A New Year above the Rest

Happy New Year!

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A little delayed…but better late than never?!

The past few years my friends and I have chosen to get outside for New Years Eve. Instead of the usual midnight toast, we prefer to be dancing around a fire swigging champs.

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This MUG deserves its own post! Created by my truly talented bestie Ceramics Life For Me. We hiked Whitney this year and she gifted this mug to me at Christmas – can you believe it?!

In the past, we have gone to Joshua Tree.  It is freeeezing in the desert in Winter – who knew? If you go be prepared so you don’t freeze your bunz ( like I did). The following year we did an epic road trip to the Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion.  It was epically amazing and a truly special way to start the New Year.  This year we stayed a little closer to home and went to Yosemite.  The first time I went to Yosemite was in 8th grade for Science camp and have been consistently going back since. Yosemite is beautiful in every season and has activities whenever you can go. Rafting in the summer, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in the winter, hiking, and backpacking. No matter how many times you have been, each time is a new and fun experience.

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We had planned to cross country ski to the Glacier Point Hut, but since there was no snow our trip got canceled. I still REALLY want to do that at some time but lucky for us we ended up doing something equally beautiful and grueling, Clouds Rest.

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I have thought about doing Clouds Rest before but in the summer permits can be a challenge. A lot of people do it in a day, in fact most of the reviews you will read talk about doing it in a day but my friends and I decided to do an overnight backpack which turned out to be a great idea. Still challenging…have you hiked the mist trail… glad we took two days to cover the trail.

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Jessica the most amazing navigator… how many more miles??!! ARE WE THERE YET?

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Wait… I have to get up around this? HOW?

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View of Half Dome – such a beauty and terror all rolled into one!

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Sometimes going down is just as scary as going up… Where is the trail?

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This is me at the top – insane, scary tiring but all around awesome!

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Always enjoying a summit beer!

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Little Yosemite Valley backpackers camp was pretty desolate on Jan 1 and we had the campfire to ourselves where we sipped whiskey with sweet and spicy tea … don’t knock it till you’ve tried it and Chelsea built the most epic fire!

It is amazing to be able to share these experiences with some of the most important people in my life. Thanks to them for encouraging me and waiting for me to make sure I don’t lose the trail – I am so blessed! Happy New Year and Cheers to all that 2018 brings!

 

 

Drinking my way around Berlin

In many ways, I left a little of my heart in Berlin. It is a big city, full of diverse neighborhoods and lots of history. Despite not really understanding the language I felt right at home.  I went in May and the weather was amazing. We had a few days of rain but it always cleared up in time for a walk around. One of my favorite things about Berlin is that everyone walks around with a beer in hand. Here in California, you really won’t see that often. It is definitely frowned upon to walk about with an open container. Not so in Berlin, everyone you pass walking down the street, whether it’s parents watching their kids at the park, coworkers/ friends walking to dinner they all have a beer in hand and I LOVE that vibe, so laid back, so me.

I was staying in the cutest neighborhood and the best hostel, Minimal Hostel.  I chose to stay in a hostel since I was traveling alone and wanted the opportunity to meet people and hang out with them. In the neighborhood of my hostel was a cute craft beer bar, Lager Lager. I hit this spot up a few times. Always bustling with many people and a great spot to pick up an interesting beer for later. IMG_5194IMG_5193IMG_5192

Another spot close to where I was staying, O.T. Bar Und Projekt Raum was another spot with good wine and beer! Very cool interior also.IMG_5321IMG_5320IMG_5319752CEE89-4C98-4AB4-B718-09E5F173C3C9

Another fun spot for cocktails is Geist Im Glas, this is a super cool place where you can tell the bartender what flavor alcohol combo you like and she will create a drink for you! They have a great outdoor area but after a certain time, they ask that you head inside as to not disturb the neighbors. IMG_5229IMG_5228IMG_5227IMG_5224

Another great place for green juices, coffee, tea and various food is the Marheineke Markthalle on Bergmannstraße. I like going to markets cause I can point to things I want if I am not sure how to say it in German.IMG_5204

I loved the Brlo Brwhouse – so much so that I went to it twice while I was in Berlin. It is in Victoria Park which was a really cool spot to people watch, bike, walk and relax!IMG_5241IMG_5240IMG_5242IMG_5243IMG_5244IMG_5246IMG_5257IMG_5258

In Summary, a few places I really enjoyed for a drink are :

Lager Lager

O.T. Bar Und Projekt Raum

Geist Im Glas

Brlo Brwhouse

I fell in love with Copenhagen in under 24 hours!

