Beauty in the Mist

8 10 2014

It is amazing that on one day I can see this:

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Seattle Skyline – View from West Seattle

And a couple of days later, I see this:

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View of Elliott Bay – No Skyline in Sight and some very hardcore paddle boarders

The Fog did lift a little bit while I was out on my walk to reveal sights like this….

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Can’t pass up a good photo op (of a photo op)

On this dreary foggy morning I had to force myself out of the house.  The reason I gave myself:  it’s not raining.  Yes it was gray and foggy out, and there was a lot of moisture – some might say mist – in the air.  But it wasn’t raining.  And we’re on the cusp of the season where, if it’s not raining out it’s pretty much the equivalent of a sunny day in the summer – you have to take advantage.

But as I walked along the waterfront walkways, trying my hardest to see something, anything in the whitish gray fog, I found a couple of things that caught my eye.

On a normal day these wispy plants catch my attention long enough for me to trail my fingers along their tips as I walk by.  But today, when they were heavy with dew – these dew drops earned at least 5 minutes of my attention.  Hard to take photos when they’re swaying in the wind – and although you don’t see it in the photo – my fingers are holding these strands in place after one too many blurry photo.

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And then I came across something that I couldn’t resist.  People probably thought I was crazy, standing with my back to the water, squeezed on a 6 inch ledge between the water and a tree.  And although I hate…HATE spider webs – when they’re all glittery and sparkly with dew drops, they become irresistible to me.

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Transitioning: Summer to Fall

8 10 2014

Now that green is starting to ease into yellow, orange and red and a crispness is starting to add a little snap to the air, I’m starting to reminisce on my summer moments.

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Maybe I was ‘living in the moment’ and really living in the experience rather than thinking about how I was going to re-tell the story.  Or maybe I was too busy trying to pack as much activity into the warm weather as possible that I rushed through one activity in search of the next.  Either way, Fall is approaching, and with the changing of the leaves brings just enough transition that it’s made me pause in place and gather photos from the summer.

Everyone goes through the transition from Summer to Fall.  Preparation for hibernation perhaps?  The excitement to bring back over-sized sweaters, cuddly scarves and of course those Fall boots!  I have a love-hate relationship with said boots.  I spend my days admiring the different boots that I see prancing down the street – chocolate brown, black, wedge heel, flat stomping boots, sleek and stylish high-heeled boots.  Needless to say, I have boot envy.  I see everyone looking fantastic in their fall boots – really the perfect accessory for fall outfits.  But whenever I find myself on the hunt for the perfect boots I end up frustrated and sad because, after all, I carry my height in my torso.  I have short legs and athletic calves.  The worst combination!  Which essentially means that boots don’t fit me – even the ones with extended calf sizes 😦

But enough about the boots.  I find myself on a tangent as meandering as the paths I hope to stroll through this Fall – stomping through all of the fallen leaves and hearing that satisfying ‘crunch crunch crunch‘ as I walk.

Finally I’m looking back at what took place this summer – a summer that took Seattle by surprise with day after day of 80+ degree weather.

Seattle Sights:

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The Great Wheel

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Kayaking around Alki

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Making Discoveries!

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Alki Sunsets

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Great Friends…

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And Ferry Boats.

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Mt. Rainier Sunsets

Exploring the ‘wilderness’ of Port Orchard:

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Whirlwind Work Trips in Chicago:

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Chicago Art

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Chicago Architecture

Home (Vancouver):

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Vancouver Icon – ‘Canada Place’

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Sunsets at Vancouver Harbour

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Deer Lake Park

Food – delicious, beautiful, tasty morsels of goodness!

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Neapolitan Style Pizza

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Farmer Fresh Artisanal Snack Plates

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Chocolate Covered Figs

It feels like the summer was over in a blink but at the same time, with so many consecutive days of sunshine, it seemed like it was gorgeous day after gorgeous day – which puts a lot of pressure on a person.  Especially a person from the Pacific Northwest, where you cannot take sunshine for granted and on each sunny day you feel pressure to kick yourself out of bed and DO something.  Anything really.  You’ve got to head straight to those walking/running paths, be in or on the water, be at the farmers market every weekend, and eat and drink on every patio you come across.  By the time Fall arrives you’re just exhausted from all of those sunny days and secretly wishing for a rainy day so you don’t have to feel so guilty for spending a day inside watching movies (or a How I met your mother/Orange is the new black/House of Cards marathon).  

LOVED summer.  LOVE summer.  But (as I look right and left and duck my head) I’m kind of ready for Fall.  I’m sure in a month, when Seattle descends into its Grey season and there are more rainy days than not rainy days, I will take back those words – but for now, after over 40 days of 80+ degree weather this summer – I’m ready for an excuse to have a lazy day.





My Football Education

21 11 2013

Growing up, my football education began with watching my dad watch a football game at my yin yin’s house (my grandmother on my dad’s side) after we had had a great Chinese meal, one that I still haven’t been able to find at any Chinese restaurant.  We had to wait until the football game ended before heading to my other grandma’s house, and all I could think of was, ‘How can this game be going on for so long?  It says 5 minutes left!  And it’s been 20 minutes!’

