Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!


Hope you have a fabulous New Year's Eve, no matter what your plans are tonight!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

West Coast Wedding Extravaganza - Day 5

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

One of the things I was most looking forward to with our trip to California was spending a few days in Napa Valley and Sonoma.  A family friend went on her honeymoon to Northern California, so I took some of her suggestions, along with inspiration from Kate (and vol. 2!), Andrea, and Beth. The drive up to Napa on Wednesday morning was easier than most of our other drives had been, possibly because we purchased a convertor that allowed us to charge (and thus use the GPS on) our phones.  We crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, which was gorgeous, and made our way to our hotel, the River Terrace Inn, in not too much time at all.  The hotel was lovely, and even though we decided not to upgrade (to a room with a jacuzzi and balcony), our room was comfortable and perfect for our one-night stay.  It's also right near the Napa Wine Train, which we didn't use, but which sounds really convenient.

Then, we hit the road.  We checked out the Hess Collection first, which turned out to be a perfect first stop.  One of the most affordable vineyards, they also have an extensive art collection, which of course Roger loved.  In fact, one of the first pieces we saw was from an artist that Roger instantly recognized.  The wines we tried there were all great, and the wine educator who served us was friendly and knowledgeable, and also made some great suggestions for other vineyards to try out.  We didn't buy any bottles, but I would definitely recommend a visit!

Our next stop, despite being warned away by our wine educator, was Domaine Chandon, just because I really love champagnes.  They had some special bottles commemorating the America's Cup,  and the champagne was nice (as was the complimentary champagne flute!), but it was a little corporate.  I've heard good things about the restaurant, but for just a tasting, I think there are better spots to choose.  We did, though, buy a bottle to take back to the hotel, because why not?!

Roger champagne tasting!

We headed to Silverado Winery next, and figured out how to actually taste wine in Napa Valley - by taking our pours, one at a time, outside.  We're so used to tasting in New York, where the pours are free and the weather is sometimes chilly, that we usually go from vineyard to vineyard really quickly.  In California, though, things are meant to move a little slower.  We took each of our pours outside onto their terrace, and took in the beautiful warm weather and the delicious wines.  We ended up buying a bottle here too - one to bring back to Kristin and Drew as a thank you for letting us stay with them all week.
The view from Silverado Vineyards

Me, enjoying our time on the patio

Another view from Silverado

After Silverado, it was time to stop for a late lunch.  We headed to Mustards Grill, which had some delicious bites.  Even though it was later in the afternoon, the restaurant was still pretty crowded, so if you go, you may want to make reservations.  I can't remember anymore exactly what we ordered, but I believe it involved macaroni and cheese and maybe a chardonnay.

After we sated ourselves, we headed to our last vineyard of the day, Sterling Vineyards.  This was probably my favorite stop of the day, since it involved a tram, gorgeous views, and a nicely guided tour around the building and through the winemaking process.  After your tram ride up, you walk around the building in a self-guided tour, stopping along the way for a number of wine samples.  At the end, you can order a cheese platter and glasses of wine, and enjoy them out on the patio.  And with the spectacular views they had, who wouldn't want to do just that?  We were on one of the last trams up to the top, and we never felt rushed at all while we were up there.

Roger on the tram to Sterling Vineyards.

Gorgeous views from the top of Sterling Vineyards

Me enjoying some wine!

The two of us on the Sterling Vineyards patio.


The staff was incredibly friendly, and with just a few other couples at the vineyards, Sterling Vineyards was a perfect place to enjoy a quiet drink before heading back to our hotel for a sunset dinner.  We went to Celadon for dinner, and it was lovely to sit on their riverfront patio and take in the sunset, and then watch the enormous moon rise over the mountains.  Ideally, we would have been eating at the French Laundry, and while this food was certainly nothing close to what we would have had there, it was a nice experience nonetheless.

Sunset from our hotel.

I wish I was a better photographer so I could have captured how gorgeous this moon was.

After dinner, we headed back to the hotel and popped our bottle of bubbly for the evening.  We poured ourselves each a glass and headed downstairs to sit by the fire.  A perfect way to close our day exploring Napa Valley.