Oh, Copenhagen, I had no idea how much I would love you. An eight-hour layover was not nearly enough time to see all the sights or drink all the beer, but you can rest assured I will be back to do more exploring.

To get from the airport to the central station is so easy… easy enough that even I could figure it out and have someone ask me for help!

My first stop was the Paiperon, a warehouse space filled with local street food vendors. To get there I took the train from the airport to central station and then walked to the Paiperon. The walk was beautiful. I was enamored more and more with each step.

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The coolest built-in trampolines! I jumped for a bit and it was so fun and exhilarating. copenhagenIMG_5149copenhagenIMG_5148copenhagenIMG_5140copenhagenIMG_5152copenhagenIMG_5154copenhagenIMG_5155

My next goal was to make it to Warpigs…so again I laced up my walking shoes and headed back past the Central Station. copenhagenIMG_5158copenhagenIMG_5161copenhagenIMG_5159

At points, I felt that I must be lost… but I eventually made it to beer heaven.

I tried the Ligonberry sour = A++

The Black IPA with Cherry = Also delicious

and finally the Imperial Coffee Stout = truly one of the best coffee stouts I have ever had!copenhagenIMG_5171copenhagenIMG_5168copenhagenIMG_5173

I didn’t try the BBQ cause I was too full but it looked amazing! Also seems that people come here for the BBQ alone regardless of the beer.copenhagenIMG_5174

If you have a long layover in Copenhagen, you should definitely make the effort to leave the airport! I found it to be super easy and well worth the time!

Other Resources:

http://www.thetravelmentor.com/2015/10/how-to-get-from-copenhagen-airport-to-city-center-of-copenhagen/

http://www.layoverguide.com/2014/02/copenhagen-layover.html

 

 

18 Reasons Cooking Class

18 Reasons is a non-profit based in San Francisco that not only provides cooking classes to community members but also free cooking classes to low-income communities throughout the Bay Area. 18reasonsIMG_470418reasonsIMG_470618reasonsIMG_4705

The night my friends and I went was ‘Spring Soups’!

We made crispy salmon, warm potato salad with a watercress sauce/soup. A build your own tortilla soup bar and for dessert a strawberry champagne soup with vanilla ice cream, fried basil, and other accents.18reasonsIMG_4709

Making the crispy salmon was easy and delicious.18reasonsIMG_4710

Building the tortilla soup and adding the broth at the end allowed for a fun and different aromatic experience!18reasonsIMG_4713

Next the crispy salmon over the warm potato salad and watercress sauce was served! 18reasonsIMG_471818reasonsIMG_471718reasonsIMG_4719

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Fried Basil! I have never seen that before!18reasonsIMG_472118reasonsIMG_4723

Everything we prepared was easy and delicious. This cooking class was a lot of fun and I love the mission behind 18 reasons. I highly recommend taking a class here! Enjoy!

Read about this N. Oakland Brewery

I finally made it to Novel Brewing in North Oakland.  Really great beers … I was impressed!

I love all their decor and their cute book beer tasters.

novelbrewerynovelbrewnovelMy fav was the Black Rye IPA and the New England Style IPA… SO delish!

It is dog-friendly and a great neighborhood spot.

 

Kayak in Campsites at Tomales Bay

At the end of last year, one of my best friends made the effort to plan a trip every month. Booking sites, getting permits etc… I have been lucky enough to share a few of these trips with her.

Last Saturday morning my friends and I left Oak/SF before 8 am to head up to Petaluma, got sandwiches at the Petaluma Market Deli, then onto the Bear Valley Visitors Center to collect our permits and then to Marshall beach to launch.

