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Showing posts from April, 2013

Home Sweet Home

We went to bed early last night and slept in this morning. I guess we were tired. We slept until about half an hour before checkout time, so I had to pack up the car quickly. Fortunately, I’d been doing it almost every day for a month, so I was pretty good at it by now.

I had just finished loading the car and we were coming back from our trip to the grassy area behind the motel, when the maid came out holding my glasses. I guess I had left them on the bed. 

We drove out of town and headed home. 

As I crossed over the river into Washington State, I was reminded how beautiful it is. It is such a green area. Green everywhere.

The drive wasn’t too long today; only about three hours, which is perfect.

I was surprised at how non-plussed River was at our arrival home. He simply settled into one of his favorite spots and rested.  Although, you'd think after being constant companions for about four weeks, he'd want to venture more than two feet from me after arriving home. But no, h…

PDX Redux

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Drive, drive, drive, drive, drive. Geesh.  Yesterday and today seemed really long. I think I’m getting a bit weary of all the driving. When I plan these trips, I have to remember, even though it may not seem like much, there’s a big difference between a four hour drive and a six hour drive. I do much better with the four hour drives. I think River gets a little frustrated, too. On the longer driving days, we sometimes have to have a little discussion before he’ll get back in the car. 

Anyway, as I said, we drove today. Woke up in Medford and didn’t waste any time getting the car packed and on the highway. I stopped at a Starbucks a few minutes into the drive, and left River in the car. He was still seat-belted, and the windows were half open. I could see him in a reflection, but he didn’t see me.  So I got to observe his behavior in my absence. To my delight, he just sat there, looking around, seemingly calm.

I contacted a friend I had made in Eugene and told him we were driving fro…

The Long Road to Medford

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We didn’t waste any time in San Rafael this morning because it was going to be a long day of driving. We stopped to get some coffee on our way out of town.

We drove for less than an hour before I wanted to stop at a vista point in Sonoma County. I also returned a phone call and set up an appointment for later that afternoon in our destination, Medford, Oregon.

We stopped at a rest area after driving for about three hours. It was time for lunch. I had the rest of the delicious meal I had ordered for dinner the night before at a place in San Rafael called Sol Food. It was a Puerto Rican restaurant and it was yummy. It filled me up last night to the point where I still had enough left over for lunch. And it was even still yummy cold the next day.

And then we got back on good old I-5 and drove and drove and drove. I can’t describe how profound it was when, at some point, the direction on my navigation said, “In 306 miles, turn left.”  Just to know that I was going to be driving for five …

Driving North and ROCKIN in San Rafael

According to Google Maps, today’s trip would take about 6 1/2 hours. my tendency is to make a lot of stops and to take scenic routes, so I usually increase the time stated by Google by about 25%, which would put me at about 8 hours. So I wanted to get an early start.

I had packed up and showered the night before, so as soon as I woke up, I brushed my teeth and checked out and we hit the road before 9am.

We drove for about an hour and a half before I realized, I didn’t have my coffee that morning. So I got out my Urban Spoon and found the nearest Starbucks. The stretch of highway 101 that I was on wasn’t offering anything in the way of businesses, so the nearest one was about twenty minutes east in a town called Lompoc.

River waited in the car while I got my coffee. It was hot in Lompoc. I can see how it could get really uncomfortable for a dog in a car really fast. Without the moving air, there’s nothing to cool himself with. Luckily I was in and out fast and, after checking my trusty…

Freedancing in Ventura (and River becoming more car-confident)

It was a warm morning in San Diego as I packed up the car once more. River decided that he didn’t want to make all of the trips between our room and the car to load all the luggage and stuff, so when he refused to get back out of the car, I just let him stay there. It was the first time he was in the car by himself, and I love that it was his idea. I had to make about three more trips, and he sat watching me as I came and went.

Finally the car was loaded and we hit the road. It took a while for me to adjust to finding the northbound freeway entrances. So far I’d always been coming south.

We weren’t going to cover a lot of miles as the crow flies, today, but because I wanted to make a point of passing through the beach cities, that added some time. Driving through Los Angeles was a huge buzz kill. The traffic was thick and the air was hot and sticky.

As soon as I could, I transfered over to the Pacific Coast Highway and then I was able to enjoy such cities as Laguna Beach, Seal Beach,…

The Turnaround Point: Way Down South

After dropping Zeke off at Long Beach airport, River and I were off to find a farmer’s market. I checked the Internet and found a listing of San Diego area farmer’s markets that were open on a Friday.  I called ahead to inquire about dog friendliness and got the go ahead, so I drove to Fallbrook to buy some vegetables.

On the way to Fallbrook (just outside of Temecula, California) we rolled our trip odometer over the 2000 mile mark.

At Fallbrook, the produce selection was disappointing. There were only two stands devoted to actual farmers. The rest were arts and crafts. I didn’t want any mushrooms, so I was only looking at one stand. He had some great kale and Swiss chard. I got some of each. On the way back to the highway, I passed a guy selling bags of avocados for $5, so I couldn’t resist that.

