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!

 

 

 

Biking to REI

I had to made a swap at REI. My dad bought me a new jacket for my birthday but it didn’t quite fit so I ordered a larger size to the store. I decided to wear the jacket over & return it so I wouldn’t have to lug an extra coat around.

REI is only about 4 miles from me by the most direct route but Eastlake is a total bummer so I decided on a very calm yet very circuitous route. My route was very flat – the only hills being on Harrison & the climb up the 4 blocks at the end back to home.Screen Shot 2016-12-17 at 5.25.38 PM.png

I rode the Burke Gilman Trail to the Fremont Bridge & then hopped on the Westlake cycle track until I got to 9th. I took 9th to Harrison then over to Yale and down to John because the bike parking is located on the Eastlake Side of the building.

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The ride was pretty calm & there weren’t too many people out until I got over to Yale which houses the parking garage for REI. This is a mess. People are angry.

Despite wayfinding signs getting to the bike parking is tricky. The signs all seem to point in contradictory directions & they use the term “bikes” to mean “mountain bike test trail” NOT to be confused with “bike parking”.


The parking is covered & close to the exit – although weirdly far from the entrance – of the store. I was disappointed in the installation of the racks. They’re bolted together to a stringer that connects 8 or so racks but this puts them too close together & the stringer made it hard for me to set my kickstand. My bike JUST fit in the rack but it meant I was taking up 2 spaces instead of 1. There was also a limited number of racks for the MASSIVE number of car spaces in the parking garage. It was token bike parking & that’s a bummer.

The store is huge. I thought I was in an IKEA. There’s a play area for kids & a restaurant & 8 million lines for returns & online orders. It was packed the weekend before the holidays & wait times at the checkout were 30 – 40 minutes.

I was able to swap out one jacket for the next size & headed back out on my cold, snowflakey ride home.

Holiday Tree by Bike

This week we biked over to pick up our holiday tree!

We usually get a tree from Whole Foods because they sell tabletop trees that come with stands. We only have 8 ornaments so a tabletop tree is pretty much all we can decorate.

Unfortunately our local Whole Foods here only had full-sized trees for sale.

Lisa recommended we head to Fred Myer so Mike called them up & they said they had plenty of trees!

Before we rode over I HAD to decorate Bikey by adding tinsel, and jingle bells from the dollar store. I also picked up some new battery powered lights to replace the dead ones I had on the basket. These lights are part solid/part blinky which gives it a nice effect. I wanted to add a giant glittery bow to the front of the basket but it hung down too low & bumped into the front tire so I tacked it up at home instead.


The closest Fed Myer is right off the Burke Gilman Trail which made for a very nice ride over. Upon arrival we didn’t see a great selection of tabletop trees but there was a 4′ tree that caught our eye! It was pretty full & we thought we could make enough space for it.

After choosing the tree we headed inside to find a tree stand and some extra tinsel to fill out our tree. Fred Myer is such a strange place! I thought it was a grocery store but it’s actually more like a Target.

When we headed back out after paying for the tree the guy seemed concerned about us putting it on the back of my bike. We strapped it down with 2 cargo nets & it seemed stable. We chose to put it sideways this year and it worked pretty well!

I bumped into a few bollards & fence posts along the way so we ended up stopping for an adjustment in front of Solsticio. When we got home it was still balanced perfectly so the adjustment must’ve done the trick!


We’ve got a few more cinnamon ornaments to bake before we’re done decorating the tree but we’re excited for our very first floor-sized tree!

Also here’s Tug as an elf!

Seasonal Bike Decor

I love to decorate my bike. I think its such a fun way to dress her up for the season! We live in a tiny apartment I like to use all of my creative decorating energy on Bikey!

For Halloween I went spooky with the big skull and tiny little skeletons (you can see their legs dangling).

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For Thanksgiving (womp on picture taking) I swapped out the skull for a pumpkin that said “THANKS”. I also ditched the little skeleton garland, but kept the fall leaves.

Holiday time meant adding tinsel and jingle bells! You can’t see them here,  but I kept the fun lights (they’re actually little flowers) under the tinsel which gave off an awesome glow at night. As an added bonus, the bells festively alerted people walking to my presence!

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I know it’s already February but I just updated for spring yesterday. I went with floral branches wrapping around the sides with some pink peonies in front and orange ranunculus on the sides. I secured it all with zip ties but kept it messy so it looks more natural.

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I also raised my handlebars an inch (!!!) and I love it!

Do you decorate your bike for the seasons?