Look out snow covered Mt Rainier, I’m wearing shorts!

Ok, so I’ve lived here for over a year now and this is the first time we’ve gone to the mountains. I mean, I can see Mt Hood and Mt Saint Helens on a clear day but we hadn’t actually trekked over to these beautiful stone monuments until a few weeks ago (and we still haven’t actually “trekked over” to either of those mountains yet). We went to Mt Rainier instead! And little did we know that there would still be literal walls of snow in late June…

Patrick and I have been talking about going camping again basically since it started raining (so it’s been a while!) and we planned a brief trip to Mt Rainier. I was responsible for making sure we had everything together as we went to REI and got Patrick a new sleeping bag (he nearly froze   last summer when we went to Crater Lake), a nice blow-up insert, and I filled up the cooler full of sandwhiches for the road and raw meat for the burgers we were going to grill. I had my first aid kit, sunscreen, bug spray, protein bars and a gallon of water.

Unfortunately, I forgot the tent.

My bad. I don’t know how I missed it…

Anyway, due to me forgetting the only thing that makes camping actually camping, we got to stay here instead. With an attached bathroom!

Pretty, right?
So, we really had no idea that Mt Rainier would still be covered in snow in late June (clearly!). The last time Patrick was there, which was a while ago, he went in late August and believe me, two more months of 80 degree weather will make a big difference. I think we’ll be going back in about 6 weeks to get the whole experience and hopefully be able to climb the mountain trail this time. It was still fun though and very beautiful! I kind of liked playing in the snow in my shorts and it definitely looked like a winter wonderland. I mean, it’s not very often you get to throw snowballs or go sledding in the middle of summer 🙂
Ridiculous!  Anyway, there was really only one hike that we took where the trails weren’t covered in snow. This wasn’t one of those trails… but the base of it was gorgeous and relatively snow free.
One last picture and then I’m off to do house work 🙂
Aww!

Holy crap, it’s fall!!

And I’m listening to Christmas music.

Well, I have a remix of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” (which is probably the only Christmas song that I hate…)  and the Miss America theme song going through my head…but that’s not really normal, right? I mean, I know (as does my mother and Sara) that my Christmas music starts pretty early but I think even they would agree that THAT’S a little weird. Anyway, it’s fall! And I should cool it on the Christmas tunes.

Our very, very, leafy yard. Now this picture was actually taken at the beginning of October. We no longer have ANY leaves on those trees. And I raked. One time. So we still have leaves in our yard. But now it’s not as bad as it was! Only dead… and colorless. OK!

This is the view from across the street. We have these 2 gorgeous trees in the front yard that, when we looked at the house in May, were covered in bright pink blooms! Can’t wait till Spring! Well, I can actually. I don’t want to miss Christmas…

So, all of this leaf changing happened while we were in Austin over the first weekend of October. We got home and the thermostat was pretty much stuck on 65 for a good two weeks. It’s currently 62 and the temps are steadily falling! The high on Monday is 55! It’s cool though (literally…) it’s been gorgeous and since we have no A/C I’m very grateful for the cooler weather. And our heating system is awesome! We had to get a carbon monoxide detector because after we bought the house we discovered there was a hole in our chimney and the pipe from the furnace had melted… yeah. It’s amazing that the previous owner didn’t die. Anyhoo, fixing our chimney was the first thing we did to the house. They closed up the hole and while they were on the roof the rest of that melted pipe just came off. Like, they pulled it out of the chimney. At that point we didn’t even know that it was a problem! So, long story ever so slightly shorter, with our the chimney hole patched up all the fumes from the furnace still go up and outside instead of in our house. Killing us while we sleep. It’s a good thing. Oh! Yes! Our heater? Awesome! So, with this house being over 70 years old, we have wooden vents on our floor and these cool metal vents that put out so much heat that you only have to turn the heater once in the morning to take off the chill and then, if you feel like it, once at night so you can get all cozy under the covers. It’s so nice! I don’t know why all heating systems aren’t along the floor… man. That was pretty boring, huh? Ah, heaters and chimneys! My life is ever so fascinating. Moving on!

