Ladies Hiking Trip

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Last weekend, I decided to put together a ladies hiking trip. When it comes to actually heading a hike, I’m a fish out of water. It makes me nervous to drive and find a trailhead without the comfort of a gas station and wi-fi signal.

Regardless, on Sunday, we got into our little Subaru, left our husbands behind to their sports and King Burrito lunches, and ventured forth to my favorite swimming hole.

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We got to the creek fine, but not without some minor bumps in the road. Google Maps took us off-road to a pretty sketchy part of the park. Thank goodness for All Wheel Drive!

As I turned the narrow corner that was suppose to be shared for both directions of traffic, I saw a makeshift gun range. Seeing the paper target that was shaped like a person, I was frightened to know that nearby people were shooting guns.

We quickly U-turned around and then speculated how to get to the trailhead and luckily, found the next sign without too many detours. It felt like it was touch-and-go for a few minutes, but everyone in the car had a healthy sense of adventure and the mood was always merry. Aubrey would yell, “Plot twist!” whenever we hit a dead end or lost our way.

Also, all photo credits go to Aubrey. She’s an awesome photographer and artist.

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It was a good weekend. The weather reached low 90′s, but the water was too cold for some good swimming. We jumped in a couple times and had some nice reflection by the swimming hole. We packed a pleasant lunch and hiked over four miles that day.

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Marathon by Heartless Bastards

This is another song I’ve been listening to on repeat for days now.

I heard this song for the first time last weekend as we left Olympic National Park and I fell in love with it.

Came to another fork in the road
That’s where we decided to part
And no one said anything for hours
We were under the same familiar stars
On this long road home
On this long road home

Olympic National Park

I just got back from Olympic National Park’s Enchanted Valley with Adam and six other friends. It was a 13+ miles hike (26 miles roundtrip). We took the East Fork Quinault River Trail.

It was such a beautiful hike. It rained on us at first. I enjoyed it – I quietly imagined we were in a rainforest in Nicaragua while I hiked on in the drizzle. When the sun came out, it was a more recognizable and enjoyable Northwestern beauty.

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This was the longest hike I’ve ever been on. I knew the terrain would be relatively flat, so that eased my mind a bit, but it was a very intimidating hiking with such strong hikers. I tried to make my pack as light as I could so I wouldn’t slow the group down. In the end, I was just so proud of myself.

That’s a weird thing to say, but I just can’t believe that I hiked 13.5 miles and kept up with everyone – albeit, the boys were going slightly slower than their usual pace. I surprised myself by really enjoying crossing the narrow bridges despite my intense fear of heights.

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None of us have ever been on a backpacking trip for this long through a rainforest before, so we were unsure what to expect. We were all a little nervous and went through our backpacking list over and over again.

I think one of the great things about being in the woods is that you are forced to strip away all your comfortable material things – goodbye showers, technology, comfort foods and routine. You really learn a lot about people and yourself when you’re out of your comfort zone.

I was so touched by everyone’s kindness. We did not have enough room to put our food in the bear canisters. No one complained - they all said they were okay to go without their snack bars even though they didn’t have enough food as it was. Luckily, when we got to the campsite, there was a bear wire, which meant we could put the extra food in bags in addition to having  two bear canisters.

Everybody kept their spirits up during the rainy part of the hike and on the long fourteen mile hike back to the car. Even after hiking eleven miles on our last day, we all agreed to take a detour and hike a few extra yards to take a swim at Slot Canyon. It was so refreshing to jump in the cold water after such a long hike.

It was a great group of campers. Special shout out to this couple:

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I’ve always admired their optimism, positivity, humbleness and just for their overall compatibility with each other, and I felt the same even after a strenuous weekend. I hope other people see our marriage in the same way I view theirs. They are just rarely without smiles, wit and good humor.

