Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Book for Christmas

Since I'm not being gifted with rural farm life any time soon,
and days spent chasing chickens 
and baking pies will just have to wait...
I'll hope I get this book for Christmas to keep me inspired.
One day I'll have that change of pace
among amber waves of grain.
Until then... 
Happy reading!


Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Golden December

Sharing a December beach scene from 
Northern California's coastline this weekend. 
image is my own
And as the sun kissed the sky goodbye
and sunk into the ocean, 
the fire quickened it's flicker
and the stars began to dance...
Here's to more golden days and star-filled nights, friends.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mini Donk and Three Lil Pocos

I can barely handle this picture.
It is an adorable overload and an abundance of cuteness!!!!
What. The. Heck.
Mini donks and three little pink feathered Pocahontas princesses?
Give me a break!!!  
It's straight up awesome with a side of heehaaaw.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Living in a Snow Globe

Last week, I had declared that standing at the top of Lyon Street Stairs,
and peering out over this beautiful city, all lit up and stretching to the bay,
was equivalent to looking into a snow globe. 
All the city lights twinkled below me as I stood atop of the city,
steadying my breath and seeing it's condensation mix with the cold air of the night. 
I have started on a new workout routine,
which is proving to condition my spirit as much as it is the body.
It is as much a mental challenge as it is physical.
Last week, after my session ended, 
I opted to walk home in the cool, dark of the night.
image unknown
It was a slower stroll, as I walked down from what felt like my perch  on the top of the city. 
Walking the city at night is one of my simplest and purest pleasures.
It is so peaceful, my walk of silent solitude. 
I steal glimpses into windows,
exchange smiles with  dog owners out on a brisk evening stroll. 
There is a softer glow cast onto the sidewalks in the evening.
It's well after dinner, but not quite time for slumber,
and the type of light softly spilling out from windows and into the street
reflects this phase of the night.
Everyone is settled into their places, calm and rested.
And I realize, it still feels like a snow globe, even on street level.
 as the swirls of snow and glitter come to stop, so does the frenzy of the day.
Happy snow globing, friends.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Settling Waters

Let the waters settle. 
You will see stars and moon mirrored in your being.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Great Christmas Tree Hunt

This was a weekend of highs and lows.
Sometimes that happens, I'm old enough to know.
I'm lucky enough that the good outshined the not so good- by a landslide.
I pulled a cable car for a cause,
and felt the spirit of the city pulsing through my veins with each tug on the rope. 
I picnicked with friends in Golden Gate Park,
and let the December sunshine warm my back.
Sunday brought the grandest adventure of all.
We fled the city and embarked on the great Christmas Tree Hunt.
Tree strapped to the roof of the car, 
we left the farm and journeyed to the grand finale of the day,
 wine tasting high in the rolling hills of the 'burbs. 
When I spoke with my dad to recap the weekend,
he challenged me to just relay the 'highs.' 
And when I see them here on the screen, 
I appreciate the exercise he had me do.
The weekend ended with a lighter heart,
and that makes all the difference.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving in New England

and with assistance from the helpful hands of family, 
I created my very own Thanksgiving pie topper.
Isn't it sweet?
 My mom water colored the birds,
and her printer's eye helped me with the spacing of the alphabet lettering.
Dad carefully assisted with affixing the birds and ribbon to the skewers.
It's so simple, but so special.
There is such satisfaction in the process of creating.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Whiskey and Gold

Go, west young friend.
California's full of women, whiskey and gold.
Well, that's what the country songs say,
but whatever it may be, the winds of the west 
whispered in my ear and yanked at my heart.
And so, it was a year and a half ago I came out to Northern California
for equal parts adventure and comfort.
The new kind of comfort you only feel 
when you're very far from the actual comforts of home. 
I love my San Francisco life. 
But...there aren't many days that go by when I don't think about 'back east.' 
As I pack up my suitcase for my holiday travels home tomorrow,
I already know almost exactly how each and everyday will unfold. 
That's the actual, familiar comfort.
A friend of mine here in San Francisco told me today:
"Safe travels and enjoy every moment. 
Home misses you...but San Francisco deserves you." 
Well said, sweet friend. 

