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Trying to plan with life getting in the way

In the middle of our last trip, we started planning 2 additional trips. Plans have been discussed off and on, but now the trip for next week must be decided upon.

We’d originally planned to leave and be away until the weather turned cooler. Now we must be back home on Sept 8 and additionally, I have a claim in S.F. that must be dealt with. Oh, the many twisty paths called life!

1.About Aug 19th, Dale and I will leave for a couple of weeks, but unfortunately we must be back for Sept 8 for an appt.

On this trip, we will go to the coast and visit a California mission where I’ll shoot photos. We were at this mission years ago and now is a perfect time to go back.

From the mission, we will now add a stop in San Francisco to deal with a claim that needs attention. But, we also now have an excuse to play in the city.

After S.F., we will go up to the wine country for a couple of “wine pick-up” parties over the weekend. Hopefully, I can convince Armida to let me have a case of Poison at their sale price. We love Poison and are glad to pick it up when we can.

We’d planned to go from the wine country over to the east side of the Sierra’s where we would go on a 3-day backpack. Well, this will likely have a small delay as we now may need to go on a quick trip to Vancouver.

If we need to go to Vancouver then we will come back down to the east side of the Sierras and pick up the backpack trips that we’d planned. We will plan to meet Justin and his sons on Sept 4 to go on another 3-day backpack trip.

2. After Sept 8 we will leave again for an undetermined amount of time. This time we will drive on “the loneliest road in America” and take the road to Great Basin. From Great Basin, we will drive to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. After the Grand Canyon, we will go to Hovenweep then to Taos. On this trip, we will carry all of the work equipment so that we can go to work instead of continuing our vacation if need be.

3. We are also starting to plan our summer of 2016, however, we have new possibilities so we might not be able to live abroad. Don’t worry, those of you who were tentatively making plans to join us. If we need to change our plans it will be somewhere you want to travel to.

Posted by Miss Chris 23:46 Archived in USA Tagged nature travel wine rv Comments (0)

Santa Fe Arrival

Off to an eating frenzy of New Mexican food

semi-overcast 50 °F

Our flights were uneventful, but since I love flying I was glad to be back in the air. IMG_20130326_103529_537.jpg

Our flight from Bakersfield was delayed so we hurried to our next gate in L.A. only to discover that we had a good 30 minutes before boarding. There was enough time to pick up a cappuccino at the Coffee Bean by our gate and I sure needed that after 4 hours of no coffee. Since we made sandwiches and packaged up snacks so we had plenty to eat.

In Albuquerque, since I’m a preferred Avis renter I was able to go straight to my car without having to go thru the nonsense at the counter. You just go to the kiosk by the cars, look at the board, find your name with the car stall number, get in the car and go. Because I’m an Avis First member the car was upgraded to a small SUV, very nice!

We are staying at the Villas de Santa Fe. I picked this hotel 1st because of the location to the Plaza and then because of the price. It is really amazingly reasonable and really nice. It does appear that they are refurbishing the place and there are very few people here. I do hope that they are successful, but they are part of a larger chain so I’m guessing that they will do their best.

We only got the basic room for 2 adults and 2 kids but we have a nice, fully stocked kitchen with dinette table, living room with a sofa bed, easy chair, flat screen TV and fireplace/heater, separate large bedroom and a tiled bathroom. Lots of room and like I say the price is amazing.

We did walk to the plaza and ate at one of our favorite places, The Shed. They do make a gluten free red chili sauce so lots of meals are available. The building is old, I’ll check it out and report on it next time, but it is by the Palace of the Governor’s which is from the 1600’s. But the walls are not straight, doors are low, floors worn so at least it looks old.

The wait time for a table was an hour so we checked out the wine shop a few doors down and had a great conversation with the owners about the local winemakers and growers.IMG_20130326_201927_709.jpg

We are now sitting in our living room drinking a “Milagro Vineyard’s” 2009 Caberbet Franc. The wine is very rich, peppery, with hints of cherry. Wish we could bring a bottle home but alas, there is not a 4oz bottle available. So we will drink it all!

Posted by Miss Chris 21:52 Archived in USA Tagged food flying family wine airplane new_mexico family_travel gluten_free grandkids_travel new_mexican_cooking Comments (0)

Happy Birthday In the Backcountry

IMG_8430.jpgDay 5: Happy Birthday Justin

Happy Birthday Justin! 36 years old!!

I started this page at 6:30 a.m. and the only one awake. I’d hung up a happy birthday on crepe paper banner between the trees then went to set in the sun.

I was sitting on a hill behind the camp with the sun coming up over the mountain so the camp wasn’t bathed in sun yet. The hill isn’t heavily forested with lots of rocks and some debris from the trees and small grass filling in. The sunlight was filtering thru the branches of the trees turning the bark to orange and red.

It was cold, really cold but the cup of hot coffee felt good in my hands and going down the throat. I thought that this would be our last full day so was determine to enjoy it.

