Thursday, October 29, 2009

I bow to thee, oh Randi !

Randi came and rescued me on Tuesday. She flew in and stuffed me with some much needed protein! She is a rare gem stone , we are together once again on the open road. It's snowing today in Tao's, NM. We are nestled in a funky hostel sipping tea eating apple sauce  and planning our trip back East. Stay posted :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

30 Days and 30 nights of Yoga

On our last road trip I had a secret agenda ,  one was obviously looking  for a new home. But I was also scoping out a place to take a yoga teacher training . Within the last year of my life, yoga had began to consume my left over hours , and filled me with something I can not explain or compare , but something I have searched for since the day I started darting around this lonely planet in that search. 
I liked the idea of becoming a certified teacher, but more so I just wanted to study yoga deeply, I wanted to understand how it entered me and did what it did .  I also knew it would be hard , and take me away from my habits and comfort; caffeine, sugar, communication, ( the cell and apple.) I would be left with me. On top of it the real reason I could do it was I was given a generous gift; funds to support it! 
So back to the beginning , I had that in the back of my head during our last trip cross this beautiful country. I had done some research and wanted to see some particular studios along the way. When we went to Sedona, AZ, I remembered a spot I had seen on the Internet and we stopped bye for a hot minute on our way to Santa Fe. Since that stop I knew I had to go back and spend a month there. 

So I enrolled for the Fall session packed up my car at the end September and drove out to Sedona. The month was painful , long , and wilding rewarding. I knew every day waking up at 3 am hiking up the road to a 3 hour morning yoga class that it was good for me and I would appreciate it once it was over. But , I had moments and hours and some whole days of despair , or boredom, or just plain exhaustion. The chanting , vegetarian diet and 8- 10 hours of yoga a day cleaned me out, things started to look clearer and I  was able to sit just longer with myself .

Homesickness sunk in pretty hard too and I wanted out of the wacky spiritual community of massage therapists and clairvoyants. I was wanting everything I wanted so badly to get away from ; the leaves , the crisp chill of fall, New England style houses ,the color and fireplaces. Arizona’s beautiful, don’t get me wrong, looking up at the canyons I would feel like I was under the sea , tiny and protected by this solidity and power. But the houses are all the same color and design. It's as if everything is too perfect too together , as if you are hovering above it all but can’t get close enough feel any of it. I became aware quite quickly that I didn’t want to move to the Southwest.

I’ve always wondered how people could spend their lives in the same place they grew up. To me, it seemed like settling, and not to mention boring. I will always feel that need to travel. I believe it because it enables me expand my small world just enough to see a bit brighter. But I also am aware that I am no different from these "small town folks" who choose to stay close to what they love. No matter what, there is nothing that will take the place of that place. It’s not necessarily a place it’s a feeling and maybe we can learn to take those feelings with us, but I know that once it goes missing,  I will be back on the lookout, and will not stop until I get it back once again. 


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Part Deux

Coming to you Nov. 2009


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Give me serenity Sedona

The drive through the valley from Flagstaff to Sedona is gorgeous. The red rocks are such a sight, grande buttes and flattop mesas carved in sandstone. Some lucky folks have built these fabulous houses high into these rocks. Our campground was a few miles outside the downtown area, a cute family spot with a stream running through it. It was hot, so we set up camp, and ran for the stream to sun bathe and cool off! After a few hours of playing in the stream we set out for food. The local coop had a salad bar, and we made ourselves giant salads! We spent the rest of the day wandering the city, it's not much of a city, a lot of dinky shops and tourists. That night we visited the vortexes for sunset, which are energy spots located around Sedona. Randi wanted to show off her cooking skills on the campfire so she bought corn, potatoes, and fresh veggies making up a delicious dinner under the big starry sky. 
Day two in Sedona we visited the town of Jerome , which was about an hour away. It's a mile high little hippie town that feels it doesn't belongs to the USA. The town is built on a giant hillside with tiny cobblestone roads running through it. That night we checked out another vortex at Cathedral Rock, but it was too buggy to get to the top so we just enjoyed the view from the base. Then we decided to give Whitey, our car, a much needed bath and cleaned him out so we could prepare for our journey back east. We cooked ourselves another campfire dinner and fell asleep to the sounds of the creek. 

