Life update: I started a new job this past week! WHAT! I'm equal parts nervous and excited about the change, but more to come on this later.
Before starting at my new company, I was lucky enough to have the entire week before completely off of work. While I wanted to use this as time to regroup, write, work on my portfolio and so on...most of what I did included Netflix binging, sleeping and hanging out with my kitten. Oops.
Amidst all of my non-productivity, I took my first trip with Nick (and he didn't get too sick of me...hopefully!). While our trip to Idyllwild was super quick and cut into with an unexpected downpour, I had so much fun and want to go back.
As a kid, my family and I used to go camping up in Idyllwild every summer/fall, but I hadn't been back since about age 9. So, when Nick suggested we take a quick one-night trip to the mountains, I was thrilled to be returning to a place that held a sense of nostalgia and tons of memories.
So, last Wednesday after a workout with November Project for him and a sweaty hot yoga sesh for me, we set off for the San Jacinto Mountains.
On the way, we passed Ricardo Breceda's sculpture garden (responsible for the sculptures in Borrego Springs) and took a peek at the metal sculptures. The pieces were huge and the detail was amazing! Now if only I had a place to put any of them...
We continued on our way (after Nick obliged to stop at In N Out to satisfy my craving) and finally arrived in Idyllwild in the early afternoon.
Upon arriving, we perused some quaint shops in the tiny town and went for our first hike. The entire trail was covered in snow, so we inevitably got a little lost and decided to turn around. We found another trail nearby that appeared to have less snow and hiked until dark. Holy cow - my legs hurt and I was damp from some light showers, but the view and the smell of crisp, piney air was well worth it.
We ventured to an Italian restaurant (one of the three places open after 6 PM - really...) and refueled with lots of pasta and returned to our Airbnb (which was the most adorable cabin) for a night of cards and reading. I appreciate that Nick can be just as low-key and nerdy as I am.
We woke up bright and early ready to hike the next morning...only to find out that it was pouring! Not ideal for some slushy trails. Instead, we opted to sit and enjoy coffee and breakfast and hopefully wait out the rain while checking out the local nature center (where I nerded out over the rocks, pinecones and animals).
After realizing the rain was not going to let up, we went for a shorter, but intense hike, which ended up being a blessing in disguise as my weak legs (thanks, hip fractures) were feeling tired from the day before. It poured our entire ascent up the summit - and I couldn't have loved it more. The trail was quiet and peaceful and smelled amazing.
We perused another coffee shop to warm up after and started on our way home. There was no way we could hike in the rain anymore and stay warm!
On our way home, we stopped at the cutest animal sanctuary - Living Free - where I was in absolute animal heaven! Living Free provides animals who are going to be euthanized at local shelters with shelter and care. The entire place was beautiful...and I was so happy to see some animals. It's only a matter of time before Walt gets a friend!
While only 24 hours, I would relive this trip over and over again. The smell of crisp pines and fresh rain, the most amazing and peaceful views, the nostalgia from childhood, the subtle ache in my legs from hiking...I live for these kind of feelings.
I can't wait to go back - in the summer, preferably - to tackle some longer hikes and see the entire city without a layer of fog!