Posts Tagged With: California

The Raiders just keep on giving…

Since the Raiders lost during my “birthday” game (seen in “A day in silver and black”) it was felt to attend one more in high hopes for them to redeem themselves. Before I even try to drag this post out, let me just lay it out there. We got demolished. I mean, they generously sacrificed yet another win to allow the visiting team to feel welcome. I just can’t get over how unselfish the Oakland Raiders truly are!

Let’s make this post quick, fun and painless.

Instead of driving, Hayden and I decided to take the route that required no wheels. The first transfer required light rail, a regional transit system, from our home town of Folsom to the main Sacramento train station. Once arriving there, we hopped over to Amtrak that would take all the way to the Oakland colesium!

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Finally arriving to Oakland, we exited the tracks to cross a bridge before entering the sea of black and silver. Tailgaters are already in motion on this side of the gates! Can you spot the flag being carried under us?

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Trucks, food, friends and reunions. Yes please!

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Here are two sets of “last game/this game” photos.

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Football time! Today the Raiders are playing/donating a win to the Denver Broncos.

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Well look here… A foreign color sitting right next to me. Clearly he didn’t get the silver and black memo. Ooh, game on buddy!

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Lucky for Tom, his mustache and fun conversation made up for his choice of team.

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Here’s the last photo I took of the charitable event before we decided to beat the crowds back home.

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So when I say “beat the crowds”, what I meant was join the herd of like-minded fans.

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Waiting for the train… Game over.

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Worst tour guide ever?

Once upon a time I went to Munich Germany to experience the ever so popular festivities of Oktoberfest. Who would of known that this event would introduce two of my now dearest friends, Carina and Florian.

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I’m grateful to say that it would take several posts for me to show you all of the connections we’ve had since 2010, including but not limited to Amsterdam, Greece, Costa Rica, Recklinghausen and another Oktoberfest. With that said, let’s just jump to the exciting news that my amazing German bundles-of-joy finally made a visit to California!

Although I had been traveling as well and only arrived 18 hours prior to them, I had been planning a few adventures to show them just a small variety of what Northern California has to offer. Little did I know, my calendar dates were not in line with well… anything.

Could I really be the worst tour guide ever?!

Worst tour guide ever: Spend 4 years bragging about living next to the grand Folsom Lake, just to have them visit during one of the biggest droughts in history.

Redeem the situation by bringing them to a different body of water known as the American River. Sun, water, smiles… Check!

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Worst tour guide ever: Invite them to a big night on the town during the only holiday weekend in which everyone is out of town.

Redeem yourself by taking them on a Johnny Cash tour (they’re huge fans) from the actual “Folsom Prison” to the tracks in which you used to “hear the train uh comin…”.

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Eventually making it to Reno (where Mr.Cash “shot a man… just to watch him die”).

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Worst tour guide ever: Almost run out of gas on the way to your next stop.

Redeem yourself by making sure to point out the stateline… Twice!

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Worst tour guide ever: Register for a “discount motel” without ever seeing it before.

Redeem yourself by bringing out a camera and spending five extra minutes in the room doing, hmm… I don’t know what to call this one.

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Worst tour guide ever: Describe the perfect beach… just to arrive at a full parking lot and an over populated coastline.

Redeem yourself with a walk through the gorgeous greenery of North Lake Tahoe to a lesser known beach. Classic panoramic views and sandy toes… Check!

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Worst tour guide ever: Get them really excited about the huge Gondola ride, stand in line, get to the ticket booth and find out it has doubled in price since last time you were there!

Redeem yourself by taking a night walk lit by fireworks and stumble upon what appears to be a huge bike?! Photo time!

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Worst tour guide ever: Take them to a country bar explaining the art of line-dancing and prepare them for tall cowboy hats, only to walk in to an empty bar with a dj playing pop and hip-hop music all night.

Redeeming yourself isn’t as necessary here, because with energetic music and quality people… fun just follows.

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Worst tour guide ever: Drive them to San Francisco not realizing there were a dozen festivals happening which means, extreme traffic and no parking…anywhere!

Redeeming happened with a refreshing walk across the popular Golden Gate Bridge.

