Epic Adventures: Mountain Men

In many ways, last weekend was a tale of two trips. First, there was the trip from Baltimore to New Jersey. Then there was the trip from New Jersey to the Adirondacks. Let us go in chronological order.

After work on Friday, I came home to do some dishes and throw out the trash (to avert toxic fumes upon my return) and finished packing my trusty backpack (the big ol’ backpacking one). Forecasts for the Adirondacks were expecting temperatures to go into the 20’s overnight, so even with the suddenly Fall-like temperatures that had descended upon Baltimore at the end of the week, I had to take extra precautions in packing my clothes.

Speaking of that Fall weather, I was positively delighted when I felt it roll through. I’d been having serious end-of-summer sadness, so it felt like a bit of closure knowing that another season that I love was rolling in. It also meant that I wouldn’t have to stress out about finding time to force a beach visit when I was in NJ.

Even though I knew that I would only be spending a few waking hours in Jersey, I was as excited as ever. That drive home, especially in the crisp evenings of Fall, just really gets me excited. I know you may all be sick of hearing about how much I love NJ, but it really makes me feel alive. I passed the hours in the car listening to the Gaslight Anthem, Bruce, and some of my old favorite ska albums.

That evening, I hung out with my parents, ate dinner, and retired early. My stepdad and I woke a bit before 5:00 AM the next morning to head to the Adirondacks. We wanted to get on our way early, because we had a long hike into the mountains later in the day, and nightfall comes quickly in the forest. Although we didn’t weigh them in advance, our packs each weighed about 30+ pounds.

"Did you remember to pack your brick collection? Good, me too"

After a quick stop on the parkway for McDonald’s breakfast, we drove the rest of the way into New York and arrived in the Pharaoh Mountain Wilderness around 11:00 AM. After a quick once over of the packs, making sure we had some freeze-dried meals, trail mix, water, sleeping bags, tent, stove, and various other necessities, we started hiking in.

The Adirondacks is really one of the best places on the East Coast (THE SAME EAST COAST THAT CONTAINS NEW JERSEY). The steep slopes, dense foliage, and massive lakes seem to belong to a different world. However exhausting long hikes with heavy packs can be, I didn’t once stop to think about it; I was too enchanted by the sun filtering through the leaves and the many streams that we had to cross.

River, consider yourself forded.

Believe me though, it could be exhausting. We decided to hike up Treadway Mountain to get a nice view of the surrounding lakes and forests. For some reason, this didn’t strictly involve climbing a steep slope. Instead, it involved climbing steep slopes, then suddenly climbing down a drastic drop in elevation, and repeating. I swear, for every mile we moved, we zig-zagged 3 vertically.

Shortly before another ascent...

Once at the peak of Treadway mountain, we admired the views, ate a quick lunch of trailmix, got temporarily lost (How does one get lost on a peak? We will never know.), and made our way back down to the main path.

What we saw shortly before nearly losing our way back down the mountain.

The path we chose for the 2-day adventure wound its way around Putnam Pond, which is most likely the world’s largest pond. I’d love to hear someone explain why it isn’t called a lake. Anyway, in order to get back to NJ relatively early on Sunday, we decided to do the majority of the hike on Saturday. We therefore picked a lean-to about 3/4 of the way around the pond to set up camp for the night.

That's one hell of a 'pond' to hike around, isn't it?

Just before nightfall (about 6:00 PM up there), we reached the site and set up our tent. Our total mileage for the day was about 8 miles.

Where we almost slept.

Despite their daylong absence, swarms of mosquitoes arrived as it got dark, negating the lean-to as a sleeping option.

Where we ultimately slept.

We fired up the camp stove, boiled some water, and made the freeze-dried chicken and rice. It was surprisingly excellent. We then made hot chocolate, ate a granola bar, and put all the foodstuffs into a bear-proof container that we planted about 50 yards away.

Two things became suddenly apparent to me over the 2 days we were there. First, I found that I eat much better without access to a time telling device. If I don’t think that I should be eating, I just eat when I’m hungry. Second, I found that I sleep much better without a time telling device. Again, when I don’t know when I should go to bed, I sleep when I’m tired. It was in this way that we ended up asleep around 8:00 PM.

Pictured: The last thing I saw before passing out.

The next morning, we got up around 7 and made a quick breakfast. The weather was nice and brisk for our 2-mile hike out.

LOOK AT HOW CRISP THAT MORNING IS. LOOK AT IT.