I loved this backpacking trip. Hopefully, I will be able to handle one with more incline soon. I also left the trip with such renewed admiration for this man:

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He is such a patient, thoughtful and selfless leader. He would wake up thirty minutes early every morning to heat hot water for everyone’s morning tea and coffee. When one girl dropped her plastic bug spray cap off a hill, he quickly hiked down and tried to find it so we wouldn’t leave a trace in park. He was always thinking of others before himself and is such an inspiration.

FYF 2014

Last weekend, I went to FYF (Fuck Yeah Festival) in LA. The lineup was amazing for just $125 for the weekend: The Strokes, Phoenix, Four Tet, Caribou, Run the Jewels, Flying Lotus, The Bronx, Blood Brothers, Chet Faker, and a ton of other acts I can’t remember right now.

The festival was just Saturday and Sunday, but I flew in on Thursday night to hang out with friends. Lin got us reservations for Republique, which is one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten. It was also amazing to meet Jersh and Al for the first time and to see these amazing gals again.

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After our multi-course meal at Republique, everyone called it a night so Lin and I went to Dirty Laundry to see Bambi Eyes. Unfortunately, they had played a really early show so we just got to see the DJ. It was a nice basement bar, crowded and full of energy. Next door was No Vacancy so even though the bar was closing in thirty minutes, we really wanted to head over there to see it.

No Vacancy was a 1920′s speakeasy in a Victorian House. The entrance is really fun and the backyard patio was so perfect. The dance floor was also really cute. It was in the dining room, which crammed everyone into a closed, comfortable space. The DJ was great that night, but I’ve heard they also have amazing shows there. I’d love to go there again if I’m in that neighborhood in the future.

Then after No Vacancy, we headed to Ruen Pair for some tasty Thai dinner part two. This is why I love staying at Lin’s – she’s always great with the eats!

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The next morning, we went to Din Tai Fung – my favorite dumplings house!

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We spent the rest of Friday exploring LA, doing random things. We spent most of the day at Getty, which had one of the best views of LA.

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One of our visits also included a candy store, where we ran around like children, sampling everything. There was a shelves of just Kinder chocolates and a whole room was dedicated to Japanese sweets.

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By Saturday morning, the whole group had arrived in LA. They are such an amazing group. We met while chatting during work. I’ve known everyone for around three years now, and I’m just still so stunned that what started as a bunch of strangers ended up to be such a lovely, friendly and great group of people.

Excuse the blurry picture, but it was the only one with almost everybody (poor Lauren had to rush home to get her festival bracelet):

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The festival itself was amazing. Our days would start at 11 AM and end at 4 AM.  The weekend was so great, I would’ve been happy just seeing two or three of the acts, but to have a whole two days, I was just over the moon.

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By our last 4 AM hangout, I was worn out. But it was SO. WORTH. IT.

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Our last afternoon in LA was nice and bittersweet. I almost changed my flight so I could stay an extra day! We spent that day drinking cocktails and visiting the many beaches near LA.

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Can’t wait until next year!!!

MSr4Vrq

Lincoln City Beach

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It was the perfect day for a hike. Adam had found what appeared to be a secret cove in Lincoln City Beach, and the idea of a secret beach surrounded by two cliffs sounded appealing.

Unfortunately, we were only able to hike a little until we came to a gate with barbed wire. It turns out the cove wasn’t much of a secret, but a wildlife sanctuary. Half the path to the cove was blocked by a bear and cougar sanctuary and the beach itself was the bird sanctuary.

Our disappointment was short-lived as the views from the top of the hill was amazing.

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We stopped by the actual beach itself afterward and people watched.

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On our way back to the car, we saw an elk and a deer! It was a good way to spend an afternoon.

Anniversary – Part 2

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I finally got to head up to Timberline Lodge.

Timberline Lodge is a National Historic Landmark. It’s located on the south side of Mt. Hood. There is a Timberline Trail around Mt. Hood that is 40.4 miles with an elevation gain of over 8,000 feet. Needless to say, we just hiked around the beginning of the trail while I snapped some pictures.

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The views were gorgeous.

