Road trip: Point Bonita lighthouse

Mike had a three-day weekend and the weather was unseasonably warm and pleasant (well, 65 degrees instead of 55), so we decided to get outside on Saturday. It kind of turned into a things-we-can’t-believe-we-haven’t-done-yet trip. But we just went with it.

Greatest. Sign. Ever.

Our destination was the Point Bonita lighthouse, which is pretty close to the Golden Gate bridge in the Marin headlands. We were hoping for a nice hike with some picturesque views, and that’s exactly what we got.

After a short hike you walk through this creepy tunnel to get out to the lighthouse.

When you emerge you find yourself on this beautiful point with waves crashing up against the shore.

You can’t actually get to the lighthouse because of construction, but you can get close enough to see it.

There were all sorts of plants just growing right out of the rocks there.

And next to the trail, daffodils!

Nearby there’s an old fort you can climb around.

There’s actually quite a bit of military history in that area. If you’re nerdy like us, you can read all the signs about it.

Or just enjoy the views.

After that we decided to drive around a little more and we discovered all of these scenic overlooks where you can get great photos of yourself with the bridge in the background.

After that we were like, why don’t we get even closer? So we crossed the bridge into San Francisco and started walking from the marina to the base of the bridge. It was at this point that I started saying I can’t believe we haven’t done this before!

There’s a great beach full of kids and dogs. Then there’s a marsh full of shorebirds to watch.

And as you walk along the path (this is the Crissy Field area), the views just get better and better.

We just happened to be there around sunset so the light was amazing.

Once you get to the base of the bridge you can go inside Fort Point and see more military displays.

Or you can go straight to the top, where you are basically underneath the Golden Gate bridge.

Even though we were pretty exhausted from all the walking, we walked alllll the way back to our car, enjoying the sunset.

We were definitely feeling very lucky to live in the bay area. Next time maybe we’ll even walk across the bridge!

There are actually a lot more things I still want to explore in the city. Sometimes it’s fun to just play tourist.

San Francisco at night

Last night we had a fun date night in the city, and I wanted to take some photos that capture what San Francisco is like at night. I can’t believe it, but we’ve been here a whole year.

We had dinner at Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, which was sublime.

I didn’t notice when I took this, but I love the stocking hanging in the window above.

Then we walked around North Beach, which is a wild mix of cultures.

Brandy Ho’s is one of our favorite Chinese restaurants. But we were wondering, what are the people upstairs cooking for dinner?

I had to get a look at my poufs in the window at Park and Pond.

Love these iconic buildings at night.

And on the way back to the BART station you pass the orange Christmas tree. Love it!

Road trip: Rockaway Beach

This was kind of an early birthday treat. Mike found this little beach in Pacifica that was the perfect place for a sunny day picnic. The waves were probably the biggest I’ve seen so far here, so there were a lot of surfers in the water. I put my feet in for just a little bit, but it was freeeezing!

The week in photos

Did you see my antique fridge/bar on Fresh Home? I am blogging for them now, along with their other “Fresh Faces.”

This pile of unstuffed poufs became a bunch of wholesale orders…when it rains, it pours.

Obligatory shot of a cute dog.

Poster of the week. Available here.

The cutest owlie. I will have tons of these at my next craft shows.

A little Berkeley color. I kind of want to make a poster out of this and frame it.

Charging station at the Oakland airport. I’m probably years away from having an electric car, but I still think this is so cool!

A foggy Golden Gate bridge. It looks like this more often than not.

Sea lions at Pier 39. Glad they’re back.

Mono Hot Springs

So the surprise anniversary trip was … Mono Hot Springs!

Apparently after an attempt to book a cabin in Big Sur failed, Mike discovered this resort tucked away in the Sierra National Forest. And when I say tucked away, I mean this is the most remote place I’ve ever been.

To get there, you have to drive up into the mountains, and the last 20 miles are on a precarious one-lane road with two-way traffic, where the speed limit is 10. In two months the road will be closed, as it’s too crazy to plow.

Right after this sign was a handmade one that read, “Residences ahead. No shooting.”


But there is definitely a payoff for making the treacherous drive. It is absolutely beautiful out there.

This time of year the weather is warm and cloudless during the day, and just chilly enough at night for you to enjoy a fire with s’mores.

Our cabin was nestled up against a HUGE pine, with little blue lizards skittering all around the rocks.

I couldn’t help but feel like this place is a little “Northern Exposure.”

Every morning the dreadlocked server at the one and only restaurant comes down to the general store in her bathrobe and hiking boots. Breakfast is a microwave-it-yourself burrito with a side of gossip from the previous night.

Someone told us the bears up there were “tidy”, but you should still roll up your windows just in case. It’s a little kooky, but also kind of great.

In order to get to the original hot springs, you have to cross a creek via log. Fortunately, our balance was good enough to make it.

We took a brief dip in Old Pedro, but he was really, really hot. And since it was pretty hot outside, we couldn’t stay too long.

So we did what any couple would do on a relaxing anniversary trip. Pretty much nothing. I read three magazines. We rocked in rustic log rocking chairs. We stared at the stars. It was bliss.

