It was a cold, dark morning, and it had been snowing all night. I needed to leave my house at 1:00 in order to get to Milwaukee in time to make my 5:45 flight. I bundled up in a long flannel shirt of Brian’s, a pair of leggings, and a cozy scarf.
Unfortunately, the roads were terrible at 1:00. We’d had freezing rain prior to the snow, and the snow plows hadn’t gone through yet. I left at 1:00, and arrived at the airport at 5:00, a bundle of nerves. I parked and anxiously waited for the shuttle to take me to the terminal, where I sprinted to the counter to check my luggage. I checked in for my flight at 5:14, one minute before the deadline, and the kind lady behind the Southwest counter informed me that they couldn’t guarantee my luggage would make the plane, but that I might make it if I hurried. Luckily, the security lines were short, and I made it just in time for B boarding. The flight was only half full, so I had a lot of space to stretch out and nap on the first half of my trip.
The flights themselves were uneventful, and before I knew it, I had landed in Seattle. I know I’m in for a good trip when there are fish in the floor of the airport. (That was my giveaway in Reno, too!)
I picked up my rental car, met Rosendo and Debbie for a quick lunch by the airport, then headed down to Oregon.
It had rained a ton in the week prior to my trip, and the rivers were all running pretty high. I was nervous about fishing by myself in high water when I don’t know the streams, so I opted to hike, instead.
I started with a trail run, but eventually did some climbing and found myself somewhere amazing…
Spencer Butte park in Eugene, OR. Awesome. It was crazy windy up on top, and the entire experience took my breath away. I found a guy up there, doing yoga on a flat part of a huge boulder. He was awesome, we chatted, and he took those pictures of me.
It was so beautiful in that area that I came back later without my running gear so I could take some non-iPhone photos. ;)
I was lucky enough to stay with my friend, Kyle, when I was out there, and his new pup, Sawyer.
Isn’t she a sweetie? We went out for dinner the evening I was down there, and I called up my friend, Shannon. I knew she lived somewhere near Corvallis or Eugene, and I knew it was short notice, but I wanted to see if she was around. Sure enough…
Reunited! :) it was great to catch up with you, Shan.
The next day, I made the drive up to Tacoma to meet with Rochelle- a TU staffer who I worked with extensively to create the STREAM girls program. We had lunch, then laughed and read through some Girl Scout materials to update our program. :)
Tacoma was awesome- it was a little university-culture-meets-water-culture.
I made it up to Seattle in time for dinner with Ro, my TU friend Debbie, and her husband. I don’t have a good picture of us to share, but we had a great time catching up! :) <3 you, Debbie. Thanks for all the awesome work you do for TU and all the support you've given me!
Ro and I got ready for our fishing adventure for the next couple days, complete with a trip to bass pro shops to get a fishing license.
I loved that huge aquarium!
So. A couple things. I caught some giant steelhead. I’ve never caught one before! This was also my first time (since being a little girl, bluegill fishing with my grammie and Grampie) fishing with anything other than a fly rod. I had to learn a new skill!
I caught fish. Ro caught fish.
I caught a BIG fish.
It turns out that I don’t like killing the fish. Our guide did it for me, but I just didn’t like that part. Don’t judge, but I shed a tear when the first one died. Being hatchery fish, and fishing near the hatchery, I know these guys were probably going to die anyway, but I still didn’t like it.
It was a good lesson to learn, though- I guess I prefer wild fish and putting them back. I don’t know how I will reconcile that preference with my taste for fish, but I’ll work it out… I brought home four steelhead worth of fish filets. It was delicious. Food for the long Wisconsin winter! ;)
We stayed in an awesome fish-themed cabin run by a sweet elderly couple. After a long, cold, windy, rainy day in the boat, all I wanted was a hot shower. Too bad that a big storm came through and knocked out our power. What an adventure! No power for a day and a half, big fish, and life lessons. It was almost too good to be true.
Rosendo was an incredible host- he showed me a good time and we laughed a lot! Thanks for everything, Ro. :)
We headed back to Seattle for my last night, and I met up with my aunt, Mary Pat, and my cousin, Rory. We had dinner and talked for hours!
Mary Pat took me to see the Christmas Ships at the park near their house- it was amazing! We walked down to the beach (kids were making sand angels instead of snow angels!), waited for these lit-up ships to float by, and they had a choir aboard, singing Christmas carols!
The whole thing felt very Seattle. Thank you for the fun, dear Seattle family! :)
I was anxious to return home, so I was relieved when returning my rental car was a piece of cake, and my flights were uneventful. Before I knew it, Milwaukee Int’l Airport was welcoming me home with live music. Hooray!
I made it to Wisconsin in the early afternoon, and headed straight up to Manitowoc to celebrate the baby shower of my college friend, Mo. Our Delta Omicron family was there, and we had a wonderful time!
I love you, friends. <3
I met Brian at the shower, and we drove home together. He was a safe driver, and held my hand while I slept soundly in the car on the way home. <3
Thanks for reading, friends. I'm always looking for an adventure!
Miles this year: 35