Travel Tuesday- The Point Reyes National Seashore 

I was inspired by An Historian’s post on the Aran Islands, and by my continual wanderlust to write about my recent trip to the Point Reyes National Seashore in California. 

Now, it’s not Ireland or anywhere near as exotic as Croatia (read The Wandering Flamingo’s post about her holiday on Šipan Island), but if you’re on the west coast of the United States, and anywhere near San Francisco, it’s a must-do! 

My good friend, Holly and I had originally wanted to drive a piece of the Oregon Coast during our summer vacation girls’ getaway. When we realized that our busy schedules and dwindling teacher bank accounts wouldn’t support such a venture, we looked into checking out the redwoods. I’ve been through the Redwood National Park a couple of times, but not Holly. But, again, we were faced with time constraints. 

Before packing it in, and putting off our trip for another time (Don’t do this, ya’ll. Time is fleeting, and you never know if you’ll get around to seeing everything you want to in one lifetime), Holly suggested we head just north of the Bay Area to the Point Reyes National Seashore. 

Being in Reno means quick access to the San Francisco Bay Area. On a good day, with minimal traffic, one can find themselves perusing the funky shops in Chinatown in 3.5 hours. 

Finding our way to the Point Reyes National Seashore took about the same amount of time, and bonus: no crazy city traffic and hobo street sprinters.

Our first stop along the national seashore was the famous shipwreck in Inverness, California. (I loved being in Inverness *again*!) Often described as “Instagrammable”, it was a fun place to stop and take pictures we, of course, posted on Insta. 

Everything looks better after filters. Amiright?

The strange shipwreck was cool to see, but what was most beautiful was the drastic drop in temperature. It was so nice to leave the 100-degree temperatures behind, even if the humidity gave me an insta-perm. 

The first major stop we made was to the Point Reyes Lighthouse. If you plan on checking out the lighthouse, make sure you visit the National Park Service website for operating hours, as the lighthouse is closed after 4 PM Monday through Friday. Also, if the wind is too strong, the steps leading to the lighthouse will be closed.


It’s important to be aware that the climb to and from the lighthouse is incredibly challenging. Not only will you be climbing the equivalence of 30 floors, the wind is intense. On more than one occasion I felt like I could easily be carried off the cliff by the wind.

Read more about my epic climb in my Trail Fails post. 


Be prepared with extra water, walking shoes, wet wipes and a full tank of gas, as amenities are lacking. Speaking of amenities, the bathrooms are not fabulous and there is no running water to wash your hands. 

All that said, the views of the shoreline, surrounding landscape, and ocean are breathtaking. 



After nearly being blown clear off the coast at the lighthouse, we continued along the seashore. As we drove winding roads that cut through tall fields of grasses being whipped around by the relentless wind, the contrast between the wheat-colored grass and the ever-changing aegean and teal blue water was striking. 


I don’t know why, but this view evoked an Eastern European or Middle Eastern feeling in me. I’ve never been to either, so…I dunno?
 

After a brisk hike along an expanse of the seashore that seemed entirely untouched, we continued on to another location that was eerily desolate. 



Maybe it was because it was late in the afternoon, or it was due to the fact that there was no one else around, but the Marconi radio facilities building felt so incredibly creepy to me. I think, maybe, it was also the long, tree-canopied lane that leads to the decades-old building. I envisioned myself alone in that building, at night, watching as my untimely demise came slowly, but assuredly down the road. 

*shudders*


On the second day of our girl getaway we hung out in some huge trees:


Ate a picnic lunch on Stinson Beach:

 


And, got a killer view of San Francisco from reeeeeally far away:


I’ve seen the otherworldly Scottish Highlands, the impossible green that is Ireland, and the patchwork perfection that is the English countryside, but the Point Reyes National Seashore is another kind of beautiful. 
Really, there is no comparing one beautiful place with another. There are so many kinds of beautiful, that no matter how hard you try, you’ll never see them all in one lifetime. 

Point Reyes is a rugged kind of beautiful, and despite the tourists, remains, somehow, wild and untouched. 

Have you ever been somewhere that reminded you of someplace else, even if you’ve never been to that someplace else? Ever been to a beautiful place that feels undiscovered and wild? Let me know in the comments! 

Food Baby Part Two

So, as I mentioned in my previous post, I meant to share pictures of my food dalliances, but got too carried away with the story of my cupcake ninja moves at a baby shower. 

