Where is she now?

Find out what great cities I've lived in and visited on my adventures as a traveling P.T.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Portland, OR

My friend Kristen and I had been wanting to go to Portland since we got out to Seattle. I discovered one of my college friends lives here so we met up with her and spent the weekend exploring Portland which I loved. Why did I love it? Maybe even more so than Seattle? Because it was sunny, there was great eclectic and unique shopping at the Saturday market and along NW 23rd street, waterfalls with hiking 30 miles away, no uber crowded streets. How about all the green space, including the Chinese gardens, Japanese gardens and rose gardens, Forest Park, and Washington park. And where else in the US or world can you stand and see 4 mountains--Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Rainier? Thanks to Sarah for showing us around!

Juneau, Day 3--Approaching the Glacier on foot and water

Since approaching the Mendenhall glacier by air wasn't enough, we HAD to approach it by foot and by self propelled boat. It was my first time in a kayak and I didn't get us stuck going in circles and we didn't flip over! We started out day out by hiking to the glacier via the West Glacier Trail. As we got closer to the glacier our trail took us deeper into the woods with bright red and orange yarn tied to trees as our markers. The view once we left the woods was amazing. I felt like I was the last person on earth. You are faced with mounds and mounds of rocks that are milllions of years old. We hiked down to the ice caves and enjoyed a snack while taking it all in. It's surreal to think that I touched ice that again is millions of years old. We made our way back to forest and after several tries we found our orange and red ribbons again. Our guided kayak trip got canceled so we rented a kayak and went on the lake on our own. Thank goodness Beth has been in kayaks before. I probably would have tipped over and run into an iceberg. We got lots of awesome pics as you can see below.

Technical Difficulties

I apologize to all those who have had difficulties viewing my site. I don't know what to tell you since I'm not very tech savvy. I don't want to mess anything up. Just try and try again. It worked for my brother :)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Glass Art and Glass Blowing

I decided to take something very unique home with me from the Pacific northwest which is known for it's glass art community. I took a 2 day, 6 hour course at the Tacoma Glassblowing Studio(www.tacomaglassblowing.com) and learned how to gather, blow, and shape glass. There were only 3 students and 2 instructors so I got a lot of one on one instruction and thus made 8 items including paperweights, globes, ornaments, drinking glass, dish, and a vase. It was really fun and challenging.

Day 2 in Alaska

So, you think that nothing can outdo a helicopter ride to a glacier with a hike on the glacier? Well, think again . . . on Saturday we discovered something that is certainly on par with the helicopter trip. We took an all day "cruise" up the Tracy Arm Fjord to view the Sawyer glaciers. We got to see one "calve" which is really awesome. Still not sure if that's short for another word, but it refers to the action when pieces (massive and not so massive) break off and fall into the water. The cruise literally took all day (8am to 6pm) and we saw harbor seals, whales, eagles, tons of ice floes, and the glacier itself.

Notice the regrowth line in the last of the following 3 pictures. This glacier was up to the green regrowth line only 2 years ago. The rate at which our glaciers are receding is very alarming.

Juneau, AK

I never thought I'd travel to Alaska. I always said it was too cold and had no interest. To me, a vacation is going somewhere tropical with a warm breeze and waves hitting the beach. My mind was completely changed completely after spending a 4 day weekend with one of my best friends, Beth, who is finishing up a travel assignment in Juneau. One might think that there is nothing to do on such a small island, but there is a ton of stuff to do in Juneau and the nearby area. Flying out of Seattle was awesome because I saw endless skies of snow and glacier covered mountains. I arrived on Thurs night around 10pm and it was still light (cause they get like 20 hours of daylight during the summer--have you seen the movies Insomnia?) to go to the Mendenhall glacier and take pics. It was such an awesome introduction.

On Friday we drove around Juneau, and Douglas Island, took the tram up part of Mount Roberts and saw a bald eagle up close, hiked out to Nugget falls on Lake Mendenhall, went to a fish hatchery, and took a helicopter (what a rush!!) ride to and hiked on the Mendenhall glacier. That was the highlight of the trip!!

For more glacier photos go to Beth's on-line photo album at and check out the bottom of the page too.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Lessons Learned while in WA

I finally sat down to update my blog and let you know that I'm still here, but just haven't been feeling the love for the blog. Perhaps it's because I didn't have much to share about my first couple of weeks here in the Tacoma/Seattle area. I've learned several intersting facts about WA:

1) there really is a town called SeaTac--I just thought it was the locals way of referencing the airport;
2) there is a town called George here and there's a gorge where they have live performances (Jon Mayer was just here)--so it's known as The Gorge in George, Washington;
3) the drivers for the most part are more curteous, safer, and smarter than those in AZ, but so many of them are law abiding citizens who insist on driving exactly the speed limit and not 1 mph over only for me to get boxed in numerous times. Or how about those who still don't know that the left lane is the passing lane? They even have signs posted indicating it's state law. Perhaps I should retract my earlier statement about "smarter" drivers.
4) it doesn't rain all the time--that's just a ploy the natives use to keep others out--it was sunny every single day last week
5) the natives seem to think it gets hot and humid here--heat and humidity are relative
6) it's very green here
7) I've spent more $ on coffee in the 7 weeks I've been here than in the 10 months I was in Phoenix. One tour guide's explanation for the excessive coffee intake was the weather (who knew) and the hobby of reading (maybe the natives should review the DMV's rules of the road next time they order a venti, soy, non-fat, decaf, peppermint mocha with chocolate sprinkles, and light whip)
8) Canada's only 3 hours away by car and boat
9) my new favorite phrases are "for sure" and "right on." To be accepted into the fold, one must be sure to understand how to use these two phrases. "For sure" is used most often in the service industry (i.e. restaurants) as a response to a question and indicates the ability to fulfill the request of the guest. It is similar to "no problem." For example, I always order my water with very little ice so when I ask for it here, they reply "for sure." It took a while for me to pick up on "right on." When used by the very skilled native, it is barely noticeable with no one syllable that is emphasized. It is not intended to stand out on it's own and it usually found at the end of a sentence. It's usually said to indicate agreement or acceptance of a proposal. For example, I might tell a friend that I need to take my bike into the shop for a tune up and he would respond with a very undramatic "right on." You have to hear it used to really understand it. It's very casual, very smooth, and almost non-emotional. Most users of this phrase are men. (don't read too much into that last statement)
10) it's hilly here

Friday, April 13, 2007

Highway 1 and the Redwoods

Today I drove from Napa to Eureka, CA via the famous highway 1, aka shorline highway and pacific coast highway. It was worth the extra time!

A grove of Redwoods off of the Avenue of the Giants, the scenic route. I couldn't drive the whole way up because the road was closed d/t a mude slide! I can't believe how huge these trees are!

My car provides some perspective on the height of these trees.

Napa Valley, CA

Today I drove through the Napa valley of California. The first photo is of the rolling hills with vineyards scattered throughout.

Below is the view of the St. Supery vineyard in Oakville.

This photo is of the Peju winery where I sampled and bought some great wine.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Yosemite National Park

It is difficult for me to put into words the awe and wonder I experienced when I visited the oldest national park, Yosemite (CA), established in 1864 when president Abraham Lincoln signed papers in the first ever effort to preserve public land. I traveled there with little knowledge of the park and a vague picture in my mind. I feel blessed to have known so little before I went because it made the impact of the beauty and grandeur so much more for me. I was completely awestruck when I drove out of a 1/4 mile long tunnel to see what is known as "the tunnel view," El Capitan (on the left), Bridalveil Falls, and Half Dome (on the right). El Capitan is the world's highest monolith and attracts rock climbers from around the world.

Below is a similar view of El Capitan, Bridalveil Falls, and Half Dome on a cloudy/foggy day.

Below is Bridalveil Falls as seen from the "tunnel view."

Bridalveil Falls on a cloudy and foggy day.

Yosemite Falls from the swinging bridge on the valley floor.

If you have had the opportunity to visit one of our many national parks, consider yourself blessed. If you have not, treat yourself to God's amazing creations.