My second experience with football was in Grade 12 when our high school got a football team and in honour of the first home game, school was let out early, in hopes that everyone would go watch the game.  And I thought, ‘really?  School gets out early for a football game?  What about the arts?’

My first year of University I went to the annual Shrum Bowl, the SFU vs UBC big rival game.  And I really just remember that we went to cheer on my friend on the cheerleading team and that I questioned my judgement to wear a skirt to a football game in October…in Vancouver…

A couple years later I went to my first CFL game after getting a couple extra tickets when I was working at Big Sisters.   I took one of my guy friends, because I figured if I was going to go to a game, I might as well take someone who could explain it to me.  Again, all I remember is telling my friend that we had to buy beer and hot dogs, because, ‘isn’t that what one does at a football game?’.  

Finally, at age 30, I get it.  I took my husband to a Seahawks vs Vikings game for his birthday.  We left with friends and neighbours at 10am, were drinking local craft beer by 10:30am at a pub that has free hot dogs on game day, and rode the wave of the crowds around the stadium to make it just in time for kick off.

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Century Link on Game Day

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Moments before Kick Off

I cheered, I jumped, I screamed out ‘Interference!’ and ‘I need to see an Interception and a Touch Down!  That’s all I’m asking for!’.  We high five’d everyone around us, jokingly mocked the Vikings fans around us (all in good fun), and drank beer and ate foot long hot dogs.

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Touch Down!

We stood in the rain and cheered on Russell Wilson as he led the Seahawks to a 41 to 20 victory.

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Seahawks Win! And the crowd takes the field!

And, like all good Sunday Football game days, I was hung over by 6pm and ready for bed at 7pm.

I’ve never watched more football in my life, and this time, I actually watched the game.

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Back to the Basics

20 11 2013

Sometimes you just have to get outdoors, break it all down and keep it simple.  Just the two of us on a little road trip, staying in a cabin with no TV or internet, and enjoying some quality time in the good ol’ outdoors.

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Road to Roosevelt Beach

We spent 24 hours on the western side of the Olympic National Park and took in the empty beaches with crazy winds and loud, thundering waves.  It was so windy, it was hard to open the car door and once I was on the beach, it felt like I could barely breathe.

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Ocean Shores

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Driftwood? Or Loch Ness?

It was a crazy feeling to be speeding along the hard-packed sand of Ocean Shores Beach, parallel to the waves and splashing around where you don’t feel like you belong, but a great way to make use of our all wheel drive.   Seeing the tides come in was just a reminder of how powerful the ocean is.

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We made a return trip to Ruby Beach for sunset and enjoyed some solitude watching the sea stacks in the distance at Roosevelt Beach.

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#instagraming

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Solitude at Roosevelt Beach

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Just the Two of Us

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Our final outdoorsy adventure before heading back to the city was a jaunt into the forest on the way to Sol Duc Falls.  Lots of swirling water, and apparently I’m obsessed with mushrooms…..

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And on a final note…..we saw a bunch of people razor clam digging.  Now, I might be might be old school, and maybe I’m used to little neck clams, but ‘clam guns’??  It just doesn’t seem sportsmanlike!  It’s supposed to be you and a trowel and the speed that you can dig against the clam.  None of this pvc pipe with a plunger to trap the clam and take all the sand out in one swoop!

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Watching people on a hunt for razor clams with Clam Guns!





Getting Back to Words

1 11 2013

Right now I feel like I’m living in a life of spreadsheets.  A life of numbers and formulas, of cells and columns and rows.  It’s been a long time since I wrote anything on the blog (sorry).  Part of it is procrastination and another part is probably because I compare my current adventures with my past adventures and come up lacking.  Last year around this time of year (end of summer into Fall), I had a writing hiatus too.  And the thing is, it’s not like we haven’t had adventures, travelled, experienced weird and random things and taken photos of it all.

Truthfully, I should probably change the name of the blog.  Not necessarily ‘Adventures on the Road’ anymore since we stopped criss-crossing across the US and living out of hotel rooms and instead put down roots and have called Seattle, WA home for a good year now.  We have packed away the ‘big enough to live out of’ suitcases and instead have a 2 – 3 day trip bag on standby at all times.  We may not have ‘Adventures on the Road’ anymore, but we still have adventures, and the reason why you haven’t heard about them is because I haven’t felt inspired to write the stories.  I haven’t had the post write itself in my head while I’m sitting staring out the window or lying in bed.  I haven’t thought of the perfect opening sentence.  In my free time, and I admit, I have quite a bit of free time on my hands, I have buried my head in spreadsheets, forecasted revenues, worried over expenses that just keep adding up, and also played stupid games on the ipad that take up hours of my day.  It’s kind of like I gave up on writing.  I embraced and leaned towards excel spreadsheets instead of Microsoft word.  But, I can’t blame all of my writer’s block on spreadsheets and counting money.  I also have used these excuses not to write, ‘yes the photos are nice, but we never made it to the top of the hike, so should I just wait until we finish the hike one day’ or ‘I can’t do a post about this trip now because we’re planning on going again with someone else and it’ll ruin the surprise’, or maybe the best (worst) excuse, ‘it’s too sunny in Seattle now to post because I wanted to talk about how it’s foggy and gray and I needed to revisit the sunshine’.  Lots of excuses.  Weak.  I know.  Excuses no more.

