2013 Resolutions: The Final Weigh-in

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Greetings from a wintery Cape Cod. As you know I make a huge resolution list, and in 2013 it was no exception. HERE‘s my initial 2013 list. HERE is when I checked-in and took stock of my progress in July. And now here we are, on the last day of 2013 and it’s time I see how successful I was.

Resolutions for 2013:
- “SAVE SAVE SAVE!” – Check! In 2013 I knocked off 1 of 2 student loans and got rid of all my high interest loans. I’m hugely proud of myself for this because otherwise I’d still be paying off these loans at 50 years old. Just a little more to go.
– Go Cross Country skiing for the first time! – it didn’t happen in 2013.. maybe 2014?
– White water rafting. – I didn’t get to go in 2013, but hopefully next summer.
– Go kayaking – Check! I went in Cape Cod in the fall.
– Walk 5 times a week at least (mornings + nights!) – Check! I was pretty good about walking and added the Silver Lake Reservoir to my regular walks.
– Do a Monster Walk! – Nope, but I still did plenty of walking in 2013.
– Do more hikes from my hike book – Nope, in 2014 I need to hike more.
– More camping! – I hope to do a lot more in 2014 and I’m aching for it!
– Run a race! 5k and work up to 10k? – It’s about time I trained again.
– Whiten Teeth – Check!
– Do a secret stair walk with the facebook group and meet other stair walkers. – I still need to do this. It will happen in 2014.
-Do taxes in January (to get money back sooner!) -Check!
– Take an art class – Check!
– Do more artwork. I have the supplies, so no excuses! – Double Check!!
– Learn French I- Rosetta Stone – Check!
– Learn how to sew – Check!
– Learn how to knit – I still need to do this.
– Take vitamin b – I’m bad about doing this every day, but I’ll work on it in 2014.
– Keep up water intake! – Check!
– Clean bathroom drawer + cabinet – Check!
– Do projects from the Young, House Love book – Check!
– See a dermatologist – I’ve put this off for years now. It’s time.
– Read typography book I got for Christmas – Check! I’ve also read a handful of books in 2013, which is the thing I have the most trouble making time for.
– Clean out closet again this year- Check!
– Clean garage and organize with plastic bins – Done, but I wonder if I should do this again.
– Clean out wallet – Check!
– Clean out all emails – Check! But this is a life project and will have to happen again.
– Clean out computer and back up files – Check! But this is another thing that is a constant issue.
– Get a new cell phone – Check!
– Keep going out during the week -I’m always up for week night fun, I’ll sleep when Im dead – Check!
– Do more running outside – Check! But I still hope to do this more.
– Living on my own?? – Not this year, but it’s another year of saving for something better in 2014.
Improve my blog! Change is a good thing! – Check! I redid the header and I’ve been working away on my shop site.
Keep saying yes.. to everything! Yes to life! YES!
GROW A PAIR!

Trip Ideas:
O Visit 2 presidential libraries – Went to the Nixon Library, still need to see the Reagan Library.
O Take the train somewhere for a day trip outside LA -I haven’t taken the train, but I’ve been north and south for day trips outside of LA in 2013.
O Chicago again? -We shall see
O Beach camping up the coast?
O San Fran? more north? Portland? -I decided to skip this and some of the expensive travel items because I went to Israel and Istanbul with my sister and uncle in November. When I made this list last year I had no clue this was doable, and we made it real!

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Well everyone, thanks for reading in 2013! Tomorrow I’ll be posting my 2014 New Years resolutions and in January my Israel + Istanbul travel posts will begin. I can’t wait to share all of this with you, as well as all the excitement that 2014 is going to bring. My horoscope has been saying for years that 2014 is going to be a big year of change for me, and I’m really looking forward to the needed change!

A Cape Cod Hiatus

Sorry for the lack of communication, but I’ve been hiatusing out on Cape Cod with limited internet access and plenty of cold but beautiful weather. I love Cape Cod in the winter. It’s way less crowded, expensive stores are having wild sales (yes, I will buy this at 50% off), and the colors are so unique. Desaturated winter colors are just as gorgeous to me as bright colors. Just see for yourself. The blue sky, soft clouds and golden dried grasses are some of my favorite color combinations that are worth exploring even in the frigid cold.

