Happiness Is…

Happiness is…

*Hiking in my FAV Bay Area locale – Marin Headlands/Mount Tam – with friends

*Anemones, anemones, and even MORE anemones lurking in the South Beach tide pools

*Purple and orange starfish hiding amongst the thousands upon thousands of crabs and millions upon million of mussels

*Puerto Rican dining at San Rafael’s finest, the VERY TASTY Sol Food

*Inspirational, educational and just downright HYSTERICAL conversations with friends

*Natural beauty… of which the Bay Area has more than its fair share

*Eleven and 1/4 miles of BEAUTIFUL Mount Tam trails – Coastal, Heather Cutoff, Owl, Redwood Creek,…

*South Beach and Slide Ranch – with its ECLECTIC assortment of animals including white Silkie chickens, Ancona ducks, bee hives, and lots of tide pools

*Spiritual retreat center – the PEACEFUL Zen Center Gardens – the perfect spot to catch hundreds of Monarch butterflies enjoying flower nectar while en route to Mexico
*Introducing older and newer FRIENDS from various facets of my life – and even meeting a few new faces

*Sunday afternoon and evening BLISS!

Why I LOVE the Bay Area…

Thanks Wayland, Kim, Emma, Andrei, Roxana, Hector, Carolina, Jesus, Jean, Yan, Vik, Manuel, Zach, Ann, Radu, Lara, Ron, Sajjad, and Catherine for helping make the day spectacular!! 😘

#iluv2xplore #BayArea #GoldenGateNationalRecreationArea #GGNRA #Mount Tam #MarinHeadlands #MuirBeach #MuirBeachOverlook #SlideRanch #SouthBeach #NCAL #California #dreamexplorediscover #hikingbackpacking #naturalbeauty #nature #whyILOVEtheBayArea

2015-Sept-27: One of many happy moments spending the day with friends wandering the countless Mount Tam trails

2015-Sept-27: One of many happy moments spending the day with friends wandering the countless Mount Tam trails

2015-Sept-27: One of many happy moments spending the day with friends wandering the countless Mount Tam trails

2015-Sept-27: One of many happy moments spending the day with friends wandering the countless Mount Tam trails

2015-Sept-27: One of many happy moments spending the day with friends wandering the countless Mount Tam trails

2015-Sept-27: One of many happy moments spending the day with friends wandering the countless Mount Tam trails

 

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Jesus Asked, Mother Nature Answered

Jesus (Nuñez) asked (cool weather, no sun), and Mother Nature answered… Our escape from the almost month long San Francisco heat wave to the Marin Headlands & Green Gulch Zen Center was filled with fog, cool weather, BEAUTIFUL coastal views, and hundreds upon hundreds of VIBRANT flowers. I couldn’t have asked for a better day… Or better peeps to spend it with 😋. Why I LOVE the Bay Area…

2015-Sep-12 Our escape to the SF coastline

2015-Sep-12 Our escape to the SF coastline

#whyiLOVEthebayarea #iluv2xplore #dreamexplorediscover #BayArea #GoldenGateNationalRecreationArea #GGNRA #MarinHeadlands

UNDENIABLE!

Exploring a few of my favorite trails with a few long-time friends and some newbies… En route to a few of my favorite Marin Headlands spots… Each visit is just as exhilarating as the 1st time and leaves me with a HUGE smile… UNDENIABLE BEAUTY!! Why I LOVE the Bay Area…

Ron, Desmond, Tina, Ann, & Jordan, thanks for contributing to such an INCREDIBLE day!! 

2015-Jun-21 Views of the San Francisco coastline, Point Bonita Lighthouse, and Golden Gate Bridge from Marin Headlands trails.

2015-Jun-21 Views of the San Francisco coastline, Point Bonita Lighthouse, and Golden Gate Bridge from Marin Headlands trails.

2015-Jun-21 Views of the San Francisco coastline, Point Bonita Lighthouse, and Golden Gate Bridge from Marin Headlands trails.

2015-Jun-21 Views of the San Francisco coastline, Point Bonita Lighthouse, and Golden Gate Bridge from Marin Headlands trails.

Oscar’s Kodak Moment

I was supposed to be learning how to take GREAT sunset and nighttime photos (at one of the premier locations to capture the San Francisco skyline – Treasure Island)… BUT, while waiting for the sun to set and while watching the fog rapidly roll in covering up the sun and most of the skyline, this little rascal, who I aptly named Oscar (after one of my FAV Sesame Street characters), captured my attention. He quickly scampered from some large rocks on the shore to the rubbish bins lining the parking lot. He was scavenging the trash cans for dinner and was NOT HAPPY that I was capturing his binge… I got to see his not-so-pearly whites and hear his not-so-pleasant growl… Not just once… Not just twice… but on three separate occasions 😁… Have no fear, Oscar, dumpster diving is SOOOO not my thing!! However, capturing moments is…😘😘 This must have been his “cheat” day as he opted for junk food (what looked to be fried chicken bones, French fries, and a plastic container of Ranch dressing) instead of the fresh fish, crabs, and whatever else is in the San Francisco Bay. I wonder if I should have tossed some Pepto Bismol, Tums, or some other antacid in the bin????

