30 July 2010

Day one: Mini Park

Muriel Leff Park: A tidy tucked away jewel on 7th avenue in between Geary and Anza. A perfect place to sit and ponder or have a quiet conversation.

My own Julian Calendar

I thought 4000 miles of open road would help me find this site's purpose. But, it was this morning on a walk by myself that I figured out my challenge. Everyday, for the next 365 days, I will go to one place I have never been or do one thing I have never done. Many days will be simple finds or actions. My goal is that by this time next year, the body of my research will define what is extraordinary to me in the everyday.

Gray Skies, Black Falcon

This morning, as I walked through Golden Gate Park, Cole Valley, Ashbury Heights and the Castro, I realized how much I love this city bathed in gray. I overheard tourists complain, and saw locals pack up their bags for bluer weekend skies. A town that can be this beautiful with no sun shining is something special.

This is for the Serbians who asked for directions to the Japanese Tea Garden: Black Lamb, Grey Falcon. I have not read it in ten years, but would love to browse through it again!

And this is for Jeremy, my friend from Greenpeace on he corner of 16th and Market: World Repair Kids and PanCan.

28 July 2010

A mantra

One of my all time favorites: everybody wear sunscreen

Back at it

We are slipping back into our normal life. Tsah fell asleep at the dining table yesterday, so I am sure he has not entirely rebounded from our adventure. However with the endurance of all great men in capes, he accompanied me this morning on errands. It was fun to explore a different part of the city on the walk home from the Castro. A new cup of coffee and jungle gym  are fresh starts!

27 July 2010

An open note

The last 27 days were a kind of whirlwind I had never experienced. I am grateful to our friends and family for being incredible. For those of you who put us up (and put up with us!), thank you. By sharing your special corners of this beautiful country, you opened our eyes and hearts to what summer means from sea to shining sea. I was struck daily by the beauty of the back roads, the people connected to these places, and the feeling of what it means to be an American.  I would like to especially thank my sweet in-laws and adorable husband, for their confidence in me and their support throughout the trip. Maker is a fine road tripper should any one of you ever need a Thelma to your Louise! Most of all, I would like to thank our lovely children. You two make my heart melt. You were both troopers. You usually accepted my endless "we will be there in about twenty minutes," and you showed your true pioneer spirits. You both own a sense of adventure that no one can ever take from you. I wish you many safe and happy road trips with those you love. Signing off from the City by the Bay, MDE

another night and day

and we were back with Daddy. He flew into Salt Lake to help with the last legs home. We had a fantastic vegetarian dinner at Sage's Cafe. Early to bed, early to rise and we were at the Peppermill in Wendover by seven am. A long HOT day of driving later, we made it to Feather River! We did make one quick detour in Elko to see my mother's childhood home. We had a flash 24 hour visit with our lovely friends, and it was off to Reno to see Baba and Poppa. One last dinner and sunset away from home. We drove into our driveway mid-day on Monday. I could hardly believe it. We are so happy to be home, with memories to cherish in our treasure chest.

Ready for anything

The next morning we were on the road by 6:30....Italy had been inspired by the breakfast buffet at the last hotel, so decided if she woke up everyone up at 5:30, chances were good for first seating.  After breakfast, we took a slight detour out of town. I wanted to check out the Missouri River, and a piece of the Lewis and Clark trail. It was quiet and muted. I could almost feel the energy of explorers past and their sense of what they might find up river. A tiny piece of the world, untouched by time. I am glad we took a look. We went back to Pierre, and headed to the Black Hills. We had made it to Mount Rushmore by lunch.  This is a must see for us all. A timeless creation of history, natural beauty, and man. A quick trip to Crazy Horse and onto Northeast Wyoming...visually one of my favorite parts of the trip.