It was especially enjoyable winding our way around a number of smaller ponds in the area and watching the foliage change. Some areas had dark, dense forests, while other spots open up into something resembling glades. It was also interesting to watch well-beaten trails devolve into nothingness at random spots along the trek. Even with the trail markers, we had to pause and examine our way forward several times.

Once back to the car, we took off our packs and set off for NJ. Thanks to our incredible swiftness, we were able to make it all the way back to NJ by 3:30, including a stop to buy burgers to grill. Although I had initially planned on taking Monday off and staying in NJ for the night, I made the painful decision to eat with my parents, watch a bit of football, and come back to Baltimore that night. Sometimes, being responsible sucks.

On the drive home, I got to thinking about the mental transformation I undergo when I leave NJ each time. At the beginning, I’m in a place I know so well and that I’m completely comfortable. Crime doesn’t exist, I don’t have a job to worry about, and I have friends and family abound. The closer I get back to Baltimore, the more independent I feel. I transition back into having my own little life where I have to be responsible, go to work, and deal with my own problems. That’s not to say it’s a bad thing, but the two sides are just very different. My goal is to somehow find a way to connect the two feelings. That is all.

Advertisements

Epic Adventures: Back to the New-ture (Jersey)

Sorry, that title was a stretch. I apologize. Nonetheless, in the words of Bruce:

Tonight I’m gonna take that ride.
Across the river to the Jersey side.

Except that it’s tomorrow night. Stop pretending like all wordplay, metaphors, and references were made for your sole satisfaction. Regardless, those lyrics manage to get me stoked every damn time.

With my 24th birthday taking place next Monday, Jenny and I are making the trek back to my home state tomorrow evening after work for a bit of celebration. Along with the obligatory dinner out with my dad and grandparents and listening to the Boss on repeat, I plan on celebrating with the following activities:

  1. Going for a run in Double Trouble
  2. Eating steak from the German butcher, grilled veggies, and Jersey corn
  3. Staying up way later than I normally allow myself, solely because I want to sit around in my old room
  4. Eating a proper bagel. Make that a proper bagel with pork roll, egg, and cheese on it.
  5. Kayaking across the bay to IBSP with my stepdad
  6. Lounging on the unguarded beaches, tossing a frisbee, body boarding, and getting battered by waves
  7. Crushing a caramel apple from the boardwalk
  8. Eating quality pizza
  9. Consuming a single beer with my parents
  10. Pounding a cake

And hopefully many more things that I can’t think of at the moment. I hope you all enjoy your weekends as much as I do.

Epic Aventures: The Move

Last Friday started like any other day. I woke up. I opened my eyes. Then hell broke loose. Boxes started flying before my eyes, exhaustion clouded my conscious, and I was oppressed by heat. Let’s start from the beginning.

When I roused myself from my bed on Friday, I was surrounded by all of my possessions, stacked in little crooked piles of boxes all around me. The only signs of human life were the hastily made bed, which was now sitting on the floor, and a desk and bookshelf that were to difficult to take apart. Out in the living room, a few more pieces of furniture stood their ground as well.

I got up around 7:30, got dressed, and went downstairs to capitalize on my last free breakfast at the Onyx. I had about an hour until my dad was going to arrive, so I rearranged everything in a way that I thought might make moving out move efficient, and twiddled my thumbs until he arrived.

In all honesty, the Onyx was the best place I’ve ever had to move in/out of. They have a loading dock to park a van, a freight elevator that you can reserve, and carts for ferrying your crap. When my dad arrived, we began shuttling down the largest, most obtrusive objects first. My main fear, that my stuff wouldn’t fit, was assuaged after a brief glance at the van’s mammoth interior proportions.  Although it may not look it, a Dodge Sprinter has way more space than a regular sized U-haul truck.

Dodge this, bitch.

Thanks to my old apartment’s many helpful characteristics, my dad and I were able to fully load the van by ourselves in under an hour. I quickly cleaned up after myself at the apartment, taking a few last pictures of its deserted rooms, left a note for my roommate with my keys, and headed to Ikea.

Ever since going to College Park, I’ve been a bit of an Ikea addict after every move. It was always so close that I would take 5+ trips over the first week or two, picking up the plethora of things that I never knew I didn’t have. With Ikea a bit farther this time, and without a car at the moment, I will unfortunately be unable to carry on with the tradition. Still, I made the quick stop on the way to Baltimore to grab a rug and shower curtain liners. And a 50 cent hot dog.

Once in Baltimore, I did a walkthrough, signed my lease, and prepared for the worst 2 hours of my life. Where should I begin?

