I wanted to write a travel guide with things I wish I would have read before we decided to live in Paris for a month in Winter. Among many things, we learned that we really suck at speaking French, but that the people here are better than you might think. (Regardless of how disappointed we we're with the food options...)
A little intro to why and how I got started traveling, starting with backpacking in New Zealand. Traveling is different than vacationing, something you realize when you are on a ferry ride in the middle of the Andaman Sea between Phuket and Krabi, CLEARLY lost. (But still thoroughly enjoying every minute of it)
With no plans for Memorial Day weekend, I started to come down with the blues on Friday. I was missing my man and feeling like I was going to have the worst Memorial Day Staycation while all my friends were out and about. What cured these sad thoughts? BEING OUTSIDE. and realizing how grateful I am to be living exactly how I am currently.
It's been twelve months since I've felt an urge to blog. So here's me playing catchup:
I left Apple after four years, Working as a full-time Graphic Designer!
This flipping beautiful girl chopped all my hair off <3
Made friends. Lots of them! Saw them got married!
Made some life-long best friends, AKA these two beautiful girls above. Moved around, A LOT. (Lake Stevens - Ballard - Greenlake - Fremont - Queen Anne to be exact)
Summer transitioned into Autumn, where I freeFALLed into 2017.
And hey, look at that! I'm in Thailand. Going to be sharing the next chapter here soon. Stay tuned.
Mount Cook National Park
I've been hearing a lot about how SLU – or South Lake Union as some know it better, is the next up and coming area in Seattle. While its currently developing as an Urban Center with over 10 new buildings over 20+ stories tall, I've stuck to visiting my favorite spots in this area– Art Marble, MOHAI & South Lake Union Park.
If you're looking for a quick fun stop to explore the water that connects Downtown Seattle and Gas Works Park, try out this kayaking adventure with a few friends in South Lake Union!
If it weren't for this development, my newly-found-mountain-friend Kayla might have never moved here with her man who is working right in the middle of it all. Last week we took a day off real life to go try out Moss Bay Kayaking with her Dachshund Mya.
First off, Fuel up
I parked my car for our adventure up the road in a parking garage next to our lunch spot, Lunchbox Laboratory. They have a yelp deal for happy hour priced cocktails. I was brave and tried cow tongue sopas, while Kayla opted in for classic mac and greens.
I wasn't able to find any free parking near Moss Bay, and they will apparently tow your car if you don't pay. It makes sense to plan for 2-3 hours even if you're only renting for an hour... you never know how long your expedition will take!
Enjoy the waves
The water was surprisingly pleasant. We brought along a GoPro to be able to fully capture the adventure. They do supply water safe bags that you can store your stuff in, but I know how clumsy I am, so I opted in to leave my camera at home. Glad there were a few photos snapped from this day, it was definitely a fun day! <3
This weekend was pretty uneventful. I defaulted to looking at photos and playing computer games while staying in. In the midst of tidying up my Photos Library I realized I didn't share our first camping trip of the season with our friends Kayla and Matt. I want NOTHING more than to be back in this sunshine and be dirty and scraped up from tripping over rocks, watching the sun set over Lake Wenatchee. The campground was at the state park, and although I usually prefer solitude of backpacking camping I was pleasantly surprised with how empty it was. I have my eye on a campsite at Glacier View next time were up that way. Check out the end of this post for some more camping tips :) I can't even recall the details of how it became decided to go to Lake Wenatchee, but we got the car packed up and headed east Friday after work. Got camp set up and busted out a board game. Mya joined us for a bit before she passed out in Kayla's arms.
We had talked my dad into coming over to Leavenworth to visit, so after some oatmeal in my Jetboil we drove around a bit and then went into town. This is where we stopped at the campsite on the other end of the lake, Glacier View Campground. Apparently this end sits in a little cove with little to no wind and attracts LOTS of mosquitos, we were in love with the views that a lot of the campsites had. We will be back to stay for sure after June when the bugs aren't so bad.
My dad rode over on his Indian and got his usual KOA campsite so we went to go hammock for a bit after our lunch at Fresh Burger Cafe– Not your typical german food but these guys know how to put together an amazing burger.
We decided to check out Hidden Lake, a small hike near Lake Wenatchee. We had a great time stumbling through the woods. It really ended our trip with a bang.
Some of my other favorite shots from this weekend were when we got back from our hike and went for a walk.
What a nice weekend. Can't wait to be back outdoors next weekend. If anyone is a late planner and wants to join us for Memorial Day Weekend get in touch :)
I'm excited to start compiling my favorite campsites this summer, and i'll be sure to share them all here and link to posts in the future!
