Monday, June 30, 2008


Summer arrived in Seattle this weekend. Both days. Eighties and hot and so, so, great. And after camping/hiking and hosting guests the last few weekends, it was nice to just do whatever I wanted. I did a lot of whatever I wanted.

Brunch at Coastal Kitchen. Highlighted city: Rome.

Tiramisu French Toast. Let me just post the description directly from the menu. Heavenly.
Tiramisu French Toast

Italian bread soaked in coffee cocoa custard topped with Marsala orange zest mascarpone and served with an espresso chocolate sauce.

Alki Beach.

Running and smoothie at Greenlake.
Dinner take-out from Malena's. Eaten seated on a bench at the Queen Anne lookout, with a crisp view of Mt. Rainier.

Milkshake. Movie. Sleep.

Sunday. Running. Laundry. Banana Bread.

Pool party at Lisa's.

Good stuff.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Empty Nest.

So when my friends called to say they were not showing up on Thursday, possibly Friday..but in fact were just an hour outside the city on WEDNESDAY evening, I panicked a little. Not lacking excitement, but rather I couldn't stop thinking of all of things that weren't yet done in preparation for their arrival: washing the towels and rugs, scrubbing the tub, putting my clothes away and stocking my fridge with frosty beers.

And when I think back to having them here even now I get a little wet in the ole ducts. From the moment they crossed the threshold of my condo energy was crazy, jokes were a-plenty and I thrived in the constant flurry of action. Until the afternoon when all their gear was packed, our muscles were officially sore and it was time to say goodbye. When my door closed behind me, the emptiness of my apartment was startlingly sad. I felt as though my kids had just left and all gone off to college. No more wax donuts, stupid jokes and constant banter. Quiet. A sad quiet though. Like all the fun has rolled in and stirred up and is now passed quiet. But it was so fun when it was here. I miss them even now. I laughed so hard last weekend. Being around friends I've known for years is such a comfort. A true relaxation and yet craziness. Doreen and I met in such unusual circumstances and even with only limited communication in her move to NYC and my life in Seattle, we will always be friends. And until the next time she rolls into town, I'll still think of their visit and laugh. Big, authentic laughs.

sponsored by the Apple iphone, sausage and REI : Day 2

Morning temperatures were cold. Our oatmeal was deliciously hot. Gearing up.

We packed up our campsite knowing the desire to do much of anything once we finished our climb would be slim to none. The rocky trail we bouldered took nearly an hour for us to even reach the base of Aasgard pass. Terrain was so interesting and different than anything I'd hiked/climbed and I really enjoyed it. Looming though, out in front of me, were the scared and anxious feelings I remembered from Mt. Adams the summer before.

But putting the gear on is fun. Fun before you actually have to use it and start climbing. Such a feeling of toughness and adventure! Or for us, Badass.

The beginning proved to be manageable and though our group's demeanor was intense, I think we were all excited to be experiencing the shaky knees and beautiful views. Really that was until we reached an area where the ice axe no longer went DOWN into the snow, but rather picked into the SIDE of a wall. "I'm done." Dubbed as Terrified Tara, she decided she'd had enough of a 'new experience' to be able to say she climbed, used crampons and an ice axe, and turned back for a relaxing sunning experience on a rock near the lake. Doreen went with her so no one was left alone.

The three of us remaining pressed on and climbed over holes in the snow with rushing water beneath, slippery gravel rock and finally were back to the bouldering from the very beginning - only 7,000 feet up this time. It was definitely the hardest thing I've ever done and the most scared I've ever been. Brandon and I didn't make it to the summit. And I would say none of us reached our goals. We climbed for probably three hours and were so close to the top, but our ambitions were waning. As Brandon and I ate lunch, Tyson scurried up to the top to just see if it was even that, the top. It was A top. A very odd and space-like looking top. But the Enchantments were no where to be seen.

After sliding down on our bums in 1/100th the time it took us to climb up, I think we were all ready for celebratory beers. But alas, we still had to pack up the campsite and hike out. Exhausted.

