Tahoe Getaway

Great friends + the great outdoors = an amazing weekend.  Despite Tahoe being so close to San Francisco, Brian and I haven’t been there in years….I think the last time we were there was for the Tahoe Marathon/Half Marathon.  The one where I don’t remember the last two miles….I mean, there are photos of me looking pretty green near the end, so I got there somehow.  Anyway, I digress….

Brian and I haven’t been to Tahoe in years, so we were really excited when our friends Sean and Chiara invited us on a weekend away.  I was a little worried about getting out of work to get up there in any sort of reasonable time, but it actually wasn’t as big of an issue as I thought it might be.  Traffic was….bay area traffic, but wasn’t as terrible as I thought it might be.  After grabbing a bite at one of the sketchiest, slowest Wendy’s I’ve ever been to and a dark drive down some winding roads, we arrived at about 11:30.  Enjoyed some celebratory beers before settling into some bunkbeds.  So tired…..

I got up Saturday morning to a group of friends preparing breakfast (I knew better than to jump in and touch anything ;))….it was as if we’d all known each other for years, rather than just met the night before.  And the food was delicious…..no one was going to go hungry on this trip.

After breakfast, I decided I needed to explore – busted foot and all.  Brian went out on a run, I swapped the ankle brace from my left foot to my right, and off I went.  It started out simple enough…planned on two miles out and two miles back….staying in a simple straight path – out and back.  Of course, I wasn’t planning on finding a trail.  Cause when I find a trail….I wonder where it goes.  And I have to find out.  I mean, I have Strava, and it will route me back, right?

The trail was great….pretty flat, through some gorgeous trees, I even found some trail race markers….and then it ended.  So, I ended up on the road….which was fine, I had a fine time exploring the nearby neighborhood.  Other than not really knowing where I was….typical me….haha.  Thankfully, I had Strava going and was able to route myself back.

Once I got un-lost and got back from my walk, we headed out to Camp Richardson to meet the rest of the group.  If you go to Camp Richardson, make sure you bring cash for parking….or stop at the general store once you get there, but before you pull in.  I think we had $4 on us…oops.  Luckily, it was an easily solvable problem and I was able to pick up some snacks at the store too.  No keep Tahoe blue sticker though.

The plan for the day was to rent kayaks and head over to Emerald Bay.  Since Sean and Chiara had decided to go for a double kayak, I decided Brian and I would do the same (he was parking the car)….I mean, who wouldn’t want to spend the day in a kayak with me.  haha.  Our new friend Anna took a single kayak and the rest of the group went the stand-up paddle board route.

And, what a great day….good friends….cold beer….an adventure on the water…on a beautiful day.  Of course, I ended up with a new running pants tan line and flip flop tan line, because, well, why wouldn’t I….haha.  

Saturday night, we hung out at the house and made good use of the BBQ, the hot tub, and the sauna.  We all brought our own food, but shared everything, so dinner was a buffet of all sorts of meat and veggies and cocktails and wine.  I’m not sure I ever had flank steak, but wow…it was delicious.  As was the lamb and the rest of the steak I tried.  Such a fun night with old friends and new friends.

I decided I need to sleep on the top bunk of the bunk beds that night.  Not sure why that was a good idea….maybe it was the wine.  Or that I hadn’t been on bunk beds since Sarah and I went to London in 2004.  Anyway, I survived the top bunk experience and even remembered I was up there the next morning.  haha…..

We kicked off Sunday with yoga on the porch….what a great way to stretch out after a day of paddling on Saturday.  It was a great start to a warm and gorgeous day….even if I’m less than stellar at yoga….haha.  Anna was a great instructor too :).

After yoga on the porch, we decided to have a relaxing day at the beach and headed over to Falling Leaf Lake.  It’s another lake near lake Tahoe, but a little further up the road.  And, well, we all know how good I am at relaxing.  I was considering wrapping up the busted foot and shoving it in a hiking boot so I could go explore the trails around Falling Leaf Lake, but instead decided to have a second go at stand-up paddle boarding with Nathalie and Chiara.  June and I had a blast when we went a couple summers ago, so I figured this would be fun too (and far less taxing on my ankle).  And it was amazing.  Well, once I remembered how to do it…haha.

