Hi there! You may be visiting because you received my Holiday Card. Welcome!
Due to lack of travel, I have been able to spend time at home learning new recipes. I've enjoyed sharing these with friends and family. So here are pictures of what I've been cooking up!
My Christmas tree is up, as well as two Santa’s! I acquired “Wine Santa” while I was in Cambria this year.
Hope everyone has a great holiday!
I took 4 days off and headed north to Cambria. I rented a cute little house for myself, and enjoyed some R&R. I drove up on a Saturday, and made 2 stops at wineries on my way north. First I stopped at Foxen. This winery has always had pretty good wines and I've always had a nice time in the past. I stopped in and had a tasting outside. Since I spit when I taste, the lady who was serving wine offered me several tastes of other wines not on their regular tasting list. It's always nice to receive extra pours!
I drove 6 minutes down the road and stopped at Riverbench. I was running low on sparkling wine so I bought a few bottles of their blanc de blancs.
I continued north and arrived at Cambria. The home I rented was super cute and charming. Very spacious and comfortable. I was very happy during my stay there. I arrived and unloaded the car and made myself at home. By 4:30 I drove to Moonstone Beach for dinner at my usual place. I knew there would be an hour wait before dinner so I took my camera with me to take pictures of the sunset. It was a beautiful sunset with clear skies.
The next day I headed into Paso Robles for some wine tasting appointments. It was such a great day of tasting! This area never disappoints!
The second night I went to the same restaurant and once again enjoyed a great meal. In fact, I went there again the third night. I've been going to that restaurant for almost 20 years now, and it has become a bit of a comfort-food-place.
My last full day in Cambria, I enjoyed walking through Main street and shopping for random odds and ends. I had lunch in town and even enjoyed an afternoon margarita. After dinner each night, I went to the spot where I spread Chris' ashes and spent some time thinking about him, and talking to him. I feel grateful that I am able to visit him and be in a wonderful place at the same time. Cambria has always been a special place for me, and Chris knew that. So much so, that Cambria is where he proposed. I am happy to have so many wonderful memories with Chris. And I know I will continue to build memories in the future.
Sometimes I feel like time flies, and other times it feels like time stands still. It is hard to believe that for years ago today Chris went to heaven. I don’t know where the time has gone.
As Chris would always tell me, he wanted his life celebrated, and wanted my happiness. So I invited my good friend Gerry over and we had a great evening celebrating and remembering Chris. My brother and his wife even stopped in for a glass of champagne.
I made a large bone-in ribeye steak, roasted cauliflower, potatoes, and sautéed mushrooms. For dessert I made a chocolate olive oil cake. We also shared some great wines. It was a fun evening full of laughter, memories, and dancing. I’m grateful for my friend Gerry who has celebrated Chris every year. Back in the day the 3 of us had great times together, and happy to continue the tradition.
May you continue to Rest In Peace, angel.
I guess I can say Happy New Year! Hi! It’s been a while.
I hope everyone is healthy and staying safe. Only now have I started to feel safe going out. My friend Karla and I decided to meet in Central CA to have a weekend away. Karla lives in Sacramento, so we met up in Paso Robles and did a bit of wine tasting at two wineries on a Thursday.
We continued west and ended up in Cambria. I was able to visit the site where I spread Chris’s ashes years ago. We had dinner at the Sea Chest and enjoyed a fun, windy evening outside.
The next day we headed east to Paso Robles again where we tasted wine all day. It was a super fun day with absolutely beautiful weather!
On Saturday, we spent the day at Tin City and had an awesome time exploring so many places. At the end of tasting we went back to the home we rented and had a great dinner together.
Disclaimer: in order to share a home we both quarantined for over a week before our trip so we could be sure we were Covid-free. :-)
I’m grateful that we were able to get away, and hope we can make it an annual trip.
Today I am full of gratitude for friends and family that sent well-wishes and happy tidings for my birthday. I have an amazing tribe and feel quite blessed for those that surround me.
Howdy! If you're here because you recently received my holiday card, welcome! Thanks for stopping by. If you want to see pictures of my travels this year, scroll down. If you want to see my Christmas tree and read my good news, hang tight!
It's hard to believe it's December. It feels like just yesterday I arrived to an empty airport in March, but also feels like that was an eternity ago. I had this year planned out, but of course, things didn't quite align the way I hoped. After I returned from Antarctica, I was supposed to fly to New Zealand on March 15th for about 3-4 weeks. Upon my return from NZ in April I was going to begin looking for a job. Well, things took a turn obviously. I didn't go to NZ since borders closed in March, and my job search was basically null for several months as the country tried to figure out what was going on. I began searching for a job in late July, and I will say, it was definitely a challenge. In the past I have been fortunate to find new positions rather quickly, but this year presented a lot of competition. I made it a goal to apply to as many positions as possible, and hoped that I'd land somewhere great! I made a list of the dream job qualities and put it on my vision board. I did not want to take just any job; I wanted a new "home," a new "family."