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Fresh Produce in Fresno

After San Fran, we headed for Yosemite National Park. Once again to was beautiful and unlike any of the other places we have been. They are famous for having huge granite rocks, that hard core climbers like to climb. We saw a few waaay up on a rock called El Capitan which is 3000 ft tall, and wished we could do it too. They are also famous for having massive waterfalls. We went to the bottom of Bridalveil Fall which comes crashing from 620 ft. This is not even close to the biggest fall in the park but it is by far the largest i have ever seen. It sounded like thunder cracking at times. We walked towards the base of it but couldn't get too close because it was peak flow season and we were getting soaked.
We got to Fresno and stayed with Barbara in her coop housing complex where they live "Green." Everyone kept asking us why we were going to Fresno, the only thing that is there is a lot of fresh fruit. Well it just so happens that we love fresh fruit, and when we got to Fresno Barbara happened to make us a bowl of fresh fruit salad. The quickest way to a girls heart is with a fresh fruit salad!! We soaked in the hot tub and slept like babies. Luckily we had laundry to do in the morning, so we were forced to relax by the pool for half the day and take in some delicious vitamin D. We drove for the rest of the day as far as we could go and made it to Kingman, AZ.

Grand Canyon
Walking up to the Grand Canyon was like seeing the galaxy. We just walked out of the main lodge and weren't expecting it to be right there, but there is was, it stopped our breathe and brought Sam to tears. Everyone was telling us it was possible to hike in and out of the in a day, but we didn't make it there until noon. We decided to go as far as we can and still get back by dark safely. Going down wasn't too bad, except for all the mules we kept passing that left the trails a bit smelly. We made it about halfway down the canyon in 2 1/2 hours to Indian Gardens (4.5 miles of trail) It got pretty hot, close to 100, so things got pretty challenging but it felt good getting dirty and exploring. The hike back up took a bit longer but it was nice to take our time and soak in the views of the sun starting to set. We met a park ranger, Courtney on the way up and she was nearing the end of her shift so she walked out of the canyon with us. We pried her for a lot of facts about the area and the canyon. She hikes the canyon daily, in polyester, with a 40lb pack, she is pretty bad ass. We mad up to the top just as the sun set and decided we wanted to get a head start for the next day and and get away from all the bloody tourists. So we drove to Flagstaff got a good meal and a good rest in the Days inn.

See updated Pictures

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"Cafe Gratitude" and that city we are in.

The first day we spent in San Francisco, well, actually Alameda, we decided we needed a day of rest since we have been going non stop. We slept in, did some yoga, and laid in the sun for a bit. That night we went out to whole foods for produce, they tried to charge us 11 bucks for a few cherries, and we decided we don't really like Whole Foods, farm stands are where it's at. But we were able to discover Cafe Gratitude, they had a stand in the whole foods and decided we must go looking for it in the city the next day.
We walked in over 10 miles throughout the day... literally, I google mapped it to check. By walking so far we really got to see the city and there are a lot of hills so we got a good workout too. Speaking of working out, people go crazy over running out here. I mean people run everywhere, no really EVERYBODY runs out here. It became a little much and made it hard to walk in some places without getting stampeded. We made it to Golden Gate Park and then found our little haven for lunch. Cafe Gratitude, is a macrobiotic restaurant basically dedicated to gratitude, for food, self, and love. Each item on the menu is a affirmation so that when you order you must say: " I am _" we enjoyed the macro bowls Randi had the "I am honorable" and Sammy had the "I am whole" we had a beautiful lunch but it was much more than lunch. We are big fans.

The Ledgend of Bigfoot

After we fought back the tears from driving out of Portland, we set out for California. We had to take a minor detour through Eugene, OR, but other than that we got to Cali pretty smoothly. Once again the landscapes were breathtaking. We wound through the mountains of northern Cali and entered into Redwood territory. My nickname when I was a kid was Randi of the Redwoods so I was getting pretty excited. We descended from the mountains after driving though one, and stopped to watch the sunset on the Pacific Ocean in Cresent City, CA. We hadn’t made it to any of our destinations before dark, and this day was no different. After seeing a few campgrounds that were pretty sketch in people’s backyards and seemed like they would chainsaw us in the middle of the night. We finally found a campground in the redwoods state park and set up for the night. We cuddled up in our two person tent read bedtime stories and crashed. We must have needed some good fresh air mountain sleep because we slept until 9am!! Shocking! We packed it up in the morning and set out for a day in the redwoods.

