Kinsee and I went to San Felipe with her family and Derrik for Thanksgiving. More pictures on Flickr.
Kinsee and I went to San Felipe with her family and Derrik for Thanksgiving. More pictures on Flickr.
Kinsee and I are moving. We’re headed back to San Diego. We’ve known for a while now that we’d be leaving Durango, we just didn’t know exactly where we would be going or when we would be leaving. Last week Kinsee got a job offer in San Diego and we decided we’d be heading back.
San Diego’s not the perfect city, but it might come close. I feel like I’ve had a love/hate relationship with it in the past, but I’m excited to be going back. I’m sure there will be things I hate (traffic, well driving anywhere in general) but so many of my friends are there, the weather is damn near perfect, and there’s a whole lot going on in the craft beer realm.
There are things I’ll miss about Durango (and a lot of things I won’t miss, but I don’t want to dwell on the negative). I can’t imagine a better place for cycling (well 9 months out of the year). Road or trail, it’s pretty much perfect here. It’s beautiful, the picture above doesn’t do Durango justice. And I’ve had no complaints about the craft beer in Durango.
But we need to get back to a bigger city. Durango can be a little stifling if you’re not prepared, that’s not to say we haven’t had a lot of fun. We’ve met some really great people too.
My last hurrah in Durango will be the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic. I’ll be racing the train 50 miles and 5700 vertical feet up to Silverton in just a few weeks, then we’ll be on our way to San Diego.
We’ll be back to visit plenty (hopefully in the summertime) but we’re both looking forward to getting back to San Diego.
For a blog called “Just a Life Story”, it seemed strange that I hadn’t posted about getting married yet. Kinsee and I got married September 19th, 2009 at the Silverpick Lodge just north of Durango. Kinsee made a slide show of some of the pictures from the official wedding photographers. Below is a slide show I made of pictures Chris took at the reception. For our first dance we started dancing to a slow Whitney Houston song, then had a record scratch come on and Kinsee told everyone to get up and dance with us, and the much more danceable song in this video came on. (Hopefully they won’t remove the video or the song because I don’t have permission to use it).
Vodpod videos no longer available.
If you haven’t heard, Kinsee and I moved to Bayfield, Colorado! Kinsee grew up here and I’ve been anxious to get out of California for a while now. I don’t know when I fell in love with the Four Corners Region (probably around the time I discovered Edward Abbey) but Durango (the “big” city nearby) seems like the perfect place for me. Four breweries in Durango, one with a location in Bayfield, lots of cyclists and plenty of other outdoor enthusiasts, Durango seems like a good place.
I’m just getting settled in, but Kinsee’s already been blogging about what’s going on in Durango at her new blog, Durango Dirt.
The weather has been beautiful ever since we got here, I’ve heard that we’ll get more days of sun per year than San Diego (330 vs 300).
We went to Ska Brewing for the release of their new IPA Modus Hoperandi, not quite a West Coast IPA but not bad at all. Kinsee wrote about it here. One of my new favorite blogs, Beer at 6512 (the elevation in Durango) also was there. Turns out Durango has quite the blogger community because Hank at Songs From the Wood was there also.
I just got back from my first Colorado bike ride. I rode from our house in Bayfield to Ignacio and back. It was about 19 miles, mostly flat, but my sea-level-lungs need some adjustment to the altitude up here (we live at 6900 feet). When I left it was about 22F, I averaged 17.5mph and it had warmed up to almost 40F by the time I got back. And I did that on my fixed gear because my road bike is still in the shop getting assembled and tuned.
We’ve been here less than a week but so far so good. Once I get a little more settled in expect a lot more blog posts from me.
There are all sorts of bars in La Mesa, the city I grew up in, that I’ve never been to. Places that I wondered about when underage, but just didn’t seem cool enough once I could get into bars. Last night Kinsee, Derrik and I rode our bikes to five of those La Mesa watering holes.
First up was Centifonti’s, I’ve walked past it a few times before and always assumed it was a restaurant or bakery, I was shocked when I saw a coupon in the Citybeat advertising their “Boot of Beer”. Why a place like this serves a boot of beer is beyond me, but we weren’t concerned with that, we just wanted our 112oz of cold, foamy Stella Artois. I felt a little out of place at first, most of the patrons were older than the three of us combined, but as we drank the boot I stopped worrying about La Mesa folks and started having a good time.
Next up was Pete’s Place. Pete’s used to be one of two dive bars on La Mesa Blvd, but they both recently closed. Pete’s Place opened back up after some remodeling, Joe and Andy’s, the other dive hasn’t reopened yet. When tearing down the old walls they apparently found nice brick walls behind them, so Pete’s Place looks nice these days. Even though they got remodeled the bar tender said they still have the same people hanging out there and drink prices didn’t go up. $3.25 for a decently stiff whiskey and 7up was pretty good.
After Pete’s Place we rode down the street, passing such places as Hoffer’s Cigar Bar and the Turquoise Room at the Riviera Supper Club for the tried and true Falcon’s Lure. They only serve beer and wine but we found some good local brews. We played the jukebox (I resisted putting on Alice’s Restaurant, three times), met a local who showed us a magic trick, he originally wanted us to buy him a beer before showing us the magic behind it. When we showed no interest whatsoever he decided to tell us free of charge.
