Anniversary adventures continued: a return to Angel Island

I have posted the first part of our tenth anniversary adventure here and now it’s time for the rest of the adventure. Ever since our first trip to the island we’ve wanted to go back to hike. This time, rather than try to hike around the entire island (about 5 miles), we chose a section and explored. We took time to really see the area we chose rather than just hike past it.

On our first trip to the island we went as guests on a company picnic. It was our first time and we loved it. Karl The Fog was around for most of that trip. It was beautiful and it made the island feel peaceful and very secluded. This past week, however, the ferry trip out was beautiful and clear. We passed close to Alcatraz and pulled into Ayala Cove. From the cove, we followed the trail south and west to Camp Reynolds.

Along the way we saw lots of butterflies on the beautiful purple spiky flowers of the ‘Pride of Madeira” (echium candicans) which were blooming everywhere. The views from the perimeter road were stunning. We could see Belvedere, Tiburon, Richardson Bay, The Marin Headlands and the Golden Gate Bridge.

On the way, we passed the old hospital. It’s located on the road above Camp Reynolds. It was kept away from the camp so as to lessen the fear among the military men.

Once we reached Camp Reynolds we went exploring. The camp was built back in the 1860s and the bake house is still used for educational purposes. Down by the shore near the brick building, we had our lunch and enjoyed the scenery. I don’t know exactly what the brick building was used for, but it’s pretty and there are many century plants to found next to it. The old bloom stalks loomed over us. From our lunch site next to the ruins of the old wharf, we could watch the ships entering the bay beneath the Golden Gate Bridge.

After a leisurely lunch, we hiked back up to the perimeter road and head south toward Battery Ledyard. The views of The City skyline and the bay were stunning. We spent a while there just enjoying the scenery. We decided not to hike further as we didn’t want to rush back to the return ferry on time. We preferred to take our time and just enjoy the day.

From Battery Ledyard, we followed the perimeter road back to Ayala Cove. Since the ferry wasn’t due for a while, we went and found a nice spot in the shade and I got to soak my feet in the cove and watch the crows. It was a beautiful ending to a wonderful day. I love sharing the view with Lastech and hope to share many more.

There are no photos of the ferry trip back to The City. A very cold wind picked up and the water was rough. While we sat outside on the deck, I wasn’t going to try to stand up for photos. ๐Ÿ™‚

P.S. While there we came across this cairn made of ย sea-scoured bricks. A critter (no dogs there) then came along and left their own mark. I call it…

Cairn and poo
Cairn and poo

 

Photos from our first trip can be seen here, here and here.


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Anniversary adventures: up in “our” grill

On March 19th, we celebrated our tenth anniversary. Ok, we didn’t actually. Poor Lastech caught an evil cold, so we postponed it. I didn’t mind and it wouldn’t have been a celebration if he wasn’t feeling well. As a result, we went out last Thursday. We divided our celebration into two parts and this was the first day.

We weren’t planning much for that day, but we had an ice chest with food and went out to grill some of our favorites. We originally planned on going to a lovely spot on the Marin Headlands, but it was closed for renovation. Instead, we explored the headlands for a while, clouds and bird watching before returning to The City to do our grilling at Baker Beach. We grilled carne asada, zucchini, mushrooms and a few bratwurst. We made tacos and had a very pleasant time.

We then took a trip to the arboretum to see what wildflowers might be blooming as it’s that time of year. It was lovely and we found azaleas, ferns and wisteria blooming. We also came across an old friend. ๐Ÿ™‚

Yes, it was our old friend the hawk. We also watched a young couple walking around the arboretum. Both were so intent on their phones that they never saw the hawk. I don’t mind technology, but I would never want to be so unaware of the beauty that surrounds me. To be so close to a hawk is not a moment to be wasted. I’m simply amazed that it has happened so many times now.

The next day we went hiking on Angel Island and that will be the next post.


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Wow, it’s been ten years

Ten years ago today Lastech and I got married. I can’t believe it’s been that long. Time flies when you’re having fun. ๐Ÿ™‚ Our life has been a real adventure. We have shared some great times and then there have been a few struggles. Life is like that. I couldn’t imagine sharing those times with anyone else. My last ten years have been wonderful and I’m looking forward to the next ten. When he asked me to marry him, he told me he wanted someone to share the view. We’ve done that.

We've gone cloud watching
We’ve gone cloud watching
We found humorous things
We found humorous things

We’ve gone bird watching

Red shouldered hawk at the Japanese Tea Garden
Red shouldered hawk at the Japanese Tea Garden
Great egret in Golden Gate Park
Great egret in Golden Gate Park
Great egret at McLaren Park
Great egret at McLaren Park
We've watched the kite surfers racing
We’ve watched the kite surfers racing
And we've watched the sailboats at rest
And we’ve watched the sailboats at rest
We have seen the Golden Gate Bridge looking magnificent
We have seen the Golden Gate Bridge looking glorious
We have even stopped to look at the tulips
We have even stopped to look at the tulips
And to top it all off, we have watched Karl The Fog roll in over The City at sunset
And to top it all off, we have watched Karl The Fog roll in over The City at sunset

When he asked me to share the view I had no idea how magnificent it would be. ๐Ÿ™‚

Card


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Caturday and OMG! We got cookies!

