Zach’s Birthday Adventure

Zach and I have had a very busy couple of weeks being traveling fools!

On Memorial Day weekend, we took a quick trip up to the Gulf Islands in Canada. We celebrated Zach’s 32nd birthday in style by taking a kayak tour off Vancouver Island and to some of the smaller islands nearby. We really wanted to see whales, because of course, but were not that lucky.

We did see a few cute seals, a family of sea otters and some porpoises. Not bad ūüôā But, since we didn’t see whales or orcas, I guess we are going to have to go back.

seal kayak

While seeing the wildlife was wonderful, Zach’s favorite part of his birthday kayaking tour was something else entirely.

In our small kayaking group was a family of four and a grandma. From the very beginning the grandma said that she didn’t want to be there and was only participating because her son was forcing her. Unhappily, she boarded the double kayak that she was sharing with an instructor and off we went.

Things were going smoothly until the teenage daughter almost ran into my kayak. She should have just let us bump, but instead she overcorrected and went down. Her entire kayak flipped over and she came up sputtering. Luckily, our guides were wonderful and calm. They helped her into their kayak and started to drain hers of its excess water.

The only non-calm one was the grandma. She started screaming at her son, “I don’t want to be here!” Her pleas to leave quickly escalated into threats, with her telling her son that she wanted to drown him. Zach had to turn his kayak around so that no one would see how hard he was laughing at the whole scenario.

After that entertaining fiasco, one of the guides took us away from the group so that we could experience a little bit more and not be held back by the screaming grandma or kids.

It ended up being just the three of us heading out to different islands and kayaking through the tides. By the end of the day my arms were exhausted but it was worth it. We had a great time.

The Gulf Islands are beautiful and if you ever have the chance, you should go. And, if you are so inclined, take a kayak tour through Blue Dog Kayaking.

After our weekend away, we went away again. This time to New Mexico! I will write all about that in the next post, so that this one won’t be too long.


SPRING BREAK and March (Birthday) Madness!

Exploding Cake

The title of the post may be misleading,¬†it is not really¬†my spring break (because that isn’t a thing after college); it is Zach’s. Though, it is my birthday week. When I was in college, I always thought it was great that my birthday fell during spring break. I could always relax, go on a cool trip and not have to worry about studying.

Less cool, is that I was born during March Madness. Literally. My dad tried to watch the tournament while my mom was in labor. She had to yell at him to turn the TV off because doctors and nurses, who were not her doctors and nurses, kept coming into the room to talk to him and to check the scores of the games.

Growing up, this meant that the little girls coming over for birthday parties would hear an orchestra of obscenities flying from the living room as my dad yelled at the TV. In Utah, where the culture is predominantly Mormon, this is kind of a big deal. My dad isn’t Mormon, but most of my friends growing up were and Mormons don’t swear. I’m sure more than a few kids went home from my birthday parties knowing brand new words.

The year I turned 15 my mom was out of town, so my dad was in charge of being the adult at my birthday party. He promised that he wouldn’t cuss out the TV when my friends were over. And… he did his best.

That night, after my party, I told him, “Dad, you were swearing a lot when my friends were over.” He denied it, said that he had purposely held back and that he was sure he hadn’t let anything slip. He was so convinced that he was right¬†that he called my friend Shae, who only lived two doors down. He got her on the phone and she told him the same thing I had, he did say, “quite a few bad words,” while they were over.

I don’t know that point of this story, except that every year my birthday has coincided with a lot of basketball.

Except, this year! Zach and I are going to Oslo. We leave on my birthday and come home a week later. So finally, 27 years into this thing, I have figured out how to escape basketball on my birthdayРflee the country.

My Very First Snow Day


It is snowing here in Seattle, which is not something that occurs often. We have just a few inches of snow and the flakes are the soft and fluffy type that everyone loves. It isn’t a bad storm. It is a nice storm. However, since this is Seattle, where it rarely snows, everyone is losing their minds.

Every single one of my friends here has posted some version of, “Look at this Winter Wonderland!” or, if they are not Seattle natives it is closer to, “Can you believe the city is shut down for this sh*t?”

I’m on the “can’t believe they shut everything down” side, but it is still kind of nice. The city looks beautiful and the University of Washington canceled school, so Zach is parked on the couch for the day.

I have never had a snow day before. Northern Utah will not shut down for anything. When I was a junior at Weber State University, there was a big snow storm rolling in that everyone nicknamed, Stormageddon. I had an evening class that day and was hoping that I wouldn’t have to go. Driving up the side of a mountain in a snow storm in the dark in my little Toyota was not my idea of fun. But, they didn’t cancel so I still had to go. I passed car after car that had slid off the road on the way to class and had my fair share of scares.

The next year, there was a massive windstorm. Winds reached up to 102 miles per hour. Trees were blown over and I was blown halfway across campus. Some very nice stranger, had to grab my arm and walk me into a building. He literally pulled me up off the stairs that I was braced against and took me into the student union building.

I think they technically canceled classes that day, but they wouldn’t let us leave the buildings since it was deemed too dangerous with all of the debris in the air, so I still had to go to class. Since I went to all of my classes that day anyway, I don’t count this as a day off.

I’m not sure that I can count today either. Since I don’t work in an office here, it isn’t really a snow day for me. But I really want to count it anyway because I’m 26 and … SNOW DAY!


Exploring Seattle & Hating It (a tiny bit) Less

It’s been a couple of months since I have posted. Things have been up and down. I don’t hate it here everyday now, just sometimes. Zach has been incredibly busy with school. I love that he is working hard but some days, I barely see him.

It isn’t all bad though.

Since I last posted, we’ve done a ton of stuff. I met Kate Middleton, my mom and grandma visited and Zach has midterms this week. Also, I now have TWO friends. To clarify, I didn’t make any friends, I just got incredibly lucky and reconnected with old friends who now live in Seattle as well.

Going out and exploring has been good for me. For the obvious reasons of not being home alone, but also — if I can get to know Seattle a little bit better, I’ll hate it less. On my super optimistic days, I can see Seattle as a wonderful opportunity for Zach and I to have amazing adventures! And really, though he is busy at school most days, there is plenty for me to get out and see on my own.

When my mom and grandma came, we got the Seattle City Pass. It takes it you through all of the most popular touristy things to do in Seattle, like the Space Needle and aquarium.

And, even though they just left and we had a very busy three days, I already have a new list of things to do the next time they, or anyone else, visits. As far as planning for visitors and date nights in Seattle, Zach and I will never run out of things to do here.

For date night this month, I planned an adventure out to the Ballard Locks,¬†which were absolutely amazing. They give free, guided tours of the history of the locks and how they operate. No one else was in our tour, so we got the whole hour with the tour guide to ourselves. Learning about the 100-year old lock system was amazing. I didn’t think I would be as interested in it as I was, but now I’ll recommend a visit to anyone who comes here. And, we got to catch the end of the Coho salmon run. There were only a few fish still coming through, however we are going back to see the seaward migration in April and again in July for the upstream migration.

We ended the day with a homemade brownie and whisky ice cream sundae from the Kiss Cafe. Both the activity and the restaurant get five stars, so today was a win for Seattle.