Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: traveling

Denver Trip, November 2014

In November, I visited Chelsea, one of my longest standing and bestest friends, at her home in Denver, CO. It was a spontaneous trip, whose incarnation went like this.

Me: H and I would love to visit Denver in the spring.

Chels: Well, what if you planned to come with H in the spring, but first booked a trip in the next few weeks…by yourself?

Me: Um. Actually, sure. I could totally do that.

That simple. Being 30, with a steady job and few responsibilities has its perks. Spontaneous travel to see one’s best friend is one of them.

Over the 4 days, we hung out at her apartment, sampled a bunch of beer, visited the famous Fancy Tiger craft store and made our own crafts at Upstairs Circus (a bar with crafts? crafts with a bar? whaatttt??), ate VooDoo Doughnuts (my first one) and tacos and fancy pancakes, had an amazing dinner with probably too much wine, visited the Dushanbe Tea House, talked about and browsed books, and spent some serious quality time together.

Chels’ apartment is all of these separate rooms laid out in an L-shape, with wood floors, very tall windows and a cozy, old-building feel (nothing like we have in LA). The VSCO app filters on the photos remind me of the cold outside and the warm, heated air inside. It makes me miss fresh air, brick buildings, snow… and Chels.

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Welcoming December

November was a month full of travel – leaving home for work once and fun twice.

December is home-bound all the way.

We got back from our Thanksgiving trip to Joshua Tree yesterday afternoon – driving home in the rain that visited SoCal (gosh, we need it). We spent the later afternoon reading (me) and napping (H & Carter Cash). It was a very active, fun, adventurous weekend. I plan on writing more about it this week.

This morning I welcomed in December with a quick trip to Starbucks to write out all of the swirling ToDos in my head. Getting things down on paper is not only a relief, but also gives me a solid way to keep track of the next thing I want to / need to work on.

The season of red cups, Christmas music and gift-list making is upon us. We have family visiting in T-2.5 weeks and we’re hosting everyone for Christmas, officially, for the first time this year.

After work I am going to pack up the Thanksgiving decorations and pull out the Christmas ones. The weather plus end of daylight savings time has made the evenings dark and long. I think it’s 6pm when it’s only 4pm. I think it’s time for bed around 7pm. We’re asleep most night by 9:30pm, and sleep 8hrs straight. We wake before the sunrise, moving through the dark apartment by 5:30am.

But it’s part of the season, part of the change, part of the flow. I can’t believe we’re in the last month of 2014, I’m holding on to every last bit of it as the days go by.

The photo above is for day 1 of December Reflections, hosted by Susannah Conway. I don’t plan on sharing the photos here in that exact capacity, but feel free to follow / join over on Instagram.

And lastly, a happy 50th birthday to my awesome MIL who embodies the spirit of the (Sagittarius) with her enthusiasm for life. xo

Piqued

Had a super productive week both at work and home because I am traveling a bunch in the next 2 weeks. By the time you read this, I’ll be in Denver visiting my friend Chelsea, where apparently it’s going to be a low of 14*. I’ve packed 3 sweaters and my puffy down “sleeping-bag” coat to keep me warm while we bike, eat, drink tea, and spend mucho quality time together.

Ah, the dark, dark nostalgia. Hey Arnold! characters all grown up.

This tweet.

And also my Twitter conversation with Yvette Nicole Brown where we chatted about the Serial podcast. She is my favorite guest on the Talking Dead (she has pages of notes about each episode).

OMG the Serial podcast. Hoping to write a longer post on this eventually, but I am loving the narrative form, the voices, the music. I don’t care so much about the who-done-it as much as the storytelling process in the series. The Slate Serial Spoiler Special is the podcast-about-the-podcast and a critical discussion about both the unfolding of the reporting and the way it’s being reported. So meta.

New moon in Sagittarius today – the questing sign.

I share Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook statuses (stati?) a few times a week. I love her updates, her words, her take on life.

We saw Interstellar last weekend (I liked it, was glad we saw it in the theater too) so of course I am drawn to stories about people’s experiences in space – An Astronaut Reveals What Life In Space Is Really Like.

On the last two nights of my final flight, I slept on the flight deck, my sleeping bag strapped beneath the overhead windows. The position of the shuttle put Earth in those windows, so when I woke up the whole world was out there in front of me—in that moment, just for me alone.

