A Magical Day

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A few weekends ago our friend and wedding photographer Phil Chester was in town shooting a wedding not too far from us and stopped over to spend the day hanging with us. It was so much fun laughing and exploring parts of the coastline we hadn’t been to before with him.

We hung out at home for a little bit drinking bloody mary’s and chatting, then got some tacos and headed north up to Point Reyes. It was foggy and windy and everything a summery northern California day on the coast should be. We drove past cows and rolling hills and walked along the cliffs just above the water. Then, like clockwork Lola decided to break down and we played games until a tow truck came to bail us out. These photos are so special to us since we never got around to having engagement photos taken (hehe). It was so rad to hang out and have him capture us in our natural element. I can’t wait to get some printed to hang around our place!

 

Santa Cruz with Stanley

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This past weekend we went down to Santa Cruz to check out some skate/bmx spots. We stopped by Blue Bottle coffee first to fill up our Stanley vacuum mug with coffee. Then we headed south in search of an empty pool Trey found on Google Earth. Empty pools are a dream to ride if you’re into skating or bmx. Or just want a rad place to hang out.

We pulled off on this back road just off the highway, woods on both sides.  There’s never any signs or arrows leading to the good spots. They’re hidden like gems you really have to seek out. The pool has been there since the 1970s and is somewhat of an icon for the Santa Cruz skating scene. Technically it’s private property, but locals say it’s ok to use as long as the woods are kept clean. We finally found a trail that led up a hill and through the brush. After walking for a little bit, we came to a clearing to find a totally empty, abandoned pool to ourselves.

It was hot, really hot. I’m glad the dogs were at home staying cool. Especially Keeper, she gets so hot with all her fur. When we were packing up to leave for the day and she saw Trey’s bike being wheeled out, she howled because she wanted to come with so bad. Next time, girl. I love her so much. Anyway, we switched from coffee to ice water with the Stanley insulated growler. Trey rode around, grinding on the side of the pool and getting some air out of the deep end. I got a tan in the sun. It was awesome just to be out in nature with each other.

We’re always happy to bring Stanley products along with us on our adventures.  We have so many of their products around the house. Every morning Trey makes coffee and takes it with him in the vacuum mug on the train in the morning. He skates with it in his bag since it stays sealed. Every night we use the Stanley insulated pints for ice water. The growler is great too. We fill it up with ice water and keep it with us in the truck for the dogs, but you can also fill it up for beer and bring it camping too (which we’ll be doing soon). The options are endless. If you’re looking for a gift for Father’s Day, Stanley is a classic choice that’s perfect for outdoorsy guys. I can confirm that dog dads appreciate them too, ha!

 

This post was sponsored by Stanley. All views expressed are my own. Thank you for supporting those who support Wildlandia.

 

Lagunitas, CA

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It was beautiful all weekend here. The temperatures were in the high 70s and 80s both days so we practically lived outside. On Saturday we went on a bike ride around Berkeley and Oakland, then on Sunday we went to a swimming hole up north.

Continue reading…

Northern California, from the sky

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This past weekend we got to see San Francisco Bay from the sky. It was incredible. We took off from Sausalito (just north of the Golden Gate Bridge), then flew over the city, circled around Alcatraz and the east bay, before heading north along the coastline up to Point Reyes. It was so cool to look down and see the giant redwood trees in Muir Woods, and take turns spotting gray whales off the coast. Trey capitalized on the opportunity to look for drained swimming pools in the area from up above (for riding bmx/skating). Jack was our co-pilot. Well, actually, we decided at the last minute that it would be too loud for him in the plane (preserving his hearing was more important) – so he stayed back on the dock with Ava, the woman who wrangles the plane in after it lands (thanks Ava!). Once we landed, Jack jumped inside the plane so he could see what we had been up to! It was so much fun. We were reminded just how beautiful this place we call home really is.

I’d probably have to say my favorite parts were flying close to the Golden Gate Bridge and seeing the huge cliffs on the coastline. It was so cool to see another perspective of the San Francisco Bay. That, and seeing Jack on the dock doing his happy dance when we returned. When we were leaving the dock and about to go home, Jack tried to take a short cut and stepped (front paws only) into a foot of ebb tide mud and got stuck up to his shoulders. Trey had to pull him out like a cork stuck in a bottle of merlot (I use this analogy far too often when describing our dogs, come to think of it)…

As you know, we’re into living life to the fullest. Experiences rank higher than any material good could to us. For this experience, we used IfOnly, a company that specializes in “Experiences For Good”- extraordinary experiences that give back to charities. We loved it – and it’s great if you’re looking for something local to do while visiting a new city, or even doing something extravagant like meeting The Weeknd backstage or that hunky Australian actor Chris Hemsworth. IfOnly is a great marketplace for incredible experiences. Not to mention an awesome way to give the gift of adventure to your friends and family.

