2016: A Year in Review

2016 was a big year for us. We traveled quite a bit & then we sold everything we owned & moved across the country!

January

Puerto Rico! We took a delayed honeymoon to Puerto Rico & spent our days lounging by the pool & hiking in the rain forest! We hiked up a closed highway for an amazing view & then swam in a crowded and cold waterfall in the only tropical rain forest in the US. I brought back a mild case of Zika but the fried plantains were totally worth it.

February

Amsterdam! We took a whirlwind trip to Amsterdam after finding an amazing deal on flights. Mike forfeited his license at a bike rental shop so we could make our flight on time. We loved riding around & exploring the city & dreaming about raising our future babies in such a family friendly city. I sold my first painting!

March

Paperwork! After returning from Europe we finally worked on our name change documents. It’s complicated to change your name & it’s even more complicated when it’s a full name change (not a maiden name). I had been suffering in pain for a long time & finally found a diagnosis. I received my acceptance to the University of Washington. I was accepted into my first juried show!

April

I started treatment for my pain & was finally able to see some minimal relief. I was anxiously awaiting word on my application to Portland State University. Eventually I heard that I was not accepted to the program & was reconsidering our move to the West Coast. I sold a number of paintings in a prominent local show.

May

I spent some time in New Hampshire for my sister’s graduation. I accepted my position at UW. A quick turnaround lead me to Seattle for a few days in search of an apartment for us. I met some amazing & friendly humans who helped me get a better sense of the city & which neighborhood to live in. I sold 8 paintings & had my first solo show!

June

June was a blur! My doctor recommended surgery to cure my pain & we were able to schedule it for just 2 weeks later. I spent 2 weeks on bedrest post-op & the rest of my time was packing, packing, packing.

July

I left my job on a Friday & we left for Seattle the very next morning! We spent 2 weeks driving across the country, camping in national forests & failing to shower or brush my hair for many days on end. There were a lot of pit toilets. We cooked our meals over open fires & enjoyed a lot of canned beans. We arrived in Seattle with the dogs (still married) & picked up our few possessions from the train station. Our bikes arrived in the mail & we furnished our apartment with a combination of Goodwill & IKEA furniture. We sold the Prius & became a car-free family!

August

I did a lot of healing in August. My body was still exhausted from the surgery & our trip so I spent a lot of time reading on the couch. I also started learning to play the ukulele. I got back on my bike! It was slow at first but I was able to ride comfortably quite quickly after hopping back on.

September

My dad came for a visit & we did all of the touristy Seattle things. I headed up to Vancouver with my bike via the train for Pro Walk / Pro Bike / Pro Place. I met some fabulous new friends & made great connections with people working in urban planning! We took the dogs on our first true Seattle adventure: camping at Fay Bainbridge (& pt.2)

October

My program was in full swing! Lots of new people to meet & remembering how to be a student again. I went on my first Critical Lass with some amazing ladies & a ton of positive feminine energy. I thought about adding another 2 years & an extra degree onto my program. I found out I was pregnant! And we didn’t really know what to think because we were so sure it wouldn’t happen after years of me being told it would be difficult & I would need fertility treatment. Turns out doctors are wrong & it can happen the first time!

November

Being pregnant got more real & I felt nauseous tired much of the time. By the time Thanksgiving rolled around I was over this quarter & just wanted to be done with classes! I decided to switch my focus to Transportation Planning & take electives in Urban Design. I won’t be staying on for the additional degree. We took our bikes on the train to Portland for the weekend & enjoyed exploring a new city.

December

Finals seemed to stretch on forever & I think I spent 2 weeks not sleeping at all. I slept for 18 hours straight after submitting my last paper & then all of the pregnancy sickness caught up with me. Much of the last 2 weeks has been spent in bed eating saltines & drinking gatorade which has been less than ideal. I’m hoping to finish out the year on a positive note & eat a real meal (& keep it down) for dinner!

Here’s to finding out what 2017 has to offer!

 

 

 

Bike Camping at Fay Bainbridge pt. 2

Yay for part two! Here’s part one.

Okay so we’ve arrived at the campsite! It’s a small place with most of the sites backing the parking lot on one side & the water on the other side. There’s official hiker/biker camping but it’s really close to the parking lot side & it was full when we arrived.

We bumped into the host after paying ($7/person) & he suggested that we camp next to the kayaker campsite. This was further from the parking lot but still had a picnic table, adirondack chairs, and a fire pit. Our site was 200 yds from the bathrooms which was far in the middle of the night, but still doable.



I love open fire cooking so we made black beans (remember to bring a can opener if you bring canned beans!), sweet potatoes, and onions for dinner & polished it off with a growler of icy cold beer from Fremont Brewery (in our Miir growler) and skittles from the ferry.


