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Weekend Wanderer

Wandering the Weekends in California and beyond

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Find Something That Makes You HAPPY and Do It Often

It’s not that hard.

Make a list.

Make a list of ten things.

Make a list of ten things that make you happy.

Then do those ten things every week AND SMILE

1. Paddle

2. Blog

3. Sleep in with Biggie

4. Crushing it at Spin Class

5. Reading

6. Dancing in the kitchen to some booty bouncing hip hop before I go to work

7. TACO TUESDAY

8. Staying home and catching up on my shows

9. Plan a new weekend adventure

10. Visit Bruce for a few ferry rides while he works the graveyard shift

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Lake Arrowhead – Last Minute Adventure

IMG_6564Sometimes the best weekend getaways are the ones that don’t take much planning. I’m lucky enough to have a family cabin up in Twin Peaks near Lake Arrowhead and a great tribe to travel with. This used to be one of the only “vacation” spots my family would regularly go to, with 5 kids it’s hard to go anywhere. It always surprises me how easy it is to head up the mountain, and every time I go up I’m stoked on the weather and surroundings. IMG_6598

What makes the weekend trips epic, are the people you travel with. Luckily we had a good vibe tribe heading up the mountain with us. The loop our cabin is on isn’t filled with AIRBNBS or VRBO’s, it really is a quiet family community. We barely get cell phone service, cable has a few channels and we’re forced to actually interact with each other and spend the night trying to figure out how to play pictionary properly. The mornings were the best time, I’d wake up first and let Biggie out for his morning roam. That was my favorite time of the day, when it was literally no other sound except for the pug snorting around the nearest tree. We’d make waffles and bacon, and within 37 seconds the entire cabin was awake by the smell of breakfast. Which really isn’t that hard, because you can stand in the living room and see into the other two rooms and bathrooms without rotating. Hey, everyone likes to be cozy.

But as usual, where ever we go, we find something to paddle and somewhere to paddle on. Lake Gregory  has a greaIMG_6567t spot to set up a chair and drop a cooler for a few hours while enjoying the fresh air and the lake itself. It’s one of the best kept secrets in the area, as most people spend their time on Lake Arrowhead or up in Big Bear. You can bring your own equipment, however they have a fee to launch. During the summer the water is super refreshing, which is convenient when your sisters try to flip your boy scout canoe!

Friday night the electricity went out, a power outage that affect the entire loop. It was about midnight and we were still awake playing board games, just like you normally would in any cabin setting – am I right? Once we got over the IMG_6487“OMG this is a horror movie waiting to happen” mode, we grabbed all the candles we could to lighten up the small cabin. But the best lighting we got was outside under the stars. Everyone laying down on the porch just staring up at the stars and watching them appear from behind the trees was one of the most relaxing moments I’ve had in months.

Lake Arrowhead has a killer summer set up for concerts at the lake ( http://www.lakearrowhead.com/village.html ) and also fun things to do all day. I mean, we just walked around, stopped for tacos and fed the ducks; but we totally could have spent the entire day there like we used to. We just wanted to head down the mountain (which took all of 20 minutes) before the sun went down.

Fresh hikes, fun days and a margarita to join the sunset. I need to spend more time up the mountain. IMG_6522IMG_6658

What I Learned in 2013

DCIM127GOPROAs the year comes to an end, I’ve looked back at it and thought about everything I’ve learned from the last 365 days.

-Pug Lyfe is real life

– Running ain’t Easy – half marathon #1 showed me that, and I always keep that in the back of my mind as I’m training for the next half marathon.

– Dreams and Ideas can come true with a little hard work – PIlialoha Designs is a great example of that and I can’t wait to see how 2014 pans out for us!

– Always be ready for a lifestyle change – 2013 threw me for a loop with a last minute move.

– Thank you notes matter – see last blog post

Kamanu Composites REALLY REALLY care about their clients – being a California Rep for them as taught me a sale isn’t done until the costumer is happy…no matter how many times they change their mind on colors

– Midori Sours – they’re magic.

– And you can get free midori sours even when you’re playing the penny slots – vegas was a trip

– Being self dependent is one of the greatest feelings in the world – knowing that you aren’t depending on anyone to make decisions for you and you’re capable of paying and supporting yourself.

– Taking pictures never gets old – same selfie different place

– There is a lot of satisfaction with meeting and surpassing the goals that you set – this was a big thing for me in 2013. Sitting down and writing out goals, then pushing myself to meet them whether they were personal, work related or athletic goals.

– Christmas Flys by a lot faster when you’re older – this also sucks.

– You can’t make everyone happy – but you can make yourself happy and that can infect others

– Chardonnay isn’t as bad as I thought – thanks Malia

– Don’t hesitate – if you want something go for it

– Don’t plan your day (or night) around people

– Twerking – the new drop it like its hot

– Last minute trips are the best trips – as much as my bank account hates them

 – Instagram is a marketing tool – ie @PilialohaDesigns , @NewportAquaticCenter

– GoPro has changed the way of my picture taking

– SnapChat is just as good as a text – and I usually respond faster

– Don’t believe everything you hear

– Don’t judge a book by it’s cover – as cliche as if sounds, I really learned to live by this , this past year

– Plane tickets do not drop in prices the longer you wait – $900 tickets to Kona for a race, that also sucks

– People move – try to stay in touch as best you can

– It’s okay to stay home and read – I have a great list of books I can share

– Karma is real – what comes around goes around whether it’s good or bad  karma 

– Mermaids are also real

– Be selfish with time, it’s yours and eventually it runs out.

