Friday Five: Vacation Regrets

It seems to happen every time. No matter how precisely I plan out a vacation, I always end up missing something, forgetting something, not doing something, or regretting something. Here's five things I regret about my July vacation:

1. I regret not getting to talk to everyone as my class reunion. It was a case of so many people, so little time, but I sure wish I'd had the chance to talk with more folks at my reunion (aside from the "Oh, my gosh, HI!! How ARE you!?"). I started conversations with several people, only for one or both of us to get pulled in another direction. It was still awesome, and it was so wonderful to see everyone after so many years (the last reunion I went to was the 10th), but I wish I'd done more socializing.

2.  I regret not visiting Pullman, WA or Moscow, ID. I spent lots and lots of time in both cities as a teen and young adult, and even lived in Moscow for nearly four years after graduating college, so they both feel like "hometowns" for me. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough time to drive over and wander around either city, but it would've been nice to see how they've changed, and whether or not my favourite haunts (Ric-o-Shay Rags, Pterodactyl Records, The Old Mole, and Combine Mall in Pullman, and the Palouse Empire Mall and The Peppermill in Moscow) are still there.

3. I regret not getting out of the car and wandering around Cle Elum and Ronald. I just drove around and took pictuers of our old house and places I used to hang out through the window, but that was it. And at the time that was okay; I just felt kinda meh about the whole thing. But now I wish I'd parked the car and wandered around on foot.

4. I regret not taking any "outfit of the day" pictures, or pictures of my feet. I wore several really cute outfits over the week and a half I was away, and really only have a couple pictures of one of them - the maxi skirt and tank top from IGIGI. I honestly didn't even think about doing OOTD shots until I was already home. Also there were numerous opportunities to take pictures of my prettily painted toes in various places -  The Rose Garden pathway at the Butchart Garden, anywhere on the CWU campus,  and the beach at Lake Coeur d'Alene are the most obvious places, but I'm sure there were others I just missed because I wasn't thinking of it.

5. I regret not letting myself enjoy it all more. I mean, I had a great time - touring Victoria with Darlene and Pam was awesome, visiting with my original BFF Kelly was fantastic, the class reunion was super fun, and the road trip was cool, too ... but. I guess I wish I'd let go more. Let myself really see, feel, and truly experience everything. I guess I've always been more of an observer of life, rather than a participant in it, and I really hoped I wouldn't do that this trip.  I guess a leopard can't change its spots, though, right? I guess I'll just have to keep working on it!

Until next time, cheers!

Friday Five: Top Five Highlights from the Rest of My Vacation

So last week I went through the highlights of my trip to Victoria, B.C., which was AWESOME, but wasn't the end of my vacation: it was actually just the beginning! On Tuesday, I rented a car (a super cool 2o14 Ford Mustang convertible!!!), and drove across the state of Washington, stopping in some old hometowns along the way to my high school reunion. Hop in, and come along for the ride!


1.  Seeing the old stomping grounds. I was a little scared that I would get terribly emotional seeing all the places I used to live, seeing how they may have changed, but in the end, I felt kinda meh about it. Cle Elum and Ronald were mostly the same, though there has been a little growth, mostly in Ronald where a previously wide open meadow with a few scattered homes (my childhood Bigfoot hunting grounds) is now covered in houses, fenced property, and gravel roads, and I was kinda sad to see that our house on the hill - which my parents had built new in the early 70s - looked a little junky. Colfax was pretty much exactly as I remembered it despite a few businesses having changed things up (Fonk's Drugs is a coffee shop?!?) or closed up altogether.


(#1: The beautiful Palouse Hills as seen from Colfax Cemetery. #2: The formerly-vacant field in Ronald, WA where I used to look for Bigfoot. #3: The view of Peoh Point from the street in front of our house on the hill, Cle Elum, WA. #4: Downtown Ellensburg, WA.)

