Showing posts with label Our 23rd Dates. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Our 23rd Dates. Show all posts

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Friday's Hunt v2.13

The cues for this week are: 1) Starts with M  2) Week's Favorite  3) Work

M is for marriage. The Husband and I celebrated 20 years of marriage on Friday by taking a glider ride.  M is also for more than a mile up into the sky, which is how high up we went.  The Husband and I each soared individually with Pilot Bill. The Husband flew to the west, while I flew to the east.

I took lots and lots of photos. One of my favorite photos is the one of the little plane hard at work towing us in the sailplane towards the mountain ridge. When we got just above the ridge, Pilot Bill pressed a button to release the rope. Voila! We were sailing on the air at the greatest of ease.

I loved it!

Friday's Hunt is a weekly meme hosted by Teresa at Eden Hills. To check out other participants, please click here.

Friday, September 25, 2015

A Special Wandering

My Alphabe Thursday theme: Places I've Been

September 23 was the first day of Autumn. It was also the Husband's and my 19th wedding anniversary. And, yes, it doesn't seem like it was that long ago we turned right at the xerox machine to get married. (For that story, head over here, if you like.)

Our day began with breakfast at our favorite coffee shop in San Juan Bautista—Vertigo Coffee. That's one of the few places I'll allow myself to drink coffee. The Husband had himself a mocha latte, which is an occasion in itself. Until yesterday, he hadn't drunk coffee in over two years.

We also ate BLT with soft scrambled egg panini sandwiches. Yummm! Using coffee stirrers as chopsticks to pick up the eggs that kept falling out of our sandwiches made the meal even more fun and special.

We drove over to the coast and headed north on Highway One. Roadwork was going on, but that didn't bother us. We were after all in no big hurry to get anywhere. We saw a lot of pampas grass growing alongside the road and hills. Did you know that pampas grass is originally from South America? I always thought it was from the east coast.

North of Santa Cruz, Highway One is a two-lane highway. It's a gorgeous drive, with the ocean on one side and hill and mountains on the other. Lots of farm land.  This time of the year, you can see quite a few fields full of bright orange pumpkins. I didn't get any photos of that, but I did get a photo of some trees in modern dance pose.

We stopped at Half Moon Bay, a cute little coastal town, to stretch our legs. We walked up and down the main street, window shopping and even wandered into a couple of them.  I posted photos of the various signs we saw on Main Street yesterday.

While I was taking a photo of the Husband pretending to ride a bike rack shaped in a bicycle, a woman stopped and laughed. "You've made my day," she said. "Let me take a photo of the two of you."

Our destination was Devil's Slide, about 17 minutes north of Half Moon Bay. Devil's Slide is a portion of Highway One that often got closed after heavy rains because of mudslides. After tunnels were drilled through the mountain to bypass this treacherous section, the road was turned into a trail. It opened in 2013.

I think the last time I drove Devil's Slide was 20 years ago. As we walked the trail from one end to the other and back, I was astounded that people used to drive this stretch. I don't recall the driving lanes being narrow at all.

The trail isn't long, 1.3 mile one way. There are a couple of steep inclines. Going up them was fine. Going down, ouch. My left knee was a whining diva. She didn't cry though, so that was good.

Remember that the Husband drank a mocha latte several hours earlier for breakfast. As we rested on a bench after walking down the steepest incline, the Husband mentioned how quiet he had been. "You've been talking the whole time we've been walking," I said.

"I have," he said.


The Husband is so darn cute.

We kept coming across people who exclaimed, "There's a whale!" A whale just went under!" or "Did you see the whale?" They pointed to somewhere in the ocean, describing where to look. "See the white water. The whale is near there." The Husband and I didn't see a thing.

After driving through the tunnel twice, we headed back to Half Moon Bay for dinner. We also checked out Ocean Books, the used bookstore on Main Street that unfortunately is going out of business after 19 years. There's nothing like wandering around a small, charming independent bookstore with an eclectic selection. It was one of the things that both the Husband and I hoped we would get to do on our special day of wandering.

Dinner was at Café Capistrano, which specializes in Mayan food. A local told us about this hole-in-wall restaurant, two blocks west of Main Street. The Husband and I shared an appetizer and a dinner plate, a perfect amount as both were generous portions. The appetizer was a bean stuffed tortilla topped with Mayan coleslaw, pickled onions, and shredded roasted chicken. Yummm! Our entree was pork adobo (two pieces of thin, tender pork grilled in achiote and lime) with black beans, red rice, guacamole, Mayan coleslaw, and corn tortillas. Double yummmm! Mayan adobo is very different from Filipino adobo.

