Camping

This weekend some friends organized a camping trip and while we could only make it for 1 night of the weekend, it was a great time. I can’t say enough good things about the campground (except for the fact that it is already booked solid for the rest of the weekends this summer!)

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It was great to get out of the city, enjoy some fresh air (despite the rain!) and put our awesome camping gear to use.

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Here are our recommendations for those of you looking to purchase som

e gear. Although after reading this list, I might be forced to rename this post “Glamping“. We certainly weren’t “roughing” it.

Sleeping Bags: Kelty Cosmic Zero Degree Down Sleeping Bag

These kept Matt and I toast warm!

Pillows: Fillo™ Luxury by Nemo*

Sleeping Pads: Tuo Standard by Nemo*
We also had a “mattress” that you put the pads into but I can’t find that online

Grill: Coleman Perfectflow Inststart Portable Grill
Perfect for hamburgers!

Cookware Set: GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper Cookset
We didn’t use this because our friends had dishes but it is so easy to pack

Fun things: Travel Hammock, the ultimate spork! and of course, Matt never goes camping without this Leatherman!

*A good friend of my works for an incredible company, Nemo, which is up and coming (or maybe already here?) in the camping world. He gave us a ton of awesome stuff for our wedding AND the company donated a bunch of sample sleeping bags after Sandy to one of our groups doing relief work in the Rockaways. I definitely encourage anyone looking for innovative camping products to visit their website.

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This is how happy you will be if you leave the city too!

A Walk in the Woods

After our awesome weekend in San Francisco, Matt and I left for our second adventure, Yosemite. We drove to the edge of the park on Sunday and stayed in a nice little motel for the night. We ate pizza and I was introduced to the beer, “Fat Tire” which Matt has been raving about for years. Thankfully the beer lived well up to expectations and I am now on a mission to get this beer for our wedding. I spend the evening organizing and packing, and then re-packing my bags while Matt watched his favorite TV show, True Blood. We went to bed early in preparation for our big camping experience.

In the morning we drove the remaining 50 miles into Yosemite. The views were breathtaking. It is hard to capture the sites on a camera, but we tried anyway. After finding our campground, we set up our tent and stored all of our food in our bear locker, before heading out for our first hike.

We started hiking up a 4 mile path that was a little more challenging that I had anticipated. I was sort of shocked to see so many people on their way back down, who looked like they were not in shape or dressed appropriately for the hike. I started to feel slightly pathetic as I struggled to make my way to the top, thinking that these people had done the same hike as well. Well, when we got to the top, an area called glacier point, I was surprised to see a parking lot full of cars, buses dropping people off and a large store containing souvenirs and all sorts of food. Seeing this, I felt a lot better about my struggles, as most of the people we had seen on the hike, had probably taken the bus up. It was a little weird to see such a commercialized area in the middle of our hike, but that didn’t stop Matt and I from taking advantage of it and getting some ice cream! Clearly we aren’t as hardcore as I make us out to be.

After satisfying our hunger, we continued on our hike. When we started the day, a 13 mile hike sounded like a good idea. It was about 6 miles in, that I realized that is the same distance as a half marathon. I would never go out and run 13 miles without a little  preparation. Suddenly, I felt a long way from our campsite…

Matt and I hiked on, climbing our way to the top of three different waterfalls. As hard as the hike turned out to be, the views were incredible. You don’t see sites like these in New York, that is for sure!

After 8 hours, we finally made our way back to the valley floor. With sore muscles and blisters on my feet, I was so exhausted that I didn’t mind sleeping on the hard ground, the hot temperature inside our small tent, or the bears that were walking around our campsite looking for left over food.

The good news was that we survived our first hike. The bad news was that our hardest hike of the trip was still 2 days away. Up next, tackling Half Dome…

San Fran Recap

Matt and I flew into San Fran on Friday night and spend the weekend there with the BEST hosts ever, Susie and Chase. They planned a very busy, yet not very typical, weekend in the city for us. Susie is originally from San Fran, so she prides herself on showing people the “real” city; not the seals at the piers or Ghirardelli Square.

We started off the weekend with some amazing food at a small restaurant on Chestnut Street. I fell in love with their neighborhood, they live in the Marina District, where the streets are lined with cute shops and minimal “chain” stores. The only “negative” to living in San Fran that I could find was the cold weather. When I left New York, the weather had been sunny and 90 degrees. When we arrived in San Fran, the weather was cloudy and 70. However, as a native New Hampshirite, I don’t really mind the cold; especially when it comes to dress. Unlike New York, where the “going out dress code” consists of short skirts, tank tops and heels (which I clearly never partake in) regardless of the temperature, from what I gathered, the dress code in San Fran was jeans and North Face fleece coats which is MUCH more my scene. I remember one time a bouncer in New York gave me a hard time about getting into the bar because I was wearing Uggs and a North Face fleece coat.

Saturday our day began very early with Chase starting things off at 8am. We ventured over to the Ferry Building where countless vendors lined the sides of the streets selling fresh fruit, corn, vegetables, bread, meats, and the world’s best coffee, Blue Bottle Coffee. We walked around a bit, purchased some breakfast and bought some food for our upcoming camping trip to Yosemite.

After the Ferry building we went to the Filbert Steps in the city. We walked the steps which serve as the only access point to various apartments and houses. I kept thinking how inconvenient it would be to live there until I realized that it is pretty much the same thing as living in a 4th or 5th floor walk up in NYC.

Following the steps, we rented kayaks and paddled our way around the bay. We enjoyed beautiful views of the city and numerous seals. They let us get pretty close as they sun bathed along the docks.

Our next stop was the Tourist Club, a german social/hiking club in the middle of the woods. We took in the views and enjoyed a beer for about an hour. The whole time I was there, I felt like I was at a summer camp for adult hikers.

On our way back to Susie and Chase’s apartment, we stopped at the beach and another bar/restaurant area with views of a popular surfing beach.

We capped off day one with a mexican dinner and drinks for Susie’s Birthday. By the time we found our way back to their apartment, I practically fell into bed. Needless to say, it was a very long, but very fun day.

On Sunday we woke up and went to Boudin Bakery for breakfast. Afterwards it was off to Sports Basement to pick up a few camping supplies and then to the Golden Gate bridge where we were able to take some classic tourist pictures.

Our last San Fran adventure was to trip to the Point Bonita Lighthouse. Here we made out way over the rickety old bridge that brings you to the lighthouse that sits on the very tip of the bay. While the lighthouse was impressive and had unbelievable views of the city, it was overshadowed by who came along with us.

After getting engaged, I have become obsessed with wedding blogs. At first I was intrigued by this mystery world that I didn’t know existed. It is crazy what you become exposed to once you put a diamond ring on your finger: wedding blogs, expos and countless decisions to make. Well, one of my all-time favorite wedding blogs is written by Susie’s high school friend. So on Sunday, I was introduced to the master mind behind the blog, Snippet & Ink. Needless to say, it was like meeting one of the big celebrities in the wedding world.

I was sad to leave San Fran so soon; however Chase and Susie made it seem like we had been there much longer than 2 days.

Up next… our trip to Yosemite. Stay tuned!