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To conclude the possibility of me being the worst tour guide ever, I’ll close with the defense that when you combine genuine people with a true desire for a good time… No tour guide, weather disasters or other unexpected fault can tarnish a beautiful memory. Honored to have been a host and now sad to see them go, I’ll simply look forward to the next glorious time we meet again. Fingers crossed, I’m not the guide.

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I want to recognize several fabulous people that you see in the post above.
Hayden, (who met Florian in Greece and Carina in Amsteredam) thank you for opening your home, loaning your truck and being the best second worst tour guide with me!
Michelle and Nick, (met Carina and Hayden in Costa Rica) your lovely Truckee home and energetic night out in Reno absolutely enhanced our time together, thank you for all of the love!
Nate, (who was in Germany with me, but didn’t get to meet these guys till now) thanks for being so flexible, your hospitality didn’t go unnoticed!
Ian, (who met their friends Denise and Ioni in Argentina) I’m so thankful we got to celebrate your birthday with you this year!
Mike, (met Carina in Amsterdam) so glad you brought another smile to the table.
Crystal, thanks for making time to come out and finally meet the duo I’ve been telling you about. Ps, you doing the worm made the night!

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The Folsom Farmers Market

If you’ve been following long enough, you’ll know it’s very likely to find me in a local market sampling any and every thing that’s offered. I love food.

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This round of staying in California placed me living a short distance from the local farmers market. For the first time I was a tourist in my home town as I chatted small talk with the venders every Saturday morning. Walk with me (or kidnap some friends and jog with me)!

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I apologize to the non vegetarians out there as I didn’t get close ups of any animal products. Take my word, there were definitely quality hunks of meat out there and I’m not talking about the guys who came to the market still dressed in their gym clothes.

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This stand sells goodies from under the sea. Fresh fish, smoked items and unique treats such as salmon bacon and fish jerky were a just a few of the options.

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All the way from The Netherlands (one of my favorite European countries) is Marga. With vegan treats and energy boosting snacks, she greeted me with a familiar accent. I replied with the only sentence I know in her language, “Klink ik nederlands?”, which translates “Do I sound Dutch?”. She responded with a giggle and said, “Not really. WellI I guess a little bit since I understood you!”.
Her website offers nutrient packed snacks and details of how it all started. Check her out at www.commonkettle.com

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A special thanks to Teresa. As if her tasty jam wasn’t enjoyable enough, the supportive conversation was something I looked forward to each week. Ps, apricot is amazing if you ever get the chance to order from her!

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Nita, side by side with her daughter, was always eager to divi out the samples (I’m sure because they were confident that you couldn’t resist another bite). From gooey caramel enhanced rice Krispy treats to peanut butter brownies, self discipline was a must when passing by this stand!

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Peel’d has a brilliant idea that is beng loved around the Sacramento area. Each day they juice a fresh new batch of smoothies and bring the amazing flavors out to the market. I know most of you savvy little health nuts out there have a juicer or Vitamix, but this little backpacker doesn’t have room to lug those appliances around. Instead, I choose over worn clothes, trail mix, and a half empty first aid kit.
With that said, this trip I’ve been spoiled with a fresh juice every Weekend. Glorious! If you’re jealous and would love these juicy deliveries to your doorstep, check out their website at www.getpeeld.com.
To Tim and my peel’d friends, your greetings every week spoke in volumes and have still left an imprint on my Saturday morning experiences, much gratitude to the dozens of samples (that you knew I had already tried) and the gifted bottles that I enjoyed to the last drop!

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I didn’t get to know this lovely lady as well as the others, but Nicole’s creativity and passion towards organic dog food stood out to me. Add animals to the list of things that I don’t backpack with, but if you have a healthy pup at home, feel free to look her up at www.inthedoghousetreats.com

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If I could remember the exact words these folks spoke to me I’d share them with the world to brighten the day. Their supportive compliments fueled my traveling fire and the mini bag of granola traveled with me well! Thanks again!

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Usually my market posts are crammed with fruit and veggies, but this round the vibrant people and homemade goodies took over. I don’t want to leave out the vendors that kept my counter piled high with rainbow colored edibles from the earth. Thank you for the abundance of plants grown in your backyard!