Sitting outside the hotel.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013!

Christmas is always a special day for me, filled with thoughts of family, love and peace.  I hope whether or not you're celebrating today, you're feeling warmth and joy.  Happy holidays!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Cooking with Kristin - Gluten Free Peanut Butter Truffles

I'm not a huge cookie fanatic at Christmas time, but I know a lot of people are, and to get into the spirit this year, I made a few different types: rice krispy treats from Smitten Kitchen, chocolate kiss cookies from a friend's secret recipe, oreo truffles from the Culinary Couple, and these babies.  They're easy to make gluten-free (just use Rice Krispies gluten-free version) and absolutely delicious!

I'm really happy with how our Christmas cookies came out (and I think everyone who has eaten them so far is, too!).  Are you making anything special this year?  Tonight we're having our big feast of seven fishes, and we'll be bringing these and out oreo truffles to share with our group of 15!  Then tomorrow, 9 of us are heading over to Roger's family for Christmas Day dinner, a tradition we've never had before.  Should be exciting!

Have a wonderful holiday!

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Truffles (Adapted from How Sweet Eats.)
  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup Rice Krispies (be sure to get the gluten-free kind!)
  • 2.5 cups milk chocolate chips (about one bag)
  • cocoa powder (or flour if you're okay with gluten)
Using a hand-mixer or stand-up mixer, beat the peanut butter and butter until smooth. Add in the vanilla extract and powdered sugar with the mixer on low until it creates a dough-like texture. Then, fold in the cereal so it gets distributed through the batter, being careful not to crush the cereal.  You can also add more cereal if you want it even crispier.

Once you have this dough, put it in the fridge for a half-hour to stiffen it up.  Then, roll dough into teaspoon-sized balls and place on a tinfoil-covered baking sheet. I had a hard time rolling it out neatly until I rubbed some flour on my hands, which fixed it right up.  If you're staying gluten-free, cocoa powder will work just as well.  I definitely recommend using something, because otherwise, the peanut butter gets melty very quickly.  Once all the balls are rolled out (I made about 40 balls total), pop them in the freezer for an hour or so.

Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler. If it's a little too thick, put in a teaspoon or so of crisco or vegetable oil to help thin it down a little. Remove peanut butter balls from fridge and dip each in the chocolate using the two-spoon method, then place them back on the foil. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes before serving and be sure to keep them in the refrigerator.  Enjoy!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Weekend Wanderings - Warmth and Weehawken

We had a quiet but fast last weekend before Christmas.  Friday I left work early to have one of our lightbulbs replaced by the super, and then spent most of the evening reading. On Saturday I spent the morning finishing the peanut butter truffles I started making last week, and then after a lazy morning, Roger and I headed over to Becky and Carrie's house in Weehawken to help them move some furniture upstairs, and enjoyed appetizers and Becky's seven types of amazing cookies.  We replicated one of those types on Sunday morning, making Oreo truffles, and after a quick run, I spent most of Sunday doing chores and clearing things up. A nice quiet weekend of prepwork for the coming week!

Friday, December 20, 2013

{This Moment}

A Friday ritual inspired by Amanda Soule & many others.
Please feel free to share a link to your own moment in the comments.
Recap of this week on Not Intent On Arriving:
And now we're at last weekend before Christmas!  Have you finished your holiday shopping?  I just finished mine with one last Amazon prime order this week, so the weekend is all mine.  Our only plan was to attend a party that was just canceled, so I'm looking forward to sleeping late, getting out from under the mess of the house we've made, eating those extra peanut-butter truffles we made, and maybe doing a little reading and writing before the year is out.  Make this weekend a great one! 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Writer Wednesday - Sara Strauss

I found Sara's blog after creeping on an instagram-hashtag for a conference she and I both attended.  She posted a picture of her pretty awesome shoes, and as I looked through her feed and found her blog, I knew it was one I'd be reading for a while.  She's getting her MFA right now, and the blog feels like the perfect combination of literary seriousness and blogging lightness.  Take a look!