The hike in was so animated. Songs. Laughing. Story-telling. The hike out was absolutely silent. We were so tired. We were ready for the Bavarian village to immediately inject us with sausage and sauerkraut. And when we were finished and finally made it to the Munchen Haus in Leavenworth, we did just that. Yum.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

sponsored by the Apple iphone, sausage and REI : Day 1

{yes I realize this is not an iphone. however, MOST times the iphone was used for music. and for navigation. and for internet. and for communication. for life.}

My dear friend, Doreen, and her friend, and now my friend, Tara, quit their jobs in NYC and decided to road trip the country this summer. Smart girls. After crossing the northern states, including some cultural events in a small town bar in Wyoming, they finally landed in the Pacific Northwest late Wednesday night. We spent some time in the city. Doreen's boyfriend Brandon flew in from San Francisco. And then we headed out of town for the weekend looking for adventure. Our goal: hike in and camp at beautiful alpine Lake Colchuck, climb Aasgard Pass and view the Enchantment lakes, then hike out. Simple, right?

We car camped one night, then we drove to Stuart Lake trail head the next morning and started our journey.

The hike to Lake Colchuck was harder than I had anticipated. We told stories. We sang "Make new friends, but keeeep the oooold,.." in round form. We ate sausage...and it wouldn't be the last time this trip. Finally arriving at the lake, a photoshoot ensued. It really was stunning. Off in the distance we could see Aasgard pass and I think we were all nervous.
Aasgard is the pass on the left. The Colchuck glacier is on the right.

Our campsite was perfect. Right next to the lake. Plenty of snowballs and pine cones to toss underhand and hit with sticks. A girls vs. guys fire-creating contest - neither party was successful although it wasn't for a lack of trying...literally at least an hour if not more. All experienced with the soundtrack of laughter and music from our beautiful iphone plugged in to a nearly unnoticeable, tiny speaker.

Dinner. Sausage. In jambalaya. Sleep.

Friday, June 20, 2008


Life is odd. It really is. So often minutes creep into meetings creep into afternoons take over weeks and soon its Summer again. Every once in a while I gasp in surprise (and terror) about my life and where I am along the path. Most days are great and I just do my thing. I hang out with friends. I go on jogs. I challenge myself to try something new. I read a book. I spend three hours in a row on the internet. I fall off the wagon and eat a donut AND tons of candy. But some days, like today, I have sort of an internal crisis slash loss of breath all due to a stirring in my soul about what is next. And as Bess so often writes, I will captialize Next. Next. Why is it so hard to just live in the present? Why so often do I wander into Next like I need to make an anxious list with little boxes to check off and cross out? Where does the magnetic pull of Next come from? Is it dissatisfaction in the present? Some of it is inspiration. Inspiration fed from reading an incredible story of someone's journey or accomplishment. A challenge to rise to. A trip and a fear to be conquered. Some of it a curiosity of Next. What IS that Next thing going to be like? What could it be? WHO will I be and where will I reside? A stirring. I don't curse the stirring as so often its coupled with excitement, but once I am bitten by the stirring I seem to obsess until I make some giant decision. Book a flight. Commit to a climb. Sign up for a marathon. Quit my job. ...In which case I can resonate on THAT decision about Next until the Next time I stir.

Such beautiful anxiety and excitement swirling around creating a Tazmanian cloud of dust in my head.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

camping on the other side.

Friday night, Tyson and I skipped town to go camping in Eastern Washington. I've been to Steven's Pass many times for snowboarding, but I had never actually crossed over the pass and entered into the blue skies and typically warmer tempuratures of the East side.

I'm continually impressed with my car. Packed with all our camping gear and two bikes, the teeny MINI totally rocked it.

The lovely comforts of car camping. Coffee + Pancakes.

First day: 11 mile hike - 5.5 in and 5.5 out, covering an elevation of 4500 ft each way. Intense! But totally fun and worth it.

A forest fire occurred in the area seven years ago revealing still burnt trees juxtaposed with new growth.

Our lunch stopping spot. So great.
Mountains. Knees. Cracker.

Snow near the top of the hike. Tyson made a snowman.

Day two:Biking Icicle Creek Road. A mostly uphill climb one direction. A fantastic fly down the other. All while mountains, a raging river, and blue skies wrapped around us.

Celebration in the form of sausage, sauerkraut, mustard and beer in Leavenworth. The kitschiest Bavarian town of all time.