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Categories: Edibles!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Folsom Lake, no swimsuit needed.

When I tell people I’m from California, I usually get a response questioning my ability to surf and/or if I can see the ocean from my house. Considering I grew up in the Central Valley, my “surf” was behind a boat on one of the many lakes and rivers. Folsom lake specifically was a huge part of my childhood as it was just a bike ride away. With the slightest glimpse of the Spring’s sun, we would be packed up and headed for the water. 20140209-090718.jpg

To see more of sunshine playtime in California check out the post, “Jumbled July Shenanigans in California”.

Back to Folsom Lake. So, how did this aquatic social park get here? Before the massive body of water, there was a dainty little town that was home to 2,500 Mormon immigrants seeking riches after settlers struck gold in the nearby city of Coloma. Developed in 1848, it lasted only 100 years before the city was flooded for the Folson Dam project that created the lake we know today.

Thank you internet for this photo of the historic town during it’s prime.

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After 2 consecutive dry seasons, Folsom Lake is at a record low of only 17% capacity. Below is a comparison of the dam when the lake was full and one of the present state of drought.20140209-091200.jpg

With levels this low, the lost city from the 1800’s has revealed evidence of it’s once thriving existence. Now that you can walk miles of what usually is underwater, we decided to head out to see the city we had been swimming over for years. (Recognize these boys? Mike and Hayden were my amusing partners in crime during the last adventure in Europe).
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Here, you can see old roads and remaining stones from what could of been a local home, saloon or school.20140209-093627.jpg

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If you’ve ever enjoyed a summer on this lake, you’ve seen at least one of your friends (if not you, yourself) dive in after a phone, a pair of sunglasses, keys, watch… pretty much anything that doesn’t float. I can only imagine how many of these were found during the early days of the drought. On this excurssion, we were lucky to see older items that had been discovered and placed on display for the public to view.

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Luckily I’m writing this post with rain hitting the windows and predicted snow fall in the mountains. We’re all hoping for the return of a lake in the near future, so I’ll leave this post with one of my favorite night photos I took on Folsom Lake years ago after a day of play in the sun. !

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Categories: Travel talk, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Jumbled July shenanigans in California

When some think of California they picture the long haired surfers living on a beach or possibly downtown Hollywood being packed with movie stars. Although that does makes up a small portion of this magnificent state, let me welcome you to Northern California and the natural beauty that comes with it!

This trip back was short and sweet, so I’d like to recap multiple visits. Simply click on any link below and viola, you’ll be directed to previous posts that go into detail of those magical destinations!

My hometown of Folsom. Yes, where the prison is from the Johnny Cash song.

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A day in the bay of San Francisco!

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Green + Sand + Blue = Lake Tahoe!

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Downtown in the capital city of Sacramento.

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River rafting (aka “floating”) down the American River.

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Here’s a direct link to last years July celebrations including house boating and a cattle drive parade!

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This July in California I was invited to several small gatherings that allowed me to pack in a variety of adventures.

I’ll start by recapping Yosemite with a few of my favorite photos. If you missed any of the detailed posts about this national park, click here.

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For this 4th of July, I headed back to the houseboat on Lake Oroville to celebrate the day of America’s independence! What do you do while stuck (to be said with sarcasm) on a boat for a few days with great people? Play, eat, swim, nap, drink and play!

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Check it out, my cup is a blog fan!

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20130720-152833.jpgWhen waking up on the final day, my dear friend Crystal and I thought a yoga session was the perfect way to rise with the bright sun!

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After thoroughly enjoying the natural beauty of the outdoors, I returned to town to partake in a few backyard events. Considering California broke heat records this year, I’ll start with pool parties and bbq’s!

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Recognize this little red headed doll? That’s my cousin from Oklahoma that I wrote about during the tornado’s last month. Now he gets to see California blue sky, 100 degree weather and play with “Keka’s” friends!

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This lovely couple is at the top of my “I want to be like you when I grown up” list. Maureen (aka Mo) and I have been friends since the days of finger paint, hair scrunchies and snack packs. Ben is her equally incredible husband that makes up the other half of this power duo. Ever wonder how many married couples still express their love through patience, consideration and open communication? Well, meet the Hillel’s and their newest addition (one of my favorite mini buddies) Cora.