Sara of Sincerely, Sara

Who are you? I’m Sara, a petite young woman who is currently going to grad school for creative writing in New York. When I’m not writing my novel, I’m reading, watching way too much TV, blogging, drinking tea, hanging out with friends, or shopping.

Where can you be found online? Do you have a blog or other online receptacle for your work? If so, how would you describe it to a stranger you've just met while on vacation? Why yes, I blog over at Sincerely, Sara, a charming place where fashion and literary magic happens! Sincerely, Sara inspires literary-loving people to be creative, to dress how they want, to be their amazing selves, and to find inspiration everywhere. My Inspired By posts combine my love of fashion and books (and sometimes TV shows and movies) to create outfits inspired by book covers or literary characters.

What inspired you to start writing/blogging? When did it happen? I started blogging in November of 2011 mostly because everyone said that a writer should have a blog. Initially, I had no idea what I wanted to write about. I was going to write about my thoughts on life, but found that boring, so I turned to my love of fashion and books.

Why do you write? I write stories because I fell in love with storytelling after reading Harry Potter and wanted desperately to inspire and entertain others as J.K. Rowling and many other writers have done for me. I write notes to myself because it gives me a space to put my thoughts and if I didn’t those thoughts would be lost forever!

Your writing inspires me. Who inspires you? The writer who inspires me the most is of course J.K. Rowling. One day I hope my stories will be the escapism someone needs as her stories were for me. On a daily basis though, I’m inspired by the bloggers I read every day who continue to write on their blogs or work on their novels because they love it so much. Seeing their intensity and drive inspires me to continue writing. Most specifically is Kristin of My Life as a Teacup, whose blog makes me smile every day.

In keeping with the admittedly loose travel theme of Not Intent On Arriving, if you could have an all-expenses paid trip anywhere in the world, where would you go? Sadly I’ve never been to England, but something tells me that if I ever did have a chance to go (an all-expenses paid trip would be amazing!) it would feel like home away from home. I like to tell people that I was British in a past life!

What is your favorite place on earth? Honestly, my bed! It’s so cozy and I love snuggling under the covers to read or watch TV until the wee hours of the morning. I also like to write in a notebook in bed when I get a spurt of inspiration for my stories.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Weekend Wanderings - Christmas in the City

We were lucky enough to have visitors this weekend; Shelby and Mike stopped by to take in the city at Christmastime.  They arrived late on Friday, and on Saturday morning, we headed out into the snow to watch Courtney finish her 15k in Central Park.

After meeting Courtney at the race (she really kicked butt and ran the 15k in the snow and wind!), we headed to brunch at Amy Ruth's for a much needed warm-up and some delicious soul food.  

After a leisurely brunch, we took the subway to Rockefeller Center, transferring several times.  It seems that any time Shelby's here, we have to transfer subways a hundred times, even though we honestly do live on a very central line.  Oh well.

The tree, despite not being from my hometown this year, was lovely, and we had a nice time seeing it and the ice skaters before checking out the NBC store, where it turns out they are still selling merchandise from Friends, which, last time I checked, has not been on air in a decade.

We made our way over to St. Patrick's Cathedral, which is under massive construction right now.  It was a little disappointing for Mike, who I think had never been or hadn't been since he was a child, but it was actually a little thrilling for me to see.  It was a completely different place, like a jungle. 

After stopping at Sak's to look at their window display (quite cute!), we wandered down to the NYPL to warm up for a bit.  We took in their current exhibition and I know Mike enjoyed seeing the room where Ghostbusters was shot.

After a quick stop at DSW to buy Mike a pair of snowboots, the three of us headed to the Lower East Side to meet Rob and join in the fun of SantaCon.

Overall, it really is a big drunk-fest and the first bar we stopped at was especially fratty, but the second bar (one we went to a few times after college) was slightly more chill, and we had a pretty good time, overall.  I can't say that I'd do it again, but I'm glad to be able to say we did it once.

We headed next door to Veselka for a delicious Ukrainian dinner of stuffed cabbage and perogies, and then followed Rob to Astoria, where we met up with Roger for one last drink before calling it a night. 

