Sanctuary Anniversary-moon

To celebrate our anniversary, Kyle and I decided to go away for the weekend. Based pretty much entirely on how much I loved the beach at Point Reyes, I found us a place at the beach! (Having grown up in the Midwest, I'm basically a stranger to beaches. Kyle thinks this is bizarre.) In any case, Kyle took a half-day off on Friday and we headed for Marina, out on Monterey Bay.

Now, we knew that it was going to be chilly. The weather forecast for the weekend was the low sixties, if I remember correctly. The weather lied. When we got there, it was about 50 degrees, cloudy, and windy. Fortunately, the locals are equipped for this sort of "summertime" weather. The forecast would continue to be wrong, but we dealt with it. And it did warm up on Saturday and Sunday.

So the thing to know about the place we were staying (it's called the Sanctuary Beach Resort) is that it's built on a nature preserve and there are various measures in place to help the environment out a bit. First up: golf carts! The resort consists of several separate bungalow-style buildings, rather than one big one. Instead of everybody driving their cars around the site, everybody gets a golf cart. Yes, we both had a lot of fun driving ours.

IMGP2852atinyOkay, so we got to our room. And it was seriously one of the very best ones they had, way out on the end with absolutely nothing between us and the ocean. Don't believe me? This was our view:3

Oooooh. I'm seriously thinking of making that my wallpaper. It re-relaxes me just to look at it. The fence is 'cuz we weren't allowed out on the dunes (protected habitat)--the beach access was down a bit further. The extra benefit of the little banned area, though, is that nobody could go walking past. So we could sit in front of our patio window (too cold to sit outside!) and look out to sea and feel like there was just no-one else around. It was glorious. (Side note: who knew dunes were so colorful? Not me. But the plants were gorgeous.)

24Note the fireplace. That's how our room was heated. How cute is that? Our own little fire demon to keep us warm (yes, it was gas and ran off a thermostat). Calcifer even dried my jeans after the ocean gods got them wet. Good little fire demon. If you looked right out to the right, though, you could sorta see what the little buildings looked like:1

And this shot, taken Sunday, further illustrates how close we really were to the ocean:IMGP2659btinySadly, it was way too cold to go down to the beach Friday night. We settled into our room and went to dinner at a local Italian/seafood joint. On the way back, we stopped at Starbuck's for some hot chocolate, then just relaxed in our room, reading and trying to balance our desire to have the door open so we could hear the waves against our desire to not freeze. There was a break in the clouds such that we could actually watch the sun set. I had actually never done this before and didn't realize you could truly see it move! I may have also spent a bit too much time staring at the sun itself, but my eyes eventually recovered.

We started Saturday by going to Denny's for "breakfast" at noon. Afterward, we went to a pond we'd spotted to play with the bajillion birds. There were gulls, ducks, pigeons, and geese, all being crazy.IMGP2638_smallAlso, on a related note, I love this sign:IMGP2538atiny

The third duck is my favorite.

Next, it was time to finally hit the beach! I'd been looking forward to dabbling my toesies in the water for weeks and weeks. Sadly, it was still dang cold and the wind was blowing really hard. So despite the fact that we took blankets and books down with us, we only stayed for around half an hour. I don't think Kyle ever sat down; he just stood around, wrapped in the blankets. I rolled my jeans up and ran in and out of the surf like a loon, but it was super cold and the wind was giving me a headache (and Kyle a jaw-ache), so we headed back to our room and on to the hot tub to warm up.

After the hot tub, we were both 'zausted. Kyle took a nap and I, who am not a fan of naps, computered for a bit. I woke him up when I got bored and we spent forever trying to decide what to do for dinner. We ended up going into Monterey for P.F. Chang's, which was tasty. That was pretty much it. We were both really tired from the hot tub (we've decided those things are energy-sappers), so we turned in early. After enjoying the chocolates provided with our turn-down service, of course. (Somehow, we never did get around to that complimentary bottle of wine. Pity.)

Sunday was our last day there, and we had to be out by noon. I knew I wanted to go back down to the beach, so I woke Kyle up early, around 8, and we ran down first thing. This was good, because it was actually warm and sunny for the first time since we got there! ("Warm" is a relative term, of course, but still.) Kyle took a couple hundred pictures, a few of me being fascinated by waves.

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Okay, I look like a moron there because I was just attacked by a wave monster. You can't tell from just one shot, but I was wading along happily, and then a couple of waves came together to make one BIG one, I got rather shockingly wet (that water was cold!), and then came pelting my ridiculous way back up the beach. And Kyle caught it all on camera and insisted it go on the blog. So there you go.c

After a while, Kyle retreated to an "impenetrable fortress":IMGP2839atiny

Yeah. It was soon flooded.

