Amber relaxing in Mammoth (sans headphones from her flight...)
Well we have been using TravelBuddy since spring of 2006 when I started my sabbatical thing and have always noticed how active and prolific Portia is on the site. While we were on our most recent extended trip to India and the surrounding Himalayas, we got a message from Portia saying that she was enjoying our photos and blog about Tibet since she and her husband Kevin are planning on heading there this fall.
We suggested that the next time she headed down towards southern California, the four of us should get together and look at pictures and talk about Tibet.
Portia had a better, more fun idea, suggesting that we come visit and stay with them up at Mammoth Lakes where we would have more time to kick back and talk. Being avid Mammoth fans and long time season pass holders, we immediately accepted her gracious offer and looked forward to going up to Mammoth in the summer for the first time in many years. We make it up there a lot to ski in the winter but somehow never manage to head up in the summer so we were looking forward to the trip.
Diamond (who ate an entire loaf of Schats Bread earlier...)
The usually scenic drive up through the valley and the base of the Sierra was unfortunately and uncharacteristically ugly from all of the smoke from the big Santa Barbara fire which turned most of the drive into a hazy, smoggy, uninspiring jaunt up highway 395. Portia and Kevin had flown over the Sierra from Santa Cruz and said that they saw the yellow haze too. We met them and their two huskies Amber and Diamond who are incredibly well behaved (even if Diamond did manage to eat a loaf of Schats bread before we arrived...) at there really beautiful house and sat around talking about Mammoth, skiing, computers, photography, etc. until it was late enough to open a bottle of wine and have a tasty lamb dinner.
Afterwards, we talked a bit about what we would do tomorrow and decided to head to Mono Lake where I haven't been since the 80's and Cindy has never seen. After that, Portia showed us some of her awesome portraiture photography (her new business) and we played around with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop stuff (which I could do endlessly being a software geek...)