Armageddon = South Dakota Thunderstorms

The children and I headed out of MN in the morning, for a seven hour drive west to Pierre, SD. We had a picnic at a playground, took in the beautiful scenery and continued our game of counting american flags, hay bales, and horses. South Dakota took my breath away. I thought the landscape was stunning. As we rolled along, I saw some clouds ahead. I figured  a rainstorm was no big deal to a girl who has spent the last 12 years in San Francisco and Seattle.  I was wrong. The radio emergency broadcasts and the weather channel's three severe weather warnings in the area, got me a tad nervous. As lighting flashed across my windshield again and again, I was going through towns with no diners and no gas stations, I figured I needed a plan. When the radio called out highways and timeframes of the storm, I realized we were centered on it path, with no place to go. I pulled into a farmhouse and asked for advice. He suggested a town 11 miles west with a diner. A perfect solution, as this was the direct path of the storm, and I had 10 minutes until the storm directly hit. We got back on the road, and I realized that the other drivers were headed somewhere when 100 miles an hour was the standard speed of all on the when in rome.......we arrived at a diner in Hyde county in pouring rain and more lighting than I have seen in all my storms past put together. The place was packed with those coming in for shelter and the regulars. We ordered the fried chicken and biscuit dinner, chatted with the locals and waited it out. When we had paid our bill and peeked out the window, the sun was shining, the roads were sparkling and Italy B's first rainbow had appeared.


Our time in twin cities was full of summer fun. Boating on Lake Minnetonka, al fresco meals, lots of swimming, feeding chickens, and a visit to the impressive Mill City Museum. I LOVED the area. The northern Midwest is studded with all sizes of lakes and shoreline. People are out everywhere, enjoying every moment of heat and sunshine. After three days of fun and rest, we left Maker and C.C. to have a grown up visit and continued west. Literally into the eye of a storm!

23 July 2010

Serious Summer

We have been off line for several days. Wireless access has been limited. Truthfully, I have been enjoying it.  We crossed Lake Michigan via catamaran car ferry and sailed  into Wisconsin on a beautiful Saturday morning. We headed directly to Cafe Lulu, to get our land legs. We then headed on to Madison. We met up with Uncle T's brother and wife for brats and beer at the Essen Haus...where we witnessed some amazing conversation around us.   We turned in early for our mission to Minnesota. A day that began with a visit to the Circus World Museum in Baraboo, Wi and ended with an welcome party in Long Lake, MN. More to come..the Mississippi River, storm chasing in South Dakota, Mount Rushmore and the cowboys of Wyoming.

16 July 2010

Sweet Water

We headed to the border on Wednesday morning. After convincing customs that I was, in fact, NOT selling our car on the grey market and hitchhiking back to the States with our children and my mother in law, we headed to Niagara Falls. It is a beautiful place to see. One you can check off your bucket list after five minutes, but well worth the effort to get there. We had lunch on Lake Ontario, spent the night on Lake Erie and headed to Lake Huron the next day.  I had promised beach time, so the children and I headed down to the water around 5pm. A huge storm headed in just as we took our first dips, so we fled the lighting on the water with the rest of the beach goers. We went back to the 19th century B&B to watch the storm from the front porch. This morning after a breakfast feast, we decided we were up to the "scenic route." Ten hours later we arrived at White Lake in Western Michigan. Boats are moored, families are dining, and the sun is setting. Another day down. 

13 July 2010

"There is a lot of different country"

That was his quote as we drove from town to town the last few days: Boston to Amherst to Williamstown to Sunderland to Bennington to Seneca Lakes. A lot of green, a lot of campuses, a couple of fantastic museums, one beach and a lot of help from yelp in the food department.  We have been very busy bees.  Of course, food and wine being what drives us along, we ate a delicious dinner at Blue Heron, had a staggering wait but good coffee and conversation at Wheatberry, and discovered the Hay Market Cafe.

The Eric Carle Museum began with story hour, two tired littles during the exhibit, a book signing, and a fantastic art studio that perked us all up. We spent a long time in their book store trying to choose a memory.

At the the Clark Art Institute on the Williams campus, he thought the impressionist paintings looked like earthquakes. He decided he did not like one of Picasso's series because he "does not like to look at naked people." He was twirled like a dancer every time he pointed out a Degas. He also chose one painting to draw in his sketchbook.  A highlight was when Maker (she chose this name), ran into an old friend from San Francisco who lives in Boston, when walking into the museum. They met up for a long dinner of catch up. The children and I had an early bite and played with rocks and sticks in the garden on the hotel.

