Falling in love…

With the beautiful sunshine, clear skies, and amazing weather of Seattle so far this summer! Everyone says that the summer time in Seattle is worth the months of rain and dark skies – and I must agree. This has been the first time since moving here that I have been around the entire time to witness the change in seasons (if you have been following me for a while, you know I used to travel quite a bit for work) and have totally fallen in love.

Two summers ago when I wasn’t traveling, I loved going to Gas Works Park on the weekend. I would pack a picnic and head out there with my friend Cindi or by myself if she wasn’t available. The view is amazing (Seattle skyline, anyone?) and the breeze from the water makes it tolerable to be out there all day. I haven’t been out there as much lately for a few reasons: the hill has been closed as it prepares for the 4th of July¬†and because I have been enjoying some of the parks closer to my new house in Kirkland.

Sometimes, I enjoy the parks during my afternoon run along the waterfront (sometimes, a girl and her bad hip just need a break and some sunshine) or on the weekends when I pack a snack, a book, and a blanket. So far I have thoroughly enjoyed the following parks:

David E Brink Park: Wonderful to take a break 3/4 of the way through the run or to just go down there and enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery. Can get a little crowded on a nice day.

Juanita Beach Park: Right on the water and has some sand (hence the name) but tons of places to sit on the grass if sand in your shoes isn’t your thing. SUPER crowded and very tiny parking places. I think I could go super early in the morning but it gets a little hectic if you are looking to relax.

Juanita Bay Park: On the other side of the water from Jaunita Beach Park but a totally different feel. There is peace and quiet and lots of paths to take for a nice walk/run. Here are some pictures from the little stroll I took:

So peaceful...

So peaceful…

and so quiet

and so quiet

Sat down for a few right next to this cute little flower

Sat down for a few right next to this cute little flower

Houghton Beach Park: Super crowded with lots of people from those laying out in bikinis to the guys getting ready to wind surf to people play beach volleyball. If you like to people watch (which I do) this is a great park for you! There is also a local restaurant with a bar in case the people lead you to drinking ūüôā

Last but not least: Waverly Beach Park: I love coming down here. Not only does it remind me of my little brother (who discovered it) but it is quiet (unless late in the afternoon on a busy day when school is out) but the views of Mt Rainier on a clear day is breathtaking!

I miss Gas Works Park and plan on going soon but in the mean time, I am enjoying my new neighborhood, what is has to offer, and exploring the surrounding area with the guy I went out with in my last post (more to come on that later).

Until next time…xoxo…Julie

A quick recap of Memorial Day Weekend and another first date!

The weekend started off by me getting invited to go have a drink or two with some friends/co-workers after work on Friday. After a drink (or two) and lots of conversation, I decided to go over to the park and sit by the water for a little before heading home. I ended up getting a call from a guy who (we shall give him the nickname, Anonymous) I was supposed to go out with on Saturday asking what I was up to Рlittle did I know,  he was near by and decided to join me. We sat by the water and talked in the park until 9:30 (5 hours!) when they were getting ready to close and lock the gates. After getting home, he gave me a call to make sure I made it home safely (how sweet?!?!) and continued to talk until midnight (he said he wanted to talk to my until the morning РI know, cute). I could have talked to him until the sun came up but I needed to get some sleep since I was hiking in the morning.

After months of physical therapy, I was finally given the “ok” to try some of my old physical activities…just in time for Memorial Day¬†weekend. I had been cleared¬†to walk/jog a little bit a few weeks before but I thought the long weekend would be a good one to try a hike – at least I would have a few days to recover if my hip didn’t do well. I have become friends with a 56-year-old guy at work (we will call him JW) who enjoys the outdoors and wanted to start hiking again so I figured we could go together… and with my hip still not 100%, I figured a 56-year-old was on my activity level. I had heard that Poo Poo Point-Chirico Trail¬†was ¬†a moderate hike with a beautiful view at the top, so we decided to give it a try.

The hike is roughly 3.8 miles round-trip with an elevation of about 1800 feet. We took our time going up – he was winded and my hip was tired – but we never gave up. I was dripping sweat at the bottom and freezing cold at the top…good thing I had my sweatshirt to keep my warm and my camelpack backpack to keep my hydrated. We brought some fruit, cheese, and crackers to snack on for energy which was so wonderful at the top. We sat up there enjoying our snacks while taking in the view and watching the paragliders taking off. My hip was exhausted and sore but the view was worth every bit of discomfort.

The view from about half way up the mountain

The view from about half way up the mountain

Thank goodness for the hooded sweatshirt...

Thank goodness for the hooded sweatshirt…

And the paraglider is up and away

And the paraglider is up and away

Me and the amazing view at the top!

Me and the amazing view at the top!

