The Path of Totality

It may be the start of a new weekend, but I want to do a quick scenes from the weekend before it’s obsolete!
Well, we can’t win’em all, so this is our camping/eclipse recap. Check in tomorrow for the most recent weekend recap.

Last weekend at the crack of dawn (9am) we set out on our Seattle to McMinnville expedition to view the total solar eclipse, or as marketed at the local Fred Meyer “The Great American Solar Eclipse”.

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Despite warnings from WSDOT and ODOT, the traffic to Oregon was seemingly better than an average Saturday on I5 South. Any car ride longer than 3 hours feels like eternity and in my eyes requires multiple stops to break up the drive, so once we hit Portland we grabbed lunch and rested. A few hundred dollars and bag full of new clothes later, we drove to the local river, pumped up our inflatable paddleboards and cruised along the Tualatin river.

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After a good hour of slow paddling, we rolled up the boards and finished the drive home only to eat dinner and crash from a long day.

Sunday included winetasting under sunny skies and fighting off yellow jackets with forks. The men in our lives are fearless when it comes to these pests, hand them a fork and the bees won’t stand a chance.

Going into the eclipse I was excited about the event, but felt like I would have been content seeing a 95% eclipse. After experiencing a total eclipse I’d advocate for all to take the time to see a total eclipse if they have the time/resources. The change in temperature, the chirping crickets, and the birds that went silent completed the entire experience and something only those at 100% totality will experience.

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If you missed the eclipse this time around, hopefully you can make the trek to Texas and witness the next event.

In an effort to avoid the eclipse return traffic, we planned to camp for a night in Astoria at Fort Stevens State Park.  This state park offers almost 500 varying campsites ranging from yurt, RV, and tent sites; we managed to secure the last spot at the state park, I think it’s time to buy a lottery ticket- talk about lucky!

We “baked” cinnamon the next morning in an orange rind on our camping stove. Everything tastes better when cooked outside, but these cinnamon rolls would crush the competition at your favorite breakfast spot.

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Check out this glaze!

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We barely explored the sites of the park, but managed to walk the old fort just off the water and drive to the beach to see the old shipwreck. If we ever make it back to this campground we’ll have to bring bikes or borrow a set of cruisers to bike the trails.

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It shaped up to be a full weekend and my only night in a tent this summer! The PNW realistically has 1 full month of summer left, so I’ll need to make an effort for one more weekend of camping.

 

Cheers to a new week!

 

 

 

Trip Planning

The countdown begins! In just over two months I’ll be returning from a trip to Croatia/Germany/TBD.

I found cheap tickets (we’re talking under $400) roundtrip from SFO–>DBV for either 8 days or 16 days. After some debate it was decided that 8 days is too short, so 16 days was the best option to create a full itinerary.  The website that I swear by to find cheap tickets is Secret Flying.com, this is only my first purchase, but we have friends on their 4th trip using this service.

At this moment, it looks like our flight change won’t allow us to experience Oktoberfest, but we may be able to catch the day after events. We’ll just have to return and see, drink, and eat Oktoberfest in full force at a later date. This allows us ample time to island hop around Croatia, visit a national park (like the image below), museums, and kayak around Dubrovinik.

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We’re still in the early stages of planning and sourcing tips from friends and co-workers that have recently visited the country.

Help a girl out!

  • If you’ve recently spent time in Europe, what’s a must-do?
  • Are there any Fall activities to scope out in October?

Virtual Coffee Date

If we were having coffee right now I’d share with you…

The extra space on my back porch step to soak up these August sunbeams. I can’t get enough of the warmth on my face paired with my iced Americano; I wish I could spend the majority of my summer days in the outdoors!

The move from bumping downtown to a quiet neighborhood with a lake has grown on me. If I’m missing early in the morning, you’ll find me sitting on a dock watching the water. [Next time I’ll learn to crop and size these clips, but for now here’s a peek from my favorite dock]

I want to repeat the wedding adventures of the summer and hangout more with my KAO girls in Bozeman. Weddings are becoming mini college reunions and I LOVE it.

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The inflatable stand-up paddleboards that Will and I each purchased were hands down my favorite investment of this summer. I haven’t mastered the standing portion of my SUP, but I’ve got the float and paddle down solid. Come paddle with me!