Last week, on break, I had a permanent food baby. In fact, now that I think of it, I have always had a permanent food baby. Oy vey.

I guess, without further ado-Why I’m Fat #3,456:

Mmmmm almond gelato is most definitely winning!
Hot-crossed-pulled-pork-deliciousness-bun!
Pink marshmallow s’mores skillet #fattyparadise
Apple and pear crisp skillet with melting vanilla bean i-scream-for-fuck-yes!
Demolished! I was too hungry to get pictures of the sushi. #hangry #impatient
 

Strawberry mochi. My friend didn’t like hers, so I ate those too…
Asparagus, red pepper, and provolone croissant. What isn’t pictured is the peanut butter pie I ate for dessert breakfast.
Dirrrty chai #thatshowwedo
While this seemingly innocuous-looking quiche would be the obvious healthy choice, it was just far too buttery and cheesy to be innocent.
Life tip #87: Do not make eye contact with anyone while eating an ice cream cone. Especially when you shouldn’t be eating one…
The most amazing taste sensation in all the land. I give you-Mug o’ Forever Fat (I put it all in a giant mug. Get it?)
GET IN MA BELLY
 

I thought I took more pictures of what I ate. It doesn’t even look that bad….

But, it was. I’m still hurting. 

I’ve been taking a shot of Pepto with a Kaopectate chaser before bed for four nights. 
#helpme

When You Know You Need a Vacation

teaching
Image courtesy Buzzfeed
Yesterday, I got a new student. He’s a spunky, sweet kid from the south. I am sure he will be a wonderful addition to our classroom. As for his opinion of me? I am going to have to be extra awesome-teacher for the next few days, let’s just put it that way.

When you get a new student, it behooves any good teacher to make a great first impression. I made sure we got all of our dedicated brain breaks throughout the day-“Hey, this is a really fun classroom-we get to do a YMCA kids Just Dance video between math and reading?!”. I made sure to emphasize the positive reward system and incentives-“If I make good decisions, I get to eat lunch with the teacher? Baller status!” I made sure my students really showed what they have been learning about ancient Rome-“Wow! They know so much about an ancient civilization. I want to be like these kids!”

After that, it all went downhill. Clark Griswold-sledding-like-a-fool-downhill-like.

Every day, I do a read-aloud about our social studies topic. In the middle of reading about Julius Caesar’s ultimate demise, someone farted.

I know, I know. What the hell is it with farts? I know.

I have always been excellent at ignoring fluffs. If you don’t, you lose instruction time, there is the potential for embarrassing the culprit, and it is just not good role model behavior. This year, however, farts have become exponentially funnier. I don’t know why.

But, I am a freaking human, alright?

I could feel it building inside. I tried to ignore it. I tried to focus on Brutus killing Caesar, “Et tu, Brute” and all that.

There wasn’t a single laugh or even any acknowledgement that it had happened.

But…it went “Bloop”.

Bloop

I couldn’t hold it in. I started laughing. I didn’t dare look at anyone. Maybe it would stop. I kept my face behind the book.

Reading…long pause…expectant re-positioning. Silent laughing. More reading. Longer pause. Not-so-silent laughing. 

Fuck. I cannot believe this is happening to me. AGAIN.

OK. STOP.

I can’t.

Because, it went “bloop”.

Bloop.

At this point, I am too far gone. You know when you are not supposed to laugh? During funerals? When someone is telling you something sad? When you are getting bad news of some sort? But, someone told you a joke before the bad news and you are still laughing, or the person talking to you has a crusty booger and you just can’t even?

It was like that. I knew I shouldn’t laugh and so, that is precisely when I can’t control laughing. 

My best friend in high school will relate, because we were the most hated students in Ms. Gibb’s class. We had laughing fits, on a daily basis, over stupid shit, like Ms. Gibb’s flock of seagulls hair. Once we started, we could.not.stop.

It was like that as my poor students sat, wide-eyed, watching their demented teacher lose her shit.

A few brave souls attempted apprehensive, “hehe’s”.

One student said, monotone, teacherly, “Are you OK, Ms. P?”

No. I was not OK.

Eventually, I did collect myself and we carried on, but not until we discussed why I was laughing. I was not laughing at the person who farted. We went over that it is a natural bodily function that is funny. Right?

The same student who asked if I was done losing my shit said, “Ms. P, that wasn’t even a fart, that was my shoe…”

It.wasn’t.even.a.fart.

