Back to School.

Welp, September came and went, and I am back to Washington and back to school. Before it passed, though, September was glorious. As soon as I was finished with summer school, I hopped on a plane headed for Missouri.

Aerial view of Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Hood.

I got there just in time for Labor Day festivities and was able to make it to the lake (with some great people, of course) to say bye-bye to my summer that had seemingly just started.

A Table Rock sunset.

My time in the Ozarks was heavenly. I had a jaw-dropping (literally) experience when I walked into a local grocery store and saw this:

Yay, Springfield!

I spent a long weekend in Arkansas and decided if I ever go off the grid, that’s where I’ll reside. The Buffalo River and the Ozark Hills Mountains are God’s gift to United States geography, I think.

Heavenly wrap-around porch.

Elk!

I walked/ran my favorite part of  the Galloway Creek Greenway. And stopped on a bench for an ab workout in the sun.

I hung out with this adorableness:

Yogini in the making.

I caught up with dear friends.

I took several evening walks with my mom, which allowed for some gorgeous sunset (complete with cattle) viewing.

Annnddd, I enjoyed the presence of this guy a little bit.

For real, you guys, there’s no place like home!

I also partook in various activities, such as: going out in public in my high school clothes and without make-up or a hairdo due to lost luggage, attending yoga as much as possible at my favorite Sumits Yoga – Springfield,  sipping coffee while watching the Today Show, leisurely reading from the grounding space of my parents’ back porch, watching my dear friend and former teammate coach softball at our high school alma mater, baking cookies, baking a really yummy and expensive lemon pistachio cake, hanging out by myself in Waynesville, attending a high school football game, assembling wedding programs, accompanying my mom to a quilt show, and attending the most perfect riverside wedding and barn/bonfire reception imaginable.

I had a real good time. And came back for school (only 12 hours before my first class!) feeling rested and healthy and sort of ready to go. Here’s to hoping the next 10 weeks fly by!

2012-2013 Opening Convocation with Rebecca.

Back to school and back to Lake Washington!

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Summer in Washington {photo recap}: Part II

If you missed the first part of my summer summary (aka: the live music ramblings), click here to catch up.

In between all the live music events there were other notable happenings. My favorites among them were my summer classes–Therapeutic Cooking I (Maintaining Health & Wellness) and Therapeutic Cooking II (Disease Specific). Each class was a half day long and included both a lecture and a lab, which included preparing/cooking the meal of the week. So every Thursday I was in lecture for about three hours and in my school’s super awesome kitchen for five+ hours. These classes were electives, but they were hands down my most favorite thus far. They were also the most helpful, informative, and mind-blowing. Really glad I took them. Sadly, I do not have any kitchen photos to show for them. I did receive a kombucha start from one of the classes, though.

I now have kombucha out the ears, and I even brought some home (along with a start!) to Missouri. I think my parents are thrilled.

Between my two Thursday classes, my friend Rebecca and I almost always opted to sit outside and chat about non-school things instead of facing the impending doom of what would be a pop quiz in the next class.

This is the proud organic garden of Bastyr, and we spent a lot of time staring at/walking through it.

Come on, you wouldn’t have wanted to study for a quiz either.

I said in the Part I post that this summer allowed me to settle into Seattle life a little more, but I should’ve said Washington in general instead of just Seattle. On one random Friday, a couple friends and I took a day trip to Bellingham, which is north of Seattle by a couple hours (really close to Canada) and on the water. We stopped along the way to pick berries at a U-Pick organic farm and then continued on to Bellingham via backroads and small towns. Below is the view from our roadside picnic lunch, just outside of Chuckanut, WA.

The San Juan Islands are in the distance. Not too shabby for a lunch view, despite the less than desirable mid-July weather.

Once in Bellingham, we walked along the water, visited some cute coffee shops and bookstores, met some friends of friends, and enjoyed a patio dinner. Bellingham is a really cute, small, college (Western Washington University), hippie town, and I was glad to experience a different part of Washington. More waterfront photos below.

Towards the end of my summer in Washington, I had a visitor from Missouri.

Hanging out at Lake Washington.

Yay! Erica and I met at Jewell, and she now lives in Springfield. She came for a long four day weekend, and I took off from work, so it was really nice to just relax and show her around. I won’t take you through the entirety of our adventures, but here is an abbreviated version:

We rode the Ducks. Seriously. Like the land/water Ride the Ducks in Branson that take you across Table Rock–except Seattle and across Lake Union. It actually was a good tour, and I learned a lot about Seattle. These photos are from The Duck.

The blue/grey floating house on the bottom left is the one from Sleepless in Seattle.

Post Duck, we ventured down to the Pike Place area to do some touristy things. Like, see the original Starbucks. Outside of which these guys were putting on a show.

Not a bad form of entertainment for the 437690234875609387 people waiting to catch a glimpse inside Starbucks.

Later in the day we rode the new-to-the-area ferris wheel on a pier that Erica knew more about than did I.

View of the Puget Sound and the pier from the ferris wheel.

And then we found ourselves venturing down Alaskan Way to Seattle’s big weekend event…

HEMP FEST.

Hemp Fest patrons. Great view. Less than great experience.

Seriously horrifying, for more than a couple reasons. And the grossest experience of my life. We were there for 20 minutes, which was 19.5 minutes too long. I will definitely never attend Hemp Fest in Seattle ever again. Ew.

Other than that, Erica and I mostly just traipsed around Seattle doing unexciting things. We visited Gas Works Park, walked in the woods and to the lake, and Erica took photos of me falling out of yoga poses. Thanks, Erica.

Falling out of a dancer pose somewhere near Gas Works Park.

Hanging out at Gas Works in our sweet outfits. They were sweet, trust me.

The result of an early morning hike to Lake Washington. I failed to reach the farthest rock.

Downward dog/standing splits/handstand prep/nothing pose, on the rocks.

And that was that.

That basically concludes my summer in Washington. I did celebrate a birthday during this time, and though I would have liked to be AT home to celebrate, I was at least able to celebrate with friends FROM home. My college friends Katie and John were in the middle of a Pac North roadtrip, so they came to hang out and stay with me for a couple days. We had a good time, but sadly Katie and I both failed to take any photos. Whoops. You can read about Katie’s adventures here.

I am currently in Missouri, for a short minute longer, and preparing to hit the ground running sprinting on Monday, when my 21-month journey to MSN graduation begins! Woooohoo. (Yes, I’m already counting down.)

I’ll try to be back with a summary of my recent Ozarkian adventures soon…ish. 🙂

The Birthday spread. Aww 🙂

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.)