Dad / Daughter Dinner Date

Just enjoying some oysters and pomme frites together.


And so it begins


Getting hitched.

It’s official:  Mikey and I finally getting married.  It only took us 13 years, a daughter, a dog, a cat, a remodel, a house sale, a house purchase, countless job changes among other things to finally realize we are right for each other.  🙂
The date is set of Saturday June 28 which also happens to be our 13th anniversary and also Gay Pride Saturday in the San Francisco area.
All the details can be found here:


Calliope's first day at Alpine Meadows




Feels weird to have strapped on skis for the first time in 20 years.



Point Pinole Loop

Calliope and I went on a great hike several days ago (March 30). We did a 4.5 mile loop in Point Pinole Regional Shoreline Park. Calliope did the entire hike under her own power. I was very impressed.
The hike started off great; the parking lot is right next to the Southern Pacific rail lines and we saw two big freight trains go by before we even got into the park. This was a big hit and Calliope was super excited to see some more trains as part of getting back to the car; more on that later.
We started on the Bay View Trail, which as its name implies, offers a wonderful bay-side route along the San Francisco Bay. Calliope was using one of my Telemark poles as a hiking stick and had a wonderful time playing with it as we hiked. She really didn’t use it as a walking stick; at least it distracted her from drinking most of her water in the first 20 minutes of the hike, so our potty breaks were a bit more normal on this outing. She finally got the swing of the hiking stick, but mostly it was something new to play.
I decided to let her take a few photos on this hike and she grabbed some good ones; she took the third and fourth photos of the slide show (the shot of the bay and the shot with Dad in it). I’m happy to have a nice photo of me for once to put into these posts. We had a leisurely stroll along the bay. The trail was a fire/equipment road and had a lot of bike and dog traffic on it. The bikes and dogs thinned out as you got deeper into the park, but at the start it was much more than we were used to. We took it slow, had a lot of snack breaks, and really just enjoyed each other’s company.
About half way to the pier, I started noticing a lot of trash on the trail. I always have extra trash bags on me, so I started picking up garbage along the trails. Calliope got totally into the spirit of helping Dad out; I was super impressed. It ended up turning into a game of looking for trash along the trail and then figuring out who got to pick it up. In Tilden Park, I usually finish up with 5 or 6 pieces of trash at the end of the hike; on this trail, I picked up nearly half of a Safeway bag full of trash. I suspect it has to do with the number of bicycles on the trails as a good bit of the trash was half-filled water bottles.
We finally got to the pier and had a wonderful snack break on the bluffs overlooking the Bay (last photo of the slideshow). It was pretty windy, so we snuggled up in a bit of grass and had our Cheerios and granola bar. Calliope was starting to get tired at this point and we still had to make it back to the car. I had under-estimated the distance of the loop and we probably had almost 1.5 miles to make it back to the car. We headed back along Owl Alley Trail to Cooks Point Trail. Calliope and I were determined to make it back (well at least I was). It seemed like the only motivation Calliope had been to see more trains which I of course used to my advantage. We finally made it back to the bridge over the train tracks, but there wasn’t a train in sight. We heard some in the distance but they didn’t end up coming our way. So after waiting for some time, we finally started getting into the car only to realize that the trains had been running just on the other side of the road. So Calliope finally got to see some more trains as we were pulling out. All in all, we had a very nice hike and I am very proud dad; I don’t know many almost 3 year olds who can hike 4.5 miles under their own power and who are excited about picking up trash along the way as well.
Total Distance: 4.49 mi
Total Time: 03:32:59
Moving Time: 02:30:10
Average Speed: 1.3 mph
Average Moving Speed: 1.8 mph
Max Speed: 4.0 mph
Min Elevation: -43 ft
Max Elevation: 144.36 ft
Elevation Gain: 187.01 ft
Recorded: 3/30/13, 10:03:48 PDT