Thank you IfOnly and Sea Plane Adventures for this awesome experience we won’t forget!

IfOnly is offering $50 off a unique experience of your own using code: wildlandia! Check them out here. This post was sponsored by IfOnly. All content and opinions expressed here are my own. Thank you for supporting those who support Wildlandia!

Outer Sunset & Ocean Beach, SF

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This weekend was sunny and clear (thanks for gettin’ lost, @Karlthefog!), so on Sunday we headed over to the Outer Sunset to spend some time at Ocean Beach.

On the way, we popped into The General Store (same one that’s in LA’s Venice neighborhood) and Mollusk Surf Shop to pick up a few goodies, then checked out Outerlands for a bite to eat but it was closed (the place is always poppin’ – we’ll have to come back), and grabbed a coffee and a lavender + honey shortbread cookie at Trouble coffee before heading to Ocean Beach.

Ocean Beach is a popular surf spot for the brave. San Francisco’s beaches are notoriously cold here…52-56 degree water! Then it’s usually also blanketed with a thick marine layer, making for a pretty chilly experience. Living in San Diego and Florida really spoiled me with warm water. Here you’re lucky if you get away with anything less than a 5/4 mm full wetsuit year round. It was really windy and Trey joked that he was “naturally exfoliating his skin” by standing into the wind and letting the sand hit him in the face. The dogs loved it so much. The beach, not Trey getting hit in the face. Ha! I never get tired of seeing them run wild on the beach. After that, we drove through the Haight where we used to live and made a stop at our favorite vintage shop Wasteland, then gave our old pink building a wave as we drove by on the way home. Janis Joplin lived on the top floor in the sixties. We lived in the garden apartment a few years back. There used to be these ghost tours that tourists would take in the Haight. Our building was one of the stops and the group would congregate right outside our window on the street while the tour guide would talk about how the ghost of Janis haunted the building. Sometimes we’d play along and flash the lights just to hear the “Agh! Omg!” reactions.

Then it was over the bridge and back to sunny Berkeley. Just before arriving home WE SAW IT. The weiner dog in a backpack on a bike. It was so cute I could hardly keep it together. Bay area people are the coolest. I’ve been snapping our trips on Snapchat. We get pretty silly…we’re @wildlandia, wanna be friends?

Happy Monday!

Packing For A Tropical Island

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In a few weeks we’re heading to the Philippines for some sun, diving, and island hopping. I’m so stoked! Visions of fresh local seafood, fruity drinks with slivers of citrus, and limestone cliffs that fall into turquoise waters have been dancing in my head. I’m excited about the marine wildlife too, of course. Dolphins! Sea turtles! Sharks! Nudibranchs! Dugongs! Well, those are extremely rare where we’ll be from what I’ve heard – they are a relative of the manatee, which we swam with while living in Florida. But, who knows. Whale sharks are also around, which we free-dived with in Mexico. Anyway, Here are a few things that will be in my backpack/carry-on:

1. A few good tanks
2. Some polarized shades
3. A bandana for keeping my hair back
4. Coconut lip balm
5. A pair of old Levis jeans I made into shorts – “jorts!”
6. My trusty sandals
7. Reef-safe sunscreen for exploring coral reefs and leaving no finprint behind.

Other things I’ll take:
A gauzy dress I’ve had forever
A swimsuit
The backpack I always carry
Chacos

Has anyone been to the Philippines and have recommendations? What do you usually pack when you go somewhere tropical? I’d love to hear about it!

Yosemite in the Winter

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We’re so excited to debut the new design for our Wildlandia trips today! This allows us to use video and incorporate other interactive elements so you feel like you’re there with us. New design built by the ever talented Trey (I’m a lucky girl!), words and photos by yours truly. Hope you like!

SEE POST HERE.

My Travel Beauty Essentials

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I don’t usually wear a lot of make-up in general, and when I travel I find I tend to wear even less. Some mascara, a tinted lip balm, and sunscreen are my go-tos, but sometimes the occasion calls for more and over time I’ve found a few favorites. The best places I’ve found that sell good mini-sized products are Sephora’s Travel Section and Whole Foods (secret’s out!).