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Lighthouse Beach, Chatham MA

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Chatham, MA Fish Pier

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Salt Pond, Orleans MA

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Overlooking Nauset Marsh, Orleans MA

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Also overlooking Nauset Marsh in Orleans. This was more about our three shadows.

I’ll check in tomorrow and do a round up of 2013 resolutions (I don’t think I did so hot), and figure out a plan for 2014!

Cape Cod Kayaking Adventures

This is my last post about my Cape Cod trip. I’ve talked with people who were confused about all the timing, but I assure you I’m back in LA and up to my usual tricks. When I travel I can’t give you the lengthy posts that require a lot of time and attention, so I usually write them once I’m back on Los Angeles soil. So sure enough, I’m back and as of tomorrow I’ll be back to my usual postings. Infact, tomorrow is Wednesday which means it’s time for Comedy Wednesdays! That’s right, I have Comedy Bang Bang tickets tonight, so expect a full report.

Now, back to a topic I love, kayaking in Cape Cod. I did this twice while on my last trip and each of these makes for a great afternoon activity. It also gives my arms an excellent workout, which often get ignored on my stair walks.

These photos were taken mid-kayak on Seymour Pond. The photo above makes it look very still, which it was at times, but don’t take that for granted. All it takes is a big gust of wind to feel yourself swiftly moving in a direction you don’t want to go. In the below photo you can see my dad waving behind me.

While on the opposite end of the pond the clouds rolled in and before we knew it, we could hear thunder. You can guess, we high-tailed it back to shore. It got pretty dark after that, but these intermittent thunderstorms are common on the Cape.

Our next kayaking adventure (on a different day with sunny skies) took place at Scargo Lake. This gorgeous lake had extremely warm, clear water. This was such a joy. We often paddled with our feet over the sides of the kayak. We are not residents of Denis, so we are not permitted to park in the beach lot (see the beach way on the opposite side of the lake?), so instead we park in a public area on the opposite shore. Here they have a boat launch and small shorefront.

This day was perfect for kayaking. So still, so it wasn’t much of a workout but such a delightful glide around the lake.

Teens were practicing their boating skills in the center while us kayakers were doing loops around the perimeter of the lake.

You can even see the tower over looking the lake along the tree-line on the right side of the photo.

So calm. If I didn’t have a flight to catch later that afternoon, I would have stayed here all day. If you own kayaks, or want to even go swimming, visit Scargo Lake!

Cape Cod: Sandwiches in Sandwich + a Biking the Canals

One day trip we did while in Cape Cod, was lunch in the adorable town of Sandwich (spot A on the map) and then a long bike ride up and down the Cape Cod Canal (spot B on the map).

We got a sandwich to go at a local shop and brought it to some benches along Shawme Lake.

What a great snacking spot, am I right? A turtle swam near us while we ate. Truly a delight.

After our food break we decided to walk around the town of Sandwich. We walked along their Main Street looking at cute shops. They have a surprising number of renovated churches.. that still look like churches.. but aren’t churches. It’s a little odd. As I sang to my parents, it looks like “we’ve got trouble, right here in River City!” You probably don’t get that reference, because you’re normal and I’m weird.

Arsty-fartsy.

After our walk around town it was time to get to the Cape Cod Canal to get our bike-on! We parked on a side lot along the Scenic Highway, Route 6, closer to the Sagamore Bridge side.

We ended up biking almost the entire length of the canal and back. We thought the rail-bridge was where the path ended, but according to the maps, we could’ve headed just a tad more south ending at the Maritime Academy. Oh well. We still got a great workout that day.

While we were doing a photoshoot next to the Sagamore Bridge, a tanker(?) came through, so I had to share.

The Bourne Bridge looked pretty similar to the Sagamore bridge.. and I was getting tired, so I didn’t take as many photos. I did snap this shot of the rail-bridge (below), dressed in it’s holiday best.

Great exercise, beautiful weather, and free activities make for an awesome day.

Cape Cod: Falmouth and Woods Hole

While in Cape Cod this past week, we decided to spend the day getting lunch in Falmouth along the adorable Main Street and then drive a little further to the bike trail that leads down to Woods Hole.