Be Thankful

This Thanksgiving,
I am so humbled
and grateful,
to count the bounty of my blessings.
I will take care to remember and to remind others:
Speak kindly, 
and chose words with the purest intent.
May your bellies be filled, 
but your hearts be even fuller.
Be thankful.
Be thankful.
Be thankful,

Monday, November 14, 2011

Just Because

I love sending mail as much as I like getting it.
All these budget cuts with the postal service sure are making me blue.
Send me a love letter,
or a note, just because.
No matter the weight of the sentiment,
all letters provide me with equal delight.
 This is kind of embarrassing, but...
 I keep one piece of junk mail in my mailbox,
just because I like knowing there's always a letter sitting in there.
I came home from work to a really good one tonight, from my sister.
Just because.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Easy Like Sunday Morning

It's a quintessential fall day in San Francisco.
We turned the calendar to November,
and just as quickly as she came, 
we waved goodbye to our Indian Summer.
There is a crisp chill in the air,
despite the unfiltered sunlight stretching down to earth.
It's they kind of Sunday morning you see in the movies.
Dads with their daughters out for bagels and bacon.
Empty nesters, pepper the sidewalk seating, newspaper and coffee in hand.
Owners with their dogs, letting the morning sun warm their faces,
despite their fleeces.
This Sunday, I rose with the sun.
After a cozy night home as rain pelted the sidewalk,
I felt well-rested and eager to great the day. 
And although the saying goes the way of another geographic location,
today, I left my heart in New York City.
(Image unknown)
It's Marathon Sunday.
It's a great day, in a great city
and some of the 'greats' of my life 
just so happen to be running through the boroughs of the Big Apple.
Did you know that the Verrazano Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the US?
(The Golden Gate bridge is the second longest.)
Oh, the energy in New York this Sunday is pulsing through the pavement! 
I wish I could be there to witness it all.
But here I am, for a second year, 
cheering on the other side.
Be fleet of feet, dear friends! 



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Think Mink

Me thinksy I need this minksy.

image via Mrs. Lilien and Kate Spade
It's faux!
With a bow!
Too cute.

Secret Movie Premiere

I'm a sucker for any marketing gimmick,
(which is somewhat ironic considering I'm a publicist)
but last night instincts didn't fail me.  
Like puddy in Paramount's hands, 
my friend and I took our chances and rsvp'ed
 to a secret movie premiere at the Kabuki theater in San Francisco.
We didn't know what the movie would be, only that it was being released later this year
and that the director, along with an award winning actor
would be on-site to answer questions after the viewing.
I was convinced halfway through our Sapporo beers as we waited to gain entrance
that we were going to be forced to watch silent Japanese porn,
but luckily I was proved wrong.
Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody decided to skip the festival circuit and instead,
premiere their newest collaboration secretly,  in five cities across the country.
A little actress named Charlize Theron joined them.
The movie was Young Adult- set to release this December.
I fully endorse it.
And not just because I have an
 unexplainable crush on Jason Reitman after all of this.
It's dark.
And just as depressing as I found Up in the Air to be.
Jason and Diablo said it best: if we came expecting Juno
we would be in for a rude awakening.
It's smart and dark, and has moments of hilarity.
I pretty much had second hand embarrassment throughout the entire movie.
And we all got exclusive to our city movie posters for taking a chance on the secret premiere
Oh, and Charlize Theron is suuuuper skinny in person.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