Unfortunately, on Sunday I was feeling pretty awful from my cold and all the wandering around in the snow.  Though the roads were a little more clear and our race was still on, Shelby and I decided to skip the Hot Chocolate 5k we'd signed up for, in order to get a few more hours of sleep.  I'm pretty disappointed not to have run it (and to have lost the $25 entry fee), but today I'm feeling just an ounce better, so I know it was ultimately the right choice.  After waking up at a luxurious 10am, I chatted a little more with Shelby and Mike before saying goodbye to them for the weekend.

In the evening, Roger read for me at the Works & Days reading I was supposed to read at (since I'd lost my voice), and did a lovely job.  Though I wish I'd felt a bit better during the whole thing, it was still a great weekend and I'm so glad that we saw everything we got to see! 

Friday, December 13, 2013

{This Moment}

A Friday ritual inspired by Amanda Soule & many others.
Please feel free to share a link to your own moment in the comments.
Recap of this week on Not Intent On Arriving:
  • On Monday, I recapped my busy but wonderful Sunday of finally running my first half-marathon and seeing my first hockey game!
  • On Tuesday,  I continued my slow march through our California Adventure recaps, and talked about our last full day in San Francisco.
  • On Wednesday, I featured my wonderful friend Roy Holm on Writer Wednesday
  • And, then yesterday I nursed my sore throat and went to the second holiday party in a row and was generally just too tired and sick to post!  Here's hoping I'll feel better tomorrow, when Shelby and Mike arrive to experience Christmas in NYC and run in the Hot Chocolate 5k with me.
Make this weekend a great one! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Writer Wednesday - Roy Holm

I probably first met Roy at one of our friend Erica's potlucks, but I have been lucky enough to get to know him during our monthly writers' group, where we workshop poetry, prose, and sometimes other art forms as well.  Roy is a deeply kind and warm-hearted friend, and I'm so excited to be featuring him here today.

Roy by Erica Quinn.

Who are you? Mein Name is Roy Reuben Holm. Named after my extraordinary grandfathers. I am a tramp, cat, InspektorccJaspers4eva. Born in a small rural town in western Indiana, raised in Cologne, Germany, return to a small rural town, but PA, somehow rassled a degree in Ceramic Arts and Philosophy with a little bit of hiccup year in Alaska, living on islands, boats, and the road. I don't know if I would call NYC home, but it is certainly holding my attention for a little while. Currently on the loose employment-wise.

Where can you be found online? Do you have a blog or other online receptacle for your work? If so, how would you describe it to a stranger you've just met while on vacation? I can be found in the recesses of deviantart and myspacegroups. If you can find my stuff, tell me. I lost a lot of my writing on my old computer a few years back. Otherwise I have become skeptical of the world wide web. My inner old man is hacking his way to the surface these days, bad knees and all.

What inspired you to start writing? When did it happen? I started writing when I was about 15. I had a MAD CRUSH, and this gurl was so "in" and cool. Also, I had many FEELINGS I didn't know how to handle. The days I started listening to chop suey and radiohead.

Why do you write? Now, I write for twofold reasons. First and foremost words are a psychological punching bag and external hard drive for my memories. When I reminisce, the significance of my experiences are enhanced in the act of recounting them. To formulate them into poems provides a certain kind of anchor, and give me reference point to continue my inner dialectics on my life's meaning, passions, and spirituality. The second reason, is that I value the commonplace and I want to be able to communicate its significance in describing us as humans. These days, I would like to be able to write in a way that is not only captivating and with substance, but also equally accessible. It is my goal to be able to reveal and communicate the sublime in everyday experiences (what a buncha bull).

Who inspires you? Not in any specific order I believe Annie Dillard, Phil Miller and a great group of friends have, and continue to inspire me to become a better smarter writes. Annie Dillard is my stylistic and metaphysical source. I don't think I have been as captivated by anyone's writings and ideas as I have been by hers. The late Phil Miller, was a mentor to a group of us who not only shared his knowledge and critique, but encouraged us to write, produce, see and experience the written word. He was a true community leader and drew people to the arts and literature. And lastly, those friends of mine. The big hearts, the late nights, the adventures, the innumerable shared meals and beers. If the people you love don't love what you are doing, it is so much harder to be confident in it.

