Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Break Days #4-10: Fun, fun, fun!

     Hello everyone! It's so good to have internet! Internet and cell service has been spotty to none existent this past week. But I've finally gotten the chance to stop off at a cafe that has free Wi-Fi. My next post will probably be Friday night at the hotel we stop at for the night on our way back to Lincoln.

DAY 4 (12/21)

     Wednesday we all got up semi-early (its vacation so we weren’t really in a rush). We then proceeded to pack up the car and head out to Fort Braggs with Jamie’s dad, Barry, and Jamie’s sister, Joanne, right behind us in the horse trailer. The first part of the drive was pretty easy taking the freeway, but once we got through Willits the rounds became twisting and winding, varying in elevation. This wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t like this the last 26 mile (approximately) to Fort Bragg. After a while you start to get car sick. =P

            Once we were there though everything went great and we all had a blast! The sand wasn’t the light colored sand I was used to seeing. It had a mixture of various shades of black and gray. There were also remnants of the old dock that used to be there on the shores. Hearing and smelling the ocean air was such an exhilarating experience, and I don’t think I will ever tire of being there. I would love to one day live either near or on the beach.

             I spent the first couple of hours walking along the sand and the boardwalk taking photographs while Jamie and Johnny took the horses for on the trails. Once they got back I grabbed a quick lunch of persimmons before heading out to ride with Joanne on the horses for a couple ore hours; I rode Arnie, Jamie’s horse, and Joanne rode Buddy, Barry’s horse. We took the trails for a little bit before taking the horses out on the beach.

     On the way back we decided to walk the horses up the steep hill from the beach to make things easier on Buddy, who doesn’t like walking on the sand. However, this turned out to be a mistake for me. While walking Arnie up my foot slipped on some lose sand causing Arnie to accidentally step on my left foot. Wearing only my Vibram Classics it was pretty painful initially. Almost immediately afterwards though the pain turned into a dull throb, and by the time we had ridden back to the trailer it had gone pretty numb (it had also started bleeding some this point).

            Barry gave me some first aid stuff to clean my foot up; luckily nothing was broken, cracked, or crushed. However, I did have a cool cut, some bruising, and a horseshoe shaped impression on my foot to show for it all. Afterwards I tried walking round only to discover that walking brought the sharp shooting pain back into my foot, so I was out for the count for the rest of the day.

            By the time we started heading back it was getting late and we were all getting hungry. Everyone else was going to stop off at a local pizza parlor to eat, but on the way there we stopped at the Living Light CafĂ© (a place that serves raw vegan cuisine) so that I could pick up something to eat. I grabbed a couple bags of dried mulberries (to replenish my road trip snack supply) and a nice Spanish/Mexican styled salad (which was INCREDIBLY good).

            After we got back to the house Jamie, Johnny, and I spent the rest of the evening watching movies until we fell asleep. It didn’t take very long. I was really surprised at how exhausting an active day on the beach could be. This day was one of the best days I’ve ever had.

DAY 5 (12/22)

            Since we were all so tired from the day before we woke up late. When we did get up we didn’t feel like doing all that much; we spent the better part of the morning playing around in the kitchen and watching movies in the living room. 

            I wanted to make Jamie and Johnny my mom’s scrabbled tofu recipe but we didn’t have all the ingredients necessary, so I improvised and came up with this:

It wasn’t as pretty as the regular recipe because they didn’t have any turmeric (which gives the tofu its yellow coloring). However, according to my dear friends it tasted good, which was all that mattered. They piled their plates high with the tofu, some hash browns, my raw cheese sauce, some salsa, and avocado. The food seemed to hit the spot for them because neither of them ate again until dinnertime.

            As for my breakfast, I had the pleasure of enjoying a perfectly ripe, sweet, and juicy pineapple. I was able to eat the entire thing without my tongue bleeding because it wasn’t acidic like the ones you get in Georgia or Nebraska. This is because California is closer to Hawaii, Mexico, and Costa Rica (where pineapples are grown), therefore they don’t have to be picked green to be able to make it to CA without rotting.

