Golden State!

Here’s a neat photo from a Paramount Studios book documenting parts of California that can stand in for other locations in the world.  It looks like it’s sourced several times over but the original appears on Flickr.

This weekend, we were somewhere between Sherwood Forest and the Kentucky Mountains.  We went up to Big Bear for a great weekend of camping, rock climbing, playing in the lake and hanging out with friends.  It was so much fun!
We left Friday around 3:30.  We meant to leave at 1 but then had several errands we wanted to do before we left town.  The errands were very successful- we got fabric for our couch reupholstering and we each had a delicious hot dog with a side of shared “Frings” (fries and onion rings).   I am pretty stoked about the couch reupholstering.  We got a heather gray microfiber that looked great on furniture in the store.  It looks like it will hold up pretty well and will be able to withstand a little bit of abuse.  Linen sounded a little too high-maintanance and stain-prone.  The “performance velvet” felt amazing and looked pretty cool but we could see that it might look dated in a few years.  We considered wool for a second but the one they had looked too pill-y so we nixed it.  So, I can’t wait for the fabric to come in and then we’ll drop the couch off at Hillcrest Upholstery, which has great reviews online.  Hopefully, I’ll have an awesome before and after post in the near future!
So, off we went to Big Bear.  We hit some traffic but it wasn’t terrible.  We met up with Kelly and Steffanie at North Shore Cafe.  I had a delicious salad with a side of chicken.  I wanted to go heavy on the vegetables before a Saturday filled with S’mores and Dinty Moore (that rhymes!).  Constance joined us and then we headed out to the campsite on a 4WD road.  Um, the Prius has 4WD?  Nope, but we only had one close call in the mud so success!  The stars were amazing.  We admired them for about five minutes and went to bed.
The next day was AWESOME!  SMS did a great 5.11d lead up Public Hanging.  The crux move was a reach over the roof to a hold that took a little bit of movement.  I was nervous about the potential fall but he did great!  We read the guidebook later which says the bolt can be clipped in blindly before the move but SMS said he didn’t see how.  I was really happy and proud of his awesome climbing!
Leading “Shoot at Will” and celebrating with Kelly at the end!
I also had a great day!  I did my first two outdoor leads.  I lead a 5.6 early in the day and then a 5.8 later.  The 5.8 was challenging and I was really proud of myself.  Kelly was my belay and she was really encouraging.  SMS had taught me the basics of leading and was also cheering me on but it was nice having two different people help me out.
After a great morning/early afternoon of climbing, we headed to the lake.  We had a great swim.   The shoreline had reeds out to about 20 feet off-shore, but it wasn’t slimy and gross.  It was just thick brush, but in the water.  SMS, Constance, Kelly and I paddled around and had so much fun. 
Genius idea!
We headed back to camp minus Steffanie and plus Alexis, a friend of Constance.  We had Dinty Moore beef stew and shared our S’mores supplies.  The S’mores were the winner for awesome campsite food (clearly) but Alexis came in close second with her STACKED wines.  They were four self-sealed plastic glasses of wine that locked into each other in a really neat piece of packaging.  I had a glass of the Cabernet and it was pretty good!  
Lovely ladies and close-up of the picnic food.  No books in sight!
On Sunday, we headed back to San Diego so I could meet up with my book club friends for a picnic in Balboa Park.  It was such a gorgeous day and we had a delicious spread of food.  I had so much fun and really like all the women in that group.  After a few hours, I left to pick up Stacy’s birthday cake at Extraordinary Desserts.  It was the chocolate feast called the Viking and it was delicious.  Don’t worry, I didn’t take a tester taste!  I waited until the birthday girl cut the cake later that evening!  SMS and I went down to Chula Vista and had a great dinner of grilled salmon, asparagus and salad with my in-laws.    Then I had the aforementioned cake and promptly fell asleep at the table.  Kidding!  I made it home before the food/activity coma hit!  
This week, it’s time to buckle down and get two papers written (sounds like college!).  I’m also off to Miramar tomorrow to get my household goods shipping dates set.  Although the website said they would call me, the lady on the phone Friday cheerfully said that wasn’t true and the service member had to contact them.  Sooo….a few days lost but not too bad.  Definitely wasn’t the first and won’t be the last hiccup during this PCS.  

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