See updated pictures here.

The time we spent in the woods was the most fun we have had in the parks so far. We would drive a little ways, then see a cool spot and get out and run around, drive some more, run around some more. This went on probably five times or so, we just couldn't get enough of the massive trees. In one spot we even drove our car "Whitey" through a tree. We felt so small and so at home in the never ending forests. Once we made it back into the car for good we were on our way to San Fran. The Napa Vally was stunning and our spirits were high, those redwood trees drugged us. We car danced all the way to the city listening to Fergie, Rihanna, MIA and the Strokes . Our lovely GPS brought us thru the city so we crossed the Golden Gate and finally made it into Alemeda which is right across the bay. Maureen has the cutest house right on the bay , and gave us her spare room and cooked us chicken for dinner. We were grateful to be here.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Biking is sexy

Day two and three Portland :

In the morning we rented bikes , Sam went off to meet some friends of Bills . We road across the bridge (much better than walking ) The ride to forest park was up these massive hills. Once up there we had a view of the entire city, and snow capped Mount Hood. (see pictures). We hiked the trails and winded up back in the test rose gardens. The roses hadn't started to bloom yet, but it was still enchanting and the sun was out, so we lay out in the sun and just took it in.
On the bike ride back we stopped by Powell Books; the world's largest independently owned bookstore in the world. We basically had to hold each other up, there were so many books! The women at the counter gave us some tips on how to visit the store in the future without passing out from over stimulation: Number one, Eat before! So we decided to do just that thing , eat! Back by our hostel we stumbled on a crepe cafe, and had the most delicious crepes known to man. I don't even like crepes! Mine had caramelized onions, bacon, and potatoes, with a creamy sauce.
The next morning I arose early to test out the yoga before we hit the road. I took a hot yoga class, and it was almost as delicious as those crepes!
Leaving Portland was a challenge for us , the city bursts with life and still manages to keep such ease, it felt like home. BUT we had more adventures to meet and had to say our goodbyes!
Whitey (that's the name of our car) had a little trouble getting out of town, but we splurged and got him all new shoes, and hit the road for the Redwoods, CA !

Friday, May 8, 2009

Portland Day ONE 

We slept pretty well considering the snoring boys we shared a dorm room with. There are mostly boys staying here, which is such a bummer but we're dealing. We are meeting people from all over here, Alaska, Maine, and England.

This morning we hiked up to Tabor Park which is East of our hostel. The whole city is divided into neighborhoods and sits on a grid system similar to New York but on a much smaller scale. The neighborhood we're staying in is kind of like the Williamsburg of new york, its full of funky mountain hipsters (except they aren't pretentious). The morning was rainy but we loved exploring south east portland, the neighborhoods are full of flower gardens, adorable little houses, and extremely friendly people. We chatted with someone in every store we went into or every place we stopped and asked them about things from the weather to where to go and what to see

Later in the day we walked across the Hawthorne bridge that separates the East side of the city from the West. Everyone here cycles ! (Tomorrow we rent bikes) The city was much smaller than we thought ( but we were comparing everything to NYC,  silly girls) Walked , thru downtown where they were having a native american powwow. A guy there explained to us what was happening on these indian reservations and that they are similar to a third world country. He said the department of government that deals with the reservations is more corrupt than most others. At the marina we met Terry amongst the mama and baby geese. He had been taking one particular baby goose home every night to sleep with him because it had lost it's mother, Terry has been spending years with geese studying their language and taking care of the orphans.
On our walk back home we inhaled delicious burgers, and chatted about future business plans. Portland is amazing and is our favorite city we've seen so far. It is also our first real destination. 

