Friday, August 31, 2012

golden gate + hair advice.

I took a beautiful walk over the Golden Gate earlier this week. It was an oddly sunny, clear skies day, there was no fog, and we even saw seals and dolphins in the waters below. Finn's sweet cousin Kendall (who stayed with us for a night) and I had a great conversation about life while walking over the bay. Whenever I get to the edges of the city where everything feels more wide open, I get really happy about living here.

Also, this is what your hair looks like if you try to wear it down while walking on the bridge:

In other words, leave your hair up.

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Thursday, August 30, 2012


B44 is in the upper tier of my top 5 favorite restaurants in San Francisco. It's a delicious "Catalan Bistro" with tons of tapas and a great atmosphere. As a very special treat, we went last night for dinner with Davy & Fe. The restaurant is located in the romantic Belden Place, a little alleyway filled with European-esque dining, strung up sparkly lights, and tons of outdoor seating. To be honest, I think you could feed me a bowl of dry cereal in Belden Place and I'd be ecstatic. It's just so beautiful, I love going there.

When you arrive, it looks like this...

And by the time you depart, it looks like this!

I was snapping away photos last night, thinking how much I'd love to share a little B44 with you all here. The restaurant has very low lighting so, unfortunately, many of the photos turned out looking like I took them inside a dark room/tanning bed/spaceship. Drat. I managed to salvage some...have a look if you'd like!

Doesn't it all look delicious? Their menu is full of good eats. We were also very pleased to find that Davy, being the charming Belgian he is, has won over the manager of B44 who apparently now throws in a freebie or two when Davy visits (which is often). Last night, a tray of champagne was brought to our table on the house! I think I said thank you like 8 times (rapid fire gratitude is a great way to seem classy). It was a fun night!

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

our window.

We sleep with our bedroom window open every night in this apartment. The outside temperature normally gets down in the 40s or 50s, so an open window makes a big difference. I love lying in there and feeling a little brisk air on an exposed shoulder or foot. It's reminiscent of sleeping in the mountains for me and makes our room feel so cozy. I had the realization upon returning from time in North Carolina that it's one small detail I really love about our apartment and living here. High five little window, I like you.

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

saturday at the america's cup.

The America's Cup is still in town so Finn and I spent Saturday afternoon at Marina Green watching more of the races. We had an awesome front-and-center view, just at the water's edge (and just behind some 60-somethings who were sneaking wine and really enjoying themselves). The excitement of seeing the races so close-up joined with helicopters overhead, cheering people, a hilarious British commentator, and a curious sea lion who kept popping up close to where we stood all made for a very fun afternoon. 

The day ended with a Dr. Dog show, where, while waiting for their set to begin, we appropriately befriended an actual dog. He was a portly little gentleman named Gus who, being partial to a good head scratch, hung out with us for about 20 minutes. Look at that face! I loved that little guy. The show was fun though we ended up dipping out early so we could hang out and eat pizza at home, TMNT style

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

the loggerhead birthday.

A portion of my time in North Carolina was spent at the beach in Oak Island with several of my most favorite family members. Right in front of our little beachfront bungalow happened to be a loggerhead sea turtle nest that, according to the nest volunteers, was due to hatch any day. We were all hopeful and checked on the nest frequently throughout the week trying to will something to happen. My mom was undoubtedly the most fervent in her nest devotion and spent several hours each night in her little beach chair on watch. She befriended the volunteers and even gave them her phone number, insisting that they call her if any signs of hatching showed.

Around 10:30 pm our last night there, her phone buzzed with a text: "we have a depression". We were immediately taken over by excitement, waking the sleeping members of the house and hurrying out into the night. Sure enough, there were two small divots in the sand that were new. The waiting began.

Over the course of an hour and a half, the two depressions slowly deepened, eventually merging together, and finally expanding into a circular sunken area about 10 inches wide. Our whole viewing experience was at the mercy of a single volunteer who alone held the power of the turtle-approved red flashlight (no other lights were allowed). At one point, distracted by spectator questions, she had the light off for about a minute. The next time she clicked her flashlight on, it was happening. In the cutest frenzy ever, the little turtles were emerging from the sand by the dozens and the lot of us erupted in a chorus of squeals and gasps. 

photo sourced from web. we couldn't take any photos but hopefully this gives you an idea of the cuteness level we were dealing with.

We all watched in wonder as more than 100 teeny turtle babies scooted to the sea. I think the setting of night made it even more mysterious and exciting. It was a unique human experience to quietly wait alongside 50+ strangers in the dark, all sharing a curiosity and care for some teeny marine reptiles. I'm so thankful they made their debut while we were still there. The memory of the first one disappearing into the water and the sight of their little track marks in the sand are things I'll never forget. I wanted to hold one so bad but, alas, "knowing better" is the plight of adulthood responsibility. 

This is the only photo I have from the night & was taken after they were all in the ocean. My expression is a good indication of how I felt internally the entire time - it was amazing. This earth is full of wonders. 
I love nature and I love those little babies.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

3 hours at home & a campout.

