Picnic Planning

As the snow falls in Chicago, I find myself planning my weekend picnic thanks to the Spring-like weather her in San Francisco. While I do feel bad for my friends and family back home; it is going to be too nice not to get out and enjoy it. So why not do it properly with a picnic?

A few years ago, I purchased from Crate and Barrel their table-in-a-bag, and it has become a staple for my summer months. I just did a quick search online, and you can find other retailers selling it from around $30 to $60.

Now why do I love this silly contraption? It is light and so easy to set up. If my mother can set it up, anyone can set it up. The legs simply screw into the bottom of the table, and you are ready to go. 

Anyone have any other picnic suggestions for this weekend? Wines, foods, equipment, good spots?

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Travel theme: Bridges

This week’s travel theme was about bridges.  Now, I could have grabbed a few pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge or even the Bay Bridge here in San Francisco.  I could have grabbed one of the many bridges in Chicago that crisscross the Chicago River. Instead, I chose a bridge that is located in one of the most beautiful places in the world according to me- Sleeping Bear Dunes, in Glen Arbor, Michigan.

There is something so special about going “Up North” for the weekend. As a child, I would spend the weekends playing with the other “cabin kids” from sun-up to sun-down. We would swim, bike, hike, and cook hot dogs over a bonfire.  It was non-stop action all weekend long, and I remember being so upset every Sunday when I had to say goodbye to my summer friends for the week.

Now as an adult, I went “Up North” to dull the noises of adult life. From sitting on a quiet dock reading that really great book, to chatting fireside with a glass of locally made wine,  or even getting married in Traverse City, this area has been a blessing for us as a couple and best friends.

If you ever get the chance to visit Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, please take the time and do the driving tour of  Pierce Stocking Drive.  Along your drive, you will see sweeping views of Lake Michigan, stunning sand dunes, and maybe a covered bridge.

So here is my bridge for this week’s travel theme.

Pierce Stocking Drive

Pierce Stocking Drive

Travel Theme: Mountains

So I spotted a picture of a beautiful mountain on one blog, and it brought me to another blog about  Travel Themes.  I loved the idea of a travel theme, so I had to participate.  Here is my contribution.

Now please remember I am a Midwestern girl; so anything larger than an anthill is a mountain to me.

This was taken in November 2010 at Stags Leap Wine Cellar.

stagsleap2010

A Grey & Rainy Day in San Francisco

While I am not complaining about the weather here in SF; I will say the cold, grey, rainy mess outside is making me a little blue. So in an effort to combat this, I decided to upload one of my favorite feel-good songs. I swear this one always gets me up dancing and singing along.

 

 

Guaranteed to get your toe tappin’ just a little bit!

 

Do you have a favorite song that always chases the blues away?

Daily Prompt: Far From Normal … its all about me!

Today’s Daily Prompt was to tell six unique, exciting, or just plain boring facts about you. This is a continuation of my All About Me section of my blog.

1. I won a Young Author award in sixth grade. Sadly, I lost the state title to a book about a jungle adventure.

2. I hate to fly but I love to travel.  Thank goodness for first class and all the free alcohol. I swear I am the best traveler after three glasses of wine.

3. My husband would call me inquisitive.  I have no issue asking questions. I love to learn and I think the best way to do it, is by asking questions. I think you can also factor in the fact I will talk to anyone also makes me inquisitive. I love chatting and learning from people’s experiences.

4. Did you know only 4% of the world’s population has red hair? Yep, and I am one of the 4%.  And yes, people do ask me if this is my natural hair color. And here in California people stop and stare.  I even had a tourist, who was visiting California, stop and ask if they could take a photo with me. True story!

5. I worked for the Walt Disney Company. Yep, I was a cast member.

6. One of my favorite quotes is by e.e. cummings – “The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”

Out & About in SF – Beer Week 2013

OK, here is the deal – I am not a fan of beer.  Well actually, beer and my stomach are not fans of each other, so that is why I am not a fan of beer. I have been known to kick one back at the ballpark or hockey game.  I will even say a nice cold one on a hot summer day will make me sigh in happiness. But after my one, I am done.

So why am I talking about beer here? Well it is the final weekend of Beer Week 2013 in San Francisco. And as much as my stomach dislikes beer, there are some really great events going on this weekend. And I have to say, most beer aficionados are good peeps. There is the occasion asshole in the bunch, and you the type of person I am talking about.  And yes, I can say that, as I have one of those types of beer fanatics in the family.

Here is a link to the official Beer Week 2013 website.

Here is link on Sosh of all the happenings this weekend.  You will need to create an account for Sosh, but it is a great site for those in SF area.

And last, is SF Weekly‘s Beer Week Roundup for this weekend. You may need to check the main page for Saturday’s roundup, just a FYI.

And with how beautiful it will be this weekend, I say go out enjoy it with a few friends and a glass of brew or two.

Sláinte!

Love comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, and ways. Be open to it always.

The Daily Post

A few weeks ago, Sara published a Weekly Photo Challenge on love, and this week, I siftedthrough and selected some submissions to share for Valentine’s Day. I know some of us don’t celebrate this day, or find such holidays rather cheesy, but I was intrigued by the different perspectives and takes on love and enjoyed your interpretations of this theme, from the traditional to the abstract.

For many of you, love was not of the romantic nature, but rather the connection between parent and child, or the bond between animals, or the smiles of strangers. For the blogger at Fine Things, love is revealed in the imagination of her son; and for the photographer PJ Charles, love is felt in the presence of his mother, in her first year being cancer-free.

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Daily Prompt: All About Me

So today’s Daily Prompt was to explain why you chose your blog’s title and what it means to you. So here you go.

My favorite book growing up was “Anne of Green Gables” by Lucy Maud Montgomery. The main character Anne always seemed to find herself in some sort of situation. Now, it’s not that she went looking for trouble, it’s just trouble always seemed to find her. And as a young child, I swear trouble always found me. And like Anne, I never went looking for it, but somehow it found me. Always! I use to say it was the curse of being a redhead. And yes, that is another thing Anne and I have in common.

But one of the lines from the book always resonated with me.

“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

Now stop and think about that.

Every day is a new day.

Every day you can make your own happiness.

Every day you start fresh.

That is pretty powerful stuff.

So why did I pick the title of my blog? Because that quote has been a motto for me since I was 12 years old. Because I moved 2000 miles away from everyone I knew, so I could start fresh. Because it is a new day for me in San Francisco. And maybe it is a new day for someone else too.