Monday, January 15, 2018

recappin' late 2017

Haven't posted for a while, but that certainly doesn't mean we haven't been doing stuff. In fact, its been one thing after another! All good stuff, tho - here's a recap of the end of 2017.

Fall in Seattle was truly epic this year. The color was vibrant and the leaves stayed on the trees forever!



Fall is also the time of year for hunting mushrooms in the forest. It was actually a terrible year for the edible fungi - but we did have one hugely successful weekend in the Hood Canal with our good friends (who are now engaged!) Tristan and Marielle! probably got 20+ lbs.



The fall is also grape harvesting time! We planted a couple of Riesling vines two years ago and got our first minuscule harvest this year. Enough to make four bottles! When the vines are at peak production in another 2-3 years, we'll have enough to make ~25 bottles. And you know what? It turned out well - its actually pretty good!


And its also the time of year we start on a new barrel of red wine with our wine making friends. This year we are doing a Petit Verdot. One barrel = 250 bottles! We won't bottle this until next fall - needs time in the stainless steel vessel, then in the oak barrel.



And fall is OF COURSE football season! We got our hands on two tickets to see the Seahawks play Houston. We won, it was a beautiful day and exciting game to watch!



Adrienne cooked another Thanksgiving feast that was out of this world. We had seven for the holiday this year!

 

We lost my grandmother a year ago now, so we decided to go to San Diego to be with family on the same weekend she passed away. It was so good to be with everyone, spending time on the beach and catching up with my grandfather over football!



Even though we weren't going to be home for Christmas this year, we had to get the house all dudded up!



For once, I have been the one doing a bunch of travel for work these days, which included time in Atlanta, DC, and New Orleans. In DC, I got to catch up with our old friend Emily; and in New Orleans, my mom met up with me there to see our family friend Sandy who has lived in NOLA for about 40 years!




This year we went to New Jersey for Christmas - it was an awesome time! The cooking was out of this world, and it was great to just lounge around hanging out and catching up with family.



Back on the west coast, we headed out to Port Townsend for New Years Eve with The Blondes!



And now its time to welcome winter. When the grey days disappear, it is a stunning time of year here in the PacNorWest.



Oh, and GO EAGLES!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

along the ocean in northen california

I can't say for certain, but the northern California coast just might be the most beautiful place in the world. I love the nooks and crannies, the crashing waves, the abundance of marine life, the dramatic scenery, the redwood and oak forests, vineyards weaving in and out of the rocks and hills. Every turn of the road or trail takes your breath away.

I spent the last week absorbing all of this, both with Adrienne and friends and then by myself - the best of both worlds. Our adventures started in a picture perfect Monterey for a wedding and ended with my solo exploration of the Sonoma, Mendocino, and Humbolt County coastlines.

Our college buddy Jason got married, so the old gang - with some new members - rented a house together in Monterey. We spent the day wine tasting in Carmel Valley - super gorgeous spot.

Collan and I schooled AJ and Haeden in cornhole.

Now time for the wedding - Jason and Leticia.

The crew at Monastery Beach!

All dressed up.

And this Jaguar was our ride - in style.

Old friends.

Point Lobos on the Monterey Peninsula. 

Pelicans pelicans everywhere.

After Adrienne flew home post-wedding, I drove north to the tiny town of Shelter Cove, parked the Jag, and went with this crew to a drop off along the Lost Coast. This is one of the few places along CA coast where famous Highway 1 does not touch the ocean - the King Range is way too gnarly to put a road through. The bonus? Although you can't drive here, you can walk uninterrupted along the wild ocean for nearly 100 miles.

The north end of the Lost Coast.

Doing what I love - backpacking in beautiful places.

Walking along the beach.

 Me on my birthday feeling no pain - I drank a whole bunch of bourbon on this beach!

Early shadows.

The sun rising over the King's Range. The highest peak rises 4000 feet straight out of the ocean.

I just walked and walked and walked along the beach - all the way back to my car.

Once I was done, I drove and hiked all over NorCal from Fort Bragg to the Muir Woods. Also did some wine tasting in gorgeous fall wine country.
 Fall in the Anderson Valley.

 The iconic Sonoma coastline.

 Grateful communities spared from the devastating fires.

 A Monterey Pine in the morning fog.
 Sunrise over Tomales Bay.

Morning near Petaluma.

 Clear on the coast, near Cape Arena.

 Jughandle State Park near Fort Bragg.

 Mendocino - like going back in time to 1850.

Sunrise in another of my favorites, Point Reyes Station.

Mission San Rafael Arcangel.

The town of Dillon Beach. That is the top of Point Reyes in the distance, creating a break that was over a mile long. 

Part of what made this trip so incredible were the animals I saw - the coup de gras was the baby bobcat! But I also saw sea otters, golden eagles, ospreys, hawks, elephant seals, stellar sea lions, CA sea lions, foxes, skunks, deer, falcons, pelicans,
A juvenile bobcat - we hung out together for about 2 minutes!

Gorgeous hawk.

Bear paw prints in the sand.

Elephant seal colony.

A California sea lion colony.