I am not mad about how I celebrated the equinox today. I grabbed my yoga mat and headed to a boardwalk landing at a nearby wildlife refuge 30 minutes within autumn officially starting.
It turned into birdwatching and yoga as a few critters landed nearby during the practice.
I kept an eye out for deer since some young have been seen in the area. Funny enough with walking to and from the landing you could see juniper that had a clear line where deer have been able to reach to nibble off all the berries.
Nature was doing its thing including this small tree showing off ALL THE COLORS
Reflection, movement, and listening. Not a bad way to start the season.
This was a good morning. I hope it was for you as well. May you find the grounding you need as we head into some turbulent political, social, and personal times ahead. xo
Consider Carmel-by-the-Sea as a hub of fresh food with laws meant to keep it a walkable city without the bustling stress in the bay area further
up north. It is and a central point to explore the natural beauty surrounding this one square-mile where tourists are loving the activity and support for healthful restoration on their getaways.
Our host for the area was Hofsas House. It is a longstanding, affordable lodging option in Carmel-by-the-Sea. The proprietor, Carrie, has a grandmother we all wish she had. Her grandmother started lodging with a few small rooms, bought more property, bought the land, had Carrie work under her as a pre-teen and has left a legacy that a fourth generation may take on in the future.
Carrie in her efforts owns and operates with 38-room, Bavarian-inspired tradition as well as serves with local politics for this carefully-curated area. Curation entails no food franchises, no neon signs, no street lights, no harming trees in construction, no street addresses, and no paid parking. All these factors lead to casual European elegance with the warmth of family hospitality. Talk to Carrie or her staff about what to do in this area as you are planning your stay.
My favorite nuggets of the area are:
The BEACH. A white sand beach on the Pacific coastline is rare. Even rarer is the ability to have a bonfire on a public beach. There are a few restrictions, but public bonfires ya’ll!
Carmel Belle – A quick food and drink spot that exemplifies the businesses I choose to support with high-quality, simple food that encourages local sustainability practices. They hosted us for a meal and brought out the organic wine. The open-face mushroom sammich and lentil soup were very tasty! I went back for a turmeric elixir. I then went back for a filling smoothie (carrot and almond butter was not on my radar before). And a big bonus that no one made any issue of dealing with my re-usable container.
Yoga Center of Carmel – I only got a peak instead of a practice. I had planned to do a restorative mid-Monday practice but our itinerary conflicted. They seem inclusive to all bodies and experience, I got a great vibe.
Caraciolli Cellars – There is a wine walk you can do that includes over a dozen cellars where you can get tasting flights. I started at this cellars and stopped. There was nothing I could do after their Brut Cuvée so I called it. I am glad I did, it turns out their winemaster also blends for Holman Ranch. Everyone seemed to enjoy their tastings but I knew this was it for me and I am kicking myself for not bringing some back on the plane to Denver.
Active outdoor tourism – Point Lobos hiking, bike the 17-mile ride with a rental from Monterey, hospitality partners to get a two-day pass to the Monterey Aquarium for the price of one, surf the constantly cool bay, tour the missions, explore Carmel River, and hug some big trees in Big Sur.
The overall ease with access to fresh, local food. This is near America’s Salad Bowl, as Salinas is called. There is fresh produce everywhere. Artichoke production is also big near this area.
One note I will make about the area is that it is very dog-friendly. I am talking about dogs-in-some-wine-cellar-tasting-rooms friendly. Kid-friendly is a little different. The area is affordable and gorgeous. I do not personally think the main attractions in town are appropriate to have kids at all day. Stay in Carmel-on-the-Sea as your area hub for comfort and then radiate out to adventure with the little tykes.
Stay tuned for my next post when I talk about Holman Ranch and what they have done to earn their SIP (Sustainability in Practice) Certification. They were the next stop on our #llnotablogconf trip.
Happy Earth Day everyone. I have seen the online stratosphere gearing up for today with the most American way that it can… sales!!! I am compassionate enough to recognize that as a culture we do not have many more ways to celebrate anything than to buy things for it, try to recreate manicured Pinterest boards for it, and then root for it like it is a football team. I am putting out my meek plea for you to pause for today though.
The intention of this day when it started in 1970 has mixed origins. Was it a national teach-in day about what we have done as a species to this planet? Was it a propaganda day for the newly forming Environmental Protection Agency? No matter the origins the events leading up to the designation from 1970 came from the ravages of a political climate in turmoil and significant environmental detriments.
Here we are in 2016 and our current political climate is pretty fractured. So is our connection to the environment. Going into 1970 the nation was besieged with Rachel Carson’s, “Silent Spring” eight years earlier and there is not any unifying book to gather us under a collective consciousness umbrella but I am going to introduce a contender. E.O. Wilson’s “Half Earth”
If you are not willing to see yourself as interdependent in your ecosystem then scale back and see if you can recognize how your consumer habits impact the natural resources they draw from.
For Earth Day I have a few ways to celebrate:
Do not fall for Earth Day sales of things you do not need. Do not go on a shopping spree as a way to celebrate from your computer.
