Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Life is unusual, complicated, it can be tragic and magic. I can’t say I really understand it, but can any of us really figure it out? So all there is left to do is to live. Live your best life, be your best you. To feel and give and love and learn and experience and appreciate it all, because that’s all there really is.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

You know you're getting old when... remember seeing Titanic on the big screen.

Conversation between me and a couple of volunteers:

Volunteer #1: "I love Titanic! It's my dream to be able to see it on a big screen some day."
Volunteer #2, confused: "Well, why didn't you go see it when it was in the theaters?"
Volunteer #1: "I couldn't, I was in kindergarden."
Me, horrified: "Oh my gosh, I was in high school! I feel so old!"

And that, my friends, is just the beginning. As time ticks on, more stories like this will make us realize just how old we're getting.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Joshua Tree National Park

Jumbo Rocks
Camping at Jumbo Rocks, November 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

New Moon

Absolutely loved the movie. LOVED it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


"Time passes. Even when it seems impossible. Even when each tick of the second hand aches like the pulse of blood behind a bruise. It passes unevenly, in strange lurches and dragging lulls, but it does. Even for me. "
-New Moon, Stephenie Meyer

Friday, November 13, 2009

One Week...

...until New Moon comes out. So. Excited.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New England in the Fall, Check

Pretty leaves

I am a list maker. Books to read, groceries to buy, things to pack, places to visit, you name it, I make lists for it. One huge, ongoing, and ever changing list that I have always had is the "Things to do in my life", or as some people call it, "Bucket list." Seeing New England in its fall glory, with the leaves turning brilliant shades of yellow, orange, and red, has been on my life list for a very long time. I finally had the opportunity to fulfill this, with a wonderful trip to Boston last week. I visited just in time to see many of the trees turned--it was beautiful and great to see a real Autumn season. Along with enjoying the crisp air and amazing color display, I was able to hang out with Resh, eat yummy food (love the lobster rolls and clam chowder there!) and see many of Boston's sites. It was a very charming city, full of history and great museums, and I had an all together fabulous time. It's so satisfying to be able to check items off my lists!

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Past 2 Months

Here's to playing catch-up. Since returning from the road trip...

...Went to Catalina Island for work, taking 30 teachers to have a hands-on experience snorkeling, tidepooling, kayaking and exploring. It was so much fun and reminded me how much I miss working out there.

...Went to the Island again for fun, when Scott was in town. He was back from Australia for a month, so we went over to play for a day.

...Whale watching a couple of times. I hadn't been in a while, so it was great being out on the water again. There were rumors that orcas might come around, but we didn't see any. That's okay though, because the blue whales were amazing, as always.

...There was a fun event at work--a cake walk and chili cook-off. How could you go wrong with being able to try about 20 different homemade chili dishes? I won a cake to top it off, so it was a great evening.

...Had an awesome girl's weekend away in Mammoth Lakes with seven friends. We visited June Lakes, Mono Lake, Yosemite, hiked Devil's Postpile & Rainbow Falls, ate yummy food, played games, drank wine, hung out, and woke up to a few inches of snow our last morning there. SO MUCH FUN with the girls.

...Finished knitting my hobo gloves!!! Woohoo, I am very proud of the accomplishment!

Aside from the fun, I did the normal work, gym, work, farting around, etc. etc. stuff. I was sick last week, but I've recovered just in time for my next small vacation--leave on Wednesday to visit Resh in Boston!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Rest of the Road Trip

Road Trip 2009: Days 13-18

So, I'm giving up on re-capping the rest of my trip for 2 reasons:
1. It's time to move on, because it has been taking me way too long to finish up (as I'm writing this, it is October and not really August like the post date says)
2. I accidentally deleted all of the pictures from the rest of my trip. I'm pretty annoyed at myself for doing that, so I have no photos to share.

The rest of my trip was great, and we'll leave it at that.

