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My Mt.Whitney Experience

 

finish line.jpg(All photos taken by Brett Davey)

We started two hours ahead of sunrise… My sense of time was somewhat off considering I’ve never really been up and functioning before the Sun.

Coleman, Brett and myself slept on what felt like the most slanted part of the earth the night before. I would cozy up in my sleeping bag, bundle up in a fleece blanket, then zip the sleeping bag back up only to find myself sliding to the other side of the tent two seconds later. My pillow would slip up from under me, and before I could get my arms back out of the blanket to readjust, the right side of my body was lower than the left, my neck was strained upward, and my legs slightly elevated. Needless to say, it was somewhat of a sleepless night-quite annoying really. Meanwhile, Brett was in a long sleeve shirt, shorts and had only one blanket- he slept like a ROCK (lucky).

It felt like I had closed my eyes for only a few hours before we were cued to wake up. The air was the freshest I’ve ever felt it. My nose felt as cold as ice and my nostrils would flare every time I took a deep breath. The air was so crisp that breathing felt like such a vivid and intense sensation. I could feel cold air passing through my nose to the back of throat and into my chest.

The sky was a sea of darkness, lit by a school of stars that twinkled as if they were brand new  and before I could acknowledge them, we were making our way towards the trailhead.

The Trail

Let’s skip the part where BOTH my flashlights fail me, and jump ahead to the John Deere trail. A few miles into the trail, I heard the sounds of a waterfall. I couldn’t tell whether it was in front of me, beside me,  above me, or all of the above. I was consumed with its mass. Before I knew it, I’m stepping on these huge, flat rocks to get myself across the top of a waterfall relying on Coleman’s headlamp so I can see my path.

We get to the first body of water on the trail- a perfect place for a pitstop and a perfect place to catch the sunrise (finally). There’s something truly humbling about Nature. You don’t realize how small you are until you decide to climb a mountain. 2.jpg1.jpg

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This was all a great adventure until we came to this….

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The Summit

At 1.9 miles, you pretty much think you have it in the bag and the rest of the journey is near the end. WRONG! This last stretch to summit was the longest 1.9 miles in my life. At this point, both Coleman and myself started to get altitude sickness, even after proper nourishment for months, and a week and a half of taking all natural Ginko pills. Nothing could have really prepared us for the elevation, except training above sea level of course, which is impossible to do when you live in the Silicon Valley.

The sickness is different for everyone. Climbing up to summit, we both started to get headaches, and my heart was beating more rapidly then it should’ve been considering the pace I was going. I wasn’t nauseous…yet. The nausea didn’t kick in until the last 4-6 miles going down back to the campsite. In short, I suffered going up, and puked when I got back down. But- the moments in between was nothing short of perfect. Imagine training for months to embark on one of the toughest and challenging endeavors you’ve ever done, and achieving it with people you love. That’s exactly what we did and I’ve never experienced anything more gratifying, humbling, and simplistic. I’ll never do that shit again, don’t get me wrong, but I’m glad I did it at least once.

Here’s what hiking a mountain of that mass makes you realize: 1. The world is HUGE; explore it, and be present. 2. Life is very SHORT; so set goals and achieve them. 3. When you get an opportunity to go camping, DO IT. 4. Nothing epic is ever waiting for you with out a little bit of hard work, and sometimes extreme struggle and agony. 5. If you go camping, camp with Coleman’s parents because they have a shit ton of gear that you never knew you needed.

When we got to the top, I was relieved. Sue turned to get a look at all of us. She was happy all the kiddos got to celebrate her birthday with her. How many people get to say they celebrated their birthday with their kids by climbing Mt.Whitney in one day? yea, not many. We took a photo at the top, signed our names in the famous guest book, and said to each other, “What’s next?”

 

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Cheers,

Court

 

2017 Home Trend: White Sheets

I’m currently down with a cold and some minor flu like symptoms, but I’m recovering just fine, so not too worry. I probably slept for a total of 16 hours today and that seemed to help.  In any case, I found myself curdled up into a ball underneath what used to be my “favorite” sheets; Coleman’s sheets.

Don’t get me wrong, they are soooo comfy, and they always smell good (mainly because we wash them weekly), but I realized that we’ve had the same bedding since Coleman lived in his bachelor pad with his college buddies. Literally-it’s the same exact covers and sheets that he had since we started dating. How did I manage to spruce up our home and forget all about the bed?! Oh yea- Coleman is a stickler when it comes to parting with the things that make him feel comfortable. I can’t seem to convince him to go shopping with me for a new set, and I especially can’t convince him to sleep on all white sheets. Ugh.. That’s literally one of coolest interior trends of 2017. They look so luxurious and bright and airy!

