While staggering through my last college semester semester last summer, I decided I needed a non-intellectual creative outlet — something with which I could tune out the world and measure progress in a tangible way.
Enter: The Dale of Norway Peace Sweater! Dale of Norway is an amazing hand-knitting company, so of course the sweaters are, like, a thousand dollars each. Its pattern designers very generously released this pattern so that we amateurs could try our hand, as well.
Because I’ve been saving for grad school, PIC and I usually ate his fantastic food in San Francisco — meals such as pasta with tomato sauce, grilled cheese with tomato salad, lentil soup (way better than when I was alone, eating ketchup noodles or mac n cheese). When we went out, we visited places that were delicious, charming and usually pretty cheap. Here are some of our favorites:
For Christmas last year, partner-in-crime and I fled the concrete of San Francisco to go hiking in Mill Valley. To us, Mill Valley seemed like it was out of a fairytale: The treehouse we Air BnbB’d (more like a tiny house stuck onto the side of a forested hill) was at the end of a long, winding street lined with similarly strange structures. Houses didn’t stand so much as climbed along the hill, and though they were very large, they were dwarfed by all of the redwoods. I don’t think I’ve seen that lush of a forest since my trip to Yaounde, Cameroon.
Blue heron! I think.
Many people react with horror when I tell them I walk an hour to and from work each day. Here’s why I do it! (And sorry for the blurriness of the photos — the animals get self-conscious if I get too close.)
I get to pass multiple ponds each day and observe the animals! There are several pairs of Canada geese…
Read Part 1 here!
So PIC and I set out from Columbia, armed with energy bars, energy waffles, energy gels and whatever else looked good in the bike shop. Also water and energy drinks, of course — we’d make the mistake of skipping out on those on an earlier ride, and I ended up on a park bench, defeated, making sad noises with my head on PIC’s lap.
Us before we destroyed our bodies
My last summer at Mizzou, partner-in-crime and I started cycling together on the MKT. The MKT is a path that connects with the Katy, a former railroad track that runs from St. Louis to Kansas City. It’s heavily used because it’s awesome — there are many access points in Columbia, and the Katy sometimes runs along the Missouri River, providing beautiful views and animal sightings. Twenty miles east of downtown, the trail takes you to Cooper’s Landing, a docking point for houseboats and tents that features live music and Chim’s Thai food out of a trailer. In the opposite direction, you can find an alpaca (or llama?) farm, winery and charming town called Rocheport. Find their website here. It’s a great resource because it shows you mileage, hostels, camping sites, etc. along the trail.
Toast with butter and honey!
In the past week, Chantilly has been hit with high winds and rain alternating with warmth and sunlight. The other day, a heavy gust actually made me stagger backward and wrap my scarf around my face on the way home, but a day later, I could walk without a jacket. This morning, the temperature was in the 30s, and the sky completely gray. I didn’t have anywhere to be, so I bundled up and went outside with some thyme and lemon tea that a work friend had brought me. And, of course, I took my Aunt Dimity book along.