And now, onto our regular blogging...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Return to Lake Crescent

Road Trip 2009: Day 12
Fort Stevens State Park, OR to Lake Crescent, Olympic National Park, WA
(with quick stops in Astoria, OR and Forks, WA)

Miles driven today=229
Total miles driven=1547

We had a fairly long day of driving, with just a couple of stops. We went to the top of Astoria Column to get a gorgeous panoramic view of the area.
Astoria Column

View from Astoria Column

Crossed the Astoria bridge over to Washington State and continued driving until we reached Forks. I already visited the town during my road trip last year, but wanted to stop by and buy a couple of stickers for souvenirs. And while I was there, why not take a photo with the other Forks welcome sign? Last year, I took a photo with the sign you see when you enter the town from the north, and this year, I took one with the sign you see when you enter from the south. The chamber of commerce was busy with fans visiting the area, and the atmosphere of the town was quite different from last year. Twilight-mania has definitely spread since the movie came out.

Crossing Astoria Bridge

With Forks sign

After a quick lunch, we continued on our way to our campsite, the Fairholme campground along Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park. It's the same place Alicia and I stayed at last year. I really loved it and wanted to visit again, so it was nice that we were able to fit it into the schedule. We spent the rest of the day swimming in the lake and relaxing, which was lovely.

Relaxing by the lake

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fish, beer, ice cream, then a beautiful sunset to end the day

Road Trip 2009: Day 11
Newport, OR to Fort Stevens State Park, OR
(with stops in Pacific City and Tillamook)

Miles driven today=153
Total miles driven=1318

We started out the morning with breakfast at a cute cafe in Nye Beach, then a visit to the Oregon Coast Aquarium to hang out with the fish and other animals. My favorite was, of course, the cuttlefish. I had the chance to see some day-old cuttlefish babies, which was awesome! Here was one of the older babies they had on exhibit:
Baby cuttlefish

Then made a 3-car caravan (I know, not very earth-friendly, but it was great having Mesha hang out with us for the day!) up the coast to Pacific City, where we had lunch and tasted some beer at the Pelican Pub & Brewery.
4th brewery stop

Lunch had to be followed with ice cream, so we traveled further up the coast to visit the Tillamook creamery. I had 3 scoops of deliciousness!
Mmm, Tillamook Ice Cream

After parting ways with Mesha (she unfortunately had to go back home), we made it to Fort Stevens State Park, at the northwest tip of Oregon. We set up camp and made it down to the beach in time to enjoy the sun setting behind the Peter Iredale shipwreck. It was a great way to end another road-trippin' day.
Peter Iredale shipwreck

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hello Newport!

Road Trip 2009: Day 10
Bullards Beach State Park, OR to Newport, OR

Miles driven today=126
Total miles driven=1165

Another day of driving up the Oregon Coast! We woke up and set off early so we could site see a bit before making it to Newport by lunch time. We stopped at the Sea Lion Caves, since Ann had never seen stellar sea lions before. Unfortunately, the sea lions only hang out in the caves during the winter months, so the only glimpse we got of them were on a faraway rock through a telescope. We also visited the Haceta Head lighthouse and took a little tour of the building before meeting up with Mesha at the Rogue Brewery in Newport for lunch. I can't believe I've been to Newport several times now, and it's always fun visiting Mesha and hanging out in the cute town.

After lunch, the three of us spent the afternoon walking around a bit and had a blast digging for mole crabs on the shore. We definitely had a fun time being marine bio dorks. Ann taught us the proper digging technique-- since it was my first experience doing such a thing, it took a few tries before I got it down and caught some. She also taught us how to sex the crabs, which was pretty cool.

We went to dinner at Local Oceans, which was delicious. Mmm, crab cakes and fish tacos. Nothing like fresh, local and sustainable seafood!

Mmm crab cakes

Dinner at Local Oceans

Friday, August 14, 2009

Into Oregon

Road Trip 2009: Day 9
Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, CA to Bullards Beach State Park, OR

Miles driven today=113
Total miles driven=1039

Morning walk along the river. It is so calm and peaceful...

Then crossed the border to the Oregon Coast...
Oregon Coast

Stopped in Bandon, OR for some sweets at the Bandon Bakery, then set up camp at Bullards Beach State Park. There was a lighthouse within the park, so we decided to go for a walk and check it out. We didn't know exactly how far away the lighthouse was, so set off on the walk in flip flops. We walked. And walked. And walked. And finally found it, the Coquille Lighthouse
Coquille Lighthouse

Turns out, it was a roundtrip trek of 5.2 miles. Mileage-wise, it wasn't bad at all. But walking that distance in flip flops was quite the killer on our feet!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Shores of the Pacific to the shores of the Smith

Road Trip 2009: Day 8
Patrick's Point State Park, CA to Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, CA

Miles driven today=66
Total miles driven=926

Pretty view

The fog cleared up and the sun came out and we spent our morning tidepooling down at the rocky shore. It turned out to be a gorgeous day, and we appreciated being lucky enough to have such a clear view of the coastline. It was a drastic difference from the eerily foggy afternoon before, when we couldn't even see the water breaking at the beach.

