Tag Archives: weekend

Her maiden voyage

I am beyond thrilled to be sharing this post today! Oz has put hours and hours into building our boat and with the help of friends we have finished building, coated her in minty-fresh paint (chopped dill to be exact), attached her oar hooks, and taken her out for her first swim! Here is how the last couple of weeks wend down…via iphone pictures.

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We purchased the oars off Craigslist. This was purely for convenience. In hindsight, we probably overpaid, but it was a simple task of picking them up that attracted us to going this route…towards the end of the project we all were getting antsy to get in the water so purchasing the oars instead of making them sped up the process by a few days. ideal.

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Her she is in all her nakedness. A, Oz and I picked out the freshest mint color Home Depot had to offer. We all agreed on Behr’s Chopped Dill.IMG_4181

It was the perfect sunny day to paint a boat. Those coats dried in no time! IMG_4183

IMG_4185 IMG_4186After we minted-up the outside, Oz went straight to work finishing the decking and the seats.

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Here is J and I’s first sit in the boat! Oz had just finished the benches — here they are pre-stained. IMG_4709

Late-night photo sesh // You can’t finish a boat and NOT have an impromptu Titanic photoshoot. Its like a rite-of-passage. Its just necessary for newbie boat-owners.IMG_4746

The day before the maiden voyage, Oz and I went to get a few necessities for the big day. First things first: hat.

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Secondly, some minty-fresh pool noodles! We use three for transporting the boat on top of a car. We also purchased a 4-pack of ratchet clamps to secure the boat once on the roof. Target also provided us with a fancy Styrofoam icechest, a 24 pack of Corona and almost some boat sandals for me, but my indecisiveness got the best of me. Probably a good thing. (( Gold sparkles or classic nude?!?! Why again is BOTH not an option?))IMG_4889

Of course…I don’t know what boy can turn down a good noodle fight. No matter what age he is.IMG_4893

Success!! We’re pretty sure this boat is longer than our baby Scion. But obviously that is no problem for our little peanut of a car. The ride to the bay was quite a nervous one. I’ve never seen Oz drive to cautiously before! Something to note: If you are attaching a row boat to your car using ratchet clamps, be ready to hear a LOUD vibration that puts the rumble of a swarm of bees to shame. Those clamps sure dance in the wind and freak the crap out of you. But, now we know.IMG_4907IMG_4909I suppose I should stop calling her ‘the boat’. We had all agreed to collectively name the boat the day of her maiden voyage. With about 8 of the owners present (couples count as one), we all contributed up to three names to the suggestion board to later vote between. After three rounds of voting and an embarrassing amount of doubting, we accidentally landed on

Mint to Be

We had previously landed on Vitamint Sea (do I need to explain the play on words inspired by Vitamin C?) However, we all felt a hesitance to feel satisfied. I mean, the other options were great too! ((Mint Chocolate Ship, The Open Row’d, Abandonmint…the list literally goes on.)) But we had to accept it and just conclude that it was…Meant to be. Gasping in unison we all in one voice proclaimed: “MINT TO BE!!!”

We had a blast narrowing down the names and have all concluded that we each have terrible commitment issues. We debated changing it a 4th time to Seas the Momint; unfortunately another fabulous boat name that satisfies all our desires for puns, the sea, the color and sense of spontaneous adventure. But, we have somewhat unanimously decided that the this title will be reserved as our hashtag on instragram to document our boat adventures with Mint to Be.

But really, the boat just might have two names.

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Friends bought Oz this lovely Captain’s hat to honor all his hard work and facilitation of getting us our dream row boat!

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Pure bliss right here. Soaking it all in.

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The sweetest family on their first ride! Toddler approved!

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You can’t drink on land, but in a boat is just fine. Technically, he is still in the water…technically.

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This poor windsurfer had hardly any wind in his sail. However the masses of jellyfish below him kept his feet firmly planted on his board. Yep, that’d do it for me!

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The girls and I discovered one of two potential things:

1. Rowing is really hard and requires abnormal amounts of strength

or

2. We are very weak and need to tone.

Either way, it is great exercise.

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Oz put so much heart into the project and went above and beyond to make each owner feel special and honored. He created this incredible certificate and presented it to those present that day!

It reads: To all Rowers wherever ye may be, and to all swabs, land-lubbers, square-knot admirals, gun deckers and all other assorted scavengers of the seven seas: Greetings: and be it known: By all ye earthly mortals and others who be blessed and honored by their presence that ___________ is an honored owner and crew member of the first and most illustrious otter’s point dory gloriously entitled: (Mint to Be)

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Maybe one of Oz’s FAVORITE things about the past two months occurred last night. He has been up late late late trying to figure out the perfect pulley system to get his boat up in the car port. And  after three evenings of trial and error he tasted success! I could not be more proud of him for all his determination not only in the pulley system arena but throughout this whole process. He has not only accomplished so many personal goals and crossed off some bucket list items, but he has persevered and worked hard which has brought so many people joy! We all get to enjoy the fruits of his labor and we all are looking forward to a perfect summer of boat parties!

