10.22.2014

Scarf Weather - House of Alva


Scarf - c/o House of Alva // White tee - Nordstrom Rack (Similar) //
Vigoss Jeans via Nordstrom Rack (Similar) // Bucco Booties via Hautelook (Similar) //
Watch - Michael Kors // Rings - Nordstrom // Bracelets - Alex & Ani and Kate Spade


As temperatures start to cool down and fall weather really sets in, one thing you can bet every San Francisco girl has on hand is a scarf. With the micro-climates here in the city, you never know when the weather is going to cool off and the wind might pick up. Then the next minute it could be sunny and warm again. The perfect accessory for this situation is a scarf! I always have one in my purse when I'm out and about to throw on when I get chilled. 

I was so excited when House of Alva asked me to partner up with them for a post. They have the most beautiful scarves, but more importantly, they are a company with a mission and purpose. The name Alva is inspired by the "noble one." And at House of Alva they celebrate artisans who craft these timeless scarves using a unique and rare artistry. Their motto is "Scarves with a Story" and they focus on being an ethical and socially conscious brand, committed to eco-friendly and sustainable fashion. I really love the concept behind the company, and the idea of supporting these artisans and helping them create revenue in their communities. 

In browsing their collection online, there are so many beautiful and unique pieces, it was hard to decide on just one! And I think I may be ordering a few more as gifts for the upcoming holiday season!  I believe they just went on a trip to visit the local artisans and select new scarves for the shop. I keep checking back to see when they are available to purchase! You can get a glimpse on Instagram of what's to come. 

I've already styled my new scarf a few different ways. When it was warm a few weeks back, I paired it with a black maxi dress to add a pop of color. And I love the casual feel in these photos when I styled the scarf with distressed jeans, a simple white tee and brown booties. I also plan to dress it up next time I wear it for the office. Pairing it with black pants, a grey top and black wedges. This is my favorite thing about scarves, they're so versatile and easy to style. 

All Images - Andrea Rowe Photography

I loved working with House of Alva, I always try to support companies that not only have quality products, but also have a meaningful mission behind their brand. I think you'll love the beautiful scarves that House of Alva carries, and you can also find them on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram!

As a special thank you to all my readers, House of Alva is offering a coupon code "FOOT2FOG10" for $10 off your purchase of $50 or more! Shipping is always FREE within the US and for a flat price to other countries. 
(coupon will be valid through 11/24/2014)

A big thanks to Andrea Rowe Photography for the lovely pictures! 


Also, linking up with The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore,
Because Shanna Said So and Tucker Up 


10.20.2014

Petaluma Pumpkin Patch

Look - no hands!

Last Fall, one of the things on my to-do list was go to a "real" pumpkin patch with Andrew. We were a year late, but we finally made it! Andrew teased me the first time I told him about my wishes to go to a "real" pumpkin patch, confused as to what would make one more real than any other. After all, they all have real pumpkins! Sometimes I forget he grew up in grew up in San Diego and not the rural foothills like I did. Rest assured, I explained the requirements to be considered a "real" pumpkin patch. One simple rule, they have to grow the pumpkins onsite. Going to a lot filled with hay and perfectly round pumpkins just doesn't seem as appealing to this country girl!

Saturday, was a jam-packed day! But let's back up a bit, to before the pumpkin patch! We were up early and on our way to Danville to celebrate our friend's baby shower. Our good friend Rich and his wife Katie are expecting in November. Since the girls we all heading out for the shower, Rich decided to invite the guys to join, and they all went off for a "man shower" while the girls had lunch and watched Katie open her gifts.

It was the cutest Fall baby shower. Probably the cutest shower I've ever been too, I feel like a bad blogger for not taking pictures, but seriously it was right out of Pinterest! They had the cutest drink station set up and mini pumpkins at each table setting that had been dipped in gold glitter! There were burlap banners and details throughout, perfect fall decor! It was so fun seeing my college friends. Even though we don't see each other all that often, it's like no time has passed when we do! Rich has been one of our closest friends for years, and last year we celebrated his and Katie's wedding and can't wait to be a part of this new chapter for them. They're some of our dearest friends. I know there will be many more camping trips in our future with the little one in tow!

It ended up being sort of a Sonoma State themed day for us. After the shower, we headed up towards Petaluma to visit the pumpkin patch and have dinner at the restaurant I worked at during my college years. Andrew was telling me stories about when he got lost in the corn maze at this particular pumpkin patch back in college, as well as some old haunted house they went too. It's always fun reliving those memories. I love that although we weren't dating, we have so many shared memories and friends from our college years.