After our explorations, we made the short drive up to our last California destination, Jed Smith State Park. The park is pretty spectacular, with campsites sprinkled under towering old growth redwoods along the Smith River. We set up camp under the beautiful trees...
I heart my tent

Then spent the rest of the day relaxing and soaking in the sunshine down at the river...
Hanging out by the river

Ann reading about watersheds

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The day in pictures

Road Trip 2009: Day 7
MacKerricher State Park, CA to Patrick's Point State Park, CA

Miles driven today=172
Total miles driven=860

Started out our morning visiting Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, CA:
Sea glass at Glass Beach

Then headed further up the coast. Stopped for a picture with the pretty scenery:
Somewhere on the North Coast

Drove through Avenue of the Giants, we stopped to dip our feet in the Eel River:
Dipping feet in Eel River

And checked out some amazing trees:
Avenue of the Giants

Made another stop for beers at Lost Coast Brewery (which brews one of our favorite beers, the Raspberry Brown) in Eureka, CA:
Taster tray at Lost Coast Brewery

Then settled down at our campsite at Patrick's Point State Park. It was a foggy afternoon:
The fog enveloping the trees

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hittin' the road again

Road Trip 2009: Day 6
San Francisco, CA to MacKerricher State Park, CA

Miles driven today=182
Total miles driven=688

The first day of our drive up the coast! Ann miraculously fit her whole life into her car again and was ready to make the trek up to grad school in Washington:
Ann, all packed up

It was foggy, the road was very windy, but it was a beautiful drive up Highway 1 along the remote coast.
Somewhere along the coast

We stopped by Fort Ross State Park, then had some tasters at North Coast Brewing Co.
Tasters at North Coast Brewing Co.

Then settled down at our campsite at MacKerricher State Park.
Making my s'more

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday Strikes Again

Road Trip 2009: Day 5
Hanging out in San Francisco, CA:
Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park

Miles driven today=17
Total miles driven=506
# times I got lost=1
How long it would have taken me to get where I was going had I not gotten lost= 2 minutes
How long it took me to get there because I got lost=1 hour

I was going to visit the de Young Museum today. Come to find out, the main museum is closed on Mondays. I then decided to visit the Exploratorium instead. But oh wait, it's closed on Mondays too! Damn the man. I've always had bad luck with places being closed on Mondays.

So I just spent my day meandering through Golden Gate Park...
Considered going to the Academy again, but decided to save that for another San Francisco trip...
Visited the tower at the de Young Museum which had a great view...

View from de Young tower

Sunday, August 09, 2009

End of the Weekend

Hanging out in the backyard & enjoying the sunshine
Road Trip 2009: Day 4
Hanging out in San Francisco, CA:
Crissy Field & The Presidio
Enjoyed the sunshine in the backyard
Errands for the camping trip

Miles driven today=0
Total miles driven=489

After a whirlwind tour of San Francisco over the past couple of days, we took it slowly today. After breakfast, our intention was to walk the Golden Gate Bridge a little. Although it was another sunny day out, the bridge itself was covered in fog. So instead, we visited The Presidio and Crissy Field area for the morning. We then spent the afternoon sitting in the backyard and soaking up the beautiful weather before dropping Alicia off at the airport.

One more day in SF, then I hit the road again.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

I Heart Farmers Markets

Road Trip 2009: Day 3
Hanging out in San Francisco, CA:
Ferry Building Saturday farmers market
A little shopping in Union Square
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Dinner at Fish in Sausalito

Ferry building farmers market
Miles driven today=0
Total miles driven=489

Today was another sunny and beautiful day in the city. Before leaving on the trip, I checked the weather and they predicted it would be in the high 50s/low 60s here. Just shows that you should never trust the weatherman, because we have been getting blue skies and warm sunshine instead. I've heard that San Francisco summers are usually cold and foggy, but I've been lucky enough to be experiencing the exception.