We headed out early this am thanks to Italy B's 6:00 am rise and shine song. It was off to Vermont for coffee. We followed route 7 and 20 to Black Cat Cafe in Sharon Springs. We picked up an offering of sandwiches and cookies and were off again. We stopped at Bob and Joanne's roadside farm stand, where we got local gossip and directions to Glimmer Glass Lake for a picnic. At long last, we arrived in Seneca Falls. We found nourishment in the local brass band playing in the park across the street in the pouring rain. We danced and danced and arrived back at the hotel soaked and happy. Now we are cozy in our room ready for Day 4!

12 July 2010

Cape Cod Chapter 2

After Chatham, we headed to Osterville....possibly the loveliest town in America. We met with the K2 crew and slipped into more summer time fun. We swam , made lobster rolls, drank punch, checked out the local bar where biker meets country club, kayaked, boated in a rain storm, hung with Lucky, and chatted daily with four generations of the same incredible family. We ate steak dinners, and laughed about the past, present and future.  Now on to Boston for a red-eye arrival and adventures in Western Mass.  Ladies and Gentleman, start your engines. The road trip just kicked into fifth gear!!!! 

08 July 2010

Heading East to end up West is well worth it!

Yesterday, we had coffee and muffins on the Yale campus. Tsah was in awe of the buildings. He thought they all looked like churches. We carried on to the beautiful town of Chatham,  for a few days of cousins and good chats.  We watched future MLB players, who play all summer in the Cape Cod league, coach X on his ground dimples doubles (if you have ever met him, you know what I mean.). At the playground, we met children, who brought their children who are bringing their children to the same spot every year. We went to an amazing beach where the children frolicked all afternoon.Both of our children boogie boarded for the first time. Italy loved floating along on her own mini surfboard. Miss Ambrose spent the afternoon like a little fish in the inlet current. We are now home, freshly scrubbed from the sea, sitting down to a meal of grilled meats and shortcake with berries and cream.  Our stay at the "Peace and Quiet" brought much of the former and a pleasant demise of the latter. 

06 July 2010

Our temporary Man of the House

or vehicle, in our case

Father and son.

 Apis pulled tsah aside this afternoon to kindly discuss his responsibilities for the next couple of weeks. Afterwards, he took him out for a slice of pizza in Jamaica Queens. Our little four year old is the last man standing on this leg of the voyage. He has been tasked with helping mommy and looking out for his baby sister. He promptly got to work. He told me he was "getting situated" when we arrived at the hotel. I turned around to see him tidying his toys and his  "packpack." He then took Italy B. by the hand until we safely made it to our room. Now we are watching World Cup highlights and rooting for the Orange. Admittedly, a bandwagon move. SAFE JOURNEY HOME SWEET DADDY!
I am still figuring out formatting for this bear with me! We have had an amazing few days. A holiday I will never forget! Thank you to T & J for everything and to P & C for the never ending fun you add to every event.

Happy Birthday America!

A tour of Southampton, lunch at the beach club with an old friend and Fowler Beach for a bonfire clambake, complete with firecrackers and games. Tsah thought it was a "special treat" to wave the American flag. It is certainly is dear boy...

Our Hamptons 101 Day

I was greeted at 4:47 am EST by a beautiful garden sunrise, birds chirping and a bouncy, happy, chatty little girl...Italy B. decided to start her party early. I put her in the carrier and we wandered around the stables nearby. Later in the day, we all piled into our car (the third row is a BIG hit) and headed to the Shelter Island Ferry via Sag Harbor. We spent the afternoon at the amazing Sunset Beach Inn. We beached, read, and watched our littlest sleep on a huge daybed overlooking Peconic Bay. After a perfect lunch and our first pseudo celebrity sighting, we came home for swimming and rest before Apis and T cooked up a feast for twenty. We all ate on the porch with children running here and there. Another perfect summer evening!!

Away we go

What a twenty four hours. We flew out of San Francisco, landed at JFK, spent the night in Queens, got a ride to Teterboro, explored Washington Heights, lunched in Herricks and very happily arrived in Bridgehampton.

Our gracious hosts were there to greet us and we began our long weekend of adventure and fun! The house screams summer. It is covered in blue hydrangeas taller than me and a huge porcj where I am sure plenty of nothing will be happening. It is across the road from two Trees Stables, which has amazing polo fields and jumping courses. I am hoping there is some action to watch there over the weekend!

Miles travelled in the last twenty four hours (via air and road)=3060