Despacito is the song of the summer.

DespacitoWe ran Ragnar again this year and our team placed 23rd out of 100~ with many a mishap along the way.

Our home was a revolving door in July. The census ranged from four persons to one in a house meant for three. This made for many a throwback backyard parties and a surplus of red solo cups. I’m missing the chaos, but enjoying the routine our core roommate group is forming.

I’m ready for a work/workplace change, but that’s slow and I’m (as usual) indecisive. In the meantime, the shorter than average days give me great flexibility and I should use it more wisely…

I have a couple trips coming up, one of which is to Oregon for the eclipse!

Your turn:
What are you drinking?
Where’s your next adventure?
How have you enjoyed this summer?

 

 

Havana, Cuba

February was a whirlwind of traveling: three cities, two different travel companions, two beaches, in only in seven days! I sipped on frothy butter beer in Diagon Alley with other aspiring wizards in Orlando, Florida. From there we rented a car and experienced my first toll plaza and turnpike as we cruised cruised down to Miami. We witnessed a beautiful wedding for our Seattle friend, worked on our vitamin D, and got up close and personal with an iguana. From South Beach, I parted ways with those friends to meet up with another buddy on foreign soil in Havana, Cuba.

Havana nights, y’all? $3 mojitos are cheaper than the water, so ensure you’re properly hydrated before you’re arrival, if you catch my drift…

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My hometown friend flew across the country on a whim to explore Havana with me for only the weekend!

In hindsight, ALWAYS book more time than you think you need, we needed many more days to do it all, but better to leave wanting more than overstay our welcome?

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This Seattle girl hadn’t seen sun in over 3 months, it’d been so long that I almost forgot items you need for sunny days, i.e. SUNGLASSES. I whipped those bad boys out for the first time in 6 months and happily glued them to my face. 

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Seeing the sunshine was like seeing the world in color for the first time or a child admiring their first crab on a beach. Feeling the sun beating down on our shoulders in the afternoon after months of stale grey weather was pure bliss.

 

MONEY
Havana is only a 50 min hop from Miami and you can buy your visa at the gate. Bring all cash, as Havana is a cash economy. 

Beware! 

Once you run out of cash you are out of luck and better start washing dishes to earn your ride home. Bring extra.

INTERNET
Wifi is essentially non-existent in Cuba. They have unmarked wi-fi plazas, you’ll know you’ve found one when dozens of tourists and locals alike are: facetiming; skyping, reading news, or talking on the phone in a middle of the street. Thomas and I both felt that the forced disconnection from the rest of the world was a highlight of the trip. How often are you REQUIRED to be present because you’re left with no other option? Never.

Our phones were only used for offline translation, photography, music, notes, and calculations. Whatever else was happening in the world did not matter because we couldn’t respond or take any action, entirely stress free, that feeling is priceless.

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LANGUAGE
My Spanish is arguable rusty. Communicating with our AirBnB host was a challenge and we learned a few phrases along the way. Although she spoke 0 English, she laughed about the language barrier,

“Ellas español egual mi ingles” 

There are places to stay that do offer English speaking hosts, but we were looking for authenticity on a budget. It was perfect, we ordered breakfast every morning and had a surprise egg variation thanks to our miscommunications. (We’d do it again)

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Most Memorable Sight
The fort (Castillo de San Carlos de la Cabana)! Once we deciphered from our host that there is not boat (we later learned, yes, there perhaps is a boat) to the other side of the water we planned our day around this attraction. We planned to watch the cannonball firing reenactment that night. 

This was worth the trip! 

We arrived just as the rain poured, but luckily, cleared out as the reenactment began, 9:00 P.M. on the dot.

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I stood on the ledge of this fort, but knowing my reaction to loud noises, one misstep i’d be off the ledge and a few hundred feet. I repositioned myself in the crowd to watch the firing.

Highly recommended! 

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We also stopped at the revolutionary museum, swung by the Rum Distillery, attempted to club at the Art Factory, and enjoyed many delicious meals.

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Book your flights! Tour Cuba before it changes (for the better) and enjoy a tech free vacation.