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Cheers to a summer on the water.

-Bee

((A rower and scavenger of the sea))

[[See more of our adventure through the eyes of the other owners on instragram at #seasthemomint]]

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The Run or Dye Gremlins

Let me start by saying, I am not a runner. I was the girl who always seemed to have ‘that time of the month’ every time we had to run the mile in high school P.E. class. It’s a miracle they didn’t recommend I see a doctor. Actually, I’m a little offended they didn’t. Now, if you say I can run a 5K without it being timed (pressures off) while getting to throw colorful powder on my friend and myself, that takes the lame and most of the pain out of it and I say…Let’s do this.

Here’s the story via my iPhone pics…

My friend AlliJo is one of the most fun people you will ever meet. When I rallied people to run with me a good two months before the race, she was ALL IN! I knew the race would be that much better with this girl as my side-kick. Or me as hers? Anyhow, we started off in all black. You may notice that most/practically all of the other runners wore white. This would seem like the best decision until your friend of a friend tells you other wise and you do a last minute/night before the race wardrobe change.. Black is the canvas you want. The stars don’t shine against a white sky, folks, and neither does colorful powder. Go black or go back (home).

Without color on your person, life is just dull and you can’t seem to find joy or satisfaction, as shown in these photos below.

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The Run or Dye kit provided us with two super rad tattoos. Obviously, one had to be applied to a cheek. Just a word of wisdom, these tattoos are not your average Fruit Stripe tattoos…they will resist a good scrub down which is not ideal when you have a wedding two days later and there are still bits of mangled color specs on your face and bicep. Thanks hindsight, a little late with the FYI.

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Before the race began we were already covered in dye. We thought we were so cool “covered” in color. Little did we know how little covered we actually were…If you’re planning on running this race, brush up on your bartering skills…Scope out who has colors you don’t have and learn to sell your color because chances are, you are a little too hot pink and you need cobalt blue and golden yellow!

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You’ll notice below there are two other Black canvases…they were the o n l y two other black canvases and this created a bond between the four of us. Minorities stick together, they just get each other. Every time we ran past each other someone would yell, “Black canvas!” Support.

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I LOVE the atmosphere of this race. Everyone is there for a fun time that is also great for your health physically and mentally and emotionally. We somehow started morphing  into gremlins during the race, that should say something about the level of fun we were having. Or the seriousness of our insanity. Note, the claws above?

After the race, groups of friends were taking fun photos. AlliJo and I started asking strangers to take our pics too, because that’s what you have to do.

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Then, we had a brilliant idea.

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PHOTOBOMBING GREMLINS!

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I spy a black canvas in the below pic…can you find her?IMG_3773

Gremlin attack below!IMG_3774

Tribal Rival:IMG_3775

Even I got bombed!

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On the way back to the car we had prime opportunity to take our Gremlinhood to the streets. Vulernable runners stuck in a single lane exit with their windows down were just asking for it. This squat is my landing of a giant gremlin jump and scream to spook the passengers…I’m so glad their reflex was to laugh and not to punch.

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Gremlin stalking:

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All in good fun.

As you can see below, being covered in color is way more fun than not being covered in color. We were stained for days, but it was well-worth it. Three weeks later and I am still Q-tipping red out of my left ear.

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The powder will definitely highlight where you sweat…embrace it.

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So here is the link to the Run or Dye website that will tell you when it comes to your city. I highly recommend signing up (A-Jo and I bought a Groupon and only had to pay half the price!) and invite your best buds to join too. I guarantee this race will find a special place in your heart. And/or your ear.

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Sneaking up on the Desert at night

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Oz and I are really close. So, when we realized a year (ish) ago that our only tent was a “two-person” tent (how small do they think people are?) we didn’t mind having to shimmy into our tent feet first and spooning all night. We aren’t large people, so the tight space had always provided a cozy sleeping environment. However, this size tent wasn’t as practical for two people going camping as other tents would have been. My parents knew of our cocoon-home and last Christmas gifted us with a beautiful four-person tent with windows and everything! Deluxe!

