February 23, 2010

Back to the Mountains

A fresh snowfall last night left enough snow to blanket the upper slopes of Alpine Meadows and provide for a few more turns in light powder. The spring like weather of the past week or so had left most of the hill skied out and pretty bumpy, so the fresh powder was more than welcome. Today, the rest of the family granted me the first hour or so by myself so I hurriedly put on my skis and headed for the top of the mountain. What was waiting for me wasn't just the great skiing, but also a beautiful landscape begging to be photographed. So instead of hastily heading to the best lines I could find, I stopped and tried to capture some of the beauty that surrounded me. The blue sky, craggy outcrops, Lake Tahoe in the distance, rime covered trees, it was all as inspiring as the skiing that followed.

February 22, 2010

The ECamper

One of the biggest questions we had while planning our year sabbatical, was how we were going to get around. After many hours of planning we were able to put together a list of ideas that would serve to give us a general idea of what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go, but still give us plenty of room for flexibility and spontaneity. However, we still needed to figure out how we would get to all the places and things we wanted to visit and do. A sense of nostalgia had us looking at VW buses initially, but with two small kids, something more reliable seemed more appropriate. After a few searches on the internet, we came across something exciting, yet very different, the ECamper.

February 18, 2010

Happy Birthday FrĂȘney!

Imagine a whole year has passed since you came to us on a cold snowy winter night a year  ago. Imagine all the fantastic memories you already have provided us, and the many more to come. Imagine that we have been able to take a full year off of work to spend with you and your brother, sharing in your explorations and watching the two of you grow (way to fast...). Thank you for all the two of you have taught us about being patient and present. Happy Birthday!

February 17, 2010

Joshua Tree

The beauty of the American West is likely more connected to the deserts than the mountains. Both, however, are places of with wild and stunning landscapes. Having already made the journey south toward San Diego, we took advantage of the opportunity to drive out into the desert and spend a day in Joshua Tree National Park. While the drive itself provided views of the desert landscape framed by snowclad mountains, it wasn't until we pulled off the main highway and climbed into into the hills, the reason for the National Park became ever so apparent. The unique granite outcrops and boulders contrasted with the funky Joshua Trees to create a unique landscape.

February 15, 2010

Farmers Market - Santa Barbara

While planning this whole trip, the opportunities to be able to get fresh fruits and vegetables for the season has been one of the main treats to taking a sabbatical in California. Fresh local produce, flowers, plants, freshly baked pies and preserves, eggs, locally raised meats and much more! Finally! We are able to get fresh fruit and vegetables!

February 10, 2010

On the Road

After the big storms in Truckee, the time finally came for our first road trip. We packed up our Honda Element, and headed south in search of a little more sunshine, mild weather and a couple weeks respite from the snow. While we aren't really tired of snow, we actually just needed to get our Element to San Diego to get it converted to a custom camping vehicle, an ECamper. With San Diego being about 1000 km from Truckee, not only did we have to break the trip up into shorter segments, but it also gave us the chance to visit a few places of interest along the way.