down down to the coastal trail below through stands of half-charred pines. The day was glorious–again, rain predicted but with hardly a cloud in the sky all day long. We’d talked about hiking together for a long time, but had never done it, and it felt good to be out with these friends, going deeply into conversations about things that matter, while pounding step after step down the trail towards the sea below.

Point Reyes with Kim and ErikNow we are home, back in the comforts of city life and our own abode, back to the demands, the day-to-day that already presses in with email and reminders of the week to come. A hot shower has never felt so good–we hiked more than 24 miles in the past two days! Every inch of my legs feels sore, reminding me of the glorious weekend we had every time I stand or climb the stairs. But I’ll relish it through the week, enjoying the thought of being out under the trees, watching the birds, hearing the waves crashing below, and losing myself in the beauty of this life I’ve been given. The solace of wide open coastal space, the company of friends, the meaning of sharing it all with the person I love, all come together to make me grateful for being alive. What are the places and people that make you feel grateful for being alive?

Wind and Ocean Spray in Point Reyes

February 18th, 2007

We came to Point Reyes to spend the long weekend hiking, and today took our first hike. WeatherUnderground predicted clouds and rain, so we brought raincoats, but there was not a cloud in the sky the whole day! We hiked up a ridge, through curvy paths of redwood and fir forests, over hills and around ridges until the glimpses of the sea in the distance became a roaring ocean in front of us. Then we made our way down a small ravine near a place called Arch Rock–aptly named for the arch it makes where a creek empties into the ocean. In all we hiked 10 miles–a loop that took us about 6 miiles out there and 4 back along a different trail.

Point Reyes Collage

Then we drove to the Point Reyes Lighthouse, flying over the road in the new car, Juanjo hugging curves and gripping the steering wheel with delight at pushing the car to the limits he dared. When we reached the trailhead for the lighthouse we bundled up with all the clothes we had and ran the 1/2 mile to the Lighthouse, wind whipping at our clothes and screaming through the grasses and trees. What an exhilirating feeling, standing against the wind, staring down the cliffs and out into the choppy waters of the Pacific. We were reminded of other times we’ve been out in the wildness of nature. The torrential rain on our Hawaii hike. The sudden snowfall in Zion. What a thrill to share life with someone who enjoys this as much as I do.

The day ended with dinner at a Czech restaurant called Vladimir’s, which has been in Inverness since 1960. Vladimir himself seated us, slowly moving through the semi-candle-lit darkness of the pub-style restaurant. He was not a day younger than 75, and was likely close to 80, but still clearly running the show in the family restaurant. We ate traditional Czech food, stuffing ourselves after all the hours of hiking and light picnic lunch we’d had out at the beach. Then we capped off the night with a dip under the stars in the hot-tub. Ah, life is good. How lucky we are to be able to enjoy it so completely, and to share so much.