It's funny how fast a week can go by,
when it's just you,
and the world,
and a whole lotta declarations to self:
(while staring in the mirror)
"The world is my oyster! Curiosity is my compass!"
My goal during this week off was simple: self-indulge.
And boy, did I ever.
I'm nearly a pauper now... but I don't regret a single spend.
That's the best kind of indulging, don'tcha think?
I spent a day poolside: just me, my book, and the eucalyptus trees.
I met a friend in the'burbs and we got our toes sandy on the beach.
I primped, and I pampered,
and I took myself out for long walks and fresh air.
And, what's a week spent self-reflecting, without a couple of lessons learned?
Don't worry.
There were some of those too.
I got my ego bruised... just a smidge.
But, ya' pick yourself up, dust yourself off,
eat some ice cream and get on with it!
Yep. I got pretty accustomed to my stay-at-home days...
but I learned that a taste of the sweet life
is a whole heck of a lot sweeter when you know
your coin purse will be filled again soon.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

R & R

I've been quite busy.
Dreaming the days away
and watching the sun sink into the bay.
I've been hiking the hills and watching navy pilots fly.
Petting piglets and pygmy goats, and anticipating true love.
image is my own
And while the nights are getting cooler back east,
and leaves are turning green to gold,
our Indian summer in San Francisco lingers on.
So, I ask you to pardon my pause.
It's time for a little R & R.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fresh Start

The beginning of autumn and the new lunar year blessed me with a fresh start.
Last week, I was reading about Rosh Hashanah,
and how we have to channel the positive energy
we want to manifest in the new year,
through our calculated thoughts and actions
on the days leading up to this renewal.
image is my own 
And it was during these few days that all my long awaited
hoping and hunting reached the pinnacle.
With equal measures of patience and persistence,
I received a new job offer.
I'm eager to start anew.
I have been aching to roll up my sleeves
and get to work.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hello Fall

Hello Fall,
By the ways and wonders of the Universe,
you will be here each year, 
smacked between the dog days of summer
and the first frost of winter, and yet...
every time 
I am just pleased as punch for your return.
Welcome back.
Bring on the apple cider and flannels!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

An Open Letter to Fall Television

Dear Fall TV Line-up,
It's really good to have you back.
My DVR has purpose, once again.
I've missed your familiar laugh tracks
and suspense-building dramatic pauses.
Old shows, good to see you again.
New shows, pressure's on.
Couch, let's try to work in some
 leg lifts during commercial breaks.

Moody Tuesday

Do you ever have one of those days
when everything seems to be
all jumbled and jambled
and everyone you speak to sounds like
the adult voices in Charlie Brown cartoons?
I mean, for goodness sakes!
I'm just trying to figure some things out for myself.
I'm trying to suppress the urge to act too spontaneously,
when all I really want to go is point a finger on the map,
 and pack a duffel bag of dreams.
And escape every annoyance that Tuesday brought on.
I'm trying to be so patient
- a virtue I struggle with-
waiting to learn the status of so many elements,
both professional and personal.
But... c'mon.
When did everybody get so caught up in their own stuff?
When did we stop asking one another,
'How are you?'
And when did we last pause to really listen to the response?
We can do better than this, friends.
I'll keep the faith.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Yeeehaw! Mendocino County Fair

I'm heading up the coast to Medocino this weekend with friends.
To taste wine and take in the Northern exposure?
We're heading to Boonville to the County Fair!
I liiiiiive for honky tonk like this.
Scheduled activities I'm looking forward to most:
11:00am Jr. Pygmy Goat Show
3:00pm Jr. Swine Show- Lamb Palace
6:00pm Fables of the West

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Dwindling Twinkle

As my plane was descending down
into the greater New York area this past Thursday night,
I was struck by how beautiful all the glimmering lights of Queens looked from above.
The grid of gold and white lights of the borough looked like little diamonds from the sky.
'Reverse sky,' I thought to myself.
And as I sat waiting for my flight to board on Sunday,
catching up on some reading,
I learned that by the year 2020, only 10% of the US population
will have a view of the night sky- due to light pollution.
The same lights that looked so regal from 10,000 feet above,
will cause the constellations to vanish from the naked eye.
Thank goodness for the Windmill Factory.
Illuminating the issue at Pier 49 with solar- powered LEDs,
which mimic the patterns of our starry skies.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lady Libs

Stand tall and proud Lady Liberty.
The light of your torch shines bright this weekend,
and always....
image is my own, taken from my dad's office 
Wishing love and peace,
from sea to shining sea.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Thoughts on Flowers...