Today was also another long day on our feet! We started out the morning down at the Ferry Building to check out its Saturday farmers market. I love wandering through farmers markets, and this one was a feast for the eyes, nose, and taste buds. Just look at these peppers!:
Beautiful peppers

After the market, we walked up to Union Square for a little shopping. I bought a new pair of Merrell shoes, which I've been meaning to do. They're a new and improved version of my current pair, and I'm so excited about the purchase. We then spent the rest of our afternoon a the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. SFMOMA currently has two exhibitions that we were interested in--the Georgia O'Keeffe and Ansel Adams collection, & the Richard Avedon Photographs collection. They were both great and worth the visit.

Ended the day over in Sausalito to have dinner at Fish, a sustainable seafood restaurant on the waterfront. Why yes, my clam chowder, corn bread, crab sandwich and fish taco were very yummy, thank for asking. The view during dinner...
The view during dinner

Friday, August 07, 2009

The Best Place Ever

Looking down
Road Trip 2009: Day 2
Hanging out in San Francisco, CA:
California Academy of Sciences
Aquarium of the Bay
Dinner at Park Chalet

Miles driven today=23
Total miles driven=489
# times we got a little lost= 2
# minutes it took us to go about 1 mile on Embarcadero= 50 (ugh, stupid traffic)

I'm in love. The California Academy of Sciences rocks my nerdy world!!! Not only is the building itself amazing (it's the world's largest LEED platinum building), but the exhibits are wonderful too. We spent 5 hours at the Academy, and it was definitely not enough time. If we didn't have a time constraint, I could have easily spent my whole day there. Since we had another commitment in the afternoon, I wasn't able to roam around and enjoy the museum at the slower place that I would have liked. But 5 hours did give me enough time to take in its beauty and fall in love. Guess I will have to return sometime in the future...
The Academy

We also visited the cute little Aquarium of the Bay, then went to dinner over by Ocean Beach. Here's a sunset pic after dinner:
Sunset pic

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Goodbye Yellow

Goodbye yellow scenery!
Road Trip 2009: Day 1
Long Beach, CA to Monterey, CA
Visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium
Monterey, CA to San Francisco, CA

Alicia, Driving
Miles driven today=466
Total miles driven=466
# of bathroom stops= 3 (Alicia pees a lot)
# of detours= 1 (wine tasting at the Blackstone tasting room)

Road trip 2009 has started! I picked up Alicia early in the morning, who will be joining me to visit Ann for the San Francisco portion of the trip, and said goodbye to the LA traffic and dull yellow scenery. We hopped on the road and headed towards Monterey, for a little visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium before getting to San Francisco. There were wineries along the way, so we ended up stopping for a little wine tasting...

Road trip detour: wine tasting

It was a beautiful and sunny day in Monterey, and we enjoyed walking around and checking out the Aquarium's new exhibit, "The Secret Life of Seahoreses." It was great, but my favorite thing there were the baby cuttlefish. Over 40 of those adorable little guys floating around and flashing their colors and patterns--oh, they were so cute.

We made it to San Francisco early in the evening, then went out for a couple of beers and dinner with Ann and some of her friends. A perfect way to end the first day of my vacation!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

It's Like They Know I'm Going on a Road Trip

Gas prices are slowly creeping up again. Damn the man! Why does it have to be just in time for my road trip? Between lunch and dinnertime today, the gas station I drive by went up 4 cents and tipped above three dollars. Well, at least it's not $4.00 per gallon like last year and I'm thankful for that.

I'm officially done with work and Alicia & I hit the road early tomorrow morning.

Tune in for updates from the trip!

Friday, July 31, 2009


Packing up

Starting to pack for this year's road trip! ETD: 6 days. Heading to the Pacific Northwest again, but visiting a few new places. Sadly, I will not be visiting lovely Portland this time around. That just means I will have to make a special trip up there sometime soon. This year's itinerary: San Francisco, North Coast, Oregon Coast & the Olympic Peninsula. Can't wait!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Panda Cupcakes

Panda Cupcakes

Made these quirky and cute cupcakes a while back for a friend.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Feet in the sand

Sun, sand, surf.
Soaking up the sunshine.
Burying your feet in warm, soft sand.
Listening to the surf.
That is summer.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