I got crafty for a whole day. I was inspired by all the bright colors and I took a really awful picture of my “art”. These flowers took forever to assemble… never again. Or, not until after Thanksgiving at least.

Ah, fall!

October has been so wonderful! We have been home for 2 whole weekends now and we’re going on three :). Tomorrow I’m going to scout out some antique and furniture stores to get a better idea of what’s available for the studio since we will be moving in very soon. Camas, which is about 14 miles east of us, has the most amazing shop. It’s gorgeous! The displays they have scream shabby chic… it’s ridiculous! They have the cutest storage piece that I’m hoping will still be there by the 1st… I can’t wait to get the studio ready so you can all see it! It’s going to be wonderful. But, in the meantime, I’ll show you some of the pictures of our trip to Bellingham. We were there shooting a wedding and this is where Patrick fell in love with the Pacific Northwest. I can totally see why he wanted to come back. Enjoy!

This was taken on the pier in Fairhaven, which used to be a separate city from Bellingham but is now just an adorable community on the south side. So, essentially, Bellingham has 2 historic downtowns and therefore twice the charm. It’s insane! And crazy beautiful. Just one more of the sunset…

I look at this and I feel like I’m back in Italy… it’s almost irresistible! Almost 😉
So, later in the weekend Patrick showed me his favorite part of the are and we drove along this winding, scenic road called Chuckanut Drive. With views of the bay with islands and mountains in the distance it was pretty breathtaking. There were some gorgeous homes over there! Some were closer to the water and the beach and others were up in the hills overlooking, well, everything! It was awesome. I went home with every free real estate magazine I could find.
This picture doesn’t quite capture the view but the clouds were crazy! And you can still see the trees tops so if you can imagine looking over that from your house 50 feet above…yeah. Pretty nice. I mean, if someone wanted to give me a house with a view like this AND easy access to the beach I wouldn’t turn them down. I would demand that they pack all my belongings for me but that’s it.
And this is just cool. So I’m sharing it with you. It was really big and the trees in these parts are enormous anyway, but this literally grew over a boulder. A BOULDER! What DOES that?!? It blows my mind too much. I need some clouds.
WHAAAAA! Patrick made a huge mistake giving me photoshop and telling me there was an HDR program with it…
Anyway, Chuckanut Drive kind of curves around the bay and when you get out of the narrow winding parts (cliff down on the left, cliff up on the right) you end up in farm land. The smell of manure was like a slap in the face! Granted, it reminded me of Texas and I totally loved it, but it caught me so off guard! Patrick may want to live up on that giant hilly mountain but I can see the water from the flatland and I’m thinking we may need a farmhouse.
I’m pretty sure I took this after we turned around and decided to go back to downtown so this view is on our right, and that view of the water from above? On our left. Yep! AND we could see the big ‘mountain’ that a lot of the houses were on. I’m thinking this farm is the way to go. Not a bad picture from a moving car is it? Cause the scenery is that awesome!
So that’s it guys. We actually haven’t done much since then (well, we’ve worked and been to Austin and stuff but when it comes to documentation this is the last exciting thing we’ve done…). Maybe I’ll take my camera with me tomorrow and give you guys a tour of downtown. If it’s not raining. Which, now that I think about it, I believe it’s in the forecast… ah fall!

Forrest and Eric come to Washington!

Patrick’s sister and her boyfriend were the third round of guests we’ve received up here in Washington! Forrest and Eric came to visit in the middle of September and we did the usual round of activities: beach, gardens, general roaming about. We were able to hang out a little bit more in downtown Portland, which Patrick and I haven’t done since our honeymoon, and it was really fun. Aside from sleeping on couches, I think they had a pretty good time too 🙂 Unfortunately, the only thing I documented was our beach trek but since we saw lighthouses and seals, it’s totally worth posting about!

First of all, we get to Cannon Beach and it’s only 57 degrees. And the first thing Patrick does is tell Forrest to lay down in the grass for pics.