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Anniversary Part 1

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It’s been busy the last two weeks. Adam just got done climbing Mt. Rainier – one of his easier climbs but the weather was so unseasonably warm that the quick pace was more tiring than usual for him. I was just busy dividing time between exercise, work and friends.

So, with that being said, we wanted our anniversary to focus on rest and relaxation this year. Since I had a bachelorette party on Friday, we decided to start the celebration on Saturday and take Monday off so we could have a three day weekend.

Once that was decided, Adam wouldn’t tell me more. On the day of, he surprised me with a weekend in Welches, Oregon. He rented the most beautiful cabin and we enjoyed a peaceful weekend together.

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The home was so carefully decorated. I have always wanted a small, modest house in the city, but this cabin really presented a persuasive argument for a bigger home near the mountains.

One of my favorite feature about the cabin was the amount of light that was let in the room. Windows were everywhere and there were skylights throughout the home.

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Adam also added thoughtful little surprises throughout the weekend. On our way to Welches, he put on some music. After a few songs, I finally figured out it was our playlist that we had given to the DJ for the wedding!

He remembered to bring our iPhone speakers for the house so we could have the playlist play throughout the weekend. Another of my favorite touches was that he brought our Nintendo/SNES emulator for us to play together.

Sadly, I think Contra (Adam’s favorite game) either requires extra blowing or may need to be professionally cleaned.

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The cabin also supplied its own bocce ball set..

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And ping pong table.

I love playing ping pong, and Adam admitted that was the only thing he was looking for when searching for a cabin.

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It was so much fun at the house.

Adam and I took turns cooking throughout the weekend. We only ate out once, when we went up to Timberline Lodge, but more on that in Part 2.

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As the temperature cooled down, I was so elated that the cabin also had its own private hot tub.

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This is probably our best anniversary yet!

It’s so nice having so many great adventures available close to home.

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King And Lionheart

And as the world comes to an end

I’ll be here to hold your hand

‘Cause you’re my king and I’m your lionheart.

 

Listening to this on repeat today. Happy Thursday.

A White Bedroom

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I love the simplicity of a white bedroom.

I recently repainted my walls white. I love the transformation from a dark bedroom to a light one. The room makes me feel so clean. I want to make the bed every morning and get rid of any clutter. I’ve already gotten rid of all furniture except for the bed and one nightstand. I even got rid of the headboard.

I love it so much, the study room is next!

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Siouxon Creek

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Holy crap. Siouxon Creek. It’s the most wonderful swimming hole I’ve ever had the pleasure to visit. Words don’t do it justice.

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The first two miles in was gorgeous. A variety of foliage, towering trees, lots of shade… it was the perfect hike.

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The trail followed the creek. It looked so inviting. We kept stopping our hike to explore the creek.

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The entire trail is 4 miles and then you loop around for a total of 8 miles. 2 miles in, we found this amazing watering hole. The sun was shining down. The water was so clear. There was no one around. It was just too much.

Adam, the dog and I jumped in. The water was so cold, but with the sun beaming down, it was the perfect opportunity for a swim.

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The rocks formed a lovely wading area around the edges, which created the perfect spot for sun bathing. In the center, the water was so deep, I couldn’t find the ground. It was so perfectly structured, I almost felt like we were in a surreal Disney World theme park.

There was one setback: our dog. He found the water too cold and deep for swimming. He was fine dog paddling in the water by himself, but once we jumped in, he was certain that we were both drowning. He tried to herd us to shore, but we didn’t heed his instructions. Then, when herding didn’t work, he started trying to grab us to shore. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have any thumbs and left us with a few scratch marks.

His panic was so adorable, funny and slightly annoying. We enjoyed our swim but after a while, it was clear he felt we were in deep danger. I gave him a jar of peanut butter to distract him, but he still had his eyes on the water. We swam for another hour and then had a picnic by the rocks.

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It was the perfect way to spend a Saturday. I can’t wait to go back in August when it gets really hot.

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