Sunday, July 6, 2014

june adventures.

juicy pork dumplings.
(Juicy pork dumplings, aka: dumplings filled with the brothy nectar of the gods.)
May & June were exceptionally busy months! Apologies for my internet absence. My computer situation is squared away at last. It feels so good to have a working desktop and Photoshop back at my fingertips!

June saw me flying alone as an adult for the first time EVER to visit my boyfriend who is conveniently located at the opposite end of the country. Philadelphia to Seattle! 2,821mi commute, no big deal, right? I was utterly racked with anxiety, nerves, and an unrelenting fear that an otherwise reliable modern technology would fail and I'd drop out of the sky in a giant airborne tin can. My flight out was apparently an unusually bad one according to the seasoned travelers seated around me. The takeoff was jarring and the severe turbulence while dodging storms brought me close to being ill. I made it to Seattle in one piece, though!

rattlesnake ledge.
(I didn't believe him when he told me that was what we were hiking up to. I was absolutely wrong.)
The coolest thing about Seattle and the surrounding areas are the forests and MOUNTAINS. I could NOT get over Mt. Rainier in the distance. We have some Appalachian mountains a decent drive out from the Philadelphia area, but they absolutely pale in comparison to the Cascade Range. The weather during my visit was utterly beautiful (sunny and in the 70s, what more could I ask for?) and the first time I caught a glimpse of Mt. Rainier I was in a state of complete awe. It was the first time I had ever seen a snow-capped mountain. One of the things we did during my visit was drive into the mountains a bit and hike up Rattlesnake Ledge -- planting me in the middle of the gorgeous mountainous area just outside the city.

The hike was a motherfucker. I can't think of a more pleasant way to phrase it. It kicked my butt. I was wheezing, sweating, huffing and puffing the entire way up. I was told I sounded like I was in pain. I was. Sometimes it felt like I was just going to collapse and topple off of a ledge. When Dan mentioned we had hit the halfway point all I could think was, "I might actually die today, but at least I tried."

After a while and a few encouraging comments from people making the descent from the top ... we made it!!!

view from the top.
(Not our dog, just another hiker's cute companion enjoying the view with us!)
People had their kids up there, dogs, and so on. The clouds cleared enough for me to see far into the distance. It really was one of those gorgeous vistas that makes you appreciate being alive and well enough to see it all in person. The perilous hike up was absolutely worth the end result.

The descent also sucked, but not nearly as much. By that point the blisters I acquired on the way up had burst and were now just actively bleeding into my shoes. My socks were damp with blood and at some point the pain became so constant that I was able to ignore it. Glamorous, right? Still worth it!

(Cardamom rose cocktail & beef tenderloin w/egg yolk ravioli. Pinch me, I'm dreaming!)
The rest of my visit was far more leisurely. I was taken on a bit of a culinary tour and got to eat at some amazing restaurants. I've never had so much decadent food in my entire life! I think I flew back to Philadelphia a few pounds heavier. I was shown about Seattle proper but absolutely refused to go in the Space Needle because of my fear of heights. I did get to see Pike Place Market, though! We saw the fantasy, science fiction, and horror exhibits at the EMP Museum and went to the Spies exhibit at the Pacific Science Center. The week flew by, and before I knew it I was on a red-eye flight back to the East Coast. I can't wait for my next trip out!

Hope all has been well with you, dear readers! ❤