Friday, September 30, 2011

Of Joy

As always, the beautiful Golden Gate Park holds my favorite event of the year: the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. I made sure to catch tonight's closing act, Robert Plant and the Band of Joy. While dreads dangled and bodies bounced, I slowly made my way to the stage.

A few years ago, I saw Robert Plant sing with Alison Krauss at the festival. This year, he sang with Patti Griffin. As the sun sets behind me, I think, I am so lucky.

Highlight songs include: "Thank You," "Misty Mountain Hop," "Ramble On" and, my personal favorite, "In the Mood."

Beach balls and bubbles dance in the air. Robert Plant and Patti Griffin, both with gorgeous flowing hair. This night is inspiration at it's highest point.

The immense crowd - I can't believe I got as far as I did!

This woman: my savior. Let's just say, I don't know her name or where she's from, but we rocked out to the music in pure and wholesome ways. Hardly. Strictly. She knew the words of every song.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

L.A. Treats

Monday was my birthday and to celebrate, Heather and Alex came up from L.A. to spend the whole weekend with me. Whenever they visit me, I get my L.A. fix. They bring the sunshine, great ideas and lots of inspiration. As usual, they also brought a few goodies with them. When we woke up Monday morning while drinking coffee, they showered me with the sweetest birthday gifts.

Bea shoes!

Clare Vivier la Pochette!

Bicycle light, patch kit and water bottle (special gift from Alex)!

and finally (most genius gift idea ever, by the way?) a subscription to French Vogue! Just think, every month, I'll have this waiting for me at my doorstep:

Best birthday ever!!! Thank you, Heather and Alex (and everyone else who celebrated with me, near and far)!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Apples Say Autumn

I like to mark every new season with an activity. Winter starts with a cup of hot cocoa, to celebrate the coziness of the holidays. I step into Spring with a deep breath of fresh air, to embrace a phase of nourishment and health. Summer kicks off with a trip to the farmer's market, to taste the season and bask in the rays of sunshine. For me, fall begins with apple picking. I like to spend my last weekend of September with a journey up to Sebastopol, to delight in the offerings of Gabriel Farm. They open their orchard to the public for a day of fall fun.

This weekend Heather and Alex were in town. Obviously, they were the perfect duo to accompany me on my annual autumnal kick-off. It had been raining all morning, but it cleared up for our u-pick. The sky was overcast and gray, with a hint of blue peaking out. It really felt like the first day of this wonderfully plentiful season.

Heather's red sweater perfectly blended in with the gloriously red apples. The red ones, however, weren't ready to pick. So we stuck with the Fuji's:

which perfectly matched my nails!

and Golden Delicious.

Can you see how crunchy and sweet they are?

How delicious and refreshing they taste?

Heather picks...

Alex picks...

and I pick!

Two full baskets of apples...

...makes 30 pounds at your feet!

Fall has SO begun.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Sometimes you just have to cuddle up and get real cozy with the ones you love. I'm hoping my weekend looks like this: friends & family, arm-in-arm, with nowhere to be and everywhere to go. Photo from here.

Tell me this: is there anyone who you just LOVE to snuggle with? It might be a personal question but your answer doesn't have to be romantic. For example, I LOVE to snuggle with my sis, Heather. It's almost a guarantee that when we see one another we will hug incessantly. It's the coziest way to be. So, readers, what about you?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Last Minute Summer

Holding on to these last few days of summer.

Smelling every flower in bloom I can get my nose on. On my walks, I always sink my face into the jasmine that drapes over my neighbor's fence. Flower kiss.

Nothing says summer like sunshine and bikes in Dolores Park.

Hearing music outdoors. I'll listen to anyone who plays Little Feat's Willin' like this guy did.

Heirlooms at the farmer's market. I'll be sad to see these go...

But look what's coming our way! Hello apples. Apple picking. Apple pies. Apple crisp. Apple crumble. Apples galore. So much to look forward to. Maybe I'll make this:

Gourmet's Lattice Apple Pie with Mexican Brown Sugar. It's true. I'll miss this gorgeous season, but we mustn't forget: a goodbye to summer means a hello to fall. That works for me!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sister Portrait by Jeana

A beautiful sister portrait taken by Jeana Sohn of Heather and me. It reminds me of the ones from when we were little. It's like nothing's changed. Jeana must have many muses, but during our shoot, I felt like she was a muse for me. So inspiring and talented. Thank you, Jeana!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Fam

My favorite kind: modern!

***and mid-show addition***

Yay, Coach Taylor!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

On the (Foggy) Road

If you're heading out of town, why not do it in style? Sarah thought it would spice things up a bit to rent a red convertible for our journey to Bolinas. It was only a matter of time before "thought" became "reality" and soon enough, I was greeted by this as I walked out my door:

Ready in rojo for RCA beach!

There's so much more to see when the car has no hood. This is how the Golden Gate Bridge is meant to be seen!

The headlands in motion and the green gulch engulfed by...

...that's strange...this doesn't look like beach weather. Is that a rain drop?

Long stretches of highway 1, north of San Francisco, are often chilly and overcast in the morning. The best you can do is love it for its coziness and embrace the gray.

However, when the blue sky pops out, you remember where you are. Like Marianne Dashwood says in Ang Lee's 1995 film adaption of Sense and Sensibility: "There's some blue sky! Let us chase it." She then falls and sprains her ankle. We had none of that.

Much more sensible. The redwood trees always amaze me. Give me a day when I'm not in awe.

Bolinas bound! When we got lost, we came upon this street sign. Wouldn't it be lovely if all street signs looked like this. In LA, if Hollywood Blvd. had an emblem of holly and of wood.

Speeding (well not over the limit) past the trees. We thought we missed our turn, but really we were on the right track.

A mistaken turn into a driveway. Someone's yard was full of these flowers. I could sit in this field happily with a book and some tea.

Finally, we made it to the dirt parking lot! We brought some goodies, including this sourdough baguette. Maybe it was the fog, or the long drive behind us but something made me really want to play it like a flute. I whistled a happy tune, making music in the mist.

Sarah approaches the gate. Through the cow pasture, sharp right here, sharp left there, past the wave shaped rock formation, down the trail, along the cracks and we're almost there! We were ready to take the path, for the next leg of our journey.

More to come!