Happy Valentine's Day!
We are currently enjoying a very much needed weekend getaway to a very special and romantic spot, The Pine Resort. A little over eight years ago Jack and I had our "big wedding" here and we thought it was time to enjoy a real Valentine's weekend. We rented one of their chalets and reserved a romantic Valentine's dinner with a lake view. Since we rented a chalet, Duffey was able to join us on this trip. The Pine Resort sits on the edge of Bass Lake in Oakhurst. I have been going to this small town almost every year since I was 10. I love this little town and I love that it is only a few hours drive from my favorite spot on earth: Inspiration Point in Yosemite National Park. Yesterday we took Duffey to the park to play in the snow and today we are going to go antiquing in town, but for now I am enjoying sipping coffee and looking at my view. I hope everyone gets a moment to spend time with their loved ones and take a moment or two for themselves.
Happy Valentine's Day!
Today we got to spend the day in the park, watching Duffey play in the snow and chasing the birds. There is something magic in Yosemite in winter and since this winter has been a very wet one due to El Nino, the waterfalls were even more beautiful. After playing in the snow and hiking to a few waterfalls, we needed to warm up and head to Camp Curry (soon to be called Half Dome Village) for some coffee and hot cocoa. It was so peaceful sitting in the over-sized rocking chairs listening to the melting snow falling off the porch roof. I felt like I could actual take a deep breath and let out a much needed sigh of relief. I feel lately my life had been a whirlwind filled with frustrations, fear, sadness, and uncertainty. As we sat there I began reflecting on a previous Jillian Michaels' podcast segment where a lady called in asking on how to get ready to hike the Application mountains, she was in her 50's and she was tired of waiting for her husband to agree to do it with her and she wanted to do it, alone. I remembered four years ago where we spent our anniversary weekend at Camp Curry with the attentions to hike Half Dome. I remember how angry I had gotten that Jack decided his "princess and the pea" attitude and deflated the weekends plans. I was in tears when I woke up at 6am and he refused to get up until after 8am. My Half Dome hike dreams were crushed. I had trained for months for nothing. Once he finally got up and around we started our hike and boy was it a hard one. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but once we reached Nevada falls and looking out how far we had come, we were both proud and shockingly Jack had a good time hiking! But sadly that is where we turned back, we didn't continue the other part of the hike; the part that led to the top of Half Dome. I am still angry over that weekend. I felt like he selfishly took my dream away from me and sadly I remind him of that every so often. As I sat in my rocking chair thinking about my story and that lady on the podcast and starring up at Half Dome. I decided right then and there I was going to stop living in the past and I was going to accomplish this bucket list item; I am going to hike Half Dome, even if I have to do it alone.
Nothing is scary getting a text from someone back home asking if you are okay. When I first read the text I wasn’t sure what they were referring to until they sent me a screenshot of a news bulletin reading 27 people killed in Paris shooting. I quickly turned on our hotel TV and watched the number of the dead increase. Thankfully at the time we were safe in London and about to call it a night. I let everyone know we were safe and tried to sleep; when we woke the death toll was up to 120. Jack and I just looked at each other and asked what had happened. As we packed to head on the train to our Paris connection to his parents, we watched television and were sadden to learn that it was another planned terrorist attack.
My heart weeps for Paris and I pray we have safe travels throughout France.
Happy Veteran’s Day! I am very proud of being an American and I know that is only possible because of all of the amazing men and women who fought for this country. This is a World Ward One memorial not too far from where my in-laws live where the American forces would enter into France. After the German’s destroyed it in the second war it was rebuilt and now includes WWII.
God Bless all of the men and women who has, who is, or who will serve this country.
Early this week Jack and I paid off the last student loan and it felt incredible!!! We have worked really hard the last few month so to celebrate we took a weekend trip to San Francisco to see Matilda the musical. I love to see musicals and I always wear something inspired when I go. I decided to to wear a red ribbon in my hair just like Matilda did in the movie version of the book. I got a lot of compliments from people whose recognize it right away. It was a nice little get away to celebrate getting one step closer to being debt free!!
One of the major perks for living in sunny California is all of the great vineyards! Paso Robles is only a few short hours away so at least once a year we try to do a get together and tour some of the wineries. Last year we went for one of my longest friend's birthday so I decided to make some mini tasting cupcakes that were paired with certain styles of wine. Needless to say it was a big hit and this year they begged me to do it again. Due to time restraints and cake orders I wasn't able to make as many flavors as I did for the previous year. I decided on a simple strawberry cupcake with fresh strawberries baked in. I topped half with a rich chocolate buttercream and shaved dark chocolate, the other half was a lemon frosting with orange zest sprinkles. The strawberry cupcake works perfectly with both flavors of frosting. Chocolate flavors works best with a deep red wines and the tart flavors works amazing with the fruitier white wines. Wineries can be found in most states so search one out and visit with a group of friends and don't forget the cupcakes!
These are posts from the original Oak Tree Junction blog before I took a break in 2020. These posts were created to share my creations with the hopes that it will inspire others to show their creative side. I plan to continue to share new creations on the current blog.