My next stop was actually the southernmost point of our trip: Imperial Beach. There was a Friday farmers market there, too. Right on the beach. I picked up some broccoli and cauliflower and b…

Disneyland Resort: According to River

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DAY ONE: Disneyland



The humans brought me to a place they called “Disneyland”  They arrived half an hour before the park opened and we all went to the Disneyland Kennels. I saw them give $20 to a nice lady whose voice sounded familiar from a video my human has watched. We all went back into a room and went in. They laid down my blanket and gave me a bowl of water and my chew toy filled with food. I thought it was going to be a pretty great day.

But then, they surprised me by stepping outside the gate and closing it, without letting me pass through. I watched them walk away as they told me they’d “Be Right Back”. I called out to them, but they didn’t seem to hear me. I tried it again. And again. They just kept walking and then soon, I couldn’t see them anymore.

Eternities passed.

And then I ate my food.

And minutes passed.  And then more eternities.

I don’t know how long it was, but I didn’t like it. I thought the chain link fence walls of my cage looked pretty flimsy so I spent …

Uncle Tommy and friends

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Today started with a walk to the Carpinteria Beach. The sky was very overcast, but it didn’t stop us. I put on my shorts and my windbreaker and knit cap and we headed for the shore.

There weren’t many people, but it seemed like almost everyone there had a dog. Some we ignored and some engaged with us. In between meetings, we ran a little, fetched a little, and sat in the sand a little. I swear, I could sit on the beach and just look out at the ocean all day.

Eventually we headed back to the room to get ready to drive back into Santa Barbara; this time to meet my Uncle and his wife and some of their friends for dinner.

They also had two dogs. One of which was a highly dominant, large female border collie mix. She had TONS of energy and was actually a match for River, who submitted to her.

As the humans got caught up over chips and salsa and veggies and humus, the three dogs played roughhouse inside and out. This went on for about an hour until River finally had had enough. He attempted…

Re-uniting with Aunt Dorothy

I woke up early this morning so I could go to the Santa Barbara farmer’s market. I was still fairly stocked up from shopping a few days ago in Pacifica, but my Aunt Dorothy wanted to take me, so I thought I could get a few things but mainly go for the experience. She was going to take an exercise class and then meet me afterwards.

So I drove into Santa Barbara and saw the “No Dogs Allowed” signs at the market. I hate that. Why can’t farmers markets just be farmers markets? Why do they have to sell lasagna and candles and baskets like an arts and crafts show? I just go to support the farmers and buy their produce. I could go to a supermarket and pay a bit less, but I like to support the farmers. But when the farmers markets get too fancy, we’re not allowed to bring dogs and the point of the whole thing is gone. I say if you want to have an art and craft fair or a food fair, go for it, but don’t call it a farmers market if more than half of the things being sold aren’t grown on farms.

A…

Return to Goleta

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I was not prepared for how nostalgic I was going to get as I drove into Goleta. Just north of Santa Barbara, it was the city I lived most of my formative years. As we approached the northernmost Goleta highway exit, I was drawn to exit for no reason other than to drive once more on these old, familiar roads. I was still half an hour from my destination, but I ended up taking three hours to get there.

I drove down streets just because I recognized them. I followed Cathedral Oaks, Hollister, Glen Annie, Fairview, and many other streets that seemed like old friends. I drove past my high school and was flooded with memories and emotions. I was impressed to see a brand new performing arts center in a spot that I eventually figured out used to be a parking lot and extended driveway for dropping off and picking up that we used to call The Circle.
As I walked around the perimeter of the campus, I was struck by feelings of how young I was when I walked the halls. It didn’t make me feel old,…

Southern California: long drive #2

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This was the second day in a row with a super long drive. I’m thinking I need to limit our drives to four hours a day. Those are the most comfortable; especially considering the fact that we stop at least every hour, dragging a four hour drive into easily six hours. When I was planning the trip, a six and a half hour drive didn’t seem like it was long, but in reality, when stops are included, it becomes a ten hour driving day. It might be fine to do once in a while, but two days in a row was a bit rough on me.

River handles it fine. At times, he likes to sprawl out on his seat and actually reach over and put his head on my lap. And at other times, he’s curled up in his round, doggie sleeping position. And then sometimes he likes to sit up and stare out the windshield with me. But it was only very recently that he’s discovered the joy of leaning against the door and hanging his head out the window. But now that he’s discovered it, it is becoming one of his positions.

We drove for abou…

Northern California: long drive #1

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We woke up early in Eureka, prepared for a long day of driving. After our ritual morning walk and shower, we packed up the car and hit the road.

We stopped many times along the way, but some of the more impressive ones were in the Avenue of the Giants, and on the cliffs of the coast of the Pacific Ocean.