For the first time in August, both Finn and I were home in our apartment last night...for about 3 hours. I picked him up from the airport around 12:30 am, we arrived home after 1, made it to bed by 2, woke up at 4:15, and left SF at 4:30 this morning for San Jose. We're currently camping out in a Chick-fil-A parking lot for their Grand Opening First 100 event. We arrived sleepy-eyed at 5:30 today, will camp in the parking lot for 24 hours until 6 am tomorrow along with 98 other participants, and will all receive 52 vouchers for free Chick-fil-A meals. That's 104 meals between the 2 of us...not bad. I like sleeping in tents and Finn loves free food so this is sort of an ideal situation for us.

Photos from this morning. It was misty & dark - not an optimal waking up environment.

The day has been fun. So far we've managed to nap, read, and eat oreos. We are skilled in the art of relaxation my friends. Perhaps best of all, we happened to set up camp right beside Jeff, a guy from Chapel Hill who knows Nick Dantonio, one of our favorite friends. What are the chances! We have been chatting it up with him and his friend Sean all day. It's fun having campout friends! Plus they brought nutella.

The view from our tent.

Haven't really changed my clothes since yesterday. Don't hate. 

This time tomorrow we'll be 104 Chick-fil-A meals richer and will get to be 
home together for more than 3 hours. This week is shaping up all right.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

first day back in town / tired legs.

Waking up in San Francisco after 3 weeks of absence seemed to have put a little gusto in my energy for today's activities. I woke up wanting to get out and see parts of the city I missed. Resultantly, I have been all over town today. And it's not over yet! I'm off to dinner in a few hours & Noe Valley after that.

My wanderings for today:

A) Left my building and began a morning run north to Fisherman's Wharf (B).
B) Waved to the sea lions then ran along the Embarcadero until I reached the Ferry Building (C).
C) Ran by the produce vendors of the Ferry Building then turned on to Market and finished my run somewhere between C & D. 
D) Called Caroline, walked home to E, put on warmer clothes & more deodorant. Neglected showering.
E) Left for Fe's apartment (F) to meet her new cat, Mister Jack.
F) Met jack, caught up with Fe, had lunch.
H) Fe and I took the bus/walked to H (Marina Green) to watch the opening day's events for the America's Cup, a huge worldwide sailing competition. Admission was free today & we were all layered up, prepared to enjoy the races despite the chilly SF weather. It was fun!
(After H) We walked a ways then took the bus home.

Watching all the boats jet around the bay was fun - they go so fast. I hope to take Finn to watch a few more races before the event is over. I think I'd enjoy it more with him explaining all they're doing. My favorite part today was when one boat capsized (sorry New Zealand, it was entertaining). It's been a great day so far and I've still got dinner & Finn's return to look forward to. I'm resting my legs in the meantime.

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

day 16.

This is the man I love.

After 16 days apart, I'll see him today. It has been the longest stretch of time apart we've had since being married and I really just can't wait to be in his company. I seriously enjoy him so much. 

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

the girls.

I am loving all my time with Andy and Lou, or "the girls" as they're affectionately called in our family. I haven't seen them in months aside from a few skype calls with my parents where they cock their heads in the background, confused at the sound of my voice. I adore them both and am trying to soak up the time I have with them. This translates to me lying on the floor with them lots & getting in their personal space to tell them how much I love them. I have maybe become a nuisance to them but I just know how I'll miss them when I go. Isn't it amazing how much we can love a doggie? 

Lou, "the lioness" or "the model". We all think she's a great beauty. She is the sweetest dog my family has ever had.

Little Andy, the mystery mix. We have no idea what she is. When my parents first brought her home, she was fiercely
independent & has slowly become increasingly affectionate. She is now very loving. She also has her own baby pool. 

And just because, the puppy versions of the girls:

Sidenote: Both Andy and Lou were rescues so when my parents got them, no one could be sure how old they were. On both occasions, the vet assured my parents that the girls were absolutely done growing "because of their teeth size" or something like that. Both have more than doubled in size. "Little Andy" was 22 lbs & is now 56 lbs! We like to laugh about his miscalculation & the fact my parents unknowingly adopted big dogs.

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

it wasn't time to leave.

The original ticket we bought for this trip had me on a flight back to San Francisco yesterday morning. 

I'm still in North Carolina (insert big grin).

While I was at the beach, Finn finalized some travel plans for work that had him out of town in different cities for 9 days right after I got back. We discussed me sticking around NC for those days and decided to pay the fee and extend my stay! So instead of spending yesterday on an airplane, I had an awesome quiet day in town. I went to a sweetie 5 year old's birthday party where I saw lots of family I love. Afterwards, I crashed on my parents' couch and ate Captain Crunch for dinner - a proper summer afternoon. It's so nice having unplanned extra days that leave time for things like a sit on the porch or a morning walk (like the one with Lauren pictured below). The only downside is having to wait longer to see Finn, who I'm missing a good bit already (a nice problem to have). But I'll see him soon enough and am happy with my extra days to enjoy here. 

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Friday, August 3, 2012

home sweet home.

Literally! Look at this cake my sister made for me, just because. I feel so loved.

The days are flying by. It's so wonderful to see family and friends and enjoy the parts of NC I've missed so much. I'd hoped to keep up with posts along the way but I overestimated the amount of down time I'd have. My days have been filled to the brim with people (and dogs) I love with little time left over for internet things, or sleep for that matter. I may be able to stop in a few times over the week, but I'm guessing things will be very quiet here until I return to SF next week. Until then, I'll be soaking up all the fun I can and enjoying my cake!

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

carolina bound.

Here I go! 

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