Chrysalis / by vanessa

If you ever meet me, I'll tell you two things about me w/in about five minutes, b/c sadly, I tell them to nearly everyone I meet.
1. I teach yoga.
2. My name means "butterfly".
And because of my namesake I like most things butterflies and used to believe that we were tight -- me and the butterflies -- so I'd feel slighted when they didn't land on me. That's about all you'll ever need to know (I'm telling you volumes here). Anyway, so, perfect that for my birthday I went to "Butterfly Town, USA" a.k.a. Pacific Grove, CA. Thousands of Monarchs winter each year in a trumped up parking lot in PG. I'm not sure who what they do to make rent though -- the price of housing there is astronomical. What's cool is that it was raining and when the butterflies are cold or annoyed they hang off of trees in clusters that look more like bunches of albino grapes than packs of the greatest insects ever! on the planet.

I also spent a good chunk of the afternoon in the Monterey aquarium which was pretty sweet. They have a great white shark who's menacing for sure, but has nothing on the 3000 lb ocean sunfish. It looks like a fish with elaphantitus of the... well, everything. Think of the ugliest animal you can imagine. I promise you it has nothing on this fish. I kept staring at it like it was The Bearded Lady or something.

On Saturday Gauntt, Hav, and I headed out on an 8-mile hike up Mt. Manuel that we couldn't finish because we got caught in a storm. Do you remember when you were like a little kid and you'd make forts out of blankets and couch cushions in your living room? And you'd pretend you were somewhere -- anywhere -- else? Well this hike was nothing like that except that we got caught in this serious downpour when we huddled under some brunsh to eat our lunch of cashews and chips. I was reminded of the forts b/c the rain was blowing hard so that we could barely see, and it felt like we were in a jungle anywhere but in central California with a questionable chance for survival. It was *very* exotic. I even refused the gloves I'd been offered because I wanted to really rough it. Oh I'll take excitement where I can invent it.

Eventually we made it back to the lodge, drenched and muddy, and dried off in front of a fire, sharing beer and more Kettle chips. Good times.

All in all it was a really fun weekend. This year I have set my intention on unwavering faith and confidence and a continued commitment to growth, come what may.