All that to say, last weekend was our first excuse to use our new mansion and my did we enjoy it. It was glorious to have the option of standing, to walk a few paces if we so desired and to have enough room to change without being horizontal! My favorite feature? The mesh ceiling. It allowed me this experience:

This by far was my favorite part. In the middle of the night the desert chill interrupted my sleep and I couldn’t settle back into warmth, even with my bear of a husband next to me. With no sounds around me besides nature’s whisper of a breeze and the trees cracking in their own slumber, I suddenly felt so aware of the stillness around me. I bravely opened my eyes, risking not being able to fall asleep again and was taken aback by the sight. Looking straight up into the night, the stars were my mobile and I was a child mesmerized and captured by their endless glow and patient movement. Take this in, Bee. Breathe. I closed my eyes to feel my body experiencing this moment. I was so aware. The snaps of the tent walls being pushed by the wind, the dry air poking my tired yet grateful eyes and cheeks, icing my nose, the absence of voices that had muffled this beauty. The beauty of being there, being still, being an audience of the desert in the seat of each of my senses. This is when the desert is awakens. So uninterrupted by visitors and sounds. I opened my eyes one last time to see how far the Big Dipper had moved. How far I had moved. Its a new moment. I breathe in deep the cold air. It is drenched with the scent of earth; dirt and Jojoba leaves, but this is clean and fresh. I drew my head under the thin blankets and tried to find sleep again. I was rid of the bitter cold and the tense muscles that fought it. I was calm and giddy to rediscover slumber, this time with the inspiration of the desert night ready to invade my dreams.

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With enough consumption of hot dogs, whiskey’n’coke, and vegan franks to last me till next time, thank you J-Tree for showing us a good time.

Love always,

Bee

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Whad’ya mean its March?

Seriously, I know I can’t be the only one who is still writing 2012 on my checks. I am amazed at how quickly this year is flying by. It has truly been fun though. There have been lots of parties, game nights, family birthday dinners, and crafting. Oz and I are loving living blocks away from Balboa Park and the SD Zoo! If you have not been to either of those places then cross out your next vacation and reroute pronto! Here are a few snippets of our day at the Park.IMG_3127 IMG_3085IMG_1235 IMG_3094IMG_1229DSC_8748 DSC_8782 IMG_3101DSC_8669 IMG_3114 IMG_3133 IMG_3134 IMG_1230

There are so many fun things to do in Balboa. You could easily spend the whole day there exploring the Science museum, going to an IMAX movie, holding a beautiful bird (I’ve come a long way from from fear of birds…), listening to great street music and catching a fun magic show. There are amazing gardens to walk through that will not only romance your eyes but also your nose with their sweet smells. The museums are endless and they always have great attractions coming and going. Thank goodness San Diego is sunny all year long!

Next weekend we’re going to spend time camping in Joshua Tree with some friends. I predict loads of fun will be had. Update to come.

Cheers to Sunshine,

Bee

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Tiger Leaping GORGEOUS

            Let me begin by introducing                …drum roll please…              the beautiful, the magnificent, the gorgeous, T i g e r  L e a p i n g   G o r g e !

(too bad i don’t have a wide angle lens)

That blue-hooded gal is Bee — see how tiny she is compared to those mountains?!

In southern Ch1na, there is no hike as spectacular as the one in Tiger Leaping Gorge. It’s well-worn trails hug the cliffs of one of the deepest gorges on earth, winding through beautiful rugged landscapes, hundreds-of-years-old N@xi villages, and even passing over a cascading waterfall, all while facing the magnificent Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.

Bee and I set out for the trailhead last Tuesday, prepared to hike the nearly 7 hours (depending on how fast you hike) to Halfway Guesthouse. After a fairly easy first couple hours, we began to come upon some steeper inclines leading up to the 28 bends, which lead to the peak on the west side of the river. Bee could have sworn she counted 33 bends and said it felt like 52. She demands a recount.

We weren’t the only ones who needed to cross – look at the cute little calf!

But after what we saw them do in it — well, don’t drink the water.

There is never not enough corn in this country. Never.

  Travelers looking to tackle this hike usually take 2 days. The first to hike the 28 Bends to the top, and the second to hike down to the raging Yangtze riverbed. Completing the first day felt great! Especially since we knew the second day would be only a couple of hours to hike – the big chunk of the work was finished 🙂

We ended up meeting a German couple and a Chinese guy that we had the pleasure of hiking with. The German couple had been traveling around the world for about two years now and had some great stories. It’s always fun to share these kind of adventures with people you meet along the way.

Looking down toward the world’s 3rd largest river…There are truly no words to describe the beauty.

There are some amazing views from the tops of cliffs literally kilometers above the beautiful Yangtze River below. However, it can be quite a struggle to catch your breath if you are not acclimated to the altitude!

While a good portion of the hike is at a breathtaking height of only about 9000 feet, the opposite peaks (which are not part of the hike we did) reach head-spinning heights of more than 18,300 feet tall.

It was SO loud.

Although Bee had a rather difficult time because of the altitude, with a few rests along the way, we were both able to reach the top. I was so proud of her for pushing through! Despite the difficulty, being able to sit up there was definitely worth the struggle.

The trek still wasn’t over.