What have you learned? I want to encourage everyone to share something they’ve learned in 2013 whether it be on their own personal blog, instagram or Facebook. Tag #ThingsILearned2013 , so we can all share together!

Wanderlust Wednesday // Whirlwind Weekends

So taking a cue from one of my besties over at MadDreamDesign , this will be my “Wanderlust Wednesday” post! Check out Maddie’s blog at Mad Dream Design as she is posting EVERY Wednesday about her awesome adventures and trips! As for me – I’ve been up and down Southern California these last few weeks for weddings and other fun festivities!

Went down to San Diego to watch my sister Torey from Chico State play!

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A couple Saturdays ago I had two weddings in one day, one in Dana Point the other in Newport Beach. Both couples are both very close to me and I was so happy that I was able to make both events! I loved how personal and yet simple both weddings were. They both in their own ways matched the couple perfectly, from the beautiful, romantic beach ceremony to the rowdy after party with all their friends!

Danny and Leah

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Danny and Leahs beach ceremony at Doheny Beach
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Mr. and Mrs. Ching!
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Me and my bestie Bobbie, who now lives on Maui.

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Ozzie and Beth

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Mr. and Mrs. Clarke !

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The following weekend was ALSO a wedding. This time in San Luis Obispo! So we packed up for a weekend of fun with old friends and watched an old high school friend tie the not with his college sweetheart!

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The girlies. Bobbie, Kelly, Malia
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The boys! Bruce and Will
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Oh he was NOT having the lipstick kiss!
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Avila Valley Barn

Unfortunately, I didn’t get many good pictures of the bride and groom. The only goods I got was them unwrapping their newly plastic wrapper rental car, and turning it on and getting baby powder flushed into their face through the AC! Gotta love older brothers right??

Whirlwind weekends and they don’t think to stop!

Practice 10/24/13

Cool little video I made of the Juniors I coach at practice yesterday. I strapped a gopro to my ama.
Music:
Alt J- Fitzpressure

The Number 5

The number 5 is a very powerful number once you think about it. Five is the third prime number. Five is the atomic number of boron.  In music, Five is the lowest possible number that can be the top number of  a time signature with an asymmetric meter (Clay I hope you read this). In hockey, the area between the goaltender’s legs is known as the five-hole. 5 also is the most common number of gears for automobiles with manual transmission. Is that enough facts about the number 5? How about in numerology, 5 is the number of progress and growth, for without change there is stagnation. 

Five years ago I was 18. I lived at home, was about to graduate high school and knew I hadn’t applied to college. I knew I was going to go to the community college near by. I knew that at 18, I had my whole life ahead of me and that I wanted to make the most of it.

But have I?

In the past five years, I’ve lived in three different homes. I’ve lived in San Luis Obispo. I’ve been supporting my self for 4 out of the 5 years. I’ve dated guys, and I think I’ve found one that sticks now.  I have had one turtle, one cat, a few fish and a pug (obviously). I’ve driven a black suburban, a bright blue camry and now a grey frontier.  I’ve gone from drinking cheap drinks from trader joes to nice glasses of wine with my bestie. I’ve gone from have a spastic lifestyle to actually planning on what I do next (except for that last minute trip to Dads Center while we were supposed to be moving- sorry Bruce!) But nobody’s perfect and as long as you believe you are doing the best you can then that’s all that matters!

I can’t count the number of times I’ve been on a plan in the past 260 weeks.

I’ve done 8 races in Hawaii in the past 1,825 days.

Five years ago, I didn’t know what I was going to be doing at 23. When I was 18, I wrote “Happy” when the basketball program asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. I’m happy. I’m very happy. I have a great life that I’ve built for myself. I’ve set my goals and reached them. I set new goals and I work towards them. I help the people around me. I also let the people around me help myself when I need it. I’ve worked hard for what I’ve got and what I’ve done.

Now for the next 5 years…

I’ll be 28.

I hope to continue to have a job that I like working at.

I hope to still have my truck! I love my truck!

I plan on going back to school and finishing my AA.

I plan on having a house in five years.

I plan on doing a lot more racing in the next five years!

I want to keep setting goals and working towards them. I’m going back to school and I’m hoping that helps me somewhere along the next five years. I HOPE Biggie will grow into his tongue in the next five years!

Making a five year plan is no joke. I’m pretty sure you CAN’T tell what the future will hold. But you can design your life to come the way you want it. As long as you stay true to your own values and goals, you’re five year plan should come pretty easily! Also, five years FLYS BY! So hold on.

