Posts Tagged ‘winter’

MLK Weekend in Mammoth

Last weekend, Evan and I went to Mammoth with two of our friends. We drove up early on Friday so we beat all of the traffic and had a super easy drive because it had been warm for a while and hadn’t snowed, so no ice, no snow and no chains.

Saturday, we had a great, full day of skiing and snowboarding. Evan and I went all over the mountain in the morning, then stopped for lunch — where we coincidentally sat RIGHT next to my uncle and cousins — and met up with our friends in the afternoon to get some more runs in.

That night we had a delicious dinner at one of my favorite Mammoth restaurants, Petra’s Bistro. The four of us had a table by the fire, and Evan and I shared a roasted beet salad and some Navarro Chardonnay, and then he had a salmon dish while I had some gnocchi with butternut squash. Our friends had venison and pork and loved their dishes as well. For dessert we headed back to the condo since Evan and I had baked a chocolate almond cake from a recipe his parents often use, and though it turned out a little flatter than theirs — we folded the egg whites in a little too much — it was delicious with its raspberry jam topping. I’ll definitely be making it again.

Sunday was another great ski day. The snow was pretty fast and quite hard-packed in some places, but we stayed under control and I don’t think either Evan or I fell the whole time. We spent more time up at the top and on the back side of the mountain, which I had never even explored. It was beautiful and sunny, too, and we met up with my uncle and cousins again for lunch.

We didn’t make it a full day — we headed in around 3 instead of 4 — since our legs (especially mine) were really exhausted from spending so much time on both steep and overly flat runs, which both make my muscles exhausted. I do much better on a normal intermediate/easier advanced grade. Still, it was good to challenge myself, and though Evan is a much better skier than I am a border, I was able to stick with him all day — provided that he’d wait for me a bit.

That night, we cooked dinner — nice and easy rancher’s pasta (pasta with sun dried tomatoes, olives and goat cheese) and salad. We also had some more cake and started a bit of a board game marathon, playing Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit and Catch Phrase.

Monday we debated whether or not to ski and ultimately decided to go for brunch at The Stove where we had enormous omelets, waffles and pieces of french toast, which were all really delicious. Then Evan and I took a short hike at Hot Creek, which was delightfully empty — every time I’ve been there it’s been super crowded. And then we drove home, thankfully without any traffic again.

Evan should be posting some more photos soon, including some of Hot Creek.

Winter Travel Season Begins Tomorrow: We’re Going to Florida

A photo of my mom’s parents on my last trip to Florida in 2006

Tomorrow night we’re heading off to Florida for a little 5-day vacation to visit my grandparents — both sets. I haven’t seen them in a while and Evan hasn’t even met them yet since they live so far away and he’s never been around when they’ve come to California. We’re excited to get some slightly warmer weather, some new scenery — Evan’s never been to Florida — and to relax with my family.

We’re also planning on spending a night in Miami, but we need to do a bit of research to figure out where to stay and what exactly to do. I’ve spent a total of one afternoon in South Beach so far, and mostly just spent my time walking down the beach. If you have any suggestions for Miami, or for Palm Beach/Boynton Beach (where we’re staying), we’d love to hear them!

Hyde Park at Sunset

After our excursion to the Chocolate Bar, Evan and I walked over to the science museum, but found the exhibits didn’t really hold our interest, so we went on to Hyde park. We entered the park right near the Albert Memorial, an extravagant statue involving exotic animals, hordes of people and lots of gold surrounded by a very pointy-topped fence and lots of security cameras.

Albert Memorial Hyde Park

From there, we walked to the Serpentine since it was getting cold and dark quickly. Once we were near the end of the lake, though, we noticed how pretty the view was and stopped to take a photo before power-walking the rest of the way home.

Hyde Park Sunset on the Serpentine

Photo Walk: Green Park, St. James Park and Buckingham Palace

Evan and I started our sightseeing on Saturday with a walk through Green Park, stopping at Buckingham Palace before heading through St. James Park to the Horse Guards Parade.

Green Park

Green Park

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

St. James Park Lake

St. James Park Lake

Horse Guards Parade

Horse Guards Parade

Sketchbook: Horse Guards Parade from St. James Lake

To make up for my terribly inaccurate drawing of Horse Guards Parade from St. James Lake, I went back on Tuesday and drew it for real. From my spot, I couldn’t see the whole thing, and it was partially obscured by trees. And I also had a lot of people walking in front of me and stopping to take pictures of various attractions and feed the birds (though none so dramatically as on my last trip to the park), which was a bit frustrating. I also think I need to buy a new pencil sharpener. Mine seems to have stopped working.

In any case, enough with the excuses. Here is the much more accurate drawing, though it could still use some work. And definitely the touch of a better-sharpened pencil. Oh, and it was cold when I was drawing, too.

Horse Guards Parade and St. James Lake

We’re In London!

I got to London Saturday afternoon, and had an interesting journey into the city, lugging my 70 pound suitcase through the Underground and down the streets to the dorm room I rented for the night at the London School of Economics. I was exhausted by the time I got there — I didn’t really sleep on the flight — and I took a little nap before heading out to get some basic necessities like a London cell phone, a plug adapter and, of course, dinner.

The next day, I dragged my bag through more of the city and down to Evan’s office — he was arriving that afternoon, but my checkout time was 10 a.m. Why tube stations don’t have adequate escalators or elevators is beyond me. Thankfully once people saw me struggling up flights of stairs, dragging my big suitcase up one step at a time while also carrying a backpack, laptop bag and purse and wearing a winter coat, they took pity on me and helped out a bit. Still, I was sore by the end of the day!

After dropping off my luggage, I started exploring the city. I walked down Oxford Street and Regent Street, though Picadilly Circus, by Hyde Park, through Trafalgar square and to Big Ben and Parliament. I saw Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, the Thames and even made it to Buckingham Palace during the changing of the guards. I couldn’t see all that much since it was very crowded, though. I also didn’t have my camera with me, so no pictures yet.

After that, I explored my new neighborhood a bit, had a cup of coffee and then went to meet Evan since he’d arrived.

So far, so good — it’s been very easy to get around, our place is nice and surprisingly big, and we had a nice dinner at an Italian restaurant named Prezzo down the street.

We’re still not totally unpacked and settled, but I’m sure we will be soon. I can’t wait to get out and explore some more.

New Hitched Article: Resolution for Two

Check out my latest Hitched article about new year’s resolutions. Hope this is a great one for all! I ended up having a near repeat of last new year’s–Evan and I had dinner with his grandparents, which included an absolutely amazing chocolate souffle, we went out with some friends to a bar in Downtown LA called Blue Velvet, which was fun, and we stopped by a party at a friend’s place to see a few more people. Then we spent New Year’s Day at the Rose Bowl — go Trojans! — and finished the day by meeting up with Maryn and Brian, then having dinner with my parents. Man, it’s been a busy trip home! I’ll try to post some pictures soon — we have nice ones from Tara and Dave’s wedding and the Rose Bowl.

Resolution for Two

Want to make this a great year for your marriage? Try making one of these 10 resolutions that can help bring you closer.

You hop into the new year by sharing a bottle of bubbly and a smooch from your partner, but your resolutions will probably focus on you, you and you. You want to lose weight, get a promotion and make more money. But what about that other entity in your life—your marriage? We challenge you to make 2008 the best year yet for your union by taking your partner into consideration and making a resolution that’ll benefit both of you.

Don’t know where to start? We’ve got 10 experts who can help you get the gears turning.

… Read the rest of the article at Hitched