cloud’s rest

Omg apparently I am just going to be perpetually 1-2 months behind on documenting my life. But still worth it!!!

A group of us hiked Cloud’s Rest about a month ago. We found an Airbnb near Groveland and drove over on Friday afternoon after work. Arrived around 10pm, and ktfo’d. Woke up early (4:30am!!) to get to the trailhead at around 7am.

Something we were mentally prepared for but didn’t know the scope of, was the water crossing at the beginning of the hike. During the dryer days of the year, there are stones that cross a shallow lake. But after the heavy snowfall and rains, water level was still high in July. We hiked up our pants, held our bags over our head, and crossed. It was a pretty short crossing, only about 3-4 minutes, but the water was freezing cold!!!! I wore quick-dry shorts, and the water went to my hips. It was pretty fun, and a new experience. I found that my Merrill barefoot shoes do great in the water, and dry very quickly.

Basically, the entire hike was an ode to loving my shoes.

We all forgot bugspray, so we got annihilated by mosquitoes for the first and last few hours of the hike at lower elevation.

Because of the snow, we lost access to the trail a lot – much much help from GPS watches got us close to the route, though for a few miles we were just randomly trudging our way through pine groves on snowbanks. Pretty fun, and different than what I’m used to. The altitude put the hike on a whole other level of difficulty; it was completely unexpected for me. I’d take a medium-pace up a medium-hill that felt totally normal for my body, and then all of a sudden I’d be breathing really heavily and needing a break. Most of us were also nursing slight headaches the entire day as well.

We finished around 5pm, which was much, much longer than the expected time from Internet research. We had a lot of delays from the water crossing, plus a lot of breaks from being tired, plus the large group took multiple breaks a lot. We spent about 30 min-an hour at the top, where the sun was bright, no bugs, and a 360 view of Yosemite Valley.

Overall, it was quite fun! I think it’d be more enjoyable in the late summer, since most of it is shady. I’d definitely like to train for more at-altitude hikes though!

hawaii (jan 2017)

I forgot to post about Hawaii! And you know, if I don’t write about it, I’ll completely forget it ever happened ._. Photos are here!

We spent $4400 on the 8-night trip. $2000 on flights and car rentals, $1100 on activities like tours and ziplining, $575 on food, $80 on shopping (lol I bought a watch), and $620 on housing. This comes to about $270 per day for 2 of us, including housing but not including transportation. Definitely on the pricy side, but we did do a few expensive tours (stargazing, luau, ziplining).

We flew into Hilo and spent 2 nights there and the Grand Naniloa Hotel (Hilton). Then we drove to Kona for 3 nights, staying at an Airbnb. Then we flew to Honolulu for the last 3 nights of our trip, staying at an Airbnb.

Screen Shot 2017-07-18 at 8.03.20 AM
Screen Shot 2017-07-18 at 8.06.46 AMThe time zones are weird in this Google Calendar export, but meh, close enough.

A few things differed from our planned itinerary:
1. We couldn’t find the Upper Waiakeia forest reserve, so we basically drove up a mountain and then back. We did see a few other waterfalls instead, and some lava tunnels.
2. We also skipped the Hot ponds, but I don’t remember if we did something else instead.
3. I didn’t realize that the Keaiwa Heiau State Park to see Pearl Harbor was actually like a 5 mile hike. We didn’t have time for that before lunch and other stuff, so we also skipped that.
4. I think we spent an extra half day at Volcanoes National Park, because we did the hike to the lava-ocean, but I don’t remember when or what it’s called…

Generally, I thought it was a pretty good plan. If anything, a bit too packed, but we were flexible to skip things and take naps. I was pretty tired throughout the trip, because of the very loud birds that woke us up at like 4-5am. If we were to go back to Hawaii, I’d definitely skip Honolulu, and would want to spend some time in Kauai. I really liked the lesser-populated parts of the islands, since it was just so tropical and culturally different. Lol, when we walked from our hotel to food in Hilo, there was absolutely nobody on the roads, and barely any sidewalks. We got some weird looks for being pedestrians.

Volcanoes National park was stunning. It’s such a different type of land. Some advice, which we were given but we ignored, is to access the Ocean from outside the park instead of inside. We came from inside the park, which meant we had a 5+ mile walk/hike through gravel and hardened lava rocks. It was not a great view, mostly just rocks for forever, which got old after the first hour. We heard that if you come from the other side, it’s completely paved, and you can rent bikes to take the path instead. Would do that next time absolutely for sure.

Other highlights: Hawaiian food, delicious and cheap poke, and ziplining. Can’t wait to go back! :)

mission peak… twice

Lol at the pain that accompanied this 2x hike. 2300ft elevation gain each time, so a total of 4600 ft gain and loss in 12 miles. Almost a mile of elevation gain total!!

Started at 7am, got to the peak at 8:15 (75 minutes). Got to the base at 9:45am. Started the second round at 10am, got to the peak at 11:45 (105 minutes). Got back to the base at 1pm. The second round was brutal – though definitely a significant part of the difficulty was a mental block and awareness that we literally had just completed the hike lol. But man, that mountain is steep!