We sat around the fire for a while & played some music before heading to bed around 10. Tug wasn’t amused that we were camping again & both dogs reminded us that despite the purchase of the 3 person tent (upgraded from 2 person), there would be no additional personal space gains because they need to sleep right ON TOP of us. YAY!


In the morning we took the same route back to the ferry & the crossing was beautiful! The ferry was crowded & a woman at the campsite was worried that we would have to wait for a long time because of the Seahawks game but Mike reminded her that bikes board first.


We were pretty tired in the morning & I didn’t charge my battery overnight so I wanted to conserve energy & so we ended up taking quite a few breaks along the way. A guy on the ferry said we were “fast” but he also assumed that it should’ve taken us more than an hour to ride 4 miles (he passed us as we turned onto 305). We bought chocolate from some girls selling it at the terminal & chatted with their moms about cargo bikes. One of them assumed we were going to put the bikes in our waiting car at the terminal & then seemed very worried when we told her that no, we don’t have a car & yes, we are going to ride through Seattle to get home.


We opted for a longer, less direct, but more off-street & more flat route than on the way there. This is the same route I rode with Madi the other day. There are really only 2 uphill portions outside of the approach to our building.

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We were exhausted by the time we got home & Mike ended up walking the last 3 blocks with the dogs. Kunu tried to chew his way out but didn’t make too much headway although he did manage to add some new teeth holes to the carrier.

If we were going to do it again we’d leave them at home to relax with a sitter & spend the weekend by ourselves.

Bike Camping at Fay Bainbridge pt. 1

Woo! Bike Camping!

We did a quick overnight last Saturday out to Fay Bainbridge with the dogs. Yes, that’s right, I rode around on the worst tour ever & then immediately switched bikes to go camping because I am insane!

Also I packed too much! I really love cooking over a fire pit while camping & we camped at several locations that didn’t sell wood this summer. I didn’t want to be out of luck when we arrived so we brought our own. We now know this is unnecessary but at least we had it when we needed it.


I rode the newly decorated Yuba and was tempted to rip off the spiderwebs because they kept getting caught in my leg stubble & pulling with each & every pedal stroke. But I did not because apparently I have the patience of a saint.

Mike had Tug & Kunu in the trailer as well as my ridiculously giant (and yet oh so comfy) overkill 32 degree sleeping bag. It’s the antithesis of backpacking gear but I like both how squishy & soft it is and how much room there is in the hips. My much more practical lightweight bag is tighter through the hips & I don’t sleep as well in it. I didn’t get a picture, but it packs down (in a compression bag) to about the size of a toddler, so Mike had it bungeed to his rear rack.


We ordered more bungee cargo nets but they hadn’t come in yet so I used the strap from the yuba bag to keep the wood attached. It leaned somewhat precariously but didn’t fall off so yay me!


On the way to the ferry we took the route I knew, even though it wasn’t the flatest or most direct. But as someone who gets lost very easily (& can’t take directions) I wanted to prevent any arguments so lead us on a familiar route that I had taken with Madi the week before.

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We rode the BGT to the cycle track on 34th, over the Fremont Bridge, along the Ship Canal Trail to the new Westlake lanes (thankfully we didn’t run into any tacks) then rode up the sidewalk on Mercer to get to the bike lane here, turned onto 5th, through Seattle Center to W Harrison, down to 3rd and up over the railroad tracks to the Elliot Bay Trail. From here we rode through Olympic Sculpture Park & along Alaskan Way to get to the ferry terminal.

We paid with our Orca Cards & arrived just in time to ride onto the next ferry! I was worried about the bikes tipping (because of the precariously placed wood) but everything went well! I tied the bikes up with the rope provided, but I don’t actually think it did anything.

Once on board we brought the dogs up to the sun deck & bought a much needed cheeseburger to share (not with the dogs). Luckily they were pretty patient during the unloading process. I’d guess we had them in the trailer for about 5 minutes not moving which is 3 minutes longer than it usually takes for Kunu to try and escape.

Upon arrival we huffed & we puffed up the hills along 305. This was not a pleasant ride. But I did like the sidepath & bike bridge where the shoulder disappeared. Alas, it ended & we were back riding next to cars going 65 mph. Yay!

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I did NOT like the “bike lane” at lights that asked people riding bikes to merge over car traffic (LOLZ 65 mph) and ride in between two lanes of moving traffic (straight & right turning). They were barely 4 ft wide & felt far too dangerous so we stuck to the shoulder & checked carefully for potential right hooks. It took us a long time to get there mostly because we were tired & we didn’t want to get lost & have to backtrack up any hills so we checked the directions a lot.

After the final slog up a GIANT MOUNTAIN followed immediately by a descent down said GIANT MOUNTAIN we arrived!

See pt. 2 (coming soon) for more about our camping adventure!