Find some small connection to the natural world. A true heart connection. Go for a hike. Go to a spot where the sunshine can dapple on your shoulders and just sit there in silence to identify the sounds of what surrounds you (this can even be in your garden or a community garden). Look into the eyes of something wild and feel empathy with what is looking back at you (birds have eyes).
Keep it simple. If you can join an organized program for recycling, tree planting, or litter removal. You do not need to go out of your way to do those actions though – in their origins they would not be needed if people were more conscious consumers in the first place. This is why I push for conscious consumption first coupled with having a connection to the environment.
Happy Earth Day and remember, we are interdependent with this beautiful biosphere. Happy day to us. We are a part of the earth. xoxo
Perfect in its unpredictability we drove out to the San Luis Valley from Denver on Saturday morning to celebrate our wedding anniversary weekend. This is a two lane road that we were on in this picture. Note the lack of visibility. Note how bright the day was. Oh Colorado.
For food we generally hit Ploughboy for local fare to eat immediately and cook with but they are preparing for a big remodel. I look forward to see what they look like in March. We did grab some pho at Little Cambodia.
We then headed to the hot springs where we planned to settle for three days.
Colorado is ridiculous. Between sunsets on fire and shooting stars from the pools all you can do is be in love with your boo.
We had an unintended present a friend gave us. Margo did Reiki II readings for us this month. During our first night away we read each other’s readings to help bring some clarity. We of course thought the other had an amazing reading but looked at our own with self doubt. It is funny how perceptions bend and can be clouded with our judgements. This is how I saw my husband after reading his.
This is how he saw me.
At least we have very positive perceptions of the other. It was a good reassurance to end the day.
The next day we turned it up to 11. I’ll paint the scene for you. We decided to drive the backroads to head south. Folk was playing on The River Rat (93.7 FM) while my husband was feeding me a spoon of honeycomb that we bought the day before as we were sipping fresh coffee that we made.
A huge bird was along the road so I jumped out of the driver seat to grab my camera while my husband drove. Note that no other cars were anywhere near us.
And we played along several telephone poles with a Golden Eagle. Yes a bigger than a Bald Eagle, GOLDEN EAGLE. We left the bird alone after it had captured a meal and was going to feast.
We then stopped in Crestone for some bomb diggity green chai and brunch.
Then we made our way to Great Sand Dunes National Park where I wanted to get in the #REIExplorer virtual run with Black Girls Run and REI. The park rangers recommended against any trails due to icy conditions so off to the sand dunes it was.
We raced back to the hot springs to end up in a pool for a soak and I was able to capture a sunset picture I had envisioned for this pool for almost a year now.
That night we hung out with other land trust members until it was bed time then went out to soak and sauna some more. In the morning we hiked to the tallest springs before meandering down to make more coffee and noodles then wind our way back to Denver.
The weekend was absolutely lovely. We missed the Marade in Denver but to be honest we knew we were getting married MLK Jr weekend and feel we live for some of his legacy everyday with our mixed race life. The Marade in the current climate would have been amazing to be part of but some solitude and sheer love felt just right. Happy 8th wedding anniversary Terry. xoxo
If you are anywhere near Denver you hopefully already know about the Denver Flea. It takes place a few times a year, features super trendy vendors, lots of alcohol, tasty food trucks, and loads of entertainment.
I worked with a vendor at the last Flea to offer diastasis checks for women but this last one I went straight up as a blogger to the VIP shopping night. I got over the chill in the air with a few cocktails and saw a load of friends. It was a fun, festive occasion.
You do need to be cautious because since this is Denver Flea folks the ability to imbibe is fierce. And it is easy to swipe on a Square when you are slizzard. Also there is some douchiness around on the edges but you are big boy or girl and know how to avoid that IF you want.
Head to the Flea tonight for the UnCorporate party ($35 entry). Hint, hint, hint… Passport folks, check your email for a 2-for-1 deal to attend. The Flea will also be opened on Saturday and Sunday ($5 entry) with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute and Reading Partners.
There is a very good chance you will see me around there this weekend. I got some more Irish Coffees to say hello to, lounging, and I really, really want that be hippy hat plus maybe some more holiday gifts.
Disclosure: I was comped entry to the VIP party and given a canvas tote plus two fives to post about this shindig online which was silly since I posted about it online last flea with zero Flea motivation. All opinions are my own.
What a fun collection to dive into the holiday season with Soybu. Here is the signature print for this collection:
Of course I went for the more holiday feel with the collection as I used the Paris Free Flow sweater in Malachite and Tory Legging in Black to complete this outfit. The holiday was indeed Halloween.:
The staples in this collection are versatile between active wear and casual looks. Here is the Yvette Tunic in Storm and my absolute favorite Killer Caboose Leggings in Charcoal in the middle of a snowmelt creek:
For a true winter holiday staple check out this Rheana Vest in White:
As usual ask me about my Soybu experience as one of their Community Leaders. Join me for yoga in Denver or any of the fun retreats and conference experiences I teach in. Use SOYBUPR for 25% off your order and please link through my affiliate link with Soybu.
FTC disclosure: I am compensated clothing as a Soybu Community Leader but not paid for my opinion. That is still my own.