My older sister freelances in a field
that bestows, what I imagine is, a very special
and intimate sense of satisfaction and fulfillment.
She works with flowers and  in turn,
is indirectly involved in the sweetest of sentiments
on wedding days, birthdays, and promotions.
Almost always we associate flowers with the happiest of go lucky occasions.
But, I forget that, with sympathy, comes flowers too.
And my heart beats a little bluer for her because,
it must weigh heavily on her thorn scratched fingers,
to make arrangements for the greyest of days.
Thinking of you...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Golden Birthday

On the eve of my golden birthday,
simple are my wishes three:
More days ending with skin peppered by freckles
 and salt from the sea.
And campfire nights,
spent watching a big ol' moon, 
rising above a redwood tree.
To continue to find joy
in the simplest of pleasures.
It's a wink or a giggle,
the smallest of gestures that I treasure.
Here's to twenty-nine
being filled with more whimsy and wonder!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Quote. For Tuesday.

"Don’t listen to anyone.
Trust what gives you pleasure.
Trust the emotions.
 If you love something but can’t explain why, that’s enough."
~ Calice Becker ~

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Comfort of Carrots & Zuc

Because I'd had a long,
somewhat tedious day of work,
and because the marine layer rolled in after work,
cloaking the city in a cold, damp fog,
and comfort food consisting of anything cheese dipped or fried 
sounded far too heavy and unappetizing.
Because of all these things,
I decided to make myself a dinner of
buttered carrots and zucchini,
with a side of peppered brussel sprouts.
There is nothing more simple and  delicious,
as farm fresh produce,
buttered and salted in pan on the stove.
Rethink your comfort food friends!
This was oh so pleasing after a tiresome day by the bay.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Empire State of Mind

I realize now that my love for New York is truer than the ocean is blue.
Being back on east coast soil this past week has been the tops. 
It's difficult to articulate
just how perfect everything has been.
And I know it's not for lack of trying by my family and by my friends.
I love that on any given night, you can walk out of work and into a Broadway show.  
I love that a friend is always free for dinner, and an evening stroll.
I love commuting with my dad,
meeting my sister on the sidewalk.
I...I forgot how much I loved walking home
to decompress after being in the office all day.
I forgot how magical Gramercy Park is-
and Madison Square Park and Flatiron:
I love you!  I love you!  I can't say it enough!
image is my own
I forgot how much I loved seeing men in suits,
and forgot about babies and nannies on Park Avenue.
I forgot about flocks of friends heading to happy hour.
And how everyone in this muggy haze of August, shares a knowing smile on the subway.
The camaraderie of New Yorkers.
How? How could I forget all of this?
New York, my heart never swayed ...but my memory got foggy.
And for that I am actually grateful.
Because it's made this trip so very special.
To rediscover the things I used to take for granted.
I thought for a moment there, that I'd lost my inner New York compass...
my first day or so, I was clumsy, confused.
But, it's there.
It's always there,
tethered to my heart.
Pointing east, from west.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Summer Sabbatical

East Coast Bound, Baby!
I've dubbed my upcoming departure as my 'summer sabbatical.'
I'm off on a nearly 2.5 week jaunt back in the northeast.
I could almost squeal!
There are sisters to goof around with,
and parents to hug very tight.
Cats to snuggle,
flowers to smell,
and a chaise lounge chair in my backyard that has been
calling my name since last summer.
The biggest pieces of the trip though?
Two whoopers of weddings.
I can't wait to boogie with my buddies,
and share a toast of love.
A few short days more...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Badum, Badum, Badum...