It was approximately 104 last Friday and my new place doesn’t have AC. I also seemed to have forgotten just how steep and narrow the staircases are in old city buildings. Furthermore, there was no street parking in front of my apartment, so we had to illegally park at a bust stop up the block. If it had not been for my 5 coworkers that showed up to save the day, I would probably be either:

  1. Still moving
  2. Dead by my own hand

As soon as the van’s doors opened, some of my coworkers began shuttling my stuff to the stoop in front of my place. My dad stayed with the van to keep an eye on things (a Baltimore bus stop is an uncomfortable place to leave all of your possessions sitting). A few other coworkers and I began the frantic and demolishingly tiring task of carrying things up to the 3rd floor. I generally don’t sweat very much, but every one of us was drenched. It was beyond pit stain territory. It was neck stains down to the belt line.

I DIDN'T SIGN UP FOR THIS.

I consider myself to be in quite good shape. I don’t always work out as much as I should, but I’m always confident in my ability to run a decent distance at a decent pace, so believe me when I tell you how exhausting it was to run up and down those steps so many times. Having 10+ foot ceilings is cool. Walking up steps that traverse 3 floors of 10+ foot ceilings is not.

Notice the subtetly in which my coworker's eyes say "!@$# you Chris".

Once everything was safely inside, I bought everyone a bunch of Gatorade’s, my dad took off, and a few of us set to reassembling my bookcase/tv stand. As functional as that thing is, it is horrendous to assemble. There’s not a trace of structural support until it’s 100% assembled, so you have to try to balance and keep everything straight the whole time you put it together. One slip and it collapses. Again, thank god my coworkers were there to help, because I was about to lose it. With that reassembled, everyone left and I began unpacking. Jenny came by later and began doing some unpacking as well. We spent most of the weekend either eating, buying random stuff for the apartment, or unpacking.

Here's my bank statement Target. How much can I get with that?

With the move complete, I’m glad to say that I really like my new place. I just want to forget about ever having to move again.

Epic Adventures: Summer Trip (California Part 4)

Alright, I decided to fold and write this final post today. The corresponding titles just looked too perfect when properly aligned in the “All posts” page. So….

We left the last day of our trip to Cali pretty open. Since we had made a habit of traveling and hiking a lot (and sleeping a little), the final day was modeled after a more traditional vacation. We woke up at a more reasonable time, had a little breakfast, and went over to the local mall complex with Jenny’s parents.

California, being California, seems to insist on doing everything a bit differently, including their malls. Although I don’t always prefer the way things are out there, the mall we went to was outdoors, promoted walking, and was really enjoyable in the warm, dry weather.

After doing a bit of shopping around at the mall, which concluded with Jenny receiving new running shoes and clothing and a new button-up for me (fancy), we went to grab some lunch at In-N-Out. I’ve eaten many a burger in my day. As far as fast food burgers go, that place has got it right. The prices are cheap, the food is fast, and damn is it good. Their food far better than a lot of restaurant burgers I’ve had, actually.

PUMP THIS INTO MY VEINS TOO.

We’ve gone there once on each of my 3 visits to California and now I’m proud to say that I have a “regular” order. Having been told to try ordering off-menu, I decided to try (and have now settled on) getting a Double-Double Animal Style. Two burgers, grilled onions, extra sauce…mmmmmmm. I’m extremely hungry now. It’s a good thing that everyone at work is going to a huge buffett for lunch today.

After eating, we went and got massages (again, fancy). I had personally never had one before, and although it was excruciatingly painful at some points, I was so relaxed afterwards that I walked around with a stupid grin for a while. Immediately following the massage, we went next door for some more KBBQ. Like many of the places we ate on the trip, this place had a special style. The waitress would come around with massive heaps of veggies and meat to add to the grill. Then, a broth was poured over the whole thing to marinade the heaving mound. Not only did it yield a delightfully succulent product, but the broth was excellent over rice as well.

After dinner, we went back home to pack, do laundry, and chill in preparation for our (very) early morning the next day. Jenny’s brother came over for a bit and we discussed our shockingly similar ideas for starting businesses. Finally, after a few final snacks, we went to sleep and prepared to wake up around 4 the following morning.

The flights home went quickly. On the way, we finished the Bourne Identity. We got back, metroed back to our respective homes, and lamented the end of living the high life.

