Sunday, September 28, 2014

Ice House Canyon Hike

Yesterday, Sourabh and I drove to the northeast of Orange County to meet friends for a hike in the San Gabriel Mountains. It was our first legit hike here in CA!

It's great that Sourabh worked in LA and Orange County this past summer because he made friends with some of the other summer associates in his class (and I got to know them when I visited twice). Bjorn and Leah are also into hiking, so we decided to meet up for a Saturday morning hike somewhere close to both LA and OC.

We met in the parking lot of the Von's on the corner of Base Line Road and North Mills Ave. It's right off the Mt Baldy Road, so it was a great place to meet up so we could grab some water and snacks and take one car up the windy road to the trailhead. We saw several other groups doing the same thing so it's definitely a good meet-up point.

The hike itself has two options: an out-and-back that's roughly 7.5 miles or a loop with a short out-and-back to the Ice House Saddleback that's roughly 9 miles total. We did the out-and-back since it was actually fairly cold at the saddle and we wanted to head back to the warmer, lower part of the canyon ASAP.

There was no real flat section other than about half a mile near the beginning. Then it's up, up, up. However, it's a nice open trail, so you are looking around the canyon the whole time, which is a nice distraction.

Ice House Canyon Trail Stats
Length: 7.5-9 miles
Elevation Gain: ~2700 ft. (starting around 5,000 ft elevation so it gets cold at the top)
Dog Friendly? Yes!
Water? Nope, make sure you pack plenty.
Bathrooms? Only at the trailhead. Trees are somewhat sparse at that elevation in CA, and the sides of the trail are fairly steep, so it would be tough to get off trail behind a bush.
Parking? Yes, but it's a popular hike so at 8:30 AM it was fairly crowded and we had to park on the street.
(Edited to Add) PermitsForest Adventure Pass required for hiking from Icehouse Canyon or Middle Fork. Adventure Passes are $5/day or $30/year. Interagency Passes also accepted. (This site explains it all quite well.)

After the hike, we went to Eureka! Discover American Craft (yes, that's a mouthful of a name) in Claremont for burgers and beers (or hard cider in my case). The service was pretty meh but the food was fine and it was very dog friendly which was key since Mason was along. Mason got quite a few bites off the table since he had worked so hard -- he made it all the way up the mountain with no problems!

I'm so excited to be within an hour drive of mountain hiking. I hope we can do at least one or two hikes like this a month, depending on my work schedule. Speaking of which -- tomorrow is my first day at my new firm! AHH!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Seahawks, My Sister's Wedding, and California Updates


It's  been a while. I'm writing this from the deck (!!!) of my apartment in Orange County. Currently, Sourabh and I are sleeping on a cheap mattress on the floor because our furniture has not yet arrived from NYC. But our furniture arrives Monday and I start work the Monday after that, so we'll finally be able to get settled!

It's been a whirlwind month. I basically had Labor Day weekend to say goodbye to friends before Sourabh and I flew to Seattle for my sister's wedding.

Seahawks Season Opener

We managed to squeeze in the NFL season opener, Seahawks vs Packers, which was AMAZING. We couldn't afford Super Bowl tickets so it was great to be at the first home game for the Seahawks.

That's Marshawn Lynch (AKA Beast Mode, AKA Skittles). He kept pacing around like a total diva. I love him.


I think I've successfully converted Sourabh into a Seahawks fan... also, yes, my shirt says Legion of Boom. It is awesome.

Priyanka's Wedding

After the game, it was full-on wedding mode through Sunday. My sister and her fiance husband, Jason, put together a really beautiful celebration. It was wonderful to meet more of his family and so great to see many of my relatives that I haven't seen in years!

The newly-minted husband and wife!
(My uncle officiated and gave a really lovely speech.)

Jason was feeling good pre-wedding, Sourabh was skeptical, and I was ... hungry? a ghost?

Sisters <3

Also adorbs. 

I was told I had to make jokes. I tried. And failed.

My godmother!

Gettin' down.
Sourabh wanted attention. 

It was a beautiful day and I am so happy for Priyanka and Jason! They're such a beautiful, sweet couple. 

California Updates

The day after the wedding, Sourabh flew to Orange County with Mason and my dad and I flew to New York to pick up the cats and oversee the movers. So in two days we flew the length of the country twice. #jetsetting

Shortly after, we got a car! I've loved MINI Coopers for a while and am SO excited about this one. It gets great gas mileage, has some pretty sweet pick-up, and there is no missing it in the parking lot. I'm in love.

Last Thursday, I had a friend from NYC visiting the SoCal area, so we headed to Joshua Tree National Park. It was a weekday and close to sunset, so the park was really empty, and the silence in the stark, empty desert was incredible. I hope to go back soon and get more of a chance to climb the rocks and explore!

The eponymous Joshua Tree.

Mason was not a fan.

Where's Waldo the MINI?

Running (?)

I actually went for a run this morning! It's been a while since I've been getting in any kind of consistent mileage. I ran in Washington and did a good bye tour of Central Park, but I haven't been running regularly other than some cardio at the gym. I'm a person who thrives on having things scheduled, and the lack of a schedule the past two months has been a bit rough for my running. So I'm looking forward to getting settled here and setting up a schedule.

One thing that sucks about not running that much is that you don't make any forward progress and, instead, you tend to get slower. I enjoy an easy run to clear my head, but I also love the whole working-hard-toward-a-goal aspect of running, and I'm eager to get back to focused run training. I'm hoping that by the end of this year I can be back where I was fitness-wise at the time of the 2014 NYC Half, and maybe even make some progress. We'll see!

There are two early 2015 half marathons that I have my eye on (including Surf City, which looks pretty awesome -- it's almost entirely on the Pacific Coast Highway). I want to use the next two months to build up a solid base and then start training. So hopefully this will be back to being a running blog in the near future!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

California Here we Come


Sourabh and I are moving....

... to Orange County, CA! Thank you, Phantom Planet, for writing a song that so perfectly encapsulates my move.

This might seem like it comes out of nowhere, but for a while now, California has been in the works for Sourabh and me.  I've missed the West Coast and Sourabh has an awesome firm he'll be working at when he graduates. NYC doesn't have the kind of work Sourabh wants to do as a lawyer and I've honestly grown to dislike the city. I need wide open spaces (<--- yes that's a link to the Dixie Chicks song on YouTube). I miss mountains and hiking and being able to get away from everything in a short drive.

Also, I think we're more attractive in California. Honestly that's why we're leaving.

So when I found a position at a firm that seemed like the perfect fit for what I want in my career, it was too good to pass up. The timing is sooner than expected, but it's just one fewer Thanksgiving I spend away from my family! (I have only been home for two of the past eight Thanksgivings. Sad face.)

Orange County!

Of course, it's not all sunkissed beaches and Insta-filtered happiness.

Changing up my entire life is freaking me out a bit. But I know this is the right direction for both of us, and I am so excited it's happening. And thankfully, I already have a buddy out there in SoCal, forging the NYC/NJ-turned-Californian trail for me!

I hope to blog more with all kinds of Californian adventures, but in the mean time, thanks for hanging out here, and to all the amazing people I have met in NYC ... you have turned a place that I don't always like very much into a city that I will always reflect fondly upon. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I might not miss the city very much but I will certainly miss the people!