We paddled over to a private beach, then over past some Stanford cottages, relaxing and hanging out along the way.  The cold water felt great on my foot too.  Sadly, our hour was over far too soon and it was time to head back.  After paddling against the wind to get back to the protected beach, we just stopped and coasted in….we didnt want it to end.  I had visions of riding in like a surfer, but apparently that’s a bad idea…..luckily, Nathalie let me know and I scrambled to my knees just in time.  

But, like all good things, our trip had to come to an end…and we had quite the drive in front of us.  So, we said farewell to our new friends and jumped in the car with Sean and Chiara to head home.  

Of course, despite leaving at a reasonable time, there was an accident on 50 impacting all four lanes of traffic.  So we sat….and sat…and sat some more….two hours and less than two miles later, we got through it.  Annoying, but not the longest trip back from Tahoe I’ve heard of and a small price to pay for a fabulous weekend adventuring with friends.

Until next time….over and out…

Open Letter to Viansa

Wow…three posts in three days – if I have any blog followers, I’m sure you’re loving this…anyway, the point of writing, we went to Sonoma, we were expecting certain things and they failed.  Big time.  So, my first open letter. 
To long/didn’t read (TLDR): Corner 103 is amazing. Go there.  Avoid Viansa.

Viansa is the second winery off the 121/Arnold Drive.  It’s on several wine bus/wine tours.  Its been fabulous.  I won’t lie…it’s been a huge part of my life, but recently, and not so recently, its been different.  I thought it might get back to ‘the good old days’, but, I realized today that wasn’t the case.  I’ll forever be thankful for the friends I’ve made there, but, as I’ve learned in the recent past, sometimes knowing when to let go is just as important as knowing how long to hold on….     

Below is the email I sent to Viansa – our home away from home for several years…where we met some great friends, and more than that, where we re-discovered ‘us’.  It’s a great email, but a sad email where I canceled my wine club membership after 8+ years….   

Hello!

I updated my information this afternoon, but would actually like to cancel my membership.  Like most of America, I’m a busy person, but feel compelled to tell you why.   

My husband and I have been members for nearly ten years and for the most part, we’ve enjoyed every minute.  Between us spending time at Viansa to work on our marriage to a surprise 30th birthday party – you’ve been a big part in our lives.

We loved the staff, they always made us feel at home. When Lloyd owned the place, we never felt like anything less than one of his own. Kelly was always amazing…coming to see her was like seeing an old friend. It never mattered if it had been a week or a month, she always treated us as if it was only yesterday.   

Today, I arrived at the winery for the members party and it felt cold and corporate – the very thing I try to escape on the weekends. I entered the tasting room and recognized no one. I asked someone about Kelly, and was told, ‘she don’t work here no more’.  Quoted. Not even proper grammar. 

I don’t fault the employee, it’s not her fault. But, I do fault the winery. It’s become the corporation I wish to escape on the weekends, and while I can’t bring back the old days, I can take my money there.

I’ll look back fondly on my Viansa days, and at the same time realize that we all move on. We’ll move on as well – we’re loyal to Lloyd, Kelly, and the  rest of that crew, but we’re done with Viansa. 

Please let me know if you need additional information from me in order to cancel my membership immediately.

Thank you,
Kim

It’s All Fun and Games ’til You Fall Down the Stairs….

Two posts in two days, this must be some sort of new record….

But, you know, there’s never a dull moment and since I’m confined to the couch for awhile (again), I thought I might as well write about it.

The day started out normal enough….enjoyed sleeping in, confirmed that I could keep the rental car while they take a mont to repair Slimer (still waiting to find out who pays for that one…), made plans with a friend to go run…typical Saturday.

Brian and I headed over to the parking lot on the other side of the bridge to meet our friend Ann and run the ninja loop.  I’d heard plenty about the ninja loop, but had never actually run it (this will be important later).  As soon as we got there, we realized there were a lot of people heading up the trail….apparently we chose the same day as the Headlands 100 (and 50 and 75 and marathon).  Go figure, I never run from over there.  We decided to share the trails, everyone was pretty spread out, and we’d be turning off their course shortly.

So, up the hill we went.  I ran into one of the guys I see a lot at the Coastal races – (running the 100 mile, of course!).  I wished him luck and continued along my way up the hill.  I’d forgotten how long that hill actually was.  And then I came to a ‘T’…..hmmmm…..wish I knew the trails that made up the ninja loop.  I’m slow, so of course Brian and Ann were ahead of me.  haha.  I remembered when we were chatting about the trails, someone mentioned SCA.  The sign said SCA was to the right, so I took a guess and off I went.

