Umi discovered snow at 8 months and it was love at first sight.
Darn cold days, but the sun still came out for the hikes and it made the fireplace even cozier.
A scenic venture into a mountain range making its shift into winter.
A capital with a good autumn showing.
We have been to Bend before, but it is really best enjoyed with a dog.
Lucky to have friends with such a beautiful and serene home.
7 month Umi continues to grow up too fast, gaining independence and stubbornness.
We did a family treehouse getaway for our first anniversary, where Umi got her first campfire experience.
Umi turned 6 months during week 26 and met the sky water fountain aka rain for the first time!
This girl was a straight up bum all of week 25.
We played hard and napped hard in week 24.
We spent week 23 up in Tahoe for our first trip away, where Umi found much joy in the mountains.
Week 22 was dog parks galore, meaning lots of fun and slobber.
Keeping busy and cool during a toasty week 21.
The rebellion grows stronger in week 20.
A whole lot of new places and friends in week 19.
We had some surprises in week 18, but it gave us some extra quality family time.
Raissa was out of town most of week 17 so Umi and I had much one on one time together.
Week 16 was a busy week. We brought Umi, which means ocean in Japanese, to see the ocean! She also graduated from her first puppy class!
Finally with week 15 comes more freedom to the outside world, providing tons of explore and tons to dream about afterwards.
Week 14 was just a lot of quality time with this girl :3
We introduced Umi to the bed in week 13, which yields us an either cuddly sweet bedmate or one that wants to devour you.
Tough day at Broken Arrow 52K. No training, altitude, snow, wind, rain, cold, and some brutal climbs.
Much of week 12 had to be spent apart due to a conference and race. At least she did not forget me!
My girls! Neither of whom really listen to me. But we’ve made it to week 11!
This girl is getting heavier and into lots of trouble at week 10. Requires rotating among lots of people to carry her around.
Umi is getting braver at week 9. She is a big fan of the yard where she enjoys sitting on every bush/plant there is.
We brought home our lovely Umi at 8 weeks. Plenty of accidents and worries for a hectic first week, but she’s quickly getting comfy!
An unexpected stop that was unexpectedly perfect, with quiet towns and easy access to seafood.
A visit to the capital with countless familiar buildings and references, seeing lots on foot and via public transport.
I had no idea someone so important to our parks lived right in the area.
One of my favorite local parks, especially when green, with many miles spent on these trails.
A calm between storms allowed just enough time for one heck of a run.
Soaking in fall at the falls.
The sun and some luck brought us some snowy views of the volcano.
Relaxing and exciting days by one of our favorite coastlines.
Starting our minimoon camping under the redwoods and taking a long hike to the beach.
Big plates of food and long time no see friends.
Busy beaches for all to cool off on a sweltering day.
Experiencing the big city vibe again.
Follow the Towpath trail and it will lead you to all sorts of wonders.
Short stop to break up a drive and buy some paper.
Many strolls on the waterfront after devouring much food from one of the many yummy restaurants.
A remote park with convenient canoe rentals to get away from it all.
Boatloads of camping and activity at this magnificent coastal park.
Small college town with a big campus to wander and sufficient late night options.
A pleasant surprise of a city, first with the realization that most of it is not in Kansas, then topping off with great food and sights.
A great big box of sand in the middle of nowhere to play with.
Unique canyons with an rocky story.
Drawn here from an old social studies book, definitely much history!
Truly a mountain resort town with fun shops, neat trails, and a free gondola.
An early spring stay with lingering snow as a new part-time resident.
A park not to be entirely overshadowed by Mt. Diablo, with its own unique features.
Exploring a park that should have been open to all long ago.
Last stop to admire the mountains and autumn colors.
A bigger city than we had been getting used to, but still provided the serenity we were looking for.
An outdoors town where mountain bikers seem to outnumber the runners and hikers.
Passing over just before the winter arrives to close these roads.
A quiet capital that we explored much on foot.
A magical land that we'll always remember.
Cherished every piece of blue sky.
The smoke followed us here, but we made the best of it and enjoyed our first home in Montana.