We spent some time exploring the pumpkin patch in search of the perfect pumpkin to bring home, and decided on a cute chubby one, that leaned a bit and had a good stem. Because according to me and Andrew's Mom, it's all in the stem!

Next we were off to Cafe Zazzle! It's still my favorite restaurant, I wish there were one in SF. It's so good and pretty healthy too! If you're ever in that area (Kelli) you have to try this place! I promise it won't disappoint. Someday, I'd like to dedicate a post to Zazzle and share pictures and a few of my favorite dishes. I love going back to visit the owners, Tara and Rick. To this day, they are the best bosses I've ever had. I feel so lucky I had a great job in college that provided me with so many awesome memories and my own little work family.

It was such a perfect day. Not only did I get to see some of my best friends, but it ended with a perfect fall date with Andrew. The weather was gorgeous, it barely felt like fall at nearly 80* but we had the best time. It made up for the fact I spent all of Sunday doing chores :)

I hope you all had a great weekend, too!!

Here are a couple pictures I borrowed from my friend, I can't believe I didn't take a single one at the shower!

Love these girls! The best college roommates & friends a girl could have!
Celebrating Baby Chinn! I can't wait to meet the little one :)
PS - ignore Rich's hat, he's an A's fan and is still a little bitter the Giants are off to the World Series tomorrow! 



10.17.2014

October Together


As you all know, I am a huge Giants fan!! In honor of the amazing game last night; winning the National League Pennant and heading to the WORLD SERIES, I thought I would share some pictures from an old post at AT&T Park.

Back in October 2010, I accepted a job offer in San Francisco and started my journey From Foothills to Fog. That year, the Giants would go on to win the World Series for the first time since 1954! Since I've lived in San Francisco, we've gone on to win the World Series again in 2012, and now, in 2014 we're heading to Kansas City for Game 1 on Tuesday! Needless to say, I love this team and I love this city!

I've been lucky enough to attend a lot of games since I've lived in San Francisco (thanks, Bea!), and it's by far one of the best activities this city has to offer. There is nothing like a game at AT&T Park. Whether it's a foggy and cold Friday night or sunny Sunday afternoon game, they're all amazing. The energy and atmosphere at a Giants game is awesome, and if you're ever in the city I highly recommend you add it to the list of activities during your visit.

I'm so excited to watch the series here in my favorite city! There is nothing like post season baseball!
#OrangeOctober #OctoberTogether #YesYesYes #EvenYears


And just for fun, here are a few more of my Giants posts from the archives!










LET'S GO GIANTS!!!




10.15.2014

Valley Uprising + An Interview with my Dad


A few weeks ago, Andrew and I were able to attend the Reel Rock Premiere of the movie Valley Uprising. As you know, my Dad is an avid rock climber and I grew up camping, hiking and climbing with my family. Some of my fondest childhood memories are family camping trips in Yosemite Valley. I've heard my Dad and his buddies tell countless climbing stories, and always enjoyed hearing them reminisce on old climbing trips or laying out gear and planning their routes for the following days' climb.

I was fascinated by my Dad's climbing and mountaineering from a very early age. I'm sure a large part of that is because we were surrounded by it growing up. It's given me such a love for spending time outdoors. Although I only go rock climbing once or twice a year, Andrew and I go camping and hiking quite frequently. The mountains are definitely home to me.

In the past couple years, Andrew has also started to really enjoy climbing. He's been going a few times a year with my Dad since our first trip to Tuolumne Meadows together in 2012. He even has his own gear now, so we're hoping to start going to the climbing gym here in the city. So clearly, we were both pretty pumped to see Valley Uprising, and learn more about the history of rock climbing in Yosemite Valley.

The event was sponsored by ClifBar and held at the Palace of Fine Arts Theater, which was a great location. There was a reception before the premiere of the film with booths from The North Face, Sports Basement, The Sierra Club, ClifBar, The Access Fund and a Glen Denny photography exhibit! Andrew and I had gone to a Glen Denny slide show presentation in Tuolumne Meadows this past July, and loved listening to him talk about climbing in the 1960's and 1970's. It was sort of a preview for the movie, and part of the reason we were so excited to see Valley Uprising.