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Well we made it to Portland in one piece!! Oregon was definitely the most beautiful state we have driven through so far. It has drastically different mountainous landscapes that are all breathtaking (pictured coming later). We drove in along the Columbia River and spotted several historic sites along the Oregon trail and Lewis and Clark. We finally got to our destination during daylight and got to see bits of the town. We are staying at a hostel and it is amazing! Everyone is so nice and has given lots of tips on where to go and what to see while we are here, so tomorrow we are going to be touring the city and doing lots of much needed hiking!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


3 hours, 2 cars, and a moose

Where to begin? We've seen so much in the last two days.  Monday we went to the "bad lands",  which we renamed the "good lands" because the gods were so good to us!  The weather was perfect and it didn't start to rain until the minute we got back in our car. We went for a great hike up to these giant peaks that look like underwater coral and than we took this loop called "medicine trail" Indescribable, see pictures. 
We hit the road again and drove through beautiful Wyoming.  Fairly uneventful , but breathtaking. Our goal for the night was to make it to Yellowstone to camp, but that park was farther than we thought. We passed through the town of Sheridan WY centered in the Bighorn National Forest. Our car began to climb the curvy mountain and we began to see snow. About an hour plus into it we were still going up and decided it'd be best to stay at the next motel we saw. Another hour and a half we were off the mountain. Finally a town , we passed the sign for Shelly and the sign read : POPULATION : 50! (Yes it was actually on the map.) We drove a little further to Greybull and pulled into the Yellowstone Motel and woke up the owner and had the best crash ever!

The next morning we headed to Yellowstone, outside the park it beautiful high  40's. Once inside the snow came back! Piled 5 to 6 feet tall, it hailed and rained a lot of the drive. It took about 2 and 1/2 hours to trudge through the park , got to see buffalo and female elk and one white swan ! It was pretty incredible, despite the weather, these buffalo we're walking down the road beside our vehicle , no biggie! Boy did it stink there, the hotsprings give off this sulfer that smells like rotten eggs. 

OKay! So from there to Boise , ID to stay with Maggie and John ! On the way there tire #2 gave out on us !  ( yes this is the second one). In Rupert, ID a cowboy came out to fix it for us. And off we were again, We decided that's gonna be the end of our bad tire karma, not that we weren't happy to support the locals , but enough ! We made it to Boise around 10 pm , Maggie had cooked us a fabulous dinner ! Shout out to Maggie and John for being the best ! Today , we hit the road for an only 6 hour trip to Portland, Oregon! 

Bags of cherry twizzlers $2.79
Night at "Yellowstone Motel"$ 69.59
Set of new tires $149
Having a cowboy tell you he's not brave enough to 
move 5 miles from where he was born ..

Monday, May 4, 2009

"Good night you are safe and sound"

Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota 

Stopped in Sparta ! Wisconsin for lunch cutest little mom and pop restaurant decked out with art deco and the freshest homemade of breads. Not much else in Sparta but supposedly it's 'the bike capital of the world' ( I saw one dude on a bike , but it was Sunday) Crossed the Mississippi thru Minnesota flat and pretty boring , but the closer we got to South Dakota the more beautiful it became, rolling hills , pastures, windmills. We stopped at the Corn Palace , in Mitchell South Dakota, it's a palace! made out of corn. Inside is a giant auditorium. It's supposedly update with fresh corn annually
Let me just say , when it comes to driving me and Randi are bad ass! We kept on driving goal was to make it to Kadoka , South Dakota, right outside the 'badlands.' About 6 miles outside the town, we got a full blown tire. AS I was reading Randi care bear bedtime stories , BOOM! It was a bit frightening, to our good karma a state trooper drove buy and switched it for us, WE love you state trooper Jason! So here we are in Kadoka, town with a population of 800 people, about to get a new tire and head to the" badlands! "I'm not gonna lie, it's kinda spooky out here.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Kill IL vol. 1

New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois....

Well, we made it farther than we thought!! We got all the way to West Dundee Illinois i think that's about 3 miles from the Wisconsin border. We Left at about 8:20am est and got to Dundee at about 10:20 central time, near 830 miles. The time flew by it did not feel like 15hours in the car. Towards the end of the day, just before we got to IL, Sam decided to watch a movie (Kill Bill Vol 1), and I would listen, we hooked it up to the car speakers and it was amazing surround sound.

I had a little bit of a blond moment today...
We drove by "Medieval Times" and i got super excited. I was like "That's where the guys worked from Garden State!!"....... (In my head thinking, oh that took place in Chicag0?!)" NOPE it sure didn't and Sam called me out on it, GARDEN state took place in, well, the garden state.