In the meantime, I’m thinking of ways to get him to go shopping with me, but here are some of the best beds out there. White, clean, bright and simple. dc0bead62cde36a49f32fc4f4d6ac86f.jpgb9ed39318e6ce075c46b429db6eb400e.jpgd35d71fc239ef26bccda6941b4f19f29.jpgb7b7b0d66d19f2ef9f9005126b1e9357.jpg04ef82266f70ade59c1bb35170be205a.jpg

 

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How to decorate the home with books

Books will never go out of style. Even in the age of tablets, and eBooks, it’s something about paper and pages that will always remain. Not only are books food for thought, they are easy accent pieces that bring a home to life.

Have a bare table in your living room? Don’t trip chocolate chip! Stack some hardcopy books or magazines in a fun way. Or, top off your book stack with a unique trinket or paper weight. Or better yet, create a library by using up that shelving unit for the books you forgot you had. Here are some of my favorite ways to incorporate my favorite “reads” into the home:

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Roaming Coconut

Coleman and I are extremely settled into our apartment now and loving our new space (although I wish I could do a bit more decorating), but more recently I’ve been feeling like a nomad. We have been away from our hometowns for a while, moving from one apartment to the next since we were 19 years old… It’s been insane!

I have been inspired by the interior design of some of these homes recently and it makes me look forward to becoming a home owner in a few years to come (hopefully). I mean a real homeowner with neighbors, and a street that I can be on for years. A fireplace, my favorite cozy couch, and a somewhat permanent address. I never thought I would ever crave something so permanent, but all this moving around and trying to figure out which city we should move to next, the commute to work, pending where work will be, and crazy spikes in rent have my head spinning. Until then, I’m inspired by some of these beautiful photos. Hey, a girl can dream right?

Where is your next move?

PS(many of my faves are found on Studio Mcgee; One of my all time favorite interior designers/blogs.) http://www.studio-mcgee.com/

Cheers!

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A DayJob, A DayDream

it’s 2:52pm PST in the afternoon, on the eave of my 24th birthday and I’m day dreaming about my job. Not the current job, the dream job.

I have a business meeting in 30 minutes and I’ve spent majority of my day researching fashion trends, and online clothing boutiques, seller’s permits, and small business tax laws in the state of CA. I have done nothing to prepare for this meeting coming up, not knowing what my new role at this company will entail. I’m soon to be 24 and all I want to do is start my own venture, but I’m too much of a wimp to take the risk. I NEED RESEARCH. MORE RESEARCH. That’s what I keep telling myself. That’s the nature of starting a business isn’t it? Research, followed my tenacity, then more research.

But… then, what? Do I go out on the limb and leave the security of my day job to pursue an online business? Do I attempt to start this venture as a side gig until it takes off? I know that I’ve always wanted to own my own boutique one day, and I’ve come to realize that the older I get, the more I have to lose. So why not start my venture now? My current career path has been a great experience and I have had many opportunities, but is this for me? I couldn’t answer that. Am I happy here? Sometimes, sure. Am I engaged? I think so, but that’s the nature of who I am as a worker. Other than the fact that I spent hours researching for my business opportunity rather than anything related to the company I’m currently at. Well, that’s not entirely true, I’ve spent a few hours of research for work also.

A few months ago, I relaunched this blog in hopes that it would ignite some sort of passion project for me. I thought that I would be creative, have a portfolio of work of some sort, and that hasn’t happened. I get caught up with work (the current day job, not the dream job), or I sit back and recalculate what the fuck I want this blog to be focused on. I have decided that this blog will be as serendipitous as my career path, and as eclectic as my every day life.

Back to the point–At 23, how do you leave a well paying job that has kept you stable and thriving the expensive marketplace that is the Silicon Valley, and do you leave at all even if it’s not your “dream job?” What is your dream job supposed to feel like anyway? Is it possible to do both–maybe. Is it worth the risk of trying to do it all–I think so. For anyone that has started a business while working full time, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you made this possible.

