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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

If I learned anything in 2015 it was…

That white wine is one helluva drug.

Jokes.

If I learned anything in 2015 it was that theres ALWAYS room for self improvement. Whether it’s personal, work related or relationships; there’s aways an opportunity to make life better.

If I learned anything in 2015 it was that theres ALWAYS room for error. Get organized; something will fail or go wrong. Just smile and roll with the punches.

If I learned anything in 2015 it was to accept that trailers and old boats are and will always be apart of my front yard decorations. Along with the truck, the 4HP motor, the new canoe we just picked up, the chair Bruce got at goodwill…

If I learned anything in 2015 it was that I work to travel, and I travel to paddle. I work a lot. I travel a lot. I paddle a lot.

If I learned anything in 2015 it was that your core group of girls will always be there for you, no matter how far out across the state they are.

If I learned anything in 2015 it was that amazon prime has changed my way of shopping.

If I learned anything in 2015 it was that set backs come and go. And sometimes they just keeping coming. And then you’re suppressed down by a feeling of multiple setbacks; but in the end everything happens for a reason and there is a way back to the top.

If I learned anything in 2015 it was that if you don’t grind, you don’t shine.

There’s no New Year – New You. There’s just a New Year…and YOU. What will you do with it? Keep evolving as a human, keep learning, keep growing. Take what you learn and fly with it.

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25

10616484_10203692522207394_8978194062482821102_nI didn’t post at all in 2014. Maybe because I didn’t have time, or maybe I just didn’t have anything to share. Well, I always have something to share so I think I just didn’t find the time!

In just a few hours I’ll be turning 25, which is kinda surreal. Cause age really is just a number, but I don’t feel 25. Then again what’s 25 supposed to feel like? I’m five years from 30 (uh, crap) but I’m also at the same time five years for 20 ( I liked 20 ). But 25…blah.

I’ve decided to look back at the past 25 years, and remember what I’ve done.  I like to think that I set good goals for myself, and worked hard to meet them. I am a huge believer in setting goals and having something to look forward to or work towards. But i also like to think that I had some fun along the way!

25 things that I’m stoked on for the 25 years I’ve been on this earth. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to look back and be like “woah, I did all that before I turned 25?” And in no particular order…

1. I had my first job when I was 15. It may have been keeping basketball game scores at the local gym for youth leagues; but it was a job and I could make enough money on Sundays to pay for my lunch all week. 

2. My phone bill. I pay it myself. And have been since I was 20. C’mon. It’s a big deal.

3. When I was 19 I successfully packed my car and moved myself up to San Luis Obispo, and then ten months later I packed up again and moved myself to Santa Ana. 

4. My Junior Outrigger Team over the years has given me some of my best memories, trips and races.

5.  Surviving Molokai 2012, and then also placing in Koa division in Molokai 2014. 

6. My ability to problem solve. I’ve become very good at solving other peoples problems, I’ll work on my own when I get there.

7. Placing 3rd in Kona with my girls in 2012

8. I learned to drive a trailer because I found myself in a situation where a trailer needed to be driven and no one was around to do it. I also learned how to drive my own motor boat, because Sam told me that’d be the only way I’d get home after the Catalina race. 

9. The moment I got my first own canoe. God I love my boat #KamanuComposites

10. I was in the William and Kate movie back in 2011. It’s a hallmark film. Haven’t seen it? Its on Netflix. 

12. When I was in 7th grade, I read the most books out of my whole grade. I was really amped on that. 

13.  I’m proud that even though I hate flying, I still somehow get myself on a plane when it’s time for another adventure…or race. I’m not trying to sound cool. I really, really, hate flying. 

14. I’m proud of the work I do at NAC. It’s kinda a lot of hats to wear at once, but I’m happy with it. And couldn’t really imagine my life any other way right now. 

15. I won the Catalina Relay in 2010 with the best teammates ever. I also think that was the last time i did that race before the canceled it two years later. Guess I ended on a good note!

16. NAC went to world sprints in 2008; however it was just in Sacramento. 

17. I successfully beat the system and got rid of two speeding tickets on the same day when I was living in SLO.

18. The very first CD I ever bought was Offspring Americana when I was in 6th grade. 

19. In 2011, I jumped into a suburban last minute and didn’t look back for ten days. Traveled all the way to Tennessee for Bonnaroo Music Festival with 3 smelly boys and a lot of canned tuna. 