2.  Seeing my Original BFF. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to spend some time visiting with the woman I call my "Original BFF", Kelly. We first met when my family moved to Cle Elum and I started second grade at the elementary school there. Kelly was my very first friend and remained my best friend and pen pal after I moved at the end of the fourth grade. When it came time to go to college, we both chose to attend Central Washington University in Ellensburg, and decided to be roommates. We roomed together all four years - the first two with just us, then added a couple other roommates in our Junior and Senior years. We've continued being pen pals ever since, and I was the Maid of Honour at her wedding. We had a wonderful lunch and chat at the Village Cafe in Ellensburg, and it was great to catch up with her!


3. Hanging out with my classmates. It was a lot of fun to see all these people again, even if I didn't recognize many of them at first. (I'm sure many of them didn't recognize me at first, either!) We took a sunset dinner cruise on Lake Coeur d'Alene and had great food, drink, music, and company!


4.  The 5K Colour Run. Easily the loudest and brightest of the highlights! It was my third 5K this year, and came just two weeks after the Wild Run in Atascadero on July 4th. This was one of those colour runs where they pelt you with a variety of brightly coloured powders at various points throughout the race. I don't know if they took any official times (I didn't see any anyone with a stopwatch and no one yelled out times when I crossed the line), but I did glance down at my phone when I crossed the line, and it was 56 minutes after I'd started, so I'm calling it and even 56 minutes. It was very hot, sweaty, and messy, but a lot of fun! Check out my before and after:



5.  Visiting other cities. Although the main purpose of my trip was to vacation in Victoria with DeeDee and Pammie Sue, and visit my old stomping grounds throughout Washington state before hitting my class reunion, I did get to spend some time in Seattle and Coeur d'Alene, ID. In Seattle I got to stroll around the pathways in and around the Seattle Center, visit the Public Market, jump on the monorail for a quick jaunt downtown, and had some really wonderful meals and drinks. It was outrageously hot and I was a nasty, sweaty mess, but it was still fun! Coeur D'Alene was the end location for our high school reunion where we had a lovely sunset dinner cruise on the lake. The next day I took for myself and since it was cooler and cloudy (and even sprinkled a little) I didn't get to lounge by the pool as originally planned, but had to settle for wandering around the quaint little shopping district, and simply enjoying my lovely room and view.


(#1: Fountain in Seattle Center. #2: Sonic Bloom solar flower sculpture in Seattle Center. #3 . Tini Bigs - best martinis in Seattle, WA! #4: The view from our room at the Mediterranean Inn, Seattle, WA.)


(#1: Sunset view from the Lakeside Lounge at the Coeur d'Alene Resort. #2:  A little park downtown Coeur d'Alene, ID. #3. My view of Lake Coeur d'Alene from my room. #4. Art display downtown Coeur d'Alene, ID. )

It was truly a wonderful vacation, and I enjoyed basically ALL of it. I do, however, have a few regrets and disappointments, which will be the topic of next week's Friday Five. Until then, cheers! 

What's Up Wednesday - 2014 Vacation Edition

Tree70%What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop run by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk. Check them out to see what other creative minds are up to!

WHAT I'M READING: I recently purchased three new books at the bookstore inside Spokane International Airport on my way home from one of the best vacays I've taken in a very long time. After much deliberation and coin flipping, I decided to read The Taste of Apple Seeds by Katharina Hagena. I'm almost three quarters through, and while I'm enjoying it because it's a beautifully written and interesting story, parts of it are tough to read because the grandmother's condition hits a little too close to home!

WHAT I'M WRITING: I haven't been writing anything lately, but my recent travels, photos, and the book I'm reading has sparked my creativity, so hopefully by next week I'll have something to write about!

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW: Going home, spending time with friends as well as reconnecting with college friends and high school classmates, and having some pretty nice alone time, too!

WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO: As you may have guessed, I just returned home from a super fun vacation that included a weekend in Victoria B.C., a couple days in Seattle, and a road trip across the state of Washington with stops in Cle Elum, Ellensburg, and Colfax, and a quick jaunt into Coeur d'Alene, Idaho for my class reunion.

Lord, I'm tired! Must sleep now! Cheers!

July Resolutions

FYI: Monthly resolutions posts are inspired by Kim at The Kim Challenge.

