Archive for the ‘Trips’ Category

Beach walks and found art – part 1.

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

I love me my daily walks. Every day I make it a point to get out and about and explore this town and really open my eyes to the world around me.  I look for beauty in things I pass, and I especially appreciate graffiti and art in unexpected places. I also really dig that on my daily walks (generally on the beach) I am usually joined by beach dog or 2. Canine company is nice. Every day I seem find something new and unexpected.

Beach dog and a heart in the rocks.

Truth.

A rainy day in paradise.

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Sayulita, Mexico is a quiet little fishing village/surf town on the Pacific coast of Mexico. It’s about a 40 minute drive north of the touristy hubbub of Puerto Vallarta, and seemingly a perfect place to start our first attempt at living a more expat kinda lifestyle. Devon and I arrived here 5 days ago, and so far its been everything that I’ve hoped for. It’s off season here, so maybe only a third of the local businesses are open, but I am truly a happy chica with at least 3 fish taco stands to choose from for dining options. That was one of the major things I was looking forward to out of this adventure. Fish tacos, surfing on the regular, bangin’ margaritas, writing more, swimming as much as humanly possible, improving my Español, earning some more freckles on my pasty white skin (cuz you know mamacita is physically incapable of taking a tan).

So, I’ve been doing pretty well with my goals. With the exception of yesterday. I kinda earned myself a bit of heatstroke/exhaustion yesterday with an overzealous hike on the beach in the 90 degree sun with no water. Also, heat exhaustion = not fun = totally terrifying! Hydration is key, yo. So after spending most of the afternoon in bed with lots of ice water and Mexican real life crime documentaries on the tele, I woke up this morning raring to go. And then the sky opened up and it has been a torrential downpour ever since.  Of course. But really, sitting on an open air covered patio, with temperature in the high 70s, watching and listening to the rain, hearing los gallos down the block, and smelling the sweet ocean air, life doesn’t suck.

The past few months have been kinda crazy; stressful and emotionally difficult for me, and it’s nice to be able to hit reset and start recharging in such a peaceful, quiet place.

New Adventures: 13 of 30 – Shoot arrows at random shit.

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Time is ticking by. I’m behind on documenting my 30 by 30, and I’m falling behind on actually doing 30 by 30. To make excuses, I’ve been traveling alot. Like I haven’t slept in my own bed at least 58 days out of the first 5 months of this year. That just ain’t right. So I’m in Amsterdam, trying to figure out how I’ll be able to complete the goal that I’ve set for myself. I’m walking through a carnival set up in Dam Square, which was right next to my hotel. There are a bunch of food vendors selling any type of meat on a stick that your heart could desire, as well as sweet fluffy confections, and sugary, chocolatey waffles that you wish that your parents would have made you growing up and hadn’t cared about early onsets of childhood diabetes. There are also a bunch of rides that look about as shady as the carnies running them, as well as some games of chance that looked kinda weak-sauce. And then I came across the Bow & Arrow Game.

Yes. I havent touched a bow or arrow, probably since I was a summer camp counselor, 12 years ago? And I didn’t shoot arrows as much as try to prevent my campers from shooting other campers in the face during their archery class. I didn’t learn much, so much as act like a bouncer for a group of 7 year olds, who made sure that noone ended up with an arrow through the face for 40 minutes twice a week. Before that my only experience with bows an arrows was when I was 7 or so, and a camper at a sports focused summer camp. During which I dont remember shooting tagets with arrows, but rather how I narrowly avoided shooting my archery instructor as well as my fellow campers. So yeah. I don’t really know what the hell to do when I pick up a bow and arrow, i mostly just know what not to do.

So, I walk past this carnival booth, where you get 6 arrows (probably dull and totally not straight) to try to break 4 balloons at a target 20 or 30 feet away. This sounded slightly dangerous, the regulations seemed really loose, and the girl working the booth seemed totally bored and uninterested in policing us goofing around, so Bam! a 30 by 30 adventure just popped into my life. Devon and I slap some euros down & I go first……
1st shooting attempt

I have no clue what I’m doing…. I was aiming in the right direction at least….. But I think I originally(before this first picture was taken) had the bow turned around or something…It was a shit show. After some helpful pointers from Devon as well as the booth girl, I was good to go!

Elbow up looks way better…. And Honestly for it being a rigged carnival game, and the first time that I’ve actually shot a bow & arrow since I was 7, I think I did pretty well, and shot 1 out of the 4 balloons on the target. And no innocent bystanders, which I consider to be my greatest achievement…. :) And I got a stuffed tiger!!!!

