Story, Goal, Song: part IV


I made a mistake last week. I started watching Aerial America again. And now, while everyone else has come down with a cold, I have come down with yet another bout of wanderlust.

So today my mom and I hopped in the car and drove toward the mountains. She probably just did this to shut me up, because whenever I’d caught sight of them earlier in the day it was all I could do to not thrust my hands in the air and yell “HOLY SHIT” (not an unwarranted exclamation – they were seriously majestic). But anyway, we drove toward the mountains, and then we turned around and headed toward the water, practically chasing the sun at this point, and one of the pictures I took during this leg of our journey is up yonder. I don’t know why my natural response to a beautiful day is to shout swear words, but HOLY. SHIT. What a breathtaking day.

Just had to get that out. Moving on! (if you missed them, part I can be found here, part II here, and part III here)

A story: Spring break trips are sort of a rite of passage for college students, as I’m sure everyone knows. Most, understandably, migrate toward the equator for that week – my friends and I decided to go north, to Vancouver BC. Vancouver is a beautiful land where the drinking age is only 19 and every building looks like this:


The four of us arrived in this gorgeous city and settled in (shout-out to my dad for hooking it up with the Marriott points), soon venturing out again to find sandwiches and, more importantly, explore the Granville Island market. Many photos were taken – the background/wallpaper for this very blog is actually a picture I took of the water around Granville – and we discovered the soap shop of all soap shops. Feeling pretty grand about our touristing skills, we went back to the hotel to do some crucial pub/bar research; we are four young women who do not settle for mediocre cocktails. And we kind of wanted an Irish pub atmosphere. Priorities.

On a sidenote, the restaurant where we ate dinner had the coolest bathroom ever (so cool, in fact, L-dawg sent me on a secret mission to take a picture of the sink, which could be turned on by stepping on a pedal):

Canada, you really have it  all worked out.

Canada, you really have it all worked out.

By 7:30pm on that Monday evening, we were sitting at Doolin’s Irish Pub, not even getting carded for the drinks we ordered because those who “go out on the town” before 10 are probably harmless. Worked for us. There was live music. We had fries. We left by 9:30, grabbed some fancy dessert from a local cafe, and fell asleep watching the Food Network around midnight. This is good because, first of all, it’s kind of my ideal night, and secondly, we definitely needed our energy for the next day. I mean…

TOPSHOP is paradise, and it basically doesn't exist in the US (for those of you who don't know)

TOPSHOP is paradise, and it basically doesn’t exist in the US (for those of you who don’t know)

After taking advantage of the continental breakfast (since that is the point of staying in a hotel, after all), we went on a shopping spree and then a walking spree. Overestimating our speed/endurance/patience and underestimating the amount of rainfall that would occur that day, we attempted to walk all the way to Stanley Park. I cannot even give a rough estimate of how many blocks we traversed on our way to this so-called gem of Vancouver, but I can tell you that by the time we actually reached the park we had all silently agreed that a picture of a few ducks in the first pond we encountered would suffice, and we turned around. If there was ever a day, in the whole year of living together, when there was a nearly-palpable feeling of annoyance bouncing between the four of us, this was it. But a hot cup of tea with a towering tray of pastries can pretty much solve anything, and luckily that was next on our agenda.

This was my spring break, and these are my friends (all of whom I get to see on SUNDAY! *shrieks with happiness*). Such good memories – even walking in our rained-on misery.

A goal: Today’s goal, believe it or not, is actually related to both my intro and my story. When does that ever happen? Soak it up, guys.

Maybe you’ve already picked up on it, but I have this desire to see cities and mountains and canyons and grassy hillsides and practically everything. You know, the spirit of a traveler. Regrettably, though, I do not make enough time to really get out there and do stuff. I want to get out there and do stuff. I see these pictures of people I know road tripping and going on hikes and whatnot, and I always have that what-am-I-doing-with-my-life moment, when suddenly you can see very clearly your priorities have somehow been thrown askew. I’d like to get them back where they should be. And one of my top priorities is seeing and experiencing places. (I’ll start off strong by watching the Aerial America marathon all day on New Year’s, Smithsonian Channel if you’d like to participate from your own couch)

A song: Now we come to yet another song that has stayed with me through all the seasons: “I Can See Your Tracks” by Laura Veirs. In February, I sat on various benches and listened to it on repeat. It was on our spring break mix CD. I listened to it on the bus over the summer, and it is (predictably) stuck in my head now, at the very end of December.

It is so relaxed and sweet and makes me feel like I’m wandering around a prairie at sundown. If that doesn’t make you want to listen to it, I don’t know what will.

As always, thank you very very much for taking the time to read, and stay tuned for the final part of this series (and final post of 2014)!

Also, I would like to wish a very happy birthday to my dear Olivia Rose – can’t promise I won’t cry when I see you


How I know it’s spring.

I don’t really keep it a secret – spring is my favorite season, and it always has been. I love summer, I love fall, and I love winter, too, but there is something about spring that makes me want to sit in my window, read a good book, and have a cute little songbird come perch on my finger (this has actually happened before, no lie). I just love everything about it.

I have been particularly anticipatory of this spring. I remember days in February when we would catch the faintest glint of sun, and I would run outside in a t-shirt and sunglasses even though it was only in the 40’s. There were many times when I would find myself moving from campus bench to campus bench, following that tiny bit of bright warmth. If spring were a boy, I would want to marry him, but he would probably file a restraining order against me because I’m too pushy. That’s just how it is.

But now – finally – after months of imagining cherry blossoms and clear blue skies, my season has arrived. I’m generally a pretty happy person, but now I just have the urge to frolick everywhere, which is embarrassing and not an exaggeration at all. I am breathing in the smell of flowers and I can see the mountains so clearly and I am just so in love. I have quite a vivid imagination, but I can’t imagine a time or a place more lovely than the Northwest in the spring, and I can’t imagine better people with whom to spend it.

How do I know it’s spring? Well first of all, the spring equinox happened. I am also officially on spring break. So those are pretty clear cut. But there are a couple of other things that always seem to signify spring for me: wanderlust and happy music.

I told one of my roommates last week that I always feel some degree of wanderlust, but my levels see a steep, steep increase once spring comes along. This year, that spike is attributable to Aerial Americaaka one of the best shows to ever grace the pages of Netflix. For a long time, I thought everything I could ever want to see was somewhere across the ocean – Italy, Morocco, Japan. Even now, one of my most-sighed phrases is “I want to go everywhere,” but I feel like my previous attitude has changed a little. Of course I want to see Rome before I die, but I also feel like I’ll hate myself if I never drive the Pacific Coast Highway in its entirety. Thanks to some striking aerial footage and history-focused narration, I’m determined to embark on the ultimate road trip across America and see all the things and meet all the people and yeah. As I said earlier… I want to go everywhere.

And what is a road trip without great music? Answer: a shitty road trip. Luckily I have been able to compile a list of songs that are evocative of spring (for me, at least), most of which are featured in my two-disc “O Canada” collection – being the queen of thrusting mix CDs at people who don’t ask for mix CDs, I couldn’t not play DJ on a quickly-approaching two-day excursion to Canada with my roommates. A sample:

DSC_1158If there is one song that has prepped me for my favorite season this year, it is “I Can See Your Tracks” by Laura Veirs. I’ve probably listened to it too many times, but judging by how quickly I go through jars of peanut butter, I am not one for moderation.

So there we go. Yes, spring makes me a very sappy person. But trees are sappy too, and people love trees. (please love me) Okay bye!