And then fail to help her up…

Thank goodness for boyfriends!

So to be fair, we had Eric pose for some shots too.

Very fancy. And the only one who tried climbing on top of that pole.

Now for some beach photos!

All of these pictures with the light house took place in Newport at Yaquina Head. And the photo above is of all the seals attempting to sunbathe on their little island. It was so adorable! There was one little guy bobbing about in the sea just watching us. It was ridiculous!


This little guy above was flitting about while I climbed the stairs back up to the lighthouse. It was nearly impossible to get a shot of him. Seriously. Lots of flitting.

And so that statement makes more sense, when you arrive at this place on the coast you pull into a national park. You park your car on the same level as the lighthouse and then they have, like, 5 sets of stairs you can climb down so you can go to the tiny beach at the bottom of the “cliff”. The first and only other time I had been here was on our honeymoon. In January. And it didn’t look any different then as it did in September 🙂 BUT I love this lighthouse. I love the cloudy skies in the background and the overall creepiness that it exudes. It’s pretty much my favorite. And exactly how I picture a “lighthouse” (why does that need “quotes”?). So, that’s why there are too many photos of it. It’s awesome. And I’m letting you know that it’s awesome by posting the same picture. Over, and over again. Are you feeling the awesomeness? You should be! Or I’ll just have to post 12 more pictures…

OMG! A lighthouse!

So there was actually a really great view from the lighthouse. These telescopes were behind Yaquina and what you can see in the right corner is another rocky island. There were birds flocking all around it and we wanted to know if the seals congregated over there as well. They didn’t…

So that’s it! Next time around, which will probably be sometime this weekend, I’ll show you the few pictures of our leaf-filled yard. It’s fall people! And it’s raining… BUT for the first time since this summer, our yard looks AWESOME! It’s finally green! And very overgrown. But that’s irrelevant. It’s green! Just in time for it to start dying. Also irrelevant! Enjoy your weekend, and think of me while I try to figure out our health insurance options…Yay?

Camping and company

Last month we ventured out on our first camping trip in Oregon. We headed over to Crater Lake and got to see snow in August! It was pretty amazing. Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the U.S. and the second deepest in all of North America. Its water is brilliantly blue as it has very little pollutants due to its lack of tributaries (some of the purest fresh water in the United States!). The lake is fed entirely by rain and snow and I wish these pictures could do it justice:

See that clump of trees? They call that Wizard Island because it looks like a sorcerers hat and when the fog rolls in it tends to disappear. The little white speck below it is a boat and they give tours out to it. Next time we go I want to take one 🙂

I love the snow on the beach and the mountain in the back- it was breathtaking!

And to show you how vividly blue the water is just notice how washed out the sky looks. That lake glows!

As we drove around the area (the lake has a rim you can drive around that is 33 miles long, not to mention twisty and terrifying) we saw some gorgeous things. Like this cold white stuff:

Another amazing view below (ridiculous, right?):

And my personal favorite. I thought it looked like a sea monster with tentacles coming out of its mouth and head… pretty gnarly 😉

Now, if I was really a good blogger I would have chronicled our tent setup, our long attempt at a camp fire (it finally caught on), and made a video of us freezing our butts off while we desperately tried to get comfortable. This is only the second time I’ve gone camping. Once in Texas in February (32 degrees, thank you) and in August in Oregon (40 degrees, oy). Both times it was the worst sleep of my life and I still want to do it again. It’s a sickness really. Someone, please help me.

Anyway, I think it was a day later that we had company again and this time it was Patrick’s mom. We had a really good time while she was in town even though her trip was brief (she was getting ready to go to Mexico for 3 months so it’s amazing that she was able to come at all!). We had kind of a low key visit which is always nice but we did head to Multnomah Falls for a little bit. Benne, these are for you (and seriously the only pictures I took while you were here, what was I thinking?):

She looks so much like Renee Zellweger, I love it!

So that’s all folks! Short but sweet. Next time around I’ll show you pics of Forrest and Eric’s visit, we went to Yaquina Head Lighthouse so stay tuned. It was also amazing 🙂

Our first trek!