Poor Devon, the boy from Vermont (who basically spent his entire youth filled with target practices of all types and styles) popped 3 out of 4 balloons, but didn’t do well enough to get his own stuffed animal… Bummer. Must be hard to deal with having such a talented wife who excels at everything and always wins the awesome prizes at carnival games.  ;) (Thanks babe!)

Alrighty, 13 of 30 Completed!!!!

 

New Adventures: 8 of 30 – Take part in a beach bonfire.

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

This adventure is what happened immediately following adventure #7. Basically Juice & I had been surfing on the Cape, it had gotten dark, we went on basically a fruitless (ha!) search for local organic food, and then hung out on the beach near a place that played the worst reggae music ever while we pondered our next steps. I wanted a bonfire, and we needed to figure out where we were going to camp for the night. We could camp on an ocean beach, but we’d probably be woken up super early by tons of people & the sun rising directly into our faces. Or we could find a beach on a pond that Juice had a vague recollection of… Somewhere off the beaten path, not on maps, super small, pretty secluded where the trees would surround us and let us sleep in past 5am. He called it the “secret spot”. Immediately, that piqued my interest, and we head in that direction. Keep in mind that its about 1am, totally dark. I’m sleep deprived. Juice doesn’t remember exactly where we’re going or how to get there, and the roads are all screwed up and covered with debris after a storm that had passed through recently.  Luckily, we needed some firewood, so as we drove through these dark unlit side roads, we were able to stop & scavenge enough firewood to make a good size (and free!) bonfire.

We keep turning onto smaller and smaller roads. And then we get to what seems like a dead end, but it’s not, it just turns into an unmarked & unpaved road. Driving down a super narrow dirt road through the woods in the middle of the night sounds kinda scary, but oh ! it gets even better. We then come to fallen trees in the road?/path that we had to get out of the car to move….in the dark…… And a few terrifyingly steep and washed out embankments that I had to drive down, with faith that Juice knew where we were going & hoped that I had cell phone service in case I needed to call AAA to tow us out if I got stuck. But damn, you gotta love Audi’s and their all-wheel drive! Eventually Juice said that we were there & we unloaded the wood & some blankets. And alcohol. Because I certainly needed it after that terrifying drive of doom, and also, you can’t have an authentic beach bonfire without open containers of alcohol.

It was a new moon, so there was nothing lighting our way other than thousands of stars, and a tiny flashlight on my key ring.  The beach was only about 20×20 feet, and there was a still silence. We were the only signs of any light or noise, so it felt like we needed to respect that serenity, talking in whispers & shutting off the car’s lights. Juice built an awesome bonfire (with my super helpful and totally appreciated guidance of course!) and we set up our respective blankets on both sides of the fire. That way, we both got a front row seat & we could also poke at the fire & bask in its warmth.

We stayed up for a few hours, talking, listening, feeding the fire. Talking about all of those wonderfully random things that only start to come up in conversation when its super late, you’re half asleep and in a chilled and relaxed state. And then the birds started getting noisy, and the sky started turning that light grey/purpleish color that it turns, right before the sun rises. That was our cue for bedtime. Right before I feel asleep, Juice said something like “Just wait till you wake up; the beauty of this place will blow you mind.”

And the next morning I awoke to this serene setting.

We spent the morning swimming in the lake and catching frogs.

And then we packed up our gear & then headed out to try for another surf session. Trying to leave the “secret spot” as pristine as we had found it.

For a bonfire experience, I had expected something much closer to a beach bonfire scene from a 60′s beach party/surfplotation movie like Gidget or Beach Party. But this was really awesome in a relaxing and chilled out sort of way. I got to experience the bonfire & appreciate the setting (even if I couldn’t really see it until the next morning), instead of having to concentrate on navigating social scenes. Good times, good times. I can’t wait to do it again.

Proof that I have no swagger.

Monday, August 29th, 2011

So the other day I was at Pike Place Market. I was picking up a bunch of different veggies and fishies for a super-luxe home cooked dinner. One of the vendors was being super friendly, and I’m pretty sure that there was a smidge of flirt thrown in there too.

Attractive Food Purveyor: ” MMM…. So, is that you who smells so good?

Me: “Uh?” *Looks around* “Probably not?”

Attractive Food Purveyor: *Appears very confused* “Um, no? I’m pretty sure that it’s you.”

Me: “Oh……. Awkward…..”

Puerto Rico!

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

D & I went to Puerto Rico for our 4th anniversary & had a really relaxing & fantastic time.

We layed on the beach a TON. We also checked out El Murro in old San Juan, hiked through El Yunque to swim in La Mina waterfall, and I took a surf lesson in water warm enough so I didn’t have to wear a full wetsuit. :)

Click on the pic to check out the entire photo gallery.