Of course, I quickly realized I either made a wrong decision or was way behind.  I figured it was the former, and luckily had cell service, so sent off a quick text to let Brian and Ann know I’d see them back at the car in a few hours.  I continued to follow along the race course, getting asked direction at some point.  Really?  You’re going to ask me?  haha….I did have the course map on my phone, but another runner came along that knew the course, so they were all set.

At that point, I googled a map of the ninja loop and realized I was pretty much doing a reverse ninja loop.  I decided to eliminate the portion that drops in to Tennessee Valley so I could make it back to the car before everyone left.  I stayed high and then took Miwok down into Rodeo Valley….from there, I headed over to Rodeo Valley trail and eventually back up to SCA trail (one of my favorites!). SCA would eventually take me back over to the parking lot and back to the car.

And I love running on SCA….it’s not really uphill, it’s not really downhill….very rolling.  And the views, the views are spectacular.  It was everything I had missed about running and more.  I was also back on the race course, so was having fun cheering on the runners as they passed….of course a good number of them told me what a good job I was doing too….haha.  I, of course, didn’t have a bib, but didn’t have time to explain, so smiled, waved, wished them luck, and went with it.

I ran a lot of SCA….so great!!  And then came to some stairs pretty close to where SCA would meet the trail to go back to the bridge.  I’ve marked this area twice, run it far more than that….I KNOW to watch my footing.  I usually walk it…because, well, falling down the stairs would suck.  A LOT.  Today, I ran them.  Maybe because I could…maybe because I want to get over my fear of the technical terrain.  I don’t know.  I remember thinking it would really suck to fall here and I should be careful.  And then….

Trip…SNAP.

Oh…well….ouch.  That wasn’t supposed to happen.  I guess luckily there were ropes on the stairs that I could grab on to, so I didn’t completely bust my ass.  But, something snapped.  My good ankle….awesome.  I mean, I had the bad one in a brace.  Barring anything super crazy, that one wasn’t going anywhere.  I just stopped for a minute….held on to the ropes in my little crouched position as I had fallen….and similar to this day, I bounced my foot up and down to make sure it still worked.  Thankfully, it did.  As I got up, I overheard a group of hikers talking….one of them said….’oh look…one fell….’  Yup, yup, I did.  Thanks for noticing.  And I’m good….thanks for asking.  For those who are wondering, yes, I did get up and pass them.

I sent another text to Brian and Ann….’one mile out….fell….walking in’.  And that’s what I did.  Passed multiple hikers (really guys, the busted foot girl is passing you??).  And received a lot of encouragement from passing racers.  You guys rock…and I hope you all have a fabulous race!  I only hope I was half as encouraging to you – especially since you may still be running now, as I sit on my couch with my foot up, enjoying some wine.

I met Brian and Ann at the parking lot and we headed for home.  I mean, it all makes sense….last year, I bust my foot the weekend before we leave for Nepal….this year, I bust my foot the weekend before Tahoe.  Good times…..

At this point, I don’t think there’s anything seriously wrong.  However, I have sprained the other ankle multiple times and this feels…different.  It’s not crazy swollen, but the actual ankle (malleolus) is really sore to the touch and starting to bruise.  It also doesn’t really hurt unless I stand on it, move it, or touch it, which I remember the sprains just throbbing.  Again, it’s just different.  I’m not sure if that means good or bad different, but I have a doctor’s appointment on Monday, so will just add this to the list.

Like I said….never a dull moment….and I really just need to live in that bubble Erica suggested last weekend.  But, it was a pretty amazing run before I tanked.  Ugh…stupid stairs.

Thought of the day – I should have just stayed home and drank beer.

Until next time, over and out….

Who Ya Gonna Call…..

So, don’t ever have anyone hit your car….it’s a pain.  Figuratively and literally…..anyway, poor Slimer.

After much back and forth (and a little bit of yelling at the right people), I was able to take Slimer to a shop in the city on Tuesday.  Somehow, I managed to get out of work at the last minute to drop off the car, which was good since it was either that or the week of the 20th.  Which, as I told multiple people at Progressive, was unacceptable.  No, I didn’t know if the car was drivable.  Yes, it did run….however, no, I wasn’t sure that it SHOULD run.

