Saturday, June 2, 2012

Migrating again...

It's our final weekend in Grand Rapids, MI before we head out to Bellingham, WA the roundabout way. 

Everything has been falling into place for our trip out there. My jobs all let me work until the last minute and we've been scrimping and saving, which means that I have met and exceeded my financial goal for my time in Michigan. We have an awesome apartment waiting for us when we get to Bellingham and Chris got a job that, as far as we know, will pay him well and give him lots of hours (he'll be working for an arborist). I just got my financial aid package, which was about what I expected and luckily is still subsidized, at least for the summer. 

I'm so excited about the road trip out west! Our itinerary includes Pictured Rocks National Seashore, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Tetons National Park and Hood River with old friends. I'll be sure to update in the next couple of weeks with pictures of our trip. 

I said good-bye to all but one of my favorite people at one of my jobs, Jester's Court, today, even though I have to come in tomorrow. That's depressing. I really loved my friends there and honestly it was a fun place to work, even if it wasn't exactly what I wanted to do forever. 

I feel like I've said this a hundred times, but I'm looking forward to putting down roots somewhere soon. I'm tired of saying good-bye. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Updates are scarce because there is rarely anything an audience would want to read about. Not saying that there's nothing interesting going on in life, though.

A few highlights from the last few weeks: 

1. My third job ended last Monday. It's either famine or flood as far as work goes. Now I feel like I hardly work at all. But I've managed to save enough so that I won't have to take out loans for two quarters of grad school, if I use my AmeriCorps money. 

2. We attended Jon and Lauren Van Keulen's wedding a few weekends ago. It was beautiful! The reception was in a revamped barn. Here's a pic of the wedding party. Note Chris on the left. :)

3. We participated in the 5/3 Riverbank Run last Saturday. It's a 25k. Chris ran a half-marathon before he started walking, and I ran eight miles. Pretty good considering we've both been too busy to properly train. 

4. Chris is still looking for work out in Bellingham. Last night he was offered an AmeriCorps position where we met as a wilderness ranger. While that sounds pretty cool, the cons outweighed the pros for him. Right now our plan is for him to road trip out with me and look for work, and if he can't find anything in a month, he'll head back to Michigan to work with Jon (the groom, above) and Mark (our roommate). We leave on the 5th!

5. I am officially registered for classes this summer. 

6. I'm heading home to Texas next weekend! Hooray!

I'm excited to start updating this during the summer and have amazing pictures of my new home to show everyone!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hoffmaster State Park

Chris and I headed off for a day trip to Hoffmaster State Park this last weekend. It was pretty cool! The skies were slightly misty and there was hardly any wind on the beach - it was actually a little unsettling. It felt like in movies when a character almost dies but instead he is in a sort of limbo where he realizes he doesn't want to die yet. I'm thinking of Harry Potter of course.

This was in between the golf course parking lot we parked in to save ourselves $8 and the park.

Running down the dune face


Chris was playing paparazzi

View to the lake from something labeled a mountain (scoff!)
I'm really missing real mountains, though.

In other news, three weeks until I get to visit my family in Texas. That means three whole days off! Speaking of days off - soon I will not have to go to my silly night job anymore, and then I'll be able to cook real meals and eat them at home again!

And speaking of my night job, here's what I do, and pretty much how I feel about it:
Inside the multi-million dollar essay-scoring business

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Why does this always happen.

Today, I had an interview for an awesome job on the Western Washington University campus. Although it didn't go badly, it could have gone better, mostly because when they asked me for a creative solution to a problem I had been faced with, I blanked.

A minute after the interview was over, Chris said "When the job market tanked you volunteered with AmeriCorps for job experience and then hiked the PCT. That's pretty creative."


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Heart Attack Grill

On a side note, I heard last night about the TWO people this month who have had heart attacks at the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas. Really, people? Anyway, someone posted this on pinterest or facebook or something a while back and I really liked it. Also, it's pretty appropriate for this blog, I would say.

 On that note, I'm going to the park.

Aman Park flowers

As you can tell, I bought a cord to upload my photos from my camera. Here are some new pictures of Aman Park in the springtime!


Sand Creek

Mertensia and false rue

So many trilliums!

Tiny tropical forest, or mayapples

Jack in the pulpit

Stand out

A spider I bothered while trying to get pictures of a jack in the pulpit.

Redbud flowers

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Well, our trip to Ludington was a smashing success. We got there in time to set up camp in the walk-in campsite and hike out to the lighthouse at sunset...
I was so weirded out by the fact that that thing that looks like a sea is actually a giant lake. It's mind-blowing that the other side is Wisconsin and not Japan or Cuba. It's just like any other lake we walked past on the PCT, just a whole lot bigger.

Chris had the opposite reaction to the Pacific when we went to Mexico two years ago. He jumped in and immediately went, "Ack! My lips are salty!"

 I like making Chris model.

We did a lot of this.

We finally made it to the lighthouse... after about a mile of messing around.
On the way back we saw a porcupine in this tree! You can see it - it looks kind of like a bird's nest, which is what we thought it was at first until it picked up its head.
We only found one of these, so we let it be.

Then we ate dinner, drank whisky and hot chocolate and had a very cold night of sleep. The next morning, we hiked around the various trails (I think probably about 7 miles in all). The first half mile or mile was in sand, which is really my favorite kind of hiking. Anyway, here's a mix of pictures from the rest of the day:

There were a lot of shelters on the trail made from huge, roundish rocks, which meant they had lots of weird nooks and crannies.

 My favorite "don't feed the animals" sign ever.
On the ridge trail.
 Ludington has a huge variety in such a small area. There are a beach, mixed deciduous and coniferous forest, lakes, a river, and plenty of wetlands.
 I heart wetlands.
Pretty maple seeds.

Anyway, it was fun and it felt really good to finally carry my pack around again (it's been since December!). I'm super jealous that most of our thru-hiker friends are heading down to kick-off this week. We'll have to make do with the Manistee River Loop in May. Maybe next year.