Summer Adventures:: One Day in Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver, Canada has been on my list of places to go for a loooooong time. This was my first time to Canada and it definitely won't be the last. 

I thought I would organize this post like I have for Seattle and San Francisco and give you one full day in the city. :)

 First stop: Granville Island! 
We had a slower morning and got to the island by about 10:30/45 and hit the ground running. I loved walking around and poking our heads into little shops. The large market was filled with stands that all looked enticing. We grabbed lunch inside the market at one of the food stalls, which was perfect for a group of 6 girls all trying to decide what to eat. I chose fish & chips and can't recommend them enough.

Next stop: Kitsilano Beach! 

It was a pretty hot day and the water was looking very inviting. I loved seeing all the children playing in the waves and doing things I loved to do and found so much entertainment in as a child. Also, I can't get over the mountains that surround the city!! I think I asked my friend a thousand times what all their names were. They took my breath away!! 

Next stop: Coffee break at 49th Parallel!

My friend, Ashley, and I did some research before the trip on a couple places we definitely wanted to stop at and 49th Parallel was one of those spots. If you're a coffee fan, you need to put this place on your list. It was delicious and just the cutest! Also!! They had doughnuts! It was such a fun surprise to stroll up and see all the fun doughnut flavors. I settled on the root beer float flavor and I was not disappointed. 

 If you haven't caught on yet, I have a thing for mountains. ;) But really, I can't get over all the mountains surrounding the city!!! So beautiful!

Last stop: Gastown!

We had heard this was a fun place to visit in the city and I would definitely agree now. I loved all the brick buildings, fun shops and restaurants in this area. It reminded me a bit like parts of Portland, especially with all the hipster-looking people we saw and unique oddities. 

I found this shop, Old Faithful, on Instagram and knew we needed to stop in. It was carefully curated and had a fun mix of items but I have to admit, I was a little disappointed. I love going into shops that carry items from around the area and this place mostly had items from New York or elsewhere. It was cute but I didn't want to buy something that wasn't from the city itself as a souvenir or sorts. 

We found some of the work buildings! 
We noticed as we drove into the city that Vancouver seems to be a city of high-rise condos but where were all the high-rise business buildings?? Where do people work? Just something we found interesting. :)

And that's it! I would love my next stop in Canada to be Whistler or Banff or to go back to Vancouver Island and visit Victoria. 

Canada, thanks for being grand!

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.