12-Jun-2015: “Oscar’s Kodak Moment,” Treasure Island, San Francisco, CA, US

 

#iluv2xplore #dreamexplorediscover #california #treasureisland #sanfrancisco #photography #sunset #travel #sanfranciscoskyline #oscar #sesamestreet #dumpsterdiving

On Top of Marin

The day started on a high… with a steep, 1600+ foot ascent above the fog to the East Peak of Mount Tamalpais (aka Mount Tam), the highest point in Marin (at ~2,570 feet) with a few of my FAV nature loving, hiking peeps 😘.

sights... NATURAL Beauty… 13.5 mile hike to the East Peak of Mount Tamalpais. The day started on a high and ended on a high - with lots of LOVELY things in between… I couldn’t ask for a better day! Good trails… Good views… Good friends… Good fun… Why I LOVE the Bay Area…

sights… NATURAL Beauty… 13.5 mile hike to the East Peak of Mount Tamalpais. The day started on a high and ended on a high – with lots of LOVELY things in between… I couldn’t ask for a better day! Good trails… Good views… Good friends… Good fun… Why I LOVE the Bay Area…

The day ended on a high… with a steep, 600+ foot ascent back to our starting point through groves of redwood and oak trees with a few of my FAV nature loving, hiking peeps 😘.  (And those that know me, know there are two things I try my best to avoid: (1) out and back hikes, and (2) ending with a climb – especially after a VERY long day of hiking 😬).

sights... NATURAL Beauty… 13.5 mile hike to the East Peak of Mount Tamalpais. The day started on a high and ended on a high - with lots of LOVELY things in between… I couldn’t ask for a better day! Good trails… Good views… Good friends… Good fun… Why I LOVE the Bay Area…

sights… NATURAL Beauty… 13.5 mile hike to the East Peak of Mount Tamalpais. The day started on a high and ended on a high – with lots of LOVELY things in between… I couldn’t ask for a better day! Good trails… Good views… Good friends… Good fun… Why I LOVE the Bay Area…

There were lots of LOVELY things in between… the PHENOMENAL 360° views of the entire Bay Area from the peak… the BEAUTIFUL trails that I had never explored (especially Troop 80, Sierra, and Lost)… the PEACEFUL rippling of the rushing Fern Creek and Redwood Creek waters… the UNEXPECTED sighting of several hummingbirds as they zipped between the trees…

And the icing on the cake… replenishment at my FAV SF sushi joint with a few of my FAV nature loving, hiking peeps 😘.

I couldn’t ask for a better day! Good trails… Good views… Good friends (the nature loving, hiking kind)… Good sushi… Good  saké… Good fun… Why I LOVE the Bay Area…

#whyiLOVEthebayarea #iluv2xplore #dreamexplorediscover #naturalbeauty  #mounttam #mounttamalpais #marin #eastpeakview

Wild Berries w/ a Side of Poison Oak

Muir Beach weather forecast, sunny and warm; actual weather cloudy, foggy, windy, and chilly. Not quite sure why I expected the weatherman to be right this time… Wishful thinking??? I did want a good view of the coastline from the Muir Beach Overlook as it is fogged in more often than not. Despite the weather, the UNDENIABLE beauty of the northern California coastline (as well as the hilarious entertainment provided by several of my friends) outshined the dark clouds and thick fog. (I am still chuckling over Greta’s imitation of a skunk crossing the road. Even funnier were the comments “lost in translation” as all 7 of us were born and raised in different countries – Spain, Turkey, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, and USA). Over the course of the day, the sun did make a VERY brief appearance or two… Wildflowers were center stage! Both the coastline and inland were covered in white, yellow, pink, purple, orange, and red wildflowers. So BEAUTIFUL!! The trails were also littered with wild strawberries – most of which were wrapped in poison oak. Temptation got the best of some of us… So, if over the next several days, you happen to see a few people with a poison oak rash around their mouths and on their hands, feel free to smirk 😜. All in all, a GLORIOUS afternoon! My LOVE affair continues… 

 

Special Moments… SF Bay Area… Always

FANTASTIC Saturday exploring the SF coastline w/ friends! There were quite a few special moments we stumbled upon throughout the day – pre-proposal preparations by a young man just above Mike Rock Beach, 4-5 whales frolicking in the waters at Land’s End, and a wedding ceremony at Baker Beach – while we also created a few of our own… The WhatsApp guy… The hordes of men salivating over Cedric’s man toy – his drone – that hopefully caught some great video close ups of the whales… The disappointment of having not packed mojitos in our bags… The glutinous amounts of food we inhaled at Mandalay… Everyone’s laughter is still ringing in my ears 😋. Thank you all for such a great day! 😋 #whyiLOVEthebayarea #iluv2xplore #dreamexplorediscover #naturalbeauty

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Stunning!