What an excellent first impression for my new student. Teacher of the year right here.

fart
Image courtesy of wm-n.glb.shawcable.net
teacher2
Image courtesy of housetalkn.com

Vacay Babay

If you didn’t infer from my last post, or you missed the one about my sister, you don’t know I’m on vacation. 

So, yeah, VACATION.

I know I feel bummed when some of my favorite bloggers disappear for too long (they probably work, or have actual, real-life stuff to do), so I figured I’d make it clear that I haven’t given up on Fatty McCupcakes! Don’t you love how I’m assuming I might be one of someone’s favorites? Oy! 

I’ve been having a blast, and I’ve been experiencing all that I can. It’s all fodder for new blog posts, of course. Most importantly, though, I’ve put the iPhone and iPad somewhat away and I’ve just lived, watched, breathed, and engaged. It’s been refreshing as all hell.

I’m still vacationing, so I don’t anticipate an actual post until I get back and sleep for a whole day (jet lag is worse as you get older, I swear)! 

Hopefully some vacation pictures will keep my loyal followers satiated enough until I get back. Don’t give up on me, guys! I love you all. 

  Goodbye land, goodbye sanity, goodbye lunch. Flying gets you to cool places, but it’s nerve-wracking as fuck.

  What you do after traveling for 9 hours and you’re ravenously hungry, and you’re alone in a big city-for the first time (more on my newfound independence soon). Room service, baby! 

  Obviously, I tracked down a cupcakery while in Philadelphia. It’s like my fat gut has a built-in honing device for baked goods. 

  Some resident of the City of Brotherly Love loved their city so much, they felt the need to tag an iconic landmark. Way to go, asshat! It’s why we can’t have nice things *hangs head in disgrace*.

  If I could make one suggestion/comment/bit of feedback to whoever planned the structure housing the Liberty Bell, it’s that the natural light coming from behind the bell makes it really hard to capture the famous crack. Oh, you’re just supposed to reverently view and move on? Gotcha…*slowly puts selfie stick back in bag*

  Residents of the East Coast are different people entirely. I had never seen anything like this before. Apparently, I’M the weird one for not being familiar with edible curved manhood. BTW it is NOT like Bologna at all. 

 After a nice little jaunt through Delaware, we made it to Ocean City, MD. We promptly put our feet in the surf. Because ocean. 

  We drove all the way to Maryland to eat at a Jamaican-themed restaurant, complete with real palm trees and jerk chicken-everything, just so I can show people this picture and say I went somewhere exotic.  

  Yes, the views are priceless, but our $300 a night hotel room is…well…upon getting a towel, the towel rack promptly fell off the wall. Classy. I simply cannot wait to write my Yelp and Trip Advisor reviews. 

  Our piggy toes are obviously genetic. You’re welcome.


Nervous Poos

3 more sleeps and I will be heading to visit my sister from another mama. This will be the first time I’ve traveled further than one state over since my trip to London in 2010! To say I’m nervous about the flight is like saying, “I’m just a little in love with baked goods.” 

I adore travel. I want to see the world, yet flying is so, so fucking scary. I am a control freak to the nth degree. If I could sit in the cockpit, I would feel a little better. I would feel a little more at ease if I could be on the lookout for birds or other planes, or whatever else there is to watch out for in the sky. I would feel more in charge, and thus safer, if I could say, “A little to the left”, “Whoa, let’s ease up on that throttle”, and “Are you sure you checked the landing gear?” 

I would be that person they want to tie up and store in the cargo hold. 

This time around, I’ll be traveling with just me, myself, and Ivana (she’s my alter ego). I’ve never flown alone. I’ve always had someone to annoy with my constant questions and worries, “Are you really sure we aren’t going to die?”

I feel like a super, take the Bulls by the horn, independent woman. That is, until the morning of my flight. I’ll most likely be having to use the restroom every 10 minutes, and I’ll question whether or not to take my “huggy pillow” with me on the flight-to keep me safe, obviously. 

I’m not a real chatty person when it comes to talking to strangers. When some random person says something like, “The weather has been crazy lately”, my response is usually something along the lines of, “I don’t like hot dogs”. And then I want to kick myself for not saying something easy, like, “Hasn’t it?”

So, I’m dreading the inevitable flight talk. 

Basically, I’m dreading the flight, in its entirety. 

Someone reassure me *sucking thumb in fetal position*