After walking around the reception, everyone filed into the theater for the main event. Since it was the premiere, Alex Honnold was there as well as the film makers and Glen Denny. They did a brief introduction, then started the show.

Andrew and I really loved the film. I think hearing Glen Denny's presentation earlier in the year, gave us a different perspective then we would have had otherwise. We thought it seemed that the film played up a bit of the tension between Robbins and Harding. Where Denny made it seem like the competition was a little more friendly. But I really loved the old footage and stories, and seeing the beautiful landscape of Yosemite Valley. One of our favorite aspects of the film was learning about the different stages the sport has gone through since the beginning: Aid Climbing, Free Climbing, Speed Climbing, Free Solo Climbing. Since my Dad has always done free climbing, I was familiar with that, and I knew some about free solo climbing because of Alex Honnold (crazy - I can't breathe watching those videos)! But I didn't remember the big speed climbing movement, or realize that aid climbing was how they used to do all the big wall climbs. I also really liked learning more about Lynn Hill. It was pretty amazing there was a female climber who was as good, if not better than the men climbing at that time. Her strength and physique was so impressive!

But instead of giving you a re-cap of the movie and telling you everything I liked about it, I have something way more fun planned! My Dad was climbing in Yosemite Valley during this exciting time, so I thought it would be fun to interview him, and get his account of the "Valley Uprising." I hope you enjoy it! I made some comments in purple, but mostly I was typing as fast as I could to get down everything he said!



Interview with Bart O'Brien (my Dad!) about Valley Uprising and Climbing in Yosemite Valley

Do you agree more with Robbins' philosophy on climbing, or with Harding?
With Robins' philosophy. But, I think the film characterized Harding unfairly. Like he was a drunk that climbed for his own view of climbing “however you could get to the top.” He was sensitive to climbing and tuned in to doing things the right way, but quick to pull out a bolt if it was safer and helped him move up. To Robins, it was more important HOW you got to the top rather than IF you got to top.

Why did you start climbing?
I have struggled with that question. When I read about it in magazines like National Geographic, I was drawn to it and thought it would be SO neat to be able to do that. I was a reader as a kid, and was aware of it through magazines. Then I hiked up Mt. Tamalpias with a friend when I was in the 8th grade and met a couple rock climbers. They told us what books to read and where to get climbing gear.

What was it like being on top of El Capitan the day Harding reached the summit?
It was a great experience. First of all, there were 25 journalists there with TV cameras. Every major TV Station in country sent a cameraman, plus 35-40 other people like myself. So it was the atmosphere, a beautiful natural area, but something newsworthy and important happening. It was also my first hike in Yosemite, so just to be in Yosemite and see Half Dome and Cathedral Rock was aw inspiring. I remember laying on my belly at the edge looking down 3000 feet thinking it was unbelievable that people would climb that and not be terrified of the vertical heights. It was so far off the ground. Middle Cathedral Rock (almost 2,000 feet high) looks like a foot stool when you're on top of El Cap. We hiked up the Yosemite Falls trail and along the rim, I was with Kent Harris the Dad of one of my high school friends. It was about an 8 mile hike. (He was 19 at the time).


Caldwell - Harding - My Dad's friend, Kent - My Dad
What is your favorite climb in Yosemite Valley?
Great question. I would probably pick Royal Arches. It's the cliff above The Ahwahnee Hotel. I've done the climb 10-15 times and it’s just long, easy climb with great views. And a variety of climbing: chimney, cracks, slabs, face and good holds. It's a way to do a climb on north dome, and just a fun way to spend the day.

What was your first climb in Yosemite Valley?
It was a short climb at base of El Cap – Delectable Pinnacle.

What was my first climb in Yosemite Valley? How old was I?
Feb 1991 “Guides Route” by Yosemite Falls. (Apparently I had ski/snow “moon” boots on).  


My sister and I, hanging out with Dad while he got his climbing gear organized. 

Tell me about your first big wall climb. Was it Half Dome?
Yes, my 1st successful big wall was Half Dome. I did the climb with Knic Seto, who was my main climbing partner in the mid 1970s A couple times we went up and spent night on other climbs, but didn't finish. It boils down to that we were scared, but made up excuses like we ran out of water or someone fell on lead. I was 26 years old and we spent parts of 3 days to reach the top. We hiked up to the base, then went 300 feet up and came back down and slept on ground. The following day we went halfway up and slept on face, reaching the summit the next day and slept on the summit that night. (My Mom hiked up and met them on the top of Half Dome).