If you could have an all-expenses paid trip anywhere in the world, where would you go? I think about this often, and it changes almost weekly. I would rather have no expenses paid and hitch hike. It's not the destination that counts....it's the idiot on the side of road.

What is your favorite place on earth? I have this little fishing spot on the Juniata river.

Anything else you'd like us to know? I love anything pickled, just not pickles.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

West Coast Wedding Extravaganza - Day 4

Tuesday, August 20, 2013: San Francisco, CA

We woke up on Tuesday morning and headed into the Castro to get Roger's hair cut and wander around a bit.  We passed the Castro theatre and enjoyed the gorgeous weather by people-watching in Dolores Park.  After that, we stopped for some really amazing early-morning ice cream at Bi-Rite Creamery.  They had some really interesting flavors, that sort of reminded me of Jeni's, and I had the lavender and honey, which was wonderful.

The view from Dolores Park

After that, I headed back to the Tenderloin (I think?  I'm really unclear on which neighborhoods are which) for lunch with the very lovely Lauren while Roger went to check out the Yerba Buena Gardens on his own.  (Unfortunately, they were closed, so he wandered around the Jewish Museum instead.)  I was so glad to be meeting Lauren, and even though I thought it wasn't possible, just like her blog says, she really is better in real life!  Even though it ended far too soon, getting to meet her was one of the highlights of my trip.  She was friendly, generous, and so, so cool.  We talked a little about writing, careers, and travel, and I hope she and Kamel are able to make it out to New York one day soon so we can continue the conversation (and so I can show them around)!

Roger hadn't had any lunch while I was out, so we walked over to Tommy's Joynt on the suggestion of his colleague, and again, we weren't disappointed.  I'd just come from a meal, so I just had a beer and taste of Roger's sandwich, but it was fantastic.  The atmosphere was a lot of fun, and the food was great and very affordable.  It's a little touristy, but we had a great time and I'd definitely recommend it.

Roger at Tommy's Joynt

We visited City Lights bookstore after lunch, which was wonderful.  I'm a big fan of used bookstores, but they can be cramped and a little hectic.  City Lights was nothing like that.  It was well-organized, open and light, and felt like they really have a radical mission.  I spent a good deal of time in their gorgeous poetry room, reading a new biography of Sylvia Plath.

The poetry room at City Lights

After perusing the books, we walked over to the Intercontinental to meet Kristin and Drew for drinks at the Top of the Mark.  They have a giant list of martinis and were having a free wine-tasting the day that we were there.  The drinks were nothing spectacular, but the view was gorgeous and absolutely worth a visit, especially during sunset.

View of San Francisco from Top of the Mark

Drew and Kristin at Top of the Mark

Roger and me at Top of the Mark

After drinks at Top of the Mark, we headed to a speakeasy Kristin had heard about called Local Edition.  Subterranean and a little hidden, it was a really nice place to spend the evening.  They had some great cocktails, and the bar's newspaper theme was interesting but not overpowering.  It was a lovely end to our last full day in San Francisco.  Up next: wine country!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Weekend Wanderings - Rangers Game & Half-Marathon Recap

I arrived back to NY from Florida in the evening on Saturday, and mostly just crashed as soon as I got home.  I caught a little bit of a cold while I was on vacation, and I wanted to feel as good as possible for my first ever half-marathon, the NYCRuns Frozen Bonsai Half-Marathon!

I woke up early yesterday and headed downtown to the Central Park entrance at 72nd St to wait for the start.  Roger was sweet enough to pick up my race packet the day before, so I didn't have to worry about that.  I got there early enough that I should have brought my coat and checked it, but unfortunately, I did not, so I wandered around the park a bit trying to stay warm.  I also took this, the only photo I could take all day (more on that later):

Bethesda Fountain, right at the start line.
The Frozen Bonsai started at the same time as the Ekiden, a really cool relay race that was also being run in Central Park at the same time.  They both followed separate courses, which was a little confusing at first, but the path was marked really clearly, so it wasn't a problem in the end.  The relay seemed like so much fun that I'm thinking of running it next year.