We rented kayaks from Blue Water Kayaks, great experience and they have dry bags, wet suits and tie downs if you need them. We used the wet suits when we kayaked later in the afternoon but it was warm enough not to need them. We left Marshalls beach around 12 pm.

I didn’t take my camera out all of Saturday, so these pics are all from Sunday morning before we got back to Marshalls beach around 12.

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The tide came up really high in the early morning. We all thought we were going to be underwater, luckily that didn’t happen! tomalesbaykayakcampingIMG_4542tomalesbaykayakcampingIMG_4545tomalesbaykayakcampingIMG_4546tomalesbaykayakcampingIMG_4552

I would love to come out here again! It was a really fun overnight.tomalesbaykayakcampingIMG_4553tomalesbaykayakcampingIMG_4554

Whenever we are in the area we have to hit Wild Flour. The most delicious and fresh baked bread.

The most delicious and fresh baked bread. Cash only so please be prepared otherwise you will be bummin’ hard. We love the Fougasse and the Cinnamon Bread.tomalesbaykayakcampingIMG_4566tomalesbaykayakcampingIMG_4565tomalesbaykayakcampingIMG_4563

What a delicious end to a fun and relaxing weekend!

Other resources:

Hipcamp

Reserve America

Fav Things in the Bay

This past weekend I had a couple friends visit, last minute, in the middle of the week… which can be the best kind of visits… the best places are way less crowded on a Thursday!

The weather had been rainy all week but we were lucky to have sunny skies over us on the day they were visiting.

First Stop… Beauty’s Bagels! Yes, it is a bit hipstery ( whatever that means…) but it isgenuinelyy delicious and one of my favorite places in Oakland for breakfreast.

I always take people here who are visiting and they always love it. I love the Veggie bagel but this particular day I tried the fried chicken and let me tell you… it was some of the best friend chicken I have ever had.IMG_4411

After fueling up, we headed to Tenessee Valley for a hike!  This is a leisure hike that you can make more challenging or longer as you see fit for you and your group.

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Next stop! One of my ALL TIME fav mexican restaurants I have ever been to, The Sausalito Taco Shop. The crema, the micheladas, the seafood… yes PLEASE!IMG_4445

After lunch, it was time for some beer! We headed back across the Richmond Bridge for one of my fav breweries ( are you sensing a theme? Of course I would take my friends to do my favorite things! ), Fieldwork in Berkeley.

I am NEVER disappointed here and I always take home a crowler, growler or apparel! … I just love it!IMG_4447IMG_4449

Next stop, Rare Barrel… If you LOVE Sours…where have you been??? Get to The Rare Barrel. The server asked if we were on Spring Break… We took it as a compliment… life should be one long spring break!IMG_4456IMG_4454IMG_4457

After heading home to clean up we hit my neighborhood brewery, Temescal.IMG_4488IMG_4494

Love the beer garden here… dreaming of Summer already!IMG_4502IMG_4495

SO glad that these two came and visited me! It allowed me to visit my favorite places with two of the funniest people I know!

Come back anytime!IMG_4510

We then headed to one of my fav Korean spots, Bowl’d BBQIMG_4512

After that, we hit one last brewery, Woods in Uptown Oakland. Love the fire pit vibes they set up!IMG_4513IMG_4514

Additionally, if you want to dance on a Thursday night, head to Era Art Bar… always a fun time!

And… there you have it! A few of my favorite things… in the BAY!

Vernal and Nevada Falls in Winter

For our second day in Yosemite we wanted to hike to a waterfall.  The big questions was Upper Yosemite Falls or Vernal/Nevada Falls. We chose the later and it was quite the gorgeous hike.YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3899

We started from the parking lot at 8:45 and got back to the car at 5:45 with an hour spent at the top.

