Summer Adventures:: Seattle (again)

As one of my last trips of the summer, some friends and I planned a big trip up to Canada. One of our friends has a cabin on Vancouver Island near Qualicum Bay and invited us to join her. It was my first time up in Canada and boy do I have lots of photos to share.

But first, we stopped in Seattle. 
My friend Bridget is from Seattle so we picked her up and spent the day in the city. The first day we got in we explored the University of Washington campus and ate at the amazing Hot Cakes. I definitely recommend this place for some of the most decadent molten lava cake you'll ever have. 

(the UW library!!)

On the second day I was dead set on eating a delicious doughnut at General Porpoise. I bought the chocolate marshmallow and split it with my friend as well as a sparkling chai. It was as unique as it sounds and equally as delicious. 

We continued to walk around Capital Hill and stopped in Little Oddfellows again so I could show my friends. But we were soon ready for some of the classics and headed to Pike Place Market. 

For lunch a friend and I had a Beecher's grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup. It was to die for. Not kidding. We all grabbed lunch from different spots and sat on the grass facing the water right next to the market.

We spent a good amount of the day walking around this area and even went to the gum wall! It was disgusting but definitely an experience. We also stopped by Rachel's Ginger Beer and had a delicious ginger beer on tap! I recommend stopping by there for sure. 

To end the day, we were craving Mexican and a view so we went to Little Water Cantina. It was so good and the view was amazing! 

As our last stop we went to Gas Works Park to watch the sunset. The moon was unbelievable that night and totally caught my attention. I spent a long time trying to get the perfect shot. 

Overall, it was another short and successful trip to the emerald city. Next stop: Canada!! 

(as always, hover over any restaurant names for the link)

Little Surprises

If there is one post that is consistently discussed throughout my many years of blogging, it would be about God's plan for my life and what I think my plan is. I'm constantly amazed that usually the path I think I should follow or the job I believe I should apply for is usually all my planning and not His. Sure, I'll pray a bit about it and say I trust He's got it but really, at my core, I'm running alone. 

But He never lets that happen for too long. 
He's really good at dropping little surprises and reminders along the way. 
God is kind of the best gift giver in that way. 

One of the first times He did this in my life for grad school. I busted my butt to apply, ensured I was doing everything right, getting good grades, working in labs etc. and yet when it came time to hear if I got in anywhere, I was wait listed or rejected. Ouch. 

So I waited. I put it into God's hands. I had a good few weeks of acceptance that maybe Speech wasn't in the cards for me and I lived my life. Honestly, I began living my life for the first time since graduating (so December) in about mid March. That's a long time of being anxious and mentally consumed. Not proud of that. 

But then God surprised me with my acceptance to Pacific. And it's been a perfect adventure ever since. I love this school and this program. Good luck to all the people that come up to me at the ASHA convention in November asking about Pacific because I can sing its praises for a while. 

Then, just recently, He surprised me again. 

I've wanted to be a medical SLP since high school and while I've said, "I'm open for anything!" my heart has always been sold on medical settings. Now it's true I don't have one set medical setting in mind, but I do know I want it to be medical. So when I got placed in a school setting for Fall, I wasn't too surprised as I expected it, but I was still a bit bummed. Determined to make the best of it, yes, but bummed regardless. 

Then I got an email this week notifying me of the unicorn of all medical placements in pediatric inpatient at the children's hospital in the area. I squealed and literally jumped with joy and have not been this excited about something since getting into grad school. It's going to be extremely hard and sad but I can't wait to work under my supervisor and learn more than I could ever hope for. 

But this is what God does! He takes our dreams, our hopes, and turns them into something greater than we could have ever cooked up! He knows us no matter how hard we try to be mysterious. 

So I feel a general peace about my final year of grad school (holy smokes!!). I don't know what the next 6 months hold or lordy, the next 12 but that's ok. And I mean that honestly. I actually feel confident that whatever I get or wherever I go, God will have a hand in it and move me further down my path. 

Has he done this with you? This kind of gift of something better than you could have ever imagined? Or maybe it was a really hard decision but led you to where you are now and the now is so much better? I want to know!