It would've been nice to have stayed overnight in Half Moon Bay. But, the Mama and I had doctor appointments the following day, so back home the Husband and I went, jiggity jig, with the sun setting into the ocean.

It's the letter S at Alphabe Thursday. (Yes, I know it's Friday.) This weekly meme is hosted by the amazing Jenny Matlock.  To check out other S posts, please click here.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Rancho del Oso

My Alphabe Thursday theme: Places I've Been
A couple months ago I had a hankering to be by the ocean and the Husband wanted to be in a forest, so we drove to Rancho del Oso, the western portion of Big Basin Redwoods State Park in Santa Cruz County.  The entry point is across from Waddell Beach on State Highway 1, where you can see surfers and kiteboarders having fun.

It was our first time to visit Rancho del Oso, which translates to Bear Ranch. Once upon a time, the Grizzly Bear roamed the area. Thankfully, we did not meet any bears, but we did come across jack rabbits, squirrels, butterflies, lizards, and an occasional human.

We hiked over a couple of miles, the first half going up and along a mountain side and the trip back on a nice flat fire road. Unfortunately, my left knee flamed up on the way back, so it took us longer to get back to the car. On a positive note: We got to enjoy being under the redwoods longer.

It's the letter R at Alphabe Thursday, the weekly ABC meme hosted by the lovely Jenny Matlock. To read other R posts, please click here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

John Steinbeck Said . . .

The Husband and I had a wonderful time wandering about on our monthly 23rd date. We saw quite a lot of amazing and interesting stuff and met some very nice people during  our travels.  One of our stops was the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas. If you're into John Steinbeck, you'd like this museum. It's all about Steinbeck and his works.

There was so much for me to see, to read, and to absorb as I went from exhibit to the next. Reading the honesty and wonder in Steinbeck's words was like breathing in oxygen.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Brickload of Fun

Rattle, rattle, rattle. 

This afternoon, I pulled a little red wagon down our driveway to the end of the street, around the corner, and over to the next block. The Husband walked ahead of me, looking for the house in front of which 20+ red bricks, three 18-inch scalloped bricks, and one half-circle of scalloped brick laid waiting for us. All free, courtesy of a recycle-friendly lady who we've never met.

Yesterday, an email popped into my box from the local freecycle group to which I subscribe. Usually, there's nothing that I want. Well, actually sometimes I do, but then I hear the Husband's voice in my head say, "What are we going to do with it? We still have a storage room full of stuff that we need to deal with." I heard him say that in my head as I read about the free bricks, but my inner voice overrode it. Bricks! These bricks can come in handy.

I quickly wrote a response and asked if the bricks were still available. Yep, they were. I wrote that I would take them, sent off my email, then said to the Husband, "I'm picking up some free bricks tomorrow."


"I don't know yet."

Pshew. He did not say what I heard in my head. What a guy I married.

It turned out the brick-giver lived one street over from us. "Do you think the little red wagon could carry those bricks?" I asked the Husband at breakfast.

"Sure," he said. "I was thinking the same thing." 

The Husband is so adorable.

I could hardly wait to go pick up the bricks. Not because I wanted to bring them home, but because of the means by which it would happen—pulling a little red wagon with the Husband.

As I hopped around the house trying not to be impatient about going already, the Husband finally asked, "What are you going to do with the bricks?"

"I don't know yet. Maybe make a pizza oven."

"You need more than 20 bricks."

"Well, they're a start. Right now, I'm just building an arsenal for us."

"An arsenal?" he asked. "Are you thinking that we will need to be ready to throw bricks someday?"

"You know what I mean."

At noon, we were on our way. I pulled the loud rattling, little red wagon all the way there. I hoped I wasn't waking up babies or the elderly from their naps.

The Husband is a former warehouse manager ("I was a supervisor," he will correct me, and I will respond, "In title only. You did management work. Your idiot bosses were just stingy."), which meant the bricks were loaded onto the wagon professionally and nothing fell along the way. We took turns pulling the wagon and pushing it from behind. The two of us must've been a sight to behold.

We got a load of free bricks and we had loads of fun getting them. Best of all, today is the 23rd, our monthly date. Pushing and pulling a little red wagon full of bricks down the street was a great way to start us off.  As the Husband said, "It doesn't take much to make us happy."

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Casual Outing

Today's letter is C.
For more C posts,
please click

On the husband's and my last 23rd date, we got in our car and drove east over the mountain to finally do the wander we started a few months ago. The fog was too thick then so we had turned back. Not so a few weeks ago. It was a gorgeous day for being carefree and fancy-free.