Below is Main Street in Falmouth. We parked in the public (free) lot just behind Main St., by the Falmouth Chamber of Commerce which has a lovely public restroom. This cute downtown center has plenty of food options for dine-in or take-out to brig to the beach. They also have cutesy stores, so plan time to do a loop along the drag. 

While headed to the place we want to grab lunch, I noticed this “Obey” street art sticker. Even Cape Cod has street art, very cool.

Beautiful right?

We decided to grab a bite at the cute Pop Kitchen. We had a delicious meal, but the only complaint was that the food took a long time to come out. I’m not sure if they are short staffed or need a bigger kitchen, but on yelp a few reviewers had the same problem. I highly recommend this place if you have time for a leisurely meal. We were anxious to hit the road to start biking, so our patience was lacking.

The decor is very different from the other more gourmet looking options on the street. It was kitschy and fun, like a main street brunch place should be.

Next stop, Nobska Lighthouse!

There isn’t much parking here, but if you can grab one of the four spots, you can climb the hill to the lighthouse and see some gorgeous views. Also, across the street is a little path leading down to a bench and then further on to the beach.

We jumped back in the car to get to our last car destination, the bike path near Woods Hole. We were able to park right along the path, which happened to be right next to the water. What a view! Exercise and getting to look at that? Only on vacation!

Here’s me in my goofy helmet.

We biked down to the center of Wood Hole, where they have their own cute little downtown. We parked our bikes and explored. In the summer time the bridge in town goes up every hour.

Woods Hole has a fun aquarium (small but all about local marine-life) which unfortunately closed by the time we got there. But we did get to see the seals they keep in an inclosure out front. We spent a while walking around town until the skies turned dark and we decided to bike back.

By the time we got back to the car, the clouds had lifted and we took a break to dip our toes in the water. What a delightful day in Cape Cod.

Exploring Cape Cod: Chatham, First Night

Chatham is an adorable (pricy) town in the elbow of Cape Cod. Winter time is definitely their slump season, but on December 31st the town comes alive for First Night. It’s a great time to catch sales (50% off!) at the normally mucho expensive, cutsie shops along Main Street.

I had to include the above picture, because while taking a break from the Main Street drag of shops and tourists my family and I did a loop around the neighborhood where we ran across this house… and mini house.

The road looped around to this cute beach area. From there we went back into town. It was a nice little detour.

You can tell by these pics it was a tad overcast on the 31st, but Chatham kept their schedule despite the drizzle.

More adorable shops!

SHOPS! SHOPS! SHOPS!

They had bands playing inside a local church (I’m sure the rain pushed them off the churches lush front yard and into the warm dry chapel). Normally they have ice craving and people give out noise makers and hats displaying “2012!”. As I was leaving I snapped this shot of a carpenter beginning his demonstration of chainsaw carving. He carves these logs down into little bears.

Exploring Cape Cod: Nauset Marsh

Coast Guard Beach

One of the first places we explored during our time in Cape Cod (Dec 28- Jan 2) was Nauset Marsh in Eastham, MA. It was a beautiful day but extremely cold and breezy (a rough combo for a California girl like me).

I was a trooper with my many layers of sweaters and jackets. We followed the trails which in the summertime makes a great bike path. It takes you though the woods (ultimately leading to a visitors center) and along the marsh. It’s fun doing in the winter time because the colors are so unique. The yellows, golds, muted browns and deep reds make for some fun photography, especially compared to the bright colorful photos I’m used to taking in LA.

The photo below was taken from the parking lot of Coast Guard Beach, which is where you would park to explore the bike path and trails along Nauset Marsh. This is a great place to take someone who has trouble walking (maybe a 93 year old Grandma perhaps?). They have several benches along the parking lot, so even sitting you can enjoy a great view and gorgeous sunset.

After the sun began to set and our exploration time was nearing an end, we continued on to Nauset Light (see the picture below). It was only a quick drive-by, but you might as well if you made it all the way out to Nauset Marsh.

Just around the corner from Nauset Light are three lighthouses called The Three Sisters. Stop and take a peek as you’re leaving Nauset Light. Click the link to learn the history of these three lighthouses (all missing their top lights).