I am so excited to finally be able to do this post. I have been waiting months for Christmas to come around just so I could do this project. It all started months ago when A told me I needed to stop collecting so many coasters from my brewery visits because it was getting out of hand. Anywhere you looked you could find a coaster, whether it was my car, my house and even his car! However, I didn't want to give up collecting coasters so we decided to put them to use rather than have them lying all around. I suggested making Christmas ornaments and since A loves Christmas he was immediately on board. Making the ornaments was so much fun because I got to go through all of the coasters and remember all of the breweries A and I had visited in the last year. And when we finished, the tree ended up looking pretty damn awesome if I do say so myself.
Two weeks ago I turned 25 and so I figured I would use this opportunity to share a little bit more about the girl behind the blog.
A few weeks ago I had the amazing pleasure of having some of my best friends visit me here in Oregon. Besides family, they were my first visitors since moving to Oregon, so I was really excited to have them visit. I was also really excited because it was their first trip to Oregon and so I wanted to show them a good time. So for four days, we did some of the most Oregonian things one should do on their first visit to the Beaver State.
Um... can we just talk about how we're almost halfway through November?! I feel like I was just looking at the calendar and wondering how it was already Halloween! As you've probably noticed, I haven't posted anything in a VERY long time.You can blame the gloriousness that it 2L year. School basically took over my life for the month of October, which was a real bummer for me since October in Oregon is BEAUTIFUL! All I wanted to do was run around and see the colorful leaves, go pumpkin picking all day and do other fall stuff. Unfortunately, that did not get to happen. If I wasn't at school, I was at home reading, and on the weekends I was attending conferences and classes in Portland and even had to complete a midterm over Halloween weekend! Yuck! Needless to say, the blog and my travel adventures kind of took a backseat. But once November rolled around school slightly got better, although it looks like I'll still be too busy to do any traveling/adventuring until Christmas break. I mean I'm even too busy to celebrate my own birthday! (which is actually today- 25 years old yikes!)
Over the summer, A gave me a map of the Pacific Northwest (since I have this thing about maps). He gave me the idea to hang it up and put pictures of our adventures in the Pacific Northwest all around it. I thought it was a great idea and ended up adding it onto one of the plain white walls in my new home. It was a great way to add some much needed color to the living room and a great way to incorporate my love of travel in my new home.
Being thrown into the hectic fire that is law school can be a bit overwhelming. That's why a few weeks into school, a few of us started to get a little crazy and were itching to get out of town. We decided to go camping atCrater Lake since most of us had never been. The whole trip was about 24 hours, just long enough that we got to run around and do everything we wanted to do, but short enough not drive each other crazy.
For one last hurrah before starting school, A and I decided to go camping in Olympic National Park up in Washington State. I didn't know much about Olympic but I soon discovered that the national park is so big, you can camp in the mountains, rainforest or on the beach! And not wanting to miss out on any of that, A and I decided that the best thing to do was camp one night in each of the ecosystems.
A few weeks ago, I became really stressed out about trying to find housing before starting school. It seemed like I would never find a place to live. Bad luck just seemed to follow me everywhere I went and after multiple days of this, I became extremely upset and stressed. To cheer me up, A suggested that we take a drive to the coast for the day. We started our drive by going towards Florence and then headed north on the 101, stopping wherever we felt like it. If you've never been to the Oregon coast, you are seriously missing out. All I have to say is that they don't call it one of the Seven Wonders of Oregon for nothing!
Along the way, we stopped for some local seafood, saw some light houses, explored the Devil's Punchbowl and the tide pools and watched the sun set on the horizon. It was the perfect way to take my mind off what was going on back home. However, one day is definitely not enough time to see all of the coast and so I absolutely can't wait until the next chance I get to explore more of this amazing Oregon wonder!
After I got back from D.C., I only had a week in Southern California before I had to drive back to Oregon for school. Normally I would spend my visits home, seeing close friends, family and eating at all my favorite places/new places I've been dying to try. And normally, I would have either my sister or my best friend with me for these activities. Unfortunately, on this trip home, both of them decided they were going to be out of town for most/the whole time! (Can you say loner????)
Once I returned to D.C. from from my east coast "road trip", I only had two days left before flying back to California. I spent those two days doing some work, packing and crossing off a few things on my DC bucket list, such as beer tasting at Mad Fox Brewing, swimming at the Beach exhibit and walking around the National Mall one last time. For those of you who don't know, the Beach is a huge ball pit in the middle of the National Building Museum, set to imitate the beach. Kids and adults of all sizes could jump in/swim/get lost in there. I HIGHLY recommend this to anyone in the DC area. It was so fun to just jump in, roll around and act like a kid again! I concluded my last day in DC by getting some Shake Shack custard and walking around the National Mall for a final time. It was such a bittersweet day because while D.C. has and always will have a special place in my heart, I was more than ready to come home to the west coast (aka I was in need of some real Mexican food, hiking and hoppy west coast beer). I also wasn't too sad because I know that my future job will eventually bring me back to DC. So thank you D.C. for another amazing summer and I will see you again soon!
I'll be honest, when I was planning this trip I was a little hesitant to put New York on the list. I've been to New York a few times and so I debated about forgoing this stop and picking a city I'd never been to instead. What won me over was the 9/11 memorial and the fact that every time I visited, it still hadn't been completed. It was something that I really wanted to see, since I remember the area when it was all still rubble. I also wanted really wanted to visit Brooklyn Brewery, obviously, and to walk around Central Park because I had been dying to get outside and do some hiking all summer.
The third stop on my east coast adventure was Portland, Maine. I have always wanted to visit what I like to call "the other Portland" because of its beer, and because I was curious to see how it compared to the Portland I've come to know and love. During this trip I had my first experience with Airbnb because of the lack of a hostel and the high price of hotels in the area. I ended up staying with a lovely woman named Sarah and her daughter in the cutest house in South Portland. I highly recommend staying with her if you are traveling alone in Portland. (you can find her Airbnb profile here) And as a bonus, her upstairs tenant is the brewer/owner of Funky Bow Brewery! So it was fun to go beer tasting all day and then come home and talk beer with a brewer.
I know what you're thinking.....Vermont? Why??? And I would respond- I have no idea, I just woke up and decided that I would like to visit Vermont. Well, as it turns out, after doing some research, Vermont actually has a lot of cool places to see and things to do, like eat your weight in maple syrup, go lake swimming and visit breweries! While the ideal plan was to spend more than one day in Vermont and take a brew bus for those breweries outside of major towns, scheduling conflicts did not allow me that luxury.
Ok so quick (actually, it'll probably be really long) apology as to why I have been MIA recently. If you have been following me on either of my instragrams, you will see that I have been doing quite a bit of traveling this past month. In one month, I traveled up the east coast by bus, packed up my life in DC, flew home to Southern California to see family, drove 1000 miles and moved back to Oregon, took a drive up the Oregon coast and went camping on the Olympic Peninsula. To say that life has been pretty hectic would be an understatement, but I'm glad to be starting school again and getting back into a routine because it means having more time to catch up on the blog and show you some amazing stuff from my recent trips. So sit tight and I apologize again, because I'm about to blow up your feeds with all my blog posts in these next upcoming weeks! Enjoy!