Moab makes me happy. The insignificance one feels amongst its enduring landscapes is both decompressing and peaceful. Ahhh…the dramatic cure for the ego-driven modern pace. This April Jason and I kept up our biannual Moab tradition. We had a delightful trip, save the sand, but I’ll get to that shortly.
The Sovereign Singletrack offered every type of terrain.
Who can resist posing a picture like this when such a boulder exists?
The vistas on Sovereign were expansive.
Our first day in Moab we biked the Sovereign Singletrack. This 10-mile expedition involved a lot of uphill grunting and technical maneuvering. It was tremendous fun until we decided, per our guidebook’s suggestion, to take a jeep road as our route back. This ATV path was practically a sand dune…and thus the villain enters my tale. (Dun, dun, duuunnnnn.) Those blasted particles slowed our movement more than molasses on an arctic expedition and I repeatedly had to dump sand piles out of my shoes that were so massive they made my sneakers two sizes too small.
Sovereign had enough slickrock to satisfy.
The beauty of Moab lies not in its lushness but in its harshness.
After Sovereign, we detoured to the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park. We took a 1.8-mile trail to some viewpoints above Upheaval Dome, a 5-km circular impact crater of mysterious origin. This route was quick but the scenes it passed were pretty impressive.
1 setting sun + tons of blazing stone + 2 energetic rascals = this.
The hike to Upheaval Dome’s viewpoints was easy but it still had a touch of adventure.
Upheaval Dome is a spherical oddity that can’t be fully appreciated unless seen by the air.
And so ended our first day in Moab and the first part of my story. Next week our clash with sand continues.
A hundred and fifty years ago I wasn’t even a twinkle in my great-great-great grandpa’s eye yet I’ve spun across the dancefloor with the Union and Confederate clad as colliding petticoats have added their swirls to the drones of the dulcimer.
Recently, Old Glory Vintage Dancers put on a ball commemorating the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. Jason and I attended attired in hoopskirts and waistcoats. Visiting the past sometimes simply requires a closet not a callbox.
Some sentiments are timeless.
Time gracefully reversed at this event with live period music, parlor games, and a presidential visitor. And what would a ball be without dancing? (That was a rhetorical question.) We romped some of my era favorites that evening like Oslo Waltz and Soldier’s Joy.
On that note, hoopskirts are both super annoying and super fun to dance in. It’s a paradox that cannot be explained by even the most astute logic…sorry Spock. Corsets, on the other hand, not only defy explanation but patience, especially when laced ineptly. Unable to fasten my own corset for this affair, I enlisted Jason’s help. Despite his best efforts, he somehow managed to make that inglorious contraption way too loose at the top and bottom yet so tight in the middle that my ribs were bruised by the end of the evening. Now and then it would be convenient if Jason were a lady.
President Lincoln made a stately appearance at the ball.
A century and a half ago our country rejoiced in its reclaimed indivisibility. Jason and I lately remembered that historic elation with energetic steps and uncomfortable undergarments. Long live patriotism and pantaloons!
Life is full of milestones, whether they be goals accomplished, changes initiated, or years reached.
Jason’s dad, Keith, realized one such achievement recently, his 60th birthday. As with most noteworthy occasions, this called for embarrassment and gluttony.
Sabins are not known for their decorum.
Jason and I, along with various other Sabins, planned a surprise party for Keith. For my part, I commissioned a fancy cake depicting some of the highlights of his life and compiled a scrapbook with memories contributed by various family members. No one could ever accuse me of doing things halfway.
My friend Robyn made this amazing cake.
The majority of Keith’s siblings attended and they were in top teasing form.
Lots of relatives and friends showed up for this celebration, an indisputable sign of 60 years well lived.
Happy birthday Dad!
Every St. Patrick’s Day, Jason and I cook an Irish feast together and then watch some Patty flick while our bellies grumble about overuse. Both of us look forward to this ritual, despite our stomachs’ mixed feelings.
Jason decided that festive hats were essential to the success of our meal preparations.
This year we decided to make some tried-and-true dishes for our shamrocked supper: Shepherd’s Pie and Irish Soda Bread. No need for Irish luck, these recipes turned out perfect on their own. Then, Leap Year provided post-pig-out giggles.
Making Irish Soda Bread is relatively easy but messy. It’s a bit messier when I’m involved.
Our meal turned out tasty. Don’t believe me? Just ask the little green men.
It was a grand night spent laughing and eating, two of my favorite things. If you can’t find a pot of gold, a pot of yummy grub is the next best thing.
Jason and I have been to San Diego many times but we find ourselves continually returning. This February, Jason’s employer scheduled a management retreat to that temperate coastline and we were obligated to attend. We felt constrained to stay a couple of extra days after his work commitments were over to make the trip worthwhile. Yes, life truly is suffering and sacrifice.
Purely due to chance, we got one of the best rooms at the Hotel del Coronado. We were right on the beach and our patio looked out onto this.
Jason had all-day meetings scheduled for half a week at the Hotel del Coronado, a Victorian beach resort on Coronado Island. All of his management team and their spouses were booked at the hotel while these company discussions were taking place. Given the surroundings, it’s too bad that Jason’s work group had to, well, work. While they were engaged, I didn’t waste any opportunities to read a book near the surf or get a massage at the spa. It was relaxing but without Jason it was definitely lacking.
This Dragon Tree, located at The Del, is over 100 years old and was used as a backdrop in the Marilyn Monroe film Some Like It Hot.
Our nights were spent eating. Yes, just eating. It took hours to feed our massive group at the upscale joints we patronized. The cuisine at Chez Loma, Brigantine Seafood and Oyster Bar, and Primavera Ristorante was pretty tasty though.
Coronado Beach, in my opinion, is San Diego’s nicest shoreline.
Hotel del Coronado, a beautiful Victorian beach resort, was built in 1887.
Since chomping became a prolonged pursuit on this trip, it’s fitting that my favorite activity we did with Jason’s coworkers extended mealtime even further. We took a dinner cruise across the San Diego Bay aboard a private yacht, the Quiet Heart. This 82-foot vessel was pretty posh and its route was definitely scenic. We admired the underside of the Coronado Bridge, the twinkling shoreline, the hull of the USS Midway, and the swirly bay waters as we feasted.
From the deck of the Quiet Heart, San Diego Bay was a swirling dance of water and light.
After Jason’s business obligations were over, he and I spent a couple of days by ourselves at Paradise Point on Mission Bay. We were right on the beach again, which was rather fantastic again. Jason was exhausted from his meetings and ready to take it easy. I, on the other hand, had been taking it easy for days and was ready to take it somewhere else but I accepted my fidgetiness as a side effect of his prescribed relaxation.
At Paradise Point we stayed in a beach bungalow nestled on North Cove.
We rented bikes and rode them along the bay, walked on the beach, read books, and gobbled lip-smacking chow. Tidal, a highly-rated seafood restaurant, was just a ten-minute walk away and their seafood stew was amazing.
We rode bikes along Mission Bay our last afternoon in San Diego.
San Diego was a different experience for us this time. For me, it was quite possibly the sedatest vacation I’ve ever taken…maybe a little too restful for this energetic girl. For Jason, it was a blend of productivity, fun, and fatigue; at least fun was in the mix somewhere. I’m certain that we’ll be seeing you again soon San Diego!