When I got to German Motor Cars, the Progressive Rep met me at the entrance, and I was reminded why I love Progressive.  She was comforting and checked to make sure I was ok, and we walked the car together…..she helped me figure out a rental, the deductible, the other driver – basically all the things I’d been wondering.  She called in a rental while I waited for the German Motor Cars rep.  For the first time in several days, I actually felt ok about the whole thing.

The German Motor Cars rep was fabulous as well.  She checked the car, explained the process, and let me know when I could expect to hear from her.  Then the guy from the rental car place came to get me….it was right around the corner, and I totally could have walked, but I had four different bags and it had to be 85 in the city, which is unheard of.  haha….and he had a full gold mouth grille.  Of course he did…why wouldn’t he.  Keep it classy San Francisco….

I get my rental and I’m on my way.  Great.  Since then, its been radio silence – they told me it might take until Thursday at the latest.  Of course, Thursday I get two messages – one from the mechanic saying I’ll get an email with the repair estimate by the end of the day, and a second from the German Motor Cars rep stating that Progressive is still working on it.  Now, what good is going to come from that??  Ugh…..

Luckily, I heard from them today and they’re able to fix it.  It’s only going to take a month.  REALLY??  Hopefully I can keep the rental that long….or become really good at walking to Redwood City……

In the midst of all this, I headed out on my first work trip – 24 hours in Vegas.  It was….an experience.  On so many levels.  Apparently the conference has changed over the years, and this year was…..a new low?  I don’t know….according to the people who had been before, it was one or two trade show booths that were worth visiting and a bunch of cellphone accessory booths.  Yeah…..I have no words. Or maybe lots of them.  I don’t know.  Again, it was an experience.  It was good to get to know my coworkers a little better, great to attend a meeting with some of them, and also nice to see the dinner we’d been working on come to life.

The best part of it all?  I had a few minutes to go back to my room and get ready for dinner…..I only had the one outfit – a black business dress and a jacket (remember this for a few seconds), so it was pretty much adding some jewelry, re-curling my hair, and touching up my make-up.  So, I do that and head out for the restaurant.  I checked the map of the casino before I left the room so I’d have a fighting chance of getting where I was going (let’s remember how good I am at direction….), and I was in good shape.  Literally, I got off the elevator, stepped into the casino, and had some random dude ask me if I ‘worked’ there.  It took me a minute to understand exactly what was going on, but then…really?  REALLY??  I’m in a business outfit…..god knows I’ve been in Vegas in far more ‘appropriate’ attire, but this is when I’m going to get propositioned….seriously??  Although, if I need to pay for a month of a car rental, I know where I can find a third job….ha!

In better news, Dr. Hal (highly recommend Chiro Medical), taped up what was my good knee and adjusted/cracked everything from my hips up to my shoulders.  Ahhh….best feeling ever.  I’m so excited to get back out on the trails tomorrow.  He thinks he can have me up and running in time for North Face, which is fabulous….so tomorrow, I’m planning to get back out on to those trails for the first time in a long time.  I’ve enjoyed learning about other trails and parks all summer, but the headlands will always be home.  Its been too long since I’ve planned running routes while drinking wine on a Friday…haha….

Ok…until next time….over and out…..

Its Always an Adventure

Every time I think about updating this thing, I come back in and realize its been a month….sometimes more.  And then I realize that it feels like the longest month ever…or the shortest…and that everything and nothing seems to be going on simultaneously.  And I begin to wonder exactly where it is I’m headed and when I’m going to get there….then I remember that if I just keep moving, I’ll eventually be moving forward and get where I’m going.  That New Year’s update I promised, it might end up being a happy 2016 post – its been a hell of a year, friends.

Now that I’m a bit more up and running (literally and figuratively), and having adventures again (or maybe just feel like writing about them), hopefully I’ll be better about blogging.  I do have a 50-miler to start training for, that’s bound to be good for an adventure or two….haha….

Anyway, the past couple weeks have been great personally – seeing friends, getting cleared to run, working races, plans to join the gym, planning the future with Brian….I was so excited for a three day weekend.  I definitely needed it!  Friday, we got lucky and were told to leave the office early (ah-maz-ing).  I had scheduled a nail appointment later in the evening – I finally had to breakdown and find a place in Redwood City since I never back it back to San Francisco before 7 (in time to go to my usual place).  So, I decided to use the extra time to fill up the car for the race the next day and join the gym…and then use the rest of the time to walk and get some miles in.

