Thursday, February 09, 2023

Dirt Road Diary- Berdoo Canyon

It had been awhile but Joey recently convinced me to head out on an off-roading adventure. Mostly because the San Berdoo trail ends inside Joshua Tree National Park and it's hard to so no to a day trip to Joshua Tree. 

And about 15 minutes in we were already out of the trucks and fixing something. I swear the guys live for stuff like that. Luckily it wasn't our truck this time. 

The last time we did this trail was in 2014.  I think we have aged pretty damn well. 

This time it was cold. Like mega, wear as many layers as you can cold. Check out the safety first twinsies..

When we are not working we are playing. But probably still talking about work.

A hill that our truck could not make it up. 

Joshua Tree is beyond gorgeous. Pictures can never do it justice. 

We made a stop to explore around some amazing rocks. 

It also was a pit stop. If there is one thing I really really hate to do is pee outside. Like I really really hate it. It's the main reason I will opt out of off road trips. 

Of course when you are in such beautiful nature you must take some selfies. Joey caught me getting those good angles with the good light. 

And the actual selfie. You can even see Joey in my glasses. That yellow jacket makes him easy to spot anywhere. 

Then a real picture. This may be the only picture Joey has ever taken of me on his phone. 

We got into the park with the intentions of grilling up some food and hanging out but we got out of the car for about 3 minutes when we called it. It was like biting cold. So instead we headed into the town in search of a restaurant that could sit our big group. 

I felt seen by this.

Karla made some calls and found the Tiny Pony Tavern. From the outside it looked a little sketchy. It turned out to be a really cool and fun place with great food and strong mimosas. It was such a great find and I hope we get to back again soon! 

After we said our goodbyes to the group Joey and I headed to the Joshua Tree Distillery. We have always wanted to stop by and do a tasting and since we were in the neighborhood we went for it. For $20 you get to taste 4 items. It can be liquor neat or one of their mixed drinks. I was very excited to try the Giant Rock Gin. Giant rock has always been special to us. Remember THIS? We tried the gin and whiskey and the whiskey ginger cocktail and the Gin Tom Collins. Everything was so good and we came home with a bottle of Giant Rock Gin. 

As usual with these adventures, it was a perfect day. Despite having to pee behind a rock.

Monday, January 09, 2023

God Only Knows

 So if you know me you are well aware that I need to become obsessed with random things for short periods of time. The last few weeks have been all about The Beach Boys, more specifically Brian Wilson. 

It all started when I watched the movie Say Anything for the first time a few weeks ago. Great movie but it got me thinking "what has John Cusack done lately?". A quick google search lead me to re-watching theJohn Cusack movie "Love and Mercy, which is a Brian Wilson bio-pic and a great movie. Which lead to watching "Long Promised Road" a Brian Wilson documentary. Which will eventually lead to me reading every biography on Brian Wilson I can get my hands on. 

To me the Beach Boys encapsulate the ideal Southern California living. I grew up on the coast as a beach kid. That Ventura County Line they talk about in Surfin' USA. I literally used to surf there. Well, attempt to surf, things that require balance are not my forte. 50 First Dates is one of my favorite movies and "Wouldn't It Be Nice" plays a cute role in that one. And seriously the song "God Only Knows" is in my top 5 of songs of all time. ALL TIME PEOPLE. 

It is absolutely incredible what Brian Wilson has gone through. There is little debate to the fact that he is a musical genius. They way he can hear these crazy layers of sound in his head and bring them to life in a studio with instruments, office supplies, animals, and make it unreal brand new sounds is amazing. But this man was tormented by his own mind. Later in life is was finally diagnosed with Schizoaffective disorder. A neurological disorder that has symptoms of hallucinations, delusions, depression and full on mania. Mix this with abusive parents, drug abuse, and being overmedicated by a shady doctor for 9 years it's a miracle Brian Wilson is here today. Not only is he still here, but he's still making music. 

Sunday, January 01, 2023


 We are just gonna pretend I was here the whole time. Deal? 

So…… thanks to platforms like Instagram (okay maybe just Instagram) I have completely left writing behind. Which is kinda sad cause writing really was my jam. So of course a new year means new resolutions and for someone like me, resolutions usually mean another thing to add to my already full day. Read more, exercise more, clean more, write more. Like my days are not already jam packed. But Type A Elissa just really needs to add more so I’m going to try to write more and since this blog is here and we are paying for the web address might as well use it. 

So where are we? Well I still have that sexy ass husband and the two kids. And even though the husband has remained sexy AF the kids have continued to age. Phi is now 17 and a senior in high school. ( yes I know. It’s a whole crisis I’m currently going through) and Louie is 12 and in 7th grade. I’m happy to report that Phi is still brilliant, beautiful and talented and Louie is still part evil genius, the cutest kid to ever live and showing signs of talent all her own. I unfortunately have aged and now am 45 years old (a whole other crisis). I’m still with the same company and still loving work. COVID brought some changes, good ones, and has allowed me to work from home in the afternoons. It’s a game changer. Oh and we moved. We bought a brand spanking new house a couple of years ago. I now have 2 stories, 3 bathrooms and an office!