Back in January, a waitress had told us if we wanted to see some great views, we should go to the San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery in Gustine and drive up to the flagpole. She was right.  The husband thought that the Veterans buried at the cemetery were probably happy to finally be in a peaceful place.

San Joaquin National Cemetery in Merced County is one of the 131 national
cemeteries for U.S. Veterans
. To read personal comments about the cemetery at, click here.

We had one goal that day—to hike in the Great Valley Grasslands State  Park. It is truly an undeveloped park. It's a good thing we did our homework. Otherwise, we wouldn't have known by which unmarked gate to park.

I expected grass above my head and to be walking through it. Maybe it was
further up the path, but we only got a mile in because.  .  .

.  .  .this killdeer Mama stopped us in our tracks with her screeches. She was hatching
her four eggs. Rather than stressing her out with us walking by, we watched her for a bit,
then turned around and headed back to the car.

We definitely want to return to the Great Valley Grasslands State Park and complete our trek.

After getting back in the car, we decided to just wander. The husband and I took turns saying which way to turn. Left. Right. Straight ahead. Through the farmlands of Merced County we drove.

"Look at that!" "Did you see that?" "Wonder where we are." "Do we have a map?"

We drove through Livingston and wondered if a Stanley lived there.

"Are you hungry?"

When you're in the middle of ruralness, you won't find any convenient picnic tables. So we did what any of you, dear readers, would've done. We pulled off the road and into an orchard,  set our beach chairs under a shady peach tree, and made sandwiches out of the bagels, salami, and cheese that we brought from home. I can still remember how good those sandwiches tasted and how relaxed we felt just hanging out there in an orchard far away from responsibilities and duties.

The husband had waited several hours to read the comic strips.

After lunch, we continued taking turns saying Left. Right. Straight ahead. And, of course, Stop! I gotta take a picture. 

Water towers, my new fascination.

We eventually came to Merced, the county seat. Both of us had never been there. I'm ready to return if just to see more of the Merced County Courthouse Museum. That 1875 building is a beauty, both in and out. Because we got there half an hour before closing, we rushed through it with a docent following us all the way. Picture-taking is not allowed in the museum. I didn't know that.

It turned out to be a good thing, as the docent told us stories about the courthouse that we wouldn't have learned on our own.  For example: "See those scuff marks on the wall by the steps," the docent said, as we were walking up the stairs to the second floor. "They were made by the prisoners' ankle cuffs as they walked up the steps." I could just hear the sound of shuffling feet and metal scraping against the wood.

The statues that perch atop the old Merced County Courthouse.
At the tippy top of the cupola is Minerva, the goddess of wisdom.
Below her is Lady Justice. She holds a sword and scales. Hmmm.

From Merced, we headed homeward.  Left. Right. Straight ahead. Jiggity jigg.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

T is for the 23rd

Today's letter is T.
For more T posts,
please click here.

As some of you dear readers know, on the 23rd of each month, the husband and I run away from home and office to become tourists, adventurers, and slackers for the moment. For February's special date, we headed over to Point Lobos State Natural Reserve on the Monterey Peninsula, just south of Carmel by the Sea. Neither of us had ever been there.

We saw quite a lot in the two short hikes that we did.  I took 90 photos, more or less. No, no. Don't groan or gasp. I'm not going to post them all. Only a few. Just to tease you. If you ever make it to Monterey, you'll have to go see Pt. Lobos for yourself. It's well worth it.

Pt. Lobos was established to protect
the Monterey Cypress trees.

Pt. Lobos is one of the only
two cypress tree reserves in the world.

See how flat they get.
The husband says it's because of the wind.

This little fellow sat patiently
for his photo to be taken.

It wasn't till I looked at this photo that I saw
the elephant seal on the rock.
I was too busy watching
an otter swimming just below that rock.

Kelp or mermaids on the beach?

The water was so green and clear here.
If only it was warm enough to swim in.

Diving is permitted at a couple of coves in the reserve.
I've read that Point Lobos is one of the best places in California
to see underwater nature.

For  info about Pt. Lobos, check out these two web sites:
Point Lobos Foundation
Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

Monday, January 24, 2011

Lessons Learned

Yesterday was a 23rd date for the husband and me.  The first of 2011. Our date was a pleasant ramble that developed and changed with the circumstances and, in so doing, we experienced many new things in our area. I don't know about the husband, but this newly old gal learned—and relearned—some new tricks.

For Instance. . .