My travel essentials are:

Fat the Moon Natural Deodorant Cream – I’ve tried lots of natural deodorants and this one has been the best by far.
Clinique High Impact Mascara – My favorite mascara in mini-size.
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer + brush – I don’t wear foundation or powder, so instead I use this tinted moisturizer because it provides some coverage, has spf 20, and leaves my skin feeling light and dewy.
A Bass comb – These combs are great, especially if you have really thick hair like I do!
Nars Mini Concealer – Pocket-sized and great for covering any dark under eye circles you get from late night shenanigans.
Bare Minerals Pure Radiance Highlighter in golden peach - I just started using this to brighten up my face and love the peachy color.
Bumble & Bumble Surf Infusion oil +sea salt hair texturing spray – I just ran out of this, but it’s perfect for whenever you need to wash and go and want a beachy/tousled look.
A reef safe sunscreen – I usually buy this when I get to where I’m going so it’s one less thing I have to pack (and liquid restrictions on airplanes are 3 oz or less). This one is left over from swimming with the whale sharks in Mexico.

For shampoo/conditioner, I take mine from home in Gotoobs.

Some other favorites:
Klorane dry shampoo – perfect on the fly and in-between washes.
Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible oil – so great for taming any fly-aways and giving your hair a silky-feel.
Korres Lip Butter in pomegranate  - for when you want some color but don’t want to wear lipstick.

 

My Travel pouch is from Topos and can be found here.

North Beach, Point Reyes

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I look over to see Trey quietly laughing to himself in the driver’s seat. “What?” I ask him, wanting to know what sorts of brain wanderings of his I’m missing out on.

I just thought the most stoner/hippie thing in my head that sounded a lot like something Jeff Spicoli would say, but it’s true”, he told me. “Yeah?” I said, fishing for a response.

“In order to find yourself, you’ve got to lose yourself…mann“, he said with a half-smile.

I laughed, “Yeah that does sound very Spicoli“. Then I repeated what he had said in a British accent to make it sound philosophical. Trey cringed and shook his head. I have never quite understood his aversion to a British accent. Maybe it’s because Americans have come to associate a British accent with being more formal, or because he sees it as being snooty. Either way, he hates it. I think British accents are charming. David Attenborough talking about Antarctic penguins is basically an adult nursery rhyme for me.

The music’s on, we’re listening to Uncle Tupelo, Chris Stapleton, and Sturgill Simpson. I’m not the biggest country fan, but I’ve been listening to Sturgill Simpson a lot lately. The heater is trying it’s best on half-blast to warm the truck. The cold air seeping through the crack in the passenger’s side window where it doesn’t fully roll up isn’t helping. It’s raining a little. Big, fat drops on the windshield. The whole sky is one cloud for as far as I can see ahead. It’s definitely not your average “let’s go to the beach” day. But, I love gray days. In California you get a lot of sunny days, so when the sky decides to get moody it’s a good thing. A strong El Niño has been predicted for this winter, which will bring lots of wind and rain. I was interested in seeing the surf. So far we’ve already had a few strong storms with thunder, lightening and strong winds. Some containers fell off a cargo ship off the coast last week and it took them no time to wash ashore given the wind. Pretty neat.

On our way to Point Reyes, we stopped off at our favorite sandwich/grocery store, The Inverness Store. They’ve got this abandoned boat out back that I’ve been taking Jack’s photo in front of since he was little. It was muddy from the rain, so I carried Jack over my shoulder to the log to avoid him from getting muddy. “He’s so calm”, a woman who was there photographing the boat said to me as we walked past. Jack flashed a panty smile at her from over my shoulder. “He’s a good boy”, I said back proudly. Then we picked up a dozen Hog Island oysters for dinner and threw them in our old Coleman cooler in the back of the truck and continued on to Point Reyes.

Our favorite spot up here is North Beach. It’s the last beach before you get to the lighthouse. There’s cliffs, driftwood, dunes, and on a good day you can see the Farallon Islands offshore. It’s a good place to watch for gray whales and humpbacks migrating, and there’s a large elephant seal rookery just on the other side of the peninsula in Drakes Bay. Right now the whales are traveling down to the warm waters south of our latitude, avoiding the cold and readying to give birth to their calves. They won’t begin migrating back north again until early spring. Before long the male elephant seals will start arriving at the rookery near here to stake their claim of the beach, and by February the juveniles, females, and pups will follow. But for now, all is quiet and everyone is tucked in for winter, so to speak.

We got to the beach and the swell was huge. The waves swirled high and crashed with thunderous force. The tide was high too, taking up most of the beach. I told Trey we better keep the dogs close, else they’ll get dragged out into the surf and be goners. The riptides around here, combined with the cold water, are no joke. Trey climbed on a dune and flew the drone with the GoPro out over the beach. The dogs chased a tennis ball in the sand, then Trey made a makeshift bat out of a piece of driftwood and hit the ball far down the beach for them. Keeper is so fast. She’s my girl, so sweet and athletic.

The sun started setting and we made our way back down the beach to the truck. We toweled the dogs off, gave them some water, and then Trey snapped a photo of me and Jack in the front seat watching the sun set. Afterwards we drove home in the dark, Keeper had half her body out of the car, not wanting to miss a thing. It was the best day.