Last September our friend Grace sent the pointy eared people a box of goodies. The were rolling in mouse toys, crocheted toys, snacky bits, and yummy gushy noms. Imagine my surprise when Thursday turned out to be our turn. ๐Ÿ™‚ We received a lovely card, some beautiful cat ornaments and some of the best cookies ever!

Thank you Grace!
Thank you Grace!

I intend to find a place to hang the ornaments as they are lovely year round. Now, in keeping with the heart motif, here are the pointy eared people.

Tito
Tito
Miss Jenny
Miss Jenny
Titanescu: He may have a heart around his head, but he's still a curmudgeon.
Titanescu: He may have a heart around his head, but he’s still a curmudgeon.

Many many thanks to the lovely Grace for her delightful gifts.

Love and bonks from Rudha-an, Lastech, Tito, Jenny and Titanescu


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Today is National Angel Island Day

Several months ago Lastech and I were invited to go to Angel Island. While there, we took the tram tour. We did that as we had no opportunity to hike the trails at the time. My photos are limited as a result. I’ve been saving the last few as they are mostly of the the Immigration Center exterior but they are meaningful to me. In 2010, President Obama declared January 21st as National Angel Island Day.

The barracks were cramped and afforded no privacy
The barracks were cramped and afforded no privacy

I’ve spent my life surrounded by immigrants. Lastech is an immigrant and most of my friends are immigrants as well. One of my grandfathers came through Ellis Island. Sadly, unlike beautiful Ellis Island, Angel Island was built as a detention camp. The barracks were cramped and afforded little in the way of privacy and conditions there were deplorable. It was built to enforce the Chinese Exclusionary act of 1882. Economic fears and racial prejudice were the reason for act. From the proclamation (above link):

Unlike immigrants who marveled at the Statue of Liberty upon arrival at Ellis Island, those who came to Angel Island were greeted by an intake facility that was sometimes called the “Guardian of the Western Gate.” Racially prejudiced immigration laws of the time subjected many to rigorous exams and interrogations, as well as detention in crowded, unsanitary barracks. Some expressed themselves by carving poetry and inscriptions into the walls in their native language — from Chinese, Japanese, and Korean to Russian, German, and Urdu. These etchings remain on Angel Island today as poignant reminders of the immigrant experience and an unjust time in our history.

The station was abandoned after WWII and scheduled for demolition. In 1970, a park ranger named Alexander Weiss was exploring when he came across Chinese characters carved into the walls. It was the poetry. Due to his efforts and those of others, legislation was passed to preserve the poetry. You can read more about the station history here.

This poem and many others were found carved into the walls of the barracks
This poem and many others were found carved into the walls of the barracks

This is a translation of one of the poems

There are tens of thousands of poems on these walls
They are all cries of suffering and sadness
The day I am rid of this prison and become successful
I must remember that this chapter once existed
I must be frugal in my dailyneeds
Needless extravagance usually leads to ruin
All my compatriots should remember China
Once you have made some small gains,
you should return home early.

Written by one from Heungshan

There is writing and poetry from other languages and cultures as well.

Now here are some of our pics. We intend to go back when we can hike to the center and visit the museum.

Mule barn
Mule barn
Immigration barracks
Immigration barracks
The old fog bell
The old fog bell
Another view of the station barracks
Another view of the station barracks

Angel 5

The old hospital. It is currently undergoing renovation and isn't due to reopen until sometime next year.
The old hospital. It is currently undergoing renovation and isn’t due to reopen until sometime next year.
The island is full of deer
The island is full of deer

Angel 8

Angel 9

If you want to see our other posts about our Angel Island trip, you can find them here.

Angel Island: Another date with Karl The Fog

Angel Island: Part 2


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OMG! I forgot a birthday!

Yesterday was the birthday of our friend and fellow blogger known as Catgirl. She has Nekoneko’s Movie Litterbox where she blogs about great horror films from around the world. I had a brain fart yesterday. My bad. My very bad. ๐Ÿ™‚

catgirl2

Lots of best wishes from Rudha-an, Lastech, Tito, Miss Jenny and Titanescu ๐Ÿ™‚


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Happy Holidays!

We don’t say Happy Holidays to be politically correct. We say happy holidays because our friends are a mix of Christian, Atheist, Pagan, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, etc. We want to include EVERYONE in our wishes rather than a select few. Some of my friends just celebrated the Solstice and another will celebrate the Jewish tradition of eating Chinese food for Christmas. Lastech and I will celebrate by eating beef bourguignon and watching movies.

