Written March 15, 2021
Experienced March 15-16, 2020
It’s pretty incredible to think one year ago, I was sitting with my friends, enjoying a Reuben with a gorgeous view of Mount Rainier. We had been nervous our trip would be canceled with the pending pandemic, as we began hearing about things closing and changing in the world we knew. Yet, our reservation persevered and were amongst last groups to stay in the Mount Tahoma Trails Association hut system for 2020 (…and 2021 thus far, as they are still closed!).
Waking up to the sun rising on Mount Rainier, we didn’t know what would be in store when we returned to the city and cell phone service. Our innocence and sense of presence was slowly washed away in the coming weeks, yet these moments of mountain respite carried us into an incredibly tumultuous 2020. I will always reflect back on our trip to MTTA’s High Hut as the moment of calm before the storm. For this, I am incredibly grateful.More
Written February 28, 2021
When driving to or from the mountains, one of my favorite things is grabbing a special cup of coffee, treat, or breakfast
sandwich burrito to-go. It can be fuel for the day’s adventures or a little boost for the (typically) long drive home. During my four years in Washington State, I lived in Olympia, Yakima, Seattle, and Everett. Living throughout the state led me to many different scenic drives to and from the mountains, so I’ve accumulated a list of go-to spots across the state. While Seattle is the home to Starbucks coffee, you won’t find S-bucks on this list. I’m sharing spots that are NOT chains, but instead locally owned. Supporting small businesses is important to me and I wanted to highlight these gems!
This is a list of my favorite, unique coffee and breakfast stops in Washington! Emphasis on the “stops.” Most of these places, I have never sat down to enjoy a meal/cup o’ joe, but that’s not the point of this post! I’ll share some of my favorite cafes at a later date, for SURE. Nothing beats a good cup of coffee + ambience to match the vibe you’re looking for. You might call me a cafe enthusiast. I’d be okay with that.
But c’mon. NOTHING beats a good breakfast burrito… am I right?!
Read on for my favorites and please share any of yours in the comments!More
Written February 17, 2021
Experienced February 8-17, 2021
One pass. Four resorts. Unlimited shrieks of joy. Boundless connection, freedom, and fun.
When I found out my favorite mountain in Washington (Stevens Pass!!) would be on the Epic Pass, I knew I had to purchase it. I’d be skiing most Sundays at Stevens with Outdoors for All to volunteer as an Adaptive Skiing instructor (in training for sit skiing). Plus, living in Everett, I was less than 1.5 hours from the mountain and would undoubtedly get many days in.
To add to the value of purchasing this Epic seasons pass, I was planning to attend the annual physical therapy conference (Combined Sections Meeting) in… *drum roll*… DENVER! When traveling for professional education and networking, why not ALSO throw in a skiing trip?! I made plans to sandwich the conference by skiing with my favorite people in new terrain.
Undoubtedly, getting an epic pass was an EPIC decision. Here is my reminiscing on skiing the Colorado POWWWW… plus some tips if you’re thinking about getting an Epic pass / traveling with skis. Ya know, when we can do this kind of stuff again.
It’d be best to note that this trip was exactly ONE year ago… and I actually JUST took my first flight in over a year. More on that later, but let’s focus on the wintery good stuff right now, shall we?More
January 14, 2021
It’s now been two weeks since you left and I’ve been sitting here with continued discomfort and uncertainty. My heart is searching for the meaning in our tumultuous time together and I wanted to write you this letter when I felt ready. You know I’m not a woman to simply react on my emotions, so I needed time to sit with them before I approached you. I can’t believe I’ve had more tears to shed for you, but – alas – they are pouring from my heart onto this letter I’m writing.
I have to admit, I don’t feel as good as I thought I would after our severance. All this space has left me with a ball of anxiety and it’s unsettling! I hoped our splitting would suddenly alleviate the pressure, anxiousness, and uncertainty… all of which are relentlessly persistent in this world! Every time I settle into the uncertainty, the ground gets pulled from under my feet again. It’s exhausting. Yoga, prayer, meditation, breathing practices… I’m using ALL my tools. I’m getting there. I really am. But I just HAVE to release some of what I’m feeling.
I realized I needed to write to you when I started blaming you over and over again for the world’s grief and turmoil. I kept cussing at you under my breath and I didn’t really feel this was fair to you, nor to myself. The Buddha says hanging onto anger is like holding onto a hot coal and I’ve been acutely aware of the burning in my hands at times. This awareness has been painful, but also necessary and beautiful. I only feel it’s fair I alleviate you of the burden and fault I’ve put on you these past few months. I want to fire you as my scapegoat.
When I first sat to write, I wanted to tell you I despised you for ruining SO MANY things. I’ve held onto resentment after resentment as I’ve experienced cancellations of important events – birthday celebrations, weddings, baby showers, Christmas Eve gatherings with ALL MY FAVORITE PEOPLE, Taco Tuesday with a margarita in hand. I have felt sadness and anger seeping through my heart as I’ve experienced and supported others through loved ones passing away, trauma beyond comprehension, suicides, injustices, unemployment. I kept shaking my fist at you, pleading for you to JUST LEAVE US ALONE! At times, it’s seemed to be too much to bear. I think this is why I wanted to keep blaming you… blaming something. It has just feel too uncomfortable to hold onto all this grief myself.
The weird thing is, as I was writing to tell you all the things you did wrong, I realized there was so much you taught me through the process. You showed me I was never actually ALONE in this grief after all. You showed me how much community means to me and how interconnected we are. You showed what a ‘call to action’ can look like in the face of adversity and grief. You showed me comfort and security in ways I’ve denied myself in the past. And so, I’ve sat… and sat… and sat… observing all these feelings rising and falling within me, around me. I’ve felt them settling down more… and more… with each passing day. I feel like my InstaPot on natural release, just letting the steam escape from my heart and mind. The grip around me is releasing as I realize of all you gave me. Under all the yucky feelings, I am finally seeing you taught me invaluable lessons.
It’s taking a lot for me to say this, 2020. My ego is on overdrive, but I’m setting it aside for now. It’s time to release my feelings so I may reach further clarity, no matter how vulnerable or uncomfortable it may feel. Honestly, I think you deserve it, too. It’s been rough going for the both of us.
So, this is my cathartic release. This is my emotional shedding. It’s my way of cleansing, clarifying, and releasing through writing. It’s really the only way I know how to process, so thank you for listening to me.
Here I go, 2020… This one is for you…More