We sprinted down University Ave to The Dragon Room at Wong’s Golden Palace. This was the most divey, and least fun bar of the night. We walked in and it was almost silent, no music was playing, and nearly dark. No one was behind the bar so I asked a guy sitting there if he’d seen a bartender around recently. He looked at me and laughed and said “nah”. Then he started yelling “MEATLOAF! MEATLOAF!”, shortly after that the bartender started walking over. We didn’t feel comfortable ordering drinks from someone that responds to the name Meatloaf so we went into the restaurant and order our Flaming Volcano drink. We downed the drink and got out as quickly as we could.
Last was Mr G’s Tavern. It was bright with loud but not too loud music and a decent crowd. One patron was apparently trying to make fun of us and our bikes but I didn’t let him get away with it.
Him: “So you guys ten-speeded in here huh?”
Me: “They’re single-speeds actually.”
We quickly became friends with him and another regular named Tim. By the time we left we’d earned his respect by riding around the hills of La Mesa with only one gear.
Photos mostly by Derrik.
I spent my first ever white Christmas in Bayfield, CO with my fiance and future family-in-law.
It snowed quite a bit before we got there, and kept snowing for almost two days straight after we arrived. Even though it was about 25F outside most of the time, it didn’t feel like what I expected that to feel like. It was cold but I thought it would feel colder.
We spent some time in downtown Durango, which has a nice main street that reminds me a lot of Pacific Avenue in Santa Cruz. I also got my first taste of one of the many Durango craft breweries, we had lunch at Carver Brewing Co. Quite fine beers indeed. I got to meet a ton of Kinsee’s old high school friends and spend time with her family.
I also acted like a small child playing in the snow much of the weekend. I think I had only seen snow fall once before this. I shoveled the driveway quite a bit (I’m told the novelty wears off soon), made a snow angel, went sleding and tobaganing and even made a face print in the snow (that was cold!).
I really wanted to build a snowman and have a snowball fight, but the snow was far too powdery and soft, it crumbled in your hand as you tried to ball it up, it was nothing like the icey hard snow I’ve played in before.
Kinsee shot some video of my playing in the snow, I’ll post some of that soon.
My friend Oliver sent me this video.
This might be my favorite youtube video ever.
My friend Ryan is the king of hipster fashion. It seems like every time he changes his style I start to notice more and more hip folks at bars dressed like him.
A few months back he started wearing a watch, kind of rubbery and brightly colored with a small time face. It looked more like one of those “Livestrong” type bracelets everyone was wearing a few years ago than a watch. When asked about it he said they’re all the rage in Italy. He somehow got hooked up with some Italians and became a US distributor for the watches. I didn’t quite believe him that these simple, bright and inexpensive watches were popular in Italy, the land of fashion, but I didn’t really think much of it.
He gave me one of the watches a while back, I’m not a jewelery person but I wore it for a few days, a lot of people commented on how cool it was, then I gave it away to a friend. Now that in itself isn’t really worthy of me writing about it to post up here, but then something funny happened.
One day on the Facebook I got a friend request from “Too Late”. I decided to add them as a friend and didn’t think much of it. One of the ways the Facebook works is that when your friends are tagged in photos it shows up on your newsfeed. A lot of stuff ends up on there, so I don’t pay attention to it most of the time, but I started to notice more and more photos tagged with “Too Late” in them. One day I was bored to I started clicking on them. All of a sudden I was looking at all sorts of photos of Italian hipsters showing off their Too Late watches. They were in cities like Milan, Rome and Bologna. Drinking, dancing and partying, all while wearing one of these watches. The more I looked at it the more I realized these things must actually be really popular in Italy.
So now everyday I get a few pictures of random Italian hipsters posing with their Too Late watches mixed in with info about my actual friends on the Facebook. It’s pretty amusing.
You can see the watches on their English language website.
And if you’re in San Diego and want to be on the cutting edge of Italian-hipster style you should hit up Ryan on Myspace to buy a watch.
And if you’re on the Facebook and want to see all the action for yourself, add Too Late as a friend.
Below are a few of my favorites.
I first heard of Richard Feynman a couple of years ago while looking for a book to read. I was chatting with a mathematician friend and he recommended Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman. Richard Feynman was a brilliant mathematician and physicist, but the book had little to do with that. It was mostly about his curious character and all the wild adventures he got himself into. With the money he won from the Nobel Prize he built a house in in La Mision, Baja California, Mexico.
The house was right on the cliffs above the beach and had a beautiful view of the ocean from all the rooms, as well as a nice patio over looking the beach.
The weather was perfect, santa ana winds blowing in from the desert made it about 85-90F during the day. Warm enough for one person to sleep outside in a hammock at night.
I went horse back riding for the first time ever (on the beach no less, I felt like I was in Spaceballs the entire time, even though I think they’re parodying Planet of the Apes in that scene). I went swimming in the ocean in November — well I didn’t do too much swimming, it was pretty cold, but had some fun for a little while. We played some horse shoes, ate delicious home cooked meals, watched a pretty sunset. One afternoon a dog came up to our patio, he was friendly and ended up staying with us all evening and throughout the night, in the morning when we woke up he was gone. But about an hour before we left the next day he came back, as if to say goodbye.
As it always seems, the wonderful weekend was far too short and monday morning came too quickly.
Update: The house’s official name is Casita Barranca, here’s a link with more information and reservation info.
(thanks to Derrik for taking pictures all weekend)
I don’t gamble, what
am I doing here? Oh yeah!
dancing in the streets!