Two mountains to climb above the smoke line for that clean fresh air.
A family backpacking trip in the books with full of food and thunder.
Summer comes quick in the East Bay.
A cold and rainy one, but made it through so can't complain!
A big island with a little bit of everything. We couldn't have predicted our most memorable moments, like meeting two friendly Hawaiian musicians or having a frog in the toilet of our outdoor bathroom.
Adventure and relaxation bundled into one small pretty island.
Our first taste of paradise, where the vacation days made us forget about work and the working days didn't feel like work.
Ending the year and starting a another in two outdoorsy communities.
A city with much beauty hidden from view until it's right in front of you.
Incredible scenery with a remarkable sunrise and sunset.
Single digit weather and icy roads let us experience the park nearly alone, albeit often with frozen toes and fingers!
White blanketed most of the park and sky, but fortunately it was not enough to stop the colors of the park from showing.
Another Thanksgiving spent camping in Death Valley. Caught in the middle of a storm this time, but was rewarded with snowy mountains and smaller crowds.
Truly a scenic drive, but also had much fun hopping around these orange rocks.
A nearby escape from the glitz and glam of the Strip.
A worthy scenic detour on the way to Las Vegas, hidden in plain sight from I-15.
More trail time in the Headlands and the chance to run alongside awesome coworkers!
Sunny days and chilly nights out in Desolation Wilderness, survived through noodle soups.
A crisp fall weekend for car camping, warmed up with an abundance of hot foods.
A day in the walled city to walk off all the food consumed earlier so that room could be made for even more.
An educational trip out to the Korean Demilitarized Zone where life is quite different.
Hot and humid weather paired with spicy food and large crowds! Seoul was an expansive city with all sorts of unique sights to see.
Recovering in a capital that felt almost foreign to the rest of the country.
Wrapping up our time in nomadic Mongolia in the boundless steppes by the ancient capital. Eight glorious days of no internet and no shower was therapeutic.
We were well accustomed by this point to sleeping in gers, driving long distances on bumpy unpaved roads, and the heavy mutton diet. However, the dynamic landscapes continued to surprise us day after day.
Made our way into the Gobi Desert where the sunsets, sunrises, and most of all the stargazing were unrivaled to any seen before.
A wet and muddy start to the trip, but the sun came out when we needed it most. Got our first look at the steppes and deserts of this spacious country.
Spent much of the holiday weekend lying on the beach, coming out of it only a little sunburnt.
A remote park with much to see both above and below ground.
A few easy days in a laid-back city, conveniently encased by mountains.
Snow-capped mountains under blue skies, plus moose sightings. Can't complain!
Mother nature at its best with tons of unique geysers, abundant wildlife, and sweeping landscapes. We were fortunate enough to see bison (with calves!), bears (with cubs!), elk, mountain goats, and pronghorns. Eruptions by Grand and Castle Geysers were predictable in time, but did not anticipate the amount of excitement that followed.
Why this place was given its name explained itself quickly with funny rocks that looked like spread Nutella.
Broke up the long drive with some brief stops that let us appreciate the small town life.
Life is good when the your long drive just happens to pass through some impressive mountain ranges.
Limits stretched to the brink on a stunning course littered with sunflowers. The small town of Winthrop was also a gracious host.
A slower paced visit focused on the west side of Yosemite with a comfy lodge stay and pass through the trees of the Mariposa Grove.
A local race to get in more trail time and test out some solid elevation.
First time fat biking and Nordic skiing in the same weekend, all under clear skies in fresh snow. Nightly hot tub sessions were an added bonus!
Good food and drink as always, followed by a nice loop around imposing Mount Hood.
Post race hiking to stretch out the legs. The desert has its charm!
The perfect introduction to trail racing! A rollercoaster ride with a freezing start with sleet, knee deep river crossing, and persistent stomach issues. Thankful to have been part of such a race!
Going further east than the typical LA trip, but got to enjoy plenty of snow and still get to the tasty favorites.
Crisp morning stroll to see the surrounding hills dusted with snow.