Tilden Park – Jewel Lake Loop

Calliope and I went on a short hike in Tilden Regional Park this afternoon. I was up in Tahoe for most of the weekend, so it was nice to get some Dad and daughter time. Plus Mikey really appreciates some time to himself especially when he has been on duty for most of the weekend.
We did a short loop starting at the parking lot for Little Farm. We headed down Lower Packrat Trail. Not more than five minutes in, Calliope suddenly got totally scared; so scared, that she was having trouble telling me when she was scared of. After some calming words from Dad we continued on. As far as I could tell at the time, something in the bushes/branches spooked her. A little while down the trail, we came across a father and son coming up the trail. The dad was very excited to tell us about a bee hive in the trees just around the next bend. We thanked him for the heads up and continue, only to have Calliope freak out again within a few steps. It turned out that she is still a bit freaked out by the bee sting from our last major hike back in the fall. After calming her down again, we finally made it to the bee hive which is way way up in the tree and she was ok looking at it; she even made a bzzzz sound. 🙂 This pattern of getting spooked continued to happen a few more times. In reality, I think she was equating any flying insect (fly, gnat, etc) with a bee. So I began stopping every time I saw a flying insect; we would sneak up on it and looked at it really close and I would explain what it was (emphasizing how it wasn’t a bee). Eventually she got past the freak outs.
We finally make it to Jewel Lake which was very picturesque today; there were a lot of people on the trail but it seems to clear out once we hit the lake. After our snack, we set off to finish off the loop along the Sylvian Trail. This allowed for a bit of elevation climb and a longer loop. We had not taken more than 10 steps away from the lake, when the first of many pee breaks occurred. And of course, we are nowhere near an outhouse. Calliope had been sucking down water (nearly a quarter liter) during the entire first leg of the hike (she loves her backpack with integrated hydration pack). It felt that we had to find a pee spot about every 15-20 minutes on the way back. Dad was a bit over it by the time we got back to the car. I need to figure out some what of distracting her from the water as we are hiking; I was very happy that she was hydrated, but this was a bit much.
We finished up our hike at the Little Farm. Most of the animals were in the barn for the night since we got there a bit late. However, the cows were out and we met a very nice boy who shared his celery with Calliope to feed the cows. We also said hi to the rabbits, the goats and got to pet the sheep.
It was a beautiful day in Tilden, and I love that I got to spend some good quality time with my daughter after being away for a few days.
Total Distance: 2.55 mi
Total Time: 02:32:20
Moving Time: 01:19:22
Average Speed: 1.0 mph
Average Moving Speed: 1.9 mph
Max Speed: 5.8 mph
Min Elevation: 472.44 ft
Max Elevation: 774.28 ft
Elevation Gain: 301.84 ft
Recorded: 3/17/13, 15:16:25 PDT


Off to New Orleans for our next big adventure

Look at the experienced traveller waiting for her flight at SFO



Having a fun day at the Oakland Zoo

It’s a dad and daughter kinda day.



Tilden Park – Wildcat Gorge to Selby Trail

Calliope and I went on a little adventure in Tilden Regional Park today. Mikey dropped us off at the Lone Oak trailhead and we started up Wildcat Gorge. It was a very well maintained and heavily used trail. Calliope very much enjoyed meeting all the nice dogs on the trail and seeing the creek. We climbed up the gorge accompanied by the constant sound of the creek which was very nice. The trail had a nice constant grade to it and Calliope climbed the entire gorge to Lake Anza on her own.
About 30 minutes in, we had our first snafu of the trip. Calliope was throwing a massive fit in the middle of the trail and I set her down for a time-out on the side of the trail. In my haste to get things back under control, I failed to notice that I sat her down in a pile of dog pooh. 🙁 After a protracted clean up and fashion change, we got back under way with a whole. Calliope was a trooper through it all; dad is the one who was having the issues.
We got to Lake Anza and sat down to have our big snack before finishing the climb out of the gorge. We were enjoying the nice view of the lake when Calliope got stung by a bee on her lip. After 5 minutes of crying and dad trying to figure out if she was having an allergic reaction to the sting, we cleaned-up at the swimming area and started back up the hill. Calliope’s lip got totally swollen on the way up the hill but she soldiered on.
Calliope ended up on dad’s shoulders for most of the trip up from Anza Lake. We still had a good time; but dad really needed a beer when we got home. 🙂
Total Distance: 3.90 mi
Total Time: 02:57:35
Moving Time: 01:35:37
Average Speed: 1.3 mph
Average Moving Speed: 2.4 mph
Max Speed: 6.3 mph
Min Elevation: 551.18 ft
Max Elevation: 938.32 ft
Elevation Gain: 387.14 ft
Recorded: 9/22/12, 10:35:51 PDT
Time Stopped: 9/22/12, 13:39:07 PDT