Friday, August 28, 2009

Road Trip, Day 3: Rocky Mountain National Park

I spent Wednesday in Boulder where the Bourlands and I trekked up to Rocky Mountain National Park.

On the original drive to California, there wasn't much in the way of what one expects with mountains. Wyoming and Utah were pretty, but it was largely a high plateau.

RMNP was mountains! We drove up this one-way, narrow gravel road that is only open about 3-4 months a year. My mother said that she and my dad visited the park one June or July and this particular road was closed.

As harrowing as it was, it was definitely worth the trek.

Here is Matthew and Leona in the back of the car. She seems pretty excited by all the scenery. She was much more excited by the cheddar goldfish that were in the car with me.

This gives you a pretty good sense of the drop-off from the road we were on. Jessica was kindly taking pictures out the window and sun roof.

The road takes you up to the Alpine station in the park. This is the view from a little higher up the hill than the station. That little brown strip on the bottom right is the road.

From the station you can hike up a "small" hill to get to 12,000 feet. We had to stop twice for breaks because I was sucking wind in the altitude. Matthew and I had figured out that we hadn't seen each other in about 7 years. He looks exactly the same. I've put on about 20 pounds since then. I need to hit the gym more in California.

The view over the other side of the hill was worth it, though.

If anything, the ride back down on the paved road was even more harrowing, but just as scenic.

The road back home.

Dinner with Leona. She ate my bread.

Road Trip, Day 2

Day 2: St. Louis, MO to Boulder, CO (861 miles)

This was the longest day in the car, so there aren't as many pictures. I left the Peils' house on Tuesday morning and drove all the way to the Bourlands' house in Boulder.

Missouri is an okay state to drive through. Eastern Kansas was actually somewhat pretty. Western Kansas and Eastern Colorado were about as flat as everyone thinks they are. I did pass Fort Riley, home of the Big Red One, and at one of the places I stopped to get gas, there was a "Mexican" place called "Carlos O'Kelly's". Draw your own conclusions.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Jeremy's Road Trip, day 1.

One of the things that Kate and I learned during the process of planning and executing our move is that it is a royal pain in the neck to ship a car. Basically, it can't be done on any sort of schedule. This made it impossible to ship my car out here before or during our move. Once we had resolved to leave it behind and arrange shipping later, Kate suggested that, so long as we were going to be spending several hundred dollars to move the car, anyway, one of might as well get some fun out of the deal. So I flew back to Chicago and drove the car back out here, making numerous stops along the way.

Have I mentioned that I have the best wife in the world?

I flew to Chicago on Aug. 14 and played at the 21st Annual Cooler Classic Ultimate tournament in Milwauke on the 15th and 16th. I stayed with Ernie in Chicago the night of the 16th, and on the 17th, I commenced my journey. The trip was a blast. Over the next few days, I'll be posting pictures and descriptions of my trip, and all the stops I made along the way.

DAY 1: Chicago to St. Louis (300 miles)
I was going to post Google Map pictures of my entire route, but then it occurred to me that some folks might not want Google maps of their homes posted on a public blog. So you'll have to be content without for most legs.

Day 1 saw me drive from Ernie's place to the Peil's house in St. Louis, with a stop at Illinois State University to meet with a collaborator of mine, and in Springfield to have lunch with a friend.

Archie is always horribly neglected at the Peil's, now that they have a child, so I made sure to get a picture of him first.

Lucy objected, however, and wanted to be sure I got a picture of her.
"Look at me! I do more tricks than the dog!"

Which just made Archie sad. Poor Archie.

Our first visitors

A couple weeks ago, we had our first visitors. Ned & Colleen and some of their friends stopped by during a road trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Here they are on one of the observation decks of the Monterey Aquarium, with the Bay in the background. It's still strange to have "visitors" here, but we're looking forward to having many more!

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Tomorrow (August 17) is my mom's birthday. So, if you see her around, don't forget to wish her a happy birthday.

We're not in Kansas anymore ...

Normally Monterey county has some of the best air quality in the nation (you can take or leave this piece of knowledge - our source is the waiter at our favorite local deli - but it sounds good). This week has been a little different. There is a big forest fire burning in the Santa Cruz mountains. Even though Santa Cruz is kind of far away, it has had a big impact on the air here. It has been hazier than normal and there is a bit of a reddish tint to the haze. When the wind blows, you definitely get a nose full of "campfire smell". Apparently the fire has also been messing with the fancy car show in Carmel - ash keeps falling on their nicely waxed cars.