Kona Cruizin’

DCIM120GOPROI LOVE the big island. I’ve been going every summer since I’ve been 17. We fly over as a team at NAC for the Queen Lilioukalani race (except this year I spent five days on Oahu before…OOPS! But that’s in the last blog post). You can find out more about the worlds largest canoe race at https://www.kaiopua.org/.

Before I get into the race…I’m going to get into the fun stuff!!

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Okay, I dare you to try to get same to look at the camera during a selfie

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We take the kids to Waipio Valley which is an awesome beach with a gnarly hike down. A 25% grade hike that takes 45 minutes to get down, and an hour and a half to get back up! Brutal.

But the beach is totally worth the work!DCIM120GOPRO DCIM120GOPRO DCIM120GOPRO

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We end up taking the team to the Mauna Kea observatory every year after Waipio Valley. Mauna Kea is a volcano on the island of Hawaii. Standing 13,803 ft above sea level, its peak is the highest point in the state of Hawaii.

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Kahaluu Beach is a new beach we went to his year. It’s so close the hotel I can believe we haven’t gone before! It is definitely one of the best places to snorkel, dive and explore on the island. I could have spent hours there!

DCIM120GOPRO DCIM120GOPRODCIM120GOPROSouth Point  is the southernmost point of the Big Island of Hawaii and the 50 United States. South Point is also know as “Ka Lae” which means “the point.” The jumping cliffs can vary between 20 feet to 45 feet at any jump! But of course, there is always a way just to walk in and jump in the SUPER CLEAR and SUPER BLUE water! I can’t put into words how beautiful South Point is and the view you get. Just vast amounts of ocean on all sides! photo-15DCIM127GOPRO DCIM127GOPRO DCIM121GOPROIt was a great Kona Trip this year. I’m always making plans for next year! I love the scenery and I love the people! However, after my ten days in hawaii and my four plane rides, I was happy to hit ground in California and be home again! Until next year Big Island!

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Oahu Livin’

Good Morning Kailua
Good Morning Kailua

I’ve spend the last 5 days on Oahu beachin’ and livin’. Paddlin’ and workin’. Just having a good time cruising with my sisters and catching up with old friends I haven’t seen. I originally came over just for a race (post to come later) and have enjoyed the company I have and scenery around me much more than I expected. I remember how lucky I am to be given opportunities like this and to have the job that I have that allows be to take days of work to travel. Not to mention the boyfriend I have that is okay with the face that I left for a ten day trip during the time we are supposed to be moving out of our apartment. Ouch!

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Tristen’s first day of school

I’ve got one sister playing vball at HPU, Kasey, and one sister attending UH, Tristen. The main reason for this trip was to race the Dads Center Race on Oahu from Kailua Bay to Waikiki. (I’ll have another post just from that race in a bit). But a big plus about coming over here, was it was the weekend before Tristen had her first day of college so we had time to get some last minute school supplies and spend lots of time on the beach before she’s locked into a classroom. Staying with Kasey and her roommates Rio, Courtney and Cara has been awesome. It makes it easy to fly over when I have a free place to stay. However, I did buy them a new microwave to make up for it!

Rio, Myself, Courtney and Tristen on North Shore
Rio, Myself, Courtney and Tristen on North Shore
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Playing with the new go-pro at Kailua Beach Park

I’ve been to Oahu over a dozen times, and each time I find out something new about the island or about myself. I find a new beach or a reason to be independent and go to the beach alone while Kasey and Tristen have class or practice.

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We spent hours on North Shore off roading in Corys truck in search for the perfect secluded beach, and we found it! Getting the truck back up the rocks was a little tough…only a little set back though.

We watch the sunrise at Kailua. 

Walked up and down the Waikiki strip.

Ran out of gas on the North Shore.

Had really over priced drinks at Dukes. 

Cruisin' Waikiki
Cruisin’ Waikiki

I always make time to catch up with old friends when I’m on the island! I make this trip at least once a year and able to see people I grew up paddling with and miss seeing all the time! Tomorrow I head out to Big Island for yet another paddling race on Saturday!

 

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North Shore With Rio

Follow the next five days of my adventure on either Instagram (@KelThompson) or this blog! More posts about racing, playing, and having fun to come!

xoxo

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State Sprint Shenanigans

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2008 State Sprints First PlaceKelly (stroke seat), Malia (2), Celeste (3), Pam (4), Taylor (5) and Bobbie (steering)

State Sprints in Santa Barbara is a race that I look forward to every summer! Not just because its a beautiful venue for paddling…but because of the fun that comes a long with is. There’s a tradition of dressing up your novice paddlers at state sprints and making them race in them! Well…NAC wanted to play too. And NAC doesn’t have a novice team…weird. Here are a few pictures from over the years of how Newport Aquatic Center jazzed it up for State Sprints every year!

2008 ~ Team Day Glo

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Team Day Glo 2008

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2009 ~ Billys Angels

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5935_1190505917339_1574401_n2010 ~ Village People

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2010 Village People

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2011 ~ Team Tecate

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281919_2174831524864_5223531_n2012 ~ El Mexicano

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2013? What’s it going to be? NAC may be laying low this year…OR dropping it like its hot.

Instagram: @KelThompson
Twitter: @KelThomp

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