Summer in Washington {photo recap}: Part I

Hello, my long lost reader friends! I am sorry for the hiatus. It lasted much longer than I intended. Somehow summer came and went and now we are days away from fall and less than 100 days away from Christmas (WHOA!). So, what better time to recap my summer than now?

This summer was my first in Washington, and it was largely different than any other. I waited and waited and waited for summer weather to hit, but it really never did. There were a lot of sunny sky-ed days, but there were only a handful of hot, shorts-weather days. Weather aside, though, it was a pretty solid summer. I kept myself overly busy (unintentionally) by taking two summer school classes and working two jobs. I did make time for fun, though, and found myself settling into Seattle life a little more, so that was good.

I apologize for this post being really photo-heavy, but I think photos will provide the best (read: quickest/least boring) summer summary, ha.

Here we go! In mostly chronological order…

I discovered Green Lake.

I mean, I knew it existed, and I even knew right where it was, but somehow I never made it there until the summer. It’s a nice little lake in Seattle, and it has a three-ish mile loop around it that is perfect for walking/running. The entire setting is just really enjoyable.

Moving on- this post could have very accurately been titled “Summer Concert Series”. I saw a lot of live music this summer. All with my friend, Andrea.

First up was Florence + The Machine.

I was super, super excited for this show, and to be honest, I was a little disappointed after it. Don’t get me wrong, Florence Welch can sing. She can also flail around on stage, which I found to be somewhat distracting. I guess it just wasn’t really my style. It was fun, though, and it was at an outdoor theatre on a gorgeous night so that was lovely. Would I pay another $75 to see this show again? Sadly, no.

A few days after the Flo show, Andrea and I saw Fiona Apple live at the Paramount downtown.

This place totally reminded me of the Gillioz in Springtown, which I loved, of course.

WOW. That is really all I have to say about that. Fiona Apple is straight CRAZY. Also crazy talented. If you’ve ever heard Fiona Apple’s recordings and wondered (as I have) how in the world those sounds come out of someone’s throat/mouth, you should definitely see her live. I still have no idea how she does what she does, but I can tell you she sounds EXACTLY the same live as she does on her albums. And seriously, she is crazy. It really is something you have to see live to understand. I was speechless.

Though seemingly less notable, no less entertaining were our adventures at the Kenmore summer concert series.


Each Thursday evening of July and August, the City of Kenmore (where I live and where my school is) hosted a free concert in St. Edward’s State Park, which is conveniently located two minutes from my house and zero minutes from my school. It worked out well that I got out of class on Thursdays at 5:30 and the concerts all started at 6. There were a variety of bands that played, but the nights I attended were country/americana/bluegrass. Each time we had a little picnic and just enjoyed the evening.

Good, summery times. And all were followed by hanging out at 192–a little taproom with a gigantic patio, located on the Burke-Gilman trail (conveniently five minutes from my house and two minutes from Andrea’s).

192 is brand new, and Andrea discovered it immediately following its opening. We spent a lot of time there over summer. It’s a little taproom that was opened by a guy who brews beer in his 192 square foot basement, hence the name. The space actually took over what was previously a gardening/landscaping business…and all of the landscaping paraphernalia is still there. So when I say gigantic patio, I actually mean landscaping jungle with tables, chairs, and fire pits.

Perfect setting for enjoying summer nights and good conversation.

Before I wrap up the Part I post, I need to make known my latest obsession, which was the final act of my headliner summer concert series…

JACK WHITE.

This show was unbelievably phenomenal. Jack White was penciled in on my imaginary concert bucket list and quickly became Sharpie-d in after I repeatedly heard rave reviews. I bought the tickets right when they went on sale, and then I was so stressed out when the week of the show rolled around that I was trying to sell/give away the tickets up until 3 pm on the day of the show. Andrea (along with a special someone in Missouri) convinced me that I should go, and I have been fantasizing ever since about the next time I will be able to see Jack White. The next day on the radio I heard someone say, “Jack White and his girl band shredded for two hours straight and at the end not a face left unmelted.” Well said. My face is still melted. And I will see Jack White and his girl band again.

So, there you have a partial recap of my summer in Washington. I’ll be back with more. And soon! (Hopefully.)