So the month of July is really, really busy for me, as I'll be on vacation for 12 1/2 days straight, and the 9 1/2 days before I leave will be spent frantically trying to pack as well as go to work, get a couple workouts in, attend my last ballet class, do a 5K, and get my hair and nails dealt with, but I still want to set a few goals for myself specifically related to my trip:






Yes, I know I said "have fun" twice, but sometimes I need to be reminded that a vacation, even a really super busy one with lots and lots of stuff going on every single day like this one, is still a vacation, not work, and I need to bloody well enjoy it! And I'm sure I will. Once I'm out there, on the road, with my friends, I know I'll have a good time. How could I not?

Still. Wish me luck, eh? Cheers!

Friday Five: Summer Vacation Planning Edition

Wow, I can't believe it's the last Friday in June already!  How did THAT happen?!? I'm now 13 (well, technically twelve-and-a-half) days from my Summer Vacation, and I'm excited and stressed at the same time. So, here's my Friday Five for the week containing some things I've managed to get done, and some things that might not get done.

1.  Wednesday I got my vision checked, and ordered some new prescription sunglasses, which will hopefully make driving much easier. I also decided to go with progressive lenses, so I should be able to see in the distance as well as up close. It'll be nice to not have to take my glasses off and put on readers to, say, read a menu at a sidewalk cafe. If I like the sunglasses, I'll have my regular glasses done that way as well. The only problem with that is, they'll have to take my glasses, as those frames aren't available anymore, so I'll be blind for a few weeks. Still, that's a project for AFTER my vacation!

2. I ordered some packing cubes which will hopefully make packing and travelling a lot easier! Since I'm driving across Washington state, I'll be staying in several hotels along the way, so I needed a fast and easy way to pack and organize my clothes.

3. I realized on Tuesday I screwed up the dates on my car reservations, and panic ensued! Luckily I was able to not only fix it, but managed to still get a convertable! (And, yes, I realize now that I will not be driving around the perpetually sunny central coast of California where it does not rain in the summertime, but instead across the state of Washington where, okay, now that you mention it,  I do recall we periodically got summer thunderstorms. So, if it rains for a full week up there this July, you can blame me.)

4. So a couple weekends ago, I finally decided I'd better get reservations at a hotel in Colfax, but, oops, guess what? They're booked! Of course! It's a huge event, and there are only two hotels in town (which is actually up form the 1 they used to have!), what was I thinking?!? Gah! So, I booked a hotel in Pullman, knowing that it'll be a pain to drive back and forth, and possibly not having a chance to shower after the colour run on Saturday. But! I kept checking every day or so, just in case a room became available. Tuesday was that lucky day for me, and now I can relax even more about my trip!

5. Finally, I still have so much to do, and I might end up not doing a bunch of stuff just to take some of the pressure off. I wanted to get my eyelashes dyed, as I thought that might save me a lot of getting-ready time during my trip, but I don't know if I'll be able to fit it in. Also, I was going to get my hair cut and dyed like this: 

(Photo of Emma Stone ganked from some gossip site; don't know who's picture it is, but I know it's not mine.)

But again, time is quickly sliding by; tomorrow is booked and next Friday is booked, too (as well as being a holiday, so there probably wouldn't be any salons open anyway), and, and, and ... I might end up just dying it myself and getting a quick trim at Fantastic Sam's, as per usual. What do you think? Should I go for it, or not?

Anway, phew! I'm exhausted just writing all that! Still, I'm SO looking forward to this vacation, and I can hardly wait! What are your summer vacation plans?


What's Up Wednesday??

WUW Winter Holly 1

What I'm Writing: Nothing. Too busy packing and planning.

What I'm Reading: The Shape-Changer's Wife by Sharon Shinn. 

What Inspires Me: I've been too busy to be inspired this week. 

What Else I've Been Up To: As I mentioned above I've been packing and planning. I'm heading to Green Bay, WI a week from today, and will likely pack, unpack, and repack several times before then. I've taken this trip several times over the past ten years; you'd think I'd have the packing thing down by now. You would, however, be very, very wrong. As for the planning, that's for this summer's trip to Victoria, B.C., Washington state, and Coeur d'Alene, ID. I'll be putting a lot of miles on some poor rental car, I fear!

Until next week!