Saturday, November 24, 2018


You would think this is hipster paradise given the name, Idyllwild. Instead you find a quaint little town with quirky gnome themed restaurants, a wonderful gateway to outdoor activities. We enjoyed a hike with some elevation to climb above the mountains and look at the vistas beyond. 

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Chicago - A4LE

I applied for a professional development grant through my company and was awarded funds to attend this year's Architects for Learning Environments (A4LE) Conference in Chicago. I've been to Chicago once before, and I find it to be a wonderful city. 

The conference was held at the historic hotel, the Palmer House, in downtown Chicago. It was 4 days packed full of seminars, tours, and keynote speakers, including a session on designing for safety by Architect Svigels + Partners, who redesigned Sandy Hook after the school shooting. 

We toured 4 different schools around the greater Chicago area: a new elementary school, a renovated high school serving over 2000 students, a small Montessori, and a historic Crow Island grade school by the architect Eero Saarinen. The selection featured very different and creative approaches to the modern learning environment. 


Friday, September 14, 2018

Botanic Gardens and Hillcrest Farmer's Market

We always get to see new things when visitors come to town, and this time was the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas. We explored the acreage and loved what we saw, a beautiful collection of rare and native plants. These two always bring the party, and we had a fabulous time! One of our best meals was a selection of items from the Hillcrest Farmer's Market.

Hillcrest Farmer's Market Selection - Lunch! 

Friday, August 31, 2018

High Sierra's - Lamarck Col Day 1 and 2

5 days on trail! This was a very challenging but rewarding hike that began in the Inyo National forest, accessed via the town of Bishop. We hiked over the Lamarck Col and then descended to connect to the John Muir Trail. It was an epic, stunning segment via a "use trail." Meaning, follow a trail made naturally by animals. As you could image, we got lost several times, but eventually found our way! 

High Sierra's - Evolution Lakes to Bishop Pass

Day 3, 4, and 5 we followed the John Muir Trail through the amazing Evolution Lakes where the quiet and magnitude of the mountains was both unchanging and a dynamic environment. It felt like being witness to eternity, seeing the stillness draped over the vast landscapes. 

"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."    - John Muir

Monday, August 20, 2018

Van Box - Sleeping Platform

A work in progress... we are building a storage and sleeping box designed to fit in the back our of van. This will make car camping a breeze! We can roll up late, setup the platform within the van and have places to put everything. The box will be constructed out of plywood with a folding platform. When not in use, the middle seats can be reinstalled, but the back seats will be removed all the time. 


Friday, July 20, 2018

Napa - Ladies Trip #2

We have a tradition of getting together every year to celebrate our friendship. This year was Napa! It is  an amazing place to visit and indulge in life's finer things. We stayed in a quaint little house, and rode around in style in a surprise limousine that Dana treated us to. It was pure luxury! 


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Crystal Caves - Sequoia National Park

Descending into the Crystal Caves at Sequoia National Park brings a welcome break from the heat, and an escape into an other worldly landscape. This cave is one of hundreds within the park, and only accessible via tour. Mineral deposits drip over thousands of years to slowly reveal these beautiful and delicate shapes.