I wrote an article about that climb in the American Alpine Journal, which has been mentioned in two other books. It inspired people to go clean up litter about a year later because I talked about there being so much garbage. Although, when I read it now, I sort of laugh at myself, but I'm also proud of it.

Was there a specific moment when you knew climbing would always be a part of your life? When the passion/obsession really clicked?
That happened when I was a junior in college climbing with Paul. I can really remember being in Yosemite climbing on Glacier Point Apron. I  had never done anything before in my life that, while you were doing it, captured your FULL attention. Both physical and mental.  All you could think about for a full 6 hours was the rock climb, not a paper due in history, etc. And I thought, this is for me, I love this.

What was it like staying in Camp 4?
The film depicts it as squalid, with people living in caves and beer cans everywhere. That wasn't my Camp 4 experience. You used to be able to drive in, the road was about 40% paved and the rest dirt with random spots scattered around for camping. People would drag tables, there were tents all over and people who I wanted to be like. Climbers, out having these adventures that I thought sounded really cool. (In the back ground my mom said "He used to want to live there” but he never made it).


Camp 4 Photos - Glen Denny 
Did you ever feel the desire to push the envelope with climbing?
I guess that would be a yes. But it always felt like pushing the limit within my ability level. A young male thinks that he's indestructible. I look back and thinks wow, I was gutty. We would go hike, look at a wall that had never been climbed and just started up. Back then, it was so different. There were just a handful of people going into the Sierra looking for things to climb. No gyms to introduce people to climbs in mass numbers like there is today. In those days, guide books read like: “walk up to east face of Temple Crag, find the 3rd rib to left and start up." It was adventurous and unknown at that time.

What is your favorite part of rock climbing? Why do you do it?
I love that it combines both physical and mental discipline. You have to be in good shape physically and mentally to lead routes. To take risks and go up without protection. I always liked those challenges. Also because it has been the source of the most satisfying friendships in my life. We've traveled the world to climb together, it's been a wonderful aspect of my life.

What was it like when Free Climbing started?
Aid climbing was how you got up a big wall. I wanted to climb the Lost Arrow after seeing Glen Denny's photo. So I learned aid climbing for that. But mostly I wanted to be a free climber, and be the best I could be. I always found it felt much more secure relying on the rock, my strength and ability to find holds rather than hanging from nylon. I did quite a bit of aid climbing for big walls, but it wasn’t what attracted me to the sport.


Harding aid climbing - Glen Denny 

How did you feel about the speed climbing movement?
They downplayed in film how extremely dangerous it is. Basically they both tie into a rope and move as fast as they possibly can with the front person clipping in every 50 feet or so. There is a high degree of risk in that. At times, both climbers could be totally unprotected. I was never attracted to it. Dave (his climbing friend) and I always climbed fairly quickly, above average. But that was a result of how efferent we were because we know each other well and can move well on routes together. Plus, by the time it came into it’s own, I was in 40's and had a family.  

How do you feel about free solo climbing? Did you ever want to try that?
(Mom says two thumbs down) - I think it is incredibly risky. One thing that drew me to climbing as using the gear. To me it’s all a part of it, that was a plus. I love playing with all my gear, it's fun. With free solo climbing I think, what if you get stung by a bee? There is just no margin for error. Psychologically I'm not cut out for it. There is too much what if…even when I  was young and liked to push the envelope, that wasn't for me. I did a lot of un-roped and risky climbs. But even something like South Crack, that I've climbed 100 times, I wouldn't free solo. I have a family and it wasn't worth the risk.  


Yvon Chouinard organizing climbing gear - Glen Denny 

Can you share one climbing memory with us? Your favorite day climbing in the Valley or simply just an experience that stands out in your memory?
Hard to say, there are SO many climbing memories in Yosemite. One of the most memorable days, was in 1984 when I did a route on Sentinal Rock called Salathe Steck (named for John Salafay) – it was considered the hardest free climb in the world in the 1950s. I is amazingly physical and long. We went fast and light, carrying only water and a candy bar. It took us 8 or 9 hours, we got done in time to have dinner at the Mountain Room Broiler afterwards. I climbed it with Rod Johnson, a great friend and memory. We trained for the climb, so it was very satisfying.  Steck one of best climbers, spent five days on 1st accent, so it was a really rewarding and memorable experience.

