Bye ’11, Hi ’12

A few favorite memories from 2011:

Having my parents over for brunch and playing Scrabble

Celebrating the Feast of St. Catherine in Siena, Italy

Watching the sunset from our balcony in Positano

My birthday in wine country

Picnicking by Lake Edith in Jasper, Canada

Burning Man: biking late night with Colin all the way to the trash fence and discovering art in the deep playa

The BBQ we hosted in LA

Ordering half the items on the menu at the Shake Shack, then dancing with Keith until 2:30am at the Industry Bar in NYC

Taking my nephews shopping at Toys ‘R Us

Belting out tunes at a piano bar in Phoenix

I’ve given quite a bit of thought to my resolutions for 2012, but the list keeps growing and I’m already starting to get overwhelmed. That’s not good!

I want to read more which is a cinch because I’m a fanatical reader to begin with and 2 book clubs keeps me busy.

We’re planning a trip to Morocco in the first part of the year and I’ll be in NYC in May for work, but I want to do so much more. I’m trying to get the ball rolling with friends and asking them for places we can go together fairly easily. Anyone else up for Portland, New Orleans, or Austin?

I say this every year, but I swear, we’re going to volunteer this year. I’ve got action items scheduled in my calendar to ensure that we do that. We’re a couple blocks away from Glide. Plus I’ve had my eye on an organization that does outdoor activities with mentally-challenged kids on weekends to give their parents much-needed time off.

Last time I went to the doctor for my first physical in years, the nurse asked how many hours a week I exercised. I told her I didn’t exercise. She furrowed her eyebrows, no exercise? No. I run a race every quarter so you can say I exercise, I dunno, an hour every quarter? Not sure how hard that is to write down in my medical record, but you’d think I’d given her a quadratic equation to solve. So on that front, we’re locked down for a couple races already. I’ve also ratcheted up my flexible health spending dollars so I can do acupuncture consistently. Loving that.

As much as I love eating and trying out all the new hot spots, I’m on a mission this coming year to discover all the places that are yummy that are inexpensive. Yesterday, I discovered a coffee spot one block away that also serves the BEST banh mi vietnamese sandwiches for $3. I’m already thinking of hitting them up every morning before I go to work. Fresh Brew Coffee at 882 Bush Street. TO-DIE-FOR. Park in front, stick a quarter in the meter, and get your meal to go.

But the one thing that I’m resolved to do is this: practice. In my formative years, I was always practicing something: piano, dance, a foreign language. Every day, I want to practice something, anything. And that’s where I’m getting confused. Should it be writing since I could surely practice that craft more.

I thought about learning the very practical Spanish language, but someone told me (and I fervently agree) that to really become fluent in a language you must move to a country where that is the main language. Otherwise, you’ll never really get it, or you’ll lose what you learned because you’re not ingrained in it, so that’s a waste.

I thought about taking an art class like painting, but I’ll probably be more frustrated than interested.

Also thought about taking up dance, but to practice, you need a big open space and our small apartment wouldn’t make that easy.

Lastly, I discovered a singing class two blocks down taught by an actress who teaches in SF and LA. Get this, she has all her students take singing classes first even if all they want to do are her acting classes. Something about how singing helps you project and become more aware of your body. Fascinating. We’ll see how much she costs.

So many options…so much ahead for 2012. Extremely excited.

Lake Edith

Last post on Canada. Hiking and picnicking at Lake Edith was our favorite excursion. We practically had the place to ourselves on a cool crisp Sunday afternoon. Lake Edith and Lake Annette are adjacent areas in Jasper National Park with Lake Annette being the more popular of the two. We drove where we saw fewer cars and that took us to quiet Lake Edith.

Oh Canada!

We went to the beautiful Canadian Rockies for the 4th of July weekend. We left after work on Thursday and took Friday off.

I didn’t realize until we arrived on July 1st shortly after midnight that it was Canada Day. I never knew our independence holidays are the same month, 3 days apart. Interesting.

One of the great things about our trip was how convenient it was to get there. 2 and a half hour flight to Calgary. Smooth rental car pickup. 90 minutes to Banff. That’s less time than it takes to fly to JFK. It took us almost all day to drive to Jasper, but the drive was well worth it. Not like driving to and from LA from SF on I5 which is one very long stretch through barren cattle territory.

Here are pictures of us at Lake Louise. Notice the massive temperature swings over the course of an hour. Just like San Francisco, but even more pronounced. Layer and be prepared for all kinds of weather.

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