Shark Week kicks off with host Andy Sandberg on July 31st.
Who's with me on this one?
Equal parts educational,
 mixed with "hurts so good"
Us fine NorCal folk
 have shark sightings now and again too.
I snapped this last month while beaching in Bolinas....
Happy Swimming!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sails Are Set

Exhale on three.
I hope you find yourself perched on the top of a sailboat,
hanging around in striped bloomers,
letting the sun warm your toesies.
Nice way to spend the day, isn't it?
So divine.
Happy Weekending!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Lazy Days of Summer...

Hello, Friends.
Happy lazy days of summer.
It's been a while, since we swapped stories, hasn't it?
July is full of magic and promise, wouldn't you agree?
Friends and I had a star spangled July 4th- in every sense of the phrase.
We let the sun kiss our faces and inhaled that crisp mountain air.
Bared it all and jumped into the icy waters of Lake Tahoe,
and slept under the stars...
Friends back east are firefly catching and corn cob eating,
I am sure of that.
My mom and sisters are exploring the garden and
eating tomatoes and basil picked from the yard.
It is summer... everywhere.
I wish I could bottle up the season from both coasts,
and take a deep breath each morning when it gets cold and foggy.
A reminder of carefree days.
Happy Summer, my friends.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

An Open Letter to Current Events

Dear Current Events,
Thank you.
Thank you for providing the juiciest few weeks in court TV...
maybe ever.
At least since Scott Peterson.
And definitely since O.J.
I've logged in more hours on Friday nights to Nancy Grace
 than I am comfortable admitting.
Let's get real here.
And I'm preeeetty sure the Orlando Sentinel's
online readership has increased  ten fold-
by constant click throughs and page refreshers from yours truly.
Things and people not thanking you?
Anyone that lives within five blocks of the Orange County Court House,
Um, Ex-FBI agents in the city of Boston,
and well, that presentation I'm trying to pen
in between googling 'Foxy Noxy parole updates.'

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Championships Wimbledon

Just sitting around.
Watching tennis.
Like all the other cool kids.
I don't know when- or why- I started watching tennis.
And by watching, I don't mean I just cruise the channels
and maybe watch the finals of the U.S. Open if it happens to be on.
I had a strict media black out this morning until I couldn't take it anymore,
and live streamed updates on the Federer match at my desk.
For someone that doesn't even play tennis,
I have a bizarre attachment to the sport.
But, it looks like I'm in good company.
(see above.)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Thought for Thursday

Leaving you with this
Thursday thought friends...
Plain, and simply,
I love this.

Monday, June 20, 2011

First Day of Summer

Happy First Day of Summer, friends.
Did you know that today you can visit any National Park... for free?
June 21st is also the longest day of the year.
So, for all you happy-go-lucky freelancers,
I wish you amazing adventures today.
Go ahead, hug a tree- it's free!
"And to lose the chance to see frigatebirds soaring in circles above the storm,
or a file of pelicans winging their way homeward
across the crimson afterglow of the sunset,
or a myriad terns flashing in the bright light of midday
as they hover in a shifting maze above the beach --
why, the loss is like the loss of a gallery of the masterpieces of the artists of old time."


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Father's Day

"Live the life you want.
Live it at the highest level you choose."
Wise words, penned to me from my dad.
I'm shooting for the stars dad, everyday.
Happy Father's Day.

Friday, June 17, 2011


Is there anything more magical or hopeful than a trip to Paris?
Jordan is playing Parisian Fairy Godmother to her readers,
and offering one lucky lass a go' at the city of lights.
I can already taste the macaroons and luxuriously thick chocolate chaud.
Oh to skip down the streets of Paris, baguette in hand
and beret a top my head.
Le sigh.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Weekend Reflections

