Sunday, January 22, 2017

Taking Part in The Women's March

Yesterday I took part in The Women's March in San Jose and it was one of those days I'll remember my whole life. I had never marched in a demonstration and I wondered how it would be with the masses and wet weather.  Honestly, I get a bit claustrophobic in crowds. Still, with everything going on in our country, I was not going to let that prevent me from being part of this historic movement, even if I passed out!

With my pal Bari and our signs before the march began.

Eight thirty in the morning, granola bars (are we moms or what?) pink scarves, jackets and bright lipstick at the ready, we boarded the light rail to San Jose City Hall. When we arrived the streets were already overwhelmed- think Disneyland at it's most packed, but with everyone wearing a knit pink hat. It was visual festival of pinks and brights.

My dear friend Aimee and her daughter a high school senior, Caroline did the march together.

Why was I there? I was there to support a more inclusive country that includes Muslims and Mexicans, and all immigrants. I believe our country has become the greatest because of the melting pot we are. I came to stand up against hate, which has had a resurgence since the election and has let people bring their prejudice front and center with no shame. I was there for women's rights- for the right to choose what happens with her own body- not be told by law, and against the misogyny that our president represents with his comments about women. I was there for the earth- I believe climate change is not a hoax and that science matters. I want a country that is greener and why on earth would we go back to coal and fossil fuels when we know it's bad for the earth and for those living near it? Those are just a few of my reasons.

My friends had similar concerns. So on we marched.

San Jose smartly decided to close down more streets to hold everyone so we could walk and find a spot without being jammed in. All told, 25,000 showed up! Crowds aside, by time we walked to City Hall we could not help, but feel an undeniable kinship with so many others. It was contagious.

Our friend Lindsay in pink.  She's a women's doctor at Valley Med and someone made all the doctors these cool pink caps. There were so many great knit caps too!

How funny is this? An accidental picture, but says a lot.

 Most everyone had a sign. The signs were inspiring, smart and sometimes pretty funny.

We waited on the street for about 45 minutes- chatting with those around us and taking pictures of posters and people. The tone was was encouraging and positive.  I really admired the older women. By that I mean ladies closer to seventies, eighties and beyond...

Awesome that they represented. Many had signs saying they had done this before like this lady. One grandmother was in her nineties and marching with four generations of women in her family!

Families were a huge part of this march and it was inspiring to see how parents are already teaching their young ones to care about the earth and the welfare of others!  The small ones with signs...

Cutie pies!

This little gal was my favorite. Her idea...

There were many, many mothers and daughters and also daughters marching in honor of their moms, like me.

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Grace and Style of The Obama Family

I'm feeling sad and a little nostalgic this week thinking about the Obamas leaving the White House. Hard to believe this family will no longer be ours.  I just adore this family. They really did everything right by humbly working at making our nation better and it's First Family sympathetic and lovable.

Eight years went by in a heartbeat and those little girls turned into young ladies before our eyes. Watching them grow up held particular fascination for me as they are the same ages as my boys. I loved how the Obamas raised them with their grandma as live-in nanny. The closeness of this family was always in evidence. I feel like they tried their best to give these girls a normal upbringing. That can't have been easy as the girls spent half their childhoods in The White House, yet their public appearances were minimal.

Barack Obama has been one of the most lovable presidents ever. He truly wore his heart on his sleeve. He was a modern man in every sense of the word, able to shed tears as well as crack jokes, and related to the man on the street and the Queen with ease. That he cared greatly for our country and all of us, was never in doubt and the frustration he often felt was clearly visible though he never gave up his optimism and the things he believed in.

Michelle Obama, for her part, has been the most relatable and genuine First Ladies. Being a mom first and foremost was her priority and her pet projects naturally lead from that. The first White House vegetable garden ever was just one of her initiatives to get kids and families to eat healthier.

I loved the book and her idea this as it's something everyone can do to be healthier.

Changing the school lunches was another of her projects that was also sorely needed. I think she will be remembered as one of the most outspoken First Ladies we have ever had. She was a powerful public speaker and her speeches have been widely loved. She honestly seems like a lot of fun as well. In fact, both Michelle and Barack appear to have a great balance of light-heartedness which has made them immensely likable.

Mrs O has also been one of the most stylish First Ladies. She began with her own unique spin on clothes, mixing J Crew with designers and pairing disparate colors in a fresh way. She's a fearless wearer of prints as well as pretty solids.

 She looks wonderful in both, but the look she wore best were figure hugging shift dresses that harked back to Jackie Kennedy's signature. Their figures were actually similar and Mrs O has the 21st century toned arms to make hers look fresh.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Road Trips - Squaw Valley and Plump Jack Inn

We just returned from a 5 day trip to Lake Tahoe last week where we made Plump Jack Inn at Squaw Valley our base. It was the first time I've stayed right in the village and it was great not having to drive to ski each day. In fact we didn't use our car after we arrived, as everything was within walking distance or a quick shuttle ride away.

Plump Jack's rooms were lovely, well-equipped for skiers and felt roomy enough for my family of four. 

They had the brilliant idea of a including a great wicker tower of drawers in the room which was perfect for hats, gloves, scarves, goggles and all that. I'm also a huge fan of hooks in a hotel room which they happily had in a large amount.

The bathroom had a tower for towels and toiletries and was large. Our room felt very spacious and the beds are very good.

Convenient for skiers is the free breakfast buffet each morning which was yummy and included cooked eggs, potatoes and pancakes, fresh fruit and great tea, coffee and juices. I liked their famous homemade granola with yogurt. 

The hotel will store your skis downstairs which makes it very convenient and the ski hill is a four minute walk from the hotel. They also have their own ski rental shop in the hotel.

I liked this rack in the entry for all the wet clothes, helmets and boots, etc. Someone clearly thought about all the details here.

Max and Jackson getting ready to hit the slopes.

From our room you could see the tram and little skiers coming down the mountain. One day I stayed in and ordered lunch from room service. 

What a view!