Foggy hike through the redwoods with unexpected encounters of a rock garden and koi fish pond.
Pea soup brunch, hiking by the windmills, and a lovely retreat to a family farm.
Enjoying the seasonal return of green grass in the area.
Driving up a portion of the Pacific Coast Highway with unceasing reasons to take your eyes off the road.
Winter has arrived so it's time to bring out the snowshoes!
An animated city with a rich cuisine that always led to an indulgence of too much food too late into the night.
A far away city with a close feeling of home. It really is the California of Texas.
A muddy day out on the salt ponds.
Sun managed to shine through the thick blanket of smoke, granting us a reasonable day out.
Made our way up to the so-called Top of Texas for some refreshing elevation.
A humongous cave with countless chambers and a fascinating backstory. Still, the highlight has to be witnessing a few hundred thousand bats streaming out of the cave. Unforgettable spectacle!
Solid barbecue in El Paso and some fun in the dunes that ended in a sledding contest.
An impromptu Yosemite trip led us to Glacier Point twice. First for the sweeping views down below and another for the uninhibited stars above.
No summit this time, but got to take it slow and relish the fall colors in broad daylight.
Took an easygoing trip up the northern half of the Oregon Coast. It came complete with whale watching, crabbing, breweries, a cheese factory, a shipwreck, and of course bits of fog and rain.
A long rugged walk on the beach with all sorts of marine life (and death). Camping on this secluded coast is an extraordinary escape from reality. The colossal waves crashing down not that many steps away somehow still sings you to sleep.
Caught Chicago in its summer mood, taking full advantage of the warmth with festival-filled parks and loaded beaches.
Absolutely beautiful from start to finish, with a little something different each day. Props to all the thru-hikers we saw!
Saw the breeze coming, but not all the snakes!
An afternoon start gave us a rare opportunity to stay for an evening view of the city.
Walking down memory lane with a campus tour, the usual bites, and everyone's favorite hike. Some bonus exploration on the coast led us to a raft of sea otters and some tidepools full of life.
The recently opened summit of Mount Umunhum in the Sierra Azul Open Preserve comes with some shiny new trails and quite an assorted history.
The trailhead is usually the finish line for me on my bike, but I finally showed up on foot. Definitely glad to have done it before it all turns yellow!
First marathon! Went in pretty nervous, but felt strong on the hills and fresh at the finish. The spectacular course, upbeat race atmosphere, and proper fueling kept me steady.
Headed as far south as we could go and then hopped on a boat to the lonely Dry Tortugas.
Both parks definitely give you the sticky swampy Florida experience, but are so worth it with the endless wildlife that you can see up close.
A park that is 95% water cannot be seen without a boat ride to an island.
Took a tranquil drive up along the water with a few surprise stops. Finally fulfilled every kid's dream of seeing a spaceship and meeting an astronaut.
A city with a continuous stretch of bright blue coast and hearty Cuban cuisine sprinkled all over.
First time in the city that really never sleeps with its limitless selection of late night eateries. Hit up many of the iconic stops all over town with the help of the expansive subway.
A mix of hiking and trail running on a bright winter day. Bits of the landscape here are rather unique from what you normally expect to see in the area..
It was an eventful winter weekend up in Tahoe. In the day we found ourselves digging cars out of the snow and combating fierce gusts of wind. During the long nights we cooked up feasts and watched the Olympics.
A carefree drive on Highway 1 ended at a fancy brunch buffet where we ate until it hurt too much eat more.
It was a long trip through the mountains and into the desert, but it was absolutely worth it. Stunning sights, frigid mornings, new friends, and food that will be missed.
A city with an labyrinth of an old medina. It was at times exhausting, but no doubt an astonishing experience.
A hectic city with a marvelous mosque.
Just a little ways from the city were some historic windmills mixed with small workshops and stores. Strong gusts shouldn't have been a surprise, but the arrival of snow certainly was!
This busy city made for a lively stroll day and especially night. Check twice for bikes!
Although the promised castle was nowhere to be seen due to the dense fog, the upside was a spooky desolate walk in the mountains.
