10am: We woke a wee bit late and went to Raghu’s apartment to pick him up for breakfast at Panera :D I didn’t get out of the car but the boys still took forever, I dunno, preening or something. Probably playing with Rakka without me D:
11am: Had French onion soup with gruyere and a frontega chicken panini. Rags had the tomato bisque and some sort of vegetarian panini. We also ordered the bacon and spinach souffle, which was really nice, and a mocha frappe (I ignored the caffeine abstinence warning from the Inn’s concierge to combat altitude sickness)
The souffle. I have dreamed of this for so long. Perhaps one of the problems in Singapore is that we have so many restaurants and cafes but not that many reliable chain restaurants. I guess din tai fung or sushi tei could be considered a reliable chain restaurant, and I do crave some of their dishes, but just not the same way I crave things from Panera or Chipotle, which are reliable and cheap chain restaurants.
Our French onion soup.
And the chicken panini with chipotle sauce. We needed to load up before our hike!
After breakfast we drove off to Flagstaff (it took about 15-30 mins) and paid the $5 parking fee at Realization Point. it was the first time I’d ever seen a parking by integrity box, where you put the $5 fee into a little wooden letterbox along with the stub from your parking coupon. I can’t imagine how often someone comes by to collect the parking fees from that box but it can’t be very often. And if this were implemented in Singapore, you can probably expect a lot of people just not paying.
View on the drive up to Realization Point. I wonder what the guy who named it realized when he named it realization point.
We got a lot of great shots at the look out point – see the red patch of buildings in the background?
Got a little breathless hiking but that’s probably more from the incline and our general fitness level than because of the altitude. We got used to it after awhile.
The boys were throwing snowballs at each other. Rags said this is what he envisioned when he read all those Calvin & Hobbes comic books when he was young, and Calvin’s dad would take him on romps to build character. Particularly when it snows, he’s always building snow forts and snow dragons and pelting Suzie with snow balls :P And you know, when you have none of that in Singapore with our unwavering type of heat, one has to have a somewhat vivid imagination and settle for a general delay in typical American childhood experiences.
Here they are realizing at Realization Point.
There were these camping benches, presumably for schoolchildren when they go hiking in the summer.
We did make it to the Summit! But because we drove out to Realization Point, it didn’t really take that long (we drove more than half of the way up already)
Here’s all 3 of us in the amphitheatre.
And the rest of the amphitheatre. Not quite sure what it’s used for, but it sure looks like the amphi in RGS!
The view is amazing. I was really pleased we (actually just Raghu, since Z and I are far too lazy to research this sort of thing) decided to hike here, and on this day with the deep blue skies.
We had a who-can-stand-in-the-snow-barefoot-for-the-longest-time contest and I won! Not very hard defeating those two pansies.
I love this statement on the culture of overpraising in the US. It’s the polar opposite here, and both cultures have their good and bad points.
We spent a long time walking aimlessly around, creating furrows in the snow, throwing snowballs at snow piles that have accumulated on tree branches just to get them to drop off. The spruce needle sap smelt a lot like lemon/citronella – the air was so fresh smelling and clean. Was my character built through this communion with nature? Definitely.