Posts Tagged With: Folsom

Coast to coast and over seas

The trip back to the states included the usual 3 consisting of California, Oklahoma and Florida. In order to catch up quickly I’m going to post some of my favorite photos that Matt and I snagged per state. 

As you can imagine, Oklahoma didn’t necessarily provide the best of landscape shots, but Matt was able to capture some wildlife that can easily be overlooked.

You know these lovely ladies, my cousins Lacie and Lana have made random appearences like Hot with a 92% chance of muggyFamily and treats in Oklahoma and Till next time Oklahoma! Check out these comparisons from a few years ago to now.

Moving on to California! Before Matt met me here, I was honored to attend a dear friends wedding. Now when I say “dear friend”, I mean a woman that has shown me the true definition of unconditional love and support. It makes my heart full of joy to see her so happy. Congrats to Liz and Katie! Ps, best Rockabilly wedding ever and a special thanks to my perfect date, Crystal! (you’ve seen her in Jumbled shinaniguns in California and 32 candles on 32 peddles!) Wedding bells put away and Matt finally arriving, it was time to venture around! Of course we hit my hometown of Folsom, but the highlight was Truckee and Lake Tahoe! Here are some of my favorite pictures he took with the rest shown on his site www.stonesharpimagesphotography.comThe Heavenly ski resort provides a gondola ride for all of their participants as well as non skiers to enjoy the epic view of Lake Tahoe. Shall we? We shall!

The above photo is looking back at the Lake and below is what you’ll see as the slow, smooth moving Gondola glides to the top.

Finishing up my visit to the US, I found myslelf all smiles with good ol’ mom. Although it really has nothing to do with this post I feel the need to list a few of my favorite writings that include moments with her. So if you’ve got the time for random reads, I invite you to visit the pasts posts of our time in Cental America when mom was brave enough to venture abroad with me in Puerto de la Libertad and Wrapping up our time in El Salvador. Or maybe you’d be interested in good cry today? Embrace yourself for Not just a dolphin tour, it seems to be a tear jerker.

Getting back to this post, I mainly just wanted to hit the highlights of music, beaches and friends… the perfect combo!

After soaking up time with family, friends and new acquaintances I flew to South Florida to meet back up with Matt.

Intermission: Turns out I traveled straight through the tornados of Atlanta and was held in the airport for two days. Here’s what the terminals look like at 2am with severe weather outside. After 8 canceled flights, 38 hours of wandering the airport and being 130 on the standby list… I finally made it! Our next flight and final stop is home (for now) being the beautiful island of Barbados! 

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9 Rounds of glorious sweaty smiles

I’d like to start this post out by acknowledging that although my opinion on nutrition and fitness changes as life presents new chapters, I still try to maintain a well rounded lifestyle.  If it be a new workout, a fresh cooking idea or some crazy cleanse, I generally tend to try anything just for the adventure of it.

For those of you that haven’t seen me through my stages of exploring health, here’s an extreme difference (and never shared before) variations in my fitness.
  

Putting the equally important side of “diet” aside, I’m going to focus on an energetic workout that has added a new element to my routine.

9Round is a specialized program dedicated to providing a unique, fun and challenging workout that guarantees results. It combines “old school boxing” and traditional kickboxing with interval cardiovascular and strength training. You’d think with only 9 rounds that you would get bored of the cylce, but day to day, I rarely did the same thing twice. New, fresh and heart pumping! 
  

Things I love about it:
1. It’s 30 minutes! You arrive, wrap your hands and start your workout. Since they have a bell controlling your rotation, you’re guaranteed 9 rounds of incredible challenges with 30 seconds between each set. Side note, the 30 seconds is not a resting period… Oh no… They call out a fun (ha, ha, ha) element of activity for you to sweat through. Examples: squat jumps, push ups, plank hold, sprints or my personal favorite plank jacks. What’s that? Hold a plank and jump your feet apart and together.
  
2. Class time? Nonsense. During opening hours, you show up when you want and start as soon as the next 3 min bell rings. 30 minutes later, you’re out the door! 
3. You have the option to go around as many times as your little body can endure. 9 rounds and you’re still a champ? Go again!
  
  
4. The beats! We all know music can enhance the mood and increase the vibe, so they let it rock… or hip hop, or old school R&B, funk or classic jams!

5.The coaches are what I consider to be motivational. They set the bar higher than you desire, then applaud you when you exceed it. Fierce, gentle and supportive are the words that come to mind when I think of my 9rounds family.

The top before/after shot is the owner of the 9 Rounds in Folsom, California. Victoria continuously encourages all of her members with an enthusiastic energy that is undeniable… and who wouldn’t want to workout harder for a coach with arms like that!?
  

Don’t live near Folsom? No need to fear, they’re everywhere! Check out the main website at www.9round.com   for other locations and more detail about this superstar program.
Dear Victoria and friends that I call my coaches, you’re unforgettable smiles and welcoming support has made an impression on my daily routine.  Although I’ll be away for some time, I will definitely incorporate your workouts within my fitness from abroad. Cheers to you and your life changing attitude!

Sincerely,
(Appropriately nicknamed)
Free Spirit 



 

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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

It all starts with a “Hello”.

Ok ok, I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted but I’ve got wonderful reasons why. Let me catch you up on just a portion of last months beautiful connections and reunions Ive gotten to experience.

First up, we have an outstanding host turned friend that took me in while trekking New Zealand. From Wellington, I bring you (again) Regina! Here we were in new Zealand followed by a photo of us now!

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Her and her husband Mike came to the states in the beginning of a backpacking journey through North and South America. My heart is filled with excitement knowing the path they’re about to experience. Congrats my friends!