Lake Diablo, Colonial Creek Campground
Lake Wenatchee - Glacier View Campground
(Don't forget bugspray!)
Lake Chelan - Can anyone PLEASE help me get to the "boat in" campgrounds here??
Photo to come! ;)
You know when you meet a bunch of new people you instantly like and want to immediately become friends with? I met a lot of those kind of humans last weekend for some birthday celebrations,
National Josh Geb Day.
Josh got his own geofilter for snapchat, how freaking cool is that? We celebrated at Saint Helens Cafe in University District and had unlimited mimosas (See snapchat above for proof), the most amazing tasting hamburger ever, and took to the photo booth that was set up, courtesy of The Snap Bar. Here are some of my favorites that I had to save from our boozy brunch.
If you haven't been to a recent wedding or party with a Photo Booth, make your own! Check out my post on our homemade photobooth here.
Using Instagram to help with your Travel Bug
How often do you use the mapper in Instagram?
I highly recommend you find some of your favorite 'grammers and look at there maps. I promise it will encourage you to start building your own! With a trip plan in the works in June... I am excited to add more to mine. My USA map is pretty pathetic... but I just can't rationalize spending $500+ to go to the east coast when that money can get me to another country.
It's save to say I have the travel bug right now. Now the important question... Costa Rica or Hawaii?
Some of my travel-lust are thanks to these ladies:
Even though we got a late start last Saturday morning we drove up North to take a ferry ride over to Friday Harbor. He has date idea hidden up his sleeve for some time and this one was perfect for the great weather we had in the midst of all this rain and wind. Sorry to those who are without power tonight! After a ice-cream + french fry stop we drove through downtown Anacortes where we stopped at Boxes and Bears Puzzles and Games where we found none other than...
John Van freaking Deusen.
Who is this lovely human?
Please improve your life by taking three minutes to watch this video:
Now the lucky owner of the cool Puzzle and Games store we found, he is living a 'rual lifestyle' in Anacortes with his family. (Source) We each got a hug before heading out towards the ferry line, where we tried curing a hangover with more alcohol. (I'll let you decide if you agree with these studies...)
Pro Tip: Bring fun activities. I don't think we prepared for the 2 hour ferry ride, but at least we had a pretty nice nap.
You can't get more Pacific Northwest than taking a ferry boat in some classic cloudy weather.
Some things I would share is if you go to an oceanfront town of any sorts, don't expect it to be as thriving as it is in the summertime. We luckily had practice in this when we got stuck in the i-5 mudslide on our road trip last December when we stayed in Seaside, OR... and I think it can make for some out of the ordinary memories. We got to drink a beer on the benches right in the middle of town, have a bookstore all to ourselves, and experience some usual service at Blue Water Bar and Grill. (save yourself the $80 check and make your own meatballs from home.)
Now to my favorite part of the evening,
the ferry ride home.
I don't have any images of this part so you'll have to use your imagination.
We were smart enough to stop at Kings Market, and grabbed a sketch book and some easter eggs. We filled it up with my 4lbs tub of Jelly Bellies (thanks mom) and hid eggs for each other on opposite sides of the ferry. We wrapped it up with some doodling.
If you ever find yourself exploring the North Island of New Zealand, please promise me you will visit my favorite town I ever stumbled into. Raglan was one of those places that wasn't on my "plan" when I was mapping out where I wanted to travel to, but I'm so glad I ended up here. We spent a weekend filled with Good George Beer, Fish and Chips Takeaways, and new card games.
It seems that coming back home center and getting an inspiration to write has been a trend that i've noticed about this blog– so I am going to channel it one last time (and then I promise not to have the word 'home' in a blog title ever again... for a while).
It's been exactly a year since I landed in New Zealand and since then my perspective on life has shifted. I went back to working for Apple, which is where I spent almost three years before I left to go travel to a new country. Since then I started exploring my backyard, leaving footprints all around Washington. Although the Pacific Northwest will always have my heart, I have recently fallen in love with a new city.
San Francisco is opening her arms to me and I want to fly into them.
At the end of January I left for AMCT (Apple Mac Certification Training) in the Bay Area. It was my first trip traveling for business and I got to take a peak into Corporate life. If you are ever in a situation where your work wants to send you somewhere, jump on the opportunity. Not only did I get to spend three weeks in Sunny California, I met so many amazing individuals from all over the US. When you're traveling for business you do have to give up some luxuries– the comfort of your own bed for example– but getting a little time away was really helpful in making me realize how appreciative I am for home.