1 Camp Down, 1 More to Go

I survived. Five days with twenty-five 7 to 9 yr-olds, as always, was not as bad as I thought it would be. Yes, it was stressful prepping for the week in addition to having 400 volunteers under my belt. We dissected fish, fed sharks, collected plankton, played games and made crafts, so the week wasn't all too bad. Admittedly, I had quite a bit of fun and enjoyed my time with the kids--they were cute and well behaved for the most part, which I'm thankful for. Teaching one more week of camp this summer, then I get to go on vacation!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Out of the Loop

I currently do not have internet at home. At the very moment, I am at a local coffee shop sipping my iced vanilla latte and using their connection to write this. You don't know how much of tragedy this is for me, since I spend a considerable amount of time surfing around on the internet. I feel so out of the loop, not being able to keep up with blogs and happenings and not having access to information any time I want. Arrgh.

As for an update on me, so far this summer has been very busy at work but otherwise pretty uneventful. The rest of my summer will include 2 weeks of teaching camp, 2 weeks of vacation (woohoo! I'm looking forward to the company of trees again) and 1 week on Catalina Island (Catalina, oh how I've missed you!)

Hope you all are having a fabulous summer. Who knows when I'll be connected at home again, so I'm apologizing in advance for the neglect this blog will receive.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

All In a Day's Work

Funniest thing I heard today:

"I'm a genius!"
-4 year old in my preschool class

It's funny how things work out sometimes. I was dreading teaching today--talking about water for a 2-hr class with preschoolers? It sounded miserable. A class about sharks or tidepools or coral reefs is fun. But a whole class about water? Oh brother, I didn't know how I would pull it off. On top of that, I was supposed to discuss the water cycle (can preschoolers even say the words precipitation, evaporation and condensation?), and the density of fresh water versus salt water. DENSITY?!

Yeah, so I really wasn't looking forward to teaching. And you know what? It turned out fine. Even better than fine. The 4 and 5 year olds were well behaved, adorable, and really smart. They got everything. Kids will surprise you. And they can crack you up too. I forgot how fun teaching can be.

I met a genius today. All in a day's work...

Friday, June 05, 2009

Proof that I need a vacation

Conversation yesterday...

Me: whining about something
Manager: "Jane, what's wrong with you?"
Me: "What do you mean what's wrong with me?"
Manager: "You're not right, you just haven't been the same lately."
Me, sighing: "I don't know...I need a vacation..."
Manager, chuckling: "Yes, I think so too."

So maybe I've had grumpy in my heart recently. I just need to get away for a bit to recharge. But that's not going to happen until August. TWO MONTHS away. How am I going to survive for that long?

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


Venice Canal

Oh, how my heart yearns to travel. I want to go on a journey. To explore and breathe in unfamiliar places, to feel and taste new things. I want to meet strangers, make friends. I want an adventure. To be in awe, to be alive. Oh, how I long to travel again.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Holy Frick

Oh my goodness. I'm so excited that I'm a bit speechless.
This is going to be SO MUCH BETTER than the first movie (and you all know I loved it.)


It looks beautiful. The effects are awesome too. I can't wait!!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

That's what friends are for!

My friends are good at making me laugh-- big hearty chuckles, or until tears roll down my face, or until I can't breathe and gasp desperately for air. We laugh a lot, and often about the dumbest things. I don't know why, but the following two statements are the best things I heard this evening:

"I dreamt in blur and it freaked me out!"

"Tuna casserole is the best thing you can get out of a box and can!"

If your friends can't make you crack up with their randomness, then who can? I heart my friends.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Just Too Early

I have to be at work at 4:30am tomorrow morning. Which means that I should be going to sleep right about now. But we all know that's not going to happen. It's too early for bedtime.

Ugh. Having to work during the 4 o'clock hour is just torture.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Weekend Accomplishments

I did two major things for myself this past weekend. Both were things that I have put off doing for a long time--not wanting to face the situation or too afraid to go through with it. Although the first didn't exactly turn out the way I was hoping or expecting, I'm still glad that I actually did it. The second turned out just fine, and there was no reason for me to worry for as long as I did. In the end, I did two things for myself, no matter the result. It feels good to jump off that cliff of fear and hesitation, to soar into the unknown and see where life takes you.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Why oh why... there this much trash on the beach?

Just Awful!

Just awful. So sad.