Justin woke up before we’d decorated more but we blew up balloons and hung them on the banner. Charlotte made French toast out of left over bread and I made syrup from freeze dried blueberries, water and sugar. There was just enough bread to give everyone a piece or two.
Justin hadn’t slept well and neither had most of us; too cold. Justin thought that he’d really like to start down and go on home. We agreed that we’d love to have a better night sleep. So we started packing up to hike back. IMG_8438.jpg

The trip down the hill was uneventful, stopping for lunch by a stream. Kids played in one stream, throwing rocks into the water and pretending to catch fish. IMG_8443.jpg

We would have made it home that night after eating a birthday dinner for Justin but alas, there was a car issue so we were stuck in Lone Pine overnight. But we were very happy for the shower at the motel room.

Posted by Miss Chris 13:40 Archived in USA Tagged people food nature hiking family wine backpacking outdoors family_travel grandkids gluten_free sierras inyo_national_forest hidden_lake Comments (0)

It's About the Journey

The destination is important too but it is how you get there.

sunny

There are not many better places to write in this world. I’m sitting on a log with trees around me, a deep blue sky, a lake in the background, no noise except our voices. IMG_8408.jpg

One thing I haven’t written about is that hiking with a pack in a high altitude setting is hard work. I’m slow, slower than slow, slower than the slowest. It gets discouraging at times. It gets discouraging to be the slowest of the slow. The packs are heavier than heavy. The back hurts, feet and toes hurt. Lungs are gasping for air, sucking the pine needles off the trees like Cam said so perfectly. Throat is dry from sucking the air, so dry that to swallow makes you sick. Meanwhile after hiking for what seems so long one finds that they are only ½ way there. Covered in dust from the trail one comes across a rock large enough to sit on and rest the pack on at the same time. You look out to see the landscape, quiet, maybe a stream nearby surrounded by nature. This is what it is about. Justin put it so succinctly: “it isn’t about the destination, it is about the journey”.

Arriving at the destination though is a feat of accomplishment for someone like me. I’ve made it! I can do it! Living up to the expectations of the grandkids is what I must do. And yes we didn’t make it to all of the lakes we wanted to but we made it.

Then to eat good tasting food and to have the grandkids say they love the food, we know that we succeeded in our goals. To have others decide, after much laughing, that yes the wine was a great idea and that they will bring wine next time so that instead of a couple of sips of mine on one evening there will be a glass every evening.
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Everyone except the little kids and me went on a hike to a ridge that overlooks the valley. I was impressed that Cam made it to the top. It took all his will to do this but he made it to stand on top of this bit of the world. Kids fell asleep, tired from the past 3 days of hiking and hiking. I enjoyed my time alone.IMG_8339.jpg

Posted by Miss Chris 10:02 Archived in USA Tagged people food nature hiking family wine backpacking outdoors latte family_travel grandkids gluten_free sierras inyo_national_forest hidden_lake Comments (0)

Addicted to Downton Abbey

Living Downton Abbey

My husband, Dale, and I have been completely immersed in all things “Downton Abbey”. He was still working last year when Season 1 aired so I watched it alone, hooked. Just before Season 2 started in January our Public Television station aired season 1 and I insisted that he watch. After a few minutes he was hooked as well.

So on nearly all of our Sunday evenings for some time now, we could be found in front of out telly! We’d cry at the sad parts and tell the characters what they needed to do.

Then we started watching the episodes of Season 1 on Netflix during the week. We are amazed at what we missed the first round.

When we sat down for Season 2 Episode 6 we decided to have champagne while we watched. We felt a little more like the gentrified people!

On Friday I thought that we should maybe make some Downton type food for Sunday night’s last episode and then we thought that we should invite some friends who we were sure were watching this program too. I called our friends but alas they were going out of town for this long weekend.

I investigated food of Downton and saw that they had many courses that could include a 2nd course of roasted chicken. I remembered seeing the footmen carry platters of small hens up to the dining room in one episode.

Well I didn’t have much for small hens but I did have a couple of chicken thighs in the freezer. I took the thighs out and when they were thawed put them into a pan with cut up carrots, onions, a little garlic, some left over potatoes, salt and pepper. I roasted them for an hour at 325 F. I set up a table on our coffee table so we could be closer to the TV.

We didn’t have any claret but had some red wine which is what claret is. We got out some glasses which are a little closer to the Downton style rather than the larger ones we normally use and used those for our “claret”. We did drink champagne before dinner and then after dinner just to celebrate for the Downton people.

Way too late we thought that we should have had a true viewing party. New plan is that we won’t be found lagging. We will watch the Season 3 episodes as they are shown in the UK; I am the one who reads the last chapter of the book first remember. Then when Season 3 airs here we, of course, will watch the U.S. version. We will then have a small viewing dinner party. Since we have a year to plan I’ll make a dress for myself and will actually make tails for Dale and serve a true Downton type dinner. I wonder who we can get for footmen!
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Posted by Miss Chris 21:54 Archived in USA Tagged food drink wine chicken champagne claret downton_abbey Comments (0)

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