February 2007

Monthly Archive

winter at its finest

Posted by lynn on 26 Feb 2007 | Tagged as: friends, travel

Melissa & Me I wanted to see snow this winter. No matter that I can’t ski while pregnant – I missed the serenity of freshly-covered mountains and the softness of falling snow. I also wanted one last weekend with adult friends before the baby arrives. Joey (somewhat reluctantly – we have so much going on!) agreed, and we rented a fabulous cabin in South Tahoe along with Melissa, Patricia, Kitt, and Brian.

Joey SnowshoeingWhile the others were skiing/boarding, Joey, Melissa, and I rented snowshoes and traipsed around the shin-to-knee-deep powder behind the cabin, which butted up against extensive forest land yet was just a few miles from the casinos. In the late afternoons we baked brownies, made dinner, and watched movies (thumbs up for “The Illusionist”) and at night played games or gambled. Aaaaah, relaxation at its finest!

Rental SUV in Cabin Driveway We didn’t expect our same luck getting home as we’d had driving up Friday afternoon. (We girls and Joey made it up in a record 3 1/2 hours, including a lunch stop.) But we also weren’t prepared for what awaited us when we left the cabin around 11:30 on Sunday morning: a 12-plus hour ordeal, with the first eight hours spent going a total of six or seven miles just to get us out of Tahoe proper.

Cheez-It Snowboy We started with a skid-out driving down our quiet street. From there, snow fell continuously, wind whipped an extra layer of powder onto the roads, we caved and bought/had chains installed on our rented 4WD SUV, and at one point long after night fell I had to pee so badly that I climbed into knee-deep snow next to a Chevron station and mooned the cars driving by at 5mph. I’m betting all these travelers were as weary as we were and didn’t bat an eye. And it beat standing in a 40-minute bathroom line in the frigid night air.

Rain had never looked so fine as when we finally reached Placerville around 10pm, and by midnight we were greeted by a whining cat at our door back in Berkeley. I realize it’s going to take years and a lot of convincing to get Joey to do another winter snow trip, but for me it was still worth it. It’ll be even better next time when I can ski, too! Though next time I’ll probably pick a destination other than South Tahoe…

baby girl in the family?!

Posted by lynn on 15 Feb 2007 | Tagged as: family, pregnancy

We had a follow-up ultrasound today (at 25 1/2 weeks). The doctor’s exact words were “Yup, 90% it’s a girl. But that’s definitely not a boy!” He even pointed out the labia between the legs, but said he refused to give 100% for girls, ever. I guess with the absence of parts you just don’t know for sure know until they’re born.

Twin Cakes

We’re excited about giving Kai a little (half) sister, my folks are thrilled to add a baby girl to their grandchildren, Joey’s mom was already calling it a girl, and my sister – who has twin boys – will be ecstatic that she can finally buy little dresses!

Speaking of the twins, Noah and Lucas (order they appear in the pic) turned one last weekend. We drove up to Roseville to help them celebrate. Kai was just as excited about staying in a hotel and eating Lucky Charms at the breakfast buffet, but did enjoy playing with “cousin” Emmitt at the party.

As for me, I can’t wait to welcome our baby into the world. But I won’t be 100% convinced she’s a she until she greets us in person :)

at home in mendocino

Posted by lynn on 09 Feb 2007 | Tagged as: friends, travel

February 1-3

We arrived in Mendocino as the sun set and Milo and Cassandra were starting to prepare a delicious home-cooked meal. We thank them greatly for their hospitality, generosity, and many precious moments with 19-month old Julia.

J& Me, Mendocino Headlands Some of our fun included a tour of the headlands with Milo, many mellow strolls through the streets and shops of the quaint town, and a slow walk in the woods with Julia vacillating between running ahead and wanting to be carried. We also enjoyed a full moon that broke through the high clouds each night to light up the country sky.

Cassandra Carries Julia By the time we had to say good-bye on Saturday, Julia was so used to having us around that she refused to give us a hug or say bye bye, and instead pointed to the floor in an emphatic statement of “you stay!” then ran to block the door. We’ll see you again soon, Julia…

We got home to Berkeley late Saturday, just in time to do bunches of laundry and get ready for the Super Bowl party we were hosting the next day. Of course the party had nothing to do with being big football fans (we’re not) and everything to do with an excuse to have people over!

winding up highway one

Posted by lynn on 09 Feb 2007 | Tagged as: travel

Me Along Hwy 1, Five Months Pregnant Sunshine appeared as soon as we left the immediate Point Reyes region, and it followed us all the way up the coast to Mendocino. Glorious, clear winter light striking the waves greeted us at every turn of this infamous stretch of highway.