Let’s see, let’s see…. Oh yea I also went on a fantastic weight loss voyage. Over the past year I lost 40 pounds. Seriously why didn’t any of you tell me I needed to do that!?!  What was my secret??? You’re not gonna like my answer. Diet and exercise. That’s it. No pill, no surgery, no fasting or program. Just eating better and working out. My gym habits have become a bit obsessive but hey at least it’s not a drug habit. It could be so worse then going to the gym twice a day 6 days a week.

So let’s say that this catches you up over the last, I don’t know 4+ years. This will be like one of the movies series where you don’t have to watch all the series in order to understand what’s going on. You will catch one quick.

See husband still sexy AF and kids still gorgeous. 

Thursday, April 23, 2020

When Simple Plan just gets it right.

I love pop punk music. That's it. Forever and always it will always make me happy and I will listen to it even when I am like 65. It's happening. I am at peace with that.

Despite what some may say, the genre never really went away. In fact those bands that we loved in the early 2000's are still making music. Remember Simple Plan? Those pop-punk kids from our friendly northern neighbor Canada.

Well like the rest of us, they have aged. And pretty damn well I must say. They released a new song with State Champs called "Where I Belong" and dammit it struck a chord with me. This song is exactly what 2003 was like for me. It perfectly summarized what meeting Joey and Matt was for me. (I love it when that happens)

 In 2003 I was so lost, but at the time did not even realize how lost I was. My life was a complete mess. Nothing but broken streetlights. I was not myself and miserable. I was doing anything I could just trying to escape. Looking back now I see it real clearly. Back then I thought I was just living my life without a care in the world.

Then I met these 2 punk rock boys from a town I had never heard of 2 hours away.

Who would have ever thought that meeting these guys would be the answer. That these funny, crazy, smart, talented boys would feel like home. And the handsome one would become my reason, my obsession, my everything.

I didn't have to pretend to be someone else. I'm finally breathing. Like I never could on my ownI was me, mistakes, regrets and far from perfect. And they were them, mistakes and regrets and far from perfect. We built a family of young people in a house in the middle of a cul-de-sac. We had no idea what we were doing with our lives, but it didn't matter because we had each other.

We went through all the scary grown-up things that everyone has to do. We found careers, homes, and even had punk kids of our own. We may have figured some stuff out but deep down we are still kids faking it. And the best part is that we are still a family and still having fun.

I'm looking in the rear-view mirror
Everything looks the same

There's nothing but broken streetlights

And I'm just trying to escape
I'm waiting on a distant feeling
I'm waiting for things to change
It's getting hard to ride on empty
But maybe I'm not so far away
'Cause it feels like home

I found a reason
And suddenly I'm not so alone

I'm finally breathing

Like I never could on my own
Start the countdown, let's get it on
Scream our lungs out to our favorite song
'Cause this is where I belong

I can tell you just don't get it
And that you'll never understand

I'm sorry that I can't be perfect

But I'm not changing who I am
Maybe there's no destination
Maybe I'm gonna make mistakes
Let you in on one of my secrets
I'm still just as lost as yesterday
But it feels like home

Look past the warning signs
The same ones that told me

"Yeah, you just turn back and run

Play it safe before you come undone"
If you saw through my eyes
This view is worth it
Can't believe me when I say
There's no place in this world I'd rather be

Friday, October 26, 2018

Bass Lake 2018

The whole family packed up in July and headed out to our favorite place on earth. We had an awesome lake front house for a week and to make it more special my Nana came with us! She spent her days relaxing on the patio while the kids (and Joey!) spent the time running around and off as many surfaces into the water as they could. 

The annual talent show was awesome. Mom, Pops and Nana took home the trophy! We had a lot of yummy (mostly restaurant!) dinners. There was a pretty bad fire near by all week that even forced us inside one day. We went to pizza and watched Hotel Transylvania 3. It was Ellie's first movie theater experience and she did awesome. We even hit up a brewery.

This year was all about relaxing and it was absolutely amazing. 

I have the pictures to prove it. 

I can't wait until next summer. 

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Grand AF

As soon as school let out it was time for the annual birthday trip. The rules of the birthday trip is that it has to be somewhere we have never been before. So this year we headed to Arizona for a trip to the Grand Canyon. After a family wedding in Kingman and a stop at Bedrock we bunked down in Williams and took the drive up to the canyon.

Of course I knew about the canyon. I had seem people's pictures on social media, on TV and movies but none of it could prepare me.

We parked near a visitor center and took a short walk and all of a sudden we caught our first glimpse.

It was mind blowing.

My head could not comprehend what I was seeing. It was way to grand and way to beautiful. It was like my brain couldn't believe that it was real.

I kept thinking...... It looks like a Disneyland backdrop.

We spent the day taking the free tram to different view points.

Pictures can't do it justice. I took like a million anyway.

Here are the highlights.

Dirt Road Diary- Berdoo Canyon

It had been awhile but Joey recently convinced me to head out on an off-roading adventure. Mostly because the San Berdoo trail ends inside J...