I've been neglectful of little Big Moon as of late.
The truth is, last weekend was a bit of a wash,
 and I'm just bouncing back.
I was feeling a bit sorry for myself-
 that I wasn't in the place that I wanted to be.
The process leading up to the journey I couldn't make?
It was frustrating. And it caused a slight strain on a friendship so dear to me.
In a funny twist of fate, I ended up coming face to face with someone
I'd never met before, but with whom I have a shared past.
This weekend I was also humbly reminded how having a 'crush,'
earned it's namesake.
The pendulum of a emotions swing back and forth,
and you stomach goes from butterflies to twisted knots.
Some days are, well, crushing...
but ahem, I'm holding out for repair.
Sunday ended with an icky stomachache and a scowl.
Happy to report, this week has me back on track;
exercising mind, body, and spirit.
I'll be back soon, friends.
With shorter pauses in between.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Gaaah! I'm experiencing a lack of inspiration as of late.
And believe me, I feel bad about that.
Lately, all I want to do is ditch my daily routine
and go a globe-trotting.
I'm serious.
I need to sail the seas and pound the pavement.
I have to witness dolphins catching air.
I am longing for quiet mornings
weaving in and out of shops along cobblestone streets,
cup of coffee in hand and my spirit as my guide.
I need to feel the wind in my hair and the cool shock
of rushing water between my toes.
There is art to see and rocks to climb.
I don't know where I'm going...
but I'll tell ya, I think I've got to go soon.
Happy Adventuring, friends!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Just a Quiet Place

There must have been something
in the Bay area air this past weekend, friends.
I don't know, but Saturday hit us like a bull in a china shop.
Or, rather, my friends and I were the bull and the city was the shop.
Remembering on this Monday that I am not in college anymore,
I've shifted my ideal night to be one of quiet contemplation.
image via coco + kelley
I'd love just a quiet place,
to sit and soak and read a book.
Isn't that tub just divine?
Summer has arrived in San Francisco; it's cold and grey
and I'm wearing my best fall outfits.
Here's to a calm week and a quiet place.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How the West Won My Heart... A Year in the Making

Today marks one year of Emily's San Francisco Adventure.
If you told me a year and a day ago
 that I'd be packing my bags
and moving out west,
I'd never believe it.
Even as I type this, I am shaking my head.
There is still a bit of disbelief lingering within this east coast gal's mind.
I am overwhelmed with emotion at this one year anniversary.
Honest to goodness, my heart is so full,
sometimes I think it might burst.
There are a whole heck of a lot of emotions bouncing around in there!
I have made this crazy city my home. 
Complete with all the idiosyncrasies
I never thought I'd allow myself to develop here.
But things are nestled in their proper places.
Books have been read, and meals prepared.
Trinkets have gathered dust, and then been polished.
Curtains hung and plants nurtured.
Tears cried, and smiles have sprung into belly laughs.
And guests. So many guests have visited
and stayed within these walls I now call home.
When wanderlust bit me in the behind,
I grappled with a move that felt so monumental.
Could I do this? Was I brave enough?
Just give it a year.
You can do anything, for a year.
That was the pledge I made with myself.
The pact I told my parents and sisters.
The promise I whispered to my friends.
And here it is...
Snuck up on me like the smell of lilacs in the breeze,
and salty spray on your lips from a boat on the bay,
and a crush that turns into accidental and unexpected love.
Snuck up on me like all those things that catch you by pleasant surprise. 
Moments that evoke instant nostalgia, even as they are occurring.
I don't know how long I'll be here.
But I'll know when it's time to go...
My gut will have a little check in with my heart.
I think that scale of measurement must be how the settlers knew when the west was won.
And so, many a' hearts were left in San Francisco...

* all photos are my own; a one year glimpse at my California abode! 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend!

Holy smokes, folks!
Big sigh of relief I made it through this busy week in one piece.
And in a few short hours, I'm heading back east for the long weekend!
I love Memorial Day and the unofficial start to summer.
I think late May is actually one of the best times to be in New York.
Everyone has this summer energy about them.
You can feel it as you leave work.
The tulips line Park Avenue,
outdoor seating welcomes patrons with open arms,
image from my mom's garden
I miss that ever-changing, yet constant New York energy.
This weekend is all about New England though: hot dogs topped with baked beans,
coca cola from the can and ice cream dripping down my chin.
Did you know red poppies are the signifying flower of Memorial Day?
I was reading up on the history of the holiday
and came across that fun fact.
So, raise a red poppy in honor of our troops,
and to summer,
and to a wonderful long weekend.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