20. Senior year all we did was hand break turns at Bob Henry Park and donuts in the NAC parking lot. Not in my car of course. The blue bomber would not have survived.

21. Biggie, I think he’s grown up quite well mannered.

22. Maui to Molokai – Pailolo

23. I’ve made new friends on almost every Hawaiian island, and every time I travel I meet a new buddy. 

24. I can jump my own battery and check my own oil. Anything after that, I make a phone call to the right person.

25. I haven’t broken rule #1 ; #sjciii

It’s not everything; it’s also not my most exciting memories. If you were to sit me down and make me write out what I did in 25 years, that’s kinda what i come up with. But when I start thinking how weird it is to be 25, i also start thinking…imagine what I’ll do in the next 25 years.

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!

Kona 2013

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A video I made a few weeks back about our trip to Kona with the Junior Outrigger Kids! Enjoy!

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.

Dads Center~ Queen Liliuokalani~ Catalina ~ Breathe!

The last month has gone by SO fast. I’m just now being able to sit down and reflect on how lucky I am to be able to travel as easily as I do (thankful for sisters that live in cool places) and race as much as I do! The last three races I just did were some of the most fun paddling I’ve ever had! I’ve finally had the time to BREATHE and recap on the past three events in my life!

 

Dads Center

I have NEVER done this race before! When my good friend Maddie asked if I had any interest in steering that race- OFCOURSE I jumped on it! Hello! A weekend in Hawaii with good friends, my sisters AND I get to paddle? I’m in.

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This race is on Oahu from Kailua Beach to Waikiki. Roughly a 26 mile change race. I had heard that there is all sorts of different water you encounter in this race. Flat water, rough water, big water and STUPID water. We had all and more. It was the biggest washing machine I had ever been in. I kept looking over at Jimi (our escort coach) and ending up telling Maddie “I just need Jimi to tell me it gets easier!”

By hour two of steering, Jimi can get close enough and say “It’s going to get easier Kel, but first it’s going to get a lot shittier.”1150505_10201889121413666_1145914327_o

I learned a lot in that race, not just about steering an and paddling. I learned that I can put myself in a tough and new situation and by staying calm and trusting the girls I have with me, we’ll come out on top!

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Thanks to Imua Outrigger for letting me come along for the wild ride!

Queen Liliuokalani 

This was my 8th appearance in Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii for the Queen Liliuokalani, and my 7th time accomplishing the 18 mile long iron long course. I’m serious when I say it gets easier every time! I got to spend this race with some my best friends!

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We had an open crew and a masters crew! We had another open crew which was filled with just juniors. It was awesome to coach these girls all summer and see them work hard. They set their goals and stuck too it. I’ve never been prouder of a crew I coached. And to see them all working together and having fun to make it happen- that’s the most rewarding thing as a coach in my opinion. When a crew comes together after months of hard work, I feel like there’s nothing better then pushing them off the beach.

My crew lucked out and got another unlimited boat! All wood, very beautiful boat! The unlimited category means that the boat can be of any design and way under the 400 lb weight restriction. The unlimited division starts 5 minutes behind the 400lb boats and crews. We ended up 32nd out of 133 crews and had a blast!

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Catalina 2013

Catalina! The race that means the most to us California people! A race from Newport Beach to Avalon, Catalina! Just about 27 miles! This is TOTALLY my favorite race of the season- and not just for the after party 😉1268510_10201612021996905_1446212873_o

Us girls all come together as one and get ourselves to Catalina! It’s what we work for all season! I love this race just because we know it’s the final race and we are going to give everything we got and leave it on the water!

This year was really challenging. We had a strong headwind and the swells were coming from the side. We couldn’t catch much, but we did what we could with what we had! And we had fun! We did better than the year before, and that’s all you can hope to do! We even made a new friend- Dana! A super awesome girl from Kauai who came in a helped us fill a spot!

We made it in 5 hours and 5 minutes. 1264107_10201612022596920_2004676474_o

We got 7th and at the end all I wanted was a root beer.

The next day, after a good nights sleep of course, I was able to help run the mens crews back. Usually I’m an escort for the second mens crew- but since Sam has that “no girlfriends allowed on escorts” blah blah blah rule, I couldn’t escort the second crew. Which means Sam was stuck with me helping him with the first crew!

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Now that all the racing has slowed down, I can finally breathe! Relax! Catch up on things I never get done during the summer! But I always find myself wishing that distance season wasn’t over. We always have the most fun!

xoxo

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

DCIM120GOPRO

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