Why I LOVE the Bay Area… Marin Headlands… Rodeo Beach… Tennessee Cove… Black Sand Beach… Hawk Hill… And, the infamous bright red bridge (that will be adorned with $76M of suicide nets in the near future)… Such STUNNING scenery! Prashanth… Greta… Frederick… Maria… Cédric… Bruno… Hector… Carolina… Jesus… Such cool peeps who enjoy playing in nature’s playground as much as me 😋. And I can’t forget our favorite fuel – Mandalay . Thanks for such a fun day!! #whyiLOVEthebayarea #iluv2xplore #dreamexplorediscover #naturalbeauty

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Spoiled!

Spoiled by the BEAUTY of Mother Nature, the trails on Mount Tam, and the company of good friends… Why I LOVE the Bay Area… #whyiLOVEthebayarea #iluv2xplore #dreamexplorediscover

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Deer in the Headlights Day

Deer in the headlights day… And Tule Elk… LITERALLY! The day started and finished with thick fog and the reflection of many sets of eyes all around. The UNDENIABLE beauty always manages to take my breath away… Why I LOVE the Bay Area… #whyiLOVEthebayarea #iluv2xplore #dreamexplorediscover #naturalbeauty

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DEFINITELY still Smitten!

Marin Headlands, you ROCK! After all of the years spent hanging out you still know how to surprise me with hidden nooks and crannies that showcase MESMERIZING views. I have walked many of your trails countless times and thought I had seen it all… and you proved me wrong 😉 You managed to impress despite having so many things working against you today – the least of which included a very tired me, who had an INCREDIBLY late, but VERY FUN, night with only 4 hours of sleep. (Thanks Yan & Remy!) I am even more amazed at your IMPECCABLE timing! Somehow you upstaged the forecasted weather of mostly cloudy and fog just in time for my descent down to the bluffs behind Tennessee Cove. Your beauty was so energizing that I was not only able to complete my course in record time, but also spent an hour enjoying the beach, and was back at my car long before sunset. DEFINITELY still smitten! My love affair continues…

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My Beloved

In my beloved Marin Headlands… With friends… Watching a greatly anticipated, PHENOMENAL aerial show from atop Slacker Hill (Thanks US Navy Blue Angels et al!)… Followed by a steep descent to Black Sand Beach for a quick dip in the water… And ending with a BEAUTIFUL sunset peeking out from the hills in the Headlands. My love affair continues…

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That BEAUTIFUL Red Bridge

Another perfect day… Exploring the SF coastline w/ friends… No matter how often I see the coastline, skyline, landscape, etc, I am still awestruck by its undeniable BEAUTY… Why I LOVE the Bay Area…

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One… Several… HAPPINESS

One afternoon… One city trail… One red bridge… Several beaches… Several good friends… HAPPINESS… My love affair continues..

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It Is ALL About the View

10 avid adventurers planning on a hike… 1 overslept, a few needed sleep, 1 sprained an ankle, and a few played nursemaid… SO……… then there were 3, who decided to spend the day visiting a few hot spots along the NCAL coastline… Muir Beach & Overlook, Pirate’s Cove, Tennessee Cove… And a few well-known trails … Fox Trail, Green Gulch Trail, Coastal Trail… And 1 lesser known, and newly re-named “Forbidden Trail” – thanks to Roxana.

**Who knew that “Area Closed. Stay ON Trail” meant NOT this trail???** That’s MY defense and I am sticking to it b/c IT IS ALL ABOUT THE VIEW. And there were quite FABULOUS views 🙂

My “selective” understanding of signs sometimes comes in handy… Although I don’t think I will get away with it much longer as Roxana is on to me 🙂

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Multitasking at its Best!

Taking in a few of my FAVORITE Marin County hot spots… Stinson Beach, Rocky Point Beach, Muir Woods… While doing some of my FAVORITE activities… Catching up w/ friends, playing w/ my camera, enjoying the BEAUTIFUL scenery, ascending/descending Mount Tam… Along 16.5 miles of a few of my FAVORITE trails… Steep Ravine, Dipsea, Main, Ocean View… With some of my Bay Area peeps… Followed by refueling with gluttonous amounts of my FAVORITE Burmese cuisine from Mandalay… Mango Salad, Tea Leaf Salad, Basil Spicy Eggplant, Mango Chicken, etc. I couldn’t ask for a better send off!!

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I Never Should Have Doubted…

The Marin Headlands did not disappoint!! Despite the chilly, overcast weather that forced us to break out merino wool layers, the thick fog that only allowed us to see the bottom half of the BEAUTIFUL iconic red bridge, and the strong gusts of wind that almost swept us off our feet, the Headlands supplied a playground of trails and numerous beaches to explore while showing us it’s REMARKABLE natural beauty. The perfect backdrop for catching up w/ friends

I never should have doubted… My love affair continues…

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Bay Area Perfection!

Escaped the chaos of the city I LOVE to the beauty of the coastline I ADOREPERFECTION!!

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Why I LOVE the Bay Area! Need I say more…

My love affair continues…

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