Spent most of the day relaxing at a divine thermal spa. An all time high was reached in the sauna room when a staff member came in unannounced and pulled out fresh baked cookies from what looked to be an ordinary heater.
The dreary mood from perpetual rain and gray skies were promptly forgotten upon entering a German Christmas market. All kinds of comfort foods could be found in the numerous stalls and breweries.
The South Rim gives off cold days as it reaches the brink of winter. Saw the canyon from a few vantage points and did some light hiking in the area.
Eating our way through the sprawling city, as always.
The pedestrian city provided plenty of path to wander day and night.
These five tranquil towns made it easy to hop around with its connected hiking trails and train tracks.
I had learned the story of Pompeii in school, but it was different to see it up close and even go up the volcano that caused it all. Somehow, the highlight of the day was still pizza from its birthplace!
Crowds could be found in every direction, but all for good reason.
This lively city was filled with many foods to try. Took a little escape to the nearby mountains for a hike.
The mellow coastal city was perfect for catching our breath.
Alhambra was certainly something else, but getting to call Albayzín home for a few days was unbeatable.
This big city had several enormous sights to take in. A tasty home cooked meal at the hostel kept us moving.
Two short stops that left quite the impression. Wandered through the Jewish Quarters of Córdoba and the pueblos blancos of Old Ronda.
The nation's capital offered much history and bustling squares.
Some backcountry camping on a sandy volcanic trail to an ice cold lake.
Solid hiking and tall trees in these two parks. Rain showed up, but luckily did not stay too long.
A typical Los Angeles itinerary lined with food. Made our way to Ventura and took a day trip out to the Channel Islands. Saw much marine life on the ferry over, kayaked through some sea caves, and hiked the cliffs.
Short trip up to Yosemite during the busy summer season.
Successful summit on a beautiful sunny day! The temperature up top was perfect for a nice little picnic lunch.
Spotted Independence Day fireworks all around town and got to try some Rocky Mountain "oysters".
The air was thin, but the surroundings from above were magnificent and the alpine lakes were gorgeous. It is a park full of wildlife. Marmots emerging from their burrows, elk endlessly chewing away at the meadows, and even two bighorn sheep dashing down the mountain.
No shortage of cactus here and no limit in their sizes either! Too hot for humans and even the adorable javelinas.
Beat the heat with daily swims in a fantastic pool. Unfortunately, it was not quite toasty enough to fry an egg outside.
Many ups and downs from Bon Tempe Lake to the Cataract Falls. At the end of it all was a large plate of hearty Puerto Rican food.
The French cities provided the best bites of the trip and remnants of some older times.
The capital city was a pleasant surprise! Weather was wacky, but the skies cleared enough to spare a bike ride to Gatineau.
The sprawling metropolis offered several urban parks, hot dog stands on every corner, and a quick train ride to Niagara.
Some spring snowshoeing, sledding, snowball fights, and snow sumo wrestling. Waited out the storm with circus shows, a casino buffet, and a hint of gambling.
Strolling through what used to be a few flourishing coal mining towns. Ended on a mine tour fitted with natural air conditioning.
Hiking with a well-behaved puppy! Wide-ranging views of Contra Costa and Solano counties.
Rolling green hills with fluffy cows baking in the sun and a glimpse of nearby windmills hard at work.
Just a minute drive from the freeway and ten minutes walk up a hill can really bring you quite a ways.
Storms prior meant muddy paths with downed trees, but also rapid flowing waterfalls.
Saw parks that offered both an escape into nature and rich human history. Counted down the new year with a hot air balloon rising in downtown Albuquerque. Green chile grilled cheese melt was to die for.
Celebrated Christmas in a downtown full of lights and rich of history. Delicious Texas BBQ was consumed.
A long flat drive brought us to a huge remote park with ever-changing scenery (and weather). Got a glimpse of Big Bend's greatest treasure: an unpolluted night sky.
Tons of cactus, big and small...and very big!
Caught a sunny autumn day to camp and hike in Yosemite Valley before the winter storms struck.
