Sunday, August 10, 2014

The final road-trip round-up!

After 6 weeks away from home, we returned last Sunday - and it's taken me about a week to settle back into "life".  I still have the luxury of a summer schedule, so that did make the week much easier than if I had jumped right back into a rigid routine.

After our trip to Canada, we then, in a not-so-logical-geographical-manner, headed west to Seattle and Bellingham to visit friends and family.  Our visit to Seattle was seriously laid-back, consisting of nothing but eating, drinking, sleeping, reading, and hanging out with good friends.  While the trip to Canada was pretty awesome, I wouldn't describe it as "relaxing" (traveling with my parents never falls into that category!).  We did explore just a bit - visiting the Ballard Locks, in part because of the great blue herons that were nesting there (more on the herons at the Locks).

Fun picture of the Locks working; not a great photo of Michael

After Seattle, we headed north to Bellingham.  The last time we visited B-ham was 2 years ago in June.  Let me say that July is a much better time to visit this part of the world!  This was also a relaxing stay, although my cousin did have some plans for us!  First of all, we went to an outdoor concert the day we arrived and saw the March Fourth Marching Band which was a fantastic way to spend our evening - the band was GREAT!  It was definitely more than a band with people on stilts that were dancing and performing for the crowd.  We also spent time on the water - my cousin and I went for an open water swim at Lake Padden, and we were able to enjoy sunsets and even kayaked for an afternoon.  

Here I am with my cousin.

Michael and I enjoying the sunset

After our WA state visit, it was time for Colorado!  So, we trekked back to Idaho and then south - driving through Utah and Wyoming before hitting I-25 south to Colorado, where we spent time in Boulder and Breckenridge.  In Boulder, we tried to be a bit more active than we had been in WA, running low miles at slow speeds and biking, stuck on the wheels of faster cyclists.  It was rough getting my legs and lungs moving again, especially at altitude, but probably good for me!  I can't say that I was back in any sort of "training" mode since plenty of nights had elements of this:

We rounded out our Colorado visit with a trip to Breckenridge to see my aunt and uncle - it is definitely part of our summer tradition at this point since we've visited them the past 3-4 summers there.  The weather thwarted our plans to hike Mt. Quandary, one of the easier 14-ers, but we finally managed to make it to Mohawk Lake, a hike that was rained out when we attempted it 2 years ago.  We made it to lower Mohawk Lake last time, but this year we climbed to the upper lake - definitely worth the final push as it offered a beautiful lake, alpine meadows and dramatic granite 'walls'.

For the final leg of our trip, we headed to the San Francisco Bay area for a friend's wedding in Marin.  There was a bicycle theme, since the bride and groom are both really into biking:

Also, their dog was the ring-bearer!  In addition to the wedding festivities, we spent the morning at Point Reyes and found a dog-friendly beach that was a great little walk for all of us.
Gus and I at Limantour Beach

Finally, we head back home last Sunday - I don't think I've ever been so ready to return to our humble abode as I was last Sunday.  We felt really lucky that we had the opportunity to be on the road for so long and to see so many friends and family members and visit wonderful places, some new to us and others old, familiar haunts.  But, it also made me appreciate returning to my space and my bed!