With so many great natural spots within an hour or two of driving, the Bay Area is a camper's paradise. But even as we pack our organic local edibles, throw on our Timbuk2 backpacks, and cover up with a locally-designed raincoat, the gear we take with us is pretty much the same as the rest of the country's: blandly designed, more functional than fun. That's why we were excited to see the new spring product line from Alite, a Mission-based manufacturer of outdoor gear. Founded by three Stanford grads, the company's manufacturing life began with colorful butterfly chairs, which roll up to the size of a burrito (SF-style, of course) and fit easily into a bag.
Imagine, if you will, a world where shortly after being introduced to your future sweetheart, you are forced to view their bottoms. I'm proud to say that my local rock gym, Planet Granite San Francisco, has invented a version of speed-dating (whereby belay-certified lovelorn singles are randomly assigned to climb with other belay-certified lovelorn singles) that makes this normally covert act of tush-peeping not only possible, but necessary.
Let's be clear: I'm not dedicating my first official post as the new travel/outdoors/any-pursuits-of-the-active-kind blogger to yoga because I'm some kind of self-proclaimed guru who finds enlightenment through sun salutations. Oh, no. I trudge to class three days a week and subject my body to all manner of torturous twists, bends and inversions only because I'm chasing the flexibility I attained in the summer of 1985 when I took gymnastics classes in a misguided attempt to become Mary Lou Retton. This is not to say that I am not open to finding enlightenment in my practice, which is why I'm contemplating the five-day Urban Yoga Retreat at Yoga Mandala in Berkeley (which starts today!
Dream vacations: they're what every respectable mind should be wandering towards the afternoon before a three-day weekend. And we've just stumbled across the gold mine. For their 20th anniversary, sustainable travel company Gap Adventures is running something called the Create Your Own Adventure contest. And there are some seriously awesome vacations on there. The top ranked one right now? A spy mission in Europe. Like James Bond. We want to go there.
For those of you fretting about the weekend VDay plans (we've got you covered here, here, here and here), stop immediately. There are more important things to worry about. Like world class sporting events. Yeah, the Olympics are cool and all, but Mavericks was just announced for Saturday. So be a Californian and watch 24 of the world's finest big-wave surfers tear it up for the largest purse in history - $150,000.
Sunny days in the Bay Area have been few and far between of late, which is why in light of a looming holiday weekend paired with some potential sunny 60-degree days on the horizon, we recommend heading out to Muir Beach for some old-fashioned Vitamin E.
Fresh outta drinking games? Prepared to drink in a new adventure? Ready to discover your next favorite watering hole?
People are kind of freaking out about this Dolores Park thing, no? The Uptown Almanac broke the news that the park will be closing for a massive $12 million dollar renovation, scheduled to begin as soon as August 2011. Holy hell! That means we're only eighteen months away from a hipster catastrophe of the highest order! And while I'm sorry for the businesses and residents who will have to suffer through the reno (Really. I am. I lived in Boston during the Big Dig, only to move away when it was finally completed.), I think that we can all agree that Dolores Park has seen better days.