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Themed Parties! This one is called “White Trash” or “Redneck”. The Urban dictionary defines this group as uneducated persons that comes from the backwoods with little awareness of the modern world with moral failings. An individual that may or may not be poor, but is monumentally ignorant and quite possibly stupid.
Spam carving contest, arm wrestling and a whipped cream Twinkie hunt leads to duck tape prizes and dancing. Notice the can stacks? It’s a game in which each time you finish a beer, you tape it to the bottom of your “stick”. (Clearly I don’t mine losing that game).

Why we base an entire gathering celebrating this with costumes, games and prizes? I’m still trying to figure it out myself…

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Moving on to a more “classy”” portion of my trip was visiting one of my favorite restaurants.

Sushi! For the sake of the fans out there, I’m going to share Mikunis and its enormous growth in popularity over the past 20 years. When I used to come here as a little girl, there were a few chairs in front of the chef and a couple tables that crowded a small dining area. With quality food and the dedication from the owner Taro, it has now expanded to a well known and award winning hotspot. Their menu website is also worth checking out if you’re in the need of growling stomach and a salivating mouth.

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The large wheel is for the “grown-ups” to spin on their birthday. Prizes range from a bag if rice up to $100 gift card! I’ve spun this wheel every year since my 9th birthday and now have a collection of mugs, t-shirts and chopsticks. This summer, I was thrilled to watch Cora spin on her first birthday… Special.

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Hungry yet?

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I’ve done an abundance of hair to replenish some travel funds and I did the annual dig through my storage unit to repack for future weather changes. I’ve gotten to hug old friends and make some new ones. Now I’m off to Florida to love on my dear mother!

Have I mentioned lately how much I love my life? Well, I do.

Categories: Edibles!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Yoga? You found me! LEAP this way…

*Some of the photos below are borrowed from fellow LEAP lovers.

Depending on how long you’ve been following this blog, you probably get a solid idea that I believe things, people, and places are introduced into your life at the appropriate time. All for reasons that we may not even be aware of. Now enters LEAP yoga and everyone there!

LEAP is a studio located in my hometown of Folsom, California. I would often hear of the place through several invitations from friends who were already attending. At that time in my life, I chose working full time (over time), lifting weights, and dancing were my three priorities of energy expense. I’m not saying that I had chosen the healthier options… It’s just the way it was.

Upon returning to the ever so familiar city of Folsom, I was greeted by my precious (to say at the least) friend Crystal with an invite to join her for yoga. “Let me guess” I say, ‘It’s that LEAP place everyone keeps talking about, right?”. With a huge expression and a face filled with her contagious smile, she replies, “Yeh! So you’re going!”. Feeling the need to focus internally and release some tension, I decided it was a great idea, little did I know…. A brilliant idea! Let’s call it journey changing.

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As you enter LEAP you’re greeted with genuine smiles and more often than not an abundance of sincere hugs followed by “I’m so excited you’re here!”

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Side fun note: See that sparkling smile in the middle of the instructors photos? That’s Mark, a friend in which I used to trick-o-treat with back in our elementary school days. Now he’s a guiding light here at LEAP! Below is a photo from our old school yearbook, Awh…so cute!

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Moving on to the natural calming sense that begins to take over as you make your way to practice. How can you feel stressed out when you approach a waterfall Buddha? Just feel the instant dropping of your shoulders as you enter a warm room filled with peaceful decor.

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Im sure we’re all here for a different reasons. Many want the exercise and stretching, others might desire a sort of meditation or therapeutic session. No matter what your intensions are, as you arrive to the practice and you layout your mat, you’re tickled with an “indescribable” feeling. Something that grows within you as you acknowledge your purpose and embrace the beautiful experience. (Those feelings I will attempt to describe in a future post!)

Here is a scrumptious handful of photos to try and give you just a glimpse of the pure energy, sweaty smiles and active room that is… LEAP!

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The creators, Cathy and Corey (pictured below) shared a vision for creating a studio where one could feel connected, supported and honored. “At Leap we are committed to building a community rooted in compassion, love and truth. We want to support all of our students in creating their best life.” Mission accomplished my new friends!

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They have a modern website that is welcoming and easy to follow. I encourage you to check it out to get a more thorough idea of this magical place! Click here to be directed to leapyoga.net.

Here are two of my favorite pictures from the LEAP website!

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A very deep and personal note of gratitude to Crystal, Jamie, Donna, Mark, Jenna, Michelle, Robert, Allie, Allison and Joy. You each have uniquely enhanced my life with such grace, I couldn’t have planned it for better. Thank you for sharing and enjoying our path crossing!

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Categories: Art, Fitness, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Day in the bay… San Francisco!

Although I was raised just 100 miles away from this popular place, I find myself visiting for the first time as a tourist. What a fabulous city!

Who else but one of my best buds Walker to join me for this day of Bay area exploring. Our drive starts with blue sky and two smiles!

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Nervous about going over bridges? This journey may not be for you as it’s necessary to cruise over a few throughout the day.

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First stop is one of the most photographed spots in the world, the Golden Gate Bridge.
To answer a common question, no it’s not gold. It’s said to be “international orange” or in Walkers words, “It’s more of a red”.

SF Fun fact #1- The Golden Gate Bridge is continuously painted and repainted all the time. It’s so long that by the time the paint crew gets from one end to the other, it’s time to start over again.

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Handstand photo!

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The sign above describes what each rod is made of to support this massive structure. Below is a close up of the iron rods that make up each cable.

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Can you walk across it? Of course! Let’s do it.

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I’m not sure why the cyclist get all the room.

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As you heel toe across these gorgeous steel path, signs keep you aware of the height that can take your life if dared to compete.

SF Fun Fact #2- The production of the bridge was the first of its kind to ever use nets as safety for falling workers.

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We pause in the middle for a view that encourages a deep breath and forces the eyes to wander in attempt to capture all that’s around you.

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That “little” island out there is the famous prison that is now closed but is still known as Alkatraz. I found a easy read website describing some details about it. Click here for the facts

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On the way back we witness the “official” crew and their transportation cruising across bridge, you’ve got to smile on the intensity of these mini machines!

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What’s this? I’ve only seen this abroad, which leaves me to wonder if these were attached by visitors here from over seas. The tradition brings a loving couple to the bridge and after securing it to the gate, they toss the key overboard to lock in their commitment.

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Last shot as we exit the bridge followed by a “creative” photo I snapped with a neat effect.

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Now, off to the well known cross streets of Haight and Ashbury. I absolutely love walking through this bohemian neighborhood of thrift stores, music shops, cafe’s and specialty boutiques. Here are some photos on the drive over and some fun in the shops.

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SF Fun Fact #3- Denim jeans were invented in San Francisco for the Gold Rush miners who needed tough, comfortable clothing.

This wall was so magnetic!

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SF Fun Fact #4- This city ranks fourth in the world, after New York, Moscow and London, in terms of the numbers of billionaires that call it home. This is despite the fact that it has less than 10% of the population of the other three cities. San Francisco is also known for having the largest Chinese community in the world, outside of China.

As we finished up the afternoon, I made photos from the passenger seat on our drive out of the city. Well, that was after we found the owner to the van that decided our car needed a hug.

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Clearly the owner of this dog didn’t read the sign.

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Adorable.

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Nearing the famous Fisherman’s Warf before crossing the final bridge through the tunnel and Sacramento bound.

SF Fun Fact #5- The Chinese Fortune Cookie was invented in SF at the Japanese Tea Garden by Makato Hagiwara. Chop Suey was also created in the bay during a banquet!

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I can absolutely understand why so many people around the world travel here to capture the energy of San Francisco. I’m so thankful I got the perfect company to join me on this day. Rabbit ears and all… Walker, you’re sawesome (not a typo).

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Categories: Art, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sacramento, California

I will start this off with an apology (or reason) for my recent lack of posting. Most of you know me well enough to understand that when it’s time for friends and family, technology goes out the window (phone, facebook, and unfortunately the blog as well).
With that said, as I returned to the states for my visit, I did take a little time to show another small portion of the beautiful state of California. If you’re interested in further information, I found an entertaining link on the history of Sacramento. http://www.sacramentohistory.org/ .

