Sunday, July 19, 2009

From April to July, 2009

It’s been a while since our last post but it isn’t for lack of adventures to blog about; we’ve just been too busy with school/work and visitors. But now that we've had a moment to relax and collect ourselves, we thought we would share what we’ve been up to for the past three months.

In April…

…we crossed the Bay Bridge to Oakland to watch Mos Def perform at Yoshi’s, one of the nicest jazz venues in the Bay Area. Mos Def was fantastic, transitioning easily from jazz-hop to rap, even giving us an awesome rendition of Bel Biv Devoe’s Poison. He had just come back from Africa and his music was full of love and power.

…Pearl got her Reiki Master certification and can now initiate people in Reiki. She’s been giving a lot of healing treatments over the last year and Chris recently presented her with a Sioux ritual drum to incorporate into her healing sessions.

In May …

…Dustin came to visit from Germany, and Pia flew in from New York right in time for our birthday celebrations. We originally planned a bonfire beach party to celebrate, but were forced to move the party back to our place when we learned that the parking lot at the beach was filled up with hundreds of port-a-potties (the beach served as the finish line for the world’s craziest foot-race, Bay to Breakers, which was also scheduled for that weekend). Still, we had 80-degree weather, lots of vegan foods and desserts, and great company. It was the perfect way to celebrate our birthdays.

…The following day we took Dustin and Pia for a hike to Tennessee Valley Beach, just across the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County. On our drive there, we passed many Bay to Breakers runners in elaborate costumes, or wearing only leather thongs, or wearing nothing at all (hey, it’s San Francisco!). The two mile hike to the beach through a protected grassland was beautiful and smelled like the eucalyptus trees that line the path. At the end of the hike lies a cove with a black sand beach where we picnicked and watched some young kids brave the cold Pacific waters.

In June...

…we flew to Boston to visit Christopher’s family and visit the new house his parents just purchased.

…two weeks later, Pearl officially finished her first year of graduate school at Davis with a 4.0.

…Steve came back to San Francisco and spent ten days with us. We started off his visit with a hike in Point Reyes where the view of the ocean was absolutely gorgeous, though the wind was near hurricane force at times. We also took Steve to Samovar where we had the yummiest honey oolong and jasmine pearl tea. Later in the week, we drove to Monterey Bay to check out the jellyfish and sting rays in the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The following day we kayaked in Elkhorn Slough where we saw hundreds of otters and seal playing in the water and along the banks. We concluded his visit with a trip to The Fillmore Auditorium to watch Xavier Rudd perform (he transitioned between four different didgeridoos, guitars and various percussion instruments over the course of the show).

In July…

…Jackie came to visit for five days, and we started off her visit with a hike in Big Basin Redwood Forest National park where the redwoods grow to the size of a (vertical) football field. After that, we tired her out with many walks around the city and its surroundings: we brought her to Tennessee Valley Beach, to the Arboretum, the Japanese Tea Garden, and to the top of Bernal Hill. Mostly, we needed the walk off all to food we were eating! Apart from wowing her with our vegan cooking, we also introduced her to the many vegan restaurants around town including Cafe Gratitude (Jackie especially liked their espresso vanilla bean smoothies), Greens (the grilled peaches dipped in honey were our favorite), and Cha-ya (vegan sushi). It was so nice to see Jackie again; five years between visits is too long. Come back soon!

…recently, we’ve discovered that there are many fantastic day spas in the area where one can rent spa rooms with a hot tub, sauna, and a cold dipping pool. Albany Hot Tubs and Sauna has a very nice outdoor wooden hot tub where one can look at stars while relaxing with jets; Watercourse Way in Palo Alto has peaceful Japanese zen-like rooms complete with rest area, shower, cold plunge, hot tub and sauna. For those of you in the area, both places are a wonderful way to relax and meditate while taking care of one’s mind, body and soul.

…today, we raised close to $700 for the SF AIDS walk, a 7-mile walk through the beautiful Golden Gate Park. There were over 10,000 walkers that were present for the good cause. Thank you to all of you who helped us raise our funds!

As you can see, we’ve had a very busy three months! And it’s only getting busier…

… Christopher just started guitar lessons and his Reiki apprenticeship. He’ll be initiated in Reiki by August 1st and hopes to be playing his first songs by then as well.

…Pearl started dance classes, taking Afro-Cuban Folkloric classes and Congolese classes. She is also taking lessons on the wooden bamboo flute to accompany Christopher on guitar.

...At the end of this month we are heading back to The Fillmore. This time it's to watch Jarvis Cocker perform and we're hoping he performs some Pulp songs.

…In August we are visiting family in Boston for a few days and then Pearl is continuing on to France to visit her brother and his family.

…we are going spelunking in The Moaning Cavern which is California's largest single-chambered public cave. Cave tours, 3-hour spelunking trips, a rope rappel, zip lines, climbing tower, the works. Yeah!

…Pearl is co-teaching a vegan cooking course with kitchen manager Rachel at the Integral Yoga Institute.

…we are heading to Denver, Colorado for a friend’s wedding. While we are there, we’re planning on going horseback riding in Rocky Mountain National Park and making day trips to Wyoming and Nebraska. If anyone has suggestions on what to do and see in this area (and we’re not talking about Carhenge), we’re all ears.

…Manny and Supna are coming for a visit, and we will be heading up to Sonoma for a wine-tasting.

...There will also be camping trips, hikes, headstand and cartwheel practice, and scouting trips to Berkeley.

Whew! So that's us sorted for the next six weeks. Come join us if you can.


melissa said...

umm. WOW. looks amazing and i can't believe you still have time for school! you guys never stop and i love it. i noticed you have no trip to visit Pia (and Melissa, Mary, et al) in NYC??? what's up with that?
xox miss you. add to your calendar that i'm in sf in november!

Stacy said...

WOW!!! I'm such a slacker! I've not done nearly as much since moving here. Change is afoot :-).
Keep doing what you're doing! Life is an amazing journey.

Pia said...

I want to go kayaking with otters, spelunking in caves, horseback riding in the rockies and cartwheeling too. :-(

Thea said...

you guys make me feel lazy! i actually checked out the japanese baths on my very brief visit--it was amazing! until some old man shushed me for sneezing! glad i got to see you both, even for a literal hot minute!! be well. xxx

Philippe le freak said...

I'm envisioning a book, just like those 300-page, large-format, softcover photo and text books on the sixties, on Woodstock, on, ah, breakdancing, but devoted solely to Chris and Pearl's happy life in San Francisco. As we say in New York, I would buy that shit. That picture atop the bridge (it curves like the tongue of a giraffe or camel) is lysergic and beautiful.