The second day we decided to go for a hike up to one of the nearby lakes.

It seemed like we passed every picturesque landscape you could imagine. First you scramble up a rocky hill dotted with giant pinecones.

Then you come across a marshy field full of tall reeds. Then you get to the lake, which is sparkling with rippled water and full of lilypads and flopping fish.

Then you come to a meadow, where you feel like you should skip and sing a wholesome song.

You pass other little ponds with ducks swimming along.

And finally you come to a quiet creek, where tiny frogs are jumping into the water. At that point we heard a tree crack and fall in the woods. It was like nature’s little reminder that it can be harsh, too.

Mike got to do a lot of birdwatching, which is definitely one of his favorite pastimes. We saw a bunch of yellow-rumped warblers and at night we heard a great horned owl hoo-hoo-ing.

I don’t know about you, but I feel like there is no worry that nature can’t cure. A little time out there does so much for the soul.

Being in California has really gotten me back in touch with this. All of the answers are out there. It’s the only place quiet enough for you to hear them.

On the drive back we actually got stopped by a logger who told us the road would be closed for a few minutes while they cut down one of those massive pines. Sure enough we watched it wobble and then come down with a huge explosion. (Apparently they remove some of the dead ones to help with fire prevention). Then they lifted it off the road and we were on our way.

I hope every anniversary is as wonderful (and woodsy) as this one has been.

One year ago…

I won’t be here to blog on my anniversary (Sept. 18) because Mike is taking me on a surprise getaway for the weekend (!!), but I wanted to give you a little look back at what was, in my totally biased opinion, the greatest wedding of all time.

Whenever I look at the pictures, I just have to smile at the total expressions of joy on people’s faces that day. Everyone looks like they are having so much fun, and that was the whole point.

Planning a wedding and living a marriage are two totally different animals. I feel lucky to be with someone who loves me for exactly the person I am, and who supports me in all the crazy decisions I make in my life.

So just for fun, here is a ridiculous number of my favorite photos from the wedding. A few of them I’ve never posted before. But just so you feel like you’re getting something new, I’ve made them BIGGER. Enjoy!

All photos by Joe and Libby Crimmings.

Stinson Beach

Lots of people told us we had to check out Stinson Beach, so we drove the loopy winding road out there. We were all excited for a sunshine-y day at the beach, but it turns out it was actually pretty gloomy there that day. We still had a good time, though, watching surfers and being entertained by gulls that almost got away with someone’s unsupervised backpack.

Stinson Beach is actually a cute little town with a nice market selling organic veggies and some cute stores and restaurants.

Vintage family photos

I absolutely love when The Sartorialist posts vintage photos of people’s stylish relatives. Mike and I were looking through some of his old family photos, and we found these gems.

(Mike’s words): This is my great-grandfather, Otto Satorius Sr., probably in Milwaukee, probably in the 1910s.

This is his son, Robert Satorius (my great uncle), somewhere in the Pacific during World War II.

And this is one of his other sons, Otto Jr. (another great uncle of mine), either just before or just after World War II.

Aren’t they great?

Back to Big Sur

Mike’s parents are in town for a few days, so we took them down to two of our favorite places, Monterey and Big Sur.

Some photos from the trip…

Pelicans hanging out in Monterey.

There was a lot of this happening along the trail in Big Sur. We were trying to get photos of hummingbirds.

These two jays were a variety I’ve never seen before.

Wonder what kind of spider made this web.

And those redwoods.

Road trip: Point Reyes National Seashore

The weekend forecast was for absolutely perfect weather, so we decided we had to do something outside. Mike thought it would be fun to drive to Marin County and have a little picnic. No argument here!

The traffic was a bit of a pain (I think everyone else had the same idea), but once we got to the redwood-lined road inside Point Reyes National Seashore, we knew we’d made the right decision.

We actually had our picnic near a visitors center, where we watched some woodpeckers knock away at this mottled tree.

Just egg salad on crusty bread and a cupcake we ate before I could get a photo.

This guy was just hanging out by the parking lot. I think it’s a great blue heron.

Finally we made our way to Limantour Beach. The walk to the beach itself was gorgeous.

We spotted an egret out in the marsh. I am really starting to learn my birds!

We noticed that people had found little nooks for themselves in the sand dunes. Once we found one of our own we realized they also shield you from the wind, but since they get full sun the sand is nice and warm.

It was wiiiindy out there.

Hopefully no one was blinded by my pale legs.

We brought some wine from our Sonoma trip and a couple books.

Sitting out there in the sun, listening to the waves break was just total bliss. I don’t think we’d been that relaxed in a long time.

After about 3 1/2 hours we finally decided we were baked and wind blown enough and we started to leave. Just as we got to the top of the last hill, we heard a father say to his little girl just about the greatest line ever.

“Do you see the whales?”

Out in the water there were two whales moving fast, coming up for air every once in a while (maybe a mother and calf?). It was so, so cool. We didn’t get a very good photo since we just wanted to watch it. But here’s one.

After that we stopped at local restaurant that specializes in oysters and had dinner. This was the sign in their parking lot.

Happy trails, indeed.