Epic Adventures: Summer Trip (California Part 3)

On Thursday morning, we woke up around 6 to prepare for the drive to Yosemite National Park. To be honest, I had no idea that Yosemite was in California. As someone who is outdoorsy and prefers to know as much about everything as possible, I was embarrassed by this. Regardless, we took off bright and early, with many a Korean pastry and snack in tow.

After several hours of driving, we were out nicely into the desert, with nary a soul to be seen. We stopped quickly at McDonalds for some lunch and grabbed some gas, and hit the road again. A few hours later, we finally arrived at the place where we would be staying. It reminded me quite a bit of summer camp, with hordes of cabins scattered across the slope of a chunk of mountain. At the bottom of the slope, very near where we stayed, there was a large, pleasant lake.

The view from our humble abode.

The cabin was pretty awesome. I wouldn’t mind owning one like it someday. It was two stories, with a bedroom downstairs and a kitchen/living room upstairs with a deck, Over the kitchen was a loft, accessible by ladder. In essence, a perfect mountain getaway.

Once we were unpacked and our food was refrigerated, we took the 20 minute drive to Yosemite. One ignored phone call from my boss later, we were cruising up, down, and around the mountains of the park. Along the way, we made three stops. First, we stopped to take a short walk up to a huge waterfall. Then, we took a stroll across a river and through a meadow to get a nice view of another waterfall. Finally, we took a hike through the woods that led to…a waterfall. The good news is that waterfalls are really, really cool, and I don’t get sick of them.

N33D MOAR F4LLZ

It was during this stroll through the woods that I got my initial, overwhelming desire to find an identical location (sans tourists) to build myself a cabin. I can literally think of no place better than amongst the tall pine trees, with a river running by the window, and a waterfall just visible over the tree line.

Not that I've got a location picked out already or anything...

I would even be willing to build it by hand, chopping down the trees myself. In fact, I think I would prefer it that way. If only I could have that and a beach house at the Jersey Shore, my life would be complete. Also some watermelon, tomato juice, and tacos.

That evening, Jenny’s mom made the best KBBQ pork I’ve ever had, which we ate over the little coffee table in the cabin. After a shared bottle of champagne, we all retired for another busy day in Yosemite. The following morning, we ate a quick breakfast of toast and packed up the car. We took a spectacular (really, really spectacular) tour of the giant Sequoias in the park and then went to a very popular waterfall hike.

As anyone who has taken my picture knows: big trees are hard to photograph.

The trail for the hike wasn’t that long, but it was steep and rather treacherous, so Jenny and I parted ways with her parents to complete the hike. As I’ve mentioned repeatedly, temperatures in California fluctuate nicely based on elevation and time of day, mainly due to the lack of humidity. It was for this reason that we were half frozen about halfway up the mist trail. Completely drenched in cold mist from the waterfall and on the shady side of the mountain, things got chilly quickly. Thankfully, the trail ended at a sunny stretch of rocks beside the top of the waterfall; the perfect place to lay down, warm up, and dry out.

This isn't the waterfall we hiked too...that one was too close/wet to take pictures of. I'd like to hike this one next time though!

Since we had a very long drive back home ahead of us, we hiked back down quickly, changed in the car, and made our way towards the exit of the park. Not wanting to miss any parts of the park, we elected to leave on the opposite side of the mountains. This gave us the chance to drive up along the crest and down the other side.

Throughout the drive, we made a number of stops to take in the awe inspiring views from the mountain. We came across a wide lookout, where you could see Half-Dome in the distance.

That little blob is famous.

We stumbled upon another big lake, hidden between two mountains and a swatch of trees.

 

We drove through places that still had some healthy mounds of snow.

Pengy likes this.

We wrote paragraphs that were hard to follow because too many pictures we inserted. Finally, we exited the park and began the drive back through the desert.

Of all the places I’ve been in the US, and the world for that matter, Yosemite is definitely one of, if not the most beautiful.  The shear diversity of the park is just amazing. Even throughout the small portions of two days that we spent there, we passed through wide meadows with deer running in them, over insanely huge stony mountains, amongst the world’s largest trees, past magnificent lakes in the middle of forests, and saw an astounding number of waterfalls. As much as I love the Adirondacks (especially because the lakes and mountains make me think of Hogwarts), I think Yosemite is the superior wilderness, if not on scale alone.

 

After dinner at the world’s most standard American restaurant, I took over driving for the remaining 4 hours. Jenny and her parent’s slept on and off throughout the drive. For the last hour of so, Jenny’s dad and I discussed businesses. The conversation managed to bolster my already monumental desire to start a business.

