Posted on July 10 2017
Hello, buddies! As I said in my last post, 2016 was a cornucopia of experience. Some good, some bad, some heartbreaking and some that just fell... well, a little flat.
Cubby and I, being owners of our business, are not allowed long vacations. As other self employed people will know, work never really stops. You must bring it with you everywhere you go. Also, being that we craft our products ourselves, it does not allow us to leave for extended periods of time. Though, we make our best effort to take mini-adventures as often as life will allow. Here are some highlights form the last year.
The desert! You may not know this about me, but I am as white as the whitest white girl has ever whited. I don't really tan, my almost transparent skin just burns in what seems like an instant. I also get really hot, really fast. So naturally, this year we went to the desert. You know what? It was glorious.
We travelled down to Benton Hot springs to celebrate the 40th birthday of our friend, Jessica (who, by the way, is possibly whiter and more prone to sudden summer singeing than I).
Benton is a tiny "town" nestled in the valley near Mono Lake. It's surrounded by mountains and hills set forth before one another in an almost hyper-real beauty. Our group of 12 camped at the hot springs just outside of town. We had multiple sites rented, each with their own built in "tub" filled with water piped directly from the springs. Each mercifully covered by a large canopy for shade. We all reveled in two days of camaraderie and tons of bad-for-you camp food (the best of which was dubbed the "fire cone”: a waffle cone stuffed with various types of chocolate, berries and marshmallows, wrapped in in foil and placed in the coals of the fire). There was also plenty of cold beer and storytelling, alongside copious amounts of relaxing.
On our way home, we all made a stop at Mono lake, home to prehistoric creatures hiding in the shallows, and the majestic and lumpy Tufa. It was also the site of my summer's most epic sunburn. On my scalp...
San Diego! It was late one Friday night. Cubby and I were "sipping" some whisky and discussing how we needed to get away for a few days. Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? What's cheap? All of these questions met with a resounding "I don't know." As the evening wore on, and our bottle of Jameson dwindled (I'm sure it wasn't full when we started), our hunt for a vacation spot turned to gesticulation and stories. Cubby mentioned that he had visited the San Diego Zoo once as a child. Well, I had never gone. Within 30 minutes we had found a nice neighborhood, booked an Airbnb and put it on the calendar. It's amazing what a little cabin fever and late night indulgence will produce.
First, I had never stayed in a Airbnb, so I was super nervous. We couldn't afford to rent a place all to ourselves, so we found a place where we could have a room. This made me even more trepidatious, as I have some social anxiety and strangers can make me nervous when I'm not in my "safe places". Regardless, I decided to take the plunge, and I'm so glad I did. We stayed here. Our host (Kimball) was gracious and kind (even though we got lost twice on the way there and didn't arrive until just after 1am). The house was stylish and comfortable, and our room was clean and inviting. The best part about our stay there were Kimball's dogs! He has some of his own as well as housing some rescues. My favorite part of the day was having a dog pile with the five sweet little puppers.
The zoo was impressive and so much fun! We arrived as close to opening as possible (Cubby and I aren't the best at waking up early). We enjoyed it so much, we toured almost every exhibit twice. I have mixed feelings about zoos, but seeing the love and care that went into creating the habitats for the animals was heartening. The level of education that they offer and their commitment to conservation is impressive, to say the least.
Our second and final day was spent touring Balboa Park. The day was filled with lots of sun (and me getting sunburned…again), exploration of almost every museum and attraction (including an entire exhibit on cannibalism), and our favorite, the botanical building.
Kimball, the neighborhood of Kensington, the zoo and Balboa park were all inviting, exciting and utterly wonderful.
All thanks to a 12AM tomfoolery and spur of the moment decisions.