Steven showed me the city not long ago when we went on our road trip last December in my new Subaru. It's funny how un-interested I was at the time to fall in love with anything besides the mountains. I thought I was so high and mighty after basically living in the cascade mountains all summer that I couldn't see how interesting and adorable San Francisco was. It took some resettling back into my life and thinking about my future before I could even subconsciously be open to the idea of it. I saw the city a second time, but it was with whole new eyes.
How I fell in love with the city of San Francisco:
Our good friend Sarah recently moved to Lower Height, which is covered in pine trees and has a generously sized recreation area otherwise known as Buena Vista Park. The first weekend we were there we were surrounded by people from all over visiting for Super Bowl 50. We walked down the Lyon Street steps to the Marina after shopping and brunch in Fillmore, which is filled with a designers dream of stylish eats and boutiques. They had a shop just for lamp shades, guys. Like, how adorable does that get??!
Exploring around the city got me thinking about how easy I could pick up my life in Seattle and do these things every day.
I pictured walking up my steep stairs to my row house. Running to the market deli to grab snacks. Going to our neighborhood cafe and talking a long walk around the countless adorable neighborhoods. Burning calories walking up Haight street and running up to the Buena Vista viewpoint every weekend after trying a new cafe or restaurant (there is no shortage of these in SF.)
Obviously the cutest city has to be one of the most expensive places to live. Demand is high, and it' s about 2% more expensive than New York City for cost of living. So while I start digging in my pockets and look for dream jobs so I can have the dream house and life, I'll just keep flipping through my memories made in this charming place I can hopefully one day call home.
Even without the sun, this city still shines.
It's been a year since I made the decision and book my flight to backpack in New Zealand. I just read through this entire blog and realized how much I miss the adventures leading up to that, and owe it to myself for keeping this platform alive.
Everyone wants to live a carefree, happy and easy life, to fall in love...' etc. and I think that recently I took all these things for granted. Over the past year I lost touch with people, family, friends, and maybe that's a part of life.
If you can't tell, I'm missing travel like crazy. I would give almost anything to be back in the southern alps with these stunning views. #newzealandfeelin is something I wanted to start for adventurers of all stages to collect inspiration for future travels, or if you just want to relive your favorite memories. Share with me your favorite photos and help cure my wanderlust. 🙏🏼
Spider Meadows / Spider Gap
I experienced such vast beauty this weekend which was packed full of glaciers, meadows, extreme hammocking, and… a flat tire. (But I’ll get to that)
Friday evening Eddie and I made the decision to pack and head east after work. Mind you, by the time we got everything together and made our pre-adventure stop at taco time it was about 11 PM. I snoozed while we made it to the Phelps Creek Trailhead at about 2:30 AM. We pitched our tent to get some sleep (surprisingly the best in my life camping) and made our way to Spider Meadows. Eddie did some bouldering while I took in this beautiful place. We put flowers in my hair and took a little mid-day snooze in my favorite accessory. My hammock comes with me WHEREVER there are trees. I’m seriously addicted to finding new places that are higher and better than the last.
We let the blazing sun sink behind the mountains before we enjoyed the 2nd part of the hike up to Spider Gap. Found a little spot to put up the tent and ate some Mexican fajita rice and tuna… at this point, I was craving a nice cold pina colada but I settled for some cold-ish Pino Grigio and lovely conversation.
We specifically made a small breakfast so we had plenty of room for our usual stop at La Hacienda in Gold Bar. The jeep got a flat and we had to endure Sunday Highway 2 traffic… but I swear it made those pina coladas taste even better.
Wow it's been too long since I've jumped on here. Looking back to when I first started this page I had no idea how the blog platform worked other than posting a few photos and typing some captions. More than a year later I have designed website for some awesome clients, graduated from college, and started my spark of traveling the world.
Anyways, I am switching to a new brand that I hope will take off to something exciting.
Upcoming are some excellent posts of my two months in New Zealand, (I have notes upon notes that I have been collecting over there waiting for decent wifi) and my spontaneous trip to Cali.
WA Coast/Olympic Range
(You could say I have the bug.)
Thank you guys for being so patient, good stuff is on the way. Perhaps after I rid my closet of all the extras that didn't fit into my backpack for the last 8 weeks. (Inspired by this article and the wonderful creation of the minimalist fashion blog that is un-fancy.)
T-minus one month and four days until I leave this country! I will have limited wi-fi in NZ, (this is putting it nicely... it literally has the worst internet in the world.) which means I'm wrapping up a lot of my current projects I am working on. I've been designing for some pretty great clients. Interested in being featured in my portfolio? Or just have some ideas you want to come to life? Lets meet for some coffee!
Here are some shots of inspiration where I work.