I want to make a special shout out (in no particular order) to Sally & hubby (with Dizzy Lizzy and Durango), Ryan, Labby (and Miss Lee), Lynn, Grace (and all her fur-people), Nekoneko (with Carolyn and Ting-Ting), Abra (and Tsula), and my family.

I also want to give a special shout out to those who make TNR a thing of wonder. The amazing Flumptytail is NOT a crazy cat woman. She does have lotsย of them though. She has opened her home and basement to many abandoned and feral kitties. She spays or neuters them and provides them with veterinary care and they come and go as they wish. She also has an adorable teenie dog named Dilly.

Another amazing cat activist and protector is Nofuratu and his entire family. Nofur and his family have TNRd and re-homed many abandoned and feral kitties. He is also provides outstanding travel commentary and he’s a wonderful political activist. I almost forgot. He’s an outstanding fashion model.

I didn’t mention Lastech yet. My bad. My very bad. It took me half my lifetime to find him, but it was worth it. I love you my husband and I’m so happy that I found you.

Did I get gooey enough? I certainly think so. Soooo, here’s a couple of random pics we took that seem to suit the mood.

We love to go to Golden Gate Park. In particular, we like to go to Stow Lake. This time we were just cruising through but had to stop for this.

I saw this on the way around the lake
I saw this on the way around the lake
Someone(s) decorates the tree every year.
Someone(s) decorates the tree every year.

We also have interesting wildlife

This wild birdie is NOT on our dinner menu. It was spotted in the East Bay by Lastech
This wild birdie is NOT on our dinner menu. It was spotted in the East Bay by Lasteach

Happy Holidays from the JBoD household to yours,

Rudha-an, Lastech, Tito, Miss Nightshade Jenny, and Titanescu aka Titanus Grumpicus Bunny Butt


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Thanksgiving, Chanukah, and Pumpkin Bread

Thanksgiving is upon us and we would like to extend our heartfelt wishes for a great holiday season for everyone.

Thanksgiving 2013

In addition to Thanksgiving, many of our friends are celebrating the first day of the Festival of Lights, otherwise known as Chanukah. The first day of Chanukah and Thanksgiving fall on the same day for the first time since 1888. It won’t happen again for a long time.

Hanukkah

 

And now for the recipe… This is the only pumpkin bread I have ever really enjoyed. Most of the time I find it dry and mealy. This is NOT dry. It’s rich and heavy and moist. ๐Ÿ™‚

Mom and Dadโ€™s Pumpkin Bread

5 cups pumpkin (1 large and 1 small can)

2 cups white sugar

2 cups brown sugar

1 cup oil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cloves

2 tsp cinnamon

4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup nuts

5 cups flour

Mix all the ingredients well.ย  Makes 2 large bread loaves, or up to ten mini loaves.ย  Bake at 350 for 1 hr. for a large loaf and about 40 minutes for a mini loaf.ย  May take longer. I check the small loaves after 30 minutes and the large after 50 minutes. Bread is done when a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.

We always greased the pans and sprinkled them with sugar (rather than flour).ย  We also sprinkled a bit of sugar on top as it made the top crunchy.

Love and best wishes to all from everyone here at JBoD,

Lastech, Rudha-an, Tito, Miss Jenny, and Titanescu

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Happy Birthday Lastech!

Today he is 49, so next year he hits the half century mark. ย I can’t resist a dig as I’m going to be 52 at the end of the year. ๐Ÿ™‚

For his birthday, I decided to take some photos that he took one night and play with them. They were taken with his phone, in the dark, and without flash. He came home with the first one and wasn’t fond of it at first. I played with it and showed it to him. He liked it and came home with a few more.

For Lastech with much love from me, Tito, Miss Jenny, and Titanescu

All photos are by Lastech and I call them Carousel Dreams

Carousel Dreams

Carousel Dreams

Carousel Dreams

Carousel Dreams

Carousel Dreams

Carousel Dreams

Here is the original photo he brought home. It was taken through the plastic sheeting that covers the carousel at night.

Carousel Dreams


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The pointy eared people got gifts today!

I’ve been off doing a MAJOR cleaning and organizing of the apartment. I was doing the super boring job of sorting paperwork for filing when the mail arrived. HOLY WOW! It was gifts for Tito, Miss Jenny, and Titanescu sent by a wonderful woman named Grace.

This post is for Grace.

card

Titanescu helped with the opening of the box. He says the noms are wonderful.
Titanescu helped with the opening of the box. He says the noms are wonderful.
Miss Jenny is now dragging the mousie toy everywhere.
Miss Jenny is now dragging the mousie toy everywhere.
Tito loved this mousie toy too. He was also tossing the balls in the air and catching them. He stopped when I grabbed the camera.
Tito loved this mousie toy too. He was also tossing the balls in the air and catching them. He stopped when I grabbed the camera.

The pointy eared people love their wonderful goodies!

Thanks again from ALL of us. Hugs for you and scritches for your fur people. ๐Ÿ™‚


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