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What To Expect at a Pig Roast

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Living in North Dakota as a California native has been an interesting experience. When people ask where I am from and I tell them I just moved from San Francisco they think I am crazy, but it’s working. I moved here to be with my husband and am trying to make the most of it. We have been lucky enough to experience some really cool events and parties while we are here, and this is by far one of the best! Corbin’s friend just had his 20th annual Pig Feed at his ranch in Tiago and it was so cool. They got a pig and buried it 6 feet underground and covered it with corn leaves, foil, and lots of dirt and let it roast for about 16 hours, and the result was amazing.

Here is a photo recap of the weekend:

First Stop – A Legendary Whirl-a-Whip from Dakota Drug in Stanley, ND. The only store that still serves this 50’s treat. You must stop here!



The juiciest pork I have ever had! 



Gracie enjoying the view of Lake Sakakawea from the Ranch


They had a beautiful fireworks show – loved it, but it freaked out Gracie and she ran away and hid under the neighbors RV…took us a while to find her ūüė¶ 



We ended the night with live music from the stage overlooking the lake. We did plenty of karaoke (they call it kuh-ro-kee in ND)  and embaressed ourselves alot! Such a fun family friendly event. 


Hiking at Theodore Roosevelt National Park – Medora, ND

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We checked a fun experience off our North Dakota bucket las weekend and visited Medora for my husband’s birthday! Medora is located about 3 hours West of Minot and is part of the Badlands! South Dakota also has Badlands and there is even a national park with the same name. The scenery looks pretty similar and is just such a beautiful sight and so unique for North Dakota since the state is primarily flat.

Here are some of our favorite experiences from our weekend getaway. Hiking in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, The Medora Musical, downtown Medora, and more!


You have to check out the Theodore Roosevelt impersonation at Town Hall – so good, even if you are not a history buff like me


My first time seeing wild horses! This was in TDR National Park


Gorgeous Feral Horses, we came at just the right time


Inside TDR National Park


Just beautiful…


The fried steak at the Medora Music Pitch Fork Fondue, super tough to chew, but fun to experience ($29 a person)


We stayed at the Rough Riders Hotel and the breakfast at Theodore’s was SO good!


Basic – but so good


Bison in the backcountry

This was by far the coolest part of the weekend. We did some small quick trails, all under a mile, but this one was by far the most intense. In order to get to the backcountry and see the bison you need to park at Peaceful Valley Ranch and cross the river. Now I know why they call it the “The Little Muddy,” because it was dirty! It is about 1.5 feet deep and pretty muddy. Thankfully my hubby gave me a piggy back ride! The loop is 5.8 miles and we were not sure we were going to do the whole thing and went a little unprepared in my opinion. It took us about 2 hours to do the whole loop and only two of us brought a bottle of water. Definitely bring a backpack and make sure everyone has a few bottles of water because there aren’t many trees so don’t expect shade on this trail.

The whole weekend I was so excited to see bison but could not find any along the roads – I think you need to go pretty early, around 7am to spot them. When we entered this trailhead a man let us know there were tons on the top of the plains and we would for sure see them.

I have to be honest, I have never seen WILD bison, just a few in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park (weird, I know), and a few in Jamestown but they were fenced. We must have passed about 30 of them and I was so scared. I just stayed far away, like 75 feet away, and walked around them to get on the trail. When we reached the top of the plain we also saw six antelope which were very pretty. They were very skittish so we didn’t get very close. There were plenty of prairie dogs around too.



On the way down, we came across another herd of bison. These were right on the trail so we had to take a big detour to avoid them!


VIP service across the Missouri River! Thanks love.


Happy New Year!

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It has been some time since I have had a chance to sit down and blog but I wanted to wish everyone a very Happy New Year! I hope 2013 is amazing and I can’t wait to see what is in store for me. I have not really had a chance to sit down and prepare my New Years resolutions but wanted to make sure to jot down my initial thoughts. And here they are:

  • Move to San Francisco (even if it is temporary!) It will happen!
  • Travel more! So Far I have Sedona and Sonoma planned!
  • Visit my family’s culture and background in Ireland. And stop in London and Spain
  • Move up in my career and take on challenging opportunities
  • Write more
  • Learn to speak Farsi
  • Learn a new skill. Take up new hobbies
  • Run more. I did my first race in 2012 and then ended up doing 4 races total! Mostly 5k’s. Hope to do a 10k this year!
  • Volunteer more and help others
  • Get more organized
  • Try new things, don’t say no to scary sports/activities
  • Plan more parties and host more family and friends
  • Live everyday like it is my last
  • Learn to cook….gourmet cooking that is

More to come later!

My New Years in SF…one of my favorite places!

SS Jerimiah O'Brien

SF skyline

My Roadtrip to Redding, CA with Dad

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This past weekend I took a lovely road trip up to Redding with my Dad! It was an early morning and we hit the road by 6am to get up there in time to have some fun. It took us about 4.5 hours with a couple stops. Boy, was I tired after all that driving  but it was great chatting with my dad. He loves to talk and told me SO many stories I had never heard. Including why he lived in Marin and all about the day he decided to go to Sausalito with his buddy Ken and met my mom!! It was so cute.

We went to Redding to check on my dads second home which is used as a rental right now. I was so excited because it was the first time I had been up there since he bought it! The house was gorgeous..right on the corner with a huge lot and pool in the back. We took some pictures, looked around and we were on our way. The rest of the day was spent at Turtle Bay Exploration Park, Whiskeytown Lake, Trinity Salmon Hatchery and back to Redding and then down to Anderson to our hotel. Turtle Bay was absolutely stunning as you can see from the photos below. I had so much fun with my dad and really enjoyed our quality time! Even Gracie had a blast!

My Dads Vacation Home. Redding, CA

Trinity River-my dad’s spot for fly fishing.

The view from under the bridge. Amazing architecture. Photo via Wedding Mapper

The sundial is over 20 stories high!

Recognize that cute lil dog looking into the river?

Everything was breathtaking. I love nature

My dad didn’t like the fact these men had a dog out there scaring the fish!

Gorgeous fountain at Turtle Bay

It was such a hot day-103 degrees!! Poor Gracie.

This is the view from outside the house. That is Mt Shasta between those two trees!

Lily Pads at Turtle Bay Exploration Park.

The glass bridge…I wish we were there at night to see this!


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Today I decided it would be a perfect day for a mini road trip. I jumped in the car and took my little Gracie to Carmel-by-the-Sea. There is the most beautiful beach¬†located in Carmel, at the very end of Ocean Ave¬†and it is dog friendly! There must have been hundreds of dogs running up and down the beach..large, small, crazy, timid…it was so cute.

The ocean and the sky both had shades of¬†sapphire. When I walked down the hill to the beach I thought I was in a different country for a minute..somewhere tropical because the Pacific doesn’t usually look this clear and blue near Northern California. It was a perfect day and Gracie and I had a blast¬†relaxing in the sun and enjoying the sound of crashing waves.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from our trip: