Mount Rainier…simply amazing!

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This is the view from my car while eating our sandwiches after the hike

I haven’t been posting lately because I have been spending so much time with friends in the sunshine and doing school work in the other little bit of free time I have had. With that being said, the typical Seattle “doom and gloom” weather is rolling in (with big storms this weekend) so I won’t be doing much other than schoolwork so I figured I would get motivated to do some writing for school by writing about something that was absolutely amazing and breathtaking…my climb up/around part of Mount Rainier this summer.

June 4th: a perfect day to venture out to Mount Rainier – sun shining with a few clouds scattered in the gorgeous blue sky. The night before we packed out camelbaks, some bread and lunch meat to make sandwiches, some fruit, and chips for after the hike. Of course, we also packed our hiking shoes and poles (which I will touch on shortly). We had everything ready to leave first thing in the morning!

We woke up bright and early (well, it wasn’t really bright out since we got up before the sun was out) and hit the road. Before we even drove a mile, we stopped for coffee and Joel’s brownie (it’s his breakfast before every hike now). We drove and drove and drove for what felt like forever but I think it was only maybe 2 hours (cue “are we there yet?”) until we got there. I forget which gate we went in but we had about a 20 minute drive once we got in the park until we reached our destination (I think Paradise was where we started – that is really the name). I don’t know why they call it Paradise but it could definitely be because some of the magical sites you see along the way like these:

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This pops up out of nowhere along the winding road. **hits the brakes to get a picture**

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I wonder why they call this Reflection Lake 🙂

The parking lot was full so we made out own parking spot about half a mile down. From there, we began our trek. The hiking poles – you remember those? Well, someone (aka: Joel) told me that I wouldn’t them so I should just leave them in the car because he doesn’t want me to complain when I end up carrying them since “they won’t work in the snow.” Well, let me just tel you this – that was the LAST time I listened to him about my hiking poles! I believe the first 15 20 minutes I complained whined (yep, that’s me) about not having them because I would take one step in the snow and slide back 2 steps. Once I realized whining wasn’t going to help me and that Joel would just continue walking and leave me that I might as well save my breath and get to stepping!

We climbed and climbed and climbed and came across this amazing little spot without snow that you could sit and overlook everything below and miles into the distance. We sat there for a bit to enjoy the quiet (not many people made it that far or to that side – not going to lie, I think I resisted a little because I was scared), the scenery, and watch some people training for the climb and overnight stay at the top.

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The view of the mountain from our little spot

After sitting there and enjoying a few snacks (those tend to make me happy so  stop whining and complaining – what can I say, I get hangry!) we continued our trek upward. The scenery was breathtaking and no words can really describe the experience.  We didn’t go all the way to the top but I can only imagine how life-changing that experience would be – if only I was 95% more in shape 🙂

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A different view from the hike (I am facing Rainier). Simply beautiful everywhere you look!

Who would have thought you actually be warm in capris and tank top while your feet and stepping on snow? Not me! Who would think to continue to apply sunscreen so you don’t get burned? Not us! We hiked for about 3 hours and would have loved to keep going but the sun was melting the now making it very hard to keep going (yep, my hip started to get tired which makes my knee hurt) so we enjoyed the view a little bit longer and took in every bit of the experience that we could.

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Pretty far up but still a long ways to go….I am going to miss this…

We decided to started heading back since it was getting colder, the snow was melting, and my hip (and knee) were killing me. I will admit, if I had brought a light jacket and my hiking poles, I would have pushed through the pain to keep going. We got back to the car and made sandwiches to eat with a snow-covered mountain view. It was an incredible experience and I would do it all over again…but with my hiking poles! If you ever get the chance to go to Mount Rainier – I would highly recommend it – even if you don’t hike, just driving through the National Park is incredible!

Until my next hike…xoxo…Julie

 

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A St Patty’s Day Plegge Party…

After spending a fabulous long weekend in Phoenix with Leana, sunshine, and baseball, I was having a hard time coming back to Seattle, rain clouds, and no baseball…BUT, I knew I had a wonderful weekend (Saturday night) to look forward to.

Unlike most weekends, I didn’t book tons of things to do…instead, I made a few plans and decided I would relax and unpack in between things planned. The fabulous, and relaxing weekend began with me sleeping in until 7:30 on Saturday! Yes, that is right, 7:30…and that is AM! I moved from my bed to my blue, comfy, reclining chair (that my awesome friend fixed for me a few months ago) and enjoyed not one, but two cups of coffee. After that, my friend took my to pick up my car (my 1st baby), Shaniqua, or SheShe for short. She had been dropped off before my vacation to get her recall taken care of and a few others things to get her feeling fabulous again. Since I was already up north, I decided to hit up Eddie Bauer for a new pair of jeans (a girl can never have too many, right?) and a new sweater (I had been eyeing it and it was 50% off plus another 10% off). Unfortunately (fortunately for my wallet), I didn’t have time to look anywhere else because I had to jet down to my friend house in Ballard for a skype call for Phi Mu. Little did I know, I was going to meet a Phi Mu who is from The University of Tennessee (woohoo Kappa chapter) but living up here in Seattle helping out the chapter during their first year back on University of Washington’s campus. Such a small world sometimes.

After that, I headed home to get ready for my wonderful friend’s St Patty’s Day party. I whipped up a delicious Bailey’s Irish Cream Dip…it went so nicely with the graham cracker sticks and was a big hit at the party. I even had a green bowl to put it all in (I know…such an adulting moment)!

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Bailey’s Irish Cream dip…yummy yummy!

I am always envious of people who have a holiday shirt/sweater but never invest in one for a party because I figure I will go straight up introvert and back out at the last minute – but not this time…I had a shirt and was ready to mingle at the party. The friends have the party are such sweet people that I figured anyone at their party was good people – or good enough 🙂

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Come on in!

The food at the party was delicious, the entertainment was fabulous, and the evening overall was wonderful! So wonderful, I even stayed until 9:45 (yeah, I normally go to bed between 8 and 9)!

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Twinsies with a Jr Host (one of my friend’s daughters)…proud of our holiday shirts

After a busy day Saturday, Sunday just had a few things planned and an afternoon nap was definitely on the list….especially during the big windstorm. Coming back from vacation is never easy, but knowing you have a weekend with friends, parties, and an afternoon nap makes it easier. What do you like to do get back into the swing of things after vacation?

Until next time…xoxo…Julie