Church Seen Through Glass, Fort Ross I offered (ok, begged) to drive one of the worst parts, because I get carsick very easily and can’t take Dramamine while I’m pregnant. Anyone who suffers motion sickness knows that taking the wheel often stops it. Weird.

View From Turret, Fort Ross Unfortunately, Joey looked a little green by the time we stopped at Fort Ross for a picnic in the wind-chilled sunshine and a tour of this isolated yet somehow homey fortress that I adore every time I visit. Fyi: the picture of the church was taken through an old glass window, so the larger image will have a funky warped texture.

Tomales Candy Shop We also stopped at plenty of small towns along the way, including Tomales to pick up some candy, and at various overlooks to take in the view without fear of driving off a cliff. Yes, at five-plus months I’m looking more and more pregnant every day!

foggiest spot in california?

Posted by lynn on 09 Feb 2007 | Tagged as: travel

January 29-31

About a month ago Joey heard a random factoid on the news: Point Reyes Lighthouse (just an hour up the coast from San Francisco) is the foggiest place in California. We have a lot of fog here, so I was dubious… until we spent a couple nights in Olema, a tiny town at the entrance to the National Seashore.

Point Reyes Coastline That morning we had left the isolated redwoods of Big Sur for a relaxing drive up the coast, stopping along the way at sleepy, sea-side towns like Capitola and Half Moon Bay before winding our way through West Marin. Here, the big towns have maybe a couple hundred people, and Olema is only in the double digits.

We arrived at our B&B at dusk to find the innkeeper gone, a note on the door, and a key “hidden” in the porch bench, and the entire house to ourselves. We had a hard time finding a place to eat (it seems a lot around Point Reyes closes on Mondays and Tuesdays), and by the time we settled in the living room in front of a log-burning stove and with chocolate-covered almonds (me) and port (Joey) at our sides, the only sound we heard above the crackling wood was the wind whipping against the trees outside. It felt magnificent, eery, and peaceful all at once.

Joey at Point Reyes Lighthouse The isolation sweeps even larger onto the Point Reyes peninsula itself. We started the next day with a walk along the Earthquake trail, a short path that leads to the epicenter of the 1906 earthquake. Two sides of a fence, 20 feet apart, show the magnitude of the rift that was created just 100 years ago. Later we drove around 40 minutes to the end of Sir Francis Drake Blvd to see the lighthouse and elephant seal colony at Chimney Rock. Along the way we passed endless fields of rolling green, ranches steeped in solitude with cows that roamed the narrow road, and empty, wind-blown beaches that stretched to the horizon in both directions. All the while a high grey fog hovered over our heads and salt air tingled our noses.

big sur glistening

Posted by lynn on 09 Feb 2007 | Tagged as: travel

January 27-29

We got lucky with the weather on our trip. The only major rain we hit was right at the beginning, just as we pulled into quaint (and pricey) downtown Carmel. We only stayed long enough for a hot chocolate and sandwich, and were soon headed 30 miles down Highway One to the Big Sur Lodge. That night the sky cleared (we even got to take a walk in the redwoods at dusk) and the stars shone brightly above us. Aaaaah, heaven.

Baby at Big Sur Falls We spent the next day reveling in the chilly outdoors, still glistening from the rain but splashed with bright winter sunshine. After months of feeling cooped up inside (our house, the office, friends’ homes) with only an occasional walk through Tilden Park, the towering redwoods and fresh air were pure bliss. We hiked to a waterfall and lookout point in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. As you can see, Baby (23 gestational weeks) enjoyed the hike, too! Btw, you can click all my images to see larger versions.

By mid-afternoon we headed back to our car and drove to gorgeous Nepenthe for a quick bite and a latte. The wait at this iconic Big Sur venue wasn’t horrible (late January after all), but we did pay the price: $15 for a turkey and avocado sandwich! Yikes. Luckily we shared, and it was delicious.

Henry Miller Library Joey then showed me the Henry Miller Library. I can’t believe I’ve never been here before, especially since my friend Mark (who is well read and loves the Beat generation) was the first to introduce me to Big Sur. The library is an eclectic venue, with a sculpture garden, bookstore, and free coffee and wireless on the deck. If it hadn’t been so cold we would have stayed longer.

Umbrella in Tunnel, Big Sur We decided to take one final walk before dinner at Deetjens (delicious!) that evening. On our drive to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park large drops of rain fell on our windshield, but sunshine still covered the sea. We opened our umbrellas for the 1/4-mile walk from the parking lot to the coast to see what is supposedly California’s only waterfall into the ocean. By the time we got through the short tunnel under the highway, the rain had cleared. The afternoon was once again brilliant, and we even saw the tail end of a wedding in the clearing overlooking the sea