     After breakfast we all felt much more energized and ready to do something more active then lying around the house. Jamie’s parents’ house is situated on a 10-acre plot of land with some medium sized wooded mountains behind them that they can go trail walking or horseback riding up. We decided to hike up to the look out point since Johnny and I had never been and Jamie hadn’t gone for a while.

     There weren’t any “official” trails we just followed the small, almost indistinct, trails made by deer trekking up and down the mountain. It was only a little less than a mile to the look out point, but the steep incline made for a wicked workout. Once we reached our destination though, even with out legs muscles burning and hearts pumping, the view we got from the look out rock was worth the effort.

     On the way back down we got a little turned around and lost the deer trails for a while. However, we knew that as long as we were heading down (partially sliding down due to the thick layer of leaves that covered the steep slope) towards the creek bed we would be doing all right. Eventually we did stumble back onto a deer trail and were able to get ourselves back to level ground with only minor scratches, cuts, and bruises.
     After we gotten back, showered, and got dressed in some fresh clean clothes we used up the last of our citrus fruit to make Clementine/Satsuma/Orange juice to rejuvenate after our hike. Then the rest of the day was spent in Lakeport to purchase groceries. Jamie did have us make a quick stop at the lookout in Lakeport so that we could see the lake that gave the town its name. I don’t get why Nebraska and Georgia call their bodies of water lakes, because compared to the ones I’ve seen in Colorado, and now California, those bodies of water are ponds, not lakes.

DAY 6 (12/23)

     Friday was Redwoods day. After a lovely breakfast of super-sweet honeydew we drove north towards the Redwood forests. We stopped at the drive through Chandelier Redwood Tree (located just south of Garberville), Garberville, and Confusion Hill, and Founder’s Grove.

     I didn’t take any pictures in Garberville because we were originally just passing through to get to Founder’s Grove, but I saw a hemp shop that I just had to check out.  Inside were clothes, paper, rope, string, hats, bags, notebooks, writing utensils, soaps, and shampoos all made from hemp. I couldn’t really afford to buy any of there merchandise, but it was fun to look. I’d never been able to feel hemp clothing before. I was impressed by the good quality of the material. I don’t understand why the U.S. won’t legalize the growing of hemp. If they did a huge industry would be created in this country that would create good quality merchandise and jobs for the American people.

 DAY 7 (12/24)

            Saturday (Sabbath) we all stayed in the general Upper Lake area. However, that doesn’t mean we didn’t do anything. On the contrary, we played hard all day long riding on Barry’s motorcycle, going horseback riding, and hiking on the Glen Eden Trail.     

DAY 8 (12/25)

     Since Jamie, her family, and I don’t celebrate Christmas, the holiday was relatively uneventful. We were planning on driving back up to the Redwoods, but Jamie’s mom, Sheri, and Joanne were having some people over, so we stayed at the house to help out.

     When we weren’t visiting Jamie and I went walking out in the beautiful (and WARM) outdoors, relaxing with Johnny in one of the backrooms, and watching movies.

DAY 9 (12/26)

     Yesterday we planned to drive into Sacramento to hang out in Old Town. Before we headed out I made myself a large fruit smoothie (bananas, mango, peaches, strawberries, a raw organic superberry powder, and coconut water) and offered to make Breakfast for everyone.  I cooked up some more scrabbled tofu (I had all the right spices this time) and some more raw cheese sauce.

I may not eat cooked vegan meals like this anymore, but it is still much healthier than the SAD and vegetarian diet. Also I love to cook/bake/prepare as good and healthy food for people as I can, so if you ask to make something for you I’ll gladly do fix something to your tastes and preferences.

     It took a couple of hours to get to Old Town (we got there around 1pm), and a few more minutes to find a parking space (we had no idea it would be THAT busy). We spent the next 4 hours walking and shopping around. There was a lot of cool stuff, but I didn't have the desire, nor the money, to buy a ton of stuff. However, I did purchase some original Kodak Box Cameras form the early 1900s and a Sacramento sweatshirt.

     For dinner we stopped off at a Fresh Choice. I took advantage of their all you can eat policy and loaded up my salad with every good looking vegetables they had.

     We got back to Jamie's parents' house around 11pm and we were all exhausted, but it had been a pretty good day. We all passed out in our respective sleeping areas as soon as we got through the door. LOL.    

