As of two days ago I’d spent 19 of my 22 years living/exploring in California without once visiting Lake Tahoe, that ginormous deep blue puddle that lies between our great state and that desert next door. The situation has now been remedied. Life can go on.
Yesterday was travel day. We over-stuffed our van (I think we can safely say the Navarro’s have hit a new low in our packing abilities) and hit the road nice and late (in true Navamily fashion). What’s a trip without a full car, late departure, and numerous stops along the way? Some kind of heaven I’m sure but not a Navarro family vacation!
Though Eric wasn’t able to join us for this trip, he was kind enough to help us pack the van in Santa Cruz (this is a lie…he didn’t help at all) and strap the kayak to the roof (he did help with this. The task didn’t require an engineer but it certainly didn’t hurt!). Since we had zero extra room in the van, Eric and I were forced to double buckle it up to Berkeley. This was uncomfortable and I was glad to drop him off at home. (Just kidding. I’m so sad that he’s not able to join us for this adventure!)
Five hours, one In-and-Out Burger stop, and numerous pee breaks later we caught our first glimpse of the lake, driving down the hill on highway 50 (we were driving, not the lake, obviously). Simply magical.
In no time we were at eye level with Tahoe and pulling up to our cabin in Zephyr Cove. After unpacking all our crap (hauling it over a hill and up a flight of stairs. Sore but strong we are! And stupid) we headed down to the water.
Years ago one of my best friends introduced me to the phrase “heart sparkles.” Have you heard that one before? I hadn’t but as soon as she said it I instantly related to that feeling it describes.
Yesterday, sitting on the pier at dusk with my family, I had some major heart sparkles going on. We might be uniquely crazy, competitively right, and unnecessarily loud folks, but we are blood and we make each other laugh like you wouldn’t believe.
I can tell it’s going to be a great trip!
Happy 4th of July! Or as we’ve been saying ’round these parts, Happy ‘Merica Day!
The boys BBQed quite the feast this afternoon. Sausage, chicken, corn, veggie kabobs…so much food. Isn’t it great to have another excuse to pack it in? I’ve been eating non-stop since 4pm. Feeling full and mostly wonderful. Very burpy but in a good way, ya know?
Later we hiked up the hill to watch the fireworks, joining a butt-load of Berkeley-ans by the swing at “the top of the world.” Now that I’ve been up there I have to come back to try it out. It swings out over the side of the hill! Can’t miss that!
From our vantage point we were able to see all of the bay and the fireworks from Alameda, SF, Marin, and, of course, Berkeley. It was really beautiful. I think I’m more in love with this place than I’ve ever been.
Barcelona was definitely one of my favorite stops on our trip. Being able to understand folks (I discovered I’m pretty darn conversational in the ol’ Español) and ask for directions and the price of things was grand, especially since in France I would just nod blankly when anyone addressed me. I was tired of looking dumb!
We spent a lot of time with Gaudí, visiting Sagrada Familia and Parc Guell, and stumbling upon his architecture around the city. Growing up with Gaudí coffee table picture books had familiarized me with his work, but seeing it in person was something else. His style is larger than life. It’s otherworldy, fer sure. We were mesmerized and could have easily stayed and explore for hours more.
We’ll be back, Barcelona!
We’ve been continuing our vacation, and mourning its soon-to-be conclusion, this past week. Taking things a little more slowly than our month abroad… Recovering from jet lag in bed and generally not leaving the house. Getting out to Tilden today felt kind of necessary for our limbs!
How did you spend your first day of Summer?
After Paris we took the TGV (read: high speed rail…about time we got some of these in the US of A, no?) to Aix-en-Provence to visit with Eric’s sister and family. We spent a few days there, walking around and enjoying Provence and the warmer weather. Next we headed to Arles, a little city on the Rhône that has some amazing Roman ruins. And then to Nice! We spent three days there, enjoying the beautiful beach and basking in the sun. During our visit we took the bus, which runs right along the coast, to Monaco for a day and visited their Aquarium (fun, but nothing beats our Monterey Bay Aquarium, that’s fo sho) and amazing exotic garden.
We arrived in Paris on May 21st to find the city freezing its fashionable ass off. Oh man, was it cold! Something like 40 degrees. And rainy. But we still managed to take in a bunch of the sites, bundled to the max. We were there only a few days (we came back at the end of the trip for another few so there will be more pics…) but I still fell in love, just like everyone told me I would. What an incredible city. When we arrived and walked up the metro steps I had the classic jaw drop reaction to this beautiful city. Well done, Haussmann, et al!
After 27 days of walking, site seeing, attempting to speak foreign languages, and catching the travel bug real bad, we are back home in Berkeley, jet lagged and refusing to leave our bed except to eat and pee.
I thought I would experience some sort of culture shock upon returning to the states, but so far it’s been a smooth transition. Yesterday we walked north to the gourmet ghetto for some yummy eats (Baja burgers at Barney’s because we’re back in California) and then saw a movie (Seth Rogen’s This is the End…SO DAMN FUNNY! I highly recommend it!). In English!