On our way back we had to walk a couple kilometers to find a bus. We wouldn’t have had to walk if it weren’t for the

landslide

that took out an entire section of the road three weeks prior. The pictures hardly convey how extreme the damage was. They’ll have to cut through it to re-build the road. For now, people have to drive about 200 km out of their way around the other side of the mountain to get to the town just beyond the rock-slide.

Our trip was beyond amazing. If you ever find yourself in Liji@ng, don’t pass up the opportunity to do this hike.

Now that we’re back we’ve shopped, celebrated birthdays, hung out with friends and now find ourselves packing up our Liji@ng home and getting ready to start the trek back to Be!jing, then finally to the States. We’ll try to keep you posted during our travels back home. Just a handful of days left!? Blows our minds.

Almost home,

Oz & Bee

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An Update-ish

We are back from our weekend trip to our friend’s village. It was SUCH a great time! There were so many moments where I stopped and told myself to realize where we were and the amazing opportunity we had to join in on such authentic cultural experience. We will have a proper update soon. We took tons of pictures!

We’ve got another four days here before we head out for one whole week to help with a clinic in another village area. We are so thankful we can partner with this team and know it will be another amazing trip.

Happy mid-August!

-bee

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The Lake, The mango, the bee, oh my!

Going to the lake this last weekend was a fantastic way to get insight into the lives of some of the many Chinese ethnic groups that live there as well as see how our friends here cultivate relationship and work alongside them. We were able to meet and develop a friendship with a friend of J+L’s by  enjoying Yak Butter Tea and conversation in his traditional style home while learning about his family. What a blessing to see what our Father is doing among this beautiful and unique group of people! Here are a few pictures from our trip. Click them if you’d like a bigger view (aka – you can’t find your glasses)…


A typical view of a village

This view was more amazing in real life!

The traditional dress. Their hats indicate that they are married and have children.

Single women wear smaller versions of the hat.

Fishing boats docked near our hotel. It was so peaceful to wake up to this lake view.

Lounging around on a water buffalo.

Inside a traditional house. It’s like a life-size Lincoln log house!

No nails to hold it together, yet it’s such a strong structure.

Yak butter tea with barley flour. You take a spoonful of the barley flour and throw it in the back of your mouth (not too far or you’ll have an embarrassing coughing fit 🙂 ) then drink the thick, soup-like tea to wash it down. We each had about 3 cups full! Its a tasty, buttery and salty experience! Something we’ll never forget and always be grateful for the experience.

Grandmother and mother of our friend. These women have seen so much — I wish we could sit down with them all day and hear their stories…but they do not speak Mandarin. Most of the older generations do not. Our friends J & L are hoping to start their minority language classes soon to get started on building more relationships with people from this group. When Oz spat out the few sentences he knows in their language, they lit up and became such chatter-boxes. It was such a blessed time with them.

Our dinner view of the lake. It never got old.

We really enjoyed our stay!

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Since we’ve been back we’ve caught up on sleep and just relaxed. Oz finished his morning teaching class before we left, so he only has his afternoon tutoring for two hours. It has given us time to hang out together, meet up with friends and deepen those relationships. One evening we were treated to dinner by one of our Sisters here and went back to her house for some fun. We watched TV, including some of the Olympics (Go USA!), enjoyed some home-made rice wine (delicious) and tea. She showed us some of the most natural honey we’ve ever seen. It’s cultivated in her village  – I think her Uncle bottled it for her. Anyway, this honey made Trader Joes au-naturel style seem like a joke. We found an actual dead bee in the mix and chewed the wax. It definitely made our tea more…adventurous. However, the sweetness and texture was a b s o l u t e l y divine. Here, take a look at our evening:

Oz picking out the best fruit at the market. I didn’t even know a Mango could get that big!

Our yummy bowl of noodles. We also had lamb kabobs, but they were eaten up too fast to get a picture.

She heated up the rice wine and we enjoyed every spoonful! It had a strong alcohol flavor with a bit of sweetness from the rice. See how excited he is!?

Underneath the thick stuff on the top was creamy golden honey.

 The picture on the bottom shows a big hunk of drenched honeycomb.

We had a really great time hanging out with our friend. We felt so honored that she invited us back to her place — such a great night!

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So, one adventure finished and blogged and ready to head out this weekend for another one! We have been invited to celebrate Huo Ba Jie (Torch Festival) at our friends hometown village. We’ll leave tonight and spend two nights with her family. We are SO looking forward to celebrating this festival in our friends village! We’ll get an authentic and traditional experience and I’m sure, have a fantastic time. We hope you guys have been having a great week — can you believe how fast this month is going?! Pretty soon Oz and I will be back home and this whole summer may feel like it was all a dream. We’ll (gladly) wait and see. 🙂

Back on Monday,

Oz & Bee

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