Sacramento is the Capitol and has an eye catching building to represent it (which turned out to be the handstand sight!)

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I invited my long time partner in small crime, can’t live with him-can’t live without him, best buddy Walker to join me in exploring Sacramento. He keeps me smiling unconditionally, and even when the blue sky’s of California are covered in grey like today, he still points out the vibrant reds found in the fall touched trees. Perfect companion for a day strolling down town!

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Some “out of the window” pictures from the drive around the city.

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We parked in old town for a nice walk towards the river. Here are a couple of random pics along the way.

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Ooh, what’s this? Sweet tooth time!

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I zoomed in on a shirt to capture the first picture below, then caught a shot of a local ride.

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For the creative pictures of the day…

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Dear Walker, you’ve been in my life since I was sporting side pony tails and playing freeze tag in the snow. Thank you for the hours of uncontrollable laughter, genuine smiles and your unmistakable attitude that constantly forces me to be on point. Take luck, good care and always remember there’s neck tie.

Here’s Walker and I five years ago at the wedding of my dear friend Valerie, (another amazing friend who should win some “super mom of the year” award!) followed by a picture from today.

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Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Wholesome Folsom

Folsom California, the place one would call my “hometown”. I started kindergarden here in what used to be a quaint little historical town with under 15,000 residents. Since then, I graduated, worked and started a business while watching the population rocket, reaching almost 75,000 people! Now a vibrant busy city with much to see, the following post is my week as a “tourist”.

(Most of the pictures seen on this post are from my camera, however a few were snagged from some locals and websites). Thank you!

I had my long time local friends vote for the next handstand picture to represent this adorable place and the the winner by far…
The Rainbow Bridge!
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I was stoked and ready for a quick shot of this historical landmark that was built in 1916 and still in full use today. I thought “quick”, that was until we got down there and realized that the best angle was on a flat rock IN the American River.

The fun begins! Shall we take a second to laugh at the fact that I’m in a mini skirt and sandals… Brilliant.
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Hmmm, definitely have to get wet if this is going to be a success. Wardrobe change!
Kicked off the sandals, pulled my skirt up to make a shirt and took my shirt off to make it a scarf.
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Almost there…
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Made it!
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On the trek back, Ian (the amazing personal photographer of the day) caught me staring into the water as if there would be a way around it.
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It takes a patient person to “tour” around all day taking photos of things you’ve looked at since childhood (he grew up here as well). Ian, you’re a great friend!
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Folsom Prison, yes the one made famous in a song by the legendary Johnny Cash. For all of my friends abroad who have never heard of it, try searching for it on YouTube (Johnny cash – Folsom Prison Blues) it’s a classic!  If you live near, in or around this area and were born before 1994 and don’t know this song… please report yourself to the local authorities for breaking some sort of unspoken law.

Some pics of the entrance.
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…and a “not so” entrance.
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As Folsom expanded, the rainbow bridge was no longer sufficient for all of the growth.
Here is the “new bridge” that has opened up traffic flow to cross the American River.
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You’re looking at the massive Folsom Dam that was closed in 2003 for security issues following the September terrorist attacks of 2001. The solid bridge in front of it is the the new crossing that opened in 2009.
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Sutter street is the old main road back from the gold rush days in the early 1800’s.
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Recently renovated, the main street is now a vibrant attraction for several different reasons. Clothing boutiques and antique shops to bars and cafes, it has something for everyone.
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Snooks is a family owned and operated factory providing chocolate, carmel apples, taffy, ice cream and candy in which they make mostly right here!
Warning: do not enter this establishment unless you are fully prepared to be tempted with sweet smells, unique textures and samples of luxurious flavors.
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The original Folsom Hotel… now a popular bar with a not so secret kitchen serving up food that I dare not classify as “bar food”. It’s quality is above and beyond. Well done Dan!
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This is the Hacienda, a Mexican restaraunt that sits at the corner on the second story over looking a portion of Sutter street.
This pic is standing in the street looking up at the balcony.
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Up the stairs…
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… To the balcony and views from both sides.
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This is a recent picture of me and Janine enjoying the balcony ambiance. This lovely woman has opened her home to me with the upmost hospitality during my travels back to Folsom. Thank you friend for the warm welcome and fun girl chats!
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Inside are several tables for families to enjoy the chips and salsa and fancy blended drinks. These photos are on the other side of the restaurant where there’s a large bar with a social setting. I love all of the colors!
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Mystery shot!? I just don’t know about that.
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Recognize this guy? Ian is the smile that accompanied me in Argentina for the Iguazu Falls!
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Folsom has several parks and playgrounds (There are over 40!)
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(I did not take most of the city pics to follow)