It was quite late by the time we got back, so we all just showered and passed out. It was important for us to get plenty of rest, because the next day would be our last day in Cali. Although it would be our least eventful day, I will save a description for the finale. This post is way too long. Have a good weekend! (Yeah, I wrote this on Friday, but didn’t have time to add pictures until today. We’ll all get over it together).

Epic Adventures: Summer Trip (California Part 2)

…the trip to LA to visit Jenny’s brother. We slept in a little bit more that night, waking at around 8 instead of 6ish. We ate toast and eggs with Jenny’s mom, ran some errands, bought snacks at H-Mart, and then hit the road with Jenny’s mom’s car.

'DAMMIT...the GPS took us to a white and metallic room again.'

The trip to LA took about an hour. We stopped in at her brother’s apartment, changed into hiking gear (I’ll take every chance I get to wear my cutoffs), played a brief round of Modern Warfare 2 (I sucked it up because I can’t deal with pressure) and then took off for Runyon Canyon Park. Jenny had heard that a lot of celebrities hike at Runyon, so she was quite keen on checking it out. I didn’t care all that much about spotting celebrities; I only idolize myself and Bruce, but I was more than happy to check out more local hiking spots.

Runyon was almost exclusively made up of the dirt and low shrubbery of SoCal; however, what it lacked in natural views it made up for in a wide, panoramic view of LA and some surprisingly steep hills to climb. It struck me as a perfect place for some trail running. The trail itself wasn’t too long, but it was scenic and a nice burst of exercise.

Runyon Canyon Park: For when you want to act like the lifeguard of LA.

Appalled once again at our prowess for unintentionally exercising, we stopped at Pink’s en route to our next hiking locale. I’ve heard of Pink’s a bunch of times. It’s incredibly famous and popular apparently and Jenny’s brosef ensured us that the line was unusually short, so we waited briefly and ordered some dogs. As someone who has immense trouble making any and all decisions, their menu was a bit daunting. In the end, I decided on the Lord of the Rings dog for three reasons.

1)It had BBQ sauce on it.

2)It had a side item stacked on top of it (Onion rings in this case)

3)It was named after my second favorite fantasy series

The last reason is a crappy, I know, but I was desperate. Jenny got a NY style dog (stewed onions and peppers) and her brother got some sort of chili dog. Upon taking a bite, I decided that the fame was well worth it. Probably even better than Ben’s Chili Bowl, although that may be because I prefer a hot dog over a half-smoke. Nonetheless, hot dogs are ALWAYS better with skin-on and Pink’s got it absolutely right. It reminded me heartily of the Sabbrett’s I used to eat in LBI when we’d rent beach houses as a kid.

'Pink's: Where childhood and high blood pressure collide." From left to right: New York style, chili dog with sauerkraut, and LOTR dog.

Comfortably larded up once more, we drove up to Griffith Observatory to prepare for another hike. My dad’s company supposedly did most of the exhibit work in the Observatory, so I poked around for a few minutes to try to find a plaque with my last name on it to no avail.

From the parking lot, we hiked a little ways up to the spine of the mountains and then sort of wove our way along it, looping around peaks, steadily ascending, moving along the mountains towards the Hollywood sign. Once again, it was rather hot outside, but very low humidity. We had two backpacks full of water bottles (it builds character, strength, and life beyond dehydration) to help keep us going over the ~8 mile trek to the sign and back. After about an hour and a half, we reached the lookout point directly behind the Hollywood sign which offered another excellent view of LA; far better than the one at Runyon, actually.

Because web anonymity is not something I'm ready to part with.

Once we had returned to the car, we drove back out of the mountains and went to fatten ourselves again. First, we hit up a local taqueria for some authentic Mexican food.

You've got to admire a tiny taco stand that still takes fax orders.

The place had the most amazing, dirt cheap tacos with all the right kinds of meat . Everything was amazing, but the pork and cabeza were the highlights. They also had Horchata, a sweet, spectacular rice and cinnamon drink.

I wonder what my life's savings divided by $1.25 is...

After 5 tacos and a large drink, I was pretty much full and ready to sleep. So naturally we went around the block to get Korean noodles and meat. Apparently the place has a specialty item, a sort of tangy, cold noodle soup. Jenny’s brother ensured us that it paired well with bulgogi. So, with my stomach already testing the tensile strength of my waistline, I devoured an entire bowl of noodles, a dish of kimchi, and a healthy serving of meat. The noodles in particular were one of the most refreshing dishes I’ve ever had. Unfortunately, with it being a specialty of that specific restaurant, I’m pretty much SOL until the next time I’m in LA.