We saw Glen Denny in Tuolumne Meadows this summer, and you shared that one of his pictures inspired you to really love climbing. Can you talk a bit about that?
The picture is the poster of the Lost Arrow Speyer, two climbers on pinnacle at dusk. After I met the people on Mt. Tamalpias and they told us about the climbing store in Berkeley, we hitchhiked there. That picture was a poster on the wall in that store. I remember standing there, looking at it thinking it would be so amazing to do that. Early on, my desire to be good enough to do the Lost Arrow was because of that picture. I was 21 when I climbed it. I went back about 10 years later to climb it again, and as we walked up to it the 2nd time Slater (family friend) said I don’t know if I can do that. And I didn't know how I had done it either.


The Lost Arrow 1962 - Glen Denny

Who was the most inspiring climbing in the Valley for you during the 60's when you really started to pick up the sport?
That's a tossup between Robbins and Harding. Both were really impressive with what they accomplished. Harding seemed more accessible because I had met him when he reached the summit of El Cap. I was a goofy guy that would just say "Hi, I’m Bart O'Brien, I met you when you summited El Cap." And he was always really nice and gracious. I always looked up to him.

Did you ever have the opportunity to climb with any of the "greats" like Robbins or Harding?
I got to know Robbins over the last 15 years. I met him a time or two back in the 70s and 80s but got to know him later when I found out he was a Rotarian and invited him to Auburn to do presentations. I've gone climbing with him and to his cabin in Pine Crest. (My Dad said he wasn't exactly sure why, but in Robbins' first book, he thanks my Dad in the intro. Which I think is pretty awesome).

In the movie, you really get the sense that these climbers really considered Yosemite their home. And that they spent the majority of their time there. Did you ever feel like that? How often were you there climbing?
Yosemite felt like a very special place to me, depending on what I was doing or where I lived I would go once or twice a month in college and grad school. Once I was teaching, it was harder to go as often. It was always a special place for me, but never felt like home. Tuolumne Meadows feels more like home now. With teaching and having a family, I had time in summer to go to the Sierra, so you don’t go to the Valley you go to Tuolumne. Now, I'll maybe even go over a year without going to the Valley. I was always drawn to climbing as recreation, but I wanted an education and marry your mom and have a family.


*****

It was so much fun sitting down to talk to my Dad about the movie, and learn more about his thoughts on climbing in Yosemite Valley during that time. In addition to the interview questions, we talked a bit more about the movie. We both agreed it would be interesting to talk with Glen Denny about the characterization in the film. Since he was there, photographing and climbing with them, he knew them all quite well and would have insight to the portrayal of Robbins and Harding. 

When my Dad and I were talking, he told me about a first accent he did in 1976 called Charlotte's Web, on Charlotte Dome in the back country. The first route was done by Galen Rowell and Fred Becky, and then another group did a third route and named it EB White after the author of Charlotte's Web. He was saying this summer he ran into a group of climbers in a parking lot who had just done the climb. They were asking my Dad a few questions about it, and one of them said "you seem to know a lot about this climb" so he finally told him he had done the first accent, and they knew who he was and had just read something he'd written about a climb the day before! I thought that was pretty cool :) 

Overall, my Dad said he really enjoyed the movie. He said that it was weird to think he lived all that. And that he knows most of those people, and knew the stories. The movie made him think a lot, if that was a life he would have chosen. But he loves that he was able to explore and climb all over. Seeing many different areas of the world and climbing in Europe, Canada, Nepal and more. He said he doesn't regret any of the climbing choices he's made (like not climbing El Capitan). He felt like he really found a true balance. He's learned if you are too singular focused, your life will be enriched in one way, but you will miss out in others. He loves having the balance of family, career, and climbing as recreation. 

I hope you enjoyed what my Dad had to say about climbing as much as I did! I learned a lot about him, and always love hearing his stories. It's pretty amazing that he was there climbing right along with the "greats." I'm proud to say that my Dad has done such amazing rock climbs, and had those wonderful experiences. He has been such a wonderful role model and he's given me a love for nature and exploration, which I'm so thankful for! 




I hope you all enjoyed this post. And a high five for those of you still reading, I know this was a long one.

Climb On! 


** Black & White Photos are Glen Denny **
** El Capitan photos from 1970 - Bart O'Brien **
** All other photos are mine **

Also linking up with the girls for the Let's Be Friends Blog Hop! 

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