All too soon, we had to return to our room to pack up and get ready to go. I did not want to leave our exceedingly peaceful oasis. However, the appearance of this guy made it a bit easier:IMGP2848atinyKyle found him on the bed (we think he hitched a ride via his computer bag). All I know is that I was in the bathroom, putting on my makeup, when I heard screaming. Yelping, at least. And yes, we trapped it under a glass and left it for housekeeping. But we figured that's what they would have wanted us to do--they had a sign in the room about different wildlife from the dunes that could possibly make its way into our room and offering to "escort it out for us" if we called them. True, they didn't mention spiders. But still.

Okay, this post is almost done, I promise. We checked out of the hotel around 11:30 and went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I'll be brief and just say that my favorite parts were the jellyfish and sea horse exhibits. (They were so cool!)tiny tiny2

For scale's sake, that first jellyfish was small. The second one was huge. Sorry, no pics of the sea horses. Kyle's favorites were the penguins (no surprise there) and sea otters. The aquarium's parking garage is down Cannery Row, so we got to walk along all the shops, and we had to stop in the Ghirardelli store and split a sundae. We also picked up a yummy caramel apple at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Co. before going to dinner at California Pizza Kitchen. And after yet another tasty meal, we pointed Chloe back towards Livermore. Vacation over.

One Year!

This was us last year:

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This is us today:

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We are definitely less elegant these days. And the lighting seems to be a bit worse. But isn't life like that? Worse lighting and conditions in general? Of course, as I recall, it rained on our wedding day, too...but only a li'l bit. The point is, we're very happy. And now, a review of the year in flowers! (Yeah...some pics are better than others. Shoot me.)

What's sad, on my part, is how few of these were for actual factual special occasions. By far, most of them were because Kyle knew I was having a crappy day and flowers make me smile. Of course, that's not sad at all for him; it's very good. He's a dearheart. And I love him.

No One Mourns the Dickersons

Friday night, Kyle and I went into the city to see...WickedTheMusicalYes! I was so excited. I've been in love with this music for years, and we'd talked about going to see it. Then we discovered it was leaving San Francisco in September. Then Kyle found half-price tickets (still really good seats, though!), so we bought some!

We looked into taking public transit, but it would've required 49 transfers (okay, that's an exaggeration) and 3 hours (that's actually not) to get there. It also would've been more expensive, so we just drove. Tons more convenient, cheaper, and it only took an hour. The only hitch was the toll to get over the bridge: we got confused by the poor signage and switched into the carpool lane, which, it turns out, meant we didn't have to pay a toll. (This all happened very quickly.) But then we realized at the last minute that for that bridge, "carpool" means 3 people, not two. So Kyle later did some research, found out that to avoid a fine, we could just send in our $4 toll, and did so.

We eventually made it downtown and to the Orpheum Theatre, though. In our attempts to allow for traffic and finding parking and picking up our tickets and whatnot, however, we were super early. So we walked around a little bit, but not too much, because the neighborhood is a little bit sketchy. But we finally got in and seated and the show started...eep!

For those utterly unfamiliar with this musical, it's the story of the witches of Oz. Y'know, pre-Dorothy. That's all I'm gonna say 'cuz I'm not really interested in writing a synopsis, but there's a lot to think about in it. And the music's to die for, and it's hilarious and touching and a whole lot of fun. (I was laughing so hard during "Popular" that I had tears streaming down my face!) I enjoyed seeing it performed, as well as getting plot holes filled in. The performance was wonderful, and I had a great time. Kyle says he enjoyed it, too. When asked, he said his favorite part was the sets. [rolls eyes] I dunno what his deal is.

So then we came home. And despite what the GPS thought, we were not, at any time, submerged in the Bay.

Because somehow that makes a difference

We were sitting on the couch reading this evening when there was a knock at the door.

I got up to answer it to find a representative from the Democratic Party. Having taken my name from the list of registered voters (upon which I'm registered as an independent, not to be confused with the American Independent party), which apparently, in California is recorded as "decline to state". It would seem the assumption in California is that everyone is really part of a party, but some people just don't like to say so publicly, so you get registered as "decline to state".

Anyway, this representative from the Democratic Party just wanted to see if he could change my registration to be a Democrat if I didn't mind. I don't really see why this matters much, but after declining his offer to change my party he proceeded to tell me about the Republican candidate for governor, Meg Whitman, who was apparently not going to be good but not for any specific reason.

After rambling on for a bit I interrupted to again state I wasn't interested in changing my party affiliation.

The funny part is, he left and I still know nothing about the Democratic candidate or any reason why I should vote for him or her, but I do know that the Republican candidate is Meg Whitman. I have a tip for the Democrats, that's not great marketing. You had someone at my door talking to me and didn't give me a single reason to vote for your candidate or even drop the name of your candidate. Instead you gave some vague generalities about how the other candidate was going to be bad but didn't actually give any reasons why she'd be bad.

Not effective campaigning, at least to me. If anything you made me annoyed that your platform is apparently "the other candidate is bad."