This past weekend we took a trip to Seattle’s Woodland Zoo with their annual Halloween festivities.  I had my eyes on the hunt for my beloved lion costume with the big mane, but sadly, no luck.  In exchange we were rewarded by antics by the real lion cubs and their mom playing with pumpkins.  And if these cute one year old lion cubs rolling around on their backs, thumping their back feet against the pumpkin like a cat with a toy, don’t make your heart melt and make you think about the time you held a lion cub in your arms and had lion fur on your sweater…..then I don’t know what will.

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1 year old Lion Cubs at Woodland Zoo

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Brothers

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Baby Girl

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Proud Mama

And one last photo, which I think, tells its own story….and goes something like this,

Hmmpth, I’m not talking to you anymore.’ 

What did I say?  I asked you if you wanted any…’

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Spousal Dispute





Exploring Olympic National Park

19 08 2013

It’s taken getting a car with all-wheel drive for me to realize how many places there are to explore in Washington.  Crazy how many off-road and hiking trails, swimming holes and waterfalls there are in such close proximity to Seattle.

We headed out towards Olympic National Park for some adventures.  And where I would have previously looked suspiciously down a dirt road and decided, nope, we are definitely not heading that way….this time – Full Steam Ahead!

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It was our first true off-road adventure, and I would say that we weren’t the most prepared on the road.  Yes we had snacks and water.  But a map?  Nope.  We were armed with maps on two phones that did not have cell service.  So my intention was to be on the Bon Jon Pass, but it turns out we were heading towards the Trailhead to Little Quilcene Trail.  Whoops.  But at least we enjoyed some great views and saw all these dainty little pink rhododendron bushes growing amongst the rugged landscape.

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Next Stop:  Mount Walker

A place that we couldn’t get lost even if we tried.  One way up.  One way down.  Only mountain summit in Washington that you can drive to.  Great views of Mount Rainier, Blake Island, West Seattle, Downtown Seattle and all of the surrounding water and mountain landscape.

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And to top off the day, a little secret, unmarked waterfall that we heard about along the way.   A walk down a short trail, a climb over some rocks and then you’re sitting on rocks right under the waterfall’s spray.  A little swimming hole and this is the perfect salvation on a hot summer day.

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Time for a Staycation

26 06 2013

There is just something exciting about packing a bag and leaving the house, not really knowing where you’re going or what you’re going to do.  This time, we packed a bag and knew that we were heading towards the Olympic National Park, but other than that?  Nothing.

So we found ourselves driving along a country road and came across the cutest fence post.  Little birdhouses on every fence post around the yard and up the drive way.  And the best part about that is that they were actually being used – little swallows were hanging around all over the place.

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Down another detour, that turned into a road leading to nowhere but another dirt road leading to who knows because we were too chicken to see where it went.  Correction – I was too chicken, because we were in a rental car, had no cell reception and I had no idea if we were just driving further and further into the depths of the park with no guarantee that it came out the other side.

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And we eventually made it to Hurricane Ridge.   I did my research, looked at the webcam and saw mountains and mountains of snow.  So I came prepared with jackets and snow boots and layers galore (similar to my trip to Big Bear Lake, CA).  Well it was 65 degrees at the top of the 5200+ ft elevation, and everyone was running around in flip flops amidst towering walls of snow.  Really a bizarre experience when you’re used to equating snow (especially that much of it) with cold weather.

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After a little bit of calling around, we did end up finding a place to rest our head for the night.  Although spontaneous, I will admit that sometimes it is nice to know where you’re going, but at least we didn’t have to double back, much.

Day Two of our staycation found us jumping out to Ruby Beach that had dazzled us during sunset the night before.  It’s a whole different feel when it’s day time and the water is so still that it shows perfect reflections of the sea stacks, and, oh yes, it shows off the perfect ripples of a skipped stone.

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A short drive from Ruby Beach and a short hike, and all of a sudden we’re in a dense forest with tons of greenery reaching for the sunlight.

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And the reason why you go on a hike is to get to the pay off – to get to that final view that makes the huffing and puffing worthwhile.  Marymere Falls – where the waters of Falls Creek drop nearly 90 feet from a cliff into a small plunge pool near the trail below.

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And after 45 hours, 450 miles, one suitcase, 2 pairs of wet shoes, an elevation of over 5200 feet, and many, many photos, we hopped on a ferry and headed home, needing a rest from our Staycation.   But what a great view on the way home. 

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