On the agenda: a holiday hike. Just north of Highland Park, the rain that we felt was received as plentiful snow at higher elevation. So with that information and a want for nature, we began our drive north on the Angeles Crest Parkway. It’s peculiar to experience that dramatic of a temperature change, especially in the winter months. We left 60 degrees Fahrenheit in the hills and arrived at 38 degrees Fahrenheit just about five miles past Mt. Wilson. Because the snow was so ample and recent, there was a mandatory call for snow chains after a certain point on the drive. So we stopped at our last possible checkpoint and walked from there. The 2-3 mile hike we started was almost all virgin snow. Untouched paths for us to enjoy (and make yellow).
Driving down the mountain was nice, approaching Los Angeles from above in quite a magical way. Chloe wasn’t feeling well, for whatever reason, and stayed at the house while I went to visit our sweet Sawyer, the canine we were dog sitting for the long weekend. A big, big dog with a huge heart and affinity for making you dirty, Sawyer is a fun one. But a lot to handle… Enjoyed some time there before returning home for the main attraction of Christmas! Following showers, Chloe took control of a delicious stuffed mushroom dish for that night’s dinner while I made moves on a fire in our living room’s fireplace. A great way to ring in the holiday, we both drank red wine, the house was toasty, festive and generally lovely. For our first time using the fireplace as it was designed to be used, the fire was glorious. And directly after our delectable dinner, we gifted each other our Christmas presents. Much love was felt, and our toes were warmed by the hearth as we finished our wine and well asleep to a long movie.
The next day was, in fact, Christmas Day. And it came with plenty of sunshine. We were planning to head south for Aliso Viejo, to spend time with my Aunt Christine, Uncle Paul and my visiting cousin Spencer. Rather quickly, we made breakfast and coffee, took care of dog duties and began packing the desserts and alcohol in the car to bring with us to our day in Orange County. One hour later, we pulled up to my uncle’s place, ready for a fun day. First action for the day - walk on the beach.
Pickle finding done, we all had a drink while dinner was being prepared. The final touches on lasagna, Italian bread and salad were being made, and I'll say that I ate one of the best lasagnas I’ve ever had. The warm lasagna noodles, meat and cheeses mixed as they should and the flavors came through like one can only hope. Exquisite. I’m not religious, but I know when and how to practice gratitude. And for that day, for that family and for my support in life I’m grateful.
We had to leave a little earlier than desired, to go see our lovable monster, Sawyer. Home to Highland Park we went and proceeded to have several drinks with a crazy holiday puppy back in our own neighborhood. I can only hope that the New Year continues these great vibes and amazing experiences that I’ve had with Chloe and all of my friends and family in 2016.
- 7Ply Epic