montana – day 3

with a whole first day of newly found confidence, we woke up saturday morning ready to take on the day.  i mean, i could just feel it was going to be a good day because it was loads easier to put on my boots.  🙂  once i got the rest of my gear all situated, the group decided to start things off together at the white otter lift since it was within skiing/snowboarding distance of the cabin.  in theory it sounded like a great idea, because this lift would take us up to a run that would get us to base a lot quicker than trekking through the snow.  plus, the crew felt i was ready for the white wing run, and i didn’t want to disappoint.

long story short, here is how things went on the white otter lift and white wing run.  i got onto the lift all by myself no problem.  i enjoyed the scenic and quiet ride up the lift.  i completely ate it when i got off the lift, one ski popping off but my energy still intact.  i watched as the crew, one by one, shooped down the very steep entrance from the lift onto the run.  i also observed, with much trepidation, as phillip made his way down as well, slowly but surely.  i took a big gulp of “i have to get down some way” reality, mustered all the spirit i could, and launched myself down the hill.  i’m not quite sure what happened, but the result was a quintessential wipeout right in the middle of the run.  the struggle was real one attempt after another as i tried to get my ski back on and get myself out of the way.  eventually i righted things and after a few more confidence-crushing falls, i shuffled my way to the finish line.  when i finally found phillip, all i could say was, “well, that is the least amount of fun i have had this entire time.”

there was good news out of this, though:  that i recognized what my abilities were and were not and, as such, spent the rest of the day back at bear basin.  phillip was a patient and positive cheerleader throughout the windy afternoon as i worked on weaving and faster turning and getting all the fresh mountain air that i could.

ultimately my goal for the second day of skiing was to end on a high note, and i think these pictures are evidence of just that.  🙂

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it’s alive!

folks, i want to proudly brag for a quick moment:  phillip and i have kept our plant alive for over a month!  yes, early in july we were at the home depot picking up some supplies, and i was inspired by our neighbors chris and suzy to adopt and bring home a special little something from mother nature herself.  after finding the shepherd hook and zip ties, we strolled up and down the plant aisles, looking for just the right one to call our own.  some of the selection was pretty with flowers and bright colors, but phillip picked out a great option for us:  a caladium.  needing only four to six hours of direct sunlight a day, the caladium was perfect considering we’ve got lots of leafy tree branches in our building’s courtyard.  we put it in the cart and then kindly asked a nearby employee for the proper fertilizer for a plant such as ours.  after deciding on the all purpose miracle-gro shake’n feed, we loaded up the buggie, checked out, and headed home.

with some help from kyle and milo, phillip secured the heck out of that hook to our landing railing.  i mean, this thing isn’t going anywhere in any storm!  then, they zip-tied the planter to the hook and voila!  the regular afternoon summer showers help keep it hydrated, and i’ll say i’ve been pretty good about watering it every couple of days.  and, per tori’s instruction, i’ve also been sure to prune any dead leaves to make room for fresh ones.  although i’ve never had much of a green thumb, i think my mother would be proud!

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february 15th – nyc

monday in new york arrived a little quicker than we probably would have liked because monday meant we were halfway through our trip – oh no!  well, even though we’d spent the last couple of days lounging in bed until the early afternoon, we couldn’t allow ourselves to just sit around on our hands three days in a row.  no, sir!  not while in new york!  so phillip and i bid au revoir to natalie for the morning and, you guessed it, hit up hot & crusty for more bagels!  i think at this point our bagel count was nearing ten.  um, should we be embarrassed?  wait, on second thought, let’s all keep our comments to ourselves regarding our bagel consumption on this trip.  yes, i think it’s safer that way and at the end of the day we’ll all still be friends.  🙂

we ordered more fresh baked bagels and hot coffee and, because we couldn’t resist, a boulder-sized chocolate, chocolate chip muffin.  well, if we’re gonna be bad, we may as well do it right!  phillip and i leisurely munched on our treats at a table inside as we people watched all the locals in their monday morning routine.  a gentleman to my left with lox and the newspaper, a couple beside him sharing a croissant, the local delivery man stopping by to get to-go bags (i’d bet good money one of them was for natalie!).  through the window we saw gentle snow flurries beginning to fall, so we figured if we were going to do some walking we’d better get to it.

it turned out that phillip and i pretty much had the whole day free to ourselves.  as much as i would love to have gone to the public library to curl up with a book, we decided to stay in the area.  since we’d already gone to the met on saturday, we decided to venture to the west side of town to see what we could see.  now, despite the fact that the snow was beginning to pick up, phillip convinced me to take a stroll with him along the sidewalks of iconic central park.  i must admit it was quite a lovely idea.  we saw several bundled pups dragging along their owners, couples arm in arm, and joggers aplenty.  the grounds were mostly quiet and although it was getting colder with each step, the scene was nothing short of picturesque.

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that’s my boyfriend!

last week we had an unusually cool tuesday wash over atlanta, georgia, and i insisted we all take advantage of it.  phillip’s company was having their softball game at the active oval of piedmont park, and i convinced clark and kari to join me for a lovely evening in the city.  despite the fact that the opposing team never showed up, we still had a fabulous time together.  i thoroughly embarrassed phillip with my cheering and jeering as he was up to bat and out in right field.  his coworkers looked at me on the bench and laughed, hopefully out of humor more than anything else.  although it was a forfeited win that night, it was a win nonetheless, so there ya go!

lefties hit more home runs!

lefties hit more home runs!

afterwards the four of us took a stroll across the street and enjoyed a lovely dinner al fresco at the nook for some world famous totchos and beer.  as i took in the other patrons, i was overwhelmed with joy at the weather.  i cannot recall how many times i said, “how gorgeous is it out here?  this weather is unbelievable!”  i am a naturally joyous person, but when fall comes around, it’s a whole other level of happiness that i cannot contain.  i couldn’t help but thinking of u2’s famous song “beautiful day” and how grateful i am for the changing seasons and the Lord’s grace for us on His earth.  it’s an amazing thing, isn’t it?

san francisco – day 4

ah, yes, my final full day in san francisco arrived at last, and just like all my other mornings up to this point, it was an early one.  i’m talking we were out the door again at seven a.m. so that we could get breakfast.  our wine bus was picking us up at 8:15 a.m. sharp, so we went to get a little grub before boarding.  although i would have been perfectly content going back to cafe st. jorge (for a third time…), brian mixed it up and led us to cafe seventy8 right in bernal heights.  i kept the cafe au lait train going and paired it with a sesame seed bagel smothered in sun-dried tomato cream cheese.  oh boy, it was an excellent combination.  i typically go with plain cream cheese, but i think i need to start mixing it up with these flavors.  kinda fun!

we didn’t have a lot of time to waste, so brian called us an uber to take us to our pickup spot.  we hopped out of that sedan and hopped right on in to the incredible adventures bus with our trusty leader mitch.  i didn’t realize it until we began to drive through the city, but we were the first stop this day.  we had, i kid you not, eight more pickup points to visit before we would actually start the tour.  oh boy.  maybe i should’ve gotten decaf so that i could take a nap.  seriously, we were driving around in the city until almost 9:30 picking up other passengers.  i guess the bright side is that we really were on the tour all day?  no, that doesn’t even count.  oh well, now i know for next time, and i assure you, once you hear about what an amazing day we had, there will definitely be a next time.

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