Archive for the ‘vacations with a swell gal’ Category


midnight in Arid-zona

August 17, 2008

you know, driving through the desert in summer…not too bright. (especially, without A/C and three cats.)
we wrapped a couple bags of ice in plastic bags and situated them between the cat carriers. it shouldn’t be a repeat tomorrow. according to the forecast, we’ve already traveled through the hottest part. at 8 pm, i could put my hand out the window and it still felt like a hair dryer. doesn’t this place ever cool down?

yes. in the hotel room. the cats are getting along fine, although still a little doped up. Busta and Chester are growling and hissing, but no one wants to make the first move.

oh, and if you were wondering where the “purple mountains majesty” are…there’s some awesome examples by Needles, CA. or somewhere thereabouts.

i’m not sure where i packed my camera cable, so no pictures online yet. soon.


Best. Birthday Weekend. EVER.

July 27, 2008

it was beyond all expectations! really. Dev planned the whole thing and managed to keep it a secret, even though it seemed like we were reading each other’s minds all weekend.

So, since this is four days worth, i’m going to try to simplify this post as much as possible.

-Leave work at 4PM. – Dev pulls in front of the gallery in “Hot Foot”. (a light blue 1985 Honda Civic with plywood on the rear quarter windows – high class!). the car is packed full with blankets and pillows and a cooler – WE’RE CAMPING! perfect and much needed for sure.


-she hands me a wrapped present – it’s obviously a book- i flip it over and there are driving directions to the campsite – we’re headed to Santa Cruz

-we get to the campsite – it’s basically like camping in grandma’s back yard – there’s a lawn at some parts – no biggie, it’s quaint and there really isn’t anyone there on Thursday night


-Dev wakes me up with a cup of coffee – it’s my birthday! YAY! – we hang out, have breakfast – i open the book – it’s a book of PHOTOBOOTH PICTURES! amazingly beautiful vintage photos.

But Wait….it get’s better! there are envelopes in different sections of the book – “day one – adventure one”, “day one – adventure two”, day two, supplies for day two, sunday drive home adventure.

okay, so today is day one…i open adventure one:

Roaring Camp Railroads mountain steam train ride. now, if you don’t know by know, i am a huge train fanatic! so, this paired with camping is perfect enough, but don’t forget….there are more adventures to be had.

on the train ride, Dev handed me the envelope for adventure two:

it was THE MYSTERY SPOT! i was debating posting about it on here….or just including photos, but it’s so amazing…i don’t want to give away the secret. i encourage you to look at the web site if you want to find out what it’s all about.

during dinner, i persuaded Dev to let me open the envelope for day 3. really, i figured it was my birthday and it’d be nice to have something to look forward too…especially, since the envelope said that we had to get going early…


-remember how i said Dev is the best ever? or how i can’t wait to be with her forever? yeah…Saturday consisted of…


-we went back to Roaring Camp Railroads to take the beach train to the Santa Cruz boardwalk. this was a diesel locomotive and we road in a car c.1900 and a car c.1930. the train was an hour each way…the boardwalk is about 10 miles from where we were, but we were going through mountains and towns.



-time to pack it all in. wake up early. breakfast with the neighbors since Dev forgot to pack enough meat to last me four days.

-so what’s in the final envelope? only a trip to The Winchester Mystery House! this was one of the “mind reading” insidents (along with the “Mystery Spot” where i was just talking about this place this weekend. it was the one place i really wanted to check out before the move.

-we stop by Bob’s in Boulder Creek to pick up a baby redwood burl and a bag of ice.