After the hike, I went home, laid on the couch and almost fell asleep – until I was woken up from light sleep by my phone going off…it was Anonymous giving me a call to figure out our plans for the night. I didn’t want to have to plan anything, so I told him I could drive over towards his part of town to go out. I jumped in the shower, did my hair, threw on some make-up, and an outfit that said “I can look good but I am not trying too hard” and then rushed out the door. I pulled up to his place and with my heart racing, I made my way up to his front door. He opened the door and looked so handsome yet so comforting and when he hugged me, all of my nerves disappeared. We got in the car and headed to a cute little local restaurant, Tin Room Bar, for dinner. Dinner was tasty and the conversation flowed effortlessly. After dinner, we headed back towards his place and stopped by a local bar (I forgot the name)¬†to have a few drinks, more conversation, and enjoy some live music – not going to lie – I don’t remember much of the music because I was so focused on the company with me¬†and the conversation. After drinks, we went back to his place and spent more time together talking and enjoying each other’s company. We stayed up until about 1:30 in the morning talking…

…Sunday morning – I don’t really remember what all I did other than relaxing, doing laundry, and picking Monday’s hike with my friend Lex. Lex had to work Monday afternoon, so we decided to do an easy hike that we knew my hip could handle – Twin Falls. When Lex got off work Sunday night, I headed over to his house – I slept in one of the extra rooms so I could sleep in a little Monday morning since his house is about 25 minutes closer than mine and we were going to ride together. We got up Monday morning, stopped for coffee at Starbucks, and made our way to the hike. Twin Falls is roughly a 3 mile hike round-trip with an amazing view at the turn-around point. About .75 miles in, there was a fence closing the trail due to part of it being washed away. Having gotten a sneak peek of the falls, we were determined to get all of the way…even if it meant climbing over!

The sneak peak of the falls...

The sneak peak of the falls…

And the climb begins...

And the climb begins…

and we are over...

and we are over…

The view up close and personal...totally worth going on the

The view up close and personal…totally worth going on the “closed” path

two peas in a pod

two peas in a pod…with a waterfall behind us!

After the hike, Lex headed to work and I headed home! I was tired, my hip was tired, and I needed to prepare for the week. I was sad the weekend was coming to an end but I knew this weekend was just a sneak peek of how amazing the summer was going to be! More parks, hikes, dates, and good times are in store.

Until next time…xoxo….Julie

Sunshine and Margaritas

I have been a slacker on the blog lately (lots of fun things have been going on) but the sunshine in Seattle this weekend has me thinking about my upcoming trip to Phoenix and my “recent” (a month or so ago is recent, right?) trip to Mexico with Leana Layfield.

Would you ever agree to go on a trip that you know nothing about? I usually wouldn’t but I figured, Leana was planning it so I was good to go (she is the ultimate planner). All I knew was that I was flying in to Phoenix and we were driving down to Mexico the next morning for a weekend of fun in the sun. Other than that, I knew nothing – which was actually kind of fun. At the time I agreed to go on the trip, I had no clue that I would be on a temporary assignment (now permanent) on 1st shift so this ended up being a nice little break in the 3 week (ha! 3 weeks…I should have known better) assignment. I completely disconnected from work (and life) on this trip and turned my phone off…only had the iPad to text dad his morning messages.

So, we got up, packed the car, and drove down to Mexico Friday morning (like how I fast forward through all of that?). I am not going to lie, I was a little nervous when we crossed the border and it was mainly dirt roads and people who didn’t follow the streets signs very well…but I have faith in Leana and just sat back while she drove. We pulled up to the hotel and my nerves were calmed! We had a fabulous first floor room with a view of the water…doesn’t get much better than that! We unpacked the car, changed clothes, and headed out for the sunset boat ride. The boat ride was fun – even with me getting motion sick (which I should have expected).

The girls on the boat..at the beginning

The girls on the boat..at the beginning

Trying to get my head and stomach from hurting

Trying to get my head and stomach from hurting

Me and Leana all bundled up

Me and Leana all bundled up

Captain Leana

Captain Leana

And the sun is going down

And the sun is going down

The next morning we woke up, grabbed a bite to eat, and then parked our butts on the beach all day. We spent the day soaking up the sun, reading books, and chatting…

Yep - I am all kinds of Seattle with my technology at the beach!

Yep – I am all kinds of Seattle with my technology at the beach!

Pretty girls and our hats at the beach - all about the skin protection!

Pretty girls and our hats at the beach – all about the skin protection!

After a day on the beach, we cleaned up, grabbed dinner, and headed to a little local bar for drinks and people watching and memory making.

Group selfie at dinner!

Group selfie at dinner!

Letting loose and getting the party started

Letting loose and getting the party started

My teacher of letting loose and having fun - Leana

My teacher of letting loose and having fun – Leana

Pretty girls at the bar

Pretty girls at the bar

Who needs a barstool when you have a swing?

Who needs a barstool when you have a swing?

Group shot at the end of the night

Group shot at the end of the night

The next day, we went through the same routine – breakfast, beach, clean up, dinner… and then a really cramped car ride back to the hotel…

Girls before dinner..

Girls before dinner..

Yeah - 6 people in a really tiny car...it's how we do it!

Yeah – 6 people in a really tiny car…it’s how we do it!

The next morning, we woke up, had breakfast, packed up, and then made a quick stop by JJ’s bar to get one last picture…

Of course, Leana can convince me to climb on the bar for a picture

Of course, Leana can convince me to climb on the bar for a picture

After this we headed back to the states and reality…but not before getting dressed up and going out for drinks one last time….I am beginning to think that is how the “pretty girls” roll ūüôā There it is folks – Mexico in a nutshell.

Until next time….xoxo…Julie