And cuz I’m not one to miss a list: The Top 10 Mistakes in Behaviour Change (and How to Avoid Them). My favorite is mistake #4 “Trying to Stop Old Behaviors Instead of Creating New Ones”. This def works for me. I like how he included further reading links.

And on that note – Can Absence Make The Mind Grow Fonder. I’ve found when I stop consuming something (purchasing clothes, drinking alcohol, eating Oreos, posting on Twitter etc) I don’t miss it. Yes, there’s the initial moment of going for the thing and realizing it’s not there (or I made a choice to avoid it) but then after even a few short days, it’s like, whatever. I do agree on the substitution part, which supports what I liked about mistake #4 in the above paragraph.

Have a great weekend xo

Busy Travel Year

2012 was a busy travel year.

Boston. Long Island. Nashville. Maui & Kauai for our honeymoon. Sequoia. San Diego. Las Vegas. San Fran. Newport Beach.

And I returned home again and again and again.

I can see the ebb and flow of the year, my energy and moods. For 2013 I hope to find a rhythm and lean on my own rituals and routine.

Where did you venture into the world this year? xo

This Grateful Season – Perfect Lattes

2012 can go down as the year I became a pretentious latte drinker. It started a year ago when I found my favorite latte in LA (so far) Espresso Profeta. My old love of pumpkin spice lattes do not even cut it anymore. ::gross:: I want whole milk, well pulled, one-shot lattes. I even have a weekly ritual. I’ve tried lattes in Boston, Hawaii, Vegas and San Francisco. My Boston go to was Espresso Royale. But, San Francisco’s Blue Bottle Coffee was the best I’ve ever had (pictured).

The morning I sat writing in the beautiful sunlit of San Fran, sipping the latte pictured above, was awesome. I walked from my hotel in Union Square down to Mint Street and into a expansive coffee shop with floor to ceiling windows and a line out the door. Everyone seemed perfectly dressed in cozy layers, wire-rimmed glasses and tattoos peeking out, with the baristas working double-time to fill the orders. I loved it.

I sat at the bar, a window seat, and started writing my morning pages. A skinny guy with a perfect salt-n-pepper 5 o’clock shadow sat down next to me with his coffee and iPad.

“That’s pretty analogue of you,” he said, pointing to my handwritten pages.

“Well, I have an iPad for work and I can’t stand typing emails on it, let alone writing anything more.”

In response, he showed me a stylus in his hand and we laughed. He pulled up an app and showed me he can draw and write all of his notes as if it’s paper, but it’s all digital. Awesome. And as I looked at his notes, I saw sketches of toys.

“Are you a…toy… designer?” I ask.

“Um. Actually, yes. That’s exactly what I am,” he said. Hah. Amazing.

So we had a really engaging conversation about toy creations, my plans for San Fran, and then on to the space shuttle traveling through Los Angeles. Haha.

After we said our good-byes, I went to photograph a corner of the room where a white plate and napkin were waiting to be cleared. A barista came over to clear the counter and paused so I could take my photo.

“Are you a photographer?” she asked.

“No. Not really, but I’m visiting and I can’t get over how gorgeous the light is here” I said.

And she went on to tell me she’s a film photographer, old cameras, and she doesn’t have a website yet… but such a fun conversation too.

So, my trip to San Fran was awesome and landed me the best latte of the year. Grateful for the whole experience.

Here’s last year’s latte post (at least I’m consistent…?)

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For the month of November, I write each day about something I’m grateful for and call it Grateful Season. It’s my way of reviewing the amazing year I’ve had and helps me focus on blogging during the crazy holiday season uptick. Feel free to join me – just make sure you let me know!

In the Interim

I know I’ve kept up my “Sundays Are For…” posts for what would be Week 12 today… but I’ve been blissfully off the grid for the weekend road-tripping it to the Sequoias. Above is a little taste of the beauty I experienced. It was my first time visiting and I would love to go back. We’re thinking of making it annual Autumn trip.

Tomorrow begins my two weeks of insanity. Working to approach it all with more ease – know that while I tried to listen to this podcast, I honked my horn at some idiot stopping on the freeway… Still learning. So, no idea when I’ll blog about the trip / post photos, but that’s my plan.

In the interim enjoy the photo above. It was taken from atop Moro Rock, before the fog rolled out.