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On this night, we went down to Sutter street with Freya (you read about her in the previous post) to show them the popular walk of Folsom.
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Handstand shot? Of course! Thanks to the help of my world traveling buddies, we created a tri-friendstand! Any guess on how many attempts to capture this photo? Maybe 2, 3… or 30, nobody was counting.
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Moving on to these fine gentlemen who were introduced to me during my pre-Eurotrip training (I didn’t like beer and was soon to be standing on benches in Munich at one of the worlds largest beer festivals… I needed help). I then got to put my practice to purpose and reunited with them at Oktoberfest!
I met the fine couple (who’s expecting their first baby) at the same Oktoberfest and proceeded to “Proast!” with them for the following 3 years in Munich

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Now we all reconnect in California for some quality bowling and catch up time!

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Then there’s the unforgettable Marshall. We met poolside in Vegas and began to randomly chat about travels, shocking right? We took the day after and walked the strip coming to the conclusion that, indeed someday we would reunite abroad.

Sure enough, just months later we high-fived at a pub in Amsterdam before starting our road trip through Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, and The Czech Republic. If you were following back then, I’m sure you can recall some of the adventures, one of my favorites being Salzburg done in 24 hours.

Fun friend fact: Marshall also got to meet Simon, the Dutch guy I climbed Machu Picchu with (whom I originally met in Argentina). As well as Denise, my dear friend that I met in Spain, reunited with in Argentina and visit every year in The Netherlands. Not to mention, he met the German couple from the bowling pictures above at Oktoberfest last year!

Now, he makes his way to California with his beautiful girlfriend Jaquiline for a west coast visit.

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Who else does he get introduced too? Mike and Hayden, who also got to meet Denise and Simon abroad. Bringing all of my worldy friends together…. One by one!

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The following is a conversation from a hostel room near Lake Tekapo that started this wonderful friendship:
“Erika. Yep, what’s yours?”.
“No, that’s my name. I was asking for yours”.
“It’s Erika, I already told you”… this name game went on for far too long before we realized that we were both named Erika (or Erica, if you ask her). The two of us were traveling alone in the middle of New Zealand which brought a beautiful opportunity to carpool south. Hundreds of miles in a car that barely fit us and our backpacks, we ended our journey sharing a a hostel in Queenstown.

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Erica, being from New York and me a California girl, we joked about the day we’d reunite. 2 years later and over 6000 miles away, a great magnetic pull finds us side by side again, and how convenient… she needed a haircut!

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It’s connections like this that remind me how powerful a smile and “hello” can truly be. Would if she was hadn’t of asked my name? What would the outcome had been if I was too shy to respond?
As I finished the haircut, we dreamt of the the location for our next reunion. It was then that I realized yet again, just how fortunate I really am.

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Dreamcatcher with the Hawk!

Recently I’ve slowed down the blog posts as I’m back in the states to replenish the travel funds. As I described in How do you afford all of that traveling, I generally volunteer for room and board and cut hair on the road to accumulate extra cash. Well, I can only save up so many flyer miles until I actually have to purchase the flight and thus, I’m currently working in my home state of California to prepare for the next excurssion.

Side note: I feel it’s necessary to express that although I’m here to “prepare” for the next journey, I do my best to appreciate everyday. To be in the “now” is something I try to be conscious of and embrace as I skip down the beautiful path that we call life.

Mark, Better known as Hawk, is a brightly spirited man thats eager to share the love he’s put into music and is currently collecting donations to release his first album. We met back when recess was the highlight of the day and Whitney Houston battled George Michaels for the top spot of the billboard charts.

One must smile when you see this guy!

This is where you stop reading and take a quick peek at his fundraising page, Dream Catcher Hawk Debut!

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Moving on to a brilliant evening that was made up of a group of positive thinking, open-hearted friends that gathered to support my long time pal. First here’s Anna and Tim, they opened their home to all of us and did so with smiles and an unexpected dinner that was offered without hesitation. Kale and quinoa salad with butternut squash soup… Yes please!

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Standing tall (inside and out) is Hawk. Next to him is Mackenzie, a girl with a golden heart that will brighten your world with few words and a sincere smile. The happy fella next to me? You should recognize Mike from the last stretch in Europe. Group hug for everyone!

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I wanted to add this adorable photo of Ann and Tim’s kids loving the company. Good times!

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Heading to the backyard, we found a beautifully designed layout that seemed to be made just for the gathering of great friends.

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Let the blissful tunes begin! If some of these faces look familiar, it could be from the post in which they captured my new found love for the mat at Leap Yoga Studio.

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Did you notice the white dome in the panoramic photo from above? Welcome to the colorful, sound enhancing room of joy. Well done friends!

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Do you ever wonder if there’s a group of individuals out there that truly desire genuine peace in their life… bundles of positive energy that attract more light to their already vibrant world? My heart beats with ease just knowing this bunch of bright people who are constantly spreading the warmth with their daily choices. One love!

Categories: Art, Travel talk, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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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Quick recap of Birthday Shinanugins

I had a wonderful time in California visiting my hometown of Folsom and reuniting with the dear friends that I call family. This past November 25th, I celebrated a birthday that pleasantly welcomed me into the “30’s”. For multiple reasons, I chose not to have my camera in hand at all times, so here are just a few snap shots from some of the shinanugins.

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My personal favorite is the only photo captured from the “Birthday girls night in“. This evening was one in which cotton candy pillow fights and cute lingerie were definitely not a part of the celebrations. Included however, was homemade food, drinks, laughter, girl talk and memories that were life changing (seriously). Thank you from the deep mushy part of my heart to Crystal, Stephanie and Kimmie. What a warm welcome back!

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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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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

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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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
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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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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

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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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

…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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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

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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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
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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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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

… 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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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

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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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

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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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
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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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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

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.

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