Lots of various pictures from May and June 2009

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

So I just emptied out the old pictures in my camera, and BOY! Do I have a bunch of various photos in there.  We built our master bedroom closet, I looked GOOD, I investigated wild orchids in MA, we went to Brian & Jen’s wedding in New Orleans, I turned 27, I gardened, my iguana looked super cute, and I explored Russell’s Mill Pond and the Chelmsford town forest on my bike…

Pouty face!
Apparently MA has about 10 or so wild varieties of orchids.
Devon very happy to have a plateful of beignets.
My Mardi Gras mask.
Russell's mill pond.

Check out all the pictures here.

Pics from Hawaii!

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Click on the photo to check out the entire photo album!

Emma’s Favorite Things – in San Francisco version

Monday, April 6th, 2009

I just finished writing a long e-mail to my friend about my favorite things to do and see in San Francisco. I thought it would also make a good blog post. These are my top 5 things (that I can think of right now) to do in San Francisco, and the surrounding areas.

So…Other than the uber touristy requirements of eating chocolate at Ghirardelli, going on a tour of Alcatraz and getting a sourdough bread bowl with chowder at Fisherman’s Wharf, and then going to check out the Sea Lions…… (all those things I recommend, btw)

Samovar – A Tea House.
They have 3 locations, but I fell in love with the location in Yerba Buena Gardens. Its a great place to just sit and drink some tea. For a light lunch or a little snack, I highly suggest their cheese and fruit platter. Its little and light and perfect for a little zen moment. Some fruit, cheese, nice bread and some honey in the comb. Absolutely delish.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art – AHhhht.
Practically across the street from Samovar. They have a pretty wide range of modern art, so even if you find alot of the stuff horribly shocking that it’s called art (i did), you’ll also definitely come across some stuff that you really love. Not a huge museum, and do-able in maybe 3 hours? I enjoyed spending an afternoon there, and their gift shop was fun to poke around in.

Chinatown and Dim Sum!
Yeah, Chinatown is pretty touristy, but its fun to poke around shops and getting dim sum is a MUST on a saturday or sunday morning! I can’t remember where I ate, but I started my walk at the big gate on Grant Ave at Bush Street, and I walked north on Grant. I think most restaurants on Grant are often marked up and more touristy, so look down the side streets until you find a place that looks interesting. That’s what D and I did, and we ended up in a totally packed place where we were the only gringos, and the waitresses didn’t speak any english. Luckily with dim sum you just point to what you want off their carts.

Asia SF – Dinner and drinks with talented dancers of the transgendered variety
I think I’ve gone here every time I’ve been in San Francisco, starting with a girl’s weekend trip with my Mom. Reservations are a good idea. It is awesome!!!! Dinner is good, but can be pricey. I think they have a prix fixe type menu thingie. The bartenders have always been great with helping me make a mixed drink decision, in addition to their sake and wine menus.  And don’t even get me started on the lady dancers of AsiaSF!!!! Most real women can’t even stand in 6 inch stripper shoes and here these ladies are, dancing in them on top of the bar to the latest Britney Spears songs. It’s a truly an awesome sight to behold.

Wine Country - Sonoma and Napa Valleys
Do it. I recommending having either a designated driver, or doing using a tour company. I’ve done both, and prefer having a DD, but the tour was pretty nice as well. We got to go to places that weren’t open to the public, and there weren’t a ton of annoying super tourists… I just don’t recommend doing the drinking & driving route. The pourers can have heavy hands.   Wineries I recommend: Domaine Chandon (great champagne, and beautiful landscaping) and Mumm (also great champagne). If you’re driving, I suggest driving up the main drag in Sonoma Valley, Rt.12, i think? and then crossing over at the top and going back down through Napa Valley on rt. 29. And just stop into whatever wineries strike your fancy.

Iceland Photos

Monday, March 30th, 2009

I’m back from Iceland! It was great! I’m sore from lots of strenuous activities, as well as sun and wind burnt, and I’m still massively under slept. But I had a really amazing time. My 2 favorite activities were hiking into snowy mountains to find a hot springs that we then bathed in (this tour), and riding Icelandic  horses though a beautiful area (with this company).

Some of my favorite photos:

Lemur wanted to go diving for all the coins.
Fun overall.
He wore it as a coat.
This shows a little bit better, but not really.
She had an itchy nose.
20 degrees F, 40 mph winds, heavy snow, and ready for a swim!

Check out my entire gallery of photos here.

I went with Devon and my friends Kate, Dan and David. We did lots of stuff… Which normally I would sum up, but Devon already did a great job at it on his blog… Check out:

What we did – Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.   Also see his impressions of Iceland, Impressions of our hotel and his photos.

I had a great time and I recommend the trip for anyone who would like a more active vacation, and doesn’t mind being cold all of the time. I certainly would like to return to soak in the Blue Lagoon some more.