On The Record

It's been a long week
leading up to what seems like a very far off long weekend.
I'd like to go on record as saying,
I'd rather be doing this:
than what I am currently doing.
Isn't that shot beautiful?
What I'd trade for a stretch of peace and solitude that goes on for miles,
rather than going a million directions a mile a minute.
Soon enough...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Grandest Canyon

The hike down and into the Grand Canyon
was one of the most special adventures I've embarked on.
I feel really proud of the excursion; it tested my physical and mental abilities
in ways that I couldn't have anticipated.  
Our group was full of energy and excitement as we began our descent down the Kaibab Trail.
We made it down to the bottom of the Canyon in record time,
with only a few short stops along the way.
Phantom Ranch can really only be described as utopia.
It hosts guests that respect the rules of the National Park Service,
and all share the feeling of pride and relief that a select few us have made it down to the bottom.
We appreciated the smallest of pleasures: 
 hiker's stew, a flat rock by the river to rest our feet, cold beers and card games.
Looking up at the Canyon walls from the shade of a Cottonwood,
you really do feel so tiny underneath such a big, vast sky.
Our group took advantage of the ranger talks at 4pm and 7:30pm.
There is such a rich history, and endless stories to be heard about this Canyon.
The Canyon walls are an ever changing canvas,
 painted in hues of pink, red and purples at sunset,
and brighter oranges, browns and greys at sunrise.
Day two we explored the Canyon, heading out towards the North Rim to
set our eyes on the majestic Ribbon Falls.
It was a 13+ mile hike round trip, and for most of it we were
 exposed to blazing sun as we walked through the desert.
We all stood and let the cold mist of this hidden waterfall sprinkle our backs.
A dip in the water pools and some lunch, and then we had to head back to camp.
It was a long, hot hike back, and most of us had depleted our water supply.
Our muscles were starting to really feel the effects of our hike down the day before.
We woke up at 4:30am on Sunday to begin our hike up and out.
We hoped by leaving early enough, we'd beat most of the heat.
We were all a little nervous, and unsure how reliable our legs were.
We hiked up Bright Angel Trail, first through thick, soupy sand and then up
and around a section called "Devil's Corkscrew."
When we arrived at Indian Gardens for lunch, I was exhausted.
There was a huge mind over matter 'think' capacity that had to kick in for me,
and I tried to concentrate on being strong through positive thinking.
There was a long, flat stretch of trail where I was alone for a while.
I had part of my group ahead of me, and a few folks behind me,
so I knew I was safe and I really appreciated the alone time for self-reflection,
self-pace setting, and taking in the beauty of the other side of the canyon.
There were a lot of low hanging ferns and bubbling creeks and flat rock beds.
I thought there was a strong possibility of seeing a mountain lion stretched out on one of the rock beds.
The last 3 miles were brutal. I had to put all my concentration into physically lifting each leg,
and my whole body was moving in slow motion.
I was sucking air-my only relief was when a nice man I was hiking with
told me it was the altitude that was making it very difficult to breathe.
My friend and I made out the whistle of a train and I swear, I'd never heard a sound so sweet.
The hike up was a constant mind game. You think you're nearing the top,
only to encounter another series of switch-backs.
Sheer pride kept us from asking hikers making their way down,
how much longer until we reached the rim.
When I finally caved in to ask,
I knew I was at the point of total mind and body exhaustion.
But we made it.
The first half of our group waited for us tail-enders
at a perch about 5 minutes before you round the bend and reach the summit.
We all marched up to the top together.
We hugged and high-fived and were cheered on by park rangers and mingling tourists.
It felt...amazing.
Impossible to articulate, really.
I'd been riding a giddy high during the days that followed.
Shuffling around the city; smiling to myself, like I had a little secret.
It was an amazing journey,
although if you asked my legs, they'd probably beg to differ.
Happy Hiking, friends.
 *all photos are my own