I’ll post some pics from our adventures soon but if you’re curious, or impatient, visit our tumblr blog that we updated regularly during our viaje.
The time has come! Tomorrow we depart the USA for France and begin our adventures abroad! We’re visiting 3 countries over 27 days (France, Spain, and Italy). Eric speaks only a modicum of French, I speak only a spot of Spanish, and we both can’t speak Italian. Let the adventures in communication begin! I have been practicing my gesturing over the last few days so everything should be okay.
Follow along with our travels over on our new blog 27days3countries.tumblr.com. We’ll post as much as we can whenever we find an internet connection. Bon voyage to us!
Here’s something I’m learning slowly: when a thing you truly enjoy doing becomes a job, you stop enjoying it as much. Maybe that’s not true for all folks, but I think it might be true for me. Here are some examples:
- Knitting. I’ve signed on to knit two of my family members scarves and while I so enjoy the process, the needles don’t call for me to pick them up like they used to. (I am literally LOLing at that last sentence and imagining these sweet little knitting needles calling me up on the teeniest of phones.) It doesn’t help that I feel pre-arthritic in both hands. I’m doing these exercises to help with the pain. Yes, stress injuries from knitting do happen. I am the tragic proof.
- Pinning. Okay, this is by no means a job (oh that I wish it were). But it is something I haven’t been doing much of lately. With pinning, the inactivity came on slowly. When I first joined last year, I’d pin every day, maybe even multiple times a day. I bordered on the fanatic, as my pinners do. Then I got the app on my smartphone and that took things to a whole new level. I’d wake up and pin, pin during the day, and then pin a bit more at night. Okay, I’ll say it: I was addicted. I would be the perfect candidate for an “I wish I was pinning” bumper sticker. And then, all of a sudden I stopped. Now I’ll go for days without pinning! (I know this might sound ridiculous but such is the state of my life, folks.) What an achievement! And it’s not because I’m trying to hold myself back, either. I’m not weening myself from the pin-drug. No, I’m just not motivated to do it anymore. Okay, that’s partially a lie because I still pin (and when I do, lordy lordy, your feed will blow up with my name), just not with the addiction-type frequency of earlier moons.
- Being alone. I work from home, or the library, but mostly from home. And that means I’m by myself a lot. Like all day. Every work day. So when my housemates or the boyfriend come home I pounce on them like the starved for human-attention being that I am. If someone’s in the house with me, there’s a good chance I’m as physically close that person as I can possibly be. Yes, it’s a little creepy. I recognize that. Before I worked from home, spending time alone was a bit of a treat. I worked with other people, I lived with other people, and so I cherished those little moments spent alone, whether I be zoning out or watching TV, or zoning out while watching TV. It’s not like I don’t ever choose to be alone when I have the option to be around people; I am a wee bit introverted (or maybe it’s just occasional shyness? hrmm) after all. But because I spend so much time by myself, I find my yearning to be near others, even if I’m not talking to them, stronger than ever. Basically, I’m saying that working alone is to blame for my not wanting to be alone.
- Eating eggs. Okay, this one’s a bit out there but hear me out. I like eggs, always have always will. But ever since I started life in the real working post-college world two years ago, I have not been much of an egg fan. I think this is because I associate egg sandwiches (I’m talking fried egg on bread here, not egg salad (which requires too much effort, hello)) with having a job and being too poor to buy sandwich meat (and too lazy after a long day of work to make anything more gourmet). I would also eat fried eggs on spagetti. Basically, if I was in need of protein, I’d put an egg on it (preferably poached). And now I’m sick of them. Every time Eric says, excitedly, that he’s going to make an egg sandwich (fried egg), my gag reflex triggers. I just. can’t. eat. them anymore.
- Blogging. Like pinning, blogging is by no means my job. That said, sometimes I treat it as such. A few months back I attended a couple online classes on blogging and branding, etc. and got really excited about blogging every week and doing giveaways and meeting up with other bloggers and finding more readers, yadda yadda yadda. And while at first I was stoked on the whole thing (hello three posts a week and update emails!), I quickly tired of it. I want blogging to be something I do when I’ve found something cool to share. Okay, and while arguably I find something cool every day and want to share it…I just don’t have the time! I work 4o hrs a week, I watch a lot of TV post-5pm to cope, and I like to spend my weekend lounging around the house or frolicking in the park (mostly the former).
All this is to say that I want to approach these things that I’ve so enjoyed in my life (eggs being a stretch here) from a new perspective. Not as work, but as something I want to give to the world and to myself. Something fun and creative (again, eggs are a stretch) that inspires and motivates me. This might mean frequent absences on the blog, but should result in higher quality posts. Let’s hope anyway!
Have things you’ve loved doing turned into chores too? Please share and tell me I’m not alone (pun not intended)!