5.22.2011

the next page in this So Called Life....

Tonight I saw first hand what a difference one person can make. A colleague was retiring and many of his former students came and honored him. They spoke of the lessons he taught them, the family they belonged to in his classes, and how he had helped them to become the best versions of themselves.

This colleague and I had talked in January and he told me I convinced him to retire. We had talked about all that life has to offer and I told him how I couldn't wait to retire. Everyday would be like "August" when I retired. There were (are) so many things I wanted to do. But he didn't retire because of the things he could do (even though I am sure that was a big part of it). No; he told me he was ready to retire because he had finally found a group (myself included) of new faculty who could carry the torch forward. The torch, or passion, for students, and the goal of helping them find the best version of themselves.

After tonight, I think I have some really big shoes to fill.

Good luck to each of my colleagues who retired this year. You will be missed and there is be a hole in our little family. Breath. Welcome the next moment. Turn the page in your So Called Life. The best is yet to come. Congratulations.

5.15.2011

Hiking El Moro Canyon and No Name Ridge

On Sunday the Little Sister organized a hike in El Moro Canyon near Crystal Cove State Beach. I suggested we leave at 7am to avoid the sun and heat. Here is the map of the hikes in El Moro Canyon. We started at the parking area where it has "No Dogs" on the trail map, then went to "No Name Ridge", cut over on "W. Cut Across" and finished the loop on El Moro Canyon. I clocked the hike at 4.5 miles.

All in all this sounded like a fairly easy hike. The sisters and I left the house at 7am and arrived at about 7:30. There had been a little bit of dew on the windshield as we were driving but I didn't think anything of it. We live near the beach and morning moisture is normal.
No Name Ridge Trail: West Loop
Two minutes after beginning our hike it started to drizzle. Now I will admit it, I am a little stubborn, and so are my sisters. A little drizzle was not going to stop us from our hike. I mean, if we got up early for this, we were going to finish it. We continued the hike up the No Dogs section of the trail. Looking behind me I could see the ocean. You can barely make it out in this picture.
No Name Ridge Trail: West Loop
The hike continued and so did the drizzle. Soon mud was embedded in our shoes and making it a little hard to maintain our footing. My hair was wet and my clothes were beginning to get very cold and damp. At the top of No Name Ridge the wind blew the water into our faces and made me wish I had planned a little better for the hike. Maybe a rain slicker would have been a good idea. In my defense, I had checked the weather and rain was nowhere on the forecast.
No Name Ridge Trail: West Loop
I will say, if you have to have an adventure like I was having, it is always fun to have my sisters along. We were laughing and finding inventive ways to remove the mud from our shoes when it started to get to hard to walk with all the buildup. And the hike was very pretty.
No Name Ridge Trail: West Loop
No Name Ridge Trail: West Loop
Just as we made it back to the parking lot, the drizzle that had been with us the entire hike turned into rain. We got to the car and put our mud shoes in the trunk. The hike had taken about 1.5 hours. While it didn't feel that difficult, later in the day I took a solid three hour nap. I guess it took more out of me then I thought.

In closing I will say this: while it was cold and wet, I still had a good time with my sisters hiking El Moro Canyon. In the future I hope to do a longer hike with better weather.

5.09.2011

Opportunity knocked: Alaska Eagle

I feel it in the air. It is almost summer and my everyAUGUST adventures are starting to fan their wings. The first adventure is aboard Alaska Eagle, a boat I worked on over ten years ago.

I KNOW! Check out this boat. It is amazing!

When opportunity knocks, it always makes sense to answer, even if it took me a few days to commit.

Over ten years ago I worked at the Orange Coast College Sailing Center (now called The School of Sailing and Seamanship) as a grunt. I was on the crew team and was offered a job. When I first started working there I didn't know anything about boats or sailing. But I asked a lot of questions and said yes when people asked me to help out. Soon I learned how to sail, varnish boats, repair sails and do minor repairs on all kinds of boats. I even co-taught sailing to kids one summer. When I worked at the Sailing Center, Alaska Eagle was one of the boats I worked on. She was beautiful and T and I talked about one day taking a trip onboard. Alaska Eagle is a teaching vessel that sails around the world. "Students" can sign up for different legs of the trip. Currently she is on the way back from Antarctica (check out the pictures on Facebook.)

Fast forward to the present. T occasionally does some work for the Sailing Center and runs into my former co-workers. When he and I dreamed of sailing on Alaska Eagle we always wanted to sail with Rich and Sheri. They were the main skippers on Eagle and we really liked them. Earlier this year we heard they were retiring. A little part of our dream died when we heard. I guess we were kind of kidding ourselves anyway because an Alaska Eagle trip was not cheap! And to be honest, I wasn't sure if I could stand being trapped on a boat with T (as I am sure the feeling was mutual). So imagine my surprise when he comes home one day and tells me he ran into Sheri and she asked if we wanted to help sail Eagle back from Mexico.

What? Really?
Wait... are you sure we want to be trapped on a boat for two weeks with each other....

I admit, I said no at first. I haven't sailed in over ten years, I was worried about the money, I was making excuses because honestly I was a little scared. T kept bringing it up and pointed out this would be our last chance to sail with Rich and Sheri. He finally asked what my problem was and I told him I was worried about not sailing in so long. He talked to Sheri and it came down to this. They were just looking for fun people to be on the boat. If we could hold the wheel and steer the boat, we were wanted. We only had to show up at the dock in Mexico and spend the next two weeks sailing back.

How many times does opportunity need to knock on this one? I finally faced my fear and committed to Alaska Eagle. I always would have regretted not going.

We leave June 4th. Wish me luck!

5.02.2011

Scenes from the weekend

This weekend was packed with local adventure. Starting with a stunning day at the UCI Farmers Market, a quick stroll around the South Coast Garden Show and Opening Day at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club. Here are a few pictures from my great weekend!

UCI Farmers Market



South Coast Garden Show







Opening Day at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club