Tomorrow we are heading to South Dakota!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Eat, Pray, DRIVE!!

My bags are packed, i'm ready to go!!

We are going to be out the door and on the road at 8am, which means we can't write too much. We are headed to Indiana today, and are going to stay in a motel near South Bend. I-80 I hope you are ready for us because we are gonna be all over you for 4 days.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Ebb and Flow

I do not know if the bear spray is a joke or not.. I like it though , I can't wait to get myself a can. I am really glad I am embarking on this adventure with such a rational, practical , educated female companion, because I would never think of these things myself, like hiding food in the trees.. But that's why we make a good team me and the Randi Panties. 
Today I made a reservation at the lovely Eco-friendly  hostel in Portland, Oregon, Found us a cooler for yummy fresh goodies, went to the library ! I got four different books on tape plus a few books to read , some Salinger, and Kerouac , this week is just about getting it all in car! 
I've been hearing people talk about the "ebb and flow of life" quite a bit lately, and I wasn't quite sure what it meant so today I looked it up ; the cool thing that stuck out was how it referred to the inward and outward movement of ocean tides . That is something I watch all day long , it never gets old. The thing is that is life ! It's back and forth up and down here and there but it's never the same, the challenge is flowing with it.  
AND on a final note ; IF we do run into Yogi the bear, Do you think he'd dig some morning sun salutations ?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Bearspray the Musical

So I went home to Michigan for a weekend visit and got lots of goodies for the trip. I talked to my Dad a lot about it and he gave me lots of tips for the road (He drove out to Wyoming and Montana a few years ago.) He gave me a bear net so I can hide all of out food and other smelly things up in a tree. He kind of freaked me out a little about the whole bear thing. Apparently they will go after deodorant, food, whatever, AND if they are really provoked they can get inside your car and eat you. So lets just say I'm good and aware now, and will watch out for Yogi in the woods. My Dad also gave me a water filter, backpacking stove, and all the kitchen supplies we will need if we get to backpack down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. I also got my backpack and sleeping bags, and tent, so I think we are all set for the outdoor stuff. Oh, other than the Bear spray my Dad wants me to get before we are in Yellowstone (couldn't take that back on the plane).

With only a week left to prepare, our page long to do list is getting smaller. It is going to be hard to concentrate on it this weekend because it is going to be 85 and I plan on being outside the entire time. The last big thing we have to worry about is preparing to eat on the road. We want to only eat out once a day at the most, so we will be doing lots of shopping before we go.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A lot of people have been asking about where exactly we are going on our trip, so here is a link to google maps with the bulk of our route planned out. Each flagged city/park is where we plan to stay at least overnight. We are going to be staying with friends (thank you!!) in a few places, camping in the parks, and motel-ing it for the rest. We still aren't sure about the last leg of our trip, as far as where to stop when we come back to NYC from Sante Fe. The whole trip is going to be three weeks, from May 2nd-22nd.

I found out this weekend that we have to apply for a permit to hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. They don't want too many people on the trails and the camp sites at any given time, so they limit the number of permits they give out. Who knew so many people wanted to hike to the bottom. I don't remember the exact number but something like only 1/4 or 1/3 of the people who apply get approved. I sent in the application on Monday and it takes three weeks for them to respond, so hopefully we will hear back right before we leave. If they are full, we will hike as much as we can, but just aren't allowed to stay overnight. Cross your fingers!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

9 to fun

Randi's in NYC working on maps, and directions while she's at work.
Sam's in MA researching, and saving up dollar bills in a paper envelope.
AND best of all Sam's MOM is on a mission to create the best fun bag ever. 
 (MORE shall be revealed )

Monday, April 6, 2009

"All My Nana's" weekend

Randi came to visit me in the Berkshires this weekend, met the NANA (she rules) , saw my show: "All my son's", tore down the set, napped, time traveled to eat cheesecake in the 30's, ate sushi, steak, and my homemade granola, watched Martha, hiked in the rain, and planned for our;


We will be starting in NYC, driving thru Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, South Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, OREGON, CALIFORNIA, Nevada, ARIZONA, NEW MEXICO, rest TBD. The one's in cap's we plan to spent massive amounts of time in (aka more than a day) and fall in love with the land and hopefully end up someday . .