Wonderful hike that brings you through a forest of eucalyptus trees and up the mountain for a far-reaching view of the bay.
Amazing hospitality with food and more food around Manila. Took two short trips in opposite directions: a quaint beach town and the world's smallest active volcano.
Visited the usual spots and a few new places around Taipei. Finished with a trip down the quieter eastern side of the island.
Small day trip with the family. A mostly shadeless hike in the heat ended nicely with ice cold Capri Sun and melted popsicles.
Clear skies kept the snow covered Mount Shasta in sight from miles and miles away.
The blues were very blue and the greens were very green in Southern Oregon. Got to get up close and personal, jumping into the lake and walking right up to the waterfalls.
Caves with ice in them year round provided shelter from the triple digit weather. Explored numerous caves and getting lost in one involved crawling on all fours out the wrong exit.
On a warm Fourth of July weekend, some lakes remained still and frozen, while others were frequented by fly fishers and surrounded by lush green grass.
A typical day working remotely from Lake Tahoe: an early morning hike into the mountains, many hours typing away at the local coffee shop, an evening stroll by the lake, and finally back to the campsite to make dinner over the fire.
A summer hike through the shaded redwoods after a windy drive up into the mountains.
Spent a full day exploring Point Reyes National Seashore. Hikes and sights while escaping the summer heat.
Day trip to Joshua Tree followed by a week of food and friends in Los Angeles.
Relaxing day at two very serene places in my hometown.
Old bike served me well, but excited to put many miles on the new bike!
Not as pretty as the one in Ireland, but hey, it's not bad.
A peaceful weekend by the ocean.
Celebrated New Years with relatives. Nice relaxing way to end the trip.
Ate everything in Bangkok until I scored food poisoning, then recovered on the beach over Christmas.
Amazing country, people, landscapes, and food. Easily the highlight of my trip.
Miles and miles of walking paired with plates and plates of food.
Much to eat and see. Stays lively through the night.
Winter storms chased us out of this park sooner than we would have liked, but we still got to see its colorful canyons. We will be back springtime for fruit picking!
Both parks offered some breathtaking views. Moab was also a lovely town to base our park visits from.
These parks were chilly this time of year, especially in a tent. However, that also meant far fewer crowds, plus the chance to see both fall and winter colors.
Pit stop in Las Vegas came with a delicious milkshake, a heavenly buffet, and the Hoover Dam. On the way back, we had Korean BBQ for Thanksgiving dinner.
Attempted to summit Mount Whitney, but gave up due to lack of proper snow gear. Lesson learned! Got to enjoy the quieter side of Yosemite the following day.
Texas State Fair...deep fried everything! Also fantastic BBQ and big houses.
Weekend trip up the forested Northern California coast to camp under the towering redwood trees.
Sightseeing and overeating shoved between Comic-Con in San Diego and a wedding in Santa Barbara.
Stop and go drive down the ever so scenic coastline.
Attended a lovely wedding and saw bits of downtown St. Louis. First time seeing the Mississippi River.
Carmel was as pretty as it always is. Came close to walking away with some "holy granola" from the mission's gift shop.
Explored Japan from Tokyo to Kagoshima all thanks to the marvelous bullet train. Met up with old friends and coincidentally even the parents for some memorable moments. Unforgettable trip! Mouth still waters thinking about the kurobuta katsu, motsunabe, and sukiyaki.
Spent Thanksgiving week camping and hiking in the desert. Almost ran out gas...twice. Unpolluted night sky for stargazing.
A pleasant trip that included a castle, a mission, beaches, mountains, and the greatest enchilada ever.
Journeyed out to the high mountains of the island for some fresh, but cold air.
A winter visit to Taiwan translates to sightseeing around Taipei with stops at all the hot springs.
Finally a chance to explore more of Taiwan. Adventure packed days as we took our time traveling down the country.
My two second homes on opposite sides of the island with entirely opposite environments.
A welcome retreat out of the big city to explore a bit of the coast.
Got a perfect introduction to this massive city that somehow remains orderly and sparkling clean.