As most of you know, we ended up moving to the Portland/Vancouver area in early June. Well, it took us a while to actually do some sightseeing. The first place we ventured to was the beach. Cannon Beach to be exact. It is the cutest, most picturesque beach town I’ve ever seen and if it wouldn’t cost us over $150, 000 to have a house for 3 months out of the year, we would totally move there. For real. It’s precious! One of the best perks about scoping this place out (which is only an hour and a half west of us, by the way) was that we found this adorable, independent fabric shop on the main strip by the beach called Center Diamond Fabric Store ( http://www.centerdiamond.com ). I had been drooling over some fabric for quite a while when I got the idea in my head to make my own soundproof tiles for my office space. This tiny room I’m typing in also houses my piano, my music stand, and ALL my music. Anyway, I’ve seen some cute ‘art’ that doubles as cheap soundproofing material and the fabric I wanted to use for this project has been really hard to come by. Well, low and behold, little Cannon Beach actually had it in stock! I know, super boring story, but this was probably the most exciting event about our move! How dull am I? So here’s the fabric, and here’s the store (I told you I was going to be posting gratuitous amounts of pictures now that I have a new computer).

So cute!! I also have some coordinating fabric to go with it and to make curtains and stuff. We’ll see when all that happens.

This was such a fun little shop. It makes me want to take a trip to Cannon Beach every time I feel like looking at fabric. Who cares if Portland is only 2 miles away? This comes with the ocean! Right next door was a beautiful blown glass shop. They had some gorgeous pieces and you could also watch the artist work. I want to live here!

And yes, I know my pictures are awful, but I was trying to get these while we were walking so don’t hate.

Off to the beach! First up, the overall view of the beachfront part of town. Not to mention the ridiculous hills in the background. Good grief, just give me a tent and a blanket and I could have spent all of July there.

The main attraction for this particular beach is the big formation called Haystack Rock. If you want some fancy pictures, you can google it. It’s cool. And there a lot of rock formations along this beach, it reminds me a bit of the Maine coast. It’s really pretty and clean. The only drawback is that it’s a bit chilly. And if my family is reading this, I think you would agree with me that when you hear “beach” you think “heat”. I can’t help it, I still want my sand to be hot and my skin to be steaming! BUT this is beautiful. And if you want to smell that salty air and listen to the waves crash, this will do quite nicely. Just wear a sweater 🙂

And *Inhale*……..  Ah. Salty, sea air.

Now on to something awesome and a little creepy at the same time. Mound of starfish, seashells, and oysters. Oh my!

Weird. And a little gross. But from a distance, it’s totally fine! Way less slimey.

Oh! And the most important part! Patrick met his sailor twin there in Cannon Beach. It was  a truly eventful trip. Who knew he had a brother?

As a matter of fact, it was such an exciting encounter (although he was trying to mask his true feelings) that we skipped and danced down the street with an intensity that blew his shorts off. Again, who knew?

Seriously. Who forgets their pants?!?! Granted, these were maybe large enough to fit a 6 year old. But, nevertheless,  it’s awkwardly funny. You know, if you were there… *uncomfortable chuckle*

Good times.

So, I’m hoping to take one more trip there before fall settles in. It’s supposed to be in the upper 80’s/ low 90’s in Vancouver next week (I know, it’s awesome!) and it’s usually about 10 degrees cooler on the coast. I’m thinking that will be the time to go… you should all move here. Convince your in-laws that they need to come too and just move. I mean, I know it’s going to be rainy this winter but it sure beats 112 degrees and months of rainless days. Although, I say all that and yet I kind of miss that scorching heat. We were in Austin this past weekend and it was 107 and I thought it felt awesome! I’m not kidding! It was the epitome of summer and all my great memories of summertime in Midland and Austin came flooding back to me. Patrick’s not too keen on booking more weddings in Texas after this spring but I’m gonna need to feel my skin fry every now and then. Texas folks, here I come! Just let me use your pool.