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On Bonfires, The Black Keys, and (Awesome) Black Socks

I had a kind of busy few days last weekend/the beginning of this week. Saturday was Cinco de Mayo, so obviously there was a little fun to be had. That day also happened to be the birthday of a school friend, so that was just more reason for fun. The birthday boy hosted a casual bonfire at his home, complete with Mexican-inspired cuisine. I love being in a nutrition program. Social gatherings are always accompanied by awesome food…which I did not photograph. Oops.

Back to the bonfire.

‘Twas a good time. It was a really nice evening, and there was a variety of people there, so we pretty much just sat around and talked random things. I allowed a naturopathic medicine student to palpate my radial artery (i.e. take my pulse) for a solid minute in an attempt to guess my dominant Dosha, as determined by Ayurveda. … I’m not kidding. And he was spot on. How do I know this? Because my curiosity caused me to research Ayurveda and figure out my dominant Dosha ages ago. Don’t act like you’re surprised.

Also while around the bonfire, we kept our eyes toward the sky to analyze the Supermoon, which I’m still a little confused about. We had a hard time seeing the “super” part. Oh well.

Andrea and myself sitting entirely too close to the blazing bonfire

Backdrop of a bonfire, Washington style

So that was that. Happy Cinco de Birthday was a good time. I’d like to note that Andrea made some phenom(enal) specialty cupcakes, for which she had to reduce raspberries and such, and I made some phenom specialty cookies. Word on the street was that the birthday boy went into a sugar coma the next day due to consumption of leftovers. I call that baking success.

On Sunday I found myself at the Lake City Elk’s Lodge for an event at which I volunteered. It was called Empty Bowls, and it was to benefit North Helpline–a food bank that I have volunteered with on a semi-regular basis since moving here. My friend/classmate, Rebecca, volunteered with me, and we had a pretty okay time.

Basically, a bunch of local artists donate (a ton of!) ceramic bowls, and ticket-purchasing patrons get to pick a bowl that they keep and which they can also use to eat soup that is donated by various local restaurants/cafés. The full lunch included soup, salad, bread, dessert, and beverage. There was also a gigantic silent auction, a wine raffle, a quilt raffle, and live music–local bands, of course.

The photo below was taken pre-event. The centerpieces were basil plants, which were for purchase. Cool! Rebecca and I contemplated buying one. They were huge.

So that was a noteworthy event. A lot of volunteer things we participate in are way smaller and less exciting. I think Empty Bowls is a pretty huge fundraiser for North Helpline, so it was cool to be a part of that. Also, side note on Rebecca friend: I asked a fellow volunteer to take a photo of us (for blogging purposes, obviously), but it turned out horrible. Sad. Rebecca will undoubtedly make a blog appearance soon. She is a solid member of my crew here and fully supports this blogging habit. She even encouraged me to take iPhone photos in biochemistry lab today. Haha. (Hi, Rebecca. :))

Anyway. Moving on. On Tuesday night, I practiced a little irresponsibility again and attended The Black Keys! With Arctic Monkeys! In Seattle! It was a really good show. Andrea and I decided to go kinda last minute and purchased tickets last week. She is a longtime fan of The Black Keys, and I hinted to her that we should go because I heard they put on an amazing show. Our seats were far away, but the show did not disappoint.

The Black Keys

The Black Keys

I’d say The Black Keys were all they’re cracked up to be. I’m hooked for sure. Also, Arctic Monkeys were awesome. I was familiar with them, but that’s about it. Andrea had no prior knowledge, but we both concluded that they were really impressive. Definitely fun to watch, too.

So that was my busy few days. The day after the concert was marked by an 8:00 am quiz, followed by a three-hour-long Whole Foods Production cooking lab, and then a biochemistry lecture from 3-5:00 pm. Andrea fell asleep during biochem lecture. Haha. Sorry, Andrea- it was sort of hilarious. While I did not fall asleep during biochem, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t majorly struggling. I also realized during biochem that I had forgotten socks for my planned post-biochem workout. Good one. Be proud of me, though: Instead of bailing on my workout (like I really, reeeealllyy wanted to), I decided to just rock my tall socks.

Be jealous of my awesomeness.