When an waitress arches her eyebrows as we say that we're heading over to the area where she lives and she says it was covered with tule fog when she left for work that morning, take her a bit more seriously. The fog was so thick, we could've eaten it with a spoon. Really.

When the fog is too thick to continue safely onward with an adventure, come back another day. The husband and I easily concurred at our first stop—a picture taking opportunity with a golden bear—and drove back down the mountain and back into the sun. Slowly and meanderingly, we crossed our small valley to drive up the mountain on the other side of it. 

When a state park's sign says Closed for the Season, but the road towards the entrance is open, explore it anyway. The gate was locked, but we found a small parking lot with a bathroom and some naturalist information about the area. It turns out that the tall mystical spire along highway 156 that is my landmark for finally having made it safely through Pacheco Pass was once a volcano on the bottom of a sea millions of years ago. It is called Lover's Leap. Now, I must learn why it's named that. 

When our adventure is to ramble here and there, be open to suggestions of places to check out from each other.
Result of the wife's suggestion: We turned right on an unknown road and found a sanctuary for dogs and cats where we were given a tour and a chance to hang out with a bunch of contented cats. 
Result of the husband's suggestion: We walked a new trail at Fremont Peak in San Juan Bautista that maybe took us near the epicenter of the bunch of earthquakes that rocked and rolled us for a few days a couple of weeks ago. And, oh, the odd sights we saw in the oak forest.
When my toe aches horribly as it pushes against the inside of my shoe while I trudge downhill, stop sooner to retie my shoe. Tighter!

When we enter a restaurant and I notice people look at us with alarm, I must gage the air of paranoia to determine if or when to take off my hat. Yes, the husband and I are bald again.

There were other lessons learned yesterday. Most of all, the best lesson for me: Our 23rd dates are about getting away from it all.  I took some work with me, thinking that I might do some of it in the car as we drove between here and there, but I spent the time looking out the window and taking photos of this and that. From now on, no work allowed on our 23rd dates!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Shopping for the Unknown X's

Today's letter is "X."

Last week, I told you that the husband and I decided to have some fun with the xmas presents for each other.  Exaggerating the use of the mathematical terms, it went like this:

$10.00 = total expense we each would spend

x ≥ 5 presents (In other words, 5 or more gifts)

How did we do?


X-wise, we found that x = Six exceptional gifts!

We shopped downtown, going in opposite directions. Amazingly, we each finished before the time allowed: 60 minutes – x minutes = 45 minutes

My expenses: $9.95.  At the thrift store, I found a Michael Crichton novel and a booklet about Oregon caves, which was published in the era when the husband worked there during the summers of his college days. Because the husband is a visual artist, I purchased water colors and a couple of brushes at the art supply store. (Hint, hint, the husband.) At our favorite drugstore, I bought Post-it notes for his note-taking and a box of Milk Duds for the next time we go to the movies.

My shopping spree ended at the first store that the husband entered. The husband, being exact, tackled his quest by thinking $2 per present. Both he and the lovely Carol at the shop came up empty with ideas, so she suggested that he go to the 99-cent store on the side of town where I was. The clever husband walked the back streets so I wouldn't see him. When Carol told me, I happened to notice stickers and ribbons (like the ribbons they award at county fairs). "If the husband comes back, you could suggest these," I said, pointing to the rack. "Sure," she said. "Which ones?" "Oh, he'll know."

I felt sorry for the husband because shopping is such a dreaded activity for him. Not anymore. The man did extremely well for himself! His expenses: He had more than $2 in change left over. Hello!

At the 99-cent store, the husband bought a package of bamboo spatulas (which I really need), a bag of Cracker Jacks (my snack for the movies), a green plastic poncho (that can expand to fit both of us), jacks (remember them?), and a toy echo microphone. Even the mama had fun talking into the microphone, which reminded her of the cans-and-string telephone from her childhood. That got the husband and me wondering if we could set up such a system in the house. When we mentioned that to the husband's brother, he said, "Yes, that's called wireless." 

The husband found the sixth present at the thrift store where I had found his books. He said he just happened to turn in an aisle and there it was. A true bargain, 25 cents! And, it is the best present I have ever gotten!! I am not exaggerating at all!!!

So, what is it already?

Look for yourself: The extra-charming straw cowboy hat with a red sheriff's badge! Whoo-hooo!

The husband and I enjoyed the quest so much, we're going to do it again next year. Life is exquisite!

Today, I'm hooking up at ABC Wednesday, hosted by Mrs. Nesbitt.  The letter of the week is "X."  Did you notice?  Click on this x to check out other "X" posts.