Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Watermelon Radish

Do you know what a Watermelon Radish is?  I didn't, until a month ago.

K holding a watermelon radish from the garden

Our best friends E and K have a daugther, an amazing daugher, she's 10 (almost 11).   K has been taking art classes at the studio for 4 years.  K is an unusual kid for 10, as she will try any food.  She may not like it, but she'll try it.  She's eaten things most kids would never eat.  She talks about burratta like it's ice cream,  most 10 year olds don't even know what burratta is.  We got to talking one night at dinner and I told her that she should start a blog.  A blog about food.  A blog from a 10 year olds point of view.  So the watermelon radish was born.  I'm very proud of her, blogging isn't easy, especially if you are 10.  But, she has so much food experience to share with others that she just has to write about it.  Maybe she can get other kids to try new foods.

So check out the Watermelon Radish and comment on her posts (she'd loved that).

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Back on the Rocks

me bouldering in mammoth

When I met Bruce 15 years ago it was through rock climbing.  I was a beginner and he was an instructor.  He had been climbing for years when I met him. It was his passion, or should I say obsession.  We climbed for years together in California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and on the island of Mallorica.  For 7 years this was what we did, every weekend, all time.  We mostly sport-climbed.  Then I injured my arm, climbing of course.  I had to take time off, which ended up being 8 years.  I started doing other things like triathlons and then once I quit Bruce & I decided to try another sport - surfing.  We surfed for a few years in California, Hawaii and then Costa Rica.  It was fun, but super scary for me.

Then we move to cycling and that's been our passion for the last 5 years.  But now that we have decided we'll be moving back to France and the village where we will be living (St. Antonin Noble Val) is surrounded by amazing limestone cliffs with superb climbing, we decided to start up again.  There is also the Verdon Gorge in Provence, Fontainebleau just south of Paris for incredible bouldering and tons of place in Spain for sport climbing.

Last weekend when we were in Mammoth Bruce bought a new pair of climbing shoes and I rented a pair and we went out bouldering.  Bouldering is where you climb without a rope.  It's not free-soloing which is where you climb long routes without ropes (no thank you) it's short moves on a rock/boulder that's maybe 10 feet high at the most.  Super fun.  We were hooked, again.  I had to laugh because when we climbed 8 years ago, Bruce was an amazing climber, very talented and devoted.  I was the girlfriend, so I went where he wanted to climb as he was working on very hard routes.  I never got to be a beginner, I ended up climbing or trying to climb routes that were really hard.  But now we are both starting over, it's to my benefit that he's taken 7 years off.

Bruce climbing at the Happy Boulders just outside of Bishop

Yesterday we went into Rockreation, which is an inside climbing gym in Los Angeles.  Bruce worked there for many years as an instructor and course setter.  We haven't been in the gym in years but our good friend Blane who manages the place gave us passes to come in whenever we wanted.  So yesterday we spent a few hours bouldering at the gym.  Today I'm very sore.  I bought a pair of climbing shoes too and a chalk bag and we are now ready to go!  We are going back to Mammoth tomorrow for a week, so I'm sure we'll be back on the rock a few more times.

It's fun to be back climbing.  So much of our past revolved around climbing and getting away from the chaos of the city.  There is so much climbing where we are moving it would be a crime not to touch the rock and only look at it with amazement and awe.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Up in the Mountains

The cabin

Loving the water

We are 2 very luck people.  Bruce’s parents own a house in Mammoth Lakes California, up in the Sierras, 5.5 hours north of Los Angeles.  We haven’t visited in 5 years, mostly because we were busy in the summer with our camps and the cabin is only open July – September.  We used to take our vacation in the spring.  But because we have the month of August off, we decided to come back up to visit.  Bruce’s parents are going to be selling the cabin and with us moving back to France this is probably the last time we’ll be here.

Bruce has been coming up to Mammoth every summer since he was a baby.  He feels so free here.  When he was a kid he could play in the forest, climb on the rocks and just be a kid.  The place is located above the town of Mammoth, actually on the backside of the mountain.  It’s covered in snow most of the year, so you can only visit in the summer.  But it’s the most amazing place.  A 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom cabin in the wood.  It’s on a ‘tract’ of 7 other cabins, on BLM land (bureau of Land Management).  Bruce’s parents own the cabin, but not the land.  They have had this cabin for over 20 years.  This used to be Bruce’s favorite place until he visited France, now it’s his second favorite.

Horseshoe Lake

We have been up here since last Saturday (11 days). It’s magical up here.  The air is clean, the skies are blue, it’s not super hot and pretty chilly in the evening.  But you can see so many stars and it’s so quiet.  We arrived, unpacked and had a glass of wine and some cheese & crackers.   Then we took the dogs for a long hike through the woods and around Horseshoe Lake.  Dashell jumped in the water the first chance he got.  The last time he was up here he was 10 months old.  We actually took him on a 5 day backpacking trip from Yosemite back to Mammoth.  This time, he’ll just hang out at the cabin, swim in the lake and hike in the woods.  Every morning we hike around the lake and the dogs swim.

We went bouldering  (the first time in years) and had a great time.  We took the dogs with us and by the end they were beat!  We’ll be heading down to Bishop to boulder later today too.  We met climbing and then took a break for a while, but I think we might be hooked again!  We have also hiked some amazing trails and the views are stunning.  Mostly we take the goldens, because little Stella can't hike a long time.  She's happy hanging around the cabin.

Tired Stella

 Tired Nellie

Tired Dashell

We have had amazing dinners up here in the cabin and some really good sine.  There is no telephone, no television, just peace and quiet.  We are staying until the end of the week and then will head back to Los Angeles for a week and then come back up around the 24th thru the 29th.  Our best friends E&K will come up and stay with us for 4-5 nights, which will be so much fun.

If you are from around Southern California and have a chance to visit Mammoth Lakes in the summer I highly recommend it.  Even if your not from around here, come and visit.  It’s mostly a winter destination since the skiing is amazing, but since I’m not a winter girl the summer is perfect for me!