A water park!
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Skate park
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Dirt riding track
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There are dog parks for the families with “paw babies”.
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Bike Trails
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This town has grown to a city with 10 elementary schools, 2 middle schools, 3 high schools and a community college. I found this pic on line and due to my lack of a helicopter, I thought I’d use it. This is the high school I graduated from, scene from birds eye view.
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Folsom lake
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Although Folsom doesn’t have your typical city scene night clubs, it certaintly does it’s job of  providing a variety of places to enjoy adult beverages, live music and billards.  Depending on the evening, you can also find a Dj spinning to a dance floor of people usually involving a group celebrating a birthday, engagement, or simple girls night out (which typically brings the “boys night out”… Funny how that works).

To prevent a bunch of dark photos of the back of people’s heads, I went out during the day and snapped some pics of the local bars.

“The Purp” as some call it, is a restaurant and bar combo providing some of the best Bloody Mary’s around, a menu full of classic dishes and daily entertainment ranging from televised sports to dancing and live music.
This is one of my favorites for the kickstart of the well known “Sunday Funday”.
Locals Definition of “Sunday Funday”: An extension of the party weekend usually beginning early with “the hair of the dog” and followed by some activity in the sun with your peers. Usually ending… sunburnt.

If you arrive here on a Sunday morning, you’ll find some girls in a mini dress with makeup (probably from the events of the previous night) to ladies in jeans and flip flops. Guys in hats ready for the lake sitting next to a table of elderly gentleman dressed from earlier church services. I always get a kick out of the bikers that ride in on their motorcycles in full leather gear.
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A shot of the open part of the bar.
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Folsom Lake Bowl, otherwise known as FLB.
When I was little, my dad used to take me here every week during his bowling league. I would get my little ball and mess around on a lane while emptying the .10 cent gum ball machine.  Now it’s a full bar, casino, bowling alley, with an attached uniquely styled barber shop. This is the central “go to” if you’re looking for people, food, drinks, billiards, music, gambling and/or sports. The indoor and outdoor areas are comfortable for crowds and they have TV screens that are always showing the latest sporting events.
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Lucky’s Barber Shop! There’s something to be said about people who can appreciate art… if it be hanging on the walls, tattooed on the skin, or designed in the hair. Good on ya fellas!
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Other options to choose from range quite a bit depending on your budget and what you desire for the evening. Quick run down on my favorites:

Streets of London: A British pub serving up authentic dishes and great drinks in a fútbol decorated bar. They also have picnic tables outside with a comfortable, welcoming vibe and fair prices.

Samuel Horne’s: A narrow room with creative seating that specializes in local brews.  Their wall of beer changes perodically giving you a variety of tastes with the added lesson of where it came from and it’s distinct flavors.  It also has a chef on hand that makes fabulous bites to compliment the cold beers.
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…and it happens to provide the stage for a weekly acoustical set by a well known local friend, Scott Graham.  You’ve heard of him? Thought so.
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The list goes on! Sports Garage, Wine Bar, Manderas, the entire strip on Sutter street including the Hotel, Scarletts, Powerhouse, Sutter club, old Europe, and more!

Instead of me listing the other dozens of fun places, just email me if you want more info.  There’s honestly so many that this post will start to take a turn to a “best route to pub crawl in Folsom”.

I grew up in this city, back when it was nicked named “The Cow Town”. A time when everyone knew the owner of each local business and you graduated high school with the same kids you learned your ABC’s with.
Although I’ve packed up and moved out to see more of this beautiful planet, it’s always so nice to come back and be reminded of where I came from.