DAY 10 (12/27 – TODAY)

     Today is just going to be spent helping Jamie pack up some of her stuff in her room. I'll probably go for go for a walk or a run in the afternoon, and tonight I'll be making dinner for everyone: A vegan lasagna. I'm not sure what I'll be having for dinner, but I'm sure I'll be inspired by whatever yummy fresh food I can find in the house. =)


     Tomorrow we'll be spending the day in San Francisco! And Thursday has yet to be planned, but it will be out last day in California before we head out, so we'll be sure to find something awesome to do for the grand finale. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Break Days #2 & 3: Let the Fun Begin!

     Hey guys! I would have posted yesterday, but we got into Jamie's parents place later in the evening and they don't have internet. I'm currently sitting in a Starbuck in Ukiah to write this. 

DAY #2

     So, yesterday we got up pretty early and headed out. Nevada consisted mostly of barren flatland and rolling hills, but it was beautiful in its own special way, especially as the sun rose. The rest of our time spent driving through it was relatively uneventful, but there were some fun photo opportunities during my driving breaks.

     We crossed the border into California around noon.

     And it wasn't long after that we were stopped and checked to see if we had any "contaminating" or "illegal" items in our cars.

     We were fine. =)

     Our next stop was off of exit 184 for Donner Pass Road. It was a totally random choice; we just needed a place to stop and stretch our legs out. However, we ended up finding some pretty cool places to check out...

Like an epic health food store! =)

DAY #3

     The plan was to sleep in, but  ended up waking up and going for a nice run with Jamie's dog, Chief at 7:30am. When I got back I was able to enjoy some of the California fruit that Jamie's folks had bought for us. I grabbed some strawberries, bananas, dates, and coconut water, through it all in the blender, and made myself the BEST fruit smoothie I have had in a long time.

Honeydew, pineapple, persimmons, oranges, mandarines, 
clementines, strawberries, bananas, etc.

     Afterwards we played with the dogs and hung around the house a little bit before taking Jamie's horse, Arnie, out for a buggy ride! I even got to steer him for a couple of miles. =)

     A couple hours later we came back, had lunch, and headed out again. We stopped off at Glen Eden trail to check it out. We only trekked a half mile  up and then raced back down, but we plan on going back there later this week and hiking the whole thing.

     Then we stopped of at the Blue Lakes and a Bison ranch.

     And that sums up the day. It's about time for dinner so Jamie, Johnny, and I are going to go head out and find some food. Tomorrow we'll be heading out to Fort Bragg to spend the day on the coast. I can't wait!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Break Day #1: On the Road

     At 4:40 AM, Jamie, Johnny, and I began our road trip to California in two fully loaded cars. Before starting out though, I was sure to have a light breakfast consisting of tangerine/tangelo/clementine juice leftover from Saturday.

     As the journey commenced I spent the first 8 hours reacquainting myself with my extensive iPod music library and randomly making comments to Jamie and Johnny over the two way radio. By then we had mad nearly halfway across Wyoming and I was beat.

     This is where having three capable drivers comes in handy, if someone gets tired there is a relief driver. In this case Jamie joined me in my car to allow me a nice two hours of sleep and another two hours spent dozing and taking pictures.

     Around 4:20 PM we reached the outer city limits and I discovered (thanks to my awesome 3G internet) that there was a Whole Foods and an Exon gas station right next to each other two exits ahead.

Sadly, most of the fresh fruit was unripe 
(the pineapple being one of the few exceptions). 
However, they had some great organic dried fruit, 
raw fruit/chia bars, and raw chocolates.

     So we stopped to grab dinner, get gas, and switch drivers before driving 2.5 more hours before stopping for the night at The Rainbow Hotel and Casino in Nevada.

     After we checked in we played in the pool and relaxed in the hot tub for a bit. Tomorrow we'll have just 10-11 more hours until we get to Jamie's parents house. I honestly can't wait. Driving all day with little to no movement is not my idea of fun. I'm ready to get outside to swim, hike, run, and explore!

     On that note it's late, and we want to try to get as early a start as possible in the morning so I need to go get some sleep. Until tomorrow...

Total Miles Driven (from Lincoln city limits): 1,000 miles.