The One Day Guide To Seattle

Just as I did with San Francisco, I thought it would be fun to give you a jam packed one day in Seattle itinerary. I've been to Seattle only three times but each time has been filled with different experiences. I've really tried to make each trip unique and, if possible, not cover the same ground twice. 

So here's one day in Seattle! 

8:00 am- My friend lives an hour and a half away from Seattle so we started out getting coffee at Blackbird Bakery and took the Bainbridge Ferry over to Seattle. This was my first time on a ferry and it was so much fun! 

10 am- Drive into downtown and shop a bit. My friend had to try on a bridesmaid dress at Anthropologie (they have a BLHDN!!) so we did some window shopping there and at Nordstrom (the original!). 

11:30am- We are now starving and decided to head into upper Queen Anne neighborhood for some delicious lunch at Bounty Kitchen. The food was fresh and healthy and the decor was adorable. I got the roasted cauliflower salad and Steph got the Potlicker bowl. Both delicious!! I also got the lemonade and, as a warning, it was extremely tart but still delicious. :)

12:30pm- Kerry Park is right around the area so we headed there next with full and happy stomachs. We took some pictures, admired the emerald city and then found the intern house from Grey's Anatomy. #becauseobviously 

1:30pm- We then went to Gasworks Park to see a slightly different view. That park is so funky but really fun to check out. Don't forget to see the Fremont troll under the bridge on your way out. Definitely a fun quirk of Seattle. 

3:00 pm- Steph wanted ice cream from Molly Moon's so we went to their Capital Hill location next. I got my signature waffle cone with no ice cream #lactosesensitive and we walked around quaint capital hill a bit. 

4:00 pm- We ended our stroll at Little Oddfellows for some of the cutest decor and mugs I've ever seen. The coffee shop is inside a bookstore and they serve all their drinks in these adorable mugs and unique saucers. There's book wallpaper, fiddle leaf plants and a picture of Jane Austen on the needless to say I was hooked. 

5:00 pm- We saved the best for last though. We ended our exploring at Bar Melusine, still in Capital Hill, and I died and went to perfect design heaven. This place is expertly designed from top to bottom. When you order a drink they write it down on custom notepads for goodness sakes!! I can't gush about this place enough. We also got some oysters because it seemed necessary being close to the ocean and they were delicious! I would love to eat a full meal there or next store at their sister restaurant, Bateau. Also, the same owners own General Porpoise and that's next on my list of places to go. 

Also, if you've never been to Seattle, Pike Place Market is a must see, there's a Storyville Coffee there as well that is supposedly adorable and fun, the Starbucks Reserve shop if you like your Starbucks, the University of Washington campus is beautiful and, as always, I would recommend asking a local for recommendations because they know what's up. :)

(hover over any of the restaurant mentions and you'll see they link to their website)

Summer Adventures: Cape Kiwanda, OR

 If you follow any PNW Instagram accounts then you've probably seen the famous rock at Cape Kiwanda. This beach has been on my list for a while now and I'm so glad I finally went. The place totally blew me away. The giant sand dune, the beach, the carved rocks from years of rough ocean exposure, the adorable families and even the cute little town stole my heart. I would love to rent a little cottage here and spend a solid week doing nothing but enjoying the waves and warm sand. 

 My friend and I packed a little picnic because we had been told there was little to no food available (though there was definitely a brewpub, a pizza place and a little market). We stopped at New Seasons before heading out and got deli sandwiches, some Underwood wine and Ashley bought this amazing rose chocolate. It was as delicious as it was beautiful! 

 This little babe was the cutest!! We were enamored with this little family. Little boys are the cutest flirts. 

 We finally found the famous rock (I'm standing on it) and let me just say, it was extremely difficult climbing to the top of it. I am no rock climber and both Ashley and I struggled quit a bit to take the shots. Also, climbing back down (somehow ever more difficult than climbing up) I completely scratched up my stomach and arm. But worth it for the shot. ;) I've just always found people standing on the rock and they make it look seamless so I'm pulling back the curtain a bit. 

We could not have asked for a better beach day though. It was probably low 70's the entire time and because it was a week day we didn't have to deal with large crowds. The best kind of day trip! Definitely add this beach town to your list.

