**edit: this post has been in my drafts since 2018. most of this info is old news, but I gotta get it out there anyway**
Well, it happened. I blinked and I have done too many cool things to count, and not a single blog post to show for it. I'm ashamed.
So what to do about this.......write one big fat post about multiple things!!! In a totally unorganized manner. Side note: I just learned in my chem class that the entropy, or being unorganized, is a more stable state with lower energy. I took that to heart and really felt better about my current state of life - a.k.a. flying by the seat of my pants trying to catch my breath at all moments!
It began this morning with me scrolling through my endless iPhone camera roll, realizing it has been a while since I backed up my photos to my computer, and then realizing I really needed to invest in an external hard drive because my laptop is showing signs of death (hoping not, but certainly possible). **It is 2020 and my computer is still going strong. LOVE THIS.**
A couple clicks on Amazon later, my hard drive is on its way, and I started sifting through alllll the pictures.
This is when I really realized what I had done.
There are way too many things I need to write about, and not enough time. I am officially on Spring Break 2018.... SB2K18.... YEAH! (?) Which means I do have more down time than usual, yet not enough to write 365 blog posts.
Back to where I was going originally. We will call this - The Pacific Northwest Extravaganza! I will collaborate some of my favorite memories into a terrific, protracted story.
Now, in no particular order -
1. Exploring Seattle! A beautiful, truly beautiful, city. Where the city meets the coastline and the mountains meet the city. I am enamored with the culture and vibes Seattle emits. There are university students (myself now included), and a multitude of young adults trying to find their way in the tangles of Amazon, Starbucks, Microsoft, Google... the scene is set for ultimate growth and endless challenge waiting to become opportunity.
2. Golden Gardens - a popular beach area for families and (big) kids like us. Colorful hammocks are spritzed along the tree line and BBQs, volleyball, and puppies are common. On clear and sunny days (typically elusive, but often spotted in the summer months) the powerful mountains with tranquil snowy caps can be seen on the horizon. Experiencing the sunset kissing the mountain tops and water's edge is one of my favorite things about living in Seattle. It is the most perfect way to end a long and slow summer day - along with a beach fire, blanket, and good company.
3. The Gorge - oooooh la la this was a fun one. I'm disappointed that I didn't take more pictures, but I was just too caught up in the real-time moments. A music venue like no other, The Gorge Amphitheater nestles the Columbia River, providing a canyon of an experience. The entire package was a total steal and I was obsessed. Because the venue is so remote, camping is required. And that is by far one of the best parts. Camp sites are literally everywhere for miles, and the mood is warm and friendly. The food truck options were awesome and plentiful. We had a fairly large group of friends involved, so there was plenty to do during the day. And by night, we were serenaded by two of this day's ultimate crooners; Jack Johnson and John Mayer. It was a blissful weekend in the Pacific Northwest.
4. Sports(?) - wasn't sure how to title this one. 'Sports' is pretty appropriate as this is yet another thing that I love about Seattle. The Mariners games! The baseball stadium and football stadium are neighbors near downtown Seattle. In the summer, just as everything else is, the games are amazing. Maybe that's what I love the most, the appreciation you gain for good weather by suffering through terrible weather. The sense of seasons. Anyway, any chance we get to be outside enjoying the sun, we will be outside. It's liberating. In the last year I went to Mariners games, Seahawks games, and best of all, an AGGIE FOOTBALL GAME WHOOP! No, this is not anything Seattle-related but......who cares. Neal and I flew down to College Station to be a part of the Aggie Game Day experience. Always such a thrill, and it meant so much to me for Neal to be a part of it too. We played Alabama and put up a good fight. It was a fun game and the energy was higher than I had ever seen it.
I promised that things would be everything but chronological, and now I am delivering on that promise.
It's hard to put a finger on the best part about living in the PNW. The crisp, fresh air, the peaceful rain, the 'evergreen' nature. I think it's the perfect blend of coffee and activity folded into one haven. Little cheesy but truly I am so happy here. #5 is a dedication to some of the sights I have been lucky to see along the way.
6. Lake Sammamish Half Marathon
It's funny to me how many times I have run 13.1 miles in one sitting (lol, standing) and swore to myself to never do it again. Of course, it seems to keep happening again. And this time I did not swear that I would never do it again, so I consider that a score.
My friend Kirstie and I have been running buds for almost an entire year now! She is amazing and we have the best time run-chatting. We got adventurous and decided to train for a half together. We did really well and it was amazing! (No hills, no problems)
7. Shi Shi Beach
Oh man, another good one. Shi Shi Beach is an alluring and, in true western-Washington fashion, waterlogged trail nestled in a beautiful forest hugging the coastline. I have never been more relieved that I had a specific pair of shoes as I was that day. I took one glance at the glistening trail and knew it would be interesting. The day before said hike, I went to REI and bought a pair of hiking boots. That simple gesture saved me. Though my sparkling brand new boots were immediately dirty upon contact with the trail, my feet were blister-free and dry.
Once at the beach, Neal and I scouted for a spot to pitch the tent. The issue presented itself quickly - no shade, no trees. The beach meets the cliff-face with a stern scowl. We realized the sunscreen would also be a nice asset, as we were totally unprepared for the lack-of-shade that we would have to befriend for the next day and a half. Sun aside, the location was beautiful and the fun to be had was unfazed.