Finally, exhausted and dangerously full, Jenny and I drove back to her parents house. After some brief mingling, we showered (my filth was well evidenced by the line of dirt visible just above my sock-line), and prepared to wake up bright and early for the next stage of the trip.

My story and this bridge have one thing in common. Two if you count epicness.

Epic Adventures: Summer Trip (California Part 1)

The time has finally come for me to begin the rundown of the splendid trip that I took over the week of the 4th of July. I already wrote half of this post once, but in an effort to get out of work, I shutdown my computer before saving it. It even asked if I was sure that I didn’t want to save…AND I SAID YES.

So, sure enough, I am starting over. After returning to DC from my grandparent’s place, Jenny and I packed and chilled a bit. Around 3:30 the next morning, we woke and hitched a ride to Reagan with my roommate. The flight from DC to Houston was a bleary blur. Despite my usual inability to sleep at the most opportune times, I surprisingly managed to doze off for most of the flight; however, I did wake for one glorious moment. When the stewardesses were making their rounds, I woke up to get some tomato juice. I’m not even the type to order tomato juice usually, but in my daze I had a real hankerin’ for it. Let me tell you, if you ever fly Continental, get the spicy tomato juice. It’s awesome. FASCINATING.

After a brief layover in Houston, where there was a brief cancellation scare (apparently the only scary part was how bad Continental is at updating their flight statuses), we were on our way to Ontario. Knowing full well that I wouldn’t be able to sleep on consecutive flights (because no one is that lucky), Jenny and I started watching The Bourne Identity. It’s one of those films that I’ve always meant to watch, but never really got around to doing. It was pretty damn good too. Not tomato juice good, but you know, nice. That made the flight go by pretty quickly.

The best part about those early morning east-to-west coast flights is that they get you to your destination bright and early. After leaving DC at 6 AM, we were on the ground and on our way to lunch with Jenny’s parents by 11 AM. We stopped for a brief lunch of jajamyun and fried chicken, followed shortly by some bubble teas, and took the short drive to their home. Flying into Ontario was absolutely the best bet; 15 minutes to the house rather than 1+ hour if we had done LAX.

With a full day still ahead of us, we went with Jenny’s dad to the local mountains for a hike. Despite the blazing sun, I had to admire California’s complete lack of humidity. As soon as you entered the shade, and even moreso when we had reached a sufficient elevation, the temperatures dropped to fall-like levels (aka the temperature at which I thrive). The hike itself was beautiful too. Nice and steep at parts, with a stream popping in and out of few for the duration, and terrain varying from southern California shrubbery to nice, tall evergreens. It was the perfect way to unload the day’s meals and welcome ourselves to the west coast.

The following morning, we all woke bright and early to drive to Newport beach. Once there, we hopped on the ferry to Catalina Island for a nice little boat trip and a day of fun in the sun. Jenny, who is no one’s sailor, went 2 for 2 for getting seasick on boats (although there was no puke this time).

Catalina Island itself was magnificent. Only an hour’s trip off the coast, it provided a nice sense of isolation, with just a few roads and a tiny resort town nestled between its mountains. We took a little semi-submarine tour out to see some fish before lunch, where we ate at a little hut serving the world’s saltiest (although pretty good tasting) food. The grilled ham and cheese would have been divine with a tad less sodium chloride.

After lunch, Jenny and I tried our hand at paddleboarding around the marina, where we both had some issues to overcome. As a seasoned kayaker, I felt at home navigating the board around the inlet’s many zipping skiffs; however, as a seasoned oaf, I had to take enormous care to avoid losing balance and tumbling into the frigid water. Jenny, on the other hand, effortlessly stayed upright while navigating her board into a number of anchored boats. Thankfully, by the end of our hour, we had both improved upon our faults and decided that we quite liked the activity.

It's like a multi-million dollar obstacle course.

From there, I bought and devoured an exceptional caramel apple with nuts (the only way to eat them) and we caught the ferry back to Newport. Terrified that we may have made some sort of fitness gains by walking and paddleboarding, we bought a frozen banana in Newport Beach to increase our caloric totals for the day and to entertain my infatuation with Arrested Development.

Because there's always money in the banana stand.

Finally, we stopped by a Korean restaurant on the way back, where I pounded some kimchi and dol sot bimbimbap. We finished driving back, cleaned ourselves up, chilled a bit, and got to bed in order to prepare ourselves for………..