Today is day 3 after the hike, and I’m mostly recovered already. The sorest part of my body was definitely my calves, though i felt it in my glutes and obliques (lol) as well. Full body workout.

Probably our last intense hike before our Yosemite trip in mid July.

black mountain/pg&e trail

~15 miles and 2400ft elevation. Took us 6 hours including a brief lunch break at a non-vista point. Kind of a mediocre hike… quite long, but no sweeping views or anything. I guess I’m not particularly excited about looking down at Cupertino and Alviso lol. The last couple miles were pretty tough, I think I should have had more sugar along the walk, I probably just burnt out. After the hike we went to Slider’s burgers for milkshakes and bison burgers :) deeelicious.

No blisters, but sore ankles, quads, and hamstrings. Next up: double mission peak!

woods trail

I forgot we did this already. It was short, but close by. Dogs allowed, and I found a wild daffodil on the side of the path that I took home with me 😉 Seemed like this is a popular path for trail runners, and maybe a few other paths around? Road was closed so we couldn’t go any further though.

bicep update

Lol @ not blogging here for two months. Happy 2017! Stan says my bicep looked big when I flexed it, so I measured it. 27cm. That’s 1 cm more in circumference than March 2013, but three years is forever. Who knows if the gain is muscular or FAT.

In related news, I started going to the gym with a personal trainer – I have 8 sessions courtesy of Thumbtack. I told him I wanted to do 1 pullup and hammer curls with 20 lb dumbbells, so we’ve basically been doing a whole lot of arm day. Maybe someday soon I can do a pullup!!! How exciting.

In other other news, I have small love handles :( Too much eating and getting older. Better watch out…

In other other other news, going to Hawaii soon with Stanley!! Excited to do more eating lol. Too bad, no bikini life for me. But you know, I’m mostly ok with this.

yogurts

Stand at the top of your mat, feet hips width apart or toes touching heels slightly separated. Keeping your back flat, fold forward, allowing your knees to bend deeply until your chest rests on your quads. Clasp opposite elbows. Relax your neck. Imagine a string pulling the crown of your head toward the ground in front of your feet. Keeping this imaginary string taut, on your inhale bring strength into your legs and straighten just a bit. Exhale back out a little bit. Inhale move legs toward straight (tailbone toward the sky), exhale back out a little bit. Repeat dynamic movement for 2 more breaths. Next inhale straighten legs as much as possible without releasing the connection between chest and legs, hold here for 4 breaths, and exhale release.

From high plank pose – shoulders active, rhomboid muscles lifting the upper bank, legs straight and abs engaged – 10 slow breaths. Exhale lift the hips come into downward facing dog, keeping hands and feet where they are. Hands and feet all pressing into the mat strongly, back flat (knees bent and feet apart if needed). 4 breaths here. On your next inhale, walk the hands just one palm’s length toward you, exhale lengthen the back and press your heels toward the ground. Inhale again bring your hands one palm’s length toward your feet, exhale straighten the back, stretch the shoulders. Continue a few more breaths (or not) until back becomes rounded with palms pressing into the ground. Now lengthening the downward facing dog: Inhale walk the palms toward the top of the mat, exhale “down dog.” Repeat until back in a standard down dog length, come forward into plank pose to check position of hands and feet, then back into down dog. Slowly release your knees to the mat, sit back onto your heels and come into child’s pose.

since october…

Last post was almost three months ago. That’s a quarter of a year! Man I am behind on things or accidentally re-prioritizing my life. Hmmmmmm

Unhappy things that happened:

  • Pimples happened, on my face. Not cool. I’ve been looking for a skin care regime that’ll return my face to it’s past lazy-glory, but it’s been struggles. Currently using a lot of Murad products. On the bright side, now I’m a Sephora VIB?
  • My knee still hurts. Very likely because I ran that half marathon without finishing the training program… and then subsequently didn’t rest afterwards. I put my yoga membership at East West Yoga on pause for a month, tried to go back to a class but it was no bueno, and put it back on hold. I’m hoping it’ll be better in another month of full rest.
  • Stanley and I put an offer on a house in October (Sunol) but were rejected. In hindsight, we are very glad we got rejected because it was definitely overpriced!
  • I guess this is more neutral, but I started work again lol. Which means no more daily bumming. But work is also good because it means I get dollars. So not a real unhappy thing here.
  • The French Laundry was not a mind blowing best experience ever. Majorly disappointing.
  • Lol a pseudo-sad thing is that I no longer have lots of free time to write Yelp reviews on the daily.

Happy things that happened:

  • Stanley and I got engaged! At aforementioned The French Laundry. Yay!
  • Butter City is still happening. With the single exception of post-after new years… because I ran out of scheduled posts by accident.
  • I went to NY and got myself a nice birthday present. You know. And got to see Emili and Phyllis and Stacey :)
  • Extended Lee family reunion at Thanksgiving in Cupertino. Stanley and I successfully fed like 14 adults with a turkey and multiple sides and desserts. It was easier than I expected, partly because we had access to two ovens (downstairs common room + upstairs kitchen).
  • We put another offer on a house in December and now we are waiting to close tomorrow?!?!?!?!?!