But, fate had other plans.  I drove down and checked out the gym….and had second thoughts…like maybe I’d check out the other one in Redwood City.  So, I decided to go to the gas station and google the address of the second one while the car was filling.  Unfortunately, the second gym was across town and not convenient from the office at all.  So, I decide to suck it up and join the first one…it’s only a month, anyway.  I finish filling the car and get on the road back to the gym….I’m hanging out at  the stoplight, waiting for the light to change.  There were at least two lanes, maybe three….one was a left turn only lane – this one had its own light.  The arrow for the left turn only lane turned green and BAM!

I’m not really sure what was worse, feeling the impact or hearing the crunching sound.  Unlike when Brian and I got hit at the Bay Bridge Toll Plaza, this was not like bumper cars.  It was like a fight…that slimer obviously lost.  I heard the crunching and for a minute, wasn’t really sure what to do next.  First, I pulled over on the corner, and then decided I should probably just pull back into the gas station.  So I did – met the other driver and called the insurance from there.  Somehow, I kept it together while waiting to lose it, but that never happened.  The ‘other guy’ was a giant pick-up truck with what’s apparently called a kangaroo bumper.  Unfortunately, as I thought, slimer was no match for him, but, the driver was nice as we sorted everything out.  The insurance company was great – yay Progressive, and at least that bit was sorted pretty quickly.

Then, then I wasn’t sure what to do.  Brian was I work, so I sent him a text and a few photos….then called my mom.  Cause, well, what else do you do.  After chatting with my parents for a bit, I decided to go to about my business as planned – headed back to the gym to sign up and then to my nail appointment.  I was either going to have a scary drive home now or an hour and a half from now, right?  And with the adrenaline running strong, I didn’t really feel all that sore.

So, with my nails a pretty color, a plan in place to get to the race in the morning, and a double check that my bumper wasn’t going to fall off on the 101, I headed home.  It wasn’t as scary as I thought it might be, though I did have someone run a stop sign in Noe Valley and try to take me out…cause that’s exactly what I needed…..What I did need was to be home, with some wine, and a couch…and a massage – now that the adrenaline was wearing off, I was definitely feeling the soreness.

I woke up the next morning, but not nearly as sore as I thought I might be.  After spending the night
between being terrified that I was going to wake up in a world of hurt and feeling like I was going to
be sick (but in retrospect was probably due to soreness from my abs), I was really afraid for what I might feel like, but other than a few creaks and groans, it wasn’t too bad.

I spent Saturday in the same fashion I’ve spent the past few weekends – adventuring on the trails; as a course marker, sweeper, race photographer, aid station worker, shuttle driver, and everything in between.  Its been so much fun….and, as I said last Sunday, always an adventure.  And really, with as crazy as life has been, Coastal Trails has been my constant and for that, I will be forever grateful. Thankfully, this weekend was a shorter race and there wasn’t any marking or sweeping involved.  Typically, I love marking and sweeping, but it was almost like I’d gotten hit by a truck or something.  Nothing a couple of Advil couldn’t fix, and I think walking around actually helped me loosen up a bit.  And, as always, working the race was a ton of fun….I’m kind of sad that I can’t go back until October.

Yesterday, I decided to officially get back into running and headed over to Mt. Tam with Brian and his friend Ann.  I got in an eight mile summit run and then two miles on some flat ground, because what else would you do when you’ve been cleared to run for a week and you were in a car accident two days prior.  Well, my idea of taking it easy was always different than everyone else’s…anyway, I had so much fun running, and maybe if I add two or five or so miles each week, I’ll be ready for north face…..haha. God help me.

Monday, we hit the gym and then had a BBQ with our friends Sean and Chiara.  Delicious Mac and cheese and steak, and fun drinks and games. Great way to spend Labor Day – can’t wait to head to Tahoe in a couple of weeks.  A mini vacation is going to be amazing.

Other than that, I’m looking forward to sorting out the car nightmare – both the insurance and the actual car.  And its affect on me…I’m not sure I’ve ever looked forward to a visit to the chiropractor more.

Until next time…