Celebrate the Lazy


The other day at clinic, my supervisor, a fellow grad student, and I were all sitting around talking about the stresses of grad school and the little nuisances you can't understand until you've done it yourself. And we came upon the topic of busy. In our program, as in many I'm assuming, we become so consumed with success and one-upping each other that we forget about the big picture. We forget about the people behind the masks of insecurities. I'm guilty of this myself. Someone says how stressed they are, how busy they are, and you sit there, get the wide eyed "don't I know it" look and give your complaints about how busy you are. It's a really fun game where everyone feels great about themselves after...

So I had an idea.

What if we celebrated the leisure activities, the productivity, the Netflix binges and with total sincerity said, "Hey! Good for you! You deserve that! Take that time to stop and breathe!" 

Why do we celebrate stress and being overly busy?? Don't we know it only leads to heart disease, depression, anxiety, etc?? Yet we continue to do it! France takes off an entire month to relax and we barely allow ourselves a week! The American lifestyle is fairly toxic and I want to become more aware of when I'm praising my busy and not praising my sweet moments of silence. I've become so used to filling up all my moments with some kind of noise that I can't even sit alone with myself anymore. That's sad! 

I love Kenny Chesney's song "Noise" for this very reason. He says, "we can't sleep, we can't think, can't escape the noise, we can't take the noise so we just make noise." I honestly haven't heard anything truer in a while. I'm tired of all the hate in the world, all the judgement, all the fear and instead want to congratulate the good, the brave and the joyful. Because it's out there but we are surrounded by noise! 

So I'm going to try and be more intentional about my thoughts, my actions and my words and celebrate the quiet moments and the lazy days for me and for those around me. Don't feel guilty! Revel in the lazy!! Because, let's be real, the lazy I'm talking about and what you're talking about is likely looooooong overdue.

Summer Adventures: Tunnel Falls

If you've got several hours on your hands, might I suggest this hike?

This past weekend I had my oldest friend, Emily and her boyfriend Garrett in town and we had an event filled weekend from start to finish. On Saturday we initially planned on hiking on the Eagle Creek trail for about 6 miles and those 6 miles quickly became 12. But it was all worth it for the views you see here.

On the way to Tunnel Falls, you get to see many other waterfalls along the way. One stop you can make is to Punchbowl Falls. Here's me taking the shot above and there's the actual shot below. This hike has been on my list since the very beginning and it was so fun to see the actual place. We definitely didn't swim around since it was probably 11am and not that warm, but I've heard that's a fun thing you can do.

Here's another waterfall along the path to Tunnel Falls. 

It was one of the longest hikes I've done in a long while but it was absolutely worth it. It also helps to be hiking with people who are up for whatever and we were all on the same page the entire time. On the way back, we were starving and tired so we booked it and made amazing time back to the car. 

Some recommendations if you choose to do this hike: BRING SNACKS! We did not and I definitely got hangry at one point. Make sure you have lots of water and take your time! Go off to the other paths a bit and stop for the waterfalls. Give yourself plenty of the day to hike this route. :) Also, the exit to take is exit 41.

We went into Hood River after the hike and I'm going to put together a post for that next! 
Stay tuned!

Summer Adventures: Painted Hills

There are some places in life that are truly spectacular and the Painted Hills are definitely included in that list. Nestled in eastern Oregon, outside of Bend, sits rocks that alternate in shades of reds and whites and truly take your breath away. The only place I could equate this to was the Grand Canyon. All of a sudden you look to your left and there's this incredible natural wonder just asking to be admired.  

 (the three sisters)

My friends and I drove the 4 hours there and the 4 hours back all in one day and would do it again in a heartbeat. It was absolutely worth it. On the drive there, we took the Mount Hood route (always beautiful) and took the Santiam Pass on our way back so we were getting different views throughout the day. We stopped in Sisters, OR for some coffee and ate dinner in Salem, OR to break up the ride home. 

Driving through Oregon never ceases to amaze me. I am definitely a west coast girl through and through. 

Next up on my list of Oregon wonders is The Wallowas and Crater Lake!