-stop by Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park for a walk among giants

-drive back to Oakland – wonder why we don’t live together and how weird it is to spend this whole weekend together only to have to go to our separate houses. realizing that we only have to do this for about 3 more weeks.

that’s it! i really couldn’t have asked for a better birthday. Dev and i we able to spend quality time with each other out of the grind of the city and do a bunch of adventures while collecting all the smashed pennies along the way? sounds like perfection to me. i have a few scans to do tomorrow night, hopefully. we got a few new photobooth pictures to post. two from last weekend and a few from the boardwalk in Santa Cruz from yesterday. we also got one of those “antique” dress up photos taken thanks to Sita and Kym.

soon, i promise.

on a final note: going 4 days without a phone and computer was calming. both our phones died, so we were without for the majority of the trip. also, we joked about how people used to check their messages after coming home from vacation…remember, when you’d try to guess how many messages were on the answering machine? yeah, i’d like to get back to something like that.

some day.



seattle cliff notes

June 23, 2008

there’s a lot more photos on my flickr…we had a blast…Seattle smells clean, like the ocean and fish and trees. i loved it this time. more words later, i have a really busy day tomorrow and i need to get some sleep.


whoa, that was a whirlwind vacation!

March 10, 2008

well, we’re back in the sunny bay area. sorry i wasn’t able to post sooner. now there are a huge amount of pictures to upload, but i’m going to do my best here. Dev and i had a blast. she’s so amazing, and there’s no better way to figure that out than to spend 7 days together on the other side of the country. no regrets here. onward to the photos!


i spent the night over at Dev’s house so i wouldn’t have to get up too early. yes, leaving for the train AT six is too early. i do not enjoy mornings, but i was woken up with a cup of good coffee.

the flight wasn’t bad. we were delayed in Detroit for two hours, but it went by quickly since we stopped for a martini.

landed in Rochester, rented a car, drove to Doug and Brandie’s place, went to get Garbage plates. that was the whole first night in. Doug and Brandie are the cutest. it’s so great seeing them and their awesome cats.


Dev and i wake up early(ish) to drive up to Niagara Falls. now begins the dependency on Dunkin Donuts coffee.

it was COLD!!! i was over it very quickly. Dev took a bit longer to chill, which was good because it’s an amazing sight. definitely something i took for granted while living east.

we drove straight from the Falls to the Faculty Art Show at Brockport. surprisingly, this is why we flew out in the first place. Dolly Parton was supposed to play Boston the following night, so we figured we’d do both. unfortunately, Dolly’s tour was postponed. at least we got to see some new artwork.


here are Myron and Champ…Doug and Brandie’s cats.

Dev triumphs over iced up windows.

i managed to win both Rocky and Squeaky at the same time in one of those claw games at a rest stop on the thruway.

driving up to Cambridge, MA to visit Dev’s sister and brother-in-law who are expecting their first baby.

this is Ink, who is shaved from a recent surgery. i liked his boot paw.

and here is Blot.


i need to upload more photos.

we went on the Red line before heading to Vermont with Kesh and Kami to visit Pan and Dinny.

tea out back by the pond in Vermont.

Pan, Dev, and Kami in the kitchen.

Dev’s family is so wonderful. i’m really grateful that i was able to meet everyone out east on this trip.


we head back to Rochester from Vermont. it was a smooth drive most of the way, just some mild rain. the closer we got into the Rochester area, the more the snow came down. i wasn’t worried, it hasn’t been THAT long since i drove iin snow. on the otherhand, this was a new experience for Dev, and she was NOT having it. we made it back without too much of a delay, but we brought a few inches of snow with us.


we went to Sticky Lips for our last meal in upstate ny.

William and Sean

Doug and Brandie

but i figured that i couldn’t leave the east coast without a few games of bowling. Dev and I got Sean and Lindsay to join us. of course Lindsay was being a productive scholar and wrote a statement of purpose during the games.

that’s hilarious.

i’m probably making fun of her for it here.

we even got the bottles that are shaped like pins!

not too bad.


up before dawn…again.

i leave my phone charger at Lindsay’s house. read some books and nap a lot on the plane.

we stop at the martini place in Detroit again and have the same waitress. and she remembers us. but not before riding the whole underground walkway. without walking. so we can experience the fake rainstorm/ rain forest light show. everyone should try it at least once.

so that was it. and i’m probably missing something or forgetting what happened on which day. this is just a rought outline. we had a great week long adventure and we were able to spend time with a lot of our favorite people.

i know a few more people that might check out this blog from time to time. don’t be afraid to leave a comment. it’s nice to know who’s actually reading this sometimes.