Luckily, the fire is almost 50% contained and is supposed to be fully contained by later on this week. Also, the weather is supposed to shift and that should help the air clear up over here.

It is just one more difference between the Midwest and the central coast of California. We won't get many tornadoes or big storms, but now we'll have the occasional big fire or earthquake to deal with.

Blog Questions

We've gotten a couple of questions about the blog and blogging in general. We're pretty new to blogging ourselves, but we'll do what we can to answer the questions.

1. We are using blogger which is Google's free blog service (thank you Kym for the recommendation!). If you have specific questions about how blogger works, you should check out the help section at (that's what we do!)

2. You don't have to log in to read anything - if you did you wouldn't be able to see this :) You also don't have to officially "follow" the blog to read anything. If you have questions about following - see #1 :)

3. You also don't have to log in to comment (we enabled anonymous comments). What are comments? At the end of a post you can click on where it says "# comments" - you can read what other people have written or leave your own comment.

4. Both of us will be posting (Jeremy and Kate). To see who authored each post, you can look at the bottom of the post and it will tell you.

I think that answers all of the questions we have gotten so far. If we missed anything, let us know and we'll try to track down an answer.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sunday on the peninsula

Last Sunday, Kate and I went on 17-mile drive. This is the scenic loop around the southern half of the peninsula. Specifically, it goes around Pebble Beach and all the famous golf courses there (though not Pebble Beach itself). According to Kate, this is her standing on "Pebble Beach."

This is a better picture of Kate with the churning Pacific in the background. We're still not used to the idea that we live here.

Kate got a pretty good shot of the surf crashing on the rocks behind me. It was way behind me, so I didn't get wet, though I'm sure several of you were hoping for that.

If you look just to the left of center in this picture, you can see a lonely sea lion, lounging on the rocks. We live near sea lions and otters and seals. Still very weird.

This was a pretty good view south along the coast toward Big Sur. We're looking forward to getting down that direction.

Soccer night in America

Last Saturday I met up with my friends Sheau and Kristen, who I hadn't seen in about seven years, to go to a double header of soccer games. The first game was an MLS game - San Jose Earthquakes against Columbus Crew. The second game was an exhibition between FC Barcelona and Chivas de Guadelajara.

I understand what MLS is trying to do, but really all the double header did was drive home exactly how wide a disparity there is between the best international times and the MLS teams. The second game was so much crisper, and so much more entertaining, than the MLS game that it was kind of funny after a while.

The Chivas fans were pretty wild. Sheau had to ditch his backpack in the bushes because they wouldn't let it in the stadium. They let these guys bring in fireworks, though.

My father went to Barcelona last spring and got this wonderful FC Barca jersey. It's not really captured in this light, but the jersey is bright orange. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to wear it, though.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Kate's new campus

This is Kate in front of her new office building. There is some sort of building code requiring all California buildings to have the Spanish mission roof. Even the gas stations have it.

This is looking up the main quad from Kate's building. Parks, colleges, and golf courses all get green grass. The rest of us get sand. Actually, the frisbee golf courses on campus are also all sand. There is a lot of sand. We live near the ocean. We're still adjusting to this, too.

The new house and neighborhood

The weather the first week was pretty foggy. This week has been perfect, though. Bright sunshine and 70 degrees. So we finally got some good pictures of the neighborhood.
This is the front of our house. The car still has IL plates. The cat's jungle gym is in the living room window, of course. We frequently are greeted by Danger looking down on us from the upstairs bedroom window. I believe he thinks he rules all that he can see, so the higher up he is, the happier he is.

This is the view east from the park at the end of our court. I imagine it will get bland eventually. When I'm, you know, 75 or so.

This is north. We live on a hill. Those are mountains. This is all very strange to us with our flatland, Midwestern background.

A wonderful California Evening

Today was beautiful: sunny, clear skies and mid-70s. To enjoy the nice weather we headed into downtown Monterey to the (year-round!) farmers market. It was really more a mix of farmers market and street fair, but lots of fun. We got fresh-from-the-tap root beers and wandered around buying lots of delicious produce. Days like this definitely make us feel like we could get used to living here :)