The race started out well, and I kept my first few miles at about a 10 minute pace.  The race ran a full loop around the park, followed by a top loop (crossing at 102nd St) and a lower loop (a short loop crossing at 72nd St).  It meant that we ended up crossing the finish line four times in total.  The first loop felt long, especially that one hill that is always besting me in Harlem, but I've run that loop a few times now, so it was mostly familiar.  I kept up with a girl who was doing intervals of running and walking and wearing a really cute red running skirt, for the whole first loop and much of the second, and I think following her (and going a bit ahead of her when she was walking) really helped me keep my pace.  I could tell that my right calf was a little tight, and I needed to slow down a bit on the second loop, but overall, I felt pretty good the whole time.

As I ended my second loop, I saw my friend Courtney waiting at the finish line for me, cheering and carrying two signs.  She was SO excited, and it really encouraged me to pick up my pace for the end. (Seeing that I had 20 minutes to run the last two miles or so and still make my goal also helped with that - I was secretly hoping to finish in under 2:30, although that seemed impossible to me).  Courtney was one of the first people to encourage me to run, so having her with me for my first half-marathon was really special.  She said, "You're so close!  Don't make me chase you!" as I ran by, and I really felt like I could finish it.

The last two miles went by in a flash, and before I knew it, I was picking up my medal (a really beautiful one!) and heading out to a delicious old-school brunch with Courtney.  I finished the race in 2:28, and I couldn't be prouder.  The whole point of running this was to force me to keep training through the winter.  While I've definitely done a lot of my short runs on the treadmill (and some longer ones in the Florida sun), I've been much better about running in the cold than I ever had before.  I'm hoping to sign up for a few more races to keep me going through April, when I usually start again.
My race photos keep getting worse and worse.

The only downsides to the race were my phone dying (hence the no pictures - I'm still working to get it fixed), and pulling a muscle behind my knee.  I think it was a combination of not stretching enough before the race (bad on me) and running it a lot harder than I'd trained.  It's pretty sore, but I think I'll survive.

After brunch and relaxing at home for a bit, Roger and I headed downtown to meet my cousin and his fiancee for dinner and a game. We met them at Eataly and had some delicious food at Le Verdure there, and then walked up to Madison Square Garden for my very first hockey game, the Rangers versus the Capitals.  It was such a blast! Even though the Rangers lost, it was fascinating to see such an incredible game live.  I love speed skating, and so even though this was very different, I loved watching all their movements.  Luckily, Roger had his iPhone, so we got a few more pictures of the game.  I'll leave you with those. 

A really cute candid picture of us.

My cousin and his fiancee

Go Rangers!


Have a good week!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Vacation Message - Florida Family

Sorry to have dropped off the face of this blog post-Thanksgiving.  Roger and I had a lovely dinner with our families at my mother's best friend's house, and on Black Friday we were lucky enough to meet our friends' wonderful baby, Cooper, for the first time.  Sadly, after that, we said goodbye for the week as I headed to Florida to visit my sister, who lives in Orlando and works at Disney World.

We came here frequently when I was a child, but I've only been once in the past decade, so it's been nice to visit again, and of course, to see my sister.  I'll have a recap of our trip up soon (once I finish recapping our West Coast trip and visit to Cape Cod...so, maybe not that soon), but in the meantime, I'm posing a bit on Instagram.  See you back here next week!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Writer Wednesday - Beth from 3Up Adventures

Beth is a constant source of inspiration for my adventurous spirit.  I'm pretty sure we "met" through APW, and since then, I've learned that she's just a brilliant individual with an unmatchable spirit.  Each of her posts makes me want to explore a new part of the world and myself.

The crew at 3Up Adventures: Beth, Sprocket, and F.

Who are you?  My name is Beth. I'm a chemist by trade and an adventurer in life. I hike, read, explore, and hang out with my boys. I dabble in running and being creative. I take pictures (mostly to share on the blog).

Where can you be found online?  Do you have a blog or other online receptacle for your work?  If so, how would you describe it to a stranger you've just met while on vacation?  I can be found online at 3UpAdventures.com. I also tweet @3UpAdventures.

