Monthly Archives: February 2012

Turns out they weren’t made for walking…

Yup, you guessed it. The shoes didn’t work. I broke them in all week and was super excited for our hike planned for the weekend.  We decided to head up to Malibu and take a short hike with weighted packs up to Escondido Falls.  Sounds exhilarating, right, a waterfall in Malibu?  Well, first of all, it was more like a water trickle. But it was nice.  Mochi appreciated wading in the water. We’ve learned that little, black, fluffy dogs were not made for hot hikes a long time ago.  And apparently, neither were my boots.  I was fussing over them the entire way up to the falls.  Changing lace configuration, making them tighter, then looser, I just kept trying to fix what felt wrong.  I couldn’t seem to make enough adjustments.  Finally, when we were heading back, I began to have shooting pains in the ball of my left foot.  That’s no good. And this was after a pretty short hike on easy terrain.  I had to trek all the way back to the car, up and down hill, with 35 pounds in my pack.  This all happened last Sunday, by the way, and my foot continued to hurt through this past thursday.  So, the next day (last Monday) I returned to Adventure 16 to tell them my tale.  The guy there was not surprised that I had that problem.  His explanation was that I was sold the wrong boot.  The shoe I was sold was not meant to carry extra weight (i.e. 35 pounds in my pack), and it would not make it more than 3 months or so of everyday use.  Great.  So, back to square 1.  After many, many more shoes tried on, I ended with a pair of Vasque Gortex (aka waterproof) high top boots.  These will supposedly do the work for my feet.  We didn’t hike this weekend.  I wanted to give my foot a break, and the shoe a fair chance, and poor Seth had to work.  So, once again, I’ll keep you posted on the shoe situation.

On another note… I visited the Patagonia store in Santa Monica to find they were having a sale.  Always a plus.  I’ve decided that the best exercise type underwear I own has been the Patagonia W’s Active Hipster (and Barely Hipster).  They come in a bunch of cool patterns and colors and you don’t even feel them on you.  They are wicking and smooth against the body.  I highly recommend them.  Also, I got my traveling pants.  I bought my jeans from Patagonia in hopes that they are more durable than all the other jeans I own that end up with holes in all the wrong places.  Also, I bought my fleece layer.  I ended up with the Better Sweater, in magenta.  That’s going to look nice with my lime green rain jacket!

Hopefully this one was actually made for walking (with 30 lbs on my back)

These boots were made for walkin!

I decided that I was going to find my travelin boots this weekend, and I finally did! After much deliberation, and finger blisters from pulling on laces for hours, I ended up with a pair of Vasque Mantra.  They’re considered a multisport shoe, but it’s a hiking boot.  I’m very picky when it comes to shoes, and it’s taken me a while to give up my pair of Columbias.  I fitted them with a pair of green Superfeet to add support and to keep my foot from slipping towards the toe.  My theory on any kind of shoe is that the ‘insole’ of any shoe is meant to be thrown away.  They pick some shape that will fit most feet.  So, I try to have some kind of personalized insert in every shoe I wear, especially shoes for running and hiking.  If only they had such thing for heels!  Anyhow,I hope these Vasque boots work. I’ll keep everyone updated as time goes by.  Since I got them at Adventure 16, a great store with a lot of really knowledgeable staff, I have 90 days to bring them back.  I hope I don’t have to.

While at A16 we picked up some packing cubes by Eagle Creek.  They are made from a super light weight parachute like material.  We’ll have a couple in each of our backpacks to hold our clothes.  The plan is to roll our clothes nice and tight and keep them organized in the packing cubes.  Probably one for socks, one for underwear, one for shirts and pants, and a couple of extras for accumulated items.

I also acquired a pajama/underwear top made by Exofficio.  The plan is to have clothing items that are breathable and easy to wash.  Exofficio has great products.  Seth has a bunch of their shirts that will probably be taken on the trip.  The pants I bought are Exofficio.  They’re lightweight and fit nicely, like regular pants.  I bought them in black to look nicer,but hopefully they won’t absorb too much heat.  But, back to the pajama/underwear top, I’m going to make sure I mention ladies ‘unmentionables’ throughout my blogging, because when trying to research what women have liked most while traveling, I find my resources are quite limited.  This said, I bought the pajama/underwear top and I’ll tell you how I like it as I use it.  And once I get a bra and/or underwear I’ll probably tell you about those as well.  It may sound silly, but it’s something important that I can’t find much info for.  So there!

Did I just fight off Yellow Fever?

So, Seth posted about our ‘shots’ but since then I’ve been on quite a trip! I got a 24 hour fever! Oh man, I thought I was down for the count.  I haven’t felt like that in a while.  So, I’m not sure if my body was reacting to getting 5 vaccines at once, or if one at a time would have done the same thing, but because of how I felt yesterday, I’d recommend spreading out the shots.  Then again, Seth wasn’t phased.  My arm is still sore!  Luckily, after a nice hot shower this morning I was ready to head back to work, and now I’m all sunshine and rainbows.  Ready for the weekend. Lucky me!

