A Look at the Last Year




How does one begin to blog again after a year?  I guess I’ll try to sum it up with pictures:

Last year, around this time, Ross and I visited Hearst Castle located along the Pacific coast in the town of San Simeon, CA.  A gentlemen by the name of George Hearst purchased this 40,000 acre property back in 1865.  Inherited later in 1919, William Randolph Hearst transformed the land into the castle and National Landmark it is today.



Neptune Pool ( made up of three pools) – The coolest pool I will ever see.  It’s so beautiful and Italian looking that I would be scared to swim in it.  I asked a guy who works there if the employees get to swim in it and he said they do.  There are two dates in which they get to choose from that they can swim in it.  He also said people get married at the castle.  There is an auction where you can bid for the chance to have a wedding at the castle.  Also, the colonnades that you see, no one was allowed to touch them due to preservation.  There were quite a few security people around the pool.  But of course, people still touched.


This is the “front door”.


Overlooking the Pacific Ocean.



There were spectacular gardens filled with beautiful bright colored flowers.


Hillsides full of hydrangeas.


The Front Door.



Another view of the Neptune pool.  It’s so big that I couldn’t fit the entire pool into one picture.


This was the indoor Roman Pool.  Every inch of this room is covered in tiles the size of my thumb.  This includes the inside of the pool.  This pool is styled after an ancient Roman bath.

I highly recommend visiting Hearst Castle if you ever visit California.  Ross and I were only able to do 2 or 3 tours, but there were others to choose from.  We only saw a small percent of what this place has to offer.  I’m sure we will be back to it someday.

As summer started to roll around, Ross was still doing his thing at Rite Aid and I was still in limbo at Safeway between working as a Courtesy Clerk, Starbucks Barista, and a Floral Clerk.  By June, my Floral Manager had to go out on disability for old softball injuries.  She had me promoted to Floral Manager for the next six months.  I was so very happy and appreciative for the time I got to be manager.  I was ready for that kind of responsibility as opposed to bagging someones groceries.  Therefore, I was able to have a full 40 hour work week, have enough money to live my life, and I was allowed to create my own schedule.

When July rolled around, I scheduled myself off for the 4th of July.  Since Ross and I were training ourselves for Tough Mudder, Ross planned a 10 mile hike on Mt. Tallac in Lake Tahoe for July 4th.  So, on July 3rd, Ross calls me at work and asks if I want to go on this grand 10 mile hike for the 4th of July.  Of course I said yes, and he booked a one night stay at Harveys.

Ross said that we had to get up before the sun because it said on the internet that this was a good hike to watch the sun rise.  As we were trying to check out, the guy at the front desk was moving a little too slow.  Ross, mumbling under his breath, grew a little impatient which was out of character for him in my eyes but I didn’t think anything of it.

Still dark outside, we made it to the trail head.  Ross began to walk … Ross began to walk fast … Ross began to jog up this mountain and I was struggling to keep up.  I was thinking  ‘Gosh, he really wants to see that sunrise’.   He kept going off the beaten path to get a good view of Lake Tahoe and finally he found one.  We stood there and waited.  It didn’t take long until we were able to see a ray of golden sunshine.  Ross handed me his phone so I could perform my ritual of taking pictures.  After taking many of the same picture, I handed the phone back to Ross.  He packed his phone away, and we were off, or so I thought…  As I was starting out, he grabbed my hand and positioned me to look out at the lake, which I thought was weird.  That’s when he got down on his knee and proposed.  My first words were a tearful “No way!” because I was in disbelief but I quick had to change them because I didn’t want him thinking that was my answer.  With a joyous, yet, blubbery ‘yes’ I hugged him …  and that’s when the mosquitoes came to congratulate us.



The “spot”.



The mosquitoes were really bad.
20130704_072554No, that was not the top.



The view from the top of Mt. Tallac.  This hike took us about 6 hours to complete.  We hiked a whopping 3,500 vertical  feet to the top which is at 9,735 ft above sea level.


Another view from the Mt. Tallac hike.


Once we finished our hike, we rested our legs for the rest of the day.  Did I say day?  I meant week.  Our bodies were exhausted, but we had to mentally prepare ourselves for what was to come the following weekend.  Tough Mudder Tahoe at Northstar Ski Resort.

haley electric eel


This is my fabulous action shot.  This was the obstacle at the summit of Northstar.  I was doing the army crawl through electric hanging wires.  Suitably, this obstacle is named Electric Eel, and suitably, they were playing Motley Crues’ “Live Wire’.

The next month, August, Tough Mudder took us back home to run it with the gaggle of gooks seen below:


Joe Henderson, Michael Oelig, Wayne Oelig, Matt Coder, Amir Benjamin, Ross Coder, Brooke Coder, Haley Esh  (all of us standing with our bottles of ‘Jack3d’ which they have discontinued due to deaths and heart attacks)

This was the “Pittsburgh” Tough Mudder, however, it took place at the Powerline Park in St. Clairsville, Ohio.  Ross and I flew home, Amir picked us up from the Philadelphia Airport, drove us home, gathered our team, and drove to Ohio where we spent the night.  At 8:00 a.m., we were the first wave of mudders through the course.

Amidst the running and slippery wet hills, Ross fell.  When we reached the next obstacle, we noticed Ross was bleeding.  When he fell, he must of hit a rock that created an open gash wound in his arm.  He and Amir took off and finished the race at a faster pace so as to reach the medic tent.  There, they cleaned his wound and sewed him up.

The next day, we had a backyard bbq at my mom’s house.  After everyone left, Ross got a shower.  We were going to relax the rest of the day because we had a plane to catch the next day.  Mom, Karly, and I were sitting on the couch watching TV when Ross came out to sit on the chair.  Looking pale and sweaty, I told him to hold up his wounded arm and let us see it.  With a big red streak leading up his arm, the three of us on the couch looked at each other and decided he needed to get it checked out immediately.

Ross and I got in my mom’s Vue and headed to Harrisburg.  We went to Urgent Care and they said to go to Holy Spirit Hospital.  Here, he was admitted to the hospital on the spot with an infection in his arm.  He would end up having to spend  2 nights in the hospital and cancelling our flight.


After surviving this experience, we were able to fly back to California with his arm.

Warrior Carry.  Amir carried Hendy.

Below Amir and Ross were doing the “Hold Your Wood” obstacle.



The next month, in September, we had visitors.  John, Matt, Brooke, Donna, and Lee all came out for a visit.



We visited San Francisco and Muir Woods.


We traveled up to Oregon to check out Crater Lake.


We drove south for a visit to Yosemite.  One can never visit Yosemite enough.  We stayed in heated tents where we forgot to turn on the heat.  The next day we checked out the Redwoods at Mariposa Grove.


We rode the gondola at Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe.

20130916_190436And we just goofed around waiting for the sun to go down at Glacier Point in Yosemite.

I feel like this is a good start to get back into blogging.  There is more to come because I only made it to September.  Stay tuned for more!



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