A sincere thank you to all of my friends that welcomed me with the brightest smiles and cheerful eyes! The love was felt beyond the hugs. If time didn’t allow us to connect, I still absorbed the warmth from the emails, voicemails and even the honking and waving from cars passing!

…cheers till next time Folsom.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

4th of July in the USA!

Independence Day is the national holiday of the United States of America commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(I didn’t write that… Thank you Internet).

*Fun fact #1 – The US flag changed appearance for 280 years as each state was added to the union, another star was added. The last star was added on July 4th, 1960, after Hawaii became the 50th state.
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The 13 stripes (seven red and six white) are for the original 13 colonies and the 50 stars represent all the states. Red is for Valor and Hardiness; white is for Innocence and Purity; and blue is for Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice.

North Americans celebrate in several different ways usually including, but not limited to a parade, food mostly prepared on a barbecue, adult beverages and fireworks (liquor and fireworks… kind of silly when I actually write it out).
*Fun fact #2 – more than 66 million Americans bust out the grill on this national holiday.

Here are some photos snagged from the local parade that was kicking off the famous Folsom Pro Rodeo.  For details about this event click here . It’s actually really cute!
*Fun fact #3 – 50 long horn cattle lead this parade followed by half dozen “scoopers” to clean up the cow droppings.
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There’s a fun run in which locals dress up in costume and jog with the parade. I thought these guys were adorable.
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For years I have been lucky enough to the get “the invite” from a great family that choose to spend their 4th on a house boat! This year there was a range of ages which in my opinion brings a wonderful balance to the festivities.

Merriam Webster definition: Houseboat
a boat fitted for use as a dwelling; especially : a pleasure craft with a broad beam, a usually shallow draft, and a large superstructure resembling a house.

We celebrated on Lake Oroville. This body of water sits in central California outside of the popular college town of Chico.
*Fun fact #3 – Chico State was nicknamed the “party school” in 1987 by playboy magazine.

At the doc you get to see a variety of other boats.
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Our home for the holiday!
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Some of the gentlemen playing cards. I was honored to be welcomed to the table after a detailed lesson on the game of whist. England, watch out! The ever so humble and shy guy (haha, love ya Peter) in the black hat is the owner of this watercraft.
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The magnificent ladies of the boat.
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(That’s root beer)
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Although there’s a bathroom with a shower (as well as a kitchen, dining area and bedroom) it’s so much more fun to bath like this:

Step one – Jump in!
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Step two – Lather up…
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…and make the traditional soap-hawk!
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To rinse? That’s Step three – Water slide!
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Time for a little excursion off the house boat. Getting it all ready… And the crew is set to go!
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For all of you that have a need for speed and power, this ones for you!
This was so loud when passing us that we had to stop conversation and wait for the freight train thunder to clear.
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Quick quiz: There are four girls in this pic. One is Portuguese and German. Another is Irish, English and German. One is Irish and French and the other is Native American, Italian, French and German.
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Answer: Crystal the Portuguese/German is at the top and Stephanie the Irish/English/German is to the right. Kelsey is the French/Irish on the left and I’m the bottom set of legs as the remaining mix.

Safety first! We took pride in our vibrant jackets (that were all youth sizes which makes for a well…. Snug fit).
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Side note: We took the boat up towards the some waterfalls which means this water is not “lake warm”. It certainly brings appreciation to the incredible set of lungs we’re so fortunate to have!

Who doesn’t bring back the old school jumping fun!?
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Is he hesitating to jump in due to the sign behind us or the temperature of the water? Judging by his face, the water isn’t warm.
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This is one of my favorites because of Crystals expression. “Hey! Do you need to jump directly next to me!?”
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But of course…
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I got to catch a ride on the way back, score!
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Sunsets leading to the fireworks they provide that launch over the water.
*Fun fact #5 – $135.6 million is spent nationally on legal fireworks for this celebration.
Happy Independence Day!
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To the other 13 houseboat mates, I thank you. The conversation, constant smiles and hi-fives were and always are my favorite 4th memories… Cheers to genuine people!

Categories: Accommodations, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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