Thursday, October 25, 2007

San Fransisco Trip! (#55 and 56)

Last Friday I flew to San Jose to visit my little sis for the weekend. She graduated this last May and almost immediately landed a job and moved to San Jose. It was one of those things where we were all thinking, "yeah, sure, go interview with that company, that's great!" and then one day she told me she had taken their offer and was moving to California in one week's time. My entire life, I have never lived more than 3.5 hours drive from her, and for the last 5 years, she'd been closer than 30 minutes.

As I flew down over San Jose and saw the vast expanse of yellow lights stretching into the night, I was couldn't believe that my baby sister lived here all by herself. She had had the courage to leave everything and everyone she'd ever known behind and go somewhere new to strike out on her own. I had never thought of her as so independent before, and I was amazed and impressed that she had done that which I don't even know I would have had the courage to do. She grew up in my mind's eye in that moment.

The weekend was a whirlwind of awesome California/San Fransisco tourism. Our first stop (I was famished!) was at the iconic In & Out Burger.

The next morning we got up bright and early (ok, really it was 9, which isn't so early, but it WAS bright!) and headed out for San Fransisco. After parking in a $30 all-day lot (yikes!), we took a tour of the harbor, out under the golden gate bridge and around Alcatraz. This is where I tackled #55!

Alcatraz looked pretty ominous. I would love to go on a tour of it someday. The spiel that the boat captain gave contained lots of interesting tidbits, including the fact that the incinerator also heated the bakery. ewww.

After the tour we explored Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39, discovering the sea lion den, great clam chowder, and the world's best cinnamon/sugar mini donuts. (Sorry, but the last two items on that list mysteriously vanished before I was able to create photographic evidence of their existence...)

We then toured the town on the trolley cars, where I was almost kicked off for simply doing the most natural thing in the world on a San Fransisco trolley car...hanging off the side and giving people high fives. The hills were impressive--I'm not sure I would ever want to do a race in San Fransisco!

We finished our day at Lombard Street, the world's "crookedest" road. Katie drove it like a champ! (That's her in the car right in front--yes, I was in the car with her, but I jumped out and ran down the last curve so that I could get this shot.)

The next day, we woke up bright and early (same meaning as before) and took a 2-hour hike through some gorgeous mountains. Apparently locals call them "hills," but clearly they are mistaken. My calves don't suffer for days after hills!! Come on, does that look like a hill to you?? Check out that incline!

The gorgeous place my sister lives. From our vantage point on the MOUNTAIN:

We're looking good, even after that grueling hike!!

On my flight back home Sunday night, we flew over the California wildfires. The sight was eerie, not only because of the brightness of the flames in the inky darkness, but also because of the street lights mixed in with the fire.

It was a great trip, and an amazing way to check #56 off my list! I miss you, sister!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

101 in 1001

Ok, so this was the real impetus for this blog. I could have gone on and on dreaming about my website/blog and thinking every day "man, this would make a funny post" and not doing anything about it. But then I heard about 101 in 1001, and it seemed like the perfect time and way to pin myself down and actually start doing some of the things I had been thinking about for so long.

Here's the scoop on 101 in 1001: You create a list of 101 things that you want to accomplish over the next 1001 days (roughly 2.75 years). The goals should be clearly defined and easily measurable (so, although a noble goal, nothing like "make the world a better place;" rather, you have to think about how, specifically, you want to make the world a better place, like volunteering at a homeless shelter or donating $xx to charity.) They should also be stretching--putting "do laundry" would not really challenge me much and thus would not really be much of an accomplishment (there are those weeks, though, I admit, where that is a big accomplishment!).

So my 1001 days started October 19, 2007, and will end on July 16, 2010. As I accomplish the things on my list, I'll post about each small victory! I've recently been reminded how tenuous life can be, how everything you thought you'd established can change in the blink of an eye. So I'm refocusing on every happy moment in my life, no matter how great or small it is. In this way I hope to keep some perspective on what really matters and learn to let the other stuff go.

If you're interested in starting your own 101 in 1001 list, this website is a great way to get started and gather ideas, and you can use this website to calculate your end date.

To your journeys,

Monday, October 15, 2007

Testing, testing 1-2-3

I'm not sure if this qualifies as giving up or giving in, but I have officially joined the world of bloggers. It's kind of like giving up because I really wanted to do a full-blown website but could never figure out how to do one that lived up to the vision in my head, so I'm opting for a user-friendly blog instead. And it's kind of like giving in because I tend to resist fads and cultural phenomenons as long as possible before succumbing to the pressure of conformity. Not that I think all fads and cultural phnomenons are inherently negative. But I digress...

My supreme hope for this page is that it serve as a vehicle through which our friends and family can keep updated on the happenings--both big and small--in our lives. I hope that you visit it often and leave comments so that I know our news is not being sent into cybespace to merely languish unseen.

Hopefully the posts will mature into fancy things with pictures and links. We'll see just how sucked in I get. :-)

I hope that this finds you all well and that our paths cross soon.

Until then,