Well, after 5 months of searching, I accepted an offer last week with a private real estate company as their new Assistant Controller. I'm home. I found my family. And I'm incredibly grateful. This new role is everything on my list.
With the new job beginning next week, I'm doing everything I can to get things organized at home. In the past my family and I have decorated my Christmas tree together. This year was different. I brought my tree home and set it up by myself. I missed having my brother, sis in law, and parents with me at home, but I keep reminding myself, it's just for this year. So here are photos of my Christmas Tree. I also enjoy collecting ornaments from my travels and new ones I find that are unique.
Last week, I celebrated the new job with a bottle of Cabernet Franc from Chappellet and a bone-in ribeye.
As I look around, I can’t help but feel immense gratitude for all of the opportunities for growth this year has provided. I celebrated 5 years of being cancer free, hosted my cousin from Peru, traveled, spent a lot of time with my family, had the opportunity to volunteer and give back in many ways, became closer to friends and welcomed new ones, and found the new job. I also had the chance to celebrate what would have been Chris’s 40th birthday and 3 years of his passing; he will always be my best friend. I am humbled and moved by how much I received and experienced this year. I truly hope everyone continues to remain healthy, and safe.
Much Love & Light to all!
I am finally getting around to writing about the details of my trip to Antarctica. It's in order of each stop, all the way through returning to Ushuaia at the end of the trip and flying to Buenos Aires. I've written a summary already, but this is more in detail with a ton more photos of each stop.
I took a ton of video as well, so if you're actually interested in seeing more photos, let me know and I can share more photos and videos. Otherwise, all these are still photos I took with my iPhone, my Canon SX720 HS pocket camera, and my Canon EOS Rebel T7i (with several lenses). Due to the snow and just the overall nature of the trip, I had to get a new Canon pocket camera (same one) and a new iPhone when I came back to the US. The Canon pocket camera died (lots of water in it) and I upgraded my iPhone (which means I lost some numbers :-). I would not take the Rebel out if there was a chance of rain/snow in order to protect my gear.
So here is my story... enjoy!
I wrote about Ushuaia earlier this year in greater detail, while I was still in Ushuaia actually, so this is a condensed version of my time there. Here we go...
I arrived to Ushuaia days before my boat to Antarctica left in order to explore the town a bit. I had the opportunity to go to Tierra Del Fuego by train, enjoy Argentinian BBQ, and walk through town enjoying all the sites.
A day before my boat left, I met Laurie. I've written about Laurie before in more detail. The way our trip was structured, we meet our cabin mates the day before we leave on the boat, so we have time to get acquainted. Laurie and I hit it off and we hung out most of the day after she arrived. The morning of our departure, we left our luggage in the lobby and continued to explore the town. Laurie had a chance to do a tour so she left, and I stayed behind to continue enjoying the city. We met up at 3pm and headed to the port to embark on our adventure! Somehow, Laurie and I got separated and I arrived to our cabin first and had the chance to take pictures of our cabin. It was amazing to be among so many people and receive champagne as I walked on to the boat. Watching Ushuaia become smaller and smaller was beautiful as the sun began to set.... off to my adventure!
This was the very first stop on our Antarctic Tour! We had a beautiful hike through Saunders Island. There was a beautiful area full of nesting birds and penguins. We were SUPER close to all the animals, what a site!!!
I continued on a hike on my own to the other side of the island and I saw some sheep passing through. It was beautiful to see such a bright sun on a clear day. At the end of the hike, there was an SUV that was selling random souvenirs. It was by locals that made money by selling to tourists that visit the island.
At West Point I saw penguins for the first time, hanging out by the beach. I also saw a tiny colony of king penguins that were taking care of their young. I also took a photo with whale bones. Such a great start to the trip!
Last stop in the Falkland Islands before heading out to sea again was Stanley, the capital. There are about 2,500 people that live here. The city has shops, restaurants, even a brewery. We had the opportunity to enjoy the city all day and the sites. I had the opportunity to call my parents from this location since they had wifi. It was nice to call and hear their voices and wish my dad a happy early birthday. I spent the day walking around with Laurie and then we did some souvenir shopping. It was nice to have one last day of civilization before heading out to sea again.
That evening, we had a birthday celebration for Alison. We had a great dinner!
This is the first stop through the South Georgia & Sandwich Islands, and this area was where I first saw thousands and thousands of King Penguins, in Salisbury Plane. They came up to about my ribcage and they are absolutely beautiful. The camera cannot fully capture how the sunlight radiates on their beautiful yellow and white feathers. They look so regal as they walk around.
In Prion Island there were many other animals like seals, mostly pups hiding in high grass areas. So adorable!
As we continue south, it becomes a bit colder. To go out on hikes I am wearing multiple layers. Fortuna Bay is on the northeast side of the islands. Traveling through this part allowed us to avoid strong winds coming from the west. This area once had a whaling station, several through these islands. We were not allowed to step foot there; however, we cruised through the area and were able to see the extent of the station.
Have passport, will travel.