Food for Thought: A Room of One’s Own

Where do you write? What devices or tools do you need at your desk? Here, four writers describe their ideal spaces to write.

via Creating the (Physical and Mental) Space to Write — The Daily Post

 

If you know me, you know that one of my favorite areas of study is women’s literature. I came across this post while at work and it reminded me of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own. Having the leisure time, privacy and financial independence to write, and to do so as a woman, is extremely remarkable! That was just a food for thought.

But, more to the point of the blog, owning an old fashioned type writer may be on the list of “must haves,” as I aspire to be a published author. In the meantime, my laptop, a cup of joe, and a clear desk space is enough of a safe haven from the chaotic room that lives in my brain. I’m hoping to publish a few work samples in the next few months. Stay tuned!

 

Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

A quick trip to Playa Del Carmen was the perfect “first time travelers” type of trip for us. Staying at an inclusive resort helped us keep the cost to a minimum, and I felt a lot safer knowing that we were in a resort. Don’t let this picture of Coleman fool you, we were still able to explore and have our adventures. It wasn’t laying on the beach the whole time! IMG_0999

 

Outside of Playa Del Carmen is a down town area that’s about a 10 minute cab ride and not that far from the resort. Street performances are pretty common and Coleman and I witnessed an interesting one for the books. It’s a bit hard to tell from the pictures, but these performers are sitting on posts incredibly high off the ground. They sing songs and play unusual instruments. We weren’t quite sure what they were. The only thing we kept thinking was “holy hell, that’s a huge fall.” IMG_1008IMG_1009IMG_1010

Playa Del Carmen is on the Caribbean and the water is much warmer than the water I’m used to in Hawaii (obviously). Boat tours are also pretty common due to the heavy tourist attraction. Majority of the beach is populated with resorts. IMG_1000IMG_1004IMG_1002IMG_1001

This was our view right outside our room. IMG_1006

 

If you ever get the opportunity to venture off like we did, get a tour through ruins and make a trip out to see Chichen Itza! It was about a three hour drive from our hotel, but we were able to bargain with a cab driver for the day. That’s def. one thing you don’t really get to do in the U.S.

 

Chichén Itzá is a world-famous complex of Mayan ruins on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. A massive step pyramid known as El Castillo dominates the 6.5-sq.-km. ancient city, which thrived from around 600 A.D. to the 1200s. Graphic stone carvings survive at structures like the ball court, Temple of the Warriors and the Wall of the Skulls. Nightly sound-and-light shows illuminate the buildings’ sophisticated geometry.

IMG_1106IMG_1134IMG_1105IMG_1042When we were wandering Mayan ruins, we found Iguanas everywhere and anywhere. These fellas are quite big and very territorial! They are in general harmless if you leave them alone, but I couldn’t help but take loads of pictures of them! They were crawling everywhere! Iguanas were also considered a delicacy for their “meaty” tails.

I wish Coleman had properly charged his GoPro, so you could see the underwater images from our swim in this crystal blue cenote. A cenote is a natural pit, or sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath. This is typically what they look like. This is an image I found that sort of looks like the cenote Coleman and I swam in in Tulum. I’ll upload those images when I find them.  The water stays so crystal clear and blue!Grand-Cenote.jpg

Some cenote’s can be extremely dangerous if you are not an experience diver. Depth and pressure under these caves can vary and there are rules and regulations for each cenote. The cenote Coleman and I swam in was also used for Discovery Channel to do their research.  Sometimes Coleman and I would see scuba divers beneath us.

Big Sur,CA

Tanbark trail is not a popular hike in Big Sur, which means you can expect a lot of wildlife! We had nearly four encounters with snakes throughout the entire hike.

Hawaii doesn’t have any snakes because it’s not a native species and has no known natural predators to our island. Therefore, this was my first time seeing snakes up close and personal. One for the books!

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Coleman can never smile properly for a picture. He hates selfies and would rather I take pictures of mother nature, but I can’t help it! I love photographing our adventures together!

Carmel

The best way for me to recharge my batteries is to get back to the Ocean and Point Lobos State Reserve was the perfect easy hike for the ending of our “staycation.” There are several trails along the coast that offer a peaceful view of the ocean through out the entire trail! There’s nothing better than getting back to the pace of the ocean, especially when life in Silicon Valley get’s too fast paced and hectic for me. I can’t wait to settle down near the ocean again.

Towards the end of the trail, Coleman and I were able to discover tons of wildlife in the tide pools. Tide pooling is one of our favorite things to do during the summer. The water in Carmel is one of the clearest and bluest I’ve seen in California.9218881_orig.jpg

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