The mist trail was closed for the trek up through Vernal so we took the John Muir Trail which is also icy/snowy so crampons are a great idea for traction purposes. YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3901YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3903YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3908YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3910YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3911YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3916YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3917YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3918YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3921YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3924YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3928YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3931YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3937YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3942YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3947YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3961YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3964YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3970YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3973YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3978YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3985YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3988YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_4014YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_4015YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_4016YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_4025YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_4030YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_4036YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_4037

Upon reaching the top of Nevada Falls it was HOT and we were in need of a cold brew!YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_4039YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_4040YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_4048YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_4017YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_4049

Even got a little snowshoeing in on top of Nevada Falls.YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3956

We estimated that with all the trail closures we hiked about 12.5 miles! Quite the bunz burn!YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3966

After our day of hiking we were famished SO we stopped in Mariposa at 1850 for a burger and beer!YosemiteVernalNevadaIMG_3935

Back to the Bay for the work week. Full of stoke!

Dewey Point Snowshoe – Yosemite

Get ready for a round of drool-worthy pics.

I love adventure and when my friend suggested a weekend trip to Yosemite I was all in.

It is rough.. the drive from Oakland to Yosemite Valley took a little less than 3.5 hours and that in itself is exhausting, but since all you have is Saturday and Sunday you are going to make the most of it and pack as much splendor in as you can during that time.

We had to take 140 since 120 and 41 were both closed. The National Park Service keeps an up to date record of road closures for your convenience. Make sure to check out this page before planning your trip as google maps will most likely not be updated.

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A short jaunt to check out Bridalveil Falls… gorge.YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3868

No trip to Yosemite is complete without a stop at Tunnel View… this view really will just stop you in your tracks … no selfie stick toting tourista can take away the magic, try as they might.YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3872YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3784

After our Tunnel View moment, we headed towards Badger Pass ( it has a new name now but I refuse to call it by that ).

Badger Pass has a dope snowshoe/ cross country ski trail. You can take this trail to Dewey Point which on a Saturday was so un-crowded it seemed like we were the only people out and about.

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We left Badger Pass area at noon and got back around 5 pm. We did take ample time, about an hour, at the vista for a summit beer and to enjoy the view.YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3885YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3795YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3878YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3887YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3854YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3861

Brought some Fieldwork cans for enjoying at the top.

This ceramic mug is an AMAZING creation of my friend, Ceramics Life For Me.

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Loved snowshoeing! This was my second time snowshoeing but this was my longest trip at 8 miles and the most in elevation gain, around 2000 feet. Challenging – but so worth it.YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3875YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3853YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3824YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3883YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3826YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3858YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3829YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3830

Don’t forget your gaiters! They will keep your legs nice and dry.YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3849

Went to the Bar at the Majestic Yosemite Lodge ( LOL ) for dinner. We just really needed a hot meal… we were sustaining off protein bars and homemade energy balls.YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3836

Had a Sierra Nevada Beer Camp and bowls of chili. Hit the spot.YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3837

Then on to Curry Village to enjoy one last beer for the night before turning in!YosemiteDeweyPointIMG_3896

Other resources for snowshoeing Dewey Point:

http://californiathroughmylens.com/snowshoeing-dewey-point

https://socalhiker.net/snowshoeing-to-dewey-point-in-yosemite/

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/dewey-point-trail

http://lastingadventures.com/yosemite-day-hikes/snowshoe-badger-pass-dewey-point/

 

Favs on Friday : Food and Drinks

My fav mocha…. and I am not even a mocha person, but the mocha at Blue Bottle is made with tcho and is ohhh so good. Pair it with a waffle and you have a decadently sweet breakfast.bluebottle

My love affair with Firebrand continues. Not just a bakery – they serve up amazing breakfast and lunch fare… They also recently started serving beer and wine in the evenings. Need to check it out soon. firebrand

Another place I love every time I go but I just don’t go enough is Drake’s Dealership.  Went here for lunch and may have had a little too much to drink, but the beers were SO good. drakes

If you love German food head to Gaumenkitzel in Berkeley. This is my second time there and I LOVED it both times. Great for vegetarians and meat lovers alike with an extensive beer and wine menu. germanfood

Branching out from the East Bay for this last one! The Jug Shop on Polk in the City has an AMAZING selection of beer, liquor, and wine. They also put on wonderful tastings. My friend and I went there for a sour tasting and we were blown away by how extensive and delicious it was. As you can see I went home with quite a bit!! jugshopsourbeer

Enjoy!