The moral of this story is, whether or not you spread out your shots, get them!  I’m sure this was nothing compared to the real deal.

Lets do some SHOTS!

We each did 5 shots last night, its was crazy. Ok so maybe crazy isn’t the right way to describe it. It was painful, but we are now immune to Yellow Fever, Typhoid, Meningococcal Meningitis, Polio, Diphtheria, Measles, Pneumococcal, and Tetanus. On the plus side, the travel Dr. who was recommended to us by my high school friend August is amazing. She and her staff are very friendly, informative, and helpful. Probably the best Dr. visit each of us has ever had. We are fully outfitted with anti-malaria, altitude sickness, nausea, diarrhea meds, etc.. pretty much any bug that comes in our way will get zapped. Bangkok street food here i come!!

Berkley on the floor after 5 shots

What to do with pets?

My wife and I have a 3 to 4 year old Tibetan Terrier named Mochi. I say 3 to 4 because she is a rescue and we had to guess her age. We obviously needed to find  place for Mochi to live while we galavanted around the world for six months. Luckily my parents live in Colorado on a few acres and have access to a ranch that is thousands of acres. Whenever Mochi has visited she loves it, it’s a dog paradise; birds, squirrels, rabbits, turkeys, more birds, bugs (she chases grass hopper shadows). Especially so for one thats used to living in an apartment in Los Angeles. So the choice was obvious, she needs to go to Colorado and live with my parents for the 6 months we are away. Two weeks ago my parents surprised the family by buying two dingo/miniature australian shepherd puppies; Nellie and Cricket. The dog paradise just got even more paradise-ier, now she has two buds to play with.

My dad with his two new pups, Cricket and Nellie


Mochi at our wedding.

I think packages might be a bad idea..

I think we are going to go with the minimalist packing method and only take what we need to survive (along with all the handy gadgets) The idea of shipping pre-packed packages sounds good but if we depend on the packages to get there on time and in good shape we might be dissapointed. Example, here is a box of goodies my sister in law just sent to us from Spain.

A goodie package sent to us by my sister in law from Spain

A little less Europe

My, my, my, how things have changed!  We have decided that Western Europe is merely a hop, skip, and a jump away, and have removed most of it from our trip.  I’m still wiping the tears from my eyes, but we’re not going to make it to Madrid.  On the up side, Sloane is going to travel with us on our ‘Europe’ portion of our trip.  I put Europe in quotes because we’re mostly hitting up the spots on the east side of Europe.  We begin our travels in Frankfurt, Germany.  We found that Frankfurt was the best option for our arrival due to flight patterns and price.  We’ll spend about 4 days in Germany, possibly making a pit stop in Munich.  Then we make our way to Venice, Italy. We’ll spend a day or two there before taking a ferry to Pula, Croatia. We have about 2 weeks in Croatia to explore.  The area around Pula is supposed to be amazing, with crystal water beaches.  I’ve been doing some research and, apparently, Croatia is known for it’s caves.  As of yet, I’ve found some amazing caves in the Dalmatia area, but I’m going to try to find some notable caves in the northern part of Croatia.  As of right now we are not planning to head too far south in Croatia, because we’ve heard from some locals that we may not be as safe, or feel as welcome.  Plitvice Lakes National Park is a series of lakes and waterfalls that we must get to! Look it up, and you’ll see why.

Next, we find our way to Greece.  Sloane said the one place she hasn’t gotten to visit that she really wanted to visit was Greece, so that’s where we’re going.  I’m thinking The Cyclades.  Not necessarily Santorini style, but more of the less frequented islands.  I’ve been looking at Ios and Milos, and there are some others.  I’ve told Sloane to do her research.  As long as there’s hiking, swimming, and good food, I’ll be good.

After our two weeks in Greece we’ll take a ferry to Kusadasi, Turkey.  Nearby is one of the most notable ancient ruins of all time, Ephesus.  Once we’ve gotten our fill of the ruin and primitive plumbing, we’ll head over to Pamukkale.  It’s a mineral spring that has made the mountainside look like a white fluffy cloud.  It looks spectacular.  And I hear the baths have healing qualities.  Nearby is the ruin of Aphrodisias.  Apparently, the more they keep digging, the more archaeologists are convinced it may be the actual cradle of civilization, as opposed to Mesopotamia.  Then, we make our way to Istanbul, to visit Bazaars, see the mosques, and eat the food!

I mentioned two weeks here, a few days there, but really we have from July 29th-ish through August 17th-ish to explore as much or as little of Croatia, Greece, and  Turkey as we wish.  Sloane will stay with us until she has to leave, and our Europe departure date will most likely depend on our safari date in Tanzania.  I’m pretty excited.  We’ll be exploring places I’ve never been and revisiting a few that I get to explore even more!  We’re glad Sloane is going to travel with us.  She’ll be a fun addition to our trip! Who else wants to meet us somewhere?