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.