My blog is all about adventure. I think adventure can be found just about anywhere if you look and since adventure begets more adventure. Lately, we've been doing quite a bit of traveling which has really made writing the blog easier. To go along with our road trip adventures, hikes to high peaks, and jeep adventures I toss in book and movie reviews related to the outdoors, adventure, and simplicity. Occasionally, I feature a gear review or two and each Sunday, I feature an inspirational quote. There are also lots of ridiculous pictures of my dog.

I hope that reading 3Up Adventures pushes people to look for opportunities for adventure in their daily life (and that maybe it'll push some people to go beyond that!).

What inspired you to start writing/blogging?  When did it happen? I started blogging in April 2010 when we took a trip around the US with our puppy, Sprocket. I don't remember reading any blogs at the time but keeping a travelogue sounded like a good idea to me. I think F. actually suggested it; he'd kept a log of his travels on an adventure motorcycling forum in the past and thought it was a good way to record what had happened.

About a year after the trip, I revisited the idea of blogging, we'd purchased a house in December of 2010, I wanted to remind myself to keep adventure central to my life; I didn't want to lose sight of that while we remodeled our house and cabin. The name "3Up Adventures" comes from the motorcycle term "2 up," meaning two riders on one bike. At the time, we were riding our Honda quad everywhere "3 up": F., me, and the dog. I was inspired to take my blog a bit more seriously last fall, starting with the recap of our wedding and taking off on a grand adventure in our Sprinter van.

Why do you write? I write mostly to record my experiences. Sometimes I flip back through the blog and it makes me smile to see all of the things we've been up to in the past few years. It's like an online photo album. I'm hoping to do some more essay style writing in the next year; I wrote a post about America's public lands that really fired me up, I need to do more of that.
Writing the blog has also connected me to a whole bunch of awesome people. I've met people that share my passion for the outdoors. I've met seriously supportive friends through the blog and Twitter. The internet can be an awesome amazing place. I would love to figure out away to encourage more people to comment on the blog because that interaction is one of my favorite things.

Your writing inspires me.  Who inspires you?  I don't have to look far for my biggest inspirations. F. is always thinking of new adventures; he thinks in a totally different way from me so it keeps me on my toes. Sprocket has the biggest Zest For Life of any creature I've ever been around; every day is set to be the Best Day Ever.

Brandon Leonard (semi-rad.com) is one of my absolutely favorite bloggers; his writing encompasses the feeling of adventure with the art of beautiful essays. Erin (familiarwilderness.com) does an amazing job of finding adventure without traveling far from home which reminds me to do the same. Beyond the blog world, I'm a huge fan of William Least Heat Moon for his insightful travel writing about America and Tim Egan for both his non-fiction and NYT pieces.

In keeping with the admittedly loose travel theme of Not Intent On Arriving, if you could have an all-expenses paid trip anywhere in the world, where would you go? Argentina. (I mean, my all expenses paid trip can be six to eight weeks long, right?) First, I'd go and acclimate to elevation with some hikes. Then I'd go climb Aconcagua. After successfully summiting South America's highest peak, I'd eat a ton of steak and drink delicious Argentine wine.

What is your favorite place on earth?  I can't choose just one! How about three?
The Olympic Peninsula in Washington State: I had some of my very first "adult" outdoor experiences there; you know, the kind you plan yourself. I love the wilderness coast, the crazy number of greens there are in nature, and the peaks in such close proximity to the ocean.

Beth in Hawaii
The Canyonlands of Utah: My first big trip with F. was to Moab. I'd never been to the southwest and I was totally blown away. The canyons became even closer to my heart when we decided to get married there. Each time we return, I'm excited to explore the rocks, scrambling around the slickrock, and enjoying the vistas.

The mountains of Colorado: We spent this summer in Ridgway, Colorado with more thirteen- and fourteen-thousand foot mountains around us than I can probably climb in a lifetime. The air in the high alpine meadows and atop peaks is fresh and with each one I climb I add to my knowledge of the geography, pointing out the peaks I've learned from different angles.

Anything else you'd like us to know?  You can go adventure. You may have to stop making excuses. You may have to spend your money differently (at least for some adventures). People around you may not understand. It is worth it and you can do it.