Saturday, November 26, 2022

A Road Trip to Hunt Sea Glass

I hate to waste a five-day weekend so Henry and I spent 36-hours road tripping through Northern California in search of sea glass. I love sea glass. Yes, I know it is garbage but I love how it sparkles in the water and when found it feels as if you have found something special. 

We took off Friday morning and drove up highway 1 along the pacific coast. Our first stop was Bodega Bay. 

Our next stop was Sea Ranch. The northern drive on highway 1 is somewhat similar to south from San Francisco but you begin to see evergreen trees. 

After five hours we made it to Mendocino for a fabulous lunch at Flow resteraunt, a walk to the shore, and some fudge. 

Our final destination was Sea Glass beach in Fort Bragg. I have had this beach on my bucket list for many years and when I realized I lived only four hours from it I thought “I need to make this happen!”

We started at the Sea Glass Museum which turned out to be a waste of time but immediately made our way to the Sea Glass beach, which is located in MacKerricher state park. I set my expectations low as several friends mentioned it had been picked over. I was in complete shock and happy as hell when we arrived and it looked just like the photos! 

It is crazy the amount of glass that is on that beach! It sparkled just as I thought but this time it was not difficult to find. 

I was surprised to see so few people where we saw the glass. Most were in the tide pool area. For those wanting to go, my tips would be to take the path from the parking lot and when the path splits stay left. There will be dirt path that quickly breaks off to the right - follow that. You will see a small beach below. The most important thing is to arrive at low tide or the water will completely cover the glass. Here is a photo from the following day during high tide (which did not deter me from grabbing more). 

Sadly, the site was a city dump until 1967. During low tide you can see lots of junk in the water including an axel for something. Really sad. But the glass is amazing. 

We checked in at Baymont Wyndam after receiving a text they overbooked for the night and we would have to find another place. I have watched enough TikToks to know being kind is what will get you the room. It was great for less than $90. 

We walked to D’Aurelios for pizza and it was fantastic! A short walk later we made our way to Melano’s Bar for a perfect local atmosphere. 

We woke the next morning and returned to Sea Glass beach to pick up a few more pieces and made our way north to Leggett to drive through a redwood tree at the Drive Thru Tree Park. 

It was a bit goofy but fun to see such a large tree. We drove back via highway 101 and stopped in Santa Rosa at Jackson’s Bar & Oven. Very good. 

We were home 36 hours later after 550 miles and lots of sea glass. Sometimes the best trips are those close to home. 

Only 11 days until my next adventure! I cannot wait to be back. 

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Monday, October 24, 2022

Minnesota for a Wedding

This past week I returned to Minnesota with my friend Henry. 

We were celebrating the marriage of my daughter, Paradis, to my son-in-law Parker. 

It started as a working trip doing some prep for the wedding. Even while working I love hanging with my children. They are just lovely. 

We stayed downtown Minneapolis, which felt a bit weird but was so fun. Friday night we met some friends for drinks and saw Dessa at First Avenue. Both of which I love.

Saturday was the wedding celebration. Paradis had done all the planning and it was perfect! It was fun to see everyone that loves the two of them as much as I do.

Henry and I spent the last 36 hours road-tripping to my old stomping grounds on the North Shore. I took him to the best spots and along the way shared stories of my youth. Although I love cities more than small towns, and traveling more than staying put, it is always fun to visit. The weather was amazing!

It was a great week! The weather was absolutely perfect. I do love so many things about Minnesota but I am always happy to return to California, which tells me I made the right decision  

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Friday, October 14, 2022

One Year in California!

I moved today. I have moved six (6) times in seven (7) years. Crazy, I know. But I am getting really good at it and find it cathartic to touch all my items and ask myself if I find value in them. Being a nomadic minimalist helps. I moved from Minnesota to California on October 1, 2021, with six boxes. I bought some essentials (e.g., a bed, desk, sofa). But while packing I discovered I have accumulated so much more over the last year. I started collecting mementos starting last fall. As I packed these items I realized, this has been a great year. 

I decided to stay in San Jose. I am literally moving across the street. Why? Because it will save me $7,000 which pays for the adventure I will be taking in December (stay tuned). When I first moved here I did not know if I would stay beyond my initial 13-month lease. But within weeks I knew I would not be moving until my next goal because it was clear I was going to love my new home. 

I signed a 15-month lease, through January 29, 2024, which will bring me to my next goal. That goal is for my next lease to be "across the pond", in Europe. I joined ServiceNow so I could work internationally and I am one step closer. I have shared it with my manager, who supports me, as well as all of you. No goal is a goal until it is shared widely. I am excited and nervous.

Many of you have asked if there is a sky deck at my new apartment as I spend endless hours there. I am happy to say yes and it is even better! 

My previous apartment was a 450sf one-room studio but I have increased that by 50% and now have a one-bedroom apartment with 677sf. I must admit the extra space is a bit overwhelming. I love the feeling a small space gives me. It is almost as if the room is hugging me every day. I will adapt I am sure. 

I want to celebrate I have gone 13 months without a car, using mainly public transportation. I am proud of reaching that goal and plan to continue during my time in California. What has this accomplished? 

  • I saved money, estimated at over $10,000 (which pays for my travel adventures) 
  • I walked more, around 1,800 miles over the year
  • I reduced greenhouse gas emissions, which is the primary contributor to climate change (cars and trucks create 38% of total climate change emissions)
So curious minds want to many boxes did I pack? Twenty-nine. I had things I did not ship from Minneapolis such as food and a stupid box of liquor I told myself I would never accumulate again (I have 15 months to drink it!). My packing was not as efficient either. It only took me five hours to pack (which included cleaning) and five hours to unpack. 

This sign has hung on the mirror of my last five bathrooms. Today I hung it in my sixth. I continue to do something every day to live these words. I hope you are doing something toward your goals as well. 

Monday, September 5, 2022

Minnesota State Fair

Over Labor Day I returned to MSP. My main goal was to visit the Great Minnesota Get Together (aka the State Fair) but after Paradis and Parker bought a house I wanted to get there and see it as well. 

I love MSP. As I navigate this “nomad life” I think this will always be my “home airport”. 

Anna picked me up from the airport and we went to Paradis’ house to meet their new cat, Cash. It is impossible to get a good photo of that guy, but he is cute. 

Then we went to the State Fair to see Zac Brown (and consume more calories than one requires in a week). 

Saturday we returned to the Fair. The kids went on their own to eat all that is unhealthy while I did my favorite things. I ended up sitting for nearly an hour making seed art. The competitive seed art exhibit is one of my favorite stops at the fair (although theirs are way beyond my piece). 

I met up with “Travel Buddy Steve”, his sister, and girlfriend Amy for the remainder of the day. We enjoyed some music, rode the Ferris wheel, and drank some beer. 

Sunday I road tripped to Wisconsin with Steve. We stopped at Rusty’s for Bloody Marys (with a beer chaser which is a requirement in Wisconsin), The Pizza Barn, and Oliphant Brewery in Somerset. It was a fun day. 

Monday, Paradis and I did some curtain shopping and returned to her house for home ownership stuff. It is so fun to see how excited the two of them are to do this work and it was fun to help, but the excitement I felt about getting back on that plane confirms this nomadic life is where I should be right now. 

I hope you are where you want to be right now as well. 

Rae Ann

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