I had run out of food, so I got a bit hungry on the road. I stopped at a ‘town’ which was nothing more than a few stores in a cluster on the side of the highway, but the Thai Food sign caught my eye. I’m not very good at making split second decisions to pull over; and I’ve missed many vista points, turnouts and rest areas that way. By the time I’ve processed what it is and whether or not I want to stop, it’s too late; we’ve passed it.


But this situation was different, I was already slowed down to 25 MPH, as is the law in these roadside ‘towns’, and after seeing the Thai Food sign, there was a big, gravel parking lot a few yards down the road, so it was perfectly timed with my slow d…

Another Beach, Another Injury, Lots More Beautiful Views

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We woke up in Coos Bay and I was delighted to finally see the sun. After my weekend in Eugene, I was about ready to start building an ark. But the wet spell was broken, just in time for us to enjoy some really nice coastal driving.

We stopped at many places along the route from Coos Bay to Gold Beach. There are some breathtaking sights along the way. I could have stopped every ten minutes.

We stopped at a beach front park to run a little bit and have lunch. I made a salad in my pie plate and ate it sitting on a park bench while watching the waves. 

After eating we went for a little beach excursion, and I brought my camera:

It was at the very end of this walk that River climbed up on the top of a wall and then walked along it as it got higher. Then he jumped off on the high part. I didn’t know it at the time, but I think this is when he hurt himself.  He was limping pretty badly by the time we were in the motel that night.

Another stop we made along the way was a town called Band…

The Eugene Weekend

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We rolled into Eugene just hours before I needed to be at the studio to teach. I had enough time to transfer our luggage into the room, shower and eat.

The whole weekend of classes and playshops at Eugene were dynamite. I love teaching to this community. They’re so receptive and enthusiastic. I felt really good about delivering a good ROCKIN time on Friday, creating some Level Masters on Saturday and sharing my KNEE AH routine and helping facilitate some Super Humans on Sunday. 

Friday, after class, I met up with a man who answered my ad on Craigs List. He said he’d love to meet me and River and offered to make me dinner. He ended up sending me home with belly full of chicken and dumplings. He also made me a pecan pie from scratch and sent that home with me in a glass pie plate.

Funny enough, a plate is something that I forgot to pack. So i’ve been eating off of my acrylic cutting board and wishing I had something that would serve as a cutting surface and an eating surface and woul…

Twisted Ankle in Lincoln City

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After Rocking Nia HQ, the following day was a day off. And we didn’t have to be in Eugene for two days, so River and I headed to the coast.

We stopped in Lincoln City and went to the beach there, where it was so windy that it almost knocked me over. Needless to say, River, who weighs a quarter what I do, was also being tossed around a bit. It was almost scary, but fun. We ran and ran and he chased his toy and we played tug-of-war and ran to the water. It was cold, so we didn’t stay in it. 

It was during this run that I injured my ankle. My driving ankle, wouldn’t you know it. On the top of the joint. It feels like it over dorsiflexed. Now it hurts to run up hills. It’s very red and swollen. I’ve put some ice on it and will elevate it later, too.

It was raining a lot, so we stayed in the hotel. I spent most of the evening putting together my final lesson plans for the weekend in Eugene.

I also soaked in the bathtub while listening to the playlist for the Nia routine Soul.

In the m…

Rockin Nia Headquarters, Portland

Last night I kept the window and the blinds open for fresh air and a sunrise awakening. But what I didn’t count on was River responding so strongly to the birds that started singing around 5:00am. So, even though he did sleep through the night without bothering me, he got up early and didn’t really fall back into a deep rest. So, we got up at sunrise and took a walk. 

I did a load of laundry at the Motel and caught up on my blogging and preparing for classes in the weeks to come. I had a guy come over for some body tuning, and then River and I took a long walk to a park to play some more. 

But the highlight of the day was certainly to come.

In the late afternoon, I packed up River’s crate in the car and headed downtown. Portland got me a little turned around. Like Seattle, you have to know the specific direction name of the street or you’re in a totally wrong part of town. So I accidentally drove to SE Yamhill St. and the studio is on SW Yahmill St. But thanks to my Mini On Board Na…

JAG & River Road Trip: Getting to Portland

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We woke up in Olympia. One thing I forgot to say about yesterday was that after my client left we had a few hours before having to be at the studio, so we went for a walk. I put on River’s 30 foot leash and we walked along a frontage road that separated a quiet business district from the highway.

We walked for about twenty minutes and came to a grassy field. It was a gorgeous day and the big stretch of grass was so inviting, so I made a little pile of my shoes and socks and the things from my pockets and I sprinted to the other side of the field. River was so fast that one point, I thought he was going to pull me forward on my face, but I kept up. We rested a bit and then sprinted back to our home base pile of things.

We had done that five times (and River was having a hard time keeping up with me by now) when a couple of trucks pulled up onto the other end of the field where the baseball diamond was. One guy started smoothing out the dirt and the other guy, in uniform, started sett…